Confessions and Lamentations
Don't look away, Captain. All life is transitory, a dream. We all come together in the same place, at the end of time. If I don't see you again here, I will see you, in a little while, in a place where no shadows fall.
It's a bad time for the Markab, one of their ships is overdue and missing and four of them have died in three days. Franklin is examining one with a Markab colleague of his while Ivanova sends Zeta Squad to find the ship.In the meantime, Delenn has invited Sheridan to a Minbari meal. He's appreciative, until he finds out how ritualistic the dinner is, eventually falling asleep.As Zeta Squadron locates the ship, they find that there are lifeforms aboard, but no life signs. Everyone on it is dead. They bring the ship back, and Franklin readies a full medical team to go over the ship but the doctor from before, Lazarenn, tries to stop them. He doesn't want non-Markab aboard, but Franklin realizes that the people on the ship, and the four dead Markab on the station all died from the same thing. Lazarenn explains that it is one hundred percent terminal and one hundred percent contagious.The entire Markab population is in danger and Franklin demands to know why they were trying to keep it a secret. They call it the Drafa, and it supposedly only strikes the immoral, something that is a great stigma among the Markab. When it broke out nearly a year ago, they were hesitant to talk about it, and have been unwittingly spreading it among themselves.Somewhere on the station, a little Markab girl finds her father, and is horrified when he falls over dead.Franklin briefs the command staff on what they know, but what they don't know is more worrying, how far has it spread, and, more importantly, can it cross species? Sheridan wants answers and orders the station quarantined until this is solved.The quarantine causes a panic and frightened people begin venting their frustrations on the easiest targets, the Markab. As the Markab are brought in and tested, the Markab ambassador protests to Sheridan that his people are moral, and when Sheridan refuses to give in, he decides they will withdraw from the rest of the population. Franklin then calls with more bad news; the plague is airborne and a dead pak'ma'ra has just been found.As the ambassador herds his people into a sealed area, Franklin tries to find someone to perform an autopsy on one of the dead Markab. He's about to go in himself when Lazarenn offers to do it. He will perform the autopsy and then stay in the hermetically-sealed isolab, where, if he becomes infected, they will be able to monitor the disease's progress from the start.Delenn approaches Sheridan and asks permission to enter the quarantine area. There are people in need there, and she wants to help. Sheridan is reluctant, but eventually agrees when she points out that if they can't fix this, then before much longer they will be in the same position. As she leaves he asks that when she comes out she call him John. She smiles then walks out.As She and Lennier are admitted with a group of Markab, Franklin and Lazarenn are talking in Medlab, Franklin telling him about the Black Plague and comparing the means of trying to deal with it to the Markab isolating themselves, saying "Nothing changes," when the Markab suddenly collapses. He's contracted the plague. In the quarantine zone, Delenn encounters the girl from earlier, who is looking for her mother. She asks Lennier to go and find her. In Medlab Franklin is running every test he can think of while Lazarenn describes the symptoms he's experiencing when the results of the pak'ma'ra autopsy come in: it was the plague, it's jumped species.Delenn is trying to comfort the girl and tells her a story from her own childhood, of when she was separated from her own parents and found solace in a Minbari temple until they found her. As she finishes her story, Lennier comes up with the girl's mother. She runs over and embraces her, then nearly collapses.Franklin is desperately trying to find a connection between the Markab and pak'ma'ra when Lazarenn succumbs to the plague. Moments later a match is found. He quickly creates a vaccine and rushes it to the quarantine zone, but it's too late. Delenn and Lennier stand a midst a room of Markab bodies and slowly walk out. Sheridan asks if there are any survivors and Lennier says they are all dead. He leaves but Delenn, turns to Sheridan and begins crying into his shoulder.Later she congratulates him for finding a cure, but he credits Franklin. Franklin is currently in the Zocalo watching a news report that the Markab as a race have for all intents and purposes been wiped out. A bartender tries to make jokes, but Franklin walks off in disgust, muttering, "Nothing changes."
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