Days of Future and Past
by Zaxxon
Part 1

[Babylon 5]

It was a quiet day in Command and Control. // Too quiet, // thought
Susan Ivanova, Babylon Five second-in-command. With a start, she realized
that she did not like it. She tried looking around to see if she could
'help' with some of the other people in C&C but could not find anyone who
needed her 'help'. Everything for once was running smoothly. // The calm
before the storm, // she thought.
After five hours of the calm, Commander Ivanova was anything but.
There was not a single problem with any of the incoming or outgoing ships
that came to dock with the station. // When the storm hits, // she
thought to herself, //it's going to be BIG.//
"You can go, Commander," came a voice from behind and to the left of
her. After calming her heart, Susan turned around to look at the speaker.
It was Captain Sheridan, the station's commander. Seeing that Ivanova was
not moving and appeared tensed he asked, "Anything wrong?"
Ivanova simply blinked and started for a minute. After calming
herself she said, "It's been quiet. Too quiet for the last five *hours*.
Something going to happen. And it's going to be a big mess."
"Commander," Sheridan said with a laugh, "I think your paranoid."
Without thinking Ivanova said, "No, I'm Russia, there's a difference."
"Not much," Sheridan said under his breath.
"What?" Ivanova asked sharply.
"Why don't you get something to eat and go to sleep," Sheridan
suggested. "You look terrible." At seeing Ivanova hesitation he added,
"that's an order, Commander."
"Right," Ivanova said as she headed for the door out of C&C.
Sheridan shook his head. "She must be very tired if she didn't argue
with me." Sheridan turned to Lieutenant Corwin and asked, "Shift report?"
Lieutenant Corwin said, "Everything's quiet like the Commander said.
No incidents, no injuries, and no fighting. Only five ships docked and two
departed."
"Thank you, Lieutenant," Sheridan said. He moved to the central
console in C&C that Ivanova had previously manned. To himself, he said, "I
suppose we're due for some quiet." Even as he said it, he did not believe
it.

// Face it, John, // Sheridan thought, //you're bored. 'Life's a
roller coaster. It has its ups and downs. And this is a down. Enjoy it
will it lasts.//
Beep. Sheridan looked towards Corwin to see what the alert was. "What
is it Lieutenant?" he asked.
"Unknown energy flare in Garden, Section 12," Lieutenant Corwin stated.
"Garibaldi to C&C," Garibaldi's voice said over the comm, "I have a
Security team and en route to Garden, Section 12. Request more information."
"Sheridan here," he said, "energy type -- unknown. Affected area is
spherical with a radius of 2 meters." Sheridan looked to Corwin for more
information.
Reading off his console, Corwin said, "No radiation. Area is clear of
debris. No one was in the area before the flare. Scanners are damaged. No
information from the time after the flare. Surrounding areas' integrity is
uncompromised. No toxic gases reported by near by sensors."
"Keep me informed, Garibaldi," Sheridan said seeing that Corwin did
not have any more information. "C&C out."

