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Synopsis by Matthew Murray (mmurray@wsu.edu)

While the station is being repaired, both inside and out, Sheridan goes to the rock garden, where he meets Ambassador Kosh. He tells Kosh that, ever since Kosh had saved his life the previous week, he hadn't thanked him properly, and that Kosh hadn't returned his calls. Sheridan asks Kosh if everything is all right.

"Being seen by so many at once was a great strain. I returned to my ship to rest. You have a question?" Kosh asks.

"Nobody knows it was you. Everyone saw something different, something from the legends of their own world. But it was still a terrible risk. After taking such...such care to hide what you really are, why take that chance?"

"It was...necessary."

"Well, as answers go: Short to the point, utterly useless, and totally consistent. What I've come to expect from a Vorlon."

"Good."

"You know... I just had a thought. You've been back and forth to your homeworld so many times since you got here, how do I know you're the same Vorlon? Inside that encounter suit, you could be anyone."

"I have always been here."

"Oh yeah? You said that about me too."

"Yes."

"I really hate it when you do that."

"Good," Kosh tells Sheridan as he leaves him alone in the garden.

A large ship, piloted by a Drazi, blasts off from a planet, under constant fire from two orbiting stations. The ship flies toward the barrier around the planet, and manages to get through it, being slightly damaged in the process. After the ship breaks through the barrier, the pilot launches a smaller ship from it, which flies away, escaping just as the larger ship is destroyed. The smaller ship is fired upon and hit, but still able to make the jump to its pilot's destination: Babylon 5. In order to speed up the trip, the pilot orders all non-necessary life support power to the engines.

Sheridan tells Ivanova, who is with him in the docking bay, that he is tired of the unannounced visits of V.I.P's from Earth, since they are never given enough information. The man they are waiting for arrives and introduces himself as David Endawi, who asks that they go somewhere private, and that Ambassador Delenn join them.

Garibaldi brings the pilot of the small ship into the new Medlab facilities, and Franklin tells Garibaldi that he will have Dr. Sanchez do an examination, and inform him of the results. Garibaldi leaves, and Franklin examines the man, dressed in the uniform of a Ranger. He calls Sanchez to inform her he needs her help, but upon turning around, the Ranger is gone.

Londo is sitting at a bar drinking when Morden arrives, per Londo's request. Londo tells Morden that he has been doing a great deal of thinking and now, that the Narn War is over, they should reconsider their relationship. He feels that the Centauri no longer need the help of Morden's associates. Morden asks Londo if he is being premature in his desire for them to disappear, since they might not know what lies ahead, but Londo tells him he is sure, and wants Morden and his associates to "go away." Morden agrees, telling him that he will meet Londo in his quarters later, after meeting with his associates, to discuss the dissolving of their partnership.

Sheridan, Ivanova, Delenn, and Endawi are in Sheridan's office when Endawi asks Delenn if, as a member of the older races, she has any information about the mysterious ship that Lt. Keffer recorded shortly before his death. Endawi asks what Keffer knew about the ship, and Sheridan and Ivanova insist they didn't know what he knew about it. Endawi explains that the ship is obviously from a highly advanced civilization, and that they are worried about the threat the ship might represent, and it is his job to gather information about it. Delenn apologizes to Endawi, but tells him she has never seen a ship of this type before. Endawi asks her if she's sure, but she insists she is. Endawi asks if a ship like this had entered Babylon 5 space, and Sheridan says no. Endawi asks for quarters to stay in until he has been able to talk to the other ambassadors, and Ivanova escorts him out. After they leave, Sheridan asks if the ship belongs to the Shadows, who Delenn had told him about several months earlier. Delenn acknowledges this, saying that it is important to convince the Shadows that they are unaware of the Shadow's but that she didn't lie: she had never actually seen on of their ships before. She says that Shadow ships are relentless and nigh invincible, but Sheridan doesn't believe it. She tells him that he will only feel that way until he sees what they can do. "Take a good look, John. That is the face of our enemy."

Lennier meets Delenn and tells her that someone is looking for her. When she tries to brush him off, Lennier changes her mind by presenting the badge of the man brought into Medlab, which Delenn recognizes immediately.

