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Synopsis by Matthew Murray (mmurray@cc.wwu.edu)

"This is Commander Susan Ivanova brining you the Voice of the Resistance. The liberation fleet continues to retake territory held in violation of the Earth Alliance constitution. More ships on the other side continue to defect carrying stories of atrocities carried out under the direct orders of President Clark. In addition to the liberation of Proxima III, the colony at Beta Durani and the mid-range military base have also been freed. The long march toward Earth continues."

"Personal Log, Michael Garibaldi. It's started. They're really doing it. This is what I was afraid would happen. But it's been coming for a long time--ever since Sheridan got back. Before he went to Z'ha'dum, he never would have gone up against his own--our own-- government like this. I don't know--maybe he thinks he's Alexander the Great. And maybe he thinks he's John the Baptist. And maybe he wants to take over the whole operation for himself." The transport tubes on Mars appear. "That's the part that worries me. That's the part that made me come back here. Mars... I can't believe I'm back on Mars. Three times before, this place almost killed me. I swore I'd never give it another chance to finish the job. Humans got no business being here. No business at all."

Wade, who is sitting across from Garibaldi, tells him that they are almost there, and that he needs to put on a blindfold to meet with William Edgars. Garibaldi is reluctant at first, and Wade understand that Garibaldi doesn't like to give up control, but if Garibaldi doesn't play along, he will have to leave. Wade says that Edgars has gone through a lot of trouble to get Garibaldi to Mars, and that the average guy would be grateful. Garibaldi says he isn't the average guy, and Wade notes that he wouldn't be there if he were, since Edgars doesn't like average guys. Wade again tells Garibaldi to put on the blindfold, but says he doesn't need to worry--they are going to Edgars' private dock, so no one will think it strange. Wade informs Garibaldi that, in olden days, the rising of Mars always precipitated climactic events. "It was a bad sign. Now, there are two million people living here," he says.

"It still is a bad sign," says Garibaldi, now wearing the blindfold.

"Mars," Garibaldi says, continuing his log. "Can't believe I'm back on Mars. I've got to be out of my mind."

Dr. Franklin is in MedLab running experiments on the Shadow-implanted telepaths when Zack arrives. Franklin explains his troubles to Zack--nothing he has tried to remove the implants has worked, and pressure from Sheridan to do it hasn't made things any easier, especially since he doesn't know what the rush is. Dr. Franklin leaves for a moment, and Lyta, whom Zack had been looking for, enters MedLab. He tells her he needs her to scan the victim of a mugging to confirm the assailant's identity. She agrees to do so, and Zack leaves. She goes over to look at one of the telepaths lying on the examination table in the isolation lab, and the telepath's eyes open suddenly. Franklin sees what's going on--the telepath sitting up, touching Lyta's hand through the window of the lab, and calls out to her, causing her to lose her concentration. The telepath returns to his comatose state.

Garibaldi arrives at William Edgar's compound, only to run into Lise. She tells him it wasn't a good time for him to come, and that things are too busy, but Edgars insists it is alright that Garibaldi is there. Lise leaves to go assist the cook with dinner, and Edgars and Garibaldi begin talking. Edgars asks Garibaldi why he insisted on coming now, and Garibaldi explains that he was tired of not seeing Edgars' face, wanted to know what he was helping Edgars do, and to stop Sheridan if at all possible. Edgars insists he is just a businessman, but Garibaldi knows better, since Edgars has some strong political connections. Garibaldi tells Edgars that he doesn't trust Clark, and Edgars agrees, though he shouldn't be stopped by a military action, but from inside the system. Garibaldi admits that he feels Sheridan wants to take over himself, but, while he can't let Sheridan do that, he can't turn him over to Clark either. Garibaldi wants Edgars to speak on Sheridan's behalf, which would increase his political power, and possibly even put him in the Presidency himself. Edgars finds Garibaldi's words intriguing, but informs him he won't do anything further until he knows he can trust Garibaldi.

Wade shows Garibaldi the room he will be staying, and then leaves him for the night. The room is on the small side, containing little more than a bed and a few light fixtures. Garibaldi settles in for the night.

Franklin chases after Lyta, who insists she's late for an appointment. She apologizes for messing up his experiment, but he says that he's glad she did what she did--it's the only reaction he had managed to achieved. He asks her how she did it, and she tells him that she looked at him, and heard a sound--the sound a Shadow vessel makes--in her head, acted instinctively to make it go away, and he woke up. Franklin asks her to come back after her other job, and convinces her to try to help him.

Garibaldi is asleep in his room when the door bursts open and several figures in mask rush in. They grab him and force him out of the room, and into another chamber, where only one figure, a woman, sits at a table. The voice of Edgars, coming from unseen speakers, assures him he is in no danger. Edgars explains that the woman is a telepath, and she will only inform him if he is telling the truth when he answers Edgars' questions.

