Spider in the Web (1994)
(Sheridan) 'Schedule Delta Wing for maintenance at 1400' and make sure Conference Room 7 is properly laid out for the Tikar delegation.
Six yarwood chairs placed precisely one meter apart in a star pattern with the hee-lok on the center chair.
(female #1) 'Captain, there's a problem in the ambassadorial section.'
'They're asking for a command officer.'
I'll handle it.
Help is on the way.
Ah, it's good to be the captain.
Talia, it's been too long.
And what did you think of my NeoMars proposal?
It's like all your proposals, too progressive, too risky and too costly in the short run.
But if you can make it happen..
I must make it happen.
FutureCorp has to expand beyond Earth and Mars is the first step.
The senate won't like it and the Mars Conglomerate will try to bury you.
We're prepared for that.
Now we need to only convince Mars to share the risk.
And if they won't?
Then the path to freedom may well be drenched with innocent blood and a long-held dream of mine will die.
Amanda Carter, Mars Colony Business Affairs Committee.
Miss Carter, Miss Talia Winters
'one of the finest commercial telepaths'
'I've ever worked with.'
She will be monitoring our negotiations for FutureCorp.
(Amanda) 'Miss Winters.'
I read your proposal, Mr. Isogi..
[sighs] ...and frankly you're either insane or a very brave man.
I can well imagine that's what they said of your great-grandfather John when he volunteered to pilot the first colony ship to Mars.
[chuckles] So they did.
Let's talk. Please.
(man on TV) We'll begin by focusing more on the needs of our own people to move on, to create the world that..
(female #2) 13.
(computer) 'All components have arrived'
'safely on Babylon 5.'
'Control is prepared to go online.'
(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.
(male #1) 'Captain, you have a transmission'
'from Senator Voudreau.'
Patch her through.
Senator, what can I do for you?
Taro Isogi, chief executive of FutureCorp has arranged a meeting on Babylon 5 with Amanda Carter
'a representative of the Mars Provisional Government.'
Carter is an outspoken advocate of Mars' independence and we suspect FutureCorp is conspiring with her to finance another rebellion on Mars colony.
[chuckles] Do you have any proof?
We know FutureCorp desperately wants a foothold in space.
An exclusive trade and services agreement with Mars would give it to them, if they could move the current Mars Conglomerate out.
Many of the members wanted to pull out after the last rebellion.
Another would have them running like river rats.
I understand your concern but there's not much I can do about it.
I have no authority over corporate negotiations.
'Babylon 5 is neutral territory.'
Any race can negotiate here without interference, even our own.
This is a possible threat to Earth Alliance security, captain and as such, we're asking you to check it out.
Just keep an eye peeled and an ear open and report anything of interest to me.
With all due respect, senator, my duties as commander of B5 don't include spying on civilians.
These are volatile times, captain.
Practicality is more important than principles if lives are to be saved.
'I'll expect to hear from you soon.'
(female #3) 'Captain, the Tikar delegation is docking.'
I'll meet them in the conference room immediately.
Mars has resources the alien worlds need.
Now they in turn can supply an economic base which will enable the colony to become self-sufficient within ten years.
You can win your independence without bloodshed.
It will be a hard sell with the committee.
They'll need concrete assurances from the alien worlds.
Not entirely true.
You're pretty sure the committee will accept your recommendation and you're the one who needs the assurance.
Yes, I do, Miss Winters.
Mars is being ripped apart at the seams right now and before I bargain with its future I need to know exactly what's expected of us.
Naturally. That's one of the reasons why I suggested Babylon 5 for this meeting.
All our prospective partners have representatives here.
We can iron out all the details to your government's satisfaction.
You actually believe you can make this work?
No, I believe we can try.
I'll speak with the Business Affairs Committee.
I think I can have an answer for you by tomorrow afternoon.
She likes the idea.
She has her doubts, but basically she likes it.
And you? Now that you've heard the details of my little plan do you also have your doubts?
The financial risk is bad enough but the legal maneuvering will be even..
I want to hear them.
[chuckles] I'd love to.
Hello, commander. May I?
How did the conference go? Oh, very well, very well.
Your seating arrangement was flawless.
Latir Corvo himself complimented it.
I think we'll be seeing the Tikar on Babylon 5 soon.
They're an interesting people. 'Yeah.'
And I believe you were the one who made first contact with them?
The Agamemnon was in an unexplored sector beyond the St. Andre Nebula when we cited this green cloud floating in space.
'Only it wasn't a cloud at all.'
'It was a ship.'
