And So It Begins

by Mistress Sarah

A glimpse through the looking glass.
by Lily

Disclaimer: These are not my characters. They are owned, copyrighted and created by far wiser people than me. I have attempted to bring them back to life for a short time, attempting to ease that gaping hole in my heart where B5/Crusade once was.
Note: Series is NC-17. m/f, m/m.
Archiving: SW and the WWOMB archive

Personal Log: Matthew Gideon.

Don't sometimes you look back at something, and you wish that that voice that said, "I don't think doing this is such a good idea" was a little louder? And that perhaps, while everything was going directly to hell, you suddenly wished that you had actually listened?

I should NEVER have decided to let off some steam by doing some solo flying. It was a perfectly quiet sector of space, and what could happen?

Well - something happened, and my Starfury had been twisted like a pretzel, and I had been only half-conscious when they had finally gotten to me after using a really big can opener. Everything seemed... odd, with a voice that sounded like Eilerson yelling orders, and my last conscious thought was that I was going to tease John unmercifully for the rest of his life, if he was actually letting Max run my rescue mission.

Hell - I should court martial him for letting Eilerson run the away mission, but right then, I was happy to be alive.

It was later, when I first woke up, that I realized that I wasn't in Kansas anymore.

Personal Log: Matthew Gideon

I'm really not sure where the hell I am right now, but I know that I'm on no Excalibur that I've ever seen. The décor's completely wrong for one thing. Poor lighting, and there's a feeling like the ship is a living breathing entity, and it ain't happy with yours truly. It knows that something's wrong with me, and that I'm not supposed to be here. And it's waiting, and watching, trying to figure out if I'm going to wound it.

The people are completely WRONG.

Sarah Chambers has never worn black leather pants that tight, nor does she show off that much cleavage through a see-through blouse. And John Matheson...


He certainly doesn't have cybernetic implants drilled into his skull.

I nearly threw up when I saw the silver metal embedded in his temples. His eyes are fiery with a blazing hatred, and I wonder who the hell smacked him around that badly.  There's a gash on one cheek as though someone had hit him hard while wearing a ring, and wonders of wonders, Sarah Chambers isn't doing a damn thing to heal him.

Because she hates him.

Sarah Chambers, who I would have sworn would have offered healing to the Drakh head banana, hates John with the silvery implants, and she is not alone.

The crew hates John, and they fear him, and he despises them all. The only thing he seems to care about is the Excalibur, as there are times when he's been standing in my sick bay, and he's stroking the wall of the room, crooning softly to it.

It's only then that the living entity that I know to be the ship is soothed, and its hatred of me is quieted.

I've clicked my ruby slippers a few dozen times now, and I'm still not in Kansas. If this is Kansas, then it's a post apocalyptic Kansas where everything has been turned upside down and inside out.

Where the hell am I?

I want to get out of here!

I had been in my Starfury when I suddenly hit a spatial anomaly, a twisting of the space-time continuum, I suppose. My instruments had gone crazy, wildly flickering and spitting out data that had no rhyme or reason behind them, and I had been screaming on elevenity-seven channels, "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday." Things had gotten rather hairy after that, and when I had woken up, I had been in this place, with these people who looked like people I had known, but most assuredly weren't them.

‘Captain. No thanks to Ship-head over there, we managed to locate you." Sarah snarled that at Matheson who was standing quietly in the corner. "Damn freak. We were going crazy looking for you, and he wouldn't help. Instead he kept interfacing with the system, running more data and extrapolating these logarithms, claiming that the two of them couldn't locate you, until we had to manually separate the two of them. Goddamn freak. Security gave him a few lessons in manners after that."

Sarah spit at him, and John stared back at her, quietly taking her abuse. His eyes were blank, void of the blazing hatred I had seen in them earlier.

"The Ship grew sulky after that. Took a little while, but it finally understood that turning off the life support wasn't our idea of fun, and that if she kept doing it, then we'd hurt Ship-Head over there."

Sarah's voice grew louder. "I've said it before, and I'll say it again. You mind freaks aren't worth the trouble, even with the head-gear. Sure, it supposedly makes the ship more responsive, but it's goddamn unnatural to be married to a ship."

