Babylon 5 S3E13 Script

A Late Delivery from Avalon (1996)


[instrumental music]

(Ivanova) Well, that's the first.

It's gonna take a long time to get the level of trade back to where it was before we broke away from Earth.

Right now we need the docking fees more than ever but we just can't seem to catch a break.

[sighs] One thing's sure.

We can't keep relying on the Minbari for protection.

We have to create a broader base of support.

Yeah, and you have an idea.

Always, commander. Always.

What do you mean, 100 credits?

I mean more than 99, less than 101.

What, you got a hearing problem or a math problem?

Look, I, I can't get into conceptual arguments with you.

I, I, I got people waiting.

Look, that's three times the delivery charge for a package this size.

That was before we had a revolution around here.

Now in my little corner of Earthforce the mail still gets delivered.

If I got to use trap doors, alien transports and back channels to get the mail in and out of here then that's what I'll do because that's my job.

Neither rain nor snow nor meteors nor alien invasion nor--

Look, this is extortion. It's business.

You see when my costs go up, I have to pass that along to the consumer.

That's, that's you just in case that's another one of those concepts you got a problem with.

That's my box.

No, it's the, it's the property of Earth Alliance Postal Service.

You pony up 100 credits, then it's your box.

Alright, look, it's the last package I'm gonna get from Earth for a long time.

Uh, it's got mozzarella, anchovies garlic cloves, pepperoni.

Yeah. What, uh, what kind of pepperoni?

Is it the, uh, the big sticks or the small ones?

Oh, we're talking big sticks like this.


Give me the box.

And break my oath to the post office?

I'd die first. Next.

(female #1) All passengers debarking at Babylon 5 please report to Shuttle Bay 7.

All passengers debarking at Babylon 5 please report to Shuttle Bay 7.

[instrumental music]

[wind howling]

[thunder rumbling]

[dramatic music]

[music continues]

(Ivanova) The Babylon project was our last, best hope for peace.

It failed.

But in the year of the Shadow War it became something greater.

Our last best hope for victory.

The year is 2260.

The place Babylon 5.

[theme music]

[music continues]

You're right. Looks like Banta Flu.

Alright, I want everyone on this level inoculated.

I think we caught it early enough to keep it from spreading into the general population.

But these two are gonna have to go into Isolab until I know they're past the contagious point.

Mind if I come along?

They're nervous around strangers.

Yeah, no problem.

How'd you catch this so fast anyway, Marcus?

Normally, the signs of Banta Flu don't show up until you're already contagious.

Most of these symptoms wouldn't have been visible yesterday.

Banta Flu is normally contracted by eating alien food that's been mixed in with human food and fermented.

I saw some of them eating out of a waste bin recognized the nastier bits from the year I spent on a Drazi colony.

It's bad enough they have to live that way in the first place without it making them sick.


Lot of folks around here seem to think that lurkers deserve what they get.

Figure it's better to let them die and--

And thus deplete the surplus population.


You know, uh, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair.

Then I thought wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?

So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.

(male #1) 'Confirmed, Shuttle 1. You're cleared for docking.'

Don't worry. They'll be fine.

You know, I was noticing that pin you wear.

All the other rangers wear one just like it but I don't know what it means.

The two figures on either side one human, the other Minbari.

'They blend together in the middle to signify' the two halves of our souls uniting against a common enemy.

This jewel?

(Marcus) 'Minbari call that Isil'zha.'

Means the future, birth, beginnings, dawn of a new age.


I like it.

It's a subtle language for subtle people.

Took me a year of studying to get the fundamentals down.

The Minbari say the only way to understand the battle is to understand the language.

War is as much concept as execution.

What else do they teach you?

Delight respect, compassion.

That for your actions to be pure, they must proceed from direction, determination, patience and strength.

I'm afraid I'm still working on patience.

They taught me how to live how to breathe, how to fight and how to die.

And they taught me terror.

How to use it..

...and how to face it.

I think I'd like to hear more about that.

No. You wouldn't.

[indistinct chatter]


I'm sorry, sir.

Our scanners just picked up a weapons violation.

Would you step back, please?

[intense music]

What the hell?

Look, we don't wanna hurt you.

Just give us the sword, mister.

Mister. Mister?

Have I been gone that long?

Have you forgotten everything?

I am Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon and king of the Britons.

