Babylon 5 S1E10 Script

Believers (1994)

Am I going to die?

If it is written in the streams of time, Shon, it will be so.

I'll tell you what is written in the streams if time.

Very soon, you will breathe much easier.

And then you will grow up to be strong, and wise, and bring much honor to your mother and your father.

Please don't speak that way.

No one knows what is written in the stream until the waters surround him.

I am never wrong about these things.

Dr. Franklin.

My husband would like to speak with you candidly. May he do so?

Of course.

The doctors on our world say that there's no treatment for his watery breathing.

They say that the boy is weak and that he will die.

He's our only son, Dr. Franklin.

He is the last chance for our family's honor to fly on the winds of history.

You must love him very much.

On my world, it would be a sign of weakness for me to acknowledge feelings to a stranger.

But he has brought such joy and happiness into our lives.

Can you save him?

Shon's condition is very serious, but it is treatable.

His has a congestive blockage in his upper air passages, it's not uncommon in species with internal air bladders like yours.

We've seen this before.

Usually it happens as a result of an infection or a reaction to an injury.

It's a normal response. Usually it clears up by itself, but sometimes...

Sometimes the mass hardens, or grows.

It's not a sign of weakness. It could happen to anyone.

A simple operation will easily correct the condition.

Operation?

Surgery.

You will cut him open?

Well, that's usually what surgery entails, yes.

There's nothing to worry about though, I-

Get Shon. We will find no help here. Thank you Dr. Franklin.

I'm sorry to have taken so much of your time.

Wait, wait. Look, it's a simple procedure.

Afterwards he'll be stronger than ever.

You don't understand. Food animals are cut open.

They don't have a soul, so it's all right. But the chosen of God may not be punctured.

The blockage won't heal by itself.

If Shon doesn't have this surgery, he'll die, very painfully.

And none of us want that. That is immaterial.

You must not cut into the child.

Now...

I know what is written.

It was the dawn of the Third Age of mankind

10 years after the Earth-Minbari War.

The Babylon Project was a dream given form.

Its goal: to prevent another war by creating a place where humans and aliens could work out their differences peacefully.

It's a port of call, home away from home for diplomats, hustlers entrepreneurs and wanderers.

Humans and aliens, wrapped in 2,500,000 tons of spinning metal, all alone in the night.

It can be a dangerous place.

But it's our last, best hope for peace.

This is the story of the last of the Babylon stations.

The year is 2258.

The name of the place is Babylon 5.


Confirmed, Azimov. We'll be right there.

Commander, we've just received a distress signal from the starliner Azimov.

They've had a fire in their command and control center.

How serious?

It seems to be taken care of, however they've lost their navigational computer, and most of their communication channels.

They were en route here, but now they're just flying blind.

Location? Grid 471 by 18.

That's Raider territory. Exactly.

Recommend we dispatch a fighter wing to meet the Azimov, then escort her back here.

A potential combat situation requires the presence of at least one command officer.

Is Garibaldi available?

I suppose.

What? Nothing.

I certainly have plenty of things to occupy myself here. Yes sir!

I think I'll just walk to and fro for a while. Maybe over to my console.

After that, maybe I'll try pacing fro and to, you know, just for the kick of it.

Oh, and there's a view, of course.

Granted it's not quite the same as if you were outside.

For someone who's got over 100 hours of combat flying experience.

If you'd rather... No no no, that's okay.

It's fine, don't worry about me. I'm just gonna sit here and knit something.

Maybe a nice sweater, some socks.

Does the term "stir crazy" ring a bell, Commander?

I have an idea, Lt. Commander.

Why don't you take out the fighter wing and escort the Azimov back to base?

Well, if you insist, sir.

So you see, removing the blockage is easy.

And the body's fluid-transfer system will regain it's integrity almost immediately.

After that, it's a very simple matter to reinflate the internal air sac.

He'll need to rest for a day, or two, but he's young and strong.

