Title: Another Perspective / version 2.0

Author: Albert Green Jr.

Rating: T

THIS STATEMENT MUST ACCOMPANY THE STORY 'ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE' IF DISTRIBUTED. THIS STORY IS FREE OF CHARGE AND MAY NOT BE SOLD OR EXCHANGED FOR FINANCIAL RETURN IN ANY FORM. THIS DEDICATION MUST ACCOMPANY ANY DISTRUBUTION OF THIS STORY.

-COPYRIGHT/DISCLAIMER NOTICE-

"Babylon Five", it's characters, certain technological devices and/or references to such, from the television show, past present of near future, may be or are registered trademarks of, Babylon Five, characters, names, and all related indicia are trademarks of Time Warner Entertainment Co., LP.

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"Star Trek", "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", "Star Trek: Voyager", and "Star Trek: First Contact", and all related Star Trek material, it's characters and certain technological devices and/or references
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Now that that is over and done with, HERE"S MORE!

Certain characters in this story are mine. And these are the creation of the author who is solely responsible for them as such. Neither Studio is responsible for the content of this story.

Dedication: Again to my wife of so many decades-thank you. There are several people who will be putting in their personal comments and suggestions in this upcoming story, like Ed Becerra and Ash's Boomstick and Sithspawn to name a few.

Albert Green Jr. quick note: This story is an updated version of the original story. ATV (which is close to concluding) and, AIB have priority but I will not ignore this either. The Ruination War is still on back burner but will be flaring up very soon as events in AIB (Allies in Blood) continue. So please be patient with me and God bless. This was written before and is true now.

"Just when you thought you had had enough of the Minbari and the idiots at Earthforce during that most delicate of times, I present…

ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE-Version 2.0

Prelude:

Earth Alliance Year 2242

A group of Earthforce ships, lead by Michael Jankowski, captain of the Prometheus, had been sent out to scout the Minbari boarder. His orders were explicit. Jankowski was not to initiate first contact with this unknown and possibly dangerous species. Every bit of data gleaned about the Minbari given to them by the other governments indicated that they were powerful and for the most part wanted to be left alone unless 'they' chose to initiate contact themselves. Earthforce officials, aware of an unknown and possible danger demanded a threat assessment of this species. The captain, considered by many an aggressive loose cannon by many of his associates, foolishly decided to take the initiative in the face of his orders and lead the fleet closer to the Minbari border than was authorized. The Earthforce captain was an ambitious man and this particular mission would be a sure bet for him to receive the promotion and notoriety he so desperately wanted.

To his great dismay, he got exactly what he wished for and more.

You have to take into consider Earth Alliance's attitude during this time in its relatively young life. Fresh from its victory over the Dilgar, it was ambitious, a touch arrogant, certainly exhibiting imperialistic tendencies, completely ignorant of what was out there, and worst of all they were prideful, the first and greatest of all sins. So it came as no surprise that Earthforce command chose someone that Murphy just couldn't resist. Earth needed this kick in its collective butt to get itself together, although it didn't appreciate how the butt kicking was performed at the time.

Terran Year 2212:

The ever-increasing fury of the temporal storms cascading throughout hyperspace for hundreds of light-years in every direction had drawn Kosh to this very spot, the very center of the disturbance. Even deeper layers of hyperspace known only to the middle and elder races were being affected. The Vorlons were afraid as nothing like this had ever happened before in their collective memories. No one knew if the phenomenon was natural or artificially created, however the eventual outcome of such a cascading disaster was understood beyond a doubt. Some had to find the root cause and deal with it.

Kosh Naranek was chosen as were three others.

Their living vessels had stopped at the very center of the disturbance. He and the others were stunned as their living ships told them that the center of the disturbance was originating within normal space, not hyperspace as all had assumed. Caution won out over curiosity however, and the Vorlons ordered their vessels to move some distance from the epicenter before jumping into normal space. Transiting from hyperspace into normal space in such a dangerous region was never something to be taken lightly. Under such bizarre conditions, it was quite possible to find one's ship too close to a sun, or trapped in a gravity well with no hope of escape before death claimed its due. No one was interested in that, especially Kosh. But what Kosh was interested in was the temporal displacement waves emanating from this unknown source. Not even the Great Machines placed throughout the galaxy could generate such tremendous amounts of temporal energy. Furthermore, the temporal energy wasn't tachyon-based. The particles were so powerful that they made the Great Machine's combined power pale in comparison.

