Downbelow refers to the various undeveloped areas of Babylon 5, mostly in the lower levels of Brown Sector near the outer hull. Very few ever go there, as it consists of the corridors and chambers around the waste recycling system, the air compressors, and the water reclamation facility.
Downbelow came about as a result of budgetary cutbacks and a rush to finish when construction was nearing completion, leaving many areas of the station unfinished, especially in the Brown and Grey sectors. Being the first station of the much-touted Babylon Project to open for public residency, people flocked to the station in search of a better life. However, many who came to the station didn't find their better life, soon ran out of money, and were reduced to squatting and living in the abandoned corridors of those unfinished levels, scrounging through the refuse of the hurried construction process for anything they could eat, wear, or sell. Due to this style of living, they became known as Lurkers.
In 2258 Dr. Stephen Franklin set up a free clinic in Downbelow to help treat those in need that couldn't afford to go to Medlab and to secretly sort runaway telepaths and get them out through the Underground Railroad.
Downbelow is a hotbed of crime and accounts for as much as 90% of the station's crime rate, mostly because it's the only place for many people to go when they come to the station looking for a new life, but run out of money, unable to buy passage home, effectively becoming the station's homeless, referred to as Lurkers. The very worst parts of Downbelow are located in Brown Sector, which is a less than pleasant locale at the best of times. Downbelow is often divided up between an ever changing roster of various criminal factions, small-time thugs and gangsters. Most are little more than violent bullies that have learnt to survive by stealing, intimidation, protection rackets and extortion. Even the secretive Thieves Guild have a presence in this area.
- ↑ JMS post on GENIE - 2/2/1995
- ↑ JMS post on rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated - 8/19/1994
- ↑ River of Souls
- ↑ Babylon 5 Security Manual
- ↑ Grey 17 is Missing
- ↑ A Race Through Dark Places
- ↑ Grail (episode)
- ↑ Acts of Sacrifice
- ↑ JMS post on GENIE - 9/15/1993
- ↑ There All the Honor Lies
- ↑ Matters of Honor
- ↑ A Call to Arms