Babylon 5 SI

Chapter 41

(Interrogation / Conclusion)

Sinclair was disorientated, he didn't know how long he had been in the hands of the Minbari he was sure that it wasn't a month. Still, it was more than a week, they put him in a cell and every time he tried to fall asleep he was woken by lights and sirens that would blare randomly out of sequence allowing him no rest at all, they were trying to break him, and he knew through all his bravado through all of his cocksure attitude they would eventually break him it was just a matter of what would brake first his mind or his spirit one you could survive. Still, the other … it didn't bear thinking about.

His eyes were heavy, and he begged and hoped in his mind that God was listening because he was so tired, but as soon as his eyes closed they were back the lights the noise then the guards would drag him out and back into the darkroom where the questioning would begin again. He didn't know why they didn't just use telepaths to pull the information, but maybe these bone heads liked to inflict pain.

This time, however, was different, the dragged him into a room that had a single light at the centre like the last dozen or so times, but now it felt bigger he didn't know why but he thought that the black surrounding the light was somehow more profound and broader, his instincts told him that this time there were more people here as they tied him to the pillory his mind became hazy he saw people surrounding him. Still, the faces, he couldn't distinguish the faces something was pulling the information from his mind before he could process it or were suppressing his brains' natural facial recognition synapses.

The next moment they shined something in his face a blinding white light that burned his eyes for a moment before they went back and began to speak hurriedly in the background, then they came back shined the light once more and left they did this at least five more times, he could hear them talking again then nothing he blacked out.

By the end of the 2247 the war that had begun in 2245 with the border incident between Earth Alliance and the Minbari ended, the final death toll was half a billion humans two-thirds of them civilians and seven million Minbari mostly of the warrior and worker casts.

The final battle of the war was dubbed the line; it was the single largest pitched battle of the war that played into the hands of the strengths of the Earth Force fleet, the fighter battle became the grate Alpha Turkey Shoot. The plan that had been thought up as a tactical thought exercise by Instructor MacDougan had produced some of the most innovative tactics in the Earth Force fleet; the hyperspace jumps that caught the Minbari flat-footed and had turned a potential bloodbath entirely around.

The double pincer that the fleet conducted forced the Minbari to retreat capturing several fighters so they could interrogate the pilots for any tactical information.

It's unknown what happened, but after they rendezvoused with an incoming attack fleet the Minbari pulled back. Earth Force long-range detection grid, i.e. the Imperial automated intelligence probes that were part of their military intelligence, had detected the largest movement of Minbari ships ever recorded, this prompted Earth Force to do a general pullback across all fronts believing that they had cracked the secondary security encryptions in the navigational computers and were heading for a massive assault on Earth.

After five days of no conflict in even the abandoned fronts, the first Markab communications began to filter through on back channels, and through abandoned diplomatic official channels the Minbari wanted to talk.

(Imperial throne world Kronos Prime)

David looked over the intelligence reports in his office. The Minbari had apparently reached out through intermediaries in the LONAW specifically a fortnight ago the Markab had contacted both the Earth Alliance Senate directly through the speaker of the house and the Empire through there ambassador at large. This had put a hold on the advance of both Earth and the Empire allowing the Minbari to pull back to their own territory.

"Are these reports accurate?" he asked the Intelligence officer who nodded.

"indeed sire," he said before he handed David another pad, "we have also received a request for an armistice. Apparently they have uncovered some information and are reconsidering their position on the war."

"and the reports of fleet activity?"

"they have pulled back to their pre-war lines and left Earth Alliance territory altogether." The intelligence officer waited a moment for a response before David spoke again.

"inform the Markab that I will be pulling back my forces and that I would be open to negotiations with the Minbari on neutral ground."

"yes, your majesty, whom should we suggest if they ask for a specific neutral party."

David took a moment to consider, and he discounted the Narn and Centauri immediately as they would use it as capital against the other, he also disregarded the Vorlons as they were impossible to contact and even harder to get along with.

"I have no issue with using the Markab if the Minbari are comfortable with them, but if they ask specifically, I would prefer the Brakiri." He said as he handed the pad back to the officer "but only if they ask."

The intelligence officer saluted and left David to his thoughts.

