Hannah sat by Claire's bedside and read
a few articles from Capitol Today to her. She stammered on a few of the Cardinals long names but somehow she managed to make
a civil activities list sound like an interesting adventure. She heard footsteps and the Doctor's face appeared at the door. "Ah,
I thought you would be here Hannah." "Did you get the cure?" Hannah leapt up, sending Lucky flying. Fortunately the critter
managed to get a hold of some of the blanket on Claire's bed and clambered to safety. "I'm sorry, things didn't turn out
as I had hoped. The Elixir was destroyed before I could get some of it. It may have been her last, best hope..." The Doctors
words trailed off. "What is it Doctor?" Hannah asked. "Of course, the last, best hope." The Doctor turned her attention
back to her companion. "Hannah pack an overnight bag, we're going to visit an old friend and apologise to several more." "Where
are we going Doctor?" Hannah demanded. The Doctor smiled. "Why to Babylon 5 of course. There's something there that may just be of use. Something
that could save Claire's life." "Great, I'll go and pack." Hannah picked up Lucky and ran off down the corridor towards
the suite she shared with Claire. The Doctor looked down at the still figure of Claire. She seemed at peace, almost as
if she was just sleeping. "Fight Claire, fight it. I, we need you. Fight it Claire."
Captain Elisabeth Lochley
checked the readings a third time. "Don't they take a hint Lieutenant?" she asked her second-in-command. "Close blast doors,
set auto defences to beta pattern and get Zeta Squadron out there five minutes ago." "Aye Captain," Lieutenant David Corwin
replied. He inputted all the command data into the Babcom system. "Zeta Squadron launching...now." "Here they come," Lochley
said. "Hold on tight everyone."
Deep in the rotating bulk of red section a small blue box materialised out of nowhere.
It went unnoticed because the whole area had been evacuated. The loud wailing of sirens filled the air, telling everyone to
get to cover. The Doctor emerged from the TARDIS, her hands clapped over her ears. "Someone turn that awful racket down
please!" she shouted. Hannah followed the Doctor out; she too found the noise unbearable. "I thought you said they liked
you?" she teased before plugging her ears with cotton wool buds. "I have a bad feeling about this." The Doctor set off
towards the command and control deck. "Come on, before we miss anything important."
Lochley directed the station's
defences, keeping the Drakh fleet's assault in check with the interceptors and punching holes in their line with the stations
own weapons. The Starfuries and Thunderbolts engaged the Drakh fighters in a fierce dogfight of plasma fire. It wasn't enough
however, there was too many of them. Time to call him. She hated being in this position but the thought of the quarter million
people whose lives depended on her ability to command made the decision for her. "Contact President Sheridan, tell him, tell
him we need all the ships he can spare." Corwin sent the request via the external Stellarcom relay. A bleep chimed to indicate
that it had been sent successfully. "Message sent Captain. We could really use the Excalibur right now." Lochley thought
of Captain Gideon; brash, arrogant, two-faced, underhanded and second-guessing. He was almost as suspicious as she was. She
found herself missing him already. "Yes Lieutenant, right about now would be as good a time as any." "Are we interrupting?"
The Doctor entered the command deck. "We were just in the neighbourhood." The Doctor paused as she saw Captain Lochley. "Who
are you and what happened to Captain Sheridan?" "I am Captain Lochley, this is my station and you are not allowed here.
Someone call security and get these civilians to one of the shelters. I'm sorry Miss...?" "Just call me Doctor," the Doctor
replied. "I think we've arrived a little later than I intended. Never mind, all we need is the alien healing device in Med
Lab one. I trust Stephen is still here?" "Doctor Franklin returned to Earth a year after I assumed command of this station.
