"I'd like you to take the time to learn the Babylon 5 mantra: 'Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova.
I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations. Ivanova is God. And if this ever happens again, Ivanova will personally rip your lungs out."
- – Susan Ivanova
A Russian, Susan Ivanova (pronounced "ih-VAH-noh-vah") was brave and intense, often quoting her Russian customs and traditions. Also, Susan has an eidetic memory , which may account for her brilliance as an administrator and military strategist.
Susan Ivanova appears locked in a tragic cycle. The particular millstone around Ivanova's neck was love—not only romantic love, but familial. Deep down, she believes that "all love is unrequited", perhaps believing that she is undeserving of true happiness.
Prior to Babylon 5
When she was younger, her father called her "dushenka moya," Russian for "little soul."
Susan's family was Jewish, and she was brought up in the faith, including having a bat mitzvah. One of her father's closest friends was Rabbi Koslov, and Susan grew up calling him Uncle Yossel. Koslov would remain close to Susan throughout her life.
Susan's mother was a telepath, something she managed to keep hidden most of her life. The only minds she would touch were her family's, an experience that was very personal to Susan. She later described it as "being able to literally feel her mother's love for her."
On Sofie's thirty-fifth birthday, the Psi Corps arrived with proof of her abilities. Rather than join the Corps, Sofie took the "sleepers," drugs that inhibited her telepathic abilities. The drugs had side effects which caused severe depression. Every week for ten years, someone would come to give her mother the drugs, and every week her mother would "die a little more inside." Eventually, it became too much for Sofie, and when Susan was a teenager, Sofie committed suicide. Her loss devastated her family, especially Susan.
Unknown to everyone (even perhaps her father and brother), Susan herself was a latent telepath. Her Psi rating was no more than a P1: the only mind she was ever able to read was her mother's, but she could always tell if another telepath was scanning her, and occasionally she could block a scan. Her mother stressed her to keep quiet about it, taught her how to fool tests given to identify the gene, and even transferred Susan to different schools to avoid the Corps. It was many, many years before she told even those closest to her.
When Susan was thirteen, she developed a passion for Kasherov, a radical Neo-Communist author whom her father felt would be "personally responsible for the death of Russian culture." When Andrei was invited to one of Kasharev's readings, Susan whined and pouted until he agreed to take her to it. Susan prepared for days a question she thought was sure to impress her idol--only to have Kasherev tell her it was the most foolish thing he had ever heard and refused to "bandy words with a bourgeois twit barely out of diapers." Susan was crushed, but then her father stood up and rebuked Kasharev and his writings, commenting that if he were not a pacifist he would horsewhip him through the streets of St. Petersburg as he deserved. When the left, Andrei told Susan he thought she had asked an excellent question.
Ivanova was educated away from Russia; her father wanted her to have certain advantages the rest of the family did not. 
Not long after Sofie's death, the Earth-Minbari War broke out. Susan's brother, Ganya, joined Earthforce and became a fighter pilot. Susan visited him before he shipped out on the EAS Lexington, giving him one of her "lucky" earrings that she had once lost as a child and he had found. Just over a year after their mother's death, Ganya was killed when his fighter was shot down. Susan would wear just the one earring for the rest of her life in memory of her brother.
Having buried a wife and a son in less than two years, Andei Ivanov was consumed with grief. Never a fan of Earthforce, he was angered when Susan joined as soon as she was old enough, against his wishes. The rift between them continued to widen for many years.
Susan enlisted in Earthforce in 2247, during the latter half of the Earth-Minbari War, at age seventeen. Having qualified for Officer Candidate School, she was commissioned as an officer in 2249. In 2250, she was involved romantically with Malcolm Biggs. She broke up with him when she was reassigned to the transfer station on Io, an assignment she credits as a "great career move." At the station she served under the command of John Sheridan. During her time there, she once tossed a telepath out of a third story window and into a pool below. A proficient fighter pilot, by 2258, Ivanova had logged over 100 hours of combat flying experience.
The Babylon Project
In January 2258, Susan Ivanova, now a Lieutenant Commander, was transferred to Babylon 5 to replace Lt. Cmdr. Laurel Takashima as second-in-command of the station. By this time, she was an accomplished fighter pilot with over 100 hours of combat experience in a Starfury. She had spent the three years previous to it completely in space oriented assignments, without being to Earth or a real planet in all that time. Despite these long assignments, she never fully acclimated to waking up in the mornings "when it was still dark outside."
Signs and Portents
As second-in-command of Babylon 5, Ivanova took her duties very seriously. She oversaw most of the docking/traffic-related duties out of C'n'C. When Psi Corps commercial telepath Talia Winters arrived on Babylon 5 a few weeks after Ivanova, she tried unsuccessfully three times to check in with Ivanova per regulations. Ivanova was cold to her until Talia approached a final time when she was off duty (the day of the Earth Alliance Presidential election). Susan apologized for being standoffish, explaining about her mother's death, her distrust of Psi Corp, and her belief that Talia is also a victim, even if Talia fails to realize it.
Despite her usual penchant for following the rules, Ivanova illegally used Gold Channel to send a signal back to Earth, communicating with her father. Andrei was sick and bedridden, slipping in and out of a coma at a hospital. Ivanova tried to lead Michael Garibaldi from discovering she was the source of the communications, but he was able to track down the source during her last transmission. Her father awoke from his coma to give his last goodbye to his daughter, who tearfully watch him slip away. Garibaldi does not pursue the matter formally, but does offer to buy Susan a drink sometime.
The first major threat to the station itself after Ivanova came aboard was in the form of an ancient artifact from Ikarra VII, smuggled aboard by Nelson Drake and Vance Hendricks. The artifact bonded with Drake, transforming him into a living weapon. The weapon attacked and killed several people on the station, drawing away after each attack (burning through decks if necessary). Ivanova helped coordinate a search and counter attack with Garibaldi and security. Cmdr. Sinclair himself insisted on fighting alongside security. He manages to disable the device and free Drake without killing him, saving the station from destruction.
During a weak-long series of religious festivities on B5, Susan was invited to Ambassador Londo Mollari's party, and unlike some of the other command staff seemed to enjoy the party quite a lot--especially when Londo passed out on the table.
Ivanova and the rest of the B5 command staff first met Psi Cop Alfred Bester when he came aboard the station seeking a rogue telepath named Jason Ironheart. Ivanova makes no attempt to hide her contempt for Bester or the Psi Corps.
During a string of anti-alien attacks aboard the station, Susan's old flame Malcolm Biggs arrives on the station. He takes her out on a date and is interested in restarting a relationship. Susan is tempted, but Garibaldi and Sinclair soon inform her that Bridges is part of Homeguard, the group responsible for the attacks. Ivanova and Sinclair set up Bridges to reveal his part in the group, including a plan to assassinate the ambassadors on the station. Bridges was arrested and shipped back to Earth. Susan was both saddened and angry to learn a man she had been so close could be so despicable and keep it so hidden.
When Knight One and Knight Two kidnapped Sinclair, Ivanova coordinated a search of the station with Garibaldi, alerting recently departed ships of his absence. Sinclair managed to escape on his own.
When Jha'dur, the Dilgar war criminal was discovered on the station, an assortment of ships from different races in the League of Non-Aligned Worlds arrive at the station to force the Earth Alliance to hand her over to the League. Ivanova manages to delay them from attacking the station by getting them to quarrel among themselves over which race has the strongest claim to Jha'dur, buying Sinclair enough time to work out a compromise (although Jha'dur is then killed by the Vorlon Empire as she leaves the station).
Eager to get out of C'n'C for a change, Ivanova jumps at the chance to take a Starfury wing out to assist the Asimov, a civilian star liner, when it suffers a malfunction in its navigation system. While escorting the star liner, Ivanova detects a lone Raider fighter scouting the area. Ivanova broke regs to break off and engage the Raider alone--only to run into a large wing of the fighters. She manages to evade them and the Asimov makes it safely to Babylon 5.
Midway through 2258, President Luis Santiago planned a visit to Babylon 5, sending Major Lianna Kemmer to oversee the security arrangements. Just after Kemmer's arrival, a bomb goes off in one of the Cobra Bays. When circumstantial evidence implicates Mr. Garibaldi, he goes on the run rather than surrender to Kemmer, who harbors a grudge against him. Cmdr. Sinclair stands by Garibaldi--and so does Ivanova. She orders a full diagnostic of the communication systems, delaying Kemmer from overriding Sinclair's veto of a station-wide fugitive alert for Garibaldi. Garibaldi is able to unmask the real culprit and stops Ivanova from launching fighters and setting off a second series of bombs.
After an accident leaves a dockworker dead, the Dockers' Guild goes on strike. While Sinclair negotiates with all sides, Ivanova has to deal with the delays in the new arrivals.
Soon the Raiders step up their attacks on civilian craft, encroaching closer to Babylon 5 space. When one freighter sends out a distress call, Sinclair orders Ivanova to take Delta Wing to intercept the Raiders. However, not long after they leave, Sinclair realizes it is a ruse to draw the fighters away from the station. He orders Delta Wing back, and they arrive to help win the decisive First Battle of Babylon 5. The entire Raider fleet of fighters is disabled or destroyed, but the Raider mothership escapes.
Wrestling with Demons
Rabbi Yossel Koslov arrives on Babylon 5 several months after Andrei's death. He correctly guesses she has not made peace with her father's death. Susan is happy to see him, but blames her lack of sitting shiva on her duties. Koslov then goes to Cmdr. Sinclair, who is shocked to learn Susan has not said anything about her father's death. He authorizes her to take leave. Koslov tells her this over dinner (while they try to decide if an alien fish is kosher or not), and Susan angrily accuses Koslov of meddling with her life before running off in tears. Sinclair then practically orders her to take leave, and she refuses again.
Koslov prepares to leave, resigned that there is nothing he can do, when Susan finally relents and asks him to help her. Koslov helps her prepare the final ceremony, which Sinclair takes part in, and Susan finally comes to some peace.
Earthforce Internal Affairs sends Col. Ari Ben Zayn to Babylon 5, ostensibly to investigate Sinclair and the command crew. Zayn arrives with a telepath, Harriman Gray, and announces that all command level crew must submit to a telepathic scan to prove their loyalty. Ivanova flat our refuses, and Sinclair assures her she will not have to submit. Despite this, Gray approaches Ivanova in C'n'C, explaining his life story and saying that she will most certainly have to submit. She first tries to brush him off, but when he persists Ivanova angrily tells him that questioning her loyalty is offensive to her honor and dignity and vows she will not be scanned.
