Babylon 5 S5E14 Script

Meditations on the Abyss (1998)

[instrumental music]


[beeping]


Delenn?

(Delenn) 'Yes.'

Are you alright?

'Yes. I...I just remembered I-I-I need some important'

'papers from my quarters for tomorrow's council meeting.'

A-at this hour?

'Um..'

I wouldn't be able to sleep anyway so I just want to make sure I know where they are.

You're, you're sure? Yes.

Go on back to sleep. I'll be right back.

[sighs]

[instrumental music]


Waiting for me?

I don't think so.

Just because you don't know me.

I don't think I've seen you around here before.

Let me buy you a drink.

No. Thank you.

You sure have pretty eyes.

I wonder what the rest of you looks like underneath all that.

Seems a shame to hide it.

I will ask you politely to go away.

But I will only ask once.

Good. That'll save us time later.

Look, hon.

I'm here for the duration. Get used to it.

Whether you like it or not, I'm the face you're going to be waking up to in the morning, you got that?

That's better.

See?

Yeah.

[grunts]

[groans] Oh, God!

You broke my finger!

True, but you have nine others, for the moment.

[groaning]

Get back here!

[grunting]

I was beginning to wonder if you were going to make it, Lennier.

I said that I would never leave you..

...that I would be here when you needed me most.

Tell me what you want done. I will make it happen.

No matter the cost.

(male narrator) And so it begins..

There is a hole in your mind. What do you want?

(G'Kar) No one here is exactly what he appears.

(Sinclair) Nothing's the same anymore.

(Hague) Commander Sinclair is being reassigned.

(Londo) Why don't you eliminate the entire Narn Homeworld?

(Elric) I see a great hand reaching out of a star.

(female #1) President Clark has signed a decree today declaring..

(Sheridan) These orders have forced us to declare independence.

(Sheridan) People get off their encounter-suited butts and do something.

(Zathras) You're the one who was.

(Kosh) If you go to Z'ha'dum, you will die.

(Lorien) Why are you here?

Do you have anything worth living for?

(Delenn) I think of my beautiful city in flames.

(Sheridan) Now, get the hell out of our galaxy!

(Sheridan) We are here to place President Clark under arrest.

[theme music]


[music continues]

[instrumental music]

(Lennier) Delenn, I don't understand why you needed to see me alone down here.

I could have met you in your quarters or the council chambers--

(Delenn) Someone would have seen you and asked about you.

We need to be discreet.

I couldn't even risk a coded transmission.

Does Sheridan know?

He's probably the most important reason I'm keeping this meeting just between us.

Delenn.

What is it you want from me?

Your help.

Following a trip to the Drazi Homeworld Mr. Garibaldi returned with several compelling reasons to believe that the Centauri are behind the recent attacks against shipping lines used by the other alliance worlds.

Well, then, confront them.

I said we had reason, not proof.

We can't go public with what we suspect until we can prove their involvement.

Many of the rangers are patrolling the shipping lines in this area, but none of them have the experience with the Centauri that you and I have.

So, I need you..

...on patrol, along the Centauri border watching for anything suspicious.

You know how they think, how they fight.

If anyone can get the evidence we need, it's you.

But why not tell Sheridan?

Since the death of Marcus..

...and given the danger involved..

I think John would be reluctant to send someone close to me on a mission like this.

As a friend, he would want to protect you.

As my husband, he would need to protect me from anything that might happen to you.

I think, in that respect..

...he does not know you as well as he should.

He knows me.

But he also loves me.

And sometimes the one gets in the way of the other.

Yes, I..

...imagine it could do that.

What happened there?

An accident while training for hand-to-hand combat with one of the new Drazi recruits.

Faster than I thought.

I hear you have been training harder than you should.

You should..

[sighs]

You should go more slowly.

And if I had not worked hard to be ready.

Would you have called me now for this?

These are your instructions.

You will be stationed aboard White Star 27 as one of the crew.

The ship is already here, waiting for you.

I haven't told the captain your mission.

He knows only that you and the rest are to be trained in space combat in areas near the Centauri border.

As soon as you find anything, return at once.

I understand.

I should go report to the ship now so that we can get underway.

There is no need to hurry, Lennier.

We could stay, talk awhile. It's still early.