Now unless you can somehow disable an entire Drakh fleet I suggest you get the hell off the command deck." The Doctor glanced
at the astonished face of David Corwin. "You remember me, don't you? Curly hair, a little overweight, the most awful taste
in fashion this side of existence." "I, well there was someone fitting that description here a few years ago but that was
a man." Corwin admitted under the Doctor's stare. "Yes that's right. I had a young botany student with me; a Shadow virus
infected her. We used that Usurian healing device to cure her." Corwin remembered the events. "Of course, that was before
all hell broke loose." He shuddered as he recalled the events. "Commander Ivanova nearly died." "Come on Doctor, we're
persona non grata." Hannah grabbed the Doctor's arm. "Not so fast Hannah." The Doctor paused. "The Drakh you say? Have
you tried recalibrating your defence grid to emit supercharged plasma?" "That would take too long Doctor." Lochley was
interested though. "Is there some way in which we could do it section by section? This place is cobbled together with Minbari
technology, Centauri ingenuity and Narn philosophy. Some days I can almost hear Londo and G'Kar arguing which is better."
She turned to one of the C&C staff inside the sunken battle control section. "Give this woman and her assistant all the
help she needs." "Great," Hannah pouted. "Now I'm an assistant. Now for your amusement the Doctor will saw me in half using
only a blunt spoon." Reluctantly she followed the Doctor down the short flight of steps into the battle section.
reread the short message. Lochley needed his help. Things must be pretty bad if Babylon
5's defences couldn't cope. He paused for a second, the print out in his hands. Then, his decision made, he pressed the blue
button on his computer screen. There was a short delay before the face of a handsome Asiatic man filled the screen. "Ah Lieutenant
Matheson, just the person I need to speak to. I have some new orders for Captain Gideon." "The Captain is currently resting
in his quarters Sir," Matheson's image replied. "Would you like me to transfer you to there?" "No, no this can't wait."
Sheridan detailed the Babylon 5 situation
to the Excalibur's second-in-command. "I'm also sending the Alexander and the Agamemnon. You will rendezvous with them in
hyperspace at these co-ordinates," Sheridan sent the co-ordinates on a sub channel "I want to make a statement to the Drakh
that the Interstellar Alliance looks after its own." "Yes sir." Matheson's image was briefly replaced by the Excalibur's
communication logo before the screen automatically powered down. "Hold tight Lochley, hold tight." Sheridan
looked at the piece of paper once more before putting it down on his desk. He had a plan; it was risky but if he hurried it
might just work.
Hannah watched and listened as the Doctor started to talk a lot of boring technobabble at the
cute looking weapons officer with the pretty eye shadow. Her attention was pulled away as the Doctor started talking to her. "Then
we can go and collect that gizmo from Med Lab one," the Doctor finished speaking. "Err okay." "Did you get all that?"
the Doctor asked, suspecting that her friend had lost interest a while back. "Yeah sure, you're going to stay to make sure
this idea of yours works then we'll grab the gizmo and go save Claire." The Doctor was impressed; Hannah was an accurate
guesser. "All right then, let us see if this works."
The Drakh capital ships broke through the defence perimeter;
they brought the fore sections of their ships to bear on the station, intent of atomising it. However their sensors picked
up a massive energy spike as huge bluey white bolts of plasma rained out of the defence armaments. They started to turn, intent
on regrouping for another assault but their retreat was cut off by three jump gates forming up on their aft.
and the rest of the command staff cheered as the Excalibur and two Earth Alliance warships emerged from the jump points, weapons
firing. The Doctor tapped Hannah on the shoulder. "Come on, let's get out of here before they start asking any awkward
questions." They left silently as the command deck mopped up the floundering Drakh fleet.
Hannah was impressed
by the set up in Med Lab one. Instead of the silver furniture with flashing lights and funny noises she found an actual real
hospital set up. Sure the instruments were bound to be more advanced but it really looked the part. A seriously good-looking
doctor met them, asking them what they wanted. Was this place populated by fit birds or what? Hannah asked herself. The
Doctor smiled at Dr. Hobbs. "Don't you remember me? I'm the Doctor." "But the Doctor was a tall man with curly hair and
an awful coat." Lillian Hobbs started but then she remembered that he could change his appearance if he died. "Well you said
you might change your appearance Doctor, but this is more than a little unexpected." "Yes it is rather comfortable isn't
it? I wasn't sure about it at first but once you've worn it in a bit, knock of the odd rough edge here and there. Before you
know it everything comes as second nature." The Doctor looked around the med lab facility for the Usurian healing device.
"Tell you what I'm after. That device we used to save Peri when she was infected, I would rather like to borrow it. One of
my friends is in a coma as a result of possession by a Zigma particle infected entity." The Doctor paused for a few seconds.