His recovery should be easy. It's a very simple procedure.

We understand the procedure all too well. That is why we won't allow it.

The veterinarians on our own world perform this surgery on distressed food animals.

So you're just going to let him die? What kind of a god do you worship?

We cannot discuss this any longer. This is useless.

Wait, wait, wait. I think there might be another way.

It will... it will take longer, and it will be far more uncomfortable and it... and it will cost more.

The cost is not the issue, Dr. Franklin. nor is the discomfort.

We are the Children of Time. We cannot break our covenant any more than you can cease to the descendant of egg-sucking mammaloids.

My husband intends no offense, doctor.

Of course. I think we can try something here that that might give Shon's natural defenses a chance to break up the blockage.

If... if we use a-a combination of emollients and microbeams to provide a physical access for his own internal fluids we- we might help the body clear itself.

I'm not promising you that this procedure will work as well.

It- it may not work at all.

But I don't think you're gonna find another doctor who will suggest anything better.

And you will lose valuable time if you go looking.

May we discuss this alone, please?

Of course.

What the hell are you doing? I was gonna ask you the same thing.

You never insult a patient's beliefs. You work with them.

You try to understand their concerns. You give them a reason to be on your side.

And you think lying to them is going to help?

I didn't lie to them.

You know as well as I that mineral oil and microbeams won't dislodge that mass.

It's rooted!

That kid is going under the knife or into the freezer, those are the only options.

Sometimes you have to heal the family before you can heal the patient.

This isn't some silly superstition to them. This is real!

They're not gonna just let it go just because you tell them to.

It's going to kill their kid!

If we insist on cutting, they will put that kid on the first star cruiser out of here, and he won't survive the first jump.

I am trying to find a way to save him, Doctor.

Look look, these people, they're terrified, but they're just not ready to cut to the chase.

So first, first we do a little of this, and we do a little of that. Torturing the patient with remedies that don't work.

Until they're desperate enough to bite the damn bullet and let us do what we should have done in the first place.

Now I don't like it any more than you do, Doctor, but we don't get a vote.

Only-

Our son will not survive another space trip, will he?

No, I don't think so.

Then we either accept the fragile hope you offer... or we watch our son die in pain.

It is not much of a choice, is it?

- Stand by Alpha Wing, ready to launch. Roger.

Launch.

We're going into a sector noted for attacks by Raiders.

Suggest minimal chatter until we contact the Asimov.

Don't want to attract any attention. We just want to get in, and get out.

Confirmed, Alpha Leader.

Prepare for jump.

You're gonna have to stay in bed for a while.

It's gonna be boring, but the station has over a thousand educational and entertainment channels and you can watch-

No. We have seen some of that material.

Those channels demonstrate false belief systems.

We don't want our child exposed to inappropriate information.

He can study the Scrolls if he gets bored.

The Scrolls can be very calming when the mind is in turmoil.

In particular, the Parable of the 7th Declination in the Scroll of Herrel, where the young Herrel makes his final vow of commitment to the honor of his family.

I've always found that to be a most inspiring lesson.

I've got something for you. Look at that. Ooh, what is it?

Well, this... is a gloppit egg.

Now, the gloppit is a very rare creature from the planet... planet... Placebo.

The egg has to be held just like this.

And petted just like this.

And talked to softly.

Just like this.

Since I'm going to be too busy treating you to take care of it for a while you're gonna have to do that for me. Okay?

It is all right, isn't it? Please?

Monnya? Dottya?

The gloppit. It is not a dangerous creature, is it?

Don't worry, it's perfectly safe.

Well then, you may speak to the egg, Shon, but you may not speak of sacred things to it. Those are only for our people.

Yes, Dottya. Thank you.

Just like this.

Gloppit eggs? The boy's terrified, he needs a friend.

So you gave him a piece of industrial goo?

I gave him something to believe in.

What?

You don't disapprove of superstition, if it's your superstition.

Now what is that supposed to mean? They worship the Great Egg.

