Voices of Authority (1996)
If you ask me, these weekly meetings are a pain in the butt.
Yeah, I know, I know, but it's the regs.
Would you stop that? You've been doing that all day.
It's the jacket. It doesn't fit right. It's never did.
I've taken it to five tailors nobody gets it to fit just right.
It pulls here, rides up back there, it's itchy.
I think I need a silk lining. 'Zack!'
I have very sensitive skin.
Feel this material. It's like a winter coat.
I don't want to feel it. Leave me alone, okay.
[sighing] Women like a guy who looks trim, neat.
You gotta be sharp.
I look like I'm wearing a circus tent.
Any minute now, a little teeny car with 16 clowns in it is gonna come flying out of my butt.
Garibaldi's fashion express, go.
(Susan) 'We've got a Code 7R. You free?'
Yeah, I'll be right there.
Look, I gotta go. You take notes for me, okay?
No problem. Hey, chief, wh-what's a Code 7R?
I never heard of that one before.
Ah, it's-it's nothing important.
You know how the bureaucracy is always changing everything.
Uh, catch you later.
Sorry. I got here as fast as I could.
Go on, Delenn, you were saying.
Wars are won or lost before they're fought through preparation, attitude, strategy and the selection of proper allies.
In the growing war against the Shadows there may be some allies we haven't approached yet.
Many times over the last million years the Shadows were fought to a standstill by the First Ones races immeasurably older than our own.
'After the last war, a thousand years ago' we believed the First Ones went away forever passing beyond the Galactic Rim where no human or Minbari has ever ventured.
But the Vorlons remained.
So it is possible that some of the others may still be around.
Well, if this is true then why haven't we heard from them before now?
They have grown tired of constant warfare.
Lost interest in the affairs of the younger races.
According to legend..
...some went to sleep in secret places deep beneath their ancient cities where no one can bother them.
The rest walk among the stars on errands we can never hope to understand
'barely aware of our existence.'
Maybe it's time we got their attention.
(Marcus) 'Is it?'
When I was being trained on Minbar we were taught that the First Ones are beyond anything we've experienced before.
They don't think like we do.
They're old, powerful, and dangerous and they don't like to be bothered.
A combination like that, you may not want
'to get their attention.'
Some of the First Ones could swat this station as if it were a fly, and not even notice they'd done it.
(Delenn) 'Marcus is correct.'
Until now, we have warned the rangers to avoid those places where the First Ones still walk.
They're dangerous and unpredictable.
But we're reaching a point where we can no longer avoid taking risks.
So how do we go about sending them a message?
(Delenn) 'If you only send a signal they will not answer.'
'They must be found and contacted personally.'
The danger is considerable and the odds of success are very small.
So I have invited one other person to our meeting today.
Good afternoon, everyone.
Delenn tells me that you're going to try contacting the First Ones.
It is a magnificent idea.
A daring and splendid idea.
In doing so, you will see things
'no human has ever seen before.'
'It will be...fun.'
Assuming you're not vaporized dissected, or otherwise killed in an assortment of supremely horrible and painful ways.
Exciting, isn't it?
(Susan) The Babylon project was our last best hope for peace.
But in the year of the Shadow war it became something greater..
...our last best hope..
The year is 2260.
I have checked the data records of the Great Machine running the planet below.
It contains information which might help in your search.
'Reports of encounters with alien forces'
Stories of vast and nameless forces that prowl the ruins of ancient cities.
'Each report carried with it...a warning'
"Do not approach."
To quote a human phrase it gives me the screaming willies.
But I'm willing to do all I can to help.
I recommend that you come down to the planet.
We can go over it all and select the most likely prospect for contact.
Say, four standard hours?
I'll be there.
Mr. Allan. Julie Musante, Ministry of Peace.
Thank you for meeting me. Is the captain with you?
Uh, no. Sorry. I tried to reach him, but he's in a meeting.
Oh. Well, no matter. We'll catch up to him at his office.
Could you help my bags taken to some appropriate quarters?
I'll be here a while.
Yeah, sure. It's right this way.
I studied the station map before I arrived, Mr. Allan.
I know the way.
Good day, ambassador.
And to you, G'Kar.
You are well, I trust? Yes, thank you.
Ah, no problems back home? Nothing troubling you?
Not that I'm aware of.
