Babylon 5 Season 5, Episode 11.

Primary Plot: The telepath problem reaches critical mass as Bester's bloodhounds continue to seek them out. Garibaldi and Franklin are taken hostage.

Secondary Plot: Garibaldi tries to kill Bester, only to find that hidden neural blocks won't allow him to.


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The skull of this creature did not reflect light. In all other respects, though, it was indistinguishable from the rest of the bones the boy's grandfather had possessed, those of animals he had skinned and mounted and studied time and again. He had been driven by some obsession that convinced his family and mentees he was possessed by curious, although not particularly malevolent, spirits. Occasionally, his grandfather would wipe the blood of the animals onto the walls of the room, and it never seemed to fade; even now there remained red handprints and lines in long patterns that made the boy uneasy.

"Your grandfather asked me to make sure you took something to remember him by." The strong man stood at the doorway to prevent any unexpected mourners from interrupting. The room made him uneasy but he was able to hide his discomfort from the boy. "He was quite fond of you."

The boy returned the lightless skull to its place among the brilliant white bones on his grandfather's shelf. "You were with my grandfather when I was too small to walk, Rayth."

"Longer."

"Do you think his soul was possessed?"

"I know not."

"My mother told me not to believe the rumors, but I could never be sure whom to believe."

"He never spoke of it, and I never asked."

"He would speak of the world before time began, sometimes as if he were there." The boy placed his right hand in one of the red prints where his grandfather had once put his own. "His stories would give me nightmares, but I couldn't help listening." The boy frowned when he saw how much smaller his handprint was than the prints on the wall. "One day I should like to live here and study my grandfather's bones."

"Have you made a decision, Phoenix?"

"May I decide tomorrow?"

"I will make sure no one else takes their remembrance before you."

"Thank you, Rayth."

That night, Phoenix dreamed that his grandfather visited him. The old man's body was gray like stone, and his face was black. He stood in the corner of the room, silent, until morning came and Phoenix awoke. He knew what remembrance to take.

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Set a torch to me
Why don't you?

It's not the tearing sound of fabric
A small rip
And now a tear
That I feel

It's the torch

I've been here before
A job where the idealistic came
As moths to the flame
Self-immolation
Because they had ideals

I watched and burned and rose

It's the torch
The flames that rise
As the witch is burned
Tilts back her head
In ecstasy and knowledge
Eager to learn what she can
From these burning brands

In the burning we learn
In pain we learn
If we can remain open
Ashes fall to the ground
Buckets of water
Wash any remains to grey mud
Gone, punished
Relief for the frightened
An example has been set

No but what stirs at night
Moon or none
What rises from the mud
The ashes
Takes form
Takes flight
Laughing

Set a torch to me
Why don't you?
And see what is created

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