Babylon 5 S3E8 Script

Messages from Earth (1996)

[instrumental music]

You know, I've been stuck in this tin can for three years.

I haven't taken a vacation. Okay, okay, it's my fault.

I had the leave coming, I just didn't take it.

I mean, the pay sucks, I knew that when I signed on.

And nobody said I'd survive the job.

Now, I give you all that.

But where in my contract does it say that I have to eat the same food for breakfast every day for three years?

Paragraph 47, subsection 19, clause 9A.

You can find it in the index under SUAEI.


Shut up and eat it. Shut up and eat it.

Ex-excuse me, commander.

What? What-what-what? It's nothing.

I smell bacon and eggs. Get out of here.

Do you know how much it costs to bring eggs all the way out here before they spoil?

I have tried for years, it can't..

[sniffing] Bacon and eggs, definitely.


I-it's from Marcus.

It's nothing like that. I did him a favor.

I helped get him an Identi-card so that he could use some of the facilities on the station.

And he asked what he could do for me in return and I said surprise me.

I can get anchovies. I can get olive oil.

Anything that's prepackaged.

I haven't seen a fresh chicken egg in three years.

I mean cooked or otherwise.

And bacon? Forget it.

[sighs] Look, if you want it, it's yours.

Oh, no. Wouldn't dream of it. Now, now, go on, eat.

Yeah, don't mind us. We'll just sit right here.

Yeah, and watch.

[sighs] I'm gonna kill him.

After breakfast, if I can find him.

[dramatic music]



Get out of here! Go!

[intense music]





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

It failed.

[theme 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]

(woman over TV) As Senate hearings into the death of President Louis Santiago enter their sixth week evidence purporting to be

'from President Clark's physician has surfaced.'

'These records seem to indicate'

'that the illness which prevented President Clark'

'from being aboard Earthforce One when it exploded'

'may have only been a convenient alibi.'

Representatives for President Clark

'speaking before the Senate Investigative Committee today'

'dismissed these latest allegations'

'describing them as attempts to destabilize'

'Earthgov from within and without.'

'In related news, Earth Dome Chief of Staff Bill Harris' announced that a new alien race, only recently detected may pose a significant threat to planetary security.

'When asked what was being done to counter this threat'

'Harris said only that extreme measures may be required.'


[intense music]

Will she be alright?

Well, there's no internal damage or a concussion.

Well, there's something to be thankful for.

So, who were the men attacking her?

Businessmen, of a sort.

They know the right doors to knock on, the right words to say to get a list of names of people that other people want found captured or killed for the right price.

Why her? What did she do?


Keep a close eye on her, doctor. I'll be back.

[instrumental music]

Take five. I'll be okay.

Thought I'd stop in and see how you're doing.

Fine, fine.

Two weeks down, six to go before I've repaid my debt to society for attacking Mollari.

I've taken the opportunity provided by my incarceration to think.

Sometimes I even sing. I know, we got a petition.

For or against?

Based on the sound, they think we're torturing you in here.


Sit down, Mr. Garibaldi.

You know, a true artist is never appreciated in his own time.

Or his own cellblock?

And you? Are you enjoying the book of G'Quan?

Well, what I can follow, yeah.

I just wish there were a translated version I could read.

[gasps] Sacrilege, it must be read in the mother tongue or not at all.

You know what's odd? You seem, I don't know, happier in here than you were out there.

In here, Mr. Garibaldi, you cannot hide from yourself.

'Everything out there has only one purpose..' distract us from ourselves..

From what is truly important..

But there are no distractions in here.

You can learn much from silence.

And what have you learned?

I'm writing it all down, right here.

The war, the fall of Narn, ...our mistakes..

And what must be done to correct them.

I expect to have it finished by the time I'm released.

Can I see it?

When it is done.

[transmitter beeps]

Yeah. 'Chief.'

(female #1) 'We need you ASAP. Code 7-R.'

'Our new friend says to tell you, the package'

'you've been waiting for has arrived.'

Alright, on my way. I'll check in with you later.

Remember that petition.

[instrumental music]

(Michael) 'Seven years ago, I saw something.'

'I was never able to prove it.'

'And after enough people said I was nuts'

'I figured I'd shut up until I could find'

'somebody to back up my story.'

'Well, I found her.'

'Her name is Dr. Mary Kirkish.'

'Through the Rangers, I heard she was on the run.'

'So, I asked Marcus to find her.'

'She risked her life coming here.'

'A lot of people want her dead.'

'Once she gets here, once you talk to her'

'you'll understand why.'

[dramatic music]

For the past 12 years, I've been working for Interplanetary Expeditions.

