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Crusade Chapter 13: TNT Without End, Part II


Beyond the rim
Disclaimer: I AM ILLEGAL! This premise belongs to me, but JMS did the hard work.

Previously on CRUSADE:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>Captain Matthew Gideon’s Log, December 20th. We’re on the run. With the help of Galen we managed to secede from Earth, but I don’t know how much longer we can evade them.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>“We need you to help us in a critical mission…Captain,” the Drakh hissed, ashamed.

“What sort of mission?”

“A mission of time…”<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>“Can I help you,” Gideon asked.


“I see. May I ask your name?”

“I was called ZAthras, you see? ZAthras is not Zathras, do not confuse the two…tck tck.”

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>I am being requesting adequate retirement funds. I wish only pleasant life with my children: ZEthras, Zethras, HAthras, and Billy Bob ZAthras.”<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>“Captain Ivanova, we’re approaching Minbar.”<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>“Tsk, tsk,” ZAthras said. “Very dangerous! But in we go! We go, we go!”

“You heard him. Let’s go!” Gideon ordered.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Crusade—Chapter 13, TNT WITHOUT END, PART II

Gideon yelled once more, “I told you no!”

“Tck, tck. It is being very necessary you give ZAthras what he need.”

“I…am going to have to think about that request a while longer.”

“Tck, tck, tck. So it is, oh yes. In time, time being the closed circle, you will be giving in to ZAthras' second request.”

“I…don’t think so.” With that, Captain Matthew Gideon turned his back to ZAthras and peered into the darkness of the space surrounding the ship. The Excalibur was finally prepared to enter the temporal rift in Sector 14. A light blue glow radiated from the rift. After a quick inspection of the outside, Gideon turned once more towards ZAthras. “Is it safe to enter now?”

ZAthras flinched, and then began to pace in front of Gideon. “Difficult to say. Safe, being a relative term, is never for certain, being that certain requires the small degree of security and safety you be requiring, then in turn requires the larger degree of overall lifetime safety, in which things get very tricky...very tricky indeed.”

Gideon narrowed his stare on ZAthras. “Is it safe to enter now that we’ve prepared the ship?”

ZAthras contemplated for a brief moment, then spoke again. “Again, hard to say. If we are to see the big picture of this matter, we must sufficiently analyze matters in which the full destruction of the Enemy is brought about. In this case, we are have sufficient understanding of—” ZAthras paused and looked at his time stabilizer, then at Gideon. He stared at Gideon for a short time and then continued, “…sufficient understanding of the big picture. In this understanding comes greater wisdom and knowledge of future events. You see, Zathras once told me that the universe is--”


“Tck, tck. Yes…yes. Oh! Safety! We would be deeming it adequately safe for our entrance and exit, at which time you can return the second favor I requested.”

“We’ll deal with that when we come to it,” he said as he strode toward the helm. “Contact the Drakh vessel and inform them we’re going in,” Gideon grimly muttered.


President John Sheridan sat comfortably in his Minbari executive chair. The bright afternoon sun pierced through the blinds of his large office. He took a small sip of orange juice, then turned his view toward Captain Susan Ivanova, who sat directly in front of his dark mahogany desk. “So what’s this I hear about Earth going renegade again?”

Ivanova shifted slightly in a futile effort to make herself comfortable. She rarely showed it, but after Earth’s declaration of their alliance with TNT, she had been restless, constantly. “That’s right, John. I was there onboard the Excalibur when it happened. We were preparing to leave the T’N’T’ha’dum’a system when we were attacked. And those sons of bitches have my ship! The nerve. Even after they know that I’m Death Incarnate. I mean, how many times does a person have to explain these things? Surely after that incident…how many years ago was that? Anyway, one would have thought by now they would have realized that they shouldn't simply mess with me.”

Sheridan grunted briefly, and then took another sip of orange juice. “And you want me to…?”

Ivanova sneered in dismay. “What? Just what in the hell do you mean by that?”

John rotated his chair slightly in an attempt to avoid direct line-of-sight to Ivanova. “I mean, that…”

“Yes, please explain. I’m so very anxious to hear what you have to say, you…”

“Now just a minute.”

“All right. Fine. Say what you have to say, John.”

“That’s ‘Mr. President’ to the likes of you.”

“The hell it is!”

