Babylon 5 S4E15 Script

No Surrender, No Retreat (1997)

(John) Captain's personal log, September 2, 2261.

Enough is enough.

[dramatic music]

Londo, what do they want?

What's going on? I don't know.

[indistinct chatter]

They're waiting.

I'm sorry to call you together at this early hour but we don't have a lot of time.

[sighs] Commander.

For the last month or so, ships from Babylon 5 have been patrolling the borders of your governments.

Since we've been protecting you from raiders and border skirmishes the number of incidents has decreased 70 percent.

May we assume that you are all happy with this arrangement?

Good. Because now there is a price tag.

By now, most of you have heard of the attacks against civilian targets by ships from Earth.

In the latest attack authorized by President Clark ten thousand civilians were killed as an example to others.

We can no longer tolerate this behavior.

Alpha squadron, status report.

(male #1 on radio) 'Alpha squadron ready for launch.'


(John) 'Most of your governments have'

'mutual defense treaties with Earth.'

As of right now in exchange for our continued patrol along your borders I'm declaring those treaties null and void.

[indistinct chattering]

I have no problem with this.

You have been here for us from the beginning.

During their war with the Minbari

'I supervised arms sales to Earth.'

'They help us when we needed them.'

But where was Earth when our borders were being attacked?

Where was Earth when the Shadows were rampaging across our territories?

They did nothing!

We owe them nothing in return.

Thank you, G'Kar.

It's not only our people who are at risk here.

Clark's propaganda machine is feeding the anti-alien hysteria back home.

In time all of you will be hurt if they're not stopped.

Well, we intend to stop them.

Delta squadron, launch!

We ask that each of you contribute at least one destroyer-class ship to the defense of Babylon 5.

Your people here will need to be protected in case Clark tries to retaliate.

Beyond that, don't get involved.

Anyone gets in between us and them won't live long enough to regret it.

'You will not respond to any request for military assistance' from President Clark or the Earth alliance except in the form of humanitarian aid.

From now on, Earth stands alone.

'We're taking back Proxima 3'

'we're taking back Mars.'


...we're gonna take back our home..

...or die trying.

(Lennier) It was the year of fire.

(Zack) The year of destruction.

(G'Kar) The year we took back what was ours.

(Lyta) It was the year of rebirth.

(Vir) The year of great sadness.

(Marcus) The year of pain.

(Delenn) And the year of joy.

(Londo) It was a new age.

(Franklin) It was the end of history.

(Susan) It was the year everything changed.

(Michael) The year is 2261.

(Sheridan) The place, "Babylon 5."

[theme music]

[music continues]

[dramatic music]

Out of the way! Move! Excuse me.

Get back. Hey! Everyone, step back!

What's your hurry? Step back. Step back.

Watch it!

Whoa. Hey.

Where the hell is he?

He said he's on his way.

I've got it! 'Let's see.'

It would have got here faster if I could have just sent it out.

We couldn't risk anyone intercepting it.

Is it current? As current as we can make it.


Clark's stationed half a dozen omega-class destroyers between Proxima 3 and the local jump gate.

'There is also a series of planetary scanners' that can detect any ship trying to leave.

It's good positioning.

Anybody trying to take off gets shot down before escaping the blockade and no one comes through the gate without being seen.

The colony is very close to surrendering.

They're running out of food, water, supplies.

'They're down to almost nothing.'

That's why they keep trying to escape.

Better to be shot down than to starve to death.

Do you have an I.D. on those ships?


The Heracles under captain Trevor Hall the Juno under captain James Mandala the Pollux, Captain Elizabeth Morgenstern

'the Nemesis, Captain Yoshi Kawagawa'

'the Vesta, Captain Edward MacDougan' and the Furies, Captain Stephanie Eckland.

Which one of them destroyed the civilian transports?

The Heracles and the Pollux.

Do you know either of the captains involved?

No. So they're new.

Which probably means they're loyal to Clark.

Have any of them deliberately avoided shooting at civilian targets?

(Marcus) I don't know. It'll take a little while to find out.