Thank you. Good day. Thanks.
Well, I'm happy to hear it. I was getting concerned.
You see I've noticed that you've been spending quite a bit of time in closed meetings with Captain Sheridan.
[laughing] One might always get the impression that uh, something was, uh, up.
Just the usual diplomatic exchanges between our two governments.
Ah, yes. Of course. Of course.
Well, as I'm no longer on the council I suppose I've forgotten how to tell the difference between a political session and a private meeting.
I heard an interesting word the other day a word I hadn't encountered before.
Good, I'm pleased to hear that you're continuing to expand your frame of reference, G'Kar.
What do you know about Rangers?
Nothing. Why? Should I?
Well, it's a curious thing, Delenn.
My contacts have mentioned the word to me from time to time and sometimes they're speaking of a human and sometimes they're speaking of a Minbari.
If one didn't know better one might conclude that these humans and Minbari are both part of the same organization.
'But that seems extremely unlikely does it not, Delenn?'
Well, thank you for your time, Delenn.
Since you aren't able to help me I'll just continue making inquiries on my own!
Eventually I will figure it out.
I'll let you know what I find.
(John) 'Ms. Musante'
I'm sorry I got tied up.
If I'd known you were coming..
You have some very impressive objects here, captain.
Earthforce Silver Star for valor in the Minbari war.
'Commendations, you have orders of promotion.'
But e-except for the seal of the Earth Alliance I don't really see much that gives a sense of walking into the heart of the Earth government here on Babylon 5.
Well, I, uh..
...prefer a more informal office.
And as it is..
...my office, ah..
Oh, yes, of course it is.
Well, I was simply trying to be of assistance.
I've been assigned here by the Ministry of Peace..
...the Nightwatch Division.
Under the direct authority of the Babylon 5 senate oversight committee.
I'm to be your new political officer.
I don't need a political officer.
(Julie) 'Oh, but the senate disagrees.'
Things are very touchy back home, captain.
Some of your recent actions have not been as politically astute as they might have been.
Now just a minute. I--
I'm only repeating what I've been told.
No need to kill the messenger.
Your decisions might have been correct..
...on some level.
'But there are ways of doing things'
'so that they reflect more favorably'
'on the Earth government.'
And so it was decided that you needed a political officer.
Someone who can whisper in your ear who could warn you about governmental policies you might bump into.
Someone who could...keep you from making costly political mistakes that might jeopardize your career back home.
Zack. Yes, sir.
Take a walk. Yes, sir.
Get this straight, Ms. Musante.
This is my command.
My position as military governor is guaranteed under the charter of the Babylon project.
Yes, I've read it.
It does not exclude the presence of a political officer.
But perhaps you could show me the paragraph that I missed.
This is a military outpost.
Which answers to a civilian government.
Decisions made by military officers must reflect the current governmental policies.
The President proposes..
...and the military disposes.
Unless there's been a coup and no one told me.
The President invested me with sole authority here.
Unless I receive orders to the contrary I refuse to share that authority with an unqualified civilian.
And no one is asking you to.
I am simply here to advise.
Captain, the decision's already been made.
There's nothing we can do about it.
So I suggest that we do what we can to live with it amicably.
For starters, I need you to fill me in on what's been happening here.
And I suggest dinner at the Fresh Air restaurant in a couple of hours.
Around 1800 hours.
Uh, I can't. I have another appointment.
Really? There's nothing posted on your schedule.
What is it?
Perhaps I could help.
...nothing I can't cancel.
In time, you'll find I'm..
...not as bad as you might think.
I'll see you at 1800 hours.
Commander, I've got the captain on channel one for you.
I'll take it in his office.
Captain, what's up?
(John) 'I just had the entire Earth bureaucracy'
'landed right on my back.'
Look, I can't make my appointment on Epsilon 3.
You'll have to go in my place.
Get the information and get back as soon as you can.
Not a problem. Anything else you need?
A glass of whiskey, a gun, and two bullets.
I'll call you when I get back.
Your quarters are right this way.
So how'd it go with the captain?
Fine. He's a loyal soldier.
He knows where his priorities are.
He'll come around.
In the meantime, I'll need you to fill me in.
On whatever the captain chooses not to tell me.
Just until he does come around, of course.
Zack, you are a member of Nightwatch.