“This is my office, Captain. And here I am addressed as 'Mr. President.'”

Ivanova took a deep breath, and then slightly exhaled. “I will not break his neck…I will not break his neck. Think good thoughts,” she reminded herself silently.

Sheridan, sure of victory, smiled faintly. “There. Now, is that settled?”

Suddenly Ivanova stood. She promptly brought down the full power of her gaze upon Sheridan and began to yell, “No! This isn’t ‘settled.’ It will be settled when we have torn apart the TNT Alliance, who, by the way, is now in league with Earth! Or have you missed that part in sipping your…synthetic Minbari orange juice? Pay attention to things like this! Or do you just not want to? Look at things, John! The TNT Alliance is prepared to destroy ISA. And they won’t stop with you, either. They’ll move on to all the members, then, one by one, rip them apart with sexual and violent relations. So you see, my good President, you need to get off your butt and do something.”

He cleared his throat and sat up. “I…see.” Another small smile appeared on his countenance. “That won’t be possible, Captain.”

She threw up her arms, and then kicked Sheridan’s orange juice over, spilling it in his lap. “You’ve got to be kidding me. We need ships. We need to fight! And we need to win,” she said with a blank, yet powerful stare.

“Again” Sheridan said, “that won’t be possible. You see, I’ve taken certain measures to ensure things go…smoothly.”

“Excuse me? Have you not been listening to me? The whole Death Incarnate thing? No? I guess not. Now you’re going to have to explain yourself to me, before I throw you out of that window,” she said pointing to the large window behind Sheridan.

“Well, that won’t be possible either.” Sheridan flipped up a tiny panel on his desk and pushed a dark red button. “The ISA will go on. But then again…so will the TNT Alliance.” He laughed wryly at Ivanova, and then glanced back down at his spilled orange juice. “And you. You…are going to pay the price.”

Ivanova nervously glanced around herself in all directions. She began to slowly back away from Sheridan’s desk. “I knew it. I always knew there was something about you. You’re the traitor, after all.”


The door abruptly burst open. “Oh shit,” Ivanova muttered to herself as TNT soldiers approached her. In a state of complete shock, she turned one last time to Sheridan and gazed desperately at him. “I see this treachery runs deep. But I’ll see you again, in time.”

Sheridan rotated his chair towards the approaching group of soldiers. He raised his hand briefly, motioning them to stop. “What do you mean by this?”

“Well,” Ivanova smiled. “ I mean that I’ll see you again, but the next time you’ll apologize.”

He let out a penetrating laugh that threatened to knock Ivanova out. “I’m…afraid you’re mistaken, Susan. You see, you’re the one that’s about to be arrested for anti-TNT crimes. And you have nothing positive to say?”

“Your office sucks. Mine’s bigger.”

Sheridan pounded his fists against his hard desk and began to scream. “Get her out of here! Now! Bring her down below! No mercy!” He turned towards the soldiers. “I said now!”

Ivanova slowly raised her head up and looked through the window. She smiled. “I think, ‘Mr. President,’ that your time is up.”

Suddenly the window behind President Sheridan exploded into a thousand pieces. Countless soldier poured into the office. Each shot massive amounts of energy into the approaching TNT soldiers. Sheridan beheld the chaos around him with disbelief. After the dark cloud of smoke cleared, he made out the faces of these soldiers. They were Drakh. And they had saved Ivanova.


“I need you to explain to me again what our task is.”

The Drakh captain hesitated and then began again in the traditional hiss, “Our task…is simple. Stop the first meeting between Earth and the TNT Alliance. Then, and only then will the galaxy be saved from the hands of the TNT Alliance.”

“I see. That was well said, with a touch of drama. But we’ve been waiting here for almost an hour,” Gideon noted. “When exactly are they going to arrive? Don’t you have this information?”



“We have vague information, only.”


“Captain,” a bridge officer interrupted. “I’m picking up one Omega Class Destroyer in this system. Moving in at a slow speed.”

“Do the scanners show any signs of TNT vessels?”

“Negative, Captain.”

Gideon approached ZAthras, who stood nearby, picking at his time stabilizer. “Tck, tck. Never under warranty anymore. No, not good. Told them, extended lifetime warranty plus three. Three part, didn’t go through. Lifetime, yes. Yes?”

