Battle Fatigue

by Mistress Sarah

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

Matthew Gideon I

First day on the job jitters are a bitch, especially when you're not supposed to be having them. I had ordered JT to get my uniform out, and to make sure that I was presentable. He did so silently, and with downcast eyes. He tugged at my sleeves, making sure my sleeves were crisp and neat, while I tried to control the tremors in my belly.

Lord, this is Matthew Gideon, and I know it's been quite a few years since you heard from me, but as you are well aware, I really don't like bothering you for the small stuff. I'm self-sufficient and I try to do everything on my own, without help, but I'm smart enough to know when I really need help. When the Cerebus was destroyed, I knew I really needed help, and since then there hasn't been a big enough problem to waste your time. I know you're busy with all those people on Earth, but right now, I could really, really use some help. Please?

No doubt the Great Maker was busy, possibly writing a comic book series or something vastly more important that dealing with little ole me, because I didn't get an answer. Taking a deep breath, I told myself 'Showtime!' and tried to exit my quarters. JT blocked my way, and I growled at him, "What?"

Silently, he handed over my Captain-Master's cudgel and a fricking whip.

Really, I hope they don't expect me to use the whip. I think I'd probably hit myself with it, or possibly hang myself with it in a fluke accident, but I attached it to my belt, with a little help from JT.

Entering the bridge was a nightmare come true. Or would it be truthful to say that the bridge was a nightmare given form. Everything was in dark colors and oppressive, and I could imagine my favorite fascist fashion designer, Kevin Sprach running from the room, weeping and wailing in sheer terror.

I know some Captains love hearing the sound of "Captain-Master on the bridge!!!" being bellowed, but I'm not one of them.

I'd prefer a much simpler, "Good Morning, Captain Gideon, your ship hasn't been attacked by the Drakh while you slept."

JT went to his console, and I studied how quickly he merged with the ship. He even had a slight smile on his face, as though he was greeting an old friend but trying to keep his emotions under control.

Eilerson was arrogant, and he took his damn sweet time getting out of the Captain-Master's chair.

"Oh, I wasn't expecting you just yet, you're not just on time, Captain, you're actually EARLY for shift change." His voice carried on the bridge, and Max smirked at me.

"That's alright, Commander Eilerson. Take as much time as you need. I know your old bones don't move as fast as they once did."

Commander Eilerson shot me a look of such sheer malice from his one eye, that I was surprised that I didn't spontaneously combust on the spot. Mutiny on the good Shadow-ship Excalibur was brewing, Dureena-Assassin had warned me, and Eilerson was at the core of it. As was Chambers, who apparently was busy sleeping with both Eilerson and my counter-part.

You know what the problem with this universe is? If everyone stayed in their own beds, and with one person, things would be a lot calmer. But I am ashamed to admit that I really like the hot showers in the morning and Dureena was certainly someone that I didn't ... mind Enjoying.

If I ever make it back to my universe again, please don't ever let Dureena find out about the fact that I enjoyed sleeping with her doppelganger. Somehow I don't think she'd be pleased. Hell, she'd probably try to cut my tripes off, but I'd willingly face that danger if it meant I was no longer on the Good Shadow Ship Excalibur.

I refrained from pulling Eilerson out of my chair, and I asked for numerous reports from different personnel that were on the bridge. I asked probing questions to see how much they knew about what they were telling me, and I mentally noted their reactions. Who could answer the questions, who seemed uneasy, and who blatantly lied to me.

The first few of those who lied to me, I verbally skewered on the spot, advising them to recheck their information as I had noticed something different. Max was staring at me, and I gave him my best 'I'll see you in hell' look which seemed to shrivel both his courage and his balls.

Relaxing somewhat, I tried to appear as though I didn't have a care in the universe. Looking at me, I hoped nobody realized that I didn't belong here, and that I was trying to figure out how the hell to get home.

John Matheson I on the Excalibur.

Something was bothering Gideon, and I had tried to find out what it was. His answers were rude and condescending, and I cataloged that piece of information. Ever since he had been rescued from the Temporal anomaly, he seemed to be an almost completely different person. For some reason, I got the feeling that he despised me, and I tried to figure out what had happened to the Old Matthew Gideon. Quietly, I began pulling up everything I could find on spatial and temporal abnormalities, especially dealing with the aftereffects of the survivors. That kept me busy until late in my rest periods, as I tried to find out everything I could.

