"To be with him was to have the strangest feeling, as though he were only visiting this life and did not want to be overly burdened by it."
Jeffrey Sinclair was the original commander of Babylon 5.
Prior to Babylon 5
Jeffrey Sinclair was born on Mars, 9:15AM EST on May 3, 2218, the son of a career military officer, David Sinclair, and a Professor of North American literature, Gemma Gildea Sinclair. Jeffrey also had a brother, Malcolm. His father flew for Earthforce during the Dilgar War and was eventually killed during the conflict, though not before being present at the liberation of Balos. According to Jeffery, his father never forgot what he saw there.
Members of the Sinclair family had been fighter pilots dating all the way back to the Battle of Britain. He was close to his grandfather, whom he later credited with teaching him everything he knew about flying. His grandfather also explained to him the importance of ignoring propaganda and to "focus on what he can see."
Following the death of his father, Jeffrey attended a Jesuit school, run by Father Raffelli and his wife, both of whom were priests. The couple would become lifelong friends of Jeff's until their deaths in 2252. While at the school, Sinclair learned to appreciate mornings, getting up at sunrise for Mass followed by an hour of meditation before class.
Though he never intended to join the religious life, Sinclair maintained a faith in God throughout his life, though he once told Marcus Cole that he was "still working out the details". All he ever wanted was to be a fighter pilot, like his dad. Though he was 'Mars-Born', he spent as much time growing up on Earth as he did on Mars and held a deep fondness for both worlds and their peoples.
Sinclair enlisted in Earthforce in 2237. During his first year at Earthforce Academy, Sinclair met John Sheridan for the first time when he made the unfortunate mistake of getting his attention by spilling a tray of food on him. Since Sheridan was a dutiful upperclassman, he decided to spend as much time as possible making Sinclair's first year a living hell. In 2240, Jeffrey was promoted to fighter pilot and less than a year later, was promoted to squadron leader; due to his rapid rise through the ranks it was rumored that Sinclair was on the fast track to making Admiral. In 2243 Sinclair was serving as a flight instructor at the Academy when he met Cadet Catherine Sakai while she was in her second year. During her first instruction flight with Sinclair, he almost made her black out after he performed a hairpin backward loop followed by a spinning barrel roll. She would later admit to herself that it was love at first sight. This was the beginning of a 15-year on-again-off-again relationship where the two would often argue and go their separate ways for years at a time, only to get back together and begin the cycle anew. After the Earth-Minbari War ended in 2248, Sakai left Earthforce for a life as a professional planetary surveyor and independent contractor.
The Battle of the Line
"The best way to understand someone is to fight him, make him angry. That's when you see the real person."
- – Sinclair
As squadron leader, Sinclair fought at the Battle of the Line, the last major battle in the Earth-Minbari War. During the course of the battle, his squadron was destroyed by the Minbari in mere minutes, resulting in the death of many friends (including Bill Mitchell). Sinclair's own fighter was badly damaged, rendering the weapons disabled and engines failing. In a last act of defiance, Sinclair attempted to ram one of the Minbari cruisers. Something passed in front of his eyes and he apparently blacked out. When he awoke 24 hours later the war was over; the Minbari had surrendered. The surviving Earth instruments showed his ship "missing" for a whole day, but it was officially ruled an instrument malfunction. Sinclair wondered what happened to him in those missing 24 hours for many years, though for nine years he did not seriously question the idea that he had blacked out due to acceleration.
The truth of why the Minbari surrendered became clearer over time. Sinclair's ship had been disabled and brought aboard the Minbari capital ship containing the Grey Council. Sinclair was briefly tortured for information by Coplann who used the triluminary on him, leading to a shocking discovery—Sinclair (they believed) had a Minbari soul. Restrained in the Grey Council chamber Delenn uses the Triluminary, and it glowing in Sinclair's presence, she declares that Sinclair had the soul of Valen himself. In actuality, the Triluminary glowed because it was responding to his DNA, encoded in the transformational matrices when the future Sinclair used it in 1260 to become Valen. Delenn interpreted this as a sign that the humans had an important part to play in the coming Shadow war. During his interrogations by the Council, Sinclair saw Delenn, although he did not know her at that time. The Minbari used a telepath to suppress his memories of the entire event.
Sinclair was one of about 200 survivors of the Battle, which claimed over 20,000 human lives. He was awarded a special medal in recognition for service on the Line, but he rarely spoke about the event in the immediate years following, as he could not rationalize why the Minbari would surrender—and why he had survived.
In 2251, Lieutenant Commander Sinclair was stationed on Mars during the Martian Food Riots. In the midst of the violence, Sinclair was cut off from his unit and alone when he came upon a fellow Earthforce officer trying to fight off four rioters on his own in an alleyway, and came to his assistance. The two of them were able to drive off the rioters and it was only when the dust settled that the two recognised each other. The other officer was none other than Sinclair's old Academy nemesis Commander John Sheridan. Sheridan said he knew a bar that would be safe and they could call to check in with their respective bases. They did so and while taking shelter until the trouble outside subsided the pair got to talking, finally getting to know each other. Sinclair discovered that despite his initial dislike for Sheridan, he was a pretty decent man who even apologized (just a little) for his behavior at the Academy. Many years later, Sinclair would say that Sheridan was not the jarhead some made him out to be, and was pleased when he found out who had taken his position on Babylon 5, stating that Sheridan would not be the puppet that Clark would hope for.
In 2253, Sinclair was sent to Mars to investigate reports of human-alien collusion. When he arrived, he first met Michael Garibaldi, a shuttle pilot at the time. Garibaldi flew Sinclair and two young officers, Sanchez and Foster, over the surface, searching for something. Following orders, Sinclair refused to tell Garibaldi what they were looking for, and even filed fake flight plans so nobody else would know where they were. On the fifth day of searching, the ship's navigational systems and inertial dampers suddenly went offline. Garibaldi managed to crash-land the ship: Sanchez's leg was broken and Foster did not survive.
