B5 pilot The Gathering

Minbari Mondays, The Gathering, and the 1st Year of the 5th Station

This is the continuation of our fictional letter (reviewing each film and episode of Babylon 5) that I receive each week from Ranger Mayann.

Here is her second report:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa, Greetings from Tuzanor:

I said that I would explain two of our ancient institutions:  the Minbari caste system, and the Anla’Shok, or the order that you Humans call the Rangers,  in my next report.  You will now need to know something about the Warrior Caste, which you will see mentioned in the incident I  describe in this report.  So I will begin by telling you what you need to know about them, now that you need this information.

We Minbari have three castes: Warrior, Worker, and Religious.  Each of these castes has a different function, in our society, and dresses accordingly.

That is what you need to know, at this time, about the Minbari Caste system.  As for the Rangers, all you need know at this moment is that we carry messages in the darkest and most difficult of places, where no others will go.  You, on Earth, are in a difficult place, right now, and so I bring these messages to you, in the hope of adding to the light.

And now, for the incident in question, the reason for this, my second report.

During the first year of operation of the fabled space station Babylon 5, The One who was known as Commander Sinclair, was at the head of this, the last of The Babylon stations.  He had under his command a Lieutenant Commander named  Takashima, a young woman who had worked hard after she learned the value of order and discipline, to come to serve under Commander Sinclair when it went online.  That was during your Earth year 2257.

This report centers around an incident related to justice, but not only to the sort of judicial process of rendering justice, about which you will hear in the report.  My hope is that you will see what lies at the heart of the incident, and take this meaning to heart.

This, my second report, will describe what may have been the most important incident to occur during the first year of operation of the Babylon project, aboard your Earthforce station Babylon 5.  The incident brings together some old faces, and some new names.

Then Ambassador Mollari reported that he was there at the Dawn of your third age, in this first year of operation of your Earthforce station in 2257.  This last Babylon station was located in neutral space for travelers, diplomats, and business negotiators.  He called it a “dream given form” despite being a dangerous place where all accepted the risk, because it was our galaxy’s last, best hope for peace.    That dream of a galaxy without war, given the form of this space station, is the dream of many visionaries.   This last Babylon station was the only station to have operated during our time.  We will speak of another Babylon station which operates in a different time period later, when you need to know about it.

Leaving aside certain shocking cross species dating problems, there was also a problem involving technology, smuggling, and telepaths.  Commander Sinclair was required to meet the new resident telepath sent by what will,  for a time, be called your PsyCorps, and he had the first opportunity to show his metal on the station. He acquitted himself well, while Lieutenant Commander Takashima dealt with Ambassador G’kar who was, at that time, not yet very enlightened.

This incident revolves around the arrival of Ambassador Kosh, the final ambassador to arrive as part of Babylon 5’s Advisory Council which is like your current United Nations Security Council.  The commander, in his sympathy for a new arrival to the station, even took the time to explain to the telepath, Lyta Alexander, that this particular station is called Babylon “5” because the previous four Babylon stations each, apparently, met a bad end.  When asked by Satai Delenn, acting as the Minbari ambassador to the station, why you Humans insisted on rebuilding each lost station, he answered with the words of your Earth poet Tennyson, saying that:

“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield,” are the point of human endeavor.

At that point no Human, and very few others, had ever seen a Vorlon.  Little was known about the Vorlons, even by us, the oldest of the space-faring races.  Our Satai Delenn, serving as ambassador on the Babylon 5 Advisory Council, did know more, however, and helped Commander Sinclair both with a nugget of self understanding, as well as with a file, containing information about the Vorlons. Unfortunately, in the sad events that followed this donation of information, our government didn’t act as well as Satai Delenn did in that moment.  While she was forced, in the course of these events, to teach G’kar a bit more respect, she disregarded his attempts to persuade the new telepath to donate genetic material to the Narns.  Satai Delenn, restricted by her role as ambassador, was unable to reign in many of G’kar’s unhealthy activities. In the later events, your resident telepath, Lyta Alexander, was misled, and manipulated, partly through the ongoing and shameful actions of G’kar in this matter.  Nevertheless, “the Universe knows what it is doing.”

As Ambassador Kosh lay between life and death, Ambassador G’kar acted as prosecution in the trial of Commander Sinclair.   He also managed to manipulate the Centauri vote on the jury as we Minbari stood by and watched.  To our deep shame.

