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Synopsis by Arturo Magidin (magidin@math.berkeley.edu)

Before dawn, Sheridan awakes and find Delenn missing; she is in the living room, staring silently at a candle. Sheridan asks her to come in and sleep, as she will need all her strength in the morning. But she does not answer. The morning finds her still in front of the candle.

"There comes a moment in everyone's life," Sheridan tells the Alliance Council, "when you have to do something you would rather not do. When you know something you would rather not know. This is one such moment." Having promised to come forward with any conclusive evidence he finds, Sheridan is now ready to reveal to the Council the evidence that indicates the Centauri Republic is behind the attacks on Alliance shipping lines.

The Council meeting is closed; everyone is there, except for Londo and Vir. They were not invited, and when Londo tries to go in, he is stopped by Zack and armed security guards.

On his way to testify before the Council, Dr. Franklin drops off his evidence in Londo's quarters. Autopsies of bodies killed in the attacks reveal that the frequency and type of energy weapon used in the attacks are consistent with Centauri-manufactured weapons. Then comes Garibaldi, who also stops by Londo's quarters. Garibaldi confirms that the weapons were used in typical Centauri fashion. He also shows the button that he tore from one of his attackers in the Drazi homeworld ("The Ragged Edge"), a button that Londo has identified as part of the uniform of the Palace Guards in the Centauri Royal Court. He also explains that only one Centauri vessel has been attacked in the last three months: an old ship, scheduled to be scrapped for parts, and that apparently carried no cargo or crew.

Finally, G'Kar stops by Londo's quarters. Londo asks if he is there do drop off his evidence, what he saw and heard on Centauri Prime while pretending to be Londo's bodyguard ("A Tragedy of Telepaths").

"I was not pretending," G'Kar answers. "I went to Centauri Prime as your guest, your protector. Perhaps even as your conscience. But not as anyone's eyes and ears. So, no, I will not be testifying before the council." He mentions Londo's concerns over the increased war production, and the secrecy surrounding ship movements. G'Kar believes Londo knew something was happening, but that he did not know what until now.

"Don't tell me what you think I know!" Londo snaps back. "Still, I suspect I should thank you for respecting my privacy." So, why is G'Kar there? To let Londo know the Council is ready to see him.

At the Council, Londo denounces the evidence as inconclusive and circumstancial. The Centauri have sold weapons to many other worlds, including many Alliance members. He also points out that many weapons and ships were left behind on Narn. Perhaps the Narn are trying to throw blame on the Centauri?

But Sheridan has one more piece of evidence left: the recording Lennier made of the secret Centauri staging area and the attack he witnessed ("Darkness Ascending"). The alien ambassadors are outraged, and Londo is clearly shocked. He withdraws to consult with his government. Sheridan has a message for the Centauri: because of its actions, the Centauri Republic will now stand alone. The Alliance will blockade Centauri space until the Centauri Government acknowledges and apologizes for the attacks, and reparations are provided.

Hours later, Londo finally hears back from the Royal Court: the Regent has pronounced the evidence a fraud. The Minister offers two explanations: one, that the material is a deliberate fraud. But Londo dismisses this; if Lennier says he saw the attack, then he saw it, exactly as he described. This leaves option number two, says the Minister: that the incident was staged for Lennier's benefit, probably by the Narn. Londo and Vir are both very doubtful of this explanation. But the Regent has drafted a response to the Alliance:

"Item one," Londo tells the council, "the Centauri Republic categorically denies any involvement with these attacks. We are the victims, victims of an elaborate hoax. We will identify those responsible when more information is at hand. Item two: the Centauri Republic will not be threatened or intimidated by anyone, including those we might once have considered friends. As a result, effective immediately, we are withdrawing from the Alliance."

Finally, the Centuari do not recognize the legality of the blockade. Warships will accompany all Centauri transports, and anyone firing on the transports will be considered to be committing an act of war.

Londo will leave for Centauri Prime immediately, despite Sheridan's warning that he will not be allowed back on board Babylon 5 until the situation is resolved, if ever. Vir tries to stop Londo, but Londo wants to get to the bottom of this, find those who are truly responsible. He figures the Council will back down when the truth comes out, even apologize. Vir is to stay behind, a link to the Alliance.

