Ivanova is promoted and given a diplomatic assignment. Londo seeks affirmation from an unusual source.
Garibaldi is in MedLab, having the wounds incurred from his former aide's attack on him examined. Garibaldi tries lying to Franklin about his condition, claiming that he is suffering less pain than he actually is. Franklin doesn't like this, but tells Garibaldi that he is improving and should be able to return to work soon. Garibaldi isn't sure he wants to return to work, though, since he doesn't seem very sure about Sheridan's appointment and isn't sure Sheridan can be trusted.
As Garibaldi leaves, Franklin offers to talk to him about his problems, but Garibaldi is less than eager. "I got shot in the back by my own guy, my own second-in-command. He was right there all the time, a snake in the garden, and I didn't even see it. What the hell kind of a security chief am I supposed to be if I can't see something like that?" He says that he should have known about Jack's deception, and that he may not be qualified to be in charge. "I keep asking myself what qualifies me to take back my job, and I haven't got an answer. I wish to hell I did." He leaves.
Londo and Vir are in Londo's quarters, talking to an acquaintance of Londo's, a noble named Refa. Refa tells Londo that monitoring stations had been set up in quadrant 37 to watch the Narn buildup, and when they heard that Londo would take care of the problem, they thought he was crazy. But they were very surprised when the stations reported that the outpost had been destroyed. Refa asks how it happened, but Londo won't tell him. Refa accepts this and says that Londo has saved the Centauri from another one of their emperor's mistakes.
Refa says that Londo was very clever in the way he took care of the outpost, and that the Centauri need more people like Londo. Refa says that, with the recent death of the emperor's son, there is no clear line of succession, but that he and his associates plan to take over the job of ruling when the emperor dies. Refa says that there will be resistance to this, and that force will be required. He asks Londo if he will be willing to help when the time comes. Londo has reservations, but eventually agrees to do so.
Elsewhere on the station, two groups of Drazi, one wearing purple sashes, and the other wearing green sashes meet. As they walk past each other, one Drazi "accidentally" bumps into another one wearing a different color, and a brawl between the two groups begins.
As Refa prepares to leave Babylon 5, Londo says goodbye to him. Refa thanks Londo for his help, and tells him that he will attempt to convince his associates and followers that Londo is the sign that his group of the Centauri may rise to great power again. As Refa leaves, Londo notices someone else standing nearby, a tall human in a long black cloak. "Great Maker!" Londo says to Vir. "A Technomage!" Vir doesn't know what a Technomage is, so Londo tells him that "they use science to achieve the affect of magic." Londo says that he hasn't seen one in a long time, and it is unusual to see them outside of their places of power. It is even more unusual, and a bad omen, to see more than one at a time. The Technomage, followed by two others, walks by Londo and leaves the area.
Sheridan and Ivanova are in Sheridan's office, talking about the incident between the two groups of Drazi. Sheridan asks about the conflict, so Ivanova explains what she knows to him. "It's a cultural thing. Once every five years, all the Drazi, here and at home, divide up into two camps, and fight it out." But it isn't a fight to the death - the battles are used to determine what the dominant group for the next five years will be. Sheridan says that he believes this conflict came at a good time, because he thinks that Ivanova should learn more about diplomacy, so that she can settle the more minor conflicts, while Sheridan deals with the station's major problems. "Besides, added responsibility comes with any promotion. Don't you agree... Commander?"
As they share a toast of orange juice, Sheridan tells her that he arranged her promotion after his first day on the station. He tells her that her first responsibility is to solve the Drazi problem. As he leaves, Commander Ivanova watches the Drazi over the monitor, in their detention cell, fighting, and sighs as she realizes the job before her will not be easy.
Vir finds Londo drinking at a bar. He informs Londo that the Abai delegation have an appointment and are waiting to see him. Ignoring this, Londo asks Vir if he believes in fate, to which Vir responds that he sees fate as a series of currents, eddies and tides, that pull one in certain directions. Londo tells Vir that, before their first emperor took the throne, he met with three Technomages. Londo says that this is a powerful image to those that follow the old ways. Londo explains that, if he had the endorsement of the Technomages, it would have considerable influence on those back on the Centauri homeworld. He tells Vir to arrange it with the Technomages, a task which Vir doesn't want to perform. Vir tries some of Londo's drink, hoping it will prepare him for the task, but it only makes him faint.
