The Babylon Project

Rumors, Bargains and Lies

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Captain Sheridan comes up with an elaborate ruse to convince the League of Non-Aligned Worlds to request his assistance. Delenn approaches Neroon in an attempt to end the Minbari Civil War.



Guest StarringEdit


Cast NotesEdit



Captain John Sheridan is in the mess hall, feet raised, deep in thought. Commander Ivanova, Chief of Security Zack Allan, Dr. Stephen Franklin, and Marcus Cole walk in and greet him, but he doesn't reply. Allan tries to start a conversation by noting his success in convincing Londo Mollari and G'Kar to let White Star ships patrol the edges of their territories to prevent flareups. Again, Sheridan doesn't acknowledge them. Then Allan notes the next obstacle: convincing the League of Non-Aligned Worlds to do the same thing. Ivanova and Franklin agree, noting their tendency to suspect ulterior motives and distrust of each other. Sheridan finally starts to chuckle but refuses to elaborate. The conversation continues. Part of the problem is that most of the League worlds don't see things like Raiders and the Drakh as their problem: they've mostly been left alone. Sheridan chuckles again. Finally, Ivanova directly asks Sheridan what he's thinking. Again, he refuses to elaborate. Finally, out of the blue, Sheridan slams his table and shouts, "That's it! I got it!" He then joins the others and points out that everything they said so far is correct. There's no way they'll be able to convince the League into signing he'll try another way: "not convincing them". He tells Marcus to set out in three White Stars to Sector 87 and await further orders. After he leaves, Ivanova decides to inspect Sheridan's coffee in case there was something in it. Fraklin notes that if Sheidan is like this after three days apart from Delenn, he hates to think what'll he be like after another week.

In hyperspace, Delenn and a flight of White Stars are en route to Minbar. After recent events, Delenn has realized she needs to return home and stop the fighting between the castes. Lennier reports the situation is foreboding. The primary beacon is offline, so anything he's learned has come from local orbital relays. Fighting is erupting in the capital; the civil war Delenn had feared is starting, and it threatens to spread.

Act IEdit

Lennier locates Delenn in a viewing chamber. She's recalling the beautiful cities she remembers back on Minbar, how they stood ageless and eternal, and how the Grey Council was revered among the people with great awe. But now, with the Grey Council dissolved and the eternal cities under threat, she's filled with a considerable sense of regret. Did she do the right thing when she broke the Council? Lennier tries to invoke the words of Valen, but since they know the truth about Valen, his words carry a caveat. Jeffrey Sinclair left them late last year; everything they are experiencing now, he could not have foreseen. She had made the mistake that the rigors of Minbari society would have momentum: allowing it to keep moving in spite of the Council's absence. Lennier points out that the Council kept the peace by suppressing all the grudges and insults. When it dissolved, that safety valve disappeared. Then he gives the real reason for coming: the Takari has received their signal and is awaiting their arrival in approximately one hour. He's also contacted Neroon, though whether or not he'll heed her message, he doesn't know.

Sheridan is talking with Ambassador Mollari in his quarters, and it seems Mollari is a bit annoyed. Sheridan wants him to deny that a defense agreement is in place. He's asked G'Kar to do the same. Mollari, understandably, asks what he is trying to do. But once again, Sheridan deflects the question and just says, "Trust me."

The White Stars rendezvous with the Takari, and Neroon awaits their arrival...along with several members of the Warrior Caste. There is noticeable tension as several Religious Caste members stare down the corridor at them. Fortunately, the tension remains quiet until Delenn appears. Neroon explains that he was tempted to ignore Delenn's message, but he was curious. Also, things got a little tense as the White Stars approached as it looked like they were preparing to shoot the Takari. Delenn wishes to talk matters with him one on one. Neroon asks why she'd place her trust in one of the Warrior Caste, and Delenn replies she'll reveal her motive when they're alone. There is a brief standoff when the Warrior Caste members don't step aside for her, but they eventually let her pass, and she and Neroon depart to have their conversation. Lennier leads the Religious Caste members away, but they resent Delenn's treating them with respect. They've heard the rumors of them starting hostilities and of the Religious Caste planning to step aside for them.

