Babylon 5

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.

We had arrived at Babylon 5, finally. The Alexander gently nudged the Excalibur into a docking bay, the two ships separated completely, and I breathed a sigh of relief when the old Ship docked in the adjoining bay. The rocking had stopped after the first few furious days, but if and when I ever made it back home, I wasn't ever going to tell anyone about mating Shadow Ships. My Shadow-Excalibur deserved that much privacy, I think. It wasn't really anybody's business who she was sleeping with, now was it? Well, maybe sleeping wasn't quite the right word... as from the number of complaints I received from the crew, nobody got any sleep with all the rocking and the rolling going on.

Ryan had made some rather crude and very public comments about the Alexander's withdrawal, and I tried to manfully ignore it but the old man was roaring pretty hard as my cheeks were flaming. Plus, his damn Assassin didn't really need to make that one comment about how his aching back was due to falling out of his bed, and how it was positive proof that both Ships had thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

My Shadow Ship appeared to have had a good time, and the Alexander had done his best but... I refused to look out the main view screen and see the closest of the two ships' appendages intertwining. Just what I needed, a Shadow Ship with a Crush.

He'll break your heart! He's got a Vessel in every space station! Every home world! Don't fall for it!

God. No. It was getting worse and worse each day. First I was just protective of JT and now I was the over protective Captain-Master of a young Shadow Ship, with her first serious crush on a Ship that I just knew would break her heart.

Eddie, stop making comments about a shot-gun, ok? It's NOT funny! There's no way that that Alexander knocked her up. They're both sterile and you know it.

There's no place like home. There's no place like home. THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO PLACE LIKE HOME!

I clicked my ruby slippers repeatedly, and I was still here, in Universe X. It was now almost three weeks since I had taken 'command' of the Shadow Ship Excalibur, and I wondered if anyone in my universe had any idea where I could be.

Did they think I was dead?

Did they have a nice ceremony I hope?

I really, really hope that they didn't let Eilerson speak.

Dureena Nafeel, Thief.

Somehow he had caught wind of Matheson's conversation, and Sarah, Max and John were all under "quarantine" and confined to quarters. No one was allowed to see them, except for Janie, who appeared to be a Gideon conquest, and I wondered when the jig would be up. Sooner or later, the man who wasn't Matthew Gideon would come after me, and I needed to be ready.

I pretended to believe the story that three of our senior staff had been infected by something, and I hoped that I fooled everyone, especially "Matthew". After our first meeting together, I had discretely withdrew from them, fearing that the paranoid 'Matthew' would link me to them. If all four of us were captured, then nobody would know what was happening. Soon, I began hearing stories, about John Matheson being mentally ill rather than physically, and that he had somehow influenced Eilerson and Sarah with his instability.

Rumors, rumors. Nothing being said that could be confirmed, but there was enough truth in what I was hearing, that it was a damn believable lie. John, mentally ill, and wanting to overthrow Gideon. Max and Sarah, both affected by John's sickness, had been part of the attempt.

Poor Sarah and Max, both innocently affected by John's diseased mind. Yeah. Right. If John Matheson's mental illness was going to 'affect' someone, it would have been Matthew Gideon, not Eilerson.

"Dureena." I heard his soft voice in the hallway behind me, and I tried not to stiffen up. It was a finely developed talent, the ability to look directly into the eyes of a cop, and to appear completely carefree. And it was one that I had long mastered.

"Captain," I answered.

"Always so formal, Dureena. One would hope by now that we could skip past the formalities." Matthew sighed, and he sounded so much like the other Matthew that for a moment, I hoped that John was wrong. But something in his hazel eyes was telling me that this wasn't the Matthew Gideon I knew and trusted. "You don't know how much I hated doing that to John, but, Dureena, there wasn't anything else I could do. He's not well, and he's affected Sarah and Eilerson also with his paranoia. I really hate to call Jones in, because when this news gets out, it's going to destroy his career, completely. Maybe, a few weeks off duty might ease his mind."

His look was sincere, but I'd known enough con artists in my career to spot a fraud when I saw one.

