The Geometry of Shadows (1994)
(Stephen) Breathe in, please.
Does it hurt when I do that? No. No, it's fine.
I don't, don't feel a thing.
Ow! Hey, hey, hey.
I don't like it when my patients lie to me.
(Michael) 'Yeah, but we could've discussed it. I mean, geez.'
What do you when a patient's late' with a bill stick needles in their eyes?
I cannot fill out an honest physical evaluation without your cooperation.
You are being cranky and difficult.
Well, you try getting shot in the back sometime and see what it does for your disposition.
[groans] ...how's it look?
Allowing for your tendency not to report everything that hurts your condition seems to be improving right on schedule.
I imagine you'll be able to get back to work in the next day or so..
...providing you don't exert yourself.
Yeah, well, I gotta check in with the new captain first find out if he even wants me around.
Besides, I don't know about this guy.
I keep thinking about how everybody and his brother wanted Sinclair out of here.
And now all of a sudden this change of command.
Sinclair I could trust.
This guy...I don't know.
You don't mind my saying so, you didn't exactly sound excited when I mentioned going back to work.
'Thought you'd be pleased.' Yeah, I-I am.
See you around. Hey, Michael.
Wanna talk about it?
Doc, what do you want me to say?
I got shot in the back by my own guy.
My own second-in-command.
He was right there all the time, a snake in the garden and I didn't even see it.
What the hell kind of a security chief am I supposed to be if I can't see somethin' like that?
You can't be expected to know everything.
Yes, I can, I could've known and I should've known.
And now I...I just don't know if I'm any damn use to anybody anymore.
You know, I keep asking myself what qualifies me to take back my job and..
...I haven't got an answer.
I wish the hell I did.
So we quietly set up monitoring stations near Quadrant 37 to keep an eye on the Narn buildup.
When we heard that you would, uh personally take care of the problem, well..
Yes, I'm sure it sounded quite absurd.
More like insane.
Then the monitors went silent.
Spy probes sent in later confirmed that the entire Narn outpost had been wiped out.
I would be very interested to know how you did that, ambassador.
Yes, I'm sure that you would.
Keep your secrets for now.
What matters is, that you have saved
'our people from another embarrassing surrender'
'by our idiot emperor.'
What you did required independence of thought.
And a rather large and aggressive strike force which you have managed to assemble without anyone knowing about it.
Even the Narns don't suspect it was us.
Or more precisely, you.
'We need more people like you, Mollari.'
He can be trusted.
The emperor...is old sick and frightened.
'He's a pitiful figure. His health is failing rapidly.'
'With the recent death of his son'
'there's no clear line of succession.'
When the time comes my associates and I intend to fill that vacuum.
It will not be easy.
There will be resistance from the old guard.
Overcoming that resistance may require force.
'Can we count on your support, ambassador?'
What you are asking could be considered treason.
Or the first step in restoring our people to their rightful place in the galaxy.
Depending on who writes the history books.
I think it will be us.
'What do you think?'
...that we have a great deal of work ahead of us.
Security to Station House.
'We have a Drazi fight in the bazaar.'
'I need a full tactical team, ASAP.'
(Sheridan) The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace.
A self-contained world, five miles long located in neutral territory.
A place of commerce and diplomacy for a quarter of a million humans and aliens.
A shining beacon in space all alone in the night.
It was the dawn of the Third Age of mankind.
The year the great war came upon us all.
This is the story of the last of the Babylon stations.
The year is 2259.
The name of the place is Babylon 5.
(Londo) 'Goodbye, Refa.'
You will give my regards to the others, hmm?
For a long time, they've been looking for a sign that it's time for our people to step forward again into history.
I will try very hard to convince them that you are it.
See you again soon, Mollari.
[indistinct chatter on speaker]
What? A techno-mage.
'Looks like a human.' 'What's a techno-mage?'
We used to have them back home, long ago.
They use science to achieve the effect of magic.
I haven't seen one in years. They almost never travel.
'They don't like to leave their places of power.'
To see even one of them is a rare thing.
To see more than one at a time..
...is considered a very bad omen.
This is definitely not good.
How long has this fighting been going on?
It's been building for the last couple of weeks.
