Ranger (Babylon 5)


Ranger (Babylon 5)

Rangers (Minbari: Anla-shok) are a fictional class of warriors that play a prominent role in the science fiction television series Babylon 5.

We are Rangers.
We walk in the dark places no others will enter.
We stand on the bridge, and no one may pass.
We live for the One, we die for the One.

Contents

History

The Anla-shok (Rangers) were originally created by Valen during the First Shadow War. When the 3 castes refused to work with him to defeat the Shadows, he went outside the caste system. He used the creation of the Anla-shok to teach the Minbari his first lesson: When fighting a war, you fight a war, not get into an argument about the supremacy of castes. The word "Anla-shok" comes from the Minbari term for "The Application of Force". After the First Shadow War, the Anla-shok went into something of a dormant state while awaiting the prophesied second Shadow War that Valen warned would occur in the future.

As the centuries passed, the Rangers status seriously declined as the Minbari government, particularly the Minbari Warrior Caste members of the Grey Council, grew to doubt the validity of the prophecy. As such, the organization became seriously undermanned and underfunded, especially by the time of the 23rd Century (Terran Calendar) when the predicted signs of the Shadows' return were starting to become evident.

During the interim between the Shadow Wars, the Anla-shok were usually led by the Anla-shok Na or Ranger One until the reappearance of Jeffrey Sinclair, who took Valen's title of Entil'zha or the One Who Creates The Future. After Sinclair's disappearance, Ambassador Delenn took over the leadership of the Rangers until her election to the Presidency of the Interstellar Alliance, at which point she passed on leadership of the Rangers (and the title of Entil'zha) to Sheridan. After Sheridan was taken from the galaxy by Lorien, Susan Ivanova became the new Anla-shok Na/Ranger One, although she did not inherit the title Entil'zha.

Earth-Minbari War

When the Earth-Minbari War broke out, Lenonn (the leader of the Rangers at the time) attempted to reach a peaceful settlement to the conflict, with the help of the Narn Regime, but was killed when a Centauri sneak attack hit the meeting after they mistook it for a weapons transfer between the Narns and Humans.

After the war's conclusion, the Rangers were largely dormant, but were soon reorganized and strengthened as evidence of the Shadows' reappearance became obvious in certain circles.

Shadow War

When the Shadows finally made first openly aggressive acts, the force swung into action under the command of Jeffrey Sinclair (Known as The One who was), Delenn (The One who is), and John Sheridan (The One who will be), and became a central part of the opposing alliance.

After the resolution of the conflict, the Rangers became a prominent peacekeeping force in known space and would still be existent one million years in the future after the humans and probably the Minbari became beings like the First Ones.

Characteristics

  • After Sinclair was given command of the Rangers, many races were admitted who were previously forbidden from joining, such as aliens and worker-caste Minbari.
  • The badge of their office is their black and grey robes that include a large pin that has a large green crystal in the center, which is surrounded by a human and a Minbari at either side with the crystal symbolizing the Future or Isil'zha. This is a recent style, however. The original badge used had a pair of Minbari hands holding the gem, but the two heads design was chosen to symbolize the unity of the two races. According to the book To Dream in the City of Sorrows, which is considered canon, the crystal is partly created by the blood of human and Minbari, and is highly prized by its bearer.
  • Their preferred weapon in close quarters is the Minbari Fighting Pike, also known as the Denn'Bok. It is quite compact and easy to carry, but can open up to be a formidable weapon. The weapon is not dependent on an energy source, unlike the PPG pistols carried by Earthforce personnel. It takes a great deal of training and skill to use the weapon in an effective and in a relatively safe manner. Most weapons are quite old - the pike Marcus Cole carried was at least 700 years old. As the weapon is handed down from generation to generation, production of new pikes is rather limited. Because of the effort to keep the fighting pikes from falling into the wrong hands, they can fetch a considerable price on the black market.
  • Their main space vehicles are the White Stars, medium sized starships that are made up of combined Minbari and Vorlon technology to produce a superior small fighting ship.
  • As depicted in the TV movie, Legend of the Rangers, the organization traditionally takes a dim view of retreating from a battle under any circumstances, even when it is prudent to do so. For instance, Ranger David Martel had to assume command of his ship and decided to disengage from battle when his ship was severely damaged. Even though his ship's fighting ability was completely disabled beyond field repair and staying would have been uselessly suicidal, Martel was court martialed by the Ranger governing council and was in peril of being expelled for retreating. Fortunately, Ambassador G'Kar ably spoke on Martel's behalf to prevent his dismissal by noting that the council's stance is unreasonable. When Martel and his crew became the heroes of the hour by saving an ambassadorial party from The Hand, the council was apparently willing to reconsider their previous inflexibility. However, when compared to several on-screen occasions where the Rangers have been seen retreating, this should perhaps instead be viewed as a simple and inefficient plot device simply to move the story along.
  • Their Oath: "We walk in the dark places no others will enter. We stand on the bridge and no one may pass. We live for the One, we die for the One"

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