DISCLAIMER: All things Babylon 5 belong to JMS, The Star Trek universe, Starship Aventine and various crew members belong to a ton of people at CBS or Paramount, all owing to the great Gene Roddenberry, but I'm not any of them… All I own is the twisted idea...
SUMMERY: Babylon 5 was our last, best hope for peace... It failed... But, in the Year of the Shadow War, a ship arrived to cast a light on the ancient Shadows... The year is 2260. The ship, is the Aventine.
AN: This story takes place shortly after the Borg battle of Acamar for Star Trek, and during the Episode Matters of Honour for Babylon 5
"Captain's log, Stardate 58035.62," Ezri sighed as she leaned back in the comfortable chair in the captains ready room, she'd been Captain now for a little over a week since the official order from Starfleet had come through promoting her, but still couldn't get used to thinking of the ready room as her own. In fact, she couldn't get used to the idea of being Captain at all, every time one of the handful of crew called her 'Captain', she still turned around looking for Captain Dexar, the original Captain of the Aventine and someone she had considered a friend.
"We're on our way back through the Gamma Quadrant; slipstream drive is still in operational though Lieutenant Leishman is doing her best to repair it." She reached up and ran her hand down her face in a weary gesture while looking around. The USS Aventine had only been officially relaunched a few months ago after undergoing a refit. Using the latest breakthroughs in technology brought back from the Delta Quadrant by then Captain, now Admiral, Janeway.
The ship was the first Vesta class ship to be fitted with the experimental Quantum Slipstream drive, along with mark XII Transphasic cannons, an updated Astrometrics array using a multidimensional wave-function analysis module and chroniton integrator. For the ships maiden voyage, Admiral Janeway had posted the ex-Borg Seven of Nine on the ship for the first mission to make sure the updated Astrometrics array and transphasic weapons were blended correctly with the Federation and alien technology. The result was a truly formidable ship of cutting edge design, merging both the cutting edge technology of the ship with Borg technology, or it was, until their maiden voyage when everything had gone drastically wrong.
The Aventine had been dispatched to the Gamma Quadrant to investigate a possible connection between the Borg attacks on the Acamar system and a possible incursion into Federation space. "We're doing our very best to return home, we are heading to the Wormhole in the gamma quadrant and should hopefully be there within the next few days. Hopefully from there we should be able to signal Utopia Planetia from Deep Space Nine and request assistance." Ezri sighed as she put down the PADD for her log and picked up another one. The same one she looked at every day to remind herself of all the people that had died on this mission so far, and how they had died. Captain Dexar and Commander Tovak were at the top of the list, the two senior officers who she considered friends, two of the crew she'd watched die in front of her on the bridge before Lieutenant G'Fokk had managed to intervene.
Captain Dexar had done his best during the battle of Acamar, they all had. In the end, they just the Borg had caused as much damage as the Aventine had inflicted. The Cube had begun attacking instantly, causing damage to the weapons and deflector array before they'd had chance to get the ablative shielding up. By the time they had, Borg drones were already on board and working through the ship methodically.
Captain Dexar had been one of the first to 'die', assimilated by the first wave of Borg attacks. The security forces on the ship had done their best, and in a combination of luck and firepower had managed to defeat the Borg on the ship before they assimilated the entire crew, though there had been heavy losses.
What was originally a crew of a five hundred and forty one, was now down to a crew of eighty four. Doctor Bashir had been aboard the Xavier, a ship that had been destroyed by the Borg trying to escape Acamar. He had been there involved in discussions with Starfleet tactical about a possible diplomatic mission to the Breen Federation when the Borg had attacked; he was now among only seventeen of the Xavier's crew they had managed to rescue. Though now she was thankful he had been aboard, a friendly face and someone she knew amongst the chaos of the ship, he'd been her rock through this ordeal and had been there for the rest of the crew as well.
"Engineering to Captain Dax," Her Comm badge chirruped, drawing her attention away from the 'list of the dead' and back to the present.
"Dax here," Ezri said, activating her comm badge as she put the PADD down.
"We've managed to repair the final coupling to the plasma grid on the Quantum Drive; I believe we're ready for a test run."
"That's the best news I've had all day Mikaela," Ezri smiled to herself, if they'd managed to fix the slipstream drive then there was every chance that by this time tomorrow they would be back home in the Alpha Quadrant.
Practically jumping out of her chair she moved to the main bridge and smiled at the crew members that were there, it had been a tiring week, they were running on less than a skeleton crew as it was, and moving through what was still dubious, if not currently enemy territory, had them all on edge. She smiled over at her first officer, Sam Bowers, before nodding at him as she took the Captain's chair while he moved down to her left where his chair was, swivelling the control panel between their chairs around so he could continue using it to monitor the situation.
"I don't know how long the Quantum drive will last for," Lieutenant Leishman informed her over the Comm link. "We've done the best we can down here, but I think short hops would be best so I can gauge how much power is being fed into the Quantum Integrator through the EPS system on each jump."
"Sounds good Mikaela," Ezri nodded. "Bring her online."
"Aye captain," Lieutenant Commander Helkara nodded back as he moved down the 'pit' area of the bridge to take the helm control from Lieutenant Oliana, allowing her time to rest.
They'd all been pulling extremely long hours in shift patterns, using a combination of caffeine and stimm's from the sick bay to stay awake and alert, though even artificial stimulants couldn't replace a good sleep, as the crew was rapidly finding out.
"Plot a course for the wormhole," Ezri said with a soft smile, there was no point in plotting a course directly back to the Alpha Quadrant. If they did that and the slipstream drive burnt itself out before they got there, then they would have wasted their one shot at using the wormhole to get back to Federation space.
"Course laid in," Lieutenant Commander Helkara reported as his fingers played along the advanced controls of the Aventine.
"Let's go then," Ezri smiled as she got herself ready in the chair. Quantum travel still didn't feel as natural to her as warp drive, but it was still new technology, currently the Aventine was one of the only ships in the fleet to use both quantum drive and standard warp drive, giving them an edge up over any other long term research vessel.
"Activating Slip Stream drive," Lieutenant Leishman voice came over the comm badge a split second before the view screen showed the familiar blue and green tunnel of the slipstream. "Power is holding steady, the quantum integrator seems to be working fine, Seven's repairs seem to be holding up Captain."
"Check our heading," Ezri said nervously, she didn't want a return trip to Borg space any time soon, in fact she'd be thankful if she never saw another Borg vessel as long as she lived.
"On course for the wormhole," Lieutenant Commander Helkara reported easily with a satisfied nod.
"Ezri to Seven," Ezri said out loud as she activated her comm badge.
"Seven here," Seven of Nine responded.
"The slipstream drive is working; we're back on course to the wormhole." Ezri reported. She knew that Seven was busy repairing some of the systems on the ablative hull armour today but knew the ex-Borg would want to know they were on their way back home. Being stranded so far in the gamma quadrant had hit her worse than anyone on board, a flashback to Voyager and her old crew it seemed.
"Acknowledged Captain, I am finishing up work on the hull armour now and will be with you shortly." Seven's voice reported with a small smile in her tone of voice.
"See you soon," Ezri smiled as she deactivated the comm system and turned her attention back to the main bridge. "Sensors?" She asked, turning to the Klingon Lieutenant Commander G'Fokk who was currently manning the tactical station.
"We are in the the heart of the gamma quadrant captain," G'Fokk responded with a slight nod. "No sign of Borg or Dominion ships, it is, 'quiet', as you say."
"Quiet is good, I think we've had enough excitement for one trip," Doctor Bashir commented off hand from the back of the bridge with a smile. "Let's hope it stays that way." He'd been sat at the science station, observing the crew in the quiet so far. Captain Dax was more than happy to have him on the bridge these days, while they had had strained times before, she still considered him a friend, and after the death of Captain Dexar, he was the rock she'd clung to to help her transition through to Captain.
"Indeed," G'Fokk frowned at him. "We are currently travelling through Dominion space, at current speed; we should be at the wormhole in a little over one hour."
"Thank you," Ezri smiled before activating her comm badge. "Ezri to all hands, we're on course for the wormhole and should be arriving in a little over an hour. Everyone to their positions please, if we're lucky we might get out of this without a fight."
With that said she deactivated her comm badge and wriggled in the chair slightly to make it more comfortable. It didn't help that she was still a clear foot and a half shorter than Captain Dexar had been, and even now still couldn't work out how to adjust the seat properly for her height. So every time she sat in it she felt like a child as her feet dangled off the edge but didn't quite touch the floor.
"Seven," Ezri smiled as she watched the ex-Borg come out of the turbo lift and make her way to the main bridge area. "Did you get the repairs done you wanted?"
"Indeed Captain," Seven said with a nod.
Ezri smiled back softly. Ever since she'd taken over as Captain she'd been running a looser ship than most of the Starfleet personnel had been used to, despite Commander Bowers' protests. Working on a first name basis with most of the crew, giving them a lot of latitude when it came to planning their days and shift patterns, strangely enough, Seven had been the one that had slipped into the regime easiest. Planning her own day far more effectively than a standard shift would have, and the loose structure of the ship allowed her to focus on the repairs she needed to on an 'as and when' basis.
"Astrometrics is running details scans as we pass through this region of space, I believe Starfleet will be thankful to receive them." Seven announced as let G'Fokk take over tactical completely while she moved into position on the astrometrics station, keeping a close eye on the slipstream station next to her while working.
"Probably," Doctor Bashir nodded in approval; it had been far too long since Starfleet had actually received reliable scans of Dominion space. And while there was currently peace between the two sides, Starfleet would still be alert of another threat coming from the Gamma Quadrant.
"Thanks Seven," Ezri smiled over. "Julian, care to join me?" She offered with a smile.
"Happy to," Doctor Bashir smiled as he followed her off the bridge into the ready room.
"Sam, you have the bridge," Ezri called out as an afterthought as the doors to the ready room closed behind her.
"Quite," Seven said out loud as she shared a small smirk with G'Fokk, causing him to bare his teeth in a wicked grin. They had both seen Julian and Ezri dancing around each other for weeks now, when he'd first came aboard there had been a few awkward glances, with Julian staying out of her way most of the time, but over the time they had been in the Gamma Quadrant they had both seemed to latch onto each other again, repairing the friendship that had been lost when Julian had left her when she chose to follow the Command path with Starfleet.
"Captain," Sam's voice broke through Ezri's relaxing mood causing her to reach for her comm badge where she'd placed it on the desk.
"Dax here," Ezri replied with a mock glare at the offending device.
"We are approaching the wormhole captain; I thought you would like to know." Sam reported efficiently.
"Thank you, we'll be there shortly." Ezri smiled before deactivating the comm badge with a click. "We should finish up." She said, picking up her plate from the ready room desk and depositing it back in the replicator. Their dinners had become a regular thing now, a time for them to talk and get to know each other again in a casual setting, without the rumour mill of the ship talking around them in the ship's bar.
"Yes, we should." Julian agreed with her as he finished off the glass of red wine, it was only replicated synthahol but it was the best they could do to go with the Betazoid dish they had replicated for tonight's meal. "I'll be glad when we're home you know, not that I haven't enjoyed this trip but..."
"I know what you mean," Ezri nodded as she started tidying up the glasses from the meal, ready to head back onto the bridge when the room shook violently, causing both her and Julian to stumble.
Forgoing calling ahead to see what was going on, Ezri quickly darted out of the ready room to the bridge to see exactly what was happening, finishing zipping her uniform up from where she'd undone the top slightly as she ran. Julian obviously had the same idea and was right behind her as they got onto the bridge. "What's going on?"
"A Borg sphere," G'fokk snarled out as the ship shook again. "The Borg must have transmitted our course ahead before we escaped."
"Is there any way to get around them?" Ezri asked as Sam moved out of the Captain's chair and took his regular position.
"No," Seven said simply. "They are too close to the entrance of the wormhole." The ship shook again drawing Seven's attention to the read out. "Shields are at eighty nine percent and regenerating."
"Return fire," Ezri said, glaring at the Borg sphere through the view screen. "We can't let them get back to the Alpha Quadrant." The last battle of Acamar was still fresh in her mind, with the deaths of so many crewmembers already, the last thing they needed was another assault from the Borg on their already damaged ship.
"They will not get through," G'Fokk snarled, running the command through the console in front of him and targeting the sphere in front of them. Golden transphasic beams of energy shot out from the Aventine, cleaving into the black and green sphere and causing its shields to flash a bright emerald green in response.
"Nice shooting," Sam nodded in approval.
"Keep it up," Ezri said, watching on the view screen as the sphere came around for another pass, the ship shook violently as it unleashed a barrage of emerald phaser cannon bursts along the dorsal section of the ship.