It's a cultural thing. Hm.
Once every five years, all the Drazi here and at home
'divide up into two camps and fight it out.'
But it's not a fight to the death?
No. Just until the loser gives up or is knocked senseless.
Whichever side wins the most victories becomes the dominant group for the next five years when it starts all over again.
Actually, the timing of this may work out to be a good thing.
I have decided that it is time for you to start learning the fine art of diplomacy.
'If you could handle the low-priority conflicts'
'it would help me to focus on the other problems.'
Besides, added responsibility comes with any promotion.
'I know it's annoying and inconvenient but--'
Did you say promotion?
Yes, would you like some juice?
It's fresh from the hydroponic garden.
I told them to leave the pulp in.
That's the best part, don't you think..
I pushed through the paperwork the day after I got here.
I think you more than earned it.
I don't know what to say. Well!
Thank you would be a good place to start.
Now, your first job will be to find a peaceful solution to the Drazi problem, okay?
'And if you'll excuse me..'
...I have to pay a visit to someone.
Oh, ambassador, there you are.
I have been looking everywhere for you.
The Abbai delegation is waiting to see you.
Th-they had an appointment. They want to talk about.. Oh.
On the other hand, maybe I'll just sit here for a while.
...do you believe in fate?
...I believe there are currents in the universe.
Eddies and tides that, that pull us one way or the other.
Some we have to fight, some we have to embrace.
Unfortunately, the currents that we have to fight look exactly like the currents we have to embrace.
The-the currents that we think are the ones that's gonna make us stronger they're the ones that are going to destroy us.
And the ones that we think are going to destroy us they're the ones that are gonna make us stronger.
Now the other currents-- Vir!
Yes or no? Y-y-yes.
You know, somewhat. Why?
I was thinking about what Refa said before he left.
That they're looking for a sign back home.
Before our first emperor took the throne of the Centauri Republic he consulted three techno-mages who gave him their blessing.
Now that is an image that is very powerful for those of us who still believe in the old ways.
If they want me to help restore the Republic it wouldn't hurt for our people to associate me with the emperor.
I will consult them.
It will have considerable influence back home.
Go to them. Arrange it. I'll be in my quarters.
Londo, I really don't think I wanna do this.
Yeah, come in.
I've been expecting you to come by for some time.
Since you hadn't, I..
...decided the mountain should visit Mohammed after all.
'Good to see you on your feet.'
I talked to Dr. Franklin.
He says you can come back to work anytime you want.
'What do you say?'
I don't know.
'I don't know if I'm ready to come back or..'
...or if you want me to come back.
Maybe it'd just be easier on everybody if I resigned and moved on.
The universe doesn't give you any points for doing things that are easy.
Your record is..
...colorful, to say the least.
Everything I've heard suggests that you know this station better than anyone else.
I would be foolish to throw away a valuable resource..
...without at least trying to work together.
I need someone I can trust running security.
I'd like it to be you.
Now if you decide you'd rather be someplace else..
I'll hold your job open as long as I can.
Don't take too long, okay?
(Ivanova) 'As you all know, we're having a bit of a problem'
'here right now.'
'The aforementioned problem being that'
'you keep trying to beat each other senseless'
'with blunt instruments and banging up'
'against the bulkhead, pounding, mugging'
'jumping and generally carrying on cranky.'
'Now, while some of the other species wouldn't mind' if you wiped each other out..
...even they would prefer that you did so quietly.
But this station is dedicated to the goal of finding peaceful solutions to our problems.
'And we would like to find one here.'
Now you can start by helping me to understand the precise nature of the conflict between the two sides that you've set up.
No, I understand there are two factions but what is your point of contention?
And where do you disagree with each other?
Yes, but who gets to wear the purple sash and who gets to wear the green sash?
I mean, is it based on income or caste or rank or--
We put green and purple in great barrel.
Equal to numbers of Drazi.
'Then we reach in, we take.'
Where there was one Drazi people, now there are two.
The two fight until there are one.
That's it? I mean i-it's totally random?
Well, then how do you choose the leader for either side?
One purple and one green carries mark of leadership.
He who takes leader cloth is leader.
He who takes green is Green and follows Green leader.
He who takes purple is Purple and follows Purple leader.
