I'm always amazed by the sometimes wise, sometimes witty, sometimes tragic and occasionaly downright hilarious things the characters of Babylon 5, past and present, say. There's a little bit of everything here, as in B5 itself- wit and wisdom, great humor and equaly great tragedy, and at its heart, an incredible story. Some of these were taken from the ISN quotes page, and the quotes are accurate as far as I remember them, though one of these days I'm going to grab my tapes and go back to check.
"I was there, at the dawn of the Third Age of Mankind. It began in the Earth year 2257 with the founding of the last of the Babylon stations, located deep in neutral space. It was a port of call for refugees, smugglers, businessmen, diplomats and travelers from a hundred worlds. It could be a dangerous place, but we accepted the risk because Babylon 5 was our last, best hope for peace. Under the leadership of its final commander, Babylon 5 was a dream given form, a dream of a galaxy without war, when species from different worlds could live side-by-side in mutual respect, a dream that was endangered as never before by the arrival of one man on a mission of destruction. Babylon 5 was the last of the Babylon stations. This is its story."- Londo Mollari, series opening monologue. ISN says this is from The Gathering, but I'm pretty sure it actually comes from In the Beginning.
"As far as I'm concerned they can sit out there for the next solar year. If it makes you feel any better I can send them a fruit basket."
- Laurel Takashima, The Gathering.
"On my world, there are books, thousands of pages, about the power of one mind to change the universe. But none say it as clearly as this."
- Delenn on the station's Japanese stone garden, The Gathering.
"Do you know why I am here? I'm here to grovel before your wonderful Earth Alliance, in hopes of attaching ourselves to your destiny, like... what are those fish called on your planet that attach themselves to sharks?"
"Yes. You make very good sharks, Mr. Garibaldi. We were pretty good sharks ourselves, once- but somehow, along the way, we forgot how to bite. There was a time when this whole quadrant belonged to us! What are we now? Twelve worlds and a thousand monuments to past glories, living off memories, stories, selling trinkets. My God, man, we've become a tourist attraction! See the great Centauri Republic, open 9 to 5, Earth time."
- Londo Mollari and Michael Garibaldi, The Gathering.
"Plain old human stubbornness, I guess. When something we value is destroyed, we rebuild it. If it's destroyed again we rebuild it again. And again, and again, and again. Until it stays. That, as our poet Tennyson once said, is the goal, 'To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.'"- Jeffrey Sinclair, The Gathering.
"Commander, please. On the issue of galactic peace, I am long past innocence and fast approaching apathy. It's all a game- a paper fantasy of names and borders. Only one thing matters, Commander. Blood calls out for blood."- Londo Mollari, Midnight on the Firing Line.
"I will confess that I look forward to the day when we have cleansed the Universe of the Centauri and carved their bones into little flutes for Narn children. It is a dream I have."
"Be careful, Ambassador. Not every dream I've heard lately ends well for you."- G'Kar and Jeffrey Sinclair, Midnight on the Firing Line.
"What reasonable explanation is there for the slaughter of unarmed civilians?"
"Curious, we wondered the same thing when you invaded our world. The wheel turns, does it not, Ambassador?"- Londo Mollari and G'Kar, Midnight on the Firing Line.
"The last time I gave an interview they told me to just relax and say what I really felt. Ten minutes after the broadcast I got transferred to an outpost so far off the starmaps you couldn't find it with a hunting dog and an ouija board."- Jeffrey Sinclair, Infection.
"We have to stay here, and there's a simple reason why. Ask ten different scientists about the environment, population control, genetics and you'll get ten different answers, but there's one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on. Whether it happens in a hundred years or a thousand years or a million years, eventually our Sun will grow cold and go out. When that happens, it won't just take us. It'll take Marilyn Monroe and Lao-Tzu, Einstein, Morobuto, Buddy Holly, Aristophanes... and all of this... all of this was for nothing unless we go to the stars."- Jeffrey Sinclair tells a reporter why going to the stars and staying there is always going to be worth the risk, in Infection, which is one of the weaker eps of the first season, but these words are so very true. Even here and now, they're true.