"The Borg shields are regenerating," Seven reported from the science station. "I am also receiving telemetry of a Cube on intercept course; it will be in firing range in less than ten minutes."
"Get us into the wormhole," Ezri said firmly, watching as Lieutenant Commander Helkara plotted the course quickly and brought them up to full impulse, the ship rocking from another Borg attack as it flew past the Borg sphere.
"We will not make it in time," Seven announced as she sent the standard proton burst ahead of them to open the wormhole before they arrived.
"What about the slipstream drive?" Sam asked sharply, turning around to face Seven "Can we use it in the wormhole?"
Seven seemed to consider this for a moment. "I am… unsure Commander. The nature of the Bajoran wormhole prevents the formation of warp fields, though the Quantum drive operates on a completely different principal."
"A simple yes or no Seven," Ezri said as the ship rocked again as the sphere continued its assault on the rear section of the ship.
"I believe so," Seven reported back.
"Plot the course," Ezri stated before activating her comm badge. "Ezri to Mikaela," Ezri said as she called down to engineering. "We're going to have to use the slipstream drive to get into the wormhole. I need a focused burst of speed."
"What? Are you crazy?" Lieutenant Leishman's voice came back over the comm system.
"It's either that or deal with the Borg Cube on our tail," Ezri practically shouted over the commlink.
"Alright alright," Mikaela replied. "You're crazy you know that Captain, I have no idea how the quantum drive will react to the wormhole's version of subspace."
"We'll find out," Ezri said, bracing herself in her chair as she watched the wormhole open ahead of them. "Activate the drive."
Space seemed to stretch out in front of them for a second before the green and blue tunnel formed around them, sucking them forward and into the Bajoran wormhole.
"Ezri," Ezri started to come round at Julian's worried voice as he cradled her head. "Thank god," He whispered, running a dermal regenerator over her head.
"What happened?" She asked, blinking furiously as she opened her eyes to the bright light the covered the main bridge.
"The quantum drive overloaded," Seven reported, causing Ezri to turn her head slightly as she pulled herself to a sitting position on the floor. "I believe the quantum warp field reacted adversely with the wormhole."
"How is everyone?" Ezri asked as she pulled herself up and sat down in the Captain's chair with Julian's help.
"There were twenty six fatalities," Seven reported. "Ensign Daniels and Lieutenant Delahaye, both were in engineering when the quantum field around the warp core collapsed, flooding engineering with chroniton particles, they are being treated by The Doctor currently."
Ezri just nodded mutely to this. "Can we raise Starfleet?"
"No," Sam reported as Doctor Bashir continued to run the dermal regenerator over Ezri's head to heal up the nasty gash that had resulted from her being thrown out of the chair violently when the quantum drive overloaded. "I've been trying, no response on any of the usual channels."
"Where… where are we?" Ezri asked, waving Doctor Bashir away from her head so she could stand up freely.
"I am unsure," Seven reported. "The wormhole destabilised after the quantum warp field collapsed. Shields are down to thirty two percent and regenerating."
"Show me," Ezri stated, moving around so she could see the main view screen. "The Sphere!" She gasped out; the Borg sphere that had been attacking them was now slowly drifting past, showing no signs of power or aggression. The thing that struck her wasn't the Borg sphere though, but the space the sphere was moving in. It definitely wasn't normal space of any description, as far as the eye could see were shifting patterns of blacks and reds, moving like some sort of current or tide throughout what they would have normally considered space.
"Sensors are offline," Seven reported anxiously. "As are weapons, we are defenceless."
"Let's hope they're in a similar boat." Julian commented as he stared out the view screen at the Borg sphere that was now flickering with intermittent green light.
"What is this place?" Ezri asked, taking in the view that was ahead of them.
"Sensors are coming back online." Seven said, breathing a sigh of relief as power was slowly restored to the bridge and the normal lighting returned. "Long range sensors are having trouble mapping the current… space, we occupy, I am reading unusually high tachyon bursts as well as several unfamiliar beacons sending out regular pulses of tachyon information," Seven reported, her fingers flying over the console buttons. "Sensors currently read no stars or planets, nor any type of spatial phenomena within fifteen light-years of our current position."
"Solar systems don't just vanish Seven," Sam said as he moved to take his normal seat, pulling the free standing console over so he could double check the results himself. "Rerun the scans."
"Astrometric data is coming in now," Seven said, ignoring the fact that Commander Bowers was second guessing her findings. "Confirming long range sensor data."
"Then your sensors must be wrong," Sam said calmly with a frown.
"I do not believe so," Seven reported. "Wherever we are, this is not normal space, perhaps the same level of subspace that the Bajoran Wormhole uses to transverse to the Gamma Quadrant, Astrometrics are running a full scan of local space now to gather more information."
"What in god's name…" Julian breathed out as he watched the black and red tides outside move in a softly hypnotic pattern.
"Captain, I believe I have an explanation," Seven reported, grabbing everyone's attention. "Sensors report a drastically different quantum signature to the universe we came from."
"Are you saying we're in the mirror universe?" Ezri asked with a frown, remembering all the dealings that Captain Sisko had had with the Mirror Universe and the inhabitants there.
"I am not," Seven stated. "The quantum signature of the mirror universe has been documented several times by Starfleet; it is different to the universe we now find ourselves in."
"Another parallel universe?" Doctor Bashir asked with a raised eyebrow. They'd had dealings with the mirror universe several times on Deep Space Nine, but have never dealt with another universe on top of that one.
"It would appear so," Seven reported. "I believe the combination of the quantum drive and the wormhole must have somehow transported us across dimensions to this reality."
"Well how do we get back then?" Sam asked, drawing everyone's attention back to him.
"I am… unsure," Seven stated calmly. "The quantum drive has been damaged, without examining the damage with Lieutenant Leishman; I will be unable to give a current estimate for repairs. However, astrometrics are not reading any sign of the wormhole in this dimension."
"That's not good," Ezri whispered as she sank back into her chair.
"Power is holding, we do have impulse and warp drive, shields and weapons are coming back online though it will take several hours to return shields and weapons to full capacity." Seven reported as she ran down the list of damage caused by the explosion of the quantum drive.
"I'm reading a ship approaching off the port side," G'fokk announced slowly. "It is like nothing I've seen before."
"Confirmed," Seven stated with a raised eyebrow as she diverted astrometrics to that area of space. "An unusual design indeed."
"Show me," Ezri said, standing up from her chair as the view screen shimmered into view displaying the strange ship. It was larger than the Aventine by at least three factors, a shimmering black ship with spikes falling off each side of it. The entire ship itself seemed off somehow, like nothing she'd ever seen before, its entire form spoke of malice and darkness as it turned in space.
"I am unable to perform a full sensor sweep of the unknown ship," Seven stated as she tapped away at the control panel in front of her. "The ship appears to be of biological design and… curious, I am reading two distinct life signs from the vessel, one of unknown origin, the other is… human."
"Have you ever seen anything like this before?" Sam asked, unable to tear his eyes away from the foreboding vessel on the view screen.
"I have not," Seven responded after a few seconds. "It's seems to share several characteristics in common with species eight four seven two. Captain, I am reading a powerful energy build-up within the core of the ship."
"Get us out of here," Ezri said automatically, knowing the ship was in no shape to enter combat with an unknown ship, especially one using as advanced technology as biological construction. "Anywhere, we're not in any position to get into a firefight here."
"Happy to," Lieutenant Commander Helkara said with a nod, his fingers dancing over the console in front of him while his eyes stayed glued to the view screen, a little voice in the back of his head told him that black ship would definitely be the thing of nightmares for some time now.
"Neither the Borg Sphere or the unknown ship is following us Captain," Seven reported after a few moments, the viewscreen having now changed from the view of the unknown ship to the black and red swirls that seemed to be outside at the moment.
"What's our situation?" Dax asked, looking at Seven in the hope of some good news.
"Transphasic cannons are off line, standard phaser banks are still down to thirty percent firing power, it will not be enough to break through the Borg shields." Seven announced as she moved from the sensor station to the tactical area of the bridge.
"Is there anyone out there, anything on any of the subspace bands?" Ezri asked as she watched Sam flicking through sensor data on the free standing console next to him.
"Nothing on standard channels," Sam frowned back. "I'm running through every channel I can think of here, nothing, there's not even the usual subspace chatter going on."
"Keep at it," Ezri said with a frown.
"I'm picking up something faint though," Sam announced after a few moments. "Could be a ship."
"Confirmed," Seven responded from where she was at astrometrics. "One ship on a course approximately seventy four AU from our current heading, life signs…" She paused, causing Dax to look at her with interest. "Life signs are human captain, weak but definitely human."
"You're sure?" Dax asked in disbelief,
"She's right," Sam agreed after running another scan. "The ship is running on reserve power though, it looks like all the power is being diverted to the engines, including life support."
"Plot a course," Dax said firmly. "Get us there as quick as you can."
"On it," Lieutenant Commander Helkara nodded.
"I recommend impulse only Captain," Seven interrupted. "I am reading unusual subspace distortions in the native space here, a warp field could be highly unstable under these conditions."
"It'll take us nearly a year at full impulse," Julian explained, doing the math quickly in his head.
"How risky is warp under these conditions?" Ezri asked, looking to Seven again.
"I shall do what I can Captain," Seven said with resignation, knowing the look in Captain Dax' eyes from experience. "I will have to manually regulate the warp field to account for the subspace distortions. I'd recommend the use of low warp only however."
"Warp two?" Dax asked cautiously.
"Acceptable," Seven said after a moment, considering the risks to the ship. "I will manually adjust the warp field from here."
"Ok," Ezri nodded as she turned to Lieutenant Commander Helkara. "Lock in the course then." She said before nodding at Seven. "Whenever you're ready."
"What the… where am I?" Marcus asked out aloud, the last thing he remembered was ordering the computer to transfer emergency power to the engines before he began meditating to slow down his breathing, whatever had happened, his body was still tingling from. He swung his body around from the laying down position he was currently in to sit up on what was obviously some sort of bed, looking around this definitely didn't look like Babylon Five or any other ship he could think of, it definitely wasn't Minbari or Earth alliance, and the soft greys and whites didn't seem to fit with what he knew about Narn or Centauri ships.
"You are on board the Aventine, in the medical bay to be precise."
Marcus span around at the voice that had just spoken, finding himself face to face with a young human in a strange uniform of some sort, the base of the uniform was pitch black, almost skin tight somehow, with a dark grey band across the top flowing past the shoulders. Underneath that was a turquoise blue collar, a gold and silver badge on the left of his chest finished the uniform off. "The Aventine?" Marcus responded thankfully. "I see, is this your ship?" He asked,
"I am the emergency medical hologram aboard the USS Aventine, you are in the ships medical bay." The Doctor explained patiently.
Marcus frowned to himself as he looked around the medical bay, memorising every detail he could to save the data later on for the Anla'Shok. "You're a hologram?" He asked in disbelief, holding back the urge to poke at the realistic looking being in front of him.
"Indeed," The Doctor sighed. "You appear to be in normal health, I could take some scans to make sure if you'd prefer, as to why you were beamed here…"
"Perhaps I can answer that," Ezri said as she walked in the door of the medical bay with G'Fokk following her. The sight must have looked pretty strange, as Ezri was only five feet tall, whereas G'Fokk towered over her as he walked behind her respectfully. "Hello, I'm Captain Dax of the Aventine."
"Marcus Cole," Marcus smiled as he looked over at the woman who had introduced herself as the Captain. "Sorry, dreadfully rude of me, I seem to be at a bit of a loss here to explain how I arrived on your ship." He explained, his eyes looking over at the large alien behind the Captain, he certainly wasn't of any race he'd ever seen or encountered, and as he'd had access to the Minbari species database for his Anla'Shok training, which encompassed pretty much all of the known races.
"This is G'Fokk, my tactical officer," Ezri smiled reassuringly over. "I'm just here to ask you some questions."
"I've got one or two of my own as well," Marcus said with a soft smile as he looked at the strange uniforms these three people were wearing. "Sorry," He said with a grin, turning to G'fokk. "I've never seen an alien anything like him before, it is a him right?" Marcus asked curiously, still looking at the huge alien.
"I am a Klingon," G'Fokk responded with half a snarl.
"We were in the area when our sensors picked up your ship," Ezri explained. "Life support was on minimum and your engines were nearly burnt out, I couldn't just let you die out there."
"Naturally," Marcus smiled thankfully. "Can I ask what you were doing out here?" He asked cautiously, not wanting to offend anyone with his questions. "I was travelling pretty far off the hyperspace beacon trail, even for Explorer class ships."
"Is that what you call this?" Ezri asked pleasantly. "Hyperspace?"
