Babylon 5 S1E4 Script

Infection (1994)

You still haven't told me when the commander is due back.

Soon.

How soon is "soon"?

Longer than a little while, faster than later.

He took out a fighter to check out a damaged transport.

Isn't that sort of job usually delegated to someone else?

The Commander is a hands-on kinda guy.

He'll grab any chance to take out a ship. He's like that.

Well I wouldn't know. I haven't seen him since I came aboard.

Have you ever tried one of these? What is it?

I'm not sure. According to the translator, it's either an aphrodisiac or a floor wax.

I can't decide if it's worth the risk or not Mr. Garibaldi -

Please. Michael. Did I mention I really enjoy your broadcasts?

You know, if this interview hadn't been set up weeks ago by Earthforce public relations I'd swear that Commander Sinclair did not want to be interviewed by Interstellar Network News.

I can't imagine that. This is supposed to be an event.

This is the second anniversary of Babylon 5 going online.

We took a poll when this station first opened and 75% of ISN viewers said that this place wouldn't even last five minutes!

Lloyd's of London put the odds of this station surviving even one year at 500-to-1.

Against!

Is there a bathroom around here?

Third door to your left.

That way.

The one with the blue marker is for methane breathers only.

I'd steer clear, if I were you.

What the hell.

If that thing leaves a waxy yellow buildup on anything I'm coming back here.

Julie, hand me that separator over there I've just about got the RNA strand where I want it.

Get it yourself.

Vance? What are you doing here?

I was in the sector, I thought I'd stop by and visit my favorite student.

I've come to offer an adventure, Stephen.

Very possibly the biggest adventure you've ever had.

What kind of adventure?

You'll find out soon enough.

Savor the mystery, Stephen.

We don't get nearly enough of them.

Tired?

Yeah, long day.

But your ship's the last one in. So, anything to declare?

Any plants? Non-sentient pets? Organic matter?

Nothing organic. Just some pottery and stonework.

Funny thing.

The bottom of this box on the inside is four inches shorter than bottom of the box on the outside.

Like there was a hidden compartment in here.

If I didn't know any better, I might think you were trying to smuggling something in.

Not a chance.

No, it's just packing material to protect the stuff.

Here, let me show you.

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.


How does it look?

All the signs point to death by natural causes.

Heart attack, from the look of it. That suddenly?

It's possible. I'll know more after we do an autopsy.

Did you know him?

No, he just started the other day.

Nothing in his personnel jacket to suggest a heart condition.

Yes... and exactly which medical school did you attend, Mr. Garibaldi?

Nothing personal, doc. I just want to be sure.

So do I.

I'll assign my best people to the autopsy. Fair enough? Good.

Meanwhile, if I were you I would go on with work as usual.

And as soon as I hear of anything definitive, I'll let you know.

Go ahead and remove the body now.

Sorry, we had a little problem at one of the docking bays.

Now! Would you like to tell me what is this all about?

I need your help.

Vance, you're an archaeologist.

Everything you touch has been dead for at least 100 years.

My area of expertise is a little more current, and a lot warmer.

All in good time, firstly I'd like to introduce you to my assistant.

Nelson, meet Dr. Stephen Franklin, one of the best students I ever had.

In the area of alien history, anatomy and culture.

A pleasure.

Dr. Hendricks told me all about you on our way in from our dig on lkarra 7.

Dig?

You found something.

Show him.

That's funny, I just had an energy spike on my screen.

Same here. What's the location?

I thought it was around Medlab. I'm not sure.

It was just there for a second.

Might have been a malfunction in the screen.

You better run a diagnostics check to be sure.

Will do.

We were on a dig sponsored by Interplanetary Expeditions when we found these artifacts sealed in a vault buried nearly a mile beneath the surface of lkarra 7.

Took us months to get them out.

But Ikarra 7 is a dead world.

Yes. But don't you see that proves what I've been saying for years.

That Ikarra was once home to a highly advanced, space-faring society.

