Sorry for long break between. I had some fun and some just plain old life come my way. Also, sleep, lots of sleep! Anyway, on to the conclusion.
I, of course, own nothing of Babylon 5 or Doctor Who outside of the many many hours of my life I chose to give up to binge watching both.
The Timelords have navigated the near disaster from their inadvertent changes to the timelines of Babylon 5. They made the Shadows leave the station for now to avoid any further attempts at their technology and now the time has come to go home.
Babylon 5 - Council Room
Captain Sheridan looked out over the empty chairs where the Non-aligned worlds representatives often yelled or spoke over each other as policies and treaties were challenged. These days it was all about protecting their borders and asserting their sovereign will over their space.
It was becoming tense and Babylon 5 was becoming more important for negotiation and a place all can come to. The troubles back home did not help, but for now things had seemed to settle.
A sudden sound of steps had him look up from his papers and the Doctor strolled in. He had his hat on his head with coat and scarf. He smiled wide at the captain and glanced over the room.
"There are times I do not envy you humans. You are amazing at times and frustrating, but often you put up with things I would gladly run away from." Sheridan, for once, completely agreed with the Timelord. Bureaucracy was not something anyone liked dealing with much.
"Is there anything I can do for you Doctor?" Sheridan had his papers in hand as he stood up, but then saw the Doctor smile wider at him as he took his hat off. It almost seemed sad.
"Actually, it has come time for us to go Captain Sheridan. We have done what we could and any more could make things worse." The tall man put his hat on the half circle desk as he took one of the now empty seats from representatives.
Oddly, Sheridan found he was also sad. He could name a hundred problems caused by the 2 beings that had come to his station illegally to start, but they had woven a lot of good into it too.
Not least being Talia Winters, but also Garibaldi had found it annoying to say that where the Doctor tread, often revealed problems that would have been worse if left to themselves.
"When will you be leaving us?" Sheridan leaned on the front of the desk as he picked up the Doctor's hat. It felt soft and well taken care of. It was very much like those from Earth but Dr Franklin had freely admitted curiosity on whether or not even their clothes were alien.
Supposedly, the Doctor had said to Delenn that the scarf was a gift from Madame Nostradamus, a witty little knitter, according to the Timelord. She often smiled when talking about the Doctor or Romana.
"Soon, we are just cleaning up a bit. Also, Commander Ivanova has stated categorically I am not allowed in her quarters when she is sleeping or changing." The smirk was just barely there and Sheridan could easily imagine the kind of warning his second could give. Those foolish enough to cross her, and survive, rarely repeated the experience.
"Where will you go?" That was a question he had asked before in many ways, but the Doctor looked serious this time.
"Back through the anomaly and to our own Time and Space. We were not supposed to be here, but I came with a warning for you Captain." The eyes became ancient and the presence was on par with Kosh. Sheridan was reminded once again, this was not a human being in front of him.
"The dead time is still there, it is only greatly reduced. We have analyzed all possibilities and what is left comes down to you." The Timelord stood up and his imposing height gave him more authority right now. Sheridan felt like something close to an ozone smell in the air.
"The original timeline is still intact for now but that will hold until the final moments, when the door closes on the disruption out there. You, Captain Sheridan, will be a part of that. Tread carefully." The words hung a moment, then the smile broke the spell. He did that a lot.
"Now then, I am off Captain, you have a good day!" The Timelord almost left before coming back and snatching up his hat. He smiled wide and whistled as he went back into the hallway.
Sheridan felt sweat on his brown and one question in his head. How was he the one to decide and what was the decision?
Garibaldi was noticing that his computer terminal was optimized beyond anything he could remember when Romana whisked in. He tried very hard to count to 10 in his head.
Nothing good had ever come when the Timelords came to him. It was always a request for resources or an explanation for why half the filing system had gone haywire suddenly. He had almost lost it when he found out K-9 was armed.
The smile though struck a chord in him, he knew what that kind of smile meant.
"Time to go, huh?" He saw surprise blossom in her eyes and she nodded. Of the 2, he preferred Romana. She could be quite cold at times, but in this job you had to do that too. If you let your heart rule everything, it would drive you mad.
"The Doctor and I are just cleaning up a few things and K-9 optimized your computer for you. We did not ask him, but I did admonish him for doing it without permission." Garibaldi stopped the rolling of his eyes and the sigh just barely. That dog was a menace of good intentions.