Terrified Gray will do as he said he must, Ivanova drafts her resignation and delivers it to Sinclair (after a night plagued with nightmares). He refuses it, saying that he has checked the regs very closely and she will not have to submit. Gray finds Ivanova again and talks about the Psi-Corps and is surprised when Ivanova realizes he inadvertently scanned her. Col. Zayn then relieves Sinclair of command and brings him up on charges. Ivanova promptly asks someone to relieve her at her post and walks off, heading straight to the Zocalo.
After having a few drinks, she starts a fight in a casino when some guys try to hit on her. Garibaldi has to drag her off. Fortunately, he has learned Zayn is close friends with Alfred Bester, and they have established the "witch hunt" because Zayn was bitter over being passed over for command of the station. When Gray also turns on Zayn, he is placed into custody and Sinclair resumes command.
While Sinclair prepares for the arrival of a deceased Minbari warrior being paraded back to his homeworld, Ivanova meets a young teenager named Alisa Beldon. Alisa was an orphan and petty thief who manifests telepathy suddenly. Talia Winters is on hand, and recognizes Alisa as an emerging telepath. She tells Alisa that she will be joining the Psi Corps, but Ivanova is flat out against her doing so. She explains about her mother and tells Alisa she should do anything else. Exchanging a few barbs with Talia, Susan helps Alisa explore other options. She is thrilled with Alisa decides to work for the Minbari Federation, hopefully to assist in fostering Human-Minbari relations.
A Russian Picnic
"I know, I know. It's a russian thing. When we're about to do something stupid, we like to catalog the full extent of our stupidity for future reference."
- – Susan Ivanova
Later in the year, the station began to pick up strange readings from Epsilon 3, the planet B5 orbits. Ivanova first overseas from C'n'C a survey team sent to skim the surface from near orbit, but these teams triggered a strange alien beacon. The survey shuttle is disabled and Ivanova sends a team to bring them back. After informing the commander, she speaks with Dr. Tasaki, who despite almost dying is thrilled with having found something new and alien to investigate. At the end of the day, Ivanova reports what she has learned. She also mentions that no daily reports about Mars have come out at all, highly unusual for the colony. That night, ISN breaks the news about massive civil disturbances on Mars. Ivanova has breakfast with the commander the following day, both of them dismayed over the news. Sinclair is also aware that Garibaldi is taking it very hard, still having loved ones on the planet.
Dr. Tasaki and his team embark on another survey. After defying Ivanova's orders not to fly too close to the plant, a missile fires on the shuttle. The team manages to evade and returns to the station, prompting a stern rebuke from Ivanova (who recites the "Babylon 5 mantra"). Sinclair then insists that he an Ivanova 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 a artificially constructed landing pad. They discover a massive alien machine, operated by a dying alien named Varn. 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 detonation--a destruction that will take the station with it. Sinclair coordinates with Ivanova and Garibaldi a plan for evacuation should the need arise.
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 counter attack, 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.
End of the Beginning
When the station detects strange disturbances in Sector 14 (three hours in normal space from the station), Ivanova dispatches a pilot to investigate. The pilot's Starfury returns on autopilot, the pilot having died from a tachyon disturbance that aged him to death. The station then picks up a transmission from Babylon 4, which disappeared mysteriously over two years earlier. Sinclair leaves Ivanova in charge while he and Garibaldi take several shuttles to evacuate the station before it disappears again. When they return, they relay the story they learned from a strange alien that the station was being stolen, spirited through time to be used in a great war to save the galaxy.
Just a few hours later, however, Garibaldi turns up missing. He is soon found, having been shot in the back and critically injured, and rushed to Medlab. Before passing out, he warns Sinclair that he has learned of a plot to assassinate President Santiago at the transfer point on Io. Sinclair goes to C'n'C, but he and Ivanova are too late and can only watch as Earthforce One explodes over Io. Before he leaves to investigate trouble of his own, Ambassador G'Kar offers his condolences for what has happened. To make things even stranger, Ivanova and the rest of the crew learn that Ambassador Delenn has entered some sort of cocoon.
"The whole place has gone straight to hell. I can only conclude that I am paying off karma at a vastly accelerated rate."
- – Susan
Three days after the death of President Santiago, Jeffrey Sinclair is recalled to Earth, leaving Ivanova temporarily in charge of the station. She manages to keep things calm, checking on Garibaldi (who remains stable but comatose) every single day. Five days later, General William Hague contacts her, letting her know that Sinclair had been reassigned permanently, and that his replacement will be Captain John Sheridan.
Captain Sheridan arrives sooner than she expects. After quickly going over everything she can about the current situation, she helps him get straight to work resolving an issue with a rogue Minbari war cruiser, the Trigati. The Trigati arrives at Babylon 5 and tries to force a confrontation, but Sheridan correctly "calls their bluff," resulting in its destruction by another Minbari war cruiser. Sheridan is proud of his new assignment, but admits to Ivanova it will not be easy, especially with the Minbari outraged over his assignment. Ivanova is with Sheridan when Lennier explains the truth about the Battle of the Line: how Sinclair was captured and brought aboard a Minbari ship and it was learned he had a Minbari soul.
Garibaldi eventually recovered, and with the help of Talia Winters, he was able to learn that his aide had been the one who shot him. The aide was arrested and President Morgan Clark personally ordered him sent back to Earth. Garibaldi confides in Ivanova and Franklin his suspicions Psi Corps may be involved with the assassination of Santiago. Ivanova informs Sheridan that the Aide mysteriously disappeared on his way back to Earth.
After a few weeks on board, Cpt. Sheridan revealed the news to Ivanova that he had put her in for a promotion just after his arrival, and it had just gone through. Susan was now a full commander, and with her rise in rank Cpt. Sheridan asked her to settle a problem among the Drazi, who were in the midst of a kind of "civil war" (they split up into two camps, Green and Purple, randomly chosen). Ivanova threw herself into the task--and was literally knocked off her feet, breaking her ankle in the process. After a few more attempts to resolve the conflict failed, she was kidnapped by the Green faction. They attempt to use her name to murder the entire Purple faction, but Garibaldi rescues her and they stop the murder. Confronting the Green faction, Ivanova seizes the "green sash," inadvertently becoming leader of the Green Faction, which allows her to end the conflict peacefully. Afterwards, she gathers with Garibaldi and the others to welcome him back to work.
As part of her recovery, Dr. Franklin insists Ivanova stick to a "food plan" that does not satisfy her in the slightest.
An Explorer class ship, the EAS Cortez under the command of Captain Jack Maynard, arrives at Babylon 5 to resupply after being out exploring the Rim for nearly five years. Maynard is an old friend of Sheridan's, but not long after his arrival Susan notices a marked difference in Sheridan's attitude. After the Cortez leaves, while explaining to him a problem between two of the alien diplomatic teams, she asks Sheridan about it. He tells her he feels he has been "beached," that he was made to captain ships not space stations loaded with bureaucracy. Ivanova offers some comfort, but then is forced to ask if he is up to the task or not.
C'n'C then gets a distress signal from the Cortez: having suffered a major malfunction, the ship is adrift in hyperspace. Sheridan organizes a rescue party, though Ivanova reminds him no ship lost in hyperspace has ever been found. A fighter wing goes out and Sheridan and Ivanova anxiously await word of it in C'n'C, Ivanova again trying to offer some comfort for Sheridan, who is worried he will never see his old friend again. He shares with her and the squadron team an old Egyptian blessing Jack taught him. Fortunately, the ship is found and rescued, though the squadron leader died in the effort. Ivanova informs Warren Keffer (a member of the team and the last to get back) that he will be the new squadron leader. She then finds Sheridan in his office and is pleased to discover he is back to his old self, feeling much better about his assignment.
Whispers from the Dark
An ancient Earth cryonic ship, the Copernicus, drifts into Babylon 5 space. Two crew members are found aboard--one still alive in cryonic sleep, the other long dead. While Dr. Franklin revives the patient, Mariah Cirrus, Ivanova works on getting the ships logs up and running. She is able to determine that Mariah's husband, the other passenger, did not die because of a ship malfunction. Very soon, a few Lurkers are found brutally killed. Garibaldi finds a lead in a Lurker and ex-marine named Amis, who insists a "soldier of darkness" got aboard the Copernicus and now the station. Garibaldi and Franklin take Mariah into Downbelow, as she believes she can sense the alien's presence. Ivanova informs Sheridan when weapons' fire is detected. They grab some PPG rifles and lead a team into Downbelow. They manage to rescue Garibaldi and Amis and destroy the alien.
Afterwards, Ivanova checks the ships logs. After the creature came aboard the Copernicus, it managed to set the ship on a path towards Z'ha'dum, but the ship altered course on its own when it detected a signal from Babylon 5. She informs Sheridan of this, and they both recall G'Kar's warning.
Sheridan put Ivanova in charge of preparing a conference for a delegation from the Tikar, a strange alien race he himself had first made contact with. The conference was a success and the Tikar promised to return to the station.
Meanwhile, a prominent businessman from FutureCorp named Taro Isogi is brutally murdered on the station. Talia Winters was a witness to the murder. Susan realizes she has started to develop feelings for Talia. She tells Sheridan Talia is someone he can trust. With all traffic stalled while they search for the killer, Susan has the unpleasant job of explaining the situation to the ships' captains (resulting in the usual complaints and outright threats). The killer is soon discovered.
Ambassador Mollari throws a major party to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of his Day of Ascension, and Susan is among the guests invited. Delenn is also a guest, and prior to the party she asks Ivanova to come to her quarters to help deal with a crisis--having only recently acquired hair, she has no idea of how to care for it. Ivanova helps her out of this crisis in time for the party. Afterwards, she finds herself in the uncomfortable position of explaining other aspects of human female physiology to Delenn.
When Psi Cop Alfred Bester makes his second visit to B5, Ivanova is understandably less than welcoming, especially when he tells the command staff he is there to shut down an "underground railroad" of rogue telepaths. After duty, Garibaldi confronts Ivanova in Earhart's, convinced only someone in the command staff could be running the underground railroad. Susan happily explains her innocence. They both find out later that Stephen Franklin was the real culprit, but the railroad is dismantled without Bester making any arrests.
During this same time, Ivanova receives word from Earthforce that they have determined Sheridan and her quarters are larger than necessary. She has the unfortunate duty of telling the captain they want them to either move out or start paying 30 credits a week. Sheridan outright refuses and insists Ivanova do the same. This results in them both being locked out of their quarters. Susan tries to force her way inside and sets off three different alarm systems. Rather than give in, Sheridan insists they sleep in his office. Between the captain's bad jokes and his snoring, Susan did not get much sleep. Thankfully, the following day Sheridan managed to find a compromise (he allocated 60 credits a week from the military budget) and they both could return to their quarters.
