THE MOLLARI GROUP

[Drum and trumpet fanfare. The camera shows five figures arranged in a semi-circle. From left to right: Delenn, John Sheridan, Londo Mollari, Kosh Naranek, and G’Kar. Kosh stands; the others are seated.]

VIR COTTO (off-camera): From Babylon 5, it’s “The Mollari Group,” a live and unrehearsed program bringing you political insights and predictions from the galaxy’s most knowledgeable insiders![Cut to recorded sponsor’s credit.]

ANNOUNCER: Interplanetary Expeditions is proud to be a supporter of “The Mollari Group.” I.E.–we bring good things back to life!

[Return to live broadcast.]

COTTO (off-camera): Here is your host, Londo Mollari!

MOLLARI: Issue One! “Terra Infirma?” Since the death of President Luis Santiago and the inauguration of President William Clark–or is it Morgan Clark, I can never remember which–Earth Alliance has shifted dramatically in its stance toward interplanetary affairs. The Clark Administration has declared its top priority to be domestic issues, not galactic diplomacy. Incidents of hostility toward non-Humans on Earth continue to increase. Opinion polls even show that a growing number of Humans favor cutting off all expenditures on the very space station from which we are broadcasting! Is Earth Alliance about to yank the welcome mat off its interstellar doorstep? I ask you, John “Starkiller” Sheridan!

SHERIDAN: Londo, did someone bean you with a de-orbiting crowbar? We’re in the process of building the future. That’s what Babylon 5 is all about–making people understand that we can hope to create a better galaxy for ourselves, and for our posterity.

MOLLARI: Delenn of Minbar, what does your heart tell you?

DELENN: Ambassador, you seem to be as confused as a color-blind Drazi. The very fact that Earth Alliance accepted our invitation to post the first Human ambassador to Minbar argues for its continued engagement in galactic affairs.

MOLLARI: Kosh “By Gosh” Naranek, what do you say?

KOSH: A rolling stone gathers momentum.

MOLLARI: G’kar G’kar Bo B’Kar, Banana Fana Fo F’Kar?

G’KAR: In my opin–

MOLLARI: Wrong!!! Yes, Captain?

SHERIDAN: A respected leader on my planet–

MOLLARI: You’ve been rummaging in “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations” again, haven’t you?

SHERIDAN: A respected leader on my planet once warned his people against the danger of “entangling alliances.” [Looks at Delenn] Nevertheless, I can think of at least one alliance I wouldn’t mind getting entangled in.

DELENN: Humans share one unique quality–they build communities. Everywhere humans go, they create communities out of diverse, and sometimes hostile, populations. [Looks at Sheridan] Of course, I am not a hostile population.

MOLLARI: I bet you say that to all the station commanders.

G’KAR: I would like to obser–

MOLLARI: Wrong!!!

SHERIDAN:

MOLLARI: What’s the matter, Captain? A fox in your throat?

SHERIDAN: Is there any orange juice here?

MOLLARI: Orange juice? Never touch the stuff! But we do have a fine brevare mixed with some fresh G’Quan Eth seeds.

G’KAR: What!?!

DELENN: Here, John, renew your throat with some Minbari red-fruit.

SHERIDAN: Delicious! And pulpy, too!

DELENN: Taste of it, for I bring you renewal. Taste of it. This is the death of pain. Taste of it, and be not afraid. For I am with you to the end of time. Taste of it.

KOSH: And so it begins.

SHERIDAN: Thank you, my little Valen-tine.

MOLLARI: Could we get back to the discussion, please? Or do you want to exchange rings, too?

G’KAR: Mollari, if Delenn has brought a ring with her, I sincerely hope she will show it to you. At great length!

MOLLARI: We have to move on. Issue Two! “The Narn Regime: Threat or Menace?”

G’KAR: What!?!

[The broadcast cuts to another studio.]

SUSAN IVANOVA: We’ll be back to “The Mollari Group” in just a few minutes, but first, let me remind you all that this is Pledge Week on the BabCom Channel! Hello, I’m Susan Ivanova, and I’m speaking to you from Pledge Central. As you know, in this era of government cutbacks, your pledges make the difference in determining whether the BabCom Channel can continue to bring you high-quality programming. Right now the volunteers at our Pledge Desk are standing by to receive your transmissions. None of them is on line at the moment, so give them a call and make your membership pledge now.

[No activity at the Pledge Desk.]

IVANOVA: Perhaps you’re asking yourself, “Why should I support the BabCom Channel?” Well, here’s what one contributor has to say about that.

