by Jim McMahon
(a Babylon 5 story set after “Eyes”)
Dr. Stephen Franklin examined the medical scanner he had just used on his patient. The readings indicated a broken bone and some bruises, but he had already known that. If that was the extent of the injuries, he would be happy. What he wasn’t sure about was the skull and its contents. Damage to a brain still wasn’t able to be determined easily. He wouldn’t be able to even begin any kind of further testing until his patient woke up.
A small groan shifted his attention back to the body lying on the examination table.
Michael Garibaldi sat on his bed holding his head in his hands. Why did I let that happen? he thought. Here I am, Chief of Security for the whole station, and I didn’t even think far enough ahead to prevent that. He fell backwards onto the mattress, running his hands back up through his hair. Maybe Jeff was wrong to believe in me. Maybe all those incidents were trying to tell me something. Maybe I should just quit.
“How could you let something like that happen?”
Commander Jeffrey Sinclair had known Ambassador Delenn for some time, and he had never heard her yell quite as loud as she just had. In fact, he couldn’t recall ever hearing her yell.
“Commander, this is not something that would have gone unnoticed, especially by my government. An incident such as this would have grave effects upon the future of Babylon 5.” Delenn’s tone returned to her normal, calmer sound. ‘Effects which I am sure neither of us would be very happy with.”
Commander Sinclair rose from his chair and placed his hands on his desk. “Ambassador, I’m sure it will turn out all right. I heard about –”
“About a lapse in security? About allowing an innocent Minbari to be nearly killed?”
“Actually, I was going to say that I had heard about the incident, and was going to ask you to accompany me to Medlab, where we can find out exactly what the situation is right now.”
“Very well Commander, we shall do that.”
The sound of the door chime brought Garibaldi back to alertness. He sat up on his bed and tried to straighten out his hair. “Come in,” he called.
The door opened and Lt. Cmdr. Susan Ivanova walked in. “Mr. Garibaldi...” She noticed his appearance. “Is this a bad time? I could come back...”
“Oh no, come on in. What’s up?”
She walked over to the chair nearest the bed and settled into it. “I know you must be felling badly about what happened.”
Garibaldi rolled his head around his shoulders. “What, is it that obvious?” he asked, sarcasm dripping from his words.
“I just wanted you to know. I was with the Commander, and we both saw the... prelude, if you will. Neither of us gave it a second thought.”
Jumping to his feet, Garibaldi exclaimed, “Yeah, but I almost killed him. For all I know he could be dead right now. I mean I know that if it was in a less crowded area then things might have turned out differently. That Carrion Eater might not have been walking in the wrong place at the wrong time...”
Ivanova stood up and put her hands on Garibaldi’s shoulders reassuringly. “Hey, hey, hey. Aren’t you the one always saying that you can’t go on wondering what life would have been like if you had only done this instead of that?”
“Yeah, yeah. Except sometimes there are still... some things that I wonder about.”
“Well, this shouldn’t be one of those times. Come on. Why don’t we to to Medlab and see how things are going?”
Dr. Franklin studied the readout in front of him. Everything looked to be the way it should. That was a very good sign. If everything else went this well he would almost be out of a job.
He turned to his assistant. “Yes?”
“The Commander and Ambassador Delenn are outside.”
Great, he thought. This news is just what they’re looking for. He thanked his assistant, made a few notes on the panel, and made his way to the doors. As they opened to reveal Commander Sinclair and Ambassador Delenn, the outer doors opened. Garibaldi and Ivanova walked in.
Delenn moved in front of the security chief. “Mister Garibaldi. I am glad to see that you are well.”
This was not what he had expected to hear. “Uh, thank you Ambassador. Once again, I am very sorry for everything.”
Dr. Franklin stepped forward. “Well, if I may add a bright note to this, and maybe even make you all feel better, aside from a broken arm and some bruises, Lennier is just fine. Under orders to rest now, but fine.”
A smile formed on Delenn’s face as she said, “Really? That is good news.”
Sinclair moved forward and put a hand on Delenn and Garibaldi’s shoulder. “Why don’t we discuss this whole affair in my office?”
Delenn and Garibaldi were seated in front of Commander Sinclair’s desk. He looked at both of them. “Who would like to start?” he asked, smiling.
Ambassador Delenn stood up. “Commander. Mr. Garibaldi. Perhaps I was a bit more... hostile than I should have been. I was mostly concerned over the return of Shaal Mayan, and then when I heard what happened, I believe I overreacted.”
As she sat back down, Garibaldi said, “Yeah, I know what you mean about overreacting. After that whole Colonel Ben Zayn fiasco, I just had to let off some steam. Lennier had just finished helping me build my motorcycle, so I took him for a ride. It was fantastic. We were riding down through the station when suddenly this Carrion Eater appeared out of nowhere. I braked, and when I was almost stopped, he just fell off.”
Sinclair stood up and walked around and stood in between the two of them. “Well, Lennier is doing fine, and I think we’ve learned our lesson. Haven’t we?” He looked at Garibaldi.
“Sure. First thing I do is find Lennier a helmet.” If looks could kill, Garibaldi would have been dead from two directions. “What?”
(This story first appeared in the Babylon 5 fiction internet mailing list <firstname.lastname@example.org>)