Babylon 5 S3E21 Script

Shadow Dancing (1996)

[dramatic music]

Please. If I can just..

If I can just finish! 'No!'

We have before us an opportunity to strike at our mutual enemy, The Shadows.

If our information is correct this could be the biggest engagement of the war to date.

We do not know how many of their ships will be involved so our only chance is to have as many as possible on our side.

We need all of you to cooperate.

If you wish cooperation then why do you not tell us what the mission is?

Right! I agree with you.

If we discuss this openly there is every chance that the enemy will learn of our plans.

You must trust us.

How can we trust you when you will not trust us?

Because so far we have kept every promise we've made.

We told you that telepaths could be used to slow the advance of the Shadows.

We supplied you with telepaths if you didn't have your own.

We have saved the lives of many of your people.

If we haven't earned your trust by now...then please go.

'Nothing more will be required of you.'

Ambassador Delenn, if we give you all the ships you ask for it will weaken our defenses around homeworld.

I know it's a risk, but it's necessary.

The ships will gather in a holding area in hyperspace approximately two hours from their final destination.

They will stand by until the signal is given.

Then, and only then, will their destination be revealed. bring to this engagement?

As many Minbari cruisers as can be spared.

And some additional forces you have not yet seen.

Let us know when you've finished your deliberations.

But do not take too long.

Our time is short and growing shorter.

[indistinct chattering]

(John) 'So we don't have a lot of time.'

The Shadows have been driving refugees and support ships into Sector 83 for two months now.

My guess is when enough of these ships are gathered at one place the enemy will hit them and hit them hard.

Which would demoralize all sides.

(John) 'Exactly.'

The number of refugees escaping into Sector 83 has dropped off considerably for the past few days.

So they may strike anytime now.

That anytime now could be today, tomorrow a few days from now.

If we wait until we hear about an attack it'll be too late to strike back.

They'll be long gone by the time we get there.

Hmm. Delenn is working out that part right now.

We'll have as many ships as we can standing by in hyperspace.

But for this to work..

...we have to know the second the enemy shows up.

That means having an advance scout on patrol in that area. One ship.

Any more would draw attention and they might change their plans.

And that ship?

That would be us?


You are to enter Sector 83 and maintain radio silence until the enemy comes out of hyperspace.

Now, they may come out all at once or in small groups.

Either way, as soon as you see them notify the fleet and get the hell out of there.

You are not, repeat, not to engage their forces unless fired upon first.

Now, if that should happen, do what you have to do but get out fast.


Anything else?


We've all seen how fast those ships can move.

If they see you before you can escape..

''ll take the White Star.'

'It's the fastest ship we've got.'

You'll need it.

'Cause even if everything goes right our best guess is you've only got a 50-50 chance of getting back alive.

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

It failed.

[intense music]

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]

The others have gone to speak with their governments.

They have authorized me to speak in their place.

You will have all the ships we can spare, Delenn.

I only hope that you are right because it will cost us greatly if you are wrong.

I've got Commander Ivanova on channel 4.

Put her through.

(Ivanova) 'We're ready to go, captain.'

Any last minute instructions?

Aside from an old Egyptian blessing I can't think of a thing.

Then we'll see you when we see you.

Full ahead. Fayzen shok.

[intense music]

An old Egyptian blessing?

"May God stand between you and harm.

In all the empty places where you must walk."

Hey, chief. I'm gonna get some lunch.

You wanna come along? No.

I gotta get back to the office.

You sure? I can bring you back something. Some small sandwich--

No, thanks. I'm fine.

Anything wrong, chief?

I don't know. Have you seen or heard anything about Stephen lately?

Dr. Franklin? No, not in five, maybe, six days.

He's still out on that, uh, what do you call it?

Walkabout. Oh, yeah. Right. Ha ha.

He told one of the guys that he's got to keep walking until he meets himself.

Kind of weird, but around here, what isn't?

Yeah. You know, I've just be thinking.

He shouldn't be doing this.

He shouldn't have to be doing this.

I-I feel like, I screwed up.

Hey, come on, chief.

It's not your fault. I heard what happened.

You offered to help, he walked away.

Yeah, I know, the thing is sometimes people walk away because they wanna be alone.

Sometimes they walk away because they wanna see if you care enough to follow them into hell.

I think I went the wrong way.

Look, he's got to get his head screwed on straight.

You can't do that for him.

