Report Card

Standard disclaimer applies; not my characters or settings or backgrounds. But they are my words.

Incoming message from Ambassador Sinclair, Tuzanoor, Minbar

MARKED: Private and Confidential, Enable Security Codes Upon Receipt

Delenn sat down at the com terminal in the living area of her quarters, and punched a few buttons to set the security to its highest setting. After the channel cycled through several settings, it settled on a priority encryption and the screen wavered, then cleared to reveal the face of Jeffrey Sinclair, Ambassador from Earth to Minbar, leader of the Anla'Shok in that sector, and the first human that Delenn had counted as a personal friend.

"Jeffrey! This is early for our weekly call. Has something happened?" Delenn's face showed a mixture of pleasure and concern.

"I was hoping you could tell me!" Jeff's voice boomed over the small speakers in the terminal. "Besides, do I need an excuse to talk to you off schedule?"

Delenn couldn't help but feel a flush of pleasure at the sound of his warm friendly voice. "Of course not! But somehow we seldom find the time. How may I help you?"

"I had a report from a Ranger on Mars, Derek Tyler. PsiCorps is up to its usual tricks. It seems they've placed a mole on Babylon Five." Sinclair smiled, but his tone was serious.

"A mole." Delenn said, bemused. "I assume this is another of your people's colorful expressions, and that you do not mean a small burrowing animal."

"Not as such, although it's not a bad description. They've put a spy somewhere, possibly in the command staff. Derek reports they've sent a telepath to help identify the hidden agent. I gather, by some twist of fate, it's Lyta Alexander." Sinclair said. He steepled his fingers in front of him and looked at her knowingly.

"So that is why Lyta is here," said Delenn, not sounding terribly surprised. She almost laughed at Jeffrey's surprised reaction. "Yes, I have seen her. In fact, she came to me for help." Delenn reflected on the way Captain Sheridan had been acting around her, in the garden, and later when she had spoken to him of Lyta. The reason for his attitude was suddenly clear. "I believe the command staff is aware of this agent in their midst. I have reason to believe that they are dealing with it."

"That's good," said Sinclair. He shifted his position, leaning forward as if to make the conversation more confidential. "I'm worried about Michael."

"Mr. Garibaldi?" questioned Delenn, then as the realization of what he was implying struck her, "Is it your fear that he might be this mole? I do not think it likely that he would be cooperating with PsiCorps."

"According to the information we got from Derek, PsiCorps has secretly implanted a second personality in their agent, who would be completely unaware of this intrusion. Lyta can activate that personality; and if she does, the original person's thoughts, ideas, attitudes...will disappear." Sinclair's face was deadly serious. "We're not sure how much communication has been going on between this suppressed personality and the Corps; it's probably just gathering information at this point. If this agent is activated and reports in, then everything they know will soon be known to the Corps, and perhaps to President Clark. We don't know much about the factions within PsiCorps and who among them is cooperating with Clark."

"In Valen's name," exclaimed Delenn. "These telepaths are no better than soul hunters! This is no less than murder, a death of the individual's spirit." She stopped to consider the alarming possibilities. Sinclair still looked somber, so she hastened to reassure him. "Mr. Garibaldi knows of the Rangers and their mission, but there is no evidence that your PsiCorps does. When you sent Tyler to Mars to keep an eye on matters there, he transited through Babylon Five. Surely if PsiCorps had learned of his mission from Mr. Garibaldi, they would have moved to stop him earlier, before he found out about this agent."

"Maybe," said Sinclair thoughtfully, with a hint of relief. "In any case, we should know soon. Keep an eye on changes in command staff or those close to them. Michael's playing a double game here; he may not feel at liberty to tell me directly what happened. I don't want to make him choose sides." He watched as Delenn nodded in agreement, then continued, "It's a good thing that you haven't revealed the existence of the Rangers to Captain Sheridan yet."

"You cannot think this alternate personality resides in him?" Delenn was shocked, both at the implication of Jeffrey's words, and her own reaction to them. Her instinctive rejection of the possibility soon turned to anxiety as she recalled certain conversations and exchanges between herself and the Captain. She kept the growing tumult of her emotions under tight control as she replied, "Surely it would have been difficult for PsiCorps to reach him, as a high-ranking EarthForce officer? They would have had no particular reason to target him until after he gained notoriety in the Black Star incident. And no one could have known then he would be assigned here when you left!"