Talia learned about many of Psi Corps' dirty secrets from the rogue telepaths, comes to Susan late in the night, looking for someone to talk to. Susan welcomes her, after Talia removes her Psi Corps badge.
Conspiracies and Diplomatic Disasters
Ivanova helps Captain Sheridan welcome Turhan, the Emperor of the Centauri Republic, when he comes to the station in April, 2259. While he came hoping to further the cause of peace, he suffers a severe heart attacks and dies aboard the station. His death leads to the outbreak of the Narn-Centauri War.
Wishing to assert the Alliance's position and strength in the face of the Narn-Centauri conflict, EarthGov orders General Richard Franklin and 25,000 Earthforce Marines (or GROPOS) to the planet Akdor for Operation: Sudden Death. The unit is directed to go to Babylon 5 first to use it as a staging area for the upcoming campaign. Ivanova is nearly overwhelmed trying to finding billets for the sheer number of troops, resorting to bunking some in the MedLab facilities.
The General is the father of Stephen Franklin and Susan senses a rift between them. She invites Stephen to talk about it over drinks. He confides in her that he has the hardest time telling his father how he feels. Knowing the General might not come back from the upcoming campaign, Susan encourages Stephen to talk to him while he has the chance.
While annoyed at all the chaos the "jarheads" bring to the station, Ivanova is pleased with the new upgrade to B5's defense grid they also brought with them: the station can now stand against a full warship with ease.
A couple of months later, Ivanova learns that General William Hague, one of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, is coming aboard for an "unofficial" visit. Just before he arrives, however, Captain Sheridan is kidnapped by an unknown alien race while out on a routine patrol. General Hague then arrives and assists Ivanova in coordinating a search and rescue, including calling in the EAS Agamemnon. Ambassador Delenn, upon learning of the situation, is able to provide the name of the alien race and where to find them. Ivanova personally leads a fighter escort along with the Agamemnon and successfully rescues the captain.
Back aboard (after a meeting with Hague), Sheridan has Ivanova, Garibaldi, and Franklin all meet him in his quarters. He explains to them he is working with Hague to uncover the truth of whether President Clark was involved with his predecessor's death. Ivanova and the others join with the captain's conspiracy.
While Sheridan attempts to persuade the Earth Alliance to provide aid to the Narn Regime, he asks Ivanova to secure a treaty with the Lumati--telling her to do whatever it takes to get them to sign on. Before they will sign any treaty, the Lumati insist on a tour of the station to determine if Earth is sufficiently advanced enough for an alliance. She meets the Lumati representative, Correlimurzon, and his assistant, Taq. Ivanova is not impressed by their high opinion of themselves, but tries to remain "diplomatic." Correlimurzon is sufficiently impressed (after seeing Downbelow of all places) and agrees the Lumati will sign the treaty.
However, per Lumati tradition, Correlimurzon insists that to seal the bargain Ivanova must have sex with him. She is able to stall initially, trying desperately to figure out how to secure the treaty without this little detail. After speaking with Dr. Franklin, she realizes the Lumati have no knowledge of human reproduction, she decides to "do it" with him. Afterwards, the treaty is signed and Correlimurzon leaves a gift for Ivanova.
Word comes in about midway through the year that Dr. Everett Jacobs, the personal physician to President Clark, has betrayed Earth and is attempting to defect, coming straight to Babylon 5. Earthforce Special Intelligence sent Derek Cranston to coordinate a search. Just after he arrives, however, Sheridan learns through a contact with Hague that Jacobs is no traitor, but rather has evidence of President Clark's complicity in Santiago's death. Ivanova and Sheridan manage to delay Cranston's search efforts, allowing Garibaldi and Franklin to find him first. They further frustrate his search by asking Ambassador Kosh to hid Jacobs aboard his ship until Cranston leaves. During this crisis, Kosh had asked to speak with Sheridan personally, something Ivanova remarks Kosh had never done in the whole time she had been aboard.
Deep Space Franchises
Earthforce (once again eager to make money wherever they can), announces that they will be putting in a store and selling Babylon 5 related merchandise. Sheridan gives Ivanova the task of supervising, ensuring that nothing too distasteful is put on the market. Ivanova is outraged, finding the whole enterprise demeaning. Ambassador Mollari soon makes a formal complaint about the "Londo dolls" (claiming they lack "attributes"), but Sheridan is completely turned off to the shop when Ivanova shows him a "Bab-bear-lon 5" teddy bear complete with his initials. He orders her to remove the store immediately and personally spaces the teddy bear.
In late summer, ISN sends reporter Cynthia Torqueman and a film crew to do a segment, "36 Hours on Babylon 5." Ivanova has even less time to try and ignore them than usual, as a dispute between the Narn and Centauri involving the latter moving weapons through the station erupts into a firefight. Sheridan calls both sides bluff and the station escapes with little damage, though the Centauri and Narn losses are not small.
With the Narn-Centauri War heating up, the station gets swamped with many Narn refugees, many badly in need of medical attention. Dr. Franklin works virtually non-stop, prompting Ivanova to order him to take a much needed break before he collapses from exhaustion. After a good solid round of sleep, Franklin goes to the mess hall and Ivanova joins him there. The two discuss their mutual beliefs, and their sorrow over the Narn situation.
When a Markab transport ship due to arrive at the station goes missing, Ivanova asks the Captain to let her send Zeta Wing out to investigate. She mentions that Lt. Warren Keffer has been using his free flying time to go on a number of runs into hyperspace, looking for something he saw when he helped rescue the EAS Cortez. Sheridan orders Ivanova to halt all such expeditions and Ivanova relays the order to Keffer, threatening to ground him indefinitely when he protests.
The Markab ship is found and towed back--but all aboard have perished from a deadly virus, the Drafa Plague. A Markab doctor on the station, Lazarenn, explains that the plague is lethal and highly contagious and is sweeping through his people like a wild fire. Worried that the virus might be contagious to other species, Sheridan orders a quarantine of the station. Panic soon follows and the Markabs decide to isolate themselves from the general population. Dr. Franklin manages to find a cure--but too late, as all the Markabs on the station and on their homeworld have fallen victim to the plague.
"After you tell someone you've been lying to them for years, maybe even put them in jeopardy, how are you supposed to look that person in the eyes again?"
- – Susan
In late October, Lyta Alexander returns to Babylon 5, arriving unconscious and being taken straight to MedLab. Meanwhile, Susan and Talia have become very close: closer than either would have guess possible given how rocky their relationship had started out. Talia confesses to being put out of her quarters for some repairs and Susan insists she stay with her.
When Lyta awakens, she demands to speak with the full command staff. She explains that she's been on the run for nearly a year, the last six months of which she has spent on Mars with the resistance. She has come back with a warning that someone on the station is a sleeper agent for the Psi Corps: the Corp implanted a hidden personality and the victim is unaware of it. She explains that the personality is activated by a telepathic command, and when it happens it destroys the personality of the "host," but retains all their memories. The personality is otherwise slightly aware, as it is programmed to take control of the host in order to defend itself. She offers to send the command into the crew to find them.
Ivanova, once again, emphatically rejects the idea of a telepath getting in her head, even if only for a moment. Sheridan says only that he will consider the possibility, but that is enough to shake Ivanova. After duty, she returns to her quarters and while she does not tell Talia everything, she does express her doubt and uncertainty. She also asks Talia if she knew Lyta. Talia says she knew her a long time ago. That night, their friendship changes to something else as they sleep together.
Susan, however, awakens in the night troubled by nightmares. She goes for a walk to clear her head and does not come back until the morning. During the night, however, someone tried to murder Lyta. The attack is enough to convince Sheridan to allow Lyta to send the command. Susan goes to see him privately, ready to unburden herself at last. She admits the truth of her latent telepathy, of how she has been hiding it her whole life and is terrified of the Psi Corps finding out. Sheridan promises he will not let that happen. Later, when they are all gathered in his office, he orders Lyta to begin sending the telepathic command, but instructs her not to probe Ivanova. When Sheridan, Garibaldi, Franklin, and one hundred more or so of the crew all check out, Lyta becomes frustrated at Ivanova's non-compliance. When tensions run high, Ivanova agrees to let her send the command. Susan does not have the sleeper, but Lyta does become aware of her latent telepathy.
Just at that moment, Talia walks in the room and Lyta randomly sends the command to her. Talia had the sleeper all along, and the "Control" personality asserts itself. "Control" has to be dragged off before she can attack Lyta. The Psi Corps orders her sent back immediately and the crew, knowing they have no choice, agree. Before she leaves, she is approached by Susan, hopeful that some threads of Talia still remain. There is nothing left, however, and Control mocks her before leaving. Once again, Susan is left feeling like love has brought her only pain.
"We came to this place because Babylon 5 was our last, best hope for peace. By the end of 2259, we knew that it had failed. But in so doing, it became something greater. As the war expanded, it became our last, best hope for victory. Because sometimes peace is another word for surrender, and because secrets have a way of getting out."
- – Susan Ivanova
By late December, the Centauri Republic began a series of campaigns against its other neighbors. The Earth Alliance sent a pair of representatives, Frederick Lantze a of the Ministry of Peace and Mr. Welles of Nightwatch to Babylon 5, ostensibly to investigate the Centauri situation. Captain Sheridan asks Ivanova to be his liaison with them. Ivanova was encouraged by Lantze's presence. However, when Welles meets with her privately, she is surprised and outraged when he implies Nightwatch can help further her career in exchange for some intelligence regarding potential disloyalty. She refuses his offer, telling him she has no intention of dirtying her hands by selling out friends and comrades.
Lantze, however, is only really interested in pushing through a Non-Aggression Treaty with the Centauri Republic. Sheridan shares his disgust with Ivanova privately. Susan offers some encouragement as well as a Christmas present: a small scrap from the Black Star, a reminder that "the impossible is possible." Moments later, Ambassador Londo Mollari contacts Sheridan, aware that a Narn heavy cruiser has been secretly hiding near the station for the past couple of days. Sheridan and Ivanova rush to C'n'C, arriving just as a Centauri warcruiser jumps into space. Sheridan, unwilling to surrender the Narn ship, orders fighters to protect the Narn ship. The Centauri cruiser opens fire on Babylon 5, forcing the station to destroy the Centauri cruiser and escort the ship out of Babylon 5 space. Warren Keffer, a member of the fighter wing, fails to return.
