Episode 7: Tantalus.
April 22nd 2258.
Micheal O'Hare as Commander Jeffery Sinclair.
Jerry Dole as Security Chief Michael Garibaldi.
Jurgen Prochnow as Roland Anderson.
Brenden Gleeson as David McCollugh.
Fisher Stevens as Rasheed Isanda.
Robert Foxworth as General Hague.
Ed Wasser as Mr. Morden.
Scott Bakula as Captain Jake Cunningham.
Juaquin Phoenix as Lt. Jean-Paul Barbeau.
Morgan Freeman as Captain Elias Mebuto.
(Yes, we spent most of the budget on this episode. heh
The episode starts with Ben Noble in Commander Sinclair's office, speaking to the Commander and Mr. Garibaldi. After an Earthforce investigation that has cleared his name, he is being reinstated fully to active duty. The money deposited to his account by Home Guard terrorists has been removed by EarthForce intelligence.
His first assignment is to take a briefcase containing sensitive documents to the new Tantalus station ( see www.chrisncate.net/chris/cursetantalus.html
Mr. Garibaldi suggests that perhaps Rathenn, the Minbari who assisted in breaking up the illegal auction in alien artifacts a few weeks back go along as well, as they both work well together.
Commander Sinclair informs Ben that the EAS Pegasus is arriving sometime tomorrow to take him Tantalus.
Ben informs Rathenn, who agrees providing that Roland Anderson is not going to have need of him. They contact Anderson and give him the basic rundown and that they will be off station for a while. Anderson takes an interest in the mission but does not push too hard despite his obvious interest. He says that he has no need of their services just yet.
The next day, the EAS Pegasus arrives to take them to Tantalus. Captain Mebuto welcomes them aboard and has them assigned quarters for the jump. Rathenn uses the onboard computer to check the details of the EAS Pegasus, and its history, but finds nothing that seems relevant.
The next day the Captain contacts them to say the Pegasus has arrived. Ben and Rathenn come up to the bridge just in time for the Pegasus to enter through the jumpgate.
As it does so, another vessal shimmers into local space! It looks like an old model Minbari scout but its hull is an odd black-gray.
OOC: Here I used A Call to Arms to play the fight between the Nova class EAS Pegasus and the Minbari Heavy Scout. Both players enjoyed this, which was cool.
The fight was brutal. In the end, the Minbari vessel was destroyed, but the Pegasus had lost its engines to several well placed shots by the enemy. Support vessels had to come out from Tantalus to tow the Pegasus home.
The Tantalus station was a former Centauri mining outpost that has been recently leased from the Republic by Earthforce who seek a presence this far out, closer to the League Worlds. Located in a backwater system, it seems more like dull assignment. As the Pegasus is towed in, the characters notice that scaffolding covers most of it, and maintence crews are making repairs or replacing parts.
Their shuttle lands in the EA section of the station, located near the top of the pyramid, where they are met by Captain Cunningham and his aide Lt. Barbeau. After brief introductions, they retire to the Captains quarters where they discuss the attack. Already, maintence bots are bringing in what little debris survived the destruction of the scout vessel.
When Ben hands over the briefcase, it is empty with no sign of the documents. A full search of the Pegasus is ordered, but nothing is found and during the battle, the location of everyone onboard can be confirmed. Where there any documents in there to start with, and is that connected with the attack?
Then the Captain hits Ben with the shocking news that he has been reassigned to the Tantalus station. At Ben's request, Cunningham sends a message to Earth Central to verfy that transfer orders. Lt. Barbeau has quarters assigned to both Ben and Rathenn.
The two of them then decide to check out the station. According to the station schematics there are two levels sealed several years ago by the Centauri before they abandoned the station. Curious, they investigate but find all entrances to those two levels have been sealed up. Rathenn, hacks the computer files remaining, and learns that the Centauri sealed them under undisclosed biohazard conditions. A disturbing revelation, and one that they bring to the Captain.
He explains that this was a mining station up until seven years ago when the Quatium 40 in the system was used up. Now that the Earth Alliance want the station, the Centauri have returned in small numbers, and he has been assigned a Centauri Liason Officier who should be arriving in the next few days. The Centauri did explain before hand that those two levels had been sealed and should never be opened. As long as the EA wants control of the station, Cunningham is willing to go along with that so long as it does not pose a risk to the inhabitants of the station.
Since Ben has assigned here, Rathenn asks if he can earn his keep in any way. Cunningham thinks it over and suggest the role of a commercial telepath. Since this is not officially an EA outpost, the Psi Corps won't supply a telepath. Rathenn agrees and asks for a uniform.
Ben asks that camera footage of the the fight be sent to B5 and Ambassador Delenn in case they can shed some light on the attack. Confirmation on the transfer orders come through, which Ben is not happy about. He also recieves a message from General Hague informing him to sit tight until he can find out why he has been reassigned.
The next day Anderson contacts them to express his apologies that they were relocated, but hopes this won't be a problem in their working relationship. He seems a little concerned about it, but doesn't say so however.
A couple days later, a courier from Delenn arrives with a package for Rathenn. With Cunningham's agreement, they give the courier some of the wreakage to take back as well in case they can ID the ship.
The package is an old Minbari religious tome, that speaks of the Shadowsouled - Minbari who sided with the Shadows in the last Great War. Altered by them, they acted as agents of chaos, but vanished shortly after the war. Could this be who attacked them? Rathenn does not explain to Ben or Captain Cunningham who the Shadows are, instead saying that these "Shadowsouled" are alien raiders, using captured ships to raid isolated worlds.
Cunningham has put some thought into Ben's position on the station - he already has more security than he really needs - and suggests that Ben work as an agent for him dealing with anything relating to station security off world, and perhaps looking into this Shadowsouled situation. He agrees, and Cunningham authorises both Ben and Rathenn full access to the Earth Alliance areas of the station.
We see Mr. Morden standing before a vidscreen, though we cannot see who he is talking to.
"Anderson's puppet survived the attack on his ship, but he is now assigned to a corner of space where he won't be a problem anymore, Mr. Vice-President."