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Synopsis by Matthew Murray (mmurray@wsu.edu)

Ivanova is furious at news Sheridan brings: in order to help Babylon 5 become more self-sufficient, Babylon 5 is going to be merchandised. Sheridan explains that the Zocalo is opening a gift shop so that anyone who wants a present for someone, or themselves, can buy it and help out the station. Ivanova is quite angry at this. "This is demeaning. I mean, we're not some...some deep space franchise! This station is about something!" Sheridan explains that her anger will make her the ideal person to oversee the efforts of the gift shop to make sure that no one on the station is demeaned. Sheridan explains that he has to meet with Ambassador Kosh for another lesson in understanding. He doesn't understand what he will be taught, but realizes that he probably won't after he has been taught either. Before he goes, he requests Ivanova pick up a Babylon 5 baseball cap... for his sister.

"Me?"

On his way to the Zocalo, Sheridan runs into someone walking down the corridor. Though everything seems fine at first, Sheridan soon realizes that his link has been stolen. He sees the man running on a catwalk above him, and he gives chase. While doing so, he is intercepted by a Minbari who attacks him and throws him to the ground, just near a PPG. He picks up the PPG and warns the Minbari to stay away. "Death first!" is the Minbari's response as he reaches for something. Sheridan fires. The force of the blast knocks the Minbari down some stairs. Sheridan gets to his feet and, as he surveys the situation, he sees another Minbari standing there, watching the proceedings. The Minbari quickly leaves.

Sheridan is attacked.

Sheridan explains to Ambassador Delenn and Garibaldi what happened, though they both find the situation strange, as no weapon was found on the body. Garibaldi explains that it was only self-defense, but Delenn tells them that the Minbari, Levell, comes from a very esteemed family, and that her government wants answers. Sheridan apologizes, but Delenn is not satisfied. "These are perilous times. We must do all we can to avoid another conflict between our people over a misunderstanding." Garibaldi tells Delenn that he has begun an investigation in order to discover what happened, but Delenn tells him that she has been ordered to begin an investigation of her own. Garibaldi protests, but Delenn will not listen, claiming it is the only way to decide whether or not Sheridan should be charged with murder. Sheridan orders Garibaldi to find the Minbari, which will prove to be a difficult task, given that Sheridan cannot give a detailed description.

Vir receives a transmission from Centauri Prime on Londo's behalf.

Garibaldi is talking to one of the Minbari on the station, who says that he was not present at the attack, which Garibaldi believes, since, as the Minbari explains, Minbari do not lie. Garibaldi asks if the Minbari knew who did it, and the Minbari accuses him of being threatening. Before it can go any further, Lennier arrives and asks to speak to the Minbari privately, which Garibaldi reluctantly allows.

"If you're finished, Mr. Garibaldi?"

Garibaldi and Sheridan walk down the hall, talking about the situation. Garibaldi explains that Lennier always seems to be a step ahead of his investigation, though they both hope that Lennier is not orchestrating a cover-up. Sheridan asks about his link, but Garibaldi says that it hadn't been used, and had probably been destroyed. Sheridan asks why someone would take his link, and Garibaldi explained that it was definitely something that Sheridan would want back, which would make sense if the man wanted to be chased.

They go into MedLab, where Dr. Franklin explains the result of the autopsy. He says that it was indeed a PPG that killed the Minbari, but that there is nothing that proves Sheridan innocent of an unprovoked attack. Garibaldi asks Sheridan where he found the PPG, and Sheridan tells him, though Garibaldi finds this suspicious as well. Garibaldi suggests that the PPG was planted, because no member of the Minbari warrior caste would carry one, and that the whole plot was merely to set Sheridan up.

Walking through the corridor near the newly established Babylon Emporium, Talia literally runs into Vir. He is holding a drink and seems quite shaken up. Talia asks him if he is okay, but Vir cannot come up with an answer. He says that he can't stay, and seems to find a great deal of humor in that remark. He vanishes into the crowd before she can say anything else.

Delenn and Lennier are talking to the Minbari, Ashan, who witnessed Sheridan's killing of Levell. Despite his being in the same clan as Lennier, he is being quite uncooperative, and will not answer any of Delenn's questions. "I answer to other Minbari," he tells her. "Not freaks." Hurt by this, she quickly exits, leaving Lennier to deal with Ashan. "You have insulted her," Lennier says. "Her presence insulted me," replies Ashan. Despite his feelings, he does offer to answer any questions Lennier might have.