We hailed it but got no response.
We moved toward it, it moved away.
We kept that up for hours until finally they responded.
It took our linguistics division a whole day to get even close to deciphering their language.
They'd already deciphered ours but neglected to tell us, so..
Oh, a Jovian Sunspot.
Ah. You're indulging.
I earned it, and I'm off-duty.
Well, we finally broke the language barrier and introduced ourselves.
And I was invited aboard their ship.
'Oh, it was incredible.'
I'd never seen so much space on a starship.
And the Tikar themselves are so unlike any other alien species we'd encountered.
I spent two days with them..
...and what I learned in that time made me realize just how wondrous this galaxy of ours really is.
(Talia) I've never seen you so excited about a deal before.
Well, it's not just a deal, Talia.
It's a step into the future.
Mars can be the beginning of a whole new life for the human species as it was meant to be.
(Sheridan) So you have no idea what the images you got from the killer meant?
No, it was all too quick.
Just a, a blur of light and sound and then the blackness.
And all he said was, "Free Mars?"
Yes, but...my first assignment was Mars Colony.
I scanned several Free Mars people during that time.
They're violent fanatics with a murderous hatred of Earth Alliance, but this man was different.
There was no thought of a cause in his head.
No anger, no, no emotion of any kind.
Just those images.
So what reason would Free Mars have for killing your client?
Taro's proposal was a peaceful solution to the Mars problem.
Well, Earth Central feels differently.
They believe he was going to back another rebellion on Mars.
[quavers] Taro hated the violence on Mars.
He never would have done such a thing.
Someone's been lying to you, captain.
Or to you. I'm a telepath.
'Telepaths are human beings.'
You were an old friend of Isogi's.
You trusted him. With good reason.
Taro Isogi spent his life improving the lives of others.
He built a business based on that principle and he never broke a rule and harmed another to do it.
Mars was his dream, captain.
Now he's been murdered for it and you're trying to cast the blame on him.
[sighs] I'm sorry.
I'm sorry too.
I'm also tired, and I hurt.
May I go back to my quarters now?
Yes, I'll arrange for an escort.
One escort at your service.
This really isn't necessary. Captain's orders.
Now he's worried about you, and so am I.
Besides, this gives us a chance to get to know each other better.
I've led a fascinating life.
[quavers] Mr. Garibaldi, Taro Isogi was like a father to me.
I loved him as a client and as a mentor and as a friend and now he's dead.
You'll forgive me if I'm not in the mood for your usual badinage.
You're right, um..
It's a bad time for you, I'm being a yutz.
Could you at least tell me what badinage means?
Well, my pop always said that laughter's better than pills for what ails you.
He was right.
We'll get the creep who did this, I promise.
That won't bring Taro back or his dreams for Mars Colony.
No, but it will save someone else from getting killed.
(computer) 'Unable to respond.'
'Code not recogni..'
'Code acknowledged. Report.'
Phase I complete.
'Download all mission data, then erase source file.'
(computer) 'Witness ID, Talia Winters.'
'Resident commercial telepath.'
'Control states Miss Winters could jeopardize mission.'
'Eliminate her, then continue with Phase II.'
Location of Talia Winters.
I want you to hold all outgoing traffic until further notice.
There's been a murder, and I don't want the killer jumping station.
Do you know who it is? Not yet.
But we do have an eyewitness, Talia Winters.
Was she hurt? 'Fortunately not.'
I think the killer wanted a witness.
Tell me, what do you think of her?
Miss Winters? 'Hmm.'
I think she's an interesting person.
You never describe anybody that way.
I mean, I don't really know her that well.
I mean, we've chatted from time to time and she's...interesting.
But you know how I feel about telepaths.
[scoffs] Do I ever.
You threw one out of a third story window on Io.
There was an ample pool below the window.
I'll assume you knew that.
Aside from Miss Winters' interesting quality do you think she can be trusted?
...she's very loyal to Psi Corps.
Hmm. And you don't trust Psi Corps?
No. Do you?
Telepaths are gifted and cursed in ways I can never hope to understand.
But they're still human beings, good, bad, or indifferent.
I trust in individuals, not organizations.
Then you may trust Miss Winters.
Miss Carter. I'm Captain John Sheridan commander of Babylon 5.
I'd like to ask you a few questions about your meeting with Taro Isogi.
I'm afraid I must decline, captain.
Private negotiations are not subject to Earth for scrutiny.
In this case, they are.
Mr. Isogi was murdered last night.