"It's all so brief, isn't it? Typical human lifespan is almost a hundred years, but it's barely a second compared to what's out there. It wouldn't be so bad if life didn't take so long to figure out. Seems you just start to get it right and then...it's over."
"Doesn't matter. If we lived two hundred years, we'd still be human. We'd still make the same mistakes."
"You're a pessimist."
"I am Russian, Doctor. We understand these things."- Dr. Stephen Franklin and Susan Ivanova, Infection.
"My orders were quite specific: you are to know pain, you are to know fear, and then you are to die at the required hour."- Tu'Pari, Narn assassin sent to kill G'Kar, The Parliment of Dreams.
"With luck, they may never find you, but if they do, you will know pain..."
"...and you will know fear..."
"...and then you will die. Have a pleasant flight."- G'Kar and Na'Toth bid a fond fairwell to their new friend Tu'Pari after reminiscing about the fun they had getting the drop on him, giving him a taste of his own medecine, kicking the crap out of him, and breaking his silly human-style glasses, in The Parliment of Dreams.
"Ambassador, it is not my place to speculate on how anything gets in your bed."- Na'Toth, G'Kar's aide, Parliment of Dreams. She's talking about the flower left by a member of the Narn assassins' guild, to warn their future victim to get his affairs in order, but maybe it's funnier out of context. I certainly think so.
"These are my three wives: pestilence, famine and death. Do you think I married them for their personalities? Arranged marriages every one, but they worked out, they inspired me. Knowing that they were waiting at home for me is what keeps me here, 75 light years away."- Londo Mollari, The War Prayer. You've gotta love this. The wife he calls "famine" is Timov, which spelled backwards is... :)
"Ambassador Kosh has been a busy boy today."
"They say God works in mysterious ways."
"Maybe so, but He's a con man compared to the Vorlon."- Michael Garibaldi and Jeffrey Sinclair, Deathwalker
"You and the rest of your kind take blind confidence in the belief that we are monsters- that you could never do what we did. The key ingredient in the serum cannot be synthesised; it must be taken from living beings. For one to live forever, another one must die. You will fall upon one another like wolves. It'll make what we did pale by comparison. The billions who live forever will be a testimony to my work, and the billions who were murdered to buy that immortality will be the continuance of my work. Not like us? You will become us. That's my monument, Commander."- Jha'dur, called Deathwalker, Deathwalker. Just an avarage run-of-the-mill brilliant war criminal specializing in bioweapons. If only she could have used her powers for good. Too bad the Vorlons toasted her. ;)
"No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow. What? Look, somebody's gotta have some damned perspective around here. Boom. Sooner or later- BOOM!"- Susan Ivanova, Grail
"You talk like a Minbari, Commander. Perhaps there was some small wisdom in letting your species survive."- Neroon to Sinclair, Legacies. A somewhat ironic statement, considering who Sinclair is...
"Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations. Ivanova is God. And if this ever happens again, Ivanova will personally rip your lungs out. Babylon Control out. [Sigh] Civilians. [Looking up] Just kidding about the God part- no offence."
- Susan Ivanova recites the Babylon 5 Mantra, A Voice in the Wilderness, part I
"Now, landing thrusters... landing thrusters. Hmm. Now if I were a landing thruster, which one of these would I be?"- Londo Mollari, A Voice in the Wilderness, part II. Or, Fun with Near-Death Experiences, aka Look Out, Londo's At The Wheel.
"I know, I know. It's a Russian thing. When we're about to do something stupid, we like to catalogue the full extent of our stupidity for future reference."- Susan Ivanova, A Voice in the Wilderness, Part II
"Right now, I want to introduce you to the ultimate means of interstellar understanding. The Earthers call it poker."- Londo Mollari to Lennier, The Quality of Mercy
"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. Then you accept it, or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking into mirrors."
