Babylon 5

Season 3 Episode 19

Grey 17 Is Missing

Aired Monday 7:00 PM Oct 10, 1996 on

Episode Recap

Telepaths are queuing in front of a desk, where Zack is sitting. He is accepting applications from telepaths, to help in the Shadow war. A human arrives, claiming to be a telepath. Zack suspects he is lying due to his insistence on learning more about the pay, and asks him what is on his mind at the moment. When the answer is incorrect he sends the fake telepath away. He leaves complaining about the selection process being unfair. The others proceed with handing in their applications. In Sheridan's office, Ivanova expresses her reservations to the Captain about making the process so open. Sheridan tells her they need as many telepaths as they can get, and there is no other way to gather them. Ivanova points out that most of them quit anyway, as soon as they learn why they are being recruited. Sheridan remembers an old secret operation Franklin used to run, smuggling telepaths away by Underground Railroad to help them escape from the Psi Corps. Ivanova goes to look for him and ask him for the backup of the files containing the necessary information.
An electrician in Grey 16 is examining a bunch of cables, looking for the source of a malfunction. After a few minutes he calls his department, telling them that everything's fixed. The department is still receiving signal of a malfunction in the sector, however, and the technician is ordered to keep looking. As he jumps back into the trapdoor where the cables originate from, something pulls him violently down.
On Minbar, Delenn and Lennier have arrived to pick up Sinclair's few belongings, and take care of the issue of the leadership of the Rangers, now that Ranger One is gone. Rathenn proposes Delenn herself for the position, pointing out that she is the only one the Rangers will faithfully follow now. Delenn expresses her concern about the distance separating her from Minbar. Her seat is in Babylon 5, and she cannot leave the station. “Where you are, the Rangers will be”, Rathenn tells her. She seems to be convinced of this necessity, even though she is unwilling to assume the position.
Zack steps into Garibaldi's office to inform him of something weird going on in Grey Sector. Garibaldi is holding an antique pistol, a 38-caliber Smith and Wesson. It belonged to his grandmother, when she was working in law enforcement. It is now redundant, used only by some private security companies back on Earth, and for target practice. Garibaldi owns some bullets for it. The incident Zack came in to report is the disappearance of the maintenance man fixing the power relays. It is a complete mystery, since they found his equipment but no trace of him whatsoever. Garibaldi goes down to Grey Sector to investigate the case himself.
Ivanova wanders through Down Below in her search for Franklin. She finds him in one of its most obscure sections, hiding behind a curtain. He is suffering from stim withdrawal, which has been delayed until now due to stims taking longer than other substances to wash out of the blood stream. Now that the symptoms have kicked in, Franklin wishes to be left completely alone, so he can fight his addiction without Ivanova or Garibaldi constantly appearing before him. He trades the location of the information in the system and its codename for Ivanova's promise not to keep track of him any longer. Even though it's unpleasant for her, she understands it's what Franklin needs and she yields.
Garibaldi is in Grey 16, talking to the lost technician's supervisor. She tells him that it's like “he vanished into thin air”. In the course of her questioning it comes up that the Grey Sector only has 29 floors, instead of the 30 mentioned in the station's schematics. Garibaldi is suspicious and wants to check it out himself. Some levels above, Delenn informs Sheridan of her election as the new Ranger One. She shares her doubts with him and asks for the initiation ceremony to be held on Babylon 5. It is a little bit too public for Sheridan's taste, but Delenn feels the Rangers should receive some recognition before they undertake their role in the Shadow war, where much will be expected of them. Sheridan gives the okay for the ceremony and congratulates Delenn. As soon as he leaves Neroon appears to confront Delenn about what he feels is a series of ill-advised actions. The breaking up of the Grey Council, the building of warships such as the White Stars without the Warrior Caste's consent, the training of the Rangers. He sees Delenn's role in everything as driven by her personal ambition and her wish to establish the Religious Caste in the ruling position on Minbar. The Rangers have been tolerated by the Warrior Caste in view of their future usefulness, but now that their training is complete and the time to conduct war has arrived, their command should be handed over to them. According to Neroon, the Warrior Caste is rightfully the leading Caste of every war effort, and Delenn's ascent to power must be stopped. “I am sworn to stop you, Delenn. By any and all means necessary”, he tells her. Lennier arrives and Delenn turns her head for a moment. When she looks back at Neroon's direction, he has already made himself invisible.