We conduct archaeological digs on other worlds in search of new technology.

Well, new to us, anyway.

"Exploring the past to create a better future."

We've seen the ads.

Seven years ago, I was stationed on Mars.

We were always getting false leads on artifacts supposedly buried beneath the Martian soil for thousands of years.

Nothing ever came of it.

And then, one day, our sonic probes picked up something 300 feet beneath the surface of Syria Planum.

We didn't know what it was..

...except it wasn't a natural formation.

And given its depth, it had to have been there at least a 1000 years.

It was the middle of the Martian winter so it took weeks just to dig half of it out of the ground.

But that much was enough to give me nightmares for the rest of my life.

[intense music]

It's the same ship we've been seeing on the news lately.

'The one that looks like it came straight from hell.'

But back home, they're saying they've never seen ships like this before.

They're lying. I was there.

Then why this campaign to find out more about them?

They may be using this threat as an excuse to tighten security, restrict information.

If this is true, they haven't been trying to find out what these ships are.

They're trying to find out who else knows about them.

That's an awfully big conclusion based on finding just one ship.

There was just one ship, wasn't there?

That was just the start.

It gets worse.

'Only a handful of people know what happened after that' including me.

All the others are either dead or missing.

Once I leave here, sooner or later, they'll find me and I'll disappear.

Before that happens, someone has to know.

Someone has to stop them before it's too late.

We told Earth Central what we'd found.

It was a strike of a lifetime. We were all very excited.

But there was something about it that made us nervous.

And then one of our worker, who was clearing away the dirt accidentally touched it with his bare hand.

He died instantly, as if the life had just been sucked right out of him.

Did you ever get a reply from Earth Central?

(Dr. Mary) 'No, not at first.'

'But a week later, we were suddenly'

'ordered to stop digging and pull back'

'to our secondary base two miles away.'

Well, we didn't want to go, but we were told anyone who didn't move would be fired. So, we moved.

For six days, we just sat there waiting while unmarked shuttles moved in and out of the area surrounding the dig.

And then suddenly everything stopped.

No shuttles, no communication, nothing.

[shuttles whirring]

That's when I saw it.

[intense music]

I just wanted to run away and hide.

Jump in a hole and pull the ground in over me

'but there was nowhere to go.'

Nothing to do but watch.

At first, I thought it was destroying the other ship.

Then I realized it was digging it out.

For 20, 25 minutes, nothing happened.

Then we heard it.


A sound that just reaches right into your brain and rips it apart.

The sound of something terrible being born.

They warned us that if we told anyone

'what we'd seen, there would be unfortunate consequences.'

'Then they broke us up, assigned us to other worlds'

'so we'd never have a chance to talk to each other.'

What's your involvement in all this?

I was piloting a shuttle on Mars around the same time.

We went down, two of us had to get back to civilization on our own.

I saw a part of what she just described.

When I went back to check it out, it was all gone.

Uh, except for..

Except for this.

Psi Corps.

A few weeks ago, I was called into a new dig.

They found another one of these things.

This time on Ganymede. But there's a difference.

Whoever's behind this back home doesn't want to give it back.

In three days, they're going to take it back to Earth study its secrets and learn how to use it against the other races and if necessary against our own people.

'That's why I had to warn someone.'

You can't let them get a hold of one of these ships.

They don't want it so we can fight these things.

They want us to become more like them.

That's it.

That's all I have to say.

They can kill me now. I don't care.

That will not happen.

We've made arrangements to get you into Minbari space.

Lennier, please take care of Dr. Kirkish.

Of course.

If Earth and Psi Corps really are working with the Shadows, this is too big.

Ho-how can we fight something like that?

I need to think about this for a while...alone.

'I'll call you when I have something to say.'

Delenn, stay.

I'm gonna need you for this.

Zack? Where's the chief?

He's been in some meeting with the captain all afternoon.

Something you want me to tell him?

No, no, no. I was just checking.

There's a Nightwatch meeting tomorrow morning, Zack.

And I just wanted to make sure you knew about it.

Another one? Come on, that's three this week.

Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom, Zack.

Big things are coming. We've got to be ready for them.

See you tomorrow.

You know, sometimes watching them like this without them even knowing we're here..

...makes you feel a little like God, doesn't it?

[mellow music]

It's done. I've sent Lennier ahead.

He'll make all the arrangements.

Are you sure you wish to go through with this?

Then it's time to tell the others.

[instrumental music]

Everyone in this room knows what Earth is turning into.

We can't allow President Clark to get ahold of a Shadow ship.