Endawi meets with Londo, and asks him what he knows about the ship from Keffer's recording. Londo tells Endawi that this is the ship he has seen in a dream where he is standing on Centauri Prime, with similar ships passing overhead, until their numbers grow so great, they blot out the sun. But, Londo says that's all he knows about the ship, and apologizes that he couldn't be of more help. Endawi thanks Londo, and leaves.

Delenn and Lennier, in disguise, venture into Downbelow and enter a tavern, where they sit down. The ranger comes up to them and gives them drinks, which they initially do not accept, but soon do in order to avoid drawing attention. Lennier tastes the drink and discovers it has no alcohol in it. The Ranger, who identifies himself as Marcus, says it proves he was waiting for them, since very few know of alcohol's effects on Minbari. Marcus tells Delenn he needs her help, but would prefer to discuss it in private. They leave the tavern, but are followed. They soon run into a group of thugs, who insist they give over their possessions. Marcus pulls out a Mimbari staff, and begins fighting the thugs. Delenn and Lennier join in, and the thieves are soon defeated. The three of them quickly run away.

Ivanova enters Sheridan's office, where he, Garibaldi, Delenn, Lennier, and Marcus are already waiting for them. Sheridan tries to explain the Rangers to her, but she has already known about them for a long time. Marcus tells all of them that the he came from Zagros VII, a Drazi world, where there is a Ranger training camp, created partly for safety, and partly because certain Minbari are uncomfortable with the Rangers. Marcus explains that the planet was blockaded two weeks earlier by the Centauri and that he believes the Ranger camp is the target. He pleads for Sheridan to help the Rangers evacuate. Garibaldi says that they don't have the means for such an attack, since it would require a powerful warship and crew, but Marcus tells him they have the means, if Sheridan and the others have the will. Ivanova reminds Sheridan of Endawi, and Sheridan tells Garibaldi to take charge of him while the others prepare to go to Zagros VII. They soon board a shuttle, file a fake destination in the station's log, and they, and an accompanying Minbari flyer, head out.

Morden tells Londo that he wants to make sure that the Centauri are clear on the details of their separation. He brings up a map of the galaxy and draws a line on it, showing the quarter of it which the Centauri may conquer at will. As long as they don't trespass into the territory of Morden's associates, there won't be any problems. Londo asks how he can be sure that Morden's associates won't attack him, and Morden says he can't, but that they have what they want, and aren't concerned with the rest. Londo quickly agrees to Morden's conditions, but Morden tells him there is one more condition. There is one world, on the edge of the Centauri boundaries, that his associates want custody of, and he has already convinced Lord Refa to secure it until his associates can arrive. When Londo asks if he might be able to see the ships of Morden's associates one day, Morden tells Londo ominously to ensure no Centauri remain near Zagros VII when his associates get there.

The shuttle and the flyer pull out of hyperspace and arrive near a beautiful, strange, magnificent ship. "Her name," Marcus tells them, "is the White Star. And she's yours, Captain."

Endawi protests to Garibaldi that he was assured Sheridan and Ivanova were available, but with some quick double-talk, Garibaldi convinces Endawi that he isn't allowed to let himself know where they went. He suggests that Endawi talk to G'Kar unofficially, since the Centauri-Earth treaty prohibits official contact with the Narn.

As they explore the ship, Delenn explains that the White Star is a new type of Minbari warship--smaller and faster than normal, an amalgam of Minbari and Vorlon technology. It looks just different enough so that it cannot be identified. She takes them to the bridge, where the crew, consisting of members of the religious caste, busily prepares the ship for its mission. Sheridan tries to order them to Zagros VII, but Lennier says he must act as interpreter, since most of the crew isn't familiar with English. The ship blasts off toward Zagros VII.

Endawi asks G'Kar if he knows anything about the mysterious ship. With an exclamation of relief G'Kar turns an opened Book of G'Quan toward Endawi, where there is a picture which bears a striking resemblance to the Shadow ship. "They came to our world over a thousand of your years ago, long before we went to the stars ourselves. They set up a base on one of our southern continents. They took little interest in us. G'Quan believed they were engaged in a war, far outside our own world."

"G'Quan?" Endawi asks.

"One of our greatest spiritual leaders. The Book of G'Quan is copied by hand from the original with every note and line precisely drawn. This ship and your ship are the same. I tried to warn the others that the ancient enemy was returning. But no one listened... Perhaps now they will."