"Not freaks."

Sheridan tells Delenn and Lennier that, despite whatever the feelings of the Minbari government are, he wants to see Ashan immediately. After they leave, Garibaldi suggests that, because of the Minbari's feelings, that might not be a good idea. Sheridan tells Garibaldi that he has to try to reason with Ashan, so that he can figure out why Ashan is lying about the incident, and that he doesn't want to disrupt life on the station any more than necessary.

Ivanova is looking around the Babylon 5 Emporium, inspecting the wide variety of T-shirts, dolls, models, and even teddy bears. She is also surprised by a human wearing a mask which makes him look exactly like an alien. She turns around, only to find an alien wearing a human mask. Somewhat startled and surprised, she makes a hasty exit.

Ivanova inspects the merchandise.

A well-dressed woman, with a brief case, enters the docking bay, and meets up with Zack Allan. She tells him that she wants to meet with Captain Sheridan. Allan asks her if she is expected. "No," she says. "Dreaded."

Sheridan asks Ashan why he would attack Levell, who merely answers Sheridan by calling him Starkiller. Sheridan tries to explain to him that what happened should remain in the past, but Ashan does not agree. "Was it not an Earth man who said that those who do not listen to history will repeat it? The Minbari listen. Very carefully." Delenn and Lennier ask Ashan if it is possible that he could be making a mistake in what he claims he say, but Ashan insists that he did not, and asks on what side their loyalties lie. Lennier responds that they want only to reveal the truth. Zack Allan and the woman enter, and the woman introduces herself as Guinevere Corey, Sheridan's lawyer. When she asks what they are discussing, Sheridan responds that they are discussing the truth, which she calls "the favorite song of the legally ignorant." Delenn asks if they are finished with their discussion, but Guinevere answers affirmatively for Sheridan. Delenn, Lennier, and Ashan leave.

As they leave the office, Lennier and Ashan bid each other goodbye, and Lennier comments that the situation does not look good for Captain Sheridan. Delenn says that the situation should not exist at all, and that Sheridan's personality isn't consistent with Ashan's statement, which she labels "dubious."

Sheridan tells Guinevere that he doesn't appreciate her calling him ignorant in front of other people, and she changes her choice of words to "naive." He claims that he doesn't need a lawyer, but she tells him that she was rerouted here because EarthDome has decided to proceed with an indictment against him. Sheridan is taken aback, and doesn't understand why they decided to do that. She says that the only solution that is good for Earth is if they go to trial and take the judgment he is given, but that she doesn't believe they can convict beyond a reasonable doubt. Sheridan thinks she is hiding something, and she is. She explains that, because of the trouble this will cause, Sheridan will have to step down as the Commander of Babylon 5 in any event.

Sheridan confronts Guinevere Corey.

Sheridan returns to his quarters and expresses his frustration and his doubts to Ivanova, who offers her support and leaves him to rest. Sheridan is about to relax when the door chimes. This time, it is Ambassador Kosh, who has come for the lesson. Sheridan says that he isn't in the correct frame of mind for the lesson, which was interrupted earlier. "Precisely the correct time," Kosh tells him. "Come." Sheridan tries to protest, but ends up going with Ambassador Kosh to the lesson.

Zack Allan enters Garibaldi's office, and Garibaldi gives Allan the file on Ashan, telling him to keep an eye on him, but not provoke him, just so they can find out what he is up to, and if he is hiding anything.

Sheridan and Kosh appear together, walking through one of the most inhospitable parts of Downbelow. Sheridan tells Kosh that he doesn't understand why he is there. "Good," responds Kosh. After a brief walk, they reach their destination, an access panel in a dead end. Kosh instructs Sheridan to go inside. Sheridan asks why, and asks what is inside. "One moment of perfect beauty," explains Kosh. Sheridan goes through the access panel.

"You want me to go in there?"

The area is very cluttered, and the ceiling low, but he eventually finds what Kosh sent him to look for: a strange, hunched-over figure wearing a robe. Sheridan explains that he was sent to find this place, but the being only pushes forward a small dish. Sheridan explains that he doesn't carry money, but cannot convince the figure. He removes his stat bar, which shows his position in Earth Force, and places it in the dish, which the being quickly removes. The area is then filled with many strange and beautiful patterns of orange light playing off the cloaks of other figures who Sheridan hadn't noticed. The area comes alive with the sound of a Gregorian chant, which Sheridan drinks in.

