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Old June 9th 18, 01:55   #1
Raw Shark
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Ship of Tears questions

I was thinking about 'Ship of Tears' the other day, though I haven't seen it in a while. It's a terrific episode, but I have a few questions.



Bester is found in his Black Omega Star Fury near Babylon 5. How did he get there? If he was dropped off by a jump point capable ship, then it most likely would have been detected by the station's sensors, and by patrols. One of the first things we learned about the B5 universe is that jump points being opened are easy things to detect. Black Omegas are supposed to be stealthy, but they're far too small to carry jump point generators. So did he sneak through the jumpgate with another ship, like the Narn pod in 'The Gathering,' or Lennier's fighter in season 5? It seems unlikely that he was dropped off by a Shadow ship, whose hyperspace phasing system might be more difficult to detect. I realize that the point is that he showed up at B5 unexpectedly, and the journey is not always important, depending on the demands of the script.



The Shadow vessel escorting the transport loaded with telepaths in cryo-cylinders saw the White Star, but didn't fire on it. As Ivanova pointed out, they have fired on the White Star before, but they didn't fire once Bester was onboard. Okay, seems plausible, but why is that? Was it afraid of Bester? Was there a telepath inside the Shadow vessel which recognized another telepath and refused to fire? Or did it recognize the telepath on the White Star as being Bester himself, and they're simply not supposed to kill him? The Shadows might have had big plans for him, or not. They did show that they were adept in working with what's available on the galactic chessboard. A highly-experienced P12 Psi Cop is quite a weapon, which they could use. Maybe they recognized that he was working against them, and mulled over the idea of abducting him and using him in a Shadow vessel, but that didn't happen.



The blip, Carolyn, once thawed out, quickly turned Medlab into a very different kind of place, ripping wiring out of the walls and ceiling, and suspending herself in a web of it. She got comfortable in her new, twisted, dark environs, and kept attempting to reach 'the machine,' which might have referred to the Great Eye on Z'ha'dum. Does what she was able to do to Medlab mean she is a telekinetic? It doesn't seem like she made all these changes with her bare hands. And she was naked, so that would make for a lot of wires scratching bare skin, which not everyone is into.



Two of these could be because a tv series doesn't always get into too many details, and instead focuses on telling a really interesting story. But this is Babylon 5, so of course it's worth thinking about.



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Old June 9th 18, 02:47   #2
Looney
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Re: Ship of Tears questions

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Originally Posted by Raw Shark View Post
I was thinking about 'Ship of Tears' the other day, though I haven't seen it in a while. It's a terrific episode, but I have a few questions.



Bester is found in his Black Omega Star Fury near Babylon 5. How did he get there? If he was dropped off by a jump point capable ship, then it most likely would have been detected by the station's sensors, and by patrols. One of the first things we learned about the B5 universe is that jump points being opened are easy things to detect. Black Omegas are supposed to be stealthy, but they're far too small to carry jump point generators. So did he sneak through the jumpgate with another ship, like the Narn pod in 'The Gathering,' or Lennier's fighter in season 5? It seems unlikely that he was dropped off by a Shadow ship, whose hyperspace phasing system might be more difficult to detect. I realize that the point is that he showed up at B5 unexpectedly, and the journey is not always important, depending on the demands of the script.
Okay if I remember correctly he wasn't in B5 space. Didn't he trigger a distress beacon to lure them to him near some other gate? I think I am remembering that correctly and I am too lazy to double check at the moment.


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Originally Posted by Raw Shark View Post
The Shadow vessel escorting the transport loaded with telepaths in cryo-cylinders saw the White Star, but didn't fire on it. As Ivanova pointed out, they have fired on the White Star before, but they didn't fire once Bester was onboard. Okay, seems plausible, but why is that? Was it afraid of Bester? Was there a telepath inside the Shadow vessel which recognized another telepath and refused to fire? Or did it recognize the telepath on the White Star as being Bester himself, and they're simply not supposed to kill him? The Shadows might have had big plans for him, or not. They did show that they were adept in working with what's available on the galactic chessboard. A highly-experienced P12 Psi Cop is quite a weapon, which they could use. Maybe they recognized that he was working against them, and mulled over the idea of abducting him and using him in a Shadow vessel, but that didn't happen.
I don't recall exactly at the moment, but I think afraid of Bester if my memory serves me. I believed his P12 rating was the key thing keeping the ship away. Once they sensed a powerful Telepath they knew they were outmatched.


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The blip, Carolyn, once thawed out, quickly turned Medlab into a very different kind of place, ripping wiring out of the walls and ceiling, and suspending herself in a web of it. She got comfortable in her new, twisted, dark environs, and kept attempting to reach 'the machine,' which might have referred to the Great Eye on Z'ha'dum. Does what she was able to do to Medlab mean she is a telekinetic? It doesn't seem like she made all these changes with her bare hands. And she was naked, so that would make for a lot of wires scratching bare skin, which not everyone is into.
I don't know that telekinesis is exactly what they meant to show. I think you were supposed to think she did the work by hand. Don't forget those implants were driving her and they probably had little concern over her physical body and any superficial damage it received.
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Old June 9th 18, 18:47   #3
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Re: Ship of Tears questions

Great questions!

