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In the Kingdom of the Blind
Babylon 5, episode 97 (5.9)
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2006 13:30:03
Byron's telepaths present the Interstellar Alliance with an ultimatum. Londo and G'Kar visit Centauri Prime.
Whoever has been attacking Alliance cargo transports possesses daunting resources. The strikes have been carried out against far flung shipping lines with military precision and overwhelming force while leaving no survivors and no incriminating wreckage and - unlike raiders - taking no cargo. The Alliance leadership has 24 hours before it must inform the member worlds of these findings. Sheridan orders the Rangers to patrol the major routes, but without knowing the purpose of the attacks, he can guess the disruption this is going to cause in the Alliance as the member races all blame each other.
Minister Vitelli professes joy at Prime Minister Mollari's homecoming, but in reality can't keep his eyes off the fearsome Narn at Mollari's side. The court is even more unnerved when Mollari announces that G'Kar is his bodyguard.
Byron calls his telepaths together for a meeting and announces Lyta's revelation about how the Vorlons created telepaths in order to use them as weapons in the Shadow War. Since their purpose was to serve the others, they deserve recompense in the form of a homeworld, he concludes, and that's what he intends to demand from the Alliance.
Londo receives an old friend, Lord Jano, and their conversation quickly turns to the Regent. He has been in seclusion for months, although he is occasionally found doddering around the palace at night talking to himself and always seeming to be on the verge of warning people about something that he forgets before he can divulge. Londo is surprised to hear that the Regent is usually drunk at these times since the Regent had always flouted convention by his sobriety.
Jano is worried by other oddities. Recently the Regent has made many innocuous-seeming matters top secret, such as fleet status and production figures for raw materials.
When Lord Jano returns to his rooms he finds the Regent sitting there in the dark. The Regent reminisces about Jano's boyhood and then fondly says, "If it were my decision, I would never let anyone hurt you." Jano smiles condescendingly as the Regent says woefully, "But it's not my decision, you see." A look of horror crosses Jano's face before he is flung across the room.
As the Alliance ambassadors depart the council for their quarters and offices, each one of them is tailed closely by a telepath. Then Byron goes to visit Garibaldi.
The next day in court, Lord Vitelli informs Londo that the Regent is not well enough to meet with him. Londo then sends Vitelli to investigate Lord Jano's absence before being confronted by Lord Vole who criticizes Londo for bringing G'Kar. To prove the Narn's barbarian nature, Lord Vole introduces the guard who electrowhipped G'Kar for Cartagia's pleasure. Handing G'Kar the whip, Vole grants him permission to do as he likes to the guard. A flash of anger flares in G'Kar's eyes, but Cartagia is dead and the guard was not responsible. Dropping the whip at Lord Vole's feet G'Kar reminds him that more pain is caused by the mouth than by the hand or the heart.
Lord Vitelli rushes Londo to Lord Jano's chamber where Jano's body hangs by the neck. Both Londo and G'Kar are certain that it was not suicide.
Byron asks Garibaldi's permission to address the full Alliance Council, but declines to explain why, so Garibaldi refuses. Byron plucks the shipping reports from Garibaldi's mind and says that his information about the crisis effects all the member worlds and therefore should be delivered to them all at once lest they doubt its accuracy.
Byron gets his chance, and as Lyta hands out reports detailing how the Vorlons created telepaths, he explains his real purpose in coming before the Council. Angry at being deceived, Sheridan calls Byron out of order, causing Byron to play his trump card. He announces that the telepaths who have been trailing the ambassadors have discovered all of their secrets, and if his demands are not met, he will reveal everything that has been discovered.
Sheridan's fury is nothing next to Garibaldi's. Only Delenn is open minded enough to wonder if the telepaths haven't been abused and mistreated enough to deserve what they are asking for and points out the similarities between the telepaths' case and the one which caused Sheridan to launch a civil war.
Lord Vitelli invites the Prime Minister to a meeting with the Regent. As Londo and G'Kar tread uneasily through the midnight corridors, they hear footsteps and the snick of a sword being bared. G'Kar turns to grapple with two assassins and a dropgate falls, separating him from Mollari.
Lord Vole is waiting in the next room. He throws a dagger which halts inches from Mollari's breast and hovers an instant before flying back and sinking into his own heart. Too stunned to react, Londo peers around and sees an alien in the shadows with great glowing red eyes. The dropgate rises again just as G'Kar squeezes the life out of the second Centauri assassin. Leaving the bodies littering the floor they hurry back to their chambers.
One of the telepaths has broken Byron's orders to stay put by venturing out to find supplies. He is set upon by Drazi. When the others feel it, some can't help but rush to defend him. Byron is distraught. He knows that the violence is ruining their chances of success.
Sheridan's exhaustion is palpable as he sits in the empty council room. Zack enters on behalf of Captain Lochley to request Sheridan's permission to arrest the telepaths. Although he is half inclined to agree with Delenn, Sheridan feels that he can't do anything for the telepaths until they are in custody, and so he removes his protection of them.
Byron knows the attack will begin soon. When he announces that they will close off the access points and remain peacefully under siege until they are too weak to prevent their own arrest, there is a rebellion by some of the others who find this approach too passive. They would rather fight with the secrets and weapons they have stolen. "Is there not one of you who understands?" Byron shouts in exasperation, and vows to stay despite what any of his followers do.
Lord Vitelli professes his gladness that Mollari has survived and stammers his innocence in the attack. Londo sees a hand beckoning from behind a drape and follows to find the Regent giggling madly in the throne room. He tells Mollari that he's glad they got there in time to save him, although it wasn't really him who saved Mollari, it was them. They are Cartagia's legacy, he continues, and they like Mollari. When Molari asks who "they" are, the Regent shushes him worriedly. "You will be Emperor soon," he says. When Mollari agrees, a terribly mournful look transfixes the Regent's face. "I'm so sorry."
They have a message for Mollari, he continues. He must stop making inquiries about supplies and ships. "You will understand it all soon," the Regent says.
When Mollari says he wants to understand it now, the Regent exclaims "No! No you don't! If you have ever believed me before, Londo, believe me now. You still have time. Enjoy it! Run in the sunlight! Eat! Laugh!" Suddenly spooked he whispers, "Like a fool. You have so little time." Another mercurial change descends upon him and he violently shoos Londo from the room promising him one more conversation before the end.
Londo leaves more bewildered than he arrived. The poor Regent turns to face a bug-eyed monster and is instantly punished for his loose tongue. His protests are ignored as his keeper strangles him.
Sleepless, Londo tells G'Kar that they must leave as soon as possible. The palace frightens him, and he wonders aloud "what could they be doing with our ships."
Somewhere in space an unarmed transport is destroyed by a Centauri battleship.
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