Well, get moving.

We need to know how many destroyers are committed to the blockade and how many are holding back.

(John) Stephen, how are you doing with the telepaths we rescued from the Shadows?

Well, we wake them for brief periods but they're still under the influence of the mind control devices.

Haven't found a way to remove them without causing damage.

I need them mobile, as many as you can and as fast as you can.

Not for this operation, but soon.

I'll do my best.

They've got the place buttoned up tight.

We're gonna have a hell of a time fighting our way in there.

Mm-hmm. We'll hit them in waves.

'Try to isolate the ships we need to destroy'

'from the ones who won't fight unless they have to.'

Then we'll give them a chance to surrender or join up.

And if they don't?

We take them out.

Hey, I don't like the idea any more than you do.

But either we commit ourselves to this completely or we don't do it.

Once we pull the first trigger, we can't hesitate to pull the next one, because they sure won't.

Now, once we're in, we're in.

No surrender..

...and no retreat.

[dramatic music]

[doorbell beeps]

Oh. Oh! I didn't do it!

I didn't do it!

[doorbell beeps]

Oh! Thank the great maker. It was just a dream.


[instrumental music]


Hello, Vir.

Mr. Garibaldi.

Is, uh, Londo around?

I've got some business in Centauri space so I figured he could help me cut through the red tape.

He's not here.

He had to go set up a meeting with G'K..

He, uh, had a meeting.

Oh, I see.

Well, it looks, uh, like you had a late night.

No, not actually, they just, um, got us up very early to brief us on their new campaign.

What new campaign?

To take back Earth and your outer colonies.

I-I'm sorry.

I-I thought you knew.

No. No.

Well, now that you do I-I imagine you'll wanna sign on again.

Not with Sheridan.

Doesn't your homeworld matter to you?

Of course, it matters.

But I don't like the way he's doing this.

Well, that's the way it is.

I don't always like the way Londo does things and, well, me and most civilized worlds but, you know, sometimes he's right.

So I force myself to give him the benefit of the doubt.

I can't do that anymore.

So you're not gonna fight for your world?

Of course, I'm gonna fight. I'm gonna fight in my own way.

Just tell Londo I came by and I'll check in with him later.

[music continues]


How much longer do you want them to continue running the drills, commander?

Another hour, then bring half of them in for refueling.

After that, we'll alternate squadrons.

I don't want anyone outside with less than half a tank of fuel.

We'll rotate pilots in for rest periods but other than that, I want every ship we have out there.

Will they be going on the missions?

Some, yes. The rest we'll keep for fly-by.

I don't intend to get caught flat-footed in case Clark comes after us.

Ivanova to all fighter squadrons.

'Adjust friend-or-foe systems'

'to new frequencies every 24 hours.'

'You'll check in with Lieutenant Corwin or myself'

'for the code of the day.'

'Once we are in combat situations, you will not accept'

'any order that does not use the proper codes'

'even if it seems to come from Captain Sheridan or myself.'

Earthforce has our voice records on file and could simulate false or misleading orders.

C and C out.

So from now on I guess the operational phrase is "Trust no one?"

No. Trust Ivanova, trust yourself.

Anybody else, shoot 'em.

[dramatic music]

White Star squadrons are standing by, ready to go.

As per your request, White Stars 7, 12 and 18 are in hyperspace en route to Earth space.

They should be arriving in about 10 to 12 hours.

Have them jump into normal space as soon as they arrive.

Two by Mars, another as close to Earth as possible without being shot down.

But they'll set off the early warning systems and Clark will scramble everything he's got.

I want them to think we're flying reconnaissance flights preparing for a strike to liberate Mars or Earth.

That should be enough to make them panic.

Call in all the ships that he can--

While we hit Proxima 3? 'Exactly.'

By the time they get turned around we'll have secured Proxima.

Then all we have to do is hold on to it while we move on to the next target.

Have you heard from Marcus yet?

He should be almost to Proxima by now.

He's standing by in hyperspace with the first White Star squadron.

The rest of them will be arriving in groups of twos and threes, staying just far enough off the beacon to avoid detection.