What? Who could have--
According to an eyewitness, the killer said, "Free Mars."
Free Mars? 'Yes.'
No, that can't be.
There's no way they could have known about this meeting.
And even if they did, they had nothing to gain by killing Mr. Isogi.
'Taro was working to achieve a peaceful compromise' that would ensure the colony's independence without bloodshed.
Somebody obviously didn't like it.
Any idea who they might be?
The senate. Mars Conglomerate.
They'd be the most opposed.
I never thought they'd go this far.
Thank you for your time, Miss Carter.
I may have some additional questions for you later.
I'll be glad to help.
Whoever killed Taro Isogi killed Mars' best hope for the future.
[sighs] What have you come up with?
Forensics said Isogi's body was hit with a massive electrical charge.
Disrupted every cell in his body.
There are scorch marks on his throat that show the outline of fingers but no prints or striations of any kind.
A slaver's glove? Nah.
I mean, they pack a jolt, but not enough to do this much damage.
This is high-tech, and definitely not standard Free Mars issue.
My guess is some sort of prosthetic weaponry.
What I can't figure is how he got it on the station.
A power source that would generate that big a charge should show up on scanners.
Maybe he had some special help.
You want to explain that?
Not till we have more to go on.
Keep an escort on Miss Winters and intensify the search.
Include EarthGov and Corp secure areas.
Will do. Captain..
...I'd sure like to know where you're going with this.
Someplace very dark.
And I hope to God I'm wrong.
(male #2) Hey, Earther!
'Help me, somebody!'
What have they done to me?
(Talia) 'The images in his mind were the same as before' except this time I saw an Earth Alliance ship.
A big one. Um, a cruiser, I think.
It was firing at him.
And I know this sounds crazy, but it hit him.
And he died. Died?
It was as if he were reliving the thought of his death over and over again clinging to it, as if it were the only thought he had.
Captain, we got an ID on our perp.
I checked the DNA in the hair that Miss Winters pulled out of his head.
It's positive. Take a look. That's him.
(Garibaldi) Yeah, he's Free Mars, alright. One of their leaders, in fact.
Name's Abel Horn. Abel Horn?
You know him? 'In a way.'
My wife Anna and I had some very special friends on Mars.
They worked at Ritchey Station.
They were there when Free Mars blew it.
Abel Horn claimed responsibility for it.
I want him, Mr. Garibaldi.
So do I, but there's a, a problem.
According to Earthforce Intelligence, Abel Horn is dead.
'A cruiser scragged his ship'
'over Phobos during the rebellion.'
Oh, my God.
Is that what you saw in his mind?
Would someone tell me what the hell we're talking about?
Right now, I want her in protective custody and a fugitive alert posted on Horn.
Done. Miss Winters?
It's been a long time.
I thought you were dead. Damn near.
Earthers blew me up over Phobos.
Your old buddy Singer found me, got me out.
A snakehead doc fixed me up.
I've been hiding in the Tigris Sector ever since.
'Then I got word you were coming here.'
Why did you kill Taro Isogi? Who?
'The man I came here to meet. They say you killed him.'
There's a fugitive alert out for you.
They're lying. I haven't killed anyone.
I came here to see you.
I have to get back to Mars and you're the only one who can help me.
I can't do that, Abel.
I am finally in a position to help with Mars' independence.
I-if anyone found out I was once a member of Free Mars--
Which just might come out, if they were to catch me here.
[scoffs] You came here to blackmail me into smuggling you back to Mars?
That was never your style, Abel.
Abel, what's wrong?
Amanda, please, you have to help me.
They did something to-to-to me.
The tel-telepath knows.
Talia Winters. Aah!
[groans] Saw it in my head.
Have to, have to, have to find her.
There's only one way in here and I have a full detail on it.
It would take an army to get to you.
If you need to go somewhere, call the guard post and they'll assign an escort.
Try to relax.
[chuckles] Enjoy yourself. We'll take care of this guy.
[sighs] Mr. Garibaldi, I was just going to make a cup of tea to soothe my nerves.
Would you like one?
Well, since I am chief of security I guess seeing your secure is my job and tea just happens to be my third favorite thing in the universe.
I needed this yesterday. I mean, she's right.
Commander, the captain of the Matheson is demanding an update on his departure.
Tell him to go away, tell them all to go away.
How's it going?
We've had twenty complaints, six formal protests and one outright threat, all in the last hour.
The natives are very restless.
Start moving them out. What about the murderer?
I don't think he's trying to leave yet but have every ship searched.
I'll be in my quarters. There's something I wanna check out.
