The station becomes a hotbed of galactic controversy when Sinclair is forced to protect a notorious war criminal - a scientist who's invented an immortality serum. Ambassador Kosh hires telepath Talia Winters to oversee a very unusual negotiation.
Talia Winters runs into Ambassador Kosh, who wants to use her telepathic services in an important, upcoming negotiation. She seems reluctant at first, but Kosh assures her that all arrangements - including legal clearances and payment - have already been arranged. He instructs her to meet him in Red 3 at the "Hour of Scampering."
Na'Toth, who is waiting at the docking bay for a ship to arrive, suddenly notices a certain woman come on board B5. Na'Toth is suddenly seized with rage and runs across the room, shouting, "Deathwalker." She attacks the woman who has just come aboard, hitting her viciously until the security guards can stop her.
After Na'Toth is successfully detained, Sinclair is informed of the situation. He asks Garibaldi who the victim is; Garibaldi explains that the woman came from Minbari space in a Minbari ship, in Minbari clothes, and with Minbari identification - but that she certainly isn't a Minbari. When Garibaldi mentions that Na'Toth was yelling, "Deathwalker," during the attack, Sinclair's curiosity is piqued - both Sinclair and Garibaldi indicate that they are familiar with that name.
Sinclair and Garibaldi go to question Na'Toth. She explains that her family has taken a blood oath against the "Deathwalker." She took the blood oath after the Dilgar, Deathwalker's race, invaded a planet on which Na'Toth's grandfather lived. Deathwalker, explains Na'Toth, used her grandfather and the other people on the planet in her experiments. Everyone died, except Na'Toth's grandfather, who escaped - but only after having a machine - which slowly killed him - implanted in his brain. Sinclair, however, does not believe that the woman who just came on board was Deathwalker, simply because the Dilgar invasion that Na'Toth mentioned occurred thirty years ago, and Deathwalker would be an old woman by now. Na'Toth explains that her senses would never fail her when it comes to identifying someone against whom she's taken a blood oath. Sinclair, still skeptical, orders Garibaldi to examine the contents of the injured woman's ship.
When G'Kar arrives, he apologizes for the attack upon the victim and offers personally to make reparations to her. Angrily staring at Na'Toth, he requests that his attache be released into his custody. Though Sinclair refuses to release custody of Na'Toth, he does agree place her under house arrest, and allows her to be taken to G'Kar's quarters. G'Kar thanks Sinclair and leaves.
Winters, meanwhile, meets with Kosh again and agrees to work for him at the negotiations that he mentioned before - she comments that the clearances were indeed arranged and that the pay was very generous. However, she explains that there is still something she doesn't understand. Kosh interrupts her and merely says, "Understanding is a three-edged sword." Soon, a man named Abbut arrives; he greets Kosh cordially and comments, "Oh, Kosh, you old dog! You didn't tell me you were bringing a date!" Talia explains that she is only a commercial telepath, who will be sitting in on the negotiations. Kosh orders Talia to scan Abbut and to report on his thoughts. She scans the man, but comments that he has no thoughts - his mind seems completely empty. Kosh is pleased, and says that they can now proceed. Kosh and Abbut begin to utter cryptic phrases to one another.