"He appears to be in perfect health Captain," The Doctor said from behind Marcus, calling his attention back to him where he could see the man was running some sort of device over his body that was humming lightly. "I'm detecting no toxins and only minor levels of pollutants in his system, evidence of several minor fractured bones, mostly healed, some over a year old."
"Well I feel fine," Marcus smiled as he stepped away from the device the doctor was pointing at him. "Bit of a tingle but otherwise good to go."
"As I said, he is in reasonable health Captain," The Doctor commented as he folded away the medical tricorder and placed it back on the workbench behind him. "The transporter would have cleared out any known pathogens, the tricorder picked up nothing unusual in his body."
"Good to know," Ezri nodded with a smile. "It was just a precaution you understand."
"Of course," Marcus nodded happily, still looking around the futuristic medical bay they were in.
"Computer, deactivate emergency medical hologram." Ezri announced calmly, causing The Doctor to shimmer in space before vanishing from view. "We've only recently arrived in this area of… sorry, hyperspace did you call it?" She continued when Marcus nodded at her.
"Love to chat and all, but were you heading to Babylon Five?" Marcus asked, figuring if they were travelling to Babylon Five then it would be much more comfortable for him to ride with them rather than using the small transport vessel he'd been using so far.
"Babylon Five?" Ezri repeated questioningly.
"A space station." Marcus explained, thinking these people were definitely from outside the unaligned races if they hadn't heard of Babylon Five before. "Heading there myself, got a bit of emergency really, need to get some information to the people there.."
"Like Deep Space Nine then," Ezri commented to herself as she waited for the man to continue. "This emergency, is there anything we can do to help?"
"I was on my way to ask for help actually, not for me, for the colony I was stationed with on Zagros Seven," Marcus explained. "We're boxed in, the Centauri are shooting anyone trying to leave, civilians, rangers, it doesn't matter."
"Is this colony is Centauri space?" Ezri asked carefully, not ideally wanting to intervene in a political dispute when, hopefully, they would only be in this space a short period of time.
"Not at all," Marcus shook his head. "The colony is actually in a nearby sector in Drazi controlled space, the Centauri have no claim to it. We're a small colony; it's a quiet world, no real importance to either the Drazi or the Centauri."
"So why are they blockading it?" Ezri asked curiously.
"Because of us," Marcus said simply. "It's the only reason that makes sense, we must be the targets."
"And you are?" Ezri asked, trying to remember all of this information to write down in her log later on.
"Noone of any importance, really," Marcus hedged around the question. "We just want to be left alone, but the Centauri refuse to let us leave the planet, shooting down anyone that tries to break the blockade."
"The acts of cowards," G'Fokk glared over. "Attacking unarmed people is not the honourable way to do combat."
"Exactly," Marcus beamed, happy that one of this strange crew seemed to agree with him. "We're boxed in on all sides, there are only a few dozen of us left, and those left are close to starving because of the limited resources the Centauri have left us with."
"We should help Captain," G'Fokk declared proudly. "The acts of cowards such as these Centauri…" He spat the name out as if it was a curse before continuing. "We should protect these people."
"And you have done nothing to antagonise the Centauri?" Ezri asked, wanting to get all of the information before committing herself and her ship to anything.
"Nothing, really," Marcus answered honestly. "Look, if you can't help can you at least let me contact Babylon Five; I have contacts there who will be able to help us."
"I'm not saying that," Ezri said as she felt G'Fokk bristle at her back. "Let's just say I do help, what sort of blockade are we talking about here?"
"One ship to man the blockage, eighteen, maybe twenty two satellites armed with plasma cannons on an orbital path," Marcus explained. "All we have to do is punch a hole through the satellites, take out three or four, then hold off the ship until the people escape."
"One thing at a time," Ezri said with a frown. "Plasma cannons?"
"Standard for a blockade mine," Marcus explained. "If you can help, please, we're getting desperate, even more a starving by the day."
"Ok," Ezri nodded after a moment's thought. "If you can use our communications array to contact Babylon Five somehow, would they be able to render assistance as well?"
"I know they will." Marcus said firmly, happy that the Captain of this strange ship was willing to help them.
"Then if you'll follow me, I'll see what we can do." Ezri said, turning to leave the medical bay and motioning for Marcus to follow her before tapping on her Commbadge. "Ezri to Seven."
"Seven here Captain."
"Have you finished the astrometrics scans?" Ezri asked, turning to check Marcus and G'Fokk were following behind her.
"Short distance scans are complete, subspace interference from the distortions is preventing us from any long range resolution." Seven explained over the commlink.
"Understand," Ezri nodded to herself in acceptance. "Can you meet us in astrometrics; we have someone here to would like to make use of our communications array."
"Of course Captain." Seven said before the commbadge beeped to signify the connection had been terminated.
"One of our crew is meeting us there," Ezri explained as she slowed down to walk alongside Marcus through the quiet corridors of the Aventine. "She'll be able to help you get a signal through to Babylon Five hopefully."
"Wonderful," Marcus smiled at her. "This is quite a unique ship," Marcus said after a moment's pause, choosing his words carefully. "Never seen anything quite like it."
"We're pretty new to the area," Ezri explained, not wanting to discuss anything until she knew exactly what she was dealing with here. The Doctor and the scans they had performed said that the man was human, but that didn't tell them much about his motives, ethics or any other problems they could come across.
"Let me be the first to officially welcome you then," Marcus grinned at over at her as they walked, stopping outside a set of doors. "Is this it?" He asked, waiting for something to happen.
"No, astrometrics is twelve levels down," Ezri explained as she moved in front of the doors, causing them to open to reveal the turbolift inside. "We'll take the turbolift down to deck seven."
"Fine by me," Marcus said with a nod, following her inside the lift with G'Fokk following him. He had to restrain himself from showing surprise as the captain stated their destination, the transport hummed lightly and some lights flashed down the corners of the lift, but that was the only indication they were moving at all, there was no gravitational force or sense of movement whatsoever.
"We're here," Ezri said after a few moments as the doors slid open again.
"That was it?" Marcus asked with a laugh. "A few seconds to drop twelve levels?" He smiled as he moved out of the lift following the Captain. "Even Minbari transport tubes aren't that smooth to ride in."
"The turbolifts are covered by the inertial dampening system," Ezri explained as she started walking down another one of the halls. "They can move through the levels at high speed without anyone feeling the velocities involved."
"Naturally," Marcus said wryly as they came around a corner to see someone waiting for them, a blonde with obvious cybernetic implants over her eye.
"Seven," Ezri smiled as she noticed her. "This is Marcus."
"The inhabitant of the shuttle we rescued," Seven stated with a nod.
"Pleased to meet you," Marcus smiled as he offered his hand. "Was in a bit of a rush, had to push the engines a bit further than was safe really." He explained when Seven simply looked at his hand.
"Diverting energy from your life support was reckless," Seven said with a frown. "What is the point of arriving somewhere faster if you do not make the journey alive?"
"It was a calculated risk," Marcus said with a shrug.
"Marcus comes from a colony that is under attack," Ezri explained. "He's requested our help in liberating his people from a blockade that has been put in place around their planet."
"Captain, we are in no shape to mount a planet scale rescue," Seven informed her.
"What's our status?" Ezri asked as she motioned for them all to continue walking towards astrometrics.
"Shields and weapons have been repaired," Seven explained. "Ablative armour is down to sixty two percent and torpedo launchers are still offline."
"Phaser banks and transphasic shielding?" Ezri asked hopefully.
"Both fully functional," Seven nodded as she stopped outside the doors to the astrometrics array to allow Ezri to walk in first. "We are only one ship however; we cannot liberate an entire planet."
"Only one colony really," Marcus explained helpfully. "We're only small, a few dozen of us really, not that much."
"Marcus seems to think if he can contact a space station nearby, then they will be able to offer assistance as well." Ezri explained as she led the way into the astrometrics room.
"I have detected no space stations within seventeen lightyears of our current position." Seven stated firmly.
"Babylon Five is in the Euphrates sector," Marcus said helpfully. "There's a jump point nearby, should be able to get a signal through on the jump beacon." He explained as the doors closed behind them and he got a good look at the room the captain had been calling 'astrometrics.'
"Beacon?" G'Fokk inquired, narrowing his eyes as he tried to understand the term and context it was being used in.
"The hyperspace beacon for the jumpgate." Marcus nodded again, then paused as he didn't see any recognition from either of the three people looking at him. "You don't know about the beacons or jumpgates?"
"I am unfamiliar with this technology," G'Fokk frowned at him.
"We don't use jumpgates, as you call them, for travel," Ezri explained. "If you could provide us with the frequency the beacon emits, we should be able to find it that way though."
"Dreadfully sorry, I thought since you were in hyperspace you either had your own jump engine or used a jumpgate to get here." Marcus explained, trying to figure out in his mind how these obviously advanced people had managed to get into hyperspace without the use of either a jump engine or a jumpgate. There were rumours of other species out there that used some sort of space folding technology to travel into hyperspace, but those rumours had yet to be confirmed or denied by the Anla'Shok or the Minbari castes.
"It seems what we're seeing as space outside is actually some form of faster than light travel," Ezri explained as Seven moved to one of the astrometrics stations and pulled up the sensor information to be displayed on the large viewscreen that dominated the room.
"As I suspected," Seven said with a nod of satisfaction. "I have detected several signals operating through this hyperspace as you call it. Along with various ships moving on constant courses throughout the nearby area."
"Can you put them on screen?" Ezri asked, smiling when the viewscreen lit up with the information she had requested. The central point of the screen showing their location with a red dot, then several other yellow dots appeared that were slowly moving around the screen, and finally fourteen blue dots appeared in what seemed to be random locations around the screen.
"The vessels you see all seem to be moving from one of these signalling devices to another," Seven explained as she indicated the yellow markers. "They rarely deviate from their course and vanish from our sensors when reaching their destination."
"This is amazing," Marcus breathed out as he walked up the steps that were beside the viewscreen to stand on the stage-like area that stood in front of the large screen. "With sensor quality like this you could map entire star systems in days."
"What do you mean they vanish?" Ezri asked, looking towards Seven for an answer.
"Precisely that Captain," Seven said simply. "Sensors pick up an unstable burst of energy at the time the ships vanish."
"Jump points," Marcus explained. "You're picking up the hyperspace beacon trail," He said, pointing to one of the blue dots. "Ships use them to jump between normal space and hyperspace, see, when you arrive at the beacon; you transmit a pulse letting the beacon know to activate the jump point. Then you just steer through back into normal space."
"And these beacons can transmit a message through to Babylon Five?" Ezri asked, looking up at where Marcus was still looking at the astrometrics viewscreen in awe.
"Easily," Marcus smiled down at her. "It's what they were designed for." He said before turning back to the view screen. "Now, if this is us…" He muttered, pointing at the red dot. "And I was travelling for five hours from the Zagros system…" He muttered again, tracing his finger to the top left of where they were until he came across a blue dot. "This is the Zagros jump point then, which means…" He trailed off again, tracing his finger back through the red dot where they were and down to the bottom right of the screen, about three feet from where the blue dot was. "This should be the Babylon Five jump point."
"Can you isolate that one?" Ezri asked, looking at Seven who was already working on one of the consoles.
"On screen," Seven said after a moment as the main viewscreen changed to display the blue dot that seemed to be pulsing slightly. "The beacon is sending out a continual pulse of data on the tachyon band."
"Can we send communications through?" Ezri asked.
"I believe so," Seven nodded after a moment's thought. "They are similar in design to the array used by the Hirogen in the Delta Quadrant, a sustained tachyon burst with a carrier signal should make it through the beacon to be received in normal space."
"Do it," Ezri said with a nod, turning back to Marcus. "Is there anyone specific we should be addressing?"
"Ambassador Delenn." Marcus said instantly.
"Captain, I'm picking up something unusual here," Commander Ivanova said hesitantly as she pulled up the information on the Command and Control computers.
"What is it?" Captain Sheridan asked as he walked over, a few papers still in his hand from where he had been going over the approvals he'd received from the various ambassadors, granting their permission to speak to Mr Endawi about the 'unknown' ship ISN had reported, the one he already knew was a Shadow ship but wasn't willing to tell Mr Endawi anything he knew.
"I'm picking up an unusual signal coming through the jumpgate," Ivanova explained. "It's on a high frequency tachyon band, extremely powerful, targeted directly at the jump point."
"Origin?" Sheridan asked curiously, none of the races he knew used tachyon bands like that for communication, especially not through hyperspace where the signal could be confused with the beacons.
"Unknown," Ivanova said with a frown. "Wherever it's coming from, it's deep within hyperspace."
"A lost transport?" Sheridan asked. "A distress beacon perhaps?"
"Targeted at us?" Ivanova asked dryly.
"Let's hear it." Sheridan said impatiently.