"Mr Garibaldi, I feel there is something delicate to tell you, but you must understand I would not say this unless I had to." She took a seat and seemed to search for words. It had become much easier to read them both, but the Doctor could be a mystery far more often than Romana. Garibaldi would say she was trying to broach a subject she felt too personal to really talk about.
"If it is about Talia, I know I need to give her time to get her head on straight, I am her friend after all. Also I am not that blind." He smirked as the shock passed on her face. Honestly, it had been something he thought about, how long it would take to sort out his head if he had something like that in it. It gave him the willies, but it was also a fact of life now.
"While that is admirable, that is not the only thing. It is about Mr Bester." He kept the anger on a tight leash most of the time, but that name tested his controls. True, he could not find one iota of dirt on the Psi Cop and the data crystal had saved their butts from a deeper look at B5, but he found his tolerance of Psi Corp very low.
"I can see it in your eyes, Garibaldi, but he has to come back. I can't make you accept it entirely, but you have to tolerate it. I would warn you of one thing, he will try to get Talia in the future. Do not let him. We discussed it, and it is too dangerous for the Psi Corp to have what we taught her yet." The sadness in her eyes gave him pause.
His mind was perfect at deducing though, and he saw it. All those like Talia and Lyta that had been abused and used by the Corp could not benefit from this. More, they were the true innocents and the coldness in his heart melted a little.
He, of all, knew the system was far from perfect even for security. They would deal with it another time. He breathed out his anger of earlier and nodded as he smiled.
It was an easy thing to do, just one more thing on the list of unjust things in the universe.
"This means my life will go back to the normal uncontrolled chaos of before?" He almost wished it wouldn't, almost but not quite. He also would enjoy not getting calls at his quarters at all hours about a tall man in a scarf in Down Below or the casino.
"Oh I should suspect so. It has been a pleasure Mr. Garibaldi." She smiled wide and took his hand. He wished he could see them leave, but he had enough impossible things for a lifetime already in his head.
"Please, keep out of hair in the future." Garibaldi saw the smile freeze, but Romana nodded and left his office. He probably said something rude, but honestly he had only ever understood half of what they said when asked where they were from. In his mind, if they were here before, they could be here again.
Talia felt anxious. She had talked for so long last night and today had passed too quickly. A few meetings and one contract for a business had passed in a blur. They had promised to wait, but she had worried they would be gone.
Instead, she found them waiting in Ivanova's quarters. The Doctor was in his normal attire of coat and scarf, hat tucked into one of his pockets, but Romana had put on a dark blue dress with white frills down the sides and a button up on the center. Her hair was still straight and down her back as they seemed to be drinking tea.
They looked up and smiled at her widely. Of all the people on the station, she was perhaps the closest to the 2 travelers. By necessity she practically could not remember a day without the Doctor now.
He had done so much for her and helped her with the burden of all that had been revealed. Susan had been too busy to reach today, but they were meeting up later. Talia had to figure out what to do now that all the secrets were out in the open.
"You look wonderful Talia." Romana's praise made her blush. Since they had removed that horrible thing from her mind, she had practically replaced her wardrobe with colors. Gray and black were still in there, but only by necessity.
Today she was wearing a deep emerald dress, almost black, but it still had long sleeves like everything else. She was only able to keep the gloves off thanks to her new shields, but she was too used to covering up to completely change styles.
"I don't know how I am going to do this all without you." Tears threatened, but she kept them in. She felt glad when Romana encircled her in a quick hug. The new shields and lessons had been the best months of her life.
They let her celebrate being a telepath, not accepting of limitations or fear of accidental scanning, but to actually enjoy being her. She wished all telepaths could feel like that.
"You have been an excellent student and I am so sorry you had to learn the hard way." The Doctor still looked a little contrite but he had brought her such joy that the pain had been well worth it to her.
She rushed into him and hugged him hard. He tensed up but then patted her on the head. She could hear Romana giggle slightly behind her.
"I wish I could go with you sometimes, but I have to stay don't I?" She looked up and saw the solemn look in his eyes. It was not the first time she had brought it up, but he had been adamant that no one could come with them where they were going.
It would not only be a one way ticket, but there would be nothing like her world to connect to. Not to mention, there were no human telepaths like her in their worlds. She would cause a calamity if anyone figured out how to unlock human telepathy over there.