That kind of power in his hands could be the end of everything that we have worked for.

We have got to stop that ship before it leaves Ganymede.

Swell. I love it. How?

Delenn and I will take the White Star into Earth-controlled space.

With luck, we'll find the ship, destroy it on the ground before they can activate it.

If not-- 'Captain, you can't do this.'

As soon as you open up a jump point near Jupiter you'll be picked up by the early warning system.

I know.

Our own ships will be sent in to destroy you.

You'll be completely outgunned.

We understand, commander.

Neither of us has any illusions about what we are planning to do.

You can't take on Earth. I mean, not now.

Later.. Later is too late.

We've already notified the White Star.

It's on stand by, awaiting our arrival.

So, what're you gonna do when they open fire?

You're gonna fire back on one of our own ships?

What if you're captured? We won't be captured.

One way or another.

The decision's mine and mine alone.

And..'s made.

(John) The rest of you will be needed here to cover my absence.

It's a two day jump to Earth space.

That's a long time to be gone.

I'm leaving behind my Identi-card my uniform, command rank..

Anything that could lead back here if something should go wrong.

Susan, in our absence, I'm leaving you and Garibaldi in charge of the Rangers.

I'd tell you to take good care of the station but I know that's not necessary.

I've left instructions in my desk for a cover story if we don't come back.

You'll send out my Starfury and use the auto-destruct sequence.

Doctor, you'll provide the organic mass to simulate a casualty.

[dramatic music]

I wish none of this were necessary.

But we all knew that sooner or later we'd have to deal with Earth.

So I guess it's time we got down to business.

If there's any way we can come back, we will.

[dramatic music]

[music continues]

As liaison to the Nightwatch office back home I've received several disturbing communique over the last few days.

The good news is, our efforts to find corruption and disloyalty here and back home have succeeded beyond our expectations.

So, what's the bad news?

Their findings confirm our worst fears.

Earth has been sold out by our own people.

Senators, high ranking military officers, news media correspondents, even some of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

(all) What?

Everything we've been seeing lately, the libelous attacks on the president, alien forces encroaching on our territory, the lies and subversion going on back home.

They're all part of an organized effort to weaken our government from within as a prelude to invasion.

I don't believe this.

They'll start making arrests within the next two months.

The lists have already been drawn up.

What can we do to help?

Earth needs all the information we can give her.

Any source is acceptable.

To make it easier for sources to come forward we're going to allow them to give us information anonymously.

We're authorized to look into past history social contacts, party affiliations to conduct e-mail and vid surveillance

'of Babcom and Stellarcom transmissions.'

Whoa-whoa, wait, just how far does this go anyway?

Do we start suspecting everybody?

No, of course not.

Anyone in the Nightwatch is automatically recognized as working in the best interests of Earth.

As for the other officers, well, we won't look at them unless we detect any unusual activity on their part.

In that case, may I ask a question?

Does anyone in this room know where the captain is?

[intense music]

[indistinct whisperings]

(Lennier) 'Captain?'


Mr. Lennier.

What's our position?

Thirty-two standard hours from our destination.

You have been up almost 20 hours.

I recommend sleep. No, I'm fine. I'm fine.

If we should encounter resistance at the end of our journey, would it not be wise to confront it rested and clear of mind?





I wondered when you would get some sleep.

Yeah, you have a most persistent attache.

How can you sleep in these things?

It's quite simple, with proper meditation.

We consider sleeping in the horizontal to be tempting death.

Yeah, well, if I sleep on this, I'll be tempting fate all night.

Don't worry.

I will watch and catch you if you should fall.


I doubt if I'll be getting any sleep anyway.

It's funny.

This will be the closest I've been to Earth in four years.

Who would have thought I'd come back in a Minbari ship?

You know what I miss most about home?

The sound of rain hitting the roof at night.

It always helped me fall asleep.

Back when I was a kid preparing for the academy..

...I'd be up till 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning studying.

I'd have maybe..

...two hours to sleep after that but...I was so wound up.

I'd just lie there.

Same thing happened the night before my final test.

I just knew if I didn't get some sleep, I'd...never pass it.

And...did it begin to rain?


But dad..

My dad...heard me walking around.

He knew I couldn't sleep.

So, he went outside, he got the garden hose and sprayed it, so it came down on the roof..

'...just like rain.'

He stood there making it rain until I fell asleep.

I sometimes think he would have stood there...for days if he had to.

I miss him.

And right now..

...more than anything else in the world, I wish it would rain.

Just for a little while.

[speaks in foreign language]

[rain pattering]

Sleep now.

