The Babylon Project

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"...Give me a break. Receive transmission, audio only. Yes?"

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During the First contact between the Earth Alliance and the Minbari Federation, a misunderstanding caused by the recklessness and arrogance of both the Minbari Warrior Caste and human Captain Michael Jankowski resulted in the death of Dukhat, leader of the Minbari, swift retribution on behalf of the Minbari, and the beginning of a war that resulted in the near-extermination of the human race.[1]


In July 2245, the EAS Prometheus led an expedition from the Jericho 3 station into Minbari space. Captain Jankowski was under orders to survey the disposition of their forces but to avoid any first contact situations, unless authorized to do so. At the same time, the vessel of the Grey Council was en route to the planet Z'ha'dum to investigate the possible return of the Shadows.

Shortly after the Prometheus arrived at one of the fleet's rendezvous points, its sensors detected a silhouette at the edge of their range. Jankowski, knowing they were well away from the Minbari transfer points, immediately grew suspicious, speculating that the Minbari could be out looking for them. When the expedition encountered the Minbari ships approaching with their gun ports open, and found that their own sensors and jump engines were disabled by the power of the Minbari scanners and thus they could not tell if the Minbari weapons were armed nor escape from them, Jankowski panicked and ordered all forward batteries to open fire.

The ship's gunnery sergeant, David McIntyre, was the first to execute Jankowski's order against the unsuspecting Minbari. The Earthforce weapons ripped into the hull of the Minbari flagship, killing Dukhat, some of the Grey Council, and many others. The Earth-Minbari War had begun.[1][2]

A group of Soul Hunters who had been detected by the Minbari not long before the incident attempted to board the Minbari ship and capture Dukhat's soul, but were unsuccessful.[1][3]

Soon after Dukhat's death, the Grey Council voted on whether to pursue the humans for vengeance, or to first try to figure out what went wrong. With the other Satai evenly divided, Dukhat's protege Delenn gave the deciding vote in favor of war, in a moment of blind rage she would later deeply regret.[1][4]