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Synopsis by Katrina Glerum (kat@midwinter.com)

The EA Destroyer Acheron jumps into Babylon 5 space bearing Captain Lochley, the station's new CO. With everyone else busy preparing for Sheridan's inauguration ceremony, Lt. Corwin is the sole member of her welcoming committee. To his dismay, she seems intent on reforming the station immediately.

In an empty tube station on Mars, a man holding a music box and a PPG has a battered Ranger bound to a chair. "We live for the One, we die for the One," the Ranger utters before being shot. The man hangs a placard around the Ranger's neck and walks away. "Special Delivery For Babylon 5," it reads.

Both up early, the newlyweds are adjusting to their new routine. Delenn's dismay at finding wet socks in the shower is allayed when John explains that washing his own socks keeps death at bay. His old drill sergeant always said that the person who has nothing left to do is going to get killed. Only he would live forever, because he always had socks to wash.

Before leaving for their separate duties they agree to meet at Delenn's place tonight. They will continue alternating quarters until they can leave B5 when their permanent headquarters are completed on Minbar.

Outside the station spins a cargo bubble. A seated corpse is visible inside.

Greeting Lochley in his office, Sheridan officially acknowledges that the Captain is now in command of station operations. However, as an independent state that the Interstellar Alliance intends to purchase from Earth, B5 is politically under Pres. Sheridan's jurisdiction. He explains that he specifically requested her to run the station because she is strong yet has a history of resolving tricky conflicts without resorting to force. Lochley is pleased, but firm in stating that he'd better let her do her job without interference. Their conversation is cut short when Lochley is called away by Lt. Corwin. The question of which side she fought on in the civil war is left open between them. As she leaves his office, she is observed by a tall, blond man waiting in the corridor.

Zack's job is being interfered with plenty, but only because Garibaldi is determined that nothing go wrong with the inauguration. While discussing security procedures, they pass the killer from Mars in the Zocalo.

Lt. Corwin shows the Captain the corpse and placard, but it means nothing to them. Meanwhile, someone accesses Sheridan's Babcom and leaves him a death threat.

Lochley's working lunch is interrupted by the blond man. All sounds in the restaurant suddenly fade as he walks over, introduces himself as Byron and requests her to meet "his people" in Brown 3 in two hours. The noise quickly reestablishes itself and Byron has apparently vanished.

G'Kar's struggles with his manuscript are interrupted by the President. In recognition of the Narn's eloquence, Sheridan asks him to write the inauguration oath and a declaration of principles for the Alliance. G'Kar is overcome with honor and swears himself to the task night and day until it is done.

Dr. Franklin confirms that the Ranger was killed a week ago at close range by an expert with a PPG, but was adrift in space only a few hours.

Captain Lochley finds Byron in Brown 3 with a half a dozen people. The security team she has arranged in ambush quickly frisks and clears them all. Introducing himself as the leader of a much larger community, Byron explains that they are rogue telepaths who disavow violence and technology, and having no place else to call home, he requests permission for them to form a colony on the station. Byron introduces his wan and raggedy troupe, including Simon, a traumatized boy who communicates by transmitting visions. Lochley wants Simon in Medlab and she'll think about the rest.

The killer stalks the Gaim ambassador to his quarters and murders him there.

Sheridan returns to his quarters to find two death threats. Like Presidents Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kiyoshi, the message warns, he will pay the price for the death and destruction his war cost.

Upon examination, Franklin finds nothing physically wrong with Simon's vocal cords. Byron confirms that the boy chooses not to speak. The doctor turns away an instant and when he turns back, all the telepaths are gone, and the boy is looking down on the lab from a ventilation shaft.

Among the command staff, IA Council and Garibaldi, only Lochley agrees with Sheridan that he should continue the inauguration in the face of the threats. It's important that as President he shouldn't cut himself off from the world behind security.

Garibaldi furiously runs Lochley down in the corridor and tells her that they need to protect Sheridan from himself. She reminds him that he is a civilian without authority, and so his words mean nothing to her.

Attracted by the sound of a music box, Simon crawls to a grate where he can spy a man assembling a Gaim encounter suit. Startled by the man's thoughts of himself shooting Sheridan, Simon bangs against the shaft wall. The man shoots the ceiling, grabs his gear and runs off, leaving Simon wounded up in the shaft.

The inauguration ceremonies begin as Garibaldi's investigation homes in on the killer. Major Clemens, a former member of Earth Force, wanted for torture on Beta 9 and a trained infiltrator. Meanwhile the "Gaim Ambassador" arrives for the ceremony.

Bleeding and frantic, Simon manages to get into the gathering to get to Franklin. "No!" he shouts, and broadcasts the killer's intended assassination to everyone in the room.

The killer strikes, but misses the President before escaping. Sheridan insists on going ahead with the ceremony, even as Simon dies on the floor. The killer is able to get to a Starfury however, and launches as G'Kar begins to read the Oath of Office. Garibaldi figures out the man's intent and launches just behind him. At the moment of Sheridan's oath, a Star Fury looms outside the Observation Deck. Ordering everyone else out of the room, the killer bids Sheridan farewell. Before he can fire, Garibaldi sneaks up behind him and grapples the back of his fighter, releasing him into fire from the station's defense system.

Sheridan and Delenn hold each other in relief. To their surprise G'Kar is still on the deck. "You want to be President?" G'Kar demands.

"Yes," Sheridan replies.

"Put your hand on the book and say 'I do.'"

"I do."

"Fine. Done. Let's eat." G'Kar says and strides away.

The President receives Byron in his office. Lochley has refused the telepaths' request, but Sheridan declares it his jurisdiction and grants them rights to start a colony. Franklin is a little perplexed, but Sheridan argues that when the telepath war begins, it would do them some good to have some telepathic allies on board.

The Captain is busy decorating her own office when Garibaldi stops by. He introduces himself to her as the new head of covert intelligence for the IA, and warns her to expect him at meetings. He has a bit more snooping to do. It turns out that she once served with the attempted assassin. Garibaldi finds this curious and then asks which side she was on in the recent war.

The side of Earth, is all she'll say.


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Last update: May 6, 1998