Sinclair and Garibaldi went to get help, a fifty-mile trek across the surface. They had not gone far when Sanchez linked in to report that all the ship's systems had suddenly started working again—evidence that Garibaldi was not at fault for the crash. Sanchez also reported a dust storm on the ship's scanners, prompting Sinclair and Garibaldi to seek shelter in a nearby cave.
With only five days of air and food, the wait was long and hard. Sinclair managed to maintain radio contact with Sanchez. Unknown to Sinclair, Michael had some alcohol with him, and after having a few drinks, wandered off. When Sinclair realized he was missing, he headed to the mouth of the cave to look for him, only to have the mouth of the cave collapse. He was knocked unconscious and left half buried by the rocks just outside the cave's entrance. Sanchez realized something had happened and linked Garibaldi, who came back and rescued Sinclair from the rubble. As soon as Sinclair came to, he wrestled Garibaldi to the ground, threatening to kill him if he ever did something as stupid as wandering off again.
Moving on, they climbed to the top of a canyon and witnessed something terrible—a huge, nightmarish alien ship was hovering over an excavation site. In the site was another of those ships, still half buried—the first was digging it out of the ground.
Sinclair and Garibaldi noticed humanoid figures nearby, watching. Sinclair guessed that their communications could not work either, but they seemed to be communicating. Figuring they were telepaths, Sinclair had Garibaldi knock him out with a stun gun as a land vehicle drew near. When the two occupants got out to investigate the unconscious Sinclair, Garibaldi got the jump on them, knocking them both out. He then woke Sinclair, and they donned the uniforms of the two telepaths. Sinclair then explained his mission to Garibaldi. They drove the vehicle to a small camp set up by the telepaths and split up briefly. When they were discovered, Sinclair was forced to rescue Michael by driving the vehicle into one of the buildings where strange medical experiments were being conducted on human beings. Garibaldi ended their pursuit by throwing grenades as they rushed off.
After returning to civilization, the two linked in with Earthforce, returning to the site later aboard a military shuttle. When they got back, however, they found no trace of anything they had seen before—save for one burnt Psi Corps badge Michael kept. With no evidence, they eventually kept quiet about the incident. The experience created a strong friendship between the two of them that would last for many long years.
The Babylon Project
When Babylon 5 went online in March 2256, Sinclair was chosen to be in charge of the station, even though several others were in line in front of him. Sinclair was surprised when they informed him, as he was comparatively low ranked compared to many of the other candidates. He would learn later that he was specifically chosen at the behest of the Minbari, who were the first to sign onto Babylon 5 but only on the condition they were allowed to choose the station commander.
He brought onboard Laurel Takashima as his second in command, keeping his promotion promise to her. His friend Michael Garibaldi comes on board in January 2257 as his security chief, after completing his Mars security assignment. Their previous experience on Mars had left Sinclair with a deep trust in Michael.
The first year was relatively quiet, as many different races came to the station and signed onto the Project. Finally, the Vorlon Empire agreed to send an ambassador, which meant all five of the major powers would have a voice on the Babylon 5 Advisory Council. When the Vorlon ambassador, Kosh Naranek, arrived at the station on January 4th 2257 , Sinclair was supposed to meet him alone. He took a transport tube that suddenly stalled on its way to meet the ambassador, and when he did arrive he found Kosh lying on the ground, seemingly attacked. He had Kosh taken to the Isolab, but the Ambassador's encounter suit precluded any possibility of treatment. The Vorlon Empire specifically demanded his suit not be opened, but Sinclair ordered Dr. Benjamin Kyle to open it anyway and save Kosh. He ordered Kyle not to report anything he saw about Kosh's physiology. Kyle learned that Kosh had been poisoned, but needed to know the exact entry point. Sinclair asked the human telepath Lyta Alexander to scan Kosh's mind and figure out how he was poisoned. Lyta successfully saw that the poison was administered through the hand—seemingly by Sinclair himself. Kosh recognized Sinclair greeting him with the internal acknowledgement "Entil'zha, Valen".
There was an uproar on the station as Sinclair flatly denied the charges, and he was temporarily relieved of command. Ambassador G'Kar of the Narn Regime assembled the Advisory Council and the League of Non-Aligned Worlds, voting to have Sinclair handed over to the Vorlons for trial. G'Kar had managed to blackmail Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari to vote in favor of the motion. Lt. Cmdr. Laurel Takashima, acting in Sinclair's stead, voted against the resolution, and Delenn of the Minbari Federation abstained. G'Kar had contacted the Vorlons, however, and they voted in affirmation.
As the Vorlons sent a small fleet to force the handover, Sinclair and Garibaldi managed to learn that the attack had been carried out through the use of a changeling net. The real culprits were a radical clan within the Minbari Warrior Caste called the Wind Swords, who had sent a lone assassin to frame Sinclair. When Sinclair discovered the assassin's identity, he demanded to know the reason why, but the assassin only replied enigmatically that "there is a hole in your mind" before triggering a bomb on his person. Sinclair managed to escape the blast and was exonerated of the charges against him—but the assassin's words prompted him to wonder for the first time about what really happened to him during the Battle of the Line.
Sinclair had been involved with Carolyn Sykes during this time, but they split up shortly after the incident with Kosh. Carolyn wanted Sinclair to resign and go into business with her, but that was not for him.
On 25 February 2258, Lieutenant Commander Susan Ivanova replaced Lt. Cmdr. Laurel Takashima. The Chief Medical Officer, Benjamin Kyle, was also recalled to Earth Dome returning to his post as Head of Xenobiological Research to work with the President.
Establishing the Peace
As station commander, his decisions would often be met with criticism or hostility among the political factions back on Earth.
