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could not let the others see him like this. He cursed his weakness.

He lay on the pallet and accessed the security cameras in the casino. Cameras were numerous there, to watch for cheating, so he could observe nearly anything he wanted.

The casino created a comforting, intimate atmosphere with dim background lighting and soft music. Occasional bright lights emphasized various areas. Glowing bands of white ran along the circumferences of the gaming tables, while brilliant columns of blue marked the way to the wheel of fortune. A bar surrounded by a cluster of tables provided a place for refreshment. Among the many patrons sampling the entertainments, Londo sat at one end of the bar.

Carvin entered. Dressed in her Centauri silks, she caught Londo's attention immediately. Londo's appetite for power was followed closely by his appetite for beautiful women.

She settled herself at a high-stakes poker table, opening her purse and pouring a pile of chips out onto the table. Before a new game began, he downed his drink, slipped off of his stool, and approached her.

Elric accessed the camera over the dealer's shoulder.

"My dear lady, you must be new to Babylon 5. I would remember if I had ever seen someone of your incredible beauty before." He thought himself charming, this butcher of Narns.

She smiled. "Yes. Thank you."

He took her hand, laying his on top. "I am Londo Mollari. As ambassador to Babylon 5, allow me to officially welcome you."

"Carvin," she said.

He released her hand, sat down beside her. "An unusual name. You are alone, my dear?"

"Not anymore."

He laughed. "It is fortuitous, our meeting. Some of the clientele here, they prey on tourists. I can protect you."

"I would much prefer companionship to protection."

Londo inclined his
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