Babylon 5 Magazine Issue 24

"The Nautilus Coil" Review

"The Nautilus Coil" is a Babylon 5 short story by J. Gregory Keyes. He is the author of the Psi Corps trilogy that chronicled the history of the Psi Corps and Psi Cop Alfred Bester.

This story takes place probably two or three years after the end of Babylon 5's Season Five but before the end of the Telepath Crisis. Michael Garibaldi has been financing Lyta Alexander's rogue telepaths. He has provided her with money, ships, and weapons, but she has not yet removed the Asimov Law from his brain that prevents him from harming Bester or delivered Bester to him. She has, however, summoned him to a secret Psi Corps base below the ice of Ganymede that she has captured.

Lyta has uncovered an ancient Psi Corps secret. The race is on to a Vorlon planet, and Lyta needs Garibaldi's help to beat the Psi Corps there.

Keyes has done a wonderful job of capturing the relationship between Garibaldi and Lyta. They are both dangerous and nervous individuals, and their rocky alliance has a long history. Lyta could destroy anyone she chooses, but Garibaldi is the one person she can't afford to destroy. Garibaldi isn't afraid of anyone except Lyta, but she is the one person he must stay close to in order to achieve his goals.

The surprise this pair finds at the end of their journey answers many of the questions left at the end of Keyes' first Babylon 5 novel, Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corps. However, in true Babylon 5 fashion he presents new questions to replace those he answered and leaves a frightening door open for a future story line.

The Telepath Crisis is probably the time period that fans want to know about the most. "The Nautilus Coil" gives readers a tantalizing glimpse of what Lyta has been up to during this time. J. Gregory Keyes has carved out a small but intriguing corner of the Babylon 5 mythos for himself, and he has delivered a chapter that only leaves us wanting more from him.