The Gathering background

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Eryx
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The Gathering background

Postby Eryx » Fri Jun 18, 2004 9:16 pm

I'm working on writing the background to a B5 campaign that will run
parallel to the pilot and series. I'm trying to tie some show events
into the campaign background.

Firstly, what I want to do is analyse the pilot and see what comes
up. One thing that I'm trying to fathom is the following:

---------------
(Taken from Lurkers Guide website)

When the assassin scans his hand at Varner's door, words are visible
on the screen. If you have a lucid pause function on your VCR, you
too will be able to read what they say - "Laurel Takashima Cleared".

---------------

Was Takashima in on the conspiracy or was her access code used to
access Varnar's quarters?
If she was in on it, why was she in support of Sinclair? Or was she
just operating under orders, and again considering she wanted to
work within the system now, would she go along with that?
However, if it was just a case of someone accessing her code, how
did they get it?

Any thoughts and comments on this? or on the conspiracy?

thanx
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Postby Mongoose Si » Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:14 pm

From what I remember reading somewhere, Takashima was originally meant to be the traitor invovled in the assasination of the President at the end of season one.

However, since the actor did not carry on the role after the pilot, Garibalis second in command took over the role of the traiter.
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Postby Eryx » Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:16 pm

Yes, thats right.

What I am trying to do is the events of the Gathering into the background of my campaign. So any ideas?
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Postby Eryx » Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:14 am

Ok, I've just finished watching the special edition of The Gathering to refresh my memory, and heres the issues I'd like to hear thoughts on.

1. The Minbari that the Narn sneak on board, is his task to assassinate Kosh, or use that as a means to get at Sinclair?
2. The Narn arrange for a Tech Smugglar (whom they have used themselves) to get a Changling Net for the assassin so he he can blend in.
3. The Minbari uses Takashima's access code to enter Varner's quarters. Was she involved in some way? Or did the assassin get the code through some other means?
4. Did Takashima allow the pod to arrive undetected, or did the pod have some stealth tech onboard?
5. Is Takashima responsible for the "malfunction" that prevents Sinclair reaching the docking bay on time? Was it a malfunction or did she/someone shut it down and then erase the records from the computer?


My current thoughts are that the Minbari warrior caste would be aware of the reason for the surrender at the Battle of the Line. So, a renegade Minbari group (perhaps the Trigoti?) seek to remove Sinclair as some kind of retribution. (Really not sure on this at the moment. Would make more sense if Sheridan was captain of the station). They target the Vorlon ambassador as this brings the wrath of the Vorlon Empire down upon Sinclair.

I think that G'Kar is playing both sides against the middle somehow. Perhaps he contacts one of his old contacts in the EA from the Earth/Minbari war and offers them an opportunity to study a Vorlon (Earth really can't say no to that) in return for a little assistence. Someone in authority privately contacts Takashima and tells her to allow the pod to land, and to shut down the turbolift preventing Sinclair from getting to the docking bay. Although she wants to work within the rules and not pull this sort of thing anymore, I assume that she is offered and gets her own command following this. Hence the reason Ivanova is assigned to the station. Plus if she's gone, its not likely that Sinclair would learn from her what happened.

As well, as Dr Kyle getting called back to Earth (where they hope to get his information on the Vorlon), Psi Corps also wins out because they have Lyta's scan on Kosh.


What I'm trying to do is tie this all into the background of the Fiery Trial, specifically Fernadez.

So, with that, any more ideas or comments? Thanx.
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Postby Vorlon Servant » Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:37 am

Here is my understanding of it.

1. The Minbari that the Narn sneak on board, is his task to assassinate Kosh, or use that as a means to get at Sinclair?
His task was to assassinate Kosh and blame Sinclair. At the very least that would remove the man who was ultimatly responsible for the Minbari surrender, and at most would start a war between the Humans and the Vorlons, which would finish what the Minbari started in destroying the humans.
2. The Narn arrange for a Tech Smugglar (whom they have used themselves) to get a Changling Net for the assassin so he he can blend in.
Yes.
3. The Minbari uses Takashima's access code to enter Varner's quarters. Was she involved in some way? Or did the assassin get the code through some other means?
Originaly she was involved but you could say the code was stolen since nothing ever came of it.
4. Did Takashima allow the pod to arrive undetected, or did the pod have some stealth tech onboard?
It was a stealth pod droped from the nearby ship.
5. Is Takashima responsible for the "malfunction" that prevents Sinclair reaching the docking bay on time? Was it a malfunction or did she/someone shut it down and then erase the records from the computer?
If you say she was involved then it was all her doing (or was it?). If you say it wasn't her then someone else must have. That was no malfunction.
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Postby Eryx » Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:38 pm

wraith wrote: His task was to assassinate Kosh and blame Sinclair. At the very least that would remove the man who was ultimatly responsible for the Minbari surrender, and at most would start a war between the Humans and the Vorlons, which would finish what the Minbari started in destroying the humans.
I hadn't thought of it as finishing the war. Hhmm...