No man takes Excalibur from me and lives.

(Marcus) Wait!

Leave him to me. It's alright. Let him try.

It's alright.

Apologies, my Lord.

We weren't, uh, notified of your return.

These men mean you no harm.

Your accent, you're a Briton.

Yes, my Lord, several generations removed from our splendid island but the roots run deep nonetheless.

Please, come with us.

We'll send word to Galahad and Lancelot..

Galahad is dead.

Lancelot is dead.

Guinevere and Percival, even Mordred all of them are dead.

I have been gone a long time, a very, very long time but I am not mad.

Then set aside your sword.

You're among friends here, Arthur.

(Stephen) It's alright.

I'll take it from here. You're sure?

Yeah, I assume full responsibility. It's alright.

Who is this? A doctor.

I am in no need of a doctor, so take your leeches elsewhere.


I'm just a little late, that's all.

Your journey has been a long one.

He just wishes to ensure that you are in good health.

Our captain requires this of him in deference and honor to your position.

If you refuse my friend will be penalized harshly for failing to obey orders.

Very well.

I've been treated and prodded and healed by the Nine Sisters since the year of our Lord 515.

What is another healer after that?

Lead on. I will follow you.

(Stephen) You had a chance to go over his stuff?

Yes, doctor.

No identification, no travel papers.

Nothing that could tell us who he really is.

[sighs] Well, he must have ditched his ID before the Asimov docked.

Why don't you run his fingerprints and DNA?

Maybe we'll get lucky. Yes, doctor.

Is there a problem? No. No problem.

You don't believe I am who I say I am, do you?

Well, it's not for me to say.

Yes, it is.

Speak plainly.


If you are who you say you are.. did you get here..

...1700 years after you supposedly died?

I'm not sure.

The last thing I remember is lying on the field of battle at Camlann.

My brother, Sir Bedivere, had pulled me away from these peasants who were looting the bodies of my fallen knights.

It was all King Maelgwn's fault.

If he hadn't sided with Mordred with Lancelot out of the country and, uh, Sir Gawain dead..

The old wound..



I was dying.

Three times I asked Bedivere to return Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake.

I could not be taken till then.

By the time he finally did as I asked, it was..

...almost too late.


...a barge appeared offshore with..

...three queens and the Nine Sisters.

They took me to the island of Avalon to heal.

They said that I would sleep for a time.

But that I would return when I was most needed.

I'm not sure how I came here..

...but if I am here now it's because I am most needed here and now.

(Sheridan) 'He thinks he's who?'

(Marcus) 'Arthur, king of the Britons' son of Uther Pendragon heir to the throne of England and the only man allowed to wield Excalibur.

There was no King Arthur. It's a story, that's all.

(Stephen) Well, not exactly.

There's enough historical evidence to suggest that there may have been a real person behind those stories.

Well, either way, it's pretty obvious this guy is not Arthur.

So, as interesting a diversion as this might be our first concern right now has to be getting this treaty worked out. Now, Michael--

You know, the Vorlons have been to Earth.

And from time to time, they have taken someone out of their time preserved him until he was needed and revived him.

Your recent encounter with a Mr. Sebastian, for instance.

You're not serious.

A ship appeared and took Arthur to a place where he would be healed and preserved.

A place from which he would return when he was most needed.

Legends are legends because they have a certain power over us.

The idea of a legend walking in the front door, it's, uh..

No, no, he is not Arthur.

I mean, his speech patterns are too contemporary.

His vocabulary is all wrong.

The question we should be askin' is what made him tip over?

'I've scanned his neural system. It's fully intact.'

So whatever's wrong is functional. It's not organic.

Maybe the result of a trauma or a breakdown.

What terrible thing could have happened to drive him seventeen hundred years into the past to find peace and meaning?

[beeping] Franklin.

(female #2 on speaker) 'Doctor, the patient you were holding in Isolab 1'

'I don't know what happened to him, but he's escaped.'

[indistinct chatter]


What troubles you, old mother?

They took it.

I suppose I should have known they would sooner or later.

They're always taking from us.

They know Security won't get involved.

It was a picture of my husband.

He died just after we came here looking for something better.

When they took the rest, they found it.

Why would they take a picture?

Oh, for the frame. It's very expensive.

He told me to sell it, but I-I couldn't.

It's the last of him I had left.