"so," he mumbled to himself "they caught Sinclair early" he sat back in his chair "that will upset the Vorlons." He went back to his paperwork signing off on the construction of his own command flagship's design. The Nova Class Battlestar would be the perfect sector and theatre command ship once he properly integrated the current fleets would allow for tactical flexibility.

The size of the ship would probably make his old friend Hague laugh, the nova class would be one nautical mile long, or just a bit longer than an Imperial 2 class Star Destroyer, the power plants size alone would make the shields almost impenetrable and the weapons nearly unstoppable, the thick armour plating that the ship would be shrouded in would mean even if the shields were down any attack would be of limited effectiveness.

The sunlight speed given the much larger engine plant would allow the ship to equal the Constitution-class in straight-line speed the turning and manoeuvring would be slower in comparison, but much quicker than anything races like the Minbari could produce, and the flight pods would have both the Starfury space superiority fighter and the Viper interceptor. This was achieved by using the Mercury style flight pods, making the ship a super-effective carrier/battleship.

David sighed, he had been hoping to effectively change the Alliance by now. Still, only the representatives of Proxima 3 and Orion 7 had been open to discussions with him, given how Earth Force had surrendered the colonies almost without a fight, the civilians that had been left behind were put in concentration camps and held waiting for the final battle that would have given the Minbari warrior caste the right to exterminate them.

He had arranged the counterattack that had pushed the Minbari off those worlds, and in doing so he had done what the Earth Force could not, the seeds for an alliance had been planted, the discussions had been most secret, an almost absurd amount of security had been taken with it, but it had been for nothing. While they were open for more robust trade agreements and a defence pact, they had stopped short of braking away like David had hoped, even a nation as rebellious Mars had been reticent to cut ties with Earth fully.

He could understand for the most part the security of the Earth Alliance Senet was in the fact that they were a known quantity, and while David's Imperial senet was new. They could help shape the laws, they felt that the Earth Senate was in a place just with the threat of another option wold force the Alliance to change.

He could understand that the Alliance was a safety net that he wasn't prepared to keep, it was rotting from within. There were too few good men and women in the organisation that was in a position to change anything and with him leaving now he had surrendered any rite to criticise he could only concentrate on the empire and its strength now.

(2246 Markab Confederacy Space: Planet Septis 2 / Markab Home System)

This conference had been three months in the making, and now it was here, the nascent diplomatic corps had a monumental task to accomplish, but they had stepped up, and now here it is the end of the Human-Minbari war. David sighed as he waited the keel had been laid for the Nova Class, and the ship would be ready in about two years, the weapon systems were already proving to be a much more complex than the initial proposal had suggested, but he had managed to work out all of the bugs in the design.

Currently, he was sitting in the command chair of the only D7 in the galaxy Kronos one, he smirked to himself, was perhaps now the most powerful warship in the known galaxy, in David's humble opinion anyway. He made sure that he was flanked by four D6 warships that were crewed by the imperial guards best.

This was the maiden voyage of the D7 or at least his interpretation of the design, he had widened the boon neck. He added more advanced power systems from the K'tinga class, internally the ship was much closer to Archers NX class instead of the dirty, dingy imperial Klingon style that allowed for such unsanitary work environments because the Klingons were much more resilient to viral diseases that humans catch.

David was interrupted his quiet contemplation shattered.

"Majesty," David turned the chair to face the man that called him, it was Kahn in all his naval glory, he looked regal in his imperial navy uniform, he saluted David who returned it, David stood and indicated that Kahn should follow him.

"Admiral Kahn, have they contacted us yet?" the two made their way down the boon and into the main body of the ship, they were shadowed by two guards in grenadiers parade dress uniform in Imperial Purple.

"indeed sire, they have given us coordinates for a landing ship" the two stopped, and the tall Arabian man handed over a pad "they are requesting that you come down as soon as you are ready" David began to read over the pad he turned to continue to walk to his destination.

"have the Alliance representatives arrived yet." David felt as though he already knew the answer.

"they have not yet your Majesty." He said, David spun so that he was facing the admiral but still walking through the corridor, they had passed the point of being inside the engineering section of the ship.

"are the Minbari here yet?" the Admiral waited a moment David stopped before the Admiral began to speak again.

"We appear to be the first to arrive." He said as a few crewmen passed the small group, "only the Centauri and the Narn are here, and they are belligerent to each other as always."