Ah, you're right, it's just..

...uh, I've had my own problems.

I've been where he is. I..

I've walked away from a lot of things in my life.

I just hope he can find his way back again.

(Barbara) 'Now, according to the station map'

'this is Downbelow. Stay close, Jessie.'

'Well, I don't understand.'

It says here, this is a marketplace.

Well, I don't see much house.

You'd think they could take better care of the place.

Don't stray, Jessie.

Uh, it says this is the kind of place to mind your purse and your wallet.

Well, I heard all this is because of their so called revolution.

Breaking away from Earth like that. What were they thinking?

Well, Barbara, we do have homeless back home.


'James Cooper, I've told you before'

'not to contradict me in front of Jessie.'

'It's not good for her.'

President Clark says that people like this are the result of social problems

'not economic problems.'

'They've fixed the economy, and that's good enough for me.'

You know, ever since you came back from your mother's

'it's been the same thing.'

(James) 'But she reads a lot, and--'

(Barbara) 'Oh, she reads trash, just like you do sometimes.'


I told you to stay away from strange people.

'You don't know where he's been. Now, come on.'



Marcus! What?

I'm awake. It's your watch.

Right. I knew that. I was just resting my eyes.

Nascen fek.

'Si dromo.' What was that?

I told the computer to run another check on the weapons systems just to be sure they're ready.

You seem pretty fluent in Minbari.

You can't finish your training until you can speak and think in their language.

I am surprised.

When they were training the rangers I figured they'd emphasize infiltration and combat techniques. Not language skills.

For them it's all the same thing.

I could teach you, if you like.

No. I don't have the time.

It would take me a year.

And assuming we survive this how old will you be in a year if you don't learn to speak Minbari?

The same. 'Exactly.'

[speaking Minbari]

And what does that mean?

It's...just a greeting.

It means.. words are inadequate to the burden of my heart.

Well, that's an unusual greeting.

Well, they're an unusual people.

Well.. I'll wake you in four hours.

Thanks. I was assuming I can get any sleep in these.

The captain warned me about these things but I had no idea.

They're very restful. Good for the back.

Well, someday I'd like to be stationed somewhere big four-poster bed canopy and maybe a window with a view of a garden.

I like gardens.

And big four poster beds.

Right. See you in four hours.



Ah, that's better.



[Ivanova sighs]

[machine beeps]



What's our status?

They're still holding back.

(Delenn) 'It will have to do.'

'Getting them was hard enough.'

Keeping them as this drags on..

...that's going to be really hard.

The Dogato is standing by, waiting for us.

As soon as we're aboard they'll join the rest of the fleet.

I still think you should stay here.

With Ivanova, Marcus, and me gone, I mean..

And Garibaldi's up to his ears.

Franklin's still on walkabout--

John, we've been over this.

I should be there. With you and with the fleet.

We're in this together. I know.


...when we've finished with this..

...we will spend the night together.

Not like that.

You see, when Minbari become close as we have become close.

It is tradition that they spend three nights together.

The male sleeps and the female watches.

W-watches what?

During the day, we all put on the face we think will do us the most good.

But at a certain point in your sleep, as you relax your true face is revealed.

If the female approves of his true face she will stay two more nights and continue to observe.

Mmm. Well, what if she doesn't like what she sees?

Then they go their separate ways.

If he insists she stay one more night she can leave when he falls asleep file a complaint with the elders even cut off his, um his access to her family.



What if she does like what she sees?


History awaits.

[instrumental music]

(male #1) 'No!'

(male #2) 'Hey, you leave him for me'

'Leave him for me.'


(male #1) 'Get away. Get the hell away from me.'

'Get away from me.' 'Get the bag.'


'Stop it. No, stop don't.' 'Come on.'

'Stop it!' 'Aw! Man, he bit me.'


(male #3) 'Give me the bag, or I'll cut your freakin' throat.'

'Get away from me!' 'No!'

Give me the bag, damn it.

Let it go, or I'm gonna cut your freakin' throat.

Hey, hey, hey! Leave him alone.


Now, look, if-if there's a problem, we can handle it some other way. Aah.

Hey! No!

'Wait! Let-let's talk!'

No! No! Wait, wait. Aah!

What the hell did you do that for?

You want him getting into our business?

You're nuts, man, you know that?

Come on, let's get out of here.

Ha, ha, ha! Come on.


Help me.

Help me.