So then my pop says to the guy, "50 credits for a salami?
I could have killed you for 20."
Your father was quite a character.
He was the best.
He cooked like an angel, swore like the devil and taught me everything I know about security.
The old man could spot a crook a sector away and he was still hauling them in at 75.
'Then he got Torg's Syndrome and..'
...just kind of faded away.
I sure miss him.
I never really knew my father or my mother.
I was raised by Psi Corps from the time I was five.
Of course, there was Abby. Abby?
She was my support during my first year at the center.
When telepaths first come, they're assigned a senior telepath to guide them through the early stages of the program.
The first day, I was crying all the time.
I was scared and confused and hurting and then Abby came.
She held me for a very long time never saying a word.
I didn't know it then, but she was scanning me ever so gently.
And little by little, the pain and fear and confusion melted, and all that was left was this warm, safe place in my mind.
It was wonderful.
But the next year, Abby was assigned to another newcomer.
(Sheridan) 'Mr. Garibaldi, please report to my quarters.'
On my way.
My pleasure, Miss Winters.
[doorbell beeps] Come.
Mr. Garibaldi, take a look at this.
(Garibaldi) '"Project Lazarus." Never heard of it.'
It was part of Earthforce's cyber experiments back in the late '30s.
Most of the cyber experiments were a bust.
I mean, humans couldn't function with machines in their brains.
Correct. That's why they came up with the idea of using subjects on the verge of death.
Accident victims, uh wounded soldiers, people in comas.
You're kidding? That's grotesque.
[scoffs] Gets even better.
The theory was to hardwire the subject's brain with a computer intelligence.
It kept the brain functional while the body was repaired.
Then using telepathic deep scan the subject was fixated on the moment of his death shutting down all conscious thought.
The computer takes complete control while the subject is dying over and over again in his subconscious.
Miss Winters said that Horn was clinging to the thought of his death as if it were the only thought he had.
Whoa, hold on. Are you sayin'
Horn is one of these cyber zombies?
'I'm saying he might be.'
His body could have been recovered after the blast.
Or Intelligence was wrong again and Horn was never in the ship that was blasted.
Well, that's the simple explanation and ordinarily I'd accept it, but this isn't a simple thing.
'A known Free Mars terrorist' kills a man in front of a witness and leaves her alive.
Later he kills another man to get to that witness and again leaves her alive.
Maybe he's squeamish about killing women.
Or maybe Talia Winters touched something in him.
Something that made Horn realize who he really was for a moment.
I think it's playing havoc with his programming.
You almost have me believing this load.
I'm not sure I believe it myself but if it's true, there should be a way to locate him.
I'd like to make a transmission to Miss Talia Winters.
So you'll meet with me? Yes.
In a half hour? I'll look forward to it.
Amanda, I knew you'd help me. Abel, all I did was..
(Sheridan) 'Well, this is a long shot.'
My information on Lazarus is 20 years old but according to the files the computer power crystal emits a low level of a benign radiation.
It wouldn't ordinarily show up on the environmental scanners but if we could reconfigure them to look for it.
(Zack) 'Chief, Zack Allan.'
'Miss Winters is requesting an escort'
'for a business meeting in Red 7.'
With who? 'Amanda Carter.'
That's a go, Zack.
Come through Red Alpha. I'll join you at Point 6.
Hmm. This is trickier than I thought.
The element is definitely out-of-date.
Why not let the wizard have a go?
...all we have to do is cross-reference with the Medlab files find the updated element number log that with E-systems, and voila.
It's trickier than you thought.
Miss Winters, it's not a good idea to be roaming around the station.
I'm hardly roaming.
No, I guess not. So what's up?
Amanda Carter wants to pursue Taro's plan.
I don't know if I can convince FutureCorp to go along but if I could, it would be like a memorial for Taro.
Now they can kill a good man, but not a good idea.
Take your time. We'll be right here.
Make one sound and I'll kill you.
That should do it.
Computer, begin scan.
What am I? Tell me!
I don't understand. You're a mind bender.
You saw it in my head.
Tell me what it means! Tell me!
Tell me. Tell me, please.
(Talia) You were dying.
They operated on you, rebuilt you.
There was a Psi cop.
(computer) 'Scan complete.'
'Low-level ironium radiation detected.'
'Red 7, Suite 15.'
Where is Miss Winters?
Meeting with Miss Carter in her quarters.
(Sheridan) 'Our perp's inside. Get him, but get him alive.'
I'm on my way.
Damn it! Our perp's inside.