Good. Good. That should give us a jump on those destroyers.

'I just hope some of them join us.'

Otherwise, this is gonna get really ugly.

(female #1 on radio) Scout 17 to Heracles, beginning patrol.

(male #1) 'Roger that. Take your time. We're not going anywhere.'

(female #1) 'Affirmative.'

(male #1) White Star 14 to White Star Prime, we're in position.

Good. Maintain radio silence until notified.

I'm on with the resistance.

We don't want too many signals attracting attention.

(male #1) 'Confirmed.'

You still there? 'Still here.'

'Don't know how much longer we can hold out.'

We're moving as fast as we can.

Do you have any information about which destroyers have avoided firing at civilian targets?

(male #2) 'Yeah. Uploading now.'


We'll contact you again in five hours on the alternate frequency. Stand by to--


What's that?

Are you alright?

(male #2) 'Laser cannons.'

'They sent in more ground forces a few days ago.'

'We're gonna have to tear down the transmitter'

'fall back to our secondary base.'

'Whatever you people are gonna do, you'd better do it soon.'

[doorbell beeps]

[beeping continues]


Hello, G'Kar.

I don't believe I have ever been in your quarters before.

Unless you count a cell on Centauri Prime.

I apologize for the lack of chains.

The cleaning service must have removed them.

It has much the same feeling as your world..

...dry red..

...and depressing.


Isn't it amazing how quickly we fall into familiar patterns as soon as we come into one another's orbit?

'Like comets that flare when they get too near the sun.'

I did not come here to spar with you, G'Kar.

I came.. talk to you.

How is the eye?

It sees.



[sighs] These last few years have been very difficult for both of us, G'Kar.


Harder on you, perhaps.

But as the humans say it has not exactly been a picnic for me either.

I have no illusions that you did what you did..

...endured what you endured for the good of my people.

You sacrificed your dignity your pride..

...your eye to help free Narn.

But still, in the process

'you did help my own world' and I never thanked you for that.

I have no interest in your thanks.

I did not think that you would but it is there anyway.


As I said..

...a hard year.


...a hard year.

What you said before about the chains..

...that was unkind, G'Kar.

'When I saw you in that cell'

'beaten, chained..'

'As I said, we have never been friends'

'we will never be friends.'

'There is too much blood between us, too much history.'

'But I did feel for you'

'as much as I did not want to.'

In the beginning, it was..

...little more than the sympathy one might feel for any trapped animal.

But in time..

...I came to respect you.

Your respect matters to me even less than your thanks.

You are not going to give me even an inch, are you?

I promised to free Narn if you cooperated.

I could have easily changed my mind but I kept my promise.

Surely that entitles me to something.

Was there something else you wanted to say?

You may not believe this, G'Kar but all I ever wanted is what is right for my world.

I am a patriot!

As you are.

I have made some..

...very poor choices

'in the last two years.'

'Because I did not think' those choices almost destroyed my world and yours!

That is a humbling realization, G'Kar.

If, with a single wrong word I can become the enemy do I any longer really understand who the enemy is?

'I have spoken with my government.'

We will not remain neutral in the matter of Sheridan's war with Earth.

I have convinced them to throw our official support to Sheridan.

If the Narn were to do the same in a joint statement it might help.

If two forces recently at war with one another can agree on this..

...perhaps it might help to convince the others.


Because, while I do not know who the enemy is any longer I do know who my friends are.

And that I have not done as well by them as I should.

I hope to change that.

I hope to do better.

Before war broke out between our governments you bought me a drink.

I wish to return the favor.

For the first time in a hundred years we have something in common beyond hatred.

I find that most extraordinary.

And so, a drink.

To the humans..

...and to the bridge they created between us.. the hope for a better future for both our worlds.

I see.

Captain on deck!

As you were.

We've received the information we've been waiting for and can proceed with the attack against the forces holding Proxima 3.

We'll hit them in three waves pull their forces apart and surround them with superior firepower.

The details have been linked to your ships.

