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[Xs in brackets () means I did not get the words spoken; spelling mistakes or such, please tell me!]
By Any Means Necessary
episode transcript
transcribed by Nina S.

Outside Babylon 5. We see ships waiting  to be docked. LIEUTENANT COMMANDER SUSAN IVANOVA's voice can be heard, giving instructions from C&C.

IVANOVA
(x) ship (x), you may proceed to jumpgate. Shuttle Copernicus, you're cleared for Docking Bay 4.
[We see a distressed Narn captain.]
Tal'quith, please hold.

In the C&C, we see IVANOVA handling the traffic.

IVANOVA
Earthforce ship, continue to hold. Minbari ship, hold.

A comm. screen shows the Narn captain

NARN CAPTAIN
Babylon 5, this is the captain of the Tal'quith. What is the delay?

IVANOVA
Tal' quith, there's a priority ship in front of you. Tal'quith will be able to dock in 25 minutes.

NARN CAPTAIN
Unacceptable. We have a very perishable cargo for Ambassador G'kar and must delivered it immediately.

IVANOVA
I'll do what I can. Please stand by.

End transmission by the Narn captain.

At the docking bay. The workers are all working frantically. General commotion.

EDUARDO DEL VIENTOS
[shouts to the workers on a ramp]
Hey! Move that out of the rig!
[speaks to comm. set]
Del Vientos, make it quick.

IVANOVA
This is C and C. Can you get the Narn transport in here any quicker?

DEL VIENTOS
Where the hell am I gonna get the crew? We're already up to our butts up here.

IVANOVA
I understand, but you know how the Narns can be.

DEL VIENTOS
Yeah, I know. I'm really busting my cojonés today, C and C. Try routing to Bay 8, and we'll see what we can do.

IVANOVA
Thanks. Tal'quith, you may proceed immediately to Docking Bay 8, via beacon Alpha Six.

NARN CAPTAIN
About time.

On the way to Docking Bay 8. We see there's another ship on a rising platform, about to depart. Uh-oh. Alarm rings out.

DEL VIENTOS
Look, we have a failure at the basement subcomputer, it's raising the transport.

COMPUTER
Platform Six activated. Departure sequence engaged. Collision warning.

TECH #1
It's going to collide with the Narn ship!

IVANOVA
Computer, over-ride docking sequence six-gamma-six, code Tal'quith. I'm switching to beacon zeta. Stand by, do not attempt to alter course.
[The Narn captain sees the approaching ship, panics and begins firing up the engines]
Narn transport, do not start your engines!

The Narn ship disregards the warning, hits the structure of the cargo bay. The cargo area of the ship blows up, sending debris along the shaft, that causes further damage. We see the workers running everywhere. Fires and fumes makes up the scenery.

IVANOVA
Bay Six, damage report.

DEL VIENTOS
Hydraulic and fuel lines in the loading area are ruptured!

IVANOVA
Seal off the entire section. Sweep team is on its way.

DEL VIENTOS
Well, tell them to hurry up! I've got 2 people trapped in there. If they don't get out fast, they're
dead.

CREDITS
   "It was the dawn of the third age of mankind, ten years after the Earth/Minbari war.
   "The Babylon Project was a dream given form. Its goal, to prevent another war by creating a place where humans and aliens could work out their differences peacefully.
   "It's a port of call - home away from home for diplomats, hustlers, entrepreneurs, and wanderers. Humans and aliens wrapped in two million, five hundred thousand tons of spinning metal, all alone in the night.
   "It can be a dangerous place, but it's our last best hope for peace. This is the story of the last of the Babylon stations.
   "The year is 2258. The name of the place is Babylon 5."
- Commander Sinclair

Outside the airlock that seals off the damaged section of Bay 6. We see DEL VIENTOS and another WORKER talking to 2 RESCUE WORKERS in encounter (?) suits.

DEL VIENTOS
Get out there, quick! Look, there's still a chance of spontaneous combustion in there, so we're opening the airlock just enough for you guys to get in and get out, ok?

RESCUE WORKERS
All right!

DEL VIENTOS
Open up!

The airlock opens up.

WORKER
Clear! All right, go go go!

RESCUE WORKER 1
Right with ya!

The RESCUE WORKERS goes inside the section. What a mess. Sirens wailing, fires burning,fumes everywhere. They found one man. Further search led to another.

RESCUE WORKER 1
Hey, get your buddy over here!

RESCUE WORKER 2
We got vitals, let's get outta here!

Outside the airlock, DEL VIENTOS and the WORKER stands back against the airlock door.

DEL VIENTOS
Who do we have trapped in there?

WORKER
All I know is two members of T-21.

DEL VIENTOS
What?
[he's very concerned. And worried]

RESCUE WORKER 2
[through comm. set]
Del Vientos, open up! We're coming out!

DEL VIENTOS
Ok, they're coming. Fix the lock!

The airlock opens, the RESCUE WORKERS brings out the unconscious bodies. The medical team immediately set about to help. A pair of them worked on an unconscious Hispanic man.

MEDIC #1
Dead.
[the medics leave]

DEL VIENTOS runs towards the man, crying out.

DEL VIENTOS
Alberto! My brother. Pepito!
[cries out in Spanish]

In AMBASSADOR G'KAR's quarters. AMBASSADOR G'KAR is dressed in his ceremonial robes and is reading out from the Book of G'quon.

G'KAR
[chants in Narn]
To you I give the grain, the light and the sky. To you, a sacred heritage. To you, the land and the sea.
[more chanting in Narn]

He is interrupted by the door bell. Someone's outside. It's NA'TOTH.

NA'TOTH
Ambassador.

G'KAR
So spoke G'quon at the dawn of all mornings.
[He closes the Book]

NA'TOTH
[more urgent]
Ambassador.
[she paces around, sighing]

G'KAR
[from inside]
Enter!

The door opens, NA'TOTH enters. G'KAR has already stood up to greet her.