Once alone, Delenn explains her reasoning. Neroon notes that there is some animosity between them since he was chosen to replace her on the Grey Council, creating the imbalance that ultimately led to its dissolution. But Delenn does not blame Neroon for that. Despite being Warrior Caste, his motivation is justice, not power. She realizes that in this civil war, a winner means everyone loses as the resentment will boil over and tear their civilization apart. Neroon points out her breaking the Council was key to this civil war. Delenn replies that they need to look forward, not backward. As for why she's talking to him, better an honest enemy than a servile ally. Neroon then confides that he feels the war won't end so quickly. There is a millennium of resentment fueling it, and they are "two against a world gone mad," so Delenn says they need to get their attention, and for that she needs his help. Each realizes doing this was risky, as their Castes could turn against them. Understanding this, Neroon agrees to listen.

Act IIEdit

The Drazi ambassador tries to talk to Sheridan in the Zocalo. Apparently, they've seen White Stars at the edge of Centauri space and want to know more about it. Sheridan plays a careful verbal game of "neither confirm nor deny" to deflect the Drazi's inquiries and eventually leaves without giving any useful information.

Sheridan reports to C&C where Ivanova reports Marcus is in position. Marcus's current position has nothing but asteroids. Sheridan orders him to destroy several of these asteroids and return to B5. Again, Sheridan refuses to go into details: "You have your orders".

The Drazi ambassador next contacts Ambassador Mollari, hoping to get more information, but Mollari heeds Sheridan's request and denies they requested the White Stars. The ambassador leaves, more suspicious than ever. Down the hall, he meets up with assorted League ambassadors and conveys his suspicions. It's clear they're hiding something. Just then, Dr. Franklin appears, saying he'd been looking for them. He's requesting additional blood supplies from them: as much as they can spare. He points out there may be a crisis or an attack. On the word "attack", the Drazi grows more suspicious, but Franklin leaves before he can answer any more questions.

Back at the Takari, the Religious Caste members start fuming. Delenn's conversation with Neroon plays into their suspicions of a surrender plan. Aware of the death and suffering the Warrior Caste have inflicted on them, they decide to retaliate. But since a direct attack would mean breaking Delenn's word and turning her against them, they decide on an indirect method: one that'll mean putting down their lives for the cause. They must make sure the Takari never reaches Minbar.

Act IIIEdit

As the Takari travels through hyperspace, the dissenters begin their plan. One of their number had retrieved a quantity of toxic gasses from the fuel system. If they release the gas into the air system, the entire ship should become lethally toxic within minutes. With no one left alive, the ship will drift and be lost in hyperspace. Another takes the canister to install it and await his signal, saying that eternal sleep is preferable to knowing one of their own was a traitor.

Back on B5, Ivanova is about to transmit the Voice of the Resistance. Before she goes on the air, though, he asks her to add a quick story to the report. But when she hears the request (that nothing happened in Sector 83 by 9 by 12), Ivanova pauses. Is he trying to pull a propaganda lie the way Clark does? No, he replies. It's true; nothing's happened there. Just emphasize that point. But she has little time to think it further as they're about to go on the air. All the same, once she does go on the air, she complies with Sheridan's weird request and notes nothing happening in Sector 83 by 9 by 12. Hearing this, the League ambassadors grow even more suspicious. Is there some unknown enemy about to attack them? The White Star class is built with Vorlon technology making it one of the last ships in the galaxy with that level of capability. If Babylon 5 is protecting the Centauri but are denying the same to the League, then they're being discriminated in a dangerous way. The Drazi ambassador storms off while the Brakiri ambassador spells out all the hints: invisible enemies, a strange denial...they could be anywhere. They could be under threat right now!

Neroon stands alone in an observation room, apparently deep in thought. A fellow Warrior appears to inform him they're almost home. Neroon wonders if Delenn knows what she is doing. He requests her presence, but instead of retrieving her, the warrior draws his Denn'bok and strikes him. An alarm sounds throughout the ship. The dissenters wonder if the alarm concerns them, but it doesn't seem that way. In any event, the timer is set to go off. Soon, it will be beyond anyone's ability to stop. Eventually, the source of the alarm is revealed when an injured Neroon is found along with his attacker. Delenn orders Neroon to sick bay to recover from his wound. She then orders the attacker confined to a cell and left a copy of the Sacred Scrolls to contemplate upon. It surprises the dissenters that one of the Warrior Caste would turn on Neroon, but Delenn explains that what she is planning has placed both him and herself in danger. Each Caste has members, however, who feel the plan is to have one of the castes surrender and feel they're being betrayed. What Delenn and Neroon are trying to forge instead is a mutual truce: a way to back away from the violence with each Caste still standing as equals. To their shock, the Religious dissenters realize they'd misunderstood Delenn. Tragically, they found out too late, as the timer has gone off by now. Soon they will all be dead.

