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Synopsis by Katrina Glerum (kat@midwinter.com)

As Ivanova and Brother Edward banter over the outcome, Brother Theo and Captain Sheridan are engaged in a match of wits over chess and faith. Just as Brother Theo wins at both, Ivanova is called away to meet Ambassador Kosh's arriving ship. She has been invited to witness his ship deliver Lyta Alexander, the mysterious telepath who had helped the B5 crew find the Psi Corps plant in their midst ("Divided Loyalties").

Later, in Sheridan's office, Lyta explains how she had felt drawn to Kosh since she touched his mind years before ("The Gathering"). In a final desperate attempt to find the Vorlons, she had herself abandoned in a life pod at the edge of Vorlon space. Although she agrees to submit to a medical exam by Franklin, she refuses to tell anything about her experiences after the Vorlons rescued her. As Garibaldi sums up for them all, "Nobody's ever been to the Vorlon homeworld, and back again; and yet she goes and comes back like she just took a trip to the corner store. And now she's working for Kosh. Is anyone else as creeped out about this as I am?"

In wrapping up business negotiations, Brother Edward explains that the data transfer service his order provides is like the manuscript illumination of the Middle Ages, namely a means to earn the money they need to continue their work of "learning all the names of God from our non-human brothers." As she is about to depart, the woman asks about the black rose that falls from the monk's bag, but he is more bewildered by it than she.

Garibaldi and Delenn watch an ISN anchor report the sentence of Death of Personality for a serial killer. The Chief explains that this type of mindwipe is considered more humane than the death penalty, and that after a criminal's memory has been erased, they are programmed to serve the community they harmed.

In MedLab, Dr. Franklin is intrigued to find that not only is Lyta in excellent health, but all her prior chronic and congenital ailments are also inexplicably gone. She manages to get away just as the gleam of fanatic inquisitiveness appears in his eyes.

Returning to his quarters, Brother Edward is terrified to see "DEATH WALKS AMONG YOU" scrawled in blood across the bulkhead. When he returns with a dubious Garibaldi moments later, all signs have vanished.

Londo catches Lyta exiting a transport tube. He is extremely curious to hear what she has seen among the Vorlons. When bribery fails as an enticement, he threatens to apprise the Psi Corps of her presence on B5. Her promise to bury a never-ending nightmare in the psyche of anyone who turns her in seems to cool his ardor.

In an interview with Ambassador Delenn and Lennier, Brother Edward asks about the Minbari faith. In return she asks him what the defining moment of Christianity is to him personally. He replies by telling the story of Jesus waiting all night in the garden of Gethsemene for the Roman soldiers to seize him. Though he knew what was going to happen and he could have escaped, Jesus chose to stay, to sacrifice himself "to atone for the sins of others."

"A very fragile human moment," Brother Edward tells Delenn. "And I've often thought about that night, and I honestly don't know if I would have had the courage to have stayed."

Returning home Downbelow, Brother Edward bumps into an odd Centauri. A moment later the corridor is pierced by a woman's scream of terror and pain -- and the hideous whine of an electric saw. Confronted with the same bloody message as before, the monk tries to run away, only to watch his panicked steps begin splashing through filthy water. With accusations and foreign sirens ringing in his ears, he collapses nearly on top of the corpse of a mutilated woman -- one who has a black rose stuffed in her mouth.

Brother Theo finds Brother Edward sitting deeply disturbed in his quarters. The older monk realizes the futility of his counsel, even as he asks Brother Edward to refrain from digging after the source of these waking nightmares. His fears are well founded, for the instant Theo is gone, Edward queries the computer about the things he has seen, cross-referenced against criminal records.

Quickly assessing the situation, Theo goes directly to Sheridan to enlist his aid in tracking down the information before Edward can. Sheridan is astonished to think that the kind, generous man they are all fond of could have been an irredeemable serial murderer. Garibaldi's search turns up that the troubled monk was once Charles Dexter, a.k.a. the Black Rose Killer, but not before Brother Edward discovers the same. Security also finds that Brother Edward's visions were not just hallucinations, but planted by somebody trying to rattle loose the memories of the past. This suggests to Sheridan that the strange Centauri was a telepath.

Edward waits for Brother Theo to bid him goodbye. "I am a murderer," he says. "The sins of my former life must be atoned for." Theo begs him to come back into the fold, "If you ask God to forgive your sins, He knows what they are even if you've forgotten. Leave it in His hands!" But it is to no avail. Edward goes to await his victims' avenger, who has deliberately awakened the evil memories.

Sheridan and Garibaldi attempt to interrogate the Centauri telepath about who hired him. When he smugly refuses to divulge anything, they toss a bag over his head, and usher in Lyta, who easily wrenches the location of the avenger from his mind.

Once again they are just a little too late though. By the time they find Brother Edward's battered body strung up spread-eagle on a rack, his life is nearly dissipated. Yet he forgives his tormentor. Finally, he has found the answer to his question. He did have the courage to wait in the garden of Gethsemene. As Edward draws his last breath, Brother Theo administers the final sacrament of Extreme Unction, the remission of sins.

The monk's torturer is easily caught and proudly admits to the crime, and two weeks later is sentenced to the death of personality. In the course of a conversation about the meaning of revenge and the difficulty of forgiveness, Brother Theo asks the Captain to meet the latest addition to his order, who is about to be shipped back to the monastery for training. It is the young psychopath, looking like sweet, untrammeled innocence. Under Brother Theo's reprimand, Sheridan struggles to overcome the bitter taste of forgiveness, and gives the newest monk his blessing.

After completing an errand for Kosh, Lyta joins him in his chambers. As she faces him, a stream of energy leaps from her eyes and mouth into the glowing orifice of his open encounter suit. It becomes eerily apparent why she has no need of a breather in the methane environment. Puffing and fluttering gently on her neck are a set of gills.


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Last update: November 8, 1997