NA'TOTH
I'm sorry to disturb you at this time Ambassador, but I bring unhappy news. There's been an accident on one of our cargo ships--

G'KAR
[gasps]
What?

NA'TOTH
The Tal'quith.

G'KAR
Was there much damage?

NA'TOTH
The entire cargo bay was blown out. I'm afraid the G'quon'Eth was destroyed in the accident.

G'KAR
[stunned]
Oh. Oh.
[he sits down]
Oh no.

At the Briefing Room. G'KAR, IVANOVA and COMMANDER JEFFREY SINCLAIR is present, sitting down at the table, along with NEEOMA CONNELLY (who looks like a very angry Rebecca DeMornay), the union representative, who is standing up.

CONNELLY
[angry]
[She slams her hands on the table]
Don't try and blame my people for this! We have said all along that the dockside equipment isn't up to handling the amount of traffic we get.

SINCLAIR
The computer malfunction might have been caused by operator error.

CONNELLY
Even if that were true, what do you expect?! My people have been forced to work triple shifts because we are under-staffed in every area.

SINCLAIR
Miss Connelly, we're not here to assign blame--

G'KAR
[interrupts]
Maybe you aren't Commander, but my government will want to know who was responsible in damaging our ship.

IVANOVA
[having no patience with G'kar]
Then I suggest you start with your ship's Captain, who panicked and fired his engines inside the docking bay against my direct orders!

G'KAR
Now, don't try and blame this on us, Lieutenant Commander. We are the victims here.

CONNELLY
You lost some cargo, Ambassador. Alberto Del Vientos lost his life.

G'KAR
[silent]
Yes, a tragedy to be sure. But what was our captain to do? His ship was placed in jeopardy through no fault of his own, and he reacted. And by G'quon, I mean to see we are compensated for this damage! Now, if you'll excuse me, I must attend to a pressing matter.

G'KAR leaves. SECURITY CHIEF MICHAEL GARIBALDI enters, bringing a report on a handheld computer.

GARIBALDI
The accident was caused...
[hands the report to Sinclair]
by equipment failure. Clustered effect of microchips blew out.

SINCLAIR
How is that possible?

GARIBALDI
Looks like the contractor installed substandard chips throughout the entire system. That would explain how they managed such a low bid on the installation. We're checking it all out.

SINCLAIR
This is going to play havoc with our scheduling. Ivanova, how long until we can get Bay Six online?

IVANOVA
[looks at report]
Several hours at least. We're going to have to reroute the controls to the other docking bays until new chips can be installed.

CONNELLY
The problems dockside run deeper than a few microchips, Commander.

SINCLAIR
I'm aware of that Miss Connelly, and I've done everything I can to make the Senate understand we need an increase in the station's budget.
[Connelly starts to leave]
I just hope they listened.

CONNELLY
You mean before someone else gets killed?
[stalks off]

SINCLAIR's comlink beeps.

SINCLAIR
Sinclair.

C&C TECH
Commander, Senator Hidoshi is on Gold Channel for you. It's about the new budget.

SINCLAIR
[sighing, wearily]
On our way.

At the Zocalo. G'KAR's talking to an alien (I can't determine the origin) beside a stall.

G'KAR
And you don't know of anyone who has one? I'll pay any price.

Alien grunts in the negative and leaves. G'KAR's troubles is far from over. LONDO comes to heckle him.

LONDO
Ah, G'kar. Doing a little shopping, are you?
[makes a tsk-tsk sound]
Is that permitted in the holy days of G'quon?

G'KAR
It's no concern of yours, Mollari.

LONDO
[begins to laugh]
I heard about the mishap involving your transport. Shocking. Truly shocking. If there is anything I can do to be of assistance, you will let me know, yes?

G'KAR
No.

LONDO laughs and leaves him. NA'TOTH comes.

G'KAR
Well?

NA'TOTH
There is no one who can have the G'quon'Eth delivered in time for the ceremony.

G'KAR
Sakr!
(Narn curse word, I presume)

NA'TOTH
[slowly]
However, according to import records, there is one being on the station who has it.

G'KAR
[eager]
Well, who is it?

NA'TOTH
[leans and whispers]
Ambassador Mollari.

G'KAR
[outraged]
WHAT?!

G'KAR  turns towards the lift. LONDO is in it, laughing and waving towards him.

LONDO
[sing-song]
Woo-hoo!!
[laughs as the door closes]

G'KAR
Why does the universe hate me?

Commander's office, C&C. SINCLAIR is talking to SENATOR HIDOSHI (on comm. screen) with GARIBALDI beside him.

HIDOSHI
It's all in the budget report, Commander.

SINCLAIR
I know what's in the report Senator, but we need those increases in station operations. Promises were made.

HIDOSHI
Political reality sometimes takes precedence over good intentions. If President Santiago can turn things around, at that time you may receive some of the money you requested.

SINCLAIR
We have operational and safety concerns that won't wait for the government to turn things around. There's already been an accident--

HIDOSHI
Accidents happen. But our experts have assured us that your new budget is more than sufficient for safe and efficient running of Babylon 5. Commander, I have every confidence you can it make it work.

[end transmission]

SINCLAIR turns to GARIBALDI.

SINCLAIR
I assume the news about the budget is leaked by now.

GARIBALDI
[wryly]
The station's business channel is running a detailed analysis.

SINCLAIR snorts softly.

SINCLAIR
Wonderful. We'll need to set up meetings with the business council and the guilds. And then have a separate meeting with Miss Connelly.

GARIBALDI
She'll be spitting neutrons. The dockworkers got zip. No payments, no money for new workers, no funds for upgrading equipment.

SINCLAIR
[ironic]
As far as the Senate's concerned, they're bound by government contract. They can't quit and they can't go on strike. Why give them anything?

IVANOVA calls out from the observation deck.

IVANOVA
Commander, we've got a problem.

SINCLAIR
Surprise, surprise.

SINCLAIR and GARIBALDI walks to the observation deck.

IVANOVA
We're up to eyeballs in waiting transports, and the dockworkers are calling in sick.