But during my duty hours, I did what I had been instructed in my days of the PSI Corps. Watch, observe, and catalog the minor discrepancies, and wait for them to add up. Sooner or later, they always do, and I wanted to figure out what was going on with Matthew Gideon.

Matthew Gideon I.

I have to admit that I liked the Excalibur I was on, if I could only forget the fact that it was a piece of Shadow technology. It was peppy, energetic, and when I ordered the ship through its paces, it eagerly responded as though it... sorry, She wanted the chance to show off. While my Excalibur was most definitely male, with its main forward gun, this piece of Shadow technology was most assuredly female.

Go ahead, laugh at me, but ships have definite personalities, and this ship was a hot blooded little piece of Shadow Technology dying to prove herself and earn her Captain-Master's respect.

I pushed her to her limit, making hairpin turns, hyperspace jumps and extreme changes in velocity. Some of the crew seemed surprised that I was doing this, so I advised them, "Captain-Masters do things for their own reason, and if you'd like to think that I'm testing you to see if you slacked off during my illness, you might be right." I gave them my best Matthew Gideon smile, and then continued in a very soft, threatening voice. "Or you might be wrong."

"Aye, aye! Captain-Master!"

During my duty shifts I would tried to understand as much about these people as possible, cataloging who would go which way when Eilerson made his move, and in my off hours I tried my hardest keep the rebellion from spilling over. But I spent the majority of my free time trying to figure out how the hell to get home. Damn it, Temporal Physics was never my best subject in the Academy! I needed to get the hell off this vessel before the mutiny on the Shadow Ship Bounty occurred.

Go back to the beginning.

That's what I was trying to do!

JT never spoke in public, only rarely during his down time, and never in front of anyone besides the Captain-Master. The most he would do was hum softly to Ship, and that only occurred when Dureena was the other person in the room. I couldn't always hear what he was humming, but it sounded like classical music.

"I think Ship loves music," Dureena admitted to me during pillow talk after a long delightful time. "Odd isn't it?"

"Why? Music calms the savage beast," I growled at her, "And speaking of savage beasts...."

Dureena laughed delightedly while I proved to her that Ship wasn't the only savage beast in space. And so my days and nights upon the Good Shadow Ship Excalibur continued until our first battle.


Ship was nervous.

Sensing something, but not sure what, She asked me to merge further, so I could assist her search.

There. In the corner, a tear in space, just before....

JUMPGATE FORMING! ALERT! ALERT! JUMPGATES FORMING! ESTIMATING 15 SHIPS.  Ship and I spoke in one voice, warning the crew that the Others were about to attack. Captain-Master look startled for a moment, and then he snapped into action, demanding coordinates, estimates of fire power, and ordering the main guns online.

The surge of the main guns' engines began, and I could feel the tension that Ship was feeling. It was almost sexual in nature, and Ship wanted release from the sweet pressure She was experiencing.

No, not yet. Let Captain-Master decide when he wants the guns to fire. Not yet, we must merge further so we will survive this. Thinking as one, we must be ever vigilant, so we must not fail.

The Others began firing, and Ship and I became ONE. Ship-Avatar began sending off requests for assistance from other vessels that were nearby. Captain-Master was ordering the fighters to be launched, when suddenly, Ship-Avatar experienced the sting of the Other's weapon fire. It burned like fire, and it affected part of the sensors array. It was a positive feedback loop, building agony upon agony upon agony, and Ship-Avatar screamed in pain, while Captain-Master chastised Eilerson for not being faster in calling Red Alert.

Matthew Gideon - Shadow Ship Excalibur


JT suddenly announced that in a voice that sounded strangely doubled. Ah, he and Ship had fused personalities, so that's why his voice sounded odd. It's the time that you've been fearing, Matthew, now you've got to turn and fight the good guys.

I began ordering the fighters launched when we were suddenly hit hard by weapons fire. JT then screamed in pain, and the sound of his voice was the voice of my nightmares. The ship that had attacked the Cerebus had screamed like that, full of darkness and death and almost like a hot knife across your soul.

