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"The willow is deceptively strong. It bends, but it does not break. Its roots are deep and can withstand the worst storm. It promises rest and shade and cool breezes to those who would find rest beneath it. You have become my willow. And we have all found shelter in your kindness."

Byron Gordon to Lyta, 2262


Lyta Alexander was a Human Telepath originally assigned to Babylon 5 as the station's licensed commercial telepath. She was later physically altered by the Vorlons.

History

Early life

Lyta Alexander was born on December 10, 2225 at the Syria Planum colony. A sixth generation Telepath, Lyta's talent manifested early and she was taken in by the Psi Corps and raised in Cadre Prime on Earth when she was only a few years old.[3] Though she had little contact with her blood family, she saw enough of her mother to remember her stories of her grandma Natasha working for the old Director Vacit, even showing her an old picture of him.[4] Even while in Teeptown, Lyta's grandma Natasha would often bring her presents, though they always came through the Grins, Lyta always knew it was her grandma who sent them.

From Beta Colony to Pak'ma

While training at the Academy she met and became friends with Talia Winters, though the two would later go their separate ways when Talia went on to train as a commercial telepath while Lyta opted to join MetaPol's intern program.[5][6][7] Acting as a profiler for the Psi Cops, Lyta was on the Beta Colony in the Sheffer System when a local mundane serial killer begun targeting telepaths exclusively. Eventually the Psi Cop Alfred Bester was called in from Mars colony to investigate and Lyta was assigned as his field assistant. Though the local police did not seem overly interested in catching the perp, Bester and Lyta used unauthorized and unwarranted scans to track him down and eventually capture him. Rather than arrest him and expose their own activities, the killer's mind was implanted with horrific visions that drove him to the point where he would spend the rest of his life confined to a mental institute screaming at the things they put in his head and be forcefully restrained to prevent him from clawing his own eyes out. The experience was the first time her absolute loyalty to the Corps was shaken. Soon after Lyta transferred out of the Psi Cop program and went into commercial work instead.[8][3]

Between 2247 and 2257, she worked as the commercial telepath for Xenocorp, which involved monitoring corporate negotiations with alien representatives, including Narn, Centauri and pak'ma'ra.[9]

Babylon 5

Lyta alexander-ID

Lyta's IdentaCard in 2258

In 2257, she was assigned as Babylon 5's first commercial telepath. Not long after she arrived, there was an assassination attempt on the Vorlon Ambassador Kosh, and to discover the person who had done this she conducted an unauthorized scan on Kosh. She believed she saw Commander Jeffrey Sinclair as the attempted assassin, but the real culprit was a Minbari Assassin using a changeling net (who at one time appeared as Lyta herself).[1]

Not long after this she was recalled to be questioned about her experience during the scan. Talia Winters replaced her as Babylon 5's resident telepath.[7]

Underground

After months of being interrogated she escaped Psi Corps custody and began working with the Martian resistance. While working with the resistance, Lyta learned of the Psi Corps sleeper program while hiding out with members of the resistance. She found out that one of these sleepers was on Babylon 5, though she was unsure who it may have been. She discovered the password required to unlock this hidden personality and traveled to Babylon 5. Lyta scanned the minds of all the command staff but was unable to discover who it may have been. By chance Talia walked into the room and Lyta scanned her mind, discovering and unlocking the hidden personality, effectively killing the real Talia.[7]

Vorlon aide

Secretssoul 031

Altered on the Vorlon homeworld.

Lyta then traveled to the edge of Vorlon space in an attempt to make it to the Vorlon homeworld. She paid a ship captain to bring her to the edge of Vorlon space and send a signal, but after waiting for an extended period of time without a response, the captain decided to leave. Determined not to give up, she paid the captain the last of her credits for a lifepod where she would continue to wait, sending a telepathic signal into Vorlon space in hopes of a response. After drifting in space for five days, nearly out of supplies and oxygen, she was picked up by the Vorlons and taken to their homeworld. While there she was modified physically and mentally, her regular telepathic abilities enhanced dramatically. She was given gill implants which allowed her to breathe in an alien atmosphere. In 2260 she returned to Babylon 5 and served as an aide to Ambassador Kosh. Part of her duties included "carrying" part or all of Kosh's essence around inside her.[10]

Lyta was off the station on an assignment from Kosh when he was murdered by the Shadows. She was not carrying a part of him at the time, but was hopeful someone else might have a piece, though her initial search is fruitless. This does not sit well with Kosh's successor, Ulkesh, whom she subsequently assists.