I can't. Ohh. Help me.

I can't. I was selling.

They'd arrest me, too.

Please help me.

[heavy breathing]

I'm sorry. I can't. Help me.



Help me!

Help! Somebody!

Is anybody, can you hear me?

I, I need help.


Oh, man.

Oh, God.

Oh, this is not good.



Ah, finally.

[machine beeps]

(Marcus on PA) 'Ivanova to the bridge.'

'Ivanova to the bridge.'

Are they here? Not exactly.

But you'd better take a look at this.

We picked it up a few minutes ago.

Scanners indicate it's composed of materials similar to the Shadow vessels, but it's much smaller.

(Ivanova) 'A scout ship?'

(Marcus) 'Our opposite number, sent in to'

'make sure the area's clear'

'before the main Armada comes in.'

It's close. Has it seen us yet?

I don't think so. We're not picking up any transmissions.

Good. Anything else?

Well, yes, you see, I spotted this just as we were about to correct course to stay in the shadow of that moon.

Good, don't.

It could read the energy if we use the engines.

It would be like sending up a flare.

Yes, but unfortunately, we're about to move out of eclipse.

And as soon as we're out in the light..

(Ivanova) 'Oh, hell.'

It's seen us. Picking up a transmission.

Looks like a warning signal. Jam it. Engines at maximum.

We have to stop it before it can warn the others.

The other White Star class ships have been alerted.

They'll meet us at the other end.

Good. And the telepaths? Safe below decks.

All the other cruisers have at least one telepath onboard to help them slow down the enemy.

I'll go check to make sure.

Anything yet from Ivanova? No.

It probably means the enemy hasn't appeared yet, but..

They can take care of themselves.

They'll be fine.

this place?

It's our tactical center.

From here, we can keep track of the battle.

How? I-I don't see any displays.

You will see when the time comes.

(Franklin) 'Hey.'






Grade A stupid. that, wasn't it?

Always trying to be the hero.

Never stopping to think first.

Now, now, look where it's got you. Hmm?

Must be going into shock.

You said you had to keep walking until you met yourself.

Well? Here I am.

So, if we're gonna talk, let's talk.

But I don't think you have a lot of time.


[intense music]


No damage. Keep on his tail.

If he gets out of jamming range, we've had it.

Standby weapons system, prepare to fire.

What happens if he doesn't report in?

I don't know, but I do know what happens if he gets away.

Let's just hope they're only supposed to break radio silence if there was a problem.

Stand by.




It's gonna ram us. Hard to port. Fire!

Damage report. Engines hit.

Automatic repair systems engaged.

It'll take a while, won't it? Wait a minute.

I'm picking up an energy surge. Distance, 5,000 kilometers.

Show me!


That's a lot of ships.

That's a bloody awful lot of ships.

Jump engines, back on line yet?

No. If I signal the fleet, this lot might pick it up.

If they do and we can't get away.

Well, who wants to live forever?

I do, actually. But what the hell?

Signal away.

[electricity crackling]

The signal. I heard.

Tell the others to follow us in.

I just hope Ivanova got out in time.

'Engines?' 'Not yet.'

They're getting closer.

I know, estimate they're three hours from this system's primary target less than 20 minutes from us.


(Franklin) 'You know what your problem is?'

All your life you've run away from everything.

Home didn't work out.

Wouldn't talk to your father.

So you just...walked away.

'You didn't have the patience for a long internship back home'

'so you just ran off and started hitchhiking on starships.'

You didn't want to turn over your precious notes on Minbari biology during the war so you just burned them instead and walked away again.

You use work to run away from your personal life

'and stims to run away from your work.'

'And right now..' are running away from everything.


Don't you die on me yet.

I'm not through with you.

You finally had it all, didn't you?

You had a good job.

'People who cared about you and you messed it up.'

"I have to leave before they fire me."

"I have to go find myself."

What a bunch of mealy-mouthed self-indulgent, foundationist crap.


Take responsibility for your actions, for crying out loud.

You go in there and you fight for what matters to you.

Don't just walk away because it's easier.

I didn't.. 'What'd you say?'

Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot.

You're too busy dying, aren't you?

I guess that's a little bit more important to you right now.


Well, fine, you do what you want because you and I, time ago.

So you go ahead and you die because I really don't care anymore.


A little longer, and we'll have power to engines. We--



One of them has picked us up. Moving to intercept.