I haven't seen you since..

Since the Brakiri day of the dead.

No.

It would not be wise.

Delenn..

During the day of the dead..

Morden..

...appeared to me and he-he said..

He told me that I would one day..

...betray the rangers.

Lennier.

I cannot think of anything that would cause you to betray the Anla-shok.

Nor I.

Good day, Delenn.

[doorbell chimes]

Yes?

Vir?

Help, please!

Alright, alright. Don't move.

I'll help! Ow!

Easy. Easy. Easy.

The finger. The finger.

Maker! What is all this?

Are we stocking up supplies for the end of the universe?

No, no, no, no.

Just a second. Uhh!

You were away for a long time.

And then you came back, and there was nothing fresh.

And so I figured I'd lay in supplies for a while.

Nothing fresh? What do you eat when I'm gone?

Well, I eat, we..

I mean, obviously, we have plenty of, uh..

I eat at Mcbari's.

Mcbari's? Oh, is that the new place in the brown sector?

With the golden, uh--

With the golden head bones, yes.

Vir...we are not biologically equipped to handle fast food.

I know, I know, but it-it tastes so great going down.

Coming up again, it's not so terrific, but--

Well, you'll have to change that.

We can't have someone in your position eating at Mcbari's now, can we?

Yes, but..

What position?

I have given the matter considerable thought and I have decided to..

[beeping]

[beeping rapidly]

Where did you buy this?

Uh, a Drazi merchant at the Zocalo.

I'm sorry, Vir.

I didn't mean to sit on your supplies.

I didn't even see them.

You should be more careful where you put things in the future.

Y-you're right, Londo. I was wrong.

It was a-a very silly mistake of me!

Now the thing you must remember about the Drazi is that they are very insecure people but they have so much to be insecure about.

Did you know that the female of their species will gladly mate with any other species in the universe to avoid the males of their own kind?

Take the-the wife of the Drazi ambassador, for example.

'After spending an afternoon of passion with her' the Gaim ambassador told me the most amazing stories.

Yes, you know that one day he actually...oops.

[thuds]

There...hah.

They should stew all day over that.

'Why would they eavesdrop on us?'

I mean, we're all in the alliance together.

I mean, what is wrong with them?

It's politics, Vir. Never take it personally.

Now, where was I? Oh, yes.

Of course. Your position.

As you know, Vir, I am to be emperor soon.

As part of that change, I must name a replacement.

Now you are not quite ready yet

'but I am sure you will be before I leave here.'

Yes, Vir, I have decided that when I am gone..

...the new ambassador to Babylon 5..

...will be you.

[instrumental music]

(man on PA) 'White Star bearing at 116 degrees.'

Sir?

Anla-shok Lennier. Reporting for duty.

Captain Enrique Montoya.

Good to have you aboard.

Delenn tells me you've been in combat situations before.

That is correct.

I ran weapons and navigation during the Shadow War under Delenn and Sheridan.

Well, that's pretty heady company.

I'm not sure what I can teach you that those two couldn't.

But I'll try to find something.

On the other hand, officially, you're still a trainee so I have to treat you the same as the others.

I understand.

Ah, Findell.

This is Lennier. He just joined the crew.

Lennier, this is Findell.

Another trainee assigned to The Maria.

The...Maria?

Officially, White Star 27.

But what kind of a name is that for a ship?

You won't find it on any records but as far as I'm concerned it's The Maria, named after my sister.

Oh. And where is she?

With God.

Ha.

Well, I think I may have asked an indiscreet question.

No, the captain does not believe in indiscreet questions.

He believes the only way to get pertinent information is to ask impertinent questions.

Well, then, I may have finally found a home.

All hands, prepare for jump.

(male #1) 'Initiating hyperspace modules.'

(female #2) 'Programming jump gate activation sequence.'

(male #2) 'Jump gate activation at your command, captain.'

(G'Kar) Good news!

I just ran into Dr. Franklin on my way over.

He says that my new prosthetic eye is finally in!

At last, I'll have a matched set.

You don't know what it's been like looking into the mirror and seeing these staring back at me!

Well, then, we won't keep either of you waiting.

Mr. Ambassador. Mr. President.

Last night, our main shipping lines were attacked again by unknown forces.

A-at least...unknown to us.