Extraordinary. How old are they?

Minimum 1,000 years.

No chips, no sign of wear or age.

It's as if they were made yesterday.

What were they made to do?

Well that's where you come in.

Vance, I told you- I know, I know. Humor me.

Put it in your medical scanner.

Whoa.

We have veins, capillaries, traces of DNA.

Vance, this artifact is composed of living tissue.

This is organic technology.

The one trick that Earth hasn't yet been able to crack.

The ability to create living ships that thrive in the vacuum of space.

To create weapons that produce their own power through internal generation.

Like a firefly lights up at night.

The ultimate synthesis of machine technology and living tissue.

Magnificent.

This had to be a scanner of some kind.

See the way the entire surface tissue is photosensitive.

Retinal cones and rods to detect wideband light frequencies.

This is amazing!

Why didn't you come and see me about this when you first arrived?

I did. We've only been here a few hours.

But organic material has to be quarantined for

48 hours before it's allowed in the station.

We put it all through quarantine at the other end at the transfer station off Proxima 3.

It's all approved and authorized.

Nelson has all the paperwork if you're really interested.

Don't you see what this means?

This is a blueprint for living machines.

The Vorlons have one. Some people even say the Minbari have them.

We haven't seen enough of them up close to get any idea of how they work.

But with your expertise in xenobiology and genetics and my background in archaeology we now have the chance.

Well there are better-equipped facilities back on Earth.

I need someone I can trust.

You once told me back at the university that you wanted your name to go down in history.

Alongside Fleming. Salk.

Jenner.

Takahashi.

Well, this is it, Stephen. This is the mother lode.

I can't do it without you. I need your help.

So are you in or out?

Finish unpacking, Nelson.

We have a lot of work ahead of us.


There you are Chief. Any word on the autopsy yet?

Techs down in MedLab 4 still think it's natural causes.

We'll know tomorrow.

Other than that we've scheduled a full security detail to cover the Narn-Centauri negotiations next Tuesday.

That's it. I think we can call it a day.

I agree. How about you, Lt. Commander?

Shouldn't the night shift be on duty by now?

We've been picking up some unusual energy readings the last few hours.

I thought I'd wait around a little to see if it happens again.

Anything serious?

That's what I'm trying to find out.

Well, keep me informed. And get some sleep.

I will.

Oh, just a reminder your interview is scheduled for 1100 hours tomorrow.

Swell.

Which reminds me. She's waiting for me down in the Zócalo.

It'll be fun, so why are you ducking her?

The last time I gave an interview, they told me to just relax and say what I really felt.

Ten minutes after the broadcast I got transferred to an outpost so far off the star maps you couldn't find it with a hunting dog and a Ouija board.

Don't sweat it. Just be that charming effervescent commander we've all come to know and love.

What the worst that could happen?

They fire you, ship you off to the rim and I get promoted to commander.

I don't see a problem here.

How sharper than a serpent's tooth.

All this technology, you think there'd be a clock.

Stephen, it's been 15 hours.

We're gonna grow old and die in here.

Stephen?

Stephen there's a Martian war machine parked outside.

They'd like a word with you about the common cold.

Tell them to make an appointment.

You know, something's been bothering me ever since you got here.

Assuming that we can figure out how this organic technology works what happens then?

We apply for a secondary patent based on alien technology sell it to an Earth corporation for a percentage of the profits.

That's what I'm talking about. You're a brilliant man, Vance, a solid researcher.

You were an inspiration to me back at university.

You should be out making your own discoveries, instead of raiding dead worlds for whatever you can scavenge and sell to the corporation.

Right. Struggling through mountains of paper. Vanishing grants.

Who has time for that?

Exactly! That's my point.

Granted, this, this may be important, but you wouldn't have created it.

You just found it. It's a shortcut.

Frankly, I'm a little uncomfortable about corporations financing expeditions to alien worlds so they can steal whatever technology they have.

