The Power of the Wolf

"Attention all hands, now hear this, Drahk vessel sighted 50 kilometres off the port bow, turning to intercept".

Gideon entered the bridge zipping up his jacket, the red glow of Hyperspace flooding the room ahead of him.

"Where's the bastard?" he said, sitting in his chair and taking interest in the screen beside him.

Lt Matheson stepped back from the helm console, not taking his eyes off the forward viewing screen.

"Morning Captain. Looks like you were right. We missed one."

"You can pay me later. What's our status?"

Matheson checked a couple more screens before turning to Gideon.

"Approaching Sector 9000. Drahk vessel still appears to be firing on all cylinders. Pilots are in their birds ready for the jump into normal space."

"Why can't we just hit them with the main guns from here?"

"Gravitational eddies are common in this part of Hyperspace. We have to maintain full burn just to keep us going in a straight line. Firing the main guns will drop all power from propulsion for one minute, and I doubt Hyperspace will wait for us to recharge before it swallows us."

"Major, wait up!"

Major Mitchell was about to enter the hangar with his helmet under his arm when he heard Max Eilerson calling from behind. A smile crept across his face when he saw what Max was holding.

"Excellent paper, read just like one I wrote back on my first assignment for IPX."

"So you'll consider it?"

"I already have. Don't you think you'll get bored just making shuttle runs?"

"Sir, my job is a Starfury pilot, yes, but my passion was and always will be xeno-archaeology. If I get the chance to assist you guys on your next mission it'll be a dream come true. I head we're exploring Degra III next?"

"Hopefully. I'll have a word to the captain." Eilerson noticed something on Mitchell's arm. "Why does your badge say the Victory?"

Mitchell smiled. "Oh this. I always wear it. I was assigned to the Charon under Captain Anderson prior to the quarantine of Earth. I was on the Victory and only just managed to survive."

"Really? I thought she was lost with all hands?"

"I was in a Starfury trying to strip out the prototype software Samuel Drake had installed when the hangar doors got hit and my Starfury disengaged from the launch arm. I powered up and threw myself into the battle. I brought the ship about only to watch Anderson dive the Victory into the heart of the beast. I managed to make it out in time before the planet killer killed itself. Afterwards President Sheridan and later Captain Gideon let me keep the Starfury and uniform aboard the Excalibur."

"But… you wouldn't have had a Victory flight suite back then?"

"True. I… requested one be made."

Max smiled, then slapped him on the shoulder. "Good hunting."

"Helm, steady. Stay on course."

Gideon was watching the Drahk cruiser's progress on the small screen near his command chair. A few hours earlier the Excalibur had been exploring the ruins of a long-deserted world when a local shipping route came under attack by four large Drahk vessels. As the region was part of the Interplanetary Alliance, Gideon used his ship to fend off the attackers. Despite Matheson's assertation that had destroyed all four ships, Gideon was confident one had used the blast from a nuclear explosion as a cover to dive into Hyperspace undetected.

"She's almost in range of the Main Guns if you wish to use them."

Gideon looked up at Matheson.

"I thought you said that was dangerous and risky considering our location?"

"You're the Captain. I thought dangerous and risky was your middle name?"

Gideon smiled but before he could speak an alarm sounded on a near console.

"Sir, energy spike, she's jumping back to normal space."

"Helm, full pursuit, jump when ready-"

"Matthew, I must speak with you urgently."

Gideon turned and saw Galen standing beside him, a concerned look on his face.

"Galen, I'm a little busy, can't this-"

"Matthew, I can't follow you out there, it goes beyond what I am capable of tolerating."

"Galen-"

"Please Matthew, turn around for both our sakes!"

Gideon saw Galen was serious, but he couldn't let this one go.

"Helm, time to jump?"

"20 seconds sir."

"Galen, I'm sorry, I can't just-" Gideon realized Galen had left the bridge.

Matheson put his hand to his ear. "Sir, aft hangar is opening, engieers in the area reporting that Galen's ship is leaving."

On Gideon's screen he saw Galen's black flyer accelerate away from the Excalibur, then moments later disappear into the red of Hyperspace.

"He's made up his mind. Helm, stand by to jump. All Starfuries ready to launch once we're clear of Hyperspace. Matheson, stand by all weapons."

"Standing by."

"Jump."

The Excalibur emerged into normal space amidst a volley of enemy fire. Instinctly the ship banked to starboard, away from the Drahk cruiser which had emerged from Hyperspace and turned to face the obvious exit point. As she did she came fell into the Drahk's trap.

