Ivanova requests a favor from Delenn. She wants to borrow a White Star ship to go in search of First Ones like the ones found at Sigma 957 ("Voices of Authority") who might assist them in their desperate mission next week against Z'ha'dum.
Vir and Londo hear a party in the throne room. Draped in chains and garbed in a punishing jester's costume which is thrusting spikes into his head and body, G'Kar silently suffers the merry abuse of Cartagia's courtiers.
Ivanova and Marcus are having no success in their search, which is no wonder considering that they are relying on wild stories that travelers have told of godlike beings or ancient civilizations. So far, they all lead only to dead ends.
Zack has located the transport which is supposed to have found Garibaldi's Starfury, and he takes a wing out to investigate.
Alone with Londo in the imperial pleasure gardens, Vir finally erupts in outrage against G'Kar's humiliation and agony and Londo's seeming unconcern. Once again Londo counsels biding their time. The entire business of plotting against the Emperor is too disturbing for poor Vir. That is, until the Emperor chances upon them, waving bloody hands and complaining strenuously at G'Kar's refusal to scream under torture. Without a bit more action, Cartagia regrets that he will just have to kill the Narn. It's really no fun any other way. After Cartagia departs, Vir decides regicide isn't so objectionable after all.
Delenn pays a visit to Lyta Alexander. There is nothing in the telepath's quarters but a mattress and the standard communications console. A bit embarrassed, Lyta explains that the new Vorlon ambassador has required her to remove everything else because they are distractions, and since he can force her to obey, she has. Delenn wants Lyta to find out why the Vorlons are not assisting in the mission against Z'ha'dum. Lyta replies that the Vorlons appear to have plans of their own and they don't seem to be interested in what happens to others any more. Although terrified of the ambassador, Lyta vows to try to help Delenn.
Zack and his team find the transport they are looking for and order it to surrender. When it maintains radio silence they fire to disable it. It ejects a life pod and explodes. Inside the pod is Garibaldi, meshed down to a table, unconscious, and wearing a week-old beard. A computer voice says, "Activating program," and Garibaldi awakens for a moment. Zack rushes him to the station, where Dr. Franklin is disappointed that Zack can't tell him anything about who was holding Garibaldi; but the prognosis is good and Garibaldi is expected to recover.
The Vorlon streams out of Lyta to her great discomfort. She angrily shouts that she deserves some respect for her sacrifices to the Vorlons, and some answers. "Respect? From whom?" the Ambassador replies. As she dejectedly turns to go she decides to chance it and mentally probes the Vorlon. He slaps her across the room with a blast of energy. Then, leaning forward, he says chillingly, "You would know my thoughts? Would you?" The disk on the head of his suit dilates and her screams begin.
"A little scream. Is that so much to ask for?" Londo begs. If G'Kar will just put aside his pride and give the emperor the reaction he craves, he can live to fulfill his bargain with Mollari. G'Kar refuses, arguing that he would no longer be a Narn if he gave in, and that of course Londo can't possibly understand.
"Yes I do," Londo retorts savagely, as he leaves G'Kar's cell. "Yes I do!"
Ivanova broods in the captains chair. With a couple of hours to kill, Marcus asks her about her plans if they live through this war. She wants to return home, travel some, pay her respects to her dead father, but there's no one special waiting. Marcus has someone special, he says, but she doesn't know it yet. He's never actually had relations with a woman, it turns out.
"I thought First Ones were rare," Ivanova mutters.
Just then, the ship's controls pick up some odd signals which appear to indicate a pocket in hyperspace hidden by a distortion field. They switch course to investigate. As they enter the pocket, they can see from the forward windows a vast fleet including some absolutely enormous ships. The smaller vessels shooting around the edges reveal that this is a Vorlon fleet on the move.
Garibaldi comes to in Medlab. He tells Zack that he's having bad dreams, but doesn't elaborate on the visions of Shadow ships and incarceration that are hounding him. He seems surprised that two weeks have passed since Sheridan left for Z'ha'dum, but not very surprised that Sheridan died there.
An enormous bird-shaped ship travels though hyperspace on an unknown trajectory.
Delenn thanks the Brakiri ambassador for bringing information regarding what the other races are planning. Those who oppose the decision to attack Z'ha'dum intend to hold a rally in the Zocalo to gather support for stopping the assault. Delenn insists that the Shadows will attack in any case so it's better to strike now when they are weak. As he departs, the Ambassador asks if she knows anything about the large vessel that seems to be approaching Babylon 5. She does not.
Vir and Londo are roused in the middle of the night and led by a taciturn guard to a secret alcove. Vir is terrified. And well he should be, for they are guests in Cartagia's personal torture chamber. They are not the entertainment however... G'Kar is. The Emperor has decreed that there and now, G'Kar will either cry out under the stroke of the electro-whip, or die on the 40th beat. G'Kar suffers mightily, as Londo surreptitiously mouths "scream" at him. At the 39th stroke, the Narn finally gives a mighty wail and sinks to the floor.
Jumping into B5 space, Ivanova orders an immediate meeting with Lyta Alexander and a thorough scan of sector 70x10x53.
Lennier sees an unusual level of activity in the Zocalo and notifies Delenn.
The huge birdlike ship exits the jump gate and initiates docking procedures without the station's approval. Ivanova orders a security red alert. Garibaldi struggles off his bed to go investigate.
From a catwalk above the Zocolo, the Drazi leader begins to stir up the crowd with anti-Minbari rhetoric.
Zack isn't happy to see the Chief out of Medlab but can't stop to send him back. Security forces square off against the personnel transport as it approaches the floor of the docking bay. Two forms are visible inside. But when the door opens, all Garibaldi can say is, "Well, I'll be damned."
The crowd in the Zocalo begins to grow more rowdy as the Drazi continues. He claims that they will all be destroyed if anyone attacks Z'ha'dum, just as Sheridan was. To the astonishment of them all, the dead man himself steps up onto their platform.
"Captain. We're sorry. We thought you were dead."
"I was. I'm better now," Sheridan says ironically, sharing a look with Lorien standing in the shadows.
The Captain begins to address the crowd. No more hesitation. They must now assemble the greatest fleet in the history of the galaxy. The only man to have survived Z'ha'dum calls on them and their governments to end this war once and forever, not just until next time. The crowd cheers their support.
Delenn rushes to his side, and as they embrace, John promises never to leave her again.
Ivanova finds Lyta collapsed in her quarters. "You know, don't you," Lyta says. "It's started."
The war council gathers in Sheridan's office for a briefing. He explains what he has learned about the Vorlon and Shadow objectives, and how the balance between them has been lost. "Something, Mr. Garibaldi?" Sheridan snaps at the Chief who is glaring at Lorien suspiciously.
"I just want to know who our new best friend is," Garibaldi growls. He isn't satisfied with just a name, or Sheridan's assurances, or the rest of the secrecy surrounding the Captain's return.
Ivanova and Marcus enter with Lyta. The joy of reunion is quickly overshadowed by the report of the vast Vorlon fleet followed by the telepath's news. To everyone's horror it appears that that fleet has just destroyed an inhabited planet because it had harbored a Shadow force. The Vorlons have decided that it's time to destroy everything that has been touched by the Shadows. Now the Army of Light must stop both the Shadows and the Vorlons if anyone hopes to survive this struggle.
Meanwhile, the Vorlon planet-killer ship cruises towards its next target.