You have priorities as well.
Never make the mistake of forgetting that.
Are you coming?
I asked for Captain Sheridan!
Ah. He's busy.
I don't like surprises.
Really? Love 'em myself.
I mean, to me, everything's a surprise.
You're a surprise. This place is a surprise.
You see this? Paper cut. Hurts like hell.
Anybody else would be upset, but to me it's just one more wonderful surprise.
'I mean, I even surprise myself sometimes.'
So I guess there's nothing wrong with me surprising you...right?
I like you!
[chuckling] Well, thank you.
That the nicest thing anybody's said about me in days.
So right now, we're in the lull between storms.
Now unless they're stopped the Centauri will just keep moving in on the league of non-aligned worlds.
Well, I'm sure that's the rumor, but you know how rumors are.
Earth would never ally itself with a government that's bent on war.
Yes, but we've signed a treaty with the Centauri.
Exactly. Which proves my point.
Mm, these noodles are wonderful.
Do you want some? No, no. Thank you. I'm fine.
Mm...this is just the sort of thing I was trying to explain earlier.
Alright, so you have some concerns.
But there are ways of expressing these concerns which won't cause problems for our leaders back home.
Is that soy sauce? Yeah.
Alright, well, enough about politics.
So, how are things here on the station?
Fine, fine. Uh, status quo.
Uh, we've had problems with the lurkers, but nothing--
It's our version of the homeless.
In many ways we have the same problem Earth does.
Mm, Earth doesn't have homeless.
We don't have the problem.
Yes, there are some displaced people here and there.
But, uh, they've chosen to be in that position.
They're either lazy, or they're criminal or they're mentally unstable.
They can't get a job.
Earthgov has promised a job to anyone that wants one.
So, if someone doesn't have a job..
...they must not want one.
Uh, poverty? Hm, it's the same.
Crime? Yes, there is some.
But it's all caused by the mentally unstable.
And we've just instituted correctional centers to filter them out at an early age.
No, we're just..
...one happy planet.
Well, alright, there's the Marsies, but..
...that won't change until they stop fighting the Earth rule.
And when-when exactly did all this happen?
When we rewrote the dictionary.
...you're a good man.
You're a fine soldier. A leader.
You understand that sometimes before you can deal with a problem you have to...redefine it.
But you can't deal with the problems by pretending they don't exist.
There's no need to embarrass our leaders by pointing out the flaws in our society that they're aware of, and dealing with in their own way.
Some people just enjoy finding fault with our leaders.
'or they're simply just unpatriotic.'
'None of which describes you.'
'Now, do you want people thinking otherwise?'
These are the areas that I want to help you with.
Uh, I want to feel like I'm needed that I'm doing my part to help bring the Earthgov back into the hands of the decent, hard working people that created it.
I am here to protect you.
I admire your honesty and your record and your attitude.
And I don't want to see anyone use those things against you.
Quite frankly, I think I could come to like you..
...quite a lot.
Well, here we are.
If you'll just plug yourself into the matrix we'll take it from there.
Um...it's, um, occupied.
Hmm? Oh. Yes, of course.
Uh, my mistake.
I spend so much time out of my body I sometimes forget where it is.
If you'll excuse me.
It will only take a moment for me to...
I must remember to dust myself once in a while.
This is hardly appropriate.
Well, here you go.
Oh, your jacket.
It really is quite safe.
I have set the machine so it can handle humans.
And I've made sure that it can deal with my absence for several hours if necessary.
So, what do I do?
Ah, just relax.
The program will take you from there.
Open your mind.
But whatever you do..
...do not stray from the path.
(Susan) 'I can't...breathe.'
(Draal) 'It's alright.'
'Try to calm your mind.'
'All life forms are connected.'
'Look for the path.'
'Look for the path.'
(Susan) 'I see it.'
(Draal) 'It is the power that binds us.'
'One to another across the darkness of space.'
'Focus on the First Ones..'
'...on the most ancient of ancients.'
Let the path take you to them.
(Susan) 'I know this place.'
'I've seen it on the star charts.'
'They were here.'
'I can feel their footprints in the sand..'
'...hear their words..'
'...whispered in the wind.'
'Oh, they're coming back again.'
'Draal, something's wrong.'
Draal, I'm not alone.
'It sees me.'
