The Fall of Centauri Prime (1998)
(male narrator) Previously on "Babylon 5.."
I read four Centauri warships, too many to fight.
This is leftover Shadow technology, Mr. President.
It's an organic device used to control a ship from a long distance.
You put three or three of these onboard a starship and you don't even need a crew.
That's why we couldn't figure out a strategy behind the random attacks.
We couldn't see a goal because there was no goal.
There was no strategy beyond alienating everyone in the Alliance, turn them against the Centauris so that..
So they'd attack!
What did they ask you to do?
To send away all the ships guarding Centauri Prime..
...on a false emergency..
...and turn off the planetary defense network.
Aah! Stay here.
I will call for a doctor then I have to find the regent.
You will be alright.
(Garibaldi) 'Mr. President, I thought you should know.'
The Narn and Drazi fleets have begun their assault on the Centauri Homeworld.
What about the planetary defense net?
Well, they're apparently down.
The ships that normally guard Centauri Prime have moved elsewhere.
Somebody's left the door wide open and our people are movin' through it.
'There's one other thing you need to know.'
We just got word.
John, Delenn's White Star's been missing for at least 12 hours.
They think she might have run into a wing of Centauri warships.
(Regent) 'They say the bombardment'
'is moving away from the capital' into the outer areas.
We should be safe for a time. Madness.
Our people are dying by the thousands tens of thousands!
They say-- Who says?
Who are they? What are you talking about?
'...it's your time now, Londo.'
(Kosh) 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.
(General 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 the stars.
(female #1) President Clark has signed a decree today declaring--
(John) These orders have forced us to declare independence.
Unless your 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.
(John) Giants in the play ground.
Now, get the hell out of our galaxy!
We are here to place President Clark under arrest.
What are you?
(Regent) 'They are called Drakh.'
I know you.
You worked for the Shadows.
'...the Shadows were our masters.'
'We served them, believed in them'
Then they went away and left us behind to escape on our own.
But without our masters who are we?
In the end..
...what are we but--
...of a shadow.
An echo of what was.
Our home, Z'ha'dum, destroyed.
Then we remembered...this place.
Their masters saw great potential here.
They came in considerable numbers..
...with their ships and their associate Mr. Morden.
You don't frighten me, Mollari.
If you try to attack our forces, you'll lose.
Yes, your ships are very impressive in the air or in space but at this moment, they are on the ground.
Fine. They're on the ground.
But they can sense an approaching ship miles away.
So what are you going to do, Mollari, huh?
Blow up the island?
...now that you mention it.
You just made a mistake, Londo!
Even if my associates lose this war, they have allies!
They'll make sure Centauri Prime pays the price for what you've done here today!
That would be you.
Then it wasn't you who started this war.
It was them, wasn't it?
You want your revenge but you don't want anyone to know you are here.
And so you used our forces to attack everyone in the alliance.
Turn them against us.
And make them do your work.
But what good is it to take your revenge against innocent people?
Your quarrel is with me.
If you want vengeance, I'm standing right here.
...they do not want your life, Mollari.
'At least, not yet.'
Then what do you want?
Our new home.
Oh! You are now what we need you to be.
'A beaten resentful people'
'who will have to rebuild.'
Who will have to rely on our...good graces.
Who can be used and...guided as we wish to guide you.
Perfect ground for us to do our work..
No! I will not allow it!
Yes, you will.
As I did.
You see, Londo, they learn quickly.
They learned from the shadows and they learned from you.
They've planted fusion bombs throughout Centauri Prime.
Unless they get what they want millions of our people will die and the blame will go to the alliance.
In all this bombing who will notice a few more craters?
What do you want of me?
What we want from you..
(John) 'This is President Sheridan to Narn and Drazi fleets.'
You are ordered to cease fire at once.
Cease fire, or we will target your ships and destroy them.
Of course, we'd be happy to oblige in exchange for your support.
After all, you promised to back any act we judged appropriate.
I never sanctioned an attack on Centauri Prime and you know it!
I gave you strict instructions!
Of course you did hence our decision to end the war for you.
'And now that we have taken the first steps'
'you can join us in the battle with clean hands.'
Negative. Won't happen.
(G'Kar) 'Then we have a slight problem, Mr. President.'
You see, the ships that normally guard Centauri Prime were called away.
They will return in two or three hours.
When they arrive they will not be interested in explanations as to what was or was not authorized.
'They will be out for blood and revenge.'
'You can either fight beside us and live'
'or hold back...and die.'
'What will it be, Mr. President?'
