A Grey Message Over Gold Channel

Characters: Tylo Narsh

Captain Narsh stood in the lift, barely able to keep his mind going. The thing he wanted to do most right now was head home and collapse on his bed, but that would have to wait. He wasn’t going to take any tranquilizers, or whatever the doc had given him. He could stay awake, rough it out until things were okay.

“Bridge,” he commanded the lift, hoping to bury himself in work to stay awake. He had to let Kim get her rest, and wait until she was feeling better to worry about himself. He still didn’t know what to think of what had happened between them.

The two had invaded each other’s minds. They knew things that had been buried deep and meant to never be disturbed. He had witnessed her darkest memories, the moments that had shaped her life, and she the same with him. Things weren’t going to be the same between them, Tylo just had no idea what it was going to turn into.

The lift slowed and the doors opened, the captain stepping out onto his bridge. Immediately the officers present took note, going to attention. He dismissed them with a nod, “I’ll be in my office. Tell me when we are an hour away from Babylon 5.”

He crossed the bridge, not looking at anyone there, and entered his office. The captain’s big comfy chair welcomed him, a pile of reports and information stacked on his desk where his feet would normally go. The only way to get rid all the paperwork — actually read it.

Boring. Boring. Boring. Boring. It took Tylo until the fifth report to hit something interesting. It was from Dylan, detailing what was going to be happening with Kim and Katia for punishment. He didn’t like the situation, on everyone’s part, but the chance that he would go against a decision of his XO’s was about the same as the chance of a Centauri ever living with the Narn. Maybe I can work something out later? He wondered. Make sure that this doesn’t happen again?

He tossed the report aside, picking up the next one.

It was from Maeve. Maeve had some problems develop, something she was going to explain, she said. “I would like to request leave from the Phoenix. I do not know when or if I will return.” It continued on, the normal formalities. She had just joined, and now was forced to depart. Life was funny sometimes. Tylo sent the communique that her request would be granted and that the ship’s roster should be changed.

Halfway through the next report, an updated listing of the injuries from the last mission, Klevetati chimed interrupting Tylo, informing them of their approach to Babylon 5. “Thank you, Yoshino. I’ll be on the bridge shortly.”

“Computer, open a comm channel, Gold, to Babylon 5 and Sheridan.”

“Channel open,” it responded after a few moments.

Tylo smiled at the viewscreen on the wall of his office. “Nice to see you, John. Anything new going on, amigo?”

“Tylo!” Sheridan said, a bit startled. “It has been awhile. A few things are going on, but first, what’s the reason behind this message? Anything you need help with?”

“As a matter of fact, yes.” Tylo looked through the scattered messages on his desk, finding the one he needed. “On our last mission, a relief one to Minbar, we picked up a large group of refugees. They need a place to stay. I was hoping that you could do something about that. Our orders were to get them out, nothing more. We’re about an hour away from the station. What do you say?”

“I think we can handle that. But it will cost you, Captain.”

“Cost? What are you talking about?” Tylo said, mystified by Sheridan’s comment.

“Right now, outside of Mars, the NAS Hellfire is in trouble. They’ve been running cargo for us and are going to be a very valuable asset. We aren’t sure exactly what is going on, but from the short message we got, they’re without power and are drifting. You’re probably closer than most ships right now, and definitely faster. We need you to go in, and bring them out.”

Tylo nodded, “I can do that. Pronto. Is there anything else, any special military activity in the area?”

“None that has been reported. We need this to be quick and clean. We’re getting ready to start making our move, and we don’t want earth alerted just yet.” Captain Sheridan frowned, looking at something outside of Tylo’s view. “And when you get here, I have another mission for you. Please, don’t take your time. This is very important, and it needs to be handled by you. Good luck, Captain Narsh.”

“The same to you, John.” Tylo reached over and killed the transmission, wondering what the look of dread on his collegue’s face was for. “A mission for us? What could be so awful? Why would he leave us in the grey on this issue? No, first the Hellfire. People that need to be saved.”

Straightening his uniform as he stood, the captain let out a sigh, too many things to worry about right now. Tylo left his office, walking onto the bridge and taking his seat. “Helm, change our destination. We’re going to Mars.”

The crew was startled by the sudden shift, all of them wondering what had caused this. Tylo gave no explanation, simply relaxing back in his chair and feeling sleep pull on his eyelids again. He watched hyperspace, the swirling and spinning vortex. He didn’t know how long the were on the bridge, people moving all about – changing shift? – and going about their work.

“Captain, approaching Mars.”

“Open a jump point, and set a heading for the first large ship you find. We’re looking for the NAS Hellfire. We’ve gotta bring her home to Babylon 5. Let’s do this, and get out of here.”

The Phoenix slowed, a swirling jump point forming ahead of them. The ship then was plunged deep into it and just as swiftly flung into normal space. Immediately the large ship caught Tylo’s eye. “There she is.” The Hellfire was drifting, dead. The engines were barely glowing, not a good sign. And to make matters worse, four Black Omegas were circling it, picking off chunks of shielding at will. “Take us in.”