As our Minbari Federation abstained, on the grounds that Ambassador, rather than Satai Delenn, was there strictly to observe Commander Sinclair, a great wrong was accomplished.  That wrong took years to correct.

This incident shows us how very much growing room each of the ambassadors had at that time.  And you will see later how much they did indeed grow, each of them.  As did Commander Sinclair.

In this incident, Commander Sinclair also learned something crucial that we Minbari had already known: the commander was missing memories because we left a hole in his mind.  By way of partial compensation however, Delenn did provide Commander Sinclair with a full record of our Warrior who caused this particular incident. Not quite restitution, but a beginning, since Satai Delenn would never tell her old friend Commander Sinclair anything that was not in his best interest…

From the city of  Tuzanor, on Minbar

Earth year 2278,

Anla’Shok Mayann

That was part 2 of Ranger Mayann’s letter: her second report on the history of the Babylon Project,  can be seen from another point of view by watching the Babylon 5 pilot  The Gathering, which I highly recommend.

Ranger Mayann’s first report can be read here.

-Shira

Action Items:

1.) Share your thoughts on the Minbari caste system, if you will.

2.) Share your first imaginings about the Rangers, if you like.

3.) Share your thoughts on how we Human Beings might start to build a more fully inclusive society for all of us , and whether we would need the Rangers after that

4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

ShiraDest

February, 2021 CE = February 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 67/67 , and the most recent lesson 1/67…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Free copies are available at https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

13 thoughts on “Minbari Mondays, The Gathering, and the 1st Year of the 5th Station

  1. Really nice way to look at the story. I think the different societal structures the alien races have is somewhat synonymous to us here on Earth, and was something of a call for understanding each other in the face of Western Imperialism in most of the 20th Century. This country is fighting the validity of multiculturalism so much from the conservative right-wing, I don’t know if it would ever be possible to achieve understanding of one another.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, coolness! Thank you, Patti!
      I am so glad that you like the format: I was trying to find a new way to review something that I am pretty sure has been reviewed thousands of times! 🙂
      I agree about the different societal structures, and on that call for understanding.

      I think, or at least I hope, that the current fight going on in our country against multiculturalism is a bit like that of Mollari and Lord Reva: a last ditch effort (hopefully without the rather blood-chilling results of the blood-thirsty and inter-stellarly illegal backlash) to ‘have it all back, the way it was’ as the dying gasp of a passing Epoch.

      I am certain of this: understanding will come, one way or another, sooner or later.

      I just hope that it comes not born of violent regret. We don’t have to learn this lesson the hard way, but as we are currently headed, we may be bearing witness to what will be “born in pain,” rather than of love. But we still have to keep trying the way of love.

      Sorry for my rant, and thank you for your very cool comment! I am so ‘chuffed’ that you like my format!! 🙂 I was worried that it might have been just a fun waste of time.
      Stay safe, Patti, and thank you, once again! 🙂
      -S.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You hit the nail on the head, although it’s coming up in future episodes with Londo. I was rewatching it myself and thought how many aspects of his story resonate differently now (after the last four years particularly) than they did when I watched it over the years. It’s really great when a story is timeless like that. Straczynski is a genius as far as I’m concerned.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you, Patti, and it does resonate differently now, after a cycle of events that I think rather few of us thought possible, at least 5 years ago. Knowing that such feeling was out there, somewhere still, but not expecting that it could be harvested and activated as it has been.
          I does show his genius, I agree, in both the timelessness and ability to entertain while carrying such important topics. Absolute genius, and tenacity in getting it out there on the air.
          His faith in the importance of that work, even though this particular film/pilot/episode is far from being my favorite, shows through in each part of the work. I just hope I can do my little bit to help pick up that work and keep carrying it in a way that will inspire someone else to pick up the banner in some other way.
          “The truth” may point “to itself,” but I think it needs help to be kept alive long enough to do that pointing, sometimes.
          Thank you, Patti, for helping me to keep this part of the genius of Babylon 5 alive!

          Safe Air Hugs, if you want them at this moment,
          -Shira

          Liked by 3 people

  2. I was also going to comment that this is not my favorite episode, by far, and I often simply skip it when I rewatch B5. I’m still not sure how much of the plot I should give away, when I write these reviews.
    -Shira

    Like

  3. Satai Delenn spoke of the power of one mind to change the universe.

    When a culture becomes divisive and resistant to change, it takes belief in that power of change, which can change the entire culture for the good of all.

    For we are all bound to each other in this galaxy.

    Valen go with you all.

    Liked by 1 person

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