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Synopsis by Matthew Murray (mmurray@wsu.edu)

While Garibaldi and Zack Allen are walking down the corridor, Ivanova calls Garibaldi, telling him there is a code 7-R, and Garibaldi says he will be right there. Zack asks about the code, which he is unfamiliar with, but Garibaldi skirts the issue and leaves.

He arrives at the meeting of the Babylon 5 war council where Delenn is talking about her ideas for the necessary gathering of new allies for the coming war. "Many times over the last million years," she explains, "the Shadows were fought to a standstill by the First Ones, races immeasurably older than our own. After the last war, a thousand years ago, we believe the First Ones went away forever, passing beyond the galactic rim where no human or Minbari has ever ventured. But the Vorlons remained. It is possible that some of the others may still be around." She explains that some had gone to rest where they would not be bothered, while still others walk among the stars on unknown errands. Marcus warns that the First Ones are very old, and possibly very dangerous, but Delenn says that they need all the help they can get. Since they must be found and contacted in person, Delenn has invited someone else to help: Draal. He approves of the idea, warning them that, though it may be extremely dangerous, it will definitely be "fun."

Draal explains that Epsilon 3 contains stores of information that may be helpful in locating the First Ones, though the information about the First Ones suggests no one approach their dwelling places. Sheridan agrees to go down to Epsilon 3, sort through the information, and discover how they can best proceed next.

Zack Allen meets Julie Musante, from the Ministry of Peace, in the docking bay. She explains that she will be on the station for a while, and would like her bags taken to appropriate quarters.

G'Kar approaches Delenn while she shops at a kiosk, and asks how she and Minbar are doing. He expresses concern at the many closed meetings with Captain Sheridan she has been attending lately. She tries to explain it away, but when he asks what she knows about Rangers, she claims she knows nothing. G'Kar explains that his contacts speak of both human and Minbari Rangers, and she acknowledges that this does seem extremely unlikely. She leaves, but G'Kar promises to figure out this puzzle.

Sheridan arrives in his office, where Musante is waiting for him. She explains that she was assigned as a political officer for Babylon 5, since some of Sheridan's recent actions haven't been very politically astute, and that her position is to help Sheridan make decisions that reflect more favorably on the Earth government. Sheridan says that she isn't required on a military outpost, but Musante says that the station must answer to the demands of the Earth government. Sheridan refuses to share his authority with her, but she insists her job is merely to advise, and that the final decision has already been made. She sets up a dinner date with him to learn more about the station and recent events, and he tells her that, though he has a previous engagement, he will attend. He calls Ivanova at C&C and tells her that she will have to go to Epsilon 3 in his place.

Zack shows Musante to her quarters, and she explains that it will be his job to tell her everything she needs to know that Sheridan deigns not to tell her. Since he is a member of the Night Watch, he has priorities as well that must be fulfilled.

When Ivanova arrives on Epsilon 3, Draal is at first angered by the surprise, but she manages to convince him that surprises can be good things. He laughs, deciding he likes her, and ushers her further into the complex.

At dinner with Musante, Sheridan tries to convince her that the Centauri will continue to move in on the League of Non-Aligned Worlds, but Musante insists that Earth would never align with a hostile government. She tells Sheridan he should find ways to express these concerns without causing problems on Earth. She tells him that Earth has managed to solve most of its problems, since all of the trouble on Earth with poverty, the homeless, criminals, and prejudice are caused by those who refuse to work and those who are mentally unstable. She explains that, sometimes, the only way to deal with problems is to redefine them. Sheridan accuses her of ignoring the problems, but she says it isn't necessary to point out society's flaws to their leaders, and that anyone that does so is a troublemaker and unpatriotic. She says that these are examples of the things she wants to help Sheridan with, and that she only wants to help Earth and protect Babylon 5. She says that she doesn't want to see him hurt and that she could come to like him... quite a lot.

Draal and Ivanova approach the matrix, where Draal's physical body rests within. The image of Draal vanishes, and he removes his body from the matrix. Ivanova puts hers in. He tells her to relax and open her mind. "But whatever you do, do not stray from the Path."

Ivanova finds herself travelling through the depths of space. "I can't breathe."

"It's all right," Draal tells her. "Try to calm your mind. Focus. All life forms are connected. Look for the Path. Look for the Path."