For the first one, I guess it depends what kind of range B5's scanners have? Maybe he was dropped off by a Psi Corps ship that jumped in a fair distance from B5, maybe as much as a day's flight time in real space?

For your second question, I agree with Looney, I think the Shadow ship was scared of him. Although Bester didn't say he was scanning the ship, you can bet he was, and given that his teep powers were amplified by hyperspace, he was probably disrupting the Shadow vessel without even realising.

Third question... I have no idea. That was a heck of a lot of wiring she was wrapped up in too. Maybe the Shadow implants make her somewhat impervious to physical pain (interfacing with a Shadow ship can't be comfortable, so it would make sense to numb the body first before going in) and give her extra strength?
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Old June 9th 18, 22:03   #4
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Re: Ship of Tears questions

Okay so I went back an double checked. I was wrong. It is a distress beacon from an "outer sector." Given that the space around B5 is huge I assume he came into that sector from outside their scanner range. They picked up a beacon so he could have been dropped off by a larger ship well outside scanner range and patrol radius.

And it is definitely something with Bester. The look on Koenig's face says it all.
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Old June 10th 18, 07:39   #5
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Re: Ship of Tears questions

Weren't the Black Omega Starfuries of a stealth design, developed for PSI Corps and under the supervision of Alfred Bester? In the fifth season we learn that PSI Corps uses a secret fleet of large transport ships in hyperspace (The Corps is Mother, The Corps is Father). We also see the Black Omega Starfury Transports in the season 4 episode "Epiphanies." We never see them use there jump engines, but they are probably jump capable.

I've attached a screen capture from the DVD of the Black Omega Starfuries and their transport from the episode Epiphanies.
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File Type: jpg vlcsnap-8268-02-23-10h30m13s844.jpg (43.4 KB, 6 views)
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Old June 10th 18, 20:46   #6
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Re: Ship of Tears questions

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Originally Posted by Kraig View Post
Weren't the Black Omega Starfuries of a stealth design, developed for PSI Corps and under the supervision of Alfred Bester? In the fifth season we learn that PSI Corps uses a secret fleet of large transport ships in hyperspace (The Corps is Mother, The Corps is Father). We also see the Black Omega Starfury Transports in the season 4 episode "Epiphanies." We never see them use there jump engines, but they are probably jump capable.

I've attached a screen capture from the DVD of the Black Omega Starfuries and their transport from the episode Epiphanies.
Yes thank you for the pic. That is what I meant, he was dropped off by a jump capable ship. I don't recall them being a stealth design though? Anyone else confirm that one?
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Old June 10th 18, 22:02   #7
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Re: Ship of Tears questions

As I recall the Corps Motherships stayed in hyperspace at all times. That probably qualifies as stealth but not design. Apparently we would have seen another in the unproduced Crusade script "Value Judgments".
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Old June 11th 18, 01:34   #8
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Re: Ship of Tears questions

My guess is that Bester came in the slow way to avoid detection: dropped off out of range, then spent a few hours flying closer. But suddenly the "motherships always stay in hyperspace" raises an interesting question. I'm guessing the motherships have their own jump engines so they could get out of hyperspace if they needed to -- so can any jump-capable ships form a jump point and let some other ship go through? It would seem logical, but I can't think of any examples.

Springer, I really like your idea that Bester was disrupting the Shadow ship without even trying. That makes all kinds of sense.

Fascinating that we're just now raising these questions... twenty years later!
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Old June 11th 18, 02:18   #9
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Re: Ship of Tears questions

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Originally Posted by Looney View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraig View Post
Weren't the Black Omega Starfuries of a stealth design, developed for PSI Corps and under the supervision of Alfred Bester? In the fifth season we learn that PSI Corps uses a secret fleet of large transport ships in hyperspace (The Corps is Mother, The Corps is Father). We also see the Black Omega Starfury Transports in the season 4 episode "Epiphanies." We never see them use there jump engines, but they are probably jump capable.

I've attached a screen capture from the DVD of the Black Omega Starfuries and their transport from the episode Epiphanies.
Yes thank you for the pic. That is what I meant, he was dropped off by a jump capable ship. I don't recall them being a stealth design though? Anyone else confirm that one?
I was referring to the Wikipedia entry on Starfuries.

Quote:
Described as a stealth version of the Starfury by Straczynski,[7] the Black Omega fighters, attached to Psi Corps, first appeared in the season one episode, "Mind War", which originally aired in the United States in March 1994.

This is a minor variant of the Lightwave computer model as the main differences from the original revolve around the texture map being used. For example, the nozzle heads on the front and rear of the main thrusters appear dark and smooth. On others such as the heavy fighter they appear striated. In fact, they too are also smooth. To create the impression of model detailing, Thornton would use a palette of only 128 colours to draw surface details, such as panelling, onto the texture map rather than build it. Lightwave would then dither the maps, and with the rendering software they looked as good as 24 bit colour images. This is one of the techniques Foundation Imaging used to keep things like the polygon count to a minimum in order to produce the ground breaking animations with the limited amount of RAM that the Amiga Computers held.[8]

[7]J. Michael Straczynski (1994-06-02). "Archived reply from jms on Starfury design". JMSnews. Retrieved 2009-12-01.
[8]Paul Bryant. (2008-02-06). "B5Scrolls Interview. Describing the palette of colours used to create textures for 3D models". B5Scrolls. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
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