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back to the ground. Merreck stubbornly continued his attack, but the Ky'Thain was too fast, blocking every strike and managing to counter. Blood was pouring from several wounds on Merreck's arms and chest, whereas the Ky'Thain seemed little affected by the denn'bok blows that managed to breach its defence.

As Vance tried to get to his feet once more, the Ky'Thain found the measure of Merreck. Blocking blows from both ends of Merreck's weapon, it stepped forward, smashing its foot onto Merreck's knee. His leg buckled, and as he fell the creature's head butted forward, knocking him to the ground.

Using his last reserves of strength, Vance found his feet. 'Hey!' he shouted at the creature, desperate to distract it from Merreck's prone figure. The Ky'Thain spun round, forgetting about the stunned Minbari and approaching Vance, hatred burning in its eyes. Vance reached round and unhooked the grenade from his belt, holding it behind his back and out of sight. As he pressed the timer button the Ky'Thain reached out and grasped his throat. It pulled him close, so close Vance could feel the creature's malodorous breath on his face. He stared deep into its eyes and felt its hatred. With pain burning in his shoulder, Vance grasped the creature's head and pushed close, sinking his teeth into its wounded face. The Ky'Thain's blood seeped into his mouth, and it gave off a high-pitched wail. At the same time, Vance jammed the grenade beneath the carapace on its chest.

Still screaming, the Ky'Thain thrust its arm out, throwing Vance several feet away. It grasped its face, staring at Vance with unrestrained hate. The creature now obviously desired his death more than anything. Before it could rush forward it stopped, feeling something strange underneath the armour plating on its
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