"Yes sir," Ivanova nodded as she activated communications and directed them to receive the unusual band. "One second, it's an intensely powerful beam, taking our computers a minute to decipher the contents."
"Whenever you're ready Commander," Sheridan said dryly as he waited, watching the console as Ivanova worked.
"Ah, here we go," Ivanova said after a moment, tapping a few buttons before the hailing screen activated displaying a fuzzy image of an unknown human wearing an unfamiliar black and grey uniform. "This is Babylon Five; state your reason for the targeted tachyon stream." She announced firmly.
"Captain Ezri Dax of the Federation Starship Aventine," The young human said, causing Sheridan to look over at Ivanova in surprise. "We have someone here to wishes to speak to an Ambassador Delenn?" She asked cautiously, looking off-screen and then smiling as she turned back.
"Ambassador Delenn can be reached through the normal communications channels," Ivanova said firmly. "Tachyon transmissions are a risk to hyperspace travellers."
"May I?" Another voice came from off the screen, this one male and English sounding, causing Sheridan to look at the screen in surprise again when another human stepped into view, this one with long hair past his shoulders and wearing a uniform he recognised instantly.
"Ah," Sheridan paused as he noticed the badge the person on the screen was wearing. "Can you transfer this to my ready room Commander, and have Delenn meet me there as soon as possible."
"Captain?" Ivanova asked, turning to him and ignoring the hailing screen for the moment.
"Transfer the channel to my ready room Commander, I'll take it from there." Sheridan said firmly as he moved to leave the Command and Control area. "Once it's transferred I want you to close the channel from C&C, I'll be talking with them alone."
"Yes Captain," Ivanova said, knowing the look on Captain Sheridan's face as one she didn't argue with. "Stand by." She said frostily, turning back to the hailing screen and transferring it through to Captain Sheridan's ready room as ordered.
"You're a Ranger," Captain Sheridan said without delay as he activated the waiting channel in his ready room, making sure the door was closed behind him so he could talk without anyone overhearing him.
"Yes Captain," The man said with a nod. "I was on my way to Babylon Five when these people offered assistance."
"Assistance?" Sheridan asked cautiously.
"I'd been pushing my engines past the mark, hoping to get to Babylon Five as quickly as I could." The man explained. "Is Ambassador Delenn there?"
"She's on her way now," Sheridan said firmly. "What were you in such a rush you get here for?"
"I'd rather wait until Ambassador Delenn was there Captain; it's something she needs to hear as well." The man said respectfully.
"Alright," Sheridan nodded at him. "Who are these people that offered you assistance then?" He asked, moving onto another topic while they waited for Ambassador Delenn to arrive.
"Captain Dax," The man nodded as he stepped out of view, only to be replaced by the sight of the woman they had first seen on the communications screen when they'd accessed the signal.
"Captain Sheridan," The woman said respectfully as she came back into view, Sheridan paused for a second as he looked at her, on first glance she obviously seemed human, it was difficult to gauge over a communications screen though but she appeared to be quite a bit shorter than the Ranger he had just been speaking with. Her short hair was pulled back tightly, exposing decorative spots that trailed down her hairline from her forehead and down her neck to below the strange uniform she was wearing.
"I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with your species Captain Dax," Sheridan said cautiously, having learnt from the past that first encounters needed to be handled as delicately as possible.
"That's understandable Captain," The woman smiled pleasantly at him. "We're new to this area, only recently having arrived here."
"And you came to the assistance of our friend there," Sheridan said with a nod, mentally scolding himself for mentioning the Rangers on an open channel previously.
"We found his ship on minimal power, he was barely alive when we got to him." The woman explained. "Though he has been extremely helpful in assisting us with information about hyperspace and the beacon system you use here."
"That's one of the things we needed to discuss," Sheridan said diplomatically. "The hyperspace beacons transmit a tachyon pulse to keep the beacon trail active, travelling ships use these tachyon pulses to navigate through hyperspace, your communication could be causing disruption throughout the beacon trail."
"I apologise Captain, I had no idea." The woman said apologetically. "Once Marcus has spoken with the ambassador then we will cease any further tachyon communications."
"It would be a good idea," Sheridan nodded thankfully, happy that this new species were open to discussion. "If you could stick to the standard…" He paused as the door chime sounded, letting him know there was someone waiting to enter his ready room. "One second Captain, I believe Ambassador Delenn has arrived." He explained before moving away from the communications screen to the door, pressing the control panel on the wall to unlock it before opening it cautiously.
"You asked to see me Captain?" Delenn asked with a smile as the door opened.
"I did," Sheridan smiled back as he stepped away from the door to let her enter the room before closing it behind her. "A few minutes ago we received a communication on an extremely high frequency tachyon band," Sheridan explained as he led her over to the communications screen. "This is Captain Dax, where the communication originated from." He said by way of introduction as he gestured to the young woman on the screen. "Captain Dax, Ambassador Delenn of the Minbari Federation."
"Thank you for speaking with us Ambassador," The woman said politely as Ambassador Delenn came into view.
"The pleasure is mine Captain," Delenn smiled back at the woman. "What can I do for you?"
"Actually, we're just here to pass on a message," The woman explained before moving out of view, letting the Ranger come back into view on the screen.
"Entil'Zha," Marcus bowed deeply as he came into view.
"Marcus," Delenn smiled fondly as she recognised the person on the screen, bowing back slightly in respect.
"I would not have contacted you unless it was urgent Delenn," Marcus explained apologetically.
"It's alright Marcus, what is it?" Delenn asked curiously, why one of the Rangers was contacting her on such an unusual frequency, the Rangers were taught to hide in secrecy; it was one of the most sacred tenants of the Anla'Shok.
"We're under attack," Marcus said plainly. "The Centauri have put up a blockade around our colony. They came about two weeks ago, planting blockade mines in orbit around the planet, shooting down anyone who tries to leave."
"The Centauri?" Delenn asked in shock. "Why would they do such a thing? Zagros Seven has no strategic value to them, no diplomatic or mining value."
"Exactly," Marcus agreed with her. "That's why I believe we have to be the target."
"I believe you are correct," Delenn said thoughtfully before turning to Captain Sheridan. "Zagros Seven is one of our training camps for the Rangers," She explained.
"Not here," Sheridan said, cutting her off before she should say anything else. "What can we do to help?" He asked, looking at the screen again.
"We need help to evacuate," Marcus explained. "Captain Dax has offered, but she only has the one ship, not enough to mount a full defence against the blockade satellites."
"We can't do much more," Sheridan said after a moment. "It would take weeks for the nearest starship to get here, days more to get to Zagros Seven."
"Our people don't have weeks Captain," Marcus said pleadingly. "They're already on the brink of starvation, the cold hasn't left much in the way of farmland and the blockade is preventing anyone from trying to bring supplies in."
"I'm willing to help Captain," The female Captain said as she moved into view alongside Marcus. "I can provide assistance if you can help keep the satellites off our back."
"Ours is only a small colony, we only started operations there several months ago," Delenn explained. "There can't be more than thirty or forty people there."
"Less," Marcus said with a frown. "Two dozen, perhaps more." He said sadly. "The rest were shot down trying to leave or managed to escape before the blockade was fully in place."
"Can you accommodate that many?" Captain Sheridan asked, looking over at Captain Dax.
"Easily Captain," Captain Dax replied simply. "The problem is the satellites and any ships these Centauri have left there to help in maintaining the blockade,"
"We can handle that," Delenn said slowly. "If you are willing to help, we can arrange to meet you at your coordinates, from there we can launch a defence."
"We can?" Sheridan asked in disbelief. "Delenn, we can't openly attack a Centauri blockade, not in Earthforce ships. Besides, it would take days for the Starfuries to reach the Zagros jump point, by then it would be too late."
"Trust me Captain," Delenn smiled at him softly. "Transmit your coordinates through; we will be with you shortly."
"Understood," Captain Dax said with a nod.
"Thank you Delenn," Marcus bowed deeply before the Captain Sheridan cut off the communications channel.
"You mind explaining to me just how we're going to do all this?" Sheridan asked. "Mounting an attack on a Centauri blockade would be amount to advertising to them to come and attack Babylon Five itself."
"We have the means Captain," Delenn smiled at him.
"Not to mention going into battle with an unknown ally," Sheridan continued, ignoring Delenn's curious look. "We don't even know this Captain Dax, her species, her motives, hell, what sort of ship she's in."
"Does the fact she offered to help at the risk of her own ship not count in her favour?" Delenn asked quietly. "Or the fact she rescued one of the Rangers from trouble in hyperspace?"
"I'll admit, she's done right so far," Sheridan nodded in agreement. "But that doesn't mean I like going into battle with a Captain I've only just met."
"Then you will have to talk with her before we go into battle," Delenn smiled softly. "Come, there are preparations to be made." She said with a small nod, indicating for him to follow her. "We'll use my transport to go where we need."
"What sort of preparations, Delenn?" Sheridan asked as he followed her out of the room. "Garibaldi," He announced, tapping on the commlink on his wrist. "Meet me in the docking area." He said when the commlink beeped to let him know that a connection had been made before he pressed it again to close it. "If I'm doing this, I'm sure as hell not going in there blind," He muttered to himself as he followed Delenn down the corridors of Babylon Five.
"Did they get them?" Captain Dax asked, turning to Seven for confirmation that their location had been transmitted along the link.
"I believe so," Seven nodded quickly. "I transmitted our relative location using the six closest beacons for reference."
"That should be enough," Marcus nodded in agreement as he followed Captain Dax off of the main platform and down to the main floor. "It'll take them two, maybe three hours to get here Captain." He explained as they joined Seven and G'Fokk on the main floor.
"I will continue repairs on the ablative armour then," Seven said with a nod.
"Agreed," Ezri nodded back at her. "See what you can do about the torpedo tubes as well, we might need them if this turns into a firefight."
Seven simply nodded before walking out of the room, the automatic doors to the astrometrics array opening and closing silently for her to leave.
"Is there anything you'd like while we wait?" Ezri asked, turning back to Marcus. "Something to eat, I can arrange for a place to rest if you'd like?"
"Something to eat would be marvellous," Marcus grinned at her.
"Alright, we can arrange something in the briefing room while you explain to me what exactly we're going to be expecting in the blockade of yours," Ezri commented as she gestured to leave the room, Marcus following closely with G'Fokk. "And any information you have on the Centauri weapons for Lieutenant G'Fokk would be appreciated as well." She explained as she led the way back to the turbolift.
"Captain," Ivanova called out as she rushed down to the docking bay where Captain Sheridan, Ambassador Delenn and Mr Garibaldi where talking animatedly. "This was transferred over the tachyon link shortly after the communication finished, it took our computers a while to decipher it, but it appears to be coordinates." She explained, holding out the data crystal for Sheridan to take.
"Ah, good," Sheridan nodded. "I was just about to call you to see if you'd received anything."
"Yes sir," Ivanova nodded. "Can I ask what this is all about?" She asked, looking around at the stoic faces of Delenn and Garibaldi. "It's about the Rangers isn't it?" She asked blatantly, ignoring the shocked looked that covered their three faces.
"Commander, how… where, no how do you know about that?" Captain Sheridan spluttered out in surprise.
"Captain, the day something happens around here and I don't know about it, worry." Commander Ivanova said with a frown. "Now, is there some reason we're all just standing around in the docking bay, or do we have somewhere to be?"
"You said the computer translated the coordinates received from Captain Dax?" Sheridan asked, tabling the discussion about the Rangers until they were in a more private setting, while the docking bay for Ambassador Delenn was mercifully quiet; there was always the chance of being overheard by one of the dockhands or a passing diplomat.
"It took a while, the coordinates were plotted using the beacons as a frame of reference, once the computer mapped the jump points together, we managed to extrapolate the hyperspace coordinates from there." Ivanova explained.
"Good," Sheridan nodded as he held up the crystal. "Now, apparently Delenn has something to show us, I was going to wait until we returned to discuss all of this with you, but since you already seem to know everything that's going on, and I doubt you're going to let me leave without making a fuss…"
"You've got more chance of Ambassador Mollari and G'Karr exchanging friendship bracelets Captain," Ivanova said with a small smile.
"As I thought," Sheridan said with a nod. "Well then, shall we?" He asked, turning to Delenn to lead the way to her transport where Lennier was waiting for them.
"The Centauri are a race with ties to several of the older races," Marcus explained as he stood at the briefing table, having been introduced to Commander Bowers and Lieutenant Delahaye, being quite surprised at the bright green skin of Lieutenant Delahaye had until Captain Dax had explained she was half Orion and half human. "Earth, the Minbari, the Narn, the Pakmara and several of the non-aligned worlds." He continued before nodding at Lieutenant G'Fokk who looked like he wanted to speak.
