[identity profile] natoth.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] babylon5_love
Title: "Five things which never happened to Elizabeth Lochley"
Author:[livejournal.com profile] natoth
Pairing Starring: Elizabeth Lochley, Michael and Mary Garibaldi, Susan Ivanova
Rating: PG
From author: Thing 1. Thing 2. Thing 3.Thing 4

Approximately year 2269-70

"The shuttle from "Titan" is ready for docking, Captain," - said lieutenant Corwin, turning to Lochley.
She nodded.
Computer's dispassionate voice started dictating the course and dock coordinates to the coming ship.
Lochley was looking at the starry sky, spinning behind the thick glass of the C&C, and musing on the forthcoming meeting.
Corwin was excited, though he tried to hide it as best he could. She understood him. Whatever one may say, Ivanova had been his CO for many years. And the heck quite a good CO!
This was not Lochley's first year on this station, and she could draw some conclusions. The crew got used to her gradually, as well as she got used to the crew. Got adjusted to each other, as they say. After the Interstellar Alliance headquarters was transferred to the city of Tuzanor, on Minbar, life on the station became more quiet and measured. Sheridan and Garibaldi, who'd been the main crushers, were now engaged in their destructive activity in other places.
Some people still grieved at it. She never did. If they'd remained on the station a couple of months longer, she'd have committed suicide for sure.
Though, evil tongues rumoured, that the station had lost its significance, and that B5 ceased to be "the centre of commerce and diplomacy".
Lochley tried to ignore such attacks. Though a lot had changed since the opening of this station, one thing remained the same: its location. Babylon 5 was still situated at the intersection of rather important trade routes. So, there were as many people on the station as before.
She realized, B5 was like a bur in the throat for some politicians who still couldn't forget, that it was because of this station's inhabitants that many of their guileful schemes became a failure. Though B5 was now under the jurisdiction of the Earth Alliance and everything was placid there, they still expected some dirty trick from it...
Lochley sighed. When she was taking up this post, she couldn't even imagine, that her main task would be to defend the station from the Earth bureaucrats. But it was them who presented the main threat at present.
"The docking was successful," - Corwin reported, interrupting her ruminations.
Lochley shook her head, and then opened the channel to the shuttle.
"Welcome to Babylon 5, Captain Ivanova!"

* * *

Captain Susan Ivanova was sitting in Lochley's office, scrutinizing the appointments.
The office wasn't noted for rich decoration in the time of Sheridan; John believed, that excessive pomp only distracted from work. But Lochley surpassed him in asceticism. Everything was utterly official, nothing personal. Not a speck of dust on the table, all the documents were organized in separate folders.
Lochley entered the office. She showed up exactly at the time, appointed for the meeting, neither a minute later, nor a minute earlier.
"So, I'd like to learn about the reasons of your visit. - Lochley said after they exchanged standard greetings. - You didn't go into particulars while talking through Stellarcom, however…"
Ivanova smiled feebly.
"This visit is unofficial, Captain. My ship was just passing by; we have spare time now... so I decided to pay a visit to the station. Such opportunities occur seldom, there is no sin in seizing them."
"I see... - Lochley drawled, nodding. - Well, in this case... feel yourself... at home."
Ivanova made a wry smile.
" I'll try, - she answered dryly. - Though, while I was walking here, I could hardly believe that this is the same Babylon 5. The station has changed considerably, Captain, and not to the best in some respects."
Lochley kept silent for a while, she decided to pay no attention to this clear attack, then she recalled something.
"I hope... your ship is all right?"
"Oh, yes, it's quite all right, - Ivanova assured her. - This is really just a friendly visit, nothing more."
Lochley relaxed a little. She still remembered the last friendly visit of Ivanova in every detail. That time the station was thoroughly shaken once more. Lochley realized that she involuntarily feared the appearance of any of the former B5's officers. They brought along nothing but troubles. How ever could the station sustain all of them at once?! Her inner voice refused to calm down. Even though Ivanova came here as just a guest, Lochley decided to be on the alert, just in case.