"Sorry, but no. It is time for us to go. Live your life and do you best. Good luck." He patted her on the head and then went into the TARDIS. Romana hugged her one more time and also disappeared in side.
The doors clicked closed and then she felt the breeze and heard the roar rise and fall as the box vanished in front of her.
She sat down hard in the chair and let the tears wash over her. She knew she would never know the joy those 2 had brought to her again.
The Doctor was in complete control of the TARDIS as they moved through the vortex. The Randomizer was on standby until they had cleared the anomaly and were back where they belonged.
Strangely, he felt like he was leaving UNIT again. It had been irritating and restricting in so many ways, but the Brigadier and even Harry had become a usual part of his life. It had not been total happiness to travel the vortex freely again.
Babylon 5 was a nexus of chaos, light and dark, and all of it mixed together. It was the kind of place he could thrive. A pity none existed where they were from.
He found the anomaly and easily entered it. Per protocol, they began the scan as they headed for the clear breach into their own vortex.
"Do you think—" Whatever Romana had been about to say was interrupted as the TARDIS suddenly violently tilted. The coat stand toppled and the easel fell out of the closet. The Doctor hoped the water had stayed in the pool this time.
Half the emergency lights had flickered and he circled around the console to find the cause.
Sure enough, they were no longer alone in the Vortex. There was a massive object and he knew what it had to be.
He thought at first it was simply the unexpected mass, but then he looked at the panel with the scan of the timelines. The moment had come. He had been wrong.
They were not yet done with the Babylon stations.
It had been turbulent times since the Doctor had left Babylon 5. Sheridan had to declare independence from Earth as President Clark declared Martial Law and innocents where sidelined or incarcerated for just disagreeing with him.
The Narn homeworld had been bombarded with mass drivers by Refa's orders. His reliance on the power of the Shadows making him power hungry by the day.
The Shadows had begun to move in the open, but the Rangers had given him the White Star to work against them. It was a half Minibari/ half Vorlon ship. Marcus had joined them after bringing this to Babylon 5 use.
Lyta had returned as an assistant to Ambassador Kosh, effectively ending the need for Talia to be a representative but he did not rescind her protections. She had been very instructive and Lyta found a friend to talk to about her own role working with the Vorlons.
As this all came to pass, Sheridan learned the Shadows are afraid of telepaths. It had come from the unexpected tip from Mr Bester and found the 'components' for their ships were all rogue telepaths in cryo. Bester now swore to oppose the Shadows with Sheridan as one of them was the woman he loved.
Sadly, Kosh also gives Sheridan his first win against the Shadows, at the cost of his life. It is the bargain between the Vorlons and the Shadows that exacts it. Talia and Sheridan both feel his death.
Finally, Sheridan is shown by Delenn and Sinclair that the White Star was the ship that stole Babylon 4 into Time. In the middle of their attempt, the Shadows tried to destroy Babylon 4. The White Star succeeded, but Sheridan became unhooked from stable Time in the Whitestar. He flits between the future and the present as Zathras from the Great Machine tries to affect repairs on his anchor.
They have succeeded in securing Babylon 4, but now something has gone very wrong.
Babylon 4 - CnC
"What do you mean we are stuck?" Sinclair felt disturbed. He had received the letter from his future self that this was his destiny, but now Zathras was pulling at his wild hair and furs he wore as he whistled and clicked at the machine read outs.
"Zathras does not know. There is a block or something in our way to the past. We are not able to move anymore." The near wild looking being was running his clawed hands quickly over the panel. Technically speaking, they had all the time in the world, but Sinclair doubted that was the case.
The stress on the station was only going to increase as it was kept in these time fields and they did not have infinite power.
Babylon 4 had to get back to the past to help in the war against the Shadows. It had to.
Delenn and Sheridan worked with Marcus to see what they could do, but all would have to get back to the White Star soon as well. Draal could not keep the Great Machine going forever on the portal either.
All froze as a roar filled the CnC and they turned as one to the command area where a blue Police Box seemed to appear.
"What the Hell?" He stared in shock as the tallest man he had ever seen entered the room, but Sheridan and Delenn seemed to smile wide. Even Susan accepted it with her characteristic long sigh.
