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Synopsis by Katrina Glerum (kat@midwinter.com)

As soon as the transport of Psi Cops arrives, Bester debriefs them on their mission to root out and capture Byron's telepaths. He explains that the telepaths who have left Byron are more dangerous than the others holed up in Brown sector. Meanwhile, somewhere in the station, one of his bloodhound Psi Cops is led by a telepath into an ambush. Bester gives the Psi Cops their assignments and orders them to resolve the situation by the next day.

Lochley enters to catch the end of his speech. She accuses him of enjoying the hunt, and he replies that if they weren't protecting normals from rogue telepaths, another worse method of controlling telepaths would be employed. He adds that his mission is to help rogue telepaths understand they are all on the same side. The transport tube doors open to reveal the body of the ambushed bloodhound nailed to the wall under the words "Free Byron!"

Byron contacts President Sheridan. He can convince his followers to back off if the Psi Cops leave the station. Sheridan is trying to negotiate when Bester walks in and sneers that Byron never keeps his promises. "It's over," he says.

"No, there are other ways," Byron replies and breaks off. He brushes off Lyta's question about what Bester meant.

Bester ignores Sheridan's anger and delivers a progress report. Once he's gone Sheridan wonders to Lochley why Garibaldi hasn't been heard from.

Bester is greeted in his quarters by Garibaldi and a charged ppg. Garibaldi demands that Bester dictate a full confession to the Babcom unit. Bester casually admits everything but declines to record it. Garibaldi threatens again with utter sincerity. Bester tells him to go ahead and shoot. Garibaldi's face shows a struggle, but he just stands there with his gun. Bester nonchalantly walks past him and sits down. "On a scale of one to ten," he questions, "How stupid do you think I am, anyway?" He procedes to explain that he has installed an "asimov" in Garibaldi's mind. Garibaldi cannot harm Bester, nor through inaction allow him to come to harm. The block is in his neural system so that he can want to kill Bester and experience his rage, but he is "blocked at the point of action." Bester mocks Garibaldi's futility some more and then leaves. Garibaldi raises his ppg again at Bester's retreating back, then destroys the Babcom unit in frustration.

Byron complains again to Lyta how he had hoped that his followers could be nobler and less violent than they are. She changes the subject to why Bester hates him. Byron admits that he used to be Bester's Psi Cop protege, until one day they intercepted a transport smuggling rogues. Once the rogues were captured, Bester ordered the squadron to destroy the transport. "They're just mundanes," he reasoned. Byron did as he was told, but ran away once he returned to Earth and vowed to find a better way for telepaths to live.

The telepaths outside the Byron's stronghold are in a losing firefight. One of them thinks of a place they can get hostages.

Garibaldi asks Dr. Franklin if there is any medical way to break a telepathic neural block. Before Franklin can answer the telepaths rush in shooting or subduing everyone in Medlab. Moments later on Babcom, the telepaths threaten to kill their hostages, starting with Garibaldi, unless they get safe passage and a homeworld. Byron watches this broadcast and begs Lyta to find him a way to Medlab so he can stop the killing.

The telepaths lift the teek Peter from his sickbed to help them guard an access route. Franklin tries to intervene for his patient and almost gets killed.

Zack leads a sally against Peter's position, but is confused into retreating when confronted by a barrage of bedpans.

Bester gloats to the President about his error in trusting rogue telepaths. Even though Garibaldi's life is in danger, Bester still has jurisdiction over the handling of the crisis, so there's nothing Lochley or Sheridan can do, short of negotiating with terrorists.

Lyta and Byron walk around their sealed-in domain. She pauses at every air shaft and sends her mind down each one, searching for a free path out.

Garibaldi's time is almost up. Bloodied and frightened, he and Franklin eye the terrorists. Byron and Lyta appear at Peter's checkpoint. Garibaldi starts trying to talk the terrorists into working with him, but no one responds. Just then Sheridan's face comes on the console. He declares that they will not negotiate for the lives of hostages. There is the sound of a ppg charging and the telepaths point their guns at Garibaldi who makes a last ditch effort to stop them. A ppg is fired, and the lead terrorist drops. Byron has shot him.

Sheridan paces agitatedly. He tells Lochley he's probably condemned his friend to death. Byron pages them from Medlab. He offers to surrender with everyone responsible for committing crimes, if in exchange he is allowed to gather all his people together and speak with them, and then the innocent ones are allowed to leave the station peacefully. Lochley agrees.

Bester is pissed. Lochley tells him that he no longer has jurisdiction. If he wants Byron, he needs to go through channels back on Earth. Just then Zack comes in with the identicards and signed confessions of telepaths who committed violence.

While the telepaths quietly commune, Bester approaches their sealed off entrances and puts out a mental call to Byron. He offers Byron forgiveness in exchange for coming back to the family, but Byron refuses.

Bester gathers his bloodhounds for a final attempt to grab Byron at docking. As the violent telepaths begin to surrender to Lochley and armed guards, Bester rushes up and demands the prisoners. One of the telepaths panics and fires at Bester. In the ensuing fight, telepaths and guards are shot and a fuel conduit is ruptured.

Byron and Lochley shout a ceasefire. Byron picks up a ppg and looks at the chemicals pouring out on the floor. Byron demands that Lyta leave him now, and thereby save his soul by saving the other telepaths who will be leaving the station soon. She must be strong for him, he says. She walks away, and as the remaining surrendering telepaths draw close, he charges the ppg and aims at the fuel. Sheridan grabs Lyta and everyone runs out before Byron and his telepaths explode.

Watching the grisly cleanup, Sheridan asks Bester if he's satisfied now. Bester seems lost. He never believed Byron hated him and the Corps so much. Franklin finds Sheridan and asks where Garibaldi is. He's worried because Garibaldi appeared so distraught and beaten earlier.

The remaining telepaths file off station under Bester's futile eye. Lyta rushes up, calling "Wait!" One-by-one, she touches each of the telepaths and gives them individual contact information for finding safe houses and rescuers set up for them wherever they go. It is Byron's last gift to them to keep them free. "Remember Byron," she tells each.

Garibaldi enters his quarters with a bottle of liquor. He pours it in a tumbler, hesitates a moment and drains it.


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Last update: August 9, 1998