Garibaldi is in his quarters, utterly dejected, playing with his PPG while staring at the floor. Sheridan enters, and asks why Garibaldi hadn't been around to talk to him. He says that Dr. Franklin diagnosed him fit to return to work, and wants to know what Garibaldi thinks. Garibaldi says it might be easier for everyone if he moved on. Sheridan puts Garibaldi's weapon in its holster and replies, "The universe doesn't give you any points for doing things that are easy." Sheridan tries to convince Garibaldi to stay, saying that he is a valuable resource he would like to have at his disposal. Sheridan wants Garibaldi in the position, but leaves the decision up to Garibaldi. Sheridan leaves.
Ivanova is in the council chamber, addressing the green and purple Drazi. She tells them that, although most of the species on Babylon 5 don't care about the conflict, they would prefer it were settled quietly. She wants to help them find a peaceful solution to their problem. She asks them what the nature of the conflict is, and they respond by saying that it is the colors of the sashes they wear. She doesn't understand, and they again respond by saying it is the colors of the sashes. She still doesn't understand the situation, especially regarding the distribution of the sashes, so the leader of the green Drazi explains further. "We put green and purple in great barrel, equal to numbers of Drazi. Then we reach in, we take. Where there was one Drazi people, now there are two. The two fight until there are one."
They further explain that leadership is determined by who takes the leader's cloth. Ivanova finds it outrageous that so much fighting could come from something so arbitrary, so she removes the purple sash from one of the Drazi wanting to be certain it is only the color of the cloth, and nothing else, that determines alignment. She places it on another Drazi, who is already wearing a green sash. Upon doing this, the Drazi suddenly erupt into violent conflict, with Ivanova trapped in the middle. During the battle, several Drazi fall on her, and she screams in pain.
Vir arrives at the area on Babylon 5 where the Technomages are staying. He introduces himself, but there is no response. He says that he needs to speak with someone in charge. As if in reply, a large beast with fiery eyes and long fangs appears before him, growling menacingly. Vir stands his ground, though, and after a moment, a voice rings out, "Stop program," and the beast disappears.
A Technomage appears from the shadows and comments on how difficult it was to frighten him, but Vir says that's a requirement if you work with Londo. The Technomage asks why Vir is there, and Vir responds that Londo wants an audience. The Technomage declines, saying that the Technomages don't do that sort of thing. Vir tells the Technomage that Londo is willing to pay, but the Technomage is not swayed. Vir tries to appeal to the Technomage by saying that if he returns without completing the task, his personal situation will become unfortunate, but the Technomage counters, saying that if he does not leave, Vir's situation will become even more unfortunate. Not wishing to return empty-handed, Vir asks the Technomage his name. "Elric," the Technomage answers, and warns Vir not to return.
Dr. Franklin examines Ivanova, telling her that her foot is broken in three places. He also tells her that, though he can help her, it will take three weeks to heal, if he speeds up the process, in addition to her having to wear a cast. He offers her something for the pain, but she declines. Sheridan enters and asks to speak with Ivanova privately. He asks her what her next move is, but she isn't sure. He offers to postpone the assignment, but she again refuses. She says that this is particularly difficult because the Drazi have no differences that must be resolved. She believes she needs to come at the problem from another angle, possibly finding a less-violent way to structure the conflicts. Sheridan says he thinks that's a good idea, and leaves. Ivanova calls security, telling the Drazi to meet in chambers, so they can try the resolution again.
Vir reports to Londo the experience he had with the Technomage, but Londo finds the situation unacceptable, telling Vir he must return. Vir tells him that it won't work, and that the Technomages aren't interested in money or power. Londo tells Vir that it is very important that he be seen with them, as it would act as a powerful symbol. Londo surmises that if he, as an ambassador, has failed, he needs to find someone more powerful, someone to whom they will listen. Londo leaves abruptly.
Garibaldi is walking around outside the Zocalo when he meets up with Lou Welch, the security officer. After some small talk, Lou asks how Garibaldi is. Garibaldi says he's all right, and Lou asks when he will be returning to duty. Garibaldi doesn't say anything, but Lou asks again. Garibaldi still isn't sure, but does say that he will be returning soon. Lou receives a call from security, saying that there are more difficulties with the Drazi. He has to leave, but tells Garibaldi he will see him later.
