~ War Zone ~

or "What Wasn't Broken, TNT Shouldn't Have Tried to Fix."

We first meet our sardonic caustic xeno-archeologist/linguist on the deserted plant of Ceti 4.  He is wearing a leather jacket and he notices that there is a meteorite streaking toward the surface.

For trivia folks, Max Eilerson's first words on Crusade are "I See it!"

(The significance of the jacket is according to this current Sept. 99 issue of the B5 magazine, that in real life, DAB really likes it. "Planet-side, we've got him (Max) in a leather jacket that David Brooks absolutely loves.  IF we allowed him to take it home, he'd probably sleep in it!" per Randy Gardell who is the cotume designer of crusade apparently.  But sorry, no mention about the leather gloves. )

Max then tells Sam the words that will forever damn him (grin) to the Crusade ... He wants to look at the site where the objects fallen as he likes "Occasional surprises to keep things interesting."

The IPX crew sends a red-shirt ... Oops IPX crew man to explore the wreckage. Amazingly enough, he's blown out of the sky, leading the IPX people to decide since they're a business ... It's time for a group meeting.  At this time, we meet Sam, and the TNT mandated Han Solo stud puppy clone, Trace.  Like most meetings, they proceed to rehash obvious things until finally they realize that they're in a lot of trouble, as their new neighbors are ... Well ... Aggressive.  Trace, Sam and Max proceed to hash out a rescue plan. it finally comes out to Trace will attempt to send a distress single, while Max and the rest of the group will go to the Trademark "Long Abandoned City" (tm).

At the Long Abandoned City, Max proceeds to demonstrate why he's worth the truly big bucks. He finds the environmental controls & proceeds to set up the shielding.  Tom Paris ... Oops I mean Trace, hot shot pilot, notices that well ... SURPRISE! The aliens are on the move and heading right their way.

He decides to spring this on Max, who proceeds make a long story short "Let me guess ... The aliens know we're here ...  And ... We're all going to die soon, how's that?"

Trace is disgusted as this was his chance to strut his stuff ... "Do you always jump to the end of the story like that?"

Max informs him "Why not, it's the story of my life. I finally find a city like this ... Full of patents needing to be exploited and I'm going to die. I can appreciate dramatic irony as much as the next person, but this is pushing it a bit."

But fortunately since JMS is telling the story, the calvary shows up.  "Mr. Eilerson, this is the calvary." informs Matthew Gideon.  Gideon pretty much wants Max to show him the crash site, while Max, whose main concern is his own survival, wants to leave as the aliens are on the way there with reinforcements.

The group is dumbfounded, how did Max know this? Max, given a chance to show off, I mean, shine, proceeds to tell them that it is a "Natch" that he has.  And he'd like to leave NOW, if not sooner.

Gideon gives him a choice, either he can help Gideon locate the ship or they're going to leave him behind.

"You're bluffing."
"I never bluff."

(Interesting moral question here, now knowing what we know about Matthew Gideon would he really have left the entire IPX crew behind if Max didn't agree?)

Anyway, as expected, the Drakh show up and battle it out with the Excalibur.  Meanwhile Max is walking around the remains of the Drakh ship with Dureena and Sarah Chambers.  Due to a pesky technomage deciding to fill the entire ship with fog, Max proceeds to turn on a food processor, thinking it's a computer.


Anyway, they end up capturing the Drakh captain, and they bring him back to the Excalibur where Max is being used as a translator with the Drakh.  (For Max buffs, this is the first time, the glasses and the little note pad show up).  He proceeds to translate the speech into pretty much ... "I'm not going to tell you anything. Nah nah nah nah." Gideon, displaying his trademark charm, offers to drop the Drakh off on Earth where no doubt crowds would be willing to tear him apart.  He leaves, and meets up with the boy scout, John Matheson, and informs him to sign Max up for the crusade.

Character comments on Max.

"Sir ... He's going to be a pain in the ass."
"Yes, but he'll be OUR pain in the ass."

John Matheson to Matthew Gideon.

Max Factor-

Let's see first show out, we'll give it 4 Maxes out of 5 Max.

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