Enough of that, I had a crew to save, and I began focusing on the ships that faced us.  They were similar enough to the ships that the Rangers used in my universe so I could play on their weaknesses, as they simply couldn't maneuver like my ship could. I ordered hairpin turns, once again amazed by the responsiveness of the Shadow Ship I was captaining, and we slashed and burned our way through the Rangers ships that stood against us.

Something happened during the battle. No longer were these people the other Matthew Gideon's Demonic crew, somewhere, somehow, they turned into My Crew, My People, My Ship, and My Responsibility and like Hell was I going to let them down.

We were fighting back hard, somehow managing to stay alive, and the main guns' engines were running in the red zone when the first of our fellow Shadow Ships arrived.

"This is the Victory calling with Captain Leonard Anderson! I see you require assistance, Matthew - Just like old times, I'm saving your ass again. This gets tiresome, old friend."

"This is the Alexander, with General Ryan, and we're ten klicks behind the Victory. Keep fighting until we get there, or else we will avenge you!"

"This is Captain Daniels..."

There were other ships' captains calling in, and I recognized every damn name of every ship and every commanding officer. Some of them were my friends in real life, and a few of them had died in our fight with the Drakh. Lennie was dead, in his valiant attempt to save Earth, but in this universe, he still lived.

The Rangers ran like hell when they heard the amount of fire power arriving, and I suddenly realized that my Ship was in a great deal of pain. I could sense her agony through the soles of my feet, and from how JT wept silently at his console.

"Damage report, Commander Eilerson."

"Fire on the decks four through seven. Engines are off-line, leaving us with thrusters only. Life support is off line on desks 7, 8 and 9 in sectors A,B,C. But ... no casualties, Captain." Eilerson sounded surprised, and I had to shake my head.

"Rule # 1 - Commander Eilerson, nobody dies on my ship. Lennie?"

"What, Mattie?" Lennie hated when I called him Lennie, but for old times sake, I did it.

"I need to get my Ship to dry dock, and quick. She's in a lot of pain, can you help?"

"Love too, but I better not. Victory's a female, and the Alexander is just about to arrive. It's rather Alpha Male, so... make sure your Brain's off-line before he shows up." Leonard smirked. "You're probably going to Babylon 5, as we finally got it back from the Rebels, and it's the closest thing we've got that can repair your ship. Enjoy the down time. Leonard Anderson out."

"Leonard - Thank you."

"Any time, Matthew. Just like old times. Though stop making a habit of it."

The Alexander arrived, and it was a massive blob of pitch blackness against the darkness of space. Eilerson was busy unhooking an almost comatose John Matheson, and I could tell that he was trying to do it quickly before something occurred. I found out what it was when the Alexander topped the Excalibur, in a gesture that was almost obscenely sexual with an the impact that nearly brought me to my knees.

"General Ryan. Can you try to be a little gentler?" I snapped, not really caring if I got court Martialed. JT began whimpering slightly, while Eilerson was removing his connections, and then JT began gasping slightly in time to the rocking motion of the ship.

It was an all too familiar rocking motion.... Well, not really a rocking motion, not even a roll, but a distinct pumping motion that was getting more and more energetic while I realized what the hell it was.

Not again.

Not... AGAIN.

My ship is not being humped AGAIN.

It's an once in a lifetime experience, and it's already happened to me once. I know Captains and Generals who go throughout their entire careers without it happening to them.

It never happened to Sheridan. Never to Lochley.

Why is does it only happen to me?

"GENERAL RYAN! CAN YOU CONTROL YOUR SHIP?" I wasn't too damn happy with the fact that my injured Ship was being fucked while I was inside.

"Not my fault, Gideon. The Alexander's feeling his oats right now, and the Excalibur appears to be encouraging him. Besides, it's necessary if you remember your lessons in Ship Physiology and Anatomy. During the mating flight, the male usually being the stronger of the two ships..."

I tuned out General Ryan quickly at that point, wondering when the hell I would wake up from this never ending nightmare. One of my heroes from my universe, who had bravely stood against Clarke's forces, even after General Hague died, was a card carrying Shadow employee, and he was busy instructing me in the Sex Life of a Shadow Vessel. It wasn't the Ed Ryan of my universe, as he was grayer and slighter than the man I was used to, and he also had an old faded scar that ran down one cheek.

