Disclaimer – I do not own any of the shows here. This be for fun.

This is yet another older story I found. (giggle) Have fun with it and take it very tongue in cheek.

The Game

Chapter 1 – Next Move

Dragonlots aka Dana Bell

The Master rubbed his hands in malevolent glee. The game was nearing its completion. With arrogant satisfaction he viewed the qui-level rust stained chessboard. He'd lost his black king and knight to his opponents white knight but that was not the concern.

His dark eyes followed the Doctor's queen as she left the fourth level and enter the fifth. She was the true concern.

He surveyed the final round. He held two bishops. The Doctor held a castle, a king, a knight, and further behind them, the queen. Well, this round promised to be the most interesting. Perhaps with all his manipulation he would win this time, in spite of his earlier losses.

With an evil smile he sat back and waited.

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Babylon 5 had a sleek, sophisticated look that DS9 lacked, Lecora decided. She'd used the trip from the Earth to familiarize herself with the station's history and personnel. A different breed of people, a different government, but still very much in the same universe.

With a sigh, she turned away from the round view port. The liner would be docking in a few minutes. She would have to endure the scrutiny of the station's doctor and commander. And perhaps the telepath Talia Winters. Amused she smiled. That shouldn't prove too difficult for her. Children were easy to fool.

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Li restlessly paced the cool multi-colored tile of his house. He noted the Kai's unannounced entrance and paused. "You have something to say?" he inquired.

Baril studied Bajor's new president thoughtfully. Li Nulus had not taken well to the necessary departure of his wife on Timelord business. The worry on the man's face told him that. "Nothing that has not already been said."

Li scowled. "They gave no guarantee she'd even survive."

Baril nodded. "Lecora knows the risks."

"By the Prophets!" Li swore, "She's taken enough risks!"

Baril refrained reminding the president the two previous ones she had taken to save Li's life. Once, ten years ago as a member of Blake's crew and more recently as a Starfleet officer on DS9.

"The Prophets have been kind to her before," the Kai stated.

Li nodded. "I hope her God is as well."

That caused Baril to pause and think. How much had Li's alien wife influenced their leader's thinking and was this something he should be concerned about?

"Don't worry," Nulus said as if he could read the Kai's mind. "I respect my wife's beliefs. Even understand them, after a fashion."

"That is good to hear."

"Would you like some refreshment?"

"Yes. Thank you."

With a clap of his hands a servant appeared. "Refreshment for our honored guest."

The nervous young Bajoran girl glanced at Baril and scurried away. She returned a few moments later placing a pitcher and fruit on the table.

"You can go," Li told her kindly.

She nodded and left.

Walking to the table Nulus poured a clear pale liquid into glasses. "A type of tea my wife enjoys." He took a sip. "I've come to like it."

Baril tried it. It was sweet and refreshing. "Good."

"Please, sit." Li took a chair and tried some fruit. "I could use the company."

The Kai smiled. "I will try to soothe your mind."

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The Doctor smiled as his queen took her place on the board. The final round. At last. He knew she had discussed the Battle on the Line with her cousin, who had been there on the Minbari ship when Commander Sinclair had been captured. At least Vader and his Emperor where dead now and there was no further threat from that quarter.

The Timelord sat back looking thoughtfully at the pieces. It had not been easy to ask his former companion to play this game. There had been risks and death at every corner with twists and turns neither of them had expected.

Ace's death was the biggest regret. She had been lost when the Master had exploded the shuttle Shendoah over the San Francisco Bay in the late 23rd century. It had ended the Triple Alliance, which had caused this whole catastrophic chain of events.

For the Triple Alliance had been the only thing that had prevented the Empire from expanding and conquering most of the galaxy. The Master had played his tricks and destroyed it in one blow.

Fortunately, the Timelords had arranged the explosion of Praxis to force an agreement between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire. It had helped. But the Master hadn't stopped there. He had arranged alliances between the Empire and the Cylons,the Cardassians, Servalan, and many more enemies. Not to mention a renegade branch of the Minbari warrior caste.

The Doctor shook his head. It was a wonder there was any remaining order left in the universe.

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Lecora was at last alone in her quarters. She loosed Circe,

who, in usual cat fashion made her displeasure known about the carrier.

'Sorry, friend,' Lecora thought at her feline companion. 'It was necessary.'

'Primitives,' Circe returned as she began to explore their new abode.

'Maybe,' the woman agreed. 'But it behooves us to remember to be patient with young races.'

'Telepath suspicious,' Circe informed her companion.

'Even so.' Lecora took the brief pause in her cat's complaints to examine their new quarters. Sinclair had apologized stating nothing else was available. She couldn't really find fault in it. There were skylights in the ceiling reflecting passing ships and glittering starlight. A functional kitchen, the bed as part of the living area, and a private bathroom.