[instrumental music]

[thunder rumbling]

(Marcus) 'And according to one of our units on the border' of Centauri space, they've continued massing their fleet. We don't know why.

Maybe they expect a counterattack.

It's hard to say.

And they have much to be concerned about.

There's always the threat of an attack by, say, a giant space

'dragon, the kind that eats the sun once every 30 days.'

It's a nuisance, but what can you expect from reptiles?

Did I mention that my nose is on fire, that I have 15 wild badgers living in my trousers?

I'm sorry, would you prefer ferrets?

What I'd prefer is for you to..

To what?

I don't know.

I don't know how to relate to you how you fit into anything here.

I mean, where are you in the ranks? Above, below?

Left, right, in a box by the door?

It doesn't matter.

And that's not really the problem, is it?

If anything happens to the captain, I'm holding you personally responsible.

Because I sent him off on a suicide mission.

Ever since you've come here, we've had nothing but trouble.

You're a loose canon. He went of his own free will.

He didn't have to go. Yes, he did.

And you knew he would the second he found out what was going on.

I'd rather assumed he would send me.

Funny, that.

But, if you are right, and it was inevitable, why blame me?

Because we shouldn't have to be doing this.

Because he didn't have any business taking out that ship without me there to help him.

Because we're going up against our own government and I don't know where the hell I fit in anymore much less of you, and damn it..

...because I don't have anybody else to blame!

It's time.

They should almost be there by now.

Alright, everyone.

We've just set off every long-range scanner in the area, so we don't have a lot of time, we have to--

Captain, I-I'm picking up a signal on the frequency provided by Dr. Kirkish.

It's very faint.

I can only get audio. It's from Ganymede.

Put it through.

[man over radio] 'IXP One to Base. IXP One to Base.'

'Ready to begin transference.'

'Subject is approaching target.'

'Repeat, subject is approaching target.'

What's he talking about?

The Shadow vessels use living creatures as their central core.

Whoever steps inside merges with it, becomes one with the ship.

After that, it's fully functional.

They must be sending someone inside right now.

Faster, Lennier, we need to get there.

[dramatic music]

John, if whoever's going inside hasn't been properly prepared the results could be disastrous.

[man over radio] 'He's moving into the bridge.'

'He's disappeared inside the ship.'

'So-something's happening. We-we've lost bio-scan.'

'Something's.. Oh, my God!'

'It's moving. It's moving!'


We've got visual. Put it through.

[intense music]


In Valen's name, it's awake.


[dramatic music]

This is what I was afraid of.

The merging was not handled properly.

The ship is out of control, insane.

It will destroy anything in its path.

Then we've got to stop it before anyone gets here.

Engines at maximum. Stand by, weapons system. Prepare to fire.

John, if it's confused, disoriented we may have a chance. It's a small one--

It's still a lot more than an Earth cruiser will have against that thing.



[dramatic music]

Damage to their ship? Negligible.

Full power to forward batteries. One focused burst.


(Lennier) Minimal effect.

Captain, its weapons are at full strength.

If it hits us dead on, we cannot survive the blast.

That's alright, that is alright, I did what I needed to do.

I got him mad enough to follow us.

'Redirect power to engines. Come about.'

(Lennier) 'Course?'

(John) Jupiter.

Yeah, we're going inside.

If we can't out-fight it, let's hope we can out-think it.

[dramatic music]

How much pressure can this thing take?


There was no time to test it. What did you have in mind?

(John) 'That ship isn't fully functional yet.'

Once inside the atmosphere of Jupiter, it may not be able to climb out of the gravity well.

It's possible we may not be able to escape either.

I don't think we have much choice.

External pressures increasing..

Approaching two standard gravities.

[music continues]


What was that? A new weapon? No.

No, when they fired, the energy must have ignited the local hydrogen.

Gravity's increasing.

Temperature at 10,000 standard units. 12,000!

Continue descent.

Temperature's beyond safe limits.

Pressure at this depth is causing damage to the outer hull.

Just a little longer.

Captain, if we go any further, we may not have enough power to escape before we're destroyed.

If we turn back too soon and that thing follows us out, we'll be dead either way!

Now, stand by!

Hull's buckling. Losing control.

Now! Get us out of here!

[dramatic music]

Full power. Give me everything you've got!

If I were holding anything back, I would tell you.



Any sign of the enemy?

Scanners indicate it's been destroyed.



Then get us out of here so we don't have to..

I thought you said we killed that thing.

We did.

(man over radio) 'This is the Earth Alliance destroyer'

'Agamemnon to unidentified vessel.'

Oh, hell.

'We've recorded an attack in this sector.'

