Babylon 5 S2E9 Script

The Coming of Shadows (1995)

[instrumental music]

Is everything ready?

Yes, the Royal Liner is standing by and we have adequate warships for protection and they're prepared to set forth as soon as we arrive.

As soon as I arrive. You will remain here.

I must protest, Majesty.

As I expected, but someone has to remain here in case there is a crisis.

And you, as my prime minister are the first in line of authority.

I wish you would change your mind.

'The doctors say your condition's very delicate.'

The least amount of stress--

All the more reason why I should go now while I still can.

What I must do cannot wait any longer.

Oh. No need for that now.

When you get to be as old as I the trappings of status are not as important as they used to be.

Sometimes I think our women are right when they shave their heads and rise above these things.


I will go among them as I am.

There's no need for further discussion.

'You have always served me well, old friend.'

And sometimes I think I do not thank you as much as I should.


[instrumental music]

(G'Kar) It's absolutely intolerable.

This visit by the Centauri Emperor is completely unacceptable to my government.

He is a monster a-an aberration, a-a criminal!

His family is directly responsible for strip-mining my world.

His father personally ordered the execution of a 100,000 Narns!

But he himself did nothing, am I correct?

A technicality!

In fact, unless I'm mistaken the current emperor has gone out of his way to offer your world concessions and return lost territory.

Stolen territory! Whatever.


I appreciate the fact that 100 years of blood isn't something you forget overnight

'but the bottom line is, G'Kar' that is not my problem.

'This station is open to everyone.'

Now, if the emperor wants to come and visit Babylon 5 I think it's great!

It raises her visibility and it helps the folks back home think that maybe we're doing some good.

So you're going to allow this even over my objections?

Well, what, did I suddenly turn invisible or something?

Yes, ambassador.

The emperor is allowed to come aboard.

'Now, if this bothers you'

'I suggest you stay in your quarters' stick your fingers in your ears and hum real loud until it's over.

Unless you'd like to try something as breathtakingly rational as trying to open up a dialogue.

G'Kar, you are in a position to negotiate directly with the head of the Centauri Republic!

And you're wasting it on a-a-a tantrum.


I shouldn't have expected you to understand, captain.

My mistake. I will not make it again.


Don't do something we'll both regret.

It's too late for that, captain too late by far.

(male narrator) 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.

[theme music]

[music continues]


[indistinct chattering]

Oh, back again, eh? That's three times this month.

I do a lot of business here. Anything I can help you with?

No, thank you. I've found what I'm looking for.


And after the emperor has made his speech I've arranged for him to give you an audience.

The whole thing will be recorded.

Does he know what it's about?

He believes it's nothing more than a progress report on your situation here.

We've taken the liberty of writing your speech for you.

I've had experts in psycholinguistics working on it for weeks.

It's perfect.

Fiery, but dignified

'elegant, but strong.'

It outlines the decline of our government and our need for change.

It also makes a few predictions about what will go wrong next with the economy and the military.

And these predictions, they will come true?

Already arranged.


'Hm, a word or two in the right ear' a critical food shipment delayed.

The method is unimportant.

What matters is that when it comes through the emperor will look weak and shortsighted whereas we have our eyes on the future.

Well, you're..

You're asking quite a lot of me.

After I make this speech I won't exactly be in favor with the emperor and his court, hm?

True, for as long as he's alive which shouldn't be much longer.

I am told his health is fragile at best.

When he passes, all that will remain is the memory that we were right.

We must position ourselves

'to move in when the time is right.'

Well, I will leave you to study the speech.

If you have any questions, you know where to find me.

This conversation makes you uncomfortable?

Yes. Yes, it does!

Then for once we have something in common.

[instrumental music]

On behalf of the Centauri Republic I offer the hands of friendship.

On behalf of the Earth Alliance, I accept.

This is my second, Commander Susan Ivanova.

'Chief of security, Michael Garibaldi.'

'Dr. Stephen Franklin'

'the chief of staff of our medlab facility.'

(Emperor) It's an honor.