"Guns, continuous fire, target the main ship only, leave the fighters for our Starfuries."

"Sir, fighters away, all systems are normal, but…"

"But what, Lieutenant?"

"Sir I'm picking up a cloud of unidentified objects along our predicted flight path. Small, metallic, faint energy signature coming from-"

Gideon stood and moved to the centre of the room. "They're mines. Helm, hard to port, turn us away from them. Order half the Starfuries to target the mines, or launch the remaining squadrons to do it."

The ship shook violently again. "Sir, Drahk weapons fire increasing."

"They're forcing us down the gauntlet."

Major Mitchell banked his Starfury high and then dropped fast, taking out two enemy fighters with ease. To his right, the large lumbering form of the Drahk heavy cruiser was pounding the Excalibur with relentless weapons fire. Beyond it, Mitchell noted, was a large red-tinted nebula, and could make out a few star systems nearby. He thought it looked familiar somehow, but couldn't remember where. He was brought back to reality by a well-aimed shot that pierced his upper port engine pylon.

"How dare you damage my Starfury!" he yelled, and blasted after his attacker.

"Sir, Kappa Squadron have cleared most of the mines, Theta Squadron are holding back the Drahk fighters."

"Status of the cruiser?" asked Gideon.

"Turning away, she's making a run for it."

"Ready main guns, prepare to fire."

Technicians in the room went to their firing stations, prepping consoles for imminent shutdown. Others began shunting power ahead of time away from their systems to the main firing control.

Outside the Excalibur began to turn, bringing it's massive bow section to bare on the escaping Drahk vessel. Mitchell stayed back, aware he was about to witness one of the most powerful weapons in the human arsenal tear the Drahk vessel to shreds. He was mindful there were still a handful of red targets on his screens but felt he and the surviving Starfuries could take care of them while the ship was powerless.

"Energy modules ready for full power."

"Main guns ready at your command sir."

Gideon acknowledged the crewmen and gave one last glance out the forward window. A jump point was forming ahead of the Drahk cruiser.

Not this time he thought to himself.

"Fire."

In an instant the lights began to dim as power could be heard thrumming through the ship.

Outside, Mitchell observed yellow energy particles begin to form from their position at the Excalibur's three outer pylons, accelerating towards the bow of the mighty vessel at near light speed. The power build up continued, the beams of energy getting stronger and stronger until suddenly the particles at the bow reached critical mass and a powerful beam of pure energy streaked away from the ship.

Mitchell watched as the beam tore into the aft section of the Drahk vessel, tearing a good third off the ship and forcing the jump point to immediately vanish. Mortally wounded, the Drahk vessel now attempted to limp off at whatever pitiful speed it could muster without the use of proper propulsion. Mitchell flew his Starfury in towards the aft section to be part of the defense grid to defend the temporarily-powerless vessel.

"Power rebuild in 52 seconds" said Matheson, checking what he could on a hand-held tablet that was powered independently of the ship. "Drahk vessel not destroyed, but heavily damaged."

"How couldn't we destroy it? The main guns should've-"

An explosion rocked the ship, throwing Gideon back into his chair.

"What the hell was that?"

Matheson looked out the forward window. Outside, a lone Starfury flew into view and began flashing a signal lamp back at the bridge.

"Sir… Major Mitchell reports we've hit a mine. Damage astern."

"Send message throughout the ship, deploy damage control teams. Alert Chambers we may need her services."

"Aye sir" said Matheson, and walked off to speak to a technician who just became a runner while the power was out.

"Everything alright, Captain?"

Gideon turned to see Dureena, who had a small cut on her forehead.

"Yeah, I am, but you're bleeding."

"Ignore me Captain, my species can handle a little blood."

"I had noticed. We hit a Drahk mine in case you were wondering. Right Lieutenant, let's get-"

Gideon stopped, looking around the room.

"What is it, sir?" asked Matheson.

"It's been a minute, why haven't we recharged?"

"You sure?"" said Dureena.

"Been on the ship this long you get used to knowing when you get control back."

"Captain's right, it's been almost 85 seconds since we fired."

"Could it be the mine?" asked Dureena.

"Unlikely" said Gideon, "we've had battle damage before, don't see why it would fail now. Matheson, where's that Drahk cruiser?"

"We didn't destroy it but we gave it a hell of a headache. Even if they can repair some of their damage it'll be a few hours before it'll come deal looking for a rematch."