Feels a little like grave-robbing.

Do you know what it costs to mount an off-world expedition?

More money than a university professor makes in a lifetime.

If the corporations won't pay, who will?

In the last five years, I've seen things off-world you can't even imagine.

I've stood in the lbendi Desert and watched all seven moons go into eclipse.

I've walked in vaults that have been sealed longer than there's been a human race. breathing air that's 5 million years old.

You call that a shortcut if you will but I've lived.

By God, Stephen, I have lived.

At least my hands are clean. How about yours?

What's that supposed to mean?

Who is Interplanetary Expeditions?

You said they were fronting this expedition, but I checked I can't find any information on them.

Look, Stephen I didn't come halfway across known space to argue with you.

I came here because I wanted your help and friendship.

If that's too much of a burden...

No, it is not.

I just wish that you would stop taking shortcuts.

Look we're both tired I suggest we get a good night's sleep and start again tomorrow, fresh.

If you have any questions then, I'll be glad to answer them. Fair enough?

Yeah.

And after walking 50 miles, we made it out of the desert.

Later, when he was put in charge of Babylon 5 Commander Sinclair asked if I'd come work security.

I said yes. It's been a great time...

Yes, I'm sure it has.

In doing some research, I've come across several rumors surrounding your record prior to Babylon 5.

That you were fired five times for unspecified personal problems and that this is your last chance to make good.

Would you care to comment on any of that?

I'd rather have my tonsils taken out through my ears.


Lights.

Nelson?

Vance?

My God!

Nelson, what happened?

Protect.

When did it happen? Some time during the night.

They moved him to the infirmary about an hour ago.

What's his condition? Stunned. Bumps and bruises one hell of a headache.

Dr. Hernandez says it's okay to ask a few questions as long as he gets his rest.

You shouldn't be walking around yet.

I'm the doctor. I know what I'm doing.

Whoa...

On second thought...

Do you remember anything else after you walked in the door?

Not much. I turned around and there he was, like I said.

The design of that weapon reminds me of the organic artifacts we were working on.

Organic? Were they checked at customs?

I was told they were.

Check into it. This Nelson, who is he working for?

Vance Hendricks.

The same one who brought in the artifacts?

Interesting.

I still haven't heard a satisfactory answer, Dr. Hendricks.

And frankly, I'm getting tired of asking for one.

Dr. Franklin was attacked by your assistant, covered in some kind of armor that bears a striking similarity to the artifacts you brought on to this station.

Artifacts that were not cleared for access.

Organic material requires a 48 hour quarantine.

There's no record of their being quarantined or examined here or at Proxima 3.

I'm as much in the dark as you are.

Nelson told me that he checked them. I believed him.

Whether he was acting under your orders or not a potentially dangerous alien technology was smuggled aboard this station.

Now until I hear otherwise, I intend to hold you personally responsible.

Is that clear?

Yes, yes, yes it is. Is there any news of Stephen's condition?

They're checking him out over at MedLab 4. He took a pretty bad hit.

But I'm told he's gonna be okay.

He's up and around and trying to go back to work.

Thank God for that.

Can you tell us anything else about these artifacts?

They're a kind of organic technology. Limited energy.

In order to achieve mobility, they have to graft themselves onto another life form.

It's possible that if they were activated they tried to assimilate Nelson.

My guess would be that he's under their control.

For what purpose?

I mean why would the artifact choose to assimilate Nelson but not you?

Unknown. As to what it wants, that depends on its programming.

Could be anything.

According to Dr. Franklin, just before it fired it said something about "Protect."

You think that might that be the key to whatever it was programmed to do?

Maybe.

But the question is, protect who?

And from what?

That information may be contained in the remaining artifacts.

If I could assist Dr. Franklin in decoding them.

I mean, if I am responsible for starting all this the least I can do is help finish it.

Done.

That's what I told her!

Protect.

Lt. Commander, I've picked up that energy flash again!

