Writers note: This project starts off with the events shortly after the events of the second season episode, "Pegasus", of the re-imagined series Battlestar Galactica, as well as in the Earth year 2280 in the Babylon 5 timeline, roughly several months before the death of Interstellar Alliance president John J. Sheridan. It takes place roughly a year after the death of Centauri emperor Londo Mollari and the ascension of Vir Cotto to that post.
Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5 are the intellectual properties of the respective creators and are copyrighted by the respective owners of said copyrights. This story is not meant for profit, but to pay tribute to two great television series.
This work is also dedicated to the memory of Richard Biggs, who played Doctor Stephen Franklin on Babylon 5.
Uncovering the Forbidden Past to Discover the Foreboding Future
"When I told the crew that the myth of Earth was real, I was lying through my teeth. I never really believed that it existed. I never was much for religion to begin with. Granted, I started to buy into what Roslin was selling, with the Prophesy of Pythia and all of that. I never suspected, not for a second, that any of it would come true.
"All I wanted was to find a safe haven for our people, because that seemed more realistic to me. I never expected to find it in the hands of people from Earth.
"These last few years have been bizarre, as the Second Cylon War came to an end, in ways none of us would have ever expected. What we found when we realized who the Cylon 'God' was shocked us all, and it revealed that a lot of our history had been manipulated by forces way beyond my comprehension.
"We've won the war, but the price was so high. All those lives lost…it still boggles my mind at how many were sacrificed on our behalf. They barely knew us, and they laid their lives on the line for us. It's something that has restored my faith in humanity, both my own side and those from Earth.
"We met them in their year 2280, and our safe haven was a place called Babylon 5…"
-Admiral William "Husker" Adama (retired)
Colonial Fleet, Battlestar Galactica
Earth Alliance President Garrison Hollifield hated physicals, but at least a friend was doing this one. Doctor Stephen Franklin, as the head of the Xenobiological Institute, wasn't supposed to have this as part of his duties, but he gladly did it because it helped keep certain secrets under wraps.
"So how do I look, Doc?" said Hollifield. A dark haired, stocky man in his mid-sixties, Hollifield looked much healthier than his age belied. He sat up on the examination table and looked at Dr. Franklin, who was looking over a report on a computer display.
After a moment, Franklin scratched his chin and looked up from the display. "Well, for someone of your age, you look pretty damn healthy. Too healthy, in fact. Which makes me glad you came to me for your examinations, because if anyone knew…"
"I know. Last thing I need is the news of what I am leaking out to the media. If Dr. Donovan hadn't passed away before I took office, I wouldn't need your services. Well, at least I feel like I'm going to be here for a few more years at least, unless an assassin blows my brains out, of course."
Franklin grunted and went back to his display briefly to log in the last of the details of the president's physical. The doctor was a gray haired male of African descent, who also, despite being in his late fifties, was in excellent shape. He kept his hair cropped to a short fade, and his body looked like he was still in peak shape after all these years.
"So, how's the First Lady? Is she recovering well?" asked Franklin.
"Twanissa's going to take a while recovering from the accident. She'll walk again, thank God, but she'll never be the same. Who would have thought that she could get hurt that bad from just riding a bike down a hill?" replied the president.
That's when the vision hit him…
Kara "Starbuck" Thrace walked into the Tomb of Athena with her commanding officer, Commander William Adama, as well as Colonial President Laura Roslin and her CAG Lee "Apollo" Adama. Apollo was the leader of the Viper pilots on board the Colonial Battlestar Galactica, and was Starbuck's immediate commanding officer. But in this moment, it seemed that Starbuck was calling the shots.
She sighted the statue of the archer Sagittaron and took out the Arrow of Apollo, and slowly approached it. She gently placed the arrow in the hands of the archer and a flash of light overcame all four of them…
Hollifield was in a room of some sort, he knew that at least. It was a very spacious room, sort of like a warehouse of some sort. It was dark, and the odd thing was that there was wheat covering the ground. He looked around and saw four people inside the room with him: an older Hispanic looking male in a military-style uniform, a Caucasian woman who had dark reddish brown hair and looked to be in her early to mid 50s, a young blonde woman with short hair and a pack slung over her back, and a young dark haired male who wore a camouflage jacket. They didn't notice him, it seemed, and he didn't feel like trying to communicate with them, because it felt to him like he was being projected to another place.
"They should not be here." Hollifield turned to see Lyta Alexander, long deceased, standing before him. She had died during the Telepath War, in its final stages of the war in 2266. Hollifield, then the vice president, had gone to find her and the resistance moment to Psi Corps somewhere in and around Geneva. He had found her inside a tunnel deep under Teeptown, or the Psi Corps complex where telepaths are trained and regulated on Earth, and she had planned to sacrifice herself to stop the renegade Psi Cop Alfred Bester and his forces from winning the war. He had failed to stop her from blowing up part of the complex where Bester's forces were housed, and he barely managed to escape himself.
"Why are they here?" he asked Lyta.
"They are searching for Earth." Lyta said, looking at the foursome. Hollifield looked up and saw the twelve constellations of the Zodiac. He turned back to Lyta, who added, "They are our descendants. Long ago, they were part of our race, but they were taken away from us."
"Why? Were the Vorlons involved?" asked Hollifield as he watched the four stare at wonder at the constellations above them.