David sighed

"very well, please ready my shuttle," he said as he stood the Admiral nodded, "but make sure you keep a transport lock on me and my party, given recent history I don't fully trust that some self-serving race not to pull something stupid like attack the conference."

"I'll keep the ships at alert status two Sire."

"I envy you Admiral; I'm going to be down there trying not to make a fool of myself, and you get to stay up here."

"The burden of duty is always heavy sire."

"indeed," he said as they arrived at and entered the main turbo lift. "main shuttle bay" the mechanical hum of the turbo lift droned for a few seconds before coming to a stop. The central shuttle bay of the D7 was not as large as its federation counterpart, but it had more than enough room for four type 9 federation style shuttles and the Klingon equivalent to the Runabout.

The Runabout was going to be there preferred type of transport for this mission its more advanced weapons and shields would make it a nightmare to attack even for a cruiser, but that was with the heavy weapons pod attached. The ship also allowed a level of comfort that would make a five-star hotel look like a two-star B&B.

As his security and the ambassadors boarded the runabout, David turned Kahn.

"keep an eye open Admiral; there are potential forces at play here that would like nothing more than the war to continue."

"I understand sir," he replied "I will not allow this conference to fail."

David smiled, he nodded at the man shook his hand firmly before boarding.

(Runabout enroot)

The ambassadors and the staff spent some time refreshing everyone on who would be at the meeting and their likely leanings.

"and that covers the last of the Alliance team," said the Ambassador he was a former Earth Force officer like many in the Empire, he had lost both legs during the Dilgar War, and like many veterans, he slipped through the cracks, he became addicted to the pain medications it was only luck that David had found the man amongst a list of names that Dubois had sent him who had experience in the diplomatic corps.

After cleaning him up of his opioid addiction and giving him some new legs, he began to rediscover who he was, by the time the war had started the Diplomatic corpse was almost not needed giving him the time to finish his physiotherapy as well as his rehab. Using a similar technique used on the Elba two colony to help cure Garth of Izar now his skills were invaluable.

"the Narn have sent G'Kar haven't they." The Ambassador nodded "tell me the Centauri haven't sent Molari?" the Ambassador stared at David for a minute.

"they have the most experience with dealing with Humans, so their governments felt that they would be the best for the position."

"Goddam it! Adam," he said to the Ambassador "I'm going to have to ask that you do your best to keep those two away from each other."

"I'll do my best sir."

"I mean it, use every possible means to keep them apart short of shooting them." The Ambassador nodded again.

The comm chimed interrupting their strategy session.

"Majesty," David stood and made his way to the wall comm.

"yes," he said as the devised chirped its activation.

"were coming up on the landing coordinates now," said the pilot

"understood," he acknowledged then turned to his assembled ambassadorial team "let's prepare ourselves for landing."

(landing platform)

David was met with a small group of reporters, apparently surprised by his arrival.

"Your Majesty, how do you feel about the upcoming negotiations."

"I believe that we can come to a strong peace agreement."

"so, you believe you can come to terms with the Minbari."

"I hope that I can yes" he replied

"If you don't mind, we will be answering questions at the end of the negotiations," said Adam as he pulled in front of David, "and those questions will be answered by the press representative Ms Okada." He said, indicating to the blond-haired Japanese woman behind him.

The reporters dispersed as they entered the building,

(8 hours later)

The Minbari were yet to arrive, and it was a very tense waiting room the Alliance team were pacing almost as soon as they arrived and noticed that they were nowhere to be found.

"would you please sit-down Ambassador," David asked, pointing to the chair the older man looked at the chair and back to David before continuing to pace. "why are you so stressed?" David asked sipping a cup of fresh tea. "they were the ones that made the gesture and put forward the overtures of peace."

"then why aren't they here yet," he said "this is their summit."

David's communicator beeped loudly from his pocket, he pulled the device from his pocket, it was a sleek black and brushed steel device, he pressed the small silver button on the side of the device that to flipped the guard open revealing the components he answered.

"report," he stated

"Majesty, the Minbari delegation is arriving." David saw the Alliance ambassador stiffen and still at the same time "any unusual reading anything no matter how small or inconsequential."

"nothing sire," the reply was delayed for a moment as if they redid the scan.

"keep scanning and update me immediately if anything changes."

"acknowledged." The line chirped as it closed.

"What scans are you performing?"