Grey 13, Level B.

And there's something else.

The energy pattern has changed.

It's 20% more powerful than the last time.


Commander, I have security on the link.

Commander, we've got two fatalities in Grey 13.

It's definitely the same thing that attacked the doc.

We're in pursuit now on Grey 7.

Alright. I'm moving this to a level two alert.

Keep this channel open.

Commander.

I understand there's a problem? Some kind of attack?

Ms. Cramer, you are in a secure area. You will leave and you will leave now.

This is news. And the people have a right to know.

And you have a right to spend the next two days in the brig.

Lt. Cmdr. I want this weapon triangulated.

Confirmed.

Relay the data to security. I want this thing pinned down to within 10 feet.

Coming up now.

Commander?

Don't. You're too young to experience that much pain.

Station 1 may stand down.

Stations 2-6, please report.


Commander, we've got him cornered in Grey 5.

I think we can take him but we'll need some lights in here he's blacked out the place.

Coming online now.

Take him down!

Protect.

Go!

Move in!

Damn!

We've lost him Commander.

He burned through into a sublevel, moving between bulkheads.

Could be anywhere.

The added shielding in the bulkhead is making it difficult to pinpoint his location.

We won't know where he is again until he fires.

Garibaldi, have your teams sweep through each sector moving inward.

Two in each team, five-minute proximity checks.

Confirmed, security out.

Vance, come here. I think I found something.

There. The organic patterns in this piece emulate the synaptic relays in the brain.

I'm even picking up cross-genetic equivalents of serotonin used in the transfer information.

A data storage device?

If we could pull out that information, we might get a better idea of who the lkarrans were.

And more importantly, why they made these things.

Exactly.

Fire up the biosensor, let's see if we can tap into it.

I've got teams moving through every section trying to flush him out, but he's gone to ground. Could be holed up anywhere.

If he wants to do the most damage my guess is he'll head for the area with the greatest population.

That makes the central corridor a prime target.

I've studied the record of his attacks and there's a definite hit-and-run pattern.

Seems like every time he strikes, it chews up energy and he has to pull back and recharge.

Just a couple of problems.

One: His periods of latency are becoming increasingly shorter.

Two: we've been monitoring the energy level whenever he fires.

Each time, the level increases by 20 percent.

The last burst was completely off the scale.

If he continues to build power at that rate, pretty soon he'll be strong enough to destroy the entire station.

So the next chance we get to stop him might be our last chance.

All right, listen up!

I need this whole area cleared! We'll need room to maneuver.

I want guards on the doors, the second level and the catwalk. C'mon c'mon Move it! Let's go!

Got it. Energy readings off the scale.

Tracking it. Commander, it's on the move again.

Brown 2, Level C. It's heading for the central corridor.

Garibaldi, you heard? It's heading your way.

Confirmed. We'll be ready for it.

Win lose or draw, this thing's gonna know it was in a fight.

Drop the pressure doors on all sides, maybe that'll slow it down.

Give Garibaldi time to get set.

Affirmative.

Commander.

We managed to accessed the organic memory banks of one of the artifacts.

Make it short, Doctor, I don't have a lot of time.

Let me know when it's on the move again. Go.

Over the course of their history, the lkarrans were invaded half a dozen times.

Each assault more deadly than the first. They needed to create the perfect weapon.

Able to adapt to any situation.

An organic weapon, capable of independent thought.

Temperature up 90 degrees in Brown 2, Level C.

Since it would take years to create synthetic intelligence, they incorporated the brain-wave patterns of one of their researchers into the weapons.

That's him. His name was Tularr. But people can be fooled.

So to prevent them from being confused by any misleading instructions from the enemy they hardwired the machine half of the weapons not to respond to anyone who wasn't pure lkarran.

Just one problem, Commander, how do you define a pure lkarran?

Or a pure human? No one is pure. No one.

Temperature's up 500 degrees. It'll be through any time now.

