Ambassador Mollari is sitting in a night club, intensely enjoying the show. His pleasure is interrupted by Sinclair and G'Kar, who have come, quite angrily, to tell him that he can't evade his responsibilities any longer - that tomorrow morning, Londo will be present to negotiate with the Narn over the Euphrates Sector, a point of contention between the two regimes. Londo suddenly interrupts them and tells them to sit down - for the moment in the shows that Londo has been waiting for has arrived: an erotic Centauri dancer. "Of all things in life," Londo comments, "are females not the finest?"
"On that, Mollari, we can at least agree," replies G'Kar. As G'Kar, Sinclair, and Londo are sitting there, Ko D'ath, the new head of G'Kar's diplomatic staff, arrives. G'Kar, to put it mildly, doesn't look very happy. Meanwhile, a man makes a pass at Ko D'ath, who rather violently throws him across the room.
After the show, Londo returns to his quarters only to find the erotic Centauri dancer, whose name is Adira Tyree, lying on his bed. Needless to say, he is overjoyed and goes to bed ...
The next morning, Garibaldi finds an anomaly in the computer system - it seems that there has been some unauthorized use of the highly-official Gold Channels. Sinclair tells Garibaldi to continue investigating.
After finishing his talk with Garibaldi, Sinclair, who is at the negotiation table with G'Kar, becomes rather upset that Londo still hasn't arrived. Talia Winters, who will be telepathically auditing the negotiations, excuses herself from the table for a moment. Sinclair follows her.
Talia tells Sinclair that she just had to get out of the room for a while - so much intense emotion in such close proximity can be difficult to block out. Sinclair explains to her how important a peaceful settlement to these negotiations is; he wants to prove that Babylon 5 is doing the job it's supposed to be doing. Further, he knows that every side truly wants a peaceful settle- ment, and explains to Talia that her job is to get rid of all the lies, until the inescapable truth of a peaceful settlement is the only thing left.
Londo, in his room, is talking with Adira. "What is it that you're getting [from me]?" Londo asks. "A washed-up, old republi- can, dreaming of better days."
"These are my better days, Londo," Adira responds, "thanks to you." Londo finally hears that Vir is paging him, so he finally gets up and goes to the negotiations.
On the bridge, Ivanova, who has been informed about the communication anomaly, tells Garibaldi that he's overreacting. She explains that it could easily be a computer error or some energy fluctuation. Garibaldi protests that he has already checked for all of these possibilities - and he says that if someone has gained unauthorized access to the Gold Channels, there might be a very serious security breach. Gold Channels, he explains, are priority channels - most people don't even know that they exist, and even if people did know, they couldn't be used without the express permission of Sinclair. Ivanova, however, brusquely brushes him off- -she'll get to the problem later, she says, when she has time. Londo finally arrives at the negotiation table, claiming to have been detained by an "important matter of state." The negotiations begin.
Adira enters her quarters, and is surprised to find a certain man, Trakis, there. We quickly find out that Adira is a slave, and Trakis is her master. He asks her if things are going well with Londo. She evades the question, but he warns her that a slave should never lie to her master - and he uses some telepathic device to determine her thoughts. He then orders her to hurry up and get the "Purple Files" from Londo. "Do you know why a drunken fool like Mollari has ... power?" says Trakis. "Because his family has been collecting dirt on other families for years, like all the noble houses of the Centauri Republic." The Purple Files, he explains, can bring down any house in the republic - the Narn would pay well for that data, he says, and he wants it. He orders the reluctant Adira to use a mind probe to get the data from Londo.
Later, Adira is in her quarters when Londo stops by. He brings her some exotic flowers ("Star Laces"?) and also gives her an heirloom which has been in his family for centuries - it was originally warn by a wise and powerful matriarch of his family. She refuses to take it, but he forces it on her, telling her, "You know how stubborn I am!" She finally accepts it. Londo then mentions that he's made reservations at the finest restaurant on Babylon 5. Adira expresses concern and asks what would happen if people saw them together. He explains that, although the Centauri are a class-driven society, "When I look beneath the mask I've been forced to wear, I see only emptiness. Then I think of you, and I say, 'To hell with appearances.'"
Garibaldi is reading Universe Today in his office when his computer alerts him of another communication anomaly. He attempts to track it, and comes quite close to succeeding, only to be stopped at the last moment.