EarthGov is angered over Sheridan's actions and insist he apologize in front of a large gathering in the Gardens. While he is en route, riding along the Core Shuttle, some Centauri plant a bomb that detonates, destroying the shuttle. Sheridan jumps out, "falling" rapidly. Ivanova quickly orders a team to suit up to rescue him, but there is no enough time. However, a "being of light" appears before everyone and rescues Sheridan. In the days following the Treaty is finalized and the Centauri Republic renew their campaigns. Ivanova ends the year reflecting on the failure of the Babylon Project to bring peace, but knows there is still promise for something greater: victory.
Early in the new year, Captain Sheridan introduced Ivanova to Marcus Cole, a member of the Rangers, an elite force of humans and Minbari brought together to train and prepare for the upcoming Second Shadow War. Ivanova shocked her captain (and Delenn) when she revealed that she already knew much of what he had thought had been kept a secret from her--she had learned about the Shadows, an ancient race that had returned, and how the Rangers were working behind the scenes to prepare for the inevitable conflict. Marcus had come to the station to seek help from Sheridan: a colony sheltering a Ranger base had been blockaded and they needed help lifting the blockade. Sheridan, Delenn, Lennier, and Ivanova left with Marcus while Garibaldi was left behind to cover for them with David Endawi, a member of Earthforce Special Intelligence who had come investigating an image recovered from Lt. Keffer's destroyed Starfury.
Marcus brings the others to a new warship, the White Star, and presents it to Sheridan as a gift. Delenn explains that the ship is a prototype featuring Minbari and Vorlon technology. Manning the ship are Minbari from the Religious Caste. They swiftly fly to the colony world and easily begin to eradicate the blockade (a system of armed satellites). However, a Shadow Vessel soon jumps in an engages them. After destroying enough of the satellites to allow the Rangers an escape, Sheridan orders the White Star to flee through the local Jump Gate, though the Shadow ship is right behind them. Knowing they cannot outrun or outgun it, Sheridan orders them exit at an unused Jump Gate, then orders Ivanova to use the ships's engines to create a jumppoint inside the gate. Ivanova is familiar with what he is attempting (nicknamed the "Bonehead maneuver"). The result destroys the Jump Gate and the pursuing Shadow vessel, but the White Star emerges almost completely undamaged. They return via their shuttle to Babylon 5.
Once back on the station, Sheridan invites Ivanova, Garibaldi, and Dr. Franklin to meet with him and Delenn to clue them in on all the information they have about the coming of Shadows.
Calm Before the Storm
A few weeks later, a series of communication come into C'n'C warning that "chaos is coming." A few hours later, the station is rocked by a series of explosions quickly determined to be the work of a terrorist bomber. As security scrambles to locate the bomber before he can do further damage, Ivanova meets with Brother Theo, a Trappist monk who is requesting permission for permanent residence aboard the station for himself and a couple dozen other monks with him. He explains that his order is on a spiritual mission and will be trading their services for any information they can learn. Ivanova is skeptical about the idea, though she later employs the monks to assist in catching the bomber. Their efforts prove invaluable at capturing him before he can destroy the station. Over the course of the next year, Susan would grow to become quite fond of Brother Theo and the rest of his order.
Ivanova has the unpleasant duty of helping Sheridan negotiate higher fees with a local transit authority. While these negotiations go on, a strange alien probe appears at the station. It sends a transmission that turns out to be several hundred questions ranging from advanced mathematics to cutting edge biology and physics. The message promises cures for all known diseases and an advanced form of energy if they can successfully answer them within a certain time frame. If they cannot, the probe warns it will detonate with a blast of over 1,000,000 megatons. All the information is gathered before the deadline, but at the last minute Sheridan orders Ivanova not to send it to the probe, correctly guessing it will do the opposite of what it promises. They relay the information to a maintenance bot and have it relay it to the probe once it is out of range. The probe detonates as Sheridan expected. Business resumes as usual--which unfortunately for the captain and commander meant more negotiations with the guild.
When Ambassador Kosh's ship returns to the station after a trip to the Vorlon Homeworld, he requests that Ivanova meet him in Bay 13. Ivanova discovers that Kosh wishes for her to witness the return of Lyta Alexander. Ivanova takes her to speak to the command crew where she explains that she went to the edge of Vorlon space, sent out a telepathic signal, and they picked her up and took her to the Vorlon Homeworld. Lyta explains that she will be working with Ambassador Kosh from then on and he will protect her from the Psi Corps. Lyta helps the staff when one of Brother Theo's monks, Brother Edward goes missing. Ivanova, in turn, ensures that no one suspects Lyta's involvement.
As the newly formed Army of Light begin to quietly marshal their resources, Delenn invites Draal (who formally joined with Sheridan in the final days of the Narn-Centauri War) to speak to the War Council about the First Ones. Draal suggests Sheridan join him on Epsilon 3 and use the Great Machine to search for them, believing they will be crucial to the war effort. Unfortunately, Sheridan must deal with a political officer sent from the Ministry of Peace, Julie Musante. He asks Ivanova to make the journey for him.
Down on the planet, Draal takes an immediate liking to Ivanova and allows her to use the Great Machine. She finds traces of the First Ones at Sigma 957. However, while her consciousness is out into space, the Shadows become aware of her and attempt to seize her. With Draal's help, she manages to evade them. In returning to her own body, she manages to catch part of a transmission featuring President Morgan Clark from the last days of 2258, admitting his complicity in the assassination conspiracy of President Santiago. Draal is able to record the message and send it up to Babylon 5. He allows Ivanova to use his holographic display program to appear before Sheridan (who is being "seduced" by Musante). She quickly tells him what she's learned. He orders her to take the White Star out to Sigma 957 and report what she finds.
Much to Susan's chagrin, Marcus comes along to translate for the crew. They successfully locate the Walkers of Sigma-957 and ask them to help in the upcoming War. The Walkers initially refuse, but Ivanova manages to goad them by speaking about the Vorlons (for whom they apparently have no love). The Walkers agree to fight when the time comes. Once back on the station, Ivanova shares the message from Clark she recovered. He sends it along to General William Hague who manages to leak it to ISN. Julie Musante is recalled to Earth even as the message plays nearly constantly on ISN.
Soon thereafter, Bester sends a message that he is coming to the station. The War Council convenes, expressing their concern that Bester may scan one or more of them and learn about their involvement with the Rangers, Draal, and everything they have learned about Clark. Ivanova suggests blowing up his ship before he arrives, but Sheridan refuses to sanction murder. Delenn suggests using a team of Minbari telepaths to block him. Ivanova, worried it will not be enough, decides to stage an "accident" with the defense grid and blow up his shuttle anyway. Sheridan, however, realizes what she intends and stops her. Luckily, the telepaths are able to block Bester long enough for them to convince him to use the sleepers while he is aboard, giving them security. Bester explains he is there to disrupt an illegal shipment of Dust that is being smuggled aboard. Working with Garibaldi, he locates the smuggler and they seize the shipment with minimal trouble and Bester leaves immediately afterwards.
David Corwin is soon promoted to a full lieutenant. The senior staff discusses the possibility of brining him into the War Council. Ivanova offers to speak to him, to gauge where she thinks he stands regarding what is happening on Earth. She invites him over to her quarters for a private meeting. When Corwin shows up, he has a bouquet of roses that he alleges he "found" on her doorstep. Susan admits she is flattered to think she has a secret admirer (not realizing Corwin had brought them on the chance she had asked him on a date). She talks to him about Earth, probing gently, but when Corwin states he does not think he is qualified to judge the full "rightness" of orders issued to him, she decides he is not ready to be brought in on what is happening.
Later, wrongly thinking Marcus sent her the roses, she tosses them to him in the Zocalo, telling him "keep them!"
Working with the Rangers, Michael Garibaldi arranges for a former member of IPX, Dr. Kirkish, to come aboard Babylon 5. Dr. Kirkish tells about a Shadow vessel that was found on Mars a few years before. That ship was recovered by another Shadow vessel and Kirkish was reassigned, ordered not to say anything to anyone about what she had seen. Recently, however, another ship was discovered on Ganymede. Earthforce was planning on reactivating the ship within a week.
After making arrangements for Kirkish to go to Minbari space, Delenn and Sheridan form a desperate plan to destroy the Shadow vessel before it can come online. Leaving his uniform and all identification behind, Sheridan captains the White Star with Delenn and Lennier on a mission towards Earth. Ivanova is left behind to cover for Sheridan's absence. Frustrated and feeling useless, Ivanova lashed out at Marcus, admitting that she was blaming him for the mess because she had no one else to blame. Thankfully, the mission succeeds in destroying the Shadow ship and evading capture (though not before the ship can inflict heavy damage at Ganymede). ISN reports the incident as an "unknown alien ship" being destroyed after launching an unprovoked attack on the colony. Marcus visits Ivanova again and cheers her up slightly. Mere seconds later, however, they get a link from Sheridan to turn on the news. ISN reports that President Morgan Clark is using the incident as an excuse to declare Martial law.
The Clouds Break
Within hours of his martial law decree, President Clark dissolved the Earth Senate, arresting half its members and causing the other half to flee. General William Hague, off planet at the time, quickly flees from the Sol system aboard the EAS Alexander. The martial law decree eventually reached Babylon 5, where Sheridan had the reluctant duty of carrying it out. There was also an order that came in that Nightwatch personnel would have exclusive control of station security. Rioting breaks out all over the station as the martial law order meets resistance. As the command staff looks for a way of removing Nightwatch, G'Kar approaches Ivanova with an offer to replace the Nightwatch personnel with Narns. The staff enlists the help of Garibaldi's aide, Zack Allan, to trick the bulk of the Nightwatch forces into being lured into a sealed off area. Sheridan justifies the decision by pointing out that the order for Nightwatch to take command came from the Ministry of Peace, not the proper chain of command. They then put the Narns in place. A few hours later, Ivanova learns that most of the ships that defected with Hague had been shot down. She relays this information to Sheridan--they both know everything is about to come to a head.
A week or two later, Sheridan receives a signal from the Alexander that it is on its way to the station. The staff know that when it arrives, there will be no going back. Sheridan orders Garibaldi to implement a "kill switch" in the Babcom system that severs all communications once the Alexander jumps into local space. With Ivanova at his side, Sheridan informs C'n'C that the station will be rendering aid to the Alexander. Tragically, Hague was killed in a firefight days earlier, leaving Major Ed Ryan in command of the ship. While Ryan meets with the senior staff, words comes in that Clark has begun bombing civilian targets on Mars after the provisional government there refused to implement the martial law decree. ISN goes off line soon after breaking the news. Within an hour, the EAS Churchill (under the command of Captain Sandra Hiroshi) jumps in. Hiroshi is an ally of Ryan's and has news that a task force has been dispatched to seize control of Babylon 5, putting Sheridan and the command staff under arrest. Sheridan points out all that is now at stake and one by one (starting with Ivanova) the others agree to stand with him and fight.