We have reason to believe that you know who is behind these attacks.

We are still in the process of conducting our investigation.

Now we have had several positive leads but we can't release any information until we have some conclusive answers.

But I do wonder if these "leads" pointed to someone close to you.

A-a-an ally.

Perhaps someone in the advisory board for the alliance.

A major race whose strength you need

'to keep this alliance together.'

'Uh, let's say... The Centauri.'

I wonder if you would be in a hurry to expose them.

I appreciate your..

...candor, Mr. Ambassador.

But if we had absolute proof as to which race is behind these attacks, we would release it no matter where the trail led.

We have been patient with you in the past, ambassador.

We ask only that you now be patient with us.

We will be patient.. ask it.

But..

...remember your promise.

That once this evidence was released, you would support any action the alliance worlds decided upon.

We remember. Good.

Because I.. Ah, good.

I was hoping to run into you here.

Uh, Londo, this is a private--

The Centauri republic is a member of the advisory council.

Is there some reason why we have been excluded from this meeting?

So, ambassador, how is the wife?

Not too tired, I hope. Londo..

(Londo) 'No, it's alright. I'm not offended.'

I just came by to mention to you all that someone must be terribly inept, whoever it was.

Planted a listening device in my quarters this morning.

'The very idea is laughable.'

'Absurd' even moronic.

Wouldn't you say, ambassador?

Well, I just wanted to alert the rest of you in case anyone tries anything equally as stupid as this again.

Good day to you all. ambassador.

Oh..

...and your wonderful beautiful wife.

Get your evidence.

And remember your promise, president.

We will keep you to it.

[[instrumental music]

Lennier.

The captain has sent me to find you.

He would like us to take out a pair of fighters and to scout the area after we come out of hyperspace.

Are we to look for anything in particular?

No. At-at least, he didn't tell me.

He often leaves out important pieces of information like that.

It is...frustrating.

It is, I think the human way of doing things.

They try to encourage initiative so that we may better react to sudden changes.

Our own techniques tend to be...rigid.

They have worked for the last several thousand years and I see no reason why we should change them now.

Several thousand years ago, we had no starships.

Should we stay home and pretend they do not exist?

Findell, I have had considerable contact with the humans.

If this is difficult for you, perhaps I could help.

I am fine, thank you.

Now, come along.

We'll be jumping back to normal space any time now.

And steady now. Ho-hold still.

Hmm. Hmm. Hmm.

That's it. Let me just get this out here.

That's it.

There we go.

I'm sorry it took so long to get this new eye in, G'Kar.

It's alright.

All that matters is that it's here.

And, oh, uh..

And by the way, I've been..

...reading your book. Well, as much as I can.

It's difficult to translate.

It's very good actually.

Thank you, I suppose.

It wasn't supposed to come out until after my death.

I find the whole thing rather embarrassing.

[chuckles] Well, why?

You shouldn't. It's a good book.

It's got some interesting ideas.

You know, one question though, uh..

Every copy seems to have a circular stain on page 83.

All our holy books are reproduced exactly as written.

Line for line, word for word.

Right down to the flaws in the paper.

The circular stain is a coffee stain left by Mr. Garibaldi.

When I confronted him with it, he said it's the best part of the book.

[chuckles]

What prompted you to read it?

Now that should do it.

Well, I'm a foundationist.

And the idea behind the foundation is that to get back to the roots of...all the earth religions get past the, uh, doctrines to the core.. of each belief system and find out what they have in common.

And they've got a lot more in common than you think.

It's just when, uh, politics and money and..

...nationalism get in the way that, uh, things get a little messed up.

There we go.

[Stephen sighs]

(Stephen) 'How's that?'

It's perfect.

It's absolutely perfect.

I don't know how to thank you.

Well, I do.

I understand that you're giving weekly talks to your people based on what's in the book of G'Kar.

I talk, they ask questions.

I don't think anything gets resolved.

Well, I-I'd like to come and sit in on them if you don't mind.

As you wish.

You have given me back my sight.

The least I can do in return is share a little of my confusion.

Thank you again.

[indistinct chatter]

Lennier, Findell.

'We're in position. Are you ready to go?'

(Findell on radio) 'Confirmed.'

Ready here, captain.

Very well.

Launch.

