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"I am never alone: my thoughts are always among the stars."
– Draal

Draal is a Minbari, a former teacher of Delenn, and the Guardian of the Great Machine after Varn.

HistoryEdit

Draal, a member of the Minbari Religious Caste, was a teacher and philosopher on Minbar. One of his students was Delenn, with whom he would maintain a close friendship. He was also close friends with Rathenn.

Over the years after the Earth-Minbari War, Draal had become disillusioned with the state of affairs on Minbar and his people in general – believing that they had lost their way. Feeling utterly useless back home, he decided that it was his time to go to the "sea of stars." In June 2258, he decided to travel to see Delenn for one last time before he died, as they had not contacted each other for a few years.

Draal02

Draal as he appeared in 2258 before entering the Great Machine

Draal traveled to Babylon 5 and happily caught up with Delenn, however, she soon realized Draal was there for much more than catching up. He revealed his observations and what he felt he must do, disappointing Delenn. During his visit, the planet located near Babylon 5, Epsilon III, began experiencing a great amount of geological activity, and it was soon discovered that there was a huge machine built beneath the planet's surface. The current occupant of the machine, Varn was dying and needed to have someone replace him within the machine.[1] Varn appealed to Draal, knowing him to be a suitable replacement, by appearing to him on the station. Draal, intrigued, was eventually drawn to Varn's bedside in Medlab. Draal and Delenn took Varn, along with Londo Mollari, to the planet while the EAS Hyperion's captain and Sinclair conflicted with each other and with some of Varn's race who had come to claim the planet. When the group reached the machine, Draal decided to take Varn's place to keep it functioning, seeing it as a noble decision and self-sacrifice to help other people. Once joined with it, Draal issued an edict to all those nearby forbidding anyone from landing on the planet, threatening deadly force in retaliation. He used his newfound force on Takarn's Cruiser when he approached.[2]

A short while later the Earth Alliance station Babylon 4 reappeared in Sector 14 through a Time rift. Though unknown to anyone but the Vorlons and a few Minbari at the time (with whom Draal had been in communication) it was Draal who closed the rift after the station vanished again, but prevented it from closing all the way as the Vorlons said it had "value".[3]

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Draal, in the Heart of the Great Machine

The Machine nourished and rejuvenated Draal, restoring to him his youth and appearance of thirty years prior, invigorating him for his role as the Guardian. His mind reached out across the stars, as the Great Machine let him see and hear things from all across the galaxy. After a year of learning and observation, he contacted Delenn and Captain John Sheridan via a holographic message, inviting them to come down for a visit. Once on the planet, Draal pledged his assistance to Sheridan in an alliance for the upcoming Shadow War.[4]

In 2260, as the new War Council was in its formative stages, Delenn asked Draal to help the crew of Babylon 5 fight the Shadows by helping to track down the remaining First Ones. With Captain Sheridan busy dealing with a snooping EarthGov representative, Susan Ivanova travelled to Epsilon III to work with Draal in his stead. Draal took an immediate liking to the feisty Ivanova. He allowed her to step into the Great Machine and coached her about how to use it, allowing her mind to stretch out across the stars. She found a trace of the neutral First Ones at Sigma 957, but the Shadows became aware of her and tried to interfere. Draal coached her to disengage her mind from the watching Shadows and escape their infuence. Before disconnecting herself, Ivanova managed to find a transmission of then Vice President Morgan Clark admitting his part in the assassination of President Luis Santiago. Draal copied it at Susan's request.[5]

In August 2260, Draal sent Zathras with three Triluminaries, the Chrysalis device and time-travel equipment to allow safe navigation for Jeffrey Sinclair to take Babylon 4 back through time to the First Shadow War.[6]

ReferencesEdit

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