Sheridan uses Draal's holographic system to announce that Babylon 5 is declaring independence from the Earth Alliance in protest of Clark's illegal actions. Ivanova requests permission to lead one of the Starfurry wings. Sheridan is initially against it, but she insists that a senior member lead them and he consents. Clark's task force soon jumps in and the Battle For B5 Independence begins. In the course of the battle, two Hyperion class heavy cruisers are destroyed, as is the EAS Agrippa. The Churchill, critically damaged and out of control, rams into the EAS Roanoke, destroying both ships. Distracted for a moment by the destruction, Ivanova is unable to evade when an out-of-control Starfury collides with her fighter. Unable to regain control, she is forced to eject. She is picked up (with a few bumps and bruises) after the battle is won (due in part to the timely arrival of Delenn and some Minbari forces). After the battle, Ivanova leads Sheridan and Delenn into the Zocalo, where they are all met with thunderous applause from the citizens of the station.
A few days after the battle, the station holds a funeral service for their fallen. Ivanova calls off the name of the pilots who died defending the station. Unfortunately, some lingering elements of Nightwatch remain. They manage to kidnap Delenn and a Minbari captain, holding them hostage and demanding that Sheridan send away the Minbari ships now on permanent guard. Garibaldi and Marcus are able to piece together where the hostages are being held and stage a rescue. Ivanova goes along to confront the Nightwatch personnel and is involved with the firefight that takes them down. While Delenn is rescued, she suffers a knife in the back during the fight. She recovers peacefully in Medlab, but her injuries prevent her from conducting a Minbari Rebirth Ceremony that she had planned. The senior staff decides to bring the ceremony to her. Part of it involves people confessing a secret they have never shared with anyone. Susan admits to Delenn the feelings she had for Talia.
Afterwards, Lennier presents all four of the senior staff members new uniforms.
The Resident Sneak
"It's the same thing, night after night: one bad dream after another..."
- – Susan
Susan was plagued by nightmares for a couple of weeks following the break away from Earth. The captain suggested it was merely her subconscious trying to work through everything that she had gone through (and everything that was coming). At this same time, Zack Allan brought a situation to her attention involving Vir Cotto, who had been working as the Centauri's envoy to Minbar for the past few months. Zack explained that Vir's office had been authorizing the transfer of Narns away from Centauri occupation via forged papers and a fake official named "Abrahamo Lincolni." Ivanova meets with Vir the next time he is aboard and he explains that he intended to inform her of it. He says that the Narns go voluntarily but many on Centauri Prime enjoy their suffering too much.
A few hours later, Vir is attacked while accompanied by his recently betrothed by a Narn. Before the Narn is shot dead by security, he shouts "shon kar," indicating the Narn Blood Oath. Susan calls Vir to her office to explain the Narn has a brother who is also aboard the station and will likely come after him. Vir is bewildered why they would want to kill him. He explains about his bride to be, Lyndisty Drusella, and asks Susan for advice on relationships (much hardly thrills Susan). Hours later, she learns that all of the 2,000 Narns Vir's office transferred are reported dead. Ivanova has Sheridan meet her at Londo's quarters as she confronts Mollari and Vir (believing Mollari put Vir up to it). Vir shocks them all, however, by announcing that he forged the death certificates so no one would go looking for them once he got them out of Centauri space. Since Londo fears a scandal will hurt him personally should it come out, he manages to bury it, but Vir's tenure on Minbar and his brief engagement are both canceled.
Afterwards, Susan decides to keep using the fake official Vir created to keep freeing Narns as long as she can, hoping that the "sneaking around" will help her lay some bad dreams to rest.
Gaining an Edge
Being broken away from Earth hindered the station's revenue stream, as far fewer transports from Earth were willing to venture there. In addition, half the League of Non-Aligned Worlds had been prompted by the Shadows into going to war with the other half. Sheridan calls the League together to insist Babylon 5 can still function as a free port and neutral territory. With Ivanova's help, he unveils the Babylon Treaty, a charter where the League worlds agree to provide protection to the station. While the entire League does not sign the Treaty, enough of the members do to ensure its success.
After a few weeks of a media blackout, ISN finally comes back on the air. Unfortunately, it obviously has become nothing more than a propaganda machine for President Clark's regime. A bad day gets worse when Bester arrives at the station. His arrival prompts Sheridan to cancel a meeting he had planned with G'Kar, one where he intended on explaining the full situation to him. He has Ivanova deliver the news to a frustrated G'Kar, who insists that he cannot wait much longer. Afterwards, she meets the captain and he explains that he had Bester put in a holding cell as soon as he came aboard. He asks her to meet with him first since her latent telepathy will allow her to know if he tries to scan her. Susan is reluctant at first, fearful her secret might be exposed to the worst person possible, but she relents. Bester is his usual derisive self, prompting Susan to slap him when he mentions her mother. Bester explains that he has learned about the Shadows because they are working with Clark and the Psi Corps, a situation he does not like. He proposes a temporary alliance to work against the Shadows, making an offer to help them disrupt a convoy carrying weapons.
Ivanova relates Bester's message (and the fact that he did not, in fact, try to read her thoughts). Bester meets with the rest of the crew and gives more details about the convoy. He insists that the cargo ship be captured, not destroyed. He also tells them a well kept Psi Corps secret: that hyperspace amplifies a telepath's range. He accompanies them aboard the White Star where they manage to overtake the convoy. The escort ships are quickly dispatched and the cargo ship is seized via a tractor beam. Suddenly, a large Shadow Vessel appears, but strangely withdraws immediately rather than attack. Once back on the station, the contents of the cargo ship are revealed to be hundreds of telepaths, sealed inside stasis pods with implants in their heads. One of them is taken out, but when she awakens she "merged" with Medlab and has to be physically incapacitated.
Bester explains that he knew they were telepaths, but had been told they were weapons. Ivanova and Sheridan recall that Delenn told them the Shadow vessels use living beings as their central components and the telepaths were apparently being sent for that reason. Later, after Bester leaves, Garibaldi calls a meeting of the War Council (in the new facilities recently constructed on the station) to reveal what he had pieced together by reading the Book of G'Quan. He explains that according to the Book, during the last war the Shadows were said to be vulnerable to telepaths. They realize Bester's presence aboard the White Star must have been what detered the Shadow ship from attacking. They also reason that is purpose behind the Shadows using the telepaths in the pods, hoping with telepaths as their central core their ships will be more resistant to telepathic assault. The War Council's joy at this revelation is short lived, however, when Ivanova receives a report that the Shadows are attacking openly--the Second Shadow War has fully begun.
For the next ten days, the Shadows strike randomly at virtually every race. The situation causes fear and chaos on the station. The Shadows are careful not to strike some of the minor worlds, prompting those races not to rally to defend their neighbors on the off chance they will go "unnoticed." Sheridan is able to change things when he convinces Kosh to arrange for a Vorlon fleet to attack a Shadow armada. Ivanova relays the information of the attack to the War Council. The Vorlon victory is enough to convince all the minor worlds to rally together in the Army of Light for a common defense. Tragically, Kosh is murdered in the middle of the night by the Shadows in retaliation. The Vorlon Empire asks that the staff keep the news of his death quiet, not wanting to upset the fragile alliance. That same day, Stephen Franklin announces his resignation from Medlab, revealing an addiction to Stims that prevents him from doing his work.
Just over a week after the death of Ambassador Kosh, the station detects a transmission from Sector 14. Everyone is surprised when the message seems to be Ivanova, desperately pleading for help against an attack on the station. Garibaldi points out that Sector 14 is where Babylon 4 disappeared and is unstable in time. He volunteers to take a Starfury there to investigate.
Shortly after Garibaldi leaves, Jeffrey Sinclair returns to the station unexpectedly. As soon as he arrives, Delenn insists that Sheridan, Ivanova, and Marcus accompany her and Sinclair aboard the White Star. Once aboard, Delenn reveals the truth about how and why Babylon 4 disappeared--during the last Great War, the Shadows destroyed the primary starbase of the Minbari and their allies. The war would have been lost without such a base, but then Babylon 4 suddenly appeared from no where. Delenn explains that Draal is using the Great Machine to open the time rift at Sector 14 so they can take the White Star six years into the past to steal the station and take it through time. Ivanova and Sheridan readily agree to help. One of the caretaker's of the Great Machine, an alien named Zathras, joins them before they reach Sector 14. He gives them each a time stabilizer to protect them against the effects of the time rift.
The White Star successfully arrives back in 2254. A few Shadow fighters are nearby, bringing a thermonuclear bomb to the station (having recognized it from the last War). The White Star successfully takes down the Shadow fighters and destroys the bomb (though it detonates). The blastwave hits the White Star, damaging Sheridan's time stabilizer and causing him to drift through time. The mission proceeds. They secretly come to Babylon 4 and sneak aboard to carry out the mission.
On Babylon 4, the team splits up to carry out what is necessary to pull the station through time. Marcus comes with Susan as she attempts to find an open access panel that will allow her to create a diversion. They have to knock out a pair of security guards, but successfully find a panel that allows them to set off a fake alarm (indicating a hull breach), prompting the few crew members to evacuate part of the station. As they work, Zathras manages to pull Sheridan back to the present in a space suit, though the effect is only temporary as the time stabilizer is still damaged. Sheridan joins them at work and they manage to drag the station through time, though Sheridan disappears again and an error causes them to arrive in 2258, precisely as the station reappeared. Also, as Sinclair was exposed to the field without protection two years prior, the trip through time causes him to age prematurely.
The crew works frantically, even as the "other" Sinclair arrives with Garibaldi and the rescue teams to evacuate the station. Zathras works to both repair the damaged time stabilizer and make the last alterations needed to take the station into the past. Ivanova slips into C'n'C to take control of the stations engines. The others join her in C'n'C, where Marcus correctly guesses that someone will need to pilot the station into the past--someone who will have to remain. Sinclair reveals that he has a letter, written by himself more than 900 years ago, which explained the full plan (and how he is the one to go into the past). Susan protests, but Sinclair argues that he has always known it was his destiny. Zathras remains with Sinclair. The others go back to the White Star and return to 2260. Delenn reveals the final truth about Sinclair--not only was he meant to go back in time, but he was also meant to undergo a transformation much as she did. Sinclair thus was destine to become the Minbari leader Valen.