Edgars begins by asking Garibaldi what he thinks about telepaths, and Garibaldi responds that he doesn't trust them--he doesn't like someone being able to get inside his head, or being able to tell if he's lying if he doesn't know when they are, or to be able to conduct business with no records. He says the tension between telepaths and mundanes will turn ugly someday, but hopes he won't be alive to see it. Edgars asks if this means he feels they are a menace to society, and Garibaldi answers, "The biggest one we've got."

Edgars asks Garibaldi if he was sincere when he said he wanted to locate and secure someone, and Garibaldi answers yes to both questions. The telepath turns and nods.

Edgars asks Garibaldi why the reason given for his employment--to keep in-development pharmaceuticals safe from competitors isn't enough. Garibaldi explains that Edgars could pay off anyone to keep the secret, but that he feels he's being used as a scapegoat in case they catch him in the act. Edgars asks Garibaldi if he's assuming he's lying. Garibaldi says everyone lies, and though it's a sad view of the universe, it's the only one he has.

Edgars asks Garibaldi if he can remember anything about his disappearance from Babylon 5 earlier that year. Garibaldi says he can't remember anything. The telepath turns again, and nods.

Edgars tells Garibaldi that he is finished, and can go. As he walks toward the door, however, Edgars asks one more question: Is Garibaldi still in love with Lise? Garibaldi answers no, Edgars thanks him, and lets him return to his room. The telepath turns and shakes her head. Edgars thanks the telepath and tells her that Wade will see to her payment.

Edgars enters his own room, to find Lise waiting up. She asks him how it went, and he tells her it went fine, but he also tells her that she was never mentioned. He says he thinks Garibaldi put it all behind him, and that he thinks Garibaldi would be a fine addition. He tells Lise not to worry, and that everything will be just fine.

As the telepath gathers her coat and prepares to leave, Wade appears in the doorway. As she turns to face him, he pulls a PPG and fires several shots directly at her.

In MedLab, Lyta and Franklin are standing over the same telepath from before. He tells her to do what she did the last time, only slower--he wants to learn to stimulate the same brainwaves artificially, but they can worry about getting the implants out later. Franklin is ready, and begins the computer recording. Lyta concentrates on the telepath, and one of the monitor displays of the telepath changes. Franklin surmises that the Shadow implants speed up brain functions--useful for running a Shadow vessel--and that that causes trouble when there is nothing around to control. The telepath's eyes open, and he sits up suddenly, remembering his implant procedure. He grabs Franklin by the throat and asks if the machines are gone. Franklin tells him they are, but the telepath is still not calmed. "What am I? Why am I?" asks the telepath, as he throws Franklin to the floor. The telepath turns to Lyta. "I can't live like this," and picks up a medical device and holds it to his own throat. Lyta stops him from going any further, apologizes to him, and then puts him back to sleep. Franklin is able to take over from there, but Lyta, disturbed and shaken, just turns and leaves MedLab.

Garibaldi arrives in Edgars' office the next morning, and asks to be told the whole story about his involvement with Edgars, since he apparently passed the test. Edgars begins by telling him that, in a world run by telepaths, mundanes would be severely limited in what they could pursue, and how they could behave--a world with no privacy. It's a world neither Edgars nor Garibaldi want to live in. Garibaldi feels that, despite certain members of the PsiCorps feeling they should be in control, telepaths don't have enough power to take over. Edgars says they don't, yet, but they are beginning to fight their own battle of secrets and intimidation. He points out that, without the PsiCorps badge, no one can really tell a telepath from a normal human, and that they can inspire fear whether they show their true colors or not. Edgars explains to Garibaldi that Clark has power given him by the voters who were afraid of aliens and wanted to do something about it. Clark has begun to pass that power on to the PsiCorps. He wants complete and total loyalty, and he can only prove loyalty with the use of telepaths. When President Santiago objected to this, Clark eliminated him, with outside help, including the help of aliens, who promised him all the power he could want. The aliens were interested in the PsiCorps, which became Clark's "insurance policy" against them, and he used them to gain more power still. He created the Nightwatch and selected his own people to fill important positions, with telepaths watching over everything. Edgars is sure that, no matter what happens to Clark, the PsiCorps will not want to give up its newfound power.

Garibaldi asks what Sheridan has to do with this, and Edgars explains that, should Sheridan go too far, Clark will remove the last restrictions from the PsiCorps, giving them all the power they need, turning it into a military and police force under his direct control, which Garibaldi recognizes as thought police. When that happens, Edgars believes, they will never let go of their power. Edgars tells Garibaldi that Clark is not really in charge--that his own megacorporation, as well as the others on Earth, have really been running things behind the scenes for years. Now that the PsiCorps threatens their bussinesses, they have to take action. Edgars wants Sheridan out of the way so that they have enough time to perfect their solution, and to keep him from putting too much power in the PsiCorps too soon. Garibaldi asks Edgars how they can stop the PsiCorps when Lise interrupts, telling them that breakfast is ready. Edgars asks Garibaldi if he'd like to join them, but Garibaldi declines, instead saying that he has some thinking to do. Edgars starts to leave, but Garibaldi stops him and asks him if the story he was just told was really the truth. Edgars tells him it's as close to the truth as he--or anyone else--will ever get, but that it should be enough for Garibaldi to decide if he wants to continue working with Edgars. Edgars tells Garibaldi he hopes that he will, and then leaves for breakfast.

