Colby makes a last desperate break for freedom, as Sinclair’s problems reach a climactic finish on Minbar.
[singlepic=63,200,,,left] Issue 4 (April 1995)
Writer: Mark Moretti Premise: J. Michael Straczynski Penciller: Michael Netzer Inker: Rob Leigh
As Jason Colby gathers his belongings — including a picture of his dead wife — his video tap shows Col. Rabock talking to Ivanova, demanding permission to board the station. Colby recognizes Rabock as Webster.
In Medlab, Rabock upbraids Sheridan for allowing Talia to scan Hall. Sheridan retorts that Hall was about to die, that the scan has given them a lead in the Minbari assassination plot, and that they’re trying to track down the man who attacked Hall. Rabock storms away, which strikes Sheridan as odd. “I would’ve thought an internal affairs investigator would be interested in any information we uncovered,” he says.
Sinclair’s trial is interrupted when Delenn charges into the chambers, claiming to have new information that might exonerate him. Neroon objects to her presence — her association with Sinclair invalidates anything she might say. Delenn begins to describe what Garibaldi and Sheridan have learned; the tribunal decides to hear her evidence privately.
Rabock speaks privately with a superior over a comm channel. He tells the mysterious man that Colby will take the fall for smuggling the weapons into Sinclair’s luggage. His superior points out that if Colby is blamed, the cover story about Cypher being responsible will fall apart. Colby must be killed. Rabock’s superior mentions that Rabock killed Colby’s wife to help recruit Colby into the Homeguard — an unfortunate revelation, since Colby is listening in on the conversation from his quarters.
Delenn finishes her report on the situation on Babylon 5. Neroon dismisses it out of hand as a delaying tactic, and says that once it becomes clear that Sinclair’s friends are fabricating evidence to set him free, the warrior caste will demand a renewed war against Earth. Delenn counters that the war was ended the first time because some humans, including Sinclair, carry Minbari souls, a situation which hasn’t changed. Neroon scoffs at that.
Rabock checks in with Garibaldi to find out how the manhunt is proceeding. It’s proceeding as planned, though as yet there’s no trace of the man Talia described. While Rabock watches, Garibaldi discovers a visual log of the docking bay that shows Colby loading weapons onto Delenn’s flyer. That’s enough for the computer to search the personnel files and determine who Colby is.
Rabock, who slipped away the moment he saw the video, arrives at Colby’s quarters as Garibaldi and Sheridan rush to the scene. As he enters, Colby ambushes him and takes him hostage. Sheridan and Garibaldi arrive; Sheridan agrees to let Colby get to Rabock’s shuttle unhindered. As soon as Colby is out of earshot, Sheridan orders a wing of Starfuries to take out the ship’s engine when it emerges.
The shuttle leaves the station. Rabock tells Colby to put down his gun — and hits Colby with an intense burst of telepathic pain when Colby doesn’t comply. Colby figures it out: Webster isn’t Rabock at all. He’s Cypher. Colby grabs his gun and begins firing. Unfortunately, he hits the shuttle’s systems several times; it explodes before the waiting Starfuries can fire a shot.
Neroon cites the video as evidence that Sinclair is simply part of a larger conspiracy to assassinate the Minbari leader, and demands that such an act of war be responded to in kind. The tribunal agrees. As its head is pronouncing sentence, Sinclair invokes an ancient law, offering his life in exchange for war. This infuriates Neroon, who accuses Sinclair of mocking Minbari customs… but the tribunal rules that Sinclair’s request is valid.
The Minbari leader enters the court chamber, flanked by robed acolytes, and demands to be heard. He has been watching the trial, and the fact that Sinclair was willing to pay the steepest possible price for peace has convinced him that Sinclair is “a good and just man.” He pardons Sinclair.
Later, Delenn congratulates Sinclair on the ploy. He knew that the leader, as head of the Grey Council, would never allow the execution because of Sinclair’s Minbari soul. As Delenn bids Sinclair farewell, he surprises her by kissing her on the cheek.
Sheridan, Ivanova, and Garibaldi discuss the situation. All the principals are gone — even Hall’s body, which had been loaded onto Rabock’s ship. Garibaldi says he still doesn’t believe Hall was Cypher, doesn’t think Cypher
They’re interrupted by the arrival of an Earthforce officer: Colonel Tiffany Rabock. Garibaldi is stunned — maybe Cypher did exist after all.
On Earth, in an office with a stylized, militaristic psi symbol on the floor, a man deletes the files for Colby and Webster and asks the computer to search Psi-Corps records for a person matching the “Cypher” program’s criteria. “Somewhere out there,” he says, “a new Cypher is waiting to be found…”
• Neroon knew, before “All Alone in the Night,” that Sinclair was alleged to be carrying a Minbari soul. It seems he doesn’t believe it, or doesn’t care.
• The Minbari leader has the power to pardon criminals, even those convicted of treason.
• Who’s the mysterious man in charge of Cypher? From the “PSI” in his office on the last page, it seems he’s connected with Psi-Corps. Perhaps he’s part of Bureau 13? (cf. “A Spider in the Web”)
• The plot to set Hall up as Cypher seems flawed; if Webster and his superior had succeeded in convincing everyone that Hall was Cypher, that’d mean another cover story would have to be concocted if they wanted to do anything they’d ordinarily pin on Cypher.
• Sinclair and Delenn are more than just colleagues, clearly; unless Sinclair has picked up some of Ivanova’s Russian habits, kissing a foreign official is hardly an ambassadorial thing to do.
• Sinclair now seems to have an ally in the leader of the Minbari.
• In this issue’s behind-the-scenes pages, Ann Bruice talks about the designs of various costumes on the show, and about being B5’s costume designer.