The Vorlons send a replacement ambassador who would assume the identity of Kosh. Sheridan and Ivanova met him when he arrived and were puzzled when he told them that "we are all Kosh." A few hours later, Sheridan convened a meeting of the War Council to discuss what has been learned regarding the Shadows and telepaths. The captain announces he plans on taking a White Star with Lyta Alexander to test the theory. Ivanova and the rest of the War Council insist he takes some support vessels with more telepaths. The operation succeeds: two Shadow Vessels are destroyed and two more retreat.
The Army of Light quickly begins recruiting telepaths to use in the War. Many of them are reluctant to sign on, so Sheridan suggests using a list of rogue telepaths Dr. Franklin put together while operating an "underground railroad" through the station. Unfortunately, Franklin is still on walkabout. Ivanova manages to locate him in Downbelow, where he is suffering from Stim withdrawal. Franklin agrees to give her the list, but insists that neither she, nor Garibaldi, nor anyone else find him again until he is finished with his personal journey. Susan reluctantly agrees.
As the weeks go by, more and more telepaths join the cause and are sent out to protect League ships. The Shadows continue to strike randomly all throughout the galaxy. Sheridan desperately tries to figure out their strategy, going days without proper rest or food (prompting Ivanova to remark he is "carrying on cranky"). G'Kar comes to Ivanova and offers to send along a Narn as a bodyguard for each telepath sent out by the Alliance. After this meeting, she accompanies Brother Theo in welcoming a delegation of Earth religious leaders as they arrive. Their true purpose is to smuggle data about the Resistance on Earth to the station. They meet with Sheridan, Ivanova, and Delenn over dinner where the information is handed over to the Alliance.
A few days later, Sheridan calls Ivanova and Marcus into a meeting. He explains that he and Delenn have guessed where the Shadows will strike next. He orders them to take the White Star to the sector in question as an advanced scout. Meanwhile, he will arrange for a strike force to wait nearby in hyperspace for their attack. Ivanova and Marcus leave immediately, waiting for the better part of a day in Sector 83 with no sign of Shadows. Marcus relieves Susan of command so she can get some sleep (which proves impossible for her on the Minbari beds). He also says a few words in Minbari to her, which he deceptively says is "just a greeting." Soon after, Marcus calls her to the bridge, as they have detected a small Shadow scout vessel nearby. The scout detects them and attempts to flee, so they pursue and damage it. The ship attempts to ram them, causing damage to the jump engines. Moments later, they watch as dozens and dozens of Shadow ships (of all different types) jump into the local space. They alert the Allied fleet, which soon jumps in, beginning the Battle of Sector 83.
Once their engines are repaired, the White Star joins the fleet (now one of dozens of other White Stars, which had just been completed and were being held back in secret by Delenn). Even with the aid of telepaths, Minbari cruisers, and the White Stars, the battle is hard fought. It is eventually won, with the Shadows falling back, but for every one Shadow ship that was destroyed, two Allied ships were lost. The wounded are rushed back to Babylon 5. As soon as they get back, they learn that Dr. Franklin was stabbed in Downbelow, but is recovering in Medlab. He asks for his job back once he is back on his feet and Sheridan agrees.
Sheridan meets with Ivanova and Delenn later, wondering when the Shadows will attack the station. Ivanova points out that there is no real reason for them not to have struck before then. Sheridan then discusses the dream he had a year before, sent to him by Kosh, and they all guess at its meaning. The captain orders Ivanova to have squads on alert at all times just in case of trouble.
That night, as she attempts again to get some sleep, Susan is alerted by Zack that Sheridan's wife just came aboard.
The following day, while Sheridan tries to sort out this new development, Susan meets with G'Kar as he reveals a gift from the Gaim: dozens of thermonuclear bombs which carry a 500 megaton yield.
Dr. Franklin's tests seem to confirm that the woman is indeed Anna Sheridan, who reportedly died years before. Sheridan had been told by Delenn and Kosh the year before that she had been killed by the Shadows on Z'ha'dum. A few hours later, Ivanova learns that the captain has quietly left the station with Anna, taking one of the White Stars. Franklin comes to her and explains that he realized scarring on Anna's neck corresponded to the implants used on the telepaths the Shadows planned on merging with their ships. Franklin explains that he had shared this information with Sheridan before he left. They realize he must have gone to Z'ha'dum.
As everyone waits for word on the captain, a small task force of Shadow vessels jumps into local space. The station scrambles its fighters, with Garibaldi taking one out himself. G'Kar rushes into C'n'C to alert Ivanova that two of the nuclear bombs are now missing. Ivanova contemplates detonating the remaining ones, even if it means taking them out along with the enemy. There is no need, however, as the Shadows suddenly withdraw. Ivanova realizes the truth--the captain must now be dead. In the hours that follow, the Shadows cease all their attacks, though no trace of the White Star is detected. David Corwin also informs Susan that Garibaldi's fighter never returned to the station.
The Hour of the Wolf
"It is now seven days since we lost Captain Sheridan and Mr. Garibaldi. And in a way I think we have also lost Ivanova. It is though her heart has been pierced and her spirit has poured out through the wound. She blames herself. It is foolish, it is destructive, it is...human."
- – G'Kar
Over the next week, Ivanova lived in a sort of daze, waiting along with everyone else for some word of what happened to Captain Sheridan or Mr. Garibaldi. Rumors came in of a thermonuclear detonation on Z'ha'dum, but nothing was confirmed. The Shadows had ceased all their attacks. This prompted the Babylon Treaty to become virtually unraveled, as the minor worlds all sought to look inward to shore up their own defenses. Ivanova, Delenn, and G'Kar failed to persuade the remainder of the League to launch an attack on Z'ha'dum.
Later, Vir Cotto came to her with news about Sheridan. He explained that Sheridan was taken to the largest city on the planet and while there he sent an order to the White Star, causing it to crash into the city. The ship was carrying the two missing thermonuclear bombs which exploded on impact. Sheridan was last seen falling into a two mile deep chasm moments before the explosion. Susan is struck by the news, which seems to confirm Sheridan is truly dead.
In the middle of the night, Lyta comes to Ivanova's quarters. Susan explains how she has not slept in about a week. She also relates a Russian adage about the "hour of the wolf," the time in the middle of the night when a person cannot sleep and are consumed with despair over where life has brought you. Lyta offers to go with Ivanova to Z'ha'dum, believing that if Sheridan is alive she will be sensitive enough to his presence to detect him. Ivanova is doubtful they can slip in without the Shadows attacking, but Lyta thinks she also distract them.
Ivanova alerts Delenn to the plan and the three of them board the White Star in the morning. Once at Z'ha'dum, they scan the planet while Lyta probes telepathically. The Shadows soon become aware of them, and the Great Eye speaks to all three. Susan hears the voice of her father, beckoning her to bring the ship down to the planet. Luckily, Lennier pulls them away and back into hyperspace. With this last desperate attempt seeming to only confirm Sheridan's death, Ivanova resolves herself to accept it and press on towards whatever end is coming.
A few days later, Delenn begins calling all the Rangers to marshal what forces they can bring to bear for one last, desperate assault on Z'ha'dum. Her plan is to build this armada for about a week, recruiting what allies that will stand with them. Susan asks to take one of the White Stars for one last look for any First Ones that might stand with them. She demonstrates that she has been teaching herself to speak Minbari, but Marcus suggests he should come along anyway, seeing as how in battle orders might need to be given too quickly to be delayed with a beginner's translations (Marcus had just arrived back on the station after being dissuaded by G'Kar in joining him to look for Garibaldi. They set out shortly and begin their search. Delenn is left in charge of the station.
While in hyperspace, Marcus asks her about what she would like to do if they "win." Susan remarks she would love to return to Earth for a time: to travel, to see St. Petersburg, and most of all to visit the grave of her father. Marcus explains that he is hoping a "special someone" will notice him by then. Before he can explain who it is, the ship detects a strange anomaly in hyperspace. They realize it is a kind of "pocket" and enter it. They discover a vast armada of thousands of Vorlon ships, a few of them several miles across. They chart the armada's movements and learn that the Vorlons have completely annihilated an entire planet that had a small Shadow outpost on it. They rush back to warn Babylon 5.
For a change, good news has come before them. Sheridan is back, seemingly returned from the dead (with the help of a strange alien named Lorien), and his presence has prompted all the other races to rally behind him. Garibaldi has also been rescued and is back aboard. Before reconciling with them, Susan goes to find Lyta. She finds her in shock in her quarters, victimized by the Vorlon ambassador. She confirms that the Vorlons have resolved to annihilate anyone and anything that has been "touched by the Shadows."
Back in command, Sheridan has Ivanova put together a live video alerting everyone in the sector about the Vorlon planet killers and their armada. She personally "anchors" the broadcasts, trying to alert people about safe zones and refugee routes. The station begins to be swamped with such refugees. Dr. Franklin suggests transporting people to Epsilon 3, as it had no Shadow influence and should be safe. Sheridan concurs. He also announces that they need to eliminate the Vorlon ambassador. He puts together a plan with Lorien and Lyta. Garibaldi, back on duty, is also involved. Ivanova notices that he is acting far more irritable than usual, even for him. While the trap is sprung on Ulkesh, the Vorlon's ship attempts to tear itself out of Bay 13. Ivanova, left in charge in C'n'C since Sheridan needs to be part of the trap for it to succeed, orders it to be cleared for launch. The ships is destroyed outside the station when the remnants of Kosh (housed up until know inside Sheridan) are purged by Lorien and battle his Vorlon counterpart, leading to both of their final deaths.
Into the Fire
"It's like two kids in a sandbox. They don't even care who gets stepped on."
- – Susan
It did not take long before the Shadows unveiled their own planetkiller. A vast Death Cloud that enveloped a planet, then launched thousands of missiles that burrowed down to the planet's core and detonated.
Despite the fear, Ivanova admits a certain thrill regarding being at the head of a fleet of thousands of ships. As the final arrangements begin to be made, Sheridan asks Susan to take a White Star out with Lorien to keep looking for First Ones. Susan doubts they will find any, but Lorien knows where to look. Privately, she confides in Sheridan that everyone in her whole life has disappointed her by not showing up or coming for her when they promised. She makes him promise not to leave her behind in the final blow. Sheridan promises and sends her on her way with Lorien (and Marcus).
