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Crusade Chapter 11: And The Ratings Cried Out, No Hiding Place


Beyond the rim

Previously On Crusade:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>It’s been two weeks now since Gideon’s disappearance at T’N’T’ha’dum’a. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>“Are you crazy? We can’t go there! We’ll be shot down before we even get out of the jump point!” Eilerson yelled.

“We have to try!” Dureena yelled back at him. “…We have to try for Gideon.”

“Then put me on a shuttle back to Babylon 5! I am not going to T’N’T’ha’dum’a!” Eilerson retorted.

“Just shut up! Both of you! Before I rip every organ from your putrid bodies!” Ivanova yelled.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Chapter 11—And the Ratings Cried Out, No Hiding Place

Captain Susan Ivanova’s Personal Log, December 16th. After much consideration, we’re on our way to T’N’T’ha’dum’a. I feel that we have no other choice. If Gideon is alive, we’re his last hope. I can only hope we get there in time, or before I kill Mr. Eilerson.

Meanwhile, I've just received a report from my ship that Lieutenant Matheson has been captured. They don’t have a clue as to who or what could have captured him, but my bet is that the TNT Alliance is involved. I’ve instructed the crew to turn her around and proceed back to Babylon 5.


“Captain, we’re approaching the T’N’T’ha’dum’a system. Ready to jump at your command.”

“Jump,” Ivanova ordered.

The T’N’T’ha’dum’a system—a dark place indeed, and still deserted. Ivanova’s bet was that they had finalized whatever plans they had and no longer needed assistance from alien worlds. Naturally the question remained, what were their plans?

“Bring us into orbit of T’N’T’ha’dum’a. Begin scanning for any signs of Gideon. I want any anomalies reported. Do I make myself clear?”

“Perfectly clear.”



“Who are you?” Matheson asked over and over.

“I’ve told you that’s none of your concern,” the man said again.

“Please…tell me!” Matheson said as the man punched him in his stomach. He fell to the ground and put his arms over his stomach to prevent being hit there again.

“You’ll find out soon enough. Just know that we need your help, and when the time comes, you’ll give it to us, or we will make you.”


“Captain Ivanova! I think we’re picking up Captain Gideon on the surface. He appears to be surrounded by various aliens. I can’t be sure, but they appear to be TNTnites,” the officer reported.

”Bastards!” Ivanova yelled. “I’m going down there. Prepare a shuttle. And I want guns. Big guns.”

“Yes ma’am.”


As Gideon’s location came into view, Ivanova noticed someone fighting with him. It appeared to be an alien figure, but one unlike the TNTnites. Ivanova desperately worked to put in the landing coordinates. She was going to touch down right on top of the bastards in hopes of distracting them.

“Look!” Gideon said as he fired a shot at a spiky TNTnite. “It’s a shuttle!”

As the shuttle touched down, the aft hatch shot open and Ivanova stood ready with a large gun in hand. As soon as it was completely opened, she targeted a group of TNTnites and shot every last one of them down in a stunning explosion of fire, death, and destruction.

She yelled at their scorched bodies. “Do you remember Booji, boys? He sent me to give you a message. You’re going to burn in the place where many, many shadows fall. No pun intended, of course!”

“Ivanova!” Gideon yelled. “Get over here!”

She quickly ran back to the navigation console and piloted the shuttle just over Gideon and the strange alien.


Matheson fell against a cold, metallic wall just as the door opened to let light shine over his face.

A dark silhouette appeared in the doorway. “It’s time,” he said to the blond-haired man that was beating Matheson to a pulp.

Then, Matheson’s interrogator rushed over to him. “Did you hear him? It’s time. This is the moment we have been waiting for!” he yelled. “Now, come with me Lieutenant!"


Gideon, Ivanova, and the strange alien at last reached the bridge of the Excalibur. “Get us the hell out of here!” Gideon yelled at the navigation officer.

“Who is this?” Ivanova asked, referring to the odd alien.

“My name is Glorien. That’s all you need to know for now,” she said.

“You know,” Ivanova thought for a moment. “I once knew a guy named Lorien. Are you by any chance of relation to him?”

“Could be.”

“I see. That’s interesting. He had this strange tick-tock thing he did. Do you do that, too?”

“I try not to do that too often, but sometimes it is necessary.”

“Oh, I completely understand,” Ivanova said.

The navigation officer turned to Gideon. “Captain! We’ve got company. Scanners are picking up three EarthForce destroyers coming in. Two heavy cruisers and one Warlock class destroyer.”

“A Warlock class destroyer?” Ivanova asked as she looked out the window. “What ship is that?”

