"Michael! I need something."
It was Michael Garibaldi's instant reaction these days. There was a sharp nudge to his ribs. He woke with a start.
"Ow!" He complained.
"There's something I need you to get." His wife prompted.
"Oh-kay." He blinked the sleep away from his eyes and caught a quick glance at the clock.
"04:30 am. What in god's name could she want at this time." He thought.
He forced himself to sit up in bed and take in his surroundings. Their room was dimly lit and Lize was lying above the covers in a long blue night dress. It was quite easy for Garibaldi to make out the large bump on her stomach that had been slowly growing over the last seven months. He looked at his wife and smiled.
"What do you want?"
"Chocolate." She replied.
"Easy." He said as he started to get up.
"And anchovies." She continued.
"And melt the chocolate into the anchovies."
"Do you really know what you're asking for?"
"I'm not asking for it," she said with a smile. "The baby is."
"Ah. Emotional Blackmail?"
"Works as always…" he got out of bed.
He was halfway through the door when he heard Lize calling after him.
"You know, if it weren't for those boxer shorts your wearing, then I wouldn't be in this position. I wouldn't be wanting chocolate and anchovies at this time in the morning. If you want something to blame, blame your shorts!"
He sighed as he walked down the hall to the kitchen. He'd grown used to the luxury he now lived in. After the six years of hell on Babylon 5, he reckoned on this being the reward. The corporation was doing very well. Mostly thanks to the close links with the Alliance. It appeared that they were the only corporation not to attempt to roll the Alliance over on contracts.
He found himself in the kitchen, the largest he'd ever had. Its huge stainless steel cooker was imposing, with two long work surfaces either side. Cupboards above and below held the many ingredients that he used in cooking. The centre of the room was dominated by huge work surface and dining table, which dwarfed the breakfast bar at the far end of the room.
He started to pull the food out of the fridge, when he noticed there was something wrong with the knives on the surface next to him. One of them was slightly out of position. It was only a small thing but it was enough for the old security hunches and paranoia to kick in.
He put the ingredients on the work surface and slowly got one of the knives out of the knife rack. He turned back to the ingredients and slowly pretended to cut them. He was sure he was being watched and without trying to look as if he knew he was being watched, he tried to scan the room.
There was a tap on his shoulder. Instinctively, Garibaldi threw himself backwards and connected with someone. He felt the satisfying thump as he rammed his opponent into the cooker. As his assailant felt backwards, something left his hand and smashed into the lights above. The room was suddenly very dark.
Garibaldi fought down the rising panic, still aware of the cold steel he had in his hand. He heard something to his left, a soft swishing sound. His opponent was wearing a cloak. He reversed the knife in his hand and listened for another sound of movement.
He just had to make it until his eyes adjusted to the dark. There was a swish to his left. He stabbed out in that direction but there was no contact. There was another sound to his right. He stabbed. Nothing.
"Where are you?" Garibaldi thought.
There was the sound of the cloak right in front of him. He stabbed again. The knife was painfully knocked from his hand. It felt like some kind of club. He tried not to yelp in pain and made a desperate grab for the club.
He got lucky, his un-injured hand grabbed the end of what could be some kind of staff. He pulled and it came free. There was another blow and the staff was thrown across to the other side of the room. A possibility of who his opponent might be popped into his mind but he dismissed it.
Garibaldi's eyesight began to improve; he could make out the general shape of his opponent moving around. He threw himself at his opponent, catching him off guard. The both collapsed in a heap with Garibaldi on top. He swung his fist in and it connected. There was a sickening crack of bone. It took a few milliseconds for him to realise that it was his hand that had made that sound. His opponent was definitely a Minbari, maybe even a ranger with that staff.
He was thrown off and backed into the main worktable. He quickly turned to avoid a follow on blow. He heard the rip of his boxer shorts as he turned away. They must have caught on something. He didn't care his opponent had over extended himself.
Garibaldi grabbed the arm and the old earth force training kicked in. He twisted the arm into a lock and threw his opponent into the floor. He landed on top of his opponent. There was a grunt as he felt the impact.
"Emergency Lights!" A voice called.
"Lize! No! Get Out!" Garabaldi shouted.
The loom lit up in with a dim glow. Lize stood over the pair of them, aiming a PGG at the pair of them.