With Lorien's help, Ivanova's White Star tracks down six of the First Ones (all that remain). All of them agree to join the war effort. Meanwhile, Sheridan has set his plan in motion to draw the Shadows to Coriana VI, where the Vorlons are planning to destroy (a planet with six billion lives). He plans to confront both sides there with his fleet. Ivanova sends word of her success and request permission to join the fleet after a brief stopover at Babylon 5. Sheridan consents, telling to "haul ass" or she'll be late. Back at the station, Ivanova admits she is skeptical of Lorien's claim that he is "the First One," and he responds that he has noticed she "and her heart" no longer speak.
Ivanova's White Star joins the fray at the Battle of Coriana VI. The actual battle is brief, intended merely to draw the attention of the two combatants. Once the fleet succeeds in doing this (and destroying the Vorlon planetkiller), the Shadows and Vorlons begin to speak to Delenn and Sheridan, respectively, appealing for them to accept their own ideology. They affirm what the story Sheridan told once back from Z'ha'dum: the Vorlons and Shadows were two sides of the same coin, intended to be shepherds for the younger races, driven bitter and zealous over the thousands of centuries. Lorien uses his power to allow the entire fleet to witness what the Shadows and Vorlons are communicating, severing the communication entirely once the two sides become aware of it. The Shadow Death Cloud then engulfs the Army of Light fleet. Several ships purposefully allow themselves to be destroyed by missiles intended for Sheridan and Delenn's White Star (hoping to silence them). Sheridan, with Lorien at his side, confront the failure and futility of the Shadows and Vorlons continuing their mission. Lorien explains to both sides their time is over. Together with the other First Ones, Lorien, the Shadows, and the Vorlons all leave the galaxy forever. The Shadow War is over.
Blockade and Ruin
Everyone returns to Babylon 5, which erupts with celebrations over the end of the war. The conflict has had some unexpected successes as well: the Emperor of the Centauri Republic died on Narn, and Londo Mollari was named Prime Minister upon his death. In addition to saving his own world from the Centauri, he arranged for the Centauri occupation of Narn to end. Both Londo and G'Kar (who had been severely tortured by the Emperor) return to the station and join the celebrations.
There are, however, unfortunate consequences as well. Garibaldi, still acting a bit irritable, announces his immediate resignation. Sheridan and Ivanova agree something seems wrong with him, but realize there is little they can do without evidence. Zack Allan replaces Garibaldi as security chief. President Clark, meanwhile, announces a full embargo against the station (now deprived of his Shadow allies) which breaks on ISN. In the midst of all this, Bester again returns to the station. Hoping to make progress regarding the telepaths sill in stasis, Bester suggest going to Z'ha'dum (now abandoned) to hopefully scavenge something they can use. In exchange for their help, he alerts them to an operation Clark is planning to further turn public opinion against the station. One of the Earth jumpgates being blockaded by Starfuries is going to be attacked by Black Omega on Clark's orders, framing Babylon 5 for the attack. Sheridan dispatches Ivanova and a Starfury wing to alert the blockade. Ivanova's squadron arrives just as Black Omega does, and they manage to help the blockading ships wipe out Black Omega without suffering any losses. The blockading Starfuries are grateful, and word gets back about the station's heroics. Meanwhile, the trip to Z'ha'dum proves fruitless when the entire planet self-destructs just as Sheridan's ship arrives in the local space. A frustrated Bester slips back to Earth.
However, Clark still controls ISN and continues to use it for his own propaganda machine. Sheridan makes the mistake of allowing an ISN crew on board to film an "objective" segment, which ends up only further portraying the crew and the aliens aboard as villains bent on conquering Earth.
The Voice of the Resistance
Still recognized as a "Green Leader" of the Drazi, Susan was invited to a religious festival. The party seemed to live up to its reputation of being a wild party, though how much Susan enjoyed it is unclear.
Ivanova was keenly aware of Sheridan pushing himself extra hard, stressed over the embargo and what would eventually have to happen with Earth. A few days after he sends Marcus and Franklin to meet with the Mars Resistance, Ivanova forcibly relieves him of duty (encouraging him to spend time with Delenn, who had accepted his marriage proposal in the final days of the War). She promises to arrange for additional supply lines to be created via the black market (happy that by her taking on the job, it will allow him to deny involvement). Realizing that using legitimate trade routes is not an option Ivanova assembled a number of smugglers and weapons dealers, all of whom had been caught one time or another trying to bring contraband through the station. Despite the risks of the embargo i.e. being captured or killed by Earth Alliance forces she convinced them that they would make a profit; although much lower then they were used to. She also assured them that they would have the station's protection as well as access to maintanance facilities. She convinces them, by means of promises that, if they cooperate, their criminal records will be wiped out after the civil war or they didn't they would be turned over to legitimate authorities. They agreed to to sign on.
By early summer, Sheridan wonders when Clark might be preparing for another attempt to seize the station. Meanwhile, Franklin and Marcus successfully recruit the Mars Resistance to the effort.
Meanwhile, ISN's prodoganda machine continues to hammer away at the station. In the middle of the night, an excited Sheridan drags Susan out of bed and insists she come with him. Still half asleep, she dresses and follows him to the War Room. Recalling how Susan used the Babcom system to relay information in the final days of the Shadow War, Sheridan outlines a plan of creating a counter point to ISN: the Voice of the Resistance, with Susan as the anchor. As much as it annoyed her, she conceded it was a good idea, and agreed to start working to put it together.
A week or so later, Ivanova nearly completes refurbishing the War Room into a newsroom. Franklin and Marcus return to the station at that time. While Marcus debriefs the captain, Franklin stops by to check on Ivanova's progress. She admits that everything is ready, except they lack the power to boost the signal through hyperspace. Franklin suggests Epsilon 3. Annoyed she did not think of it sooner, Susan takes a shuttle down to the planet. There she meets the brother of Zathras (also named Zathras) who happily assists her in setting up the power supply. The Voice of the Resistance debuts later that night.
Meanwhile, Delenn leaves for Minbar, as the Minbari are on the verge of civil war. She warns Sheridan about the Drakh, former servants of the Shadows who have been performing raids recently. Sheridan hopes the threat will be enough to convince the Centauri, Narns, and the other races to keep working together for mutual defense and cooperation, though there is resistance.
When the League worlds resistance Sheridan's plans of "interference," he devises a bold scheme to "trick" them into coming under the protective umbrella of the Rangers. While Ivanova and the others are confused and skeptical over his instructions, his plan ultimately proves successful. The Rangers are thus positioned as a peacekeeping force along most of the races' borders. The Voice of the Resistance continues to broadcast several times a day, getting the truth out all the way back to Earth.
At the end of summer, President Clark's orders aimed at enforcing his blockade of not only Babylon 5 but the colonies that broke away became more bold and violent. Several civilian transports carrying refugees were fired upon under his orders, claiming the lives of 10,000 men, women, and children. Another ship recorded the attack and sent it to Babylon 5. Ivanova was too enraged when she watched it to immediately put it on VOR. She takes it to Sheridan, who points out that anyone who commits illegal actions is guilty of war crimes regardless of their orders. He announces that they had waited long enough--it was time for war, and they were not going to stop until they made it to Earth.
No Surrender, No Retreat
"Who am I? I am Susan Ivanova. Commander. Daughter of Andrei and Sofie Ivanov. I am the right hand of vengeance, and the boot that is going to kick your sorry ass all the way back to Earth, sweetheart! I am death incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
- – Susan Ivanova
Sheridan and Ivanova immediately call a session of the Babylon 5 Council. Citing the atrocities committed on Clark's orders, they convince the other worlds to suspend their treaties of mutual aid and defense. They then plot their first strike: Proxima III. With Delenn still gone and Garibaldi having turned his back on them, Ivanova knows she will have to stay at the station while Sheridan the attack (especially since Clark might attempt a strike at any moment). She still has mixed feelings over the operation, not liking the idea of firing on other Earth ships. The subsequent Battle of Proxima III ends with a major victory for the Resistance (two of the ships blockading the planet defected and a third withdrew at the beginning of the battle). Proxima III is liberated and several ships joined the cause. Hours later, more ships that defected and had been in hiding rally at Proxima III.
The liberation fleet then began to strike back system by system. Each victory brought more ships and personnel who defected, many of whom carried with them stories of the atrocities ordered by Clark's regime. Susan continued to anchor the Voice of the Resistance, bringing updates on the situation as they reached the station.
In the weeks that followed, more ships continued to defect, but the battles began to be more desperate. Clark relied on anything he could to try and beat back the rebellion. The EAS Agamemnon joined the rebellion, much to Sheridan's delight. His happiness is short lived, however, when Garibaldi contacts him from Mars with news that his father has been captured. Garibaldi offers information on how to free him and asks Sheridan to meet with him on Mars. Ivanova adamantly opposes his going, believing it to be a trap. Sheridan insists on going. He orders Ivanova to replace him as head of the fleet. Susan leaves Delenn in charge of the station in her absence.
Susan's suspicion proves correct: Sheridan is captured as soon as he meets Garibaldi, with Michael officially given credit on ISN for the capture. Garibaldi tries to contact the station shortly thereafter, but Ivanova refuses to listen. She leaves orders that he is to be shot on sight if he returns there. Then, aboard a White Star with Marcus at her side, she orders the fleet to continue. She knows Clark is expecting a pause, so she knows they have to fight on.
Back on Babylon 5, Londo surprises everyone by announcing he intends for the Centauri Republic to actively support Babylon 5, rather than just give passive help--and that he has convinced the Narn Regime to do likewise. Standing together (strange bedfellows indeed) they convince all the other League ships that for sake of all of them, they should all contribute ships to the success of Sheridan's cause. Delenn takes charge of an assembled fleet and prepares to set out and meet Ivanova.
More victories followed. Susan made sure that with each victory, they took the time to arrest those guilty of war crimes to ensure none could go to ground following the conflict. One of the captured officers from the EAS Damocles attempts to cut a deal with Ivanova, warning her that Clark knows Mars is the next target and that an elite task force of new advanced destroyers is waiting in Sector 300 to ambush the fleets when they rendezvous. Ivanova guesses they will attempt to take out as many Earth ships as possible so Clark can spin it that it is only aliens coming to conquer Earth. She leads a task force of White Stars to proceed to take them out, leaving the captain of the EAS Agamemnon temporarily in command of the Rebel fleet. On their way to Sector 300, Marcus insists she rest, threatening to bug her for the entire five hour trip if she does not. She falls asleep and he awakens her shortly before they arrive. Before jumping into local space, she tells him that she remembers what he said to her in Minbari prior to the Battle of Sector 83--but now she knows what it means ("you are the most beautiful woman I've ever seen"). She thanks him and they proceed.
