The Babylon Project

Signs and Portents is an episode from the first season of Babylon 5. As one of its most important episodes, the entire first season also bears this name.

A Centauri noble comes to Babylon 5 to transport an important Centauri relic in Londo's possession back to the homeworld. A mysterious man visits all the alien ambassadors, asking them an unusual question.



Also starring[]


Guest starring[]


Cast notes[]



Lieutenant Commander Susan Ivanova groggily awakes early as her alarm goes off. She makes her way to C'n'C, where just after she arrives the station receives a distress signal from a Starfury pilot escorting a freighter who is being attacked by Raiders. Commander Jeffrey Sinclair orders Delta Wing launched, but the Raiders cut down the Starfury before he can barely finish giving the order.

Act I[]

A man named Morden arrives on Babylon 5, mentioning to a guard at customs that he had spent the last few years out on the Rim.

In Sinclair's office, the commander has a meeting with Ivanova and Michael Garibaldi about the recent Raider attacks. Despite cutting off their supply of heavy weapons, the Raiders have only continued to escalate their attacks, with each one getting closer to the station. The three of them are at a loss to explain how the Raiders are able to jump out of local space as fast as they are seemingly able to do. Sinclair orders Delta Wing to stay on standby with Ivanova ready to command.

After the meeting, Sinclair privately asks Michael for a favor. He explains about his experiences with the Battle of the Line and how he has been able to piece together part of what happened to him. He asks Michael to investigate for him, off the record, and Michael agrees. He then tells Garibaldi about his remembering Delenn during his forgotten 24 hours at the Line. Garibaldi notes the trail is pretty cold, but thanks Sinclair for trusting him enough to look into it.

In the casino, Londo Mollari meets with a human named Reno. Mollari is obtaining the Eye, a valuable Centauri artifact lost for over one hundred years (the Centauri Republic having just arranged to buy it back for an exorbitant amount). Mollari explains that the artifact is one of the oldest symbols of the Republic and an invaluable symbol among his people. Watching Mollari from the bar is Morden.

After Mollari leaves, he ends up waiting for a transport tube alongside Ambassador G'Kar. The two cannot resist trading insults, which culminate in them both missing the tube and storming off in a huff.

Morden meets G'Kar in his quarters, asking him cryptically "What do you want?" G'Kar is confused and dismisses him, however, as he reaches the door, he finally responds that all he wants is see the Centauri utterly destroyed. Morden presses G'Kar further on the matter, and the Narn ambassador admits that, once the Narn Homeworld's safety is guaranteed, nothing else matters. Morden then thanks him and leaves, and G'Kar dismisses the entire visit as utter nonsense.

A Centauri liner arrives at the station and Mollari greets those who disembark: Lord Kiro and his entourage, which includes his aunt, the Lady Ladira. The lady is a seer who immediately upon arriving has a powerful vision of the station being destroyed, which causes her to faint.

Act II[]

Ladira is taken to Medlab, but is not hurt. Kiro dismisses her vision, saying that she's been wrong before (explaining that on his first birthday she predicted he would be killed by "Shadows"). Kiro is there to retrieve the Eye from Mollari and return it personally to the Emperor. Mollari agrees to show it to Kiro immediately. As they go, a Human observes them and contacts someone else.

Morden next meets with Ambassador Delenn, asking her the same question as G'Kar. She is aware of his visit to the Narn ambassador. Before she can answer, she has a moment of fatigue. She senses a dark presence around Morden and demands he leave her immediately. After he leaves, a clearly frightened Delenn mutters, "They're here."

Kiro inspects the Eye in Mollari's quarters. He talks to Mollari about the sorry state of the Republic. He questions why he should turn over the Eye to the Emperor when it originally belonged to his family and his House. He asks Mollari what would happen if he returned and claimed the throne for himself, but Mollari warns him that without support he would be dead within a day of trying. Kiro seems to agree with him, and decides to leave the Eye in Mollari's possession until the morning.

In space, freighter Achilles headed for Babylon 5 detects Raiders moving in. Babylon 5 launches Delta Wing, Ivanova leading the team, which quickly enters the jumpgate and heads for the freighter. On board the station, a man watching Kiro communicates that the station has "taken the bait."