“Just a minute. Pulling up the files now,” the officer said. “Their registration number confirms it. That ship is the EAS Death Incarnate.”

“Those bastards!” Ivanova yelled. “They’ve got my ship!”

“They’re requesting communications, Captain.”

“All right,” Gideon said as he sat down in his chair. “Put them through, and charge up the forward guns.”

“Aye Captain. Opening channel now. Channel open.”

“This is the Excalibur to EarthForce ships. Explain to me why you’re in the area.”

As the screen flickered on, Gideon shot out of his chair. “Fabyron! I should have known…”

“That’s right, Captain.”

“All right, I want you to explain to me how in the hell you got off T’N’T’ha’dum’a alive. Kosh killed you.”

“Oh, I’m sure he did. But you see, the TNTnites are a very advanced species. They’ve developed certain…routines of reattaching dangerous minds to bodies.”

“Yeah. Whatever,” Ivanova interrupted. “Now are you going to explain to me what the hell you’re doing on my ship? I should rip some organ out of your body for this. I’m going to be honest. I don’t like the looks of you.”

“I’m sure you don’t, Captain Ivanova. Your question is an interesting one. I do believe you recently ordered your ship to the Nelgana system in your heroic search for Captain Gideon. Am I correct?”

“Yes, you’re correct. And ugly.”

“Your ship, under the command of Lieutenant Matheson, was starting to look for information we didn’t exactly want them to have.”

“And? Are you saying you have Lieutenant Matheson aboard your ship, Fabyron?” Gideon asked.

“That would be a correct assumption, Captain. And now for a word.”

Matheson was then promptly shoved onto the view screen by Fabyron.

“Captain. Hello.”

“Are you all right, Lieutenant?” Gideon asked Matheson.

“Yes sir. They’ve treated me kindly.”

“I can see—“

“Yes sir. I’d like you to stand down and be escorted back to Earth by the Death Incarnate. Please. We mean you no harm.”

“Are you out of your mind Matheson? I am by no means standing down against the TNT Alliance. Not now. It’s too late for that. We’ve passed beyond the point of no return.”

Matheson gave a strange smile. “Very well, Captain. I’ll see you soon.”

Fabyron pushed Matheson out of the way and returned to the screen. “What will it be, Captain? That’s a hard decision you’re going to have to make.”

“What do you ask of us if we surrender?” Gideon questioned.

“We ask only three things of you,” Fabyron said as he sat down in Ivanova’s former command chair. “One—sex; two—violence; three—bland storylines. That is all we ask, and I do not think it is too much.”

“We can’t!” Gideon yelled.

“Yes you can!” Fabyron yelled as he pounded his fist on the arm of the chair. “You can because we tell you to! You will do as we ask!”

“Up yours!”

Fabyron let out a short laugh. “Captain, I know this isn’t an easy decision for someone as stubborn as you. That’s why I’m going to give you three minutes to decide on which course of action to take.” The screen went black.

“Those bastards!” Ivanova yelled. “They’ve got my ship! I won’t stand for it!”

“Susan! Calm down. I want to talk to the crew. And route the signal over to the EarthForce ships as well.”

“Aye Captain. Speakers are on and I’ve put the signal through to the EAS Death Incarnate. Whenever you’re ready,” the officer reported.

Gideon composed himself and stood. His face was dark and stoic. “This is Captain Matthew Gideon. I’ve just returned from T’N’T’ha’dum’a. I’ve proven that we can be successful against the TNTnites. We have no reason to fear the likes of them. Rest assured they are our sworn enemy, and we cannot negotiate with them. Now is the time to take a stand against the darkness. For the needs of Earth, we must draw a line against all darkness and peril. We must give our people something to believe in. We must give them hope. The joint orders of the TNT Alliance and the Earth Alliance are that we stand down. These orders have forced us to declare independence. Effective immediately, I hereby withdraw the EAS Excalibur from the Earth Alliance. That is all.” Gideon signaled the officer to cut the signal.

“Damn straight,” Ivanova said.

A few seconds later, Eilerson stormed onto the bridge. “Captain, are you insane? I was set to receive my paycheck tomorrow. Couldn’t you have waited 24 hours? What is it with you people?”

Ivanova took the weapons console. “They’re powering up their forward weapons. I’ve got our forward guns charged up and ready to fire.”

“Get the hell off my bridge Eilerson!” Gideon yelled.

“They’re firing!”

Blinding beams of energy impacted the Excalibur’s hull. All three EarthForce vessels were attacking now. The Excalibur shook intensely.