"I hope so, as he and I have worked together for years, and I never thought he'd turn on me like he has." Matthew looked at me, and for a moment, I almost believed that he was completely sincere in that statement. "Dureena. I've only known you for a short time, but I hope you don't believe what poor John was saying."

"Of course not, Matthew." I smiled reassuringly at him, and I think I fooled him or else he wanted me to think he was bamboozled. I needed help, and quick, for any moment 'Matthew' may decide to turn on me.

Galen. Hurry!

John Matheson I.

I couldn't tell up from down, and everything was blurry. They were overdosing me on sleepers, trying to 'help' me, and I knew that scary part was, the crewmembers who were forcing me to eat the drugged food, truly believed that they were assisting me.

I tried to refuse , but they gave me intravenous fluids, and so I agreed to eat. When they left my quarters, I forced myself to throw up, but I still couldn't transmit at all. All I could do was wonder when "Matthew" would "accidentally" discover that his deranged Executive Officer had committed suicide.

Babylon 5
JT - Excalibur's Avatar.

I was going on a SPACE STATION.

I was actually stepping off Ship for the first time since the two of us had merged those many years ago. She was a bit put off with me, but I promised her that I would share every experience with her, like she had shared her affair with the Alexander with me.

You enjoyed.

I tried not to smile, as she sounded peeved with me, but it could be due to the fact that she was still recovering from her injuries. Well, yes I had enjoyed sharing her experiences, though it had been difficult, bonded with a rather lusty ship, but having a Captain-Master who wouldn't fly me. Instead of allowing me physical release, he had given me a NAME, comforted me while I had been ill, and he had let me sleep in his bed. Unlike Morrison-Assassin, he hadn't teased me or taunted me, instead he had told me that I had done well.

And he NAMED me.


I am JT. Not It, Freak, Fido or Fifi, but JT.

I couldn't wait to share my secret name with Lyta, but I warned myself sternly that I had to keep my deepest secret to myself.

My Captain-Master wasn't the same person who had been lost in the temporal flux.

His personality wasn't the same as the Other. I don't think the crew noticed, with the exception of Dureena-Assassin, but she seemed to be enjoying the gentler Captain-Master. He never struck the two of us, and their bed games seemed to be more tender and mutually satisfying. A thousand and one small clues had added up, finally, to say that this Matthew Gideon wasn't my former Master.

I tried to calm myself, not wanting to embarrass the man who was trying to connect the leash to my neck collar. He fumbled with it for a few moments, until he managed to connect the two pieces.


I nodded my head.

"Then make sure you behave yourself. Ryan is the one who's taking the five of us out to dinner to celebrate our victory and Randy's promotion. Come along now."

I scampered quickly, nearly choking myself on my leash and my Captain-Master shook his head and smiled, slightly. "Not that rapidly, JT."

Thank him! Ship's voice was astringent, as she didn't approve of my lack of manners.

I had almost forgotten, so I quickly knelt before him, and I kissed his hands, hoping that he wouldn't be angry for my near lapse. I strove harder than I ever had before for a single kind word from the Stranger who held my leash. Perhaps, if I was worthy, he'd be the kind and loving Captain-Master of the bedtime stories of my youth. Captain-Master hadn't expected my thanks as he nearly tripped over me, and he sighed softly, then gently brushed his hand over my hair. "Let's not do that in front of Ryan?"

I nodded my head again, and gave his hand one final kiss.

"You know, I think you're going to be rather disappointed about Babylon 5, kiddo." He whispered that softly, so quietly that I wouldn't have heard him except for the fact that my hearing and sight were Avatar-enhanced. "Now. Don't run, and I don't want you choking yourself on the leash. Stay close to me, and don't get distracted by the sights."

Swiftly, I nodded my head, and he smiled again.

Matthew Gideon I.

I didn't want to step on Babylon 5, as I'm sure that the sight of a familiar place subtly changed and distorted would be far more difficult to handle than a Shadow Ship by the name of Excalibur. For some reason, Morrison had specifically informed me that I was to bring the Ship's Avatar with me. That sounded rather strange even to this Terran Yankee in the Centauri King Arthur's Court, and Morrison had just rolled his eyes.

