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Synopsis by Matthew Murray (n9641343@cc.wwu.edu)

Sheridan is sitting alone at the conference table in the War Room when Ivanova comes in. Sheridan tells her it's strange to have the place so empty, and though Ivanova insists the war is over, Sheridan isn't so sure that it is, with all the trouble back on Earth. The quarantine has pretty much shut down Babylon 5, but Sheridan is sure they will find a way back from this setback as well. Ivanova asks him why he's worried, and though Sheridan insists he isn't, she knows better. Sheridan explains that he hasn't spoken to his father much since they broke away from Earth, and that his last letter mentioned strangers hanging around town, asking questions about his family. Sheridan told his parents to get out while they could, but he hasn't gotten any word since the embargo. Ivanova says that, being a former diplomat, his father couldn't just disappear, but Sheridan is still worried. He asks if everything else is okay, and Ivanova tells him that, despite a few problems in customs since Zack took over for Garibaldi, they haven't had a major incident.

Zack enters the docking bay to find an incident in progress--a minor fight, which one of the security guards says was started when several new arrivals to the station wouldn't allow their cargo to be inspected. They couldn't detect anything from the scans, so Zack moves to open a crate, but the owner insists it's private property. Zack orders the man to move, but he doesn't. As a last recourse, Zack fires his PPG at the crates, which angers the man even further. Zack moves to the crates, but before he can open one, it opens itself, and a small levitating device floats out. Zack recognizes the device. "It's a camera."

"That's right," the man tells him as the camera films Zack and the other security officers with their weapons drawn. "A camera. It goes with the territory. I'm a reporter and this is my crew. And you just made the evening news."

Franklin meets up with Sheridan and tells him that he pulled some of his doctors off duty in two other MedLabs to help move the cryogenically frozen telepaths in some of the freezing units, which are malfunctioning due to overuse, to other working units. Sheridan tells him to do what he has to, but wishes he didn't have to keep the telepaths frozen. Franklin is worried, though, that they could prove dangerous to themselves or others with the leftover Shadow technology still in their heads. Sheridan agrees and knows that even though the Shadows are gone, they will need to deal with what they left behind for a long time. Sheridan's commlink beeps, and a voice informs Sheridan of someone's arrival. Sheridan tells him he's on his way. "I thought we saw the worst of it with the Shadows, the Vorlons, the war..." Sheridan tells Franklin. "But there's something far worse than the Shadows: reporters."

Sheridan arrives in his office, and the reporter is only too happy to see him. He introduces himself as Dan Randall from ISN, and is quite upset since Ivanova threatened to throw him out an airlock unless he provided a full manifest of his equipment. Randall says they changed the manifest so they would be allowed on the station. Sheridan insists they would have let them on, but not their equipment since ISN is only a source of propaganda for President Clark, and Randall would never do an objective story. Randall insists that there is no such thing as a completely objective journalist, but that he, and others still on ISN, want to try to slip the truth through in small pieces, the best they can do under the circumstances. Randall asks Sheridan to work with him so that Sheridan's point of view will be represented and that, otherwise, there's no guarantee.

Garibaldi is in Downbelow, speaking with someone about retrieving a priceless family artifact, which Garibaldi recognizes as a Drazi religious statue the man is using to hide stolen valuables in. He makes a deal for its retrieval and a percentage of what's inside. Lennier appears and asks Garibaldi why he resigned. Garibaldi says he's done his duty, and served his time, and just wants some time to make his own life. Lennier tells him that, for the Minbari, it is an honor serve one's people, but Garibaldi has had quite enough honor for the time being. He asks about Delenn, whom Lennier says is doing well, but Garibaldi quickly changes the subject when Lennier starts mentioning Sheridan. It's too late, though. "Speak the Devil's name," Garibaldi says, "and he shall appear." Sheridan introduces Randall to Lennier, whom he wants to escort Randall around the station so that he can be assured of getting the most unbiased opinion possible. Lennier starts Randall on his tour, and while no words are exchanged between Sheridan and Garibaldi, there is clearly tension in the glances the two exchange. Garibaldi picks up the photograph of the Drazi statue, and remembers...

He is alone in his prison cell, sitting in a chair, while a ghostly voice repeats over and over, "You work for no one but us. You work for no one but us." Garibaldi's memory fades and he gets up from his table and leaves.

Randall, Lennier, and the news crew are in one of the lifts. Randall asks Lennier about the ship he noticed being repaired outside Babylon 5 when he arrived. Lennier explains that those ships, belonging to the League of Non-Aligned of Worlds, were damaged during the war, and are being repaired so they will be able to get back home safely. Lennier says that the station charges only for the material needed for the repairs, which Randall finds very generous.