Okay, this is it. Stand by to--

Picking up an energy spike.

[intense music]

They can hear me from here?


This is Captain John Sheridan to attack fleet.

Have your telepaths start jamming their capital ships.

Fighters...take point.

'They've put escort ships in front'

'as buffers between our telepaths and their big ships.'

'Take them out any way you can and clear the way.'

'Sunhawks and other medium-class ships'

'provide escort for our big guns.'

Everyone else..

...break and attack.


(Franklin) 'Blood pressure's dropping fast.'

You should be getting real cold right about now.

Yeah, that's shock and trauma.

And the rest will follow soon.

You know, so we can get this over with.

I mean, you weren't that happy with your life in the first place, were you?

'This one's hardly been used.'

I wa-I want.. 'You want what?'

I mean, what-what do you want?

What could you possibly want?

I-I, I, I want to do it all again.

Why? You'd just mess it up again.



'Now, where do you think you're going?'

I wanna, I wanna do it again.

I want..

I wanna do it again.

Is that right?

Well, then get up off the damn floor.

I don't care how much it hurts.

Don't you go passing out on me

'cause that's just another kind of running away.

Now, you take responsibility.

Show me that you want it.

Get up off the damn floor.

That's it. Come on.

Come on. Get up on your own two feet.

Stand up. You stand up.

I wanna do it all over again.

Engines online.

Damage report! Targeting system hit!

Go manual!

They're trying to outflank us.

Carrier groups, come about and engage.

[intense music]



The Drazi ships are surrounded.

Minbari cruiser and Enfili pull back. Protect the Drazi.

[music continues]




[music continues]

(Franklin) 'Help me!'

'Help me!'

Help me. Help me.

I wanna do it again. Help me.

[indistinct chatter]

[intense music]

[inaudible dialogue]

[intense music]

[indistinct chatter]

(Franklin) 'Guess I really screwed up, huh?'

Guess we're all entitled to one.

(John) They'll need immediate treatment.

'Mostly burns, but there may be some radiation scarring.'

Take over whatever space you need.

We've got four more shuttles with wounded coming through.

I'll accompany them.

I heard about Franklin. How is he?

Serious but stable. He lost a lot of blood.

Dr. Hobbs said it's practically a miracle he could walk that far.

The knife cut pretty deep into the muscle tissue on the way in.

So how'd it go out there?

We did okay not great, but okay.

We turned back their attack, but we lost a lot of ships.

For every one of their ships we killed two of ours were destroyed.

This time we had the advantage.

We knew where they were going to attack.

Next time, we won't be so lucky.

Still, it's the first time we've managed to bring all the league worlds together and organize them into a fighting force.

That counts for a lot.

So here's the big question.

Now that we've shown them we can hurt them how long until they come knocking at our front door?

That's what worries me.

(Garibaldi) 'It's about time you woke up.'

We were taking bets on when you were gonna come around.

I want you to know I've lost 30 credits already.

I guess I'm just too much of an optimist.

So how do you feel?

Like I was stabbed in the back and left to die.

How the hell should I feel?

Well, he's back to normal. As grouchy as ever.

You know, with all this, I just hope you found what you were looking for out there.

I don't know.

Guess I found what I..

...what I needed, not what I wanted.

Which was?

A short, sharp kick to the head.

Oh, well, hell, I could've done that for you.

All you had to do was ask.

Yeah, well, you would've enjoyed it too much.

So you didn't, uh meet yourself?

Yeah, I did.

Found out I didn't like myself, either.

Well, as revelations go, I guess I've heard worse.

'I'd better let you get some rest. You need it.'

Oh, one last thing.

I know you had to do this and I know you learned a lot by doing it.

But just don't ever do this to me again.

You were concerned. I'm touched.

Hell, no.

I just can't afford to lose another 30 credits.


I've been giving a lot of thought to Garibaldi's question.

We have done all we can to keep a low profile.

But the enemy loss.

They've got to know we're responsible.

Now it's only a matter of time before they come after us.

So the only questions are how and when.

Perhaps they're reluctant to try.

Draal has made the great machine on the planet below available to our defense.

I suspect his weapons could stop even a Shadow vessel.

Maybe, but that's the odd thing about this.

I mean, they could've hit us at any time during the last year. We're a sitting duck.

So what are you saying they're deliberately leaving us alone?

It's possible, I mean, they haven't exactly been shy about hitting anybody else around here.

