Babylon 5 s04e22 Episode Script

The Deconstruction of Falling Stars

Shuttle 1 to C & C.
The package is on its way in.
Confirmed, Shuttle 1.
Hang on.
Hang on.
- Welcome home.
- This was your idea, wasn't it? Well, we figured you'd wanna come back with as little fanfare as possible.
Your usual low-key approach.
But there's a time and a place for everything and this is the time and this is definitely the place for one hell of a party.
President, we have a lot to celebrate.
Including, and especially, your marriage.
And you two just can't avoid it.
If I can find some way to pay you back for this, I will.
Thank you.
So, doctor, who died? What are you talking about? Well, among my people, this is how we celebrate state funerals.
Our marriage ceremonies are solemn, sober.
Moments of reflection.
Also regret, disagreement, argument and mutual recrimination.
Once you know that it cannot get any worse you can relax and enjoy the marriage.
But to start with something like this No, it is a very bad sign for the future.
Perhaps it was something I said.
Perhaps it is everything you say.
I knew we should have gone to Minbar first.
Well, I suppose we can't blame them.
I mean, Clark's gone, Earth and Mars are free.
They wanna celebrate.
I guess they see us as a symbol of that.
They should be applauding themselves, not us.
We did it together.
There is something immodest about all this.
Oh, I wouldn't worry about it.
What matters is what we did here together.
In 100 years, it won't matter who we were.
- They probably won't even remember.
- That's true.
Here's our first shot of the First Couple of the Interstellar Alliance President John Sheridan and Delenn, live on ISN.
Their triumphant return to Babylon 5 after the liberation of Earth has generated good - messages from the Senate - in the former League of Non-Aligned Worlds.
Continuity error caused by high energy.
Correcting for error.
Do you wish to continue? Reloading sequence: Sheridan and Delenn.
Select a time period or select auto play for a chronological display of records.
Loading records for period covering one year through 1000 years from events shown.
Please stand by to receive.
It was the year of fire.
The year of destruction.
The year we took back what was ours.
It was the year of rebirth.
The year of great sadness.
The year of pain.
- And a year of joy.
- It was a new age.
It was the end of history.
It was the year everything changed.
The year is 2261.
The place, Babylon 5.
Accessing records from initial scanning date.
Stand by.
ISN Nightside a no-holds-barred look at the events of today that will shape the world of tomorrow.
And now your host, Derek Mitchell.
Good evening.
The events of the last few weeks have been remarkable.
The end of a civil war that split Earthforce squarely down the middle the death of President William Morgan Clark the birth of an independent Mars and the creation of a new interstellar alliance.
It can be more than a little overwhelming.
However, there's a word in the Old Testament used to call for silence between passages.
It means "pause and consider.
" So tonight, starting with a report from special correspondent Jim Bitterbane and a word or 10 from our usual panel of experts we've set aside a few moments to reflect, discuss, pause and consider.
Greatness is a quality that is often sought by those who want it most but are the least worthy.
Correspondingly, greatness is sometimes thrust upon those who want it least but are the most deserving.
These words seem to best describe Captain John J.
Sheridan in the way he came into the world and as the position that he currently occupies as that of the president of the new Interstellar Alliance.
The only son of a career diplomat Sheridan was an average but enthusiastic student.
He drifted in and out of various hobbies, including a brief but obsessive interest in works of the Dalai Lama before entering Earthforce shortly after the Dilgar War.
He served with distinction during the Minbari War and the food riots on Mars.
Quite a change from those early, unremarkable years and the man who came to Earth leading a fleet and carrying an ultimatum.
But now, an even greater challenge stands before him.
Can he hold together this newborn alliance of competing, even mutually hostile, races? - Derek.
- Thank you, Jim.
We'll now turn to our panel of experts for their thoughts.
From Earth Dome, Senator Elizabeth Metarie.
From Mars, author and journalist Leif Tanner.
And from Paris, Henry Ellis, former speechwriter and political commentator.
- Gentlemen, senator, welcome.
- Thank you, Derek.
I don't know which of you wants to be first - I'd like to jump in here, Derek.
- All right.
What amazes me is the way that everyone has tried to turn Sheridan into some kind of hero.
This is the man who resigned his commission in Earthforce under dubious circumstances.
The president cleared him and his crew, Henry and she called him the hero of the hour.