Sinclair has invited Talia to dinner, ostensibly in reward for her services at the negotiations, at the same restaurant that Londo and Adira have gone to. As Sinclair and Talia are talking, she explains how Londo's thoughts at the negotiations were intensely "erotic." Sinclair comments that he's not surprised.
Garibaldi is at Ivanova's console, trying to track down the last anomaly. His efforts are not accomplishing very much; he has traced the message to somewhere in the Russian Consortium.
Londo and Adira are back in Londo's quarters. She tells him to sit down while she prepares the drinks. She sticks some type of sedative in one of them, however. When Londo drinks it, he falls back, unconscious. She sets up the mind probe and gets Londo's access codes to the Purple Files (which are, appropriately, "wine," "women," and "song."). She uses the codes at a computer console in Londo's room to gain access the Purple Files and transfer the information that they contain into a data crystal. She returns his heirloom, sadly mumbling that she's sorry; then, she leaves.
In the morning, Londo is quite upset at Vir for waking him up. Further, he complains of a terrible headache. Suddenly, he notices that Adira has left his ancient heirloom on his desk.
Adira is staring at the data crystal in her quarters when Trakis calls her and orders her to meet him in exactly 10 minutes. Reluctantly, she starts on her way.
Londo, who is extremely preoccupied by now, suddenly has what he thinks is a brilliant idea - to gives Vir full diplomatic status and tell Vir to represent to the Centauri at the negotiations. He tells Vir that he is now the "voice of the mighty Centauri Republic." Vir, changing from an expression of surprise and reluctance to one of pride, finally accepts his position at the negotiation, and virtually runs off, excitedly. "Don't give away the homeworld," orders Londo, as Vir leaves.
Adira, as she sees Trakis at the prearranged meeting place, finally realizes that she doesn't like what she's been forced to do. As she sees Trakis, she runs away from him. Trakis, in quick pursuit, violently pushes a few bystanders out of the way, but is unable to catch up with her.
Trakis finds Londo knocking at Adira's quarters. "She's not there," Trakis tells Londo. Trakis goes on to explain that he and Londo are very much alike - how Adira has betrayed them both. Adira is meanwhile speaking with a friend of hers, frantically arranging safe transport away from Babylon 5. Until the flight, her friend promises her a safe hiding place - in the friend's quarters.
Trakis tells Londo that Adira is a Narn agent. When Londo expresses disbelief, Trakis merely warns him of a danger with which Londo is quite familiar - that if the Purple Files get out, the whole Centauri Republic (not to mention Londo's career) will be finished. Trakis continues to explain that Adira is Trakis's slave - and that the only reason that he cares about this whole thing is that, by the same Centauri laws which allow him to own Adira as a slave, Trakis is responsible for any crimes which Adira commits. Trakis secretly places a audio bug on Londo. Londo, in a mixture of sadness and rage, tells Trakis to leave the quarters.
At the negotiation table, Vir walks in and proudly proclaims that he is the ambassador for the Centauri Republic. G'Kar is enraged, and, as a countermeasure, makes Ko D'ath the Narn ambassa- dor (warning her not to give away the homeworld). Sinclair, trying to maintain some semblance of order, leaves the negotiation chambers to search for Londo.
Londo, who has realized that Adira stole his Purple Files, is in no mood to return to the negotiations. He explains the seriousness of the situation to Sinclair and also asks Sinclair for help. The situation must not be made public, he says, and Sinclair is the only one to help him. Sinclair says that he'll only help Londo if Londo agrees to Sinclair's compromise concerning the Euphrates Sector. Londo agrees.
Undercover, Londo and Sinclair enter the club for which Adira was dancing previously. Sinclair outwits the owner of the club into letting him see the dancers for a while. Once they see the dancers, they ask for information about Adira - where she might be hiding. One of the dancers tells them the name of a good friend of Adira - the quarters of whom are the mostly likely place for Adira to be hiding.
At the same time, Trakis, in the alien sector, is monitoring Sinclair's and Londo's conversation through the auditory bug which he attached to Londo previously. He is speaking with one of the aliens, arranging to pay for men to delay (and kill, if necessary) Sinclair and Londo in order to give Trakis to the time to capture Adira (and the data crystal).
Sinclair and Londo go heading off to find Adira but are intercepted by these hired men. Londo realizes that it must have been Trakis who sent them. Londo and Sinclair run off to hide; in the middle of the hired men's pursuit of Londo and Sinclair, however, they are ordered to call off their operations - Adira and the crystal have been captured. Londo and Sinclair overhear this unfortunate bit of information.