The Vorlons had been in space, some said, for a million years. Surely his people would have discovered this anomaly earlier; however there was no record of such a phenomenon in the collective memory of any of his people. Therefore it had to be something completely new, an event never before recorded. The Vorlons wanted to know why this causality had never been discovered before.

Kosh chose to make to journey to the source first. With the characteristic flare of visual light heralding an object tearing its way out of hyperspace, his small ship found itself being buffeted by the physical forces present. The waves were immense and his living ship was excited by this new discovery, but it was also nervous, even frightened. Gently Kosh spoke to it and calmed his ship, his friend, down. Ordering it to head towards the source of the anomaly, Kosh quickly discovered a small, unimpressive planet in a K-class star system. According to his charts, the planet shouldn't have been there. Point in fact; the entire star system shouldn't have been there. That fact was disturbing on levels he'd never, ever experienced before.

As he neared the planet, delicate pedal-like fins opened at the rear of the ship, slowing the ship down as it prepared to enter the atmosphere. Moments before the ship entered the planet's atmosphere, the pedals closed and the ship decelerated gently landing on the surface. Safe inside his encounter suit, he stepped onto the surface of this new, yet ancient, old world.

A preliminary scan revealed that the planet was filled with wildlife, but there was no sentient life detected. However there was evidence of an ancient civilization had once thrived here. But the ruins were millions of years old. That surprised the Vorlon. Upon closer inspection he saw that there were several different types of architectural styles present. Cities built over cities throughout the millennia. But what was amazing was that after all of the eons the structures in question was still definable. That spoke of ancient and powerful races that lived here. They had to be 'First' First Ones, so-called elders and Kosh felt humbled as he walked among the ages-old foundations.

Hours passed before he discovered it, a huge stone-like structure with a hole seemingly carved into the middle of it. Quickly, he called for the others and they came.

To a member of the younger races, it would look like nothing more than a primitive work of art carved out of stone. To Kosh's eyes it confirmed all that he began to suspect. He saw the complex energy lattices surrounding the structure. Colors, invisible to the naked eye but visible to Vorlon senses, embraced the machine as if it were a long lost love. He could see the waves of distortion being emitted to into space and far, far beyond. This device was a temporal device of unimagined power. Vorlon scientists would take generations to understand this technology. It was awe-inspiring and the only thing that Kosh could do was to stare at the alien beauty of the thing.

The other Vorlons arrived and stood there in rapt silences, simply watching the almost sacred object of power. Then without warning the object activated causing the alarmed Vorlons to step back. In the center of the object, moving images appeared. Moving closer, Kosh witnessed several younger creatures identified as Humans and one alien, species unknown, staring at the same object. All of them were looking at the same structure as that which the Vorlons looked at. That was strange, as all of the younger races had been thought to have been catalogued and processed by the Vorlon Empire. And Humans shouldn't have been able to travel this far into the galaxy yet.

That was disturbing and he wondered what they were looking at. His visual devices inside his protected suit refused to record what was being shown. That in itself spoke of power.

The Humans were speaking in the language identified as English. One of the asked the others, "what is it?"

"A QUESTION," the structure boomed.

Then the images cut off.

The Vorlon was perplexed for a moment, and then he understood. This creation wanted something – a question.

"Who are you?" Kosh asked. The term 'what' didn't seem the appropriate word to use with this entity.

"A QUESTION," the structure boomed. "FINALLY, A QUESTION FROM A VORLON. FOR A MILLION YEARS, I HAVE AWAITED A QUESTION FROM A VORLON." Kosh and the others were shocked. "I AM THE GUARDIAN OF FOREVER."

"You are a temporal structure, a machine, or a living entity?"

"IN TERMS THAT YOU CAN UNDERSTAND, THE ANSWER IS YES."

The Guardian began to show him images of the Vorlon's humblest beginning to the present moment. It happened in an instant and the Vorlon saw it all. Stunned at the history they'd witnessed, the Vorlons stood there, mute. Then it showed them what it was.

"DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION?" prompted the Guardian.

It took a few moments for the Vorlons to recover.