Doctor, I'm joining Mr. Garibaldi on the line.

So who set the parameters of what it meant to be a pure lkarran?

A coalition of religious fanatics and military extremists that ran the government.

They programmed the weapons with a level of standards based on ideology, not science.

Like the Nazi ideal of the perfect Aryan during World War 2.

Exactly. In the next invasion, 11 of the machines were released.

And they stopped invaders by killing anything that didn't match their profile of the pure, perfect lkarran.

When they were finished, the machines turned on their creators.

They began a process of extermination based on the slightest deviation of what they were programmed to consider normal.

They killed, and kept killing, until the last lkarran was dead.

What about the weapons?

With no one to tend to them, they were destroyed by centuries of neglect.

Except for number 12 which is here, now, acting on a program to protect a world that's been dead for 1000 years.

You said they incorporated the brain patterns of one of their researchers into the weapons.

Tularr, yes.

Is there anything there we can talk to. Reason with.

Well there's a complete personality matrix, yes but it's totally subsumed by its programming.

Then we'll just have to find a way around the logic of the program.

Better head back to the Medlab, Doctor.

I suspect we're going to need your services.

Weapon!


Not yet.

I want it point-blank.

Fire!

Cease fire!

Damn. It's in the next level!

It's a straight line to where the civilians are quarantined.

How many men do you have stationed down there?

Not enough.

Commander, we hit it with everything we had we didn't even slow it down.

The only weapons that might be big enough to kill it would rupture the hull and kill everybody anyway.

Then that's what we'll have to do. Blow out the hull.

Where are you going?

I'll try to lure it to the docking area.

We get it in place, seal the area, and blow out the air lock.

Armored or not, nothing can live in a vacuum.

Fine. Except how you gonna get it there?

By going straight to its personality matrix. I'm gonna try and make it mad.

Make it mad, are you nuts?! Commander!

Tularr.

Tularr of lkarra 7.

My name.

My name!

Who knows my name?

Who knows my name?!

Your name is dead, Tularr.

Your world is dead.

Ikarra lives! lkarra must be protected!

You failed. You've failed in your mission!

Ikarra is dead!

By your own hand!

You and others like you!

That is a lie! It is a lie!

Ikarra is dead!


Protect!

Standing by. Ready to initiate emergency decompression.

Wait! Wait!

Come on! Protect.

Protect who? From what? Impure!

Yes, impure! You must protect against all who are not pure lkarran!

Yes!

And your own people, how pure were they?

Pure! How pure?

They didn't feed you facts, they fed you propaganda!

They programmed you with standards of genetic purity no one could match!

Not even your own people! Liar!

Seal the area. Stand by to blow air lock and depressurize.

Commander if we depressurize the area now, you'll be killed with it.

Only one way out past that thing. I'm dead either way. Dog the hatch, seal it. Now!

Stand by.

Ikarra lives!

Ikarra must be protected!

There is no lkarra! Not the way you remember it.

The others, like you, they beat the invaders, all right.

Just like they were programmed. They killed anything that was different.

Alien. But we're all aliens to one another.

Flawed, impure, different!

No!

Too tall, too short, too dark, too light!

Imperfect!

They were killed, and the killing went on and on and on!

No!

The man you took over, Nelson, he's seen lkarra!

Ikarra after the others finished protecting it!

Cleansing it of every slightest variation in genetics!

You can access his memories.

See for yourself!

Look inside his mind.

See what he's seen.

Go on, look into his mind.

He can't hide the truth, he can't lie to you!

Look deep.

Look at it!

A desert.

Yes.

Dead.

A thousand years dead.

There's your pure world, your perfect world!

We did this? Yes.

No!

Damn you, look at it!

You and the rest, you forgot the first rule of a fanatic:

When you become obsessed with the enemy, you become the enemy!

Ikarra!

Great Maker...

forgive us... this madness.

Forgive us.


Stephen, how's Nelson?

Medlab 2, resting.

Good.