"Ah yes, the Zigma particle hasn't actually been discovered yet, just forget I said that, forget, forget, forget." Lillian
blinked, the Doctor had said something but she couldn't remember what. "I'm sorry Doctor, I was a thousand miles away. Could
you please repeat what you said after your friend was in a coma?" "Oh nothing important, just me being all concerned. Do
you have the device?" "Ah no, sorry. After the Drakh infected the Earth with the plague it was shipped back there so they
could see if it could combat the infection. I'm sorry about your friend, I hope that you can help her." "I'm sure it will
sort itself out in time, it's just that I'd like it to be sooner, rather than later." The Doctor stuffed her hands into her
jacket pocket. "Well, I guess we had better be going Hannah. I'm sure you'd rather be by Claire's bedside." Hannah would
prefer to be slightly closer to Claire than the bedside but she didn't say so. "We had better be going. Captain Lochley has
a dozen questions to ask the Doctor, questions which she'd rather not answer I think." "Not so fast." President Sheridan
stood in the doorway. "Lochley said that you had changed but I had to see it with my own eyes." The Doctor did a quick
turn for Sheridan's benefit. "You look well, I'm not to sure about the beard though.
I see Delenn finally got you out of that uniform, vocationally speaking of course." "Yes, I'm now the President of the
Interstellar Alliance. It's mainly a desk job but at times like this I'm glad to stretch my space legs and get back in the
saddle. I have an idea." Sheridan started. "Why don't you come work for me, as
some sort of advisor? We could sure use your experience with the alien species we have yet to encounter." "Hmmm, it's tempting.
I used to advise Lethbridge-Stewart back in the 1970's but to be honest I've got too much going on in my life right now. Claire's
in a coma and my evil twin is out there somewhere on the run. I'll think about it; after all, what's time to a Time Lady?
A millennium to me may be a millisecond to you." Sheridan shook the Doctor's
hand. "Well the offer's on the table, we could sure use some help." The Doctor put her arm around her companion's shoulder.
"Come on Hannah, better get back to the Capitol." Before they could reach the door however Captain Lochley entered running
through it. "Wait!" she gasped as she struggled to suck in air and talk. "This is a diversion. Galen has discovered a second
Drakh fleet in orbit around Tenchos Prime." She handed the report to John, no President Sheridan. She still hadn't got used
to her ex being president of a huge empire. He's not as cute as Matthew she reflected. She had to fight to stop her mind from
wandering. The Doctor took the report from Sheridan and examined it for herself.
"This is strange," she muttered at the spectral analysis. Reading the geological survey confused things even more. "Odd,"
she added to her first statement. The atmospheric data chart was most confusing of all. "How strange," she stated, handing
the report back to Sheridan. "What is it Doctor?" Hannah asked, wondering what
it was about the report that had made the Doctor curious. "Yes, I'd to know that too," Sheridan
said, looking at the blonde Time Lady. "That makes three," Lochley said. "Four if you include Captain Gideon's attached
memo." "I have a suspicion that Galen will be able to answer that." The Doctor smiled. "It's been a while since I was last
on the Excalibur. Last time I had to stop them falling foul of a Dalek fleet." "Even longer for me." Sheridan
chuckled. "Last time I was on board was when Earth got into this whole damn mess." The Doctor frowned. "Oh yes, the plague.
That was a nasty little episode. Ooops pardon my temporal faux pas; I've just made all of history rather obvious. Forget,
forget, forget." Lochley felt a pain in her temples. "I'm sorry Doctor what were you saying?" she asked; the last few minutes
had all been a blur.
The bridge of the Excalibur was a blur of activity as specialist technicians poured over sensor
logs in the map room and wrote up their findings. The command staff poured over these findings in the conference room and
in one corner of the bridge the Doctor was trying to make a pot of tea. "That's the Doctor?" Gideon asked Lochley and Sheridan.