- Londo Mollari, Chrysalis
"I've had this feeling lately that we're standing at a crossroads - and I don't like where we're going."
- Jeffrey Sinclair, Chrysalis
"And as far as I'm concerned, the transports can wait until the SUN EXPLODES! And if you're not happy with the seating arrangements I will personally order your seats to be moved outside, down the hall, across the station and into the fusion reactor. Am I absolutely, perfectly clear on this?"
- Susan Ivanova, Points of Departure.
"It is now 8 days since the death of Earth Alliance president Louis Santiago, and 5 days since Commander Sinclair was recalled to Earth without explanation, and the whole place has gone straight to hell..."- Susan Ivanova, Points of Departure.
"I can only conclude that I am paying off karma at a vastly accelerated rate. Security chief Michael Garibaldi remains in critical condition in Medlab. Dr Franklin's done all he can, but we still don't know if he'll recover. As for ambassador Delenn, well something's going on in her quarters, that's for sure."- Susan Ivanova, Points of Departure.
"It was an early earth president, Abraham Lincoln, who best described our situation. 'The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise to the occasion. We cannot escape history. We will be remembered in spite of ourselves. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honour or dishonour, to the last generation. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, our last best hope of Earth."- John Sheridan, Points of Departure. And so Sheridan's habit for dramatic speeches and pep talks begins. He does them well, and yet sometimes the whole 'great statesman' thing gets to me.
"While I'm worrying about that, roll this one around in your head. Shooting a senior officer is an act of treason and mutiny. The penalty is spacing. They put you in an airlock, seal it and open the space door. You spend the next five minutes chewing vacuum until your lungs turn inside out, your eyeballs freeze and your heart explodes. It's the worst kind of death you can imagine, and when that day comes, I'll be there to push the button."
- Michael Garibaldi to one of his own security guys, who shot him in the back, Revelations.
"Ambassador Delenn remains indisposed."
"Indisposed! She's in a cocoon!"
- Lennier and Londo Mollari, Revelations.
"Weep for the future, Na'toth. Weep for us all."
"Are you all right?"
"I have looked into the darkness, Na'toth. You can not do that and ever be quite the same again."- G'Kar and Na'Toth, Revelations.
"I am Vir Cotto, diplomatic attache to Ambassador Londo Mollari of the Centauri republic. I am told by the people running that way that this is where I could find the technomages. I am here on behalf of Ambassador Mollari and I need to speak to someone who is in charge... Obviously it would be at your earliest convenience."
- Vir Cotto, The Geometry of Shadows.
"We are dreamers, shapers, singers and makers. We study the mysteries of laser and circuit, crystal and scanner, holographic demons and invocations of equations. These are the tools we employ and we know many things..."
Elric, The Geometry of Shadows. One of my absolute all-time favorite minor characters. Elric taught Galen, the technomage of Crusade.
"There is a storm coming, a black and terrible storm. We would not have our knowledge lost or used to ill purpose. From this place we will launch ourselves into the stars. With luck you will never see our kind again in your lifetime. I know you have your orders, Captain. Detain us if you wish, but I can only ask you to trust us."
- Elric to Sheridan, The Geometry of Shadows.
"You don't frighten easily."
"I work for Ambassador Mollari. After a while nothing bothers you."
- Elric and Vir Cotto, The Geometry of Shadows.
"I can give you something for the pain."
"Oh, great, now you can give me something for the pain. Where were you when I was going through puberty?"
- Dr. Stephen Franklin and Susan Ivanova, The Geometry of Shadows.
"Oh, I'm afraid you have to spend the rest of your life paying for your mistakes. Not this one, of course, it's trivial, I have withdrawn the spell, but there will be others."
"What are you talking about?"
"You are touched by darkness, Ambassador. I see it as a blemish that will grow with time. I could warn you, of course, but you would not listen. I could kill you, but someone would take your place. So I do the only thing I can; I go."- Elric and Londo Mollari, The Geometry of Shadows.