The lead Vorlon smiled. He did indeed have a question, the question of the ages; the one question was above all others. "Are we right?" asked Kosh.

For a moment, Kosh felt a gathering of energy emanating from the device. There was a burst of light. Images began to flood into its center. That was when he understood that this machine entity had the power to see into other universes. It was pan-universal. It could travel and bring things with it such as entire solar systems if it chose to. It was power. Where it went was for it alone to decide. This temporal entity called the Guardian of Forever existed not only here but in every universe, or any universe it chose to.

And Kosh saw.

The other saw.

He saw his people completing the circle and then, tired of all of the stress and worry dealing with the younger races, planning to kill them all. The Humans were the glue who stopped his people from that foolishness in some of the images. In far too many others, the Vorlons and Shadows had slaughtered the young races leaving nothing leaving nothing but desolation. Then satisfied like children who had tired of their toys, left for the Rim.

And Kosh was ashamed.

He was shown the Humans once more in ships of unknown configuration, at war with the Minbari and the Minbari were losing badly. He saw his counterpart in that reality enraged that other First Ones, never before directly confronted by his people, had dared to impose their will upon him and his people, and his people stood there afraid to do anything least these Elders poured their wrath upon them.

He saw the answer to his question. And the Kosh of this universe was as enraged as his counterpart. The Shadows were proven more correct than his people. At the same time, the Shadows had been proven to be entirely wrong as well.

All of the observers were stunned. This entity could do effortlessly what the Vorlons had attempted to do with all of their science and knowledge and failed. Humbled, he and the others continued to observe.

In another reality shown to him, He saw the strange Human ships once more but more advanced, dangerously so. They still called themselves the Federation and they were in league with the Humans of Earth Alliance but this time they were working with the Minbari, engaged in a desperate war with the 'Great Enemy' from that other, third space. He knew their names, and was afraid.

The Sinhindi Delaxiin in the language of the Vorlons, or whom the young races would call the Yonji Sinhindrea – loose in that universe. But the actions of his people shamed him once more. And again the hated Shadows were proven just as correct in their beliefs as were his people – and just as wrong. Pure order, pure chaos to advance the cause of evolution was only the piece of the grand equation.

In yet another universe they again saw Humans, children of the Ancients of their universe, once more in unfamiliar ships different from the Federation ones doing battle with the Vorlon's favorite children and he despaired. The Minbari lashed out at the other Human ships believing them to be from Earth Alliance. They hadn't listened and in so doing so began the massacre of their own people. In that same universe, the Vorlons encountered another ancient race called the Asgard and tried to impose their will upon them and discovered that there were serious consequences to those actions. The Asgard weren't the middle race the Vorlons assumed they were and his people of that universe made a horrible mistake trying to force them to travel the path that the Vorlons thought they should. The fact that the Asgard and Tau'ri Humans were from yet another universe had been too tempting. It was another mistake, a new one that his universe had never made, but it was still one of so many. Those Vorlons forced their way into the fracture to impose their will. The resulting war was horrendous and again the Humans who called themselves the Tau'ri were right in the middle of it.

"What is it?"

Kosh froze.

The others went defensive.

A voice.

A voice of a kind not heard in a thousand years. A disturbance, confusion, anarchy disorder, but most of all chaos bringers.

Dancers in the Dark.

Shadows.

Kosh and the others never even heard them approach.

Three arachnoid-looking alien appeared in front of the hostile Vorlons.

Two species locked in philosophical and physical conflict glared at one another across the distance. Other than the first question neither side spoke. Instead the Guardian of Forever spoke for them.

" SHADOWS. VORLONS – TOGETHER, NOT ALONE."

Once more, in the center of the donut-shaped device images began scrolling. From the humblest beginnings to the present, the creatures known as the Shadows were shown their history their successes were obvious, their failures even more so. Every secret was laid bare for all to see.

The pattern was becoming obvious. In all they were shown twelve universes, always with Humans in the forefront, somehow either ruining the circle or more importantly, proving the Vorlon's absolute rule of order, and the Shadow's absolute rule of chaos to be in error. Finally the images ceased.

The lead Shadow, frightened by the casual ease of her race's greatest secrets being exposed to her enemies in such a cavalier manner asked, "what do you want?"

Kosh and the others including the shadows couldn't help but expect that question although all of them were eager to hear the guardian's response.