"SARAH." I warned this bitter woman who was Sarah, but wasn't, that my patience was wearing thin.

"Apologies, Captain." Her voice was lacking anything that sounded like an apology but I didn't care, at least right now. "I know you've said that you've taught the Brain over there how to behave, how to fetch and how to roll over and play dead, but when you're not here to keep him in line - he's out for himself."

"Cut the running commentary." My voice was sharper than I had intended, but by the look of quick terror in Sarah's eyes, I realized that whoever this Gideon was that they thought I was, his temper was legendary. That knowledge might be useful later. "Report on my condition."

"You're not ready to go back to the bridge. You need a day or two to recuperate. Your ship was pretty damaged, as the goddamn Rangers put up a pretty strong fight."

RANGERS? I had a fire fight with RANGERS?

"You got them all, but your life support system was pretty low. So I'm  confining you to quarters, and Ship-Head over there will make sure that everything you need is taken care of."

"OK." I answered.

"You must not be feeling well, Captain. That's the first time you haven't thrown a fit when I've had to take you off duty." Sarah's smile was slight, but it reminded me enough of the old Sarah to scare me shitless. We had held this conversation a few times already in our brief time together.

"Must be." I agreed.

"Brain-Boy," the medic's obvious distaste for Matheson colored her voice. "You're to make sure that every need that the Captain has is completely satisfied. He wants something, you take care of it. Like you always do, understand?"

John Matheson nodded, his implants catching and reflecting the low light of the sickbay, and I suddenly tasted terror.

Where was I? Who was I?

Fortunately I could pretend that the effects of my fire-fight were still exhausting me, rather than having to admit that I didn't know where the hell I was going. John Matheson silently led me through the ship, and everyone gave him a wide berth.

We entered the bullet car and there was something in the air that made me realize that the organic ship was sentient enough to care for the man that was fused with it, almost like a puppy and its master. John was sitting stiffly in a dark corner, as though his lessons in manners still greatly pained him. The ship seemed to be trying console and soothe the young man and I tried not to stare at the appendage from the wall that was surreptitiously attaching itself to John's neck.

He seemed to draw comfort from the contact, and I was glad when the bullet car stopped.

This was getting really fucking bizarre.

Silently, the two of us walked to my quarters. John gestured quickly and the door slid open.

I entered, and I didn't expect him to follow me in.

The room was huge, bigger than the quarters I had in the 'real' universe and I heard the sound of running water in one of the other rooms. My bed was bigger than my ready room in the REAL Excalibur!

This was getting curiouser, and curiouser, as Alice would say, so I decided to investigate.

I had a fricking BATHTUB! With running water of all things. Looking at the alter John, I realized that he had been in contact with the ship to ensure when I arrived that everything would be suitable. The water was warm, and the lights in my quarters were dimmed.

I felt John Matheson's hands on my back, trying to be non-intrusive, and he was tugging at my shirt to undress me. Trying my hardest to avoid his help, I still found myself naked, and being assisted into the water.

"Get out. I don't need your help for this." I ordered him tersely, trying to get some time alone for myself, and Matheson shook his head. Growing annoyed with his ever present silence, I harangued him horribly, while knowing that at this rate, I'd never learn anything about this strange new world because John wouldn't talk.

"I remain. I serve, as directed, to make sure that every need the Captain has is completely satisfied. If he wants something, I am to take care of it."

It was the first thing this alter Matheson had said in my presence, and he repeated it tonelessly after each of my orders for him to leave the room.

Great. Now he was talking, but it was something that he repeated by rote.

"I remain. I serve..." John began again.

"Enough. I don't want to hear it anymore."

I began washing myself, enjoying the chance to relax in the hot water, and I decided that I better start on a game plan. First things first, I needed to look at the crew rosters, figuring out who I might ‘know' then take a quick look at the universal history.

Quietly, of course, I'd hate for the big bosses to realize that I'm not the Matthew Gideon they're expecting as I have the feeling that they'll be really disappointed.