"Fine, get everyone down to the damaged section, just in case that's the cause. Then find a way to get those Starfuries back on board. They've only got twelve hours of air."

"There's something else."

Gideon and Matheson looked at Dureena, who was at the window looking at the red nebula beyond.

"What?"

"This is sector 9000."

"How did you know that?" asked Matheson.

"Because I've seen this before. This is the edge of Vorlon space. Or had you humans forgotten?"

Gideon went as white as a sheet. Others in the room were suddenly concerned.

"Six years ago the Vorlons left known space forever, but they left behind their homeworld. No ship has ever been able to get to it. In fact, no one has ever returned alive. Unless we get power back soon, we'll find out why."

Gideon entered a darkened corridor, Matheson was standing with a handful of engineers and technicians. Gideon had to avoid a pair of technicians running past.

"Give me good news, Lieutenant."

"I've got some answers for you sir, but it opens up new questions."

"Not surprised. Go."

"We've assessed the damage caused by the mine and can rule it out as the cause of the power loss. The mine damaged one of the water reclamation plants on board, three crew quarters, one cargo bay and a small section of the hangar. Nothing in any of those areas directly connected to the power grid. And in areas where there was the power disruption it was localized to that area only."

"So it's something else, and the mine was only coincidental."

"We think so, yes sir."

Gideon paced, feeling a dozen or so eyes on him, looking for answers.

"If there is a Vorlon whatever out there zapping our power we need to shut it down or we'll never leave."

"That's a pretty big assumption, assuming whatever it is can be shut down, and more to the point, if they'll let you. It's a big web after all."

"Web?"

"Spider paralyses it's prey, then leaves it on the web as food for later."

"Can always count on you to cheer things up, Lieutenant."

Harris, the poor technician Matheson had assigned as a runner earlier, entered the corridor, clearly out of breath.

"Sir, you should come to the bridge, now."

Gideon, Matheson and the tired tech ran out of the corridor.

"We started picking it up a few minutes ago" said Harris, moving to a console that had been powered by an external generator. An image of the surrounding star systems and a small, blue Excalibur showing their position was displayed on the screen. "It's a powerful energy wave, directed at the ship. At a guess I'd say it's a scan of some sort."

"Where's it coming from?" asked Gideon.

"That's the interesting part. It's coming from here." Harris put his finger on a star system nowhere near the Excalibur.

"That must be light years away!" said Matheson.

"Could be the location of the Vorlon homeworld, in which case our drift won't take us anywhere near it" said Gideon. "Does scare the pants off you that they can detect you that far out though."

Harris grabbed another independently powered tablet. "Sir, the Starfuries have managed to get the ship out of the anti-clockwise spin we were in."

"Good, any damage to the fighters?"

"No sir, although they are reporting low fuel."

"We might have to start throwing hoses out of airlocks. Hell, put an explosive charge on the hangar door. Gotta get them back somehow."

Harris hesitated. "Er… was that an order?"

"Yes lieutenant it was."

"Aye sir" and with that Harris left the room. Gideon joined Matheson at the forward window. The red nebula looked like an angry sunset in the distance.

"So the Starfuries could correct our spin but not our course? We're still heading deeper into Vorlon space."

"You're forgetting about inertia. The Excalibur may be weightless in space but she's still over a million tons. Correcting a minor spin was easy. Trying to get a million ton spacecraft to do a 180 would take about a week using all available auxiliary craft."

Matheson winced, and rubbed the back of his head.

"You alright?" asked Gideon.

"Yes sir, just small headache. I'll be fine."

"Sir" said Harris. "Theta Six is reporting a disturbance around his Starfury."

"Can we raise him?" Gideon asked Matheson. Matheson adjusted his tablet.

"Excalibur to Theta Six, do you read?"

"Sir, my Starfury is being bombarded with light particles. All different colours of the spectrum. Don't appear to be damaging the ship from what I can see."

"Stay with the rest of the flock, don't stray too far."

"Aye sir."

Gideon turned to Matheson. "Any other Starfuries reporting the same interference?"

"No sir. The Vorlons could've just picked one at random. Hopefully they don't start dissecting them."

"Sir…"

Gideon turned to see Harris looking at his console. A large display of the Excalibur's front view was on the screen, mostly in red. The lower starboard pylon however was blue.

"Is that power?"

"Yes sir, just in that section."

Matheson stepped up. "Can't be us then. No one is working in these sections here and here. Must be an external influence-"

"Captain, look!"

Outside the main window, a flare of light was visible in the distance. Gideon could make out the unmistakable silhouette of the Drahk cruiser behind it.

