Sinclair fights two turf battles at once as alien invaders claim the planet below the station, and an Earthforce captain disagrees with him about how to deal with the situation.
(Continuing where Part 1 left off)
Garibaldi is relieved to hear that Sinclair and Ivanova are returning from the planet, but his relief is cut short when a tech announces that a ship, a big ship, is coming through the jump gate. He looks down at his computer display. "What the hell?"
The ship is an Earth Alliance heavy cruiser, the Hyperion, Captain Ellis Pierce commanding. He says he's been ordered to take control of the situation.
In Medlab, Sinclair and Franklin watch over the alien from Epsilon 3. Franklin says he is still studying the alien's biology, but that he seems to be stabilizing.
Pierce is waiting in Sinclair's office, looking at an onscreen introduction to Babylon 5's facilities, when Sinclair arrives. Pierce says his crew will enjoy getting a little R&R on such a "cushy" station. Sinclair wants to know who authorized Pierce to take over; Sinclair has jurisdiction over Babylon 5's sector. Pierce says the Hyperion was in hyperspace when it received orders to divert to Babylon 5. The potential of the technologies Sinclair has discovered are enormous, and Earth wants a show of force so other races don't try to get a piece of the action before Earth has had its pick; if the Hyperion weren't present, the situation could get very messy. Sinclair angrily replies that the situation was fine until Pierce charged in with a heavy cruiser and shook things up.
Garibaldi is at a bar, drinking water and watching the news with some other patrons. The top story, of course, is the revolt on the Mars colony. Earth is sending in shock troops to quell the rebellion. The other bar patrons are delighted, and start insulting the Mars colonists. "We pay taxes so they can have the best atmosphere reprocessors, water reclamation... They ought to be damned grateful." One of them suggests, jokingly, that Earth should do "what my grandfather always said: nuke 'em till they glow and shoot 'em in the dark. That'd take care of 'em, just like magic." Infuriated, Garibaldi performs a magic trick of his own, assaulting the mouthy bar patron and stalking off.
Sinclair confers with Senator Hidoshi, complaining that he'd been told personally by President Santiago that he has jurisdiction over Babylon 5's sector. He threatens to resign over the issue unless Hidoshi can get Santiago to reaffirm his authority in the matter. Hidoshi says he'll see what he can do, but it might not be much as the President is preoccupied with the Mars colony revolt.
In the command center, Ivanova tells Sinclair that the Hyperion has just launched an expedition to the planet's surface, and that the planet's defense systems, much more active than before, are preventing them from getting close. Sinclair demands that Pierce call off the expedition, making up a story about needing a special jamming device to get through the defense systems.
Ivanova then tells Sinclair that they've been monitoring greatly increased seismic activity from the planet, activity that seems to be artificially induced and that's increasing in severity. If it continues to do so, the planet will rip itself apart, taking Babylon 5 with it.
Later, Ivanova reports that they've discovered the planet is honeycombed with passages and fusion reactors, some of them miles in diameter. The fusion reactors seem to be set to overload. She estimates less than 48 hours until the planet is destroyed. Garibaldi says it would take at least three days to evacuate the station even if all the ships in the sector were called in.
Londo catches up with Ivanova in the corridor and demands to know what's going on. He presses her on the issue, until she replies, "You want to know what's really going on down there right now? Boom. Boom boom boom. Boom boom. Boom. Have a nice day."
Delenn and Draal are returning to Delenn's quarters when Draal hears the sick alien's voice calling out to him. The two of them head for Medlab.
Sinclair goes to talk to Garibaldi about the incident in the bar. Garibaldi expresses his frustration at finding himself helpless; he can't help Lise, doesn't even know if she's alive or dead. "The planet we're parked next to is about to go up like a Roman candle. What am I supposed to do, arrest it?" He says he just snapped. He and Sinclair discuss his reluctance to call Lise over the years - he was afraid she'd reject him, and even more afraid she wouldn't - and Sinclair promises to try pulling a few strings to get Garibaldi a comm channel to Mars. He asks Garibaldi to make sure Ivanova leaves the station if they end up needing to evacuate.
Draal and Delenn arrive in Medlab. Franklin tries to stop them from going in to see the alien, but the alien awakens and calls out to Draal. He says everyone must stay away from the planet, that it will explode without a heart, "without another."
After getting that confirmation that expeditions to the planet will only hasten its detonation, Sinclair arrives in the command center to find that Pierce is about to launch another group of ships to the planet. He knows what the alien (whose name is Varn) said, but feels that Varn has every reason to lie to keep people away. Sinclair threatens to shoot Pierce's ships out of the sky if they approach the planet, and orders the station's fighters to prepare for launch. Convinced that Sinclair feels he has nothing to lose, Pierce backs down.