On the eve of the Earth Alliance elections, the Narn attacked and seized a small Centauri agricultural colony, Ragesh 3. Sinclair called for an emergency session of the B5 Council and the League, hoping to impose sanctions against the Narn. However, the Earth Alliance did not want to commit itself to possibly being involved in a conflict during the elections. Sinclair decided to personally lead a team of Starfuries to intercept a band of Raiders before they could attack a supply ship carrying colonists. He left Lt. Cmdr. Ivanova to act in his stead in the Council, and told her to act as though he had not been able to tell her his orders from Earth. Sinclair's squadron easily dispatched the raiders and discovered a command and control ship. Once they boarded the vessel, they discovered a Narn officer, as the Narn had been supplying weapons to the Raiders. The ship also intercepted transmissions from Ragesh 3 proving the attack was unprovoked, despite the claims of the Narn. Sinclair used this evidence to compel G'Kar to get the Regime to withdraw from the colony.
When an unidentified alien ship tumbled out of hyperspace, headed for a collision with the station, Sinclair quickly grabbed a Starfury to try and grapple the ship, hopeful for a first contact situation. He was successful, and the sole being on the ship was taken to the Isolab for treatment. Delenn accompanied Sinclair to the medlab, where she recognized the alien as a Soul Hunter and begged Sinclair to get rid of him immediately. She explained who the Soul Hunters were and how the Minbari abhorred their practice. Many other aliens aboard either barred themselves inside their quarters or left the station as soon as possible. Sinclair spoke to the Soul Hunter when he awakened, skeptical of his claim to be able to take a person's soul at death. He told the Soul Hunter he would be kept in custody in the lab until his ship was repaired, then he must go on his way. The Soul Hunter escaped, however, and kidnapped Delenn. A second member of his race then came aboard, explaining the first had gone rogue. Sinclair located Delenn, confronting the Soul Hunter, who warned Sinclair that Delenn was "satai" and that the Minbari were using him. Sinclair killed the Soul Hunter by turning his own soul stealing machine on him. Afterwards, he forbade any Soul Hunter from commencing activities on B5, and turned over the rogue's collection to Delenn.
Sinclair is charged with negotiating the Euphrates Treaty, which would settle a Narn-Centauri dispute in the Euphrates Sector. He is annoyed when Ambassador Londo Mollari consistently delays the negotiations. Londo finally admits to Sinclair that a woman whom he loves, Adira Tyree, is in trouble. Londo confesses that Adira's master Trakis has also stolen Londo's Purple files, which contain information that could bring the Centauri Republic to its knees. Sinclair agrees to help if Londo accepts his compromise in the Treaty, which Londo agrees to. They first go undercover to find Adira, but when that fails, Sinclair manages to trick G'Kar into helping them locate Trakis, Adira, and the files. The Euphrates Treaty is signed shortly thereafter.
On the second anniversary of Babylon 5 going online, ISN sent a reporter to interview Sinclair, though he was not happy about it. The day she arrived coincided with the arrival of Vance Hendricks and Nelson Drake, who smuggled aboard an ancient Ikarran artifact. The device took over Drake, attacking Dr. Franklin and badly injuring him. Sinclair confronted Hendricks, who claimed he had no idea what was happening. Drake, assimilated into an Ikarran warrior, lashed out according to the device's programming, killing several people on the station. Sinclair coordinated security teams from C'n'C. Once recovered, Franklin was able to learn about the device's purpose: it was designed to purify the Ikarran race, but had worked too perfectly and killed everyone on the planet. When brute force failed to stop the organic warrior, Sinclair decides to lure the creature to an airlock by enraging it, forcing it to bring up Drake's memories a dead Ikarra. The device then separates itself from Drake.
Afterwards, Garibaldi confronts Sinclair about being too gung-ho, too needing to play the hero. Sinclair admits he does not have an answer for Michael. Later on, he finally has his interview with reporter Mary Ann Cramer.
Earth Central decides Babylon 5 should host a week long festival celebrating the dominant belief systems of all the races aboard. Sinclair was tasked with demonstrating Earth's, and he had no idea at first how to carry this out. At the beginning of the week, Sinclair's old flame, Catherine Sakai, comes aboard. Garibaldi lets him know, and while at first he decides to avoid her, he soon sets out to meet her. He invites her to dinner at Fresh Air, and she reluctantly accepts, worried about them falling into old habits. They talk about old times, and how they get back together every two to three years only to break up again. They both admit they miss one another. Sinclair has to go directly from dinner to a Minbari Rebirth Ceremony. Catherine meets up with him the following day, and their passion reignites, leading them to sleep with one another. Catherine's job will keep her close, and they decide to try and make it work. On the last day of the festival, Sinclair arranges for Earth's demonstration—a long line of individuals representing each of Earth's hundreds of belief systems.
Sinclair meets Psi Cop Alfred Bester for the first time when Bester and another Psi Cop come aboard in search of a rogue telepath named Jason Ironheart. Sinclair dislikes Bester, as do most of his crew, particularly because of Bester's condescending attitude (as well as his rough treatment of Talia Winters). Talia comes to him quietly and explains she and Jason were lovers when they were younger, and that he came to say good-bye. He agrees to meet with Ironheart without Bester, and Ironheart warns him that the Psi Corp modified his abilities to uncontrollable levels in their attempt for control. Jason asks Sinclair to let him leave, and Sinclair decides to do so. This causes a shootout involving Bester and his partner, the latter of whom is killed by Ironheart. Jason escapes, transforming into an energy being just outside the station. Sinclair insists to Bester that Talia not be reprimanded, and they create a false report that Ironheart's ship exploded outside the station. Bester agrees, but warns Sinclair there will be repercussions. He also gives him a curious salute.
Midway through the year, a string of vicious anti-alien attacks occur aboard the station. A Minbari poet named Shaal Mayan is seriously injured in Green Sector and a pair of minor Centauri nobles are assaulted in the Zen Garden. The attacks prompt G'Kar to nearly start a riot after he accuses Sinclair of dragging his feet in catching the obviously human perpetrators. Garibaldi's investigation quickly uncovers that Malcolm Biggs, a recent arrival, is a member of Homeguard, a radical xenophobic pro-Earth group. Sinclair decides to feign a personal disgust of aliens, allowing Biggs to believe he can be recruited. Sinclair and Ivanova play along, announcing to the Council and the League that the culprits have fled to Earth. Biggs reveals several of his associates, who have cutting edge body suits with personal cloaking fields. Biggs explains that their master plan is to assassinate the four major alien ambassadors in one night (G'kar, Mollari, Delenn, and Kosh) while other Home Guard operatives strike at embassies on Earth. As a test of loyalty, Sinclair is asked to murder an alien ambassador named Mila Shar. Sinclair refuses, and Garibaldi's security team descends on the location, arresting Biggs and all the others.