What I think I will do is go with the idea that Takashima was told to do what she had to (see my above thoughts) but she did her best to clear Sinclair and assist the investigation to try and cover her own part and make good.

Now I need to find a tie from all this to Fernandez from Fiery Trial. The only idea I had there doesn't quite work really.


Spoiler for Fiery Trial






I had written down in my notes something about the events of the Gathering causing some diplomatic incident, and with all that someone has to take the fall. Due to Anderson paying off Fernadez' direct boss she gets the boot. But why her specificially?
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Postby frobisher » Sat Jun 19, 2004 2:42 pm

Eryx wrote:3. The Minbari uses Takashima's access code to enter Varner's quarters. Was she involved in some way? Or did the assassin get the code through some other means?
It should be noted that it's a palm print scan that is used to open the door to Varner's quarters... It was Takashima...
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Postby Eryx » Sat Jun 19, 2004 5:00 pm

It is a palm print scan, but we know its not Takashima.

Why would she be dressed as a Minbari, speak with a masculine voice, and shot Varner?

Unless somehow the Changling Net can get that good a scan that it could fool the computer?
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Postby lastbesthope » Sat Jun 19, 2004 5:03 pm

frobisher wrote:
Eryx wrote:3. The Minbari uses Takashima's access code to enter Varner's quarters. Was she involved in some way? Or did the assassin get the code through some other means?
It should be noted that it's a palm print scan that is used to open the door to Varner's quarters... It was Takashima...
Or that somehow they faked her palm scan...

Or someone hacked into the station records and planted their palm scan in Takashima's records, easiest way too break security is to try and break it only a bit . . .

I prefer my first idea.

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Postby Mongoose Si » Sat Jun 19, 2004 9:18 pm

I don't quite see it that way.

As I said, JMS original idea was for Takashima to be a traitor so I'm pretty sure she was behind a lot of what happened - her access code, the malfunction in the lift and most likely the pod. I've definately read this somewhere but can't remember where!

Secondly, very few Minbari (mainly Grey Council) know the exact reason for the surrender at the battle of the line, so not many would know of Sinclairs involvement. I think this is explained in the first episode of season 2.

Well, that's my thoughts on it. As to how to link this in with Fernandez in the Fiery Trial, well that's a tough one...
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Postby Natxomann » Sun Jun 20, 2004 3:13 am

Only those Minbari that were part of the Grey council , and perhaps the telepath that erased Sinclair´s memory of his capture and interrogatory by the council , knew the true reason for the Minbari surrender , but a lot of Minbari (and specially a lot of warriors) on board Valen´tha (the grey council ship) knew that Sinclair was captured and interrogated by the council , which in some way was connected to the inmediate surrender to the humans . After that , the human in question had his memory erased and was liberated , but the council had him under some level of permanent (although very discreet) vigilance . Although thhe warriors knew not the real reason for the surrender , they knew that Sinclair was somewhat related to it , and that he had no memory of what happened ("you have a hole in your mind") at the line . Add to that the fact that Sinclair (as Sheridan) was one of the most successful of Earthforce combatants during the war , and is easy to comprehend why some factions within the warrior caste hate him , and would do almost anything to bring him down (as they tried to do the good ol´ smiling Johnny during season two) .
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Postby Mongoose Si » Sun Jun 20, 2004 10:17 am

Natxomann wrote:and that he had no memory of what happened ("you have a hole in your mind") at the line .
Good point - I'd forgotten that the Minbari mentioned the hole in his mind.
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Postby PottsBr » Mon Jun 21, 2004 3:48 pm

Another point on the Takashima issue, not only was she to be the traitor, but she was not aware of what she was doing. Two characters took her place in the real series. Garibaldi's second took over her role in the assassination of Clark, and Talia took over her role as the deep agent with the imposed personality.

It was this imposed personality which was assisting the Minbari agent. Takashima had no idea she was actually in on the conspiracy and her efforts to clear the commander were based on her loyalty to him and were the actions of her true self.