“Launch fighters!” Gideon demanded. “Return fire! I want all fire concentrated on the two cruisers surrounding Fabyron's ship!”

“Fighters have been launched,” Ivanova reported.

The bridge crew struggled to maintain their places as another beam impacted the forward section of the Excalibur.

“We’ve got a few forward guns out of commission,” Ivanova screamed above the noise of the bridge.

“Continue firing!” Gideon yelled back.

“Captain!” another officer screamed. “I’m detecting strange energy readings from just ahead of the EarthForce ships. My God…it’s three TNT Allied vessels! They’re ready for a fight!”

“Oh hell…” Gideon remarked.

“Matthew…I know this isn’t the best time, but there are more jump points forming to our starboard, aft, and port,” Ivanova yelled above the fire of the attacking ships.

Gideon and the rest of the bridge crew grew silent.

Suddenly a signal came through. “This is Galen, of the Techno-mages. The Excalibur is under our protection. I’ve never fought EarthForce ships, but I do suggest you move out of my way. As for the TNT vessels, well, I think I’ve already put them in their place.”

“Neither the EarthForce ships nor the TNT ships are complying, sir,” the officer reported to Gideon.

“So,” Ivanova said, “not only are they bastards, they’re stubborn bastards at that. What a package!”

“Sir, the Techno-mage ships are moving in on the TNT and EarthForce ships…”

“Witness the almighty power of revenge,” Ivanova remarked.

“Sir, the Techno-mage ships are firing! Two TNT battle-oysters have been destroyed. They’re moving on to the EarthForce vessels…”

“Looks like my ship is getting the hell out of dodge,” Ivanova said as the Death Incarnate turned around and hauled ass.

“That ought to do it, Captain,” came Galen’s voice over the speaker. “Now, we were on an important mission, so if you’ll excuse us…”

“Of course,” Gideon responded. As soon as the Techno-mage ships left the system Gideon stood. “Nothing will ever be the same anymore. Now, let’s go.”

"The universe is already mad, anything else would be redundant."
Rising Star | The Coming of TNT | blackstar@welivefortheone.b5lr.com

[This message has been edited by BlackStar (edited November 25, 2001).]
Keep it coming - I'm laughing my head off!

The writer's life is not meant to be a happy one. We all accept that going in. -JMS
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR> One—sex; two—violence; three—bland storylines. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry...

Sta, it's great!

But one question? How are you and Kribu going to honeymoon on the Excalibur with all of that fighting going on?

Lorien: Who are you?
RW: The salad man.
Lorien: Why are you here?
RW: To be the salad ambassador.
Lorien: What do you want?
RW: Everyone to know the joys of salad.
Lorien: Do you have anything worth living for?
RW: Yes, my salad bars.
Glorien? Like a mix between Glenda the Good Witch and Lorien?
Anyway, this was hillarious! Can't wait for the next chapter!

EntilZhaDelenn, Future portrayer of Ambassador Delenn

"There is always hope. It is the one thing no one has figured out how to kill... yet." Galen.

"Untied we stand, divided we fall." P. Diddy What's Going On?

I live for the Pepsi, I die for the Pepsi.
That's just not good enough! Don't you know you have an audience out here?

Well yeah, but it certainly is a quiet audience.

Anyway, hopefully, with a little blessing from Valen, I'll dream up the next installment sometime during the next week.

Of course that requires time. And time is a very precious thing these days.

"The universe is already mad, anything else would be redundant."
Rising Star | blackstar@welivefortheone.b5lr.com
Quiet audience? Should I scream continuously, demanding another chapter, to make you feel better?

"Narns, Humans, Centauri... we all do what we do for the same reason: because it seems like a good idea at the time." - G'Kar, Mind War
Kribu's Lounge | kribu@ranger.b5lr.com
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BlackStar:
Well yeah, but it certainly is a quiet audience.

Anyway, hopefully, with a little blessing from Valen, I'll dream up the next installment sometime during the next week.

Of course that requires time. And time is a very precious thing these days.


We're waiting quietly, in anxious anticipation, wondering how you're going to put to use the ideas given in http://www.b5lr.com/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000829.html


Sol and I want to see those TNTnites burn.

Vorlon Empire

"To Live and Die in Starlight"
pilot movie for "Babylon 5 - The Legend of the Rangers"
January 19, 2002 at 9PM on The Sci-Fi Channel. http://www.scifi.com/b5rangers/

[This message has been edited by KoshN (edited December 03, 2001).]
Good, but you'd better keep my Captain out of other people's beds

I get jealous


[This message has been edited by Demon (edited December 05, 2001).]

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