"Honestly, can you not make a mess of things when I am trying to leave?" The Doctor smiled wide as he took off his coat and tossed it across the railing of the pit. He walked up to the older gentleman, the one Kosh had told him would be Valen.
"Pleasure to meet you, please excuse me." He then saw the most fascinating creature who looked stunned at him.
"Zathras has heard about you from Draal." The Doctor smiled wide and shushed the man. He then looked over the readings and saw the problem. The problem he had suspected might happen.
He began to reprogram the time machine attached to the station as Romana came out of the TARDIS as well.
Delenn felt the weight of the mission drop from her shoulders. After facing the Inquisitor from the Vorlons, she had felt more confident in general, but this tricky mission had been fraught with dangers.
Now she saw the smile of her old friends.
"It is good to see you 2 again." Romana turned to her with a smile.
"For us, we have just left Babylon 5, but then we ran into trouble leaving. Or rather, we sensed yours." The Doctor's hands were flying as Zathras watched him intently.
Delenn felt slight confusion, then realized she was standing in a station that had vanished 4 years ago, then reappeared 2 years later, only to vanish again, and they were trying to send it 1000 years to the past.
This was not the time to be bothered by relative differences.
She heard the tch from the Doctor followed by mumbling. He had his sonic screw driver out to open a panel and he began to re-wire some things there.
"What is it that has gone wrong Romana?" John asked the question they all wanted answered. Until this point, things had moved fairly easily.
"Talia did, or rather, the changes caused by us. You are trying to return this station to the beginning of its timeline, or rather the end of it. We changed it slightly and now you cannot follow that exact path. A rudimentary problem but I can see why it was missed." Romana smiled to soften her critique but they all felt a bit of a sting.
Delenn simply smiled. She had missed even this tone from them.
"There we are, bit of a lash up job, but should now be up and running, dear old thing." The Doctor turned and waved at them all. He took in the room it seemed and then quickly pushed Romana back into their TARDIS.
All watched in awe as it vanished once more from the CnC.
"Ah, Zathras sees now, understands. We can go." He began to program the course back 1000 years to the past.
"Anyone going to explain what just happened?" Sinclair looked at them in confusion if relaxed now that things were moving again.
"The universe provided old friend. It provided." Delenn smiled at John as he turned an eyebrow up at her choice of words.
"How bad was it Doctor?" Romana had downplayed the situation, but truly the issue had been real. They could not take the station back to the planned time without accounting for the changes in the timelines.
In other words, they had to shift it slightly for the new paradox details they had inadvertently created on Babylon 5.
"Not terrible, but if they had forced it, they would have ripped the station apart and likely had the dead time. Now then, that just leaves one other issue." The Doctor moved his hands over the controls and then he waited. She was only confused a moment as she realized they had solved the station problem, but then Sheridan and the others had to return as well!
The White Star
Marcus felt both forlorn and awe that Valen was Ranger 1. Sinclair had always been a mystery, to both Rangers and everyone it seemed. He had known his destiny to become a Minbari not born of Minbari.
The slim Ranger stroked his beard as he plotted the course back to Babylon 5. The ship rocked suddenly and sparks flew as several crystals overloaded on the command area controls. He moved his hands and felt the blood leave his body.
The way home was gone!
"Captain, I can't plot the way back, something has gone wrong!" Marcus saw Sheridan pale but then the most insane thing happened again.
There was a spinning blue box in front of them. It had not been there before, but it was there now.
"Marcus, follow that box." The smile on the Captain's face was oddly calm, and Marcus knew they should trust the 2 strange aliens. He had read up on them, but nothing had prepared him for when the breezed onto the Babylon 4 CnC.
The White Star rocked and buffeted, but the blue box remained visible and then suddenly it was there. The way home!
"Take us out of here!" Marcus needed no prompting as they White Star passed their guide out of the place in-between Times.
The rip to Babylon 5 sealed as the Doctor guided the TARDIS back to his own Vortex. As he moved, the ship began its job of fortifying the weakened Time so it would not be breached again.
The bump back into their own Vortex was barely a ripple and the Doctor quickly made sure it was sealed behind them. All his readings were in the green so he activated the Randomizer.
"It was a near thing, but we got them through it." The Doctor was glad Sheridan was there, but he had seen the ripple of time around the man. He had been drifting and now possessed foreknowledge. Hopefully he used it well.