"passive and active scans of the surrounding space, as well as hyperspace" he answered, "I am concerned that someone may try and attack or sabotage these talks."

"to what end?"

"to weaken Humanity and the Minbari." The alliance ambassador turned to see if he was serious David could practically feel the disbelief. "this area of space is volatile all it would take is a single spark to ignite a war that could engulf every space-faring species in the Galaxy." He took another sip of tea "that kind of war would make this one seems like a small border skirmish and will more than likely involve races and technology best lest alone."

The ambassador considered his words for a moment before he dismissed them, 'the Minbari were the current threat' he thought to himself interpreting the man's inner monologue, the ambassador probably doubted that there was some elusive threat that would benefit from a prolonged war, but it is something he would more than likely inform the president of when he got back.

When the Minbari arrived they did so with style the primary ambassadors wore the drab grey monastic styled grey robes, it covered them from top to bottom leaving almost nothing of their skin visible, they were followed by there guards who were all Warrior Cast tall broad the bone crests were all brutally sharp. There eyes danced over every segment of the room never stopping watching for even the slightest threat.

It didn't take long for things to start when the Minbari arrived,

"Greetings I am Delenn," she said her accent biting into the S sounds as if someone from Eastern Europe taught her English, she inclined her head slightly, "I am the representative of the Religious Cast of the Minbari" she was an astounding beautiful woman even with the rounded, gentle curves of her crest framing her head like a crown. "this is Naroon Warrior Cast of the Minbari." The man held arrogant energy about him that seemed to seep into the very air around him, his eyes seemed to be calculating and dismissing everything around him, he nodded his head in greeting but otherwise ignored everyone. "this is Katz Worker Cast of the Minbari" he was shorter than the Warrior but not by much he was wide stocky. Hie crest was chipped, and a few of the smaller spikes had been broken off his face was weather-beaten and tanned he held a strength that seemed to radiate from him that could only come from a man who worked with heavy objects in an industrial capacity.

Delenn being amongst the delegation was a surprise but even more surprising was that she was only representing the religious cast. Still, then David remembered the Grey council are anonymous sometimes even with each other. It seemed to David that as he was one of the few people in the know about who she was that this information would give him a distinct advantage should the negotiations drag on.

David smiled and returned the gesture.

"I am David Emperor of Kronos; these are my Ambassadors Adam McNamara my primary Ambassador and his team of aides James Masterson, Debra Borsdaughter and Thor Stevenson." The team all nodded in respect to the Ambassadors they didn't reach out as you would greet a human that was a bad idea and poor manners with the Minbari most races didn't shake hands as humans do.

But once the introductions were over there hosts returned leading everyone into another room, a grand hall that had been cleared out for there use, there was a single table at the centre of the room that was made in the shape of an opened triangle every few feet there was a chair with a name. The delegates took their seats the negations began in ernist.

(2254 Kronos Imperial Space: Kronos Prime)

Another one bites the dust, David thought as the fourth of the Babylon stations vanished before his very eyes. Its light green and grey hull turning translucent leaving only the star fields of Epsilon behind amid a storm of slowly disappearing Croniton Partials. He sighed before tapping the button to shut down the recording and then pressed another to summon his attendant.

"Prepare the Galaxy I'm heading to Epsilon III." The Galaxy was his personal ship and having a Battlestar as his yacht was something of a long-time childhood fantasy of his. The rest of its class were going to be the flagships of all of the fleet orders, every Admiral that held the highest of that rank would command one unless they chose differently. They were the pinnacle of the imperial fleet's power projection while maintaining combat effectiveness.

"it will be done, your majesty." His attendant replied over the comm.

"and tell my wife where I'm going." though the marriage had not been something he planned for his wife and he had grown very close to each other, and their growing family was a happy by-product of that, they had a Crown Princess on the way, and already he was smiling more at the thought.

David raised himself from his chair, stretching out his back and straightening his tunic. He left his office flanked by two guards, as he passed other palace guards saluted him it had taken him a little while to get used to the saluting, but he had adjusted well.

The small group consisting of David and his two bodyguards made their way to the transporter room within the palace, it was a midsize room with an elevated platform and a singular guard working at the only station within the room.

"Mr O'Brien" David nodded to the man "three to transport to the Galaxy." The man nodded

"yes, Sir."

