Believers in a Soul Hunter?

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Thu Oct 12 04:30:18 EDT 2000

From: "Dr Nancy's Sweetie" <kilroy at>
Date: 11 Oct 2000 18:36:07 -0700
Lines: 65

[ Spoiler space, just in case. ]

After "Believers" went off last night, I got to thinking about how the
episode was similar to "Soul Hunter".  To the Soul Hunter, the Minbari are
just supersititious, and stopped them from saving Dukat because of their
belief in reincarnation.  To the Minbari, storing souls in little glass
balls is a horrible thing.

But then I had another thought: Dr Franklin should have frozen the kid in
cryostasis and tried to find a Soul Hunter to come to B5.  He could, if the
kid's spirit left him during surgery, save it and then put it back (hmmm:
not sure if that machine has a reversing switch).  In any case, given that
we have posited the existence of people who really *can* say whether or not
the kid's soul has left his body, I'm not sure it is true that there's no
way to know who was right.  JMS says, in the _Lurker's Guide_ (the page is
at <>):

	You say the boy was okay at the end...the parents didn't think
	so.  Who's to say if there was or wasn't a soul inside?

But the Soul Hunters have been portrayed as having this ability, an ability
which appears to accepted by everyone who knows about them, and which is
shown as genuine in more than one story.

Alternatively, a Soul Hunter could presumably go to their homeworld, wait
around for someone to get a chest injury, and then determine if the guy's
soul really left his body.  Note that it apparently has to be serious chest
injury to invoke the "his soul is gone, let's kill the body" rule.  JMS
specifies on the above page that "The area that cannot be opened is the
chest area, primarily; a nick or cut or scratch really doesn't count; it's
puncturing to the body cavity wherein the soul is housed."

Anything else wouldn't make sense, of course.  Little kids are always
bumping into things and scratching themselves, and people cut themselves
with knives all the time.  They mentioned food animals, so they have
butchers and (one suspects) lots of knives in their kitchens and at their
dinner tables and so on.  It seems odd to me that a society could develop
in which any puncture/piercing/break of the skin means you have to kill the
injured party.  Such a society wouldn't last long enough to make it as far
as developing space travel.

But chest punctures tend to be fatal anyway, and are carefully avoided by
most people.  So I can sorta see that.  Still, you have to wonder if
somebody on this planet who gets a chest injury and survives doesn't make a
careful point of hiding the injury from everybody else.

Darren F Provine ! kilroy at !
"I believe television is going to be the test of the modern world, and that
 in this new opportunity to see beyond the range of our vision, we shall
 discover a new and unbearable disturbance of the modern peace, or a saving
 radiance in the sky.  We shall stand or fall by television -- of that I am
 quite sure." -- E.B. White

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 11 Oct 2000 19:07:14 -0700
Lines: 16

>But then I had another thought: Dr Franklin should have frozen the kid in
>cryostasis and tried to find a Soul Hunter to come to B5.

They don't exactly make house calls by request....


(jmsatb5 at
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)

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