Beauty in the dark.

Vir is sitting alone with a drink at the bar, when Londo comes up to him. Though it is only Vir's second drink, it is obvious he is upset, and Londo asks why he is acting that way. Vir doesn't understand how Londo can criticize, after all the things he has done. Vir explains that he is having a difficult time doing his job, which consists mostly of keeping Londo's secrets. Londo offers to send Vir home, but Vir knows he can't return to his family. "Do you think that if they wanted me around that I'd even be here? They just wanted be anywhere--anywhere away. They had me sent here two years ago because, frankly, there wasn't much competition for the job. This was a joke to them. Before I left, my uncle said to me, 'You and I deserve each other.'" Londo tells him that is no longer true, which Vir knows only too well. He tells Londo that Centauri Prime is sending someone new for his position, which has become "too important," and that they are sending someone better prepared for the task. Vir says that he doesn't know what to do, because he feels as if he isn't wanted anywhere, and that he has no way to escape from his problems. He apologizes to Londo for getting him involved, and quickly stands up and walks away. Londo begins after him, but is distracted by a group of women, mostly Centauri, at a table nearby, laughing at a doll of Londo. Intrigued, he snatches it away.

Londo comforts Vir.

Sheridan and Kosh are in the elevator, returning from the lesson. Sheridan thanks Kosh for the lesson, and Kosh exits the elevator. Ivanova enters, and Sheridan explains what he learned. "Beauty...in the dark." Ivanova comments that the lessons must be working, because he is beginning to talk just like a Vorlon.

Delenn enters her chambers and finds Lennier there. She tells him that she was arranging to have Levell's body prepared due to the customs of his clan, and that she thinks there is some information that Lennier needs to see. She plays it on a monitor, and Lennier reads it.

Meanwhile, Sheridan and Ivanova are walking down one of the station's corridors when an elevator door opens, and Londo steps out, angrily brandishing the doll in his likeness. "Captain! Commander! Can we talk?"

Ashan is running through some corridors on the station, as if looking for something. He vanishes behind a corner, and Zack Allan, who had been following him, steps out. He tries to find out which way Ashan went, but before he can give chase, two hands come down on him and knock him out. Lennier has been following Ashan as well.

Lennier runs after Ashan, and comes across him, talking to the cloaked man who stole Sheridan's link. Ashan and Lennier prepare to attack each other, and Lennier says that he wanted to prove Ashan's innocence, but now sees that, since he was talking to the man who stole Sheridan's link, his story was false after all, and that he would have been discovered by station security had Lennier not intervened. Ashan doesn't understand why Lennier would believe the word of sation personnel over his word, and Lennier explains it is because Delenn believes it, and she is honorable, and he honors her words. "What do you honor, Ashan? The truth, or the obligations of our clan?" Before he can say another word, Ashan escapes.

Lennier and Ashan face off.

Londo says that the Centauri Government will not allow insults such as the doll. Ivanova says that it is just a doll, and that it wasn't even constructed by station personnel. Londo calls the doll a mockery, since it doesn't have any...attributes. It takes Ivanova and Sheridan a minute, but they finally realize. "You feel like you're being symbolically cas...t in a bad light," Ivanova tells him. Sheridan ordrs Ivanova to go and have all the dolls removed from the Imporium, which she does.

"I do not lie when I say this could have been a major embarassment to all concerned," Londo says.

"Oh, I'm sure, Ambassador," Sheridan says. "You don't lie, the Minbari don't lie, no one around here..."

"Who said the Minbari don't lie?" Londo suddenly realizes his mistake, but it is too late, for Sheridan has noticed it as well and asks Londo what he knows. Londo explains. "A certain Minbari once lied to save a certain Centauri Ambassador from embarrassment. Apparently, there is honor in helping another save face." Sheridan then realizes that they would lie to protect someone's honor, but that he doesn't know who, or what, is being protected. Londo leaves, and Sheridan receives a message from C&C, saying that a Minbari Embassy representative from Earth wants to speak to him. Sheridan has them put it through.