[engine revving]

(Lennier) Systems check.

All systems functional.

Weapons fully armed.

Stealth mode on.

Atmosphere's..

[beeping]

Findell..

Did you check your atmosphere system prior to launch?

(Findell on radio) 'I did.'

So did I.

But the readings just changed.

Mine shows fifteen percent capacity a little over one hour of air left.

So does mine.

[beeping]

Something is wrong.

We should return to the ship.

Uh..

Lennier, The White Star.

They-they just left us behind.

Perhaps they received an emergency call

'a distress signal or..'

'...or an attack on one of the nearby shipping lanes.'

Lennier, we have less than one hour of air left.

Yes..

...and the nearest habitable planet is three days away.

So unless they get back here soon..

...we're dead.

Findell..

You still there?

(Findell) Still here.

Where have they gone, Lennier?

(Lennier) I do not know. know is that we have less than an hour of air left.

Findell, did you make it through Turval's instructions and meditation?

Yeah, but..

'Then I suggest we enter a meditative state' to conserve what little air we have left.

Concentrate on slowing down your heartbeat and your respiration.

We may be able to last almost two hours that way.

'I don't know..'

'I don't know if I can.'

It is not necessary to know.

It is only necessary to try.

Alright.

(G'Kar) 'And as a result..'

...we spend too much time trying to be serious.

As if that proved that we were more enlightened better than everyone else.

[chuckles]

But we can't be free..

...until we learn to laugh at ourselves.

Once you look in the mirror and see just how foolish we can be laughter is inevitable.

And from laughter comes wisdom.

Next question.

What is truth?

And what is God?

(G'Kar) You don't really want an answer to that question.

Yes, I do.

Please.

If I take a lamp and shine it toward the wall a bright spot will appear on the wall.

The lamp is our search for truth, for understanding.

Too often, we assume that the light on the wall is God.

But the light is not the goal of the search. result of the search.

'The more intense the search' the brighter the light on the wall.

The brighter the light on the wall the greater the sense of revelation upon seeing it.

Similarly, someone who does not search who does not bring a lantern with him sees nothing.

[sighs]

What we perceive as God is the by-product of our search for God.

It may simply be an appreciation of the light pure and unblemished.

Not understanding that it comes from us.

Sometimes we stand in front of the light and assume that we are the center of the universe.

God looks astonishingly like we do.

Or we turn to look at our shadow and assume that all is darkness.

If we allow ourselves to get in the way..

...we defeat the purpose.

Which is to use the light of our search to illuminate the wall in all its beauty and in all its flaws.

And in so doing better understand the world around us.

Ah.. Yes.

But..

What is truth? And what is God?

[chuckles]

[sighs] Truth is...a river.

'Oh, yes.' And what is God?

God is..

...the mouth of the river.

Oh! Yes, of course.

[indistinct chatter]

[instrumental music]

(Findell on radio) 'Lennier.'

'Lennier.'

Findell..

What is it?

I can't breathe.

(Lennier on radio) 'You have to calm yourself.'

[gasping] I can't.

A-air's..

...down to..

...to almost..

...nothing.

[panting]

Have-have to find someplace..

Have to-have to find someplace with air.

Have to get out of here.

Have to get out of here.

(Lennier) Findell, stop.

Listen to me.

We have to stay here so that they can find us.

Turn around, don't..

(Montoya) This is The Maria to recruits. Stand by for retrieval.

Report to the bunkroom upon arrival for debriefing.

Montoya out.

There will be times when you may be left or abandoned in the course of battle.

The ship...and its mission, whatever it happens to be must be protected above all else.

And if that means leaving..

...then we'll do it.

We deliberately left you with only one hour's air to evaluate your response.

Lennier's analysis was correct.

Lower heartbeat and respiration to extend what air you had and to stay where you were to assist in recovery.

To be Anla-shok means understanding that there is nothing to fear in death except the failure to complete our assigned mission.

Death is not the enemy.

Death simply is.

This one? Okay.

You.

I want to have a word with you.

Oh. I'm very busy.

You planted this in a bag of fruit you sold me.

You tried to spy on my government.

I don't know what you're talking about.

Now, you go away.

No, not until you admit to what you have done and you tell me why.

Or what?

We all know you, Vir Cotto.