"What capabilities do these blockade satellites offer?" G'Fokk snarled out, eager to begin the battle.
"Their ships primarily use ion cannons, though rumours of mass driver technology being incorporated into their larger ships has reached us," Marcus explained solemnly.
"And their satellites?" Ezri asked curiously.
"Plasma based cannons," Marcus nodded to her. "Low power blasts on a repeating sequence, six, maybe eight canons per satellite. Enough to take down most transports and cruisers."
"I will be able to tell you more when I have performed scans of these satellites Captain," Seven said from across the table. "I recommend approaching cautiously until I have determined the threat these plasma cannons represent."
"I concur," G'Fokk nodded solemnly. "If we are to help these people, this cowardly blockade must be destroyed."
"We'll wait for Captain Sheridan," Ezri said calmly. "This is his space after all; we can coordinate plans with him." She said with a nod. "Now, Marcus, perhaps you can tell us more about Babylon Five?" She asked curiously, pouring herself a glass of water from the pitcher on the table that was alongside a bowl of fruit she'd replicated for the meeting, something that had astounded Marcus though he hadn't asked any questions about the technology.
"Happy to," Marcus smiled at her. "Did you manage to link with my ship with the codes I gave you?" He asked, looking at Seven and smiling.
"I did." Seven nodded at him. "The information was quite useful in mapping this area of hyperspace, I have integrated the maps into the ships database as well should we need to view them later."
"Let's see them," Ezri said eagerly as she tossed around an orange, contemplating pealing it and eating it while Seven walked over to the screen at the side of the side of the room and activated it, pulling up the information she'd requested.
"According to the information stored in the ships navigational charts, this is where Babylon Five is stationed." Seven explained, pointing to a small star system on the map. "It is apparently in neutral space outside of any regulated or disputed territory, though it should be noted that the Earth Alliance claims responsibility for keeping the peace around Babylon Five space."
"So neutral, but on a mutual agreement," Sam nodded as he listened to what was being said.
"Precisely," Seven nodded at him. "The Babylon Five station is eight point zero six four five kilometres long, rotating to provide gravity to the inhabitants."
Both Ezri and Sam let out a whistle at this, even G'Fokk and Lieutenant Delahaye looked impressed at this bit of information. "That's a pretty big station," Commander Bowers said in recognition of the feat of engineering accomplished, even Deep Space Nine was only one and a half kilometres across.
"Indeed," Seven nodded. "A Borg cube measures three point zero four kilometres on each side precisely." She explained, giving them all a frame of reference they could easily picture now.
"Big," Sam summed it up with one word.
"And this station serves as a diplomatic station for all species?" Ezri asked curiously, pondering if Babylon Five should be their next port of call once they had dealt with the problem Marcus had brought to their attention and met with Captain Sheridan.
"Quite," Marcus nodded. "All the primary races have diplomatic ties there, with representatives from all the major governments serving as ambassadors. It's well known as the biggest diplomatic and trading port around, without heading into any of the major race's territory anyway."
"Neutral ground with ties to all major races," Ezri commented softly, thinking about this to herself, Babylon Five was looking better and better for a place to visit, perhaps gather information as they stayed as well.
"What about the Borg Sphere?" G'Fokk asked, raising the discussion that no one wanted to talk about yet. "We cannot be certain of its destruction. We should not have abandoned battle."
"We were in no shape to fight," Ezri argued back.
"Excuse me," Marcus asked, jumping into the conversation again. "What exactly is a Borg Sphere?"
"This is extremely impressive Delenn," Sheridan commented as he sat in the chair central on the bridge of the White Star.
They'd been in hyperspace for nearly an hour now, following the coordinates given to them by Captain Dax. Even now he was still getting used to the ship they were in, it was completely different to anything he'd seen before, a combination of Minbari and Vorlon technology blended to create something entirely new.
"I agree," Ivanova said from the side. "I've never seen anything…"
"We're approaching the coordinates given," Delenn announced apologetically as she interrupted Ivanova.
"Is Captain Dax waiting?" Sheridan asked curiously, wanting to know a little more about this mysterious captain.
"One ship is waiting at the coordinated we received," Delenn said with a smile.
"Unknown configuration," Lennier said from where he was sat to one side of the bridge, manning the sensor station.
"Can you show me?" Sheridan voiced the question he and Ivanova were thinking.
"Look," Delenn smiled at him as Lennier manipulated the controls so transfer the sensor readings over to the holographic display, watching as the view screen shimmered down from the bridge celling into view at the front of the bridge.
"Amazing," Sheridan breathed out as he watched the holographic display come into view, his breath hitching a second time as the display shimmered again to show a ship completely different from anything else he had seen before.
"Curious," Delenn spoke first, moving forward to get a better look at the unknown ship. "A strangely attractive design, almost Minbari."
"It does look similar to the White Star," Lennier agreed from his station. "I'm reading a considerable higher energy profile though, unknown armament and propulsion."
"What can you tell me?" Sheridan asked, turning around to face Lennier.
"Not much," Lennier said with a frown. "Energy profile is extremely high for a ship of that size; I'm reading some form of energy based weapons array, unknown strength or type."
"So basically you're telling me we don't know anything," Sheridan groused as he turned back to the viewer, he had to admit though that it was certainly a different look to anything else he'd seen. The ship before them was slightly larger than the White Star, with long protrusions down the back of the ship that seemed to run half the length of the entire vessel, the entire ship was sleek, with blue strips of light lit up against the dark red space moving around it. "Hail them." He said after a moment's thought, nodding to Lennier to be ready in case the unknown ship turned on them.
"Hailing," Delenn said with a smile as she moved to one of the consoles and waved her hand over the crystals there. "No response."
"Try again," Sheridan frowned, wanting to try at least one more time before bringing weapons online. Meeting an unknown ship in hyperspace was a risk as it was, when the unknown ship refused to answer communications, that definitely signalled something was wrong.
"Still nothing," Delenn frowned. "It is as if they do not know we are here at all."
"They used tachyon transmissions before," Sheridan said, remembering the communication they'd received on Babylon Five. "That could be their standard way of communicating, they might not have the necessary equipment to receive the transmissions we're sending." He frowned, turning to Lennier. "Mr Lennier, can we send a tachyon transmission, directed at the ship?"
"I believe so," Lennier nodded after a moment. "It will take a moment for me to…" He trailed off as he realigned some of the crystals on the control panel in front of him. "There, I believe that should do it Captain."
"Open communications again, hail them using the tachyon frequency," Sheridan said as he turned back to the front of the bridge.
The view screen shimmered for a few more seconds before it was replaced with the picture of the woman they had seen before when she had contacted Babylon Five a few hours ago.
"Captain Sheridan," Captain Dax smiled over. "We were told it would be you."
"Were you," Sheridan said wryly, noticing the unusually bright bridge area they were in, the Captain's chair seemed to be raised several steps above the other consoles in the room, much like the consoles in Command and Control back on Babylon Five were sunk below standard level. He nodded as he noticed Marcus standing beside the Captain's chair, smiling softly as he realised Marcus must have told them about the White Star and what to expect.
"We've only come across biological technology a few times before Captain; it's rare to see it used in ship construction like yours." Dax said with a smile.
"Well I certainly haven't seen anything like your ship before either," Sheridan answered back with a smile, happy at the thought they were both off balance on this little encounter. "Perhaps we should meet in person to discuss strategy, that is if you're still willing to help."
"Of course," Dax nodded at him in acceptance. "I can offer refreshments here while we discuss the nature of this blockade. I'm sure you have plenty of questions to match my own Captain." Ezri said with a smile.
"Oh you can be sure of that," Sheridan smiled back. "I'm assuming you have docking capabilities for shuttles?"
"Of course Captain," Dax nodded back, happy she didn't have to explain they were actually having a hard time getting a sensor sweep past the technology of the ship in front of them. "We'll be happy to have you aboard."
"Agreed," Sheridan smiled over the link. "I look forward to it." He said before motioning to Delenn to cut the link. "Thoughts?" He asked, looking at Commander Ivanova first before turning to Delenn.
"They seem trustworthy," Delenn spoke up first. "Marcus would have let me know if there was anything to worry about on board their ship, he seemed happy to be there in fact."
"Perhaps they were forcing him to be there," Ivanova commented pessimistically. "A trap to lure you both on board."
"I don't think so," Sheridan frowned thoughtfully. "Delenn's right, Marcus could have signalled if anything was wrong, so far Captain Dax has been nothing but open with us." He said carefully, thinking about how many rules he was breaking with involving a first contact scenario in a battle. "They're offering to help, and I can't think of any better way to gauge their tactical abilities than seeing them in battle."
"I agree there," Ivanova nodded simply. "I'm just not happy about being onboard an unknown ship when we don't know anything about the race it represents."
"Who said you were coming with us?" Sheridan asked sharply.
"Well you need someone to watch your back over there," Ivanova countered logically. "Lennier has to stay here to man the White Star, besides; I can't let you have all the fun, can I?"
"I suppose not," Sheridan nodded weakly, seeing that this was a battle he was bound to lose anyway.
"Seven," Ezri said aloud, calling the attention of the ex-Borg over to her. "If you'll excuse us a moment." She smiled over to Marcus, leaving him on the bridge with Julian and G'Fokk while heading into her ready room with Seven.
They both waited until they were in the ready room and the doors had closed behind them before Ezri finally turned to Seven. "Thoughts?" She asked, turning to the replicator and ordering a fresh orange juice.
"An advanced vessel," Seven said easily. "Incorporating both crystalline and biological technology into the hull. Our scans could not penetrate the hull of the vessel, though the ships energy signature appears to be fusion based."
"Is it possible biological technology is the norm in this universe?" Ezri asked curiously, seeing as this ship was the only the third ship they'd encountered so far, and the second to use biological technology of some sort.
"Is it possible," Seven nodded in agreement. "The humans of this universe are obviously further advanced than the current Federation, there are only a few species within our own universe that utilise crystalline technology in their starships."
"So what are we looking at here?" Ezri asked thoughtfully. "Could the humans here know of a way for us to get back to our universe?"
"Unknown," Seven replied simply. "Without discussing the matter with them, I see no reason to speculate on what their knowledge might entail."
"I'll ask when this is all over," Ezri nodded to herself as he finished off the orange juice. "How far are we on repairs?"
"Torpedo tubes are still inoperational," Seven reported with a slight frown. "I am having trouble with some damaged EPS relays through the primary systems, ablative armour is at sixty eight percent, leaving sections along the port and aft exposed."
"Better than nothing," Ezri nodded. "I'll keep that in mind if things get bad."
"The transphasic arrays are fully charged and standing by however," Seven explained. "Forward and aft Mark Twelve cannons are standing by as well."
"That should be enough," Ezri nodded, the new Mark Twelve phaser cannons were one of the new additions to the Vesta class ships, using a concentrated 'prefire chamber', in which the phaser actively powered up, but held the beam before releasing the blast in a single concentrated burst that was effectively a controlled overload. In combination with the transphasic arrays these made for a formidable attack, having both been designed to combat the Borg menace.
Ezri was brought out of her musings as the door slid open, revealing Commander Bowers in the doorway. "Captain Sheridan has just left his ship," Julian explained. "The transport should be here soon."
"I'll head down to meet him then," Ezri nodded in thanks, putting her empty glass on the table ready for recycling back into the replicator next chance she got. "How are things out there?" She asked, knowing Sam had been dealing with the crew reports and problems for the last few hours while she dealt with their visitor.
"Mostly confused," Sam said with a frown. "Word seems to have spread about us being in another universe, most would have guessed anyway just by looking out of the windows," He explained, gesturing to the windows that lined the side of her ready room offering an un-obscured panoramic view of the shifting red and black swirls outside. "A lot of them are still dealing with the losses we suffered at the hands of the Borg, now this…" He paused thoughtfully as he turned away from the view the large windows offered. "They're holding it together, but I don't know how long it will last before things start getting strained."
"Hopefully we should get a break soon," Ezri said with a small smile.
"From your lips to God's ears," Sam commented with a smile.
"Keep an eye on the bridge while I'm with Captain Sheridan," Ezri said as she led the way out of her ready room back onto the bridge of the Aventine. "And contact Ensign Tucker; see about organising some shift rotations with longer periods of downtime. We've all been pushing the limit for the past week or so, once this blockade is dealt with I intend to make time for everyone to rest while we try and figure out a way home."
"I'll do what I can," Sam smiled at her.
"Marcus," Ezri smiled over. "Would you like to accompany me?"
"Delighted to," Marcus smiled back. "May I make one suggestion though Captain?"
"Sure," Ezri nodded at him, wondering what he was thinking.
"The fruit you had earlier, on the table in the conference room," Marcus explained his thoughts. "Would you mind if we took it with us?"