Loyalty, Neutrality, and Defiance
Two members of a clandestine operation on Earth, Knight One and Knight Two, manage to kidnap Sinclair while he is sleeping. They hook him up to a machine that allows Knight Two to see his thoughts, and subject Sinclair to a virtual reality program (projecting his thoughts into the projections). Knight Two torments Sinclair with images of his wingman, Mitchell, blaming him for Mitchell's death at the Line. Knight Two, not believing Sinclair's word that he cannot remember what happened during the Battle, accuses him of being a secret Minbari operative. Sinclair persists that he cannot remember, but the machine forces free memories that had been blocked by the Minbari. He finally remembers being captured and brought aboard the Minbari ship. He remembers seeing the Triluminary—and he remembers seeing Delenn there.
Sinclair manages to break free from the machine, and in doing so he sends a feedback surge to Knight Two which scrambles his own memories. Sinclair escapes the quarters, but is delusional, believing he is back in the War. He takes a shot at a security officer before making his way to the Zocalo. Garibaldi manages to clear the place before his arrival, but Delenn insists on confronting him anyway. Sinclair remembers her from the dream, but manages to come to his senses before harming her. Later, she asks about his "delusions," but he does not tell her about what he now remembers.
When Na'Toth brutally attacks a woman in customs (an alien arriving on a Minbari transport), shouting the name "Deathwalker," Sinclair investigates and discovers to his shock the woman is really Jha'dur, the Dilgar war criminal known by that name. Sinclair places Na'Toth under house arrest while he tries to learn how Jha'dur is not only alive but far younger than she should be. Senator Hidoshi contacts Sinclair, telling him that Jha'dur is to be sent to Earth quietly. Sinclair objects, arguing she should be turned over to the League of Non-Aligned Worlds for trial. Earthforce is adamant, however, as Jha'dur has apparently found a serum that halts the aging process and prevents disease. Word of Deathwalker's presence is leaked before she can be taken off the station, however, and the League insists on a vote at the Council. Knowing Earth cannot vote against a trial against the great Dilgar war criminal, Sinclair believes the vote will be two to two (as the Narn and the Centauri collaborated to different degrees with the Dilgar) with Kosh abstaining and the League breaking the vote. To his surprise, Lennier, acting for Delenn, votes against a trial. Lennier admits that Jha'dur was secretly hidden by a Minbari clan, the Wind Swords, and the Minbari Federation is too ashamed to admit it now. Sinclair avoids a violent resolution with the League when he discloses what Jha'dur has promised. The League agrees to allow her to return to Earth if the serum will be shared. Before leaving, Jha'dur explain to Sinclair that her serum works but requires a living sacrifice—billions will live forever after slaughtering billions more. However, as Jha'dur's ship leaves the station, a Vorlon ship jumps in and destroys it.
An Onteen couple, Tharg and M'Ola, bring their son Shon to the station seeking medical treatment for him. However, while his condition is easily treatable, the treatment involves surgery, a practice forbidden by their people's religious beliefs. Dr. Stephen Franklin asks Sinclair to override the parents' wishes and let him operate anyway. Sinclair realizes his precarious situation: he either has to let a child die, or violate the neutrality of the station. Franklin points out that Sinclair has done this once, to save Ambassador Kosh. Tharg and M'Ola attempt to get one of the major powers to lean on Sinclair, but none of them wish to get involved (each for their own reasons). Sinclair speaks to Shon himself. He makes the hard decision to stand by the parents' wishes. Franklin commences the surgery anyway, angering Sinclair. However, the parents ritualistically kill their son after the operation. Franklin offers his resignation, but Sinclair refuses it.
President Luis Santiago, a major proponent of the Babylon Project, announces he wishes to visit the station as part of a planned tour. He will be delivering a new fighter complement when he comes. The day before his arrival, an explosion goes off in one of the Cobra bays, leaving a worker, Nolan, critically injured. The explosion occurs just as Major Lianna Kemmer, the head of the President's Security Detail, arrives on the station. Kemmer insists on assuming command of the investigation into the explosion in place of Garibaldi. Sinclair realizes the two have a history, and after Garibaldi loses his temper with a petty thief, Sinclair confronts Michael about it. Garibaldi explains he was friends with Lianna's father, Frank, when she was a child. Frank was killed as a way of getting at Garibaldi, something Lianna has never forgiven him for. When it becomes clear the explosion was caused by a bomb, Lianna questions Nolan, who utters Garibaldi's name before dying. She insists Garibaldi be relieved until the investigation is over, a command Sinclair must reluctantly follow. When her aide Cutter discovers some incriminating evidence in Garibaldi's quarters, Garibaldi goes on the run. Sinclair tries to stall a station wide manhunt, knowing Michael is innocent and blasting Lianna as being colored by her bitterness. Lianna manages to assert her authority, however, by orders from Earth Dome. Garibaldi is finally captured, but convinces Lianna of his innocence. The culprits turn out to be Cutter and Nolan himself, both agents of Homeguard, and Cutter is stopped before he can detonate further bombs. The President's visit is a major success.
