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Contents: Back Cover - Synopsis - Questions - Analysis - Notes - Author


Written by John Vornholt
Released: September 13, 1995
ISBN: 0-440-22059-9 (US)
ISBN: 0-7522-0654-0 (UK)
Setting: Early 2259, before "The Coming of Shadows"

The past catches up with the powerful Narn Ambassador and Garibaldi and Ivanova are sent to track down a killer.

Reader reviews, and online ordering, can be found at Amazon.com.


Back Cover

Running from Death

Having narrowly escaped assassination, proud, ruthless Ambassador G'Kar knows he is marked for death. A rival family from his Narn homeland has taken the Shon'Kar, or Blood Oath, to kill him. And when a fiery explosion destroys his transport ship, it looks as if they have succeeded...

Blood Oath

Security Chief Garibaldi and Commander Susan Ivanova join an enraged Na'Toth, G'Kar's aide, in a search for the culprits. Journeying to the Narn Homeworld, they find themselves enveloped by a chilling alien environment. And in this place of deadly traps and cruel disguises, the Narn Blood Oath is turned against them all. Now as strangers on the strange Narn planet, the best and brightest members of Babylon 5 are hunted by an enemy only a daring deception can stop!

Synopsis

The book opens in Ambassador G'Kar's quarters where he holds in his hand an untraceable data crystal -- its identity patterns had been removed. Upon slipping it into the viewer, an attractive female Narn appears and begins talking:
Hello G'Kar. Do you recognize me? I am Mi'Ra, daughter of Du'Rog. I speak for my mother, Ka'Het, and my brother, T'Kog. We are all that is left of the family you destroyed. Yes, G'Kar, we are beaten, and our titles and lands are gone. Our father is dead, his name disgraced, and his attempt to kill from the grave was a failure (The Parliament of Dreams.) To our shame, every assassin has failed.

You think you are safe within the Third Circle and the Earth space station. You are wrong! The widow, the son, and the daughter of Du'Rog have sworn the Shon'Kar against you! No more will you face inept assassins -- but the very family you destroyed! The Prophets willing, by my own hands you will die. From this day forward, the purpose of our V'Tar is to kill you. Let this mark show my will.

Mi'Ra marks her forehead by cutting it with a knife and the viewscreen fades to black. G'Kar realizes how serious undertaking the Blood Oath is and that the Narn Government will be of no assistance to him and that further the aliens would not be either. He decides to leave the station for homeworld and deal with Mi'Ra himself.

G'Kar's aide, Na'Toth, points out that the cruiser K'sha Na'vas is arriving tomorrow and could get him home in half the time of his personal transport. Nonetheless he insists on leaving immediately without explaining why. Ivanova and Sheridan notice the hasty departure but ultimately let him leave after a brief conversation. Shortly before the ship enters the jump point, a reactor breach begins and the ship explodes. A Starfury sent to find remains or G'Kar finds absolutely no remains. G'Kar is pronounced dead.

Na'Toth is surprised by the appearance of Earth Alliance officers informing her of G'Kar's sudden demise. Na'Toth assumes that it was Londo Mollari, and pledges to swear a Blood Oath against the killer. Garibaldi confiscates the files and data crystals from G'Kar's desk as evidence. Departures from the station are stopped and Garibaldi is assigned to track down the killer since the debris pattern is deemed to have been consistent with a bomb.

Na'Toth proceeds to attack Londo at knifepoint and is interrupted by Garibaldi who convinces her, at least for the moment, to back down. Londo contacts Vir and gives him some orders. Garibaldi warns Na'Toth off Londo and asks her about the unlabeled data crystal.

Na'Toth is not entirely surprised by the contents, though Sheridan and Garibaldi are. They decide to search the station for the killer. They do however concede that they can not stop Na'Toth from leaving the station because of diplomatic immunity.

Sheridan decides to send Garibaldi and Ivanova as the Earth Alliance delegates to the memorial service on the Narn homeworld. Ivanova points out that both winter coats and bathing suits will be in order on the Narn world because of the drastic temperature extremes on the surface.

G'Kar dreams about the past. He is in the Homeworld city of Ka'Pul when assassins make a first attempt on his life (the second was on Babylon 5, in "The Parliament of Dreams.") Both attempts were brought on by the manner in which he disgraced the Du'Rog family to enter the Third Circle. When he awakes G'Kar is being asked to pipe down by Pa'Nar, G'Kar's operative down below.

Security, meanwhile is searching Down Below and comes to Pa'Nar's quarters. Pa'Nar initially tries to claim that G'Kar is his cousin Ha'Mok, but is forced to knock the security guard out and let G'Kar escape in a disguise consisting of contact lenses and a mask which changes his spots. G'Kar escapes to the Narn ship K'sha Na'vas, whose captain is an old friend. The K'sha Na'vas is also the ship that will be taking the delegation from Babylon 5 to the Narn homeworld.

Garibaldi contacts Talia Winters, the station's resident telepath, upon hearing the news of the downed security guard. He requests that she scan the officer, Leffler, when he regains consciousness.

The captain of the K'sha Na'vas, Vin'Tok, reviews the materials concerning G'Kar's death and tries to explain to Sheridan that it should be considered "justifiable homicide." Sheridan disagrees, but realizes that nothing will be done to the Du'Rog family back on the Homeworld. The Narn delegation leaves to attend the memorial service. Sheridan explains to Ivanova and Garibaldi that they are forbidden to take weapons with them, but that they will have diplomatic immunity.

Sheridan speaks first at the memorial. Londo follows, expressing his regrets in a very Centauri fashion: "They will send another, but he will not be G'Kar... ...will not yell or sputter as zestfully as G'Kar." Delenn takes the stage and expresses the outrage and pain the people at the service feel about the sudden loss of a good man. She speaks of the unity and growth of community that has come to be on Babylon 5. Finally, a Minbari candlelight procession commences.

