name = Cara Saayman
email = email@example.com
title = Garibaldi's Debt
story = What has gone before: I haven't a clue. This story follows no
storyline & you could say is completely original. It's my first B5 fan fic,
so please bear with me.
**************** (dedicated to my to my favorite character Garibaldi . . .
& Sheridan, but he only got a small part.)
The Chief of Security, Michael Garibaldi, was doing his usual rounds on the
civilian space station, Babylon 5, when he came upon a young woman sitting
at airlock nineteen. There was something familiar about her. He couldn't
quite place it, but when a man as paranoid and tenacious as Garibaldi
couldn't put his finger on something then it was obviously not good. He
returned to his office and checked the criminal activities' logs matching
her description, but nothing came up on the results. Garibaldi exhausted
all his resources until he remembered he had a personal file of all the
people he was just a little intent on catching to satisfy his own self. It
seemed an unlikely place to find such a righteous-looking woman, but he
searched a profile description anyway. There it
was. As he saw the intelligence, he remembered what she'd done. He
remembered well . . .
It was during the Minbari War. Earth had too many of its own problems
to be worried about what the Centaurians and the Narn colonies were
fighting about, but they had nevertheless supplied the Centuarians with
weaponry and troops; if the Minbari colonies were wiped out, what Human
cared anyway? As it turned out, a pole showed that about 30% of Earth did,
but Garibaldi remembered how he had been appointed as a security officer
aboard one of the military vessels that patrolled the Sol System border.
All wars breed spies and the Minbari War was no exception. A small
group of the Juipter Moons' engineers who were working on a colonization
project sponsered by the Americans and
Australians, secretly took up the Gemini colonies' cause. They began to
smuggle out information, food and other material supplies to the Narn
refugees on the Minbari colonies. Their operation wasn't very professional.
They reported mostly what they saw passing by whenever their work stations
were given new orbital positions. The Woman had happened to be one of them.
She and a few others were caught eventually, and even if they had gone on
for months sending information to the Minbari colonies, the Centaurians
still would've one. There were just too many of them.
As it happened, Garibaldi had arrested The Woman. She had put up quite
a fight and sent him scurrying after her up and down the entire work
station orbiting the Europa Project. She was so
busy being a fugitive, she had forgotten to put the course correction on
automatic; the result being that the station eventually began to come apart
at the seams, literally. Garibaldi had tracked her down in the control
room. He had electronically cuffed her to a titanium scaffold and attempted
to get life support going before they died of oxygen-starvation.
Unfortunately he had never been very good at engineering feats, be they
even minor ones. The Woman tried to convince him that she could save them
both. Being the stubborn fool he was, he didn't take her word for it and
chose rather to alert the nearest Earth Force rescue team. An hour slipped
by and no one had come. Garibaldi remembered that his breathing had become
labored; he wasn't in as good shape as someone used to anti-gravity and
having to crawl around cable and power conduits for eighteen hours a day.
He wasn't as young as her either. The Woman begged him to let her out and
try to turn life support on, but he had again stubbornly refused. A noxious
gas was starting to seep in through the floor panels from a coolant leak
and it was poinsoning them. The Woman had eventually struggled out of her
electronic trap sustaining first-degree Nolles burns on her wrists and
hands. Nevertheless, she had stepped over the nearly unconscious security
officer and moved away from the control room. Garibaldi had pulled his
laser gun on her and warned that he'd be forced to shoot if she went a step
further, and he hadn't wanted to do that. She didn't deserve to die for
providing humanitarian aid to tho!
se who were obviously in desperate need of it. She explained that the only
way to turn life support and the air filters back on was to activate the
manual controls on a lower deck. Then she'd come back. Garibaldi couldn't
understand why she'd bother to save her prosecution, but he actually
trusted someone for once in his life. Not that he didn't regret it when
after five minutes she was not back. She never returned, but life support
came back on.
Truthfully, Garibaldi had never really cared to know what had become of
her after she had left him alone to find the life support controls. He had
gotten on board the Earth Force rescue ship and was treated at the Titan
Medical Centre for mild oxygen poisoning. Someone else landed up doing the
paperwork, but he always wondered why she had bothered to save his life
when the manual controls were quite obviously out of the escape pod's way
and the lower decks were almost certainly flooded with nitrogen toxins? Her
hands must've been killing her as well. Garibaldi, being as cynical as he
was, had never trusted compassionate people. For several weeks afterwards,
when he was alone in his quarters with nothing to do, he considered looking
up her records which he had in his personal files, but had always found
some excuse not to. Well, there were no more excuses . . .
After reading the profile, briefly, he returned to airlock nineteen
where The Woman was still sitting. He wondered if she was going somewhere
or if she was waiting for someone from
somewhere. It was late in the evening according to the station's solar
clocks and there were very few people about. If he was going to arrest her,
then this was the perfect opportunity; no crowds for her to get lost in.
After all, she was still considered a fugitive at large. Not that he really
cared. It was less paperwork for him to leave her alone, but Earth seldom
left matters alone where the Centaurians were concerned. He felt for his
laser gun on his hip and was about to approach her, when a man appeared
before the woman. He was an American and if Garibaldi recognized the
implant on his left hand, it was the electronic tracker worn by all Minbari
exiles. He embraced the woman tightly, and let go almost immediately,
smiling at her. "You ready to go?" He asked. But she wasn't paying him any
attention. She was staring beyond his face, straight into Garibaldi's eyes.
They stood regarding each other for a minute, a smile playing across the
woman's lips as if to say: I know you!
The more he looked at her, the more he understood what kind of person
he was and why he was about to do what he had to. His hand tightened over
the laser gun and then loosened completely, falling to his side. He smiled
back at her as if to say: we're even now, Susan Ivanova.
"Honey, you okay?" The Minbari man asked, looking from her to
Garibaldi. She turned to him and nodded, "Yeah, sure John," already having
forgotten the security man standing in the shadows beside a computer
terminal. And the American exile put his arm around her and they began to
walk away. Garibaldi carried on smiling in that very same spot for almost
half an hour. Then he continued on his rounds. He still didn't know much
about her, except that she was a Russian structural engineer and that she
was born in 2230 in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was really none of his
business anymore; whoever she was, who she was with, wherever she was
going, where she'd been for the last five years. Garibaldi began to hum the
Centauri national anthem, content at last.