Yes, she did, and she's gonna have to answer for that in the next election but that's besides the point.
Now, there was obviously some sort of deal made there which is how he got out of there with his hide in one piece.
Call me old-fashioned but that doesn't sound like the best qualification to run a major alliance.
Sounds like most of the generals and politicians who've made history in the last hundred years.
Oh, come on.
Let's look at the facts.
The man isn't qualified to run an operation as large as this Interstellar Alliance.
He could barely operate Babylon 5 without shooting at everything in sight.
- Oh, that's an exaggeration.
- He can barely get along with his own race.
And now he's gonna stitch together an alliance of radically different aliens and make it work? No, this whole shebang is doomed from the get-go.
- You're overreacting.
- At least let him prove if he can do it - Absolutely.
- With what's at stake?! I agree with the senator.
Give Sheridan a break.
To write him off before he's even started well, that's irrational, even for you, Henry.
He fires on his own ships and you're calling me irrational? Come on, Leif.
- That's not fair.
- I beg your pardon.
Do you actually believe the Alliance will work? I don't know if it will work l'm just saying that he deserves a chance to try and make it work.
What I think is missing and being lost in this whole discussion is that this is an election year and that Mr.
Ellis was working as a speechwriter in the Clark administration.
And I think that he and others of his party consider Sheridan a real threat to their hopes for a majority in the Senate so they're doing all they can to discredit him in advance.
- That is completely unfair.
- It is not unfair.
It's true, Henry.
I hate to interrupt you at this point, but we're coming up on a break.
So why don't each of you give me your calls for the next couple of years on the following.
Can Sheridan and his people make a go of this new alliance? - Absolutely.
- Yes.
Do you think they'll make any difference? And what do you consider to be the number one problem waiting for them? Mr.
From where I sit, they've already made a difference.
The Senate has been debating what to do about Mars for years and did nothing.
It took Sheridan to push them into recognizing our sovereign rights of independence.
- At gunpoint.
- Senator? Obviously, there's a degree of uncertainty in any new political situation.
This next year will prove critical for Sheridan and the rest of his people.
Look at what they're up against.
He has to ride herd on a dozen or so alien races that have signed on to this alliance and probably don't fully understand what's being required of them.
There's still sporadic fighting between many of those members.
On top of that he has supply problems, telepath problems, raiding parties not to mention distrust among elements of his own government here at home.
This man has his work cut out for him, but I know that he can handle it.
Ellis, last words.
Whatever Sheridan and Delenn say about this economic alliance he's going to have to apply military force to make it work.
Now, let me finish.
I didn't interrupt you people when you were talking.
Now, when this happens, it's all gonna fall apart.
He's power hungry and he's unprepared and that is a dangerous combination.
- Dangerous combination, that's what - Thank you.
Thank you very much.
We'll be back in just a moment to consider the political implications of this new Interstellar Alliance and the recent calls for the formation of independent political parties on Mars.
Record ends.
Auto play feature engaged.
Loading next sequence.
Date: 100 years from first time period.
Stand by.
Accessing records for date 100 years from initial scanning date.
Stand by.
With another in our series of educational stellarcasts on the 100th anniversary of the Interstellar Alliance.
Taking part in today's discussion from Earth Dome historian Dr.
Jim Latimere from the University of York political scientist Dr.
Barbara Tashaki, University of Japan at Tokyo and psychologist Dr.
William Exeter from NYU.
Good morning.
We have roughly half a million students and faculty online today waiting with questions, which is more than we expected so if the system runs a little slow, bear with us.
Our first question, from Ray Winston, University of Kiev: What role do you feel Babylon played in the creation of the 100 Year Peace? Well, the station, none at all.
It's a place Was a place that served as a nexus.
- I agree.
- A nexus how? The first thing you have to do is separate fantasy from reality.
The Alliance publicity machine would have you believe that all this came about because of what a few people did.
But large political movements are rarely the work of any one person.
The individual at the center gives permission for others to act and inspires but the individual really cannot effect change as an act of will.
They did not do.
They allowed others to do.
By "they," you mean Sheridan and Delenn? We all have a profound psychological need to believe in heroes.
The shining knight on the white horse.
If they don't exist, we create them.
Sheridan and Delenn are two classic examples.