"You know by now that Eddie's a little odd, especially when dealing with his Avatar. He usually rewards her for a job done well, and this time, it's your little guy that did the exceptional job."

Morrison had smiled his shark smile and then had given JT an appraising look that had seemed rather lustful. "He's filling in nicely, and you said that he's feeling stronger?"

"Yes. He was rather lethargic for a bit, but yesterday he woke up, rarin' to go."

"Wonderful. I'd hate for him to miss the party. Are you excited?" Randy's voice had dripped with amusement as he had questioned the young Avatar sitting on the floor, next to my chair.

JT, so earnest and so much like the John Matheson I knew, had nodded his head in agreement. He was usually non-verbal with everyone except for me, and then he usually only used a word or two when he answered my questions.

"Excellent. See you in a bit then."

That was a few hours ago, and now I was about to set foot on Babylon 5. Wonderful. I was having DINNER with Ryan and Morrison, and that meant I had an incredibly high chance of opening mouth and inserting foot. I had half-heartedly wished that the Vorlon would show up, so I could claim a previous engagement, but... nothing.

I walked onto Babylon 5, and I saw Ed Ryan. His Avatar was walking demurely next to him, with her eyes looking downwards, and she was leashed. The red haired lady was dressed in green, and she still looked familiar to me. Who was she?

I had hated leashing JT as though he was a dog, but I understood it was as much for his protection, as it was for mine. It was less likely that we'd get separated in the crowd, and JT was too much of an innocent to survive for long, unattended and friendless on Babylon 5.

A few of the women of the night, and the men too, had offered to perform various indecencies on JT and I was afraid that a near riot was going to take place.

Ed. This wasn't the brightest idea you ever had!

There was a sudden gesture that I didn't quite catch, and then every one of the lurkers disappeared from sight. Ah. That meant that the Military Governor of Babylon 5 was showing up, as rumor had it he was a bit of a hard ass. He had beaten back the Minbari savagely, to regain control of 'His' space station, and I wondered how he'd react to knowing that, in another time and place, he had been the Terran Ambassador to Minbar.

His name was General Jeffrey Sinclair, and in my universe he had disappeared in my universe completely, as surely as if the universe had swallowed him whole and spit him into the past.

"Sir." I saluted carefully, hoping I didn't look like an idiot, as the damn leash got tangled. I had a mental image of accidentally choking JT and maiming myself in the process, while wiping out most of Babylon 5. JT suddenly began coughing when I accidentally pulled his choke collar too hard, trying to free myself.

I HATE THESE LEASHES! Don't fucking die on me, JT!

"Let's get out of here. I think Gideon's Avatar is getting a little skittish with all the noise," Randy inserted quickly. "Even though a few of those offers were rather..."

"Randy..." Ed growled.

"Educational. What did you think I was going to say?" Randy's voice positively dripped with mock hurt. "No one ever believes me, Jeff. I don't know why." The Assassin managed to look completely and totally innocent, and I was disappointed that a choir of angels didn't suddenly appear to complete the picture.

"Can Lucy and Ethel cut it for a bit? We've got to do some business first, then we'll have dinner." Sinclair's voice was droll, and Ed managed to look offended.

"I don't even want to know which one I'm supposed to be," the General of the Alexander warned in a soft voice. "And you better keep it to yourself, Jeff."

Jeff Sinclair.

I needed Randy-Assassin to dispatch an enemy of mine, but I didn't want the two Ship's Avatars to see. Some Avatars can't handle blood or death very well, and I knew of several that had gone insane when their Masters had been murdered.

"We can let the children sit over there. They're...?" I tried to be discreet, but Ed cut me short.

"Mine's housebroken. You have to ask Matt about his." Ed gestured to the red-head who sat down rapidly.