News of the work you're doing here has reached even the Royal Palace on Centauri Prime.

'And I'm deeply moved by the knowledge'

'that you would choose to stand in harm's way'

'in the interest of peace.'

Thank you.

If you'd like to come this way, we can begin your tour.

Oh, uh, doctor, have you seen much of the Vorlon?

I believe his name is Kosh.

Uh, no more than anyone else.

He's-he's always in that encounter suit of his. Why?

Uh, I've never seen a Vorlon before in or out of its shell but over the centuries we've sent many expeditions into Vorlon space.

None of them returned.

I have heard many strange stories about them.

The first circle of the Kha'Ri have concluded their deliberations.

After much debate they have endorsed your plan.

When does the Kha'Ri feel would be the best time?

The reception just before he gives his speech.

There will be greater exposure.

Are you still prepared to go through with this?


It is a strange feeling, Kha'Mak, to know suddenly that all the decisions in your life have brought you to this place..

...that there is no longer doubt or uncertainty.

The future now consists of only three probabilities.

'In the moment that I strike' the emperor and I will both die for he will die and I will spend my life in prison or I will fail and be killed.

For the first time in my life the path is clear.

[instrumental music]

Your Majesty you asked to see me?

Captain, may I ask you a question?

Depends on the question, I guess.

Why are you here in this place, in that uniform?

Was it your choice or were you pressed into service?

It was my choice.

The planetary draft didn't start until the war a few years later.

I guess I wanted to serve something that was bigger than I was..

'...make a difference somewhere, somehow.'

You seem interested in why people chose to be here.

It has occurred to me recently that I have never chosen anything.

'I was born into a role'

'that had been prepared for me.'

I did everything I was asked to do because it never occurred to me to choose otherwise.

And now, at the end of my life..

...I wonder what might have been.

That's why my father taught me to live each second as though it were the last moment of my life.

He said..

..."If you love

"love without reservation.

"If you fight fight without fear."

He called it the way of the warrior.

No regrets, then?

A few, but just a few.

You? Oh.

Enough to fill a lifetime.

So much has been lost so much forgotten.

So much pain, so much blood.

And for what?

I wonder.

The past tempts us the present confuses us and the future frightens us.

And our lives slip away moment by moment lost in that vast, terrible in-between.

But there is still time to seize that one, last, fragile moment to choose something better to make a difference, as you say.

And I intend to do just that.

(Garibaldi) I want this whole section cleared.

I want every entrance and exit checked and rechecked.

They'll be down any second.

So from now on, nobody gets in without proper ID.

I don't care if you recognize them by sight or not.

(G'Kar) I take this action without the knowledge or permission of my government.

Neither should my aide, Na'Toth be held accountable for my actions.

The responsibility is mine alone.

I ask that my remains and my personal property be sent back to Narn.. my family.

My copy of "The Book Of G'Quan" I leave to Na'Toth in the hope of her eventual enlightenment.

[indistinct chattering]

(John) 'So what's the deal on those veiled Centauri women'

'who follow the emperor around?'

Well, Londo says they're telepaths raised together since birth.

They're linked 24 hours a day no matter how far apart they are.

What one sees, the others see.

And traditionally, when the emperor leaves two go with him and two stay behind.

Interesting. Mm-hmm.

Guarantees that he knows what's going on back home and keeps the royal court up to speed on what he's doing.

And did the-the emperor say what this important speech was about?

No, he just said it was important.

I was hoping that would be enough to bring out Ambassador Kosh.

Looks like I was wrong.

Yeah, it's too bad considering what the emperor said about the Vorlons.

He might not get another chance to see one.

But I guess it was too much to hope for.

Well, speaking too much to hope for look what just walked in.

[dramatic music]

Excuse me.

Ambassador. Captain.

I see you've changed your mind about opening up a dialogue.

I make no promises, but I will hear what he has to say.

[dramatic music]


Okay, pal, you've got ten seconds to explain why you're following me.

I need to talk to you. About what?

I.. Relax, I got him.

So talk.


That's what I figured.

