"General… with all due respect. You're reassigning him. Reassigning him where?" Susan had only managed to get a few short hours sleep before she was once again roused by the sound of her link, chiming a gold channel message. She groaned and stood up from bed, she hadn't even had the energy to take off her uniform when she got back from the meeting. She wasn't even remotely well rested enough to be finding out that the station was getting a completely new commanding officer.
The hard faced General Hague ran his hand through a thick graying goatee and replied, "To the Mimbari home world, He'll be functioning as the first earth ambassador allowed permanent residence there. The President has been trying to find someone suitable and the Mimbari specifically requested Sinclair. "
"But why him?" Sinclair had proved to be a successful commander of one of the most politically difficult positions in the know galaxy. Reassigning him at this point seemed vastly premature.
"This information is strictly on a need to know basis," the general said in a tone that clearly emphasized she did not need to, "I've already briefed captain Sheridan on the situation."
"Captain Sheridan? John Sheridan?" Susan blinked in surprise.
"That's right I believe you know him."
"Yes sir I served under him at the transfer point off Io. He's a good man and a fine officer but… he's got to be a controversial choice," controversial wouldn't be the half of it. Sheridan was the only Earthforce officer to manage a military victory against the Mimbari during the Earth-Mimbari war, "If I may ask…"
"You many not. Any further questions will have to go through your new CO. Good day Lieutenant Commander." The transmission cut off abruptly leaving a dumbfounded Susan staring at the blank screen.
She looked to the clock. She'd gotten a grand total of two hours sleep that night and would soon go on duty, "Oh Khuyesos"
The unpleasantness of his job in warning the Earthers of the danger potentially presented by the Trigati was nothing compared to what he discovered in Delenn's quarters. He entered the Ambassadorial suite to discover Lennier kneeling and praying in front of a cocoon… a cocoon that could only possibly be one thing. A thing that he dreaded… Delenn had defied the orders of the Grey Council and had taken prophecy into her own hands.
Delenn had always been a loyal partisan to those who favored obeying the plans of the Vorlons. It was hardly a controversial view in the grey council, time and time again their Advice had proven to be more than adequate in advancing the Mimbari to the favored status they now enjoyed. But interpreting how to seek an end to prophecy and prepare for the coming war was a matter of great debate within the council. It was a matter that ought to have been resolved by a majority consensus of the Grey Council, yet clearly a matter that had been taken out of their hands.
There had been some concern for Delenn's stability and mental well being after the murder of Dhukat. She had been more bloodthirsty than anyone else on the Grey Council to start the war then at the flip of a coin had become the most ardent supporter for human protectionism and advancement. Was she making up for her past sins or had she simply cracked under the pressure of helping lead her people? There had once been a time where he had wished for her to lead the Grey Council but now he was not sure if he even wanted her to be part of it.
He whispered an oath, "In Valen's name… we are at the edge of destiny…"
The cocoon took up a large portion of the modest rooms given to the Ambassador for Mimbar. Lennier and Delenn had clearly tried to bring a Mimbari sensibility to the otherwise square and distinctly human space but it still had the underlying backwardness of Earther architecture to it. It was certainly not a space worthy of a member of the Grey Council in Hedronn's opinion. He disliked the station, disliked the humans, and disliked that he had to spend time away from Mimbar on this unpleasant errand.
He walked up and looked at the pod, "So she's done it hasn't she? She's in there? We told her to wait. Prophecy will attend to itself we told her."
Lennier nodded and turned his eyes to the floor rather than stare at a member of the Grey Council. He sighed, it would do him no good to take out his frustrations on the young man, "Now we are committed to the path. I have spoken with the other members of the council. The Trigati has been seen in this sector. If it should appear you will go to the humans and tell them what we have told you. It's time they knew the truth."
As Lieutennant Commander Ivanova walked into the Command and Control center one of the younger officers walked up to greet her, "Good morning, Commander about the new captain."
Susan looked at the young Earthforce officer and smiled. "Yes I would like a full honor guard present when his ship docks. We've barely got enough time."
The young officer cleared his throat, "He's here."
"What?" Screeched Ivanova.
"His Earthforce transport just docked. Apparently there was a miscommunication about the time," Susan didn't wait for the rest of his explanation before tearing out of the command center and running for an open transport tube. Customs was fortunately only a short trip from the Command and Control center. She tapped her foot nervously as the tube rumbled along. One more thing, there was always one more thing. The tube opened to blue sector customs and Susan sprinted to the diplomatic entrance.
Sheridan was standing just inside the entrance of the diplomatic customs center carrying a battered hard-side suitcase and leather briefcase. Susan grabbed a security officer by the hand and ran up to the commander. The somewhat bemused security guard followed her, standing just behind her and eying Sheridan with mild interest.
"Welcome aboard sir," she snapped off a hasty salute, "I'm authorized to surrender command of Babyon 5 to you at this time."
"Thank you Lieutenant Commander I accept," Sheridan said in a pleasantly pleased voice, "Uh, there seems to be a problem with the unloaders. Can I get my bags delivered to my quarters?"
"Of course," Susan nodded to the officer. The dark skinned woman grabbed the suitcases and walked in the direction of the transport tube Susan just left, "I assume you'd like to begin with a quick tour of the facilities?"
"Yes, absolutely!" Sheridan smiled brightly as he looked around. He seemed to be trying to soak in everything at once.
"Great, this way." Susan smiled and started walking away from customs. Sheridan followed her closely, "It's good to see you again sir, how was your flight?"
"Fine, they actually had fresh oranges on the transport. I haven't had an orange in almost two years. I used to dream about them. Grapes, nectarines, plums black ones," he waved his hands to emphasize his point, "not the red ones. I mean it's amazing what two years on the rim can do to you. I have a hunch I'll be spending a lot of time in hydroponics." He let loose a bark of a laugh, "On the way in I read the station reports, trying to catch up on everything. What's our status?"
They stopped briefly as a door opened letting a string of traders off a lift from green sector. Susan chewed her lip and said, "Chief of security is in critical condition in med lab. He thinks there's a conspiracy concerning the President's death. Ambassador G'Kar has mysteriously vanished. We've just been informed that we're soon to be visited by an as of yet unknown species that uses psychics for a phone call. The Narns are going to be livid when they realize Mollari's offer to provide them with long range communications tech can only work if they have a psychic. After two years we still don't know what ambassador Kosh looks like inside his encounter suit," she paused briefly unsure if she should proceed, "And ambassador Delenn is in a cocoon."
There was a moment of pregnant silence before Sheridan asked, "A cocoon? As in a moth or a Butterfly?"
"Yes sir," She raised her hand, "About yeah high."
Sheridan smiled and chuckled, "Interesting place you have here."
"Yes sir." Sheridan didn't even begin to suspect how 'interesting' the station could get.