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 Message
    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: Well, then, maybe I'll do both....
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 2/1/1992 2:01:00 PM  

  << Newer  : List :  Older >>

No Thread 


Well, then, maybe I'll do both. A little shorter than the last one
(which was SUPPOSED to be short itself, but once I get typing, I lose all
perspective).

As stated, Commander Jeffrey Sinclair is the titular head of BABYLON 5.
His concerns, though, tend to be more broad in scope...acting as the informal
representative of the Earth Alliance, dealing with questions of policy and
procedure, and keeping an eye on the Ambassadors.

As a result, the day-to-day operations of the station are handled by Vice-
Commander Laurel Takashima. (In case Sinclair is incapicated or off-station,
Laurel is also empowered to take his place on the Council and speak for the
TopE.A. Laurel can usually be found in the B5 Command and Control Room (also
referred to as the Observation Dome), where ships are coming and going,
keeping an eye on who's going where. All departments report directly to her,
and she is answerable only to Sinclair and Earth Central. If, as happens
early on in "The Gathering," a ship's crew refuses to submit to a weapons
search (a requirement for coming aboard B5), she has the authority to lock
them out. (To one complaining ambassador, she stands firm on this, though
noting, "I'll be happy to send them a fruit basket if it'll make you feel any
better. But other than that, they can sit out there for the next solar year
for all I care.")

She has considerable interaction with the ambassadors and others coming
aboard the station. All day-to-day operations are very much her purview.

Laurel is a rarity among the B5 crew, in that she is one of the few
actually born on Earth. (Sinclair was born on the Mars colony, for instance.)
Thus, she has strong roots on Homeworld, which gives her a perspective that's
quite important at times. She's tough, and smart, and resourceful (conning
one of the hydroponics guys into setting aside a couple of planters on the QT
to grow coffee beans...very much against policy, but if you report her, you
can't have any). She has a long-standing relationship with an off-world
mapper who works for the E.A., but is gone quite a lot of the time. She can
also take care of herself physically QUITE well.

On the other end of the spectrum is Ambassador Londo Mollari, of the
Centauri Republic. Londo is the most human of all the various ambassadors,
and there's some speculation that we might be a long forgotten outpost of the
Republic.

Of course, the only ones MAKING that assertion are Londo's people, who
have much to gain in trying to convince others of that.

For a thousand years, the Centauri Republic was a force to be reckoned
with. Like the English empire once upon a time, it held hundreds of planets
in its control. It was a great military power. But slowly, as can happen,
they grew content, and lazy, and gradually their own empire began to slip
between their fingers. A world deciding to go rogue was troublesome, to be
sure, but it's SO far away, and it's SUCH a bother to go take care of it, when
we can easily get the same things from other places...let them go. They'll
come crawling back sooner or later.

As a result, they are now down to a Republic that consists of barely a
dozen systems and thirty worlds.

It was, interestingly enough, the Centauri Republic that was Earth's
first contact with another major government. The CR was well in advance of
Earth science, and we all considered them a terrible power...an illusion they
hardly tried to set right. Trade agreements were set up, and we gained an
ASTONISHING amount of technical know-how in a very short time, letting us leap-
frog a hundred years of progress in a single year. They were most curious to
get cultural stuff in return...music, art, philosophy, literature..."native"
trinkets that could be resold for more money back on homeworld.

In the thirty or forty years since then, however, we've found out the
truth, that the CR is really on its last legs. And we've taken the technology
we've gotten and perfected it, and now the Earth Alliance is fast becoming one
of the dominant forces of this time. And the Centauri Republic is trying to
attach itself to us the way a ramora attaches itself to a shark...for
preservation, in this case.)
Laurel can usually be found in the B5 Command and Control Room (also
referred to as the Observation Dome), where ships are coming and going,
keeping an eye on who's going where. All departments report directly to her,
and she is answerable only to Sinclair and Earth Central. If, as happens
early on in "The Gathering," a ship's crew refuses to submit to a weapons
search (a requirement for coming aboard B5), she has the authority to lock
them out. (To one complaining ambassador, she stands firm on this, though
noting, "I'll be happy to send them a fruit basket if it'll make you feel any
better. But other than that, they can sit out there for the next solar year
for all I care.")

She has considerable interaction with the ambassadors and others coming
aboard the station. All day-to-day operations are very much her purview.

Laurel is a rarity among the B5 crew, in that she is one of the few
actually born on Earth. (Sinclair was born on the Mars colony, for instance.)
Thus, she has strong roots on Homeworld, which gives her a perspective that's
quite important at times. She's tough, and smart, and resourceful (conning
one of the hydroponics guys into setting aside a couple of planters on the QT
to grow coffee beans...very much against policy, but if you report her, you
can't have any). She has a long-standing relationship with an off-world
mapper who works for the E.A., but is gone quite a lot of the time. She can
also take care of herself physically QUITE well.

On the other end of the spectrum is Ambassador Londo Mollari, of the
Centauri Republic. Londo is the most human of all the various ambassadors,
and there's some speculation that we might be a long forgotten outpost of the
Republic.

Of course, the only ones MAKING that assertion are Londo's people, who
have much to gain in trying to convince others of that.

For a thousand years, the Centauri Republic was a force to be reckoned
with. Like the English empire once upon a time, it held hundreds of planets
in its control. It was a great military power. But slowly, as can happen,
they grew content, and lazy, and gradually their own empire began to slip
between their fingers. A world deciding to go rogue was troublesome, to be
sure, but it's SO far away, and it's SUCH a bother to go take care of it, when
we can easily get the same things from other places...let them go. They'll
come crawling back sooner or later.

As a result, they are now down to a Republic that consists of barely a
dozen systems and thirty worlds.

It was, interestingly enough, the Centauri Republic that was Earth's
first contact with another major government. The CR was well in advance of
Earth science, and we all considered them a terrible power...an illusion they
hardly tried to set right. Trade agreements were set up, and we gained an
ASTONISHING amount of technical know-how in a very short time, letting us leap-
frog a hundred years of progress in a single year. They were most curious to
get cultural stuff in return...music, art, philosophy, literature..."native"
trinkets that could be resold for more money back on homeworld.

In the thirty or forty years since then, however, we've found out the
truth, that the CR is really on its last legs. And we've taken the technology
we've gotten and perfected it, and now the Earth Alliance is fast becoming one
of the dominant forces of this time. And the Centauri Republic is trying to
attach itself to us the way a ramora attaches itself to a shark...for
preservation, in this case.
They are governed by an emperor, and the government works mainly through
personal and family influence. It's a very indulgent society, and Londo
reflects that. Overweight, prone to gambling constantly (null-pool is his
favorite), and fond of women and drinks, he understands his role and doesn't
try to push it. Like his Republic, he subsists on old stories and tales of
former glory, remarking -- one night, when drunk -- "my god, we've become a
tourist attraction. See the Great Fallen Centauri Republic, open nine to
five...Earth Time." He is, by turns, a comic figure, and a tragic figure.


jms

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