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Synopsis by Arturo Magidin (magidin@math.berkeley.edu)

Byron's telepaths are dug in in Brown Sector, and threatening a hunger strike until their demands for a homeworld are met ("In the Kingdom of the Blind"). Sheridan cannot intervene, since his hands are full with the attacks on the Alliance ships, and the alien ambassadors blaming each other. So Lochley sends a message to Bester, asking for help.

The telepaths are using telepathic suggestions to slow down security, which is trying to burn through to where the telepaths are. When Lochley comes down to investigate, Zack tells her about the air ducts. They are too small and fragile to send a security team, but one person could make it through. Lochley wants to go in: a telepathic suggestion from Byron.

Meanwhile, on Centauri Prime, G'Kar is eating some fresh spoo and Londo is reading some reports. The reports indicate a 15% increase in production of war materials, which doesn't make sense for peace time, and is in fact contrary to standard Centauri procedure. G'Kar is unconcerned, and offers Londo some of the spoo. But Londo refuses, saying that only a Narn can tolerate fresh spoo. G'Kar is suddenly interested: the spoo was going to the south wing of the palace, and was not meant for him. Who was it meant for? Londo reveals that there are some cells in that area of the palace, and G'Kar demands to be taken there.

In a dark cell, they find a Narn chained to the wall: G'Kar's aide, Na'Toth. At first, Na'Toth thinks G'Kar is also a prisoner, but G'Kar explains that the war is over. Na'Toth then recounts her experiences: she was on the Narn Homeworld when the Centauri bombed it with asteroids ("The Long, Twilight Struggle", "And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place"). She was later taken captive by the Centauri and taken to the Royal Palace as entertainment, a task for which she proved unsuitable. As punishment, Cartagia ordered her put in the cell two years ago.

G'Kar demands to know why she is still a prisoner. "I have no idea," replies Londo; "she was probably just forgotten." Having received a royal order that was never countermanded, the guards have kept her prisoner there. And Londo, even though he is the Prime Minister, cannot order her release: that would be countermanding a royal order, which is treason and punishable by death. Only the Regent can order her released, and they cannot count on his help. Londo cannot do anything until he is Emperor. But G'Kar points out Na'Toth may not survive that long. "There is nothing I can do," says Londo. "There is something you can do," says G'Kar angrily; "you will find it, and you will do it! One way or another, we are leaving here with Na'Toth."

On Babylon 5, Lochley gets ready to go in through the air ducts.

In Sheridan's office, Garibaldi explains that in his opinion, the problem is not Byron, but rather the telepaths that got out before Byron sealed himself in. He is worried about sabotage. Garibaldi also has another piece of information: the Drazi found debris from a Brakiri ship where the latest attack on their ships occured. They plan to introduce it as evidence on the next council meeting.

Lochley finally makes it through to where the telepaths are, and is taken to see Byron. Lochley explains that everyone in the Alliance was tense because of the attacks on their ships, and wanted someone to lash at; Byron's threats gave them a target. "Any chance you may have had of getting a homeworld for your people," Lochley adds, "is pretty much shot to hell." She tells him that they have to give up and give up now, otherwise people are going to die when they come to them. Byron regrets the deaths that are coming, but again refuses to leave.

As a final plea, Lochley asks him for help in identifying the telepaths who are outside and are a threat. But despite Byron's disagreements with them, he will not turn them in. "We don't betray our own kind," Byron explains.

Lochley offers to take anyone out with her, but no one wants to leave. Lochley is now confused. "Why did you let me come here?" she asks Byron, and adds "Why did you agree to see me?"

"To say goodbye," answers Byron. He adds "While you have not gone out of your way to be kind to us, you have been fair, and that requires comment. Especially since I have a feeling this will be the last time we will see one another." He shakes Lochley's hand, and Lochley turns around and leaves the way she came.

Londo is in his quarters when G'Kar comes in. G'Kar has arranged for a Narn ship to meet them halfway to Babylon 5 to take Na'Toth home to Narn. Despite this arrangements, Londo still does not know how they will get her out of the palace. A Centauri woman enters to inform him that a cruiser bound for Babylon 5 will depart that night. Londo is struck by an idea, and asks the woman for a loan of her clothes, a request with which she complies.