Let's see... Telepaths are feared, and utilized as ship brains, and they are regulated by mechanical implants. The technology that I've seen so far appears centuries advanced of what I knew and accepted as Terra norm and it mixes Organic and Inorganic matter.

Somehow I think the good guys lost, and that I'm now a Shadow Employee.

Shit - I wonder what this does to my pension?

But seriously, what now, Mattie?

Excalibur's Ship Avatar.

He had returned and he was acting odd.

I had noticed it, and so had Ship.

When the Doctor had informed him of my alleged incompetence and insubordination in his rescue attempt, I had fully expected to be punished then and there. Perhaps he would have done it himself, or requested the Grand Inquisitor to take care of me. It mattered not that I could produce reams upon reams of information on why Ship and I had been unable to locate him, all that mattered was that I had failed.

I am less than human, a throwback to a time when the Others had attempted to fight our Guides using mind rapers such as myself. Only by the use of implants is my fundamentally flawed nature able to be harnessed and utilized for the greater good of mankind. But even with the implants, I am nothing more than an animal.

I hope the Grand Inquisitor does not do a loyalty check on me, for he will find that during the time that my Captain-Master was missing, I had been the happiest I had ever been since I had left my litter mates. I had run my sixteen hour searches for the Captain-Master, and during my down time, I had hid. I had concealed myself in the crevasses of Ship, deep into the reaches of the places where only I may go. During those happy nights alone, Ship sang me to sleep with her silly songs, and Ship warmed me by wrapping me in her tendrils.

Not even Dureena-Assassin had been able to locate me and that was a priceless gift that Ship had given me, for with my Master gone, she would have played with me, and wounded me. If not her, then Executive Officer Eilerson, for he hates me for what I am.

Truly I fear those times when Captain-Master rewards him with me.

Ship, while limited, is the only thing I care about, and the only thing that cares for me, for I am an animal.

Except for the Captain-Master, for he is my Captain-Master, and I am the avatar of his ship. Captain-Master delights in his complete control over his ship and me. He especially enjoys taking me while I am linked to the ship, for then all of those onboard know that Captain-Master is in complete control of both Ship and Avatar.

The Real Matthew Gideon - Somewhere in Oz

I had floated in the hot water long enough to be in danger of turning into a large pink prune, and still my thoughts were in a jumble. Exiting from the tub, I was immediately wrapped in a large warm towel by John.

No. It's not John. Don't think of him as John, think of him as John 2nd  - John Two... J.T. if you will. JT was busy drying me off, and then he assumed a position that suddenly got me rather uncomfortable. He was kneeling in front of me, and he dropped the towel that he was using to dry me. I was completely nude in front of him.

I flinched when I felt his lips touch the inside of my thigh. It was a light, almost teasing touch.

"NO!" I said harshly, pushing his head away. "None of that now. Report on your failure to locate me. I am most displeased with you." I figured that would be a safe way to start off, commenting on his alleged refusal to locate me.

JT whispered something, and I couldn't hear it. He didn't just call me Captain-Master, did he?

"REPEAT." Growling that at him, I felt sickened when he reacted with fear to the tone in my voice.

"Captain-Master." JT suddenly grabbed my hands, and began kissing them. "Mercy on your flawed servant."

I suddenly felt nauseous, and I jerked my hands away from him. "So far I don't hear an explanation, just whining. REPORT. I am growing more and more angry with you."

JT was terrified, and the words began tripping over themselves in their haste to escape. Ship... God help me, he was trying to defend the SHIP from my wrath, by selling himself. It wasn't the ship, but SHIP. A living, breathing entity that he was trying his damdest to protect.

Like what the hell could I do to a SHIP without adversely affecting the people onboard, I'd like to know?

Listening to him, I learned quite a few things. JT couldn't stay linked to the ship for more than sixteen hours at a time or else irreversible damage would start occurring. That there had been a temporal anomaly in the location where I had been found which had frightened Ship greatly, and that apparently my Executive Officer -- MAXIMILIAN EILERSON -- had ripped JT from his neural net while Ship and JT had been trying to figure out a way of approaching the spatial anomaly without harm. JT had been completely stunned by the breaking of the neural contact, and that's when the crew had decided to give him a few lessons in manners.