Jackson, left side, Hanson, right.
Watch out for Talia. Remember, this guy kills by touch.
Zack, let's get the door.
I'll fry her. I swear it.
End of the road, pal. There's nowhere to go.
Come on, think about it. Can't think.
When I think-- Okay, okay.
Take it easy. Drop the guns.
Back off. Do it!
You hurt that lady, and I'll see it takes you ten days to die.
I'm already dead, Mr. Security man.
No, you aren't, Horn.
'Now just listen to me.'
They are using you to betray your own world.
How do you know this? 'You know it, too, Abel.'
You can feel the machine crawling in your brain.
Get out of my way!
(Sheridan) 'Let us help you. That's all we wanna do.'
You let her go, and we'll help you.
You've died too many times, Abel.
There's no need to die again.
Now put the weapon down.
It was the Earthers, wasn't it?
It wasn't, wasn't enough just to kill me.
(Sheridan) 'We'll find out who it was together.'
Just put the gun down.
Mars will never be free until the sands run red with Earther blood.
Thanks for ending it, Earther.
Captain, I'm reading a dangerous energy surge from the body.
Get her out of here.
Come on, everybody out, everybody out.
'Come on! Go! Now!'
I am very sorry, Miss Winters.
Abel said you knew what was wrong with him.
I was worried about him. I..
I never thought he would try to harm you.
And how does a Mars government rep know so much about a Free Mars terrorist?
Abel Horn wasn't always a terrorist.
Fifteen years ago, he was a bright young man utterly devoted to independence for Mars Colony.
That's when I met him..
...and fell in love with him.
He convinced me to join Free Mars.
It wasn't a radical group at the time.
Later, when they began to become violent, I left them.
I never saw Abel again until today.
Oh, tell me another one.
You could have Miss Winters scan me if you think I'm lying.
Besides, I've already said enough to ruin my career.
If we report it.
Are you proposing a deal, captain?
You said Taro Isogi's plan was the best hope for Mars.
'Did you mean that?' Yes.
Then continue to negotiate with FutureCorp.
Make that happen.
I doubt they'd be interested after what happened here.
I'll be glad to speak to them for you.
I'll make it clear that your government had nothing to do with the murder.
I'm sure they'll consider going ahead.
To make sure Taro Isogi's dream becomes a reality and to keep you where you can do the most good.
We'll talk later.
Captain, begging your pardon, but have you gone space happy?
That woman is an accessory to murder and attempted murder.
Horn wasn't trying to kill me.
He wanted me to scan him.
There was something in his mind controlling him.
Something he wanted me to find.
And did you?
I saw an image, some sort of an operation.
Well, did you recognize anything?
A location, a face, uniform?
Take Miss Winters to her quarters.
I'll help Ivanova move the traffic out.
Is there something? There's a whole list.
But let's start with how you knew about the Lazarus Project.
Some people collect coins or art.
I collect secrets.
Black projects, conspiracies secret organizations, uh..
...they fascinate me.
Does one of those secrets include who was behind this thing?
It's better you don't ask that.
'Look, captain, uh, I know' you don't trust me the way Jeff used to but if there's a threat to this station--
The threat goes far beyond Babylon 5, Mr. Garibaldi.
I'm not surprised.
If Horn was what you say he was, then this thing sure as hell has nothing to do with Free Mars.
To pull something like this off would take a lot of power and a lot of money.
And I think you know who it is.
But promise me this information will never be repeated outside this room.
You got it.
For the past six years, there have been rumors about a rogue agency operating deep inside EarthGov.
A dirty tricks squad dealing in black projects and star chamber justice.
It took me over three years just to get a name.
...and the man who gave me that name died soon after.
'I am convinced they exist' and that they are behind this incident.
Isogi was a danger to Earth policy on Mars.
I think his death was a warning to the other corporations.
I also think Horn was meant to destroy Free Mars from the inside and possibly..
...ruin Amanda Carter as well.
Unfortunately, I can't prove any of it.
If this is true--
Then everything we believe in is in jeopardy.
There is a spider in the web, Mr. Garibaldi..
...and I intend to find it..
...and kill it.
(female #2) '13.'
(computer) 'Report from Babylon 5 control mission'
'only partly successful.'
'Isogi terminated, but unit was destroyed'
'before he could leave station for Mars.'
Is the bureau at hazard?
(computer) 'Control does not believe so.'
Belief is not enough.
'He is to follow up until he is certain.'
(computer) 'Scanning files from listed data.'
(computer) 'Match found.'