[sighs] Okay, so in other words..
Would you two please step forward for a minute, please?
Okay, so what you're trying to tell me is that if I take this purple sash off of him and put it onto him..
...that this one thing alone is enough to start a..
I am Vir Cotto diplomatic attache to Ambassador Londo Mollari of the Centauri Republic.
I'm told by the people running that way that this is where I can find the techno-mages.
I'm here on behalf of Ambassador Mollari..
...and I need to speak to someone who is in charge.
Obviously, it would be at your earliest convenience.
My name is Vir Cotto, diplomatic attache to Ambassador Londo Mollari of the Centauri Republic.
My name is Vir Cotto, diplomatic attache to Ambassador Londo Mollari of the Centauri Republic.
My name is-- 'Stop program.'
You don't frighten easily.
I work for Ambassador Mollari.
After a while, nothing bothers you.
And what does your master want with me?
My employer requests an audience.
I'm sorry, neither I nor my brothers do private audiences.
We have nothing more to say to anyone on this side of the Galactic Rim.
Aha, but he's willing to pay.
Money is also irrelevant.
Where we are going, it will do us no good.
Let me put this another way.
If I go back without a yes the personal consequences will be profoundly unfortunate, okay.
And if you try to force us to walk where we do not choose to walk..
...the consequences will even be more unfortunate.
Could I at least get a name?
There is an old saying
"Do not try the patience of wizards..
...for they are subtle and quick to anger."
Do not come again, Vir Cotto.
Come on, doc, there's gotta be another way.
Your foot is broken in three places.
Now, I've fused the larger break but the other two are delicate bones in difficult places and if I fuse them, you might lose some agility.
Now, I can speed up the process so they'll heal in three weeks rather than nine but..
...you will have to wear a cast.
And it's gonna hurt. Swell.
I can give you something for the pain.
Oh, great, now you can give me something for the pain.
Where were you when I was going through puberty?
No, it's okay, I'll get used to it.
If it gets too bad, I'll just gnaw it off at the ankle.
Ah, captain. Commander.
Doctor, could I speak to her for a moment?
Sure. Thank you.
Not exactly an auspicious beginning to my diplomatic career.
We learn by doing.
And in the process you're gonna fall on your face a few times.
Though I didn't think you'd take it quite that literally.
So, what's your next move?
[sighs] Other than sticking the Drazi in a ship and firing it into the sun?
[chuckling] Other than that, yes.
Ah, on the other hand, look, uh you got pretty banged up there.
If you wanna give it a day or two--
No, no, I started this and, by God I'm gonna finish it.
Getting them together to resolve their differences didn't work because they don't have any difference to resolve.
So maybe I've gotta come at this from another angle.
Maybe find a nonviolent way to structure the conflicts that nobody gets hurt.
Good. I agree 100%.
So, uh, keep me informed, and take care of that foot.
Well, don't you wanna be there?
I have absolute trust in your abilities, commander.
Well, that's a hell of a thing to tell someone.
Ha! No pressure.
Tell the Drazi we'll meet in chambers and we'll try this again.
As soon as I can figure out how to stand up.
(Vir) 'Then he said, "Don't come here again."'
Unacceptable. You'll have to go back.
It won't work. They're not for sale.
No? And how do you know?
It's just something in the way he looks at you.
Something in his voice.
Londo, they're going away.
Money doesn't matter to them, power doesn't matter to them.
Money and power always matter. Not to them.
I don't think it's a good idea for anyone to get between them and where they're going.
Being seen with them being given their blessing would be a powerful symbol back home.
But if they won't come to me perhaps they will come to someone else.
Someone they can't ignore. I'll be right back.
Hey, chief. How you doing?
Fine, fine. You? Oh, you know, the usual.
Me and the rest of the guys, we were wondering..
...when're you gonna come back on duty?
Look, we bought a cake, alright?
It's been sitting there for two days now.
Are you kidding me?
You pass up a cake for two days? What's the deal?
What've you done with the real Lou Welch, huh?
Hey, Security! Security, over here!
We got another guy with a changeling net.
Seriously, chief, when you coming back?
Everybody misses you.
Y'know, it's just, uh..