As Ivanova is about to depart, Londo turns and asks her if she is familiar with the Early American author Mark Twain, making the point that if she was she would be able to "[e]njoy this more." Garibaldi meanwhile encounters Al Vernon, a human who was married to a Narn and more recently has been trading with the Centauri. Al manages to insinuate himself into the diplomatic party and Sheridan agrees to his presence.

Back on the Homeworld, Mi'Ra, living with her family in pitiful conditions, has an encounter with a member of the Thenta Ma'Kur, which she has been "slandering" liberally for their two failures. They take credit for the death of G'Kar and warn of the Earthforce delegations, suggesting that she keep an eye on them.

When Garibaldi arrives with Al Vernon, Al quickly introduces himself to Ivanova and the other Narns. Vin'Tok recognizes Al's name and mentions that he was presumed dead. Vernon replies, "Well, as the great Mark Twain said, the reports of my death were greatly exaggerated!" Ivanova notes the repeated mention of Twain, while Garibaldi ponders the need for three warships to escort them to the homeworld.

When Leffler comes to, a scan by Talia reveals the name Pa'Nar. Pa'Nar is quickly arrested and questioned about the mysterious Ha'Mok. They escort Ms. Winters in to scan him directly and she begins the scan asking Sheridan and Welch, Garibaldi's assistant, to direct the questioning. The questioning leads Sheridan to realize that G'Kar is probably still alive.

On their trip to the homeworld, Garibaldi and Ivanova soon become aware of a guarded door. Na'Toth takes the direct approach for them and G'Kar is discovered. He explains the situation and that he plans to kill Mi'Ra to end the matter once and for all. He explains his plan to use a disguise and go down on the planet when they arrive at the homeworld.

The rest of the trip is uneventful with no more interactions with G'Kar. A shuttle transports them to Hekba City, G'Kar's home, and Na'Toth explains that when ready to depart she will summon another shuttle. The heat immediately affects the humans in the party -- except Al, who seems to find the temperature pleasant. At the memorial Garibaldi spots Mi'Ra and tries to warn her off visiting Babylon 5 since the Shon'Kar would not be recognized there.

Afterwards, G'Kar decides to visit his wife, Da'Kal. He asks the humans to introduce themselves and broach the subject of G'Kar being alive with her. After she dismisses a lover and a servant, Ivanova and Garibaldi introduce themselves. Da'Kal mentions that G'Kar spoke well of them; she seems genuinely pleased by their arrival to honor him. The news of G'Kar being alive pleases her and G'Kar is invited in. The rest of the party goes to a tavern to wait for his return.

G'Kar and Da'Kal make love. Afterwards, Da'Kal sends money to the Du'Rog family in an attempt to make amends.

Some time later, in the Du'Rog house, Mi'Ra finds her brother and mother rejoicing over their newfound wealth. Mi'Ra is disgusted and wishes that she had been able to kill G'Kar herself. She resolves to ask the Earthers some questions when they arrive. She contemplates going somewhere off the Narn homeworld, perhaps to Babylon 5, where their past wouldn't be known and the money might go further.

After starting to freeze from the cold, Al finds Ivanova and Garibaldi somewhere to spend the night. First, the three visit Ra'Pak, a member of the Second Circle of the Kha'Ri. Na'Toth returns to find G'Kar, just in time to prevent him from getting in trouble with the guards for being out late at night. (His disguise suggested that he was someone of a lower class who should not be in the main city after hours -- the workers return to the slums at night.) They both also discover that the ship has left without them on a most urgent mission.

Back at the inn Garibaldi uses the netlink to contact Babylon 5. During the conversation -- which is listened in upon -- the suggestion that G'Kar isn't dead comes up. Ra'Pak betrays G'Kar to Mi'Ra, perhaps out of jealousy but perhaps also for something he did to her and her family. Mi'Ra begins to use the money to hire a force to take out the humans and G'Kar when they arrive the next day.

When the humans arrive at the Du'Rog place the next day, they admit that G'Kar is alive and explain what will happen if Mi'Ra attempts to show up on the station to kill him. Na'Toth and Mi'Ra's mother begin negotiating about monetary settlement to end the Shon'Kar. When the visitors try to leave, Mi'Ra sets her hired guns upon them. A desperate escape into the catacombs under the slums saves them -- just barely. A small child who initially seemed to help them ends up poisoning their water and leaves doing back flips saying, "Compliments of the Thenta Ma'Kur." The poison doesn't affect the humans as badly, and they manage to find an antidote and get it to G'Kar and Na'Toth in time.

Mi'Ra shows up again, alone. Al Vernon volunteers a data crystal revealing the truth about the Du'Rog family in return for letting G'Kar live and disavowing the Shon'Kar. Mi'Ra agrees and that resolves the matter. During the course of the discussion it becomes apparent that Londo Mollari, the Centauri Ambassador, had sent Al and saved his life.

Upon returning back to the station and things settling down, G'Kar goes and thanks the Centauri, although he can't quite understand why. Londo explains that it is a famous Centauri literary device and that he admired G'Kar's cunning, calling it "as devious as a Centauri..."

Unanswered Questions

This book does not leave very many unanswered questions although it does suggest new dimensions to the relationship between Londo Mollari and G'Kar.

Analysis

This book brings the events of two episodes, Parliament of Dreams and Deathwalker, together nicely. It explains the assassination attempt in light of the Shon'Kar ritual along with the tensions in Narn society between more "modern" practices and ancient traditions.

Notes

jms speaks


Written by Erik Oliver <oliver@dolphin.upenn.edu>.

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