Garibaldi undertakes the task to count all the levels in Grey Sector himself, to see if they're 29 or 30. His technique consists of counting the seconds it takes for the elevator to descend from one level to the other, opening the doors, taking note of the number of the level he is in, and then descending further. In Delenn's quarters, Lennier discusses Neroon's plans with her. While she has faith in the axiom that Minbari do not kill Minbari and the fact that it hasn't happened in a thousand years, Lennier believes they should address the problem to Sheridan. Delenn is completely opposed to his suggestion, believing they should be able to solve their internal problems themselves. She makes Lennier promise he will not mention it to Sheridan, and they leave her quarters to start preparing for the ceremony.
Garibaldi has reached Grey 16, but when he gives the voice command for Grey 17, the elevator takes six seconds to get there instead of the normal three. Garibaldi goes back up to level 16, and gives the command for level 17 again. Halfway between the two levels, he gives the command for emergency stop, and uses his security override to manually open the doors. He finds himself in a different level 16, full of junk, broken machinery and short-circuited cables. As he walks out of the elevator, the doors seal shut behind him. His efforts to open them again are in vain, so he moves forward into the corridor, gun in hand. He observes a ventriloquist doll somewhere in a room full of junk. The doll turns to his direction and its voice is heard: “You shouldn't be here. You're in trouble”. Before Garibaldi is able to react something shoots through his arm, a dart containing some kind of drug. Failing to contact Security via his ComLink, he falls unconscious.
Lennier visits Marcus in his quarters to explain the situation to him. Delenn is in grave danger from Neroon, but she has made him promise not to inform anyone in the chain of command. Since Marcus is outside the chain of command, Lennier feels the promise may not apply in his case. The fact of his being a human is an added advantage, since it won't be a Minbari who will fight Neroon, thus avoiding further conflict between the Minbari Castes. One Minbari even attempting to kill another Minbari might lead to civil war between the Castes. Lennier asks Marcus to act behind the scenes for Delenn's protection, but cautions him to avoid direct confrontation with Neroon, as he is one of Minbar's best warriors. Marcus tells him to just locate Neroon for him, and he will take care of the rest.
Garibaldi wakes up in the abandoned Grey 16 level, to find himself among a group of people who have taken over the area. Their leader is named Jeremiah and they form some kind of cult who believes in the same theory as the Minbari: that the universe is breaking itself up in little pieces, in its effort to understand itself and unite with the whole again. All creation, from the tiniest molecule to a completed creature, is interconnected to the great universal structure. Salvation in the sense of release from specific, finite form, can only be achieved through spiritual, as well as physical purification.
As a considerably large crowd of mixed Minbari and humans continue to arrive for Delenn's initiation ceremony, she sits with Sheridan at the docking bay, discussing Delenn's past when she was younger. Her mother entered a sisterhood soon after she was born. Even though Delenn missed her, she always respected her wish and was glad that her mother received such an honor. Her father used to carry her in his shoulders all through her early childhood, so she could see the world better. One day her father told her she had grown too old for him to be able to carry her anymore. That was when she experienced a sense of loss for the first time, as she knew then her father would be gone one day. Her father seemed to be thinking the same, which only made her love for him stronger.
Back in Grey 16, Jeremiah shoots down Garibaldi's hope that some way out of the place may exist. The group has tapped into the recycling system, using it to weld the door shut. He elaborates some more on their theory, which according to him is the only true exit.