You know, it ain't been the same without you.
Real soon now. Welch.
(woman on speaker) 'We've got another Drazi fight in Brown three'
On my way.
I gotta go.
Catch you later?
Then you are familiar with the techno-mages, hm?
(John) Only by name and reputation.
I've never seen one before, I wasn't really sure they even existed before now.
Ah, most unfortunate.
On my world, we have had considerable experience with them.
'They can be a source of great trouble.'
Unless one knows how to deal with them.
And you do? Of course.
With so many here at one time and you being new to Babylon 5, and your..
Well, your inexperience in such matters, no offense.
Oh, none taken.
It has occurred to me that I could be of some small assistance in averting trouble.
And what would you get out of it?
A clear conscience and a peaceful sleep.
As it happens..
...I just heard about their presence about an hour ago.
They're definitely emigrating but won't say where.
Earth wants more information before letting them go.
So this is as good an opportunity as any.
I'll set up a meeting.
9 o'clock? I'll be there.
I'm pleased, captain, that our first discussions have gone so smoothly.
I'm looking forward to many more in the future.
Until later, then.
(man on speaker) 'Commander Ivanova, I thought you should know.'
'We just received news from the Drazi Homeworld.'
Make my day and tell me this stupid fighting is over with.
(man on speaker) 'Just the opposite. The Greens upped the ante.'
'They've started killing Purples, not just hurting them.'
Have the local Drazi heard about this yet?
'I don't know.' I need a full tactical squad.
I need it now! 'On the way.'
Captain, I insist that neither I nor any of my clan represent any threat whatsoever to this station.
So you say.
But you have to understand that when something like this comes to my attention I have to look into it.
And there are an awful lot of you here over a 100 according to security.
And you refuse to tell Earth Central where you're going?
We have a right to go where we wish when we wish, with as many as we wish without being harassed, questioned or detained.
I am not looking to cause you trouble.
I just would like some questions answered, that's all.
Ahem. Sorry to be late, gentlemen.
I was unavoidably detained.
Matters of state. You understand.
I can tell by the sense of joy permeating the room that I was right to offer my services as a mediator.
Is this the one who brought us to your attention?
Only after I'd heard about your situation at my security briefing.
Captain, you've been used.
This creature has been seeking an audience with me ever since I arrived.
Is this true? Absolutely not.
My name is Vir Cotto, diplomatic attache to Ambassador Londo Mollari of the Centauri Republic.
My employer requests an audience.
You were saying?
Recording a conversation.
'A very low thing to do.'
But in the interest of good relations I'm willing to forgive.
I offer the hands of friendship.
I assume you will not take advantage of this gesture or misrepresent it as some sort of endorsement.
Oh, of course not.
Risky business, condemning my recording device while using one of your own.
I can explain everything. I do not like to be used!
You must learn manners and respect.
From this moment on, you will.
(John) 'I think you should leave, ambassador.'
Before I decide to report your attempt to bug my office and send you back home on the slowest transport I can find.
Of course. My apologies.
I apologize for that incident with Ambassador Mollari but there are still some questions that I need answered.
Where you're going, what's this group all about?
...do you believe there is such a thing as magic?
Well, when I was 12, I used to sit in my dad's garden the air full of the smell of orange blossoms watching the sky, dreaming of faraway places.
Back then, I think I believed in just about everything.
But now, I don't know.
I do think there are some things we don't understand.
If we went back in time a 1000 years and tried to explain this place to people they could only accept it in terms of magic.
Then perhaps, it is magic.
The magic of the human heart.
Focused and made manifest by technology.
Every day you here create greater miracles than the burning bush.
But God was there first and he didn't need solar batteries and a fusion reactor to do it.
Perhaps. Perhaps not.
It is within that ambiguity that my brothers and I exist.
'We are dreamers, shapers, singers and makers.'
We study the mysteries of laser and circuit crystal and scanner, holographic demons and invocations of equations.
These are the tools we employ.
And we know many things.
Such as? 'The true secrets.'
The important things.
Fourteen words to make someone fall in love with you forever.
Seven words to make them go without pain.
How to say goodbye to a friend who is dying?
How to be poor? How to be rich?
How to rediscover dreams when the world has stolen them from you?
