Stephen Furst Tribute:
Vir Cotto Encyclopedia Entry
& Video of Last Con Appearance
From Captain Jaclyn, head of the B5 Books Team:
Stephen Furst died on June 16, 2017 due to complications from diabetes. To celebrate his life, below is a preview of the complete Vir Cotto entry from the not-yet-released Babylon 5 Encyclopedia along with a video clip from his last con appearance ever with Peter "Londo" Jurasik.
Shortly after his arrival on the station, Cotto reported the fall of Raghesh 3 to Mollari and participated in the ambassador’s scheme to exact support from the Babylon 5 Advisory Council when the Centaurum failed to fight for the colony’s citizens. During Mollari’s affair with Adira Tyree, Cotto was authorized by his superior to wield full ambassadorial authority in the talks regarding the Euphrates Treaty, but Ambassador G’Kar refused to deal with an underling and the talks stalled.
When Cotto exaggerated his authority in correspondence with his cousin Kiron Maray, the younger Centauri and his lover Aria Tensus fled their respective arranged marriages and sought sanctuary with him aboard Babylon 5. The matter was resolved by Mollari, who sent them both to live in fosterage with his cousin Andillo. Cotto later annoyed his superior by efficiently determining that the Centauri had no records of the Holy Grail, missing an opportunity to bilk Aldous Gajic for exorbitant finder’s fees.
As Mollari’s career ascended with the assistance of the Shadows, Cotto became increasingly wary of the cost exacted for such services. In early 2259, Cotto braved the conclave of techno-mages assembled on the station in an effort to secure an audience for Mollari and later facilitated—against his best advice—the meeting with Morden that led to the destruction of Quadrant 14 and the subsequent Narn-Centauri War.
With the Centauri Republic once again in ascendance, the bureaucracy ordered Cotto replaced with an attaché specifically groomed to serve Mollari, but the ambassador refused, stating that he’d resign his position if Cotto were replaced. While Mollari was off-station, Cotto formally requested that Morden be extended Centauri diplomatic immunity and released from the station’s brig when Captain John Sheridan incarcerated the Shadow agent without charge.
After the fall of Narn, Cotto personally apologized to Citizen G’Kar for the destruction of the latter’s homeworld.
Frustrated by his role in Mollari’s work, he began to meet regularly with Lennier, the only other attaché whose principal spent as much time in “strange meetings” as Mollari.
In 2260, Mollari called in a favor owed to him by Ambassador Delenn and had Cotto appointed the Centauri Republic’s diplomatic envoy to Minbar, a post that had remained vacant since its last occupant “went native.” Cotto relocated to Minbar, returning periodically throughout the year to be assaulted by G’Kar or bludgeoned while protecting Lady Morella during a state visit. The latter incident resulted in a prophecy that both he and Mollari would ascend to the throne of the Republic, one upon the death of the other. His reports on the Minbari were frequently re-written by Mollari, a fact not missed by Minister of Protocol Milo Virini when Cotto visited Centauri Prime.
Using the authority of his diplomatic office, Cotto began a program of covertly relocating 2,000 Narn females, children and leaders from their ruined homeworld in an effort to give them better lives on other worlds. When his unauthorized scheme was discovered by Commander Susan Ivanova, who uncovered a trail of allegedly dead Narns linked to his office on Minbar, Mollari stripped Cotto of his credentials and his arranged marriage to Lyndisty—arranged by his uncle and her mother—was postponed due to his changed circumstances.
In December 2260, Cotto was kidnapped and interrogated by Lord Antono Refa as part of Mollari’s plot to kill and disgrace Refa on Narn. Mollari’s subterfuge briefly damaged his relationship with Cotto.
In 2261, Cotto was summoned to Centauri Prime by Mollari, who confided that his aide was “the closest thing I have to a friend.” The two then enlisted other like-minded Centauri in a conspiracy to assassinate the mad Emperor Cartagia. When the plan was finally executed on Narn, Mollari was unable to follow through and Cotto stabbed his monarch, killing him.
Cotto's resulting depression was somewhat alleviated when Prime Minister Mollari ordered Morden decapitated, his head displayed on a pike outside the Royal Palace as Cotto had envisioned in 2259. When the Vorlons subsequently arrived to destroy the Shadow-blighted Centauri Prime, Cotto was faced with the possibility of assassinating Mollari to clear Centauri Prime of Shadow agents, but the Vorlons departed due to Captain John Sheridan’s actions in the Coriana system and Cotto was spared the murder of his friend and mentor.
The remainder of 2261 found Cotto engaged in the building of the Interstellar Alliance, a pursuit that would continue into 2262. When the Centauri Republic withdrew from the Interstellar Alliance following the revelation of its complicity in attacks on fellow Alliance members, Prime Minister Mollari returned to Centauri Prime, and Cotto succeeded him as the Republic’s ambassador on Babylon 5.
During the reign of Emperor Mollari II, Cotto remained on Babylon 5. When Mollari’s ex-wife Mariel was sent to Babylon 5 in the mid-2260s as a spy, she seduced Cotto, destroying his reputation in the Royal Court.
Learning via the techno-mages of the Drakh infestation of Centauri Prime, Cotto traveled to K0643 and Xha’dam, destroying the latter and its Shadow deathclouds with the help of Finian, Gwynn and Kane. Galen later enlisted Cotto to gather further intelligence on the Drakh. He placed a spell on Mariel, condemning her to eternal devotion to Cotto, and then her beloved purposely lost her in a game of chance to Prime Minister Durla. Mariel, effectively enslaved by Durla, related the minister’s activities to Cotto, allowing the latter to return to Centauri Prime and confirm the extent of the Drakh activities there.
After the murder of Lou Welch during Michael Garibaldi’s mission to Centauri Prime, Cotto bombed the Prime Candidates’ safehouse, killing Throk, the murderer. Returning to Babylon 5, Cotto established and led the Legions of Fire, a secret society dedicated to ridding Centauri Prime of the Drakh influence that had covertly dictated policy for the preceding decade. Throughout the 2270s, the Legion waged a guerrilla campaign against the Drakh, eventually launching a full-scale strike on their forces in 2278.
Before Mollari II’s death, the emperor revealed the secret history of Centauri Prime’s Drakh rule to Cotto, who then arranged the rescue of Mollari’s captives, President Sheridan, Vice President Delenn and their son David. Before departing, Cotto returned to the throne room where he claimed the seal of the Republic from Mollari’s body and then used it to bludgeon the latter’s keeper to death. Cotto narrowly escaped Drakh capture, fleeing to Minbar.
Cotto established a government in exile on Minbar. After receiving the endorsement of the techno-mages, the Interstellar Alliance and the surviving contingent of the Centauri military, Cotto and the remaining Houses of the Republic signed the Minbar Accord which recognized Cotto as Emperor of the Centauri Republic. His first act as monarch was to devote the Republic’s fleet to the hunting down of the Drakh, personally killing Shiv’kala with assistance from Garibaldi. He married Senna, the orphaned daughter of Lord Refa, and ordered statues of Mollari and G’Kar erected in the capitol city.
In 2281, Emperor Cotto attended the last supper held by Entil-zha Sheridan on Minbar and later attended the decommissioning of Babylon 5 where he was reunited with Zack Allan, who later served him in an advisory capacity.