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Synopsis by Katrina Glerum (kat@midwinter.com)

Z Minus 14 Days

The station is a flurry of activity as war preparations continue. Since they can jam the Shadows, telepaths of many races are being recruited and assigned to Army of Light patrol ships. G'Kar insists that each telepath should be given a Narn bodyguard.

Londo thinks G'Kar has been permitted to escape Centauri wrath for too long, however. Vir is appalled that Londo could care about petty revenge when the entire galaxy is suffused with war.

Appreciating Brother Theo for the stability his monks have offered in the chaos, Ivanova joins him in Docking to greet some religious "colleagues." Personal and professional rivalry aside, Brother Theo seems genuinely pleased to meet the Baptist minister, rabbi, Buddhist monk and Islamic cleric who have arrived.

Looking weary and haggard, Captain Sheridan is lost so deep in contemplation that he is oblivious to Delenn's teasing. Nothing about the Shadows' strategy makes any sense. The timing and location of the attacks seem random and illogical, but the individual engagements are tactically very logical. The Captain isn't eating properly, hasn't slept well since Kosh's death, and is suffering from nightmares. So Delenn bullies him into meeting the new arrivals for dinner that night.

Another arrival has the Centauri flustered - or at least Vir. Nothing seems to faze Londo any more, not even Lord Refa and Minister Virini. Londo outlines his plan to ensnare G'Kar by having Vir pass on the tale that G'Kar's former assistant Na'Toth is imprisoned on the Narn homeworld. G'Kar will then rush back to Narn to rescue her and be taken captive by Londo's agents. Vir refuses until Londo threatens to humiliate and destroy Vir's family in retribution.

As smarmy as ever, Lord Refa presents his case to the Minister of why his house should achieve ascendancy over that of Mollari. The ambassador has spent too much time among aliens, he claims, and is no longer loyal. The Minister wants the rivalry between the two houses ended and is apparently on the station to determine which of the two deserve his support.

Cringing pathetically, Vir takes his mission to G'Kar, while Londo informs the Minister that the division between the two houses will be ended soon through his relieving the Empire of an ongoing embarrassment. Vir can't contain his anger when he realizes that Londo intends to kill G'Kar in order to curry royal favor. His outrage does not go unnoticed by Refa's spies. Vir is captured and interrogated by Lord Refa himself. When he tries to hold out, a telepath easily rips Londo's plan from his mind.

At dinner it is revealed that the religious leaders are part of an organized resistance and intelligence gathering movement on Earth, and come bearing information for B5. Before leaving, Reverend Dexter says that he wants to hold a religious gathering on the station. The Captain agrees over Brother Theo's humorous objections.

Reverend Dexter finds Sheridan still working late in his office, and asks him who he shares his heavy responsibility with. Sheridan grows irritated with the minister's presumption, especially with the implication that Sheridan is not being a good officer and the suggestion that he should share his burden with the woman who loves him.

Z Minus 13 Days

Peering into the cold, wind-wracked desolation of the former Narn capital, G'Kar gathers his forces for a mission into the secret caverns below the city. The ruins above are being rebuilt and redecorated to look like the Centauri Imperial Palace. Refa has just arrived and requests a security detail from Lord Drego to assist him in capturing G'Kar.

Musing in the war room, Delenn and Sheridan realize that the Shadows are corralling refugees into zones where they can be annihilated with ease. This war is "as much about terror as territory," he argues. A strike against defenseless refugees would have a great demoralizing effect on the Alliance. "It's what I'd do," he crows.

"What?" Delenn gasps.

When he tries to explain that they need to think like the enemy, she grabs him by the arm and drags him out of the war room telling him he seriously needs a break.

G'Kar and his Narns proceed underground. Refa and his guards pick up the trail and follow him into an ambush. Refa gloats, "You have taken your last steps as a free Narn!"

Back on the station, Reverend Dexter begins his sermon. The enemy is not just something different. "We are all alien to one another," he argues. "The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who tells you that we must hate that which is different."

As the service continues, a far eerier ritual begins deep under the surface of Narn. Refa orders his guards to attack G'Kar. His face shows the first signs of fear when they fail to move. Then G'Kar brings out a holo projector with a recording of Londo telling his nemesis his fate. In return for Mollari freeing 2000 incarcerated Narns, G'Kar has captured Refa, the Centauri who is personally responsible for the planetary bombardment of Narn and the deaths of 5 or 6 million Narns.

Holding aloft a data crystal, G'Kar admonishes his Narns only to leave this on the body and keep the face and head intact for identification later.

"No hiding place!" the gospel singer begins in the B5 chapel. As the congregation joins in joyously, Refa scrambles down a corridor into the arms of waiting Narns. "There's no hiding place down here!." He runs terrified back the way he came. "You know the sinner's gonna be runnin' at the knowledge of their fate!" Refa barrels into a crowd of eager Narns. "They'll be runnin' trying to find a hiding place when it comes their time to die!" Even the Minbari begin to catch the spirit and try to sing along. "No hiding place!" Refa's crest drowns under a sea of spotted heads, and he is brutally attacked by the Narn as G'Kar watches, then leaves.

Mollari gives the data crystal found on Lord Refa's body to Minister Virini, and explains how Refa had betrayed the Centauri to the Narn and G'Kar to the Centauri. The minister seems surprised that Londo asks for nothing in return for exposing this plot. Vir is furious again however, this time for being set up and lied to. Londo says he knew that Refa had a telepath with him, so of course he had to tell Vir what he wanted Refa to believe. But Vir is not placated.

Delenn has a final surprise for the Captain. In the long period of preparation before the war, the Minbari have completed an entire fleet of White Star class ships.

Z Minus 10 Days.


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Last update: November 8, 1997