Take him down to holding and keep him there until the reception's over.

[indistinct chattering]

[dramatic music]

[music continues]

[indistinct chattering]

[dramatic music]

Your Majesty.

I wish I'd known of your condition when you arrived.

I could have done something, tried something.

Your government is asking to have you transferred to your warship.

Now, I told them that moving you right now could be fatal.

I want your permission.

There is something more important than where I die.

A message you must give for me.

Well, if it's important perhaps, one of your own people should deliver it.

If I did that the message might never be delivered.

Now, listen to me, doctor.

'Listen carefully.'

I hear, word of this has already reached homeworld.

Hm, our competitors are moving into position setting themselves up to ascend the throne the moment he dies.

Before that happens, we have to rise above the others.

We must do something extraordinary something....unparalleled.

He said, "Just pick a target."

I'm sorry?

I believe there is a Narn colony on the border of Centauri space, Quadrant 14.

Londo? A colony?

It's a listening post.

They've been using it to spy on us for years.

By all rights, that entire planet should be ours.

Well, then..

...let us take it back.

We couldn't take it without a major assault.

We would lose thousands of lives.

I will take care of it.

Have your contacts in the military send an expedition to Quadrant 14.

I can only guarantee a few ships.

Alright. It will be enough.

I hope you know what you're doing, Mollari.


Find Mr. Morden. Bring him here.

Londo, don't do this.

I have no choice! Yes, you do!

Londo, please! Please, please!

I know you don't listen to me but I'm asking you just this one time don't do this!

Uh, there's no turning back once you start down that road.

Do I have to go find him myself?


No, I'll go.

I'll go and I'll bring him back.

And someday I'm gonna remind you of this conversation.

And maybe then, then you'll understand.

I understand just fine.

By this time tomorrow we will be at war with the Narn.

May the great maker forgive me.

[instrumental music]

I was ready. I had prepared myself.

I had made my peace with the universe put all my affairs in order.

I had the dagger in my hand!

And he has the indecency to start dying on his own.

Never in my life have I seen a worse case of timing.

Well, you'd think he could have waited a few more minutes before..


Who is it? 'Dr. Franklin.'

Maybe it's good news.

With luck, he's feeling better.

All they have to do is prop him up for two minutes, I..

I'll call you back.

Uh, uh..


[door opens]

Just came from seeing the Centauri emperor.

How is the poor fellow?

I was so looking forward to meeting him and opening up a dialogue.

Funny, he was looking forward to meeting you, too.

'He had a message for you.'

Given his present condition he asked me to relay that message for him.

I have no time for threats.

He wanted to say he's sorry.


He came all the way out here risked his health and endangered his life so that he could stand beside a Narn in neutral territory and apologize for all the things the Centauri have done to your people..

...for all the things his family did.

He said..

..."We were wrong.

'"The hatred between our people can never end'

'"until someone is willing to say'

'"I'm sorry..'

'"...and try and find a way to make things right again' to atone for our actions."

He said it was the only choice he ever made in his life and now that seems to have been taken away from him.

I had..

I had no idea. No, I'm sure you didn't.

Maybe that's the biggest tragedy of the whole damn story.

(Refa) Keep this up, G'Kar and soon you won't have a planet to protect.




The time?

What is the time?

It has begun.



Attack! All wings, attack!

'Shrak, where are they coming from?'

'What are they?'

'Keep them away from the colony.'

'We can't let them get past us!'



You're sure it's done?

Yes, the Narn should hear about it soon.

Our forces can move in at anytime.

Then I'll have to move quickly.

There's still one more thing I have to take care of back home an obstacle to remove.

What's that?

Better you don't know.


You! No, I can explain everything.

I'm going to get you a drink.

Oh, no, I don't-- Sit, sit, sit, sit, Mollari.

It's not every day I have a revelation, you know?

Two of your finest.

I've heard something and it makes me think there is still hope for us after all.

I'd believed your people capable of only murder and pain..

...but apparently, there's still a spark of decency in your genetic code.

It's not much of a foundation, I'll grant you that, but..'s a start!

