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Please inform Ambassador Delenn we regret we cannot grant her request. If she'd like to provide us further information, we'll reconsider. In the meantime, I hope your plans for the dedication ceremony are progressing smoothly."

With a perfunctory nod she broke contact. Jeff forced himself to take a deep, calming breath. It didn't work. He'd known the chances of them granting the request with such little information had been slim, but it still frustrated him. What if the ambassador was right and there was a serious danger? He put through his call to her, dreading the conversation. Though he barely knew her, and he generally felt uncomfortable around Minbari, for some reason he hated to disappoint her. He also worried about how she and the Minbari government would react. This had seemed very important to them. The call was routed to her ship, where she sat in an office similar in its austerity to her office on Minbar, but much smaller. The harsh planes of her face were exaggerated in the bright light.

"Ambassador Delenn. I regret to inform you that the Earth Alliance cannot grant your request. There is an Earth science vessel investigating the world you specified, but without hard information clarifying the threat, we feel it is premature to abort the mission."

She shook her head.

"This is very bad news, Commander."

"Is there any further information you can give us about the danger?"

Her red lips, the only spot of color on her face, tightened.

"I have told you all I can. Has your government contacted the ship? Have they-landed on the planet?"

There was something in the way she said it-as if the very idea was abhorrent to her.

"I was informed that the ship is temporarily out of contact."

The red lips fell open in a crooked shape.

"It is too
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