SINCLAIR
How serious is it?

IVANOVA
Well, as far as we can determine, none of them are actually ill, they're just calling in sick.

GARIBALDI
Sounds like the 'blue flu'.

IVANOVA
Excuse me?

GARIBALDI
My grandmother was a Boston cop. I remember her telling me about the 'blue flu'. They use it to get around sanctions and work stoppages.

SINCLAIR
In other words, we have an illegal strike in our hands.

Outside Babylon 5. Ships are waiting. IVANOVA's voice from C&C.

IVANOVA
This is Babylon Control. Our docking schedule is being revised. Please stand by.

At the docks. The workers have gathered. CONNELLY at the centre.
(everytime a worker speaks, the rest would agree in chorus)

WORKER
How much more do they expect us to take?

WORKERS
Yeah!

LONG-HAIRED WORKER
We need a 10-hour turnaround after we worked at double shifts!

WORKERS
Yeah!

BEARDED WORKER
We're lucky if you get four!

WORKERS
Yeah!

HISPANIC WORKER
We're lucky if you get any!

WORKERS
[laughs]
Yeah!

WORKER A
We're breaking safety rules every second of the day because of overscheduling!

WORKERS
Yeah!

WORKER B
I say, "Strike!"

The workers began to pick up the chant. Soon, the chants of "STRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE!" can be heard.

CONNELLY
[tries to interrupt]
Guys, knock it off!
[she fails; tries again, louder]
Knock it off, STOP IT!!!!
[the workers become silent]
Now, first of all I don't want to hear the word "Strike" any more! We will hear everyone out and let's take this one issue at a time, ok?
[GARIBALDI enters; earns a lot of dirty looks]
Now let's remember, let's try to keep a cool head during management negotiation.

DEL VIENTOS
[blocking Garibaldi]
What do you want here?

GARIBALDI
[gives a look]
Gettin' out of my way would be a start.

CONNELLY
It's all right Eduardo, let him through.

A rumble goes through the crowd. Nope, none of his fanclubs here.

CONNELLY
Been expecting you, Garibaldi.

GARIBALDI
I'm here to escort you to Commander Sinclair. He's requested the honour of your presence. Twice. Maybe you didn't get the message.

CONNELLY
Been tied up. Got a lot of sick workers here.

Laughter from the crowd. The workers starts to mock-cough. She smiles.

GARIBALDI
You think this is funny? Huh?
[they stop coughing]
Well, I don't.

CONNELLY
We're as serious as a rift in a space suit, and we want the Senate and Commander Sinclair to know
it.

GARIBALDI
By staging an illegal strike? I thought you were smarter than that.

CONNELLY
Sinclair and Ivanova are career military, I don't expect them to understand. But I figure you a blue collar under all the Earthforce grey. You must know, we're only doing what we have to do.

GARIBALDI
I know how you feel, but this isn't the way.

CONNELLY
And what other options do we have, Mr. Garibaldi?

GARIBALDI
That's what the Commander wants to talk to you about.

DEL VIENTOS
The hell with your talk! We got people dying out here, Mr. Security Man!
[crowd agrees very verbally]
Sinclair wants us to talk? What do you think we are? Fools?

CONNELLY
[trying to calm them down]
All right. All right. Let me handle this, all right? Ok? Ok, the Commander wants to talk, we'll talk.
[takes off jacket, hands it to Del Vientos. Rolls up her sleeves]
Let's go.

The workers are backing her every step.

GARIBALDI
Your friend's looking for a fight.

CONNELLY
That was Eduardo Del Vientos. His little brother, Alberto was the one killed in the accident. He's been taking it hard.

GARIBALDI
I'm sorry. I know what it's like to lose someone close, and so does the Commander. He wants to help, Neeoma.

CONNELLY
[noncommital]
We'll see.

At the Briefing Room. SINCLAIR is trying to negotiate with CONNELLY. GARIBALDI is there too.

SINCLAIR
I'm asking your people to go back to work. If they don't, I have to bring in the Senate Labour Committee in on this and they could invoke the Rush Act.

CONNELLY
They don't have the guts to do that. It would inflame public opinion here and at home.

SINCLAIR
Don't be so sure about that. Things are changing on Earth and not all for the best. Look, you've made your point, and Earth Central will be made aware of your grievances. There's nothing else you can gain by continuing the strike--

CONNELLY
I can't send my people back to work without some guarantees.

SINCLAIR
And I can't guarantee anything while you're on a strike. If you just trust me--

CONNELLY
It's the Senate that controls the money, Commander. Every time we trust them, we get kicked in the teeth.

GARIBALDI
And what happens if your people start kicking back, huh? If you forced them into a confrontation--

CONNELLY
We won't be the first to use violence--

GARIBALDI
I saw what went down in the docking bay, they're angry and--

CONNELLY
They've got a right to be angry!

SINCLAIR
They've also got a right to hear what I've just told you.

CONNELLY
They will. But I can't recommend their return to work.

SINCLAIR
I don't think you fully understand the consequences--

CONNELLY
Don't tell me about consequences. My father was shot dead during the 37th mining strike on Ganymede. I have spent my entire life defending workers' rights, and I'm not about to stop now. You get us decent pay and equipment and hire enough workers to do the job safely, then we'll return to work. Not a minute more.

CONNELLY leaves. SINCLAIR's comlink beeps.

SINCLAIR
[tired]
Sinclair.

IVANOVA
[from C&C; sardonic]
Commander, you've got another transmission from Senator Hidoshi.

GARIBALDI does a slashing motion across his neck (I don't know what it means! ::sheepish::) and leaves.

SINCLAIR
[resigned]
Patch it through.

Outside LONDO's quarters. LONDO walks towards the entrance, whistling. He was about to use his cardkey to open it, when he notice it's already open. He walks in and finds G'KAR sitting, and looking distinctly displeased with the world in general.

G'KAR
You left your door unlocked Ambassador, careless of you. I thought it best to sit here and guard your room until your return.