After making sure the cameras are recording, Randall asks Lennier where they are. Lennier explains they are in Downbelow, where those who come to Babylon 5 and can't afford to live on the station stay. Lennier says that Sheridan is trying to put a stop to the exploitation the Lurkers often face by instituting work programs. Just then, Franklin and several other medical officers run by, carrying someone who just had a heart attack. Franklin explains this, and accepts Randall's offer to speak with him later. Just as Franklin is about to leave, he receives a call on his commlink from someone in MedLab, saying the cryo units are ready for restart. Franklin says he'll be right there, and though he tries to keep the conversation discreet, the camera, still recording, catches it all on tape.

Lennier leads the reporters through a corridor, where Sheridan and Londo are in the midst of a heated discussion, with Londo complaining about the lack of heat in his quarters. The camera captures all of this as well.

Sheridan and Delenn are sitting together in his office while a young woman finishes applying makeup to Delenn's face. Randall is interviewing them, and begins by asking them if it was ever their intention to break away from Earth. Sheridan insists it wasn't--he seceded to protest bombing of civilian targets, and they will rejoin once President Clark is out of office. Randall asks if Sheridan still believes Clark was responsible for President Santiago's death, and Sheridan says that he does, that Clark doesn't let anyhting stand in his way. Randall asks Delenn how she feels about all this, and she says that she is used to it--this sort of thing happens everywhere. Randall comments on how close Sheridan and Delenn have become, and asks if it is true that they might marry eventually, which Sheridan won't comment on. Randall says that there must be other forces pulling against them, but Delenn says that, despite all that, the heart does not recognize boundaries on a map, hatred, or wars. She says if others don't understand that, she will make them understand. Randall asks if they are concerned about the repurcussions, but Sheridan says there is no force in the galaxy that can stop all they have accomplished.

Randall arrives at Garibaldi's table in Downbelow, and tells him that they are getting ready to leave. He asks Garibaldi if he would like to talk about his resignation, but Garibaldi is less than enthused to do so. Randall appeals to him, saying that he is the only command staff member who was with Babylon 5 from the start. He promises to allow Garibaldi to say whatever he likes. Garibaldi remains silent for a moment, as he decides what he wants to do.

Ivanova is in Sheridan's office with a tray of food when Sheridan comes in with a tray of his own. Planning to eat while they watch the ISN broadcast, Ivanova asks if Sheridan is worried, since there will no doubt be some bias on the broadcast. Sheridan says that they did the best they could, and that they wanted to get it out into the open as soon as possible, and since they managed to avoid major crises and chose their words very carefully, he feels there is very little ISN can do to them. Delenn arrives, and Sheridan turns on his monitor.

"This is an Interstellar Network News special report. Reporting live from the ISN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, your host, Alison Higgins."

Higgins begins by explaining that, two weeks earlier, they sent Dan Randall to Babylon 5 to do a report, which will be shown later in the broadcast. She runs through the daily headlines: President Clark announced that his troops have reclaimed 75% of the Mars Colony which broke away 259 days earlier, and the day has been declared a holiday. Hearings also began on anti-Earth activity with testimony given by members of the entertainment industry. Lee Parks, a Tri-Vid writer and producer, testified, admitting that he used his Tri-Vids to spread anti-Earth messages to outside forces to use against Earth. He also names three others who helped him--Tri-Vid writer Carleton Jerrico, and actors Beth Trumbo and Adrian Mostel. Higgins says Parks was sent to a mental hospital where he will receive treatment to one day be reaccepted into society.

After a brief interlude with a segment of "This Year in History," the Babylon 5 story begins...

"Good evening, I'm Dan Randall. When we first approached the Ministry of Information with the idea of travelling to Babylon 5 for this story, they advised against. They believed it would put the safety of myself and my news crew in jeopardy. But the first rule of journalism is, 'You go where the story is.' Still, nothing could have prepared us for what we found."

Randall explains that, outside Babylon 5, everything seems to be normal, but inside, most human residents are living in filthy and dangerous areas of the station, while the best quarters in the station are reserved for aliens and those running the station with taxes collected from its inhabitants. Randall finds it ironic that the Minbari were appointed the keepers of these humans, and runs a clip without audio showing Lennier leading him through Downbelow. He explains how any attempt at protest by these humans is put down, with the humans sedated, as is demonstrated by one of them, on a gurney, being escorted away by several medical personnel, including the Chief of MedLab.

Randall explains that, as they toured Babylon 5, they learned the alien races were in control. Showing film of Captain Sheridan and Ambassador Mollari, he asks why Sheridan, a decorated war hero, would tolerate this from others.

Randall explains that, to answer these questions, they talked to experts. He introduces Dr. William Indiri, Dean of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and an expert on xenopsychology and Minbari War Syndrome. Indiri explains that many Earth-Minbari War Veterans suffer from an inferiority complex, feeling that other races are better than humans. Indiri explains that, during the war, under that administration, the Minbari were a vastly superior force, which could lead those who fought against them to consider them morally superior. Randall asks if the disease could cause someone to turn against their own race, and Indiri agrees that it is possible, since most people in such a situation could feel that an advanced species is closer to God than they are, eventually forcing them to turn against everything they believe in.