'It knows I'm here.'
'...it's pulling me in!'
'I-I...can't stop it.'
(Draal) 'It is the enemy.'
'Go back to the path!'
It, it knows I'm here.
It knows my name.
(Draal) 'Break off!'
'I can't pull you out without killing you!'
(Draal) 'Turn away!'
'Don't look at it!'
Come back now.
There's something else.
That's Earthforce One before it exploded.
'I-I can warn them.'
'I can save the President.' 'No. It's too late.'
(Draal) 'You're seeing the shadow of things long gone.'
I have wanted Santiago dead for so long.
I wasn't sure we could really pull it off.
You're sure it's done?
(male #1) 'Earthforce One will never return from Io.'
'The power's now yours, Clark.'
(Draal) 'I do not understand.'
A normal human mind should not have been able to do that.
I-I saw it. I-I saw it all.
Uh, the image I saw..
...the message, can you record it?
Yes. But how-- Do it, please!
It's the proof we've needed that President Santiago was assassinated, that Clark was behind everything.
We've got it.
Now we've got it.
I appreciate the help, captain.
I can't imagine what happened to scramble my lock code.
Well, security should have it open in a little while.
Can I fix you a drink? Yeah. Oh, God, yes, please.
Oh, I like your quarters.
It's a bit larger than standard, isn't it?
Yeah, a little.
They tried to hit me up for rent on this place last year, can you believe it?
(Julie) 'Well, we must all do our part.'
I don't mind doing my part.
I just object to doing their part as well.
As I said..
...we must all do our part.
Perhaps now you find the presence of a political officer a bit more appealing.
[clearing throat] I, uh, don't think--
Um, but there's no need to rush.
No, there's not.
...if you could just wait, uh..
...two seconds, I-I'll be right back.
My usual timing. Sorry.
It's not what it seems. Now, what are you doing?
I'm using Draal's holographic system.
Captain, I've got a lead on some of the First Ones.
There's a chance we can catch 'em, but it means leaving right now, we don't have much time.
Damn it. I can't leave without an explanation.
She'll be all over me.
Looks to me like she's already all over you.
Hell, I can't risk exposing the operation to an outsider.
You'll have to go without me.
'Get a hold of Garibaldi.'
You'll need someone on board who speaks Minbari.
And...be careful. Yeah, same to you.
Oh, and, captain, while I was in his computer system I found something else you're gonna find very interesting.
What? It's a long story.
I'll uplink the data to Garibaldi before I leave.
Good luck, captain. I think you're about to go where everyone has gone before.
Well, it must be...colder in here than I thought.
I'll fix it.
Ah, Mr. Garibaldi.
Could you tell me where to find Commander Ivanova?
We had a meeting scheduled but she never showed up.
Ah, she got called off-station on business.
Very last minute. I gotta go.
There have been many last minute things happening around here, Mr. Garibaldi.
I once believed the Centauri had the market on secret meetings on Babylon 5.
[chuckling] It appears they have some competition.
I have no idea what you're talking about.
Everything's status quo.
Mr. Garibaldi, stop!
The Centauri took my world, my government, my..
They did not take my self respect.
And I thought they had not taken the respect I had earned from others.
Was I wrong in thinking that?
Something is going on, Mr. Garibaldi.
I sense a gathering of forces that could perhaps help my people.
I know we have never exactly been friends.
But until now, we have never been strangers.
G'Kar, look, um, if there were anything I thought could help you or your people I'd tell you.
Then perhaps I could help you.
I appreciate that, but I don't see how.
Well, then...maybe that's something you should work on.
Oh, good morning, Mr. Allan.
So how'd your meeting go with the captain last night?
And when it comes to your union situation here he must be a very good negotiator.
I've never seen anyone come up with so many creative ways of saying no to a simple proposition.
Well, I've always liked the sound of yes myself.
Did you know that your jacket doesn't fit, Mr. Allan?
I suggest you have it adjusted.
I've called a meeting in three hours to go over the new political protocol.
I expect to see you there.
(Marcus) 'He couldn't make it.'
I need someone who speaks Minbari.
You found him.
I did spend almost a year living there but if you'd rather I'd left, that's fine.
I'm sure they must have an Earth-Minbari dictionary lying around somewhere.
Tell them to set course for Sigma 957.
