The Narn and the Centauri are engaged in battle, while the Narn attempt to evacuate civilians from a planet. Several ships are destroyed, and despite the efforts of one large Narn war cruiser, they are unable to completely stave off the Centauri attacks, though they do assist one stray transport in escaping before they too are destroyed by Centauri fire.
Narns to the rescue.
G'Kar shuts off the viewscreen, which Sheridan, Ivanova, Garibaldi, and Franklin had all been watching. G'Kar explains that the Centauri attacked without warning, killing over 5,000 Narns, expressly breaking a promise to not attack civilian targets. Sheridan asks why Londo is not there to make a statement, but Ivanova tells him that the Centauri government believed the ships contained not civilians, but weapons. G'Kar dismisses this as a lie, but is calmed down when Sheridan offers to intervene on their behalf, promising to talk to his government. This pleases G'Kar, who leaves. As he leaves, Sheridan receives a message from C&C saying that the ship he has been waiting for just arrived.
Sheridan and Ivanova arrive on C&C, and Sheridan explains that the Earth government wants to persuade the Lumati to side with them in the case of the conflict, and that they have come here for negotiations, which Sheridan has decided Ivanova should take care of. He tells her that she should do whatever is necessary, as long as they agree to ally with the Earth government or become a part of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds. Ivanova accepts this task.
As the Lumati ship arrives and docks, Delenn finishes watching the recording of the Centauri invasion, which she believes is inexcusable. G'Kar asks her if her world will be willing to help the Narn, and tries to appeal to her sensibilities. "The war is young, the Centauri are still in the process of committing their forces, some in their government are unsure about the entire affair. They only need a reason not to fight." He tells her that her decision could save many lives. She tells him that she doesn't know if the Minbari should help the Narns or not, as they may simply seek revenge on the Centauri afterwards, and the Centauri will come to her asking for help. He tells her that he believes they had no other choice. He asks her if he should beg, but she refuses. She explains to him that she was there when the Earth-Minbari war began and that, by virtue of a mistake, an entire race was almost obliterated. She says she doesn't believe the Minbari can help with good conscience, but that the Council may be able to use non-violent means to help the Narn. This doesn't satisfy G'Kar, who thanks her for her "honesty" and leaves hastily.
G'Kar pleads for help.
Several Narns stand at a bar sharing a drink, watching a group of Centauri at a table nearby insulting their race. Their claim that destroying all the Narns would be a good thing angers the Narns, who throw a bottle at them. This nearly starts a conflict, which is quickly averted by a passing security officer.
Ivanova meets the Lumati delegation in the docking bay, and introduces herself to the two Lumati. One speaks and identifies himself as Correlilmerzon. She asks the other his name, but the same one speaks again with the same response. He explains that he speaks through his translator, as it would be inappropriate to speak with an inferior life form. He says that he must investigate further before he can speak to her directly, and that, once he decides, he may honor them by meeting other Lumati. Ivanova isn't thrilled at hearing this, but takes the two off on a tour of the station.
The Lumati arrive.
Londo sits in a chair in his quarters, listening to a merchant complaining about his inability to deliver his products on time due to excessive paperwork. He wants the process to be expedited, hopefully by a helpful word from the influential Londo. The merchant says that, if Londo will help him, he will be glad to provide Londo with some of his illegal or hard-to-find merchandise. Londo promises to see what he can do, and the merchant leaves. Vir asks Londo if he should log this visit with the rest, and Londo tells him to do so, saying that, now that he has gained influence, everyone wants to be his friend. He says that his desire for respect has backfired. He tells Vir to leave and to send the others away.
"I've become a wishing well with legs."
A small skirmish between a group of Narns and Centauri is broken up by a security officer who attempts to keep one Narn and one Centauri away from each other. The Narn picks up his weapon and, despite the officer's warning, charges on the Centauri. The officer shoots the Narn, killing him. The Centauri manages to sneak away.
Sheridan is in his office, yelling at G'Kar that the Narn was ordered to put down his weapon. G'Kar says that the Narn had a right to defend himself, but Sheridan tells him that the Narns started the incident. Sheridan calms down a little and tells G'Kar that, while he is doing the best he can to get Earth to help the Narn, skirmishes like these are making things difficult, and he promises to tell Londo the same thing, since he doesn't want Babylon 5 becoming a war zone. Sheridan says if G'Kar cannot control his people, he will have them all thrown off the station and sent elsewhere. Saying nothing, G'Kar leaves.
Ivanova and the Lumati arrive in MedLab, where they meet Dr. Franklin, who is fascinated by the symbiotic relationship between the two. Correlilmerzon asks (through the translator, as usual) why such a facility exists--the weak should die, and the strong should remain. He says that saving the weak members of races pollutes the genetic pool, which doesn't serve evolution. Though Ivanova tries to intervene, Dr. Franklin defends himself saying that he doesn't believe any life is inferior to any other. They debate a little further, but before they leave, the translator tells Franklin that he thinks his "strange notions" will disappear with time. Dr. Franklin is not pleased by that comment, either.
