Airdates: 20 July 1994 (US), 29 August 1994 (UK)
Written by D.C. Fontana
Directed by Bruce Seth Green
Cast: Alyt Neroon (John Vickey), Alisa Beldon (Grace Una), Security Man (Richard Henry), Cart Owner (Patrick O’Brien), Station One (Marianne Robertson), Station Two (Joshua Cox)
Plot: The Minbari warcruiser Ingata arrives at Babylon 5, but immediately opens its gunports. A tense stand-off ensues until Delenn arrives in Command & Control and points out that the cruiser’s targeting systems are not active. The Minbari warrior caste believe that displaying one’s weapons to a potential enemy or ally is a sign of openness and respect, and cannot comprehend why other species see it as a threatening gesture. The captain of the Ingata, the great warrior-general Branmer, has died and his body is being displayed at every Minbari colony en route back to Minbar where he will be interred with full military honours. The Minbari populace of Babylon 5 is the latest group to see the body. Delenn is annoyed by the tradition: Branmer was a great warrior, but only joined the warrior caste during the Earth-Minbari War. Before that he was a great healer and holy man, a member of the religious caste. His own wish was for a simple ceremony, but his executive officer, Alyt Neroon, is determined to see him honoured with a full military spectacle.
A young girl, Alisa Beldon, is thieving in the Zocalo when she suddenly passes out, generating a massive psychic blast as she does so. Talia Winters senses her pain and has her rushed to Medlab. Alisa is a latent telepath whose powers have just manifested. Talia is keen to have her shipped off to Earth to join Psi Corps as soon as possible, but Ivanova intervenes. It may be Earth law that human telepaths have to join Psi Corps, but there are loopholes in the law, mainly that if an alien government adopted her as one of their citizens, Psi Corps would have no hold over her. Talia is angry that Ivanova is trying to interfere in something that has nothing to do with her, but Ivanova is determined that Alisa will not suffer the same fate as her mother. The Narn make an impressive offer of money and luxuries in return for Alisa working for them and donating genetic material so the Narns might be able to breed their own telepaths, but Alisa scans Na’Toth’s mind and learns that, whilst she would be rich, Narn is no longer a welcoming world, having become a cold and harsh place following the Centauri occupation. Few non-Narn live on their homeworld and Alisa would be quite alone.
The viewing ceremony begins, but Neroon is enraged when Branmer’s body goes missing. He threatens war against Earth if this insult is not resolved quickly, but calms down again and works with Garibaldi in tracking down the corpse. The Pak’ma’ra, noted carrion eaters, haven’t seen it and every other avenue appears to be closed.
Delenn has a meeting with Alisa, telling her that on Minbar telepaths are honoured members of society. They aren’t paid money, but are provided for by the government, free of charge. Alisa scans Delenn’s mind and learns she is telling the truth, but also that Delenn knows something about the missing body. Thanks to her Grey Council training, Delenn is able to close her mind, but too late. Alisa tells Sinclair what she saw and Sinclair angrily confronts Delenn, who confirms she has taken Branmer’s corpse and disposed of it according to his wishes for a simple ceremony. She confesses to Neroon, but uses her authority as a member of the Grey Council to ensure he accepts the situation. Sinclair surprises Neroon by offering to make a public statement of respect for Branmer, who was a canny, but never cruel enemy during the Earth-Minbari War. Neroon leaves with somewhat greater respect for humans than when he arrived. Talia doesn’t agree with her decision, but accepts it and then offers the hand of friendship again to Ivanova by offering to buy her a drink. Ivanova tentatively accepts.
Alisa leaves for Minbar. Before departing, she tells Sinclair that when she was in Delenn’s mind, Delenn was thinking of a word she quickly covered up: “chrysalis”. She leaves Sinclair to mull the word over.
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