STEPHEN FRANKLIN: Hello, I’m Stephen Franklin, and like many of you, I’m a devoted fan of the BabCom Channel. After a hard day in MedLab,
I like to sit back, put my feet up, have a good stim–I mean, a good, stiff drink–and relax with my BabCom favorites. Whether it’s a “Great Performances” concert like “The Three Tenors at Mars-Dome,” or the G’fri Ballet Company’s zero-gravity production of “The Nutcracker,” or a “Mystery” presentation of “The Xon of the Baskervilles,” I know I can count on the BabCom Channel for the most stimulat–I mean, the most exciting broadcasting anywhere in the galaxy. So, please, don’t stim on–I mean, please don’t stint on your pledge. Go to your viewscreen, and make your pledge now!

IVANOVA: Thank you, Stephen! Well, you heard what the doctor ordered– go to your viewscreens, and make those pledges now!

[No activity at the Pledge Desk.]

IVANOVA: Remember, for a basic 200-credit pledge, you’ll receive a one- year subscription to “Chrysalis,” our monthly guide to BabCom programs. For a 500-credit pledge, you’ll also receive a BabCom t-shirt. And for a 1,000-credit pledge, you’ll receive a subscription, a t-shirt, and a lovely green BabCom tote bag. So, come on, decide how much you can contribute, and light up those Pledge Desk viewscreens right now!

[No activity at the Pledge Desk.]

IVANOVA: All right, people, listen up! Faith may manage, but paying the bills around here requires cold, hard cash! Either you start
pledging *right now*, or we’re going to air round-the-clock reruns of “Barney & Friends”!

[The Pledge Desk lights up like a Christmas tree.]

IVANOVA: That’s better! Now let’s listen in as some of our volunteers take your pledges . . .

[The camera pans slowly across the Pledge Desk.]

TALIA WINTERS: Hello? Thank you for calling. No, that’s all right, I already have all your pledge information. Good-bye!

MAYA HERNANDEZ: . . . and we’ll have the t-shirt and tote bag delivered to your quarters immediately. What’s that? What! Listen, Ambassador, I don’t care what the Lumati practice is, the t-shirt and the tote bag are *all* that you’re getting!

DRAZI VOLUNTEER: Thousand credits? Good! For thousand, you get magazine, t-shirt, and green tote bag. Not purple, green! Green! Hello?

WARREN KEFFER: What? No, Ambassador, I don’t care what the Lumati practice is, the t-shirt and the tote bag are *all* that you’re getting!

MORDEN: The t-shirt? Of course! What else do you want? The tote bag? Sure, how many do you want? No, you don’t need to make a pledge, we’re happy to provide them! What else do you want?

IVANOVA: Let’s see how they’re doing on “The Mollari Group”!

[The broadcast cuts to “The Mollari Group.”]

G’KAR: Mollari, on the Great Chromosome of Life, you are a recessive gene!

MOLLARI: Wrong!!!

[The broadcast cuts to Pledge Central, where Ivanova has gripped Morden by the lapels and has lifted him halfway out of his seat.]

IVANOVA: . . . and if I catch you giving away any more memberships without getting a pledge, I’m going to take you by the ankles, stand you on your head, plant my feet firmly in your armpits, and use you for a pogo stick! Do you understand me? [The air fills with short, high-pitched noises.] And what’s that noise? Is there a cricket in here? I *hate* crickets!

WINTERS: Yes, operator, I will take an emergency transmission. Yes, Mr. Cotto? Twenty thousand credits if Commander Ivanova does *what*? [Winters looks at Morden.] EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

IVANOVA: [Turns toward camera] What? We’re on the air? Garibaldi, you’re a dead man! Cut to a promo! Now!

[The broadcast cuts to a recorded promotional announcement.]

ANNOUNCER: The BabCom Channel is your channel for the very finest in children’s programming! Be with us Monday at 1100 hours when Mr. Lennier visits the “Sesame Jumpgate” for an episode sponsored by the the Human letter L, the Minbari letter Tra, and the Human number 3.

LENNIER: One tri-lu-mi-na-ry . . .

THE COUNT: Two tri-lu-mi-na-ries . . .

LENNIER: Three tri-lu-mi-na-ries!

ANNOUNCER: And be sure to visit the “Sesame Jumpgate” on Tuesday, when Mr. Mollari teaches Big Bird how to count to six! That’s here, on the BabCom Channel!

[The broadcast cuts to Pledge Central.]