After losing a game gambling, Londo meets up with Garibaldi, who asks only to speak with him briefly. Garibaldi agrees to have a chemically inoffensive drink with him. While they wait for the drink, Londo gives Garibaldi several ducats, saying it is the money he owed Garibaldi from helping him out of several gambling debts. Londo tells Garibaldi that he wants the two of them to be friends and be happy for each other. Londo asks why everyone is afraid of him, and Garibaldi says that, because of recent events, they aren't sure if they know him anymore. Londo tells Garibaldi that he appreciates Garibaldi's kindness and hopes that he will not change just because Londo has, and he hopes Garibaldi will continue to be there for him. Garibaldi says he will try to stop by for the drink later.
"Don't worry, it's not a bribe."
G'Kar meets with a large group of Narns on the station, telling them that, because of their disagreements with the Centauri, they are risking not receiving aid from Earth. The other Narns disagree with needing allies, but G'Kar explains that, now that they are in direct war with the Centauri, they need to approach the situation differently. He doesn't want anything getting in the way of their winning the war, and he realizes it is difficult to just stand by and watch what's going on, but G'Kar tells them they must do it. One Narn tells him that his message was heard and understood, and G'Kar leaves. "Now we send a message of our own," the other Narn says. The Centauri who earlier started the fight where a Narn was killed is brought forth, bound and gagged. The Narn stabs him. "Leave him where they can find him, and tell the others we attack in six hours. And when we finish, there must not be one Centauri left alive on this station!"
Dr. Franklin examines the murdered Centauri, while Sheridan and Garibaldi look on. Sheridan asks if there is any conclusive proof that the Narns were responsible, and Franklin says there is some evidence, but no real proof. Garibaldi suggests they inform Londo, but Sheridan recommends against it, not wanting to cause undue trouble, especially since they can't prove the Narns murdered the Centauri. Sheridan tells Garibaldi that delaying telling Londo about the murder will give him some time to maneuver and maybe save many lives. Meanwhile, Londo waits in the bar for Garibaldi, but leaves when it becomes apparent he is not coming.
The next morning, the Lumati arrive at Ivanova's quarters, telling her that they believed she had not showed them all the areas of the station, but only a few, and they wanted to get a better idea of what humans are like. She says that she would have appreciated being told of their coming ahead of schedule, and then tells them that, if they will wait outside until she is ready, she will take them anywhere on the station they want to go. They agree to this and leave.
The Narn who earlier opposed G'Kar talks to a weapon merchant, who shows him several long, curved blades. The Narn asks the merchant if he has many of those, and the merchant assures him he does. In a dark corner, Na'Toth watches and then quietly slips away.
Shopping for Drazi knives.
Sheridan receives a message from Earth which denies his request for intervention. Sheridan tries to convince them otherwise, but the Earth government has decided that the Narns will have to fend for themselves. This decision does not appeal to Sheridan, and he decides to try something else, and begins by calling Delenn.
Na'Toth tells G'Kar what she saw, and G'Kar is quite upset by this. Na'Toth offers to inform Sheridan, but G'Kar tells her not to, saying that an attack will eventually occur unless he stops it at the source himself, and reclaims his authority. The two of them leave together.
Ivanova and the two Lumati are touring Downbelow, Ivanova explaining to them that, when people arrive on Babylon 5 but are unable to afford passage to leave, they usually end up down there. She tells the Lumati that they shouldn't be seeing this, but Correlilmerzon disagrees, saying that they approve of the way humans seperate the stronger membersr of their species from the weaker members. She tries to tell him that it's unintentional, but he is already convinced otherwise, and tells her that they will institute this in their own world as well. As the translator begins to explain, Correlilmerzon takes over personally, and tells Ivanova that Downbelow has convinced them to ally with Earth. Ivanova tries to protest, but realizes she has been successful and leaves with them.
Ivanova, Correlilmerzon, and translator.
The Narns are meeting to discuss their plans when G'Kar and Na'Toth arrives. G'Kar tells the Narns that his authority can only be taken by force, since it was bestowed upon him by the Narn government. A fight ensues between G'Kar and the head Narn, and though others try to intervene, Na'Toth holds them off. The fight ends with G'Kar dropping the opposing Narn and then ordering the other Narns to go back to their quarters, telling them that if peace on Babylon 5 is the only way to win the war, that is what they shall have. He doesn't see the dropped Narn come up behind him and slash him with a posioned Drazi blade. G'Kar rounds on him, dropping him again. Na'Toth helps the injured G'Kar out of the area.