If you look at the social dynamic around them, they actually didn't do anything.
They were the open vessels in which people poured their hopes and their dreams that sets up sort of a gestalt where events take on a life of their own.
So the record of their accomplishments is overrated? Absolutely.
Good PR, as Tashaki said.
In a lot of ways, they blew it.
Only the force of history saved the situation from collapsing of its own weight after so many people died in its first year.
And the incident concerning their son I don't want to get off the track and into associated biography so let's move on to the next question.
If your assumption is correct where did Sheridan and Delenn and those involved go wrong? Where do you start? So many people died in the year after Sheridan and Delenn returned to Babylon 5.
- You can't blame them for all that.
- Of course you can.
As one example, they had no business creating a colony of telepaths on Babylon 5.
He said later it was the worst mistake of his career.
He thought they could control the telepaths, when any fool knows that's impossible.
They were bound to turn on Sheridan and everybody else and that's exactly what happened.
- I have to agree.
That one event may have done much to precipitate the Telepath War and You can't say one incident was the cause Not the sole cause, no.
But it was a contributing factor.
I'd like to turn our attention to this historical record.
It's from later in 2262, just after the creation of the Interstellar Alliance.
I'd like to get your comments on it.
You gotta listen to me.
This isn't gonna work.
If you give yourselves up, we could go back, we could talk to the others.
All right, you say you're doing this for a cause.
What kind of sympathy are you gonna get by killing innocent people in cold blood? You wanna send out a message, this ain't it.
Look, I can work with you.
I can get you out of this, but you've gotta work with me.
What do you say? Yeah.
That's what I thought you were gonna say.
This is President Sheridan.
I have consulted with Captain Lochley and we've reached a decision regarding the current situation.
It is not the policy of the Interstellar Alliance or this station to bargain with terrorists for the lives of hostages.
If we open that door even once we will never be able to close it again.
Now, you have two choices.
Surrender or we will use lethal force to bring you down.
You have 10 minutes.
Wait, look, we Comments? I don't know what more needs to be said.
The pictures speak for themselves.
Sheridan was clearly pathological.
Most governments take that position.
I'm not debating that.
But you can see it in his attitude, how he addresses the terrorists.
That coldness is emblematic of his personality.
He was power-hungry, as simple as that.
And he never let anything get in his way.
Tashaki? A truly pathological individual could never have constructed a mythos around himself the way Sheridan did.
It's a very sophisticated PR campaign.
Brilliantly done.
And there's that bit about the way his death was handled.
Everyone knows Sheridan died on Minbar.
The cover story they put out was clearly designed to perpetuate the myth of his character.
And I guess it worked, because a lot of people still believe it 80 years later.
So where do the two of you fall on the Delenn question? Well, everyone knows Minbari live a long time, but not that long.
I think the record is 120 years.
This is what Dr.
Tashaki mentioned earlier, this constant perpetuation of fantasy.
The idea that Delenn is still around after this long and living in seclusion so, of course, no one can see her, it's very convenient.
The Alliance is continuing the illusion that Delenn is alive for their own purposes.
I don't think she would have approved.
Apparently they feel they have to maintain this fiction to keep their people in line.
If the Alliance and the Rangers are as strong as they say they don't need this security blanket of lies and myth.
Looking back, has the Alliance been a force for good? Well, for the most part, yes.
Although good things can grow in questionable ground.
It's clear the motives of those at the birth of the Alliance were not as pure as their biographers and allies would suggest.
The force of history is what moves us forward, our common shared destiny.
The individual does not move society forward.
To give them undue credit is immodest and impertinent.
Sheridan was a megalomaniac.
And to allow history to feed that megalomania, even posthumously simply compounds the error.
We have an obligation as academics to uphold certain standards I've just heard we've had a security breach in the building.
We're going to Delenn? John Sheridan was a good and kind and decent man.
Delenn, wait.
You came all this way just to say that? You came just as far to say less.
But this is extraordinary.
There's so much more we'd like to ask you.
So much more we'd like to know.
You do not wish to know anything.
You wish only to speak.
That which you know you ignore because it is inconvenient.
That which you do not know you invent.
But none of that matters.
Except that he was a good man.
A kind man who cared about the world even when the world cared nothing for him.
Of course we would expect you to say that.
We Goodbye.
Record ends.
