The Babylon Project

The return of Babylon 4 leads the crew to a dangerous encounter and Delenn to revelations about the life of Valen.


Part 1
(January 1998)
  • Written by: J. Michael Straczynski
  • Pencilled by: Michael Collins
  • Inked by: David Roach
  • Letters by: Albert Deschesne
  • Colors by: Prismacolor
  • Edited by: Robert Graff
Part 2
(February 1998)
Part 3
(March 1998)
Trade Paperback
(December 1998)


Book 1[]

Ivanova is regaling the crew in C'n'C with her account of the Battle of Coriana VI when one of them asks her if that was the wildest thing she'd seen. She affirms but add that the strangest thing was the time they received a distress call from Babylon 4, when one of the techs looks at their console and says they're receiving a signal from Babylon 4...

The senior staff meet in the War Room to discuss the situation. Ivanova confirms the ID codes definitely match Babylon 4's and that the signal originated from Sector 730 by 12 by 9, some 40 hours away via hyperspace. Sheridan notes that B4 was built on a much bigger budget than B5 and was equipped with the biggest ion engines ever made. He explains EarthGov had done this to ensure it wouldn't be a sitting duck like the previous three Babylon stations which were destroyed during construction. Delenn also reveals that after the end of the First Shadow War, the station was taken in secret to a place of rest to become a monument; the crew who took it there never returned, leaving B4's fate a mystery for over nine hundred years - until now. She urges Sheridan to investigate as the station is of great importance to Minbari history and might contain priceless information about the time of Valen. Garibaldi suggests sending a probe and a tech crew ahead first to make sure it's safe. Sheridan agrees his concerns are valid, but says they're going anyway.

40 hours, 14 minutes and 18 seconds later they arrive aboard one of the White Stars and scan the area. There are no inhabited planets in the area and no transmissions, just the beacon and a weak power source. Babylon 4 itself is floating dead in orbit around a uninhabited planet, badly damaged and nothing like the pristine station they had been aboard the last time. With the docking bay down, they're forced to suit up and go EVA. Delenn tells the crew to stand by while she, Sheridan, Ivanova, and Garibaldi go aboard and to inform them if they detect anything. Entering through one of the main airlocks, they gain access to the expansive central core; dark, de-pressurised, and no longer rotating, the way is littered with floating debris and several Minbari style buildings can be seen among the inner structures and the now dead garden areas.

A sniper shot barely misses Sheridan, and the group scatters as they're fired on by several attackers. Taking cover behind a nearby a core shuttle, they try to contact the White Star but are unable to get a clear signal through all the metal and infrastructure. With the alien attackers outside the range of their PPGs, Garibaldi has everyone back up as he fires at some pressurised canisters in the shuttle. The canisters explode, propelling the car towards the aliens' position and crushing them.

Concerned that others may come, the group heads to C'n'C. As they float away, one of the aliens' hands reaches up unseen out of the remains of the core shuttle.

In C'n'C, they find that while the reactor is dead, the solar panels have already been brought online by the aliens. Sheridan speculates that they were there to scavenge what they could from the derelict station. Delenn says that it is sacrilege and that when they leave, they will take with them only the experiences and information they find; the station itself belongs to history. "Not for long, I'm afraid," says Ivanova; B4's orbit has been disturbed and it will fall into the planet's atmosphere in about 72 hours.

Meanwhile, the surviving alien has dug itself out of the pile of debris and exited the station unnoticed before placing an explosive charge on the White Star, crippling the ship and sending it plunging uncontrollably into the atmosphere in a ball of fire.

While Ivanova struggles to make sense of the modified computer that is displaying a jumble of English, Minbari and some other language she doesn't recognise, trying to adjust the distress signal to call B5 for help, Delenn accesses the station's records and finds to her fascination the testaments of two Minbari from a thousand years ago. Nukenn of the Religious Caste and Rashok of the Warrior Caste, who both recount their time with Valen.

Nukenn tells of the time immediately after the Shadows had destroyed the Minbari's last great starbase. Their leaders dead, the fleet left damaged, wandering, they found no friendly ports as the Shadows had turned all against them. Desperate and without hope, the fleet needed a place to repair, rest and plan for the next move, fearing that to return to Minbar would invite the enemy to follow them back. Just then, the universe provided all three in the form of Babylon 4.

Rashok recalls how Valen gave them the station, an untouched pristine weapon for them to use; never revealing where he, the station, or his curious companion came from. Valen, who had no family name, had no lineage that anyone could trace; a Minbari not born of Minbari that the universe had delivered to them in their hour of need.

Rashok's damaged record ends abruptly and the computer skips to the next; Nukenn is describing Valen's first attempt to unite the castes. With the old base destroyed and the leaders dead, the castes had begun to quarrel again, refusing to bend. Valen turned his back on them and created the Anla'Shok: a new army that recognised no caste lines and operated outside of the uncooperative castes. They called him "Entil'Zha."

Rashok tell of Zathras, Valen's mysterious companion and friend. Nobody could understand their friendship. Showing no interest in fighting, he helped them adapt the station's launch bays to hold their ships. Rashok thought the creature would drive them all mad but said they understood him better when the Shadows came.

The damaged record again ends abruptly just as Ivanova informs them all that the station's orbit is deteriorating faster than she had anticipated, stating that they in fact have only another 24 hours remaining - insufficient time for any rescue ship to reach them from B5.

Book 2[]

Synopsis pending.

Book 3[]

Synopsis pending.

Memorable Quotes[]

"Always make sure that whatever looks dead, stays dead, and will not have any ideas about not being dead at any time in the foreseeable future."

Ivanova's Rule #34

"Valen was of us, and not of us. He was the spirit, and we are his voice, his hands, his fire. He was the greatest of us because he was more than us."

Nukenn of Zir

"Valen was every hand that struck for freedom's purpose. He was the eye that saw for us, the strength that fought for us, the wisdom that conquered the unconquerable."

Rashok of Dosh

Cover Art[]

Related Articles[]

Life Forms


  • As the Second Shadow War is over and Michael Garibaldi is still part of the B5 staff, this story takes place during "Epiphanies" after the end of the celebrations but before Garibaldi resigns.
  • The final page of 'In Valen's Name' contains a very significant error. Catherine Sakai's name was not supposed to be mentioned with the others in Valen's last message that was found by Delenn.[1][2] In fact, the end of the message (on the same page) refers to Valen finding "her", which means Catherine, who was lost in a temporal rift in 2259 and ended up in Valen's era.[3]

"It was a typo; that name shouldn't have been in the message, it slipped past."

JMS post on CIS, 4/14/1998


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