* * *

A small reception was given in the evening to celebrate Captain Ivanova's arrival. Though Ivanova accepted this action coldly, still, she came to the reception. The senior officers from “Titan” accompanied her.
Although the composition of diplomats on the station had changed considerably, some of them still remembered Ivanova and hastened to pay their respects to her. The Drazi ambassador was especially zealous.
At first Ivanova was struck dumb by such cock-a-hoop hilarity, but then recognized in the present ambassador a former attaché, whom she merrily talked to on some Drazi reception… the details of which she remembered quite vaguely.
The Drazi ambassador helped her to overcome the awkwardness. Soon Susan was already laughing, recalling the old days…
Lochley watched her and did her best to recall something very important, something connected to her. But she couldn't.
Squeaking of the link interrupted her ruminations.
"Lochley listening," - she said, sighing.
Here it is... somehow she immediately felt bad presentiments. Everybody knew, she was on the reception; they wouldn't disturb her over trifles.
"Captain, Mr. Garibaldi wants to talk to you..." - that was the voice of a technician.
Lochley's heart froze for a moment, then sank down to her feet.
She knew it! What's up this time?! Not Mr. Garibaldi... Not this...
"I'll talk to him from my office. I'll be there in a couple of minutes," - she answered, trying to make her voice stop quavering too much.
They had developed a rather contradictory relationship with mister Garibaldi. While he lived on the station, they squabbled almost every day, at every meeting. Later they seemed to improve their relationship somehow. One couldn't call it friendly... But at least they learned to talk to each other. Apparently, one couldn't expect more: they had too different.
She drew a deep breath, and then switched the Stellarcom on. Mr. Garibaldi's face appeared on the screen. He squinted derisively.
"Good day, Captain. I believe, you didn't expect my call? I'm sorry to disturb you, but I think I should notify you of my forthcoming appearance on the station."
Lochley tried to hide her true feelings.
" Well, may I enquire about the purpose of your visit, Mr. Garibaldi? I need to know, what to prepare for. I hope, it's not business negotiations with just another mad tomb plunderer?"
Garibaldi laughed.
"No, Captain, everything's much worse. I've simply decided to come to see my favorite station, and to show it to my daughter at the same time."
"Your daughter? - Lochley felt growing panic. - Is she coming with you?"
"Yes, that is exactly what I wanted to say. We are on our way already; we'll be there in about 24 hours. You still have time to get ready..." - Garibaldi grinned and broke the connection.

* * *

Lochley paced back and forth in her office. Her nerves had been at the breaking point lately. Mostly because of Ivanova. After strolling about the station, the former First Officer couldn't keep from making caustic remarks directed to the new command. Oh, of course, she made those remarks veiledly, and casually. But by the end of the day Lochley was ready to kill her. What's her business in what is happening on the station now?!
Lochley attempted to get away from those thoughts, but then Mr. Garibaldi's words came to the surface in her mind... Good gracious! Whatever does she deserve such punishment for?!
The door chime made her startle.
"Yes?" - she said, quickly assuming an official air.
She saw the incomers and smiled stiffly.
"Here we are, - said Mr. Garibaldi. - We've come to pay our respects to the commander of the station... Captain, this is my daughter, Mary... Mary, this is Captain Lochley."
Lochley stared at a slender girl of about six of seven, whose dark hair was done up in two funny pony-tails. The child looked up at her seriously; there was so much suspiciousness and distrust in this look, that it became clear at once, whose daughter she was.
" Captain Lochley is the chief here, so behave politely," - Garibaldi added, bending down to his daughter.
The girl looked askance at him.
" Is she your superior?" - She asked.
Garibaldi looked at Lochley for some time.
"She is, - he said seriously. - Here, on the station, she is everybody's superior."
Lochley came up closer to her and offered her hand.
" Well, hello, Mary. Welcome to the station."
The girl shook her hand cautiously.
"Hello, Captain Lochley. I wonder, why..."
Garibaldi laid his hands on his daughter's shoulders, pushing her gently to the exit.
" Well, now you’ve got acquainted… I believe, you'll excuse us, Captain: we cannot stay any longer. Mary is tired after the journey; she needs to get some sleep... I think we'll have time for a heart-to-heart talk later..."
Lochley nodded.
Mary knitted her brows..
"But dad, I don't want to sleep at all... I just wanted to ask, why..."
"Mary! - Garibaldi said significantly, pressing on her shoulder slightly. - We discussed this question recently. Let's not start this all over again, OK?"
But obviously, his daughter wasn’t listening to him. Her gaze rested on a model of the station, which had served as a decoration in the office for many years already.
"Wow! How lovely! - the girl exclaimed and, slipping from her father's hands, ran up to the model. - I wonder, what..."
Lochley opened her mouth to say something, but she was late. The model of the station flew off its stand, tumbled down to the floor and broke to pieces with a terrible crash.
Lochley closed her eyes slightly.
Here it starts... this must be hereditary...
"MARY!!! - Garibaldi groaned, growing crimson, - What the Hell!!!"
The girl was contemplating the remains of the model perplexedly, then she raised her eyes at her father.
" Mummy has forbidden you to swear when I'm near, remember? This is the third time you've sworn..."
Garibaldi threw his hands around her, and shot a suffering glance at Lochley.
" I'll make up the loss, Captain. All the best to you."
He headed to the door swiftly, squeezing his floundering daughter in his hands.
" I only wanted to ask, why... "- Mary said, but Lochley didn't hear the rest of the phrase.
"You have a charming daughter, Mr. Garibaldi, - she said after them, and then started picking up the pieces from the floor.

