Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters (that's pretty much granted, right? :)) The person who does is The Great Maker (or rather, J. Michael Straczynski). Warner Bros. and Babylonian Productions own something into it too, as well as PTEN (but I don't think they are in business anymore, soo . . . they did own something into it at one time). Scifi Channel owns something into the show as well, now. Okay, and just to reiterate: these are not my characters. Please don't sue . . . .:) Thank you.

NOTE: This story is set between the Fourth and the Fifth season of Babylon 5. Yep, that about says it. Comments, questions, anything, please, PLEASE, send them!! I love reading mail and message board-like postings!!

- Ivanova

The Musings of Lieutenant David Corwin

"You want to know just how much that I put up with around here? Sure, I'll tell you, if you really want to know."

The drunk nodded his head.

He had been in the bar for three hours, half of the time that he was going to get off before his next shift at 1800. During that time he had talked to no one, had made eye contact with no one. He just kept his eyes on his own drink, and expected everyone else to do the same. It wasn't anything like Earhart's, a place where everyone just knew you, and expected you to act a certain way. Here, here he was a nobody . . . just like everybody else.

The drunken man who had asked him a question was the one who approached him first. Probably just someone who was interested in him because of the uniform. So, they got to talking a little. There . . . there was something about this man. Something familiar. Eh, whatever, not that it mattered much anyway. Corwin felt more than obliged to answer him, once he had confirmed that the man really wanted the question answered. "Sure, all right then. I'll tell you. It isn't like I have anything better to do with my time. I've been stationed here for over four years now. I came aboard in '58, with the other replacements . . . Ivanova, Dr. Franklin, Ms. Winters . . . It seemed interesting to me at the time, sure, wouldn't it to you too? Seeing all of those alien races in one place dealing with one another on okay terms . . . hopefully working on something that will be bigger than all of us. In the four years I have been here, I have seen one promotion. Just one. It wasn't when things were really tight around here, either. It was before the whole thing with the Shadow War. Anyway, I've gotten one promotion, despite the fact that three members of Command Staff have left. First it was Sinclair, but he was replaced by Captain Sheridan. Of course, I didn't think I would get a promotion then, nor did I think I deserved one. Okay, that's all fine and good. Now, just recently, both Captain Sheridan and Commander Ivanova have been promoted. Captain Sheridan is now the President of the Interstellar Alliance and Commander Ivanova is now a Captain in the EarthForce military. I've always followed the orders of my ranking officers, most without question. Yes, good little Lieutenant Davie Corwin always doing what he is told to do, without question. Why exactly, though? And for what??

"You know, I was once considered to be a member of the "inner circle" before we broke away from Earth. It all started with Commander Ivanova inviting me to her quarters. It was really ambiguous how she did it, though. I wasn't sure if it was a friendly invitation, a co-worker-to-co-worker invitation, or something a little more . . . deep. I think she did this to me on purpose. She likes to cut people down like that, you know. You should have seen how she would treat that poor Ranger. Sooo, right. Thinking the invitation was a little more than just business, I bought her flowers. Roses. It cost a fortune, but I wanted to do everything right.

"When I met her, I realized that I had made a terrible mistake, so I told her that I had found the flowers outside. She just wanted to know where my allegiances stood. Of course, if she had out-rightly asked me, I would have told her that I would follow whatever orders she or Captain Sheridan had given, and then, of course, I would have been allowed into the "inner circle" instead of being kept out, like all the rest, in the dark, until B5 broke away from Earth. I felt the same way Sheridan and Ivanova felt. I didn't like President Clark myself, either, and I didn't agree with what he was doing. The whole business with Night Watch just rubbed me the wrong way. If B5 was to pull out of the Alliance, so would I; I wouldn't turn tail and run.

"Maybe that's my problem. Maybe I need to stand up more. It isn't just to be a good little officer, to follow orders to-the-letter; you need to be somebody who stands out, somebody who will get noticed. Nope, that just isn't me. I have been bypassed for promotions, practically forgotten by the crew and everybody else around here. And now, now we're getting another C.O. in here: Captain Elizabeth Lochley of the EarthForce Alliance. Nothing, for me, will ever change around here. I bet that I will always be a Lieutenant. I'm just so . . . permanent. A permanent piece of Babylon 5. I bet, oh yeah, first Captain Lochley may try to get to know me, as people tend to do when they are brought in to a new assignment, but that won't go on for very long. A month, three at the latest. Then she'll just get used to me like all of the rest of them." He sighs. "Alas, so it goes for the Babylon 5 whipping boy."

That drunk who had been listening, a man named Lou Welch, nodded. "You said it, brother."