CIRCLES IN LIGHT
This story takes place in season 3, right after the Nightwatch members are arrested and Narns join B5 security but before B5 secedes from EA. The only difference is Talia's hidden personality did not take her over (more on why not later) and she was brought into the conspiracy.
'Ways of Old to Guide and Guard
Paths to Bring and Send
Circles both in Light and Dark
From Starting until End'
Talia Winters glanced around the Zocalo. Something unseen was bothering her -- something just slightly off-kilter but she couldn't quite place it. Not that she was really surprised. What with Nightwatch attempting to take over the station and the command staff finding a legitimate, if regrettably temporary, way to prevent that takeover, it wasn't surprising things felt off. She was probably picking up the uneasiness of the thoughts of the people around her but somehow that didn't feel right.
She frowned as she looked around, trying to pin down the feeling. What she spotted was Michael Garibaldi standing near the bazaar's entrance. Ahhhhh. If anyone could help her locate whatever it was that was bothering her, he could. She started toward him.
The security chief was looking around, studying the crowded bazaar. His eyes slid over her then back. The frown he was wearing deepened then he ducked back into the corridor. Talia paused in surprise. Usually every time Garibaldi saw her, he was more then happy to get close, sometimes much to her discomfort. This time he was obviously avoiding her. Puzzled, she moved after him, finally spotting him waiting impatiently at the elevator.
"Michael." She paused as he half-turned, meeting his eyes for the first time and realized -- oh, God, this wasn't Michael Garibaldi!! Looked like him, yes, yet wasn't.
Frightened, Talia stepped back, half-turning to run but a strong hand clamped over her mouth and another grabbed her arm. He jerked her back and into the just-opening elevator, spinning her so she was trapped against the wall with him between her and the doorway. Her eyes darted around the elevator, which was, much to her sharp disappointment, empty save for them. Of course, this one time she really wanted people near ...
Talia grew uncomfortably aware of the stranger's closeness to her. If the doors were to open and someone looked in, they might not even see her. Or, if they did, think they were seeing a furtive liaison. Fear stabbed into her and she whimpered against the hand still covering her mouth, struggling feebly.
"Easy." The man murmured, his eyes -- less brown and more green then Garibaldi's -- darting nervously toward the door. "Easy. I won't hurt you. Just stay calm."
Talia forced herself to relax, forced her psi-abilities back under control. For the first time, she realized that this stranger possessed a mind-shield, a formidable one she couldn't bypass. But she could just touch his surface-thoughts and they echoed what he was saying. He wouldn't hurt her.
This realization steadied her and she studied this man more closely. He was virtually identical to the security chief, save for the slight difference in eye color. He even wore, she noticed with sick alarm, Garibaldi's uniform, including the link and PPG.
He must have noticed where she was looking and guessed at the direction of her thoughts. "He's all right. Not very comfortable at the moment but all right. Now, just stay calm and walk with me. Got it?"
She hesitated then nodded. The man glanced at the door as the computer's voice announced that they had reached the level where -- Talia suddenly realized -- Garibaldi had his quarters. As the door opened, he removed his hand from her mouth and straightened, glancing hurriedly around the empty corridor. As he stepped away from her, she moved in an age-old move, slamming her knee into his groin with considerable force.
The man made a choking noise, doubling over, his face paling but the hand he had clamped on her wrist didn't loosen. Desperately, Talia clawed at it but then his other hand clamped onto her throat. Her eyes widened as the strong fingers tightened. Oddly enough, his mind still told her he would not harm her then blackness edged into her sight and she passed out.