"Severed Dreams" is an episode from the third season of the science fiction television series Babylon 5. It won the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
In wake of President Clark declaring martial law, General Hague's fleet of ships comes under attack by Earth Alliance forces. All but Hague's flagship, the Alexander, are destroyed, and the Alexander makes route to Babylon 5 to effect repairs. Aware that harboring the Alexander will likely lead to conflict with Earth Alliance, Sheridan makes arrangements to cut off all communications with Earth upon its arrival. Meanwhile, Delenn brings Dr. Franklin to attend to a Minbari Ranger, injured while trying to get back to the station with key information. G'Kar, waiting nearby, helps to carry the wounded Minbari to medlab. The Minbari reports that among the Non-Aligned worlds, the Shadows have engaged them in local civil and interplanetary wars, all creating discourse and chaos among the galaxy. Delenn decides she must go see the Grey Council, regardless if they will listen to her, to warn about the situation.
When the Alexander arrives Sheridan is dismayed to learn that General Hague was killed in an attack but his second-in-command, Major Ryan, has attempted to continue Hague's resistance against Clark's martial law. As they discuss matters, word arrives that President Clark has ordered the bombing of the Mars colony who has resisted the martial law order. Hundreds of civilians are killed in the attack. The news network ISN, which has been reluctant to broadcast any material critical of Clark, decides to report on the secession of the Proxima III and Orion VII colonies from the Earth Alliance in the wake of the Mars bombing. Shortly, thereafter, the television station is taken over by Earth Alliance forces, terminating their broadcast. Another ship arrives, the Churchill, under Captain Sandra Hiroshi, supports Sheridan and Ryan. She warns them that Earth Alliance is aware of the Alexander's presence at Babylon 5 and ships are en route with direct orders from President Clark to seize control of the space station. Sheridan prepares the station for a fight, including enlisting G'Kar's Narn to augment his own security forces under Garibaldi. Sheridan then announces to all of the station that Babylon 5 has joined Proxima III and Orion VII in seceding from the Earth Alliance, at least until President Clark is removed from office.
Delenn reaches the Grey Council and, as she expected, they refuse to speak to her. She barges into their chambers and instead speaks to them, warning them that all of their prophecies have come to pass. While she knows the warrior caste will refuse to help, she has the power with the help of the worker and religious caste. She declares the Council to be broken and departs, followed by the worker and religious Council members.
The jump gate at Babylon 5 opens with Alliance ships Agrippa and Roanoke emerging and demanding the station's surrender. Sheridan instructs all his fighters to prepare to fire but only after they have been fired upon. The Alliance fires the initial volley and an extended firefight breaks out among the ships. Garibaldi, his security forces, and the Narn stop a boarding party hence incurring many Narn losses. The Churchill is critically damaged and Hiroshi uses the last of its power to ram into the Roanoke, destroying both ships. The combined forces of the station and Alexander are able to take down the Agrippa. Just as they are assessing the damage to the station and ship, more Earth Alliance ships jump in, again demanding Babylon 5's surrender or be fired upon, which would certainly destroy the station. Just then more jump points open and several Minbari warships arrive. Delenn warns the Earth Alliance ships that Babylon 5 is under Minbari protection and that the only human that managed to damage their ships is currently on board the station. The Earth Alliance ships shortly withdraw.
As both the station and Alexander complete repairs, Ryan states he will need to flee soon, hoping to split the Alliance's attention. Ivanova tells Sheridan that there is something he should see, and leads him to the Zocalo, where the gathered residents clap and applaud Sheridan's decision to make Babylon 5 take a stand against Clark.
- "Hugo Awards 1997: Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved September 17, 2010.