Captain Gideon was being rather quiet and considering, not at all the reckless, outspoken person he was reputed to be, and I saw that he gave his Avatar a quick searching glance. The young Oriental was trying so hard to be such a perfectly well-behaved Avatar that even I could see that he was trembling from the strain. Again, another personality quirk that was new. Gideon was rumored to have used his Avatar as a coffee table one day in a fit of pique, so this was a new side of Gideon. I also hadn't seen anyone manage to almost throttle his Avatar while saluting except for a rather young Captain known as Jeff Sinclair.

Jeff. I need your help. Gideon's acting strange, and I have the feeling that I'm going to need to know exactly which side of the fence he's on, very, very soon. Is he still loyal to me or does he have a new allegiance? Randy will put him to the Question, and you, old friend, will have to be there.

I'm not Telepathic, but I know myself to be a very good judge of character.

"Behave." Gideon ordered brusquely and his Avatar quickly nodded his assent. "Sit."

And so the two flawed creatures sat next to each other, and I didn't feel the least bit afraid of leaving them unattended for a few minutes, for I knew that both would behave.

The question was, would Matthew Gideon?

"Good. Come to my office, and I'll explain what's going on."


Lyta and I sat next to each other, and hesitantly the two of us touched our little fingers together. Avatars are not supposed to touch, but we could pretend it was an accident, and perhaps we would be believed. Or perhaps not, but I HAD to share my news with Lyta.


Little One! How are you feeling? Randy-Assassin had to take care of you a few times, I understand...

Lyta! I have a name! I have a name, just like you! My Master calls me JT!

I think I surprised her by how happy I was and how much of my happiness I was willing to share with her.

Slow down! Slow down! You're sending so fast that I can't understand everything you're sending!

Matthew Gideon I

Jeff Sinclair picked up something that looked like a triangle, and suddenly his office was ablaze with light.

"What the hell?" Ryan yelped.

"Damned if I know. They were trying to hide it, before I boarded their ship, and so I grabbed it, thinking it was important. I picked it up, and the damned triangle suddenly glowed like a super nova. What ever it is, the fact that it lit up when I picked it up seemed to take the fight right out of the Minbari." Jeff suddenly laughed and tossed it at Ryan.

The light promptly fizzled out, and Ryan negligently tossed it my way. No light, and I threw it underhand at Randy.

Something happened.

Something... unexpected. The crystal had glowed for Sinclair, and it suddenly shattered in Randy's hands after turning a deep, dark black.

"Did you have to break it? I was planning on using that on my next camping trip." Jeff looked annoyed.

"It just suddenly shattered. Must have been when Gideon threw it at me. He throws like a girl." Randy gave a snort of disgust and began cleaning up the mess. "Why am I always cleaning up after my senior officers?"

"Do not!" That was the only retort I could think of, and several minutes too late after being told I threw like a girl. My denials were ignored by the other officers, and I decided to sulk for a bit.

"Now. Jeff, you've got a Minbari for me to kill?" Randy had apparently gotten over breaking whatever the hell that thing was, and was now looking for some entertainment.

"Yes. His name... is.... Ducet... No... Dukat." Jeff stumbled over the name slightly, and I suddenly tensed up.

WHAT?? DUKHAT. Excuse me, I think killing that particular Minbari would be a really BAD idea as that's what started off the Earth-Minbari War. The War we almost lost, I'd like to add. Yeah, that would go over really well, telling them that.

'What war?'

'Earth-Minbari. Look, I know it didn't happen here, but well, where I come from, you're both on the other side.'

They'd lock me up as insane.

Randy was questioning Sinclair repeatedly about his intended victim, and I was hoping to skip that particular scene. I'm really not into watching people being cut down, but somehow I found myself walking toward the execution area.

Randy stripped down to his pants, and he began stretching and warming up for the kill. As the junior officer, I found myself being given the awesome responsibility of coat rack, and holding his clothes.

Wonderful. Some things apparently never change.

"I brought that triluminary-thingie. We'll show him that it's broken, and then we'll kill him."

Uh... Randy... Stop using the plural, please? I'm not stepping into a ring with a Minbari in no duel to the death.