Sheridan talks to Delenn telling her his plans. He explains that they can get medical aid to the Narns and help get some Narn civilians to safety. He says that this help is unofficial, and therefore doesn't violate Earth's orders. Sheridan tells her that, though there is a risk, it is up to them to make up for what the governments think is not in their best interests. Sheridan also tells Delenn that he learned there is a considerable surplus of food on Babylon 5 that could be transferred to Minbari ships to be taken to Narn territory. Those ships, when emptied, could be filled with Narn and taken to safety. Delenn admits to Sheridan that her resources are not what they once were, but she will help in any way she can.
Sheridan explains his plan.
Ivanova and the Lumati are in Sheridan's office, finalizing the deal. "Tradition is important to my culture," Correlilmerzon explains. "Our important agreements are symbolic with coming together in perfect union." Ivanova agrees to this, but is taken aback when Correlilmerzon tells her that the traditional manner of closing such agreements is by having sex. Ivanova is taken aback by this idea and fakes a call from C&C to get out of it. She leaves hastily, leaving Correlilmerzon and the translator there, puzzled.
Sheridan arrives in Garibaldi's office, to see Na'Toth and the renegade Narn there. Na'Toth explains that the Narn has "come to understand the concepts of honor and obedience." The Narn reluctantly agrees, and he is led away. Garibaldi tells Sheridan that he feels this will escalate problems even further, and Sheridan agrees, saying that the trial won't help any either. "Could this situation possibly get any uglier," asks Garibaldi.
Ivanova is walking with Dr. Franklin, explaining to him the situation she's in. He tells her that, because of their extremely limited contact with the Lumati, they didn't know that they treated sex like a handshake. He tells her that she should talk to the Captain, but she refuses. He also offers to inject her with something to make her sick. "After all, he doesn't know a thing about anybody's biology but his own. He'd probably fall for it." Ivaova suddenly gets an idea and tells Franklin that she will give Correlilmerzon exactly what he wants, and hurries off.
Na'Toth arrives back in G'Kar's quarters, telling him that Sheridan wants to see him and Delenn in his office. Though G'Kar is still in pain, he has treated the poison and tells her that, no matter how much pain he is in, he will do anything to help the Narns.
When he hears what Sheridan and Ivanova have to tell him, however, he is much saddened to learn how little help they can give him. Delenn tells him that they can't enter the conflict between the Narns and the Centauri, but that they will help save as many Narn lives as possible. G'Kar also laments the fact he can't talk about it, or the aid will disappear. Sheridan assures G'Kar that they will go through with the plan, but it has to be done quietly. Despite how upset he is that he can't get more aid, G'Kar thanks them, and tells them he will honor their request. He leaves, but is unable to contain his tears soon after he does so.
Correlilmerzon and the translator arrive in Ivanova's quarters, where she is waiting for them. She tells them that she set aside as much time as necessary to have sex the way the Lumati do it, claiming it would take too long to do it like humans. Correlilmerzon asks if she means that Lumati sex is inferior. She says no, but tells him that it would be too much to ask him to do it on such short notice. He insists that they do it human style. She asks him if he is sure, and if he knows what is involved, and he says he does, as ignorance would be a sign of inferiority. She begins by taking a few deep breaths, and then dances around him several times, singing a rhyme and doing a little dance about human mating rituals, covering such topics as the initial pick-up, dinner, drinks, the kiss, and finally, the sexual act, which she highlights with a high-pitched orgasmic yell. Out of breath, she tells him, "God, you're good!" Correlilmerzon asks what he does next. "Old style, you roll over and go to bed. New style, you go out for pizza and I never see you again." Stunned, Correlilmerzon leaves, but the translator remains long enough to kiss her hand, before he leaves as well.
Sex, human style.
Londo is in Sheridan's office, being told of the murder of the Centauri. Sheridan suggests to Londo that he delay the trial as long as possible. Londo asks to see a picture, which is provided for him. Londo tells Sheridan and Garibaldi that he knew the murdered Centauri. "He was trouble. I always said things would not end well for him, and they would be his fault." Londo says that because the Centauri had no family and no one to care for him, the Narn that killed him should be deported, with his personal property being auctioned off with the money going to the Centauri war fund. Londo leaves.
Sheridan arrives at the bar to find Ivanova there. He tells her that the Lumati told Earth they are anxious to work with Babylon 5, and that they said some very complimentary things about her. Sheridan also gives her a gift that Correlilmerzon left for her. She reads the card attached, which says, "Next time: my way." She opens the gift to find a strange yellow device inside, with beads and jewels attached.
"Commander," Sheridan asks her, "is there something you'd like to tell me?"
Garibaldi arrives back at the Zocalo, where Londo is sitting. Garibaldi thanks Londo for being so lenient. "The Narns are falling before us. Soon, they will have all the trouble they could wish for. What else does one need? And, if it makes your life a little easier in this difficult time, it is a happy coincidence. It is good to have friends, is it not, Mr. Garibaldi? Even if, maybe, only for a little while?"
Garibaldi shares this sentiment with Londo as they drink. "Even if only for a little while."