Chapter One

To Dream Of Things To Come

Babylon 5

Earth Alliance Space Station

January 22, 2271

5:30am Earth Standard Time

Captain Elizabeth Loughley arose to the sound of her alarm going off in her quarters, and shook her head to help clear her mind from the intense dream she had just been experiencing in her sleep. She arose from her bed and made her way to the bathroom, where she took full advantage of having one of the few water showers on the station. The hot water didn't last long in the shower, but she used every second of her allotment of it to help clean her body and clear her mind.

Once done with washing up, she brushed her teeth in the mirror and began to think over the dream she had. She could only remember a few details,
but she remembered the feeling that the dream was almost real. She could only remember being on an alien world, perhaps Minbar, but there were none of the familiar bone-crested, bald headed Minbari around. Instead,
there was a woman, seemingly Human, with long blond hair and a long,
flowing blue dress. Loughly remembered talking with the woman, and the woman responding, but the actual words of what were said escaped her.

Loughley decided to forget about the dream and get herself dressed and ready herself for the day. The automated coffee pot had already brewed up the freeze-dried instant java that she had managed to acquire from a trader on a run from Orion 7, and she poured herself a big cup. After a brief glance at the clock, she decided to take a few moments to finish up the chapter of the book that she had been reading the night before.

It was then that the flash of light overcame her, and when it ended, she was on the world in her dreams.

It definitely looked like Minbar, what with the crystalline structures of the city in the foreground similar to the ones in Tuzinor, the only city on Minbar that she had visited. It was the home of the Interstellar Alliance, born out of the ashes of the Shadow War, now ten years gone.
However, the skyline was definitely different from that of where her ex-husband, who was also the former commander of Babylon 5 and current president of the Alliance, and his current wife resided with their son.

Loughley began to walk towards the city, and she took note of the many differences. The city lacked the various gardens and fountains found in the typical Minbari city, and the sky was a different shade of blue than that found on Minbar. It felt warmer as well, especially as she made her way to the heart of the city.

It seemed to be deserted, void of any life whatsoever. However, she suspected that someone was here, and that it was the woman in her dreams. She turned the corner and saw that the dominant structure of the city, a palace of some sort, was before her. It was on the top of a small hill, and as she made her way up towards it, she saw something move out of the castle. Just like she was expecting, it was the woman of her dreams.

They made an interesting contrast: Loughley's brunette hair and athletic body to the lithe blond hair of this woman before her. However, despite appearances, the lithe woman radiated a strength that impressed her.

Loughley managed to speak to her, "Who are you?"

The blond woman smiled and spoke with a voice as soft as a whisper, "My name is Starsha, and this planet that you are on is Iscandar."

Loughley shook her head, because she had never heard of such a planet.
"Why am I here?"

"You are here because I need to tell you something. There is a war coming, a war that is unlike anything any of you have ever seen before."

"War? Are you talking about the Drakh?"

Starsha smiled and said, "No, they are nothing compared to the enemy that you and your friends and allies will be facing soon. I know about the plague that afflicts your world at present, and I am working to find a cure for it."

"You are?"

Starsha nodded, "Uh huh. I did it before, ages ago, on another Earth.
But the people that saved that Earth will be arriving shortly in their ship. When they arrive, you must make your way to Minbar, because they will be needed there."

Loughley shook her head, finding what she was saying hard to believe,
"We're not ready for a new war. The Alliance is having a hard enough time with the Drakh, and this would just be too much."

Starsha placed her arm on Loughley's, as to reassure her. "You will have allies coming to help you soon enough. This war will not be against you alone, but it will be across many different universes. Come with me and I'll show you."

They entered the palace and made their way to a conference room. With the wave of her hand, Starsha dimmed the lights in the room and a three-dimensional projection began to come to life. Pictures of alien worlds came into being, as well as alien ships above the planet's atmosphere.

"Long ago, there were races old and wise. One of them was called the Legendora, beings that eventually evolved into beings of light and energy. They began to explore the universe, and soon found a way to transcend time and space, crossing the lines of the dimensions and watching the various universes develop."

With another wave of her hand, the picture changed, and ships began to fight other ships. "However, the Legendora were not without conflict,
and a large group of them broke away from the main race and formed their own civilization. They called themselves the Ragendora, and it wasn't long until they began to fight against their brethren. They sought to use the abilities of crossing lines to conquer and enslave the various worlds. Much like the Vorlons and Shadows of your own universe, their war has flashed on and off many times over the millennia."

Another wave of the hand by Starsha, and the room slowly filled with light again. Starsha took Loughley's hand into hers and said, "I have chosen three people to communicate this with. You are the first, the second is well known to me, and the third will be contacted soon enough.
You will know when the time to prepare arrives."