But unknown to them, Lennier is already heading towards the canister. He quickly closes it, but he still breathes some of the deadly fumes. He emerges coughing from the access duct. As the dissenters arrive, he challenges, "Have we fallen so far that we cannot even trust ourselves?" before fainting.

Act IVEdit

Neroon reports to Delenn on Lennier's condition. As far as they could tell, he inhaled some residue from the fuel system. Neroon notes Delenn's deep concern for him. Delenn admits she's been seeking to train him as Dukhat had trained her. In return, Lennier has always deferred to her, guided her, and protected her, never asking for anything in return except to continue his journey with her. Neroon notes that he would not normally extend a hand to a Religious Caste, but courtesy demanded it. While they may not have spoken on friendly terms in the past, he's come to realize that Delenn is not an extremist. She is like he: someone seeking a greater good. He begins to see why Dukhat would've chosen her. He should at least respect that wisdom.

The League convenes in the Council Chamber impatiently awaiting Sheridan. The Drazi want to lay the facts bare for him, but the Gaim ambassador advises silence. The Brakiri ambassador agrees, realizing they could reveal too much. They need to play this carefully. The Drazi then wonder what kind of pretext they could use to get the station's protection. Just then, Sheridan enters, apologizing for being late. The League ambassadors note rumors of an increase of clashes with Raiders and Drakh, which Sheridan dismisses. The League notes that their fleets are still weak after the Shadow War and they could use help to keep things from getting out of hand. Sheridan notes they're requesting help from the White Stars, but they're busy. The Drazi gets to the point: "Doing what?" Sheridan refuses to say, which the Drazi notes means it's very important. The League stand united and demand Babylon 5 protect them. Sheridan notes he'll need their authority, and the League quickly reply he will have it. And if the White Stars are called in for a greater purpose, then they will lend their support as well. Mutual support, and since the League stand united on this, Sheridan lacks the capacity to say no. Sheridan meekly acknowledges this and informs him the necessary paperwork will be passed to each them by day's end. Satisfied, the League dismisses Sheridan. He continues his subdued demeanor until he reaches a transport tube, where he can't contain a resounding, "YES!" before it closes.

Lennier is recuperating in the sick bay. Delenn and the Religious Caste come to him. Delenn noted this is the second time she's seen him near death; this is getting to be a bad habit. Lennier replies that although Temple was safer, is was also much less interesting. His exposure to the fuel residues required an operation to remove part of his lung. But when she asks him what happened, he only says he passed by a maintenance tube and noticed a fuel leak that required immediate attention. The others present realize he's actually lying to save their honor. Delenn wonders if it was sabotage by the Warrior Caste, but Lennier firmly denies the Warrior Caste were involved. Delenn leaves, but Lennier asks the others to stay so he can explain himself to them. He lied not to save their honor but to protect Delenn's idealism. She presents a vision of their world he would much like to see: a world where Minbari don't resort to treachery or violence.

Act VEdit

The Voice of the Resistance goes on the air again. This time, Ivanova has some genuinely pleasant news. The League of Non-Aligned Worlds has agreed on a mutual defense pact with Babylon 5, patrolling the edges of their territories to prevent outside attacks. She also reports news about the fighting on Minbar and requests any info if possible. This concerns Sheridan.

While everyone else slept, Neroon slips away in the middle of the night and heads for a fighter. Lennier happens to notice this and quickly informs Delenn. In the fighter, Neroon reports to his leader, Shakiri, that the mission was a success. He's managed to obtain plans by the Religious Caste to counterattack the capital, meaning they can now be stopped easily. Within a week, the war will be over and the Warrior Caste triumphant.

Memorable quotesEdit

DVD releaseEdit

This episode, along with the other episodes from season four, has been released on DVD with extensive special features.

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