Londo is talking to Sheridan about the Technomages. Sheridan tells Londo that he was doubtful about their existence. Londo says that the Centauri have had many experiences with them, and that they can be troublemakers unless one knows how to deal with them. Londo says that he does know how to deal with them, and he offers his assistance to Sheridan with the Technomages. Sheridan explains to Londo that the Technomages are emigrating, and that Earth wants information about their situation. Sheridan asks for Londo's help, and Londo eagerly agrees.
Meanwhile, Ivanova receives news from security that, on the Drazi homeworld, the violence has escalated from beating to killing. She asks if the local Drazi know about it, and asks for a full tactical squad to back her up. When she arrives at the council chambers, she finds the room littered with the bodies of purple Drazi.
Elric is upset that Sheridan doesn't believe that the Technomages are there peacefully. Sheridan tries to explain that, because of the great numbers of Technomages present - over a hundred - and the secrecy behind their activities, he needs some information to ensure the safety of the station. Elric says the Technomages have the right to do whatever they want. Sheridan says he just wants answers. Londo enters, claiming he was detained. He sets down the glass he was holding, and sets something else down behind it. Elric is upset that Londo is involved, and tells Sheridan that Londo had been asking for an audience ever since he arrived. Londo denies this, but Elric responds by showing Londo and Sheridan a recording he made of Vir, requesting an audience. Londo comments that recording a conversation is a very low thing to do, but offers forgiveness to Elric. Elric says he doesn't want Londo to misrepresent the gesture of friendship as some sort of endorsement. When Londo answers negatively, Elric glances at the small recording device Londo had placed behind the glass; it explodes. Elric tells Londo he wants respect. Sheridan threatens Londo with expulsion from the station for this action. Londo apologizes, and leaves quickly.
Sheridan accompanies Elric back to his quarters, but says that there are still questions he needs answered. Elric asks Sheridan if he believes in magic. "When I was twelve, I used to sit in my dad's garden, the air full of the smell of orange blossoms, watching the sky, dreaming of far away places... Back then, I think I believed in just about everything." Sheridan says that he thinks there are some things people don't understand, and that things which people do not understand might be considered magic; for example, Babylon 5 would be considered magic by humans of a thousand years earlier.
Elric says that, in a way, it is magic. "Magic of the human heart, focused and made manifest by technology. Every day you here create greater miracles than the burning bush."
"But God was there first," says Sheridan, "and He didn't need plasma coils or solar collectors."
"Perhaps. Perhaps not. It is within that ambiguity that we exist. We are dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers. We study the mysteries of laser and circuit, crystal and scanner, holographic demons and invocations of equations. These are the tools we employ, and we know many things." Sheridan asks what, and Elric answers that they know the important things - the answers to some questions that people have asked since time began. "Fourteen words to make someone fall in love with you forever, seven words to make them go without pain, how to say goodbye to a friend who is dying, how to be poor, how to be rich, how to rediscover dreams when the world has stolen them from you. That is why we are going away - to preserve that knowledge." Sheridan asks what the knowledge must be preserved from, and Elric answers. "There is a storm coming, a black and terrible storm. We would not have our knowledge lost, or used to ill purpose. From this place, we will launch ourselves into the stars. With luck, you will never see our kind again in your lifetime. I know you have your orders, Captain. Detain us if you wish, but I cannot tell you where we're going. I can only ask you to trust us." Elric takes Sheridan's hand, and closes it. He walks away, leaving Sheridan holding an orange blossom.
Ivanova, on crutches, goes to the quarters of the green Drazi, asking to see their leader regarding the death of the purples. At first, the Drazi outside is reluctant to let her in, but, after some further coaxing from Ivanova, he relents and lets her inside. She goes to the leader, who asks for her help. He tells her that he has a way to solve the problem without any fighting, but it will require her help.
He asks her to tell the purple Drazi to gather at brown 29, an isolated section of the station where they won't disturb anyone else. Once the purple Drazi are all there, they will be ejected into space, thereby causing the greens to win. Ivanova tries to get him to reconsider, claiming that they are still Drazi, but the green leader will not listen, saying only that they are purple, and therefore not important. She refuses to go along, but he tells her that they already sent a message, in her name, to the purples, to move the plan forward. She tries to use her link to call for help, but she is prevented from this when it is taken from her.
