“Babylon 5 was the last of the Babylon stations. There would never be another. It changed the future … and it changed us. It taught us that we have to create the future … or others will do it for us. It showed us that we have to care for one another, because if we don’t, who will? And that true strength sometimes comes from the most unlikely places. Mostly, though, I think it gave us hope … that there can always be new beginnings … even for people like us.”

— General Ivanova in Babylon 5: “Sleeping in Light”

It seemed fitting.

While Google+ was never a shining beacon in cyberspace, it spanned the period from when social media was still new(ish) and exciting and hopeful, to when we started realizing that the big tech silos — Google, Facebook and Twitter especially — have been creating the future for us, one recommendation algorithm at a time…and it’s a train wreck.

We need to create our own online future.

We need to care about the people at the other end of the connection.

We can find our strengths, and build up others’.

And there can still be new beginnings.

The caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland is totally a Vorlon.

He’s always asking “Who are you?”, has a short temper, speaks cryptically, and when he offers help, he won’t explain it. He relies on an alternate atmosphere supply. And in the Disney version, he even sheds his external skin and reveals himself as a winged being.

I don’t think he was ever named, but I think I should call him Kosh.

We recently watched an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Accession, in which an ancient Bajoran ship comes out of the wormhole carrying a single passenger, who claims he is the Emissary of the Prophets. Kira recognizes his name as a revered poet from hundreds of years ago, one whom every Bajoran studies in school.

There will be spoilers for this 15-year-old episode, so stop reading if that sort of thing bothers you.

Sisko is all too happy to hand over the Emissary job until Akorem gives a speech insisting that the Prophets want Bajor to return to a rigid caste system from their past…something with implications both political (the Federation is less likely to approve their petition for membership, and the First Minister belongs to the farmer caste, not the political caste) and personal (Bajorans start deferring to “higher” castes, and Kira is faced with resigning her position to become an artist).

About halfway through the episode, I came to the following conclusion: Akorem was a fraud, put in place by an organization that wanted to keep Bajor out of the Federation, depose the current leadership, and specifically re-establish that caste system. They’d specifically chosen a figure who would be instantly recognized and revered, but who (as was mentioned early on) had no descendants, and therefore no one to do a DNA comparison against.

That’s not how it turned out, though. In the end, he turns out to be exactly who he claimed to be, just misguided about what the Prophets wanted…which was basically to remind Sisko to do his job as Emissary.

Katie had an interesting thought, though: If it had been an episode of Babylon 5, there’s a good chance I would have been right (or at least close). I was just trying to figure out the story in terms of the wrong show.

Maybe I was thrown off by the mysterious figure from the past who repeatedly asked the Captain, “Who are you?” in a dark part of the station, trying to get him to give the right answer. 😀

I stumbled on “Crusade: What the Hell Happened? vol.1” (released last August) while packing, and wondered what happened to book 2. Apparently I’m not the only one wondering that, because it turns out that the website just posted an update last week, saying:

Volume 2 is still a work-in-progress. We will send out a news alert the moment it is released.

Now there’s timing!

Ever since J. Michael Straczynski started selling his Babylon 5 script book series, I’ve been hoping we’d get a book with the scripts from the spinoff Crusade. Especially the scripts that were finished, but never produced, and would have set up the real story. That whole thing about finding a cure for the Drakh plague before it wiped out Earth? JMS strongly hinted at the time that it wasn’t going to be the main arc, but rather the mission that got the Excalibur out there and exploring, at which point they’d get caught up in the main story.

Two of the scripts were made available briefly on an e-reader site, using a Java applet that was specifically designed to make it as hard as possible to copy and paste anything (and incidentally made it a serious pain to, y’know, read it, which may be why the site is long gone). As I recall, they included a project to reverse-engineer Shadow technology, and the first hints that the Technomages used Shadow tech (before Jeanne Cavelos’ novels fleshed out that connection in detail.)

Anyway, we’re still waiting for the Crusade scripts, but here’s the next best thing: Crusade: Behind the Scenes.

Characters, story, world-building, production issues and design, executive meddling, interviews with the cast and crew, photos, etc.

There’s a note at the end of the write-up:

CRUSADE: Behind the Scenes does NOT contain any of the show’s scripts. It is a compilation of interviews and images. The Crusade scripts, including those that were never filmed, will appear in J. Michael Straczynski’s forthcoming 3-volume series, “CRUSADE: What the Hell Happened”

Sadly, given the title, I suspect the script books are a joke. But who knows? Stranger things have happened with B5.