"The second rule of journalism is," Randall explains, "'No one does anything without a reason.' They may not admit it, even to themselves, but the reason is there. To understand what's been happening on Babylon 5 since their break from Earth, you first have to understand why." He plays the segment of video taken in Downbelow when Franklin responded to a colleague's call about cryo units. "A small piece of conversation, overheard by chance. We'll find out what those few words really mean when we come back."

After a commercial break, the broadcast resumes, with Randall calling attention to one of the ships docked outside Babylon 5 upon his arrival. He explains that the warship is one of a fleet used by Sheridan and Delenn in their recent military campaign, being fixed at the taxpayers' expense. Randall explains that new weapons were added to Babylon 5's defense system just prior to their secession from Earth, and were used against Earth during the war. Randall shows this as another piece of the puzzle, but wants to find the answer to it all.

The video taken of Delenn and Sheridan in Sheridan's office is shown. On the tape, we hear Randall's voice ask Delenn of possible repurcussions. "It will be a struggle," she tells him.

"A struggle against Earth?" Randall asks her.

"Of course. If they don't understand," she says, "we will make them understand."

"Anything that gets in the way disappears," Sheridan interjects.

"There's a lot of people back home who might be concerned about what you're saying. It sounds as if you're putting the mingling of Human and Minbari above the safety of your own world."

"There's no force in the galaxy that can stop what we've done here together," Sheridan responds. "Nothing will be able to stop us."

The tape ends, and Randall says that, if it sounds troubling, there is good reason. He says that he managed to speak with Garibaldi, the former security chief who explained it. More video airs, and Garibaldi explains that he feels Sheridan is suffering from a "God complex" and is acting like he's the Second Coming, as if he knows what's good for everyone else. Garibaldi says he thinks he's gone over the top. Garibaldi is sure he'll get in trouble for saying this, but says someone had to say it.

Randall continues by saying that, using information obtained aboard Babylon 5, they were able to slip into a restricted area. The video airs, with Randall, on the tape, explaining what he's seeing: A large number of cryogenic freezing units in use. Babylon 5 should only be operating four or five at a time, and in a limited capacity. None of the names on the units match those in the station's logs. He wants to know where the people came from, and why they are there.

Randall explains that this is their Rosetta Stone. The humans come from Downbelow, captured and sedated by Franklin's staff. Meanwhile, alien ships are being built and repaired outside the station. Randall says that you never build a fleet unless you're prepared to use it, and he and others at ISN believe they know why.

After another commercial break, the broadcast resumes, and Randall introduces one last interview, which is significant for all that is denied in it. The video shows Franklin, in MedLab, explaining his job. Randall asks how long patients stay on the station, and Franklin says they don't stay long, since Medlab aren't equipped to handle long-term stays. Randall asks if he ever uses cryogenic freezers, and Franklin says he does it very rarely, and that they aren't using any at all at the moment.

"Rule number three," Randall says, as the camera returns to the ISN news desk. "People only lie when they have something to hide. We know there are humans in cryo on Babylon 5. We saw them, as did you. So what are they hiding?" Prodded by Randall, Dr. Indiri speculates that Sheridan's Minbari War syndrome is causing him to want to change humans to be more like Minbari.

Randall explains that, with all they've shown, the truth is self-evident, once you find they key. The key, he feels, is Delenn, around whom all of what they uncovered revolves. Randall suggests that the Minbari surrendered at the Battle of the Line so they could destroy humanity from within instead. Though he says the idea of mixing human and Minbari DNA may sound absurd, it has already happened, with Delenn, when she became half-human. Randall concludes that it must be Sheridan's plan to show others how good it can be to be half alien and, should they disagree, or not want to go along with the experiments, he will use the alien fleet he is assembling against them, to "make them understand." Randall says that the fault is not Sheridan's, since Earthforce should have discovered his disease earlier and tried to cure it. This problem was only made worse by his Minbari War Syndrome, coupled with the loss of his family's home in a fire the week before resulting in his father's disappearance, and the pressures of command.

"Our job," Randall concludes, "is to report the news. Not to make it, or guide it. But from this reporter's perspective, the situation on Babylon 5 is deteriorating quickly, and must be dealt with. The quarantine order will help prevent more humans from falling prey to this genetics program, but it's only a short-term solution. As for Sheridan, he does not deserve our scorn, our anger, or our contempt. He is a war veteran, and that should at least earn him our sympathy. We here at ISN hope he receives the best care possible so he can someday come back to us. This is Dan Randall at ISN. Goodnight."

The broadcast ends. Ivanova, directly in front of the monitor, with a great amount of anger on her face, can do nothing but storm out of the room. Delenn, initially seated, goes to Sheridan who stands, silently, facing the wall. He will not speak to her, and he will not turn to look at her. She goes after Ivanova. After a moment, Sheridan turns the monitor off.


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Last update: June 5, 1997