LONDO
And did you find anything of interest, in my humble quarters, while you're guarding it?

G'KAR
[unhappy]
No.

LONDO
Oh.
[He walks to the minibar]
Care for a drink? Oh... I forgot. The days of G'quon forbid it. But they come to a close, very soon, do they not?

G'KAR
[impatient]
You know why I'm here.

LONDO
The G'quon'Eth plant, yes. Difficult to grow, expensive to transport. Very expensive to grow, but so very important to you at this festive time.

G'KAR
I understand you are in possession of the G'quon'Eth. If this is so, I am here to...
[he spits it out]
purchase it.

LONDO
Every since we left your beautiful planet, G'quon'Eth plants have been hard to find. Mine, which is cared for in a safe place,
[Londo looks pointedly; G'kar didn't like the fact it wasn't in Londo's quarters]
I've been saving for a special occasion. When you drop the seeds into a proper mixture of alcohol,
[laughs and makes an explosion sound]
whole new universes open up.
[chuckles]
It's a shame you Narns waste them, burning them as incense--

G'KAR
[he wants no more of this sacrilegious talk]
Name the price.

LONDO
[mocking]
Oh, you're asking for quite a sacrifice from me, but, in the interests of interstellar peace and friendship, mmm... 50,000 commercial credits, in cash, in advance.

G'KAR
[stands up in anger]
That's an outrage!

LONDO
[barks a laughter]
Hah! Of course it's an outrage. The question is, how important is your religious ceremony to you?

G'KAR stamps off. LONDO laughs delightedly.

Commander's office. SINCLAIR is talking to SENATOR HIDOSHI on Gold Channel.

HIDOSHI
Commander, we have been hearing reports of an illegal strike by your dockers guild.

SINCLAIR
Those reports are exaggerated Senator. We do have a problem, but I've been going through the budget and--

HIDOSHI
This action threaten the security of our military base and sets a bad precedent, not only for Babylon 5, but for all of our offworld interests! We cannot allow that.

    SINCLAIR
The dockers guild has legitimate grievances, I can't just ignore them--

HIDOSHI
You will not have to. The Labour Committee has ordered Orin Zento to Babylon 5. He will be there within 12 hours.

SINCLAIR
Zento?

HIDOSHI
He is our best labour negotiator. He has stopped this kind of thing before in many of our stations. I expect you to give him your full co-operation. And that includes providing troops if he decides the Rush Act is necessary.

SINCLAIR
You're not serious. We have over a thousand dockworkers on this station. If we start arresting them, we could have a riot on our hands.

HIDOSHI
The more reason to end this thing decisively before it spreads! Understood, Commander?

SINCLAIR
Understood.
[transmission ends]
Senator.

The Arrival/Departure area. SINCLAIR is waiting for ORIN ZENTO. ZENTO arrives, his manner very brisk and to the point. Throught the entire conversation, we see SINCLAIR acting very formally towards ZENTO, and he isn't warming up to the man.

SINCLAIR
Mr. Zento.

ZENTO
Commander Sinclair.

SINCLAIR
This way.

ZENTO
I was told there was an accident on the docks recently. Not serious I hope.

SINCLAIR
One worker killed. Several more injured. And the Narns demanding reparation for damage to their ship and the cargo.

ZENTO
[no visible sign of sympathy]
I hope in spite of that, we'd be able to expedite negotiations. I'm on a tight schedule. When can I meet with Miss Connelly?

SINCLAIR
It's being arranged.

ZENTO
I need to talk to your security chief. If I have to invoke the Rush Act, it's best to be ready.
[he walks ahead of Sinclair. Sinclair stays put]

SINCLAIR
[through his comlink to C&C]
Get Mr. Garibaldi to report to Briefing Room 3.

LONDO's quarters. He's preparing a drink, when the comm. screen (on a laptop on his table) beeps. It's G'KAR. G'KAR finds the whole thing unpleasant.

LONDO
[drawls]
Yees?

G'KAR
[contemptuous]
Ambassador Mollari, I have the money. 50,000 credits, in cash. Where is the G'quon'Eth?

LONDO
Actually G'kar, I have changed my mind. The G'quon'Eth plant is not for sale.

G'KAR
[aghast]
WHAT?

LONDO
I've also changed my lock code, so don't bother visiting me. Consider this a small, a very tiny portion of revenge for what you did to our colony on Ragesh 3. And to my nephew! Did you think that I've forgotten that? Ambassador, enjoy the last few hours of your festive holiday. I know I will.

[end transmission]

G'KAR's quarters. He is angry and goes on a frenzy, upending everything while NA'TOTH sits calmly.

G'KAR
[furious]
I'll kill him with my bare hands!! By my pouchsters, nothing will stop me!
[he sweeps a glass of the table; it hits the floor and smashes]
Sinclair can only kick me off the station, he might even thank me!
[he was still raging when he realised he was about to throw the Book of G'quon; finally he calms down, exhales heavily and sits]
[turns to Na'toth who didn't even bat an eyelid]
You're not a follower of G'quon, are you, Na'toth?

NA'TOTH
My father was a disciple of G'lan. My mother didn't believe in much of anything.

G'KAR
What do you believe in?

NA'TOTH
Myself, Ambassador.

G'KAR
Too easy an answer. We all believe in something... greater than ourselves. Even if it's just the blind forces of chance.

NA'TOTH
Chance favour the warrior.
[earnest]
Isn't there anything you can do to get the G'quon'Eth before the deadline?

G'KAR
Only one more thing, and I hate having to do it. But if that should fail, there's something I want you to do.

NA'TOTH
[sincere]
At your service, Ambassador.

At the docks. The workers have all gathered there to hear what ZENTO has to say. CONNELLY is there. So is SINCLAIR. ZENTO's manner is markedly different now; all smarmy like. General booing and hissing greet his every word.

ZENTO
I assure you, your guild is not being singled out. Earth sympathises with your situation. I personally understand your feelings. But the government must cut costs. We're in a recession. Everyone's feeling the pinch, at home as well as in our colonies. They're--

CONNELLY
[cutting in]
The government found enough money for increased military spending on Babylon 5.