'That is why we are going away.'
'To preserve that knowledge.' From what?
There is a storm coming. A black and terrible storm.
We would not have our knowledge lost or used to ill purpose.
From this place, we will launch ourselves into the stars.
With luck, you will never see our kind again in your lifetime.
I know you have your orders, captain.
Detain us if you wish.
But I cannot tell you where we're going.
I can only ask you to trust us.
I wanna see the leader of the Greens.
We just had another Drazi killed.
Do not interfere. I have to.
I can't have this station disrupted any further.
This has to stop and it has to stop now.
Look, I just hobbled all the way over from Blue Sector.
You could at least let me talk to him.
Drazi stronghold. Not place for humans.
You do not talk polite to Drazi.
But because you hurt by Drazi I welcome you. Rise above our differences.
Our differences is not the issue.
The issue is Drazi killing each other here and on your homeworld.
Would you prefer we murder humans?
Look, I came here to help, but if you don't wanna hear--
No, no, we take help. I have solution to our problem.
(male #1) 'You tell Purple Drazi'
'to gather in Brown 29.'
Not used by others. Will not be disturbed.
Talk peace talk. Find solution.
If you tell, they will trust. Alright, then what?
Then when all Purple Drazi in one place..
...open hatch to space.
Flush oxygen, vacuum. Purple Drazi cannot breathe.
All Purple Drazi, all Purple Drazi, die.
Station is quiet again. No more fighting.
Green Drazi win. You win.
Everybody, everybody win. I don't believe this!
You're talking about the cold-blooded slaughter of almost 2000 Drazi!
Don't you understand? These are your own people!
You will help? No.
Ah, great shame.
We already sent word to Purple to come.
Use your name.
You will stay here until we are done.
Now we finish this our way.
Oh, woah, woah, Lou. What's going on? What's the commotion?
Got an uplink from Commander Ivanova.
We gotta clear out Brown 29 for some big Drazi meeting.
Commander? Good for her.
Glad to see things are working out for someone around here.
Hey, wait, wait, wait. Wait, wait, wait.
Lou, you said you got an uplink, not a personal message?
Yeah, but we checked the ID on the data flow.
It came from her link. Yeah.
I know, I know, but did you talk to her?
No, the message said she was gonna be off-line for a while.
Look, I gotta go. Alright. Hey, hey.
Wh-where was she last time you talked to her?
Alien Sector. Uh, Brown 2.
(Ivanova) 'What does it take to get through to you?'
'You're making a mistake of galactic proportions!'
Assaulting an earth alliance officer, attempting mass--
Green must fight Purple.
Purple must fight Green. Is no other way.
Just my luck. I get stuck with a race that speaks only in macros.
Well, how do you do, sir, I'm looking for the lady of house assuming you're not the lady of the house.
Anyway I'm here to sell you something to make your life easier, cleaner and all around happier.
Yes, sir, the Acme Handy-Dandy Micro Helper right here in this box.
If you just allow me to demonstrate, this will only take a moment. Well, well, well.
I can see this is gonna be a hard sell.
This is just my little way of helping, so trust me, okay?
Ah, well, as a matter of fact if there's anybody in here who needs a little help just say the word and I'm here.
Look. A holo-demon.
'It has possessed my data system' consuming records, personal files...everything.
Twenty minutes ago it gathered together the pieces of my personal financial account it cast an equation spell.
I now own 200,000 shares in a spoo ranch.
And that sound.
T-t-that hideous sound! It's Narn opera.
Our friend the Techno-mage has an especially perverse sense of humor.
'I have to find a way to stop this.'
You could always..
(automated message on computer) Congratulations.
You are now the owner of
500,000 shares of Fireflies Incorporated.
(Londo) 'On the other hand..'
Guess what, it looks like the Purple Drazi bought that story of yours about one big fight to the death.
They're waiting for you in Brown 29.
'Now, I can't let you space them as appealing' as that idea sounds at the moment but we do have another solution.
As long as they're all together in one place like that we're gonna keep them there for a while.
How long? Uh, just a few days.
Ivanova checked the data files on your people and it turns out this stupid contest of yours lasts just one cycle.
A Drazi week is six Earth days, so in four days..