Ah, I never thought I would be saying this, Mollari but.. the health of your emperor and perhaps, to your health as well.

[glasses clinking]

To the emperor.

And thank you.

[dramatic music]


(Kha'Mak) It's destroyed?

All of it's gone.

'Who could have done this?'

(male #1) 'Centauri warships detected.'

'Closing fast.' Centauri.

Alert the homeworld. Prepare to attack.

Who is it? Who's there?

Guards! Guards!


Chief, the prisoner's asking to speak to you again.

Oh, come on, Zack, give me a break.

You know the kind of day it's been.

He says it's important. Oh.

Okay, fine. Send him in.

Oh, man.

Alright, you got five minutes.

I was sent to find you.

I have a message.

I believe it will explain everything.


Hello, old friend. It's been a while.

I'm entrusting this message to an associate of mine who has sworn to bring it to you at any cost

'including his own life.'

'My job on the Minbari homeworld' is more than just representing Earth.

The president doesn't know about that part yet and I don't think it to be wise for you tell him.

'There's a great darkness coming, Michael.'

Some of the Minbari have been waiting for it a long time.


We just intercepted a message from the Narn homeworld to Ambassador G'Kar.

I thought we didn't eavesdrop on our ambassadors.

We don't. This was on an open channel.

I think they wanted us to hear it.

The Centauri have launched a full-scale assault on a Narn colony in Quadrant 14.

Damn it!

The bearer of this message s one of my rangers.

'Some are Minbari, most are humans.'

They've been drawn here to learn to work together and prepare for the fight ahead.

(Garibaldi) Pause.

We've been here for almost two months now keeping an eye on things.

We are an army, Mr. Garibaldi.

We're small, but we're growing.

An army needs weapons. Are they coming through here?

No, but we do have friends here.

And that's all I can say for now.


Their job for now is to patrol the frontier to listen, to watch and return with reports too sensitive to entrust to regular channels.

'They are my eyes and ears.'

Where you see them, you see me.

The first reports from Quadrant 14 were confused.

They weren't sure who was attacking them but the returning fighters confirmed that Centauri warships were leading the assault.

What about our people?

There were over a quarter million of us there.

There were heavy casualties.

Most of those killed died in the first few minutes of the assault.

'As for the survivors' well, you know how the Centauri are.

Now that they've taken control I doubt that we'll see any of them again.

I don't understand how they could have destroyed our defenses so quickly.

I'll report more when I learn of it.


I reached out my hand..

...and he betrayed me.

He knew..

...and he betrayed me!

[glass shattering]


In the name of our friendship I ask that you give them every courtesy and cooperation.

'I wish I could tell you more.'

'I wish I could warn you.'

But the others don't think it's time yet.

Stay close to the Vorlon..

...and watch out for shadows.

They move when you're not looking at them.

Well, I'll be a son of a..



(Zack) 'We've got a yellow alert'

'in the ambassadorial wing.'

'We need help fast. It's G..'

Zack? Zack?






That's far enough.

'Go to your quarters and no charges will be pressed.'

I mean it, G'Kar.

You will go to your quarters and you will go now.

They're doing it to us again.

Step aside, Sheridan.

I won't let this happen, not again!

Then you're gonna need all the help you can get.

Set one foot in Ambassador Mollari's quarters you'll either be dead or gone.

Either way, you won't help your people.

They'll kill everyone, don't you understand?

They've done it before! They'll kill everyone!

Then you're gonna have to decide what's more important to you, G'Kar..

...revenge or saving the lives of your people.



No, leave him alone.

Just...leave him alone.


It's okay. Easy.

You should try and save your strength.

Is there anything that you want?

I would very much like to have seen a Vorlon.

How will this end?

In fire.

What makes you think you can trust this source of yours?

Let's just say he comes highly recommended.

You're holding something back. Yes, sir.

Why? I gave my word.

You're asking me to accept sensitive information without any idea where it comes from.

I could order you to tell me.

And if I told you, you'd never be able trust me with anything confidential knowing that someone above you could order me talk.