In the Med Lab, one of the doctors tells Franklin that the vital signs of the victim have stabilized but that the victim's species is still unknown. Sinclair arrives, and Franklin explains to him that the victim is in surprisingly good shape, considering her injuries. Her body is healing itself quite quickly, and Franklin wishes he knew what species she was. Sinclair explains that the victim is a Dilgar, but Franklin doesn't believe him - Franklin notes that the Dilgar is a dead race, that after the invasion, the few Dilgar who were left were killed when the Dilgar sun went nova. Sinclair calls up a reference file on "Deathwalker" - the computer informs them that "Deathwalker" is a name used to refer to Warmaster Jha'dur, "the most infamous leader of the Dilgar invasion of the non-aligned sectors in 2230.... Specialist in biochemical, biogenetic, and cyber-organic weaponry." The picture that the computer displays looks like the present victim, though Franklin comments that the victim is too young to be that same Jha'dur and too old to be her daughter. He even searches for signs of cryonic freezing, but the computer scan does not turn up any relevant evidence. Franklin notes that he will have the Med Corps send him all information they have on the Dilgar. Garibaldi suddenly enters, holding a Dilgar uniform which, according to the inscription, belongs to Jha'dur. He also brings an unusual drug, which he gives to Franklin. Meanwhile, Ivanova informs Sinclair that he has a Gold Channel transmission from Senator Hidoshi. Sinclair, his curiosity piqued, leaves, but orders Garibaldi to keep quiet the situation with the victim - Sinclair says that he doesn't want any rumors concerning Jha'dur floating around the station.
In G'Kar's quarters, Na'Toth apologizes for shaming and angering G'Kar, but G'Kar tells her that no apology is necessary. He explains that he understands her need to fulfill her blood oath (and comments that he has many blood oaths himself), but tells Na'Toth that hers, in this instance, complicates matters. He explains that Jha'dur has made an important discovery that could be potentially very useful to the Narns. He tells her that, in this case, service to the Narn government is more important than her blood oath - therefore, she must not kill Deathwalker, because the Narn government has ordered them to send Deathwalker to Narn alive. Na'Toth reluctantly agrees - she will delay her vengeance, but not abandon it. G'Kar says that he's proud of Na'Toth - and promises to help her fulfill her blood oath after Jha'dur's discovery is secured.
Senator Hidoshi's message has come through to B5. The senator asks if the recently-attacked victim is still alive. When Sinclair tells him that she is, the senator orders Sinclair to send the victim to Earth immediately when she is fit to travel. Sinclair, however, protests, saying that there is evidence that the victim is Jha'dur, the infamous Deathwalker. Hidoshi, however, dismisses Sinclair's protests; he says that Deathwalker has been dead for many years. He refuses to give Sinclair any further information, and abruptly ends the conversation.
In the Med Lab, as Franklin is studying the victim's drug, the victim suddenly awakes and moves over to him angrily. "How dare you pry into my life's work?" she says to him. She asks to see Commander Sinclair immediately.
Sinclair, on his way to the Med Lab, is stopped by Ambassador Mollari, who asks if the rumors he's heard about Deathwalker are true. Sinclair only tells him that he should know better than to listen to rumors.
When Sinclair arrives at the Med Lab, he dismisses Franklin from the room. She looks at him, slightly admiring him. "You know the way of command," she says, "Yes, the Wind Swords are right to fear you.... [The Wind Swords] have sheltered me for many years, in return for certain services. They speak of you often, Sinclair. They say you have a hole in your mind." She tells him that she is indeed Warmaster Jha'dur, and explains the reason for not aging: she has discovered a disease-preventing drug that also retards the aging process of all known humanoid species. "It's still unstable and difficult to produce in sufficient quantity, but it works, as you can see," she says. Sinclair immediately realizes the implications of such a drug: virtual immortality. She tells him that, with the help of Earth, she will bring it to "all the worlds of this galaxy" before the end of the year.
"Then the willows must scuttle carefully," says Ambassador Kosh at the negotiations with Abbut - and, after Abbut asks, "Does Saturn have rings?" Kosh ends the negotiations for the day. Talia, however, is still curious (for she's been scanning Abbut all day and his mind is still blank - not to mention the fact that she doesn't understand anything either Abbut or Kosh are saying), and asks Kosh to explain the negotiations. Kosh only replies, "You seek meaning? ... Then listen to the music, not the song." After Kosh leaves, Talia asks Abbut to explain the negotiations, but he refuses, replying that it's "not too good to reflect too much." At that moment, Talia suddenly sees herself in her own mind, reflected numerous times, as if she were looking into a mirror. She leaves, even more confused.
