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would not notice. Sheridan's energy would have to sustain the fragment, if it could.

The Vorlons would find this further lowering of himself an abomination, when they discovered it. But he no longer cared. In the dream, he forced himself to speak. "I've got to go now, John."

"No-no, don't leave." Sheridan's face was filled with fear and concern.

"It's all right, son." For some reason, in that moment, Kosh felt great solace in calling Sheridan son. He realized that he had created this dream not only to reassure Sheridan, but to comfort himself in the moment of his death. "See, as long as you're here"-he nodded-"I'll always be here."

The last of his outer layers ripped away, exposing the core of him, the single brilliant flame of his essence. With a final push, the ropes of light sank into it. As they spun him into an incoherent fury of chaos, the pain bled through him into the dream.

In a final moment of recognition, Sheridan seized his wrist and cried out.

Kosh flew apart.

Sheridan jerked awake. "Kosh!"

The turmoil of his essence faded, faded.

And then he was in darkness, murmurs surrounding him. They were Sheridan's thoughts, he realized, and within their flow, he could barely sense himself as a distinct entity. He was weak, disordered. He concentrated on the calming harmonic he had sent to his ship. It brought him, bit by bit, back into coherence. This single fragment, this small piece of himself, was all that remained.

He had come down from on high to help the younger races. Whether he had truly brought them closer to a victory against the ancient enemy, whether they all, ultimately, could be saved, he did not know. Before he lost this last piece, he would try to help them a bit more. He must bury himself deeply, to avoid detection. It might
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