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Synopsis by Matthew Murray (mmurray@cc.wwu.edu)

Garibaldi is asleep in his quarters when he receives a call from William Edgars. Edgars tells Garibaldi he has a new assignment: to make sure a new delivery coming through Babylon 5 gets through customs without incident and makes its way safely to Io. Edgars explains that he doesn't trust the government, the couriers, or his competitors to leave the packages--containing compounds for his pharmaceutical research department--alone. Garibaldi tells Edgars he will do the job, but asks when Edgars might want him to come to Mars. "In the fullness of time, Mr. Garibaldi," Edgars replies before signing off.

Sheridan is in his quarters, unable to sleep. He calls C&C, asking if they have been able to contact Delenn on Minbar. They haven't, due to fighting in the capital city. Sheridan hasn't heard anything from her since she left, but asks to be informed if they learn anything new. He resumes trying to sleep.

On Minbar, the capital city is in flames and most of the buildings are in ruins. Delenn arrives in the hallway of one of the buildings, where Lennier is treating some of the many wounded. Lennier tells her that they have received word from the leader of the Warrior Caste. "His forces have surrounded the city. He says, if we don't surrender by tomorrow, for the good of our people, he will end the war by destroying the city and everyone in it."

Lyta is in the Zocalo with a woman who wants to hire her for freelance telepathy work. Though all of Lyta's qualifications are in order, the woman will not hire her when she learns that she is no longer affiliated with Psi Corps. Lyta protests, but the woman will not change her mind--her company needs to be protected from possible lawsuits and other problems. She says that, until Lyta rejoins Psi Corps, there is nothing she can do.

Neroon arrives on one of the Warrior Caste ships and meets with the Caste's leader, Shakiri. Shakiri says that the actions of the Religious Caste--in trying to get Neroon to turn against the Warrior Caste--prove they are unfit to lead the Minbari. Neroon asks what the cost of the war will be. Shakiri tells him that the cities can be rebuilt, and that the Minbari who die in the city will be reborn into the next generation, but that those deaths will prevent a greater loss of life in the future. Shakiri says that war should be only be entered into for practical gains, and that the sooner the Religious Caste learns that--due to their actions in the Earth-Minbari war--the better. He thinks that, when Delenn sees the rest of her caste dying, she will surrender in order to end the loss of life. Neroon asks if it is wrong to value life in that manner, but Shakiri says that life and death are only two consequences, both equal, and that Warriors look upon death as a release of obligation. Shakiri tells Neroon to go rest.

Zack is in the docking bay, trying to organize things, when he notices Garibaldi, off discreetly in the corner, dealing with another gentleman. He starts to investigate, but is interrupted by another security officer, asking what he should do about a new arrival--Bester. Zack asks why Bester is coming to the station this time. Bester insists he has not come to the station for any business with the Command Staff, but is there for personal reasons. He promises he will stay out of trouble, and though Zack tries to protest, Bester points out it is a free port, and that he has a right to be there. Zack tells Bester he has to check with the captain, and Bester promises to wait. Zack goes to do so, but on the way, investigates the corner where, a few moments earlier, he saw Garibaldi and the strange man, who are now gone. Zack runs after him and tries to find out where the package went, but Garibaldi insists he knows nothing about it. Zack asks if Garibaldi is working for William Edgars, bringing packages through illegally, but Garibaldi won't confirm or deny it. Zack asks why Edgars, an extremely wealthy and reclusive industrialist, would want to work with Garibaldi, which Garibaldi finds offensive--he is honest, and minding his own business. Zack asks how honest Garibaldi's work is, but Garibaldi finds it just as honest as breaking away from Earth, taking over military equipment, and starting their own independent state. Garibaldi tells Zack not to bother him, and leaves.

Delenn is waiting for Lennier in one of the rooms in the capital building. When he arrives, Delenn tells him they have reached a decision, and she wants him to relay a message to the Warrior Caste--the Religious Caste is prepared to surrender, when and where the Warrior Caste wishes them to do so.

"...And news has reached us that a squadron of Starfury pilots, sent to conduct raids against Proxima 3 in hopes of forcing them to accept President Clark's martial law decree, have defected, joining the Proxima resistance. This makes the fourth major defection in the last two weeks. Refugees from sectors 400 through 600 are being taken in by the medical colonies at Beta Iridani and the MacArthur midrange colony..."