You will not discuss that information amongst yourselves or with anyone else until the mission is complete.

We'll be fighting in close quarters so keep an eye out for each other.

If the battle deteriorates into a fur ball we could sustain losses from friendly fire.

The Heracles and the Pollux have fired on civilian targets.

So we consider them a hostile vessel.

The Nemesis and the Vesta have apparently gone to great lengths to avoid firing on civilians.

The others..

...we don't know.

We'll give them a chance to surrender or stand down but we won't risk our forces to do it.

So if you're fired upon or target vessel locks onto your ship you have full authority to return fire and engage.

Of all the missions we've flown..

...this will be the most difficult.

I mean, it's one thing to defend ourselves as we did last year.

But to initiate combat against our own forces..

...that's a hard one.

I can only tell you that we take this action with the utmost reluctance.

'If there were any other way' we'd take it.

There isn't one.

Now, we'll do what we can to minimize casualties on the other side but the job of a soldier is to destroy the enemy and come home alive.

'To that end..' what you have to do.

[instrumental music ]

(David) 'They're clear to leave.'

(Susan) 'I know.'

(Corwin) 'I was noticing the new paint job on the White Star 2.'

'Won't they..'

'I mean, won't they know it's him?'

(Susan) 'I think that's the general idea, lieutenant.'

Oh, Marcus, good.

Open up a channel to the rest of the ships.

Enzi ko.


Opening channel.

You're on.

Assault base to Unit 1, take position.

Stand by to initiate jump.


[dramatic music]

[alarm buzzes]

What the hell's going on?

Jump point forming on the other side of the planet.

Picking up three silhouettes.

Are they advancing on our position?

(female #2) 'Negative, taking up geostationary orbit'

'on the other side of the planet.'

Probably hoping we haven't noticed them yet.


Send the Pollux and the Nemesis to investigate.

Yes, sir.

[spaceship rumbles]

Nemesis and Pollux moving to intercept.

Not the Heracles?

No. Curious that.

You think they'd send the ones we know are liable to shoot.

The hostiles might be splitting up so they can be with both groups to keep them in line.

Unless they're all hostile and some are just more hostile than others.

Well, thank you for that ray of sunshine, Marcus.

Next time I feel the need to be depressed I'll remember to give you a call.

Second unit, take position. Stand by to jump.

[intense music]

Nemesis and Pollux on final approach to Proxima.

Now it gets interesting.

All units, remember, do not fire unless fired upon first.

They may not fight for Clark, but they will defend themselves.

So don't back them into a corner.

Second unit...launch.

We've got multiple warships on approach vector.

Silhouette unknown.

Those are Sheridan's forces.

I've heard about them, but never seen them before.

Captain Sheridan? What's he doing here?

Making a terminal error.

This is fleet command.

We've got hostiles on attack vector.

Vesta and Juno, launch fighters and assume point.

[dramatic music]

A second enemy wing is advancing on our position.

Nemesis and Pollux are aware of our situation and asking for instructions.

Do we issue the recall order?


If they turn around, they'll expose their flank to the enemy and we'll be caught between two groups of hostiles.

Ten thousand kilometers to optimum firing range.

Pulse cannons standing by, ready to fire.

Defense grid armed, ready to fire.

[signal beeps]

Signal coming in. Let me hear it.

(John) 'Repeat. This is Captain John Sheridan'

'to Earth destroyer group.'

Track the signal. Find out which ship he's in.

Getting signal lock, sir, it's..

Sir, it's coming from behind us.

(John) 'You are ordered to stand down'

'or leave the Proxima system at once.'

'You're in violation of the Proxima treaty'

'and your attacks on civilian transports are illegal'

'under the rules of engagement and the articles of war.'

You can leave peacefully, if that is your choice.

But we are prepared to use deadly force, if necessary.

Son of a..

Eight thousand kilometers to optimum firing range.

Enemy ships closing at the rear.

'Do we turn and engage or continue?'

Continue toward primary target.

Fleet command to Vesta and Furies.

Come about and engage rear targets.