"Michael, why are you lying on top of a Minbari butt naked?" There was a slight smile that played over her lips.
"You Minbari," she ordered, "You'd better not move. Even I can't miss from this range."
"Yes Ma'am." came the reply.
Garibaldi recognised the voice, it confirmed his suspicions from earlier.
"Oh Frag. Lennier?"
"You know him?" Lize exclaimed.
Garabaldi stood up and picked up the Minbari's staff.
"You remember him hon, " he explained. "He was Delenn's aide and honour guard on Babylon 5."
"Oh yes. I also remember that there's a big reward for him. Something about almost killing your buddy Sheridan."
"I didn't try and kill him," said Lennier. "However, I did leave him when I shouldn't have."
"What you decided to have a go at us instead? You break into our house, get into a fight with my husband and stop me from have anchovies and chocolate."
Lize's voice rose in volume, the angrier she got
"You not making a very good impression if you ask me." She was practically yelling at this point.
"Honey, there no need to get excited." Garabaldi warned.
"What?" She was now pointing the PGG at her husband.
"Ermm. Think about the baby," He said soothingly. "And your pointing the gun at the wrong person."
Lize blinked and realised what she was doing. She quickly pointed the gun back at the Minbari.
"Lize. Can you give me the gun and then go get me a new pair of pants?"
"Yeah, I'll call security when you get back. Unless he's got a damn good reason for all that."
"Acctually…" it was as far as Lennier got.
"Shut up you." Lize's aim started to waver over Lennier.
"Honey?" Garabadi directed her attention back to him. "The Gun?"
She handed the gun over to him when he got close enough. Garibaldi looked down at it. It still had the safety on. He shuddered to think if this had been a different circumstance.
"Now my pants?" he requested.
"Oh right." She said as she left. "Pity, I was enjoying the view."
Garibaldi motioned for Lennier to sit up at the breakfast bar. He got up and limped over to the bar. Garabaldi tried not to be shocked by how much older he looked.
"It's the hormones," explained Garabaldi. "It makes women even more unpredictable than usual."
"Wouldn't know." Replied Lennier as he gingerly sat down in the chair.
Lize returned with pants and a shirt for her husband. The gun was handed over and after a quick change; Garibaldi was once again pointing the gun at Lennier.
"Ok, Lennier, after all we've been through," warned Garibaldi. "I'm giving you five minutes before I call security and they'll hand you over straight to the Alliance."
"Ivanova sent me."
"Is there any other?"
"Don't be funny."
Lennier sighed. "That wasn't meant as a human joke. She's in a difficulty situation and, like me, has no official channels that she can call for help through."
"It will take more than the five minutes you've given me to explain."
"Let's just say you've got an extension."
It took twenty minutes for Lennier to explain the whole situation. He felt he was telling the same story over and over again. However, his audience was captivated. By the end of it, Garibaldi had placed his PGG on the work surface.
"Ok, one thing," said Lize. "How do we know that this is from Ivanova?"
"She asked me to remind you of a joke that you played on her with Val…" He paused, remembering, "Sorry, Commander Sinclair in the mess once."
"She said that you'd be a dead man. And if you didn't help her she'd make good on that promise."
Garibaldi tried not to smile.
"And that's from this Ivanova? More Theats." Lize sounded incredulous.
Garibaldi realised that his wife and his old friend had never really met. He shook his head. Ivanova took a long time to get to know but when you knew her, you could read her like a book.
"No threats. What does she need?"
"We need the Victory Classes' test vessels to evacuate the rangers."
"Big ask." said Lize.
"The victory class isn't going to be ready for another year." Explained Garibaldi.
"No, the engine test ships. Only they have the power to weight ratio to get the rangers of that planet. Look, I'd apologise until I walked down to the sea for the way I attracted you attention."
Lennier looked down at his feet in shame.
"Where I've been for the last four years, well I've forgotten how to ask."
There was a silence that stretched for minutes. Once again this quite, reserved minbari had regained Garibaldi's respect. He looked over at Lize. She nodded. They both understood the implications of standing by and doing nothing.
"Ok, Lennier." Garibaldi said. "You've got those ships."
"Another playing piece is added to the game." Said lennier quietly to himself.