Eyes as lovely as yours were never meant for tears, dear lady.

Withdraw them and tell me where I might find these men.

Everything you asked for, right in there.

How can I be sure you've contacted everyone?

I'm a man of my word.

You wanna pay half now, half when you've looked it over that's fine.

Look, I ain't gonna mess this up.

I bring messages back and forth from your people on Narn and none of it's secret info or anything.

That's a sweet deal.

I should think so given the price we pay to get this past the Centauri.


[man groans]

I told you 100 credits by yesterday or we'd beat the crap out of you.

Now why do you make me do this, huh?

Why do you make me do what we both know I'm gonna do, huh?

[man grunts]

Release that man.

What manner of men prey on the weak and the poor, hmm?

Stealing from old women.

Cowards, I think.

You'd better put that pig sticker away before you end up eatin' it.

You have something that does not belong to you.

Actually, I suspect that you have quite a few things that do not belong to you.

But let's start with a picture and a frame.

I command you to hand that over or face the consequences.


Yeah, I got your consequences right here.


Yield or die.

Not a chance.

I got friends.


That's alright.

So does he.


[instrumental music]

(Garibaldi) I want every level checked.

He may be trying to find his way off the station.

But we need to cover all our bases.

He's armed, so consider him dangerous. Don't get too close.

If you find anything, you let me know.

'I got something to do.'

(G'Kar) 'By G'Quan, I can't recall the last time'

'I was in a fight like that.'

No moral ambiguity.

No...hopeless battle against ancient and overwhelming forces.

They were the bad guys as you say and we were the good guys.

And they made a very satisfying thump when they hit the floor.

It's wrong for the strong to prey on the weak.

That idea was at the very heart of the Round Table.

To correct injustice.

To promote a society of laws, not arms.

Well said.

That is the purpose which God and the crown have set before me.

I cannot achieve that locked away in some room.

No, of course not. What room?

I sense in you a warrior born but a priestly manner and refined education.

Oh, well.

My knights were such men as you.

Well, well, not exactly such as you.

The, uh, the eyes were not..


Oh, it matters not.

You were the first to lend your good arm to my defense and you shall sit at my right hand at the new Round Table.

And.. shall be known as Sir G'Kar.

The Red knight.

I don't know, chief. I don't know if we should be doing this.

It's my stuff.

Don't worry, I'll leave the money behind for what it should've cost.

What are you so nervous about?

We went up against the entire Earth alliance and two carrier groups.

Yeah, but this is the post office.

This could get us in real trouble.


That'll be another 20 credits for the lock.

And I am reporting this to the postmaster general.

Oh, yeah.

Told you.

Do you mind if I ask you a..



Not at all, my good comrade in arms.

You seemed to take our battle quite, uh, personally as if what they had done o-offended you.

It did.

At Camlann field, my knights lay dying or dead.

As dawn spread across the bloody ground I saw others moving among them like specters risen from some unholy grave.

Stealing their swords, their jewels, their crests their rings.

My knights were there because of me.

I was responsible.

I was responsible.

[thunder rumbling]

Are you alright?

Oh, yes.

Yes. I..

It was a dream, that's all.


Battle was not intended.

With our forces halved, we could not stand against Mordred so I met with Mordred at Camlann to arrange a truce and buy time for Lancelot to return with reinforcements.

We stood there out in the open.

Each of us had 14 knights at his side.

Our armies had been told to watch and attack if someone drew a sword.

We just finished our negotiations when one of Mordred's knights saw an adder about to strike, so he-he drew his sword.

The others saw it and..


...the killing started.

It was a misunderstanding.

A misinterpretation.

And see what it cost us.


'We've been looking for you.'

Mr. Garibaldi is quite put out.

Mr. Garibaldi is always put out.

I heard what you did and I respect it.

But if you don't come with me, there will be trouble.

I will vouch for his character!

I saw the entire thing because I was there.

I was in it. I was..

And they made a very agreeable thump.

Or did I mention that? Arthur, it's the only way.

Very well.

I am somewhat tired anyway.

I could do with some rest.

Will you come with us, Sir G'Kar?

Of course. Lead on.

[glass shatters]

Sir Gawain had the, uh, same problem, you know.

Did he? Oh, yes.

Come the morning, we'd often take one look at him and call him the Green Knight.

Come, let's to it.