Alright, I get the idea, Ed. In order to get to Babylon 5, the older Alexander was going to be the one doing all the flying, while my crippled ship would be 'joined' to the other ship. But come on, my ship was mangled in a fire fight, how the hell could she be encouraging the Alexander?

My Ship was being taken advantage of, I was sure of it and I didn't have the faintest idea of to whom I should complain. My ship was nearly crippled in a fire fight, so how the hell could she be encouraging the Alexander? I suppose after something like this, with the adrenaline and all that stuff flowing, that my poor, wounded Shadow Ship Excalibur might need a little TLC, but the Alexander appeared to be an old Bull, and he wasn't being too gentle with my ship.

What the hell was going on with me? When did I suddenly get so protective about my little Shadow Vessel? Why should I care what ship fucked who? Oh dear God, no... It couldn't happen? Could it?

Lord, it's me, Matthew again. I know that apparently you're really busy with the people dying of the Plague on my Earth, but I really hope my ship's up-to-date on her birth control pills.

That bizarre thought was quickly replaced by another one.

Oh no. OH NO!

"Commander Eilerson?" I tried not to let my sudden thought affect my voice.

"Yes, Captain?"

"How... soon to Babylon 5?"

"Four... or Five Days..." Eilerson seemed to understand my concern, and he suddenly flushed. "She's never done anything like this before, but ... we've got to get him off the bridge before things start getting really intense." The Excalibur suddenly keened a high piercing sound which went through my ears and then she suddenly shuddered. I have to admit that I enjoyed hearing what was occurring on the Alexander when Ryan nearly fell out of his chair when his ship sounded off.

One would think that after making General, that he'd learn to keep that legendary mouth of his firmly under control.

Matthew Gideon I

I ordered a dazed JT to my quarters, and I made sure Dureena-Assassin kept an eye on him. She quirked an eyebrow at me, as if to comment on my uncharacteristic compassion, and I growled, "He flips out, and what happens to the Excalibur? Feed him, water him, walk him, I don't care, but I don't want any of the crew taking advantage of him because he's shell-shocked, do you understand me?"

"Yes, Captain-Master."

There was a distinct change in the mood of the Ship, I could feel it. The undercurrents of rebellion and mutiny for now, had been calmed and quieted, possibly in acknowledgement of the simple fact that no other Shadow vessel had ever survived a fire fight with fifteen Ranger warships. The Excalibur was heavily damaged, but no one had died.

So far.

Medbay was barely functioning, and I was transferring every patient and every non-essential personnel I could to the Alexander, while the two ships were gliding in post-coital bliss toward Babylon 5.

Max Eilerson was actually a pretty decent Executive Office once he got the chip off his shoulder, and the two of us spent the next several hours plotting and planning the necessary repairs to the Excalibur. My baby was going to need a lot of work to get her looking pretty again.

Ok- the Excalibur was a Shadow Vessel, but she was MY Shadow Ship, do you have a problem with that?

"Enough. I think we've gone over everything we can, Commander. You're off duty for the next 24 hours," I ordered.

"You can't do that until I temporarily relieve you of duty for the next twenty four hours," Max shot back.

I glared at him, and I heard someone laughing in the background. It was General Ryan from the Alexander, and he apparently had overheard everything. When the hell did he get on board? Who was that pale red headed woman who stood next to him? She looked familiar but for the life of me I couldn't figure out who she had been in my universe.

"Gentlemen, you are both relieved of duty until I decide you're fit. Eilerson- you are ordered to your quarters immediately. Captain Gideon I expect you to do the same after I talk to you."

"Aye-aye, General!"

Perhaps I was feeling cocky, or perhaps I had a post-battle buzz, but I wasn't expecting Ryan to grab me by my shoulder and propel me into my ready room, where he ripped me a new asshole. Never in a billion years, did I expect his first words to be, "Are you fucking trying to kill your Avatar?"


