Songs of Travellers in the Night
Taken a while to put this out I know. The flames I got on one of my other stories got me so irritated I put most of my effort into that one. It's winding down now so I can get on with this one. Here we go.
Lou Walsh was good at his job. He had to be, he was third in charge of security and on B5 that meant you had to be three times better than anywhere else. This great place was the furthest human outpost. The wild frontier where most people thought they could get away with anything from game rigging to murder. That was why he was here, why he liked his job. Proving the criminal wrong, be they Human, Minbari, Centauri or Narn.
The part of the job he hated was escorting dignitaries. Oh would you just look at that. they're eating the plants now. Why do all these people always insist on eating the plants? Is there some sort of space station out there with plants your supposed to eat lining the walls? These Wyoldin were among the worst he'd had to escort though. Most were simple, pleasant, guys and escort was the usual. Keep your eyes open, don't let them make mistakes without being too heavy handed. Don't let someone try to take advantage of 'em and finally don't shoot them.
These Wyoldin where nothing but trouble. First they insisted on keeping their swords. Something to do their manhood or something. Then they said that Lou and his men had to stay out from under their shadows as it could contaminate them... oh the list was endless. religious nut jobs, more trouble than they were worth in Lou's opinion.
'Oh sorry.' Someone bumped into him. It was that Morden guy. A business man, some said he worked for the Centauri but he never gave anyone any problems. 'Ah it's the visitors. I'll find another way around.'
'Thanks.' Lou nodded the guy was alright
'No problem. Hey, I heard there was another new visitor, there was a big deal about him at the landing gates. It's all happening here today isn't it.'
'Wouldn't know, no one tells me anything on these jobs. Thanks for the heads up.'
He waved the thanks off. 'Not a problem, I feel sorry for you guys. you do a bang up job and get nothing but grief from back home.' Wasn't that the truth. 'ahh well I'll just go around.' Morden nodded with a slight smile.
Lou shrugged as the business man left. 'Great even more new visitors. How many pains in the ass does the galaxy have?'
Susan still wasn't quite sure her brain was working right. Since when did it ever work right she reasoned. Walking into the Commanders office she was met by the equivalent of the Spanish inquisition. Kosh, Delenn, and G'Kar representing the aliens. The Commander, Stephen and Garibaldi for the good old Earth Alliance and the thin guy in the suit from wherever the hell he was from. 'You called Commander.' There was also the dark skinned woman hiding behind the Doctor, doing her best to look inconspicuous.
'Susan we have a very big problem.' Jeff started.
'I say we do. The only thing stopping the league of non-alined worlds from kicking this door down is they think he is still having lunch.' she nodded at the stranger.
An almost furious bust from the corner preceded the Vorlon's voice 'That is not the problem.' Kosh turned to face her. 'The Wyoldin must be stopped. I will do it.'
'Don't be foolish old friend.' The stranger got in the Vorlons way. 'If they know you are willing to fight it will show just how important this place is. You can't risk that, especially as they're already here.'
'Still?' Kosh growled. In all her days Susan never thought she'd hear Kosh angry, let alone homicidal, like now.
The Doctor put his hand on the Vorlons... well shoulder you could call it. No one touched Kosh, it wasn't just that he didn't let you no one dared. 'Trust me old friend, it will all work out in the end.'
'Is that a promise Doctor. All I see is fire.'
'No. It is a fact Kosh. If we stop them.' he turned to Susan and the rest. Kosh's head bobbed almost respectfully. 'Or should I say you stop them. If either of us get involved... lets just say there are other things out there. Things that will not stop, will not falter and will not think twice about wiping everything on this side of the galactic core off the map. That and a paradox with the force to obliterate two thirds of the universe. Please take the hint and don't mess with time travel. It gets very confusing.'
'That's all well and good but the league is ready to tear the station apart over you.' Susan explained. 'No offence but couldn't you have picked somewhere else to go for lunch?'
'Yes. But that's not the point. If I had gotten the co-ordinates right...'
'...We didn't though did we. Now we're going to have to fix this mess you made.' the dark skinned woman explained.
'Martha! How was I supposed to know they moved from the last time? Took me four weeks to find it back then, I stored the location in the TARDIS and it went and moved!' he burst out. 'Yes I've been here before, yes I will again but because of all this mess I don't like to advertise my presence. Then along comes you with:- "A blue box just appeared". Like sending up a flare, now I'm going to have to do something about it.'
The Doctor threw his hands up in despair and simply collapsed into a chair. 'Save the universe a few dozen times and you never hear the end of it. Why does this always happen to me?' He shook his head for a second. Susan could see the moment he had his idea, his hands ran straight to his hair and spiked it out even more. 'No... Yes... oh yes!' the Doctor jumped up and was looking into Susan's eyes so fast. 'Lieutenant Commander Susan Ivanova. I need you to get my blue box and I need it moved near the council chambers. If they want a Time Lord I'll give them one, oh yes!' He snapped his fingers and an almost mad sheen came to his eyes. 'Commander Sinclair; arrange a meeting of the entire league. Every one of them. OH yes, this should deal with the problem. Then we can turn our attention to the Wyoldin.'
Morden looked around. The entire green sector was abandoned, every alien ambassador from every world had been summoned to something. Things were happening, big things and Morden needed to find out what. He tapped the comms panel. 'Ambassador Mollari please.' he asked the fat aid at the other end of the line.
Vir frowned; 'He's busy with an important meeting. I will let him know you called. Goodbye Mr Morden.' Coto didn't like him very much. Hum, good taste from a Centauri? That was novel.