Lyta is interrupted watching the Voice of the Resistance in the Zocalo when Bester arrives. She is not very happy to see him, and tells him to say what he has to say and leave. Bester tells her he knows she is looking for work, since the corporations she wanted to work for called Psi Corps to check on her. Lyta tries to deny what he's saying, but he knows better--the command staff is getting along fine, but since Lyta has no support mechanism, her life of being a freelance freedom fighter isn't paying well enough for her to subsist much longer. Bester says he wants to make a deal with her--he will add her name to a list of deep undercover agents, allowing her to work and make a living. She will have to wear the symbol, the gloves, and give ten percent of her fees to the corps, and, after she dies, she will have to give her body to Bester. He knows that the Vorlons altered it, and that he feels that what they have done for her could be done for many more telepaths later, allowing them to be more than what they are. He shows her a contract, which he explains will be null and void if she doesn't die from natural causes, since Sheridan would never turn her body over otherwise. Lyta, however, is not impressed, and turns down his offer. She walks away, but is noticed by Garibaldi on her way out.

Neroon tells Shakiri that the Religious Caste has agreed to surrender. In order to prove that the Warrior Caste intends to lead differently than the Grey Council, Neroon suggests that Shakiri accept the surrender on the planet, in the Temple of Varenni, where disputes were settled before Valen, and where new leaders were selected in times of war. In addition, the temple will distribute a record of the surrender throughout Minbar. Shakiri agrees. Neroon has one question: he wants to know what will happen to Delenn after the surrender. Shakiri says that, in order to prevent her working against them in the future, they will make sure the ship on which she travels to Babylon 5 after the surrender never reaches its destination.

Lyta is making dinner in her quarters when Zack arrives. He tells her that Station Resources wants her to move to smaller quarters. Lyta is very upset, but Zack explains that, with the Vorlon government gone, she no longer has any source of income, and needs to leave. She is very upset, but says she will try to find some way of working it out. Zack is about ready to leave when he tells her that he needs to hire her for a job--he wants her to scan Garibaldi without his permission. Lyta is unwilling to do that, even for Zack. She might consider it if it were someone else, but the two of them go back a long way. No matter how much she needs the money, she isn't willing to violate everything she's been taught. Zack apologizes and leaves.

Garibaldi is at his table, just finishing up with someone who wants Garibaldi to find his dog and cat, who are attempting to take over the galaxy. Lyta arrives and tells him that she needs a job, and that, because of her breaking with the Psi Corps, she can't get work with anyone she trusts. Garibaldi explains to her that he doesn't use telepaths, and doesn't trust them, but notes that, should he hire her, he can also annoy Bester. He asks how wide her range is, and she explains that it is much further than official records indicate. Garibaldi says that he needs someone who can watch out for him in his dealings with Edgars. Garibaldi agrees to give her a portion of his own salary, but is interrupted when Bester arrives. They exchange a few words, but Bester claims that Garibaldi is no longer worth his attention, and begins walking away. As he walks by, Lyta tells Garibaldi that Bester scanned him. This outrages Garibaldi who chases after him and backs him against a wall. He demands to know why Bester scanned him, but his anger is noticed by some security guards, who restrain him and drag him away. As Lyta chases after him, Bester finds that Zack, too, saw the whole thing.

Delenn, Lennier, and some other members of the Religious Caste, are walking toward the temple. Lennier laments that they are surrendering, but Delenn says that the day is not yet over. She gives him a small tube, and says all the instructions are inside. They enter the temple. The rite of surrender begins, and Shakiri tells Delenn that this day is the beginning of a new age for their people, and that the hostilities can finally stop. She says that she speaks for the Religious Caste, and that they surrender. This overjoys Shakiri, who starts talking about rebuilding their cities and the Grey Council. Delenn, however, is not finished. She says that the Religious Caste does not give up their sovereign right to form a new government. She says that Dukhat found no dishonor in surrender, and the she recognizes the superior forces of the Warrior Caste, that the Religious Caste helped to arm and train. Though the Warrior Caste may be stronger, they aren't necessarily wiser. She says that she doesn't want to throw away all they have done for the past thousand years, and that the Temple of Varenni was used to bring the reality of war to its leaders, and not just those who fight and die on the front lines. She makes a gesture, and a hole in the ceiling opens, casting a bright white light into the circle on the floor. She explains that, if they are ignoring the wisdom of Valen, they must completely return to the ways of the Ancients. The leader of each of the warring castes would step into the circle on the floor, and the Starfire Wheel would open, and its fire begin to destroy the leaders. Those who were afraid would send others to enter the fire, or escape, and whoever reamined in the fire to sacrifice their life would be representative of the true Caste that should lead the Minbari people. Shakiri vehemently objects, but Delenn insists it's tradition, and that she is willing to endure the Starfire Wheel for the good of the Minbari people. If the Warrior Caste will not do likewise, they don't deserve to lead. She steps into the circle of light on the floor. "Valen said, 'Will you follow me into fire?'" she says. "Will you?"

