Babylon 5 Season 1, Episode 2. Written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by Jim Johnston. Originally aired on February 2, 1994.

Primary Plot: A renegade Soul Hunter, a mysterious race that steals people's souls when they die, comes aboard the station, causing mass hysteria among the alien population.

Commentary: Not a very good episode. It has little direct bearing on the story arc, with the exception of one line spoken by the Soul Hunter ("Don't you realize they're using you? They're using you!!") to Sinclair. He's referring to the Minbari using Sinclair to help in the war to come, although no one realizes this until much later (and it doesn't matter anyway, as Michael O'Hare, who played Sinclair, left the show after the first season).

Return to the Babylon 5 Episode Guide.

Narrow streams of sweat eroded his face.
The great hunter walked at a slow pace.
A prisoner of Lapland's deep snow,
His feet were thereby persistently bound.

Narrow streams of blood coloured his face:
With a heavy head swollen from a rude shock,
Weakness did hinder his crawling walk
Through the long wintry night of the North.

Lost in an infinite drawing flushed of colour...
Troubled and pained by the fear of death....
He was spurred onward by the irksome thought
Of becoming an sculpture of the pitiless winter.

He spun like a madman, brandishing his rifle...
He had heard a voice that molded familiar words;
All with a clumsy tune and a tripping tongue.
He couldn’t see anyone, not even a spectre...
He dared not shoot, to inspire fear
For he had few bullets and was dying of hunger.

Voices, voices and more voices
Rang the bell of his consciousness.
Words. What words? What words!
Was his mind lost? Seizing with fear and madness...
And suddenly he shot, and of fright, he fell.

Those voices, how sweet! how suave!
Those voices, how mysterious! how deceitful!
Like the forest’s breath singing through the trees:
An ancient lullaby for the dormant fauna.
Like a snow slide that swells as it murmurs
A prayer and wraps the dead of the summit
With an angelic blanket--with motherly affection.

He heard the deep cantus, as he remained in the snow
It repeated infinitely: a pitiless echo.
His arms were weak, his eyes were wet.
His rifle was lowered upon his exasperated thighs.

And though the sounds of provenance unknown
Would not paint hieroglyphs of luminescence
Which would whisper their full significance,
He dumbly experienced all their meaning
Except these passive words, floating...:
You are the linguist who told me
That intimacy with a tongue
Is a pleasure, a delight, a sorcery
That is obtained in four fixed steps:
That first, one must speak therewith;
That second, one must dream therein;
That third, one must fall in love therein;
And that fourth, one must write poetry therewith.

Know that I welcomed the tributary of your language
And I did permit the child it bore
To play and explore my idealist labyrinth.
And that soon she spoke her first words
Before speaking for me—this child of my mind.

In darkness she began to dream with colour and ardour.
What dreams did we have in your linguistic world!:
Of innocence, of love, of betrayal and of death.
We dreamt of everything, and above all of your return,
My love, my linguist.

What love I have for you! by the child that you bequeathed.
How different she is from those into which I breathed!
Thanks to you, I have discovered
The creations of my sons and daughters:
My eyes have you opened, my wise love.

And for you have I realized this poem
(This tragedy of my ochestration
Only half of which you will ever know
For on a boulder did I your head throw
To execute your linguistic assassination--
Your spiritual evaporation.)
With your own tongue--your peoples' child and legacy
That you did give Me, generously and honourably;
A God fraught with shameful illiteracy.

And with a gesture concealed by divine invisibility,
He flourished an act from the realm of impossibility:
He extinguished his mortal life and local existence;
He doused his suffering, and gave him a new dawning.
With divine affection, a soft white wind awoke
And enshrouded the hopeless hunter with smoke.

Estrechas fuentes de sudor erosionaban su cara
A pesar del frío del norte de Laponia.
Caminaba, el gran cazador, como si tuviera
Pies de plomo hundiéndose en la nieve profunda.

Estrechas fuentes de sangre coloraban su cara:
Con la cabeza pesada e hinchada--pegada.
Debilidad impedía su caminar rastreado
En la larga noche invernal del norte.

Perdido en un dibujo infinito sin color
La ansiedad de fallecer le traía dolor.
Fue empujado por el pavor de convertirse
En escultura del invierno inclemente.

Se volvió ferinamente, el rifle empuñado;
Había entendido una voz moldeando
Palabras familiares--tartamudeando...
No veía ninguna esencia... ni una fantasma...
No atrevió tirar, para inyectar paura
Ya que le faltaban pertrechas y de hambre moría.

Voces y voces, y más voces
Sonaban el timbre de su conciencia
Más decires. ¿Qué decires? ¡Qué decires!
¿Se volvía loco? Un miserable temblando...
Y de repente tiró, y de susto cayó...

Esas voces, ¡qué dulces! ¡qué suaves!
Esas voces, ¡qué ocultas! ¡qué tramposas!
Como el aliento del bosque que, entre los árboles, canta
Una antigua canción de cuna para toda la fauna.
Como un alud que se hincha mientras murmura
Una oración y envuelve con afecto materno,
De una manta angélica, los muertos del cerro.

Quedó sumido en la nieve entiendo el cante grave
Que se repetía al infinito: un eco sombrío...
Los brazos ñangos, los ojos mojados,
Su rifle bajado en sus muslos exasperados.

Y aunque estos ruidos de fuente desconocida
No dibujaran jeroglíficos iluminados
Que murmurían discretamente traducciones,
Sin saberlo, lo vivía todo,
Menos estas palabras pasivas, que boyaban:
Es usted la lingüista que Ayer me dijo
Que la intimidad con un idioma
Es un gozo, una delicia, un sortílego
Que se obtiene en cuatros etapas fijas:
Que primero, se lo habla;
Que secundo, en él, se
sueña;
Que tercero, en él, se enamora;
Y que cuarto, en él, se escribe poesía.

Sepa que dejé entrar el río de tu lengua
Y le permití, a la niña que llevó,
Jugar y explorar mi laberinto idealista.
Y sacó sus primeras palabras y luego
Se puso a hablar por mi—este niña de mi cerebro.

De noche empezó a soñar con color y ardor.
¡Que sueños tuvimos en su mundo lingüístico!:
De inocencia, de amor, de traición y de muerto,.
Soñamos con todo, y sobre todo con su vuelto,
Mi amor, mi lingüista.

¡Qué amor te tengo! por la chica que me di(ste).
De los en los cuales alenté, es tan diferente:
Gracias a usted he descubierto
La creación de mis hijas y hijos:
Mis ojos divinos que abrió, mi amor sabio.

Y por usted he plasmado este poema en su idioma
(Esta tragedia que orquesté
Cuya mitad solo conocerá
Porque su cabeza, en un pe
ñasco eché
Para quebrar su motor ligüística

Para volatilizar su quid seráfico)
Con la lengua--la hija--de su herencia
Que di, hombre generoso y honroso,
A un Dios, el vergonzoso analfabeto.

Y de un gesto invisible, le hizo un acto imposible:
Le cortó la vida mortal, y su existencia local
Apagó su sufrimiento, y le di otro nacimiento:
Con afecto divino despertó un viento blanco
Y éste abrazó el cazador desesperado.



I originally wrote the poem in Spanish so I decided to enclose the original


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