"It's a missile of some sort" said Matheson. "Starfuries are trying to hit it but she's coming in too fast. Impact in 20 seconds, starboard side."

Gideon walked to the window slowly. To his right he could see the missile approaching. A smile appeared on his face.

"Son of a bitch… ready main guns, prepare to fire."

"Sir?"

"Just trust me… we have to time it just right…"

He looked out the window at the approaching missile, while Matheson brought up firing control on the standalone console.

"Ready sir."

"Fire!"

Outside the energy from the only working pylon began firing particles towards the bow of the ship. Two seconds later the missile collided with the particle stream and exploded, causing only a minor shockwave to reach the hull.

Gideon smiled to himself.

"Whoever is out there has a keen sense of humour."

Matheson checked the console then handed it off to Harris.

"Good guess sir, but I don't see why. If the Vorlons or whatever it is out there wants us dead why continue to give us the means to defend ourselves?"

"Maybe they don't fully know yet what we are" said Gideon, addressing his XO. "Remember the White Star class of ship had Vorlon technology built in, and despite the fact that by the time the Excalibur was built the Vorlons were long gone, but… there are still traces of Vorlon technology. The mains guns for one."

"I thought they were Minbari in origin?"

"No, Vorlon. But we couldn't get it quite right. Why do you think it needs a minute to recharge after each discharge? We don't exactly have a Vorlon technician on hand to help out."

"We might find one out here" mused Matheson. Then he put his hand to his ear.

"Sir Dr Chambers would like to have a meeting with you."

Gideon was surprised. "You can hear her?"

"Short range wireless communication powered by generators only. Should I reply?"

"Tell her I'm on my way."

Dr Chambers was carrying a couple of boxes to a bench when Gideon entered.

"All OK doc?"

"No really" said Chambers. "Have you had any headaches lately?"

"No. But Lieutenant Matheson reported having one."

"I expected he would. I'm getting reports from over the ship, some worse than others. Matheson and eight other people are on the list given their ability."

"Ability?" asked Gideon. "You mean all telepaths?"

"Yes," said Chambers. "Everyone on board with a telepathic ability has or likely will have some sort of medical ailment over the next few hours. Any chance we could move on?"

"None. What's causing it?"

"You tell me. Just saying we're in Vorlon space isn't very helpful. Anything happened over the last hour or so?"

Gideon nodded. "Yeah, intense scanning beam coming from we believe the Vorlon homeworld."

"Figures. Vorlons created the telepaths a hundred years ago to fight the Shadows. They're picking up traces of their handiwork."

"Not to mention the enigma of the ship itself."

Chambers finished putting the contents of the boxes away. "Well, whatever it is we need to sort it quickly. Who knows if this will get worse or-"

Lt Harris appeared at the door. "Sir, please come to the bridge, now!"

Gideon followed the technician out of the room.

When Gideon got to the bridge he stopped and stared at what was standing in the centre of the room.

It was a Vorlon.

Matheson and others in the room were standing back, wondering what would happen next. Gideon had been to Babylon 5 in the past and had been fortunate to meet – though not personally – Ambassador Kosh. Judging by the expressions on the faces of everyone in the room this was their first time they'd ever seen one in the flesh. It stood in the centre of the room, it's encounter suit taking up a substantial amount of space, it's gaze fixed firmly on a distant star out the main window. Gideon edged around it to Matheson's location. The Vorlon didn't move.

"Any other surprises?" asked Gideon, quietly.

"It just appeared behind us. Those that saw it described it as a hologram forming, like the one President Sheridan had access to on Epsilon 3."

Gideon nodded, and stepped forward towards their guest.

"My name is Captain Matthew Gideon. To whom am I speaking?"

"Kosh."

Gideon slowly nodded. "Are you related to the Kosh that was stationed on Bab-"

"We are all Kosh."

"Nice. I bet that makes role call easier. Now Mr Kosh… any chance you could free my ship and let us leave. We meant no disrespect by being here and didn't intend on entering Vorlon space."

"Find the wolf" it said.

"Oh. Right." Gideon looked at Matheson, who shrugged. "Kosh… did you reactivate our weaponry systems?"

"Vorlon technology is not for you."

"Seven years ago you assisted the humans in creating the White Star fleet. We merely modified what you gave us to build this ship."

"You are not ready."

Gideon smiled. "Humans are stubborn like that."

"There is a wolf among the sheep."

"Don't we know it. A Drahk vessel is nearby, but she's badly crippled."

