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had flourished only to be massacred by the Centauri. The Humans had united in a planetary government only to fall into a pointless war with the Minbari.

Many among the Vorlons had grown frustrated by the constant interference of the Shadows. Some said the time at last had come; the enemy must be attacked directly. But most clung to the rules of their ancient agreement and hoped that their new stratagems would be successful, that they would at last prove order superior to chaos.

As for Kosh, the coming of this new war carried with it an unfamiliar sense of unease. He had begun to consider something of which he had never heard another Vorlon speak. He had begun to doubt whether their manipulations-when coupled with those of the enemy-truly benefited the younger races.

Those young races formed the battleground over which their elders fought. The battle was harsh, the casualties great, the process unforgiving. The younger ones struggled so, in their primitive way. The many who had died began to feel like an overwhelming weight of darkness which no light could banish.

But what could be done? Breaking the rules of engagement meant anarchy.

Yet sometimes, it seemed, they should do more than manipulate from on high. Sometimes, it seemed, they should help.

These thoughts had begun to take shape, perhaps, during the last war. But only as he had presented the information of Kell's probable death, only as he had argued that the fabulists should be allowed to leave in peace, had he become aware of his doubts. The Vorlons had reluctantly agreed to let the fabulists retreat to their hiding place, and Kosh's unease had been soothed. Yet now, all that could change.

He had been planting buoys in the systems touched by darkness. The buoys had sung their perceptions to
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