Your god is medicine, and you can do no wrong in his service.

What's the difference?

I produce measurable, testable results. What's your point?

Did you see their eyes?

They're terrified. You didn't solve anything, you just postponed it.

I gave them a chance to think about it. To reconsider.

You are so certain, aren't you? All right, look. Look look look.

If you think you can find a better way, go ahead. Research it.

Prove me wrong, if it'll make you happy. You're not gonna find anything.

And I'll bet a steak dinner on that, too. Can't get steak out here.

Then I'll import one.

One way or another, I'm gonna save that boy's life, whatever it costs.

Why do you want to import a steak?

Research.

Who's paying for it? Maya Hernandez. Or me.

I'll let you know in a couple of days.

Did you see this one, the Shakespeare Corporation wants to trans-ship a load of fingle eggs.

They gotta be kidding. No way.

In my opinion, the presence of fingle eggs aboard this installation might present a serious hazard.

Thanks. I owe you. Import another steak.

I don't owe you that much.

What happening with the respiratory case. Anything new?

Boy's gonna die.

Parents won't let me operate. What do I do?

You know, the authority of Babylon 5 doesn't cover every contingency.

In circumstances like this, we're in a legal limbo.

You could order me to take whatever steps I felt necessary to save that boy's life.

Including surgery.

If I do that, it establishes a precedent.

You've already done that when you told my predecessor to save the life of Ambassador Kosh.

Yes, I was briefed.

He's right.

You've already established that the safety of an individual life outweighs the legal concerns of his or her race.

On the other hand, if you get involved in this, you give up all pretense at neutrality.

It'll damage the authority of this station.

What if I made an official request?

I'm asking you to find another way to resolve this.

You don't care if that boy dies?

That's not the issue.

If it were, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But it's not the only issue.

But this isn't going to go away. Neither will I.

This was the Azimov's last known position. Scanners at maximum.

Maintain radio silence until contact.

You're doing fine. No.

I'm afraid. Maybe this gloppit egg will have to hatch without me.

No, no, no.

See? It's still glowing.

That means you're doing a good job.

You just keep holding it, just like that. Okay?

Your treatment isn't working. He's getting weaker.

If we had taken him away, we might have got him to Thailateen.

He never would have survived the trip. He was already too weak.

Because we trusted you, our son will die.

No. He will die because you won't trust me.

Now you brought him here because you wanted me to save him.

Well, let me save him, please.

He needs that surgery, or he will choke to death on his own fluids.

There are more important things in life than the next breath!

Without his spirit, he wouldn't be alive anyway.

Look, he is your son, damn it.

Do yourself a favor. No, do him a favor. Stop deluding yourselves.

All right, no more superstition.

We have a safety of the patient precedent here on the station.

You leave me no choice but to ask Commander Sinclair to suspend your parental authority.

What does that mean?

That means I'll do whatever I feel necessary to save your son's life.

I'll put aside your objections and I will perform that surgery without your permission.

No! You can't do that. You mustn't do that.

Please, Dr. Franklin.

I'm sorry. I have to do what I feel is best for Shon.

Then so do we.

There she is.

This is Babylon Escort Wing Alpha to starliner Azimov.

Please fall into formation behind us. We'll escort you to the station.

Confirmed, Alpha Wing. Thanks for the save.

No problem.

I wish you had an Ambassador here. It would simplify my problem immensely.

I would ask her for guidance.

She would tell you the same thing. Please don't let Dr. Franklin operate.

Since you have no representative, that means that I have to be your advocate.

And that means that I have to consider the safety of the child, as well as the rights of the parents.

He is not your responsibility. Unfortunately, he is now.

Dr. Franklin has made an official request. And I have to rule on it.

Thank you for explaining your side of it.

I'll make my decision within 24 hours. You will rule against us, won't you?

You will give our child to Dr. Franklin. Earth people always stick together.

I'm sorry you feel that way. No, feel sorry for your doctor.