Ne Tawa, ness-ah Sigma tet-vo-chen.
Before coming here, I was authorized to begin
'implementing certain changes.'
'From this point on' it will be inappropriate for Earthforce personnel to publicly criticize the government or its decisions.
'Violations of this will result in'
'immediate fines and penalties.'
What about civilians?
Well, that's not something you need to worry about.
Just take down the information and pass it along.
We'll take it from there.
'The new policies also expand the range of investigation'
'to include past associations'
'families and friends who might draw others'
'into compromising situations.'
Is there a problem, Sergeant Allan?
Babylon 5 security is supposed to act according to the rules of due process.
When enforcing criminal law that's correct.
But you are now an arm of the political office..
'...and this widens the scope of your authority.'
You are empowered to examine station publications to ensure that they're ideologically correct.
We've revised the rules of evidence to make them more flexible.
Isn't all this a little extreme?
(Julie) 'Yes. Yes, it is.'
'I shouldn't be telling you this yet..'
'...but in the coming months certain individuals'
'will be purged from their government positions'
'on charges of sedition, immoral conduct..'
'...even spying for alien governments.'
'With our basic freedoms at stake'
'no response can be too extreme.'
There may be some minor and temporary abridgments in the traditionally protected areas of speech and association but only until this crisis is over.
We have been betrayed on nearly every level.
And it is going to take the efforts of every loyal citizen to keep Earth safe..
...and ideologically pure.
(Susan) 'Anything yet?'
Nothing. Same as I told you an hour ago.
[sighing] Maybe we can adjust the scanners.
They've been adjusted five times.
All we can do now is wait.
How long has it been since you've had nothing to do?
I have responsibilities.
And what of responsibilities to yourself?
You don't have to keep busy every moment of every day.
I don't remember authorizing a change in discussion to include my personal life.
I have to be authorized to talk to you like a person?
Just what is it you're running from?
Don't you have anything to do?
Nope. I'm all yours.
I think we just found them.
Transmitting recognition signal.
Let's see if Draal's information is right.
What's happening? Energy drain.
It started as it came towards us.
Move us away! Fezon, chok!
My name is Susan Ivanova.
This ship is the White Star.
We've come to find you.
'The enemy that you fought before has returned.'
In order to fight the Shadows we've formed an alliance with others.
The Great Machine on Epsilon 3 the Minbari, the Vorlons--
Vorlon tavutna chog!
I think you just hit a nerve.
The Vorlons must owe them money or something.
At least it tell us that they understand our language.
They're just not willing to speak to us in it.
Who knew they were French?
We've come to ask you for your help.
Will you join us in a fight against the Shadows?
Is that a yes or a no?
They're not moving away.
I'd say they were thinking it over.
I have wanted Santiago dead for so long.
I wasn't sure we could really pull it off.
You're sure it's done?
(male #1) 'Earthforce One will never return from Io.'
'The power's now yours, Clark.'
God, that's it, isn't it?
The proof we've been looking for all this time and it practically walks in the front door.
The problem is, uh, what are we gonna do about it?
We can't release it ourselves.
It'll raise too many questions like how we got it and why were looking for it.
I'll send it to General Hague.
He'll get it to the right people without it being tracked back to him.
They'll say it's a fake.
All high ranking Earthforce comm systems carry an identifier code on a sub channel.
That code is kept top secret to prevent false orders from being given.
It can't be faked.
And that code will tie this right back to President Clark.
This is the best chance we ever had, Michael.
We have to take it!
Do you always pace like that?
Is there some way you'd prefer me to pace?
Damn it! I really don't want to screw this up.
The Minbari taught me, claim victory in your heart and the universe will follow.
Fine, great, claim victory in your heart and up your..
"Zog?" what? no?
It's leaving. means no.
I am not letting them leave here without saying yes.
Really? And how do you propose stopping them?
Perhaps a big red and white sign with the word stop on it?
I'll put a bucket on my head and pretend to be the ancient Vorlon God Boogee.
That's it! Fine, I'll get a bucket.
No. I meant the Vorlons. Open a comm channel, now!
This is the White Star to the departing ship.
I just want to say I appreciate your response and I fully understand.
The Vorlons said you wouldn't be up for a fight like this.
In fact, they said in the last war they carried you..
...did most of the work while you took most of the credit for it.