Alright, go on.

Ever since New Year's, we've been hearing about some other major race on the prowl.

My source tells me the rumors are true and there maybe some link to the Centauri government.

'Now, who or what that link is, I don't know' but they're definitely getting support.

And you think this other race was behind that assault on Quadrant 14?

It's possible.

If it's true, they won't want that information to get out.

What information? All we have here is supposition.

Sheridan's rule number 29 always make your opponent think you know more than you really know.

'Now, if your source is right' we may be able to play a bluff.

Majesty, we have wonderful news.

We have retaken the Narn Colony in Quadrant 14.

'It fell within a matter of hours'

'and not one of our people was hurt' or killed in the process.

All of homeworld is rejoicing.

We are again what we should be.

All we lack is your blessing.



He's dead.

What did he say?

He said, "Continue.

Take my people back to the stars."

[door shuts]


What did he say, really?

He said..

...that we are both damned.


It's a small enough price to pay for immortality.


[dramatic music]

[door opens]

[footsteps approaching]

(John) 'Ambassador?'

We think we have an idea of how we can help.

'I've called a council meeting.'

'I hope you'll come.'


I will attend.

Thank you..

...for stopping me.


Ambassador Mollari, what about the Narn civilian population?

I'm told there are over a quarter of a million of them at the colony.

Now, will you let them return to the Narn homeworld?

Oh, no, I'm afraid we can't do that but I am sure that my government will find some productive activity for them.

Forced labor camps.

A simple retraining.

We have no desire to misuse anyone.

I should mention that I've just received permission by my government to send observers to the colony.

Their job will be to monitor the treatment of the civilian population.

They are not welcome.

But we're sending them anyway unless you'd like to try shooting down an Earthforce transport.

Personally, I'd advise against it.

My people aren't looking for another war but they don't take kindly to being shot at.

The observers will assess the situation interview the survivors and put together a full report including as much as they can find out about how the colony was conquered so quickly.

I'm sure we'd all be interested to find out how you did this, ambassador.

And trust me, if those observers do go there..

...they will find out.

I believe..

I believe that I may be able to convince my government to allow the colony's civilian population to leave the area and safely return to the Narn homeworld as a gesture of goodwill.

That would remove the need for observers from Earth.

Wouldn't you agree, captain?


Under those conditions, yes.

I'm sure your gesture of goodwill will be appreciated for what it is, ambassador.

Ambassador G'Kar?

[sighs] Before coming here communique from my government.

For a hundred years the Centauri occupied our world..

...devastated it.

We swore we would never let that happen again.

This attack on our largest civilian colony has inflicted terrible damage and loss of life.

They've crossed a line we cannot allow them to cross.

As a result, two hours ago my government officially declared war against the Centauri Republic.

Our hope for peace is over.

We are now at war.

We are now at war.

[dramatic music]

And the unfortunate death of the prime minister so soon after the emperor has had the effective tilt in the balance of power back home.

Several competing families have been neutralized leaving the emperor's nephew to claim the throne a young man who feels as we do about the future.

For the first time in a hundred years, ambassador our people are on the right track again.

And we have you to thank for it.

You will find the new emperor's gratitude most rewarding.

Good day, Mollari. Good day, Refa.

(Vir) 'I'm surprised.'

You could have asked to be named to the Royal Court.

It would have put you in a position to become emperor yourself someday.

That's what you want, isn't it?



No, I have no desire to be emperor.

No, I prefer to work behind the scenes.

The reward is nearly as great..

...and the risk far, far less.

(Garibaldi) So I wanna thank you again for you help.

You may have saved the lives of a quarter million Narns.

So then you will give us the cooperation we need?

On one condition.

I want you to keep me informed as to what you and the other rangers hear out there.

We've got a shooting war on our hands so we can use all the information we can get.

Consider it done as long as you keep our presence here a secret.

You got a deal.

Oh. One last thing.

Aside from me, does anybody else know you're here?

Just one other.

(male #2) 'Hello, old friend.'

[theme music]