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its throat began to inflate, swelling up to twice its normal size as though it were about to burst. Two blow holes opened on the sides of its neck and Vance heard a sudden intake of air. These Ky'Thain seemed to be able to adapt to anything.

With a look of hatred, the Ky'Thain ran forward once more, its spindly arms swinging in a wild attack. Vance managed to parry one of the organic spikes, but the creature was strong. It locked his denn'bok down, and Vance could only watch as the second arm spike shot toward him. Jerklenn's denn'bok deflected the blow as she rushed to aid him, and the Ky'Thain reeled back under the strength of her counterattacks. Vance noted this was the second time she had saved him in such a way. If they got back to Tuzanor in one piece, he would spend every waking hour trying to repay her.

He took a second's repose to survey the battle scene. The other Rangers, much more skilled in the use of the fighting pike, were managing to hold their own against the Ky'Thain, but it seemed like a battle of attrition. Vance doubted the Minbari would have more stamina than their bestial opponents, and it was only a matter of time before they became exhausted. He drew the autopistol once more and shouted to his comrades using the cant of the Anla'shok.

Instantly the other Rangers broke off from their enemies, Bakkatt grabbing Musan Volt as he did so. Each dived to the ground as the Ky'Thain turned their attention to Vance, the only opponent still standing. Vance's shot was on target, aided by the autopistol's automatic burst of fire. He riddled the base of the boiler, not waiting to see if his shot was accurate or not. As he threw himself to the ground, he heard the booby trap's trigger flip, followed by a loud hiss and then a muffled explosion.

A wave
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