Romana only smiled as they both relaxed being back where they belonged. The TARDIS quickly materialized and he took a reading.
"Ah, we are in Paris, France on Earth. Looks like late 20th century. Should make for a nice holiday after all of that!" He smiled wide at Romana and she just rolled her eyes that he was always trying to have a nice holiday. It was time to see what was outside.
The Doctor took one last look at the scans of Babylon 5. Up until the last minute he had watched and now it was gone at last. The Dead Time had been averted.
It had been a bit touch and go there, but no explosions or alien invasions had been nice to deal with. It would be nice to have a stress free visit. He had not seen Paris in centuries, maybe he could check over Leonardo's works in the art galleries.
Nice man, but only a half decent painter. He was much better as an inventor in the Doctor's considered opinion.
The Doctor and Romana went out into Paris, to see the sights and unfortunately face Scaroth and his play across history to save his race from extinction.
But what happened to Babylon 5? The changes wrought by the Timelords were not as vast as some might have feared but where some things were better, others could not be stopped.
Sheridan returned and faced not only the Shadows but the Vorlons as well. Garibaldi was lost for a time and then returned. At first all seemed well, but his high level of distrust tipped off Talia Winters.
She felt what had been done to him but the risk to removing the P12 blocks were high and she knew not what they were doing. As far as she could tell, for now he was still Garibaldi.
Sheridan eventually, with the help of all the non-aligned worlds, the remaining First Ones, and the oldest being, Lorien, they not only ended the war, but removed the Vorlons and Shadows from power. They would no longer manipulate the younger races into fighting ever again.
Lyta was left with nothing to do after the Vorlons left, but Talia had long been proving an ally to both the station and Lyta. She made sure the woman was not forgotten in the rush to face Clark and keep the station at peace. She started her own service to Sheridan and the others.
It took a lot of work but they made a place for rogue telepaths to come and learn new ways. The screen process was strict and the training unforgiving, but it gave Babylon 5 a distinct force for negotiation and a sign of how they did things.
The jobs were similar but the skills Talia taught and the things Lyta could do, made them formidable. Bester was adamant at stopping them, but B5 was beyond Earth control and his power useless.
Sadly, it did not stop them missing Garibaldi. He slipped away to Mars after several altercations with Sheridan. Talia warned him he was being manipulated, but even she did not know a safe way to remove the blocks on him. She assured him, he was still Garibaldi, but he was being pushed.
As things worsened on Earth and Proxima, Sheridan was forced to move before he was ready. They charged in and freed one colony at a time as they worked with Mars rebellion as well. Garibaldi was used by Bester to find out that Edgars Industries had made a virus to use against telepaths, the real him trapped inside more and more.
Worse, Sheridan, thinking Garibaldi was still himself if being manipulated, walked into the trap. He warned Susan about it but it still took Lyta ripping open his mind to save Garibaldi from the irate Mars rebels.
Earth was freed and the new Alliance was born. Talia petitioned and was accepted into the new Alliance forces. With all her telepaths and Lyta helping, they accepted the large rogue group led by Byron.
Bester was incensed, but legally it was a recognized alternative to Psi Corp. No one was coerced and no one was kept against their will. It was Talia's insistence on that front that kept the peace.
It turned into the greatest blessing when Byron learned the truth about telepaths from Lyta. The Vorlons had manipulated all the younger races to make weapons for the war against the Shadows. His explosive response was derailed by Talia. She forced him to look at what they were doing and how far they had come.
She forced him to see what he was suggesting would only make all the Alliance turn against them.
Byron accepted this and his followers became the most ardent of keeping the peace. They needed the Alliance Telepath Corps to survive now.
Byron, however, could not be with Lyta again. The things he saw made his anger flare every time because she accepted what had been done to her. She was now far beyond a P5, but so had too had Talia. They were different sides of the same coin, but they worked together to make a good place for telepaths.
Eventually, the Telepath War broke out, but instead of the brutal fight it could have been, the Alliance Telepaths worked with Earth telepaths to bring it to a peaceful conclusion. Bester is found by Garibaldi and the details of the encounter are best left to imagination.
The Doctor and Romana brought changes, and chaos as well, but their effect was felt throughout the future. The Timelords were forgotten by most races, but never by humanity, not even when they passed beyond the need for physical bodies.
The Shadow of the Doctor stayed with them all.