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This is a transcript of Sinclair's experience at the Battle of the Line, as pieced together from images evoked from the VR memory probe he underwent in "And the Sky Full of Stars". There is a separate Guide page devoted to the events recounted here.

Spoken lines are in bold. Editor's notes are emphasized. Discontinuities in the action are marked by horizontal dividers.

Alpha-7: "Alpha-7 to Alpha leader, I'm hit!"
Sinclair: "Pull out, pull out! Alpha-7!"

A green energy beam just misses a lone Starfury, but second shot immediately destroys it. No enemy is yet visible.

Mitchell: "He's gone. Picking up enemy transmissions."

A squad of 20 Starfuries is moving through space, several seconds behind the one just lost. (Only 14 are visible in the opening shot -ed.) The Earth and Moon are visible in the distance.

S: "Stay in formation. Hold the line; no one gets through, no matter what."
M: "Understood. Alpha leader, you have a Minbari on your tail!"

A trilaterally-symmetric fighter about the same size as a Starfury is close behind Sinclair. It fires about 12 green energy beams between and around his engine struts. (The beams are tiny compared to the earlier laser fire from nowhere.) All miss, and the fighter ceases fire, still in close pursuit.

M: "I'm on him. Targeting fighter."

One Starfury breaks formation to pursue the fighter, which appears to have chased Sinclair away from the rest.

S: "No! Mitchell, stay in formation, it might be a... [computer alarm] Oh my god. It's a trap! Mitchell!"

Minbari cruisers are present, engines off, positioned so that pilots have to look into the sun when approaching. Long booms extending in front of each cruiser are lasering ships in all directions.

M: "I got a clear shot, I can take him, I can take him!"

Mitchell is very close to a cruiser, and fires at least two cannon volleys.

S: "Mitchell!!!"
M: "I'm hit! Ejecting!"

Mitchell braces for ejection, and the pilot pod launches just as an energy beam destroys his craft. Another immediately hits the pod.

M: [screams]

Sinclair stares in shock at an empty helmet floating by. Light from exploding Starfuries reflects off his visor, and his console reads Negative Lock. As Sinclair watches, cruiser fire demolishes his entire squad, one by one. Finally, one of his own engine struts is hit, but the beam only pokes a hole part way through. His ship tumbles.

Computer: "Aft stabilizers hit. Weapons systems at zero. Defensive grid at zero. Power plant near critical mass. Minbari weapons systems locking on.

Firing engines that kill his rotation, Sinclair careens toward the cruisers.

Sinclair: "Not like this, not like this! If I'm going out I'm taking you bastards with me! Target main cruiser, set for full velocity ram, afterburners on my mark. Mark!"

The Starfury is shaking badly from the acceleration. Two cruisers are visible, neither firing anymore. Just after a collision alert shows up on his console, a wisp of smoke descends onto Sinclair's helmet. A moment later, his expression goes from intense to agonized, and he throws his arms up in front of his face. Sparks fly around him, and the cockpit is covered in darkness (presumably as the looming cruiser blocks the sun's light).

Suddenly, a red beam from the cruiser's main weapons boom strikes, killing Sinclair's engines and his relative velocity. Four continuous silver beams from the cruiser body then lock on and pull him in.

Seen from above through a metal grating, silent Minbari warriors wheel a dazed Sinclair on a cart down a hallway. He is still in his flight suit but missing his helmet.

S: "Why are you... doing this?"

Sinclair is standing in a dark open area, in Earth Force uniform. Overhead spotlights blast on one by one around him, illuminating nine grey cloaked and hooded figures standing in a circle. The first bears an ornate staff with an inset triangular talisman.

S: "What are you doing here? [looks around] "What do you want?"

"What do you want" echoes around the chamber, the repetitions overlapping and varying in loudness. (His first utterance, nearly as loud, did not echo at all.) Sinclair whirls around, looking above him. The holder of the staff then levels it at him, firing a purple blast at his chest. Sinclair falls to the floor, stunned.

(There are good reasons to believe that this is supposed to be an event that he later remembers in more detail.)

Sinclair comes around inside the circle of spotlights. He is standing, arms locked to the base of a great metal triangle suspended from above, stripped down to his undershirt and badly bruised about the head and shoulders. The nine grey figures are whispering in a tight group outside the circle behind his field of view. One of them approaches Sinclair and raises another triangular talisman in front of him. It glows strangely, but there is no other visible effect. As the figure recedes, Sinclair loses consciousness again.

Sinclair is again standing free within the circle, still stripped and battered. At once, the nine grey figures step up to their positions underneath the lights.

S: "What do you want? Why are you doing this? Who are you?"

He steps boldly up to one of the cloaked figures across from the staff-bearer and pulls back the hood. His eyes widen. It is Delenn, whom he knows ten years later as an ambassador and a friend. She is pale and expressionless, almost sinister. Just visible, low on her forehead, is the outline of a triangle. Its color resembles the washed-out purple of the fractal-like markings on her crown.

S: "I know you. I know who you are. I KNOW you."

The leader blasts him in the back with the staff again, and all is dark.

Compiled by Matthew Ryan matt@uhs.uchicago.edu

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Last update: June 9, 1997