"IN TERMS YOU UNDERSTAND TO CORRECT THE TEMPORAL FRACTURES IN THE MULTIVERSE. TO ANSWER YOUR OTHER QUESTION WHAT AM I? BEFORE THE Q WERE, I WAS."

Both the Vorlons and shadows looked on in confusion. What did that mean? But only now did the other three Vorlons and the Shadows begin to understand what they saw.

"Why have you shown us this?" asked Kosh, although he suspected the answer. Ironically, Kosh hated trying to decipher the cryptic ramblings of alien entities.

"IS THIS NOT THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION? THE REVOLVING CIRCLE HAS INTERFERED WITH TIME. IT BEGINS TO COLLAPSE UPON ITSELF. THE TEMPORAL WAR TEARS, THE TIMESCAPES ALTER, THE UNIVERSES CROSS OVER. THE FEDERATION BLEEDS THROUGH. THOSE KNOWN AS THE TAU'RI BLEEDS THROUGH. REALIZED REALITIES BLEED THROUGH. THERE MUST AN ENDING. UNIVERSES ARE BLEEDING INTO ONE ANOTHER, NOT THROUGH FILTERS, BUT THROUGH CHAOS LIKE THE ONCOMING WAVE, A TRICKLE AT THIS POINT, SOON, A STORM. THE CIRCLE DOES NOT HOLD, IT ONLY HELPS THE BLEEDING. THE CIRCLE MUST CEASE. THE TEMPORAL COLD WAR MUST CEASE. THE STARGATE MUST STABILIZE. THE MAGIC MUST BALANCE. CROSSINGS MUST BE FLUID, NOT CHAOTIC."

Both the Vorlons and Shadows minds reeled with the gleanings of knowledge of the universe and others. Universes were converging, crossing over like water seeping through cracks in a wall. Or, maybe it wasn't there to stop the leaks, only to control the some of the more disruptive results from those leaks. This entity believed it had the power to stop the chaos. It's presence or maybe its awareness here at this place was apparently only one stop in a series of infinite realities. Wherever there was seepage, the Guardian would be there.

"THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BLACK AND WHITE," the Guardian announced. "THERE ARE ONLY SHADES OF GRAY."

The Guardian's imager activated once more showing both First Ones an area of space-time. There was a fracture unknown to Vorlon science or Shadow knowledge there; a bleeding wound that squeezed things from other universe into each other. The fracture was fluid, moving from place to place, from universe to universe, from reality to reality. The truth was beyond frightening. The Vorlons and Shadows were advanced enough to appreciate the terror of what the Guardian was dealing with and apparently, the continuing circle in this reality and others only served to increase the size of the fracture.

"REMEMBER WHAT YOU HAVE QUESTION IS ANSWERED. BE AT PEACE. THERE IS MORE TO DO THAN BEING RIGHT."

"What is worth more than being right?" asked the lead Shadow.

"SO MANY THINGS. GO FIND THEM."

The Guardian glowed brightly and the power dissipated as though it was never there. The waves of temporal and spatial distortions ceased, leaving a very depressed, but curiously satisfied group of Vorlons and their Shadow counterparts all alone on the planet. Completing its mission here at this point in time and space, this aspect of the Guardian of Forever would never speak to them again. Kosh would forevermore suspect that it had other things to occupy itself. This ancient device had activated itself to present a warning to his people and the Shadows. The question for the ages had been answered. Now the new question was what would they do about it?

Both groups of aliens stared at each other, unsure of what to do, unsure of what to say. Finally, both leaders moved towards each other. Terrified at the newness of it all, the silence was broken when each of them asked the same question.

"Would you like to talk?"

"What is the circle?" the Shadow leader asked.

Kosh relented and told her.

"You cheated?"

"Yes."

The Shadow laughed. "The truth," she said. "Not my truth, not your truth, but truth itself and we never knew. Well done."

The conversation lasted for days.

Kosh opened his mind and joined with the collective conscious of his people. There would be much to discuss in the coming years and the ramifications of their conclusions would change this particular universe forever.

In the Earth year 2241, the entire solar system disappeared as mysteriously as it had appeared. That was also the year that the Vorlons, Shadows, and the last of the remaining First Ones of that region left for the Rim.