“ZAthras, go down to the docking bay and get the shuttle ready. We’re going to be boarding Earth Destroyer that’s approaching, to stop the TNTnites from infiltrating Earth.”

ZAthras yelped, “We not being taking orders from you! You! You but a small piece. One day we being elected ruler. And then, without delay, when our time is over, children—firstborn, Billy Bob ZAthras, he take charge.”

“ZAthras, will you please, please go down and get things ready for the shuttle?” Gideon asked again.

“Being said please, yes, yes. Going, going.”


ZAthras paused. “But…second request?”

“No.” Gideon bluntly said.

“Tsk tsk. You not being knowing what you’re missing.”

“I can live without it.”

“No!” ZAthras remarked. “No, no. My hair is conditioned, better than telepaths even.”

Gideon cringed. “ZAthras…please go down and get the shuttle ready.”

“So it being is!”

“Captain. There’s another ship approaching.”

“The TNT vessel?”

“Negative. It appears to be a Vorlon transport.”


“Confirmed, Captain. It’s requesting communication. Audio only.”

“Put it on,” Gideon ordered.

A voice came over the speaker. “Gideon.”

“That’s right.”

“He is the key.”

“Who is the key?”


“Who is he?”

“Kosh. Son of Kosh, and Kosh Kosh.”

Gideon frowned. “I don’t understand.”

“You will. The future approaches.”

“Captain,” the officer interrupted again. “The TNT vessel has formed directly ahead of the Omega Class Destroyer.”

“There’s no time for a shuttle,” Gideon thought to himself. “Take us to it!” he yelled. “There is no time. We must destroy them, no matter the cost. They’ll die, or we’ll die trying to kill them. Inform the Drakh vessel to follow us in.”



“What is it?”

“There’s a Techno-Mage transport approaching.”


“It’s requesting communications with us as well.”

“Put whoever it is on.”

Galen appeared on the screen. “Hello Matthew. Do not destroy that ship. It is critical you leave it in tact.”


“Because I have seen the future. When you destroy it, the whole force of the TNT Alliance will fall upon Earth.”

“What else is there to do?”

“I’ve prepared a number negative-Viagra capsules to be released upon the very heart of T’N’T’ha’dum’a. If we can cure their lust for sex and violence, we may be able to stop their reign of shallowness.”

“Hmm. That sounds really clever,” Gideon said, “but I’d really like to blow up this one.”

“The time will come,” Galen said, “when I will need you and your ship. Do not waste your energy now.”

“Oh come on, Galen. What does that even mean? No one here likes to speak normally. I’ve had enough of this crap. And now, I’m going to blow that ship out of the sky. Helm, continue on course. Inform the Drakh we’re prepared to fire. Let there be no survivors.”

“Aye, Captain.”

“If only Ivanova were here,” Gideon thought, “she could think of something sarcastic to say to those TNTnites before we kill them.” He shrugged. “Fire.”

--To Be Continued--

"I can only conclude that I'm paying off karma at a vastly accelerated rate."

[This message has been edited by BlackStar (edited February 11, 2002).]
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

That was excellent. And as mysterious and suspenseful as ever.

"There are things out there beyond imagination, and I have a rather healthy imagination." - G'Kar, B5: Rangers
Kribu's Lounge | kribu@ranger.b5lr.com | Kribu.net
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kribu:
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

That was excellent. And as mysterious and suspenseful as ever.


Did you remember where we were? I'm going to have to go back and re-read the whole thing.

At last, the long withdrawal period is over.

Vorlon Empire

Crusade (reruns) starting 03/26/2002 at 1PM EST on the Sci-Fi Channel

Hey Sta, we need more Crusade! With the Sci-Fi channel pulling it off the Schedulebot /ubbthreads/images/icons/frown.gif , we now all really need Chapter 14. /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif
Yeah, I think I wrote half of it a couple of weeks ago and then, well, exam time started.

At any rate, I'll post it soon since you insist. /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif
Just thought it might be nice to feel needed and appreciated. /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif

Wait 'till exam time is over, OK? Don't want you jeopardizing your grades. /ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif
Well, we all know how important it is to know that Novell is critical to the world of internetworking. /ubbthreads/images/icons/crazy.gif

Luckily, I'll be done with the things tomorrow.
I can't believe I missed this when you first posted it! Keep up the good work, want Chapter 14 soon :)

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