'No plants,' Circe commented, using her tongue to clean her brown fur.

'Easily fixed.' A passing Ferengi or freelance trader would remedy the situation.

'Why no like?' Her feline inquired settling herself regally on the bed covers.

'I suppose Earthers have a phobia about openness, especially out here.'

'Foolish.'

'They don't have the benefit of our experience."

'How long?'

'Not long.' Lecora gazed up at the stars thoughtfully. 'Not long.'

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"What do you think?" Sinclair asked companions.

"She doesn't feel right," Gerabaldi answered, a scowl on his round face.

"She's hiding something," Talia informed him. Unconsciously she straightened her grey suit.

"Any idea what?" the Commander wanted to know. He sat down behind his desk.

The telepath shook her head. "She knows how to block."

Jeff gave her a sharp look. He thought only the Psi Core knew how to do that.

"Maybe she's a telepath herself," Gerabaldi mused, putting his hands in his pockets.

"Earth Central would have informed us," Sinclair paused. Or would they have? They were never notified before the Psi Cops showed up.

"I doubt she is. Still," Talia seemed uncertain.

He nodded. "Keep an eye on her for us, please, Miss Winters."

She nodded.

"Think I'll double check her records," the Security Chief said. He watched Miss Winters as she departed. "I think I'm in love," he mumbled.

"Careful, Michael. She might pick up the thought."

"And your point is?"

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The Master moved his bishops closer to the castle. He saw the knight moved into a protective position before the fortress. "An interesting move, Doctor, but useless." The Master moved his two castles up a level. The Doctor made no counter move.

All right then, he would wait.

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Night had fallen. Birlings chirped inquisitively in the leafy bushes surrounding the presidential villa. Li turned away from the stone arched window to face the darkened room. A shadow detached itself from the wall. Nulus started, and then relaxed.

"I've never gotten used to that," he told the shadow.

The shadow smiled. Moonlight from the window glinted on the sword the earth man casually. "Lecora would never forgive me if something happened to you."

"Is she why you came to Bajor?" Li had always been curious. Lecora had introduced the highlander as an old friend when he had joined the household as a personal bodyguard for them both; over the objections of General Krim who prided himself on their security.

Duncan MacLeod shrugged. "Indirectly. It's a long story."

"Everything with her is," the president wearily stated. "There are days," he began. It had always been like this with his wife. By the Prophets! he wasn't even certain how old she was!

"Daddy?" a young voice quivered from the doorway.

"Here, sweetheart." Li knelt down to catch his young daughter who threw herself into his arms. He cradled the soft head against his tunic and kissed her forehead. "What's wrong?"

"Miss mommy." she tightened her grip around his neck. "When's she coming home."

"Soon." He hoped.

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Circe skulked in the wake of the Minbari ambassador. She paused awaiting Delenn to enter her quarters and slithered through the fast closing door. The cat found a quiet unobtrusive spot and settled in the wait. It should not be long.

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It was his move. The Doctor studied the board. The Master had moved two castles onto the field, which meant the attack would be very soon. How unfortunate it was there was no way to get a warning the Lecora.

Or was there?

The Doctor reached down to the third level and moved his second knight to the fifth level.

There, that should give the Master something to think about.

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'Lecora!'

Through sleep hazed dreams she struggled to the surface. "What?"

'Lecora!'

She shook her head pushing dark strands out of her azure eyes. "Who calls?"

'The Minbari warriors are on the move.'

'Luke?' His young face sharply appeared in her mind. He'd lost much of his innocence during the many years of fighting, yet she still sensed his kind nature.

'I just did a flyby. They have enough firepower to destroy the entire station.'

'I doubt that is their intent,' she answered. 'An interstellar war would be disastrous for them.'

'Do they know the Emperor is dead?'

'A moment.' Lecora refocused her mind to contact her Tercat.

'Circe!'

The velvety touch she had come to identify with Circe replied.

'Siti Gadar here.' The woman was informed. 'Delenn not happy with him. They want to attack in three hours. She's trying to convince him it will be a great mistake.'

'Do they know the Empire is gone?'

'Yes. Does not matter. He thinks Sinclair it too great a danger.'

Lecora mentally frowned. It was time to do some meddling. 'Come home.'

A mental assent answered.

'They know, Luke,' she sent to the Jedi. 'We have maybe three hours.'

'Is there a plan?'

'I don't know. The Doctor is playing the game.'

'I hope he has a good strategy.'

'He has so far.'

She felt a sense of doubt and skepticism from Luke as the contact broke.

"Of course," Lecora murmured, "there's always an element of improvisation involved."