Lyta looked at him and said, "Garrison, what haven't the Vorlons been involved with? They are part of the past. Another mistake by the Vorlons in their quest to defeat the Shadows."
"Are they telepathic?"
"No, they aren't telepathic. The Vorlons never got that far with them. All I know is that they are directly related to us, and that they are searching for us."
"So what is this place?" he said as he watched them begin to depart.
Lyta smiled and said in a very Vorlon-esque way, "The past, the present, and the future." The vision then ended and he snapped back into reality.
Franklin stood before him and looked him over as Hollifield came out of the vision. "Are you ok, Garrison?" he asked.
Hollifield blinked his eyes and tried to refocus his mind. "Yeah, I think so. I had…a vision of some sort."
"A vision?" Franklin asked.
"Yeah, a vision. I don't know what it means or what it portends, but it means something. Look what happened when Sheridan got his vision of the Drakh fleet coming to Earth to attack."
Franklin shook his head and said, "Are you sure about this? If it were anyone else, I'd say you were crazy. With you…"
"Yeah, I know. I get the feeling that something is coming, but I don't know what yet. I've got that state dinner with the new Centauri emperor tonight, and Vir Cotto's brought along Lady Morella for some reason on this trip. Maybe he knows something, or she knows something."
Hollifield left the doctor's office and went through the hospital to his wife's room. Twanissa Hollifield (nee Hudson) had been the commanding officer on the Victory-class starship Freedom during the Drakh plague, and they had grown close as they raced to find a cure. Along with the crews of Excalibur and Liberty, they had managed to defeat the Drakh and find the cure to the plague.
He sat down beside his wife, who was sleeping. Tears welled up in his eyes as he brushed her graying black hair with his fingers. "I love you, honey. I'll be going away for a while, but I'll be back soon. It seems the fates have called upon me again to serve humanity again, and I don't know if I'll be back anytime soon. So long for now!" He kissed her on the forehead and walked out of the room.
Later that evening, he attended the state dinner with the new Centauri emperor. Vir Cotto looked much different than he had when he had just been an ambassadorial aide to Londo Mollari back when they were both on Babylon 5. Hollifield remembered Emperor Turhan and how dignified the old man had been while wearing the all white robe of office, which Hollifield's old friend, Michael Garibaldi, had called the "ice cream suit", as well as how haunted Emperor Mollari had looked when he had visited him just a few months after the Centauri broke away from the Interstellar Alliance.
Protocols had to be followed during the dinner. He just couldn't go up to Lady Morella, the third wife of the deceased Emperor Turhan, and ask her for a private meeting. He had to send a note to the noted prophetess and seer, and had to wait for a note to come back from her. He hated to have to deal with the same old Earthgov officials as well as Earthforce high-ranking officers he usually saw.
Well, except one, of course. General Susan Ivanova was there, but she wouldn't be for long. Hollifield looked at his old friend Ganya's sister and wondered what his Russian buddy would think of his sister rising to such an exalted rank. Before he left for his tour of duty during the Earth-Minbari War, Ganya Ivanov had asked his friend that, if he didn't come back, to watch over his sister. For the most part, he had done right by his friend, but General Ivanova was her own woman, and no one was her master. Not even John Sheridan, her commanding officer back when both were on the command staff of Babylon 5.
Ivanova soon left just after it was socially appropriate, and not a second longer. So did Hollifield, but for much different reasons. Lady Morella had been sent up to the presidential suite discreetly, and she rose to stand when he entered the room.
Hollifield put out a hand and said, "You needn't get up, my lady. I have a favor to ask of you."
Lady Morella, wearing the traditional Centauri garb (which looked a lot like the stuff worn back in English Restoration times, he remembered his English Lit teacher in high school saying) and sporting the traditional bald head of a noblewoman, rose anyway, which was obviously discomforting as she was a very old woman indeed. However, she was also a proud woman, and age be damned if she wanted to follow proper protocol. "What do you need from me, Mr. President?"
"I need you to see for me, my lady. I had a vision earlier today, and I need to know if it is what is to come, or if it is an event that has already taken place."
Morella looked troubled and said, "The last person who asked me to see for them was Londo Mollari, and we all saw what happened there. Are you sure you want to do this?"
Hollifield nodded and replied, "I wouldn't ask it of you if I didn't. I know you haven't much longer to live, and I wish to avoid putting you under any strain…"
Morella was the one who held out a hand to stop this time. "Garrison, I may be an old woman, but I am a proud woman. A Centauri woman. I lived through the Shadow War and the occupation of the Drakh, and I managed to survive them all. Turhan always knew you were destined for great things, all the way back when you were simply a captain of the presidential guard for Elizabeth Levy before the Minbari War.
"I shall see for you not because of your office, but for who you are. You were a friend of my husband, a friend of the Centauri people, and a friend of mine. It would be my honor to see for you!"
Hollifield nodded and they did the reading. When they were through, Morella went back to her quarters. The next morning, the news came: she had died.
Emperor Vir Cotto needed to know what had happened, and so President Hollifield told him. Cotto sat down in a seat in Hollifield's office, dubbed by some in the media as the "Not-so-Oval Office" after the American White House and the office that its president still made decisions from, and looked stunned. "Who are these Cylons anyway?"
Hollifield looked at his friend and said, "I wish I knew, Vir. From what she told me, we'll find out soon enough. The question is: what will happen when we do find them?"