Max Eilerson in this universe was my Executive Officer, and the bastard hadn't come down to see me during the two days I was in Medbay. I'd have to talk to him about THAT breach of protocol.

I was so lost in thought that I didn't realize immediately that JT was once again kissing the inside of my leg.

Grabbing his head with both of my hands, I ordered him to cease and desist, and I pushed him away from my groin. I was either more disgusted than I realized or my gesture caught JT completely by surprise for he landed on his side.

God, it's not right, dealing with someone who reminds me so much of John Matheson and yet appears to be barely more than an animal. I shouldn't have pushed him away like that, but I had such a feeling of complete revulsion from his touch that I had reacted instinctively. Shit. You don't think my alter put that gash in his face do you? Hitting him while wearing a class ring could cause a wound like that.

JT was again trying to place all the blame on himself, trying to protect SHIP again, and I had to shut him up.

"Enough. I'm tired of excuses. You will give me all the data you and Ship collected and you will do so QUIETLY."

The animal in front of me nodded his head quickly, and I decided to make him do something useful.

"Find me something to wear, and be quick about it."

I've found throughout the years that nothing ruined a man's dignity quicker than having a serious discussion in the nude.

Fortunately, my alter ego was too lazy to use a password on his personal log so after a brief retina scan I found myself reading all about him.

He was a goddamn brute, and I suddenly had a flash of pity for the alternate John who had rapidly offered me three different robes, while dropping data crystal after data crystal on the table. I had grabbed one of them, and told him to get me something to drink.

Captain Bligh had blackmail files on most of his senior staff, and I was soon reading up on them. Each one of them had been characterized, point by point, in incredible detail, with comments about what made each person tick.

Dureena - an assassin?

Galen - some sort of Grand Inquisitor? What was a Grand Inquisitor anyway?

Max - an embittered man who hated me... I mean Gideon II, because Max is junior to me, and he believes himself my intellectual superior. Isn't it reassuring to know that some things remain constant, no matter what universe you're in? Like gravity, and Eilerson's ego?

Sarah - was a rather sadistic little bitch, and Gideon II loved watching her, especially when she played with JT.

JT didn't rate his own section of Gideon II's notes, nor did he appear to have a name. Instead there were just a few graphic comments that made my blood boil about how badly JT was abused. My counterpart sometimes raffled his Brain's services off, and he enjoyed hearing how JT's time had been spent in his off hours.

I had finally located something on the ... man... I was calling JT. Ship's avatar was what he was, and he didn't rate a name.

My dog rated a name. Even a rat I once saw regularly in one of my hangouts had a name, but not JT.

Speaking of off hours, I don't know how the hell Gideon II got anything done, as it appeared he was fucking Dureena, Sarah and a few others, plus the usual nightly sessions with JT.


I must have spent hours staring at the screen until I finally realized that I had a blinding headache. Moaning softly, I began rubbing my temples, and JT leapt into action.

He began rubbing my head and my neck, carefully kneading the incredibly tight muscles with his hands.

I wanted to go home, as I wasn't having fun anymore.

{1 And so it Begins} {2 Captain-Master & Executive Officer} {3 Captain-Master & Assassin} {4 Battle Fatigue} {5 Story of an Avatar} {6 Story of a Captain-Master} {7 Interlude} {8 General-Master & Assassin} {9 Babylon 5} {10 Lines are Drawn} {11 Alliances are Made} {12 Seeds of Rebellion} {13 The Storm Breaks} {14 Battle of the Light Brigade} {15 "Theirs but to Do and Die"} {16 "Valley of Death"} {17 "Jaws of Death"} {18 Finale}

{The Main Gate} {HomePage} {Wytches World} {We are Family} {A Little Artistic Licence} {No, we don't mean "A"riadne} {Our Home Is Our Castle} {The Witches' Diary} {Witches Familiars} {The Gateway} {Webrings}