Lennier protests, but Delenn will not move, and instead begs Lennier to carry out her instructions should she die. Shakiri doesn't move, so Delenn asks if he concedes leadership, if it is too easy to send others to die for him, but that he isn't willing to die for his Caste. The Starfire Wheel opens further, and the light around Delenn grows stronger. Shakiri insists that the entire thing is madness and refuses, but Neroon points out that Shakiri said that a Warrior does not fear death, and asks why he is afraid. Shakiri asks if he speaks for the Religious Caste, but Neroon says he speaks for their people, and wants to know who he speaks for, and what he is willing to do--the other Minbari people, all watching, want to know as well. Shakiri steps forward and enters the light, as the Starfire wheel opens further. Shakiri tries to convince Delenn to walk out with him, but she refuses--he insists there are other ways, but Delenn says he should have thought of that before he tore the Minbari people apart. Shakiri jumps from the light, but Delenn does not leave, as Neroon tells Lennier she promised to do. Lennier says she is making a point, for all Minbari. The Starfire Wheel opens further, nearly all the way, and Delenn is no longer able to withstand its force.

"No!" cries Neroon as he runs forth. He forces himself into the light, picks up Delenn, and hands her through the light to Lennier. Standing in the flame, he cries out, "I was born Warrior Caste, but I see now... The calling of my heart... is Religious! The war is over! Listen to her! Listen!" The Starfire Wheel opens completely, and the light utterly engulfs him. In mere seconds, he is gone, and only the smoking circle, where he once stood, remains.

Garibaldi is again asleep in his quarters when another message from Edgars wakes him up. Though he is very upset, he manages to contain his anger long enough to listen to Edgars. He has found out that Garibaldi has hired Lyta, and doesn't want her to work for Garibaldi if Garibaldi is working for him. Garibaldi asks why Edgars wants to help telepaths, but not to employ them. Edgars says he doesn't trust telepaths. He says that, if Garibaldi wants to keep his job, Lyta must not work for him.

Bester is in the Zocalo watching Lyta and Garibaldi have a heated discussion. Lyta becomes very angry and storms away from the table, as Bester simply sits and smiles. "Personal log: Bester, Al. August 3rd, 2261. By provoking Mr. Garibaldi, I have put him even further at odds with his former associates, and further on the path I need him to folow. What I came here to get, I got--even her." We now see Lyta inside her quarters, wearing long black gloves, and the PsiCorps symbol on her chest. Bester's contract is lying nearby, as she sadly looks at what she has once again become in the mirror. "Guess you could call it a bank shot," Bester continues. "Yes... I've had a nice day."

On the Grey Council ship, Lennier tries to convince Delenn that she should wait before doing what she is planning, but she won't postpone it a moment longer. Lennier says that, when she enters the Council Chamber, what transpires will be broadcast all over Minbar.

She enters the chamber where the nine circles of light surround one in the middle. None of them are occupied. She steps into the center light, and proclaims that she is about to restore the Grey Council. She calls forth the members of the new Grey Council--two Religious, and two Warrior. There are still five spaces vacant, but the tradition must be broken-- there can no longer be three of each Caste. She calls forth five other Minbari, all from the Worker Caste. She explains that, when the Religious Caste and the Warrior Caste fight, the Workers are caught in the middle--they build the ships for fighting and the temples for praying, and they look to the other Castes to guide their hands. The Workers want to do only what is best, and, from now on, the Religious and Warrior Castes will be in the service of the people, not the other way around. She steps from the center circle of light, and explains that it is reserved in memory of Neroon, until the time it will be filled by the one who is to come. She advises the Council to judge wisely and well, as the leader of the Minbari, then leaves so that the Council may begin.

Ivanova comes into Sheridan's quarters, in a fury. She holds up a data crystal and explains that it was taken by a transport bringing relief supplies to Proxima 3. The crystal contains footage of an Earth Force destroyer decimating a convoy of unarmed transports. She says that the transports indentified themselves as only carrying wounded refugees, over 10,000 civilians in all. She says she's going to put the video on Voice of the Resistance as soon as she calms down.

Sheridan, likewise, is outraged. "This madness has gone on long enough. I don't care if we're not ready, I don't care if we're outnumbered or outgunned, I don't care what ISN says about us. This stops, and it stops now! Now, if earth wants to declare war on us, then it is time that we took the war to Clark. You tell the others... Starting right now, we fight back and we fight back hard!"

"I thought you were looking for some other way than firing at our own ships," Ivanova asks. "They were following orders."

"Any crew that executes an order like that is guilty of war crimes, and they deserve whatever they get," Sheridan continues. "No, we're riding in, Susan. Anybody who wants to defect and join us, fine. If they get in our way, we will knock them down. If they kill one of our ships, we'll kill three of theirs. And we keep going. We never slow down, and we won't stop... We're going after the colonies, then Mars... and then Earth. And God help anybody who gets in our way."

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Last update: June 10, 2018