"I don't see any reason why not," Ezri said with a frown, wondering why the basket of fruit would do them any good in a first contact meeting. She could always just replicate another basket when they met in the conference room to discuss battle strategy later on.
"Good," Marcus smiled at her.
"We can pick it up on our way down," Ezri nodded. "Shall we?" She gestured to the turbolift on the side of the bridge before walking alongside him towards the doors with G'Fokk joining them before the turbolift doors closed.
"Captain," Ivanova said wearily as she noticed the shimmer in front of them, they'd swung around to the rear of the ship automatically, as that's where most ships kept access to their shuttle bays, having to steer the shuttle down between the two large pylons that ran down the back of the sheep almost like a guiding system before finding an open arch for them travel through, what wasn't expected was the soft golden hue that was shimmering between the arch and the vacuum of space.
"I see it Commander," Sheridan frowned from where he was sat, Delenn was piloting the shuttle, it was Minbari after all, leaving Sheridan and Ivanova sat slightly back from the main pilot's console.
"Slowing to a stop," Delenn said after a moment, effectively parking the transport shuttle just outside of where the energy field was shimmering in front of them. "Impressive, the Minbari have not come across this type of shield technology before."
"Nor have we," Sheridan frowned, looking at the shimmering wall of energy. "Shield technology is still a pipe dream as far as the Earth Alliance is concerned; none of the races we've had contact with have had much success with it."
"It appears these have," Ivanova said wearily.
"We're receiving a signal," Delenn explained as she waved her hands over a set of the crystal displays, frowning when a set of Minbari characters came up on the view screen. "We're to proceed through the shield and dock inside."
"Through the shield?" Sheridan asked curiously.
"I had the computer translate the instructions twice," Delenn said thoughtfully. "It is what it says."
"By all means then," Sheridan nodded with a small smile, double checking he was secure in the chair and noticing Ivanova doing the same.
The shuttle moved forwards slowly at first, edging towards the shield before touching it with the nose of the ship, as no impact was felt from the force field surrounding the archway, Delenn pushed the ship further forward to land inside the docking area.
"Not much of a force field," Ivanova said wryly as the shuttle moved through the golden barrier without resistance.
"On the contrary," Delenn interrupted, gesturing with her hand towards the viewscreen, where Captain Dax, along with Marcus and two other humanoids were stood in the docking area casually. "I'm reading atmosphere and gravity."
"A directional force field?" Sheridan asked in amazement. "Why, the applications alone are staggering, if this is any indication of the technological level of these people…" He trailed off as Delenn controlled the shuttle to land in the large open area of the shuttle bay, looking out of the view screen at the various shuttle craft and smaller transports that were obviously docked as part of the ships overall complement. "I think we may have just found a valuable ally here Delenn."
"I agree," Delenn nodded in agreement as the shuttle landed, a soft thud could be heard as contact was made and clamps automatically engaged. "Atmosphere and gravity appear to be within normal levels."
"Artificial gravity, shields, makes you wonder what else these people have in their pockets," Sheridan mused with a smile as the view screen disengaged, unbuckling his belt eagerly and standing up ready to get out and meet this new race face to face for the first time.
"I am as curious as you," Delenn smiled at him as she stood up from the pilot's seat, ready to follow Captain Sheridan out of the shuttle to meet the people waiting outside.
"You two be curious, I'll be the cautious one," Ivanova muttered, checking her PPG was ready in its holster as she stood up, walking beside Captain Sheridan as Delenn manipulated the controls to lower the boarding ramp.
"A curious design," G'Fokk commented as he looked at the odd ship that had just docked in the shuttle bay, it was shimmering blue in the light with silver highlights, a sleek and aerodynamic design with odd tail sections coming off the side and back of the shuttle.
"Beautiful though," Ezri commented as she appreciated the way the crystalline nature of the ship's hull reflected the bright lights of the shuttle bay.
"All Minbari technology is designed like this," Marcus explained with a smile. "Almost aquatic I think is the most common thought."
"I'd agree with them." Ezri said with a nod, noting the fact that Marcus had identified this as a Minbari ship, not a human built one, watching as three people came out of the back of the shuttle where a ramp had slowly lowered. She watched as the man she had spoken to on the view link twice now took the lead, with the woman Marcus had spoken to, Ambassador Delenn, walking beside him and another woman to the other side. "Captain Sheridan." She smiled as she walked over to greet him, holding her hand out for him to shake.
"Captain Dax," Sheridan smiled as he took the hand, a bit surprised at her diminutive height compared to the large alien behind her. "This is Ambassador Delenn," He said, gesturing to his left. "And Commander Ivanova." He introduced, gesturing to the woman on his right.
"Lieutenant Commander G'Fokk, my head of security," Ezri explained, introducing the large alien who towered over the rest of them. "And Seven, our engineering expert."
"Marcus," Delenn smiled fondly as Marcus came into view from behind the large alien, she was happy to see he actually seemed more well and rested than he had the last time they had spoken several weeks ago.
"Entil'zha," Marcus bowed deeply. "Captain Sheridan." He smiled, bowing to Sheridan as well.
"Marcus," Sheridan nodded in greeting, having been told about Marcus in great length by Delenn on their trip to the rendezvous point. "This is some ship you've got here Captain." He said, looking around the shuttle bay are the various smaller shuttles he could see parked ready for use.
"I could say the same," Ezri smiled back. "Your ship and your shuttle are beautiful to look at, quite a unique design compared to others I've seen."
"As is yours," Sheridan said in agreement to her thoughts. "I don't believe we've come across your race before, and certainly not yours Mr G'Fokk was it?" He asked, hoping he wasn't offending the large alien with his question.
"G'Fokk is a member of the Klingon race Captain," Ezri explained. "Proud warriors who serve their empire honourably."
G'Fokk bowed at her words, baring a set of sharp teeth in what Sheridan approximated was an attempt at a smile, but the sight was more unnerving than having him simply tower over them. The alien must have been nearly seven feet tall, the pure black uniform with the grey strip across the top making him seem that much taller and more imposing against the white and soft blues of the shuttle bay they were stood in.
"What have you got there?" Delenn asked, bringing Sheridan's attention back to where Marcus was standing, carrying what appeared to be a large bowl of fresh fruit in one hand, a bowl he was sure he hadn't been carrying moments earlier.
"Are those…" Sheridan trailed off, looking at the bowl in amazement.
"It can't be," Ivanova muttered as she saw what Captain Sheridan was staring at. "Apples? Oranges, bananas?" Ivanova asked in amazement.
"All fresh," Marcus smiled with a nod.
"You're kidding," Sheridan said in disbelief, getting fresh fruit this far out in space was murder, literally in some cases. He'd heard tales of smugglers actually killing to get live produce out to the deep range ships and stations.
Ezri nodded with a smile. "Please," She gestured as Marcus held the bowl out. "I didn't quite understand when Marcus asked to bring the fruit down with us, but I'm starting to see why he did." Ezri explained as she watched the three visitor's gingerly pick up a piece of fruit each to investigate.
"I haven't seen a fresh orange in… well, a long time," Sheridan said in awe as he pierced the skin with his thumbnail, enjoying the hiss it made as it sprayed juice over his hand. "God, it's been years since I've done this." He said in enjoyment, slowly pealing the skin away from the fruit.
"I take it fresh produce is at a premium on Babylon Five then?" Ezri asked, curious to find out everything she could about the nature of the universe they were currently in.
"You could say that," Sheridan said with a smile. "How… I don't understand, these are fruits grown on earth, how did you get them out here?"
"Well, to be honest, those fruits weren't actually grown anywhere," Ezri said with a small smile. "Come, I'll explain on the way." She said, gesturing for them to follow her as she led the way out of the shuttle bay into the corridor outside. "We use a technology called replication for most of our day to day needs," Ezri explained as she walked, noting how Captain Sheridan and Ambassador Delenn walked alongside her while Commander Ivanova hung back to walk alongside G'Fokk.
"Replication?" Delenn repeated curiously. "I don't understand."
"It's a form of energy to matter transfer," Seven took over explaining from behind her. "The ships computer stores the information needed to replicate the item, the replicator simple converts the necessary matter and energy stored in the buffer to the requested item."
"So this isn't a real orange?" Sheridan asked, amazed at the idea behind the technology they were discussing.
"Not as such no," Ezri agreed with him. "Though it's created from an exact quantum scan of an orange, the replicator simply realigns the matter to fit with the original pattern."
"Tastes real enough," Sheridan commented after taking a bite cautiously, watching as Ivanova frowned at him before tasting her own apple, where she'd simply been holding it before.
"So you can create anything using these replicators?" Sheridan asked curiously. "Food, supplies, clothing, equipment?"
"Everything we need," Ezri nodded at him. "The only cost is the energy required to make the conversion in the first place."
"A curious piece of technology," Delenn commented from where she was contemplating the small purple berry she was holding.
"That one's from Risa," Ezri smiled as she saw the berry Delenn was holding. "I didn't realise those were in there."
"Risa?" Sheridan asked, unfamiliar with the name.
"A pleasure planet back home," Ezri explained fondly. "The berries are grown on one of the bushes that are native to their planet; they have quite strong aphrodisiac properties." Ezri explained with a soft smile.
"Right," Sheridan frowned as he fought back the thought of Delenn ingesting aphrodisiacs. "Perhaps you should leave that one." He suggested, holding out his hand to take the berry off of Delenn, smiling when she placed it in his hand gently. "We don't know what effect it might have on her physiology." Sheridan explained to Captain Dax who nodded in agreement.
"I'm sure we can find something for your pallet," Ezri said with a smile as she paused outside the turbolift doors. "I'll take Captain Sheridan and Ambassador Delenn up to the conference room," Ezri explained as the doors opened, showing the turbolift chamber inside. "If you follow we can meet you there."
"Captain…" Ivanova started to protest but was cut off by Captain Sheridan.
"I'm sure we'll be fine Commander," Sheridan said surely as he followed Captain Dax inside the small chamber. "We'll see you there." He said simply as the doors closed.
"Is your Captain like this as well?" Ivanova asked, turning to the alien G'Fokk who stood beside her, looking up at him as he loomed a clear foot and a half taller than her.
"Frequently," G'Fokk snarled out.
"Glad it's not just me," Ivanova said as she turned to look at the other member of the crew that had been left with them, the blonde woman that Captain Dax had simply introduced as Seven. She was nearly as tall as she was, with her hair tied back neatly on her head. The bits that caught her eye though were the obvious cybernetic implants above one of her eyes and over her left hand, tracing her fingers like a technological web. "It's a nice ship." She commented idly, just to break up the silence more than anything.
"You haven't seen anything yet," Marcus said with a smile as the turbolift doors opened with a soft hiss for them to enter.
"Simply amazing Captain," Captain Sheridan said as he walked into the conference room, his eyes immediately drawn to the large set of windows that dominated the left side of the room where outside he could see the White Star hovering alongside.
"Quite," Ambassador Delenn smiled. "Your race is truly advanced; it is surprising we have not heard of you before."
"Well, there's a slight story to that," Captain Dax said, gesturing to the chairs that were neatly placed along the large metallic table that ran the length of the room. "Please," She smiled, moving to take a seat herself. "The others will join us soon."
"May I?" Sheridan asked, motioning to the pitcher of clear liquid that stood on the table along with several glasses.
"Just water," Ezri said with a nod.
"I was hoping so," Sheridan smiled back. "Now, you were saying something about a story?" He continued as he poured himself a glass of water before pouring one for Delenn and sitting down with her on the opposite side of the table from where Captain Dax was sat.
"We actually came here by accident," Ezri broke in, deciding to dive in straight to the deep end with the explanation. "Seven can explain it better than I can, but we were under attack by a race called The Borg…"
"Not heard of them either," Sheridan interrupted with a shake of his head.
"You wouldn't have," Ezri frowned slightly. "Though I fear you may soon." She said sadly. "As I was saying, we were under attack and had to use an experimental means of propulsion in untested circumstances." She explained briefly, not wanting to get into the scientific detail behind the Quantum Slipstream Drive or the mechanics behind the Bajoran Wormhole. "The result overloaded our engines, damaging the experimental drive and resulted in finding ourselves in what you call hyperspace."
"It is heard of," Delenn said thoughtfully. "I have heard of some of the younger races that developed jump technology by accident, an experiment with propulsion or gateway technology that resulted in the creation of a jump engine."
"I'm afraid that's not the case here," Ezri said with a sigh. "Upon finding ourselves in hyperspace, one of the first things Seven did was run an astrometrics scan of the surrounding area." She explained, pausing when Captain Sheridan frowned at the unfamiliar word. "A type of sensor array we use for navigational charting and mapping spatial anomalies." She explained further. "It was then we discovered the quantum resonance of this universe differs quite drastically to our own."