If he harms my child, if he touches Shon, I will kill him.

And that is why we are asking for Narn protection.

We have no ambassador of our own to represent our interests.

If we don't get someone with strength to intercede on our behalf, Commander Sinclair will take our son away and let the doctor violate his spirit.

I'd never even heard of your world until two days ago when my research staff acknowledged your arrival.

Interesting little place, but it really has nothing to offer the Narn Regime.

You see, alliances are built on mutual advantage.

We're not asking you to negotiate a treaty.

We're asking you to help save our child.

But you're asking me to exercise my authority on your behalf.

What were you thinking when you petitioned us?

We thought your dislike of the Earthers would be enough.

Enough for us, not for you.

We do not casually entangle ourselves in the affairs of other species.

Please, he's our son, have you no sympathy?

I sympathize entirely, my dear.

This is a difficult and distressing situation.

Could you help us?

Well I would have to go to the Council and request injunctive relief.

The Council could have Commander Sinclair's decision set aside once he makes it, but I would have to get approval from my world.

And I am certain they would want me to justify the cost, yes?

The cost? The research, the committee hearings.

All the necessary paperwork involved.

Unfortunately, we are on a budget here.

We cannot justify such expenses for non-Centauri.

Excuse me?

How much justice can you afford?

The Vorlons are very powerful.

If you filed a protest, Commander Sinclair would have to forbid Dr. Franklin to operate on our son.

Will you consider one thing? Please.

If it were your child, or even you yourself, how would you feel if the doctor of Babylon 5 wanted to perform an unwelcome procedure on you?

The avalanche has already started.

It is too late for the pebbles to vote.

I understand your frustration.

It must be difficult for you to feel so powerless.

You cannot imagine. We cannot sleep, we cannot eat.

We can no longer focus our thoughts for our daily meditations.

We are consumed by this.

And no one listens. No one hears.

I cannot tell you how much all this troubles me.

Then you will help us?

We Minbari have our own relationship with the larger domains of the universe.

Matters of the soul are very private, very personal to us.

We have suffered the interference of others in this area and are thus ourselves forbidden to intervene in matters such as this.

You are refusing because of your beliefs?

We thought the Minbari were the most intelligent of all races.

We are only trying to save our child.

That is also what Dr. Franklin believes he is doing.

Whose belief is correct? And how do we prove it?

No. On this issue, the Minbari cannot take sides.

Alpha One, picking up long-range scan. Signature looks like a Raider ship.

- Has it seen us yet? Don't think so.

All right, continue to run silent.

With a civilian ship around, we don't want a conflict if we can avoid it.

Speed to maximum.

You'll need a hell of a lot more firepower to take that out.

Though I'm fairly certain the blue stuff is dead.

How you doing, Jeff? Lousy.

Sill thinking about that kid?

Dr. Franklin wants me to intervene, his folks want the ambassadors to do something, and none of them want to get involved. And why should they?

Why help yourself to a barrel full of blame, if you can avoid it?

Even Earth Central has passed the buck back to me.

You spoke to Senator Gant? Only for an advisory.

I'm not calling Central every time I have a decision to make.

And?

He declined even to advise. Said it's my responsibility.

It may be your responsibility, but it isn't your fault.

This is a tough situation for everyone.

That doesn't make me feel any better. Nothing will. It's a child's life.

But letting it eat at you won't help you, him, or his parents.

I just wish I could be more sure.

Sure is for people with nothing on the line. You and me, we just get on with it.

Now I know how Pontius Pilate must have felt.


Hello, Shon. I'm Commander Sinclair. Welcome to Babylon 5.

What do you think of my station? I haven't... seen much of it. Only the Medlab.

What's this?

It's a gloppit egg. Dr. Franklin gave it to me.

A gloppit egg?

Actually, it's only a piece of...

industrial goo.

But, please, don't tell Dr. Franklin I said so.

He still believes it's an egg.

Shon, I have to ask you a very difficult question.