Ivanova, on the bridge, informs Garibaldi that there has been an incident of heavy shooting down in a certain section of Babylon 5. She tells Garibaldi to go down to investigate it; she says that she'll monitor the communications for any similar anomalies. Garibaldi, however, sends some other security offices to the area of the shooting and remains in his office to monitor communications himself.
According to station logs, says Sinclair, no ship has left Babylon 5 for the past two hours. Therefore, Adira and the crystal must still be on board. Sinclair offers to arrest Trakis - there's enough evidence, he says; Londo, however, declines, saying that any arrest will hinge on his own testimony, and he cannot give it, for fear of making this incident official. "Besides, he might harm Adira," adds Londo. Sinclair is surprised and asks why Londo would like to protect her - after all, she's the one who got him into this situation. "I know," replies Londo, "but there must be some other way." Sinclair says that he has another idea ...
Garibaldi, sure enough, has found another anomaly. This time, he successfully traces it. He catches Ivanova communicating with a Russian hospital - and with her dying father. Ivanova's father sadly apologizes for his perceived lack of love toward his daughter - he explains how, after her mother's death and her brother's death in the war, he was too wrapped up in his own needs to (from his point of view) successfully cater to her needs. He apologizes profusely, though his daughter finds all of it unnecessary. With touching words between them, he dies. Garibaldi, who has been looking on sadly, sees and hears the whole conversation.
Sinclair, meanwhile, is speaking with G'Kar, offering him a "business opportunity." He offers to arrange a meeting for G'Kar concerning some "merchandise" that will give G'Kar an advantage over Mollari. When G'Kar asks Sinclair why he's offering this meeting, Sinclair says that Earth wants some concessions in the Euphrates Sector and knows that Narn gratitude is quite worth the price. Further, Sinclair, to ensure that the merchandise is genuine, offers to have Talia Winters sit in on the meeting. G'Kar accepts, telling Sinclair, "I never knew you could be so devious, commander."
"Coming from you, ambassador, that's a real compliment." rejoins Sinclair. G'Kar at first smiles, but suddenly realizes Sinclair's implication, and gives a perplexed, somewhat-annoyed frown.
Talia, however, when asked by Sinclair and Londo, refuses to use her telepathic skills for any purpose that involves personal matters - it's against Psi Corps regulations. However, when confronted with the possibility that Adira will die if she doesn't interfere, she agrees to scan Trakis's mind at the meeting that Sinclair arranged - however, she can only scan "surface thoughts," though there are tricks ...
The meeting between Trakis and G'Kar proceeds as Sinclair planned. Trakis mentions that he doesn't like telepaths. Talia refutes this, saying that she's only there to verify the merchan- dise ... he mustn't think of anything else - such as "where Adira Tyree might be."
Trakis is surprised and fooled - enough so that Talia can read his "surface thoughts" pertaining to Adira's location. She tells this information to Sinclair, who sends a security team to try to find her. Trakis, seeing that he has been fooled, attempts to run away - but is stopped by Londo's fist. "That was for Adira," says Londo, "and this" - he kicks Trakis rather hard - "is for me!" Londo searches Trakis's unconscious body and finds the data crystal without difficulty. Londo thanks G'Kar for helping to save not only Londo's career, but the entire Centauri Republic.
Ivanova, meanwhile, enters Garibaldi's quarters and notices that he didn't go down to check out the previous shootings as she had asked him to. Garibaldi comments on how there was another communication anomaly and how he has finally traced the problem: it was, he tells Ivanova, what she originally thought it was - a computer error. He says that he trusts it won't happen again; she agrees. Garibaldi, leaving the room, invites Ivanova for a drink, but she again brusquely brushes him off, saying that she's on duty. However, on second thought, she turns around and tells him, "Maybe another time."
Londo meets with Adira right before she leaves on her ship. He explains to her that Sinclair has "convinced" Trakis to give Adira her freedom - "He [Sinclair] can be a frightening man, that one!" Londo comments. Further, Londo again gives his old heirloom to Adira, telling her to wear it proudly - as a free woman. He offers her, once again, to stay, but she refuses, telling him that her wounds are too fresh. She apologizes, saying that she never meant to hurt him. They wave goodbye, and she boards her ship, leaving Londo only with memories.