Delenn goes to G'Kar's quarters at his request. G'Kar will again accompany Londo to Centauri Prime as his bodyguard, to protect him from those within his government who have kept this information from him. G'Kar figures Londo will find out who is behind it, and stop the attacks, of which Londo would never approve. Londo is, by G'Kar's estimation, their last chance to stop the war, and so he must be protected. Finally, G'Kar has written some new chapters for his book, trying to correct some of the things he wrote at the beginning, when he was an angrier person. If things go badly, he wants Delenn to make sure these chapters reach Narn.

"G'Kar, have I ever told you that you are one of the finest writers that I have ever met?" asks Delenn, "And that it has been an honor to work besides you in the Alliance?" "Not in words," he answers. "But the thing about losing one eye is that it makes you look deeply into the eyes of another. I found in yours all the things I will ever need in this life, or in any other."

Sheridan has been trying to reach Garibaldi for about an hour without success. He asks Zack to find Michael and have him meet Sheridan, urgently. Garibaldi has passed out in his quarters. Although he tries to hide his drunkenness when he finally opens the door, Zack easily finds him out. At first, Garibaldi lashes out at Zack, but Zack doesn't back down. If this goes on, Garibaldi will hurt himself, and take many people with him on the way down. Zack is his friend, and doesn't want Garibaldi to throw it all away, after so much hard work. But he doesn't know if he will turn him in. Garibaldi asks for some time to work a few things out, and Zack agrees... for now.

In hyperspace, a lone White Star keeps tabs on a Centauri armed convoy. Sheridan explains it to Garibaldi: the Centauri have made good on their threat, and all transports are traveling under escort. On the Alliance side, the alien worlds have stationed warships at their jumpgates. A confrontation is inevitable, since the Centauri are unlikely to hesitate to open fire on them. What Sheridan proposes is to use the White Star fleet as a buffer between the two sides. Some ships are following the Centauri, and will radio in when the Centauri are about to jump. Garibaldi will coordinate the information, and arrange to have as many White Stars as possible waiting when the Centauri jump into normal space, stationed between the opposing forces. He hopes even the Centauri will back down from firing on the White Stars. It is an important and difficult assignment, and it may be the only way to prevent an all-out war. "You can rely on me," Garibaldi promises. "I'll get it done."

On Centauri Prime, the Palace is heavily guarded and many ships fly overheard. The Minister keeps Londo away from the Regent, and later prevents Vir from Contacting Londo. The Centauri Government is preparing for war, and is isolating itself from Babylon 5.

In his quarters, Garibaldi has again passed out, and misses an incoming report. The Centauri are confronted by several Drazi ships when they jump in, and the only White Star in the vicinity is the one that was following the convoy. It is not enough: a firefight soon starts.

Vir is moved to different quarters to protect him from the other aliens, almost too late. He and Franklin have to fight off some Brakiri, who want to take out their anger on Vir.

In the Council Chambers, Garibaldi claims they just missed the convoy; in an operation this complicated, it was bound to happen. Then, the alien ambassadors break in, demanding action. Where is the support Sheridan promised? Why are the White Stars not attacking the Centauri? In the ensuing yelling match, Sheridan finally loses his patience:

"We gave you a promise, and we are bound by that promise," he yells angrily. "And damn you for asking for it! And damn me for agreeing to it! And damn us all to hell, because that is exactly where we are going! We talked about peace. You didn't want peace! We talked about cooperation. You didn't want cooperation! You want war! Is that it? You want a war? Well, you have a war!"

In the middle of the night, Londo is awakened by the Minister, who is followed by armed guards. The Alliance has issued a formal declaration of war; all communication with Babylon 5 has been severed for security reasons. And since G'Kar is still on the Advisory Board of the Alliance, he is to be arrested. Londo tries to stop it, but it is an order from the Regent. It must be obeyed on pain of death. Although G'Kar is willing to endure the Centauri cells once more, Londo will have none of it. G'Kar is his guest: where Londo goes, G'Kar goes, and where G'Kar goes, Londo goes.

"Don't worry," Londo tells G'Kar. "Even one as arrogant as this one would not take it upon himself to imprison his own Prime Minister."

Later, as the cell door closes on both Londo and G'Kar, Londo turns to G'Kar: "Shut up."

On Babylon 5, Sheridan joins Delenn in prayer...


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Last update: June 10, 1998