(Sheridan) 'A lot's happened since the last time we met here.'

We declared independence from Earth and many of you were at war with one another.

So the question becomes..

...can this place continue to serve its purpose?

Well, the answer is yes.

But only with your assistance.


We're willing to put a deal on the table.

Babylon 5 still has a lot to offer.

We're a hub for travel, commerce, finance.

We're still considered neutral territory.

As your wars continue, some of you may even wanna use us for peace negotiations.

We'd be happy to do that.

(Sheridan) 'In exchange for our cooperation'

'we ask that your governments take part in' the ongoing defense of Babylon 5.

Obviously, we'll do all we can to make sure that ships from two sides actively engaged in hostilities are not providing defense at the same time.

The Babylon Treaty serves your interests as well as ours.

The details are all spelled out in the folders I've just given you.

We hope that you'll take a look at them and think it over.

Thank you very much. Hmm.

I think I've managed to calm Mr. Garibaldi about our friend.

G'Kar confirms he didn't commit any crimes.

Actually, uh, solved one and prevented another.

Something wrong?

I took some DNA samples from Arthur in case we might find something in the genetic record files.

You see, everyone who joins Earthforce has his unique DNA sequence mapped and logged for identification purposes--

He was in Earthforce? Doing what?

Take a look.

You can't show him this.

Marcus, it's who he is. I don't care. It'll kill him.

W-wait now, wait now. Let's be sensible, alright?

This is the first step towards healing him.

We can't just let him wander around the rest of his life thinking that he's King Arthur.

Why not? Because this is the truth.

Better the illusions that exalt us than 10,000 truths.

Alexander Pushkin, yes.

Let this one truth die, Stephen.

Let him be Arthur. Let him be anybody he wants.

I have an obligation to help.

Now if I confront him with this, it may be enough to snap him out of this delusion.

Your Hippocratic Oath says do no harm.

If you do this, you'll be doing great harm, Stephen.

Stephen. I'm sorry.

I have to.



[intense music]

'Arthur?' Hmm.

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't sleep well last night.

The dreams again.

Oh, terrible dreams.

The old wounds are not as well-healed as I thought.

(Stephen) 'I asked you about the picture.'

Well, he seems a decent and honorable man but I don't know him.

It's you.

No, I, I don't think so.

"David McIntyre.

"Age 52.

"Serial number R27A59.

"Honorable discharge from Earthforce February 9th, 2253."

'Silver star for valor.'

You were at the Battle of the Line.

Twenty thousand of our best went in and a little over two hundred survived.

'It also shows you were gunnery sergeant on the Prometheus.'


There were Romans still living in my country whose family married Britons and they carried with them legends from Greece.

Prometheus brought fire from the Gods--

This Prometheus was the first ship to encounter the Minbari.

Fifteen years ago, today.

'Now there was a misunderstanding.'

'The Minbari approached with their gun ports open.'

'It's a sign of respect.'

'The captain, he interpreted this as a threat.'

'He panicked.'

(male #2) 'Eight thousand clicks, seven thousand.'

'They're coming in. Gun ports are open.'

'Repeat, gun ports are open.'

'Presume attack vector.'

(Stephen) Because of this misinterpretation he ordered his crew to attack.

(male #2) 'Forward batteries, open fire.'



This has nothing to do with me.

And the attack destroyed two Minbari vessels and killed their leader Dukhat and started the Earth-Minbari war.

Now you were gunnery sergeant on the Prometheus.

You fired those shots. No.

It was the sword that struck the adder that started the battle.

'No, it was not a sword. It was a ship.'

A sword.

The light shining off it.


The review board absolved you of all responsibility for following the orders of your commanding officer.

Now despite bouts of depression that continue to get longer and more intense you were put back into active duty.

We needed everyone we could get back then.

And you made it all the way.

You volunteered for the Battle of the Line even though you knew it was a suicide mission.

This man you describe..

'...he had no business surviving.'

A quarter of a million men and women dead on the battlefield.. Camlann.

No, no, not Camlann. No, not Camlann.

They died in the Minbari war.

I was responsible. No.

Responsible for my knights and for those who followed me into battle.

Their armor was not strong enough to protect them.

Their horses..

Their horses were on fire.

[intense music]


The old wound.

The old wound, yes.

The pain of memory.

It's alright now.

You can face it. We can face it together.

No, I can never rest.

