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Synopsis by Katrina Glerum (kat@midwinter.com)

Seated at a small, bare table in the Captain's quarters, Franklin asks Sheridan how he managed to escape. Who were his contacts in the Resistance? Sheridan peers at him suspiciously. It isn't Franklin. It's an interrogator and they are still in Sheridan's cell. Drugged and weary, Sheridan's mind keeps shifting the location and persons from the station to prison. The brainwashing hasn't succeeded though. The Captain hasn't been convinced that he is under the control of aliens.

In a busy shipping station on Mars, Garibaldi meets up with his contact. Apparently the Resistance doesn't believe that Sheridan's kidnapping wasn't Garibaldi's fault. Several men leap out of the shadows and beat him senseless. At their headquarters, Number One offers Franklin a gun and the chance for revenge. "Steven?" Garibaldi shouts when Franklin refuses. Instead Franklin rips the hood off Garibaldi's head and angrily demands an explanation.

Garibaldi stammers out how he was used by Bester, but only Lyta seems willing to believe it. Garibaldi tells them that he knows where Sheridan is being held, and they can get him out. But it's the same story he used to lure Sheridan in the first place. Garibaldi pleads, "You can't let Bester screw up my entire life and not give me the chance to fix it. I can't go out this way!" Franklin is disgusted. Seeing Lyta, Garibaldi begs her to scan him. She replies that no one trusts telepaths here. Franklin wants to try it, but Number One angrily decides just to shoot Garibaldi. Franklin grabs her gun as it goes off, and Lyta snatches a rifle, spraying the ceiling with fire. In the uneasy pause, Franklin covers Number One with the rifle while Lyta goes to work on Garibaldi's head.

She immediately finds Psi Cop blocks. Her eyes go full black as she pushes harder until she finds the memories Bester concealed. When she announces this, Number One scoffs. Furious, Lyta whips around, fixes Number One with her eerie eyes, and convinces her with a rapid braindump of Garibaldi's hellish experience.

The White Star fleet engages and disables another two destroyers. Ivanova orders the backup units to proceed with the evacuation while the main fleet heads for the next target. When Marcus questions whether they are advancing too slowly, she insists that this is the one chance these crews will receive justice for their actions, and besides, defectors will be needed when they hit Earth.

Garibaldi shows Number One where Sheridan is being held. She says that her people can get them inside, but they're on their own after that.

On B5, a rather worried Lennier finds Delenn and informs her that Mollari has called a full Council meeting without informing the Minbari. The Centauri is just calling for a vote on an intolerable situation, when Delenn arrives. It's unanimous, and with a representative from Minbar present, it's even legitimate.

"The humans have become the glue which holds us together," G'Kar explains when Delenn objects. The Council feels it is their responsibility to do everything in their power to prevent Earth from turning in upon itself, as well as to repay the debt they owe Sheridan for his defense of their planets during the Shadow War.

In Delenn's stunned silence, G'Kar, Londo and Vir explain that they have resolved to unite their forces to aid Ivanova's fleet, but they didn't want to tell her until it was fait acompli, lest people say it was based on personal interests.

The Resistance fighter leads Garibaldi, Franklin and Lyta through old access tunnels to the location where Sheridan is being held, but refuses to accompany them further.

Marcus brings the duty officer from one of the disabled ships on the bridge with the claim that he has critical intelligence. Apparently some of the "allies" they've picked up along the way are not real defectors. Ivanova's intention to rendezvous near Mars for the final assault on Earth, has been passed back to Clark, who has arranged to ambush them with a fleet of new advanced-technology destroyers. Ivanova and Marcus realize that their standard Earth Force allies would be annihilated by an advanced destroyer fleet. There's no time to change the rendezvous, so Ivanova decides that the White Stars must try to take out the force alone.

Garibaldi and Franklin jump a patrol in the tunnels. They win, but Garbaldi takes a knife in the back. Franklin stitches the wound crudely, but can't convince Garibaldi to stay behind.

Captain James of the Agamemnon tries in vain to argue Ivanova out of her decision. As soon as they set off, Marcus tries to convince Ivanova to get some rest. He only succeeds by threatening to harry her until she gives in. She agrees as long as he wakes her later and sleeps as well.

Wearing their old Earth Force uniforms, Garibaldi and crew stroll up to the prison guard booth. The guard recognizes Garibaldi and commends him for turning Sheridan in. He accepts Garibaldi's story about being there to interrogate the prisoner and lets them pass.

The two cell guards stop them. Garibaldi casually mentions the lock "code" and Lyta grabs it from a guard's mind before attacking the second guard with the thought of pain. Garibaldi takes out the other one, but blood is now showing through his uniform. They hurry into the cell and Franklin sets to work trying to revive Sheridan. Through his drugged fog, Sheridan mumbles, "Michael! I was going to kick your butt for ... something. But I don't remember."

Before waking Ivanova, Marcus looks at her soulfully and utters, "You'll never know." She curses when he tells her they're almost at the target and he didn't sleep. Before rushing to the bridge, Susan reminds him of the Minbari phrase he told her was a "greeting" the last time they were here. "You are the most beautiful woman I have ever known." She knows what it means now and thanks him.

Trying to get past the guard post with Sheridan, the guards notice the blood on Garibaldi's back, and demand that the rescuers step away from the prisoner. They quickly shoot all the guards. Clumsily, Sheridan picks a gun off the floor and unloads it into one of the guards, shooting until the man is pulp. He looks at Garibaldi with very cognizant fury and insists he's fine.

The White Star fleet emerges at the rendezvous point. A dozen jump points open on all sides and discharge a stream of destroyers. Ivanova is horrified when she sees them. Black skins and barbs on semi-organic hulls prove them to be based on Shadow technology. The force commands her to surrender, and when she refuses, demands to know who she is.

"Who am I?" she asks. "I am Susan Ivanova. Commander. Daughter of Andre and Sophie Ivanov. I am the right hand of vengeance and the boot that is going to kick your sorry ass all the way back to Earth, sweetheart. I am death incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."

With these words she opens fire and leads the fleet into the toughest battle they've faced yet. One by one White Stars drop, but they manage to outmaneuver and outgun the enemy until every one is destroyed. With her navigational controls damaged, White Star 2 is unable to avoid a huge mass of debris hurtling towards the ship. In the aftermath of the crash, Marcus picks himself up from the wreckage filling the bridge. He finds Ivanova's limp body and carries it away.

Stumbling through the wide corridors of a Minbari cruiser, Sheridan suddenly stops and stares at the sight of Delenn. They embrace and he promises to talk about what happened to him later, but now he has to see Ivanova, who is being tended by Minbari doctors and Marcus. Her head is bolted into a vice-like stabilizer, her face is a mass of cotusions, and she is rarely conscious. She rouses when John comes and begs him to tell her the truth. Is she going to live? Painfully, he tells her, no. She only has about a week. And so she makes one final request.

Sheridan steps onto the bridge of the Agamemnon. With the permission of her Captain, he announces that a friend has asked him to lead the final battle from here. At this, the multi-planet force sets out.


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Last update: May 6, 1998