WORKERS
Yeah!

ZENTO
Babylon 5 is a military installation in the midst of hostile alien governments. It's vital to the defense of Earth. Your guild is a vital part of Babylon 5. And the new budget provides everyone with enough funds to run their departments efficiently. We've cut away the fat, yes. But we've left the muscle and bone.

CONNELLY
[sarcastic]
Think we know where the fat went.

The workers laughs

SINCLAIR
[warningly]
Miss Connelly....

CONNELLY
Mr. Zento, you're right. My people are a part of Babylon 5. They unload the goods to keep it running. A lot of them even help build it. What do they get for it? They work double- and triple shifts, using equipment that's substandard, for pay that's a joke!

The workers verbally agree.

ZENTO
You signed a government contract, Miss Connelly. Just like every other government worker on this station. Abide by it, and we'll look into these problems.

CONNELLY
These problems killed a man, a damn good man. And as the duly elected representative of this guild. I don't intend to let that happen ever again. We were promised an increase by last year's negotiatior.

General "yeah!"s from the workers.

ZENTO
I wish I could help. But I've seen no written agreement to that fact. And without that, my hands are tied. There are simply no funds available. And despite this, unfortunate accident, our experts assure us you have enough people for this and your equipment is quite sufficient--

DEL VIENTOS
[butts in; he's had it with Zento]
How many of those experts ever worked a spacedock?
[the workers agree with his every question]
How many have ever tried to refuel a ship while being pushed to move faster and faster because of overscheduling? Or the pain in their bones from operating a zero-g cargo loader for nine hours?

WORKERS
YEAh! YeaH!

ZENTO
You have a point, Mr...?

DEL VIENTOS
Mr. Eduardo Del Vientos, senior foreman. And yeah, I got a point. I've been working spacedocks for four years, and the equipment we've got? Won't last two months, let alone two years. Every piece needs to be overhauled, but we don't have the money or the manpower to do it. And if you won't do nothing about it, then you damn well get those experts to run those docks!

WORKERS
[claps enthusiastically]
YEAH!!!

ZENTO
[forcefully; not so smarmy now]
If that's your response, you leave me no choice but to invoke the Rush Act!

This riles up the workers. All sorts of screaming and shouting, on both sides.

SINCLAIR
[cutting in loudly]
I suggest,
[everyone goes quiet]
we recess for the evening. It's late and we're all tired. It's not a good time for big decisions.

ZENTO
[calms down; back to smarmy mode]
You're right Commander. Miss Connelly, perhaps we have better luck ironing this out at the private meeting tomorrow. Shall we say 7?
[he leaves]

CONNELLY
[watching him leave]
He's bluffing. The Senate hasn't invoked the Rush Act since the Europa strike.

SINCLAIR
Don't count on that, Miss Connelly. I told you, things are changing.

DEL VIENTOS
One thing hasn't changed. Workers always get shafted. But this time, we're gonna fight back.

CONNELLY
Eduardo, we have to keep cool. If we don't, we're finished here and back on Earth.

DEL VIENTOS
We have a right to defend ourselves, Neeoma.

SINCLAIR
But not with violence.

DEL VIENTOS
Beg your pardon Commander, but if someone pushed you, wouldn't you push back?
[he leaves. Sinclair has nothing to say to that]

SINCLAIR
I hope we make more progress tomorrow, Miss Connelly.

CONNELLY
You better tell that to Zento.

Outside Babylon 5. Ships waiting to be docked.

IVANOVA
Cargo ship Snell, please be patient. You're next on schedule.

SINCLAIR's quarters. Tired as hell, he's reviewing all sorts of paperwork.

SINCLAIR
Computer, what time is it?

COMPUTER
Oh-nine-thirty-six.

Comm. screen beeps.

SINCLAIR
Yes?

ZENTO
[furious]
Commander, what the hell is going on? Word's all over the station that the docker's guild has dropped their 'blue flu' story. They've officially declared this a strike.

SINCLAIR
[to himself]
Damn!
[to Zento]
Mr. Zento, I'm sure this is just a rumour. If you'll just give me some time--

ZENTO
Don't play games with me Sinclair. I know all about you. You've let the situation escalate out of all proportion. And you can bet the Senate's going to get a full report. We've got trade contracts to honour.

SINCLAIR
[empathic]
We're talking about people's lives.

ZENTO
[contemptuous]
Spare me the platitudes, Commander. I'll meet with Miss Connelly at seven, as planned. But if she persists in this illegal action, the Rush Act will be put into force. Your troops had better be ready to enforce it.

[end transmission]

Comm. screen beeps again.

SINCLAIR
[mutters]
Now what?
[louder]
Yes?

G'KAR
Commander Sinclair, I must speak to you immediately on the matter of gravest importance.

SINCLAIR
[firm]
Ambassador G'kar, I have an emergency situation on my hands.

G'KAR
It won't take long.
[archly]
And I wouldn't want to burden you further by taking this matter up before a full assembly.

SINCLAIR
All right. I'll meet you in the Council chambers.

Outside Babylon 5. The traffic jam continues.

IVANOVA
All ships please stand by. All docking bays are full.

Council chambers. SINCLAIR is in a bit of disbelief about the fuss.

SINCLAIR
[incredulous]
Are you telling me this is about a flower?

G'KAR
Not just a flower, Commander. The very symbol of my faith. All followers of G'quon must perform a ritual once a year, when our sun rises precisely behind the G'quon mountain. Each year, the celebrants must acquire a new plant for the ceremony. While I made all the arrangements, it should have been here months ago, but you know how bureaucracies are, and-- well, this must all sound ridiculous to you.

SINCLAIR
No, it doesn't Ambassador. But, we have to talk about this some other time.

