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ISN Anchor Desk - Original Short Stories

Chapter 2 - To Sleep in Distant Waters

Michael Garibaldi, head of the newly-named Edgars-Garibaldi Industries, appeared on the viewscreen with his wife Lise sitting in a chair behind him.

"John? Whatís up?"

Sheridanís face was grave. It was instantly noticeable that something was wrong.

"Delenn? Junior? Who is it?"

"Michael, itís the Drakh. They killed ... They ... Michael, I need you."

"John, Iím on my way. Donít say another word." And with that, the viewscreen went blank.

***

Michael Garibaldi held his wife close, in a passionate embrace. Liseís black ringlets flowed off her shoulders, moving in slight patterns with every blow from the air circulation ducts.

"Michael, go. You donít need to explain anything. I was right here, I saw his face. I can take care of things around here while youíre gone. Mary and I will be just fine. Go help the President."

"Lise, I canít believe I waited so long to marry you." He kissed her quickly, then said, "Iíll call you as soon as I know something."

He started towards the door. "Oh, Michael?" she called after him.

"Yeah, Lise?"

"Um, donít you think youíre ... forgetting something?"

He looked confused for a moment then said, "I love you. Iím running late, and --" he looked down. "Oh, hell. Stephen always likes seeing me like this anyway," he said, laughing."

"Iím sure he does, but you better get some clothes on anyway."

***

"Iím on my way. Titans out."

Susan Ivanova paused her pacing on the bridge of her ship and asked, "Canít this thing go any faster?"

"Sorry, Captain. Weíre past maximum now!" her X.O. replied.

"ETA?"

"Weíll be at Babylon 5 in fourteen hours. Captain, thereís nothing you can do here. Why donít you get some rest?"

"If I put you out back and had you push ... Oh, nevermind. Youíve got the bridge. Maybe youíre right." She walked the short distance to the door before stopping and adding, "If you hear anything about that search, I want to be notified immediately. No delays."

"Yes, maíam."

***

The Drakh had finally succeeded in their goals. To them, it was entirely a personal attack, laid out in a carefully detailed map. They had worshipped their masters, the Shadows, as gods for so long, and now those gods were gone, all because of one man. John Sheridan.

Sheridan had fought and even killed many of their masters. Indeed, he had killed a number of Drakh as well. But the worst part of all was the Leaving.

Sheridan had simply asked "Will you please go with the Vorlons now? I want a shot at power and I think Iím as good as you are." And the Shadows left. The Vorlons left after the superior Shadows were gone, followed by the First Ones.

John Sheridan.

He was the key, the key to everything.

ShiíPrima had personally launched the attack on Sheridanís homeworld with the virus engineered so long ago by their masters.

ShiíPrima had been killed in the first wave of the attack.

ShiíPrimaís second had been overseeing Centauri Prime, but really ShivíKala didnít have the stomach for revenge. He was all for glory and resurrecting their masters, but he had feelings towards those he controlled.

And so, Seíal led the Drakh now. It was Seíal who had struck closest to Sheridan. He had personally killed Sheridanís own father. This would drive Sheridan over the edge, and eventually lead him to his downfall.

Seíal laughed horrifyingly as he walked down the corridor of his ship, planning for the coming war.

***

Captain Elizabeth Lochley sighed. "Youíre telling me that because he drew black, heís your enemy?"

The Drazi who stood before her nodded. "He who takes black follows black leader."

"Hold on a minute. Iíve read these reports already. Thereís purple and green, I understand that. But black? This was all settled years ago when Commander Ivanova dyed all the fabric purple!"

"Rules change finally come in. Purple leader not purple leader. She was Human, so she cannot be purple leader."

"But the report said -"

"The report was made by a Human, Captain. I cannot be responsible for your raceís failures."

"I knew I should have stayed in bed this morning," she sighed.

Fortunately, the wrist link she was wearing chose that exact moment to beep. She touched it, brought it to her lips, and said, "Lochley, go."

"Captain, youíd better go private," Corwin, her second-in-command said.

She did so, then looked up a moment later with wide eyes and a renewed sense of energy. "Settle this yourself, Ambassador. Iíve got five thousand hells all on their way here right now," she said as she ran out of the office.

The Ambassador turned to the black-adorned Drazi and said, "Remember how quiet it was with Ivanova here?"

"She broke your nose."

"I know, but it was still quiet."

"She made herself purple leader."

"Well, yes but ..."

"The Captain here didnít say a word about that Spoo you imported."

"That was for food!"

"It would have been eventually. But when she found the two of you, she didnít say a word."

"Beaílta?"

"Yes, Ambassador?"

"Shut up."

"Yes, Ambassador."

***

President Sheridan looked at the time. Nine hours to Babylon 5.

Z minus 9