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straight toward the defenceless Rottik.

Vance's heart sank. He could see the Drazi moving in, seemingly in slow motion, but he could do nothing to stop his swift opponent. Rottik was wide-eyed, his back to the high wall, transfixed by the vision of his impending demise. Bakkatt's denn'bok swept down, snapping the Drazi's arm as it shot towards Rottik's throat. Jerklenn finished him off with a solid blow to his thick skull.

There were no words of chastisement in response to Vance's blunder. Bakkatt took the lead once more, and Vance grabbed Rottik's rigid form, dragging him onward. They reached the edge of the marketplace and sped down a narrow passage that exited the walled-off area. Vance glanced over his shoulder, seeing several more Drazi taking up pursuit. Bakkatt led them through the maze of streets, never pausing to consider his direction. Vance wondered if he knew where he was going or if he was simply running blind.

Despite the speed of their flight, the Drazi stayed in pursuit. Vance remained at the rear, with Rottik in front of him, running at Merreck's heels. The big Minbari glanced over his shoulder and then stopped, squeezing to the side and allowing Vance and Rottik to speed past. Vance knew what Merreck planned but dared not stop in case he lost the rest of the group. As they rounded a bend, Vance could hear the sound of falling blows and cries of pain behind him.

'Bakkatt,' cried Vance. The lead Ranger turned, realising what had happened when he failed to see one of his team.

'Wait here,' said Bakkatt, retracing his steps and disappearing around the corner. Vance clenched his denn'bok tightly. Staring at the end of the passage, he expected a horde of Drazi to round the corner and leap to the attack at any moment. Jerklenn moved to his side,
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