The Armageddon Research Division Incorporated's Secret by Andrew Prentis Part 1 Even on Babylon 5, night-time had its place . Admittedly, it was an arbitrary arrangement, but since most races developed with a night and day cycle, it was necessary to create an approximation to this environment on B5. At night, the lighting in Grey 17 was dimmer, creating a pattern of dark shadows. It began with a quiet thrumming noise just on the threshold of hearing, but within seconds resolved into a strange "wheeroop wheeroop wheeroop" sound, which echoed eerily along the corridor. After one final "Baa-rang", silence returned to Grey 17 including the new feature in its corridor. Zack Allan was on night duty again, and worse still on a foot- slogging patrol. He glanced at his watch - soon be time to head back for his break. His comlink bleeped: "Allan here - all quiet, heading for Grey 18... what the f...!" he stood gaping at the strange object now half blocking the corridor before him. It seemed to be a large blue rectangular box, about three metres tall and with sets of small windows on each side about two metres up. On top of the slightly pointed roof was what appeared to be a light, although it was darkened. He drew his PPG as a door opened in the side of the box and a man's head appeared. He looked back and forth down the corridor and then spotted Zack. A broad grin spread across his face and he stepped out, putting a wide-brimmed floppy hat on over his dark, curly hair. "I take it this isn't Brighton Beach?" he said, almost tripping over the long multicoloured scarf hanging down from his neck. "Hello there, no need to point that gun, I assure you I'm quite harmless." "What is it Doctor?" A lithe woman with long reddish-brown hair followed him out of the box, dressed in a leather leotard and skirt. Immediately on seeing Zack, she drew a wickedly sharp- looking dagger and dropped into a fighting crouch. "I wish I could say the same about my friend here," the tall man continued in a jovial manner. "Allow me to introduce myself, I am the Doctor and this is Leela - put the knife away!" This latter was hissed from the side of his mouth. "And you are?" he continued in the face of Zack's obvious astonishment. "No let me guess - the uniform, ah, Earthforce Security - that puts us in the mid-twenty third century. Which means this must be..." he glanced around at the corridor, "Babylon 5!" "Put the knife away miss." Zack finally found his voice, holding his PPG with both hands. "Do as the man says Leela." The tall man still smiled, but his voice was edged with steel. "This place smells bad Doctor, there is death here." Leela sheathed the dagger but remained poised on the balls of her feet, tensed like a panther. "That's better, now what seems to be the problem officer?" The Doctor moved forward, seemingly oblivious of the levelled PPG. Before he could react, Zack found the man standing beside him. "If I were you, I'd avoid pointing a gun like that at Leela for too long - she gets a bit temperamental when people threaten her. She is a savage after all!" he whispered, holding his scarf up as if to shield them from the girl. Leela continued to glare at Zack who cautiously lowered his gun. "What is this thing?" Zack gestured toward the tall blue box. the newcomers had appeared from. "Ah, that is the TARDIS, my - our ship. I hope you don't mind me parking it there - to be honest, she's a little difficult sometimes and doesn't like the hop skip and jumps to park her out of the way if you see what I mean. "But..." Zack was bewildered, trying to work out whether he was talking about the box, a spaceship or the girl. "If that is your ship, it ought to be in a docking... bay..." Zack's voice trailed off. "How did you get it here? The docking bays are over a mile away!" "As much as I'm enjoying our little chat, I think you had better take me to see your commanding officer." The Doctor's tone grew sombre. "If I am right, I may have some very serious news for him." Garibaldi rolled out of bed, reaching for his bleeping comlink. "This'd better be good," he yawned as he activated it. "Chief, its Zack, I've got a couple of strange ones who are insisting on seeing you." "Can't they wait until morning?" "I don't think so - something tells me they aren't trying to pull a fast one - call it instinct Chief." "Okay, okay, take them to an interrogation room, I'll meet you there in fifteen minutes. Garibaldi out." He ran his fingers through is rumpled hair. "Sheesh, whoever called it the graveyard shift knew how it feels." "All right, what's the problem." Garibaldi said, entering the interrogation room. Feigning nonchalance, he warily took note of every impression he received from the strangers. Zack stood by the door watching over them. The man was tall, over six foot and sturdily built. He wore a maroon coat, grey- brown baggy trousers with turn-ups, a brown fedora perched atop a mop of curly brown hair and a multi-coloured woollen scarf which wound round his neck a couple of times before dangling down to almost reach the floor. On seeing Garibaldi his face broke into a wide grin and his piercing blue eyes twinkled with what could only be described as mischievousness. The girl sat on the edge of a bench, legs stretched out in front of her, hands tensely gripping the edge. She had long reddish-brown hair, darkly tanned skin - of which a great deal was on display on account of the leather patchwork halter-necked leotard she wore and the leather which reached down to just above her knees front and back. This hung from a wide leather belt on which was also sheathed a large knife. Her shoulders, arms and legs were well muscled and her expression was one of wary alertness. Garibaldi forced his eyes away from the cleavage revealed by the leotard to concentrate on the tall man. "Chief, I found them..." "Ah my good chap, so pleased to meet you Mister..." the tall man grasped his hand and gave it a firm shake. Garibaldi let the pause continued unfilled. "Your man here - sterling fellow - seems to have a problem with us." "They've got no ID, no entry visas, no passports, no docking permits and yet they say they arrived here just a while before I saw them coming out of this box in Grey 17." Garibaldi sighed. "Stowaways or Lurkers." His comlink bleeped. "Speak to me." "I have Ambassador Kosh here," came the voice of the desk-man. "He says he's here to meet someone called 'The Doctor'." The tall man's grin widened. (To be continued... perhaps) =================================================================== Alright, so I know the titles a bit clumsy, but its supposed to be a joke (ROFL) If you don't get the joke try taking the initial letters... I suspect I'll be changing it to something more appropriate if I can be bothered to continue the story.
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