Babylon 5 stories
ISN Anchor Desk - Original Short Stories
Chapter 3 - The Gathering"Here we go again," thought Dr. Stephen Franklin as he paced back and forth in MedLab. It had been many years since he had been the CMO on B5, yet the feeling of being "home" was never so strong as when he was standing in this very room.
"Lilian?" he called out. He didn’t want to use the Link to find her ... he’d hated that himself when he wore one and almost never used them now.
"Stephen? Is that you?" he heard from behind the wall. Dr. Hobbs entered the room with an armful of specimens and datacrystals.
"Here, let me give you a hand with that." His timing was perfect, as he caught several datacrystals when she attempted to put everything on her desk. "Still trying to do everything yourself, I see."
They both laughed, then she asked, "So what brings you back this time? Another ISA assignment?"
"Then you haven’t heard?" The confused look on her face told him she hadn’t. "Sit down, Lilian." After a minute, he continued. "Look, here’s the deal. The Drakh killed Sheridan’s dad, and he’s snapped. He’s going off on another war and he’s calling in every card he’s got. He says it’s personal this time, and that he has to stop them before they do something worse."
"Why his dad? That just doesn’t make any sense. Why not just kill him or ... or Delenn?"
"He’s saying they want to make him suffer, and that it’s all about him personally, because of the Shadows and the plague."
Lilian’s shoulders slumped and she asked softly, "When will it be enough?"
"You’d think by now we’d have an answer for that, wouldn’t you? After the Minbari War, and the Shadows, and the war back home, and Lyta’s war, and everything else that we’d be tired of it. Instead, he’s leading us into another one. Don’t get me wrong. If I found out someone did it to the General, I’d be upset too, but a war? How many people are going to be dead tomorrow? And is it really worth it?"
Lilian looked up and met his gaze. "To us, no. To a military man like Sheridan, yes. Stephen, you’ve done this job long enough to know how it works. They do the killing, then make the peace, and expect us to put the bodies back together and bring them back to life. Sometimes we can. Sometimes ..."
In the back of his mind, Stephen saw himself standing over the body of Ranger Marcus Cole, while Susan lay in the MedBed holding his hand.
"Sometimes we fail," he finished for her. He suddenly felt very old, and very tired ... tired of death, all around him. It was a feeling that had grown over the years. There wasn’t much he could do about it, but that didn’t stop him from hating it. Death was about the only thing he really did hate. Well, that and pork rinds.
"Guess I should head up and check in with the Captain. I just wanted to stop in and take a look around. You’ve done a great job with the old place, Lilian."
"Thank you, Stephen. It’s good to see you again."
*** Captain Elizabeth Lochley, Michael Garibaldi, Ambassador Ta’Lon of Narn, Ambassador Vir Cotto of the Centauri Republic, Captain Susan Ivanova, Captain Matthew Gideon, Dr. Stephen Franklin, Dr. Lilian Hobbs, Vice President Delenn, and Security Chief Zack Allen were all seated around the round table in the War Room, waiting for the arrival of President Sheridan’s White Star, which should be docking any moment.
Lochley would have had someone waiting at the gate, if it were anyone else, but Sheridan hated any honor guards for him with a passion. An honor guard for someone else, well he was all for that, but for him, he hated it, and Lochley wasn’t about to piss him off right now. He wasn’t in command of B5 anymore, but he still considered it "home" and she knew and respected that.
"So, how long til he gets here?" Gideon asked.
"He will be here when he is here. Worry and asking about it will not change that fact," Ta’Lon said.
"Things were so much easier on the Excalibur," Gideon replied.
Garibaldi couldn’t help but to laugh.
Z minus 3 hours.