"The universe puts us in places where we can learn. They are never easy places, but they are right. Wherever you are is the right place, at the right time. Pain sometimes comes. It is part of the proccess of constantly being born."- Delenn, A Distant Star.
"Then I will tell you a great secret, Captain, perhaps the greatest of all time. The molecules of your body are the same molecules that make up this station, and the nebula outside, that is born in the stars themselves. We are starstuff. We are the universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out. As we have both learned, sometimes the universe requires a change of perspective."- Delenn to Sheridan, A Distant Star.
"I'll gain weight!"
"Well, briefly, yes."
"Figures. All my life I've fought against imperialism. Now, suddenly I am the expanding Russian frontier."
"But with very nice borders."
- Susan Ivanova and Stephen Franklin, A Distant Star.
"An old friend of mine once quoted me an ancient Egyptian blessing: 'God be between you and harm in all the empty places where you must walk.'"- John Sheridan to Zeta Squadron, before they set out to rescue the aforementioned old friend and his explorer ship from hyperspace in A Distant Star.
"Do you have any idea why I started getting these... odd cramps?"
- Delenn seeks to understand some of the finer points of becoming a human-Minbari hybrid in Soul Mates. One really does have to wonder how poor Susan found a way to answer this one.
"What's he hiding, Vir? Tell me. I won't bite, Vir."
"With all due respect, Madame, that's not what I've heard."
"All right, that one time."
"Twice."- Timov, one of Londo's wives, and Vir Cotto, in Soul Mates."What do you want?"
"I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I'd look up at your lifeless eyes and wave like this. Can you and your associates arrange it for me, Mr. Morden?"- Morden, the Shadows' human agent asks his usual question of Vir Cotto, who has a very unique answer, In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum.
"No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by the force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand. The Centauri learned this lesson once. We will teach it to them again. Though it take a thousand years, we will be free."
G'Kar's parting speech to the Babylon 5 Advisory Council in The Long, Twilight Struggle.
"You are a creature who has received pain, and given pain, and taken too much joy in its application. You have aspired to dreams and been disappointed because you were not strong enough, or worthy enough, or right enough. So you lash out at anyone who believes they can make a difference because it reminds you of your own failure. You have to prove they are just as bad, just as flawed as you are."
- Delenn, Comes the Inquisitor.
"This body is only a shell. You cannot touch me. You cannot harm me. I am not afraid."
- Delenn, Comes the Inquistor.
"How do you know the chosen ones? No greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his brother. Not for millions, not for glory, not for fame... for one person. In the dark. Where no one will ever know or see."
- Sebastian, Comes the Inquisitor.
"I apologize. I'm...sorry. I'm sorry we had to defend ourselves against an unwarranted attack. I'm sorry that your crew was stupid enough to fire on a station filled with a quarter million civilians, including your own people. And I'm sorry I waited as long as I did before I blew them all straight to hell. As with everything else, it's the thought that counts."- Sheridan isn't too happy about having to apologize to the Centauri, and practiced delivering this little speech just before somebody, very likely the Centauri who got off the transport car before him, tried and almost succeeded in blowing him up in The Fall of Night.
"It was the end of the Earth year 2259, and the war was upon us. As anticipated, a few days after the Earth-Centauri treaty was announced, the Centauri widened their war to include many of the Non-Aligned Worlds. And there was another war brewing closer to home, a personal one whose cost would be higher than any of us could imagine. We came to this place because Babylon 5 was our last, best hope for peace. By the end of 2259, we knew that it had failed. But in so doing, it became something greater. As the war expanded, it became our last best hope... for victory. Because sometimes, peace is another word for surrender. And because secrets have a way of getting out."
- Susan Ivanova, The Fall of Night.
"Not many fishes left in the sea. Not many fishes, just Londo and me. Not many fishes left in the sea. Not many fishes, just Londo and me."
