Keffer and Garibaldi escape Centauri clutches in a struggle that parallels Garibaldi's first adventure with Jeffrey Sinclair - concluding the story of their meeting, what they discovered... and what it may mean for Babylon 5's future.
Issue 8 (September 1995, released July 5)
Setting: Before "The Coming of Shadows"
Writer: Tim DeHaas Premise: J. Michael Straczynski Penciller: John Ridgway Inker: C-S. Hampton
Warning: this comic issue contains a spoiler for the episode "Divided Loyalties."
Garibaldi and Keffer make their way toward the Centauri city. As they walk, Garibaldi continues his story.
He and Sinclair were low on air and their comlinks had stopped working suddenly. A hunch led Garibaldi toward a canyon, where to his great surprise -- and apparently Sinclair's as well -- they found a gigantic spidery ship apparently excavating another just like it as people from a nearby building watched. Was this what Sinclair was sent to look for, Garibaldi wondered?
A land vehicle approached them. Garibaldi pulled a gun on Sinclair and shot him. "Our coms were being jammed," he thought, "which, to my knowledge, meant all communications were jammed. That meant the other guys had to use an alternative way to communicate... and the possibilities made my skin crawl."
The vehicle came across Sinclair's body. Its armed occupants got out to investigate. They returned to the rover to find Garibaldi waiting for them; they were down before they could react. Garibaldi roused Sinclair from his stungun-induced slumber. The two had suspected they might be dealing with telepaths. Sinclair had asked Garibaldi to stun him so his thoughts couldn't be read.
Garibaldi and Sinclair quickly donned the telepaths' suits. Sinclair explained that he was investigating possible covert human-alien activities. Previous missions sent to investigate had found only the tip of one human ear, nothing else. Perhaps suspecting that the earlier missions had been sabotaged, Sinclair elected to go with Garibaldi's privately-run shuttle service rather than through official channels. "Right now, Garibaldi, you may be the only one I can trust," he said.
Their planned escape was cut short when they discovered that the only way back was the roadway the vehicle had come from -- straight toward the buildings and the mysterious alien ship, still performing its excavation. They decided to play along until they could escape, and followed the hand signals of the people on the ground. Unfortunately, that strategy led them straight toward the largest of the buildings. Garibaldi got out and tried to blend in with the other people; he was directed to load boxes onto a cargo platform attached to his vehicle. Then he was motioned to drive into the building -- straight into the belly of the whale, he imagined.
Inside the building was a horrific sight: a huge transparent dome containing a large alien biomechanical construct, veins and skin and bone intermingling with tubes and panels. Passing through the organism were scores of human bodies on a conveyer belt. The whole operation was being monitored by technicians in a small isolation area jutting out the side of the dome, as workers milled about the rest of the building with heavy weaponry. Suddenly, Garibaldi could feel darkness closing in around him, self-pity and fear building in his head. It subsided somewhat when he remembered what Sinclair said about trusting him; he gathered enough courage to get out of the vehicle and unload the boxes, one of which had contained something he wanted, something with which to cause a diversion later.
He walked closer to the dome and looked inside. The bodies on the conveyer belt appeared to have energy fields surrounding their heads. It was clearly some kind of medical experiment, but Garibaldi couldn't figure out what it was for.
His pause at the dome gave him away, or perhaps one of the telepaths happened to read his thoughts. Whatever the cause, a large group of people started heading his way. Luckily, he was carrying the box he wanted -- it was full of grenades. He tossed one into the crowd, but quickly found himself pinned down. Sinclair came to the rescue, bursting through a stack of boxes with the vehicle and confusing the situation long enough for Garibaldi to climb aboard. As the vehicle raced out of the building, Garibaldi tossed out the entire box of grenades; the resulting explosion ripped the roof off the building. They were pursued, but not for long. Whatever was inside the building, Garibaldi guessed, the telepaths wanted very badly to try to save.
As Garibaldi finishes his story, he and Keffer are discovered by two Centauri sentries, who lead them at gunpoint into the city. Later, the city magistrate tells them that his investigators found no trace of a crashed ship, or a fight in a clearing, as Garibaldi and Keffer described. But he remembers that Babylon 5 is where Londo Mollari -- the man responsible, Garibaldi learns, for saving Quadrant 37 from the Narn -- is stationed. He says he'll call Londo and try to verify Garibaldi's story.
Back on Babylon 5, Vir answers the call and tries to cover for Garibaldi and Keffer, but the magistrate insists on talking to Londo. Londo also covers for Garibaldi, but clearly isn't happy about it. He tells the magistrate to arrange for their transport back to Babylon 5. The problem resolved, he goes back to what he was doing: discussing something with Morden.
Garibaldi tells Sheridan what happened and explains that he thinks the erasure of his crashed ship links it to what he and Sinclair found on Mars. After they had escaped the telepaths, Garibaldi says, and gotten out of range of the comm jamming, they'd returned to the area with an Earthforce shuttle and found no trace of ships, explosions, buildings, or anything. Earthforce conducted a thorough search, but it was Sinclair and Garibaldi who found the one piece of evidence at the site. It wasn't enough to convince anyone, though, so they kept it to themselves.
"The alien ship we saw on Mars looks exactly like the ship Keffer saw in hyperspace when he helped rescue the Cortez," Garibaldi says. "Something's out there, Captain, something big and dangerous. And it doesn't want us to know it's out there. And Londo's involved. I don't know how, but I intend to find out." Sheridan believes Garibaldi, but for appearance's sake has to give him an official reprimand.
Keffer and Garibaldi talk about the outcome of their adventure. Keffer wonders if anyone survived the explosions on Mars. Garibaldi isn't sure; it's hard to see how anyone could have. Sooner or later, though, he's going to find out who owns the item he found on Mars: a Psi-Corps badge.
Sometimes I outsmart myself.....
C'mon...you're saying anybody'd be able to recognize a flash image of a woman with a red net over her face as much as 7 years later...?