* * *

The station resembled a madhouse more and more with each new day. Mr. Garibaldi's daughter alone was something! During the three days of their stay on B5 the girl managed to run away from under her daddy’s surveillance three times, and that was not easy to do, taking into account his past. A couple of times Garibaldi coped with the problem himself, but the third time he gave up and turned to B5 Security.
" She is a natural disaster, not a child! - he grieved, talking to Zack. - I have no idea, where she could get to this time... She is capable of anything! "
"Come on, I think nothing bad will happen to her, - Zack noted genially, trying to reassure his former chief, who'd been running in circles about his office for an hour already. - God himself guards such children..."
" She is able to get into the station's reactor, if it comes into her head... - Garibaldi muttered, waving his hands nervously. Then he stopped and looked at Zack: - By the way, you should consider the reactor in your search..."
" Ah, come on, Michael! - Zack waved aside the idea and slapped him on the shoulder. – Take a seat and calm down. My boys are looking for her. You know them: they'll turn the station upside down just to find her."
" I'm serious, Zack, - Garibaldi said, and snatched out a cigar. He looked at it, and then put it back into the pocket. He cast a sidelong look at Zack. – Do you know, that Mary was only four, when she contrived to take a walk outside the dome on Mars, all on her own initiative?! I got frightened to death that time… Oh, God! What if she gets to the docks?!"
He resumed rushing about Zack’s office.
"Why the hell did I take her to this dangerous place, full of bloodthirsty aliens and spiteful lurkers… if only anything happens to her…"
At that moment Lochley entered the office, dressed in civilian clothes. It took Garibaldi some time to recognize her.
"Mr. Garibaldi, - she said distinctly, - it looks like you’ve lost somebody?"
Garibaldi flared up immediately. He was not going to put up with her mockery at a time like that.
" Captain, I’d tell you bluntly, but…"
Here he broke off suddenly, seeing whom the Captain brought along.
"Daddy!" – Mary exclaimed and dashed to him.
"Where have you been?! – He growled, grabbing her in his arms. – When will you learn to listen to your father, eh?!"
" I found her in Down Below; she was playing with the local waifs. – Lochley said. – A nimble girl she is… It looks like you’re having a hard time with her…"
Mr. Garibaldi looked at Lochley confusedly.
" Captain… thank you for finding my daughter… - he forced slowly, - I… owe one to you…"
Zack looked at him, amazed, but didn’t say a word.
"You are welcome, "- Lochley answered and left.

* * *

Lochley entered her quarters and threw off the tiresome uniform.
Garibaldi got tired to watch his daughter and left to Mars by an evening flight. Lochley felt great relief after seeing him off.
Susan Ivanova was leaving in the morning.
The sooner the better. Lochley hang the tunic on a chair, and turned to the table.
Ivanova was very glad when she found out, that Garibaldi was on the station. She walked about Babylon 5 with him and his daughter a whole day, recalling the past days.
Lochley was only glad about it. Ivanova stopped bothering her, and switched her attention to the former Chief of Security.
“All right, I’ll stand it till morning”, - she told herself, and went to bed trying to fall asleep. At that moment she remembered… remembered this
"Hell! The letter from Marcus!" – she exclaimed, jumping from the bed. She rushed to the table, rummaged in her papers. – I’ve nearly forgotten about it…"
Having found the narrow envelope with a sprawling signature, she came up to the Babcom and got in touch with Ivanova.
Captain Ivanova was on her ship already, preparing to depart.
"I’m listening to you, Captain Lochley, - she said, - Everything’s fine, I hope?"
Lochley explained the situation as best she could.
Ivanova’s countenance changed for a moment.
"I’ll be there soon," - she answered shortly and broke the connection.

