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heat. The price was my ship. Vorlon technology is in part organic, but it needs metals. There are precious few metals on this planet."

"It ate your ship."

"Yes, as in time it will find and absorb the remains of the crashed shuttle." He stood. "That's a little better. I'm feeling up to moving again! Would you like to see something?"

"Oh, sure, why not," Garibaldi replied. Somewhere, he felt another shoe dropping. Maybe a whole sky full of them. Big, metal shoes, full of nasty Vorlon surprises. He made sure his PPG was charged.

Vacit led them into an adjoining room and waved his hand. Several glass-faced alcoves lit up. "This is why I came here," he said. "I've spent the last few years studying them."

In each alcove stood a skeleton, articulated on a wire stand. One looked Human, another had to be Narn. One might be Minbari. The others he didn't even want to guess at. It was hard to tell, when they weren't dressed up in skin.

"These were the inhabitants of this planet," Vacit said. "I call them the Nephilim. Do you know the reference? In Hebrew tradition, the Nephilim were the bastards of angels and Human women - the giants in the Earth destroyed by the Biblical flood. I've been piecing their story together."

"The bones on the shore," Lyta said.

Vacit nodded. "As you have probably guessed, none of these species originated here. This planet's truly native ecology did not include any land animals larger than a cat." He pointed at the skeleton that appeared most Human. "This fellow, for instance, had ancestors from Earth. Probably archaic Humans, Homo erectus."

"Those lived - what? A million years ago?" Garibaldi asked. "How old is this skeleton?"

"Ten years or so. But don't mistake me - this is not a Homo erectus. It's something the Vorlons made
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