"She's certainly a lot different from the long brown haired version we encountered earlier this year." There was a certain
familiarity about the way she interacted with her assistant that reminded him of the Doctor he had encountered. Apparently
the version the president had encountered was different again so maybe this was the same individual. Galen watched the
Doctor suspiciously; the Time Lords were known to his order and rightly feared. They were said to be older than the Vorlons,
older than the Shadows and possibly older than the first ones. They permeated the dimension of time at will; their power was
almost beyond the understanding of even the most learned Technomage. "She seems quite...distracted." He said at last, as the
Doctor tasted the contents of the funny shaped teapot. "Are you sure she's the same person Matthew?" "Maybe. Did you find
any sign of a blue box anywhere on Babylon 5?" Gideon asked Lochley. "Red three,
large as life. President Sheridan confirmed the sighting personally." Lochley replied. I have to say though it doesn't look
that big." Sheridan smiled. "That's what we thought the first time we found
it drifting in open space." He remembered the first contact situation as if it was yesterday. "The Doctor reassured me that
it was a lot bigger inside than outside." Galen felt compelled to butt into the conversation. "My order have learned little
about these Lords of Time, but what we do know is that they have mastered Dimensional Transcendentalism, something we have
been attempting ourselves without much success." The Doctor wandered over to the mass of officers. "Who wants tea? Better
say now as I only have seven cups." She looked at Galen for a second; there was something familiar about his posture, the
inquiring look on his face. "Have we met?" she asked. "I don't remember seeing you onboard, last time." "No." Galen said
solemnly. "After a futile attempt at warning Matthew at how massive a mistake it would be to contact the Daleks I thought
it best to avoid the whole sorry situation." The Doctor nodded slowly. "Must have been earlier than that then. I'm sure
I know your face from somewhere." She tapped her chin thoughtfully for a second. "Of course, it was on Tenchos Prime. Don't
you remember? That's where your people escaped to during the Shadow war." Galen pointed his staff at the Doctor. "How do
you know that?" he shouted. "That is a closely guarded secret, known only to my order." The Doctor smiled. "I've seen the
future, the past, the present. It's all the same; only the fashions change. The brief fleeting nuances that we use to prove
that time passes. I know more than even you can suspect. It is all largely irrelevant. The Drakh are attacking your people
and we must stop them. Now that the location of your world are known, others will move in and pick off the remains; those
who have a vested interest in knowing your paltry secrets. The mysteries of circuit, laser, crystal and diode, all of the
so-called secret knowledge your order have jealously guarded for centuries will be lost if we do not act." Galen stared
at the blonde haired woman for several seconds before smiling. "Well I think that more than proves that she's from Gallifrey.
Oh that's in the constellation of Kasterberous if you use the Minyan calendar. I too know you Doctor, the things you have
said on Earth and a thousand other worlds. Things you have told friends and enemies, it is all known to us." "Drink your
tea before it gets cold," the Doctor suggested before walking over to the side of her companion. "This is a part of space
I rarely travel to, way too much testosterone poisoning in this sector for my liking." "I thought his eyeballs were going
to pop out at one point," Hannah joked. "Talk about borderline psychosis." "Oh I started that look you know, a long time
ago." She took a sip of her tea, two lumps and two sugars, perfection in finest willow pattern bone china.
Drakh fleet fired barrage after barrage down at the planet. They were met by a fearsome array of illusions and energy blasts
as a swarm of small black triangular shaped craft dotted around and among the heavier Drakh ships. However, the battle favoured
the Drakh and slowly the Technomage ships were forced back down. Down into the gravity well of their planet where they were
forced to land or risk burning up. Just when things were looking desperate, the blue swirl of a jump gate opened and the
Excalibur emerged its weapons firing on the Drakh fleet. A swarm of Thunderbolts and Starfuries poured out of the Excalibur
and engaged the Drakh fighters. "This is Lochley, beta squad you're with me. Let's show these Drakh that the Interstellar
Alliance does not like bullies." Captain Lochley steered her Thunderbolt towards the densest part of the Drakh fighters and
opened fire. "Wow this is great!" Hannah exclaimed, from the secondary position in Lochley's fighter. "What the fragging
hell?" Lochley cursed. "How did you get in here?" Hannah pulled on a helmet and strapped it on. "They didn't seem to see
me," she replied. " Excalibur this is Lochley; I have a civilian inside my ship. Request docking clearance, I'm bringing
her in." "Hannah?" The Doctor's voice came over the intercom. "You should have left this up to the professionals you know.