G'KAR
[urgent]
Commander, there is no other time. You see, those who are able to perform the ritual in the first rays of sunlight that shines past the mountain, a magnificent sight. But those of us who can't be there, must still perform the ritual at the same moment, a moment that is almost upon us. It is the most important observance of my beliefs and requires the G'quon'Eth-- which is the highest ranking member of this station, it is my responsibility to provide.

SINCLAIR
And I truly sympathise with you G'kar, but it is Londo's flower to do with as he likes.

G'KAR
It's sacrilege for him to possess it! It was stolen from our planet! I'll make a major incident out of this, Commander.

SINCLAIR
[warningly]
I don't like threats Ambassador, but I'll do what I can.

LONDO's quarters. SINCLAIR is trying to reason with LONDO, who seems to be enjoying himself immensely, dressed in his jammies and having a drink.

SINCLAIR
[nearing frustration]
Look, I can't force you to do this, but in the name of interstellar goodwill, not to mention peace and quiet on this station, I'm asking.

LONDO
[sanguine]
You know I would do anything for you, my good friend Commander Sinclair, but not this.

SINCLAIR
[raising voice]
You don't have to give the G'quon'Eth as a gift. He's agreed to pay a rather steep price for it!

LONDO
This isn't about money Commander, or with spiritual beliefs. G'kar is only afraid of losing face.
The Narns. Eh. [makes face]
They're a barbaric people. They're all pagans. Still worshipping their sun. No, I would rather burn the plant than to give it to him

SINCLAIR
[starts to get up; sits down again to try one last time]
Would you at least consider?

LONDO
No.

SINCLAIR leaves, resigned.

Outside LONDO's quarters. G'KAR is pacing, waiting for word. SINCLAIR comes out.

G'KAR
Well?

SINCLAIR
I'm sorry.

G'KAR
But Commander!

SINCLAIR's commlink beeps

SINCLAIR
Sinclair.

C&C TECH
Commander, you're wanted in the Briefing Room immediately.

SINCLAIR
On my way.
[he leaves]

G'KAR sighs in frustration. He speaks to his commlink.

G'KAR
Na'toth, proceed.

Briefing Room. SINCLAIR's jacket is unbuttoned. He is obviously tired by the bickering parties.

ZENTO
When are you going to start being reasonable?

CONNELLY
When you stop being unreasonable.

ZENTO
I honestly don't understand why you're being so difficult, Miss Connelly. Every other guild on this station has signed an agreement. They understand that our government is not a bottomless pool of money!

CONNELLY
I don't care if they agreed to wear bunny suits and sing the Hallelujah chorus! We're not putting up with this kind of treatment from Earth Central any longer.
[final tone]
If you refuse to negotiate in good faith, you leave us no choice.

ZENTO
Commander, this is obviously a waste of time.

SINCLAIR
[he's tired of the bickering]
Mr. Zento. Miss Connelly. Surely there is some kind of accommodation we can make to end this decently. I've been going over the budget--

ZENTO
Commander, the Labour Committee does not accommodate illegal strikers.

CONNELLY
[thumps the table]
Dammit!

ZENTO
[to Sinclair]
If you're having problems with the budget, I suggest you take it up with the Senate. As for you Miss Connelly, I strongly recommend you send your people back to work. Now!

CONNELLY
Stuff it.

ZENTO
Commander, I refuse to pander to these people anymore. I'm invoking the Rush Act as of now.

SINCLAIR
You can't do that without Senate confirmation.

ZENTO
I'll have it within the hour! I'll expect Mr. Garibaldi's people be ready to arrest Miss Connelly, and any other worker who persists in this illegal activity.
[leaves]

CONNELLY
[quietly]
I have to warn my people.

CONNELLY leaves. SINCLAIR took a moment to consider, and then he stood up to get to CONNELLY

Babylon 5 hallways. CONNELLY is walking ahead, SINCLAIR behind.

SINCLAIR
[finally catches up]
Dammit Connelly, can't you stop this now.

CONNELLY
It's too late for that Commander. Our workers are tired and fed up. They've been pushed as far as they're willing to go.

SINCLAIR
This is not just a matter of disrupting shipping schedules. You know what could happen if I have to order Garibaldi in.

CONNELLY
The same thing that happened in Europa and the New California and at (x). The same thing that happens every time labour stood up for themselves and said, "no more". They try to break us, we fight back, someone would get hurt, maybe killed.
[silent]
For what it's worth, I'm sorry this has to happen to you.

She leaves him.

Outside Babylon 5. The traffic buildup continues.

IVANOVA
All docking bays are full, transport Veranabi(?), we cannot accommodate you at this time.

TRANSPORT VERANABI
We've already been holding for three hours!

In the C&C. SINCLAIR walks in as he is being hounded by the same ISN reporter a few episodes back. Corkscrew curls and everything.

ISN REPORTER
[rapid fire speed]
... make this our lead news item for tonight's program. Is it true that Mr. Zento has declared dockers (x) as an illegal and is seeking the Senate's approval for the Rush Act?

SINCLAIR
No comment.

IVANOVA
Commander, we've got two transports holding and a Minbari convoy on the way.

SINCLAIR
They'll have to wait.

G'KAR and LONDO comes in, arguing very loudly (will not even try to transcribe that one). They eventually stop at the railing just opposite of the Observation deck.

LONDO
Commander! This... creature is a thief! I demand you arrest him, at once!

G'KAR
Call me that again Mollari, and I'll tear your pale throat out!

LONDO
This barbarian has stolen a statue of our god, Mutari from the Centauri Cultural Centre!

G'KAR
I have been in the presence of many witnesses for several hours, I have not stolen anything!

LONDO
All right, then it was your assistant Na'toth. But on your orders!

G'KAR
I am fed up by your fabrications, Mollari!

ISN REPORTER
[she's been standing behind Sinclair; she swings around, and thrusts the recorder to his face]
Commander, do you have a comment on this?

LONDO
I demand you arrest him!

G'KAR
I demand you arrest him!

Between the reporter and the ambassadors, C&C was in quite a ruckus. You could see Sinclair trying to mentally cope. And fails.