They encounter the ships (which are Omega Destroyers implementing Shadow technology). The Battle of Sector 300 commences. Although they destroy the enemy fleet, they incur heavy losses. Susan's White Star is heavily damaged and she herself is critically injured. Marcus is forced to carry her to a lifepod and evacuate. She is taken to a Minbari Sharlin class warcruiser to be treated. Sheridan, meanwhile, is rescued (thanks in part to none other than Garibaldi, who had been brainwashed by Bester during his capture at the beginning of the year). Sheridan quickly rejoins the fleet and goes immediately with Delenn to see Ivanova. Despite the pain, she is conscious for a few minutes. He confirms that she is dying and the Minbari can do nothing. She accepts her fate and asks Sheridan to win the war from the bridge of the Agamemnon.
Ivanova is taken back to Babylon 5 just prior to the Battle of Mars (where Sheridan manages to disable without destroying thirty Earth ships). Ivanova slips into a coma just before the Liberation of Earth.
Sorrow and a Change in Direction
"I need to decide where my heart belongs before the rest of me can follow."
- – Susan, regarding her transfer
Susan hears a voice telling her he loves her and believes she is dying. She awakens from the coma, however, and discovers that Marcus has returned to the station and used the Alien Healing Machine Franklin once used to treat Garibaldi. Marcus has given his life so she could live. As soon as she is healed enough to move, she tears the machine away from her and collapses in tears on the floor of the Medlab. She refuses to let anyone come near her, sobbing for hours. Dr. Franklin finally makes it back and manages to approach her. Susan pours out her heart to him, saying she knows how much Marcus loved her and recognizing she only ever spurned it. Sadly, she remarks to Stephen how "all love is unrequited."
Sheridan succeeds in doing everything he set out to do. President Clark committed suicide before he could be captured, but his regime comes to an end. Sheridan himself is forced to resign his commission, but he secures amnesty for all his officers and crew. He then takes his place as President of the newly formed Interstellar Alliance, an organization he and Delenn had been laying the groundwork for all year. His last "official" act as an Earthforce officer was to put in for a promotion for Susan. This promotion is granted and she is given the rank of full captain.
Shortly after taking command of the EAS Titans, Ivanova began to suspect the presence of Shadow technology in the ship's control systems. After a thorough search failed to turn up anything suspicious, Ivanova took the Titans to Babylon 5 without notifying Earthforce Command. Upon arriving she invites President Sheridan aboard for a tour, to see if his Vorlon given sensitivity would confirm what her latent telepathic abilities had been suggesting.
With Ivanova's suspicions confirmed, Sheridan devised a plan that would give Susan and the Titans an edge if the dormant Shadow-tech was ever used to take control of the ship. With the help of Lyta Alexander, Sheridan piloted the Vorlon transport that have previously belonged to Ambassador Ulkesh from Babylon 5's Bay 13 to Bay 7 on-board the Titans, where the Vorlon ship was patched into the control systems of the Titans, allowing it to override the hidden Shadow-tech.
"...I think it gave us hope that there can always be new beginnings. Even for people like us."
- – Anla'shok Na Ivanova
By 2281, Ivanova had risen to the rank of General in Earthforce. Her heart, however, was no longer in the job. She saw herself as an "old warhorse" trotted out on parade occasionally. News arrives from Minbar that Sheridan is dying--when Lorien saved him on Z'ha'dum, it came with a twenty year time limit. She goes to Sheridan's last party with his friends, toasting with the others to fallen friends. Sheridan departs the next day aboard a Blue Star. His ship is found near Coriana VI, empty but intact, leaving his final fate unknown to his loved ones.
Before his death Sheridan had refused reelection to a third term of the Presidency of the Interstellar Alliance, and had become the leader of the Anla'Shok during this time. The Rangers would need a new replacement. ISA President Delenn offered the job to Ivanova, knowing that she was no longer happy in her current position. After Sheridan was gone, Ivanova attends the decommissioning and scuttling of Babylon 5. Before the ceremony however, Ivanova arranged to have Marcus Cole's cryotube shipped to Minbar. She retired from Earthforce shortly thereafter and took up Delenn's offer to come to Tuzanor and become the new Anla'shok Na.
Susan spent the rest of her life serving as Ranger One. Never marrying, choosing instead to dedicate her life to her work of expanding the roster of membership in the Anla'shok to include representatives of every member world and instituting a system of honor and self-sacrifice that was unparalleled for centuries to come. From time to time she visited Marcus's Cryotube in Yedor, some said that she would talk to him as if he were still alive. In the last years of her life, with the support of Delenn, Ivanova gave orders that Marcus's body was to be kept intact and in cryonic suspension for as long as it took to find a way to restore him to life. Shortly before Ivanova passed away, a full study of all the neural pathways, memories and information she held in her mind at the time, was encoded and preserved for future historians, physicians, and scientists. This image, or impression of her mind, while incapable of forming any new thoughts, nevertheless became a great resource and was eventually stored alongside the neural scans of several hundred other historical figures at the Sirius IX Neural Archives, operated jointly by the Earth Alliance Historical Society and PsyMed where it became known as "Ivanova's Voice".
Life After Death & a Dream Come True
"I've always had this dream of retiring to a beach somewhere. Someplace where no one could find me. Not the bureaucrats, not the sales guys, not anybody. I think I could plant myself by a river, or a beach, and look out over the water, and never, ever want to leave."
- – Susan Ivanova, shortly after the end of the Shadow War
In the three hundred years after her death, over a half dozen statues and memorials to her work were erected in Yedor alone and there were many followers of Ivanova's ideas. Her remains were interred in Yedor's Memorial Park, alongside heroes, dignitaries, Rangers, and former Alliance presidents. Her memorial was a beautiful tower of crystal and stone that refracted the sunlight into a million brightly colored pieces. Inside the tower, floating above the quartz-like crypt that contained her body was a large hologram of her face, as it had appeared in the 2260's and under Delenn's orders, flowers were placed by her crypt every single day, forevermore.
In 2560, an expedition to the Rim discovered the ruins of the alien civilization that had produced the Energy Transfer Device and at last found the information would enable Alliance doctors to revive Marcus Cole. Marcus, awaking to a world he no longer knew and surrounded by monuments to friends long dead embarked of a scheme that would eventually leave him stranded on Chryn III, with a genetic duplicate of Susan, in which had been written the thoughts and memories of the original, taken from her neural scan up until the point where she was knocked unconscious at the Battle of Sector 300.
The Distant Future
Susan's life and legacy live on in one form or another, almost a thousand years after her death she is remembered in the scriptures of post-Great Burn Earth, which had been cut off from the rest of the galaxy, as "Ivanova The Strong", though at the time some questioned if such a mythical figure even existed. Beyond even then, Susan, along with the likes of Sheridan and Delenn are not forgotten, even one million years into the future, as Earth is finally consumed in Sol's fire and the last of Humanity's children leave the cradle for the last time, bound for their new home, the Anla'Shok still remember those who were responsible for the dawn of the Third Age.
- 2230, August 30: Born to Sofie and Andrei Ivanov in St. Petersburg, Russian Consortium, Earth.
- 2246: Mother Sofie is finally detected by the Psi Corps and, not wanting to leave her family to join the Corps or go to prison, is forced to go on the Sleepers.
- 2243: Susan meets her idol, radical Neo-Communist author Kasherov and is bitterly disappointed. Later sent abroad to study at the Lycée Voltaire in Paris. Gets her first taste of Xenocuisine at a small Centauri restaurant near the Avenue de la République.
- 2246: Mother Sofie succumbs to the depression and living death brought on by the Sleepers and ends her own life.
- 2247: Brother Ganya is killed during the Earth-Minbari War. Enlists in Earthforce on her 17th birthday.
- 2249: Graduates from Officer Training School (OTC) at Earthforce Academy.
- 2250: Assigned to Station Io under Commander Sheridan.
- 2253: Promoted to Lieutenant and transfers back to Earth.
- 2258: Promoted to Lieutenant Commander.
- 2258 - 2261: Assigned as executive officer of Babylon 5, replacing Lieutenant Commander Laurel Takashima
- 2258, August: Father Andrei dies on Earth. Susan is able to say goodbye to him via StellarCom.
- 2259, January: Promoted to Commander following Captain Sheridan's replacement of Commander Sinclair.
- 2261, December: Pardoned for her part in the Earth Alliance Civil War and promoted to Captain. Assigned as the CO of the Warlock class destroyer EAS Titans.
- 2262: Briefly returns to Babylon 5 to confirm her suspicion that the Titans has Shadow Technology somewhere aboard.
- 2281: Now a General at Earthdome, Susan attends a last dinner with friends before Sheridan goes to the sea. Attends Babylon 5's decomissioning ceremony. Retires from Earthforce and assumes the role of Anla'Shok Na.
- Date Unknown: Dies after many years of service as Anla'Shok Na. Body is interred at Memorial Park in Yedor, Minbar. ISA President Delenn orders flowers placed by her crypt every day.
- Susan's Grandfather had a saying:; "Good news can wait. Bad news will refuse to leave."
- There is a significant inconsistency regarding how old Susan was when her mother took her own life. In ("TKO"), Rabbi Koslov explicitly states that Sofie's death was a year prior to Ganya's (circa 2246). During this time Susan would have been in her mid-teens, a fact supported by her birth year of 2230 as established in ("Eyes") confirmed by her appearance in ("In the Beginning"), where she is still in school and a few months from being old enough to enlist. This is further supported in ("And Now For a Word"), where Susan say she graduated from Earthforce OTC 10 years prior (2249.)
However Susan's own account of the incident itself in ("The Long Night") leaves one with the impression that she was just a small child at the time, which appears to clash with the previous statement.
If Susan was indeed a child at the time, then Rabbi Koslov was simply mistaken and Sofie died much earlier than Ganya (circa 2233 - 2237.) If on the other hand Yossel was correct, then Ivanova just let slip to Sheridan that she still played with dolls as a teenager...
Of course the real world reason is probably that when writing ("The Long Night"), J. Michael Straczynski simply forget the line from ("TKO") (written several years earlier by Lawrence G. DiTillio.)
- According to J. Michael Straczynski, Ivanova did have a traditional Russian patronymic name, derived from "Andrei" her father's given name. However, since it has never been specified in a canon source the exact variant and transliteration of her patronymic middle name is unknown.
- The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5: The definitive B5 reference and episode guide
- Babylon 5 Encyclopedia (fansite)
- Susan Ivanova Character Profile (fansite)
|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|