Loughley looked at her confused and asked, "How will I know?"

"Look for an ancient battleship to come through the portal, and you will know then that the time to act has arrived."

"Captain!"

Loughley blinked and found herself back in her quarters. Chief Warrant Officer Zach Allen, the head of security on Babylon 5, was in her quarters, as well as several members of her staff along with a half-dozen security officers.

"What? What happened?"

Allen touched the communications link on the back of his hand, "Allen to C and C. We're in the captain's quarters, and she's come to."

"Confirmed. Moriyama out."

The fog began to lift from Loughley's brain when she heard the voice of her executive officer, Commander Yuki Moriyama, on the link, and she pulled herself into a sitting position. She felt a little dizzy, but none the worse for wear. She touched her own link and called her exec,
"Loughley to Moriyama, what's are status?"

"Moriyama here. Status green. The only action we've had is your no-show in the observation dome here in command and control. Is everything alright, captain?"

"I think so, but I'll stop by Medlab to get checked out. I think I just blacked out for some reason."

"I was just about to suggest the same thing, captain. Let me know what the doc says when he's done poking and prodding you. Moriyama out"

Loughley snickered shortly and turned off the link. "Chief Allen, please have my staff escorted to the conference room next to my office and I'll be there after the exam in Medlab and after briefing Commander Moriyama."

"Yes, Captain." Allen then motioned for everyone to exit the room,
leaving Loughley alone in her room. Before leaving, she tapped her link again and got Moriyama. "Moriyama, go private."

Moriyama inserted an earpiece into her ear and replied, "Go ahead,
Captain."

"Set scanners to monitor Sector 14. Let me know about the least little thing unusual that happens."

"Yes, Captain. Not expecting Babylon 4 back, are we," kidded Moriyama.

"Commander, after the dream I had, I just don't know. Just let me know if anything changes, ok?"

That sobered Moriyama, "Yes, Captain. I'll link in ASAP if anything changes before the briefing."

"Good. Loughley out." She tapped her link off and reached down to close the book she had been reading when she focused on one particular word on Page 233 of the book: Yamato.

"Yamato," she pondered upon briefly, then made her way out of her quarters and to Medlab.

Queentown, Iscandar

Royal Palace

Time Unknown

Queen Starsha made her way back from the transmission office and back to her personal office. She looked over the skyline of the city, which was the capital of the planet that she ruled. Outside, the populace was busy with their myriad affairs of the day.

Why she was here was a mystery to her.

Her last memory before arriving here was of triggering the explosive devices planted deep inside her homeworld's core as the forces of the Dark Nebulan Empire sought to claim her world for it's mineral wealth.
She had sent her husband, Alex Wildstar, and their child, Sasha, away to board the space battleship Yamato, so that the last living Iscandarian would survive.

However, she knew that the prophecy would not let Sasha live long. She grew quickly, and, raised aboard the Yamato, she helped aid the Star Force as it traveled to the Dark Nebulan homeworld to deactivate the trigger for the neutron bomb that would have wiped out all life on Earth. Sasha had helped the brave crew of the Yamato defeat the Dark Nebulans, but it was at the cost of her life.

Speaking of Sasha, she entered the office with some paperwork and paused to wait for her mother to notice her. Like all Iscandarians, she had grown up fast. At what would have been three Earth years old, she resembled more of a young human female of twenty one than anything else.

"Mother, the others are waiting for your report. Father just got back from the shipyards, and says the new ships will be ready soon."

Starsha nodded and got out of her chair, taking the papers from her daughter and walking beside her out of the room.

"Is something wrong, mother?"

"I'll talk about it later, my dear. Right now, we have matters to attend to. But I need to talk to someone about all of this, and you're the only one who'll understand."

Sasha nodded and replied, "Yes, mother. I don't understand all of this myself, only that we are here for a reason."

Starsha didn't reply, as they entered the conference room, where she put down the paper work on the table, pulled out a chair, and seated herself. Beside her, to her right, was her Human husband, Alex, who looked dashing in his old Earth Defense Force uniform. To her left sat Sasha, who looked towards the end of the table.

A man in a dark brown cloak spoke to Starsha, "I trust that the communication went well?"

"Yes, Valen, it did. I told her the information that we agreed to communicate with her and I am convinced that she understood it and will do what is needed."

Valen nodded, and removed the cowl covering his head, which revealed the bone crest of his Minbari head. "Good. Alex, have you been able to get through to your brother, Derek?"