(Regent) 'Our ships will be returning soon, Londo.'
When that happens, they will attack Sheridan's fleet with every weapon they have and Centauri Prime will pay the price in more dead.
We have no interest in fighting the alliance.
Issue the surrender order.
You see, I'm your alibi.
'You will say that I was quite mad' and that I gave the attack orders without the knowledge of yourself or anyone else in the government.
Then you can give the order to surrender.
I don't have the authority.
Because I will be dead, and you will be emperor.
It's all very clean that way.
Once I'm gone you can blame me for anything you want.
I won't mind, really.
Because I'll know..
...you had no choice.
No choice at all.
What do you mean, no choice?
Look at me, Londo.
'You can't see it until it chooses to be seen.'
What is it?
It's called a keeper.
They become a part of you.
They can control you but only when their interests are at stake.
'You will be free to do as you wish'
'the rest of the time.'
I live...only as long as it is part of me.
I have to go now, Londo.
I have been many things in my life, Mollari.
I have been silly.
I have been quiet when I should have spoken.
I have been foolish.
And I have wasted far too much time.
But I am still Centauri..
...and I am not afraid.
Distance to Centauri fleet?
Centauri warships will be within optimum firing range in 20 standard minutes.
Do we prepare to engage?
We will not engage.
Get me Centauri Prime.
There must be someone there that I can talk to.
They're not responding.
Well, keep sending.
And try Delenn's ship again.
Divert all White Stars in that area to search for her.
I want that ship found.
Do you know how much time we have left on life support?
It's hard to say.
Meaning you do not know or you do not wish to say?
...perhaps it is better not to know.
It is, however, a moot point.
Our navigational thrusters will be out of fuel soon.
Once we're off the beacon we'll be caught in the hyperspace currents.
I'm sorry, Delenn.
There's nothing you could have done, Lennier.
Nothing at all.
No, no, no, no. Sit. Sit.
I can't stay.
I just wanted to see how you were.
I would be dead if not for you.
You risked your life to save mine.
Yes. You would have done the same.
Yes, but I am a better person.
I promised I would get you out of that cell, yes?
Do I not keep my promises, hmm?
Where you go, I go.
(G'Kar) 'Yes. Ha, ha!
That must now...change, however.
I cannot have you following me around as my bodyguard any longer.
I do not think it would be appropriate or safe.
Why not? The regent is dead, G'Kar.
In a few moments I will take his place.
...preparing for me now.
And although I cannot formally become emperor until tomorrow when the Centaurum meets..
I am now in charge.
'...I don't know that I will ever see you again' and...I wanted to..
...to say goodbye.
I don't know why that should be important to me now at a time like this, but it is.
In the months and the years to come you may hear many strange things about me, my behavior.
Well, they say the position..
And I just..
I-I wanted to..
And perhaps you do not understand as much as you think.
Pray that you never do, G'Kar.
Pray that you never truly understand.
Well, I must hurry.
[sighs] Our ships will soon be in firing range.
Isn't it strange, G'Kar?
When we first met I had no power and all the choices I could ever want.
And now I have all the power I could ever want.
And no choices at all.
No choice at all.
...that I can never forgive your people for what they did to my world.
'My people can never forgive your people.'
No reply from Delenn's White Star Mr. President.
Should we abandon our position and join the search?
How far until the Centauri hit optimum firing range?
Picking up a transmission from Centauri Prime to the approaching fleet ships.
(John) 'What are they saying?'
Could be an attack order, could be anything.
Come on, talk to me.
I'm getting the sound of angry voices, sir.
An argument of some kind.
Position of Centauri fleet?
Not advancing any further.
Picking up another signal from Centauri Prime.
It's for you.
Put it through.
I don't know if you've been monitoring our transmissions, but--
(Londo) 'I have.'
I accept you at your word that this terrible assault on our world was not sanctioned by you because we find ourselves in a much similar situation.
The attack on the alliance shipping lanes which precipitated this war were not authorized by the Centaurum.
They were done under the express orders of the regent.
He acted alone.
And where is the Regent? Dead.
I would say..
...that his hearts gave out.
I am in charge here now.
Then you will give the recall order?
Our ships have been told to ignore any message which does not come in at exactly specified times.
As they check in, we will give the recall order.
There is no longer any reason for us to fight.
Then this is over.
I don't think our military will be very happy about it but yes. This is now over.
Then I would like to come down and talk to you directly.
There's something that I need you to do.
That might not be wise.
Our people may not take kindly to your presence.