SINCLAIR
THAT'S ENOUGH!
[apparently, Sinclair angry is a rare sight, so everything stood quiet]
[quieter, but no less angry]
Get the hell out of here. All of you. Now. Lieutenant Commander Ivanova, in ten seconds you will escort any unauthorised person still present to the brig. And leave them there.

IVANOVA
Yes sir.
[she starts to advance menacingly; the three people in question scamper off reluctantly]
Ten, nine, Eight, Seven--

LONDO
I'm filing an official protest!

IVANOVA
SIX--

G'KAR
I'm filing two official protests!

IVANOVA
FIVE--

ISN REPORTER
You are impeding the public's right to know Commander!

IVANOVA
FOUR, THREE!

They finally leave. GARIBALDI pops in, and finishes the countdown.

GARIBALDI
Two. One. So, what I missed?

SINCLAIR gave him an amused look.

TECH #1
Commander, call from Senator Hidoshi.

SINCLAIR
I'll take it here.
[he stands in front of a comm. screen, just at the left of the Observation Deck. Transmission begins]
Senator.

HIDOSHI
Orin Zento has created an uproar in the Senate.

SINCLAIR
He has an Act for that.

HIDOSHI
Commander, I believe you should be allowed to handle their situation as you think best. Unfortunately, Mr. Zento has convinced the Senate otherwise. They have invoked the Rush Act, officially declaring the situation on Babylon 5 an illegal strike. You are ordered to move in with your security troops and end it now. No negotiations, no delays.

SINCLAIR
What you're asking can only end in violence.

HIDOSHI
I know that, and I fear that's exactly what some people are hoping for. Sorry, Commander.

[end transmission]

SINCLAIR
Chief, get your people ready, full tactical alert. Lieutenant Commander, I need to see the full text of the Senate order.

IVANOVA
Yes sir.

At the docks. The workers have all gathered there, preparing to make their stand. Speakers are blaring out announcements.

SPEAKERS
It is now official, the Senate has invoked the Rush Act on Babylon 5 dockers.
[the workers yell disagreement; we see the security team getting ready with their gear]
Replacement workers are ready,  reporting on launch centres on Earth and Babylon 5 security forces are expected to begin mass arrests--

CONNELLY
[she walks to the centre of the gathering and shouts]
Shut that thing off! It's going down. Everybody remember, we just gotta keep cool.

A WORKER
They're coming!

Security comes in. Boo. Hiss. GARIBALDI goes to CONNELLY. DEL VIENTOS is beside her.

CONNELLY
Time to do your master's bidding, Garibaldi?

GARIBALDI
C'mon Neeoma, you know why I'm here.

DEL VIENTOS
Yeah, maybe you're looking for an honest job?

GARIBALDI
I'm gonna ignore that. I have to place you and your people under arrest. Don't make me do this the hard way.

DEL VIENTOS
There is no other way. So get to it, or get outta here!

The security team starts to round up people. DEL VIENTOS punches GARIBALDI. All hell breaks loose. In the commotion, GARIBALDI shields CONNELLY and brings her out to safety.

Outside the docks, in the hallway. SINCLAIR comes and meets with GARIBALDI and CONNELLY

SINCLAIR
What's the situation, Chief?

GARIBALDI
We've cordoned off the docking bay. Give the word, and we'll be pumping in  morph gas and arrest them while they're asleep.

SINCLAIR
[to Connelly]
I wanted to avoid this--

CONNELLY
So did I, Commander!

GARIBALDI
Hey, if memory serves me correctly, it was your man Del Vientos who threw in the first punch--

CONNELLY
Eduardo's an old warhorse, but he's not a violent man! Alberto was the last of his family and every one in it was a dockrat. You have gotta let me talk to him. You gotta let me talk to all of them.

ZENTO comes, quite angry.

ZENTO
Commander, why haven't your men finished clearing the docks yet?

SINCLAIR
I was just going to do that. Mr. Garibaldi, instruct your men to pull back to Blue Sector. Mr. Zento, if you and Miss Connelly would please join me.
[he begins walking back to the docks]

ZENTO
Why do you need me there for?

SINCLAIR
You'll see.

At the docks. Still fighting. DEL VIENTOS is conspicuously not joining all the punching fun. He's not liking what he sees, and what he just did.

SECURITY MAN
Pull back to Blue Sector!

They pull back. The workers cheer.

WORKER
Yeah, score one point for the dockworkers!

DEL VIENTOS
[unenthuasiatic]
Yeah.

ANOTHER WORKER
Here they come again!

It's SINCLAIR and the gang. Boo. Hiss.

GARIBALDI
[quietly]
I hope you know what you're doing, Jeff.

SINCLAIR didn't reply. All of them walked to the centre of the gathering. DEL VIENTOS motions for the workers to keep quiet.

DEL VIENTOS
Quiet down! Hear 'em out.

SINCLAIR
Under the Rush Act, the Senate has empowered me to end this strike. I'm authorised to use any means necessary, correct, Mr. Zento?

ZENTO
Yes, any means necessary.

SINCLAIR
Am I assured of your full support on this?

ZENTO
[triumphant]
Absolutely.

SINCLAIR
Then under that authority, I choose the following means to end this strike: One, I am re-allocating 1.3 million credits from Babylon 5's military budget to begin necessary upgrades of all dockside equipment and to start hiring additional workers;
[cheers from the workers]
Two, I am declaring a complete amnesty for any striking worker and guild representative who has commited no other crimes during this period.
[claps and cheers]

GARIBALDI
[to Connelly]
That's you kid.

ZENTO
You can't do this!

SINCLAIR
You're right, I couldn't. Until you convinced the Senate to invoke the Rush Act. You should never hand someone a gun unless you're sure where they point at your mistake.
[cheers and much amusement from the workers]
One minute. As for the unfortunate incident earlier, with Mr. Garibaldi's approval, no charges will be pressed.

GARIBALDI
[to Del Vientos]
I think my people would be willing to call it a fair fight if yours are.

GARIBALDI and DEL VIENTOS shakes hands. Everybody claps.