When an accident in the docking bays leaves one worker dead and a Narn shuttle destroyed, the rest of the dock workers cried out over the harsh conditions they had been working in. Despite requests from Sinclair, the Senate had not allocated them any more funding for raises or to hire more workers. The leader of the Docker's Guild, Neeoma Connoly, organizes a "blue flu," a kind of illegal strike. Believing Earth will have to negotiate, she told Sinclair she refuses to put her people back to work without better conditions. The Ministry of Labor sends a representative, Orin Zento, to work out a settlement. Zento is unable to persuade them to go back to work. When the "blue flu" becomes an all out strike, Zento warns Sinclair that his troops must be ready to act in arresting the dock workers if necessary. After a final negotiation fails, Zento calls out the Rush Act, and has the Senate confirm it within the hour. Under the terms of the Act, Sinclair is empowered to use "any means necessary" to stop the strike. Sinclair reallocates part of the funding given to him for defense reasons to the dock workers (and grants amnesty to any of the workers involved with a riot). Senator Hidoshi, who had been in contact with Sinclair the entire time, congratulates Sinclair on his creative solution—and warns him that it could have potential repercussions for Sinclair in the future, particularly since Zento has powerful friends.
During the strike, Londo and G'Kar continued their feud, as Londo had a G'Quan Eth he refused to hand over to G'Kar for an important religious ceremony, prompting G'Kar to have a Centauri statue stolen. Sinclair orders G'Kar to return the statue and confiscates the plant, arranging for G'Kar to have it. When G'Kar points out it is too late for the ceremony, Sinclair finds a means for him to carry it out anyway.
After a few weeks, Sinclair confides in Garibaldi what he now remembers about the Battle of the Line, asking Michael to quietly dig around and see what he can find.
Meanwhile, the Raiders have been growing more bold, attacking more targets and being in close proximity to Babylon 5. The Raiders are somehow able to flee the area of their attacks before Sinclair can send any fighter wings. The latest attack, however, occurs significantly farther away from the station (and an attack on a freighter carrying nothing of real value). Sinclair sends Ivanova and a fighter wing, but soon after they leave he realizes they are being pulled away on a diversion. With the only ship leaving B5 anytime soon being a Centauri shuttle owned by a Lord Kiro, he decides to warn Kiro personally about a potential attack. He stumbles upon Kiro and Londo being held up by a Raider at gunpoint. The Raider drags Kiro to his own ship, threatening to burn his way out of the station if Sinclair does not let them leave. Sinclair authorizes him to leave, instructing Garibaldi to launch with Delta Wing to disable the shuttle. However, once in space, a Raider Battle Wagon jumps into B5 space, launching a wing of fighters to attack the station. Sinclair coordinates the battle from C'n'C. Caught between the station, Delta Wing, and Ivanova's squadron upon their return, the Raider fighters are wiped out. However, the Battle Wagon escapes with Lord Kiro. Afterwards, Sinclair calls in Londo and Kiro's aunt, Lady Ladira, and asks them what the Raiders were really after.
Following this interview, Lady Ladira, who is also a seer, warns Sinclair about a vision she had upon her arrival of the station's destruction. She is able to allow him to see the vision, but concedes that it is only a possible future, one she hopes he can avoid.
Ivanova's rabbi, Rabbi Koslov, comes aboard the station to see how Susan is handling the death of her father. He asks Sinclair to allow her time off to sit shiva, which Sinclair agrees to (surprised that she has kept quiet about her father's death). After Susan works through some personal issues coping with the death, she does observe shiva. Sinclair joins her and Koslov in the ritual.
Delenn approaches Sinclair one day a few weeks later, asking him to have an honor guard ready for the arrival of a human named Aldous Gajic, a man she calls a "true seeker." Sinclair has never heard of him, but agrees to the request. He is amused when Gajic turns out to be a man seeking the Holy Grail. He explains to Delenn that such seekers are not usually taken seriously on Earth, something she says is regrettable. Despite his "quest," Gajic impresses Sinclair when he agrees to take in and rehabilitate a petty criminal named Jinxo.
Meanwhile, Garibaldi is trying to crack an underworld ring lead by a man named Deuce, who is using some sort of creature to "brain wipe" innocent people. Dr. Franklin reports it may be a creature from Centauri space, a Na'ka'leen Feeder. Sinclair asks Ambassador Mollari, who is so terrified at the thought of a feeder aboard the station he immediately turns over all the information he has on the creatures. While the investigation continues, Jinxo literally runs into Sinclair, explaining that Gajic has been kidnapped by Deuce and is going to be given to the feeder (who Deuce has disguised as a Vorlon, complete with a fake encounter suit). Sinclair and Jinxo head to Deuce's lair, joined by Garibaldi and a security team. A firefight ensues, which results in both the feeder and Gajic being killed. Deuce and his cronies are taken into custody. Sinclair sees Jinxo (now determined to carry on Gajic's quest) off the station. He also explains the incident to Ambassador Kosh.
In the midst of civil unrest on Mars, Earthforce enters an embargo against weapon transports to the planet. They alert Sinclair, informing him that B5 is to take note of any weapon shipments that come through there. At the same time, Col. Ari Ben Zayn, an operative from Earthforce Internal Affairs, arrives with telepath Harriman Gray to investigate Sinclair and the command staff. They first conduct covert means, but soon reveal their mission to Sinclair and the others. Col. Zayn instructs them that they will all be expected to pass a "loyalty test" via a telepathic scan. Sinclair states upfront he will vouch for any member of his staff. Ivanova almost resigns because of the possibility of being scanned, but Sinclair does not accept her resignation, recognizing how she is to the station and to him. He promises Ivanova she will not have to submit to the scan. Zayn goes over every decision Sinclair has made all year.
Zayn relieves Sinclair of command pending an investigation into Sinclair's loyalty, confining him to his quarters and insisting he will have to submit to a loyalty scan. Sinclair appeals to the Joint Chiefs, only to learn that they will not intervene because of political pressure over Mars and other matters. Garibaldi quickly gets to work investigating the two. He learns that Zayn has a personal vendetta against Sinclair, as Zayn was on the list for command of B5, only to be passed over by Sinclair. He also learns Zayn is friends with Alfred Bester, which Sinclair concludes is working some revenge. During his investigation, Sinclair manages to get Zayn to admit his bias (and his rage), prompting Harriman Gray to denounce the colonel. Clearly acting illegally now, the colonel is placed under arrest and Sinclair is reinstated.
