A Minbari war cruiser comes to Babylon 5 to display the body of a recently dead Minbari leader, while Ivanova and Talia battle for the fate of a young girl with newly discovered telepathic powers.
- Michael O'Hare as Commander Jeffrey Sinclair
- Claudia Christian as Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova
- Jerry Doyle as Security Chief Michael Garibaldi
- Mira Furlan as Delenn
- Richard Biggs as Dr. Stephen Franklin
- Andrea Thompson as Talia Winters
- Stephen Furst as Vir
- Bill Mumy as Lennier
- Caitlin Brown as Na'Toth
- Joshua Cox as Tech #2
- Richard Henry as Security Man
- Patrick O'Brien as Cart Owner
- Marianne Robertson as Tech #1
- Regular cast members appearing in this episode are Jeffrey Sinclair, Susan Ivanova, Michael Garibaldi, Delenn, Stephen Franklin, Talia Winters, and Na'Toth.
Commander Sinclair and Michael Garibaldi stand in C'n'C, awaiting the arrival of a Minbari warcruiser. The expected ship is carrying the body of a great Minbari war leader who died recently and the Minbari are parading his remains back to Minbar, stopping at every port along the way. When the ship jumps in, Sinclair is unnerved to see it, as it reminds him of the Battle of the Line.
Down in the Zócalo, a teenage girl attempts to shoplift from a kiosk but is caught in the act. She starts to flee, but then collapses suddenly. Both Susan Ivanova and Talia Winters witness the girl's collapse. Winters observes she was hit by a mindburst.
Back in C'n'C, one of the techs alerts Sinclair that the ship is coming in with gun ports open.
Sinclair orders the defense grid activated while he contacts the Minbari ship, demanding an explanation as to why their gun ports are open. The Minbari captain responds by saying they are on a peaceful mission, but refuses to offer any further explanation. Ambassador Delenn arrives then and explains that the gun ports are open as a symbolic gesture that the ship is carrying a great leader. Sinclair and Garibaldi are surprised, but stand down. At Delenn's invitation, Sinclair assures her that both he and Garibaldi will be present in customs to greet the body of Shai Alyt Bramner escorted by his former executive officer, Alyt Neroon.
In Medlab, Dr. Franklin checks on the young girl while Ivanova and Winters look on. Talia explains that the girl experienced a "mindburst": she is a telepath and her abilities have just manifested, as they sometimes do during around the age of puberty. Talia suggests contacting the Psi Corps right away, but Ivanova emphatically opposes this, using her theft as an excuse to keep her on the station and out of the Corps' hands. Dr. Franklin cites his authority as her caregiver and ushers them both out.
Sinclair, Ivanova, Garibaldi and an honor guard join Delenn in welcoming Neroon and his entourage aboard. Bramner's coffin is also brought aboard to lie in state. Delenn thanks Sinclair for his being so accommodating. She mentions that the arrangements about Bramner are unusual, but were insisted upon by his clan, the Star Riders. She also admits that she does not approve. For his part, Sinclair admits to being a little uneasy, as Bramner had fought in the Battle of the Line.
Ivanova returns to Medlab. The young girl awakens, but is overwhelmed by the flood of telepathic "noise." Talia is there and helps her block it out. She also gets the girl's name, Alisa Beldon, and pulling up her file Ivanova learns she is an orphan who has been living on her own in Downbelow for over a year. Alisa is afraid and barely able to control her talents (which Talia suggests are quite strong in potential). Talia again reiterates she needs to join the Psi Corps, and Ivanova again insists that the girl is not going anywhere.
As Sinclair and Garibaldi discuss, Neroon suddenly enters with his aides and Delenn. He demands certain security details regarding Bramner's body, namely that it is to lie secluded with only Minbari guards until the viewing ceremony the following day. Sinclair agrees to Neroon's "requests," though he makes it clear he does not care for the Minbari's tone. Delenn intervenes to ensure cooler heads prevail.
The next day, the ceremony starts but is interrupted – when Neroon opens the coffin and discovers Bramner's body is missing.
Neroon and Delenn are outraged that the Shai Alyt's body is missing. Neroon goes so far as to threaten war if it is not found, though Delenn reminds him that the Star Riders do not set policy for the entire Minbari Federation. Sinclair promises to do everything he can to locate the body.
Privately, Ivanova discusses the situation of Alisa Beldon with Sinclair. She wants to find some alternative to sending Alisa to the Psi Corps, and Sinclair agrees to back whatever decision she chooses (if she can find a viable alternative).
Later, Sinclair meets Delenn in her quarters and discusses Bramner. Delenn explains that Bramner never wanted to be a "great general." He had originally been a member of the Religious Caste, but switched to the Warrior Caste when the Earth-Minbari War broke out. Delenn mentions that there was widespread resentment among the Warrior Caste for how the War ended.
Ivanova checks back on Alisa, who has been under the watch of Talia. Ivanova asks Talia to leave, then proceeds to tell Alisa about her mother's death. Alisa listens to her, but does not know if she has much of a choice. Ivanova promises to find her another option.