[chuckling softly] They said if you got involved in this one you'd just get hurt.
Come to think of it..
...we've got the Vorlons.
We...we don't need much more help, do we?
I mean the Vorlons are really pretty close to perfect.
And strong. Phew.
(male #2) 'Vorlon tavutna chog!'
Yeah, well, whatever.
Listen, I'll be sure and give them your message as soon as I get back.
In the meantime, you have a nice flight.
We'll be sure and send you a message as soon as the fighting is over.
So you can come back out again.
I think you're making him mad. Mm-hmm.
It's bigger than we are. I know.
When it is time, come to this place.
Call our name.
We will be here.
(woman on TV) 'With the stunning revelation today' of evidence purporting to show that the death of President Santiago was not an accident but an assassination planned from within and further that then Vice President Clark was involved in this alleged conspiracy.
'The evidence is currently undergoing tests'
'designed to determine its authenticity.'
'Meanwhile, several senate committees in Earthdome' will hold closed hearings to discuss the issue and are strongly urging the appointment
'of a special prosecutor to evaluate the evidence.'
Okay, you heard the news.
I expect it to be tense out there today.
Just, uh, keep everybody calm.
Oh, and, uh, because of this situation our new political officer Julie Musante has been recalled to Earth to help deal with the crisis in public morale.
So without her, uh, guidance if anyone asks, just say that we're waiting for the truth to come out because sooner or later it always does.
[sighing] That's amazing. I can't believe it.
It's gotta be a mistake, right?
Yeah, well, we'll see. Huh?
Is there something wrong, chief?
Yeah, there's something wrong, Zack.
What did you tell her? What, Musante?
Come on, I know you had a private meeting with her.
I know she's been asking questions.
Look, I didn't tell her anything.
Okay, little stuff, stupid stuff.
Yeah, what am I supposed to do, play dumb?
I work for these people.
Yeah, well, you were working for me a hell of a long time before you joined Nightwatch.
Now, look, after what happened to me before it took a long time before I could trust anyone again.
I thought I could trust you.
Don't make me have any second thoughts, huh?
You don't trust me, chief.
What are you talking about? What's a Code 7R, huh?
I looked it up in the books. It ain't there.
So, I have to wonder..
...what's going on?
Nightwatch says the only people who have to worry
'are the ones with something to hide.'
You got something to hide, chief?
Look, you got a charge to make..
Otherwise, I don't have time for this.
No, I don't have a charge to make, damn it.
I'm just trying to get through this thing and it ain't easy.
I'm walking a tightrope here.
And I thought you'd understand.
Boy, was I a jerk.
Alright, I know you're my superior officer and we have to work together.
But for the rest of the day just don't talk to me.
We'll both be happier.
So it went okay, then.
No problem making first contact.
No problem at all. They'll be there when we need them.
That's one down and what..
...several thousand more to go?
Yeah, well, if this war's gonna be as bad as Delenn says, we'll need all the First Ones we can find.
Any more word on the situation with President Clark?
Earthdome is going nuts over all this.
Clark is saying it's an alien plot to discredit him.
Santiago's family is demanding an investigation.
I mean, it's a mess.
...the truth is out.
All we can do is hope it does some good.
I can't imagine I'll be gone very long.
This whole nonsense about the President.
This is exactly the kind of thing that I was warning you about, Zack.
I hope you can see now that I had a point.
Yes, ma'am, uh..
...it does seem that way.
You ever hear of a Code 7R?
I thought maybe it was a new security code something I might not have access to.
No, I've never heard of it. Why?
Ah, I don't know.
I thought maybe I heard it somewhere.
I...guess I was wrong. Hm.
(man on PA) 'Earth passenger liner Loki'
'now boarding through gate 17.'
Well, that's my ship.
So I'll see you when we finish cleaning up this mess back home.
Damage control is a great waste of time, effort and resources, Mr. Allan.
But sooner or later we'll find whoever is responsible for this outrage..
...and they'll be punished...severely..
Just a second.
Damn! Damn! Damn!
Jeez. Okay! Okay!
I told you I could help.
The book of G'Quon.
Read it. We'll talk afterward.
Ah-ah, I don't read Narn. 'Learn!'
He hates me.
They all hate me.
That's why they're doing this..
...to make me...crazy.