As the fleet continues on its way, Sheridan is talking to Ivanova, who is still on Babylon 5. She tells him that they have turned two more Earth Alliance ships over to the Resistance, a fact which pleases and worries Sheridan--he always becomes suspicious when things start going too well. He asks her about Delenn, and Ivanova tells him that she is done with her work on Minbar, and will be back on Babylon 5 soon. There is nothing else that she has to report, but he tells her that he wants to talk to Dr. Franklin.

Ivanova calls down to Medlab and tells him that Sheridan wants to talk to him. Franklin explains that he thinks he found a way to neutralize the implants. Sheridan asks Franklin how long it will take him to get the telepaths up and running, but Franklin refuses to do anything more until Sherdian tells him exactly what he wants to do with the telepaths. Franklin gets rid of everyone else in MedLab, and Sheridan begins explaining his plan.

Franklin leaves Medlab, visibly shaken. While standing in the corridor, Lyta arrives. She asks him if he's alright, and he says he isn't. He says that, when Sheridan came back from Z'ha'dum, he never understood why everyone thought he was acting so different. But, he explains that the Sheridan he knew never would have asked him to do what this Sheridan just did. Franklin admits that it is the only way, but really wishes he were wrong about it. He asks Lyta if she is available for a long-term job. She is, and he tells her to start packing--they leave for Mars in a few days.

Garibaldi is sitting on his bed when there's a knock on the door. It's Lise, who has brought him his dinner. As she is about to leave, he says he doesn't know what she sees in Edgars, besides his money. He asks her what Edgars has that he doesn't. She insists it's not the money, and that he's a good man, and that she does love him. She is, however, very concerned about Garibaldi, and doesn't want anything to happen to him, or to Edgars. Garibaldi tells her that she should have tried to get things back the way they were, but that wasn't enough for her--she didn't want to hold up the relationship herself. She wanted him to care about something else, other than his job, and that he never said that he loved her until she said it to him. She starts to leave again, but can't force herself through the door. In a broken voice, she explains that, after Franz left her, Garibaldi was too far away, and that she needed someone in her life to be there for her, and that Edgars was that person. She asks him if he would have left and gone to her when she needed him, and he says he doesn't know. Crying, she says that she is too old for that, and that Bill does care for her and he does love her. Garibaldi apologizes for what happened, and tells her that he did he did love her. She says she's sorry, too, tells him to eat his dinner, and then leaves him alone.

Edgars is standing over three beds when Wade comes in. Edgars tells him that they are at a critical stage, and can't afford any mistakes. Edgars sits down next to one of the beds, which contains a man with white skin and lesions all over his face. He reaches under the plastic covering the man's face, and touches his skin. Wade says Edgars shouldn't touch him, but Edgars says the man can use some compassion, and that he can't be infected anyway. Wade asks how long he's been off the drug, and Edgars says five days--the drug is working faster than before. The man moans, and Edgars tells him that, though it's part of the process, it will be over soon. He gets up and tells Wade to put the man down. He knows the drug works, but doesn't want to add to the pain in the universe unless it's absolutely necessary. He leaves Wade alone in the room with the three people.

Garibaldi arrives in Edgars' office, and tells him that he's been thinking about a lot of things. Garibaldi says that he has made his decision--he is in all the way. Edgars is pleased, but Garibaldi wants to know the rest of the story. That's not good enough for Edgars, though--he wants Garibaldi to prove himself. The way to do that is to give him Sheridan. If he does that, Edgars will tell him the rest. Edgars wants Clark to feel secure in his position, and with Sheridan, that will give Edgars the time he needs to do what he must. Garibaldi doesn't want Clark to get Sheridan, since he is sure he'll kill him. Edgars knows that Clark is an amateur, and will go through the motions, but won't kill him, at least right away. Edgars says that they need to take Sheridan out of the picture, and that it is time to do so. Garibaldi tells Edgars that the easiest way to get to Sheridan is through his father. Edgars says that Earth was torn apart looking for him, but no one knows how to find him. Garibaldi, however, does--he knows Sheridan's father has a rare blood disease which requires the use of a certain Centauri drug, which is rare and expensive, and easy to track. Edgars says that they still need someone to set Sheridan up, and Garibaldi volunteers. Edgars tells Garibaldi that he's doing the right thing, and hopes he understands it.

"Mars. Three times before, this place almost killed me. And now... I've finally finished the job. I can't feel anything anymore. I don't know what I care about anymore. Except Lise. I screwed up both our lives pretty good. Now I get to make up for it, assuming any of us can ever make up for anything we've done in the past. Maybe we can't. Maybe we just have to live with it, and get on with it, and do what we have to--never what we want to. It has to be done. I hope he can see that someday..."


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Last update: May 6, 1998