In a closed session of the Interstellar Alliance Council, the Drazi ambassador accuses the Brakiri of working with the telepaths and attacking their ships. The Brakiri are outraged and deny the charge. The Drazi have dispatched warships to their border with the Brakiri: for every Drazi ship destroyed, the Drazi will destroy a Brakiri ship.

The Gaim ambassador also has an announcement, however. The Gaim have found debris as well, but it is from Drazi ships, not Brakiri. The Brakiri now accuse the Drazi of orchestrating it all.

Sheridan disagrees. He points out that it must be a trick by someone else. Furthermore, Garibaldi has analyzed the debris and concluded the pieces were not shot off, but rather were cut off and left behind. "They planted them," says Sheridan, "where they knew you would find them, hoping for exactly this reaction." But Sheridan still doesn't know who is behind it all. He asks the ambassadors to work together to find out, or at least to give Sheridan more time to figure out who is behind the attacks.

But the Drazi are through waiting: "Any ship that crosses into Drazi space without proper authorization," warns the Drazi Ambassador, "will not survive the mistake!" He leaves the meeting, and the other ambassadors follow him.

In Centauri Prime, Londo enters Na'Toth's cell. After ascertaining she is the only prisoner left, he orders the guard never to come back and not to let anyone else go there. He implies Na'Toth will be dead soon, and as a final order, tells the guard to wait three days and then wall up the hallway. The guard obeys and leaves.

"Have you come to kill me, Mollari?" asks Na'Toth in a weary voice. "No," replies Londo. "I will kill you," says Na'Toth, softly, "at the very first opportunity." "Yes," replies Londo, "I suspect you'll have to get in line for that honor." He unchains her as G'Kar comes in with the clothes Londo borrowed.

Londo's plan is simple: with Na'Toth dressed and veiled as a Centauri woman, they will simply walk to their ship. The Royal Court has been trained to turn a blind eye to inappropriate behavior, so Londo walks hand in hand with Na'Toth, pretending to be drunk and being quite loud in his promises of future delights and adventures. As he predicted, everyone they meet turns away and pretends not to notice, and they make their ship safely.

On Babylon 5, Bester arrives. "I told you they were trouble," he reminds the Captain smugly, "but you wouldn't listen. That's all right, I'm used to it. I'm here now. It's all going to be just fine."

The telepaths who left Byron have found out that Bester is back, and realize the Bloodhounds cannot be far behind. Since they cannot count on help from Lochley, and they will not let themselves be taken back to the Psi Corps, they decide to fight back. They attack some security guards, and telepathically get the code for the weapons locker from one of them.

Bester arrives with Lochley to where security is still trying to cut through, and helps block the telepaths inside, thus allowing the welder to cut through the doors without being slowed down. Lochley promises Bester that if he can get the telepaths out safely, he may take custody of them.

Just before they cut through, the armed telepaths open fire and kill the welder and a security guard before withdrawing.

Inside, Byron is distraught at the knowledge that his people are killing in his name. "I've got to stop it," Byron tells Lyta. "There's nothing you can do," she replies. "Yes," counter Byron, "yes there is."

Sheridan and Delenn invite the Drazi, Gaim and Brakiri ambassadors to a private meeting. They tell the Drazi that White Stars are now watching their ships massed on the border, and will intervene if they attack any Brakiri ships. According to the terms of the Alliance, no member race may attack any other member race. The same threat of retaliation applies to the Gaim and the Brakiri. The three Ambassadors are outraged, and consider this an attack on the sovereign rights. But they cannot stand up to the White Stars. Sheridan asks for more time to gather evidence, and the three reluctantly agree.

"We will wait for a little while," the Drazi Ambassador says, and then he warns: "But we will not forget this. You threatened to use force against us when all we wanted was to protect ourselves. Every great fall begins with a single mistake. This was yours."

En route to Babylon 5, Na'Toth is taken to a Narn transport. It will be difficult for her to heal, especially her spirit, but G'Kar is confident she will make a full recovery, given time. Londo admits to G'Kar that saving was Na'Toth was a very exhilarating experience for him, and he enjoyed it immensely.

And on Babylon 5, Bester welcomes some of his associates to the station: the Bloodhounds have arrived, and the storm is about to begin.


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Last update: June 21, 1998