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Synopsis by Matthew Murray (mmurray@wsu.edu)

Ivanova, in C&C, is joined by Sheridan. She explains to him that they have succeeded in ridding the station of all the members of the Nightwatch they know about, and that Garibaldi is trying to track down the ones they might not know about. Garibaldi arrives, his arm in a sling, and explains that he fractured it during the recent attack on the station. He explains that most of the people on the station are upset about the communications channels being shut down, but Sheridan and Ivanova know they can't be reinstated until Earth can be prevented from using them to retake the station. Garibaldi asks how long Sheridan plans to be out of his uniform, and Sheridan explains that he won't put it back on until the situation is resolved. He leaves to make the rounds, which both Garibaldi and Ivanova are unsure about. Sheridan insists he can take care of himself and leaves.

Delenn is addressing some of the Minbari from the ships outside Babylon 5, telling them that she was asked by Sheridan to thank them for defending the station. They leave, and Lennier tells her that the captain of the Minbari fleet wants to come aboard for a tour, which she agrees to. Delenn asks Lennier what he thinks of the situation, but he does not respond, instead saying that "what is, is" and that the prophecy, which stated that the Minbari would unite with the other half of their soul has come true. Delenn says that the prophecies may be misleading and that, should the other parts come true, there is no guarantee that any of them will survive.

As Sheridan makes his rounds in the Zocalo, a gunman waits, enclosed in shadows high above, targeting him with his weapon. Just as he is about to fire, he is pulled away by Boggs, a former member of Garibaldi's security staff, telling him that he was told to wait. The gunman insists that he had a good shot, but Boggs is less sure, saying instead that, should Sheridan fall, others would rise to take his place and that, sooner or later, they will get their "pound of flesh."

Delenn and Lennier approach Marcus as he returns from a voyage. Delenn tells Marcus that she has called for the Nafak'cha, the rebirth ceremony, which commemorates a great change that is coming, or one that has already arrived. Marcus feels that the time may be inappropriate, given that everyone will be embroiled in ceremonies of their own for a while.

One such ceremony is taking place where the members of EarthForce commit the bodies of their comrades, fallen in battle against Earth, to the depths of space, led by Sheridan, wearing his uniform one final time.

Lord Refa arrives at a table in the Zocalo where Londo is sitting. Refa is unhappy at being dragged to Babylon 5 instead of Londo going to him. Londo tells Refa that he has been studying the reports from the frontlines, and expresses dismay at the fact that the Centauri are fighting a war on so many fronts. Refa claims the Centauri can handle it, and that their resources are greater than Londo thinks. Londo, however, knows about his alliance with Morden and the Shadows, and urges Refa to do as he did and break off his contact with them. Londo tries to convince Refa that, by fighting wars on so many smaller fronts, should the Shadows decide to conquer the Centauri, there will not be much of a fight. Refa laughs at him, saying that Morden and his associates are the greatest power he knows, and that they are the key to his ascent to the throne. Londo tells him that Refa will do as he says because he has poisoned Refa's drink. The poison works in two parts, and should Refa not do as Londo asks, the second part of the poison will be introduced to Refa as well. Londo orders Refa to bolster the lines of defense around Centauri Prime, cease attacking on the other fronts, and break off contact with Morden, unless he wants to receive the other part of the poison.

Garibaldi finishes accessing the command codes, and he, Sheridan, and Ivanova follow through the procedures necessary to change the command level passwords, which requires shutting down the security system and restarting it. Delenn arrives, and has Sheridan go with her. She asks him and the other senior officers to take part in the rebirth ceremony, along with other ambassadors, G'Kar, and most importantly to her, Londo, whom she feels is in the greatest need of rebirth. She explains that they all need to put their pain behind them so they can prepare for the greater struggles ahead.

