The Babylon Project

"The Vorlons assure us these prototypes are a match for their Shadow fighters. By attacking swiftly and with surprise, the mission should be easily accomplished - with the right pilots."

Rathenn to Sinclair

The First Battle of Sector 14 was a small battle which took place in August 2259 between the Anla'shok and Shadows near the temporal rift in Sector 14.

Sometime after Babylon 4 disappeared into the time rift in Sector 14, Draal used the Great Machine on Epsilon III to close the rift, but did not close it entirely, as the Vorlons believed it still had unique value. However, the Shadows also learned of the rift, and sent some of their allies to the rift with a device that would allow them to seize control of it for their own purposes. Draal did not discover this until the Shadows' forces had already begun the process, and although he immediately attempted to counter them, he was unable to regain complete control.

Ambassador Ulkesh and Satai Rathenn approached Entil'Zha Sinclair with a plan to use Prototype Hybrid Fighters to attack the Shadows' forces and destroy their device, allowing Draal to regain control of the rift in such a way to prevent the Shadows from being able to tamper with it again. Furthermore, as the fighters would deploy from a ship in orbit of Epsilon III, the Shadows would believe the attack came from Draal and the Great Machine, keeping both the existence of the Rangers and the Vorlons' involvement a secret.

Rangers Catherine Sakai and Marcus Cole were selected for the mission due to their piloting skills, and Sinclair volunteered himself as the third pilot, over the protests of Ulkesh and Rathenn.

After a brief amount of training to familiarize themselves with the new fighters, they set out in a transport from Minbar to Babylon 5. The transport ship took up an orbit around Epsilon III that would carry them to the opposite side of the planet from the station. A small ship from Epsilon III briefly docked with the transport, delivering three time stabilizers for the pilots to use. After equipping the stabilizers, the three Rangers launched on their mission.

Arriving at the area of the rift, the Rangers engaged the Shadow Fighters protecting the device. Although their mission intelligence had indicated there would only be four fighters, they encountered five. After destroying the Shadows' forces, the Rangers took up a position away from the rift and launched missiles at the device, destroying it. However, this caused the rift to expand out of control, and the Ranger's ships were pulled toward it. As they attempted to back away, a sixth Shadow Fighter that had remained undetected attacked and damaged Catherine Sakai's ship, sending it hurtling toward the rift. Sinclair returned fire, damaging the enemy ship and likewise sending it toward the rift. Sinclair followed after them in an attempt to rescue Sakai, but her ship disappeared into the rift before he could reach her. Seconds later, as the Shadow Fighter began to pass through it as well, the rift collapsed, destroying the ship. Bursts of shrapnel from the exploding vessel impacted Sinclair's fighter, causing damage to several systems. One small fragment penetrated the cockpit and struck Sinclair in his left cheek, causing a wound that would leave a permanent scar. With the rift closed once again, Sakai was declared lost and the other two fighters returned to the transport at Epsilon III.