"In the Kingdom of the Blind" on Babylon 5
by Michelle Erica Green

My Mind To Yours

"In the Kingdom of the Blind" Plot Summary:

Sheridan, Delenn, and Garibaldi discuss the mysterious raiders who have been destroying the ships and cargo of most of the newly aligned races. The member races have begun to distrust one another, and Sheridan wants the Rangers to find out who's behind the attacks. Elsewhere on the station, Byron reiterates to his people the truths he learned from Lyta about the origins of the telepaths, and demands to know where they will go now that the war is over, and their original purpose - to be used by the Vorlons to protect against the Shadows - no longer exists.

On Centauri Prime, Mollari introduces G'Kar as his bodyguard, but the ministers treat him with contempt. Mollari's old friend Jaddo visits him and tells him that the Regent is in seclusion - he has been seen talking to himself and apparently has a drinking problem. Seemingly routine information is being classified as secret, and the palace seems very dark to Jaddo. Later, when he enters his own rooms, the lights won't turn on. He finds the Regent within, who declares that if it were up to him, no harm would ever come to Jaddo - but it isn't up to him. An unseen force knocks Jaddo into the wall.

Telepaths follow the ambassadors out of a meeting on security. Byron tells Lyta that he needs her strength and her warmth more than he has ever needed anyone, then goes to see Garibaldi to ask for permission to address the council. Garibaldi's initial instinct is to refuse, but Byron reads his mind, suggests that he has information on the raiders who have been plaguing them, and tells Garibaldi that he doesn't want to disclose that information to any one man. At the meeting, Byron presents information about how the telepaths were created by the Vorlons to protect against, the Shadows and demands that they be given their own world. If they are not, he will reveal all the secrets that his people have gathered over several days of scanning the ambassadors. Sheridan and Garibaldi are furious, but Delenn argues for the telepaths and points out that Sheridan's excuses for condemning their methods sound a lot like what Earth's president said to him when the war ended.

On Centauri Prime, Mollari takes G'Kar when he goes to see the Regent, but is told that the Regent won't see him, and that he has insulted all Centauri guards by bringing G'Kar in their midst. Minister Mohl summons the man who whipped G'Kar at Cartagia's order and offers the whip to the Narn, but G'Kar explains that he will not punish the hand that struck him - it is the heart that wished it and the mouth that gave the order which he despises. Mollari is summoned to Jaddo's rooms, where he and G'Kar find the man hanged. Mollari says that Jaddo never would have committed suicide: this was murder. When he is summoned by the Regent, assassins tail Mollari and G'Kar; the latter risks his life to fight them off while a wall comes down to separate the two. Mohl corners Mollari and throws a knife, but the knife stops centimeters from Mollari's chest and hovers, then turns and stabs Mohl. A shocked Mollari looks past the dying minister to see an alien with gleaming orange eyes in the shadows.

The telepaths receive mental images of one of their own being beaten up by Drazi, and several go to fight, though Byron tries to dissuade them from violence. Zack Allan comes to Sheridan with a message from Captain Lochley, who wants to take all the telepaths into custody but won't do so while their under his protection. He gives her permission to take them in. Byron announces that they won't fight - they'll barricade themselves in and starve if necessary, perhaps winning allies when their plight becomes known. Several of the telepaths take weapons and flee, but most choose to remain with Byron.

Mollari meets with the Regent, who sounds as mad as Cartagia and says that the Emperor is in fact still with them. He also says that "they" like Mollari, but he'll find that out soon enough, when he's emperor - and that Mollari should enjoy every moment until then. He also gives Mollari a message from "them": They know he has been asking about their supplies and ships, they want him to let it go. While Mollari tells G'Kar that they will return to Babylon Five the next morning, since the palace now frightens him, a Keeper slips a tentacle around the Regent's neck and strangles him despite the Regent's protests that he didn't say anything wrong. In space, a ship blows up.

Byron and Lyta lie in bed, listening to an announcement that they will be taken by force if they don't surrender and come out. Lyta chooses not to leave despite an offer of possible intercession on her behalf. Byron makes her promise that when the time comes and he tells her to leave him, she will, and she agrees.


If I were Londo, I'd be on the first freighter away from Centauri Prime, too - being emperor and being crazy certainly do seem to go together, though these interfering aliens sure add a twist. I loved the way G'Kar dealt with the Centauri, both his humor playing at being the barbarian they expected and his dignity in refusing revenge against the man who whipped him. I also liked the interplay between him and Mollari, though I am somewhat puzzled as to why the Centauri didn't tell his companion what he saw before and while visiting the Regent.

The telepath conflict is finally escalating, both within and without. Byron's blackmail strategy strikes me as a monumental mistake, worse even than the use of force would be: he is demonstrating precisely why the mundanes don't trust the telepaths to settle quietly somewhere and mind their own business, and why they probably never will. I agreed wholeheartedly with Delenn's sympathy for their plight, but at the same time I understand why Sheridan can't give in to that sort of terrorism. Byron announced during his first appearance that telepaths are better than mundanes; right now he might merely want a homeland, but I suspect that eventually he's going to decide they deserve a whole lot more, and that makes me as nervous as it makes the mundanes on the series.

I'm not sure whether the kingdom of the blind is Centauri or the station - the former are clearly oblivious to whatever dark forces are working on their leaders, in their own petty struggles for power, but the mundanes are "blind" compared to the telepaths...and perhaps about the telepaths as well.

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