"You can't let them get ahold of one of these ships. They don't want it so we can fight these things. They want us to become more like them."
- – Dr. Mary Kirkish
Strike of a Lifetime
Kirkish first began working for Interplanetary Expeditions in 2248, conducting many archaeological digs on alien worlds in search of new technology. In 2253, she was stationed on Mars and, after a number of false leads on artifacts supposedly buried beneath the Martian soil for thousands of years, one of IPX's sonic probes picked up something that was clearly not a natural formation 300 feet beneath the surface of Syria Planum. The object was buried so deep it was speculated that it must have been there at least 1000 years and, seeing as it was the middle of the Martian winter, it took weeks just to excavate half of it. Just the sight of it was enough to give Kirkish nightmares for the rest of her life.
The ship was a find of a lifetime and, a week after sending word to Earth Central, Kirkish and her team were suddenly ordered to stop digging and pull back to their secondary base, two miles away with the threat of dismissal for any that tried to stay. For the next six days, they sat waiting while unmarked shuttles flew in and out of the area surrounding the dig site, before all activity suddenly ceased. Just then, Kirkish saw another Shadow Vessel arriving overhead and began firing on the site. At first, Kirkish thought it was destroying its counterpart, but it soon became clear that it was finishing digging it out. After the new ship disappeared below the ridge, nothing happened for the next twenty or twenty five minutes until they heard a mind splitting scream, like "the sound of something terrible being born." and watched as both ships took off for deep space.
Sworn to Silence
After the incident, Kirkish and her colleagues were warned that if they told anyone what they'd seen there would be unfortunate consequences. They were quickly broken up and assigned to other worlds so they wouldn't have a chance to talk to each other.
In March of 2260, Kirkish was called into a new dig on Ganymede where another one of the same type of ship had been found. Learning that the powers back on Earth intended to try and use the ship to make humans more like the race that built it, use it against the other races and, if necessary, even their own people, Kirkish decided she had to intervene. Given that the other members of the original dig on Mars were all either dead or missing, Kirkish went on the run in hopes of warning someone.
On The Run
The Rangers brought word of her flight and her connection to the events on Syria Planum in 2253 to Michael Garibaldi, who had also witnessed parts of that incident. He had the Rangers find Kirkish, get her off Mars and spend about a week transporting her to Babylon 5. Marcus Cole brought her on board the station, though they were quickly pursued into Downbelow by a group of bounty hunters. Though Marcus was able to fight them off, Kirkish was knocked out and nearly killed.
After recovering under armed guard in Medlab, Kirkish met with Captain Sheridan, Commander Ivanova, Doctor Franklin, Delenn, Lennier and Security Chief Garibaldi to tell them all she knew, including the fact that, in three days, the vessel would be taken back to Earth for study. With her story out and in the right hands, Mary resigned herself, saying she didn't care if they killed her now. Delenn promised that wouldn't happen and that she made arrangements to get her into Minbari space. She had Lennier take care of her.