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Wheel of Fire
Babylon 5, episode 107 (5.19)
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2006 13:30:03
Lochley and Garibaldi discover they have some shared history. A confrontation with Lyta leads to a startling revelation.
G'Kar arrives back on Babylon 5 and is greeted by Capt. Lochley before he goes through customs. She tells him that that "a few" people are waiting for him. G'Kar is relieved to know the cult that has been growing around him has cooled down. Lochley laughs to herself as she escorts him out, where he finds many Narn blocking his way, holding signs, little statuettes of him, and photographs. They start chanting his name when they see him. As he starts to speak, they fall silently to one knee, awaiting his wisdom.
In his quarters, Garibaldi is nursing a drink. A call from Franklin comes in. Garibaldi is late for a meeting of the Advisory Board. He thought it was scheduled for four, but it is really about to start. Garibaldi rushes in to find everyone there. He starts giving his report, hesitant, confusing 'minbari' with 'centauri' and acting flustered. He is interrupted by Sheridan: "Mr. Garibaldi, you are drunk." He dismisses everyone except Garibaldi, and goes to talk to Delenn outside.
Delenn calms him down. Sheridan comes back in, and asks Garibaldi when he started drinking again. A couple of months ago, says Garibaldi. Sheridan suspected as much, but didn't know for sure until now. He isn't angry anymore, after talking to Delenn, but he is disappointed. Not on Garibaldi for failing, but on himself for failing to notice that something was amiss, and because Garibaldi didn't trust him enough to come for help. He doesn't want to fire Garibaldi, but cannot let his behavior go either. He suspends Garibaldi until the latter works out his problems. "That could take a very long time," says Garibaldi. "It will take what it takes," Sheridan replies. When he works it out, Sheridan and the rest will be there for him.
Franklin makes his way to G'Kar's quarters, weaving his way through many Narn holding statuettes of G'Kar. Once inside, G'Kar explains that more and more of his people arrive every hour. Franklin explains that he is there with a message from the Kha'ri, who have been trying to contact G'Kar. Narn is up in arms. Half the Kha'ri wants G'Kar to come back and take charge. But G'Kar turned down leadership before ("The Long Night"), and will not take it now. That brings Franklin to what the other half wants: they want him to go back long enough to give them his blessings and let them rule in his name.
G'Kar's popularity has grown. Many believe it was his presence on Centauri Prime that allowed them to attack without retribution, and they consider his survival another miracle. "And," Franklin continues, "you don't want power. And people love giving power to those they believe don't want it."
According to Lochley, more ships arrive by the hour, full of pilgrims intent on learning from G'Kar. If he stays they will flood the station. "And if I go home," he adds, "they will make me into... this!" he says pointing disgustedly at a statuette of himself. He has little to no options.
Zack arrives in Lochley's office. A transmission from Earth Security HQ is standing by: dozens of terrorist attacks on Psi Corps property have been perpetrated over the last month. At each scene, the legend "Remember Byron" ("Phoenix Rising") has been found spraypainted on the walls. And they have tracked the money used to buy the equipment used by the terrorists, who are described as extremely well-armed amateurs, to Babylon 5; specifically, to Lyta Alexander. Lochley and Zack are ordered to detain Lyta for questioning, arrest her if necessary, and ship her to Earth.
Lochley stops by to talk to Garibaldi and check on him. She offers to help, claiming she understands. Garibaldi is angry and lashes out at her, disbelieving her claim of understanding. Lochley expands: her father was an alcoholic, angry at himself for giving up painting in order to join the military as was expected of him. Garibaldi is still angry, and when he fails to kick her out of his quarters, he storms out himself. But Lochley won't leave him until he is done. She follows him into a lift and stops it, to finish her story. She tells him how she herself become a drug and alcohol addict ("Day of the Dead"), ran away, and became that which she hated most, until someone close to her died. After that, she tried to get better, but every day is a struggle. "Maybe that's why we didn't get along from day one," she says. "Maybe we recognized too much of ourselves in the other person."
Shortly thereafter, Zack and Lochley are ready to take Lyta, who is in the Zocalo negotiating with someone, apparently unworried. A full squad approaches, and she is told she doesn't have a choice but to come with them. She replies, "Are you sure about that?" and starts tapping at the table. All the customers around her also start tapping, the same rhythm as she taps.
"I'm tired of being pushed around, Captain," Lyta says. "I do not choose to be arrested." Patrons start converging on Lochley's squad. "Lyta, don't force us to..." starts the Captain. "To what?" Lyta interrupts. Now even the security squad is frozen in place. "You cannot harm me," Lyta says. "You cannot stop one who has been touched by Vorlons."
But then a PPG warms up, and is put to her temple. It's Sheridan: "You are not the only one that's been touched by the Vorlons. Let them go. Let them go or I will blow the back of your skull off!" Lyta releases everyone, and is handcuffed. "You can't be everywhere, Mr. President," Lyta says defiantly. "Good point," says Lochley, and slugs Lyta, knocking her unconscious. Lyta is dragged to level one lockup.
Later, Garibaldi finds Lochley. He's been trying to find her to apologize for his earlier behavior, and has found out about Lyta. Lochley has something to show him, though: Lise Hampton arriving on Babylon 5. Lochley sent a message in his name, asking for her help, so Lise came. Garibaldi and Lise embrace, and Lochley leaves.