I'll take that chance.
It's about Delenn.
Her ship is missing in action.
I will make sure you are met at the space port
'and brought here as soon as you land.'
What happened to Delenn?
No. I ask you.
I beg of you not to do this.
There is nothing to be gained in killing her.
And the last position we have on Delenn's ship puts her about two jumps from Minbar.
Now, the grey council has half their fleet out looking for her but you know what hyperspace is like.
It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack in the middle of a tornado.
Now we need to know the exact location the-the attack on her ship took place.
Well, that may be difficult.
As I said, we cannot contact our ships except at predetermined times.
All I'm asking is that you do whatever you can.
Though, if I do this for you I may someday come to you and ask for a favor in return.
Londo, she's your friend, too.
Our world has been savagely attacked by your people and you call us friends?
Yes. We can still help each other.
The Centauri Republic will have nothing more to do with this, this alliance of yours.
We will raise ourselves back to what we once were
'without your help.'
If I give you back Delenn's life it will be an act of charity, nothing more.
Do you understand me?
I will, however, remind you that as the losing party in this war you will make reparations to the alliance worlds that your ships attacked.
We may be able to mitigate that slightly.
We believe that most of your ships engaged in hostile actions were under the control of some kind of leftover Shadow technology.
We found some semi-organic pods that control the ships long distance.
Yes. I am aware of them.
The Regent bought them on the black market as insurance against mutiny.
Old news. But why didn't you-- if you want us to find Delenn for you I suggest you allow us to do it before one of our other ships finds her and finishes what the first one started.
That's the last of the navigational thrusters.
Starting now, we'll drift further off the beacon.
Perhaps it's not so bad to go off the beacon.
No one knows what's out there.
Maybe we'll find a million-year-old jumpgate left behind by the first ones.
That would be amazing wouldn't it, Lennier?
I would, of course, expect you to get it working in a timely fashion.
I will do my best. Good.
Minbar should have reported our disappearance by now.
I don't understand why they're not looking for us.
I'm sure they are.
But nothing works the way it should out here.
We are far away and far between.
(Lennier) 'There is one other thing we could do, Delenn.'
Our weapons system is still barely functional.
If there are any ships in the area looking for us firing the weapons could attract them.
It could also attract the Centauri warships that attacked.
Either way the recoil from the discharge would push us further off the beacon.
(Lennier) 'Green then red twice.'
That would appear to be all we had left.
So it would seem.
(Lennier) 'That's a proximity alert.'
We seem to have attracted the wrong kind of attention.
That's the power monitor.
It tracks their weapon system.
When the beeping becomes a steady tone they'll have reached critical and can fire their weapons.
They're probably confirming the kill shot with Centauri Prime.
I love you.
You said something a moment ago.
I didn't actually hear it.
The power monitor, you see.
It was making a great deal of noise.
I said nothing.
At times of great stress one can say things one did not intend to say would never have said under other circumstances.
I don't think anyone should be held to that or asked to explain or..
Well, that's neither here nor there, as the humans say.
...look at me.
...except that, for a moment..
...I found myself feeling extremely complimented.
And deeply honored..
...by your presence..
...and by your friendship.
...when they bring us back to Centauri Prime..
...do you think we'll have to fight our way out of this?
For their sake, I hope not.
Excuse me, oh, excuse me, I'm pard..
Could you tell me have you seen the-the prime minister?
The Londo? Have you seen the prime minister?
Londo. What is wrong with you?
Never burst in on me without knocking!
Do you understand? Never do this again!
But I've always-- Do you understand?
Yes, I understand. Good.
Now, what are you doing here?
What are you talking about?
I came as soon as I heard.
I wanted to see if you were alright.
I'm, uh, fine, Vir.
I thought you'd be in the royal suite by now.
Not until after the inauguration.
And I am in no rush.
Have you seen the damage?
We still don't have a count on all the dead and wounded.
How am I supposed to live in the royal suite and look out at all of that?
You could always board up the windows.
I suppose they told you the terms of our surrender, hmm?
Yes, they did but if we pay the damages that they want there won't be enough money to rebuild.
I know, but we have no choice, Vir.
No choice at all.
It's what must be.
The people won't stand for it.
They're tired, resentful, and angry angry at what has happened angry at the alliance, at you, at everyone.
They were right. They got what they wanted.
Nothing. No one.
You will calm them down, of course help them see what needs to be done and then make them understand.
Yes, I will talk with them.
Are the others here?
I passed them in the hallway.
I almost knocked G'Kar over.