The pain will never go away.

I must return Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake.

I didn't..


I didn't know.

We didn't know.

You couldn't know.



The dying.

Bodies drifting.. stars.

My fault.

He deserves to die.

My fault.

[dramatic music]




Can you hear me?

Can you hear me?



Anything yet?

I just got word from the Drazi Ambassador.

He's been appointed spokesman for what's left of the league.

A number of them refused to sign the Mutual Defense Treaty but the rest of 'em signed on.

Do we have enough to make it work?

With room to spare.


Oh, my God, it's almost enough to make you start believing in miracles, isn't it?

Yes, sir.


Why? What happened?

You know you'd think I'd learn one of these days that I can't fix everything, but it never happens.

Now, I..

I gave him back the sword.

I, I figured maybe it'd help, but it didn't.

One thing I don't understand.

Why did he come here?

It wasn't an accident.

He got onboard a transport. He bought a ticket.

There must have been a reason even if he couldn't admit it to himself.

Well, obviously, it had something to do with the anniversary of his attack on the Minbari ship.

I mean, that's where it all started.

According to you, yes.

He still thinks it was the sword.

Well, a ship, a sword, what's the difference?

None, none at all.


The symbol of the king.

Yeah, but in this case the symbol of the ship and his pain.

Wh-what's the story of Sir Bedivere?

Arthur's journey began when the Lady of the Lake gave him the Excalibur.

As he lay dying, he asked Bedivere to return Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake.

The ladies couldn't take him to Avalon couldn't heal him until this was done.

He had to go full circle right back to where he started.

Now, now he said he couldn't know peace or rest until the lady took back Excalibur.

The king's burden.

The king's pain. Yeah.

That's why he came here.

To find someone willing to take away his pain.

But if that's Excalibur and you're Bedivere who's the Lady of the Lake?

[instrumental music]

[dramatic music]

[music continues]

I knew you'd come to your senses, sooner or later.

Hundred credits ain't too much when you stop to think about it, now, is it?

Yes, sir, first thing I learned is never mess with the post office.

You'll come a cropper every time.

Okay, let's see. Where's that, uh, where's that box?

There we are.



Sorry. A little post office humor.

[laughs] Hang on. I'll get your one.

There we go. There you are.

Anything else I can do for you?

Some stamps?

Thanks. No.

Oh, uh, before I forget you do realize that we've cut off all contact with Earth, right?

Of course, I realize that.

You're not dealing with a chimp here, you know.

And if you, and if you hadn't done that all the prices wouldn't have gone up now, would they?

I-I was just thinking, before we broke away the rent on this place, your quarters all that was being paid for by Earth, right?

But since they're out of the picture who's paying for all this now?

Well, I-I-I, um, if, you know--

Now I might be inclined to overlook this in light of the morale boost it gives folks to get mail

'from back home.'

How much? One hundred and one credits.

That ain't so much when you stop to think about it, now is it?

I wish I could say this was a good idea.

It's what I want to do.

I think it's what I need to do.

My people will treat him well, doctor.

He will be welcomed and put in a position of authority in the resistance.

He has good ideas about raising up those in need about organizing others into something better and nobler than they had been before.

We are in great need of such ideas and such men.

A new Round Table?

Well, I guess I've heard worse ideas in my time.

I just wish you could stay just a little longer until we can be sure you're okay.

Doctor, I'm healed.

Soul and body knitted together.

One journey has ended, another beckons.

(man on PA) 'Transport Bokalla is now boarding outbound passengers.'

That's your ship. I'll walk you out.

Thank you, doctor.

Take care.

And you.

And you.

Where were you?

I hate goodbyes.

Just wanted to watch him go remembering Arthur.

Where my people come from, his story has great power.

I'll miss him.

Even if he wasn't Arthur?

Now, now.

Next thing you'll be saying is he's not Merlin.

Merlin was a great teacher, you know.

I'm not hearing this. They say he aged backwards.

That was how he was able to foretell the future by remembering it.

Which means he came from the future.

Maybe he had Arthur form the Round Table by remembering us.

'We're forming one of our own, after all.'

Which makes you Percival.

I'm Galahad, him being sinless and all.

Sheridan as Arthur.

Ivanova, perhaps Gawain.

I think we both know who Mordred is.

So the question is who is Morgana Le Fay?

[theme music]