Michael took a deep breath before he entered the main station house, and looked around him as he stepped inside.
It was the main area that Security used in the station, and it was the biggest of the seven areas that they had. Here was the main offices, where his office was, the main reception area where people's calls came in and where dealt with, including emergency ones. And also where people that had been arrested were brought, processed, recorded, and in some cases imprisoned. The brig was on the floor below where he had walked in, and his own office and other rooms were on the floor above him.
In front of him was a large reception area, including a long desk, where five people were behind, dealing with a large group of people in front, all clambering for their attention. As Pietre, a small man of Thai origin was yelling loudly to the person behind the Pak'mo'rah he was dealing with, they could only help one person at a time and were doing the best they could.
To one side of the counter Lou Welch was standing with two people who were instantly recognisable. Ambassadors Kosh and Delenn were trying to force their way past him, to where Michael could only guess at but probably included the brig and his office.
He didn't think Lou would ever forgive him if he ignored them and left him in the lurch, so he made his way over to them, trying not to get noticed by everyone else. "Can I help, Sergeant?" he asked him diffidently.
As soon as he had said the words all three of them turned on him. Lou looked at him with a relieved expression, and mouthed: "thanks" at him. Delenn was still fuming, and Kosh seemed to just loom over him in his encounter suit.
Lou was going to talk to him, to say something to him, but Delenn blundered in. "We need to speak to you, now!" she snapped, causing a lot of people around to look up at them.
"Well, I'm here now, Ambassador. Shall we go into my office?" he asked her politely.
She had been expecting an argument from him, not that, and she was a little deflated at that. "Of course." she agreed rather that yelling the practiced lines at him.
"Okay." he agreed and turned to Ambassador Kosh. "Shall we?" he asked him too.
Kosh nodded once fell into step behind Delenn as Michael prepared to take them to his own little sanctuary. On the way he looked at Lou. "Can you get someone to bring me a sweater?" he asked him with a wry shrug of his back. "I seem to have ripped my shirt somewhere."
Lou nodded and tried not to smile as the trio walked away from him. He didn't envy his friend and boss' position, but knew the Chief well enough to know he would get out of it somehow.
Michael led the two Ambassadors to his office on the floor above the reception area and used his ID card to gain entrance. He didn't normally lock his door, he trusted his people and he didn't leave anything of value there anyway. He stood and waited for the other two to walk in first, and was very tempted to shut the door, lock them in and go off in the other direction, a lot like the Captain had done to him. But he didn't, he walked in after them and let the door shut them in.
"Please sit, Ambassadors." he invited them into the comfortable chairs that were arranged in front of his large, granite desk that dominated the room. Only Delenn took up his invitation, Kosh stood behind her and loomed over them both, obviously trying to intimidate the Chief.
Michael ignored it and walked over to his own chair and sat down behind the desk. "So, what can I do for you, Ambassadors?" he asked them both politely.
"You can release my human." Kosh said to him forcefully.
"I cannot do that." Michael answered him as forcefully. "He is under arrest for several reasons. Not least kidnapping Ambassador Delenn."
"He did not kidnap me!" Delenn snapped at him in anger. "I was there by choice."
Michael frowned at her. "So then you persuaded Captain Sheridan to go there?" he asked her thoughtfully.
Delenn nodded before she thought about it. "I asked him to come." she told him. "We needed him to be there."
"Hmm." the Chief commented as he mused that. "Did you tell him what was going to happen?" he asked her curiously.
"No." Delenn snapped at him. "He did not need to know!"
Michael raised one eyebrow at her. "So you got him there under false pretences, knowing that he was going to be assaulted." he stated to clarify the situation.
Kosh opened up to speak, but Delenn got there first. "Yes." she agreed. "And you stopped what was necessary."
Michael shook his head. "I stopped a crime in progress." he commented to her. "You have admitted to me that you were involved in this, and that is called 'conspiracy'. That is a criminal offence, and you could be imprisoned for it." He looked up at Kosh when the Vorlon tried to loom over him in a threatening manner. "You are also implicated in a criminal offence, Ambassador Kosh." he commented darkly. "So don't try to threaten me."
Kosh leant back and opened up to speak. "The child bites with blunt teeth." he commented sagely.
Michael sighed. "I'm not stupid, Kosh." he said firmly. "I'm not a child, and I do have teeth."
"But we have diplomatic immunity." Delenn added, almost in desperation. She had not thought the Chief of Security could do anything about this, but he had changed her mind quickly. "You cannot…"
Michael turned to face her and "You do, you're right." he told her. "But attacking a member of Earthforce is considered an act of war, Ambassador." he snapped. "You do not have immunity from that."
Delenn sat back in her chair and stared at him in shock, and even Kosh was silent for a few moments. "You do not have that authority!" the Mimbari shouted at him, leaping to her feet.
Michael looked up at her. "My responsibility is the security of this station, and the people, humans and aliens, in it." he told her firmly. "Your actions today not only threatened the security of this station, it also threatened the life of the Captain of this station." He looked at her and tilted his head in curiosity. "Would you have cared if he had been killed?" he asked her. "Or yourself?"
She shook her head. "No." she answered him and sat back down again. "That would mean that he and I were not the right people."
Michael's frown deepened and he looked up at Kosh. As inscrutable as always the Vorlon said nothing, just watched the proceedings. "So, you would sacrifice yourself and others because the Vorlons said so?" he asked her incredulously. "And you decided that Sheridan didn't need to know, that he wasn't able to make that choice by himself."
When neither of them replied he sighed and stood. "I will be in contact with my government about this." he told them both. "I will let you know what they suggest."
"That is not a good idea." Delenn told him as she stood too. "Earthgov should not be involved."
