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Synopsis by Matthew Murray (mmurray@cc.wwu.edu)

"Personal Log, January 8, 2261, Doctor Stephen Franklin reporting. It's been fourteen days since Captain Sheridan was presumed killed on Z'ha'dum--nine days since Mr. Garibaldi disappeared on patrol outside the station. MedLab's quiet these days. The League of Non-Aligned Worlds has broken up and everyone's going back to their homeworlds to prepare for the next stage of war. We know the enemy's gonna strike back. Rumor has it that this time's gonna be the last time. This time, they're gonna end it. All we can do now is wait for the other shoe to drop, or try and find something useful to do before the end. And right now, short of hand-holding or a sympathetic ear, I can't think of one damn thing..."

Lennier enters MedLab as Franklin is recording and tells him that he is committing a breach of protocol, but that there is a problem with Delenn.

Sheridan is floating deep in blackness, facing a creature glowing with an inner light--its two tentacles hold him firm, and a voice resonates two questions "Who are you?" and "What do you want?" over and over again. Sheridan wakes up, and the figure standing over him asks him what he was dreaming about. The man already knows he's thinking about escape, and tells Sheridan he should give up the attempt. The man knows Sheridan still wants to know his name; he says it's Lorien, and asks a series of questions, eventually ending in the conundrum of which came first--the word that created the universe, or the thought behind it? Lorien knows Sheridan is still involved in the question he wants to ask--Who are you? Sheridan is surprised Lorien knows the significance of that question, and Lorien tells him the point of the question is that there is never a good answer. He tells Sheridan further that the question of what Sheridan is is easy--he's dead. Sheridan doesn't believe him, but can find no proof, even in the form of a pulse, that he is actually alive.

Sheridan refuses to believe that he's dead, and insists it's a trick. Lorien asks him what the last thing he remembers is. Sheridan only remembers falling, seemingly forever. Lorien tells him that nothing goes on forever, and that everyone hits bottom sooner or later. Lorien asks Sheridan if he hit the bottom of the abyss, but Sheridan doesn't know. Either Sheridan did, and he is dead, or he didn't, and is still falling. Lorien also suggests he could be in-between, and Sheridan asks what he could be in between.

"Between moments," Lorien tells him. "When we are born, we are allocated a finite number of seconds. Each tick of the clock slices off a piece of us. Tick. A possibility for joy is gone. Tock. A careless word ends one path, opens another. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Always running out of time. Yours is almost used up. You're between seconds--lost in the infinite possibilities between tick and tock. Tick. You're alive. Tock.... Well, it was a good life, but a short one. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Tick..."

Sheridan grabs Lorien and demands to know what's going on, if he's behind it all. "Who are you?" he asks, and remembers part of his dream.

"You're closer now, aren't you? Yes, I see you are. But closer to tick or closer to tock? I don't know. Only time will tell. And here, between the moments, we have all the time in the world..."

G'Kar walks into a tavern filled with people and the strains of loud futuristic rock music. He steps over to a table and speaks to a man, telling him he heard he could find information about a piece of Starfury the man sold to a trader elsewhere. The man says it was salvage, and therefore legal, but G'Kar wants to know where it came from, since it belongs to the Starfury Garibaldi was in when he disappeared. The man doesn't want to talk, but G'Kar demands to know how he knew where to find it. When things begin to turn violent, the bartender intervenes, and tries to kick G'Kar out, something G'Kar doesn't like. Before the bartender can do anything else, a man nearby raises up his hood, revealing himself as Marcus, and a short fight ensues, during which both he and G'Kar escape. The bartender sends two Centauri guards after them, while he speaks to another one about another matter.

The chime on Delenn's quarters rings several times before she answers it and Dr. Franklin steps in. She asks if there is a problem, and he asks her if she is having a problem, since she hasn't had anything to eat or drink in a week, which, although commonplace for normal Minbari, may not be healthy for her. Delenn says that justice is served by her fast, and everything that has happened has been her fault, and she tells Franklin she is very upset that she broke the bond and the trust between she and Sheridan. She admits that she loved him and wanted to protect him, but thinks she should have trusted him more than she did. She tells Franklin that her fast will continue, and that should Sheridan be dead, her soul will join his, and she will see him again, in "the place where no shadows fall." Franklin leaves her alone with her grief.

Marcus comes in from the outside, and reports to G'Kar that the Centauri guards are still chasing them. G'Kar doesn't know why, and Marcus explains that he is worried for exactly that reason. G'Kar says he thinks Marcus worries too much, but wants to know why he's there. Marcus says he came to look after him in case he got into trouble. G'Kar tells Marcus that he is planning to go back later and find out more about Garibaldi's Starfury, but Marcus offers to do it instead, since the guards are all too eager to find G'Kar. Marcus asks G'Kar why he is risking so much for Garibaldi, and G'Kar tells him that he is doing it because Garibaldi was his friend, and he never had a friend who wasn't a Narn. Marcus says he's doing it because he never had a friend who was a Narn--when he had them at all. G'Kar picks up Marcus' pike and looks at it, accidentally extending it while doing so. G'Kar says he likes the weapon very much.