* * *

Lochley handed the envelope to her. Ivanova took it slowly, scrutinizing the signature.
"How… did it happen?" – she asked hoarsely.
Lochley sighed. How could she tell her about it? She couldn’t tell all the truth, it was a too personal, too… painful recollection.
"Believe me, it’s a very long story, - Lochley answered, - most of which I just can’t tell you. Not only you. Nobody at all. I think, you’ll understand me. I can only say, that Marcus was very glad to learn that… his action really saved your life. He was… soothed by it. That’s all I can tell you. Sorry."
Ivanova squinted for a moment, but then nodded.
"I understand… thank you, Captain."
She turned to leave, but Lochley stopped her, as she decided to ask her one question, which had been worrying her for a long time:
"Captain Ivanova… excuse me if I’m tactless, but… doctor Franklin got in touch with me recently, once again, asking about… the cryonic chamber with Marcus’s body…"
Ivanova tensed, but said nothing.
"He asks for permission to take it to Earth, to his laboratory. There is modern equipment there… and on the whole, it’s safer…"
Ivanova shook her head.
"No, - she said firmly. – Marcus loved Babylon 5. I think, he wouldn’t want to leave the station… Besides, he is a native of a colony; he never especially liked Earth… I doubt he would have desired his body to be… among the people he didn’t know, in the world he didn’t know."
Lochley nodded.
"I’ll… talk to Steven about it, on occasion",– Susan said, and left her office, carefully clasping the envelope to her bosom.

* * *

Lochley was sitting in her quarters, listening to the news. There was a cup of coffee before her. Real coffee, which grew on the station. Lochley had discovered a small plantation in the hydroponic garden, and asked the workers to look after it.
Stellarcom came to life, Lochley saw, that several letters had come.
"Look through the mail,"- she said, making herself comfortable with a cup of coffee.
The first letter was from Mars, from Mr. Garibaldi and his wife. Its contents struck Lochley on the spot. Mr. Garibaldi must have gone mad. He thanked her hotly for his found daughter, and even apologized for all the foul things he’d said to her before. And his wife, Liz, invited her over to Mars.
"If you have a chance, - she said, smiling, - we are always glad to see you, Ms. Lochley".
Lochley pinched her hand several time, to make sure that was not a dream.
When she came to her senses, she ordered to open the second letter.
Ivanova’s face appeared on the screen. She was pale as death and choked with rage.
"Well, Captain Lochley, that beats everything!! – she yelled; and her eyes glared angrily. – I will never forgive you this!"
Lochley’s widened her eyes, puzzled.
"I have always considered you a sensible person, not capable of such foolish tricks… - Ivanova continued, trying to speak evenly and coldly, but her voice was cracking now and then. – And even less did I expect you to make such a… abominable meanness…"
Lochley couldn’t understand anything. What is she talking about?!
" I could never imagine… - Ivanova fell silent, unable to control herself anymore. She stood for some time, covering her face with her hands, then looked at Lochley resolutely. – Here, look at it!"
She grasped the envelope and drew from it… a blank sheet of paper. Turned it several times.
"That was a very foolish trick, Captain, and I’ll never… you hear me? NEVER forgive you for it!!!"
The message stopped suddenly at this point.

Lochley put cold coffee on the table, shocked by what had just happened.
She still couldn’t understand anything.
How could this happen?! She saw with her own eyes how Marcus wrote this letter and sealed the envelope…
Lochley passed her hand over her forehead.
It’s useless to puzzle over inexplicable things.
"Well… - she said slowly, switching Stellarcom off, - you never know, where you’ll lose and where you’ll gain…"

Date: 2007-09-02 12:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] delenntoo.livejournal.com
Hehe .. i like this one too. Thanks for sharing them!

Date: 2007-09-02 01:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flarn-chef.livejournal.com
This is much better than the Lochley part of Lost Tales!!!
:::thumbs up:::

Date: 2007-09-02 06:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fondued-jicama.livejournal.com
That was sad. I liked it- it was as amusing and genuine as the show. But I think the letter would have come through- after all, other things that were touched by visitors from the Day of the Dead remained changed. If a letter would erase everything that he wrote because it was written out of time, would a bedsheet stay crumpled? Would a cup of tea that was drunk from revert to being clean?

Things of that nature stayed the same in the show, so perhaps the letter would come through as well.

Unless, that is, Marcus decided to be an ULTIMATE ass and just not write her anything.

Date: 2007-09-02 06:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scifiman.livejournal.com
Wow!!,I loved all 5 of them!!!,I too did not like lochley very much at all at first!!!.I thought of her as poor sub for Ivonava,you know!!,But I grew to like her more everytime I watch season5,Your stories do her justice!!!.


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