"I'll take that into consideration Setae Delenn." he responded, using her proper title. By mistake.
She stiffened and glared at him, but before she could say anything Kosh ushered her out of the office. Kosh didn't move. "You should beware." the Ambassador told him softly. "You should not interfere with things that do not concern you."
Michael smiled a little at him. "That is the first time you've not spoken in riddles." he commented.
Kosh leant forward, trying to loom over him, but Michael did not back up. "This is too important for that." he told him grimly. "I need to know whether they are the right people."
"You could have asked." the Chief retorted. "But why do you need them, everyone else, to fight your battles? I don't know how you got the Mimbari to do whatever you tell them to, but why do you think that you can do that to us too?" He was confused, and a little annoyed. He had enough people trying to do that with him, let alone another race trying to do that to the whole human race.
"The Vorlons are not alone in using inferior races." Kosh told him. "Beware Mister Garibaldi. There are other forces in this universe at work."
"I know." Michael answered him with a resigned sigh. "And now I suppose you're going to tell me to mind my own business and keep being an obedient pet human, just like the rest of us."
Kosh was a little surprised at his forthright comments but he was safe inside his suit so he could hide his expressions from the human in front of him. He had previously disregarded Garibaldi as a simple inferior being who would do as he was told, whatever he was told. But now he realised that was not the case. He felt some amusement that he had been taken in by a human of all creatures, and a little concern about how much this one knew. Even Sheridan did not know about Delenn's position on Mimbar. "I will tell you this:" he began after a moment of thought. "The Mimbari do not take kindly to other races knowing their business. I know how I will react to this; I do not know how Delenn will react however."
Michael smiled at him. "So you're telling me to watch my back." he commented dryly.
"Yes." Kosh agreed, and turned away towards the office door. "I have underestimated you, Mister Garibaldi." he said as the door opened for him. "You will know my response soon enough." With that he swept out of the office and seemed to glide out of the main security offices.
Zack and Lou watched him go and then turned back to their Chief. "Well?" Zack demanded as he walked over. "Delenn stormed out, absolutely fuming."
Michael sighed again and leant against him for a moment. "You might be getting that promotion quicker than you think." he told him with a grim smile. With that he walked out of the area and went to find a missing Captain.
Lennier was upset and angry about what he had overheard. The Ambassador was very angry, not only at Garibaldi, but also at the person who had told him what was going on. He had kept silent at that, it was obvious that Michael had protected his identity, and he was not going to change that. Unless of course she asked him directly, and then he could not lie to her.
But it was the orders she was giving another Mimbari that worried him. She was obviously trying to arrange an attack on a human, not to kill that human, but to make sure he didn't interfere in anything else Mimbari again. She didn't mention names, that Lennier could hear, and he could not get into her private sleeping room where she was either calling from, or speaking to the person to, so he could not see who it was she was speaking too, or whether she was showing this person a holo of her intended victim.
Lennier was not stupid – he had not got to where he was today by being useless, but he was loyal to Delenn.
She was putting him in a difficult situation.
Twice in one day.
And what could he do about it?
This morning he could deal with it since the Ambassador's safety was at risk, but now she was intending to put someone else's safety at risk, which she probably thought was good for Mimbar and all Mimbari.
But the Chief was a good man, and his friend. And if, as he thought, that the intended victim was the Chief himself, he could not let him walk into something he might not be able to get out of.
Because of something the attaché had done in the first place.
He whispered a word that he had heard Michael use himself when he had found a problem with the motorbike: damn.
Captain Sheridan looked up from his pile of paperwork when he heard the door to his office open and didn't know whether to smile at Michael as he entered or cringe away from him. The Chief smiled a little when he saw that as he walked over to the desk and sat down in the chair in front of it. "If you wanted to be beaten to crap today, you could have just asked me." he told him as he moved the chair back enough so that he could rest his feet on the desk. "I could do that for you without a problem. You don't need to go and get the crap beaten out of you by a pair of Vorlon pets."
John frowned a little at his terminology, but decided to get the main thing out first. "I'm sorry I left you to it." he apologised quickly. "I didn't really know how to deal with it."
Michael sighed. "Me neither." he replied. "I just told them that if it were up to me I'd charge them with a lot of things and put them both in the brig."
John snickered with laughter. "I bet they loved that." he commented dryly. "A lot."
Michael chuckled and nodded. "I actually got a decent amount of conversation out of Kosh." he told him. "He didn't talk in riddles for all of the time."
John frowned a little. "Huh." he harrumphed. "What makes you so special?"
Michael grinned and stood up again and turned round slowly in a 360o circle. "I didn't get where I am just because of my brain and that I slept with the boss." he commented impishly.
John laughed and then studied him for a moment. "Slept with the boss, huh?" he asked him archly. "Do you do that in all your jobs?"
Michael looked him up and down and gave him a wicked smile. "Most jobs." he said to him, amused. "But I need to be persuaded. Give me ninety percent of your salary for a year and I'll consider it."
John laughed at him. "I'm not that desperate!" he told him, and threw a balled up piece of paper at him.
Michael dodged it easily and studied him for a moment too. "Neither am I." he commented, amused. "I don't need the money that much."
Delenn, outside, was just about to press the door chime on Sheridan's office and was surprised therefore when the door opened and Michael came running out the of the office, laughing, being chased by another balled up piece of paper. He almost ran into her, but noticed her at the last moment and stopped. "Ambassador." He greeted her with a smile.
Despite herself she had to smile back at his expression. "Mister Garibaldi." she replied. "I see the Captain is in good spirits."
Michael nodded. "I think he likes to throw his paperwork around." He told her conspiratorially. "So he doesn't do it."
"I heard that!" John yelled out of the still open door. "And it's true."