"I see it," she says as a strange ribbon of blue begins to form before her eyes.

"It is the power that binds us, one to another, across the darkness of space. Focus on the First Ones, on the most ancient of ancients. Let the Path take you to them."

As Draal speaks, the Path becomes more and more solid and visible, and Ivanova begins her journey upon it. After a few moments, she arrives at a familiar planet. "I know this place... I've seen it on the star charts. Sigma 957. They were here. I can feel their footprints in the sand. Hear their words... whispered on the wind." She travels around the planet, seeing it from all sides, and it seems to change, some of it nearly vanishing into surrounding space, while other, more mysterious forms come to its surface. "It's beautiful. They're coming back again... soon. I can... Draal? Draal, something's wrong. Draal, I'm not alone." She looks away from the planet. It sees me. It knows I'm here. It... It's pulling me in. Can't stop it." In the fabric of space, four points of light, which look very much like eyes, begin to form and approach her.

"It is the enemy," Draal warns. Pull away! Go back to the Path!"

"I can't. It... It knows I'm here. It knows my name!"

"Break off! I can't pull you off without killing you. Pull away! Don't look at it!" Ivanova succeeds in looking away just as the fingers of light are about to reach her, while still others appear, as if they were reinforcements.

"That's it," Draal tells her as the image ends. "Come back now..."

"Wait... there's something else," Ivanova says as she finds herself in a new new place, orbiting Jupiter, over a year ago. "That's EarthForce 1 before it exploded! I can warn them! I can save the President!"

"No, it's too late. You're seeing the shadow of things long gone."

The image freezes, and a new one appears, drenched in static. It is the form of Vice-President Clark, sitting at a desk. "I have wanted Santiago dead for so long," he says. "I wasn't sure we could really pull it off. You're sure it's done?"

Another voice, a deep male voice, that of Morden, responds. "EarthForce 1 will never return from Io. The power is now yours, Clark. Mr.... President."

This image vanishes in a sea of static, and Ivanova once again sees herself above Jupiter watching EarthForce 1 explode. She turns her head away, and the image ends. Draal helps her out of the machine.

"I do not understand! A normal human mind should not have been able to do that!"

"I saw it... I saw it all," she tells him. "The image I saw... the message. Can you record it?"

"Yes, but how..."

"Do it, please. It's the proof we've needed that President Santiago was assassinated, that Clark was behind everything. We've got it. We've got it."

Sheridan takes Musante into his quarters, where he fixes her a drink. While he is busy, she takes the opportunity to undress, and comes over to him. He tries to refuse her advances, but changes his mind and lunges into a deep kiss with her when an image of Ivanova appears. She soon vanishes when she sees what she interrupted, and Sheridan breaks out of the embrace. He quickly enters another room, where Ivanova is waiting. She tells him that she knows where the First Ones are, but they will have to hurry. He says he is occupied, but tells her to contact Garibaldi. She begins to tell him about Clark's message, but doesn't have time. Musante calls out to him, and Ivanova knows she has to leave. "Good luck, Captain. I think you're about to go where everyone has gone before." She vanishes just as Musante enters. Musante is quite perplexed when he hurries out again.

G'Kar approaches Garibaldi, asking where Ivanova is, and Garibaldi tells him that she was called away on urgent business. G'Kar prods Garibaldi further, but he won't say anything, which incenses G'Kar. He asks Garibaldi if what the Centauri have done has removed from him the respect he has earned, since he can't get a straight answer from anyone. G'Kar says that, though the two of them had never been friends, they had also never been strangers. Garibaldi says that he doesn't know anything that could help out him or the Narns. G'Kar tells him that perhaps he can help Garibaldi instead, and rushes off.

Zack approaches Musante, who is eating her breakfast. He asks how her meeting with Sheridan went. "When it comes to your union situation here," she tells Zack, "he must be a very good negotiator. I've never seen anyone come up with so many creative ways of saying 'no' to a simple proposition." Zack says that he prefers saying yes, but doesn't get much further. She tells him that she has called a meeting to go over political protocol, and that she expects him to be there. He leaves, but Garibaldi, sitting nearby, has seen the entire exchange.

Ivanova arrives on the bridge of the White Star, expecting to see Lennier, but finding Marcus instead. He explains that he speaks Minbari, and she tells him to set course for Sigma 957.