What's so funny? Cycle not Drazi week.
Cycle is Drazi year.
One Drazi year equal one point two human years.
Can you keep Purple Drazi prisoner that long, Earther?
This is our way. You could do nothing.
But don't you understand, this is insane!
It doesn't make sense to go around killing each other over a piece of cloth!
You do same, yes, for flag? For honor?
That's different. Yes. Is it?
Our flags at least mean something.
It's not as arbitrary as yanking a color out of a box.
I mean, you're fighting and dying over a stupid piece of cloth.
'But there's nothing special about it.'
It's not patriotic?
It's got nothing but this stupid little star
'in the middle of it.'
What? What's wrong?
Who takes green is Green, follows Green leader.
Who takes cloth for Green leader is Green leader.
Greens follow Green leader. Wait a minute.
You're saying just because I'm holding this right now I'm Green leader? But I'm human.
Rules of combat older than contact with other races.
Did not mention aliens. Rules' change.
Caught up in committee.
Not come through yet.
Yeah, bureaucracy, tell me about it.
Well, what do you know?
Greens follow Green leader, huh?
Green leader says, "You're all coming with us down to the Quartermaster's office."
I'm sure there'll be some dye hanging around.
Those of you not spending the next two months in the brig for assaulting an Earth Alliance officer are gonna look absolutely gorgeous in purple.
Perhaps my enthusiasm for, for a personal meeting..
A-and certainly, certainly the, the incident with the concealed camera was regrettable.
And I would just like to say that..
...for any misunderstanding that might have grown out of all of this I..
I'm pleased to see that you are a sympathetic and understanding group.
I will go now.
If you ever come this way again, though..
...perhaps we can do, do business after all, yes?
(Lou) 'It's really great to see you back in uniform, chief.'
So tell the truth, Garibaldi.
What made you come back to duty?
[sighs] Well, for a while there I really didn't know what I had to offer anymore.
And then I decided I bring two unique qualifications to the job.
Number one, as the captain was kind enough to point out.
I know this place and everybody on it, intimately.
I-I beg your pardon.
[laughs] Hey, in the two years you've been here you've never been more than two inches away from your link.
'Knowing that little piece of information'
'helped save your butt.'
Okay, Garibaldi, what's reason number two?
I don't trust anybody.
When somebody tells me we got a message from Ivanova I don't believe it until I get it from her point blank.
So in other words, you're perfect for the job because you're paranoid and compulsive.
Or compulsively paranoid. Who told you to say that?
[chuckles] Sheridan, talk to me.
(man on speaker) 'You said that you wanted to know when the techno-mages'
'were leaving, captain. They're boarding now.'
Thank you. I'll be right there.
I have to head up to Control.
See you in a bit, huh?
Oh, and, uh, Mr. Garibaldi. Michael.
I'm glad you agreed to stay on.
(man on speaker) 'Private Liner Crystal Cavern'
'is now in final jet prior to departure.'
[clears throat] Excuse me.
I wanted to thank you for your amusing little gift.
It took me two hours to repair the damage to my quarters.
And I don't think the smell will go away for days.
Now if I may ask, does this torment end when you leave?
Or am I going to have to spend the rest of my life paying for one little mistake?
Oh, I'm afraid you're gonna have to spend the rest of your life paying for your mistakes.
Not this one, of course, it's trivial.
I have withdrawn the spell. But there will be others.
What're you talking about?
You are touched by darkness, ambassador.
I see it as a blemish that will grow with time.
I could warn you, of course, but you would not listen.
I could kill you, but someone would take your place.
So I do the only thing I can.
Oh, I believe it was an endorsement you wanted.
A word or two, a picture, to send to the folks back home confirming that you have a destiny before you.
Yes, it was just a thought, nothing more.
Well, take this for what little it will profit you.
As I look at you, Ambassador Mollari I see a great hand reaching out of the stars.
The hand is your hand.
And I hear sounds.
The sounds of billions of people calling your name.
The ship carrying the techno-mages is requesting permission to leave.
What do I tell them?
What was it he said?
"Dreamers, shapers, singers, makers."
Part of me says we'll not see their like again.
And the part of me that still believes in magic..
...says don't be so sure.