We know what you are.

You are weak.

You are foolish.

And now you will go away or I will swat you.

[laughter]

[indistinct chatter]

[both scoff]

[laughter]

Something I can do for you, Vir?

No. I just need to borrow this for a minute.

I'll be right back.

[screaming]

[grunting]

What are you doing?

No. Now!

Want to finish our little conversation spoo for brains?

Grave misunderstanding.

It-it-it was a terrible mistake.

That's what I thought you'd say.

[grunts]

What happened to Vir? Oh, I promoted him.

Now...now he is ready to be the ambassador for the Centauri.

(Montoya) 'Good morning, trainees.'

We are currently in orbit near a red giant star in a system where several gas giants on the edge of the solar system have collapsed or been destroyed.

Leaving behind a fairly substantial asteroid field of ice chunks and solid rock.

I've chosen this as the perfect place for an Easter egg hunt.

Now, while you were sleeping we seeded the asteroid field with 39 short-range homing devices.

Now, you have to get pretty close in order to detect them.

So we're talking close-proximity scans of large, fast-moving, and extremely dangerous objects.

Your mission is to find and destroy no less than ten of the homing devices while avoiding the possibility of getting hit and destroyed by an asteroid yourself.

Sir. 'Yes.'

There are four of us but you said there were 39 of the homing devices.

That's right.

Meaning someone will come up short.

A little competition is good for the soul, Lindell.

Your fighters have been fully armed.

And you will leave your ship weapons hot.

Go to it.

Findell..

He knows I'm going to fail.

I saw it in his eyes.

We see what we want to see. think I'm going to fail.

Findell, why did you join the Anla-shok?

Because..

Because I lost two of my family during the Shadow War.

They were Anla-shok.

And it fell to me to carry on their work.

If you are doing this because you feel be doing this, not because you want to then your purpose is flawed.

The desire to be Anla-shok must be pure and unselfish.

You can't let anything get in the way.

I won't.

(Montoya on radio) 'Commence exercise, gentlemen.' You may fire at will.

[intense music]

Here we go.

[ship hovering]

[zapping]

(Montoya on radio) 'That's four so far, Lennier.'

'You're ahead of the pack.'

'Nurella and Drenn, three each.'

'Findell, I read you at zero targets achieved.'

Do you confirm?

Findell, I repeat, do you confirm?

Ship...find Findell's fighter.

[automated message] 'Searching.'

'Fighter located.'

Findell, please respond.

(Findell on radio) 'White Star communications off.'

[static]

Death simply is.

Top speed.

Manual control.

Oh, no.

Ship...pursue. 'Confirmed.'

Open private channel to target fighter.

(Lennier on radio) 'Findell, can you hear me?'

'Findell, answer me.'

Go away, Lennier.

You were right.

My soul's purpose is not clear.

I know I am not Anla-shok..

...and I cannot return home in shame.

(Lennier on radio) 'There is no glory in this, either.'

'Don't do it, Findell. Don't..'

Ship.

Weapons active.

Target fighter engines and controls.

[automated message] 'Negative. Program prohibits auto fire on allied ships.'

Firing control to manual.

[automated message] 'Manual firing control confirmed.'

[dramatic music]

[engine stops]

Lennier, what are you doing?

'Lennier, what are you doing?' Com system off.

Ship.

Prepare to intercept.

Manual controls.

[whirring]

Ship, full power to engines.

(Montoya) Lennier, what the hell was that all about?

Captain, I--

You opened fire on a ship under the command of one of your fellow recruits and then rammed said ship and damn near got yourself killed in the process.

Now, I would like to hear an explanation.

Captain, the fault was not Ranger Lennier's.

The weapons system of my fighter was disrupted by a nearby explosion, and it began firing before I could stop it.

The computer records indicate you took manual control of your ship.

(Lennier) 'Yes, sir, it was the only way I could'

'bring it back under control.'

Along the way, I struck Findell's ship a glancing blow.

He navigated his response to help direct me from a collision with the asteroid.

Captain-- Did I say I was finished?

No, sir.

Lennier, I don't know what went on out there and I doubt if I ever will but for purposes of bookkeeping I'm giving you a failing mark in the Easter egg hunt.

And we'll never know what Findell would have done since you shot up his fighter.