Sinclair has meanwhile sought out Lennier to ask him about Jha'dur's involvement with the Wind Swords, a branch of Minbari warriors (Delenn has temporarily left the station, so Lennier was the next logical person to ask). Sinclair explains that the woman whom Na'Toth attacked is indeed Jha'dur, and that Jha'dur claimed that the Wind Swords sheltered her. Lennier does not think that the Wind Swords - though they are the most militant of the Minbari warrior castes - would shelter such a villain as Jha'dur, but he says that he will look into the matter. Since he cannot speak directly to his rulers without permission, he says that he will contact Delenn. Sinclair asks that Lennier keep the information regarding Jha'dur's presence on the station confidential for now, and Lennier agrees.
G'Kar, meanwhile, apologizes to Jha'dur on behalf of the Narn empire. He says that the Narns are willing to make reparations for Na'Toth's attack - and he, on behalf of the Narns, makes a generous offer for Jha'dur's recently discovered drug. "You're very well informed, G'Kar," she replies, "Our reports always said you were a clever one - and a good resistance leader, too. If Earth Alliance hadn't taken a hand in our invasion, we might have helped your kind wipe the Centauri out completely."
G'Kar comments that Jha'dur is also very well informed (and adds that the Narns aren't through with the Centauri yet) - and offers to triple whatever price Earth has offered her for her discovery. She agrees to consider his offer, if he brings her Na'Toth's head within the hour. G'Kar leaves the room, bruskly and considerably annoyed. After he leaves, she laughs a loud, evil laugh.
Sinclair, Ivanova, Garibaldi, and Franklin discuss the current situation. Franklin claims that, according to the data that he received from Earth, the woman is indeed Jha'dur - her very appearance, he adds, seems to prove her claim about her drug (assuming there isn't another reason that explains why she hasn't aged). Garibaldi is skeptical, though Franklin's analysis of the serum suggests that the drug can do what Jha'dur says it can do. Sinclair says that Earth agrees with the potential of Jha'dur's drug and has ordered Sinclair to send Jha'dur to Earth immediately. Garibaldi is angered that Sinclair seems to be willing to release Jha'dur to Earth so easily: "She wiped out entire races, destroyed whole planets, experimented on living beings. Now she wants to make everybody immortal?" says Garibaldi. He suggests that they should let the League of Non-Aligned Worlds deal with her - he suggests that Earth should just take her serum and develop it themselves, but Franklin says that the serum is too complex to realistically develop without her assistance. Ivanova suggests that Earth - though she considers its moral stance dubious - is better equipped to handle an issue like this than is the B5 staff. Sinclair agrees, and prepares to send Jha'dur to Earth. After the staff leaves, Garibaldi questions Sinclair's judgment, but Sinclair replies that if the immortality serum can be developed, a galaxy without sickness or death would result. "She can save more lives than she took, and she can make the deaths she caused have meaning," says Sinclair.
"Better pray to that God of yours you're right, Jeff," responds Garibaldi, "because if any of the League ambassadors find out about this 'deal,' they'll tear Babylon 5 to pieces."
G'Kar, in his quarters, anxiously tells Na'Toth that one of his agents has just informed him that Sinclair intends to smuggle Jha'dur off B5. He quickly contacts Ambassador Kalika, a leader of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds and tells her of the situation.
Sinclair, meanwhile, is preparing to escort Jha'dur off the station. Before she leaves, however, he asks her why she wants to bring immortality to the races of the galaxy. She responds that, if she brings immortality to the people of the galaxy, it will ensure that the Dilgar are remembered honorably - it will stand as a monument to her and her race. "Delicious irony ..." she says, "that those who cursed us will have to thank us for the rest of time."