Voices From the Past and Future
"We've fought long enough. Maybe it's time we started talking to one another."
- – Sinclair
Shai Alyt Branmer, a great war leader of the Minbari during the Earth-Minbari War, died suddenly while on a diplomatic mission. His clan, the Star Riders, decided to honor their fallen leader by parading it back home, stopping in every sector along the way—one of these stops was to be Babylon 5. This marked the first time since the war Sinclair had seen one of their war cruisers (and Branmer had commanded one of the ships that destroyed most of his crew on the Line). The Minbari in charge of the action was Alyt Neroon, Branmer's executive officer, who initially had nothing but contempt for Sinclair and the other humans aboard the station. Sinclair put out a full honor guard to honor the fallen hero, though the presence of the body and Neroon opened up old wounds. Not long after the body was aboard and lying in state, it turned up missing. Sinclair charged Garibaldi with finding it immediately.
While the search went on, Sinclair spoke to Delenn about the fallen war leader. She told him that Branmer had been a reluctant hero, and would never have wanted the parade that was being given him. He was also confronted in his quarters by Neroon, who suspected it would be the one place no one would look. While the search went on, Ivanova brought another matter to Sinclair's attention, that of a young woman named Alisa Beldon, who had just manifested telepathy. Alisa had briefly read Delenn's mind and she learned that it was the Ambassador who had stolen the body. Sinclair and Garibaldi confirmed this shortly afterwards. Delenn explains she was trying to honor Branmer's true last wishes. She feared what would happen if the knowledge became public, and now had to deal with the situation less than quietly, starting with forcing Neroon to apologize to Sinclair for his behavior. Sinclair offered to issue a statement honoring Branmer, a high honor among the Minbari. Neroon left with a newfound respect for Sinclair. Afterwards, Sinclair allows Alisa Beldon to leave for Minbar, to help serve as a means of communication between the two races.
Later in the year, the station began to pick up strange readings from Epsilon 3, the planet B5 orbits. Sinclair first sent a few teams to survey the surface from near orbit, but these teams triggered a strange alien beacon. Sinclair asked Ivanova to keep investigating while he helped successfully negotiate a settlement to Sector 119 between the Centauri and the Minbari. After the negotiations were concluded, Sinclair attempted to get a quiet night's rest, only to have it interrupted by reports of massive civil disturbances on Mars. He is dismayed to see places he knew burn as riots ran rampant across the planet. He also beholds a vision of a strange, unknown alien appealing to him.
After a missile fires on the survey team, Sinclair insists that he an Ivanova have to investigate the situation on the planet personally (especially since it is a potential first contact situation). Sinclair manages to pilot a shuttle into a fissure deep beneath the planet's surface, into an artificially constructed landing pad. They discover a massive alien machine, operated by a dying alien named Varn (the one who appeared to Sinclair in a vision). Varn asks them for help, warning them that the station is in great danger.
Sinclair and Ivanova return to the station with Varn just as the EAS Hyperion, commanded by Captain Ellis Pierce comes through the jumpgate. Varn is turned over to MedLab while Sinclair talks to Pierce. The Hyperion was ordered to come there to support the Earth Alliance's claim to the Great Machine. Sinclair tells off Pierce, telling him he has no use for his type of heavy handed diplomacy. He contacts Senator Hidoshi about Pierce's orders to assume control, but Hidoshi tells him that the President is too busy with Mars to deal with anything else. Ivanova warns Sinclair that the Station has picked up projections that the planet has begun a chain reaction that will result in its destruction—a destruction that will take the station with it.
Still worrying about Mars, Sinclair speaks to Garibaldi about the situation, knowing Garibaldi's ex-girlfriend, Lise Hampton, is on Mars—and that he still loves her very much. Sinclair offers to try and learn something. He then asks Garibaldi to make sure Ivanova gets off the station should they need to evacuate. When Pierce defies Sinclair's orders to stay away from the planet, he threatens to fire on Pierce's ships should they attempt to land.
An alien vessel suddenly arrives laying claim to the Great Machine, stating they have been searching for it for 500 years. Varn awakens in MedLab, speaking to Delenn and her old teacher, Draal (and then to Sinclair). He confirms the planet will explode without an operator. He begs Sinclair not to let the alien vessel take control of the Machine, arguing "it is for the future." When Delenn, Draal, and Londo Mollari take Varn on a shuttle towards the planet, the alien vessel opens fire on the station and the Hyperion. B5 and the Hyperion coordinate a counterattack, but the vessel nearly destroys them both before Draal, the new operator of the Great Machine, ends the conflict. He warns everyone to stay away from the planet, threatening deadly force to anyone who disobeys. The alien vessel defies the warning anyway, and is completely obliterated. The Hyperion leaves the system soon afterwards.
A few weeks later, the station picks up strange tachyon emissions from Sector 14, an area three hours from Babylon 5 and the site where Babylon 4 disappeared. Soon afterwards, the lost station itself appears. Sinclair responds to a plea for help from the station. He assembles a large teams of volunteers to pilot ships in evacuating B4's skeleton crew. Sinclair, Garibaldi, and a handful of others first board the station to investigate before calling the rest of the rescue teams in.
They meet Major Krantz, who had been in charge of overseeing the station's construction, who explains that inexplicably the station has become "unstuck" in time. The same phenomenon causes "time flashes," where someone can see an event in their own life forward or backward in time. Sinclair sees a vision of himself on B5 when it is under attack by an unknown enemy. Garibaldi is holding them back, but cannot do so for long.
Major Krantz also introduces Sinclair to an alien named Zathras, who seems to recognize Sinclair at first, but then admits his mistake. Zathras admits that he is part of a team that has come to steal the station and move it through time to serve as a base of operations for "the side of light" in a great and terrible war. Sinclair, Garibaldi, and Krantz also behold a being Zathras calls The One, but they cannot identify the being, as he is wearing a space suit. As the tachyon emissions resurge, threatening to pull the station through time once more, the last of the crew begin to evacuate. Zathras is trapped by a fallen column. Sinclair tries to free him, but is unable. Zathras insists Sinclair leave without him, telling him that he has a destiny that he must fulfill. Sinclair and Garibaldi leave on the last shuttle, just before the station disappears again. Sinclair implements a quarantine of Sector 14.