I know you've been thinking about it. Do I wanna live?

Yes. Very much.

But I don't want the operation. I don't wanna lose my spirit.

There's nothing to be afraid of.

I had an operation once. A very serious operation, but I'm fine now.

But you are not one of the Chosen. You are not born of the Egg.

No, I'm not.

Tell me about it.

Smart kid. Are you going to sign the order?

You believe you're doing the right thing, don't you?

So do the parents. Who should I believe?

You, because we share the same beliefs? Or do we?

Commander, those parents are willing to see their son die because of their religion.

Now you can't expect me to sit here and do nothing.

May God save us from false religion.

What makes a religion false?

If any religion is right, then maybe they all have to be right.

Maybe God doesn't care how you say your prayers, just as long as you say them.

What if there's no God at all? Is that what you believe?

I believe in saving lives. Without life, the question is meaningless.

But life has to be more than just a pulse beat.

What we hold sacred gives our lives meaning.

What are we taking from this child?

That's a question we can worry after the operation.

Are you absolutely certain this is the only way to save the boy?

Yes.

That only makes the decision harder.

I have to refuse to sign the order.

I can't allow you to perform the operation.

What?

I don’t believe this. I thought I could depend on you.

How can you deny me permission to operate?

If it were just me, I would've signed the order in the first place.

But if the Commander of Babylon 5 starts overruling individual beliefs just because they violate his own beliefs, we'll be setting a dangerous precedent.

It establishes that the concerns of other races will be set aside whenever it's convenient for Earth.

That's not what you said when Ambassador Kosh was on the table.

Operating on Kosh was the camel's nose in the tent.

Operating on Shon will be the rest of the camel.

I have to stop it somewhere. I have to honor the beliefs of the parents.

Otherwise Babylon 5's charter will be compromised.

And the station's ability to function as an independent meeting place for all the different races in the galaxy will be destroyed.

You're just gonna let him die.

For God's sake doctor, do you think I want to do this?

I have no more choice here than anybody else.

I have to be the advocate for the parents because no one else will.

Franklin. - Shon's life signs are dropping.

Call the parents.

When the egg hatched, you first crept out...

...you were such a tiny morsel of life.

I could hold you in my cradled hands.

I was so proud of you then.

As proud as I was of the day that you were born.

Today, I'm even prouder.

Because you're meeting your destiny, like the true Child of the Egg.

We love you so much.

I promise you...

...we will sing many songs for you...

...so that your journey will be fast and peaceful.

And when you get to the other side, my son... you must sing for us.

You must be our beacon home.


He needs his rest.

Shon, I...

I- I wish...

Dottya.

I am glad you didn't get your way.

I'm grateful for the Commander's wisdom. This is better.

Sorry I can't agree with you. The child deserves a chance at life.

Yes.

But without a spirit, it isn't life at all. You know that.

I'll call you if there's any change in his condition.


I think you should go now. You're going to do it anyway, aren't you?

They have their beliefs and I have mine.

I took an oath. So did you.

If I stand by and do nothing...

Sinclair'll have you thrown off the station.

I'm already packed.

That boy is gonna die in an hour if I don't operate.

And no one, not you, not Commander Sinclair, not those poor, deluded parents, is gonna stop me.

So, you'll need an assist.

Alpha Leader, Raider ship detected at coordinates 400 by 20 by 15.

Just one ship, so it's probably a scout.

We've got one hour before we hit the jumpgate.

Jam all channels, we can't let it contact the rest.

Jamming.

Raider is breaking off, Alpha leader. What are your instructions?

Probably breaking off to get outside jamming range, bring in reinforcements.

Stay with the Azimov and escort it back to base. I'll take out the Raider.

Negative. Violation of orders.

The hell with orders, if that ship brings back a dozen Raiders, we'll all be dead.

Get going, I'll catch up.

Pressure?

We're equalized to his internal bladder. He won't have any trouble.

Alright.