Auto play feature engaged.
Loading next sequence.
Date: 500 years from first time period.
Stand by.
Accessing records for date 500 years from initial scanning date.
Stand by.
Continue holographic recording from last index point.
Test sequence number five.
All monitors set to record mode.
Initiating environmental hologram, location 2C.
Sequence, start.
Virtual environment functioning, identical to Babylon 5 system records from 2262.
Data transfer of records is complete successful in spite of extreme age of original files and destruction of original Babylon 5 station 480 years ago.
To recap for Politdivision Central the purpose of this simulation is to provide reverse-correct infospeak as support for current changes in Earth policy.
It is the new policy that the Interstellar Alliance is restrictive and against the best interests of Earth.
Intent is to deconstruct historical figures revered by prole sector thereby legitimizing current government policies.
Initiating phase two of re-creation.
To determine if the psychohistorical research has been thorough phase two will begin with the control holograms working with the actual psychological makeups of the subjects in question.
The holograms will thus perform in a fashion consistent with realfact.
Program start now.
Do you know where you are? Babylon 5, the conference room, level Blue 3.
And what year is it? Very good.
The next step is to determine how well the system can be modified.
Computer, update system files for holographic figures filling in period from 2262 through 2762.
Stand by.
The system is updating the holographic representations with our current political situation and the developments leading up to them.
This will demonstrate system flexibility and capacity to spontaneously emote to changes in programming.
Download complete.
Five hundred years.
- Are we? - Yes.
You, the real you, are deceased.
We have reconstructed your thought patterns and your forms for a series of vids designed to help Designed as propaganda to justify your break from the Interstellar Alliance.
Not propaganda.
As opposed to realfacts.
Facts the government has endorsed.
I don't get it.
Why are you doing this? Why the break with the Alliance? Five hundred years of working with the Alliance has weakened the position of humans in the greater scheme of things.
We have lost our uniqueness.
We have been polluted by too many outside ideas.
That's a great story.
I'm sure that's the one you're putting out.
What's the real one? The realfact, not the goodfact.
Earth needs room to expand.
The Rangers and the Alliance prove a hindrance to our plans to expand.
Can't you see? They've re-created us so that they can provide false records and portray us to be, what, the bad guys? Only out for interests but our own? They want to undermine the Alliance by attacking the people who created it.
- Looks like - Just a second.
I'm remembering things I never saw.
Those are the records they downloaded to us.
There's another force out there.
Earthgov is split.
The two sides are fighting each other over land and resources, power.
We're on the cusp of another civil war.
No, he's right.
I'm getting it too.
That's the reason for the planned invasion, isn't it? They wanna take over several colonies that have gone over to the opposition which is still loyal to the Alliance.
Your legacy has proven a hindrance to that intention.
Therefore, you must be deconstructed.
Initiating phase three.
Goodfact scenario ready for testing.
- Look, if you think this is going to work - Engaging reprogram.
You may proceed.
Welcome to Babylon 5.
I understand that you surrendered to our forces in the hopes of finding mercy.
The Interstellar Alliance is not here to be merciful to the weak.
In all the universe, there are only two kinds the conquerors and the conquered.
Through your blood and the blood of your children we will blaze a path across the galaxy! What we cannot take by force, we will win by subversion.
And in the end, we will bury you.
Your lives are not the first and they will not be the last.
If a billion must die to ensure the continuance of our empire then so be it! You are only a down payment.
Stand ready! Aim! Fire! - There must be something we can do.
- How? We're dead.
We're not even here.
Just our memories, our thought patterns.
But that must be worth something.
What we are is not a matter of flesh, it's a matter of will.
We know their backgrounds, we know what they're doing.
Why don't we just? Phase two.
Instituting Franklin reprogram, placing Delenn module in standby mode.
Proceeding with next simulation.
Doctor's personal log: May 3, 2262.
We have secured several test subjects for the next series of experiments.
We will now continue with the use of alien organs in human bodies in an attempt to create a genetic crossbreed compliant to the needs of the Alliance.
Later today we will begin again with our experiments on children.
The problem with the vivisection is the younger children can only survive the initial removal of organs for a short time.
Now, we hope that by increased use of drugs we may find a way to prolong their lives while we work.
Very good, very good.
Program hold while I make notes on this for Infospeak Division.