"Why"?

"Why what? Why is she crippled or why is she following us?"

"Yes."

Gideon shook his head. The thought of President Sheridan dealing with the Vorlon ambassador all those years ago came back to haunt him. Hopefully their guest wouldn't be staying long, and knew how he might accelerate matters.

"The Shadows."

The Vorlon, which up until now had only stared out the window and not really addressed any specific by body language, now turned to face Gideon.

"The Drahk acquired a biogenetic virus from the Shadows and infected the Earth with it. We're trying to find a cure before our planet dies. Can you help us?" He wished he hadn't said that last bit but it was too late. The Vorlon turned back to the window.

"No."

"Why haven't you destroyed the Drahk? I thought no one is allowed in this far."

"Who are you?" asked the Vorlon.

Gideon walked around to stand in front of the Vorlon, hoping he would break his gaze to whatever he was looking at beyond the hull.

"I'm the man who's gonna dig up every inch of the Vorlon Homeworld in order to search for the cure. And I think you will help us. Your people are gone. You're not surrounded by your armies anymore. Just a single defensive system. Yes you're powerful but you're alone. Let us pass."

"You are not ready."

Gideon was losing patience, but was mindful that the expressions of everyone looking at him, including Matheson, was of grave concern. He wondered how far he could push it.

"When will we be ready?"

"A million years" came the reply.

"Sorry, we only have five years. I guess the Shadows are gonna win this one-"

"No" said the Vorlon, with a slightly elevated tension in his voice.

"They will. We're a big player in the search for a cure. Take us out of the equation and Earth's chances get slimmer and slimmer-"

"Sir, the Drahk!"

Gideon turned to look out the window. Outside, the Drahk vessel was accelerating towards them. Having used a sizeable asteroid as a slingshot the ship was now hurtling towards the Excalibur.

Gideon turned on the Vorlon. "Your call. We die, Shadows win."

"You will survive."

"No, we won't." Gideon walked past and sat in his chair. Everyone was staring at his actions, in disbelief.

"Light must prevail."

Gideon waved his arm towards the oncoming Drahk vessel. "Then let there be light."

The Vorlon shimmered and vanished. The lights and consoles immediately came back on. Matheson checked all the consoles on the bridge in a quick sweep.

"Sir, main power back on line."

"Didn't think they'd fall for it. Ready main guns, prepare to fire."

"Sir, targeting systems are still down, still rebooting."

Gideon moved to stand beside him. "We need something to target, I don't wanna risk simply firing down the axis of the ship in case we miss again."

"Sir, Theta Six is heading for the rear of the Drahk vessel. Not sure why."

Gideon was shocked, then smiled. "Clever man, I think I know what he's doing."

Outside Mitchell was banking his Starfury high above the Drahk vessel, trying to avoid the enemy fire which was shaking his fighter violently. It appeared they had destroyed all Drahk fighters but they still had defensive armaments.

Just a few more seconds Mitchell thought to himself.

"Where is Theta Six?" asked Gideon.

"She's disappeared behind the Drahk vessel."

"That's good enough for me. Ready main guns, prepare to fire. Target Theta Six."

"Main guns ready at your command sir."

This time we get it right thought Gideon. "Fire!"

A powerful energy beam blasted out from the Excalibur, tearing into the forward hull of the Drahk ship. Defensive hull plating and shields screamed and turned to dust as the beam carried along the length of the ship, emerging out of the shattered stern section and carried on into space. The Drahk vessel twisted and exploded into a thousand fragments.

Mitchell dived his Starfury out of the way of the beam just in time, but not before the intense heat melted both his port engines. He stabilized on RSC thrusters as the beam from the main guns dissipated. It took a minute but as Mitchell righted his ship he saw the reassuring sight of running lights, flashes from maneuvering thrusters, visible internal lighting and other various signs that the ship's power was back on line.

Gideon stood at the main window, satisfied by the destruction of the Drahk ship. Around him technicians and engineers were checking every inch of the bridge. Lights had come back on and Gideon could feel the thrum of power from beneath the deck plating. He turned and headed for the exit.

"I'm gonna meet Major Mitchell personally in the hangar when he returns. Jump us back into Hyperspace when ready. You have the bridge."

Matheson nodded.

Gideon rounded a corner and bumped into Eilerson going the other way.

"Sorry Captain, didn't see you there. All ok I'm guessing?"

"Yeah, Drahk vessel is dust. They way it should be."

Gideon tried to walk off but Eilerson remembered something.