Franklin arrives in Sheridan's office. Sheridan is monitoring Lyta, who has been placed isolated from other humans, and with the system on full automatic. Just then, Delenn enters, swearing and pacing furiously. The Narn government will boycott all shipments to and from Babylon 5 until G'Kar returns. They believe he is staying there out of a sense of obligation, and that if he is told to go home, he will. But before she can continue, she faints.
Garibaldi tells Lise his full story in his quarters. Lise reminds him that he was going to leave at the end of the year anyway. Garibaldi wants to sober up, but doesn't know how long it will take; and he doesn't want to go back to her until he can get everything right, give her a normal life. But Lise suggests that he come back to Mars anyway, pointing out that nobody ever gets everything right, and that there is no such thing as a normal life. And she needs him, to help run Edgars Industries among other things. And she still wants to marry him, more than anything. Garibaldi agrees to go back, but he is suddenly struck by an idea. He gets up to leave: "I am going to kill two teeps with one stone," he says.
In MedLab, Franklin tells Sheridan that Delenn is now stable, but only time will tell if her system can adjust to the change and stress: she is pregnant. Sheridan is surprised, as he didn't know for sure whether or not she could get pregnant. The pregnancy is putting a lot of strain on her system, and since it is a unique situation, Franklin doesn't know if she can carry the baby to full term and survive, although he figures the odds are good. Sheridan hopes she can, but if he has to choose between the baby and his wife, he will choose Delenn.
In the brig, Garibaldi comes to see Lyta with a proposal. Lyta disables the monitoring equipment with a thought, and hears him out. In exchange for having her remove the neural block against harming Bester ("Phoenix Rising"), he will use Edgars Industries' influence with EarthGov to have the charges against her dropped, although Lyta will probably have to leave Babylon 5. But it isn't enough of an inducement for Lyta, so she has a counter-proposal...
G'Kar is outside of Lochley's office, and overhears her talking with Garibaldi. Garibaldi blames the mess with Lyta and her telepaths on the Narns paying Lyta for telepath DNA ("Darkness Ascending"). But as Lochley points out, even if this is so they can't do anything about it: Narn internal affairs are outside of Alliance jurisdiction. Garibaldi says that Lyta has agreed to transfer all the money from the secret account she has it in now, to a fund to be used to help telepaths, no more terrorism. The accounts will be kept, and books made available for review by anyone at any time. Garibaldi will pick an administrator for the fund, and will use Edgars Industries to have a Senator (who receives substantial campaign contributions from the company) intercede on Lyta's behalf and have the charges dropped.
But Lochley doesn't want Lyta free to wander around the station; she considers her too powerful, too dangerous, and unstable. G'Kar interrupts then, coming in, and offers a solution: he will not return to Narn, since then they will turn him into what they expect of him. And he cannot stay. Both he and Lyta are in the same position: unable to go home, unable to stay. So G'Kar intends to go "out there," visit places all around the Galaxy in a quest to learn and understand more, that his knowledge may one day help his people. He will return when he can find a way to destroy the icon he has become, without having to destroy his message as well. And he could use a traveling companion: Lyta.
"I have learned a great deal about healing wounds and curing anger," G'Kar explains. "Perhaps, in my own way, I can help her deal with her own anger, as I dealt with mine." He will leave as soon as his affairs are in order, perhaps never to return, whether Lyta goes with him or not.
Back in his quarters, Garibaldi tells Lise that Lochley agreed to the proposal. He then points out that everyone is either leaving, or has left already: Londo to Centauri Prime, Lyta and G'Kar will leave together. Franklin will go to Earth at the end of the year, and Sheridan and Delenn will go to Minbar when the headquarters for the Alliance are finished. And Garibaldi will leave soon as well. It isn't going to be the same place again. But Lise is happy that Garibaldi has taken the first step in getting his life back together. "You made a good deal," she tells him, and goes off to bed.
"I made a good deal," repeats Garibaldi to himself, as he recalls the details of the arrangement:
Lyta realizes she doesn't have the background to keep the money secret, but Garibaldi does. He can use Edgars Industries as cover, to launder the money, and for contacts and resources to do the work secretly. She wants two accounts: the public one Garibaldi told Lochley about, and a secret one to continue the attacks on the Psi Corps. The latter will have most of the money, and Garibaldi is to use it to hurt the Corps and help telepaths. "You can't hurt Bester directly because of the block," Lyta adds. "But you can help me bring down everything he cares about." He can help destroy the Psi Corps. But she will not remove the neural block, not yet anyway. That's her bargaining chip. She will check back in two years, and if Garibaldi has created a force she can use, she'll remove the block. Not before. "Then you can deal with Bester," she says, "and I'll deal with the Corps."
"Aren't you taking an awful chance?" Garibaldi asks. "I could just take the money and run." "I don't believe you would do that," answers Lyta. "If I thought otherwise, I would kill you where you stand." Garibaldi has one more demand, however. He wants to know what's going on with her, what the Vorlons did. The way she figures it, the Vorlons created her as a superweapon, a telepathic equivalent of a thermonuclear bomb, a doomsday device, to use against the Shadows when all other weapons failed or ran out. A very serious prospect.
In her quarters, Sheridan and Delenn are in bed. But Sheridan can't help staring at her. "One would think," she jokes, "that you've never seen a pregnant half-human, half-Minbari before." They laugh, and Sheridan asks her why she wasn't sleeping either. She says she misses Londo; they haven't heard from him since they left Centauri Prime. Sheridan blames it on Londo's ascension to the throne, pointing out that it will require a big adjustment on Londo's part.
"Hell, he's probably still celebrating his coronation," Sheridan adds. "Partying all night." "I hope so," answers Delenn.
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