In the Fall of 2258, a deranged serial killer named Karl Mueller is captured after murdering a pair of lurkers and a security officer on the station. Finding him guilty of the murders, Ombuds Wellington presented Sinclair with three options: send him to prison on Earth, keep him locked up in the brig forever, or mind wipe him. Sinclair checks with Earth Central, and they refuse to pay for the prisoner's transport off station. Garibaldi insists they do not have the resources to keep him locked up forever. Sinclair thus authorizes the mind wipe, resulting in a sentence of "death of personality." Mueller temporarily escapes custody but is killed by Dr. Laura Rosen in down below.
At the same time, Sinclair also learns of a disturbance at a bar called the Dark Star, and is surprised when Ambassador Mollari and Lennier turn out to be the cause of the disturbance. He questions them privately, and Lennier accepts full responsibility for what happened. While suspecting otherwise, Sinclair chooses to say nothing. While unable to charge them with anything per diplomatic immunity, he does insist they pay for the damages.
The End of the Beginning
By December of 2258, the Narn Regime was on the move against the Centauri again, this time making aggressive moves in Quadrant 37. Sinclair was unable to mediate the dispute in the Council. He approaches G'Kar privately, accusing the Narns of "overcompensating" following their revolution against the Centauri. He also tells G'Kar he believes they are all standing at a crossroads and is worried about what is coming. He seems to reach G'Kar momentarily, though the Ambassador insists that his people are just doing what they must.
After being together again for most of the year, Sinclair proposes to Catherine on New Year's Eve, which she immediately accepts. They announce their engagement at Fresh Air Restaurant to Garibaldi and Ivanova, asking them to be Best Man and Maid of Honor, which they both joyfully accept. Garibaldi is alerted during the dinner that several suspects he had brought in while investigating the death of an informant from Down Below are missing from the brig. Garibaldi worries that they may be Black Ops agents, as the PPGs he removed off them had no serial numbers—and now they're mysteriously gone from the brig.
Garibaldi resumes his investigation—and quickly goes missing. While Sinclair and Ivanova coordinate a search, Ambassador Delenn comes to the commander in his quarters. She shows him a Triluminary, and he recognizes it from his capture at the Battle of the Line. He admits he remembers being taken aboard a Minbari vessel, but his memories are fragmented. Delenn offers to explain what happened and tell him much more—though she puts both their lives at risk by doing so. When Sinclair explains Garibaldi is missing, she tells him to come to her when he can (but not to delay too long, as her time is now limited).
Garibaldi is found, having been shot in the back and seriously injured. Before he passes out in MedLab, Garibaldi tells Sinclair that President Luis Santiago is going to be assassinated at the transfer station over Io. Sinclair rushes to C'n'C, trying to get the message out, but B5's efforts are too late. Sinclair, Ivanova, and many others watch a live feed of Earthforce One exploding over Io.
As Garibaldi goes into surgery, Sinclair orders Garibaldi's Aide to locate the suspects Garibaldi had detained. The Aide kills all three suspects, allegedly in self-defense. He also sends a message to Earth Central, telling them about alleged assassination plot. The Senator whom he speaks to doubts the story, and orders him to stay quiet to avoid starting a panic. Frustrated with Earth Central and worried about Michael, Sinclair goes to a bar off duty and watches an ISN replay of the Vice President being sworn in as President of the Earth Alliance. Kosh appears to Sinclair in the bar, reminding him that he was supposed to meet with Delenn. Sinclair rushes to her quarters, only to find that he is too late. She has entered into some sort of chrysalis. Lennier explains that she is changing, but admits he does not know what the metamorphosis will be.
As the year comes to an end, Sinclair reflects on all the changes it has brought, comforted by Catherine in his quarters.
After Babylon 5
A few days into 2259, Cmdr. Sinclair is recalled to Earth. About a week later, it is announced that he is being reassigned as the Earth Alliance ambassador on Minbar. When he arrives, he is finally told the full story about his capture at the Battle of the Line. The Minbari learned during their questioning of him that he had a Minbari soul.
After Sinclair agrees to become the ambassador, President Clark assures him that he will be informed about any change in Garibaldi's condition. While on the way to Minbar, the Minbari war cruiser carrying Sinclair stops to take aboard a member of the Grey Council. Sinclair is informed that the Minbari are going to install the new leader of the Council—the position that has been vacant since the death of Dukhat. Sincalir feels something strange about this Grey Council member—who, unbeknownst to Sinclair, is in fact Delenn—but he is stopped before he can talk to her. Sinclair then contacts Garibaldi and tells his friend to send regards on the election of the new leader to Delenn. To Sinclair's surprise, he is informed by Garibaldi that Delenn has left Babylon 5.
Sinclair soon meets the transformed Delenn on Minbar, still not knowing that she is a member of the Grey Council. Their meeting is soon interrupted by several Minbari, who claim to have found a long-range weapon and a map of the new leader's route in Sinclair's belongings. Suspected of an assassination attempt, Sinclair is immediately taken under guard. He is soon visited by Delenn, whom he tries to convince that he has been set up. Delenn agrees to help him and informs Sinclair that the warning about the assassination attempt came from Babylon 5. Meanwhile, back home, it is implied that Sinclair tried to kill the Minbari new leader because he suspected the Minbari of being somehow involved in President Santiago's death. Aboard Babylon 5, Garibaldi and the new commander of the station, John Sheridan do not believe in Sinclair's guilt. They begin their investigation.
