|"...You know how they rushed to get this place finished."
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"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you."
- – Zack Allan, reciting an old saying
Zack spent much of his early life in city environment, but one summer he went to visit his favorite uncle in the country. During the visit, he wandered in the forest when he saw a sight of a dead possum surrounded by insects. Zack would remember the sight — and the stench — for many years to come.
He became Garibaldi's fugleman or second in command in 2259, after it was discovered that the previous holder of that position, Jack, had shot Garibaldi, leaving him in a coma and almost killing him.
Allen led the teams that supported Derek Cranston in his search for Everett Jacobs using special scanning devices. Unbeknownst to him, he got very close and saw a signal on his device, but it vanished.
When Nightwatch first came to the station in 2259, Allan joined primarily for the 50 credits a week he would be paid in addition to his regular paycheck. Over the next year, however, he slowly began to realize Nightwatch's fascist nature, developing serious moral qualms with their actions and tactics. After witnessing firsthand what they did to a shopkeeper who had badmouthed President Clark, he agreed to help remove the organization from the station when the command staff met him in his quarters. He gave a half-true story to the head liaison that there was a Narn force incoming on the station to replace the Nightwatch. He led the liaison and the rest of the Nightwatch into the docking bay, then gave the signal to close the doors and quickly slid under at the last second.
In the subsequent Battle for B5 Independence, Allan was on the security team that met a Clark-loyalist Earthforce Marine boarding party and prevented them from advancing. He had to help Garibaldi to get medical help.
For his actions he was later offered the EA's Medal of Outstanding Valor, but refused to accept it.
Allan came upon an odd observation when a transport of Narns had authorization papers signed by a Centauri Abrahamo Lincolni in the Centauri embassy on Minbar. He relayed the observation to Ivanova, leading to the discovery of Vir Cotto's underground railroad for Narns.
When Garibaldi disappeared on December 25, 2260 as the Shadow vessels withdrew from around Babylon 5 Allan searched for him. He got a lead on a man who had found Garibaldi's abandoned Starfury and turned it over to salvage operations, using the man's flight plan to determine a likely location. On January 17, 2261, he led a team and found an odd craft in hyperspace. The craft ejected a pod which had Garibaldi in it, then self-destructed. Allan brought him back to Babylon 5.
Following Garibaldi's resignation, Zack was appointed as Babylon 5's Chief of Security in 2261, a position he went on to hold for the better part of a decade. He was initially reluctant to accept the position and the Army of Light uniform that went with it, telling Lennier that he felt that if he accepted, it would mean Garibaldi was never coming back.
Allan found himself mediating the relationship between Garibaldi and Lochley, seeing as Garibaldi did not trust her and she had remained on Clark's side during the Civil War. He had to fend off requests from Garibaldi to see inside Lochley's personal file, and explain to Lochley about all the history that had gone on B5.
Allan also had to deal with Byron Gordon's telepaths. With protection from Sheridan, they mostly kept to themselves. At one point he was ordered to help Bester with the bare minimum that he needed to capture the telepaths, although Lochley later engineered their temporary release. Soon, more telepaths arrived on the station and Allan tried to reason with Alexander about the mounting difficultly. Allan found Gordon himself with a man who had been assaulted, and assuming Gordon was the attacker, took him into custody. Later, though, the victim agreed with Gordon's story that Gordon himself was trying to help him. The attack and the death of Carl Townsend, however, worried Allan and he told Gordon as much. When Gordon declared they deserved a homeworld and had their compound on B5 cut off from the rest of the station, Allan needed to get a team together to cut their way in. However, the telepaths had certain countermeasures that required Bester's attention, so Allan was forced to work with him again. He came under fire from rogue telepaths who did not subscribe to Gordon's pacifist teachings.
Allan received a message from Earth Security Headquarters about attacks on the Psi Corps. Bringing Lochley in, it was clear that Alexander was the source of the funding for the attacks. Allan found Alexander and the two approached her to arrest her. Alexander, through her Vorlon powers, hypnotized Allan along with almost everyone present, except Sheridan. He prepared a cell with automated maintenance in a remote area to contain her.
Several years later, Allan either resigned or retired from Security and went back to Earth for a while, but quickly got bored. Reactivating his commission in July 2280 and enlisting in Earthforce, he returned to Babylon 5, which was soon to be decommissioned. Resuming his post as head of Security, he stayed there for six months before the station's decommissioning and destruction in January of 2281.
Zack was a good friend of Michael Garibaldi, to the point that Garibaldi even told him about his feelings toward Talia Winters and how they seemed to always bump into each other in transport. Allan spent a lot of effort tracking down Garibaldi after he was abducted by the Shadows.
Zack had been fired from several jobs and had many personal problems that had proven to be a problem in keeping a job for very long. When he sobered up he got a job working for his old friend. As Garibaldi said to Zack during a discussion: "You had a lot of problems before you came here, and I know, I know you had some problems after you got here, too. But did I say anything to you about it? No. You wanna know why? Because I knew, I knew you would work it out, and you always did."
After Lyta Alexander came to the station, Zack began harboring romantic feelings for her. He kept it deep inside, however, and was afraid to admit it. He finally tried to make his move when he and Lyta were stuck in a transport during the crisis involving the Thirdspace artifact, but Lyta did not respond as she was possessed by leftover Vorlon programming at the time. She finally discovered that his feelings were more than simple friendship when he tried to deter her from staying with the rogue telepaths around Byron, but she never returned his affection.
- A Spider in the Web
- "Thirdspace (Novelization)"
- War Without End, Part I
- Hunter, Prey
- The Coming of Shadows
- Divided Loyalties
- In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum
- Messages from Earth
- Point of No Return
- Severed Dreams
- Sic Transit Vir
- The Summoning
- Learning Curve
- Strange Relations
- Secrets of the Soul
- In the Kingdom of the Blind
- The Fall of Centauri Prime
- The Wheel of Fire
- Objects in Motion
- Sleeping in Light
- JMS usenet commentary
- Unknown reference
- And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder
- Sleeping in Light DVD commentary by JMS
|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|