IVANOVA: We’re back. And now, a special opportunity: For the next half hour, if you pledge at the 1,000-credit level, not only will you receive a subscription to “Chrysalis,” a BabCom t-shirt, and a BabCom tote bag, but also you’ll receive this bonus book. That’s right, hot off the presses, you can have your very own, first-edition, hardcover copy of *The Last Dangerous Visions*! So call in your pledges now!

[Winters leaves the Pledge Desk.]

IVANOVA: Talia? Where are you going, Talia? Come back here! Talia, you can’t leave yet! The show isn’t half over! Talia! [Ivanova moves to prevent Winters from leaving.][The broadcast cuts to a recorded promotional announcement.]

ANNOUNCER: Sunday afternoon is for homemakers on the BabCom Channel! At 1430, it’s time for “This Old House.” Join hosts Norm and Steve as they continue converting the old Markab embassy in EarthDome into luxury condominiums. At 1500, Minbari bone-stylist Sassoon offers tips on personal grooming on “Lifestyles.” At 1530, “The Victory Garden” shows you how to grow coffee beans the hydroponic way. And at 1600,join “The Frugal Gourmet” as he reveals his time-saving recipes for making Flarn Surprise and other Minbari treats in thirty-six hours or less. That’s Sunday afternoon, on the BabCom Channel![The broadcast returns to Pledge Central. As Ivanova lies dazed on the studio floor, Franklin extracts a Lincoln-head penny embedded in her forehead.]

IVANOVA: I know it’s a Russian thing, but I hate it when I lose control . . .

[The broadcast cuts to “The Mollari Group.”]

MOLLARI: Issue Three! “Grim Rim?” Is there something dangerous out on The Rim? [Delenn and Sheridan exchange worried looks.] For the past eight months, a Narn crackpot who shall go nameless has been running around all of known space claiming a Cosmic Bogeyman has taken up residence in the Z’ha’dum Sector of The Rim.

G’KAR: What!?!

MOLLARI: Notwithstanding the fact that an exploratory vessel that his own government sent to The Rim to investigate this nonsense failed to report anything amiss, this same Narn has cited all manner of primitive superstitions as supposed proof that something shadowy is happening out on The Rim.

G’KAR: Mollari, this is too much! I–

MOLLARI: Wrong!!! The question is this: Is there really anything dangerous out on The Rim, or are all these alarms nothing more than the pathetic delusions of a raving Narn whose mind was permanently unhinged by the childhood traumas of his pouchling toilet-training?

G’KAR: Mollari, I shall carve your–

MOLLARI: Wrong!!! Madame Butterfly of Minbar, what do you say?

DELENN:

MOLLARI: You have nothing to say?

DELENN: Ambassador, I would never tell you anything that was not in your best interest.

G’KAR: But the prophet G’Quan has writ–

MOLLARI: Wrong!!! Captain Smiley?

SHERIDAN:

MOLLARI: What’s the matter, Captain? Owl got your tongue?

SHERIDAN: I’m not thinking what I’m thinking. I’m not thinking what I’m saying. For that matter, I’m not even saying what I’m saying.

MOLLARI: Thanks for clearing that up.

G’KAR: Will you please lis–

MOLLARI: Wrong!!! Kosh “Don’t Panic!” Naranek?

KOSH: *long pause* Beats me.

MOLLARI: All that for two words?

DELENN: He was stuttering.

G’KAR: I tell you, there’s someth–

DELENN\
SHERIDAN-: Wrong!!!
MOLLARI/

G’KAR: I will not be silenced! There’s–

KOSH: Wrong!!!

MOLLARI: Exit question! On a scale of Zero to Ten, where Zero is the metaphysical certainty that the Z’ha’dum Sector of The Rim is utterly safe, and Ten is the metaphysical certainty that it’s the kind of place I’d like to send my wife Timov, how safe is that part of The Rim?

DELENN: Zero.

KOSH: Yes.

SHERIDAN: Zero.

G’KAR: I am not a number! I am a free Narn!

MOLLARI: Wrong!!! The correct answer is Absolute Zero! We have to hurry, everyone. “Predictions”!

DELENN: On her next visit to Babylon 5, ISN reporter Cynthia Torqueman will have a close encounter with a faulty airlock.

G’KAR: Mollari, you will know fe–

MOLLARI: Wrong!!!

SHERIDAN: For the first time in nine years, neither the American League nor the National League Batting Champion will be a Narn.

KOSH: Forty-two.

MOLLARI: Monocles will become the trendy new fashion in Narn eyeware!

G’KAR: What!?!

MOLLARI: Bye, bye!