Dukhat was tall, with piercing eyes, and he acted like we were the prisoners. He nodded an acknowledgement at Sinclair, which Jeff returned even though we were separated by several centimeters of thick translucent material. Ryan shot a questioning look at Jeff, which earned him a shrug in response.

"He carries himself with dignity. I have to admire that about him, even if he is the enemy." The Military Governor of Babylon 5 looked suddenly embarrassed, "You don't need to tell everyone that I'm getting soft, Ed."

"Not me." Ed's voice oozed insincerity. "I'd never do that... Ethel."

I hadn't seen an Assassin at work, at least not a Shadow-Trained one, and Randy appeared to be in a trance of sorts. He snapped out of it, and then he threw the pieces of the triangle at the Minbari War Leader. Dukhat didn't recognize it at first, and then when the recognition of whatever it had been hit him, he shrieked.

Not in fear. Not in anger. Instead it was almost a wail of unspeakable loss, and grief. Then Dukhat fell to his knees, and he began to weep.

Randy approached the grieving Dukhat, and with a gentleness that surprised and frightened me, then he pulled Dukhat to his feet. Slowly and deliberately, he placed the blade into the Minbari's chest. Dukhat's wail of grief stopped when the blood began to flow from his mouth, and then Randy gently lowered the Minbari back onto the floor. It was like the two of them had been dancing, in a slow and seductive dance of death. All grace and fluid motion, and it took barely a minute.

Dukhat was dead before Randy placed him on the floor, and the Assassin closed the dead Minbari's eyes. For a moment he stayed there, then he turned to face Sinclair, and he saluted the three of us with his bloody knife. Part of my mind dryly catalogued that blood was everywhere on Dukhat, and on the knife, but Morrison was completely spotless.

The three of us returned his salute, and Randy smiled.

Ed Ryan, General - Alexander.

Jeff and I complimented Randy on his clean kill, and I had to kick Gideon quickly so he'd also praise Morrison. Unlike some Assassins, Randy never played with his prey, as he was always the consummate professional.

"Nice job, Randy. Cleanest kill I've ever seen," Matthew finally commented, while Randy beamed. Jeff gave me a small gesture that meant he agreed with my decision to Question Gideon, and for a moment, I wasn't sure if I was happy that Jeff agreed with me or not.

I'd rather it be the dark thoughts of an old man, Jeff.

"Now. Let's go pick up the rest of the party, and let's go to the Fresh Air Restaurant. Then a few games of chance, and then... we'll see what happens."

Matthew. I don't want to kill you, but you might not live to leave Babylon 5. I'll make sure if that comes to pass that Randy kills you, so it's painless and quick. It's all I can do for you, and more than most would ever give you..

Matthew Gideon I.

The Fresh Air Restaurant's service was just as snotty and rude as it was in my universe.

"We don't serve THEM." Dirty look at the Avatars, "Nor people like... HIM." That was said a little quieter and a hair more diplomatically, as Randy was beginning to look annoyed when he realized that the blonde was referring to him. .

"People like me?" His voice suddenly deepened, and I realized that Randy was still feeling the rush of adrenalin from killing Dukhat.

"You scare off the customers." The woman squeaked in fright when Randy stepped closer to her.

"Enough. I have a private room. General Jeffrey Sinclair, you might have heard of me? I run the station, and I decide what your rent is going to be." Jeff's smile was bloodthirsty, and the woman turned to look at me, as apparently of the four Military Officers present, I looked the friendliest, as Ed was also beginning to look pissed.

"I'd do it quickly." I offered that suggestion helpfully. "Jeff hates standing around. He's got a blister on his foot, and well... it's been getting him rather evil-tempered today. You should have seen how high he jacked the rates up on that other place that pissed him off."

With that little bit of motivation, our room was found, and we were escorted by a full set of waiters and waitresses. The two Avatars were trying to hide what they were, but Randy was preening, and he was terrorizing our waitress by playing with his knives.

I don't think he really needed to juggle them, now do you? It's rather ostentatious and loud, to be whirling three daggers in a tight circle.