Musante addresses the members of the Night Watch, telling them that, from this point on, it is no longer appropriate for EarthForce personnel to publically criticize the government or its decisions, and that Night Watch investigations have been expanded to include past associations. Several members of the Night Watch, including Zack, seem distressed by this, but she explains that, in the future, certain individuals in the government will be expelled under charges of sedition, spying for alien governments, and immoral conduct. "With our basic freedoms at stake, no response can be too extreme." She says that the "abridgements" of traditional rights are only temporary and that everyone will have to do their part to keep Earth "safe and ideologically pure."

The White Star arrives at Sigma 957, finding nothing. Marcus tells Ivanova that there is nothing to do but wait, and that she should take time out for herself occasionally. Ivanova gets angry at him talking about her personal life, but is interrupted with a sensor beep. The space near Sigma 957 fills with a web of energy, from the center of which springs an enormous black vessel, with many strangely-shaped protusions, and covered in dancing lights of all colors. As the ship approaches, the White Star's energy begins to drain, and as they move away, a small stream of energy extends toward them. On the bridge, an image of one of the First Ones appears, and Ivanova tells it of their situation. Though it registers no comprehension of what she is saying, when she mentions that they have sided with the Vorlons, the figure is not happy. She asks for their help fighting the Shadows, but the image vanishes as the First Ones consider their decision.

Sheridan and Garibaldi watch the recording of Clark's transmission with Morden. Sheridan is excited that they finally have the proof they need, but Garibaldi asks what they can do with it, without raising too many questions. Sheridan says he will send it to General Hague, and with built-in security measures assuring the recording's validity, the evidence will finally put them where they need to be.

The waiting continues, and eventually the First Ones reach their verdict: "Zog." When the ship begins to move away, Ivanvoa and Marcus interpret it to mean no. Ivanova insists that she will not let them leave until they agree to help, and a sarcastic comment from Marcus gives her an idea. She opens a comm channel and tells the First Ones that the Vorlons said that they wouldn't be up for a fight, and that they are not needed to help. "Come to think of it, we've got the Vorlons. We really don't need much more help, do we?" As she continues to praise the Vorlons, the First Ones become more and more angry. She promises to move away and let them know when the fighting is over. The First Ones seem to get more and more angry, but eventually the previous image of the First Ones reappears. "When it is time, come to this place. Call our name. We will be here." The ship vanishes, leaving the White Star alone.

Garibaldi and the rest of his security team watch an ISN broadcast about the release of evidence linking Clark to Santiago's death; the Senate is opening investigations. Garibaldi tells the team to try to keep everything under control, and says that Musante has been recalled to Earth. Zack especially is unable to grasp the idea of an assassination, but Garibaldi is in no mood to hear it, since he knows that Zack told her more than he should. He says that, after what happened earlier, it was a long time before he could trust anyone. Zack says that Garibaldi doesn't trust him, since code 7-R doesn't exist. Zack asks him what is really going on. "Night Watch says the only people who have to worry are the ones with something to hide," Zack says. Garibaldi asks him if he has a charge to make, but Zack says he doesn't, and that he's walking a tightrope, and that he doesn't know what to do. Zack leaves, telling Garibaldi not to talk to him for the rest of the day.

Ivanova reports the events of the mission to Sheridan, who tells her that they will need all the First Ones they can find. She asks about the situation with President Clark, and Sheridan tells her that everything is a mess, but the truth has been released.

Zack escorts Musante to the docking bay. She tells him that she doesn't expect to be gone very long and that this situation is exactly what she hoped to avoid. Zack asks her about code 7-R, but she tells him she never heard of it. She hears the boarding call for her ship, and says she needs to go, promising that they will find who is responsible and punish them.

Late at night, Garibaldi is asleep when he is awakened by his door chime. He groggily turns the lights up low, gets up, and answers the door, to find G'Kar there. "I told you I could help," he says, thrusting a large tome into Garibaldi's hands. "The Book of G'Quan. Read it. We'll talk afterward."

"I... I don't read Narn," Garibaldi protests.

"Learn!" G'kar says as he leaves hastily.

"He hates me," Garibaldi says to himself as he makes his way back to bed. "They all hate me. That's why they're doing this. To make... me... crazy." He flops onto his bed, issuing one last command before he goes to sleep. "Lights."

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Last update: February 16, 1996