"I see," Delenn frowned over. "Then, you are not from this universe then?"
"Not from this universe?" Sheridan asked in shock, the technobabble having gone completely over his head. "Would one of you mind clueing me in on what I missed there?"
"The quantum resonance as you call it," Delenn explained softly. "To the Minbari it is known as the Kalac'cha, God's Fingerprint to use the human term," She explained to Captain Sheridan with a smile. "The entire universe has the same fingerprint, an energy signature that covers everything, every item from you and me, to the White Star and Babylon Five itself."
"Ok, so we've all got this signature," Sheridan nodded, following so far.
"What Captain Dax is saying, is that their fingerprint, or energy signature, is different to ours." Delenn explained. "The experiment she talks about must have crossed the walls between universes and brought them here."
"You're from another universe?" Sheridan asked, looking at Captain Dax with even more curiosity now.
"And we're not sure if we can return to our own," Dax said sadly, looking over the table at them before the doors hissed open and G'Fokk walked in followed by Commander Ivanova, Marcus and Seven.
"Commander," Sheridan said happily. "You just missed the big reveal." He smiled over at her as they all came and sat at the table, Captain Sheridan's crew on one side and Captain Dax' crew on the other.
"Oh?" Ivanova asked cautiously, looking over at Captain Dax for an explanation before turning back to Captain Sheridan.
"It seems Captain Dax here, along with her ship and crew, are from slightly farther away than we thought," Sheridan said calmly, enjoying the suspense.
"Where are you from then?" Ivanova asked, turning to Captain Dax and then back to Captain Sheridan before Marcus interrupted.
"Sorry to interrupt," Marcus said bashfully. "But we have got a planet to rescue here, not that this isn't interesting and all, but the longer we wait the more time the Centauri have to shoot down our people trying to escape."
"Marcus is right," Delenn nodded softly. "We can discuss this after the colonists on Zagros Seven are safely away from the Centauri blockade."
"Agreed," Ezri nodded in agreement. "We have the information we retrieved from Marcus' transport," Ezri explained as she stood up, moving to the screen at the head of the table and pulling up the information that Marcus' transport had recorded when leaving the system originally. "We have twenty eight satellites in orbital paths around the planet."
"I don't see any sign of a Centauri ship," Sheridan said with a frown, looking at the data being shown on the screen.
"I do not believe the Centauri would leave a blockade like this unprotected," Delenn said calmly. "Just because Marcus' sensors did not detect it, does not mean there will not be a ship there."
"So one, maybe more Centauri battleships on top of the satellite grid," Sheridan nodded firmly. "How many of those things do we need to take out before people can start moving through safely?" He asked, turning to Marcus for the answer.
"Five," Ezri supplied the answer before Marcus could. "If we target these five," She explained, highlighting the ones Seven had chosen. "It creates a hole big enough for most ships to slip through, the other satellites should be out of range from what Marcus tells me."
"Sounds like a plan," Sheridan nodded in agreement.
"We do have one other option open to us as well," Ezri explained, "A last resort if you will if the attack fails."
"It looks solid to me," Sheridan commented, looking at the display. "If you focus on the two here," He pointed to the bottom two satellites from the highlighted ones. "We'll go in high and take out these two, whoever's done first can take out the central one."
"Let's not turn this into a race," Ivanova commented from her seat where she was watching the display with interest.
"What do you know about these satellites?" Ezri asked, looking at Captain Sheridan and Ambassador Delenn for the answer. "Specifically their offensive capabilities?"
"A blockade manoeuvre the Centauri have used many times before," Delenn explained. "Their weapons are weak compared to ship based cannons, though the make up for it in numbers, waiting until ships are at their closest to fire from multiple angles and destroy the ships in a crossfire." She frowned at the idea of the tactic before continuing. "The Centauri prefer ion based technology, their plasma based weapons are relatively new to them, I would not expect more than the White Star could handle alone."
"Then with two ships we have the advantage," Sheridan nodded happily. "Good, just the way I like it."
"Indeed," G'Fokk grinned from his side of the table, baring teeth again in a snarl eager for combat.
"Commander, I'd like for you to stay aboard and coordinate things from here," Sheridan nodded towards her. "As long as Captain Dax has no objections of course?" He added quickly, turning back to Captain Dax to check this first.
"Of course not," Ezri nodded in agreement. "We're short-handed as it is."
"Then it's settled," Sheridan nodded. "Once we're back on board the White Star we'll signal you, we can then travel to the Zagros system and you can follow us in."
"Agreed," Ezri nodded in agreement.
"After which, I look forward to learning more about you, and this star ship," Sheridan said with a smile.
"The Aventine is quite a lady," Ezri smiled proudly. "I'll be happy to give you a tour once we're on route to Babylon Five."
"I look forward to it also," Delenn smiled with a small bow.
"Then let's not wait any longer," Sheridan said as he stood up. "We'll head back to the White Star now and signal you when ready."
"And we'll follow you from there," Ezri said as she stood up opposite him with a nod and smiled, eager to have something for the crew to actually focus on for once. "Lieutenant," She said, turning to G'Fokk. "If you'd like to show Captain Sheridan, Ambassador Delenn and Marcus back to the shuttle bay, I'll announce to the crew what's going to be happening."
"Of course," G'Fokk snarled as he stood up. "If you'd follow me." He said calmly, waiting for Delenn and Marcus to stand before moving to the doors.
"If you don't mind, I'd like to stay as well," Marcus said as he stood up. "You said you were short-handed, I can probably do just as much good here as I can from the White Star."
"I have no problem with it if it's ok with Captain Sheridan?" Ezri replied, looking to Captain Sheridan who in turn looked to Ambassador Delenn.
"I am sure we will cope without you," Delenn said wryly with a nod towards Marcus.
"Great, all settled then," Marcus beamed over as Captain Sheridan and Ambassador Delenn followed Lieutenant G'Fokk out of the room. "So, what can I do to help?" He asked eagerly, looking around the table.
"Do you believe them?" Sheridan asked once they had docked back on board the White Star, the transport over had been made with short discussions about the technology they had witnessed and the upcoming battle, though now they were back on board he was going over everything Captain Dax had said to them in their conference room.
"I see no reason for Captain Dax to lie to us," Delenn said calmly.
"I know," Sheridan nodded. "It's just so fantastic, crossing universes, technology that can make fresh fruit out of thin air. I'll probably be scheduled for a psych evaluation after submitting the report on this one."
"No more fantastic than the discovery of hyperspace or the existence of the First Ones," Delenn commented with a small smile. "Perhaps these people could become allies in the times ahead."
"I'd like to know a little more about them before we commit ourselves to anything like that," Sheridan said firmly. "We still don't know their ship's offensive or defensive capabilities, and after seeing the sort of technology they use in day to day running, I'm not sure I'd understand it either."
"Perhaps that is what Lennier meant when he described their energy weapons as being unknown," Delenn smiled at him as they made their way onto the bridge of the White Star. "It is also feasible that they use their force shield technology for defensive purposes as well as for simple things like docking procedures."
"I'd thought of that," Sheridan nodded as he moved to take the Captain's chair in the centre of the bridge. "Signal the Aventine Lennier, then set a course for the Zagros system."
Lennier simply nodded, waving his hand over a set of crystals before turning his attention to the two Minbari at the front of the bridge. "Nis'idu ze'fan drok, Zagros" He announced before turning back to Captain Sheridan. "We are under way Captain; sensors indicate the Aventine is following closely behind us."
"Good," Captain Sheridan nodded. "Let's see what this thing can do," He grinned, looking at Lennier. "How fast can you get us to the Zagros system?"
"At maximum burn the travel time would be," Lennier trailed off as he waved his hands over a few more crystals. "Seventeen standard minutes." He finished with a nod, converting the Minbari time scale displayed by the computer into minutes for Captain Sheridan's reference.
"Do it then," Sheridan said with a nod. "I want to see what this ship can do."
"What about the Aventine?" Delenn asked quietly, moving up to stand beside the Captain's chair.
"We'll keep a lock on them with sensors," Sheridan said, nodding to Lennier to make sure he caught that bit. "I want to see what their ship can do as well, before we get into a firefight with them at our backs."
"I see," Delenn smiled softly. "Did Commander Ivanova request that you not turn this in to a race?"
"Nothing wrong with a bit of harmless testing Delenn," Sheridan grinned at her. "Besides, you saw that ship as well as I did, do you think they'll have trouble keeping pace?"
"I am… unsure," Delenn said cautiously. "We still know very little about them or their technology, as advanced as it may be."
"They could be packing a punch but slow as a sloth," Sheridan nodded. "And I'd rather find that out before I trust them at my back." He said before turning back to Lennier. "Full burn, punch it." He said with a grin.
"Yes Captain," Lennier frowned as he manipulated several crystals. "As you say, I am, 'punching it.'"
"Captain, the White Star is accelerating to point one of light speed," Seven announced from where she was sat at sensors, Commander Ivanova was sat at the neighbouring console on the wall, what Seven had called the 'science station', looking at the readouts and trying to decipher what all the information actually meant. While Marcus was down at the front of the bridge with Lieutenant Commander Gruhn Helkara, manning what had been called the 'OPS station' while Gruhn was on the helm.
"Accelerating to match," Gruhn said with a nod.
"Keep up with them," Ezri nodded with a smile. "We might have the coordinates thanks to astrometrics, but I wouldn't want to get lost out here."
"I'll second that," Commander Ivanova announced from the science station. "Only a handful of ships that get lost in hyperspace are ever recovered, some pilots even speculate there's some indigenous life form out there that eats wayward ships."
"Has anything been sighted?" Ezri asked, the idea of space born life forms being nothing new to her, but the idea of something living in a habitat like hyperspace was definitely intriguing.
"Myths, rumours, tales from one captain to another," Ivanova explained. "That sort of thing."
"No confirmed life forms living out here then," Sam said with a frown.
"Never know," Ezri smiled down at him. "We might be the first to record one."
"That'd be something," Sam smiled back at her. "First Federation ship to discover a life form in another universe, I wonder if there's…"
"The White Star is accelerating to point two two," Seven announced from her station.
"Accelerate to point two five," Ezri said mischievously. "Don't pull too far ahead though, just enough to see what that ship can do."
"Aye Captain," Gruhn nodded back. "Point two, point two one, point two two…" He smiled as the view screen showed them slowly catching up to the White Star, "Point two three."
"I thought this wasn't going to be a race," Ivanova muttered from the back, catching a glance from Sam as she sighed.
"Signal the White Star," Ezri said with a small smile, waiting before the view screen shimmered into view to display Captain Sheridan. "Trying to leave us behind?" Ezri smiled over the screen at him.
"Not at all," Sheridan smiled back. "Just making sure you can keep the pace."
"Are you sure you can Captain?" Ezri smiled across the link, a glint in her eye as she looked at the dark crystalline bridge of the White Star around Captain Sheridan.
"First one to the Zagros jump point wins?" Sheridan accepted the challenge, standing up from his chair with a grin.
"Agreed," Ezri said with a nod, standing up herself.
"Here we go," Ivanova muttered to herself from the back of the bridge. "Captain, surely…" She trailed off as the viewscreen closed off, the image of the back of the White Star now growing larger and larger as the Aventine caught up with the ship.
"The White star is accelerating to point three of lightspeed, point three five," Seven announced. "They're beyond full impulse Captain."
"We'll have to talk to them about those engines," Ezri said with a small smile. "Drop back to one quarter impulse."
"The White Star is the most advanced ship in the Minbari fleet," Marcus explained apologetically from where he was sat next to Julian. "She's the fastest ship I've ever seen, and I've seen a few."
"Prepare to rethink that remark," Ezri said with a grin. "Take us to warp one, just to the jump beacon."
"Warp one," Gruhn said with a grin as he brought the warp engines online fully.
"Warp?" Marcus asked, looking at Julian and then to Captain Dax for an explanation.
"Engage," Ezri said with a nod towards the view screen, watching as Marcus and Ivanova both turned in time to see the familiar red and black swirls of hyperspace become nothing but a black screen.
"Not quite as exciting as normal space I'll grant you," Ezri explained with a smile. "Don't know why it does that, must be something to do with the subspace layer hyperspace exists in here."
"Sensors indicate we are at warp one," Seven announced. "Travel time to target, twenty six seconds."
"Twenty…" Ivanova trailed off. "That's impossible; the speed alone must be…" She trailed off as she tried to imagine it.
"Warp one is equal to the speed of light in normal space," Seven explained to her. "Warp two is equal to ten times the speed of light."
"And you travel at these sorts of speeds routinely?" Ivanova asked in amazement.
"Yes," Seven replied simply. "Fourteen seconds, thirteen, twelve…"
"Drop back to full impulse and full stop at the beacon," Ezri said with a nod. "Have you still got a lock on the White Star?" She asked, turning back to Seven.