"Don't worry. I won't need any cutlery at my table setting." A rather evil looking knife suddenly showed up in his right hand, which wasn't one of the ones that he had been twirling about a few minutes earlier. "I think it's a lot sharper than the ones you have."

It took a few minutes, but soon everyone was settled. After nearly choking JT, I had switched his leash to my left hand, and it seemed to be working better. I unsnapped JT's collar after I saw Ryan remove the collar from his Avatar. JT gently kissed my hand in gratitude, and I couldn't help but feel repulsed by what that small gesture meant, that JT deeply appreciated the smallest bit of kindness and compassion.

God. I really, really hate me. You. Who-ever-the-hell-you-are and whatever pronoun I should use!

We were at a round table, and the seating arrangements were Ryan, Sinclair, me, JT, Randy and the Alexander's Avatar. Ryan ordered a bottle to be sent to the table, and he grew annoyed when the waitress returned with three glasses.

"SIX," was spoken in a voice that they probably heard on Centauri Prime.

"Sir? Is it safe?" The girl was giving a fear filled look at Morrison, and Ryan nodded.

She ran off to get more glasses, and Randy gave her a hate-filled glance. It was then I realized that his leash, while less visible than JT's, chafed and confined him, too.

"This is why I rarely eat in public. The service is horrendous." The Assassin growled softly. "Plus I'm a better cook."

"Sir? Can I take your order?" The waitress glanced quickly at Morrison, who once again appeared to be his usual calm self.

"I'd like the Steak Fillet, rare please." He flashed his bright smile at her. "I'd like the hot, fresh blood pouring off the rare meat. Leave the mushrooms on the side, and don't bother bringing me any utensils. I'll rip it apart with my fingers."

"RANDY," Ed warned. "Don't... Madam. I think you owe my Assassin an apology, as you managed to upset him. He's usually the most gentle of souls, but your obvious dislike has hurt his feelings. People like you are narrow minded bigots. You should thank the Guides that he is on our side. Don't you agree, Jeff?"

"Absolutely." Jeff Sinclair agreed calmly. "Now, I think we need a new waitress, don't you?"

It was fucking bizarre, as a new waitress came in, and our orders were taken quickly, and with a minimum of comment. Ed ordered for his Avatar, and I finally ordered JT something from the menu that I knew John liked. The manager came over to apologize, and offered Randy his choice of the establishment's finest by way of an apology. The Assassin made a show of selecting his choice, and then the liquor began flowing freely, with Ed toasting the Excalibur and the Alexander. I had the strangest feeling as though they were trying to deliberately get the Avatars as drunk as Centauri Lords. Every time JT's glass was half-empty, Randy immediately filled it up again and the Alexander's Avatar was nearly under the table by the time the salads were served.

Dinner was better than the Fresh Air fare I was familiar with, and still the liquor flowed like...well... water. By the time my entrée arrived, I made the conscious decision to stop drinking, but still I felt odd. Randy was busy stroking JT's leg, and JT wasn't tensing up like he normally did. Instead, he was unruffled by the Assassin's interest in him but it bothered... me.

The liquor still flowed, and we were on our FIFTH bottle when I realized that JT was completely inebriated. Luckily for all of us, JT was a quiet drunk, dessert had been served, and Ed was paying the bill.

"Matthew. You'd better take the little guy back to your quarters as he's absolutely wasted. Avatars can't handle too much liquor, and he's going to wake up tomorrow wishing that he hadn't indulged quite so much. Jeff, you help me with Lyta..."

Wait a second. Did he just call the red head Lita? No... Lyta... as in LYTA ALEXANDER? Eddie, your Avatar's responsible for igniting the Telepath Conflict that nearly split my galaxy apart. She's DANGEROUS.

My mind was screaming loudly while running around in circles and I nearly didn't hear what Ed's next decision was. Randy was going to help me take JT back to my quarters. After the Drunken Duo were taken care of, the four of us would meet up down below to play cards.

"Better change our clothes into something less conspicuous," Jeff advised. "The sight of us all down below would probably cause a riot."

"Might be fun," Randy interjected, which Eddie ignored.