The Centauri guards are with the bartender, looking through several photos of Narns that may have been involved in the altercation in the bar, and he eventually finds a photo of G'Kar and is able to identify him. The guards tell him there is a reward on G'Kar--dead or alive. Meanwhile, the man from the bar awakens--due to Marcus dripping water in his face. Marcus threatens him, and demands to know where he got the piece of the Starfury.

Delenn arrives in Captain Sheridan's quarters, where Franklin is going through Sheridan's personal effects on Ivanova's orders. While looking through Sheridan's files, he found something he felt Delenn should see. He hands her a data crystal which she plays as soon as Franklin leaves.

"Personal log," says Sheridan on the screen, "May 14, 2260. We actually had a quiet day today--it's hard to believe with so much going on lately. Now that we've broken away from Earth, everything has hit the fan. It's not what I wanted. Frankly, it scares the hell out of me, but it had to be done. The job now is to turn this around and make it into something positive. My dad always told me that's the only way you deal with pain. You don't surrender, you don't fight it--you turn it into something positive. He used to say, 'If you're falling off a cliff, you may as well try to fly. You've got nothing to lose.' And in a way, I feel the same way about Delenn. During the war, I fought Minbari, I killed Minbari, saw many of my friends die at Minbari hands. Here I am, in love with one of them. For a long time, I thought about not saying anything, but... The moment my heart crossed that line, there wasn't much I could do but see it through. Yeah, I've fallen off one hell of a cliff, but when I look in her eyes, I let myself think, maybe I really can fly."

Marcus explains to G'Kar that the man got the location of the Starfury from Interplanetary Expeditions, and that person would get one tenth of the purchase price. G'Kar says he plans to go to the place where the ship was found to search out for more information. G'Kar says that Marcus should go back to Babylon 5 and search for the person from Interplanetary Expeditions, and that Marcus should leave before he gets offended. G'Kar says he needs Babylon 5's resources more than he needs Marcus' help. Marcus leaves as G'Kar lays down to sleep.

G'Kar awakens to the sound of footsteps, and sees shadows outside. As they come closer, he grips his firearm tightly, but when they enter the room, even though he gets off a few shots, he is taken down and knocked unconscious.

Delenn and Lennier stand before the gathering of Rangers, and Delenn tells them that, even though most of their work has, until this time, gone unnoticed, they must strike a blow that will serve as an example to all the others. Lennier explains to them that the League of Non-Aligned Worlds has dissolved, and that they must find those who still believe in their cause. He says they need a single rallying cry, and Delenn wants it to be the Rangers. She says their plan is to wait seven days, for any other ships, and then attack Z'ha'dum. They have a small chance of success, but they must try anyway. She tells the Rangers that, with this attack, she is offering them the same chance to fly that she heard in Sheridan's log.

There is a knocking at Londo's door, and after taking up a weapon in case of danger, he answers the door to find the Emperor's advisor, who says the Emperor wants Londo to come immediately. Londo changes out of his night clothes and goes to the Emperor's throne room. Though Emperor Cartagia is initially upset at the delay, he tells Londo that he wishes to present him with a gift. Londo attempts to refuse, but Cartagia won't let him, and knows it's something Londo has been waiting for for a long time. Cartagia activates a signal, and two Centauri guards enter flanking G'Kar, who is wearing a yoke. Cartagia says G'Kar is there for their amusement and that, should the amusement cease, G'Kar will die. Londo, not knowing what to say, decides only to thank Cartagia for the gift. Cartagia asks G'Kar if he has anything to say, and G'Kar asks him only if he knows where Garibaldi is. "Who?" asks Cartagia.

Garibaldi is, in fact, in a solidly built, round room, as if an observation room, with no windows and a well-sealed door. Garibaldi pounds against it, but to no avail. A voice coming from unseen speakers tells him to refrain, as he might hurt himself. Garibaldi asks why they can't allow that, and the voice says merely that they have their orders. Garibaldi asks who the orders came from, but the voice won't tell him. The voice wants only to know what happened after he left Babylon 5, and Garibaldi insists he doesn't remember, but the voice says his vital signs indicate he isn't being honest. This outrages Garibaldi, but the voice only wants to hear the truth. It asks him time and again what happens, but Garibaldi insists he doesn't remember. Garibaldi loses control and begins smashing everything in sight, including his chair and the lights in the room. His rampage is soon stopped, however, when a gas pours from vents in the floor, knocking him unconscious. The door to the room opens and someone wearing a gas mask--atop their PsiCorps uniform-- steps into the room.