- G'Kar sings a little song after he and Londo end up stuck in a lift tube in Convictions.
"There, you see! I'm going to live."
"So it would seem. Well, it's an imperfect universe."
"You are insane!"
"And that is why we'll win."
"Go be the ambassador to Babylon 5 they say. Will be an easy assignment. Ah, I hate my life."
"So do I."
- Londo and G'Kar, still stuck in the lift at the end of Convictions. I love this scene.
"If I live through this job, without completely losing my mind, it will be a miracle of biblical proportions."
"Well, there goes my faith in the Almighty."
- Susan Ivanova & Lieutenant David Corwin, A Day in the Strife.
"I don't want to get killed because of a typo. It would be embarrasing."
- Ivanova, A Day in the Strife.
"I carry my sword in my hand. You carry yours in your heart and in your mind. As I see it, that gives you a two-to-one advantage in arms. Be fair, citizen G'kar."
- Ta'Lon speaks to G'Kar in A Day in the Strife.
"I was just surprised to see you, that's all. Do you know, that I was thinking about you just the other day. My extremely overpaid sources told me that you had been seen arriving here in a Vorlon transport. Now, they are profoundly unreliable pool of information on the best of days, so I said: 'No, it can not be her. The Vorlons do not pick up hitch-hikers. Not even one as attractive as you. Besides, if it were you, surely you would come by and say hello to your old friend, Londo."
- Londo is a bit surprised to see Lyta Alexander in Passing Through Gethsemane.
"Delenn tells me that you are going to try contacting the First Ones. It is a magnificent idea. A daring and splendid idea. In doing so you will see things no human has seen before. It will be fun. Assuming you are not vaporised, dissected, or otherwise killed in an assortment of supremely horrible and painful ways. Exciting, isn't it?"
- Draal shares his unique brand of enthusiasm with Sheridan in Voices of Authority.
"I asked for Captain Sheridan."
"I don't like surprises."
"Really? I love them myself. I mean, to me everything is a surprise. You're a surprise, this place is a surprise. You see this? Paper-cut, hurts like hell. Anybody else would be upset, but to me it's just one more wonderful surprise. I mean, I even surprise myself sometimes. Now, I guess there's nothing wrong me surprising you? Right?"
"Hahhahaha. I like you. You're trouble."
"Well, thank you. It's the nicest thing anybody has said about me in days."
- Draal meets Ivanova in Voices of Authority. Look out, world.
"I think you just hit a nerve. Vorlons must owe them money or something."
"This also tells us they understand our language. They're just not willing to talk to us using it."
"Who knew they were French?"
- Marcus Cole & Susan Ivanova in Voices of Authority.
"The Minbari taught me: 'Claim victory in your heart and the Universe will follow.'"
"Fine, great. Claim victory in your heart and up your-"
- Marcus Cole & Susan Ivanova banter back and forth in Voices of Authority.
"Zog? What do you mean zog? Zog what? Zog yes, zog no?"
"It's leaving. My guess is zog means no."
"Like hell. I am not letting them leave here without saying yes."
"Really? And how do you propose stopping them? Perhaps a big red and white sign with the word 'Stop' on it? I know- I'll put a bucket on my head and pretend to be the ancient Vorlon god Booji."
"Fine, I'll get a bucket."
- Ivanova & Marcus, some more witty banter, Voices of Authority.
"This is the White Star to departing ship. I just want to say I appreciate your response, and I fully understand. The Vorlons said that you wouldn't be up for a fight like this. In fact they said in the last war, they carried you, did most of the work, while you took most of the credit for it. They said that if you got involved in this one, you'd just get hurt. Come to think of it, we've got the Vorlons. We don't need much more help, do we? I mean, the Vorlons are really pretty close to perfect."
- Ivanova taunts the Walkers of Sigma 957 in Voices of Authority.
"The book of G'Quan. Read it. We'll talk afterwards."
"Uh...I don't read Narn?"
