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The Illusion of Truth
Babylon 5, episode 74 (4.8)
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2006 13:30:03
ISN sends a team to do a second story about Babylon 5.
Zack enters the docking bay to find an incident in progress - a minor fight, which one of the security guards says was started when several new arrivals to the station wouldn't allow their cargo to be inspected. They couldn't detect anything from the scans, so Zack moves to open a crate, but the owner insists it's private property. Zack orders the man to move, but he doesn't. As a last recourse, Zack fires his PPG at the crates, which angers the man even further. Zack moves to the crates, but before he can open one, it opens itself, and a small levitating device floats out. Zack recognizes the device. "It's a camera."
Franklin meets up with Sheridan and tells him that he pulled some of his doctors off duty in two other MedLabs to help move the cryogenically frozen telepaths in some of the freezing units, which are malfunctioning due to overuse, to other working units. Sheridan tells him to do what he has to, but wishes he didn't have to keep the telepaths frozen. Franklin is worried, though, that they could prove dangerous to themselves or others with the leftover Shadow technology still in their heads. Sheridan agrees and knows that even though the Shadows are gone, they will need to deal with what they left behind for a long time. Sheridan's commlink beeps, and a voice informs Sheridan of someone's arrival. Sheridan tells him he's on his way. "I thought we saw the worst of it with the Shadows, the Vorlons, the war..." Sheridan tells Franklin. "But there's something far worse than the Shadows: reporters."
Garibaldi is in Downbelow, speaking with someone about retrieving a priceless family artifact, which Garibaldi recognizes as a Drazi religious statue the man is using to hide stolen valuables in. He makes a deal for its retrieval and a percentage of what's inside. Lennier appears and asks Garibaldi why he resigned. Garibaldi says he's done his duty, and served his time, and just wants some time to make his own life. Lennier tells him that, for the Minbari, it is an honor serve one's people, but Garibaldi has had quite enough honor for the time being. He asks about Delenn, whom Lennier says is doing well, but Garibaldi quickly changes the subject when Lennier starts mentioning Sheridan. It's too late, though. "Speak the Devil's name," Garibaldi says, "and he shall appear." Sheridan introduces Randall to Lennier, whom he wants to escort Randall around the station so that he can be assured of getting the most unbiased opinion possible. Lennier starts Randall on his tour, and while no words are exchanged between Sheridan and Garibaldi, there is clearly tension in the glances the two exchange. Garibaldi picks up the photograph of the Drazi statue, and remembers...
He is alone in his prison cell, sitting in a chair, while a ghostly voice repeats over and over, "You work for no one but us. You work for no one but us." Garibaldi's memory fades and he gets up from his table and leaves.
Randall, Lennier, and the news crew are in one of the lifts. Randall asks Lennier about the ship he noticed being repaired outside Babylon 5 when he arrived. Lennier explains that those ships, belonging to the League of Non-Aligned of Worlds, were damaged during the war, and are being repaired so they will be able to get back home safely. Lennier says that the station charges only for the material needed for the repairs, which Randall finds very generous.
Lennier leads the reporters through a corridor, where Sheridan and Londo are in the midst of a heated discussion, with Londo complaining about the lack of heat in his quarters. The camera captures all of this as well.
Randall arrives at Garibaldi's table in Downbelow, and tells him that they are getting ready to leave. He asks Garibaldi if he would like to talk about his resignation, but Garibaldi is less than enthused to do so. Randall appeals to him, saying that he is the only command staff member who was with Babylon 5 from the start. He promises to allow Garibaldi to say whatever he likes. Garibaldi remains silent for a moment, as he decides what he wants to do.
"This is an Interstellar Network News special report. Reporting live from the ISN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, your host, Alison Higgins."
After a brief interlude with a segment of "This Year in History," the Babylon 5 story begins...
"Good evening, I'm Dan Randall. When we first approached the Ministry of Information with the idea of travelling to Babylon 5 for this story, they advised against. They believed it would put the safety of myself and my news crew in jeopardy. But the first rule of journalism is, 'You go where the story is.' Still, nothing could have prepared us for what we found."
Randall explains that, outside Babylon 5, everything seems to be normal, but inside, most human residents are living in filthy and dangerous areas of the station, while the best quarters in the station are reserved for aliens and those running the station with taxes collected from its inhabitants. Randall finds it ironic that the Minbari were appointed the keepers of these humans, and runs a clip without audio showing Lennier leading him through Downbelow. He explains how any attempt at protest by these humans is put down, with the humans sedated, as is demonstrated by one of them, on a gurney, being escorted away by several medical personnel, including the Chief of MedLab.
Randall explains that, as they toured Babylon 5, they learned the alien races were in control. Showing film of Captain Sheridan and Ambassador Mollari, he asks why Sheridan, a decorated war hero, would tolerate this from others.
"The second rule of journalism is," Randall explains, "'No one does anything without a reason.' They may not admit it, even to themselves, but the reason is there. To understand what's been happening on Babylon 5 since their break from Earth, you first have to understand why." He plays the segment of video taken in Downbelow when Franklin responded to a colleague's call about cryo units. "A small piece of conversation, overheard by chance. We'll find out what those few words really mean when we come back."
The video taken of Delenn and Sheridan in Sheridan's office is shown. On the tape, we hear Randall's voice ask Delenn of possible repurcussions. "It will be a struggle," she tells him.
"A struggle against Earth?" Randall asks her.
"Of course. If they don't understand," she says, "we will make them understand."
"Anything that gets in the way disappears," Sheridan interjects.
"There's a lot of people back home who might be concerned about what you're saying. It sounds as if you're putting the mingling of Human and Minbari above the safety of your own world."
"There's no force in the galaxy that can stop what we've done here together," Sheridan responds. "Nothing will be able to stop us."
Randall explains that this is their Rosetta Stone. The humans come from Downbelow, captured and sedated by Franklin's staff. Meanwhile, alien ships are being built and repaired outside the station. Randall says that you never build a fleet unless you're prepared to use it, and he and others at ISN believe they know why.
"Rule number three," Randall says, as the camera returns to the ISN news desk. "People only lie when they have something to hide. We know there are humans in cryo on Babylon 5. We saw them, as did you. So what are they hiding?" Prodded by Randall, Dr. Indiri speculates that Sheridan's Minbari War syndrome is causing him to want to change humans to be more like Minbari.
Randall explains that, with all they've shown, the truth is self-evident, once you find they key. The key, he feels, is Delenn, around whom all of what they uncovered revolves. Randall suggests that the Minbari surrendered at the Battle of the Line so they could destroy humanity from within instead. Though he says the idea of mixing human and Minbari DNA may sound absurd, it has already happened, with Delenn, when she became half-human. Randall concludes that it must be Sheridan's plan to show others how good it can be to be half alien and, should they disagree, or not want to go along with the experiments, he will use the alien fleet he is assembling against them, to "make them understand." Randall says that the fault is not Sheridan's, since Earthforce should have discovered his disease earlier and tried to cure it. This problem was only made worse by his Minbari War Syndrome, coupled with the loss of his family's home in a fire the week before resulting in his father's disappearance, and the pressures of command.
"Our job," Randall concludes, "is to report the news. Not to make it, or guide it. But from this reporter's perspective, the situation on Babylon 5 is deteriorating quickly, and must be dealt with. The quarantine order will help prevent more humans from falling prey to this genetics program, but it's only a short-term solution. As for Sheridan, he does not deserve our scorn, our anger, or our contempt. He is a war veteran, and that should at least earn him our sympathy. We here at ISN hope he receives the best care possible so he can someday come back to us. This is Dan Randall at ISN. Goodnight."
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