Fighting, firing, flying, surges of adrenaline balanced with an unbelievable amount of agony combined with the almost sexual pleasure of the Ship's guns firing. Ship-Avatar screamed as one, while we fought and slashed our way against the Others. Captain-Master seemed to be a man possessed, as he was firing off orders to Executive Officer Eilerson and Ship-Avatar almost without thinking. Burn that spot, hit that one piece of hull, punch it, fire and dive, slash and burn, power the Guns, Fire! I had been Ship-Avatar for only a few years, and I had worked with this particular Captain-Master for all that time, but today, his battle plans were unlike any he had ever utilized before. I wasn't sure what the hell his next decision would be, and his recklessness seemed to putting a fear into the heart of the Others.

He was almost a different Captain-Master. He never abused me or threatened me, but I didn't understand why he felt such intense revulsion when I touched him. Captain-Master had even given me a blanket and pillow.

It was almost as though he was a different man. Ship and I had noticed that he had spent a great deal of time poring over the records of his rescue, especially those that detailed the temporal flux in which he had been trapped. Even after I had began running different program to analyze the data, I couldn't figure out what the problem was with my Captain-Master, but I knew there was something that was affecting him.

But now, what I had to concentrate on the battle that was taking place.

Few hours later:


Ship was weeping in pain, her sides bleeding from the weapons of the Others. They would soon pull her down and tear at her throat, and I knew that our end was near. Then I heard more of her kind, responding to her frantic cries for assistance, and I hoped that we might live through this. The Victory was closest, and then I heard the Alexander scream his defiance while others echoed his shriek.

I was wrapped around my console, trying not to voice the pain I was experiencing, and I wept. Ship wept, and I heard Victory's soft croons as she tried to console her sister ship. No doubt none of those that served onboard Ship would believe me, but our Ships wept when they were injured, and they mourned when one of their fellow ships died.

The Alexander was almost at the scene, and I was so tired. The male Ship was the oldest of our ships, wild and crafty in the art of battle, and he was urging Ship to hold on


Ship wept and I cried with her. Executive Officer Eilerson and Captain-Master were next to my station, and I couldn't understand what they were saying. All I knew was that Ship-Avatar couldn't fly, and Ship-Avatar was cold and exhausted while the Alexander was promising warmth and tenderness. The two ships would merge, and the Alexander would be gentle to my wounded ship.

Executive Officer Eilerson began quickly removing my connections, and I found myself warming to his hands. He slowed down what he was doing so he could play with me, and I began gasping slightly when his large hand possessively began stroking me.  I felt myself responding to his caress.

I knew what was happening, and part of me was enjoying it. The Alexander would fly the Excalibur, merging and fusing with her, until the Excalibur-Alexander would reach a repair station. The Alexander topped Ship, and I nearly gasped at the relief from pain that I was experiencing.

Instead I was feeling the sexual euphoria that occurred when two Shadow Ships mated. At times like this my real Master would delight in taking me as I would be insatiable until the two ships separated. He would wound and hurt me, and I'd whimper and whine for release, which wouldn't happen until after my Master was completely sated.

Shell-shocked over what I was experiencing, I was incapable of taking care of myself. Captain-Master ordered Dureena to take me to his quarters, where he would perform his usual debriefing on me. Dureena-Assassin pushed and pulled me to my Master's quarters. It was a good thing she was guiding me or else I would never have found my way back as part of me was still linked the Excalibur-Alexander, and I found myself being flooded by Ship-Lust. I was glad that I hadn't ended up in the hands of Executive Officer Eilerson. He would have hurt me while I was dazed, enjoying the knowledge that I wasn't in control of my actions, as I was still fused with the wildly rutting Ship.

"Please?" I whispered to Dureena-Assassin, wishing that she'd offer me an outlet for the unholy ardor I was feeling. Hoping that she wouldn't hit me for such a breech of conduct, I tried rubbing myself against her warm body. My guns were online and begging for permission to fire.

"No. Silly Ship-boy, you know that Captain-Master would be angry at both of us if I allowed you to continue. He'll be here shortly to enjoy you." Her voice was soft, and she gently pushed me away from her, but not before her hand touched and caressed my almost painful erection.

Hurry, Master, hurry! I need, I want... I crave.

"Go lie on his bed. He should be here shortly, little one."


{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}