- G'Kar shows up at Garibaldi's quarters in the middle of the night with a large book in Voices of Authority.
"He hates me. They all hate me. That's why they're doing this. To make... me... crazy."
- Garibaldi to himself after G'Kar wanders off in Voices of Authority.
"He's too strong. They're always too strong. Damn it, John. There's always too many of them and not enough of us. What am I supposed to do?"
"Fight them without becoming them."- Neither Susan Ivanova nor John Sheridan is really looking forward to the arrival of Alfred Bester in Dust to Dust.
"Far be it from me to try and talk you out of your paranoia, Captain. You choose not to trust me. Well, that's sad, and unfortunate. But unlike the rest of you, I have no intention of letting it get into the way of my work. Doctor. Trust, Captain. You should try it some time."
- Alfred Bester replies to Sheridan with his usual irony and sarcasm, while offering his arm to Dr. Franklin to recieve an injection of sleeper drugs that will inhibit his telepathic abilities for the duration of his stay in Dust to Dust.
"I'm here to save your butts. Next time, show a little gratitude."
- Bester, Dust to Dust.
"My blood is the same color as yours. And what I do, I do to protect Earth, same as you. You don't like how I do it, that's your prerogative. But there are things going on out there that you know nothing about. Threats to the human race that no one never hears about, because we stopped them. There are dangers all around us. And whether you like us or not, we may be all that stands between you and the abyss."
- Bester to Garibaldi, Dust to Dust.
"I thought the sleepers kept you from scanning anyone."
"So, how did you know he was lying?"
"Well, the odds were good that he was lying about something. Liars are always afraid that somebody is going to see through them. So, I just provided him with a vehicle for his paranoia. Your captain's opinions notwithstanding, the badge and a uniform do have certain...advantages."
"Absolutely. Just like... your badge and... your uniform."
- Garibaldi and Bester in Dust to Dust.
"Londo, the Minbari are very lovely people, interested in culture, and art-"
"Decadent, and soft. Probably out to impose their views on everyone else."
"But their cities are thousands of years old."
"The lack of new construction is a sure sign of a faltering economy. This could make them very aggressive."
"They are deeply spiritual people, Londo."
"That you can leave in. It always scares people."- Vir and Londo discuss Vir's report on the Minbari in Dust to Dust.
"If I had my talent working, I could've warned you when he was coming."
"And if I had a baseball bat, we could hang you from the ceiling and play piņata. I still think I should've gone straight to G'Kar."
"We have no evidence that he made the sale yet. Why annoy the Narn without cause if we are wrong? Shut off the problem at the source and the rest attends to itself. A piņata, huh? So, you think of me as something bright and cheerful full of toys and candy for young children. Thank you! That makes me feel... much better about our relationship."
- Bester and Garibaldi, still not getting along in Dust to Dust.
"There are three of them with guns against two of us with nothing. They'll gun us down before we get half across the room."
"All we need is one of them to leave the room. Then there will be only one man with the gun."
"Excuse me, where I come from, one man from three leaves two."
"Where I come from is a far more interesting place."- Stephen Franklin and Marcus Cole have some conflicting ideas about how to get out of a sticky situation in Exogenesis.
"I sense in her a key, as yet unturned."
"And what exactly does that mean?"
"I don't know. But I should think it would be fascinating to find out."
- Marcus & Stephen discuss Marcus's crush on Ivanova in Exogenesis.
"One from three leaves one."- Marcus Cole, Exogenesis.
"You see that tube on the corner of the table there? That's a medical scanner, the Copeland J5000, very advanced. I was bringing it to him. You need to get it to him immediately. I know, I know, why should you believe me? It could be a weapon or something. Check it out yourself. Just look into the open end, yeah, then shake, shake it twice firmly to activate the scanner."
- Marcus Cole convinces a not too sharp bad guy to pick up his recessed pike and activate it in Exogenesis. Wasn't a medical scanner after all. Who knew?
a place where no shadows fall