Boggs explains to a few others that he has received orders from the Nightwatch office to no longer worry about killing Sheridan, but rather taking care of Ambassador Delenn. Once she is done with, the support of the Minbari will vanish, allowing Earth to retake Babylon 5. Though the gunman is worried, Boggs reassures him that Sheridan can be blamed no matter what. The gunman is all too glad to be back killing Minbari, as he used to do so, after extreme torture, during the Earth-Minbari war. They begin preparing the plan against Delenn.

Delenn, in disguise, arrives at a bar Marcus frequents in Downbelow. She asks him why he isn't preparing for the ceremony, but he tells her that he has decided against participating. She doesn't understand his reluctance, but their conversation is cut short when someone he has been waiting for comes in.

Garibaldi turns off the computer system and restarts it. When it comes back on-line, the codes have been changed, but something new has happened as well: the computer has taken on an attitude of its own, and is less than inclined to follow Garibaldi's orders, which is due to a faulty artificial intelligence program, originally planned to be integrated into the station, which accidentally came on-line. As the computer taunts him and Ivanova, they plan to get rid of it yet again.

Delenn and Lennier approach Londo about taking place in the rebirth ceremony, but he is less than inclined to do what is necessary, which involves giving away something that once held great importance to him, and telling someone something he had never told anyone else. Delenn explains that she feels he needs to make up for the past and prepare for the future, but Londo claims he is already doing that, and has no interest in the ceremony. He storms off.

Their meeting with G'Kar goes equally badly; he claims that he is far too busy with all of his new responsibilities to attend. Marcus appears and comments on how everyone else is as disinterested in the idea as he is. Lennier reminds Delenn that she was to meet the Fleet Captain, and she goes to the docking bay, with Marcus in tow. On the way, they stop for a few moments, and she asks why he doesn't want to perform the ceremony. He tells her he has nothing left to give up for it, and that, because he didn't listen to his brother when he was first warned about the Shadows, he has already lost everything he cared about. He joined the Rangers to help fill the gap in himself created by the Shadows. He tells her that he has nothing left to give up, but Delenn says that is exactly what he must sacrifice--his grief, loss, and painful memories. He must forgive himself for being alive.

Marcus quickly breaks off to tell security about Fleet Captain Lenann coming on board, and Delenn goes to meet the newcomer. As he arrives, however, she, Lenann, and one of his bodyguards are assaulted and kidnapped by the scheming members of the Nightwatch.

As Garibaldi puts up with the neverending ramblings of the computer, Ivanova calls him to report the kidnapping. Delenn asks her captors to let her tend to the bodyguard's injuries, incurred in the gunfire. Boggs reappears and checks on the status of another member of the Nightwatch, who is busy scrambling some circuits.

While Sheridan talks to Marcus, who blames himself for Delenn's kidnapping, Corwin reports that a call about the kidnapping is coming in. Sheridan has it traced, and it goes through. It is Boggs who explains his demands to have the Minbari cruisers leave in six hours, or all the hostages will be killed. They have scrambled the Babcom lines so the call can't be traced, and are monitoring all security channels. He warns them not to do anything stupid, or he will have no qualms about using violence, which he demonstrates by having the bodyguard killed, despite Delenn's screams of protestation. Marcus runs off to try to track Boggs down himself. Sheridan orders Garibaldi to find out all he can about Boggs' contacts, and anything else they may be able to use to find them.

Marcus arrives in Downbelow, and sits down for a poker game with a group of men he had previously had an agreement with to leave alone, a deal which he has chosen to break in order to obtain information. None of them are willing to help, though, and he promises that, if none of them do, he will take them all down, followed by everyone else in the bar. The game players rise to meet the challenge, and appear to overshadow Marcus quite severely.

Delenn and Lenann speak to each other in Minbari about a possible escape method, but the gunman understands their language, which he picked up during the war, and thwarts the plan by tightening their loosening ropes. He tells them that neither of them will survive the ordeal, but Delenn stuns him by telling him that she feels sorry for him, something he doesn't understand. She tells him that he is an unfortunate casualty of the war, and though the Earth and the Minbari have managed to come together, he has not, and he is left all alone. He starts to fire on her, but Lenann jumps up from his chair, diverting the weapon, which severely injures him. Boggs appears and stops the gunman from going any further.