Vance, I found this in Nelson's effects.

It's meant for cardio stimulation.

If used on a healthy person, it could cause cardiac infarction and death.

The body of the customs guard had two tiny marks on the back!

So small we missed them at first, but they do match the prongs there.

I spoke to Nelson.

He confirms things I'd hoped I was wrong about.

You knew he did not put those artifacts through quarantine.

He was acting on your orders the whole time.

For God's sake, Vance, why?

Interplanetary Expeditions...

...the corporation that financed the dig on lkarra 7, is a front.

A front for a bioweapons supplier.

Oh I could just have turned over the artifacts, taken the standard commission.

But if they were what I suspected, organic weapons, then I could take a chance hold back on delivery, and they... Pay millions?

Oh, more! More money than you can conceive.

But before you could take that chance, you had to be sure, and that's why you brought them here.

Yes.

You deliberately endangered a quarter million humans and aliens just to raise your profit margin!

Well I was sure I could control it. I never expected anybody to get hurt.

What about the murdered customs guard?

Well we had to get them through customs.

Nelson said he'd do it. I didn't know how, I didn't ask.

There was too much at stake.

That's why the weapon bonded to him, and not to one of us.

The program needed someone willing to kill.

Look, Stephen, we can work all this out.

We can sell the rest of the artifacts to Interplanetary Expeditions.

They have enough muscle to clean up this whole mess.

All you have to do is uh... not turn me in.

I mean, just think what you could do with all that money.

It's too late.

Stephen.

Come.

You've looked better.

Listen, can I talk to you for a second?

Sure.

The whole station's talking about how you were willing to risk your life to stop that thing.

I didn't really... Let me finish.

This is the third time in the last year you've put yourself on the line like this.

I didn't know anyone was counting.

Jeff.

You're my friend.

You've been my friend a lot longer than you've been my commanding officer so I think I'm entitled to say this.

We were both in Earthforce during the war.

I wasn't on the line, but I did my share.

I know a lot of guys who came out of the war changed.

Some came out better, some came out worse.

A lot of them have this problem.

The war gave them definition, direction, purpose.

Without it, they don't know how to fit in anymore, so they keep looking for ways to go out in a blaze of glory.

Some people call that being a hero, maybe so.

I don't know, I've never been one.

Me, I think they're looking for something worth dying for because it's easier than finding something worth living for.

Finished?

Yeah.

I guess that covers it.

Michael...

I don't have an answer for you... and...

I think maybe I should.

Thanks.

You seem troubled, Doctor.

No, I'm just thinking.

How the lkarran fought against invaders just like we fought against the Minbari.

They became obsessed with it.

Back home there's a growing pro-Earth movement.

Rumors of hate groups targeting aliens.

And on all sides, the fanatics.

They think society has to be protected against anyone who's different.

I'm starting to wonder if what we just saw is a preview of things to come?

I can't believe we'd be that foolish.

Santayana: "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Yes?

Dr. Franklin.

I have orders to confiscate the artifacts and transfer them to Earth Central.

On whose authority?

Earthforce Defense, bioweapons division.

Something about studying them for planetary security reasons.

It would seem no one reads Santayana anymore.

You'll excuse me. If you need me I'll be over there, getting drunk with the rest of the aliens.

So, Commander, after all you've just gone through, I have to ask you the same question a lot of people back home are asking about space these days.

Is it worth it?

Should we just pull back, forget the whole thing as a bad idea and take care of our problems at home?

No. We have to stay here.

And there's a simple reason why.

Ask 10 different scientists about the environment, population control, genetics and you'll get 10 different answers.

But there's one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on.

Whether it happens in 100 years, or 1,000 years or a million years eventually our sun will grow cold and go out.

When that happens, it won't just take us.

It'll take Marilyn Monroe, and Lao-tzu and Einstein and Morobuto and Buddy Holly and Aristophanes All of this... all of this... was for nothing... unless we go to the stars.