"But if this is correct, why would they just disappear for a thousand years?"

"To all things, there is a time, Mr. Endawi. Perhaps this is theirs."

While on their way to Zagros VII, Ivanova asks how Marcus became a Ranger, and he explains it was because of his brother, who died trying to warn him about a Shadow attack on the mining colony where he was working. Marcus promised his brother he would carry on the mission. The White Star comes out of hyperspace, near Zagros VII, and approaches the planet. They call the Rangers and tell them to be ready to escape. The White Star destroys the mines and stations around the planet, but too easily. Sheridan can't believe there wouldn't be a Centauri warship guarding it, and asks Lennier if the scanners are working properly. To prove they are, Lennier shows him, displaying more of the White Star's unique abilities. Ivanova detects a disturbance, and they put it up on the screen. It is the ship they all saw from Lt. Keffer's flight recorder: A Shadow ship.

Sheridan declares that the Shadows must have come for the Rangers who he promises not to abandon. Delenn insists they aren't yet ready to fight, but they aren't given much of a choice when the Shadow ship attacks. The White Star manage to maneuver out of the way of its attack, which shocks Delenn, since the Shadows never miss. After they clear the last mine blockading the Rangers, they tell the Rangers to clear out. Sheridan tells Lennier to proceed to the jumpgate since the Shadows won't suspect that the White Star can open a jump point because of its small size, and he wants to keep every advantage he can. Delenn says the ship will follow them wherever they go, and Sheridan says he's counting on it. The White Star enters the jumpgate, with the Shadow ship following close behind.

Delenn pleads with Sheridan to call for help. They don't have any chance of destroying the ship alone, since it is so much bigger than they are. Alluding to the Black Star Sheridan tells her that he has heard that before. As they continue through hyperspace, Sheridan asks Ivanova what would happen if they were to open a jump point while inside a jumpgate, and Ivanova explains that it would be suicide: the energy released would be too great to escape from. Sheridan asks Lennier if the White Star is quick enough to escape, and Lennier says he doesn't know. Sheridan says that they are probably near sector 45, and that they should use that gate to try the maneuver. It is the jumpgate near the Markab homeworld, which other races have been using the strip the planet bare. The White Star opens the jumpgate, while activating her jump engines. Just as the point forms, the White Star escapes the jumpgate which explodes in a fierce burst of energy, which damages the White Star, but destroys the tailing Shadow ship.

The original shuttle and Minbari flyer arrive back on Babylon 5 to be met by Mr. Endawi, who demands to know why they lied about where they were going and what they were doing. Sheridan and Delenn say that they had to tow a Minbari diplomatic shuttle to a nearby jumpgate. They apologize, but Endawi is on his way back to Earth. He tells them he has all the information he needs, and that he will send a copy of the report.

Back on Earth, Endawi presents his information to a senator in Earth Dome, telling her what he found, though he reached nothing conclusive. She tells him that she will inform him of what they find. Soon after he leaves, two other men come into her office. One of them is Morden, and the other is a Psi Cop. She tells them that there is little information, and that the ship is a complete mystery to everyone on Babylon 5 except legends. Morden suggests that the Earth government dismiss it as an isolated incident, but the telepath disagrees, saying that a threat to planetary security could be useful in speeding up the program at home. Intrigued, Morden asks him to explain.

Sheridan, Ivanova, Garibaldi, Franklin, Delenn, and Marcus sit around a large table while Sheridan outlines his plan for a War Council: Whatever anyone learns they will share every two weeks, in hopes that together they can achieve more than they can working separately. Sheridan tells them that they can say anything they like during these meetings.

Franklin says, "Well, then, I have a question. Granted, I am stuck in Medlab most of the time, and granted, I'm usually the last to know anything around here, and granted, we've all been pretty busy lately, but could someone please tell me what the hell these Shadows are?"

Sheridan indicates to Delenn that she should explain, which she does. "There are beings in the universe billions of years older than any of our races. They walked among the stars like giants, vast and timeless. They created great empires, taught the new races, explored beyond the Rim... The oldest of the Ancients are the Shadows. We have no other name for them..."


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Last update: May 16, 1998