"They are cruising at point six of light speed, well beyond maximum impulse," Seven said with a nod. "At current speed they should be here in sixteen minutes and forty three seconds."
"Call red alert," Ezri said, standing up from her chair. "We're at the jump point now, ready weapons and activate shields."
"Aye Captain," Gruhn said with a nod, reaching across to the Ops console and pressing a few controls until the white lights around the ship dimmed to a dark red, while the floor of the dropped section of the bridge lit up a soft red as well, casting the bridge in an altogether more dangerous hue.
"Transphasic shields up," Seven announced from the side. "Shields currently at seventy eight percent capacity."
"It'll do for now," Ezri nodded, the carefree race over with now. "Bring all phaser banks to ready," She ordered, glancing at G'Fokk on Tactical where he was already ready.
"Aye Captain," G'Fokk nodded back as all phaser arrays and canons were brought to charged status.
"I was continuous sweeps, both hyperspace and continual once we traverse to normal space," Ezri said, turning in her chair to look at Seven. "Transfer all data to the astrometrics array; we might as well start mapping this area while we're here."
"Agreed," Seven nodded as she pressed a few controls. "Crew report battle station readiness Captain."
"Now we wait," Ezri said, watching on the view screen where it was displaying the area of hyperspace where the sensors detected the hyperspace beacon. It wasn't visible to the eye of course, so the view screen just showed the hypnotic red and black swirls on screen that matched the now alert status lighting of the Aventine bridge.
"Captain," Lennier commented as they approached the Zagros jump point.
"I see her," Sheridan nodded from the Captain's chair, the thought of how they'd beaten the White Star in a race now forgotten as the impending conflict loomed. "On my signal, open a jump point. I want to make sure the Aventine follows us in though."
"Yes Captain," Lennier nodded from the back, relaying his orders to the Minbari crew around the bridge.
"You may be right Delenn," Sheridan commented off hand. "Jump to normal space." He ordered after a moment, watching as the bright orange vortex appeared in front of them.
"The Aventine is following us through Captain," Lennier explained as he read off the sensors.
"Show me the mines." Sheridan nodded, watching as the display shimmered for a moment before displaying Zagros Seven and the blockade mines that were in orbit. "Contact the Aventine, audio only."
"Channel open," Delenn said from where she had moved to one of the stations to the side of the bridge.
"Captain Dax, are you ready?" Sheridan asked.
"And willing," Captain Dax' voice came back, the good humour and light-hearted smile gone from her voice now and replaced with a business-like tone.
"Good," Sheridan nodded. "We're transmitting the information down to the colony, as soon as we've cleared the way, they'll start to move out."
"Ready on your mark Captain," Captain Dax responded.
"Any sign of a Centauri ship?" Sheridan asked, looking over to Lennier. "There's bound to be one hanging around to keep an eye on things, and I do not want to be caught in a crossfire." He explained before turning back to Delenn. "Let's go." He said, making the final decision to head into the fray.
"Anything?" Captain Dax asked, looking around at Seven for any information she could give.
"Long range sensors are back to full strength," Seven explained. "No sign of any war ships in the vicinity."
"Keep scanning," Ezri frowned, agreeing with Captain Sheridan that there had to be one somewhere around to be keeping an eye on things. "Follow the White Star in, target the blockade mines with phasers, clear the way G'Fokk."
"Aye Captain," G'Fokk snarled from tactical, bringing up the closest target on his scanners and preparing to fire.
"Weapons range in four, three two…" Seven counted down as the view screen changed to show the targeted mines.
"Fire," Ezri nodded solemnly, watching as G'Fokk fired the first volley of phaser fire into the targeted mine, slicing through it with ease.
"What the hell was that?" Sheridan asked, watching on the view screen as a beam of bright orange light shot past the White Star and carved the first mine up with ease before they were even in weapons range.
"Some sort of energy beam Captain," Lennier explained. "Extremely powerful, sensors indicate it was some form of particle beam, though they are unable to give a precise reading of the energy used."
"I don't doubt it," Sheridan frowned as another orange beam sliced through the sky and destroyed another satellite. "Bring us to weapons range."
"Approaching range now," Delenn nodded as the view screen showed the satellites beginning to turn towards them.
"Take them out," Sheridan said firmly, watching as Delenn manipulated a few crystals and bright white pulses of energy shot out to impact the nearest satellite, destroying it easily.
"Captain," Seven called out. "Picking up a spatial distortion six thousand meters off the targeted mines," Seven explained.
"On screen," Ezri said, standing up from the Captain's chair and looking at the view screen. She watched as the space seemed to shimmer for a moment before a black ship seemed to fade into view, like it had been using a cloak or some sort of phasing technology to hide from sensors. "Are those the Centauri?" She asked, turning to Marcus and Ivanova, recognising the black spikey ship as the one that had targeted the Borg Sphere when they'd first arrived in hyperspace.
"In Valens name," Marcus whispered out as he stared at the image shown on the view screen. "The ancient enemy."
"Captain Sheridan?" Ezri called out, opening the communications channel again.
"We see it," Sheridan's voice came back. "Be careful, those ships are extremely powerful."
"They are called The Shadows," Ambassador Delenn's voice joined Captain Sheridan's.
"They must be here for the same reason we are," Sheridan commented. "Keep focusing on the mines."
"Target the next area," Ezri ordered, turning to G'Fokk. "Clear as many as you can," She said before turning to Julian. "Keep us away from that ship,"
"I'll do my best," Julian said with a nod as G'Fokk fired another phaser volley that destroyed another mine.
"Captain, Shadow vessels are extremely powerful," Marcus explained. "We only know of them from records from a thousand years ago."
"I'm getting the idea Marcus," Ezri nodded at him. "Keep firing."
"Captain, the enemy vessel is targeting the White Star," Seven explained.
"Keep doing our job," Ezri ordered. "Sheridan can look after himself, clear the way." She said as another mine was destroyed.
"The way is clear," G'Fokk snarled out. "Eight mines destroyed Captain, enough for the colonists to leave."
"Good," Ezri nodded. "How's the White Star doing?" She asked, looking to Seven.
"Avoiding enemy fire," Seven responded.
"Let's see if we can give them some breathing room," Ezri said as she sat back down. "Target the Shadow vessel."
"Aye," G'Fokk snarled, baring his teeth as he brought the enemy ship onto the view screen.
"Fire," Ezri said with a glare as she watched the Shadow vessel fire another bright pink energy beam towards the White Star.
"Captain, the Aventine is engaging the Shadow vessel," Lennier said with a small amount of awe in his voice. "The Shadows are breaking off pursuit, targeting the Aventine."
"What about the mines?" Sheridan asked.
"Eight clear now," Lennier reported. "More than enough for the Rangers to escape."
"Send the signal," Sheridan said with a nod. "Then bring us about to help the Aventine."
"Signal sent," Delenn said after a moment, touching a few of the crystals on the control panel and waiting for their melodic response.
"Good," Sheridan responded. "Bring us about."
"Captain," Lennier brought Sheridan's attention back to the view screen, where the Shadow vessel was focusing its pink energy weapon onto the Aventine.
"Some sort of high density particle beam," Seven explained as the bridge rocked violently. "Shields down to thirty two percent." She reported, knowing that one hit from the Shadow weapon had dropped their shields down by more than forty percent. "We can't take another hit Captain."
"Evasive manoeuvres," Ezri ordered. "Keep the armour facing them, I don't want to give them a clean shot."
"Doing my best," Julian responded as he ran another order through the computer, he wasn't a pilot by any sense of the word but was slowly getting to grips with the Aventine's way of moving through space.
"See if you can keep them off our backs," Ezri turned to G'Fokk. "Bring them around to the Mark Twelve's."
"Aye Captain," G'Fokk snarled out, his fingers playing along the control panel as he fired another phaser burst at the Shadow ship before bringing the Mark Twelve cannons around to bear. "Firing." G'Fokk announced as he let rip a burst from the powerful phaser cannons, watching as their bright white energy ripped through one of the spiked arms leading off of the Shadow ship, causing it to look like it was bleeding black liquid into space.
"Keep it up," Ezri said, watching as a bright green burst of energy hit the Shadow ship at the same time, making it pause in space.
"The White Star," Marcus commented with a smile.
"Bring all weapons to bear," Ezri ordered, wishing the torpedo tubes were active as she stared at the black foreboding vessel on their view screen. "Fire at will."
"Aye," G'Fokk snarled as he let loose another barrage of phaser blasts, watching as the Shadow ship turned to the White Star and started moving towards them.
"The vessel is targeting the White Star Captain," Seven announced. "I'm reading an extremely powerful weapons build up from within the ship."
"Keep firing," Ezri shouted, watching as more bright white pulses of light shot out from the Aventine's saucer section towards the Shadow ship, making it shudder and twist in space, she watched as three more phaser cannon blasts impacted the ship, knocking it to the side as it shot out a beam of purple light that impacted the White Star along the top of the hull. "Report," Ezri asked, turning to Seven for information.
"The White Star sustained heavy damage," Seven explained sharply. "I cannot tell you more as sensors are still unable to penetrate the hull."
"Target the Shadow vessel, full beam," Ezri glared at the view screen. "Give them everything we've got." She frowned, wishing now they had torpedo tubes so G'Fokk could ram a quantum torpedo or two down the throat of that menacing ship.
G'Fokk didn't even respond, he simply continued working, sending blasts of phaser cannon bursts alongside the orange beams of transphasic energy, cutting into the Shadow ship for several seconds at a time.
"Put us between the Shadow ship and the White Star," Ezri ordered down to Gruhn, watching on the view screen as the Shadow ship seemed to be backing off from the White Star slightly. "Target that ship with…" She paused as the Shadow ship seemed to shimmer in space slightly, the same way it had appeared originally before fading from view completely. "Seven?" She practically demanded, turning in her chair to face the sensor station.
"Unknown Captain," Seven reported. "The vessel is not on our sensors, I am not picking up any indication of cloaking technology or transphase interference."
"Where did they go then?" Sam asked, standing up from his chare and glaring at the view screen, half wishing he could have an answer to the weird things he had seen so far in this universe.
"Perhaps they simply left," Seven suggested simply.
"A warrior would not leave combat," G'Fokk snarled out.
"Signal the White Star," Ezri frowned. "Keep sensors running, I want to know the second if that ship returns." She ordered firmly before the view screen switched view to show Captain Sheridan, the bridge of the White Star around him was damaged severely, with sparks raining from the ceiling and various stations around the bridge. "Captain, is everything alright over there?"
"We took a good hit," Sheridan frowned. "Jump engines are offline, weapons are down, hell, we're lucky still to have power after that. Life support is barely active and we've got casualties. What's happening out there?"
"The Shadow ship seems to have vanished from our sensors," Ezri explained. "We're not reading any indication of them in the nearby vicinity."
"They would not just leave," Ambassador Delenn spoke up. "Not without what they came here for."
"Perhaps they weren't expecting a fight," Sam commented from the side. "We both got a few good shots in, maybe it was enough to make them think twice about this planet."
"Perhaps," Delenn nodded slowly, unconvinced of this. "Did the Rangers manage to escape?"
Ezri turned to Seven who nodded back. "Apparently so," Ezri said with a smile as she turned back to the view screen.
"Captain," Ivanova spoke up as she moved forward to stand next to Captain Dax. "It took the two ships to drive off one Shadow ship, if they attack in force…"
"I know," Sheridan frowned. "Captain, I had to impose further…"
"Think nothing of it," Ezri replied with a smile. "You can begin ferrying your crew over, if you've got wounded, we've got medical staff here to help."
"Thank you," Sheridan said graciously, knowing if life support failed on the White Star they didn't have nearly enough room in the Minbari shuttle to evacuate everyone.
"I'll prepare the medical team to receive wounded," Ezri nodded, signalling for Sam to contact Doctor Bashir and let him know they would need his assistance. "We can send some runabouts as well to help transferring people over."
"That would be appreciated," Sheridan nodded. "And a way to contact the Minbari home world if you could."
"If you provide the coordinates we can offer a tow," Ezri smiled back. "It might not be as fast as your hyperspace travel, but it'll be better than waiting here for that ship to come back and finish the job."
Sheridan paused before talking with Delenn for a second in hushed tones, obviously dubious about giving away Minbari information to an unknown race.
"That would be appreciated Captain," Ambassador Delenn smiled softly as she stepped forwards towards the view screen. "We have a colony on Sh'Lell'Tha, it is on the rim of Minbari territory. I will bring the coordinates with me when I come aboard."
"Sounds good Ambassador," Ezri nodded. "I'll start sending the runabouts over, begin evacuation whenever you're ready."