Londo enters G'Kar's cell, where the Narn is sitting in the corner. Londo says it was foolish for G'Kar to leave Babylon 5, and that he was followed as soon as he left. Londo tells G'Kar that, if he wanted to die, he could have attended to it, but that, on Centauri Prime, he will be afforded no such courtesy, and he will be tortured by Cartagia--treated as a toy. G'Kar will suffer for days, weeks, or months, but when they are done, G'Kar will die a very time-consuming and painful death, each of his organs being removed one at a time. G'Kar asks if the idea pleases Londo, and Londo admits that it doesn't, and that it never would have. Londo says he would not wish G'Kar's fate on anyone. Londo tells G'Kar that Cartagia is a monster, and that he must be removed. G'Kar may be the means by which it can be accomplished, but he will suffer greatly--something Londo can't prevent. Londo tells G'Kar he must endure until the time is right, at which point Londo will act. Londo asks if G'Kar will help, but he doesn't answer. Londo begins to leave, and G'Kar tells him the price for his assistance--he will help remove Cartagia only if Londo will free Narn. Londo promises this to G'Kar, and then leaves the room, casting a bright light onto G'Kar as he exits.

Sheridan, still trekking through the tunnels in Z'ha'dum, finds the fire he set when he first woke up. He realizes he has come full circle, and Lorien says everyone does eventually. Sheridan knows there must be some way out, but Lorien says that the only way out is to surrender to Tock. Sheridan says he can't die, since he must aid the Army of Light in the war, to prevent billions of deaths.

"It's a terrible thing when your children fight," Lorien tells him. "I warned the others, but they didn't listen. They never listen."

"Your... children?" Sheridan asks.

"Metaphorically speaking. Those who came after me. Children. Younger siblings."

"How long have you been here?"

"A long time. So long... I was old when the molecules of your world joined and called themselves land and sea and fish and man."

"You're one of the First Ones."

"No, not one of the First Ones. I am The First One."

Sheridan knows Lorien knows a way out of Z'ha'dum, but wants to know why he has stayed for so long. Lorien says he's waiting for someone, and that Sheridan is the first to make it as far as he has. Sheridan asks if the Shadows know, and Lorien says they do-- that's why they come back to Z'ha'dum. They believe they're showing respect, but they don't understand. "They used to," Lorien says, "but that was a long time ago. A million years." Sheridan says Lorien doesn't look as old as he is, and Lorien says he doesn't at the moment. Sheridan finally realizes his dream was of Lorien.

"Did you know you have a Vorlon inside you?" Lorien asks. "Well, a piece of one."

"If you go to Z'ha'dum, you will die," Sheridan remembers Kosh saying. "Jump... Jump now..."

"Kosh..." Sheridan realizes.

"Is that its name? I think I met it once, long ago."

"He told me to jump. Did he know..."

"That I was here? Almost certainly."

"How..."

"They can break off pieces of their conciousness and put it into other organisms. It allows them to travel hidden through the galaxy, using others as their eyes and ears. Kosh is in you, and he's part of the problem. You're the other part. You're both still clinging to life, both afraid to let go. You must lay down the burden of life, both of you, and surrender yourself to Tock."

"No, I can't," Sheridan says. "The others need me..."

"You can't turn away from death simply because you're afraid of what might happen without you. That's not enough. You're not embracing life, you're fleeing death. So you're caught in-between, unable to go forward or backward. Your friends need what you can be when you are no longer afraid--when you know who you are, and why you are, and what you want. When you are no longer looking for reasons to live, but can simply be."

"I can't... I don't know how to do that."

"Then I cannot help you, and you will be caught forever in-between. You must let go. Surrender yourself to death. The death of flesh. The death of fear. Step into the abyss... and let go."

"It's getting darker," Sheridan says, and the light around him starts to vanish.

"I know. You're close, friend. Very close. It's easy to find something worth dying for. Do you have anything worth living for?"

"I can't see you anymore..."

"As it should be."

"What if I fall? How will I know if you'll catch me?"

"I caught you before."

"What if I die?"

"I cannot create life, but I can breathe on the remaining embers. It may not work."

"But I can hope..."

As the world around him disappears completely, the words of Lorien continue to echo. "Hope is all we have."

Sheridan then begins to reexperience his emergence onto the balcony above the abyss, and his leap into it, as Lorien's voice echoes, asking him again, "Do you have anything worth living for?"

While he falls, he remembers the voice of someone, a long time ago, on the original White Star. "Sleep now. I will watch, and catch you if you should fall."

Lorien stands over the body of Sheridan, outstretched at the bottom of the abyss, after Sheridan delivers his answer, in the form of a single word.

"Delenn!"


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Last update: May 6, 1998