The Babylon Project

Senna Refa

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". . .Senna could use a positive female role model in this place."
"And you think you can locate one for her?"

Empress Timov and Emperor Mollari, 2264

Senna Refa was the daughter of Lord Antono Refa and his wife, Celes. She later became the ward and essentially the adopted daughter of Emperor Londo Mollari. She later married Mollari's successor, Vir Cotto.


Senna was young when her father died on the Narn homeworld in 2260. It is unknown how much her father's death and the implication that he was involved in the Narn Resistance affected her own life.[1]

Two years later, Senna suffered a further loss during the Fall of Centauri Prime, when her home was destroyed and her mother was killed during the Alliance's bombardment. In the aftermath, Senna was taken in by a family of common Centauri, who had managed to create a meagre shelter in the ruins of the capital. On the first night, she happened upon Emperor Londo Mollari, who was walking the ruins to view the damage for himself. Consumed by anger, Senna threw a rock at him, which struck Mollari in the head. His guards chased her back to where she had taken shelter with the Centauri family, and she was soon apprehended by Durla, the Captain of the Palace guard.[2]

Mollari, who admired the young girl's spirit, offered her a place to live in the Palace while also promising to see to the needs of the poor family. Senna rudely refused the offer, and the family turned her out of their ramshackle shelter soon after, saying that Mollari's offer could have helped them and that, in neglecting the needs of others, Senna was no better than Mollari, whom she had roundly condemned. With nowhere else to go, Senna swallowed her pride and travelled to the Palace to ask Mollari if his offer was still open. Mollari subsequently took her in, declaring her his ward, and even coined the nickname of "Young Lady" for her, which was used by many in the Palace in the years to come.[2]

In time, her initial anger and resentment towards Mollari, whom she had blamed for the suffering of their people, cooled, and Senna came to care for him deeply as a father figure. He provided her with a variety of tutors, including the controversal Telis Elaris, and she proved an apt student. She also remained bewildered by many of Mollari's political decisions, such as promoting Durla to a key governmental position when she could clearly sense that Mollari did not trust or like the man.[2]

Determined to discover what so troubled Mollari, Senna stumbled upon some of his secret writings and read of his encounter with John Sheridan and Delenn on Minbar shortly after their arrival at the new Alliance facilities in Tuzanor at the end of 2262.[3] However, she did not read the parts that referred to the secret Drakh Keeper that was connected to Mollari and watched his every move, as it would have likely ended with her death. Her reading was interrupted by Mollari, who had woken from a deep sleep at his desk and began shouting at her, demanding to know how much she had read. Frightened and shocked by Mollari's violent behavior, Senna fled the Palace for the city, which was still a dangerous place. After a week, Mollari ordered that the Prime Candidates, a Centauri youth movement under the command of Chancellor Lione, seek out her whereabouts and inform him of them. Senna was later found by Mollari in time to prevent her from being assaulted, and he slowly escorted her back to the Palace, after allowing the people to see and cheer his presence among them.[2]

Still concerned about the loneliness that pervaded the Emperor, Senna eventually contacted his estranged wife, Timov, and convinced her to come live in the Palace. Londo and Timov eventually grew closer and seemed to reconcile, pleasing Senna immensely. This closeness did not last, however, and Timov was eventually banished for supposedly conspiring against the crown. Senna was unaware that the charges had been fabricated by Mollari himself, in an effort to protect Timov from discovering his Keeper and from being threatened by the Drakh.[2]

As she grew older, Senna became more and more aware of the sinister changes that permeated Centauri Prime. Sensing Mollari's dissatisfaction with this state of affairs, Senna began her own private campaign to learn more about Minister Durla's faction. She subtly passed this information onto the Emperor under the pretext of sharing gossip with him, and later began to share the information with Vir Cotto, the Centauri Ambassador to Babylon 5, Mollari's old protégé, and the secret leader of the Legions of Fire, a Centauri resistance movement directed at foiling the plans of Durla and the Drakh.[4]

As part of her efforts, Senna flirted with Throk Milifa, a member of the Prime Candidates who had been assigned as Londo's personal valet. She acted as though she was taken with him, though still kept him at arms length. This was not enough to stop Throk from eventually proposing an arranged marriage between himself and Senna to the Emperor. When Mollari asked her what she wanted, she made a point of carefully refusing Throk's offer, stating that she did not wish to marry and hoped to remain friends with Throk. The young Centauri was confused and furious by Senna's rejection and Mollari's adherence to her wishes, and later went to Senna's chambers to speak with her. The subsequent confrontation grew so heated that Throk struck her across the face in anger, an act that was overheard by the Emperor, who was passing by at the time. Mollari burst in and, upon seeing Senna on the floor with Throk standing over her, leapt forward and punched the younger man in the chin. Mollari then removed him from his position in the palace to keep Throk away from Senna.[4]

Senna continued her efforts for the Legions of Fire, but also kept busy with other projects, such as looking after the children of some of the Centauri nobles while their parents were in court. Some of these children included Luc and Lyssa Deradi, children of House Jaddo, which was still a protectorate of House Mollari. In these years, she also became romantically involved with Vir Cotto, though they kept their relationship quiet due to their efforts for the resistance.[5]

In 2278, shortly after the Drakh unleashed some of the bombs they had secreted around Centauri Prime to punish Mollari for resisting them, Senna was vainly trying to control her current charges, Luc and Lyssa Deradi, when they wandered into the throne room and came face to face with the Emperor. Senna feared the consequences of disturbing him, but Mollari reassured her and after seeing how the children presented themselves, he named Luc Emperor for five minutes, something Emperor Turhan had apparently once done for him, and let the boy give a single order.[5][6]

Luc's subsequent order was to hear a story about great battles, wars and bravery and heroes and villains, though Lyssa wished to hear a true story. Amused, Mollari obliged them both and thus Senna was present to hear the Emperor tell the story of Earth's disastrous first contact with the Minbari, and of the Earth-Minbari War. After concluding the story, Mollari said to Senna that he wished he could have spent just five minutes walking with her on a beach, somewhere. Now old and suffering from serious memory problems, Mollari did not recognize her and instead had mistaken her for a retainer of House Jaddo. This encounter was the last time Senna saw Mollari. A little over an hour later, the Emperor was dead.[5][6]

Senna mourned Mollari deeply, but was determined to aid in the reconstruction of her homeworld. Accompanying Vir to Minbar to set up his temporary government headquarters, she was instrumental in working with various civilian ministers during the recovery of Centauri Prime after the Drakh's exposure. She also designed the twin statues of Mollari and G'Kar that Vir, the new Emperor, commissioned to be built on either side of the capital.[5]

Some time after this and before 2281, Senna and Vir married.


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