So he gets a neutral grade.

And as for you..

...I've been giving this a great deal of thought.

And I've arranged for an assignment for you.

A cruiser will meet us in route to our next training mission and return you to Minbar where you will work in a recruitment office in Tuzanor helping debrief new recruits.

Sir, I--

I want you to look into their eyes, Findell and I want you to ask them from the very bottom of their soul if this is really what they want to do.

I don't want you to let anyone through who's here for the wrong reasons.

'Not just for their own safety..'

...but for the sake of all the Anla-shok.

This is an important task, Findell.

Understand that.

There's no shame in accepting it.

And there's no one who can execute it as well as I feel you can. serve all your fellow rangers with honor.

Yes, captain, I do understand.

Thank you.

Lennier. Yes, sir.

Off the record and as unofficially as I can get..

...you did a good job out there.

I won't put it on his record, I think we took care of that problem as best we can.

But I know.

And you should learn one very important lesson.

Never, ever assume that no one can listen in on a private channel. Hmm?

[chuckles]

Huh.

Now, go get some rest.

I will.

Thank you, captain.

Alright. Prepare to jump to our next training area.

(female #3) 'Jump engines online.'

(male #3) 'Initiating hyperspace..'

[sighs]

(male #3) 'Ready to jump at your command, captain.'

Jump.

[laughing]

I'm telling you, you should've seen him.

Vir was whacking the hell out of that place and the Drazi's on the ground, he's almost twice his size and the little guy's got him vibrating so bad I think he's gonna slide through the molecules of the deck and come out the other side.

I wish I'd have seen that.

I've never heard of Vir losing his temper like that before, I mean..

No wonder the Drazi was scared.

Hell, if Vir's that mad, who wouldn't be scared?

Well, did you arrest him? Well, yes and no.

I pulled him aside and talked to him, but nobody got hurt.

The Drazi didn't want to press charges because that would be admitting that Vir was mad at him because he bugged Londo's quarters.

Yeah? How was Londo?

Oh, like a proud father.

Watching as Vir took that place apart.

"Today he is a man."

[laughing]

You know..

...I almost wish the Drazi had succeeded in bugging his place.

I mean, it's not something we can do.

It wouldn't be right.

But we could have found out what they're up to.

Why they're hitting the other worlds.

It would have done no good.

I still don't think Londo knows about the attacks on alliance ships.

And that worries me.

If somebody back home can pull this off without him knowing about it, being prime minister then it has to come from the very top of the Centauri Royal Palace.

And that means trouble.

Well, it's gonna be more trouble if we don't get the proof we need.

Now, the other worlds will wait, but not for long.

I think maybe we have a month before they decide to take things into their own hands.

And without proof we're going to have to oppose anything they do.

And that will be the end of the alliance and the start of another war.

Well, let's not go borrow trouble.

We still have a month to go, and we can do a lot in that amount of time.

I agree.

So where is Garibaldi? I haven't seen him all day.

I thought he was going to come.

I sent him a note. Perhaps he didn't get it.

[beeps]

♪ Show me the way to go home ♪

♪ I'm tired and I want to go to bed ♪

♪ I had a little.. ♪ Yeah. That was a big drink.

[laughs]

♪ About an hour ago ♪

♪ And it went right to my head ♪♪ Hmm.

What did I do..

...with that link?

Here, linkie, linkie, linkie.

Hmm.

Here, linkie.

Ah. The missing link.

Computer. Find the Fresh Aire Restaurant.

(male #4) 'Fresh Aire. Can I help you?'

Yes. Yes, you can.

This is Michael Garibaldi.

Michael, head of the whole fraggin' covert intelligence operation for the whole fraggin' universe.

And I...I would like a pizza.

I would like a pizza, and I would like it delivered to my quarters right now.

And on that pizza I would like some sausage and some pepperoni and mushrooms and, uh..

What do you call those? Uh...sun-dried tomatoes.

Yep. I want a suicide pizza, and I want it right now.

(male #4) 'Yes, sir. We'll do our best.'

I'll bet you will.

Ahh!

♪ Show me the way to go home ♪

♪ I'm tired and I want to go to bed ♪

♪ I had a little drink about an hour ago ♪

♪ And it went right to my head ♪♪

[laughs]

[theme music]