'You will surrender your vessel and prepare to be boarded.'

Of all the ships, why does it have to be the Agamemnon?

They must think we are responsible for the attack on Ganymede.

Of course. It's the way our luck runs.

[dramatic music]

(Lennier) Captain, shall I return fire?

Captain...shall I return fire?

Negative. I won't fire on her.

Are they equipped for atmospheric maneuvering?

No. But they can track us down like a bloodhound.

They can wait us out, they can knock us down or-or board us if we try to escape.


They're getting closer.

John, I know this is not what you wanted.

But if we remain here, we will be destroyed.

Our only choices are to fight or to surrender.

No, we can't surrender.

And I won't open fire on my old ship!

Then what do you recommend?

[intense music]

Lennier, activate jump engines.

Inside the atmosphere? Yes.

What? With all due respect for your innovative choice of strategy

'may I suggest that the energy involved' in opening a jump point in a hydrogen rich atmosphere would be explosive at best.

No, she's right.

We'll get as close as we can to the edge of the atmosphere.

That should minimize the eruption, I-I hope.

Send them a message in Interlac, tell them that we are prepared to surrender but we need them to back off a little.

Then, bring her up slowly.

Let me see it.


(man over radio) 'Unidentified ship'

'this is your final warning.'

'Surrender your vessel, or be destroyed.'


[dramatic music]

[laughs] Son of a gun.


Ladies and gentle.. Minbari..


We have just made the first atmospheric jump that I have ever heard of.

Mr. Lennier, put us on a course for home. Best speed.

I want to be long gone from here by the time they jump after us.

We'll be back this way again.

And one way or another..

...we will finish this.

[instrumental music]

[instrumental music]

[woman over TV] 'And ISN has confirmed earlier reports'

'that an unidentified alien ship'

'attacked a research lab on Ganymede.'

'According to Earthforce, the ship was pursued to Jupiter' and destroyed by the EAS Agamemnon.

Nonetheless, this latest incident has heightened concerns about planetary security.

President Clark is set to be considering a new plan that will provide Earth with greater security.

Off. Unbelievable.

You look pretty good for a dead man.

We did something to help Earth, but the way it's been reported you'd think we were the menace.

Well, you know what they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

The important thing is, we got away with it.

So far.

I thought there was a meeting.

There is but it doesn't start for another half an hour.

I wanted a chance to talk to you alone.

About what?

Like I said the other day, we've been getting reports that Earthforce may have been infiltrated by traitors right up to the command level.

Any unusual behavior is to be reported and investigated.

Yeah, so?

So, the captain was gone for four days.

Our records don't show any absence, but I checked the access panel in his quarters.

It hasn't been used since Monday.

Now, I'd say that that qualifies as unusual behavior.

The ministry agrees.

You shouldn't have gone to them without telling me.

I don't need your permission, Zack. This is my job.

He's apparently enlisted some of the other guys in security to cover whatever he's doing.

That means he's got the chief in his pocket.

You're close to the chief.

No, no way in hell. I won't do it.

Look, all I'm asking you to do is to go to him be real earnest, tell him that you know something's going on and you wanna help.

Yeah, well, ever since I joined up with you guys, he doesn't trust me like he used to.

If he could trust me, he'd have brought me into this this thing weeks ago.

So, you admit something's going on and you've been seeing the same things I have.

I didn't say that!

Look, things are a little tough between us right now, but he's still a friend.

Well, you better start deciding which is more important to you, Zack.

Friendship or your job, which is to protect Earth.

When you figure that out, you let me know.

[intense music]

[doorbell rings]


I thought you might want to see this.

As I recall, you were somewhat concerned about where I fit in the great organizational scheme of things.

So I went to the effort of preparing this chart.

Now then, here's you, right here at the heart of everything.

And why not? And here's me.

This is the captain. Here's Franklin.

Here's my mum and dad.

They don't actually have anything to do with it but it's a very good picture of them, don't you think?

[chuckles] Marcus.

I actually think I've come up with a way to explain the organizational structure of Babylon 5 using the Ottoman Empire as a model.

It gets a little confusing around this bit here but one has to start somewhere.

Why are you doing this?

Did it make you laugh?


Then my job here is done. Have a good..

[transmitter beeps]

Yes? 'Susan, quick, turn on ISN.'

Monitor on. Find ISN.

(woman over TV) And to confirm earlier reports, President Clark has signed a decree today declaring martial law throughout Earth Central citing threats to planetary security.

He's expected to provide information to support this action at a closed meeting

'of the full Earth Senate tomorrow.'

'We repeat, Earth is now under martial law.'

[theme music]