"Come on, stand up. You can do it." Ed was trying to be patient with his drunken Avatar, but I could tell that he wasn't amused. "You had three drinks. You shouldn't be this out of it. Did you sneak more when I wasn't looking?"

Randy put JT to bed while I changed, and then he switched into the clothes he had brought along for playing cards. The Assassin carefully checked JT's leash, and made sure that he was connected to the bed frame. I was staying on Babylon 5 while they retrofitted the Excalibur, and JT was supposed to be secured if the two of us weren't together.

"Ready?" The Assassin asked me, strangely not as intoxicated as I thought he should be.

"Yes. As I ever will be." I tried to shake the feeling of unease I was feeling, but there wasn't any way I could get out of this damn card game.

"Wonderful. Jeff has a little spot down below which he uses when he needs to escape from everything. Should be enough to play cards, but I think none of us should have anything more to drink. I fully expected Eddie and Jeff to start belting out the EF hymn when they took the Avatar back to Ed's quarters."

"Scary." I commented dryly.

"Yes. Eddie can't carry a tune, but now, lead on McDuff."

Randy Morrison. Assassin.

As I had been instructed, I had created a diversion in the Fresh Air Restaurant, the end result allowing me to slip several additives to Matthew and the Avatars' liquor. Both Avatars would sleep like the dead for the next thirty-six hours, and Matthew would soon be feeling the effect of what I had added to his drink.

I had needed to neutralize his Avatar, for if he was aware of what was occurring, he might cause the Excalibur to attack Babylon 5 in an attempt to rescue his Master.

We played cards for a bit, and Matthew became more and more disoriented, until at last he collapsed, face down on the table.

Quickly, I looked at his cards, and I laughed. Aces wild, which meant that Matthew had won the game. Ed-Master questioned me with a quick look, and I showed him the cards.

"Just like old times," Ed whispered, and I realized that Ed wasn't looking forward to what would happen next.

I grabbed Gideon's chair, and I pulled it, with Gideon in it, to the center of the room while the card table was put away by Master and Sinclair. Swiftly, I immobilized 'Matthew' after I removed his shirt, and I began to apply gentle pressure to the back of his neck. Kneading his neck carefully, I waited for the signs that he was rousing, and I swiftly nodded my head.

"His Assassin?" Ed asked.

"Was advised that this is a Guide Matter. She was not happy, but I dealt with her. For all her prowess, sometimes she forgets that she has not earned her Master Blades yet." Dureena-Assassin had realized that something was up with my repeated trips to the Excalibur, and she had made the mistake of talking to me about her suspicions. I had quickly overpowered her, and she had been medicated also.

She would wake up, or possibly not, sometime after the Avatars did. As a Guild Member, I would regret her loss, but she had come close to dangerously breaking the Code that all Assassins must follow. As a senior Guild member, my instructions to her should not have been questioned. As Guild Master, she should not have tried to attack me. Plus, there was a Guild meeting that I didn't want her to attend, as I was not sure of her loyalties. The other Assassins on the station were Keeper-less, but Dureena-Assassin... I did not trust.

"Ready?" Ed asked.

"Yes, Master. I serve as I have been commanded."

"You may begin." The two Generals' voices spoke together, and I nodded my understanding. I opened my small box of Assassin tools, and I took out a long silver pin that was an old and familiar friend. Carefully, I began to insert it in Gideon's neck, right in the C5 region. Deliberately, I pinched his spinal cord with the gentlest of pressure. He wouldn't be able to move voluntarily until I removed the pin, but at least he could breathe on his own.

Now, it would be a few more moments, until he woke and I began to anticipate how I would savor his fear.

"W..wwwhat?" Gideon moaned. "I can't ... move...."

"Matthew Gideon. I put you to the Question. Answer the truth, and your life will be saved. One lie, and I'll kill you." My Master's voice was low, but he managed to hide how truly difficult this was for him. I was always proud of my Master, but never so much as now. Truly, I had been blessed, as much as any of the eternally damned like myself could ever be, that I had been his Executive Officer for all these years.

{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}