Then we should get this over with.
Are you sure you're alright?
I'm fine. Just tired, that's all.
With all that's happened I don't feel I could miss Londo's inauguration.
It may be our one chance to get the new administration off to a good start.
(Londo) 'Citizens of Centauri Prime.'
Where is.. Outside.
I'd heard he was going to address the people.
(Londo) 'We have come through the long night'
'of fire, pain, and death.'
We have been gravely wounded but we remain Centauri.
The Regent began the war with the alliance and that war is now over.
The greater one, the war to rebuild our world and restore our place in the galaxy now begins.
'Sheridan and his alliance'
'have struck deeply at our people'
'exacting a terrible price'
'in the lives of those who died'
'during the night.'
Another great price must now be paid in the form of reparations which will come close to ruining our economy.
They wish to teach us a lesson to break us so that we will never again be a problem.
This punishment is unfair is a violation of our sovereign rights but we will bear this burden as we have borne so many before.
We are no longer a part of the alliance.
We are alone.
We fought alone, and we will rebuild alone.
We will work even harder
'to show those who have come to humiliate us'
'that we will not bow down.'
As a symbol of our new isolationism I will walk alone to my inauguration.
I will take on the burden of emperor in silence.
The bells of our temples will sound all day and all night once for each of our people killed in the bombings.
We are alone.
Alone in the universe..
...but we are united..
...in our pain.
May the great maker be with you all.
Did you hear?
I thought he was going to calm people down not turn them against us.
I don't understand it myself but I'm sure he has a very good reason for it.
(Londo) 'My reasons are my own.'
In light of what you have just seen I do not think it would be prudent for you to be at the inauguration.
Any of you.
I cannot guarantee your safety if you insist on coming.
It's been a difficult time for all of us.
If you would rather this was a closed ceremony--
Vir, you will go with them.
But I-- Delenn, Mr. President.
As my first official act I am formally appointing Vir Cotto as ambassador to Babylon 5.
I have every confidence that he will do at least as good a job as I did.
Londo, are you sure?
Vir, I have never been surer of anything in my life.
Go now, quickly.
You should not be here.
None of you should be here.
We will talk again when things calm down.
Check in with you when we get back to Babylon 5 and see how things are going.
If we can help-- Thank you.
Lennier wanted me to thank you on his behalf and mine for saving us.
I can no longer see the road you're on, Londo.
There is a darkness around you.
'I can only pray that in time'
'you may find your way out of it.'
Vir, tell them..
Tell them that I am ready.
So this is the Shadow technology they used to control the Centauri warships.
It's not as efficient as some of their other techniques.
Yeah, like using humans for living control systems for their main ships.
Isn't there a way we can follow up on this?
Londo says the Regent bought this stuff on the black market.
Maybe that's true. Maybe it isn't.
Either way, it dead-ends our investigation.
Well, I know one thing.
This little device scares me more than anything I've ever seen.
Not for what it is, but what it represents.
You ever been out to see the San Diego ruins?
Well, I have.
The thermonuclear device used by the terrorists to blow up San Diego could be traced right back to the breakup of the Soviet Union in the late 20th century.
When they fell, all of their weapons ended up in the hands of smaller governments who didn't understand them sure as hell couldn't build them but were eminently willing to use them.
The great thing about war is that it advances technology.
Bad thing about war is that most of those technologies are destructive.
'Once the war is over, those weapons are still around.'
Weapons like us.
(Stephen) 'Yes. Weapons like telepaths.'
And that thing there and anything else that may have gotten out.
Now, we know that the, uh, Shadows had hundreds of allies working for them and we know that most of them or all of them got out before Z'ha'dum exploded.
Now, who knows what they took with 'em and how much of it is in the hands of people who don't understand it.
Couldn't build it but are willing to use it?
The giants have left the playground but they left their guns behind.
Alright, what about the Vorlon Homeworld?
Maybe they left something behind that we can use to our own advantage.
Over a dozen ships have been sent there by various governments since the Vorlons left.
They were all destroyed by the automatic defense systems before they even got close.
The Vorlon Homeworld is off-limits until we're ready until we've earned the right to go there a million years from now.
Don't ask, I don't know where that came from any more than you do.
[clears throat] Excuse me.
Mr. President, the captain thought you should know that the fighting here on the station has pretty much stopped.
The Centauri surrender took most of the wind out of things.
So why the long faces?
Things are quiet, the attacks have stopped we won the Centauri war. What's the problem?
Yes, we won the war but what did we lose?