The group stepped up onto the large platform; it was divided into segments with glass disks in the centre of them, they stood almost entirely still at the centre of the glass disks on the platform, the transporter room was the newest addition to the palace and David had taken extreme lengths to make sure that they were safe and didn't have the most commonplace incidents that they seemed to have on their series.

"Galaxy Transporter room reports there ready to receive." The guardsman stated looking up from his control console.

"Excellent whenever you're ready, transport" The whirring of the transporter began to meet a crescendo, and the room disappeared in a golden light and static, for a moment there was nothing then the light faded. He was in the central transporter bay of the Galaxy. There he was met by several men in Imperial Navy Uniform.

"Emperor on the Deck." The call was loud, and the immediate reaction was the men stood at attention. They were all wearing the imperial navy uniform with the different tunic colours and badges marking differentiating their specific department and rank.

In the full navy blue uniform and command insignia was the commander of the ship Admiral James Tanner, next to him in the military field grey uniform was the commander of the marine contingent General Kaycee and next to him in the steel grey uniform and white doctors coat was the CMO Dr Chang.

"as you were." Said David they immediately followed the order, "we're headed to the Epsilon system the Alliance have lost another station and have called a meeting."

"once is usually an accident, twice maybe happenstance but four times is enemy action." The Admiral spoke with a deep authority that belied his youth.

"I agree," said David as he stepped off the platform "which is why I'm on the Galaxy, this ship will be more than adequate to meet any potential issue that may occur."

"You believe that we're in danger?"

"potentially, and I'd rather be safe than sorry."

"don't worry your majesty, you'll be as safe as houses on this ship."

The massive Battlestar moved with the grace of a ship a fraction of its size turning away from the planet they opened an extensive Hyperspace portal. They went through the event horizon and into crimson chaos of hyperspace.

This would be the first time the Alliance would ever see his Battlestar he couldn't wait to see their faces when this beast turned up.

(Epsilon system)

Admiral Summers was feeling his age, and this mission didn't alleviate the fatigue he was currently feeling. The mission was supposed to be a milk run, but it had turned into a political nightmare, protect the Station until activation, it seemed simple enough at first, but then everything went to hell. An unidentified ship appeared another followed that then the station just vanished along with both unknows, if he hadn't seen it or recorded it, he probably would be facing a court-martial for dereliction of duty.

He could kiss goodbye to the promotion. He was looking forward to having his first starburst before he retired, the General rank offered a more significant retirement package than an Admirals. He was still running the ships through the database hoping probably in vain to get any match for them, it may be a vain hope, but it was all that he had at the moment. But when the computer buzzed the negative, he sighed.

He ran a hand through his thinning hair and over his face before he could descend into self-pity the lights on his office turned red.

"Action Stations, Incoming Unidentified ship this is no drill repeat this is no drill" immediately his fatigue was forgotten, and he jumped to his feet fixing his loose tunic he made his way to the command bridge of his Nova Dreadnought. He burst through the blast doors the Captain jumping up from the command chair, and he began to take charge of the situation.

"report!" he ordered as the doors closed behind him, the heavy clunk of the locks sealing the command centre from the rest of the ship.

"Unidentified ship is exiting a Hyperspace portal," said the sensor officer his face welded to the scope scanner that had been part of the technology exchange with the empire.

"did you send out a challenge?" he asked turning his chair so that he was facing the man.

"aye sir, but no response yet."

"bring it up on the monitor" he ordered turning back to look at the monitor, the spinning blue portal was the largest he had seen since the war ended it was more expansive than anything the Minbari had or the Alliance. Still, as soon as the ship began to transition into real space he recognised the markings. Then the sensor officer spoke up.

"IFF challenge-response, Kronosian ship Battlestar Class Identifier Battlestar Galaxy…" he paused for a moment "sir the Emperor is on board."

The Admiral wanted the universe to swallow him whole. He slumped in his chair.

"wonderful, this is all I need" he sighed pinching the bridge of his nose "why me, why" he mumbled under his breath.

"there hailing us sir," said the Communications officer, the Admiral took a deep calming breath to centre himself he nodded.

"open the channel."

"So, I understand that you have lost another Station," David mentioned in an offhand way. It took all his strength not to respond to the bate.

"yes, it seems that someone is very adamant that the project fails." Said the Admiral as he sat heavily in his leather seat.