As for the Minbari, I believe that his whole intent was to start a war between the humans and vorlons. Sinclair was a convenient target. I am, however, puzzeled by the vorlon's reaction to the whole thing. They know the prophesy and know Sinclair is Valen (Kosh actually addresses Sinclair and Entilza Valen when he sees the assassin disguised as Sinclair). What did they have in mind in taking Sinclair back to Vorlon, and would they really have risked everything by destroying the station, or was it all just a bluff to keep the other races from realizing something more was going on. They knew it had happened, so they had to mnake sure it did happen?

What would have made a lot more sense to me is that the Vorlons send some ships as fast as they can and then demand that Kosh be turned over to them so they can treat him. Surely they are a lot more capable of treating him then those cavemen from Earth. As for Sinclair, scan him, determine the truth and move on. Let the humans deal with the assassin.

One impression I have always gotten from the series is that Earth medical technology is very advanced compared to the rest of the younger races. When the Centauri Emporer was dying, they left him in the care of B5, even though his personal cruiser (which undoubtedly had a full medical suite aboard) was just a five minute shuttle ride away. Later, when Delenn is stabbed by the Nightwatch, she is treated in Medlab while three Minbari cruisers orbit the station. If these other races thought they had superior medical facilities, wouldn't they have insisted on using them? Later, Franklin and and an th medical facility are chosen to do the studies on interspecies cross contamination risks for the entire Interstellar Alliance.

Earth may be backwards in many ways, but medicine does not appear to be one of them.
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Postby Eryx » Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:00 pm

The idea of Takashima as the deep cover agent doesn't really work once you have Jack and Talia in the plot, so I'll have to work around that.

Your other ideas are very spoit on though. I think the Vorlons are keeping up appearences really.
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Postby frobisher » Tue Jun 22, 2004 9:43 am

Eryx wrote:The idea of Takashima as the deep cover agent doesn't really work once you have Jack and Talia in the plot, so I'll have to work around that.
Why not? It's noted that Takashima left under somewhat of a cloud in the rule book and it should be noted that Talia isn't aboard until Takashima has left...

I'd take it as an opportunity to develop a plot concerning how she left B5 - give the players enough so that with their (showbased) hindsight they know what she must be, but not enough so that they could put the whole thing together at that point in the timeline.
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Postby Mongoose Gar » Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:09 am

On the Vorlon actions - it could be that not all of them know about the Valen/Sinclair connection. Kosh shows up, goes "Valen, dude, I haven't seen you in ages, glark I'm dying". The rest of the Vorlons go "you've poisoned our ambassador! We, being an elder race of infinite wisdom, shall now blast you into little bits! For your own good!"
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Postby El Cid » Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:39 am

Mongoose Gar wrote:On the Vorlon actions - it could be that not all of them know about the Valen/Sinclair connection. Kosh shows up, goes "Valen, dude, I haven't seen you in ages, glark I'm dying". The rest of the Vorlons go "you've poisoned our ambassador! We, being an elder race of infinite wisdom, shall now blast you into little bits! For your own good!"
Isn't it possible that Sinclair/Valen told Kosh about the assination attempt and that the Vorlons were either acting out their role or Kosh hadn't told them since he knew how things would work out?

Time travel confuses thing. :D

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Postby lastbesthope » Tue Jun 22, 2004 6:59 pm

El Cid wrote: Time travel confuses thing. :D

Sidney
Actually, time travel keeps things in line, it just confuses everyone else.

:? :?: :!:

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Postby Eryx » Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:54 pm

El Cid wrote: Isn't it possible that Sinclair/Valen told Kosh about the assination attempt and that the Vorlons were either acting out their role or Kosh hadn't told them since he knew how things would work out?
But why refer to him as Valen, when at this point Sinclair knows nothing of it?

As we know, what a Telepath sees is subjective, so that could have been what Kosh felt in his mind at the time, and Lyta heard it as Kosh had thought it.
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Postby Eryx » Wed Jun 23, 2004 12:00 am

frobisher wrote: Why not? It's noted that Takashima left under somewhat of a cloud in the rule book and it should be noted that Talia isn't aboard until Takashima has left...

I'd take it as an opportunity to develop a plot concerning how she left B5 - give the players enough so that with their (showbased) hindsight they know what she must be, but not enough so that they could put the whole thing together at that point in the timeline.
I don't know, really. I think that considering we have Jack and Talia onboard to continue that plot, it makes it more interesting from a story view that she was the unwilling partner in all this.

Plus it could make it more interesting should my players actually try and find her to get her side of things. Is she in a position to tell them and give it away, or is whatever happened to her and whats he was told still going to hanging over her?

I had not thought about her being another sleeper agent, but it makes me wonder why this group (assuming that it is Psi Corps mainly as it appears) would place a sleeper agent on B5. What was so special about it that it warrented that action well before Clark and his friends seize power?
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