Jeremiah: We're all recycles, you know. Just molecules and atoms born in the stars and “recycled” into carbon based life. Why do you think we have spent millions of years trying to understand the stars, the moons and the universe itself? Hmm? Because we are the universe, the universe made manifest. It broke itself into pieces to examine every aspect of its being. We try to understand it because in so doing, well, we understand ourselves. So we have come here and we've isolated ourselves in order to attain a purity of thought, because purity of form and purity of intent, purity of execution, that is the only way. The only way the door will open...
While Lennier supervises the decorations for the ceremonial hall, Marcus faces Neroon. Neroon tries to avoid battling him, as he is likely to kill Marcus and has no specific quarrel with him. Marcus invokes the Minbari oath for battle to the death, Den'Sha. Neroon is a little reluctant at first, but being the warrior that he is, he doesn't resist the challenge for long. As the two are fighting to the death, the ceremony proceeds. Sheridan and Ivanova wonder where Marcus is. Garibaldi is searching for the exit from Grey 16, while Jeremiah explains his theory a little more. Garibaldi pretends to be ill and then incapacitates one guard, threatening Jeremiah to break his neck if he doesn't show him where the door is. Jeremiah complies.
Neroon is causing severe damage to Marcus, who nevertheless refuses to surrender. Neroon does his best to convince him to quit the battle. It is confusing as well as surprising to him, that a human would exhibit such self-sacrifice and put his life on the line to protect a Minbari. “We live for the One! We die for the One! ”, Marcus shouts, as he launches his final assault. Neroon breaks several of his ribs, rendering him incapable of continuing the fight. He wants to know why Marcus came to face him in the first place, knowing he would be defeated, and why he doesn't surrender now. “For her. We live for the One, we die for the One”, Marcus replies once more, and swears the Ranger oath: “Isil'Zha senti! In Valen's name”! Neroon prepares to strike the final blow.
Delenn holds the glass of ceremonial wine she is required to drink for her initiation. In Grey 16, Garibaldi finds the lost maintenance worker's uniform, bloodied and torn to shreds. He asks Jeremiah about it, and after some effort he learns there is a Zarg lurking in this level, one of the most dangerous alien creatures known so far. Jeremiah's cult believes that giving themselves over to the Zarg to be devoured will purify them and unite them with the universe. While Garibaldi is trying to come to terms with what he just heard, the Zarg's cries are heard throughout the corridor that leads to the only exit still available.
Just as the ceremony is about to end, Neroon enters the hall, carrying his fighting pike covered in Marcus' blood. “There is now blood between us, and there is blood between the Warrior Caste, and the humans”, he tells Delenn. He admits that although the Rangers would die for her, they would not do the same for him. Recognizing her position as Entil'Zha, he throws his weapon on the floor and leaves.
Lennier finds a heavily injured but alive Marcus lying on the floor where Neroon left him. He immediately gets help for him. Garibaldi comes up with a creative way to fight the Zarg: he inserts some of the bullets he has on him from his grandmother's antique pistol in one of the exhaust pipes on the wall, using the high pressure of the steam to shoot at the monster. Although it's a long shot, the monster is killed and Garibaldi is able to leave Grey 17.
In Medlab, Delenn and Lennier are standing by Marcus' bed, who is still unconscious. Delenn finds it hard to accept the reality of her new position, especially the fact that the Rangers will risk, and even lose, their lives in order to protect her. Lennier points out it's a reality she will have to learn to live with. At that moment Neroon appears, wishing to speak to Marcus “as one warrior to another”. Delenn and Lennier leave the room.
Neroon: Den'Sha, you said. To the death. And death I was. The death was mine. To see a human invoke the name of Valen, and be willing to die for one of my kind while I was intent upon killing one of my own, the rightness of my cause disappeared. Strange, that a human in his last moment should be more of a Minbari than I. Perhaps this is true, what Delenn said. That we are not of the same blood, but we are of the same heart. [Neroon starts leaving the room] Marcus: The next time... [Neroon approaches again] Marcus: The next time you want a revelation... could you possibly find a way... that isn't... quite so... uncomfortable?
Delenn and Lennier are quite surprised to hear Neroon's loud laughter from inside Marcus' room.
Garibaldi storms in Sheridan's office, wanting to tell him all about his adventure in Grey 17. Sheridan makes the mistake of asking him where he was when all hell broke loose in the station, Marcus being assaulted by Neroon and Delenn almost being assassinated. Garibaldi makes himself comfortable and starts his narration.