Alex sighed, and replied, "Yes and no. I told him what you all said that he should know, but I am not sure that he bought it. However, I did learn from him that the Yamato is in the general area where he needs to be to pick up the signal."

Valen nodded again, pleased despite the minor setback. "That's all that is needed for now.," he said, and looked across the table to the dark skinned Human sitting across from him. "Ben, have you been able to get through to your old exec?"

Ben sighed, leaned back in his chair, and looked above Valen briefly,
taking the time to contemplate what he was going to say. "It's been tricky, because Nurys isn't as devote to the Bajoran religion as she once was. My death hit her hard, and she's been struggling with it ever since. The political situation on Bajor and in the Federation is tricky at the moment. But she sees me as the Emissary, and she took what I had to say to heart. She'll be ready for what is to come."

The being at the end of the table looked towards Starsha and spoke, "It is as we had dared hoped, Starsha. This coming conflict will be difficult, because the Rajendora don't just want to see the death of my race, but the death of all those who would seek to oppose their will."

He stood up and spread his hands wide, gesturing to them all, "You all have done better than we Legendora had hoped, but there is much more that needs to be done. The time is drawing near when my prodigal brethren will strike, and we must be ready for them."

Starsha nodded and said, "And we shall be ready for them."

Babylon 5

Earth Alliance Space Station

January 22, 2271

9am EST

Doctor Esteban Torres looked over the scans again, shaking his head again. "I don't know what to say, Captain. I've run every test I could think of, but nothing can explain why you blacked out. Is there anything else you want to tell me about this?"

Before she could say anything, Commander Yuki Moriyama walked into the office. "Captain, Doctor, we need to talk. It's about what you told me earlier, Captain."

Torres replied, "Well, she's fit to go back on duty, as far as I am concerned, but what did she tell you about earlier?"

Loughley looked at the both of them, then looked around the Medlab office, "Not here, Doc. I know you trust your staff, but I don't think I trust anybody save you two to this. Come with us, Doc, because I need to see if I'm crazy or if something bigger is going on."

Once there, Loughley told Dr. Torres and Commander Moriyama all about the dream, then Moriyama reported about what she had found out about Sector 14. "We picked up this recording coming from there. It comes from approximately twelve years ago, shortly after B5 broke away from the Earth Alliance when President Clark declared martial law." She placed a data crystal into the player and the vid screen began to play the message."

The message was from Commander Susan Ivanova, then the executive officer of the station. It was from the "captain's office" in command and control, and it overlooked the main station in the observation dome.

"Can anyone help us? This is commander Susan Ivanova of Babylon 5. To any ships in grid epsilon. We are under attack. I repeat, we are under attack. The captain is dead, defense grid is down, they are boarding us,
they are coming in all over the place. We've tried to evacuate as many as we can, and Garibaldi has rigged the fusion reactor, but.. my god,
here they come. Switch to external cameras."

When the camera switched to the external view, the space was filled with Shadow vessels as well as scores of fighters. The very sight of those ships made Loughley's skin crawl, even though she never had to face them in battle. The descriptions of them she'd learned of them over the years had run ice down her spine on each occasion.

Ivanova then got a look of sheer terror on her face, "They've got weapons lock. Here comes. Here comes. Aah!" The picture went to static.

Moriyama coughed, then spoke, "Captain, that message has been repeating on and on for hours now. It happened before, twelve years ago, right before the disappearance of Ambassador Sinclair."

Loughley gave a look to her exec, "There's more, isn't there?"

Moriyama sighed, and her classic Japanese female features belied the strength underneath, because what she was about to say seemed unbelievable to her. "We got a reply, Captain. It's from a ship called Yamato." She inserted a new crystal into the player.

"This is Captain Derek Wildstar of the Space Battleship Yamato. We are on our way. Hang in there, Babylon 5."

Loughley's face went white with shock. "It's happening, isn't it"
Moriyama's lips went tight. "It would appear so, captain."

Torres, having been silent for most of the meeting, finally spoke, "When Doctor Frankin recommended me for this place, he warned me about weird thing happening here, but I was never prepared for this! Makes me yearn to be back in Buenos Aires practicing at the base there again!"

The threesome let out a brief cackle of laughter, breaking the tension briefly, but then the link of Moriyama's hand beeped.

"Moriyama, go"
"Sir? I just wanted to let you know that the E.A.S. Titans has just arrived. Captain Ivanova wanted to let Captain Loughley know that she'll be over shortly."

"Confirmed. Moriyama out."

Loughley took in a deep breath and exhaled, then chuckled, "This is gonna seem strange, but I am really glad that she showed up here."

Moriyama replied, "You and me both, sir."

Torres nodded, "And I'll third that motion!"