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of any man. That's the law. We'll never be together again. Can you do that to us? Can you do that to yourself?"

"Yes," she said, and looked away. "I can. Because I have to. I have obligations. It's my responsibility, my duty--"

"Shiri, I love you."

"I know," she said, and the grief in her voice tore through Londo like a blade. "And I love you. And I love my father, and I love my family. Now I have to choose between them and you. It's not right, and it's not fair, and more than life itself I want to run away with you, right now, where no one could ever find us. But I can't Corlo. I can't..." Then suddenly she turned and ran into the woods, heading back toward the campground. The young man called after her, but she didn't answer. He stood there for several minutes, hoping she would return, hoping for a word, a sign that somehow she might change her mind.

But she did not return, and after a while, he turned and walked slowly away, disappearing into the woods.

Out of the corner of his eye, Londo saw the Imperial Guard edging forward, to see what had caused him to stop. He waved them back, letting the silence linger in the clearing. In such a short time, how could he have come to care so much for someone he knew he would have to kill?

Londo looked up at the twin moons overhead. What am I to do now? He wondered. There were forty-seven gods in the Centauri pantheon; surely one of them had a solution to his problem.

The night, however, gave no reply to his question.



* * *



The dream was the same. It was always the same.

The creature lay on the hard, dry ground, its eyes staring up into his own.

The dream was the same. It was always the same.

The creature lay on the hard, dry ground, its eyes staring up into his own.

You cannot fight
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