"Okay, here's how we're playing this," Garibaldi said to his team.
"Henson and Thompson. Take cover-positions, you're backup." Both
acknowledged him. "The rest with me, I got point. Zack take my right.
Turner takes left. Let's go."
The security team made its way into the Garden. They slowly checked
for anything odd. As they moved towards the center Zack said, "Chief, I
saw something to my left."
"A flash of something, right?" Garibaldi asked him. He saw something
too. "Like a flash of light reflecting from some type of metal?"
"Maybe," Zack said. "You saw it too?"
"Yeah," Garibaldi said, "There's some kind of lump over there. Let's
move people." As Zack's speed increased Garibaldi said, "Slowly, Zack.
Stay together."
"Sorry, Chief."
"Right." As the group got closer Garibaldi realized, the lump in the
ground was a person. An unconscious man. Garibaldi's first concern was
with the Station's security. // How did this man get here? // Garibaldi
asked himself. His second concern was the unconscious man and how he
related to his first concern. Into his link he said, "Garibaldi to MedLab.
Found an apparently unconscious humanoid male in Garden, Section 12.
Condition: unknown."
"MedLab here. Medic team en route," came the reply.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"What have we got, Doc? Chief?" Sheridan asked, once the command
staff sat at the commerce table.
Doctor Franklin answered first after looking at Garibaldi, "I have
an unconscious human male, approximately sixty years of age, height of
about six and a half feet and weight of approximately three hundred fifty
pounds. Muscular build." At Sheridan's sour look he added, "I get a strange
reading from John Doe's left side. Slight varies in density . . . "
Franklin quickly added, "within the acceptable error margin. I mention it
because just about everything else is normal. I can tell that he had some
type of hit to the head which is the reason for him being conscious.
Mister Garibaldi, you got more?"
Garibaldi sighed and said, "Not much. No ID. I'm still searching the
databases but so far zilch. I've tried fingerprints, DNA matching,
physical description, nada. I've checked and double checked the customs
records and he didn't enter the Station through them. In addition to the
clothes he was wearing, we found a pack. The items in it are inert and
harmless as far as we can tell but we can't identify them. Five items,
different shapes, purpose unknown. The only thing we can identify, we
think, is an energy rifle."
"How did he get a PPG rifle on board," wondered Sheridan.
"It's not a PPG rifle. Neither Alliance-issue nor renegade-made.
We have no idea what powers it has. We can't even find a power source.
Not even an inert possible source that we can identify. The backpack is
made of a common syn-clothe you can find anywhere. The rifle, which is
as long as my arm, and the items in the pack are made from some unknown
quasi-metal."
"Quasi-metal?" Ivanova asked. Untypically she had been quiet
throughout the meeting until now. Sheridan was relieved that she finally
joined in.
"Well, that the best name for the stuff at the moment. It seems to
have some of the properties of metal. It appears to be malleable and
ductile like a normal metal but some how it absorbs most of the heat and
light we direct at it unlike a metal that who conduct them." Garibaldi
signed. "As for the energy flare, we can't even find any residue to
examine. It's a complete mystery."
"And I don't like mystery, Mr. Garibaldi. I want answers," Sheridan
said. "Well, there's not much more so this meeting is closed."
After Garibaldi and Sheridan left, Franklin turned to Ivanova and
asked, "Are you okay? You seem 'out of it' today."
Ivanova just looked at him. After hesitating for a moment she said,
"I don't know. I can't shake the feeling some very bad is going to happen.
I don't know what."
"How are you sleeping?" Franklin asked with concern.
"Terribly," Ivanova replied.
"How much sleep have you got?"
"Not much."
"What about the whole week?"
Ivanova paused and hesitantly said, "Not much for the entire week.
With all that been happening . . . and the Nightmares . . . "
"Nightmares?" wondered Franklin. "Do you want to talk about them?"
"No!" Ivanova said venomously. Realized that Franklin was only trying
to help. "Sorry . . . "
"I understand. About you come around to MedLab after your shift and
I'll give you an exam so see if there's anything physically wrong and, or
if some sleeping pills will help."
"Thanks. I'll come by."

"Well, I can't find anything physically wrong with you except
exhaustion and that can be corrected with some good night's sleep,"
Franklin told Ivanova as she redressed after Franklin's exam. "Here's a
prescription to help you sleep," Franklin began. Upon seeing Ivanova's
face he added, "without dreams."
"Okay Doc. . . . " Ivanova began.
"Doctor Franklin! John Doe is coming too!" cried the nurse.
"John Doe?" Ivanova asked.
"We were talking about the strange visitor in the meeting . . . "
Franklin began.
"Doctor!" the nurse called interrupting him.
"Right," Ivanova said.
// She more 'out of it' than I thought, // Franklin said to himself.
"I'm coming nurse." As he got close to the John Doe, Franklin notices that
he was trying to sit up and said, "yeah, you should not be trying that.
You'll only hurt yourself."
Ivanova's curiosity had got the better part of her so she had
followed Franklin over to the area to see who the John Doe was. Upon
seeing John Doe's face she moved passed Franklin. Franklin tried to stop
her but she had surprised Franklin both with the unexpected energy and
happiness on her face. Ivanova practicably ran into the stranger, hugged
him, and cried, "Nathan! Am I glad to see you!"

[=== End of Part 1 ===]