Garibaldi is wandering through the corridors of Babylon 5, when he runs into Lou, who tells him that they received an uplink from Ivanova, saying that all the purple Drazi should meet in brown 29. Garibaldi accepts this for a moment, but quickly changes his mind. He asks Lou if it was really an uplink, and not a personal message. Lou answers affirmatively, saying that the message said she would be offline for a while. Garibaldi asks the source of the uplink, and runs off.
Ivanova tries to get the greens to relent, but they are admant in their refusal to listen to her attempts at helping them. There is a pounding outside, and the Drazi at the door opens it, admitting Garibaldi, who is holding a small black box. Garibaldi claims he is a salesman, who wants to sell the Drazi an Acme Handy-Dandy Micro Helper. He offers to demonstrate, but is met with resistance. He says that it is just his way of helping, but the Drazi continue to refuse. "If there's anybody in here who needs a little help," he announces to the room, "just say the word, and I'm here." Ivanova elbows a nearby Drazi and shouts out, "Garibaldi!" The two of them begin to fight the green Drazi.
Londo is in his quarters, having considerable difficulty, when Vir enters. Londo explains that a holodemon has possessed his data system. It is eating up files, records, and buying stocks he would never purchase for himself, in addition to playing painful Narn opera continually.
Vir suggests that Londo apologize. Londo refuses at first, but when his computer suddenly reports that he is the new owner of 500,000 shares of Fireflies Incorporated, then blacks out the entire room, Londo agrees.
Garibaldi meets up with a large delegation of green Drazi, who have been marching through the halls, going to brown 29. Garibaldi says that the purple drazi accepted their story, and are waiting in there, but he refuses to let them go in. Garibaldi says that he plans to leave the purples in there until the end of the Drazi week. The green leader laughs, saying that the Drazi cycle, the length of the conflict, is not a week, but a year. A Drazi year is equal to 1.2 Earth years.
Ivanova and Garibaldi realize they can't keep them in there that long. She again tries to convince them that their conflict is absurd, as they are fighting over nothing more than pieces of cloth. The green Drazi leader asks why it is different than fighting over a flag. She says it is different because flags represent the country of origin, and stand for something important about the countries over which they fly.
Ivanova rips the green sash from the leader of the green Drazi, who, with the rest of his troops, immediately stands at attention. He says that whoever takes the cloth of the green leader becomes the green leader, and the greens must follow whoever that is. She doesn't believe that could possibly to her, but the former green leader explains that the rules of battle go back long before contact with other races, and the proposed rule change was lost in bureaucracy.
Using her new position, Ivanova orders the green Drazi to follow her to the quartermaster's office, where she will either lock them in the brig for assaulting her, or change the colors of their sashes from green to purple.
Londo cautiously approaches the section of the station where the Technomages are residing. He tries to avoid apologizing for as long as he can, but the strange lights and gutteral noises, as though coming from a large animal, prompt him to continue. When the noise reaches its climax, he finally apologizes for any way in which he might have offended them. He offers to help them, should they ever return. He walks steadily out of the area without noticing the three small gremlins hanging onto the back of his coat.
At a party celebrating Garibaldi's return to duty, Ivanova asks what made Garibaldi return. He explains that, as Sheridan pointed out, he does know the station and the people on it better than anyone else. He explains that it was because of this he knew Ivanova was in danger - he knew she would never communicate via an uplink, but would always use her own link. He also says that he is perfect for the job because he doesn't trust anyone, or anything. Sheridan receives a message saying that the Technomages are leaving. Before he leaves, however, he tells Garibaldi that he is glad he is remaining on the station.
Londo approaches Elric, thanking him sarcastically for the gift, which caused considerable damage to his quarters. Londo asks Elric if the torment ends after he leaves, or if he will have to pay for it for the rest of his life. "I'm afraid you're going to have to spend the rest of your life paying for your mistakes. Not this one, of course. It's trivial - I have withdrawn the spell. But there will be others."
Londo asks Elric to explain, which he does. "You are touched by darkness, Ambassador. I see it as a blemish that will grow with time. I could warn you, of course, but you would not listen. I could kill you, but someone would take your place. So, I do the only thing I can. I go. Oh, I believe it was an endorsement you wanted. A word or two, a picture, to send to the folks back home, confirming that you have a destiny before you." Elric provides this. "Well, take this, for what little it will profit you. As I look at you, Ambassador Mollari, I see a great hand reaching out of the stars. The hand is your hand. And I hear sounds - the sounds of billions of people calling your name."
"Your victims." With that, Elric leaves.
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