However, on the way to her ship, Jha'dur and her escort party is stopped by a group of ambassadors from the League. The ambassadors demand that a full assembly of the Council be called immediately to discuss Jha'dur's trial - they will not allow Jha'dur to pass them ("You will have to kill us all, first," says Ambassador Kalika, who leads the group of ambassadors). Sinclair has no choice but to agree.
Talia, the day after the last session of negotiations between Kosh and Abbut, tells Kosh that she doesn't believe she can continue to monitor the negotiation. "Your belief does not enter into it," replies Kosh, "We have a contract." Soon, Abbut arrives and greets Talia again. As he kisses her hand, she suddenly sees herself in her mind - it appears as if she's in some sort of computerized matrix.
The session of the Council is about to begin. Sinclair mentions to Garibaldi that he's sort of relieved that the matter has been made public - Jha'dur will get the justice she deserves (Sinclair figures that, though the Narns and Centauri both had once collaborated with the Dilgar and would therefore probably not want a trial, the Minbari - being an honorable race - will vote for a trial. With Earth's vote - and with Kosh's usual abstention - the Council will be tied, and the League will cast the deciding vote). Garibaldi apologizes to Sinclair for saying some hot-headed things to him regarding Sinclair's decision to comply with Earth's orders, but Sinclair tells him not to worry about it - he tells Garibaldi that he had thought the same things himself. When Lennier arrives, he tells Sinclair that he has spoken with Delenn - and has been given instructions.
When the meeting opens, Kalika presents a motion to hold a war-crimes trial for Jha'dur on Babylon 5. Londo is the first to vote on this motion - he expresses his sympathy for the League, but says that he must vote "no" because Deathwalker never committed any crimes against the Centauri. G'Kar votes "yes" on condition that the trial be held on Narn - however, when Kalika does not accept this condition, G'Kar votes "no." Sinclair votes "yes," and explains that Kosh has declined to take part in this session of the Council. Lennier explains that, since the Minbari were not a part of the conflict between the Dilgar, Earth, and the League, the Minbari have no right to judge her. He therefore votes "no." Kalika, angered at the Council and disappointed with B5's ability to treat the League fairly, storms out of the Council chambers but threatens that this will not be the last time that the Council hears from the League.
After everyone leaves, Lennier apologizes to Sinclair for his vote. He explains that the Wind Swords did, indeed, shelter Jha'dur. The Minbari government did not know about the involvement of the Wind Swords at first - but when the Earth-Minbari war broke out, the Wind Swords came to the Council with devastating weapons that they obtained from Deathwalker. The Minbari government, needless to say, is embarrassed about the Minbari involvement and, just as they could not admit their when they originally found out, so they cannot let that information be made public in a trial now.
Meanwhile, a ship has come through the jumpgate. It belongs to one of the members of the League, and it threatens to attack B5 if Jha'dur is not extradited to its government. As the ship draws closer, Ivanova readies B5's weaponry and threatens to defend B5 against the ship. The League ship aborts its attack but stays near B5. However, more League ships continue to come through the vortex. One by one, they begin to surround B5. Sinclair, whom Ivanova has contacted, orders Ivanova to stall these ships.
Meanwhile, Sinclair attempts to negotiate with Kalika. He tries to draw on Earth's traditional friendship with the League, but Kalika refuses to listen. Sinclair, all his other options having run out, finally decides to inform Kalika of the full situation with Jha'dur.
Ivanova informs Sinclair that she has successfully stalled the League ships - she has gotten them to debate over which of them has the most valid claim to try Jha'dur. Sinclair is pleased, but hopes that her maneuver will buy B5 enough time. Suddenly, the League ships begin to move out of firing range of B5. Ivanova is surprised, and asks what Sinclair did. He tells her that he "played a wildcard." He tells Ivanova that the situation isn't completed yet - Sinclair will be in closed session with the League. Once again, he praises Ivanova for her ingenuity.