Once Captain Sheridan and his crew learned that telepaths could be used to disrupt and slow the Shadow vessels, Lyta was asked to help them prove it. She accompanied Sheridan aboard the White Star and they located a lone Shadow Vessel. At first, the experience was too much for her, but when Sheridan touches her she has a vision of Kosh's death. Enraged over the brutality of Kosh's death, Lyta is able to affect the Shadow ship, keeping it immobile long enough for the White Star to destroy it. After the battle, she begins to suspect Sheridan himself may have part of Kosh within him.[11]

That theory cannot be properly tested, however, when Sheridan departs for Z'ha'dum and seemingly dies on the planet.[12]

KoshLyta01

Kosh removes part of himself from Lyta

Afterwards, Ulkesh becomes more secretive. He refuses to come to the council meetings and all but ignores any request by Delenn. She asks him to help her assemble a fleet and go to Z'ha'dum, but Ulkesh flatly refuses. After carrying Ulkesh for a brief time, he gives her leave for a brief while. She goes to Susan Ivanova with a desperate plan to go to Z'ha'dum and try to locate Sheridan. She explains she believes Sheridan was sufficiently touched by Kosh to allow her to find him, and that she has the strength to delay the Shadows long enough. Ivanova and Delenn bring her aboard the White Star and they head for the Shadow's homeworld. Once in orbit, Lyta is nearly overwhelmed, but is able to stall them just long enough for a few scans. They find no trace of Sheridan, however, and head back to the station.[13]

Ulkesh treated Lyta even more harshly: among other things, he made her get rid of everything in her quarters save her mattress as a means to limit apparent distractions. Delenn, suspecting as Lyta does that the Vorlons are now hiding something from them, asks her to try and find out what it is. Lyta is afraid to oblige, saying that while Kosh personally might have cared about the younger races, she is starting to believe the rest of the Vorlons do not.

UlkeshLyta02

Lyta sets up Ulkesh.

After carrying Ulkesh again, she confronts him with his secrets, but he refuses to answer. Angry, she demands respect from the Vorlon, but he only mocks her. In desperation, she attempts to scan his mind. Ulkesh violently knocks her to the ground, overwhelming her with a flood of painful images of the Vorlons' intentions--they plan to wipe out everyone who has been touched by the Shadows, including entire planets. Ivanova finds Lyta, terrified and in shock, alone in her quarters later, and manages to help her pull herself together. Ivanova lets everyone know (including Sheridan, seemingly back from the dead) that she has evidence of her own confirming Lyta's story.[14]

She helped drive him from the station with the help of the remaining fragments of Kosh.[15]

Telepath crisis

"I've done a lot for this place. Just once, I think a little gratitude would be in order, don't you?" "

Lyta to Captain Lochley, 2262

She soon found herself without any direction when the Vorlons departed beyond the Rim. She was involved in the Thirdspace incident where hidden elements of her Vorlon transformation took over and helped defeat the aliens from Thirdspace.

With the Vorlons gone, Lyta lost the financial support they provided as well as their protection from the Psi Corps. Her savings would not last indefinitely and as such she set out trying to find work. Because she was a rogue telepath no one would hire her. Seeing the problems she was having, Garibaldi tried to hire her to help him in his work for Edgars Industries, but the company's head vetoed this plan. After this, she did not have the means to continue on her own so she reluctantly had to turn to Alfred Bester for a job in the Psi Corps. Since no legal organization or company could hire her as a listed rogue telepath - and her refusal to perform illicit telepathic scans - her only recourse was to accept a deal offered by Bester. In exchange for her removal off the rogue listing and the adding of her name to the covert operatives list, she would agree via a written power of attorney to hand over her bodily remains to the Psi Corps upon her natural death so that they could better understand what the Vorlons had done to her. This would allow her to resume working as a commerial telepath. With no means of legitimate income, she begrudgingly took the deal. Subsequently, she once again became the station's resident telepath. [9]

She played a role in the final battle of the Earth Alliance Civil War, sending out a signal to the enhanced telepaths smuggled aboard by Martian resistance to interfere with the Clark-loyal ships during the Battle of Mars. During this mission, she also helped Garibaldi prove that he had been unwitting pawn in turning Sheridan over to Earth authorities. [16]

In early 2262, Alexander became romantically involved with Byron, the leader of a colony of rogue telepaths offered sanctuary aboard Babylon 5. During an evening of physical intimacy, she dropped her mental barriers and projected memories to the colony residents that revealed that the Volons had created human telepaths to be used as tools in the war against the Shadows. After this, Byron and his followers proceeded to illegally scan the alien ambassadors and discovered numerous secrets. In turn, he blackmailed the ISA Council and demanded a homeworld for his people. Matters quickly went from bad to worse and escalated. Captain Lochley and President Sheridan refused to give into his bullying and refused. Bester and Psi Corps bloodhounds were called into to deal with the situation. Hostages were taken by a small group of violent renegades. The hostage situation ended and Byron was taken in custody before he could reason with his people. Rather then be taken in by the Psi Cops, Byron and some of his people committed sucide by igniting a chemical spill and causing an explosion. After losing her lover, She was inspired by him to continue his fight for telepath rights.