You failed your driving test seven times after all." Lochley had no choice but to engage as three Drakh fighters ambushed
her position. "This is just great." She complained. "I'm about to die because my navigator's a civilian and can't read the
scanners. She opened fire on one of the ships, reducing it to glowing debris. "Way to go! This is better than the movies."
Hannah congratulated the Captain's amazing flying and shooting. Of course she was against war on principle but when it's her
own life she had a strong sense of survival. "Shut up!" Lochley ordered. She needed her concentration at one hundred percent
if she was going to be able to pull this one off.
On the bridge of the Excalibur the Doctor watched aghast as the
ship containing Hannah dodged a lot of Drakh fire. She was convinced they were targeting the ship deliberately. "Hold on,"
she whispered. "Hold on." "I'm sure your friend will be fine." Galen was standing behind the slight figure of the Doctor.
"I have come to know Captain Lochley through Matthew, and I am reliably informed that if anyone can get through this situation
then it's her." The Doctor turned to look at Galen. "She used to be so afraid of this. She was scared to touch alien soil,
smell the perfume of alien flowers, feel the wind of a different world caress her skin." She looked back out into the empty
darkness of space once more. "Look at what she's become. I'm the one responsible if she gets killed out there. I'm responsible
for them both." "No," Galen stated firmly. "You cannot be held accountable for the actions of others. You might want to
feel guilty but you cannot feel responsible. Your friend is a grown woman, capable of making her own choices and her own mistakes."
He put his hand on her shoulder. "Believe me, I know that only too well."
Lochley destroyed the third fighter and
pointed her Thunderbolt back towards the landing bay of the Excalibur. "Time to get you back to safety," she told Hannah.
"This is no place for schoolgirls." "Hey, I'm twenty one, according to my fake driving license." Hannah complained. "Whoa,
big astrix closing in fast from ." "What?" Lochley asked, before
confirming the approaching hostile. "Hold on, this is going to be close." Lochley pulled the ship up and over at a high banking
turn before rolling it out of the tight manoeuvre, hey were now heading directly towards the approaching Drakh ship. "Hold
on," she advised her passenger. Hannah screamed, partially with fear and partially with excitement. Actually it was mostly
fear but what the hell; she just wouldn't tell anyone. Amazingly they survived the passage though the brief burning air of
the ship before the cold vacuum extinguished it. "That was great, let's do it again!" "I don't think so," Lochley replied,
a grin on her face. Hannah had proved to be at least semi helpful but she did not belong out here and it was her job to get
the civilian out of harms way. She headed for the docking bay and switched over the ship's controls to the Excalibur's systems.
Doctor waited by the hanger bay door and she hugged her companion as soon as she emerged from it. "I was so worried," she
admonished before hugging Lochley for bringing her back in one piece. "Thanks Captain, I owe you an awful lot." "Well I
can't stand here all day, I've got to get back out there. There's still a job to do." Captain Lochley turned to leave, intent
on rejoining the battle against the Drakh. "You should have been out there." Hannah started. "It was amazing. The feeling
of being weightless, the view was terrific and watching those alien ships explode was fantastic." The Doctor was appalled.
"The Drakh are people too, Hannah. Sure they may have started this but they don't deserve to die. No one deserves to die no
matter what they've done." Turning to leave the Doctor bumped into President Sheridan. "There's six billion people on Earth
who would disagree with you right now Doctor," he said coldly. "What can you possibly say to them that would make them change
their minds? Can you answer me that?" "I..." the Doctor started to speak but stopped. "I cannot answer that, it's not a
fair question." "Then there's really nothing left for me to do. Once we return to Babylon
5 get into your blue box and never return, do you hear me?" Sheridan shouted at
the Doctor. "Hey." Hannah interrupted. "Leave her alone." She pointed her finger at the bearded man. "The Doctor would
help you if she could but there's things, events that she's forbidden to interfere with. Goddess only knows I wish she could
have sorted out some of the-" The Doctor put her hand on Hannah's shoulder and smiled thinly. "It's okay, I can fight my
own battles." She turned to the president and drew herself to her full five and a half feet. "You must help yourselves. This
ship is a beginning, a fine beginning but that's all it is. If you want to survive the Drakh infection then you must go out
there and fight for your lives, earn the right to live. It's no good expecting others to come along at the last second and
wave a magic wand to make everything better. What difference does that make? What have you learned? You must help yourselves
if you want to seize the possibilities on offer." She held out her hand for Sheridan
to shake. "If anyone can make a difference then it's you, this ship and the opportunities Babylon
5 creates. Use them wisely." Sheridan grasped the Doctors hand and shook it.