"A herring is just a herring, but a good cigar is a Cuban," comments Abbut, at the negotiations with Kosh. "A stroke of the brush does not guarantee art from the bristles," replies Kosh. "Do you understand, Ms. Winters?" Again, Talia finds herself seeing strange visions in her head - she is walking and is suddenly attacked by a mysterious man. She screams out in pain. "Our business is completed," says Kosh. Abbut takes off his hat, removes a data crystal from his partly cybernetic head, and gives it to Kosh.
"What was on that data crystal he gave you," asks Talia.
"Reflection, surprise, terror. For the future," responds Kosh.
Kalika tells Sinclair that scientists from the League have checked Dr. Franklin's data - and they agree with it. And while Kalika agrees that the discovery is "astounding," she still feels that Deathwalker must be punished. Sinclair agrees, and proposes a compromise: Jha'dur will be delivered to Earth, where she will work with Earth scientists - in addition to a group of scientists that the League can send. After the drug is developed, the League will be given custody of Jha'dur. Kalika likes the idea, but wants to make sure that it can trust Earth to honor it later. Sinclair says that once this agreement is made public, Earth will have no choice. Another of the ambassadors from the League wants to know how the Council will react to this decision, but Sinclair says that this agreement is a private matter between Earth and the League - just as it was thirty years ago, when Earth helped the League defeat the Dilgar, as Sinclair points out. Kalika agrees: "It is fair ... and wise."
Before Jha'dur leaves, Sinclair speaks with her. She feels that Sinclair is naive to believe that Earth will turn her over to the League once the drug was developed. Sinclair says that he'll see to it personally, but Jha'dur feels this will cost him his command. Jha'dur explains to Sinclair the true purpose behind her giving the serum to Earth: "You and the rest of your kind take blind confidence in the belief that we are monsters - that you could never do what we did. The key ingredient in the [serum] cannot be synthesized; it must be taken from living beings. For one to live forever, another one must die. You will fall upon one another like wolves. It'll make what we did pale by comparison. The billions who live forever will be a testimony to my work, and the billions who were murdered to buy that immortality will be the continuance of my work. Not like us? You will become us. That's my monument, Commander."
The group of ambassadors have all assembled to watch the departure of Jha'dur. Surprisingly, Kosh joins them. Suddenly, there is a report from the bridge - there's another disturbance at the jumpgate. A Vorlon ship flies through and, to the elation of many of the ambassadors, quickly targets and destroys Jha'dur's vessel. "Why?" asks Sinclair.
"You are not ready for immortality," responds Kosh.
Later, Sinclair and Garibaldi discuss the situation. "Hell of an irony, don't you think?" asks Garibaldi, "We find a reason to keep Jha'dur alive, and the Vorlons smoke her for the same reason." Sinclair wonders things will always work out similarly: little powers at the mercy of big powers; politics before morality. Garibaldi responds that this seems to work for everyone - except Sinclair. As they speak, Talia arrives and explains that she is confused by recent negotiations she attended. She tells them that nothing about the negotiations made sense; the two parties spoke in riddles, and she kept seeing images in her mind - images which she feels were deliberately provoked. She explains that, four years ago, she was assigned to scan the mind of a suspect in a murder case. The suspect was a serial killer - she had never been inside a mind like his, and it frightened her so much that she still has nightmares about it. However, at the negotiation table recently, she feels those thoughts were deliberately provoked. When Sinclair asks Talia whom Kosh was dealing with, she tells them. Garibaldi knows who Abbut is. He explains that Abbut is a "Vicar" - a slang term, derived from "VCR," referring to a type of alien that is part machine, part sentient - they act as living recorders that can record just about everything, including brain-wave patters. Garibaldi suggests that Kosh set her up - and Sinclair guesses that Kosh did this because Vorlons are usually suspicious of telepaths, and if Kosh knows what her deepest fears are, he can use them against her later on.
Garibaldi and Sinclair wonder what Kosh could be up to - the many things he's been doing recently have piqued their curiosity.
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