Using the names and contacts given to her by Byron, Lyta helped as many blips escape the Corps as possible and set about realizing Byron's dream of a homeworld for telepaths, becoming the de facto leader of the telepath underground. Realizing that the movement would need funding, she began contracting with organizations to use the undergrond's telepaths for commerial work. She also negotiated with Ambassador G'Kar to sell the Narn Regime human telepath DNA, an offer he had originally made to her some five years previous when she had first arrived on B5.[17]

Between using these resources to find a suitable world and build a force that could take on Psi Corps and free human telepaths from their bondage, Lyta continued to work on B5 as a commercial telepath, though she charged abnormally high fees for her services. One such job for Vir Cotto that saw her going to Zhabar with Dr. Franklin on behalf of the Centauri Republic during the Centauri War. There she encountered a piece of Shadow technology, a control device that her Vorlon programming recognized. She and Franklin were able to secure one before fleeing for their lives and bringing it back to Babylon 5.[18]

Her activities eventually drew the attention of Earth Alliance Security. The authorities had traced the money used to finance a dozen or so attacks on Psi Corps right back to B5. During her arrest she demonstrated some of the true power she'd been hiding up until that point, taking control of the minds of everyone in the Zocalo. It wasn't until ISA President Sheridan, who, because of being touched by the Vorlons, was resistant to telepathic assault, interceded with a PPG to her head that she finally acceded and was taken into custody.

Michael Garibaldi later visited her in jail to offer her a deal. He agreed to help her build a functioning resistance organization to aid in her fight against the Psi Corps. In exchange, she agreed to return in two years time to remove the telepathic block placed in his mind by Bester. During the negotiations with Garibaldi, she revealed that her altered telepathic abilities far outstretched anything ever seen in a human telepath and that she was intended as a Vorlon "doomsday weapon".[19]

Exploring The Unknown

She left Babylon 5 with G'Kar at the end of 2262 to explore the galaxy with each other.[20] Six weeks into their travels, the pair found themselves on Durk 3, a tiny commercial space station near the Earth Omega Colony. While there, Lyta had heard rumors about a colony world in Sector 843, settled long ago by telepaths from various worlds and the two departed aboard the Na'Toth for the eight day journey to Sector 843.

While en-route, they came across an abandoned Psi Corps mothership, drifting in hyperspace. After boarding the ship they managed to backtrack it's course to an uncharted planet and decide to investigate. After arriving G'Kar and Lyta become separated, though it doesn't take either of them long to discover something in amiss. The planet as it turned out was essentially alive. Every plant, insect and animal telepathically linked in a "Telesymbiosis" with a Hive Mind Bacteria; a powerful telepathic life-form that while not sentient on it's own, facilitated enough neural connections for the entire ecosystem to reach a kind of critical mass and achieve a collective consciousness.

After trying to kill them both, Lyta manages to kill the hive mind in a devastating telepathic assault, ensuring that no others would become trapped on the planet.[21]

The Telepath War

By the end of 2264, Lyta returned to find that Garibaldi was as good as his word is creating a force to use against the Psi Corps.

In 2265, during the midst of the Telepath War, Lyta and the Resistance discovered that Psi Cops had recently been able to crack some of Director Vacit's time-locked files on Ganymede and traced his course into Vorlon space. Quickly summoning Garibaldi, Lyta convinced him to sponsor a mission to intercept if not beat Psi Corps to it, believing they intended to uncover the Vorlon secret to enhancing telepathic abilities. In return, Lyta finally freed Garibaldi of his "Asimov" telepathic block.

They arrived to find a dead world, littered with the bones of the Vorlon's test subjects, evidently obliterated some time ago. To their surprise they also discover Director Vacit, alive and well despite his advanced years (though most of them negated by his extended near-light speed journey.) The meeting was cut short when Mr. Diamond, a Psi Cop appeared and following a brief confrontation killed Vacit before being gunned down himself. Believing that there was nothing left on the world that either the Corps or the resistance could use, Lyta and Garibaldi departed.

Unknown to either of them however, the entire incident was a telepathic projection facilitated by the docile yet immensely powerful "Nephilim", under the direction of Vacit. Not only was both Vacit and thousands of the Nephilim still alive but Diamond and his Psi Cops were bent under the will of the Director.[4]

Lyta was eventually killed during the last days of the Telepath War, and although she never got to see it, the Earth Alliance officially dissolved Psi Corps and took steps to try to re-integrate telepaths into Human society.[22][23][24]

Family Tree

Unnamed Female--+--Unnamed Male
                |
                |
         Desa Alexander----+----Jack O'Hannlon
                           |          |_________
                           |                    |
                           |                 (adopted)
                           |                Kevin Vacit
                           |      (See: Alfred Bester's Family Tree.)
                           |
                  Brenna Alexander--+--Unnamed Male
                                    |
                                    |
                          Michelle Alexander--+--Unnamed Male
                                              |
                                              |
                                       Natasha Alexander--+--Unnamed Male
                                                          |
                                                          |
                                                     Lyta's Mother--+--Unnamed Male
                                                                    |
                                                                    |
                                                             Lyta Alexander

Notes

References

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