So, Daniel, right? Dan, Danny.
Can I call you Danny? Oh, right.
Sorry, I forgot.
I'm just a hologram and you're reprogramming me.
Didn't mean to interrupt.
No point conversing with someone that doesn't really exist.
When you've got your pieces in place, you're gonna launch a preemptive strike against the enemy, right? I mean, it's what I would do.
- Computer, initiate shutdown of Garibaldi.
- Now, wait.
Just one second.
Before you do that I might have some useful information for you.
See, the thing is, me and Sheridan were close but I was the one who did most of the strategic planning during the war.
Now, a resource like that, you might not want to wipe it out just yet.
I could help you.
Give you some tips to pass along to the big boys and maybe get you a promotion.
Go on.
Well, before I can help, I have to ask just a few small questions.
Now, you're a realfact kind of guy.
You know what they're up to out there, don't you? Come on, you can tell me.
Am I right? Your boys are planning a first strike against the enemy, aren't they? That's why you're rushing ahead like this, because you're under the gun.
We will strike at the outer-world colonies and the enemy nations here on Earth at the same time.
Our attack fleet will be leaving within the hour.
Good, that's very smart.
Now, will you be targeting military bases or civilian population centers? Civilian population centers.
We My superiors feel it will demoralize the enemy.
Force a surrender.
Estimated dead? Fifteen to 20 million enemy casualties.
Can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.
Now, what suggestions do you have? Well, I suggest that you put your head between your legs and you kiss your ass goodbye.
Thank you.
Computer! The thing about being a holographic record is that you don't really exist except in patterns of light, shadow, information.
And I happen to have a knack for breaking system codes.
While you downloaded the new world order into me I watched the system work.
I know where it comes in and I know where it goes out.
And I just sent out our entire conversation.
Broadcast the whole damn thing.
So as of right now, the enemy knows what you have in mind, Danny.
From your records, they're more humanitarian than you are.
They'll probably target your military bases and research facilities.
Hell, their missiles are probably halfway here by now.
You're lying.
Holograms don't lie, Danny boy.
Computer, end simulation.
End simulation! Guess the system's busy.
This little lab of yours this isn't, by any chance, located on a military base, is it? No! Rest easy, friends.
Rest easy.
Record ends.
Auto play feature engaged.
Loading next sequence.
Date: 1000 years from first time period.
Stand by.
Accessing records for date 1000 years from initial scanning date.
Stand by.
Surprised it all still works after this long.
Well, better get to my report.
Start auto-track systems.
Yes! Yes? Yes, just a moment.
- Well, Brother Michael, it's rather late.
- Yes, I know, I know.
But I really had to talk to you, Brother Alwyn.
So it would seem.
I am having a - A crisis of faith.
- That again? - What? - Nothing, nothing.
And what is afflicting your conscience tonight, Brother Michael? Well, I don't know what my role is or what I'm doing here.
- You're doing God's work.
- Yes, but to what end? The ways of the Lord are mysterious and do not bend to your or to my desire for answers on a certain schedule.
"Where was thou when I called forth leviathan?" Yes, I've read Job, Brother Alwyn, and it is really not helping.
All right, Brother Michael.
What has precipitated this particular crisis of faith? There is a rumor going around that our request for recognition has been turned down yet again by Rome.
Yes, I see.
A better rationale for the vow of silence I've never heard.
Is it true? The ways of Rome are like unto God.
They are mysterious and sometimes they transcend understanding.
They confess to an inability to see the wisdom of our mission.
To keep alive the knowledge of the past.
The knowledge that would have been lost forever after the Great Burn 500 years ago.
Science and technology? It's not really their calling.
- But it is ours.
- But, I mean Well, how? How do we know it's our calling? - How exactly can we be sure? - Brother Michael! I'm not actually saying anything that Rome hasn't already asked.
And you know it.
Most of the records were destroyed in the Great Burn, sir and we only have word of mouth to go on.
In the holy books written after the Great Burn! And so it came to pass that in the 500th year of the Alliance the children of Earth did war, one upon another with missiles and terrible weapons.
And they burned the Earth and the air and the cities and the sea! You need only look outside to have that part verified.
- Why is the rest suspect? - It's all too clean.
It's all too well-thought-out to be real.
Look in here.
Here, the blessed Lorien.
