"Even this brief exposure, a few seconds apiece, confirms that the alien healing device is extremely dangerous and should not be used again, even under extreme conditions, until we can control it more precisely, or it will result in the death of whoever uses it. It was, after all, designed as a means of capital punishment."
- – Stephen Franklin
The Energy Transfer Device, often referred to as the Alien Healing Machine, was a device which transferred the life force of one person to another. The original purpose was for capitol punishment for convicted criminals.
The device could be used on a low setting in order to heal one person while only draining some life force from the other user. If used on the maximum setting, however, the device can kill the other user.
The device was discovered by EA Dr. Laura Rosen. She took the device and used it on herself to help others, choosing Downbelow on Babylon 5 for her "clinic." She was eventually discovered by Stephen Franklin in 2258 when he found out about the unauthorized medical services. Karl Mueller, a convicted murderer, tried to use the device to heal his wounds, but was killed by Dr. Rosen when she sucked his life-force from him. Although Dr. Rosen was cleared in court for this homicide as a justified case of self-defense, she was ordered to surrender the healing machine. Dr. Rosen left the station and gave the device to Dr. Franklin.
In 2259, the device was used by Franklin and John Sheridan to revive Michael Garibaldi from his coma after being shot by his second-in-command. Franklin was unsettled by the effect it had on himself and Sheridan, and declared it too dangerous to use, even in extreme circumstances, as long as he was not satisfied he fully understood how to control it.
At the end of the Earth Alliance Civil War in 2261, Marcus Cole discovered the existence of the device and used it on himself and the mortally wounded Susan Ivanova. Franklin found out that Marcus was going to use the device but it was too late. Marcus was dead and Susan was alive and physically well.
By 2560, an expedition to the Rim discovered the ruins of the alien civilization that had produced the Energy Transfer Device. The ancient documents and records found yielded information that allowed for the revival of Marcus Cole, who's body had been kept intact in cryonic suspension on Minbar since the decommissioning of Babylon 5.