Crusade: S01E08: Patterns of the Soul

If you’re like me, you have a Pavlovian response to a telephone’s ring. For me I feel the need to end the ringing with a heavy mallet. Why? Because usually its not good news. Too bad both Gideon and Eilerson don’t have the same compulsion. Inter Planetary eXpitdions (IPX) is harassing Eilerson because he hasn’t submitted any useful data on Excalibur’s missions lately.

He tells the gold digging IPX secretary that the next planet they’ll visit is guaranteed to be a gold mine of technology. Or so he thinks, because Gideon received a call from an Earth Force General at the same time telling him to divert from his course to go investigate if another world may have been contaminated by human refugees escaping the Drakh. Gideon doesn’t understand the mission, but reluctantly obeys orders. Yep, they really should have had a mallet ready. Because, there’s nothing of value to anyone there. Just a few dozen earth refugees.

Oh yeah and a hundred or so indigenous backward people. one of the earth colonists approaches a dying local, and tries to tell him that they mean no harm. But the old git just keeps mentioning that the stones say you bring death, a terrible curse, doom, blah blah blah.  When the Excalibur arrives at the planet they begin the first field test of the Plague Shield.

Previously the shield only worked on lab rats, so Gideon et al is hesitant to be the first to try it out. The captain is the first to be shielded, he walks into a foggy room, breathes deep and now he’s good to go for 48 hours. When the crew lands, they aren’t exactly welcomed with open arms. The earth refugees tell them to sod off, claiming that they don’t believe their story, nor do they want to go back to earth.

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The effective group leader, Robert Black, won’t allow them to take blood samples of the 30 colonists. Rather, he offers only his own. His philosophy is that is one of us has it, we all have it. A quick test later in the episode will reveal that they do in fact have the Drakh plague. In the mean time, Dureena is doing what she does best, lurking around. During one of her explorations, she discovers that same old dying man. And much to her surprise, he is of the same species as her! Which is astounding because Dureena is supposed to be the last of her race. Before he dies, he tells her how to reach his village. Upon arrival she is treated with much respect.

The people believe her to be some sort of divine savior. Dureena herself is ecstatic to learn tat she is not the last of her kind. We learn that this lost tribe, were originally slaves many generations ago. Then Alien Nation happened. Their ship was attacked by shadows, and crashed into this world. The hundred or so survivors then created their own tribal society based on what they had from their homeworld. After it has been determined that the plague is on the planet. Gideon send word to the General.

His next orders are to examine the refugees’ ship log, then destroy it. Needless to say Gideon is suspicious. The log revels that they made it out in time. So they shouldn’t have been infected, but they are?! Gideon orders Dr Chambers to investigate their trash pile, for clues. She grudgingly takes on the task. While she is searching through the trash pile, she mutters expletives that are reminiscent of McCoy saying “I’m a doctor, not a ____!” Her investigation is not for nothing. She immediatly finds that their old food supply packages are totally contaminated by the plague. Apparently, someone sold them contaminated food on purpose. The food originated from the Prozeta Corporation. Prozeta is a very powerful artificial food company. Eilerson tells Gideon later in the episode, that they’re too powerful, too connected, to go after and survive.

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Gideon is looking through his own garbage too. Metaphorically of course. He uses someone else’s security codes to find out who the colonists are. He discovers that they are all former Earth Force, no surprise there, and more to the point they worked in bio-weaponry. Or it would be more accurate to say that they are the bio-weaponry. Their bodies have been modified with cybernetic enhancements, to become super soldiers. Gideon realizes that they left earth to escape their past. But Earth Force wants them back for their own perverted reasons, or more specifically Prozeta and their research. Later Dureena and Chambers meet up. Dureena explains the situation, and solemnly Chambers tells her that her people are likely also contaminated. Needless to say, she isn’t happy. But their conversation is cut short when one of the colonist attacks them, and takes Chambers as a hostage.

With that they, and a few others try to make a run for it off the world. Gideon contacts the shuttle, but gets the usual ‘piss off’ reply. In the next scene, Gideon is talking with the General and tells him that they will be unable to take the colonists back to earth. He shows him a video of their conversation, and then the Excalibur destroying the shuttle. WTF? Gideon then says that since the world is still infected, they will set up a buoy telling other ships to stay away. He also talks about the Prozeta connection, which the general quickly dismisses, and promptly ends the conversation. Alright, time for us to learn what happened. After their initial conversation. Gideon tells the colonists to land. They will destroy their shuttle to prevent them from leaving the planet, but the colonists will remain on the planet without any more hassles from earth. They agree, everyones happy, and the General gets treated to a nice light show. 

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At the end of the episode Chambers tells Dureena that her races biology is different from humans, and that the lost tribe only has a year to go. She then promises to double her efforts to find a cure in time.

As a side note, at the end of the episode only four crew members know about the lost tribe; Dureena, Chambers, Gideon and Eilerson. Originally Eilerson wants to tell IPX about them, but grows a conscience at the end, and decides not to. That or he realized what Dureena would do to him if she found out, that he sold out her people

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This Crusade review is © 2004 Ryan Bechtel.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

The BABYLON 5 names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of J. Michael Straczynski, TNT and Warner Brothers, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company. All rights reserved.

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