It didn't truly matter, the fat idiot was too good at his job to let his dislike get in the way. He'd do as he was told but if anything happened it wouldn't be a complete loss. Sure the waves made by his death would be an inconvenience... Too much of one this close to the big plan. Morden was just going to have to put up with him.
'What is going on?' Morden asked himself. No need to bother his associates just yet but if Mollari became suddenly difficult. If certain questions were asked it might be best if he disappeared. Only one question; how do you hide from Shadows?
A couple of dock rats and a cargo lifter dropped off the blue box. Michael thanked them and watched as the two workers scarpered. 'So this is your ship?' He asked the Doctor. The thin guy was patting it like a dog.
'That's my ship.' he ginned madly. 'I'm going to get changed into something a bit more "Time Lord" then put the fear of a God into them. A few vague hints, the usual prophesy and destiny stuff. You know the sort. Grand exit and we're done.'
'And they'll just accept that?' Miss Jones asked sceptically. 'What about that centurion ambassador? He won't be the only one who is doubtful of your "power".' This guy had Kosh vouching for him, had already cowed Londo and had Delenn walking on eggshells. How come this woman was treating it as a big joke?
'You haven't' seen my robes yet!'
Michael burst out. 'You think some fancy clothes will be enough to make people pay attention.'
He just nodded and hopped into his box. 'So how long is he going...' the door opened and out the alien stepped. 'Oh boy.'
The question wasn't where did he get the stuff but how the hell did he get changed so fast. Gone was the pinstripe antique suit and brown duster. This was something else.
First off there was this cloak. Covered in swirling patterns of gold thread on a shimmering scarlet cloth. The same thread and pattern was repeated as trimming and came up and around the collar. It was a sort of collar that put a Centauri 's hair cut to shame. Two great wide fans coming out from the middle leaving a small gap between them, just behind his head. Gone was the wild hair, now hidden behind a sort of red/brown skull-cap and a gold crown probably worth half the station.
He held in his hand a silver and pearl sceptre and a golden sash across his chest like he had won Miss Universe 'Isn't that a little much?' he asked.
The Doctor glanced at Michael, it was just like when he cowed Londo. A powerful alien presence behind those eyes. Sometimes Michael could look a man or alien in the eye and know exactly what they were thinking. It wasn't telepathy, it was training, experience, and long earned. Right now the Doctor was unreadable cold and distant.
Suddenly he smiled, all teeth and far too wide to be natural. 'It's supposed to be too much Mr Garibaldi. They want Time Lord well here's one with bells on. Speaking of...' he tapped his Sceptre to the side of the box and a great bell rung some where in the back of Michael's skull.
'Cloister bell, thank you old girl. Now I'm not exactly going to be honest with them and I might have to do a few things but I'll give them a "Time Lord".'
His comm bleeped. 'Michael what was that?'
'The Doctor's box just rung. How's it going in the council chamber?'
'The ringing box got them to finally be quiet and listen. Suggest to the Doctor an entrance might be in order.' Jeff said. Michael could almost hear the smile his friend would have hidden. Looking up he noticed the alien had already left.
The Doctors entrance was grand. Crowned and cowed this tall, thin, man strode between the delegates of the league. A solid bell rung again, every footstep the bell sung. With his last step the bell was silent, the very air killed dead by the last peal.
Delenn felt her heart beating and realised she was holding her breath. Everyone was.
'Peoples of the League of Non-Alined Worlds. You agreed to this place being made. You let the humans build it on the edge of their calmed space. You heeded their call and became closer than ever before. This place, this Babylon, is a shining symbol of peace. Of unity and of agreement. It will last, as such, long after you have all turned to dust and the universe breaths it's last.'
The Doctor stalked the room like he owned it. Looking every delegate in the eye. Far more impressive was he was speaking Membari. She knew from the looks on everyone's faces they heard their own words. How was he doing this 'I came here to see you make these steps. The beginning of a legend. I congratulate all of you. What you do here tomorrow makes the future.' With that the Time Lord turned and headed out of the room.
Londo, of course, was the first to recover. 'Time Lord. Perhaps you can guide us to that future you see.'
'What makes you think I haven't already.' And he swept out regally.
The room erupted in noise.
Martha hopped backwards as the Doctor swept past and into the TARDIS. He was in and out as soon as the door closed, coming out in his usual suit and brown coat. One hand ruffling his hair. 'Remind me not to do that again.'
You don't know how powerful that junk really is. The robes of a Time Lord with the ceremonial trappings of the Lord-President? I could have blown the whole station up!' He was grinning like it was a joke but Martha could tell it wasn't. So could Michael.
'I hope that weaponry secure in there.' the gruff security officer stepped up.
'Isomorphic locks on the TARDIS. You can't get in without the key and me or Martha. Even if you do you won't find them.' the Doctor explained. 'And even if you do find them no one but me can use them because they require the mental pattern of Time Lord. Specifically a Time Lord that knows what he's doing with them.
'Come on, lets get back to the commanders office and come up with a plan.'
Ragnagar bowed in respect to the passing Other. Silently blessing them for their journey. His sword in hand he straitened up. This place where many gathered was sent by the great two eyed one. They had talked with many guests here, they had told them of their worlds.
Gathered in one place they could assist in the passing to the other side and now find their task infinitely easier. Blessing all peoples of the universe and sending on their way to oblivion. The place where all souls rest.
Only when his task was complete could he too rest in the arms of he who sees twice. It was worth it, the Soul Hunters must not be allowed to take those they wanted. They captured those they thought worthy, diminishing the wisdom of the whole universe. One Who Saw All was almost taken by them, but his purity and strength forced them to flee. Defeated.
It was then their holy mission was ordained. On he would fulfil dutifully, even if those blessed did not understand. They would soon, that is all that mattered.
End chapter 4