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a quick, hard slug. His hand returned to the gun, his eyes averted now.

"I could see above and below the plane of the ship, which were clear. In front of the ship, to my left, a huge Minbari warship glided toward us. It look like a gigantic shark. And off our starboard bow, stretching off in front of me as far as I could see, a line of identical warships closed on ours."

"Both sides had launched fighters, but the enemy fighters didn't even try to evade us. Our starfuries didn't have enough power to damage them. They just glided ahead, destroying our fighters as they went. "

"And beyond them, down the line, the Minbari were destroying ship after ship after ship. The sparks of the explosions looked like fireflies."

"The Curie closed on our starboard side for protection, but it was too late. The Minbari warship had already made one direct hit, and it made another. The Curie exploded, taking out our two aft cannons, the cargo bay, and a whole section of our hull. We lost eighty-four of the crew."

Ross's torso began to rock slightly back and forth.

"After it had destroyed the Curie, the warship targeted us. We started taking direct hits. I had fired into the belly of that beast, again and again. It had no effect. I started firing at the enemy fighters instead. Those I could destroy. I shot one after another after another. Their steady courses made them easy to target. Like shooting fish in a barrel. But there were too many. Our 'furies were destroyed within a minute, and after that the Minbari fighters swarmed over the Athena."

"We took hit after hit, the ship shuddering like it was caught in a feeding frenzy. Then the third laser cannon went out. Mine was the only one still operational. I just kept my finger on the firing button, cutting my line of fire
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