Sinclair shook his head. "You're right. If their interest is solely in Babylon 5, there would have been no reason to target him before he was assigned there. But the possibility exists that this program is more extensive than Derek reported, perhaps with multiple agents scattered through EarthGov and EarthForce. There was that incident earlier this year with Abel Horn; it might be connected."

Rubbing his temple with one hand as if to ease a sudden pain, Sinclair continued, "Debriefing is standard protocol after a high profile military action, and in the later stages of the war, PsiCorps might have been called in to 'assist' with Sheridan's questioning. EarthForce might not have asked his permission, and in any case, it can be done leaving no memory behind. And PsiCorps might not have told EarthForce about these programs. We just don't know enough at this point. Still, if this was going on, I'm glad I missed out on it. I would have been a natural choice for a deep scan after the Battle of the Line." His tone was deliberately light, although tempered by the knowledge of why that might have been a disaster.

Delenn shuddered. She was fairly confident that the selective memory erasure the Minbari telepaths had performed on Sinclair would not have been discovered by their human counterparts, but still, the possibility was alarming. Conflicted by feelings of guilt and worry, she asked uneasily, "What will we do if something does happen to Captain Sheridan?" Her teeth clamped her lower lip as if in an effort to keep from saying more than she wished. Struggling to maintain her composure, she continued, "This could be awkward. He is central to our plans now."

"It's not likely to be him; it would be too obvious if the station commander suddenly sprouted a completely different personality, or started doing things that are totally out of character." Sinclair went on, considering the possibilities, "Of course if the alternate personality is capable of making secret reports...yes, that could work. Maybe while the primary personality is asleep." He made a disgusted face. "In any case it's better to find out now and get it out into the open. This kind of suspicion can destroy morale and group cohesion. We need to be able to trust one another." He watched as Delenn's carefully schooled expression momentarily slipped and a very human misery was written on her face. Cocking his head and examining her closely, his eyes narrowing, he said, "I'm missing something here, aren't I? It's not just that this upsets our plans. What is it?"

Delenn's mouth opened and closed, as she tried to decide the best thing to say. She'd kept her secrets for so long she wasn't sure she knew how to confide in anyone any more. The truth was that she'd been more personally forthcoming with Captain Sheridan lately than with anyone else. If he disappeared, she would miss those conversations, very much. Carefully, she answered, "It is just that Captain Sheridan and I...that we have become friends. I would not like to lose that friendship." She had settled on the words, all the while feeling they were not an adequate description of her slowly deepening relationship with Sheridan. And that realization was enough to strike her silent while she struggled mentally for a more precise definition.

"I see," said Sinclair thoughtfully. "Then I hope with all sincerity that he is not involved in this." Leaning in close to the screen, he added, "I'm glad you have someone to talk to, Delenn. I'm sure this will be cleared up soon."

Delenn flushed. "John is quite capable. I am certain he will find a way out of this. And that PsiCorps will not succeed."

Sinclair couldn't keep the twinkle from his eye. "John?" Observing her further consternation he added quickly, "I'm sure you're right. Call me right away if you hear anything."

"I will," replied Delenn somewhat absently, her mind still occupied with the ramifications of what she had been told, and what she had inadvertently revealed.

After the connection was broken, Sinclair leaned back in his chair. Now this was an interesting turn of events. Sheridan was the obvious choice to lead the war against the Shadows, with his tactical skills and connection with the station, a place which Delenn believed to be central in the upcoming war. The Vorlon was training him; and Delenn and Kosh had told him of the threat of the Shadows already. The existence of the Anla'Shok was about to be revealed, and Sheridan would share joint command of them with Delenn. There had been some qualms on Minbar over the elevation of Sheridan to a leadership position in the Anla'Shok. A few Minbari had expressed concern that Sheridan might not want to lead them. Apparently that wasn't going to be a problem. The man worked fast. As commander of Babylon 5, Sinclair had known Delenn for almost two years before she'd grown comfortable using his first name. He'd have to give Sheridan an 'A' for his initial efforts. The final grade, of course, would depend on future developments.