- The last of the firstborn.
- Exactly.
The last shall come first, the first shall come last.
A fable, specifically created to match scripture, that's what the others say.
And there is not one shred of evidence that he even existed.
There is proof.
Out there, in space.
Yes, but space is closed to us now.
Just look at us, Brother Alwyn.
And look at what Earth has become.
Our cities are little more than villages.
All those great secrets of our ancestors are almost gone.
That's why we're here.
To find the ancient wisdoms and preserve them.
Why, we've already found and restored so many books.
Yes, but we are not one inch closer to To those flying machines that the books talk about, or to the stars.
And if the truth really does lie in the stars then how will we ever know the truth? Look, the others.
The blessed Sheridan who lived and died and returned from the dead and was taken bodily into heaven.
And lvanova the strong and Delenn the wise.
They could all be fables for all we know.
- You know the worst of it? - What? I was halfway through illuminating it when my heart just left me.
You know the prophecies.
The prophecies of Delenn III said that the Anla'shok, the Rangers would come again to the Earth in her greatest hour of need and rebuild what was once the cradle of Sheridan and the Alliance.
And we have waited so, so long, Brother Alwyn and they have never come.
If that's a myth, then everything else could be a myth.
And the whole of my life could just be a lie.
And if they do not come today, but they come tomorrow is your life a lie then? I cannot help you, Brother Michael.
That is what faith is for.
Faith sustains us in the hour when reason tells us that we cannot continue that the whole of our lives is without meaning.
Then why were we born able to reason if reason's useless? Not useless.
But it's also not enough.
Faith and reason are the shoes on your feet.
You can travel further with both than you can with just one.
If you must have reason for an answer, then consider this.
If today the Rangers came back to Earth from their place in the heavens you would not know about it.
They would come in secret and move around us and help us and we wouldn't even know they were here because the secret that they bring is feared by people who still blame science for the Great Burn.
Then you think the Rangers are here today? I believe they could be.
That's all that faith requires.
That we surrender ourselves to the possibility of hope.
With that, I am content.
And I believe you will be as well.
It's beautiful work.
Too lovely and significant for you to half-finish.
Finish your illumination, Brother Michael.
You've gone this far.
It's too late to lose your faith now or my faith in you.
If the truth really is in the stars, Brother Alwyn then just once, once before I die I really wish that I could walk amongst those stars.
If there is a way, Brother Michael I pray that your wish comes true.
Oh, dear.
Your energy level's almost down to nothing.
I'm going to have to sit you in the sun tomorrow to recharge.
Alwyn Macomber reporting in.
Nothing of substance to report since my last.
We think we may have gathered enough information from the time pre-Burn to assemble a working gasoline engine.
Obviously, there's no gasoline in this part of the country.
Therefore, we ask the supply department if they could arrange to have a suitable supply of gasoline found in the vicinity near the abbey in a few days.
Only this time, for Valen's sake, please make it look like an old container.
The last one could've been produced 100 years ago.
We will rebuild the Earth.
Though it take us another 2000 years.
But this time we will build it better.
I'm attaching a conversation I just had with Brother Michael who I still think would be a worthy recruit after he's grown a little.
Give him another 20 years and he'll be fine.
Alwyn, Anla'shok, Earth Sector, end report.
We live for the one, we die for the one.
Record ends.
Auto play feature complete.
Stand by.
System has finished processing and archiving records for period of one million years from initial scanning date.
Our job is finished.
- Convey records to New Earth.
- Confirmed.
Use enhanced tachyon sequence to ensure arrival in time for the celebrations.
Note: Atypical solar emissions increasing in intensity.
Estimate Sol will hit nova in less than five standard hours.
Recommend immediate evacuation.
Tell the others not to worry.
I wouldn't miss this for anything.
Now go on.
This is how the world ends.
Swallowed in fire, but not in darkness.
You will live on.
The voice of all our ancestors the voice of our fathers and our mothers to the last generation.
We created the world we think you would've wished for us.
And now we leave the cradle for the last time.
You should sleep.
We both have early meetings.
Yeah, I know.
I was just thinking about it all.
Everything we've done and what I said earlier.
And I was wondering if they will remember us Then I figured, probably not.
But it doesn't matter.
We did what we did because it was right, not to be remembered.
History will attend to itself.
It always does.

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