"I'm sorry I was so abrupt, it's just that I feel so lonely and powerless to act sometimes. It all builds up inside me." "Talk
to her," The Doctor advised. "I'm sure Delenn understands if you explain everything to her. She has a way of looking at the
Universe that even the most jaded of us can find comforting."
The battle ended finally, the Drakh capitol ships
activated their jump engines and fled into hyperspace. The Earth Alliance fighters picked off the few remaining fighters,
disabling rather than destroying. President Sheridan offered them amnesty but they chose self-destruction, something that
even the most hardened battle veteran found discomforting. Galen thanked everyone on behalf of his people before announcing
that they were leaving to find a new haven. He handed Captain Gideon a small data crystal before urging him to pass it on
to Doctor Chambers. "It may contain a possibility," was all he said when drawn on it. The trip back to Babylon
5 was boring as Hannah watched ISN reports for a while before changing to a twenty four hour Warner Brothers cartoon channel
featuring the Animaniacs. She gave up the hope of quality entertainment and went off in search of the Doctor. She found the
erratic Time Lady playing poker with Captains Lochley and Gideon; she was beating them hands down. "She's cheating." Gideon
announced to Hannah. "I can't figure out how but I know she is." "He's just a bad loser," the Doctor announced breezily.
"Just watch the way this left eye twitches when he gets a good hand." "It's moving now." Lochley laughed. "I fold." The
Doctor followed suit and Gideon was left with a few chips to claim as his prize. "That was the best hand I had all night,"
he complained to Hannah. "I think Lieutenant Matheson needs me on the bridge." He looked at Hannah for a second. "If she asks
you to play say no." With that he exited the room, heading towards the bridge. Babylon
5 was much quieter now, speaking generally. The sirens may have stopped and the assault ended but the sea of people inside
as they returned to their routines created it's own set of sounds. Hannah and the Doctor walked slowly through the Zocalo,
scanning the stalls for some keepsakes. The Doctor had bought some new earrings but she had persuaded Hannah to help her search
for a matching broach. Hannah herself had her eyes open for a necklace she could put a small picture of Claire inside, so
she could keep her close to her heart when she was far away. Their shopping was interrupted when they spotted Andred, badly
dressed in civilian attire. "You must come at once," he blurted. "There's been a confirmed sighting of the Valeyard on
Gallifrey." He handed a black and white image to the Doctor. "If you remove the facial hair it's clearly him." The Doctor
studied the image carefully for several seconds before gasping; it was indeed the Valeyard. "We have to leave here now," she
said, heading towards the TARDIS. Andred raced in front of the Doctor. "There isn't time for that," he said, pulling out
a small brass ring from his jacket pocket. "The President ordered me to hand this to you." He gave the Time Ring to the Doctor. Holding
on tightly to the Time Ring the Doctor told Hannah to take hold of it also; at the last second she took hold of Andred's hand
and closed his hand around it too. "You're the Castellan after all," she winked at his surprised face. "We will need you to
help." The Time Ring's power built up and pulled the three figures around and around in a circle as it opened up a tunnel
in the space-time continuum. Faster and faster they span around until finally they blinked out of reality.
The Medical wing was silent. The black
and silver robed intruder crept silently through the empty wards until he came upon the bed that was his target. He sneered
at the still form of Claire Mason and the sleeping, leather-clad figure of Leela in the chair beside the bed. His gloved hand
moved slowly towards the artificial respiration machine's on/off switch...
Two of my favourite all time sci-fi shows collide head on, Babylon 5 meets Doctor Who in a tense
time as the Drakh plague has isolated Earth and Babylon 5 stands almost alone against the coming darkness.I wanted to show how the Doctor and Hannah’s enthusiasm to find a cure for Claire doesn’t really
lead to positive results and also show how Hannah’s courage is slowly developing too.