G’Kar:There are things in the universe billions of years older than either of our races. They are vast, timeless…and if they are aware of us at all, it is as little more than ants. And we have as much chance of communicating with them as an ant has with us. We know; we’ve tried. And we’ve learned that we can either stay out from underfoot, or be stepped on.Catherine Sakai:That’s it? That’s all you know?G’Kar:Yes. They are a mystery. And I am both terrified and reassured to know that there are still wonders in the universe—that we have not yet explained everything. Whatever they are, Miss Sakai, they walk near Sigma Nine-Five-Seven, and they must walk there…alone.
— “Mind War” – Babylon 5, Season 1 (1994)
Tag: Babylon 5
Marcus Cole:I am a Ranger! We walk in the dark places no others will enter! We stand on the bridge, and no one may pass! We live for the One! We die for the One!
— “Grey 17 Is Missing” – Babylon 5, Season 3 (1996)
“You need one more thing,” Elric said.
“I can’t fit another thing,” Galen said, turning to face Elric.
Across his open palms, Elric held a staff. Given during the welcoming ceremonies that ended the convocation, a staff or other gift of magic was a teacher’s acknowledgment that his apprentice had become a mage. Elric nodded.
Over four feet long, the staff was a lustrous black, with golden etchings of circuits in finest filigree. It fit perfectly into Galen’s hand, warm and smooth and balanced, as if a new limb had sprouted there.
“Associate,” Elric said.
Galen looked to the chrysalis on his table, found that it was missing a small piece from the end of its “tail.” Elric had incorporated it into the staff, making the staff a part of Galen, an extension of him. The staff was a combination of the advanced tech of the Taratimude, which powered the staff and connected it to him, and the technology currently within the power of the mages, with which various tools had been built into the staff.
Galen closed his eyes and focused on it, visualized the equation for association.
It awoke, echoing his equation. A subtle vibration of energy slipped into him. The vibration was echoed back by the implants, echoed again by the staff. The echoes came faster, growing stronger and sharper, reflecting back and forth like the ringing of a bell in a bell tower, swelling in rapid reverberation. His mind raced. He didn’t know if he could control it. Wild energies could escape. Elric could be injured. Elric could be disappointed. Galen must figure out how to prevent that. Galen must not allow that….
And what was happening to him?
The energy from the chrysalis had combined with the undercurrent from the implants to produce a surge of nervous anticipation, as if he’d been injected with adrenaline. He’d read of this effect—parallelism, they called it—and knew that mages became accustomed to it, over time.
He recited the prime numbers, silently, deliberately. The orderly progression echoed back to him, calming him. The vibration remained, yet its intensity lessened.
The staff was now a part of him, a new limb. A menu of options appeared in his mind’s eye, reflecting the more traditional part of the staff’s technology. He studied the possibilities. It could control, hold, and channel energies. It could observe; it could record. It could destroy itself, if he deemed necessary.
He closed his eyes, carefully visualizing the equation to dissociate. The connection broke, the vibration died. His limb went to sleep.
Yet the undercurrent of energy from the implants felt stronger than ever. Galen realized he had begun to grow accustomed to it. Now that he was attuned to it, he began to realize how truly strong it was, a resonance more intimate and subtle than that with the chrysalis, one that was quickly becoming a part of him. It was restless and powerful, quick to respond. No wonder mages got in so many fights. He must control it, always.
“In time, you will feel more comfortable with the staff,” Elric said.
Galen nodded, holding the smooth, sleeping surface away from his body. “Thank you.”
“You will find it unnecessary under most circumstances. Yet it can be helpful when a sophisticated channeling of energy is needed.”
— Casting Shadows, chapter 7
Elric turned his stern gaze on [his apprentice].
“As a group we seek wisdom. As individuals we can be eccentric, peevish, perverse, opinionated—apt to take offense upon small occasions. Act with restraint. Be courteous. We get along best at great distances from one another.”
“Every convocation has its confrontations, its challenges. You’ve been sheltered in the past. Once you’re initiated as a full mage, you won’t be under my protection any longer. Others may challenge you, to test your powers or prove their own. Do not rise to the fool’s challenge to be a fool yourself….”
— Casting Shadows, Chapter 1
Michael Garibaldi:He’s lying. I can tell.Jeffrey Sinclair:Everyone lies, Michael. The innocent lie because they don’t want to be blamed for something they didn’t do, and guilty lie because they don’t have any other choice. Find out why he’s lying; the rest will take care of itself.
— “And the Sky Full of Stars” – Babylon 5, Season 1
Elric:…We are dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers. We study the mysteries of laser and circuit; crystal and scanner; holographic demons and invocation of equations. These are the tools we employ, and we know many things.John Sheridan:Such as?Elric:The true secrets. The important things. Fourteen words to make someone fall in love with you forever. Seven words to make them go without pain. How to say good-bye to a friend who is dying. How to be poor. How to be rich. How to rediscover dreams when the world has stolen them from you….
— “The Geometry of Shadows” – Babylon 5, Season 2