Sinclair is taken before the Court, where Neroon has been assigned as his prosecutor and the re-engagement of hostilities between the Earth and Minbar is at stake. Sinclair pleads not guilty, but the Court does not heed his words. However, Delenn expresses her desire to speak for Sinclair. She says that on Babylon 5, Talia Winters has probed the mind of a psi-cop who has been investigating an anti-alien group, which may have been responsible for framing Sinclair. The Court agrees to discuss the new evidence, but they do not change their minds afterward. As a last chance to prevent a new war, Sinclair offers his life in exchange for war according to an ancient Minbari custom. Just as the Court grants his request, the new Grey Council leader, Jenimer storms into the court room, stating that he has pardoned Sinclair. It turns out that Sinclair's offering of his life was a well-calculated plan, as he believed that the Grey Council would not allow it to be revealed that Humans carry Minbari souls. Later, as Delenn prepares to leave Minbar, Sinclair says goodbye and kisses her on the cheek.
Sinclair also learns about the coming of Shadows. He becomes the leader of the Rangers, assuming the title "Ranger One" as Anla'Shok Na Turval steps down and is given lodgings in the very house that Valen lived in a thousand years ago, left unoccupied but perfectly maintained since his leaving Minbar. His position as head of the Anla'Shok and as Earth's official Ambassador to Minbar allowed him to swell the ranks of the Rangers with humans, all of whom are trained on Minbar to fight in the great war the Minbari have been predicting for 1000 years.
Keeping all of this a secret from President Clark proves to be a simple task as by this time, Sinclair had been made a pariah back home with stories on ISN claiming he had "gone native", and Earth Dome neither acknowledging his calls nor providing him with a basic diplomatic staff or budget. Rathenn, who was an old friend of Delenn, worked with Ambassador Sinclair at her request, and Sinclair expressed thanks and gratitude to him for his hard work and friendship. Almost immediately in his new job he caused a controversy among the Minbari by insisting that Ranger membership be open to all Minbari, including the Worker Caste, who had up till that point been barred from service. Later he encountered a new problem when F'hursna Sech Durhan initially refused to allow humans to train with or own a Denn'bok, the traditional weapon of the Anla'Shok. The dispute is later resolved when Sinclair proves to Durhan in single combat that a human is indeed worthy to learn, though Durhan points out that only the individual humans that prove worthy may be permitted to own real Minbari fighting pike, as it is with Minbari.
After several months he is eventually allowed by Ulkesh to send word to Garibaldi about his new position, cautioning him to "watch out for shadows" and a second message for Michael to leave in the Babcom system for Catherine Sakai. He also sends a message to Delenn, at that time disgraced by the Grey Council. Later in the year he would earn the title Entil'Zha having proved himself worthy of Valen's legacy, though Sinclair was always uncomfortable with the near messianic status that came with the position.
The Closed Circle
"You talk like a Minbari, Commander."
- – Alyt Neroon, 2258
In 2260, after Earth declared martial law and Babylon 5 declared independence, Sinclair is approached by Rathenn with a container that was sealed by Valen over 900 years earlier, with instructions to be opened on that specific day. Rathenn revealed the contents to Sinclair—a letter addressed to him personally. After reading the letter, Sinclair immediately makes preparations to return to Babylon 5, taking his leave of Rathenn and the Rangers.
Upon his arrival, he immediately meets with Captain Sheridan and Delenn in the War Room. Delenn quickly explains they need to take the White Star to the temporal rift in Sector 14. En route, she explains to both of them (as well as Ivanova and Marcus Cole) that Babylon 4 had been stolen by them—or more properly, it will be stolen by them. She explains that during the First Shadow War, the Shadows destroyed the Minbari's great space station, and without a replacement the Side of Light would have lost the war. The replacement was Babylon 4, stolen through time by them. Sinclair affirms what Delenn says, not disclosing at that time the contents of the letter. The White Star is also met by Zathras, who has brought the equipment necessary to pull the station through time, and Sinclair remembers him from when he went aboard Babylon 4 the first time. Sinclair asks Sheridan to not bring Garibaldi aboard, fearing for what might happen to them both when they encounter the same temporal field for a second time.
Led by Sinclair (after Sheridan temporarily disappears into a temporal rift), they successfully travel back to 2254 and board Babylon 4 (after thwarting a Shadow attempt to bomb the station). They set up the equipment, and it brings the station to the year 2258, when Sinclair and Garibaldi had gone aboard the first time and evacuated the station. The effects of the temporal field, however, had indeed affected Sinclair the first time, and now that he encountered it again, it caused him to age about twenty years.
After they evacuated the crew and reentered Babylon 4 into the time stream. Now at last Sinclair reveals the truth: the letter was from Valen but in his handwriting. The only explanation is that he traveled back in time and became Valen. Delenn's metamorphosis had been "foretold" by Valen as a way of complementing his own transformation. He explained to them that he could accept it, as it cleared up many uncertainties in his mind, and it was the only way. The others departed, leaving only he and Zathras to take the station to the distant past.
Arriving in 1260 Sinclair contacted the Vorlons (most likely the only two Vorlons he knew, Kosh and Ulkesh). With the two of them aboard, Sinclair used a triluminary to enter a chrysalis and become "a Minbari not born of Minbari." He presented Babylon 4 to the Minbari: and introduced himself as Valen.
Some time after Sinclair's departure, Sech Turval, one of the few to share the secret of Sinclair's true destiny found a note addressed to Marcus Cole. Though there was no way to tell when the note itself was written, the sheet of paper was very old and of a kind that could be as much as a thousand years old.
"Continue to dream that better future . . . where perhaps we'll meet again."
- – From both of us, our thanks and friendship.
|Main Characters (Babylon 5)|
|Commander Jeffrey Sinclair • Captain/President John Sheridan • Lt. Commander/Commander Susan Ivanova • Security Chief Michael Garibaldi • Ambassador Delenn • Dr. Stephen Franklin • Talia Winters • Lennier • Marcus Cole • Captain Elizabeth Lochley • Vir Cotto • Lieutenant Warren Keffer • Na'Toth • Security Chief Zack Allan • Lyta Alexander • Ambassador/Citizen G'Kar • Ambassador Londo Mollari|