(Edward) 'This is captain Edward MacDougan'

'of the Vesta to hostile vessels.'

Mac? What the hell are you doing?

Maintain radio silence.


Long time, no see.

(Edward) 'John, get your tail out of here. This isn't gonna work.'

Like it or not, Proxima 3 is under Earth jurisdiction.

We can't allow them to secede, whoever's in office.

They broke away after Clark started bombing civilian targets.

What's the rule about following an illegal order?

You don't. We're not involved.

We haven't attacked anyone.

(John) But you're about to.

Any action you take in support of an illegal order makes you an accomplice of that order.

Oh, come on, Mackie.

President Clark is-is out of control.

He's got you out here on an illegal mission.

'Back at the academy'

'you used to pose moral conflicts for us'

'as part of our training.'

'You said that soldiers aren't machines.'

'They have to think, they have to decide'

'if-if an order is moral or not.'

Well, what does your conscience tell you?

We have reached optimum firing range.

That damned MacDougan!

I told the others he didn't have what it takes.

Fine. We'll force the issue.

Open fire.

[pulse cannons firing]



Heracles has opened fire.

'Other ships moving to support.'

'Fighters launching.'



All forces, engage any hostile target.

Fire at will. I repeat, fire at will.

[ships firing]


'Move out, Alpha 7, move out!' 'Alpha 4, overdrive failed!'


Where the hell is our support?

What's the position of the Vesta?

Hanging back, not engaging enemy.

MacDougan this is a direct order from fleet command.

You will engage enemy ships at once. Do you copy?

'Engage enemy forces at once!'


Negative, fleet commander.

Vesta will not engage in support of illegal orders.

(Trevor) 'This is a court martial offense, Mackie!'

'Do you understand that?'

'Commander Philby, under the authority'

'of Earthforce command, I am hereby promoting you'

'to captain and ordering you to relieve Captain MacDougan.'

'You will bring the Vesta into the fight.'

'Do you copy, commander?'

I always knew you wanted a promotion, Bob.

'Never knew how badly until now.'

[intense music]

Vesta is starting to come about.

Pollux and Heracles are hit, but continuing to fight.

Juno, Nemesis and the Furies are advancing but have not yet engaged.

We can't divide our forces.

We need to know where to put our fire power.

Put us on a course for the Furies.

Tell the others to concentrate on the Pollux and Heracles.

Let's find out where she stands.

(John) 'Sheridan to Captain Eckland.'

We are advancing on your position but we are not preparing to fire.

I say again, we are not preparing to fire.

If you and your fighters do not lock your weapon systems onto our ships we will assume you are not hostile and will not engage.

Are they locking?


Might be waiting for us to get close and get a clean shot that way.

Well, we're about to find out.

Sheridan to Attack Fleet.

Do not target Furies. She's non-combatant.

Repeat, Furies non-combatant.


That was the Vesta. Forward guns have us in range.

We've got fighters coming in.

No, I won't fire on her. Mackie's on board.

We have no choice. They've locked on, ready to fire.

Damn. Prepare to--

(Edward) 'Vesta to Sheridan.'

Stand by. Mackie, go.

(Edward) 'Commander Philby's promotion' has just been postponed by the crew.

The Vesta is non-hostile. We are standing down.

(John) Confirmed, Mackie.

Two down. Three.

Juno is withdrawing from battle.

[instrumental music]


God, the crew.

Get to the life pods. Get to the life pods.



(Marcus) Pollux is destroyed.

Nemesis has taken severe damage and is offering to surrender.

Get me the Heracles.

Attack Fleet to Heracles.

'You are outnumbered and outgunned.'

'Your defenses are down and your weapons disabled.'

'You will return control of Proxima 3'

'to its lawful government'

'issue the recall order to all fighters'

'and surrender your vessel.'

'You will comply with these orders..'

'...or be destroyed.'

Captain? He won't do it.

He knows we can't hurt him.

He won't fire on us. 'You don't know that.'

I'm in charge of this mission, commander.

I will not surrender Proxima or stand trial for following direct orders.

I'm the one they'll hold responsible, not you.