"Oh, want to talk to you later about stealing Major Mitchell from you for helping us with our expeditions. He's keen to see Degra III."

"Really?"

"Yeah, hope you don't mind me borrowing him. You can keep his lucky Starfury."

Gideon nodded, then walked off a few steps then stopped.

"What do you mean… 'lucky Starfury'?"

Mitchell left the hangar and began removing his flight suit. He was surprised then when Gideon, Eilerson and a squad or marines entered the room.

"Mr Mitchell. I think you and I have a few things to discuss."

"Captain?"

"Why did you sabotage my ship?"

Mitchell looked around the room for support or explanation but none came. A dark thought began creeping into the back of his mind.

"Sir, I don't-"

"It's OK, Mitchell, I doubt you even knew you were doing it. Tell me, what do you remember of the battle for Earth, and the loss of the Victory?"

"I remember working in the hangar when the doors were blown apart. The fighter dropped from the cradle and I piloted it out."

"What do you remember prior to that?"

"Well, I…" Mitchell stopped. He couldn't remember. Anything.

"There was nothing, because there never was. In fact, I doubt you were even there."

"Sir… I have memories of-"

"The Victory nor the Excalibur weren't fitted with Starfuries when we engaged the Shadow planet killer. More over, Evan Mitchell was killed during the initial strike against the planet killer. The hangar doors were hit but you never escaped. A summary of what was going on aboard ship was transmitted to the Excalibur prior to the final stages of the battle. You're a dead man."

Mitchell was becoming uneasy, and sat down. The dark thought was now clouding his mind completely, judgment becoming blurred. He had the urge to reach for his PPG.

"That won't be necessary."

Everyone turned to see Galen standing in the doorway. He extended his staff towards Mitchell, to which the PPG suddenly flew out of its holster and landed in Gideon's hands.

"Be wary of this one Matthew, he's a Technomage."

"Well that one I didn't see coming."

"Actually more of a proto-Technomage. He has the implants but not the ability to use them."

"Explains why the Vorlons were dazzling your Starfury. They were after you."

"I… I cant be…"

"Someone put you on this ship. Why?"

"Look… sir, this is nuts, I have no idea what is going on-"

"Matthew, I don't want to alarm you but I'm picking up signals between Mr Mitchell here and something in the hangar."

Gideon grabbed Mitchell by the shoulders. "You plant a bomb on my ship now?"

"No… I…"

Galen held his hand to his head. "I've narrowed it down. It's in his-"

"Lucky Starfury" finished Eilerson.

"Gideon to bridge, emergency ejection in the main hangar, launch Theta Six NOW!"

Under the belly of the great craft, the circular turret of the Starfury launch system blew open and four Starfuries attached to the central column dropped out. Theta Six was ejected from the column and the launch system immediately retracted. The ship began to pull away as the small fighter began to glow.

After a few seconds the aft cannons from the Excalibur opened up, blowing the small craft to pieces before the device could reach critical mass.

"Target destroyed" said Matheson over the intercom. Gideon turned just in time to see Mitchell fall to the floor. Gideon moved to help him but everyone could see it was a lost cause.

"Lie still, we'll get Chambers-"

"No" said Mitchell. "It's best you don't. I'll only be killed later."

"What do you-"

Black lines were forming on Mitchell's face. Galen retreated into the shadows.

"They're coming for you. Stay away from the base. It will only bring… death…"

Mitchell's face hardened and his eyes went black. Gideon could feel his body going rigid as he held him, and let him drop to the ground.

"As famous last words go they were very good" said Galen as he stood with Gideon in his quarters.

"Not appreciated. What base was he talking about? And who are 'they'?"

"Sometimes the universe poses questions which are best left unanswered."

"I don't buy that. We have a mission to save Earth. If there's a group out there preventing us from that goal then we need to know about it. We're making speed to Degra III just in case that was Mitchell's target all along."

Galen thought for a moment. "How did the Vorlons treat you? As much hospitality you would come to expect from a Vorlon."

"Guarding their territory, as you'd come to expect."

Galen began to walk towards the door. "Vorlons and technomages don't mix. I don't like abandoning you but I wouldn't be much use to you dead."

"Pity, would've been nice to see you go up against a Vorlon."

Galen reached the door. "I don't like them. For thousands of years they guarded over humanity like shepherds, preventing you from going beyond. Treating you like nothing but sheep."

Galen left. Gideon turned and looked at the empty doorway.

"But protecting us from wolves" he said to himself.