Neroon meets with Garibaldi, who had just met with the Llort. One of his guards approaches, having found part of Bramner's burial robes outside the quarters of some Pak'ma'ra, a species known to be carrion eaters. Garibaldi and Neroon confront the Pak'ma'ra in question, but he denies having any knowledge of the theft of the body. Garibaldi informs him that he and his fellow Pak'ma'ra will have to have their stomachs pumped.
Na'Toth meets with Alisa, offering her the option of coming to work for the Narn Regime, promising an existence of wealth and luxury in exchange for regular genetic samples the Narn could potentially use to reintroduce telepaths into their own species. Alisa is tempted, but when she scans Na'Toth's mind, she is frightened by what she sees (scanning a Narn mind is distinct from scanning a human's, being quite a terrifying experience for someone who is not trained, i.e. "dark, cold, alien").
Dr. Franklin returns the results of the stomach pumps to Garibaldi: no trace of anything resembling a Minbari. Neroon continues to grow more impatient with Garibaldi's results, making more threats to Sinclair.
Alisa is confirmed as a P10. Despite the previous experience with Na'toth's mind, Alisa is still considering their offer. Ivanova is against her going to the Narns, explaining that the First Centauri Occupation of Narn left the planet bleak and its people bitter and violent. Talia again is there to pitch the Psi Corps, and this time her exchange with Ivanova becomes rather heated. Ivanova suggests one last option. She takes Alisa to meet Delenn, who explains that Minbari telepaths are greatly honored in her culture. Alisa scans Delenn briefly, witnessing something incriminating about Bramner's missing body. She asks to leave immediately, and once outside she confides in Ivanova about what she saw.
That night, Sinclair returns to his quarters, and is attacked the moment he walks through the door.
Sinclair fights off his attacker, eventually knocking him down. Pulling up the lights, he sees that it is Neroon. The Minbari declares that he is searching there, since he expects it to be the one place security would never look. Garibaldi arrives and explains that he personally searched them with Delenn at the onset. After Neroon leaves, Garibaldi ushers in Alisa Beldon. The girl explains about her scan, saying that Delenn knows who took the body and where it is.
Sinclair and Garibaldi confront Delenn in one of the customs areas, catching her red handed with Bramner's cremated remains. Delenn divulges the truth: she felt obligated due to a long friendship with Bramner to obey his last wishes. Bramner never wanted an elaborate funeral, as he did not want his death to be a monument to war. She believes she could have explained Bramner's disappearance as a true religious mystery. She is worried that if what she has done becomes general knowledge, it will widen the rift that exists between the Religious and Warrior Castes. With no alternatives, she agrees that Neroon must be told the truth, but insists that she must be the one to explain it to him.
Meeting with Neroon privately, Delenn explains what was done. Neroon is incensed, but Delenn chides him for disobeying Bramner's wishes. She warns Neroon that if he persists, the Star Riders Clan will be dishonored and destroyed. She orders him, on the authority of the Grey Council, to not disclose what happened and to go along with her plan. She also orders him to apologize privately to Sinclair.
Neroon follows his orders, apologizing to Sinclair for his rash actions. Sinclair respects Neroon's loyalty to the Shai Alyt. Aware that praise from a former enemy is considered a high honor for a fallen warrior, Sinclair agrees to send such a sentiment to Minbar. Neroon is grateful, and impressed by Sinclair, even going so far as to say that he "talk like a Minbari."
Sinclair meets with Delenn in the gardens. She informs him of how impressed she was by Alisa, and has decided to offer her a place among the Minbari, an offer Alisa has accepted. Delenn hopes that she will be an instrument of peace between their peoples.
Before leaving on a Minbari ship, Alisa thanks Ivanova for helping her find her options. She also thanks Talia, who while not exactly happy about her decision, is glad to see she is happy. Talia and Susan both apologize for getting so upset earlier, and agree to sit down for coffee.
Just before Alisa leaves, Sinclair finds her and asks if Alisa read anything else in Delenn's mind. Alisa replies that she saw just one word: "chrysalis."
"There's nothing more annoying than Mr. Garibaldi when he's right."
- – Susan Ivanova
"You talk like a Minbari, Commander. Perhaps there was some small wisdom in letting your species survive."
- – Neroon
- This episode marks the first appearance of Neroon, as well as any Minbari of the Warrior Caste.
- Sinclair's flashbacks to the Battle of the Line were the same previously seen (from "And the Sky Full of Stars").
- A passing reference is made to Jason Ironheart (from "Mind War").
- Ivanova mentions G'Kar's attempts to acquire genetic material from Lyta Alexander (from "The Gathering").
- Given Sinclair's fate, Neroon's comment is inadvertently ironic. It is not that Sinclair talks like a Minbari, it is the Minbari who talk like him.
- Despite not joining the Psi Corps, Alisa's status as a guest (and later citizen) of the Minbari Federation prevents her from being labeled a rogue.
|Babylon 5 Season 1 "Signs and Portents"|
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