Act III[]

Ambassador Kosh returns to the station. As he heads from his docking bay to his quarters, he almost crosses paths with Morden, but Morden deliberately hides to avoid running into him.

Kiro contacts Mollari, telling him he is ready to leave. As Mollari heads out with the Eye to meet with him, he runs into Morden, who had been coming to see him. Morden asks Mollari, "What do you want?". At first, Mollari tries to brush him off, calling him a lunatic, then says he wishes to be left alone but Morden keeps after him. Finally, wearied down by Morden's persisted question, Mollari emphatically declares that what he wants is for the Centauri Republic to rise again to its former glory, commanding the stars as is its rightful place. After he continues on his way, Morden smiles, clearly pleased with Mollari's response.

In C'n'C, Sinclair is informed that Ivanova's team is closing in on the last known position of the Achilles. Sinclair is bothered by this attack, as it is almost two sectors farther away than the earlier attacks. He orders a tech to pull up the cargo manifest of the Achilles.

After meeting Kiro, Ladira, and their guards, Mollari begins to go with them towards Kiro's shuttle. Suddenly, the man who had been watching Kiro steps forward with several other armed men. They kill Kiro's guards and take the Eye from Mollari. They announce that the three Centauri are to be their hostages to ensure their safe exit of the station.

Upon seeing the cargo manifest of the Achilles, Sinclair concludes that the Raiders were staging a diversion to get the fighters away from the station. He orders Delta Wing to return immediately. After going over the list of ships due to depart, the only one that catches his eye is Kiro's ship. After ordering Garibaldi to prepare Alpha Wing for launch, he heads down to customs.

Sinclair manages to head off Mollari and the others. The Raider leader gives up, holds a PPG to Kiro and demands to be let onto Kiro's ship. Sinclair allows him to board (just the leader, with Kiro) and allows the ship to launch. As soon as they are aboard, he orders Alpha Wing to launch and disable the ship. He also orders C'n'C to program the jumpgate to reject the ship's codes, confidant that so trapped the Raider will turn himself in.

Unfortunately, before Alpha Wing can disable the ship, a Raider battlewagon jumps into local space, launching an entire wing of fighters and begin to close in on the station.

Act IV[]

The Raider Attack on Babylon 5 commences. Alpha Wing is unable to prevent the Centauri ship from boarding the Raider vessel. Aboard the station, as the raid sirens go off, Mollari escorts Ladira to a shelter. She has another flash of her vision, and mentions to Mollari that "the Shadows have come for Lord Kiro." In another part of the station, Morden runs into Kosh, who demands he leave immediately.

As the battle continues, Alpha wing is unable to pursue the Centauri liner and Sinclair orders the defense grid to prepare for long-range fire. Fortunately, Delta Wing returns to supplement the station's defenses. Between the two fighter wings and the station's security grid, the entire wing of Raiders is disabled or destroyed. Unfortunately, the battlewagon manages to open a jump point and escape. Ivanova wants to pursue, but Sinclair orders her to give up.

Garibaldi goes over the results of the battle: 11 Raider ships were destroyed, 4 more were disabled and captured; two Starfuries were destroyed, but the pilot of one managed to eject in time. The station took minor damage, and Kosh's encounter suit was mysteriously damaged (but he is not explaining how). Sinclair is pleased, but dissatisfied that the battlewagon was able to escape. Mollari and Ladira arrive to discuss what it was that the Raiders were after.

The battlewagon jumps into normal space far away from the station. On board, Kiro is told that the plan he made with the Raiders is being "canceled." The Raiders were grateful for Kiro helping them attack local transports, but not grateful enough to try and help him stage a coup of the Centauri government. They wanted the Eye, which they intend to ransom back to the Republic – along with Kiro himself, whom they intend to blackmail to conceal his part in what happened. Suddenly, however, an alarm sounds. A strange, alien vessel appears and fires on the ship, cutting it to ribbons.

On Babylon 5, Ladira instantly senses the death of Lord Kiro.