Marcus, meanwhile, has kept his word, having dispatched of everyone in the bar except two of the poker players, who he soon takes care of. As he surveys the damage, realizing there is no one left awake to give him information, Lennier arrives and tells Marcus that he has come to discuss the rebirth ceremony, asking him again to come. Marcus doesn't understand why he's talking about that, and Lennier explains that it was Delenn's last request, and that, if he doesn't continue the preparations, there is nothing else to do. Lennier turns away, and Marcus grabs him on the arm, something which infuriates Lennier. Lennier rounds back on Marcus, explaining that he would like to tear apart the station looking for Delenn, but can't. As his part of the rebirth ceremony, he explains why he must do what she asks: he loves her.

Lennier explains that his love for her is not romantic love, but more higher and more noble, a "pure, perfect love," that he knows can never truly be returned, since she is fated for another. He has made a vow never to leave her side, a vow Marcus recognizes as dangerous. At that point, the last gambler Marcus downed awakes, and begins to tell Marcus, under threat of more pain, what he wants to know.

Ivanova explains that, though they still can't trace the call, they did find a background sound which Garibaldi is able to identify as the cooling system which feeds the fusion reactor in Grey sector. Sheridan knows that isn't enough, but Marcus arrives with another piece of the puzzle: the man he talked to overheard a contact in Security talk about delivering some equipment for call scrambling to level 14. They scan Grey 14 and find that it has been closed off -- supposedly under Garibaldi's orders, orders he never gave. They begin preparing their attack, which, Sheridan explains, begins with a surrender.

As the Nightwatch members prepare to kill Delenn and Lenann, the contact Marcus told about calls Boggs and reports that the Minbari ships are leaving. Boggs tells his contact to send a narrow-beam transmission to Earth. After the conversation ends, a loud sound is heard, which Boggs rushes out to investigate. Lots of people are running by, and one explains that a leak in the coolant system is forcing evacuation of the sector. As the Nightwatch members try to escape with Delenn and Lenann, they are led into an ambush led by Sheridan and Garibaldi. Boggs is shot down, and the remaining captors are pinned down, but when Sheridan makes a run to save Delenn and Lenann, the gunman, only injured by a PPG shot, throws a knife in Delenn's back and runs. Sheridan gives chase, eventually backing the gunman into a corner. Sheridan's rage takes over and, without a weapon, he beats the gunman senseless.

Lennier tells Ivanova and Sheridan that Delenn will be okay, since the knife missed her vital organs. Sheridan wants to continue with the rebirth ceremony, but Lennier says that, since the ceremony must be held within a certain amount of time after preparations begin, she will not be able to conduct the ceremony. Garibaldi, meanwhile, is still being taunted by the artificial intelligence. While he is in the elevator, he is finally pushed too far, and shoots out the speaker.

Lennier, at Delenn's side, is delighted to see that Sheridan has arrived. Lennier leaves, leaving Sheridan to tell Delenn that they have decided to bring the rebirth ceremony to her. He has chosen to give up his uniform, and confides in her that he cares about her a great deal, and that he was willing to kill the gunman with his bare hands to save her. After he has finished, he leaves, and Garibaldi comes in, carrying his uniform. He tells her that he is constantly afraid what will happen if he ever completely lets go. Ivanova is next, and, after putting her uniform on the growing pile, admits to Delenn that she believes she loved Talia. Franklin and his uniform are last, and he tells her, "I think I have a problem." After he is done, and they are all about to leave, Lennier approaches them and tells them that, as part of the ceremony, Delenn made them something, which is waiting in their quarters.

C&C is overcome with a quiet hush as Sheridan, Ivanova, Garibaldi, and Franklin appear, resplendent in Delenn's gifts: striking new black and grey uniforms. "What's the matter," Sheridan tells the shocked officers, "Haven't you ever seen someone who's been reborn before? The crisis, for now, is over. Tell the ships... We're open for business."


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Last update: May 6, 1998