Might be a slight escape of air or moisture when we make this incision.

Here we go.

You can't help but wonder, can you?

You didn't find anything in your researches, did you?

Oh, Lord, preserve this child. Say again?

Nothing.

It was a prayer for his spirit.

My prayers have to be just as good as theirs, right?

Besides, what could it hurt?

There she is.

Come on, come on. Come on!

Yes!

Good. Good.

Not good.

So, Shon, how do you feel? Here. Here.

There you go. That's it.

Better. I can breathe again. But I don't feel different inside.

Well, see, I told you.

I want my mother. And my father.

Well, they're on their way.

Shon.

Your spirit doesn't live inside your skin.

It's not something that can escape. You still have your spirit.

You see that now, don't you? Your parents will see that too.

You asked for us, Doctor. Dottya. Monnya.

In the name of the Egg, you did it. You did it anyway.

It's me! I don't feel any different. Listen, I'll sing songs for you.

Away, with you demon! Please!

What sort of unholiness spawned you? No!

What have you done? Don't leave me. No!

Don't leave me!

Shon, it's all right.

Come here. It's all right. It's okay.

In the name of the Egg and the nest in which it resides.

It's ok It's okay Shon.

I gave you a direct order, Doctor, you disobeyed it.

I should ask for your resignation right here, right now.

You want it, it's yours.

Don't tempt me, Doctor. Who asked you to play God?

Every damn patient who comes through that door, that's who.

People come to doctors because they want us to be gods.

They want us to make it better. Or make it not so.

They want to be healed. And they come to me when their prayers aren't enough.

Well if I take the responsibility, then I claim the authority too. I did good.

And we both know it, and no one is gonna take that away.

Yes? Sorry to bother you, Commander, I'm looking for Dr. Franklin. What is it?

I think you should come to Medlab. I think you both should come.

Out.

My husband has asked me to tell you he knows that what you did, you did out of your compassion.

You meant no harm. And if it were in his power to forgive you, he would.

I am not allowed to forgive either.

But if I could, I would.

My husband has brought the lamuda.

The traveling robe for great journeys.

We will take the boy now.

He needs to rest.

He will.

I'm waiting.

For an apology.

You better check the temperature in hell first.

Goodbye, Dr. Franklin.

Vital signs stabilizing.

All indications point to a speedy recovery. End report.

I owe you a steak dinner. Why?

You won the bet, remember? Oh, yeah.

You dared me to prove you wrong.

I finished the research on their people, as we discussed.

It's all here. The Great Egg, the Great Journey, the Great Song.

There's the lamuda. Traveling robe.

Oh, my God.

Move! Move!

Oh, my God.

You did it.

Do not grieve.

This was not our son. This was only a shell.

There was nothing to do but end the pain of the shell.

You can have my resignation. I've decided not to ask for it.

This time.

You should never have asked me for a ruling.

Then you wouldn't have had to disobey it. I'll know better. Next time.

Would the child have died if you hadn't operated?

Sometimes doing the right thing doesn't change anything.

It can drive you crazy.

It's all words. Just words.

All right. I was arrogant.

Thought I knew what I was doing.

Maybe we'd all be better off if there was no God.

If God had never been invented.

Then we wouldn't have to be anything.

We wouldn't have to care.

There's no way you could have known what they would do.

You're trying to tell me it's not my fault. Save your breath.

I'm trying to tell you that what makes us human... is that we care.

And because we care... we never stop trying.

No.

What makes us human is that we have so many different ways to hurt.

Are you okay?

Fine.


Passengers from space liner Azimov now arriving, Customs Debarking Area 10.

There you are. What happened out there?

Nothing. Nothing?

I just got back the repair order on your fighter.

It'll be in the shop for a week, minimum.

And on top of that, I hear you broke regs about leaving formation and engaging in combat without backup.

It was an educated risk.

There he is!

Sometimes it works out.

And sometimes it doesn't.

It's a long story. Come on, I'll fill you in.