Suddenly, an unknown alien ship enters through the jumpgate and scans the station's language and translation files. Its captain, Takarn, who appears to be of the same race as Varn, claims that the planet belongs to his people, who have been searching for it for 500 years. He gives Sinclair and Pierce ten hours to leave the area, or he'll take the planet by force.
Before Sinclair can respond, Pierce answers Takarn with his own ultimatum: withdraw within nine hours, or the Hyperion will attack.
Varn tells Sinclair that the newcomers are outcasts, rejected by his people, who are all long dead now. He has been guarding the planet, connected to the heart of the machine, for five hundred years. He monitored Babylon 5's construction, learned its languages from its transmissions, but the time wasn't right to reveal himself until his failing health forced the issue. He warns Sinclair that the newcomers must not be allowed to take the planet. It is for the future.
Sinclair talks to Delenn and Draal, who claim that Varn didn't tell them anything more than what he told Sinclair. Sinclair leaves, and as Delenn and Draal talk about what Varn meant by "another," Londo enters and says the three of them need to talk.
Pierce tells Sinclair that he needs Babylon 5's forces to make an effective attack against the alien ship. Sinclair assures Pierce that when the time comes, he'll commit his forces to the battle.
Londo, Delenn, and Draal talk about Varn; Londo tells them of Varn's appearance in the hallway earlier. He wants to help, to take a risk, as he did years before when he led the raid on Frallis 12. He realizes that one of the group will have to stay behind permanently.
Ivanova clears a transport to leave the station: "The more we get out now, the fewer we'll have to evacuate later." It flies off - it's a shuttle with Centauri markings - just as Garibaldi links in to report that someone has stolen Varn from Medlab.
Takarn signals the station, furious that they're allowing a transport to try to go to the planet. Ivanova checks, and sure enough, the Centauri shuttle is headed for the surface. Takarn launches his attack, prompting Babylon 5 and the Hyperion to unleash their fighter wings. The battle is joined.
Londo, piloting the shuttle, seems delighted to be back in the thick of things. "Who says the good old days are gone, eh?" Draal and Delenn, tending after Varn, look a little nervous about Londo's daredevil piloting style.
On the station, Sinclair and Ivanova note that the planet isn't attacking the Centauri shuttle for some reason. Garibaldi goes after it in a shuttle of his own.
Deep within the planet, with the battle raging furiously overhead, Garibaldi finds Delenn, Draal, Londo and Varn in the room where Sinclair and Ivanova discovered Varn initially. Draal tells Garibaldi that he's staying behind; someone has to run the machine, and it will give him the purpose, the life in service of others, that he has long been missing among his own people.
Back in space, the battle continues. The station takes a direct hit, sustaining serious damage. It's about to be fired on again when a strange force emanates from the planet, causing all the controls in the command center to go dark. A translucent image of Draal appears, informing all three parties that the planet belongs to none of them. "It belongs only to itself, and to the future." As the planet's secrets would give a huge advantage to any race that had them to itself, he places the safekeeping of the planet in the hands of the Babylon 5 Advisory Council, whose enlightened self-interest he hopes will cause them to leave the place alone. But if not, he warns that the defense systems are now fully operational, and any ship that attempts to land will be destroyed.
The aliens, apparently not believing the threat, fly toward the planet. As promised, a tremendously powerful weapon fires from the surface, vaporizing them instantly.
Delenn says an emotional farewell to Draal. Varn, staying behind to watch over Draal, assures her that the planet is wondrous, that Draal's life will be extended. He will "see all the futures, hear all the songs, and touch the edge of the universe with his thoughts."
As the Hyperion leaves, Pierce says he's received a message from Earth reaffirming Sinclair's authority. He apologizes to Sinclair. After the ship leaves, Ivanova tells Sinclair she has a channel to Mars for Garibaldi.
Garibaldi is delighted to learn that Lise is alive, even more so to talk to her. She was caught in the crossfire while getting food, but her wounds aren't serious and she's expected to recover. She says the fighting has begun to die down; the Earth-supported provisional government seems to have the upper hand. Garibaldi tells her he's sorry he ever left, and asks if he can meet up with her on his next leave. She tells him she's married, and expecting a baby. The news crushes him.
Later, Garibaldi is in an observation area, staring out into the stars, when Delenn joins him. He asks why she and Londo didn't come to Sinclair once they realized someone needed to be in the planet. She says she didn't, "because I know in my heart that if I had, Commander Sinclair would be down there now. He is searching for a purpose. But his destiny lies elsewhere." Garibaldi asks how she managed to get Londo to go. She says she offered him a deal. She now owes him a large favor, which she's sure he'll collect eventually, but she says he enjoyed the adventure, as it awakened something in him that had long been buried.
"One thing I've discovered," Garibaldi says. "Some things are better left buried." He leaves.
Delenn gazes out across the stars. "Good night, old friend," she says. "Sleep well."
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