A Starfury formation spins past the observation deck amidst fireworks and plumes of colored trails, while in the Zocolo a wild party is raging to mark the end of the Shadow War. Sheridan and Delenn observe the celebrations proudly, disregarding the uncertain future for the moment.
Trouble is brewing for them at home, though. President Clark sees the
station as a clear and present danger to him now that the Shadows are gone
and orders all his executive forces into action to take them out. The
first salvo is a propaganda offensive counducted with assistance from the
Psi Corps, and the station's favorite Psi Cop, Alfred Bester. If Clark can
turn public opinion against Babylon 5, he might be able to win where a
direct assault would fail.
On Centauri Prime, Mollari is preparing to return to his ambassadorial duties. The palace is not such a safe place for him after the death of the Emperor. As he departs, Londo bestows upon the fluttering Minister a delightful piece of news; the Centaurum has decided to name him Regent until a new Emperor can be selected.
While examining G'Kar, Franklin observes that he can probably fix the Narn
up with a human prosthetic eye. When he asks why G'Kar didn't stay on Narn
to lead his people, G'Kar replies that power corrupts.
Shaving himself quietly, Garibaldi draws a grim face in the steamy window. The com panel reports an incoming message. It is untraceable and encrypted. It displays as a rippling pattern of light, no audio. Garibaldi watches the entire message, then deletes it.
He meets Ivanova, Franklin and Sheridan in the captain's office and
announces his resignation. They try to argue him out of it, but he is
steadfast. Their future in Earth Force is over; their chances for going
home are negligible; and if they weren't fighting the Shadows for the right
to choose their own destinies then what were they fighting for?
Zack is training a mixed team of humans and Narn in Customs. Just when he tells them to flag anything unusual, he is astonished to see a remarkably buoyant Londo Mollari come strolling through the gate. Zack remarks to the trainees, "You never know who's going to walk in the--"
"Door," Mr. Bester supplies, as he strides through under guard en route to
his usual quarters in the brig.
Garibaldi opens his door to find the one-eyed Narn standing silently on his threshold. He thanks G'Kar for going to look for him when he was lost and as G'Kar stalks into the room he backs up stuttering apologies that G'Kar was captured and tortured because of him. G'Kar simply picks him up and sings, "Welcome home, Mr. Garibaldi!" He isn't angry at all, because going in search of Garibaldi put him in the position to strike the deal with Londo that freed his people.
When Sheridan tells him, Zack also thinks Garibaldi's action is pretty
strange. The discussion is broken up by an ISN news that all travel
between Earth and B5 is prohibited.
Zack finds Lyta surrounded by new purchases in her room. When he asks her to come to the conference room to help them defend against Mr. Bester, she grows angry. People use her, but no one is nice to her. A bit bashfully, Zack explains that because of her association with the Vorlons and their current reputation, most people are leery of her. She is relieved to hear the truth. Taking another look, Zack offers to come over with pizza later to help her set up her room.
Londo's joyful bargaining in the Zocolo is quelled when he sees G'Kar. He
stifles his first intention of sidling away and approaches instead. G'Kar
tells him plainly that Londo no longer exists in his universe. "Pray that
we never notice one another again."
Bester isn't happy seeing Lyta in the conference room and scoffs at her abilities but the Captain isn't concerned, so Bester gets down to business. He explains Clark's intentions towards the station and mentions a specific plan. Before giving the details, Bester demands a price. He wants to be taken to Z'ha'dum to look for abandoned technology that might help him heal his lover. She is still in cryogenic suspension while Dr. Franklin investigates the Shadow-made wetware in her head. When Bester attempts to scan the command staff he is blocked, and when he attempts to scan Lyta she mentally slaps him hard enough to jolt his head back. Sheridan agrees to Bester's proposition. Bester describes Clark's plan. A patrol of Star Furies blockading the last jump gate to B5 will be attacked by a wing of Black Omegas, elite pilots under the command of Psi Corps, and the wreckage will be seeded with "evidence" that the attack came from the station.
As Sheridan's White Star leaves for Z'ha'dum, Ivanova takes Alpha squadron
to defend the station's blockaders.
Zack visits the Chief to get the station security codes, and to tell him he's making a mistake to quit. Garibaldi seems to satisfy Zack with a philosophical answer about mistakes and second chances, reminding him that the second chance he gave Zack by hiring him hadn't been a mistake.
Delenn and John share a rare quiet moment. When he complains that they never get a break she tells him he wouldn't have it any other way.
Ivanova's wing jumps out of hyperspace in time to save the patrol from the
Omegas which have just launched their attack. When the patrol leader is
confused, she tells him, "Reports of our disloyalty have been greatly
Lyta appears to be concentrating when Bester comes upon her on the bridge.
He wants to know how she can block him. She is obligated to tell the
Corps, he says. Her refusal is met by a threat to reveal something she
wants kept secret.
Bester is unimpressed by his first sight of Z'ha'dum. Sensors indicate that an evacuation of the planet is underway. The evacuees, allies of the Shadows, are just leaving the local jump gate, and the planet appears to be completely dead. Sheridan orders an immediate about face. His instinct is correct as a moment later the planet explodes. No one can rob the Shadows' grave now. Bester is enraged but Lyta surreptitiously grins.
The room where the cyrogenically suspended telepaths are kept is like a morgue. Bester shares a moment with the frozen body of his lover. He tells her door about sending his best pilots to their deaths for her. Sheridan and the others might all be laughing at his failure now, but he'd do it again in a second for her. Besides, he's got a surprise for them that will hurt them more than they can possibly imagine.
Lyta is visited by the Captain, who begins speculating about how a powerful
telepath in the amplified medium of hyperspace might have triggered the
evacuation and destruction of Z'ha'dum without Bester being any the wiser.
She explains that someone might want to hurt Bester
the way he has hurt so many other people, and that the technology on Z'ha'dum
should not fall into anyone's hands. Once her explanation is out he allows
his carefully contained fury to show. No matter how much he might agree
with her reasoning, he says that if in the future "a command level decision
were made without consulting me, I would turn you over to the Psi Corps and
let them turn you inside out. Am I perfectly, crystal clear."
"Yes sir," she replies. Before her dressing down has a chance to sink in, a completely different visitor arrives bearing pizza.
Ivanova mentions that news of the attempted ambush has filtered back through Earth Force and only served to raise people's opinions of Babylon 5. Sheridan is disturbed, though. He has been thinking about where the allies of the Shadows might have gone. Ivanova assures him it's nothing to worry about.
On Centauri Prime, the new Regent is worrying. Having nightmares, or so he thinks. Until he staggers out of bed to the mirror. He pulls away his nightgown and is horrified to find an evil grey Keeper snuggled up to his neck.