I'm dead either way.

(John) 'You have 30 seconds.'

I won't let you endanger this ship because you are afraid to face the consequences of your actions.

Are you questioning my orders, commander?

No, sir. I am relieving you of command.

Remove Captain Hall from the bridge.


Heracles to Attack Fleet. The Heracles surrenders.

I say again, the Heracles surrenders.

We are returning control of Proxima 3 to its local government.

All fighters, return to base.

It looks as if we won.

No, we've achieved the mission objective. a victory.

Too many on both sides had to die for it.

And this is just the start.

We had surprise on our side this time.

From now on, it gets a lot harder.

Have the captains of the remaining ships meet me here in one hour.

Let's see if we have survivors...or allies.

Please be seated.

What happened here today was difficult for all of us.

But it's over now.

What we have to decide now is what we do next.

Option one..

You and your crews can return home.

I won't stop you.

Sooner or later, the Heracles and her crew will have to answer for their actions

'before a military tribunal.'

But that's not our problem for now.

Option two.. can stay here and help protect Proxima 3 from further retaliation by President Clark.

And option three.. can come with us..

'...join the fight.'

Captain, I wasn't about to let Captain Hall get the rest of my crew killed defending Clark's policies.

I happen to disagree with those policies.

But that doesn't mean I agree with your actions either.

It's not the role of the military to make policy.

Our mandate is to defend Earth against all enemies foreign and domestic.

Now Clark has become that enemy.

Your oath is to the Alliance and to the people back home not to any particular government.

You're splitting that hair mighty thin, John.

Am I?

Night watch, Ministry of Peace, Ministry of Truth?

I mean, is this the same Alliance you joined or-or has it become something else?

'The orders you've been getting do they represent' the ideal of the Alliance?

Or of a dictatorship?

You've been ordered to open fire on civilian targets.

'Is this what you signed on for?'

Now, we've made contact with other ships that have left Earthforce.

They should be getting here in the next few hours.

Now, some will stay and hold Proxima.

The others will come with us.

I thought you had all League Worlds backing you up.

Why do you need us?

Because I want this to be a clean fight.

The other worlds won't fight for us but they won't get in our way either.

Now, it's your call.

I'd like you to join us.

We'll kick out Clark and the Nightwatch and the rest of that bunch and we'll turn it over to the voters.

Let them decide if what we did was right or wrong.

Because, in the final analysis..


...those are the people we work for.

We need to talk it over.

Of course.

Issue the joint statement.

I will sign my name.

But not on the same page.

Do you understand that?

Yes...yes, of course.

The others have decided.

Commander Levitt is gonna retire from the field.

She's gonna take the Heracles to Beta 9 for repairs.

She's gonna keep Captain Hall under house arrest until this is over, one way or the other.

And the rest?

Eckland is gonna stay behind and help with the defense of Proxima.

Kawagawa wants to sign on with you.

And so do I.

This is Commander Susan Ivanova bringing you the voice of the Resistance.

Today, elite forces dispatched from Babylon 5 engaged a destroyer group stationed at Proxima 3.

Both sides endured heavy losses.

But we can announce that Proxima 3 has been liberated from the forces occupying it.

I repeat, Proxima 3 is free.

Many of the destroyers enforcing the blockade have now joined forces with our ships.

The campaign to retake Earth has begun.

As a result, we send this plea to all cruisers and carrier groups that have chosen to stand down rather than execute the illegal orders of President Clark.

Join us.

'We will keep this channel open'

24 hours a day.

'If you wanna make a stand for Earth, now is the time.'

[indistinct chatter]



It'll take a while. Nope.

I've got some people in high places taking care of things.

If you say so. When you coming back?

I'm not.

(Susan on TV) 'In a related move, the Centauri and Narn governments'

'issued a joint statement today recognizing the legitimacy'

'of the liberation of Proxima'

'and throwing their support behind the new campaign.'

'It is our hope that this unprecedented' act of cooperation between two previously hostile governments will mark the beginning of a new age of cooperation and trust.

[theme music]