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Synopsis by Katrina Glerum (kat@midwinter.com)

The Commander and Captain are relieved to see the first Earth transport arrive since their secession from the Earth Alliance, as they need the trade to pay the station's operating costs. However, their defense needs are still uncertain since the Minbari war cruisers can't be expected to hang around outside forever.

The scarcity of trade isn't bad news for everybody. The postal worker gouging Garibaldi one hundred credits for his last care package from Earth, is positively loving the power it gives him to set his own rates. In fact, the man treats Garibaldi's refusal to pay as dismissively as the dangerous glint in his eyes.

Meanwhile on the transport, one of the passengers tosses in his bunk with nightmares. He stumbles down a narrow corridor between doors that refuse to stay shut, terrified by the sights beyond them. He runs, and finds a shining sword standing at the end, awaiting his grasp.

Dr. Franklin is impressed to find that Marcus has diagnosed and perhaps saved the lives of some sick lurkers, both because of Marcus's perceptiveness and his concern. When he questions further about Rangers, he learns that the brooch they wear is a symbol of Minbari and human souls melding into one. But what really intrigues the doctor is that in their training Rangers learn "about terror--how to use it, and how to face it."

Their conversation takes them past customs just as the restless dreamer sets off a dozen alarms by striding through the security gates wielding a broadsword and naming himself Arthur, King of the Britons. Marcus is able to fast talk him into medlab where Franklin questions him about his identity. "Arthur" replies that his last memory is of dying on the battlefield of Camlan, all his mighty knights dead around him, and that before he could rest he needed his brother Bedevere to give Excalibur back to the Lady of the Lake. His return now to Babylon 5, he claims, signifies that he must be most needed here and now.

When Marcus mentions Arthur in the war council, Sheridan is not impressed, but the doctor seems almost eager to believe that the Vorlons might have been responsible for preserving and restoring another legend, even though the practical part of him discards the notion. He can't investigate for psychological trauma however because the man has escaped medlab.

In DownBelow Arthur finds a distraught old woman, weeping because she has been preyed upon by ruffians, and he swears to help her. He finds, challenges and vanquishes a small group of villains, only to be outnumbered again by their friends. However, a champion emerges from the shadows in the form of G'Kar, who has been conducting business of his own DownBelow, and together they set things right.

Garibaldi isn't too keen on the idea of a crazy knight roaming the station with a big sword, and tells his security to find Arthur.

Sitting over a couple flagons of ale, G'Kar is still pumped with enthusiasm over their victory. He grows even more impressed as Arthur tells him of chivalry and the purpose of the Round Table, and he subsides in awe when Arthur dubs him Sir G'Kar, the Red Knight.

Garibaldi, on the other hand, is suffering from a lack of sufficient awe--for the Post Office. He breaks into the package storage room only to find the postal worker ready and waiting to turn him away.

Arthur is lost again on the field of Camlan, telling G'Kar about the misunderstanding that had started the battle in which his knights met their deaths, but visions of Minbari vessels destroying Star Furies are dancing in his head.

Sheridan addresses ambassadors from the League of Nonaligned Worlds, petitioning them to join an alliance to defend the station in return for being able to use the station for trade, travel and even peace negotiations among themselves.

Marcus is able to convince Arthur to return to medlab, but promptly regrets it when he learns that Franklin has discovered the dreamer's true identity, and intends to tell him. When Marcus argues let the man believe he is King of the Britons, Franklin contests that the truth will help the man heal. So Franklin tells "Arthur" that he is David McIntyre, and was Gunnery Sergeant on the EAS Prometheus which opened fire on Minbari vessels in a first contact situation and thus sparked the Earth-Minbari war. The memories flood back into him. In his fertile imagination they mix with a vision of himself trying to give back Excalibur but being struck down from behind by a black knight, and this knocks him into a state of catatonic shock.

The Captain is delighted to hear that enough of the League worlds are signing on to the mutual defense treaty to keep the station in business, but nobody's happy about what happened to "Arthur." Franklin is the most upset, berating himself for trying to fix everything again. With Marcus however he finally figures out what McIntyre came to the station to do: to give up the King's responsibility, the King's pain, the King's sword, to the Lady of the Lake.

It is Delenn who is called upon to take up Excalibur, and thus relieve the poor man's guilt for the war and its hundreds of thousands of deaths.

Garibaldi pays in full for his package, but springs a little surprise of his own on the post office. Rent for the space the office uses is due...and it costs one hundred and one credits.

His spirit transparently lighter, McIntyre leaves the station bound for Narn, where G'Kar thinks he would make an excellent organizer of the resistance movement. Watching him depart, Marcus suggests that Sheridan is forming a new Round Table with himself as Arthur, Kosh as Merlin, Franklin as Percival, Marcus as Galahad, and Ivanova as Gawain. Mordred is obvious, Marcus says, but who is Morgana Le Fey?


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Last update: May 6, 1998