"I have a proposition for you, Admiral, and I would like you to come over and discuss it before I speak to your President."

"very well, I shall be there shortly," he said before he hastily added "your Majesty."

The young Emperor nodded, and the line ended, leaving the imperial eagle emblem on the screen before that to disappeared, leaving the monster-sized ship on the monitor in front of him.

"Stand Down action stations." The Admiral ordered, "prepare a shuttle and some marines I'm headed over to meet with the royal pain." The lights turned to neutral colours, and the alarms ended he stood and made his way to the hangar.

(On Board the Galaxy)

The Admiral and his guard were escorted to a vast office space with a long table on an elevated platform, it was some form of a conference room, the guards stopped by the doors, and the Admiral continued inside.

The Admiral and the Emperor shook hands, and they sat on the large comfortable leather chairs. Almost immediately, they got down to business.

"financially, the Babylon Project is bankrupt we can no longer afford to construct another station without an aide, if we don't get the aide…," the Admiral shuddered the air was thick for a moment before he continued "we need then the project, it was a cornerstone of the Minbari agreement for the armistice, and we will fail before the true purpose of the project can even begin."

"Indeed," David said as he took the seat opposite the admiral at the head of the table, he reached into his tunic and pulled out a small puck-like device, suddenly an image appeared and hovered above it. "This is a Starbase class station its 5.4 miles in diameter and 8.29 miles in height" the Admiral watched as the projection turned slowly "this Starbase was originally designed to be the neutral capital of the Empire, but given the needs of the Project and the risk that were failing to follow through with a treaty with the Minbari, I am willing to give this station to the Babylon project for some concessions from both the Minbari and the Alliance that shouldn't be too steep or objectionable."

"what would those concessions be?" the Admiral asked seeing a way out of the hole that this assignment has become.

"joint control." The Admiral launched to his feet at speed belying his advanced age

"Impossible, the Minbari have demanded that Sinclair take command of the station."

"and I have no wish to upset them by changing that."

"Sinclair has chosen his command staff who have begun to select their crew."

"I am handing over a massively advanced station with technology's that remains an Imperial secret of the highest order." He said as the Admiral began to retake his seat, "would you lend out an Omega to the Vreen and expect them not to take a peek at how it worked?" that seemed to appease the man "and to make it work I am going to have to retrain a lot of your command crews in the specialised equipment that the station uses in day to day operations."

"the Labour Unions won't like that; they've been expecting this project to be a major catalyst for the expansion of their own numbers." The Admiral said with a small guffaw "and there a belligerent bunch and will hold out to the point of destroying their meal tickets to spite the owners."

"I don't see an issue, but if it comes to it, I'll negotiate with them independently if you agree with the deal." David placed the puck on the desk, letting the Admiral get a good look at the Station.

"they'll bog you down in demands for years, the Dockers guild alone would take you months are you prepared for that?" The Admiral asked, "during the war, they organised strikes at munitions facilities and forced the government to acquiesce to inane demands or else."

"and I can understand that, but for the security of my station and the completion of this it's worth the extended hassle and the headache, the project must not fail."

"what specifically are you asking for here?"

"Sinclair gets what he wants with command crew, but my people will be on maintenance, operations and take over some of the Security concerns, Sinclair's Alliance Security can operate within the confines of the promenade, but station security and Ambassadorial security and any maintenance and docking will be handled by Imperial Police and the Imperial Guard respectively."

"Sinclair may not like that; his choice for security Chief is very independently minded and doesn't trust easily."

"sounds like every good Security Chief ever born, but this part is none negotiable." he said as he pleased the puck on the desk, "I think I am very generous here, Sinclair keeps his command and his command crew and you get a mostly completed station for the Babylon Project."

"mostly complete?"

"It will take two years to finish the Station, including the time to move it from Kronos to Epsilon." David said, "in that time we can get your Alliance crew up-to-date on Imperial Technology and the interface that we use."

"how much different could it possibly be?"

"the LCARs system that we use is vastly more versatile and ergonomic that the current earth force systems using a computer language that is as different to your as German is to Mandarin."

"I will contact President Santiago about this proposal he may want his input on this."

"I have no objections to that" he replied "I'll let you get back to your ship so you can make the call," he said as the man began to stand "do give the President my best wishes Admiral." The Admiral nodded shook David's hand and made his way out.