SINCLAIR
And that's my offer Miss Connelly, that is dependent on your people working immediately. Babylon 5 has cargo to move.

CONNELLY
[smiling; and to Del Vientos]
You heard the man.

DEL VIENTOS
[turns to the workers]
Okay, you dockrats! Let's get back to work!

Cheers. Applause. Workers go back to work.

ZENTO
[very very displeased]
You know damn well that you twisted the intent of the order. And you won't get away with it!

SINCLAIR
I think Miss Connelly says it best the other day: Stuff it.

ZENTO leaves.

CONNELLY
I underestimated you Commander.
[shakes hand]
I'm sorry. And thank you.

SINCLAIR
Save it. We're both gonna get seven hundred kinds of hell over this down the road.

CONNELLY
My dad used to say, "there's no happily ever afters, just new battles."
[Sinclair nods in agreement.]
Garibaldi.
[shakes hand with him]

GARIBALDI
Miss Connelly.

CONNELLY
I'll see ya around.

GARIBALDI
Pleasure.

CONNELLY leaves. SINCLAIR yawns.

GARIBALDI
Uh, no offense Commander, but er... you look like week-old bread. Why don't you get some sleep?

SINCLAIR
That's exactly what I have in mind, now that we've calmed things down.
[commlink beeps]
Sinclair.

IVANOVA
Commander, you better get up here.

SINCLAIR
What is it this time?

IVANOVA
G'kar and Londo are approximately half an inch from killing each other.
 

SINCLAIR sort of rolls his eyes and leaves. GARIBALDI watches in sympathy.

In the Council chambers. LONDO and G'KAR are seated at opposite ends of the benches. They're not talking. SINCLAIR comes in.

SINCLAIR
Gentlemen, I've had almost  2 days straight without sleep. This makes me a very cranky man.

LONDO
Yes, we've noticed. Have you considered meditation?

SINCLAIR
[without preamble]
Ambassador G'kar, you will return Ambassador Mollari's sttue.

G'KAR
Commander, I really must protest!

SINCLAIR
G'kar will return the statue.

G'KAR makes a helpless sound.

LONDO
[calm]
And that is all I ask. That, and his head on a platter!

SINCLAIR
Ambassador Mollari, I ran a check on the G'quon'Eth, and discovered that it had a chemical composition which makes it a controlled botanical substance, illegal to possess, except for legitimate medical and religious purposes.

LONDO
[laughs]
Ridiculous. It's no more harmful than a bottle of your whisky.

SINCLAIR
File a protest if you wish, but you you'll have to turn the plant over to me. You;ll be fully compensated.

LONDO
All right, Commander. You may have the G'quon'Eth.
[he starts to leave]

SINCLAIR
Thank you Ambassador.

LONDO
[does a 'don't mention it' gesture]
[glancing at G'kar]
I have already gotten my enjoyment from it anyway.
[leaves]

SINCLAIR
[to G'kar]
Ambassador G'kar, when you have returned Londo's statue, I'll turn the G'quon'Eth over to you. And you'll compensate Londo for it, full price.

G'KAR
Why should I turn the statue over-- assuming I know where it was-- when it's already too late for the ceremony? Mollari knows that. That's why he gave in so easily.

SINCLAIR
This ritual, is supposed to be performed in the sunlight that has been touched the G'quon mountain, on a particular day, at a particular time, right?

G'KAR
[agreeing]
Yes.

SINCLAIR
But, as your people went to space, it wasn't always possible to be at the foot of that mountain and pray to the sunlight?

G'KAR
Yes, yes. If we can't be there, we must make our prayers at the same moment as those of our planet.

SINCLAIR
What you forgot to take into account, is that sunlight also travels through space. Think about it. This station is 12.2 lightyears from Narn. That's just a little over 10 of your lightyears. The sunlight that touched the G]quon mountain 10 of your years ago, will reach this station in 12 hours. It's been on a long journey. But it's still the same sunlight. Couldn't be compared to sound, wouldn't you agree?

G'KAR
[slowly]
Yes, might be. Commander, you're a far more spiritual man than I give you credit for.

SINCLAIR
[ironic]
There's a couple of Jesuit teachers I know who might disagree with you.
[firm]
I want that statue returned.

G'KAR
I'm sure careful search will turn it up. I'll see to it. Commander, thank you.
[does the Narn gesture of respect and leaves]

SINCLAIR sighs. He's very tired.

SINCLAIR's quarters. He comes in, unbuttoning his jacket and looking very much in need of sleep.

SINCLAIR
Computer, hold all transmissions. I'm going to bed.

COMPUTER
You have one transmission holding.

SINCLAIR
[no choice but to answer. The comm. screen behind him flickers, it's Senator Hidoshi. Without turning around, he greets the senator]
Senator Hidoshi, I've been expecting your call.

HIDOSHI
Remind me never to play poker with you. Sinclair, you're a hell of a gambler. This time you've won. The Senate has decided to let your decision on the strike stand without comment.

SINCLAIR
I'm glad they see it my way.

HIDOSHI
They do not. But, public opinion is on your side.

SINCLAIR
[quiet]
I see.

HIDOSHI
Commander, I admire what you've done there. My great-grandfather worked in the New Kobe spacedocks until the day he died. I'm going to admit, the discomfort you've given some of my colleagues pleases me. [smiles]
This is why I'm telling you this: Orin Zento has powerful freinds. By embarassing him, you embarass them. Today, you've made new enemies. If I were you Commander, I'd watch things very carefully. You are not the most popular person that can be (x) right now.

[end transmission]

SINCLAIR
[sighs]
So what else is new?

The Observatory. It's now occupied by G'kar and several Narns, performing the ritual.

G'KAR
[every sentence is punctuated by the burning of the seeds]
The gift of time. The gift of life. The gift of wisdom. The gift of light.
For these things we are thankful. For these things we pray.

NARNS
For these things we are thankful. For these things we pray.

G'KAR begins chanting in Narn

End episode.


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