'And if that's true, the obvious question is why?'


Do you know who I am?

Are you okay?

I'm not sure.

Ever since Kosh died I've been remembering a dream.

Last year, when I was hurt he got inside my head. He spoke to me.

Sent me these images.

One of them was you saying, "Do you know who I am?"

'A week later, you tell me you're a latent telepath.'

Said you sometimes don't know who you are.

Is it possible he knew?

I don't see how, but the image fits.

Do you remember anything else?

No, just fragments.

Oh, at one point I was wearing the uniform of a Psi Cop.

Well, we're working with Bester now and that was unexpected.

So that tracks.

Anything else?

He sent me an image of Garibaldi saying..

The man in between is searching for you.

"The man in between" he could've meant...Sinclair.

Maybe, but I don't think so.

Somehow it doesn't feel right.

The last thing was you, dressed all in black as if for a funeral. You said..

"You are the hand."

"You are the hand?"

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

Why would I say anything as dopey-sounding as that?

I don't know.

But if Kosh sent it, it must've meant something.

Odd that he would use that image, though.


Well, you have two hands, do you not?

Each equal and opposite.

So you're saying that the man in between is your equal and opposite?


Well, if that's what it is then the man in between knows who you are now that we've kicked him hard and where it hurts.

Assuming it means anything.

Signs, portents, dreams.

Next we'll be reading tea leaves and chicken entrails.

All we do know is that we are vulnerable now.

I want squadrons on flyby at all times.

'We should expect something'

'to be coming our way sooner or later.'

And the way our luck works, it'll probably be sooner.

(Franklin) 'Alright, we're still short on Minbari blood, type R-negative.'

Nadia, I want you to check with Ambassador Delenn see if you can organize some more blood donors.

The synthetics aren't cutting it.

Now the rest of you, we've got trauma cases overloading Medlabs two and five.

I want you to get down there see if you can move some of the noncritical patients into other quarters on a temporary basis.

Take over the rotunda and the sanctuary if you have to.

Now go on.

They told me you wouldn't be up and about for a while.

Well, I'm not.

I won't be for a few days.

Legs are still a little wobbly.

I can only stand for a few minutes but, uh, I don't need to stand to talk, to advise and generally make a pain in the ass of myself.

'They know it's unofficial, but..'

...they can use all the help they can get.

That's why I came down to see you, Stephen.

Your job is waiting for you if you want it.

Sure you wanna do this?

If you're sure you wanna take it.

I want it.

I think now I can do better.

I mean, that was the problem.

The stims, they..

...they let me do more but what I needed was to do better.

I wish you'd come, talked to me before you made your decision to resign.

I was running away.

Same as I've always done.

I didn't wanna face how I'd feel if you fired me so I just quit.

You had to find your own way.

I ran away.

I realized that I always defined myself in terms of what I wasn't.

I wasn't a good soldier like my father.

I wasn't the job. I, uh..

I wasn't a good prospect for marriage or kids.

Always what I wasn't never what I was.

And when you do that, you miss the moments.

And the moments are all we've got.

When I thought I was gonna die even after everything that's happened..

...I realized I didn't wanna let go.

I was willing to do it all over again.

And this time, I could appreciate the moments.

I-I-I can't go back.

But I can appreciate what I have right now.

And I can define myself by what I am instead of what I'm not.

And what are you?


Everything else is negotiable.

[machine beeps]

Sheridan, go.

(female #1) 'Captain, I have a message'

'from Ambassador Delenn.'

'She says she awaits your pleasure.'

Tell her I'll be right there.

[sighs] Well, it's getting late and you better get some rest.

Don't worry. I intend to.

It's good to have you back, Stephen.

Thank you.

It's good to be back.


Now where on Earth did you learn to hold a cauterizer like that?

Let me show you how to do this.

Watch carefully.


[intense music]

[music continues]

(Zack) 'Commander?'

'Commander Ivanova?'

[sighs] Give me a break.

Receive transmission, audio only.


'Commander, just thought you ought to know'

'we just had somebody come on board.'

Zack, this is a space station.

We get 50 ships a day.

There's always someone coming on board.

'Yeah, but this is major.'

'It concerns the captain.'

Who is it?

[instrumental music]

[door opens]

Hello. You must be Delenn.

I'm Anna Sheridan, John's wife.

[glass shatters]

[theme music]