Mollari later sees Ladira off, who is convinced she must leave. Mollari is convinced that the loss of the Eye will spell the end of his political career. He bids her goodnight and will see her off the next morning. After arriving at his quarters, Morden turns up, handing over a box to Mollari and withdrawing, saying it is a "gift from friends you don't know you have." Mollari is shocked to discover the box contains the Eye. He calls out for Morden, asking how he can find him to thank him. Morden's words echo back, saying "we will find you."

Act V[]

Garibaldi talks to Sinclair privately about his investigation into what happened to Sinclair. So far, he was able to turn up one fact: Sinclair was chosen to run the station by the Minbari government, who was the first to sign onto Babylon 5 on the condition that they got to pick to would be in charge. As to why they wanted Sinclair, Garibaldi does not know yet.

Sinclair then goes to see Lady Ladira off. She warns him about her vision of the station's destruction, saying that despite the battle being over, the vision remains. She is able to share it with him, and he sees the station blowing up. He asks her if it certain to happen, and she replies that it is merely a possible future – one she hopes he will avoid.

Memorable quotes[]

"What do you want?"


"The Centauri stripped my world. I want justice. [I want] to suck the marrow from their bones...and grind their skulls to powder. To tear down their cities, blacken their sky, sow their ground with salt! To completely and utterly erase them!"

G'Kar to Morden

"Do you really want to know what I want? Do you really want to know the truth? I want my people to reclaim their rightful place in the galaxy. I want to see the Centauri stretch forth their hand again and command the stars. I want a rebirth of glory, a renaissance of power! I want to stop running through my life like a man late for an appointment, afraid to look back or look forward. I want us to be what we used to be! I want... I want it all back the way it was. Does that answer your question?"
"Yes. Yes, it does."

Londo Mollari and Morden

"I see death... destruction... fire. Babylon will fall... this place will be destroyed! Fire... death... pain... fire... death... pain..."

Lady Ladira

"You will forgive my aunt – she sometimes takes her role of prophetess too seriously."
"Then you don't believe her vision?"
"She's been wrong before. On my first birthday, she said that someday I would be killed by... shadows."
"Doesn't exactly make sense, does it?"

Kiro and Mollari

"Leave this place. They are not for you. Go. Leave... now."

Kosh to Morden

"The future is always changing. We create the future, with our words, our deeds, and with our beliefs. This is a possible future, commander, and it is my hope that you may yet avoid it."

Lady Ladira, to Sinclair

"Identicard, please . . . This hasn't been updated in a while."
"I've been out of circulation. Spent the last few years doing some exploration out on the Rim."
"Find anything interesting?"

Babylon 5 customs guard and Morden, while checking Morden's identification


  • This episode marks the first appearance of the Shadows, and their agent Morden.
  • Sinclair discusses his recent "piecing together" of what happened to him during the Battle of the Line (referencing the events that happened to him from "And the Sky Full of Stars").
  • Garibaldi references cutting off the supply of heavy weapons to the Raiders (from "Midnight on the Firing Line"). In the same episode, it was was hypothesized that someone had leaked information about supply vessels to the Raiders, which is what Kiro did to gain their support.
  • The vision of the station's destruction with the lone shuttle departing might be a reference to its destruction by the Shadows in the alternate future glimpsed in Babylon Squared and War Without End, or to the end of Sleeping in Light. Given that it is referenced in War Without End, it is more likely to be the former rather than the latter given the nature of Ladira’s vision.

Behind the Scenes[]

  • During production, "Signs and Portents" was originally titled "Raiding Party."[1][2][3]
  • The title of this episode is also the overall title of Season One.


  • After Raider 6 kills both of Lord Kiro's guards and demands the Eye, and Mollari claims that he does not know what he is talking about, the second Centauri guard can be seen standing behind him, alive again.
  • Ivanova's morning message states that the day is Wednesday, August 3, 2258.  In 2258, August 3 will be a Tuesday, unless some alteration is made to the cycle of leap years in the interim.

Easter Eggs[]

When Lady Ladira is having her vision, the "Today's Events" screen behind her includes:

  • Zero-G Shuffleboard
  • Gravity Loss Safety Lessons
  • Flea Market
  • Rolling Stones Farewell Concert
  • Black Market Basketball
  • Mojo Mind Rave


External links[]