Delenn is sitting alone at the rock garden when Sheridan enters and sits with her. He explains to her that her government wants Ashan taken from the station, and sent back to the Minbari homeworld. With that important witness gone, there can be no trial, which will be a relief to Earth, though there will be much doubt left behind. Sheridan's credibility will be destroyed, which he believes some may have wanted from the beginning. Delenn moves away and doesn't face him. He tells her that he knows how it feels to be all alone, but she tells him that she is truly alone, as she is completely isolated from her world and her government. He asks her why she said the Minbari don't lie, if they will to save another's honor. "You must understand, Captain, that there is no greater honor among my people than to serve. They work for generations to create a legacy, a tradition. In the service of their clan, they are ready to sacrifice everything. Their individuality, their blood, their life." Sheridan tells her that this is a common occurrence and that larger ideals can't be preserved if small ones are sacrificed. Delenn gets up and tells Sheridan to follow her.

"Come with me."

Ashan up with Lennier, who gives him parting instructions. Lennier says that he will go to the Captain and explain his involvement with Levell's death. Ashan says Lennier had nothing to do with it, but Lennier tells him that, as a member of Ashan's clan, he is equally responsible. Ashan tells him that, if he does that, he will dishonor himself and their clan, but Lennier says that he will retain honor, by protecting Ashan, though their clan will dishonored. Ashan explains that it was their clan's leaders who decided to go ahead with the plan without the blessing of the Minbari government, because they were angered at the appointment of Sheridan as commander of Babylon 5. He explains that Sheridan destroyed the Black Star by mining an asteriod field, sending a fake distress signal, thus luring the ships in there. He doesn't believe Sheridan has any honor. Lennier explains that he lost family on the Black Star as well, but asks if there is any more honor in this betrayal. Lennier asks why Ashan was talking to the human who stole Sheridan's link, and Ashan explains that Levell paid him to lure Sheridan away, and provided a weapon for Sheridan's use. He says that Levell, as a member of their clan, must be protected. Delenn, Sheridan, Garibaldi, and Guinevere Corey appear from behind a door and confront Ashan.

Protecting the clan's honor.

Sheridan explains that Delenn received Levell's burial instructions, and that saving the honor of their clan was the one thing that could cause Ashan to lie. Lennier reveals a small recording device he used during the conversation. The door to the room opens, and Zack Allan leds Ashan away. Guinevere asks Delenn if the Minbari government will contest their action, but Delenn says that whomever is responsible will never take responsibility for what happened. Sheridan asks if a public confession is really what they want; he tells Delenn that he is willing to turn over all the information as long as Ashan promises to make a statement about what he saw, with no attention at all paid to the clan loyalty, or any other background, and that they will leave Levell's motive as one more mystery. "And around here, who'll notice one more?"

Vir is in Londo's quarters, still drinking, and with a considerable hangover. Londo asks Vir how quickly he can pack, since his replacement arrived a few hours earlier. Vir begins to leave, but Londo stops him, saying that he should pack Londo's things first. Vir asks why Londo wants him to pack his belongings, and Londo explains that he explained to the Centauri homeworld that if Vir goes, he goes as well. Londo told them he considers Vir a good worker, and that he needed Vir to work with him, which astonished Vir's family. Londo tells Vir that he hasn't treated him very well, but that he can change the way he acts. He asks Vir to stay, and says that if Vir leaves, he will have to as well, and, should that happen, he will have to kill Vir. "What are friends for?" Londo leaves, but not before Vir thanks him. Londo also explains to Vir that he invited Vir's entire family to stay with him for a once, knowing he wouldn't mind. Vir tries to protest, but Londo is already gone. Vir goes back to his drinking.

Sheridan and Ivanova meet together, and he asks her how the Babylon 5 store is going; he now believes it's a good idea to help defray operating expenses. She presents him with a teddy bear, dressed in a baseball jersey and cap, which he admires, including the motto on the back: Ba-bear-lon 5. He notices the bear's monogram, which reads J. S., which Ivanova tells him stands for John Sheridan. When this hits Sheridan, his cheery mood changes, and he orders Ivanova to have the store removed and everything gone by the next morning. She leaves to follow his orders, but not before he takes the bear from her.

Warren Keffer, in one of the Zeta Squadron starfuries, flies away from Babylon 5. A communication comes in from the station. "Have you traced that unidentified object?" Keffer is in the midst of responding, when the starfury collides with a teddy bear. "Have you encountered unidentified object? Can you describe it?"

"Negative, Babylon Control. I don't think so. Not on a bet. Heading back to the barn." Keffer pilots the starfury back to the station, as the teddy bear floats, suspended in space.


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Last update: February 23, 1996