(2256 Epsilon 3: Babylon 5)

The final part of the construction and the physical task of moving the station had gone better than most of the negotiations, especially with the Labour Unions and the Dockers guild. The strikes during the war had managed to damage their image to a point where they were losing members, and the Babylon Project was something that they needed partly to reform their image and partially to rebuild their numbers before they became irrelevant.

With the new station being an entirely Imperial build, with drastically different operating systems and computer controls from the standard Earth Alliance interfaces it only made sense that it would be the Imperials that would run the maintenance and docking bays. That was something that neither union could stand, and it had been a sticking point in the negations.

The President was a Union man from a long line of blue-collar union men. He proudly boasts that his grandfather helped build the martial colonies and that his ancestors helped build the San Francisco Bridge so when he found out that the Labour Unions would be losing out on jobs and memberships along with the Docking Guild he had tried very hard to get them back onto the project.

David had spent around two days getting the man to understand that the technology used on the Station was state of the art. He was not going to rip out whole segments of the station to appease the Unions, especially not when he had proved that his technology was not only vastly superior but safer by such an order of magnitude it made the Alliance level of health and safety look like the beginning of the industrial revolution.

The discussions then went to training crews to use the new devices, once the Unions understood that they began to move forward on the particulars of the control of the station, again the man was trying to pull every trick in his book to weasel a more favourable deal. Still, with the alliance backs against the wall he had very little choice but to relent. By the time the negotiations had finished David was so annoyed that he was willing to pull the current deal and only have Sinclair as the commander in a figurehead capacity if they tried to push him any farther.

That brought him to today, sitting behind the desk at his office on board the Galaxy David observed the procession of ships approaching the station for the commissioning ceremony they would be on board for about an hour then speeches after which they brake the Champaign bottle on the hull more pictures home in time for tea.

As long as everything went as planned, he hadn't needed to go to extremes like unfreezing the total second generation of project Space Seed to crew the station fully, but the eighty-five thousand pushed his reserve military to the limit where he needed to awaken around a third of them and have a third of them cross-trained to fulfil critical roles.

Sinclair and his command crew minus a certain Russian 2IC and Doctor arrived a few days ago to an honour guard of his red surge wearing police officers that made up Imperial Police and the small cluster of men in plainclothes that made up Imperial Criminal Investigation Department usually shortened to ICID.

They met with Garibaldi the Warrant officer in charge of the Alliance Security, he didn't appear to be very happy about the red coats. Still, he wasn't pleased about not having total control of the station's security convers nor its borders. While he had his own SWAT teams the Imperial Tactical Teams were all trained Special Forces and could handle themselves very well.

But he did like that he had complete access to the CSI team and their corresponding laboratories any time they wished to use them. He was also surprised that there was a full multi-level prison that had both force fields and blast doors.

Dr Kyle who would be acting as the Chief Medical Officer on the station was pleasantly surprised to see that he had an expansive hospital at his command, with every type of specialist he could think of along with specialised wings for potentially contagious diseases that can be totally isolated from the rest of the station, he was very envious that Dr Franklin would be heading up the medical facilities here as his assignment would only be temporary before he headed back to Earth.

Sinclair was pleased with the station and his quarters. They were suitably large enough to qualify for housing for a family of five and room for more, the main living space was an open concept with a line of sight from the office to the dining area and the seating area, the bedroom had a secure sliding door that acted like a blast door should it be needed, the bed was a gigantic Alaskan king-sized bed, the bathing area had a built-in jacuzzi into the floor and a shower that could use both water and sonic vibrations to clean off everything that needed it, it also had a full kitchen should he prefer to cook his food instead of using the replicator.

The entire concept of a Replicator while not wholly foreign was something that amazed the Earth Force crews, suddenly not having to worry about food was very liberating for them the Unions and the Guilds were immensely happy due to their members have full medical and dental covered by the Empire, as well as their own room and board, this allowed many of them to build up a stronger financial position and save for the future.

David knew he should be getting to his shuttle, so he stood and began to make his way to the shuttle bay it was time to get the show on the road. He was delighted that he went with the Starbase 74 design as it was something that would definitely impress the other races and allow for him to open better trade relations for his empire so that he could properly fund his deep space research and exploration efforts.