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late then."

"Too late for what? Ambassador, what is on Alpha Omega 3?"

Her mouth closed, and her head tilted back, restoring the sense of aloofness he so often got from her.

"The Minbari government is displeased with your government's lack of action, Commander. We serve you fair warning. If any additional Earth ships are sent to Alpha Omega 3, we will consider it an act of war and make immediate retaliation."



* * *



She terminated the communication. Jeff began to knead the back of his neck. Great, he thought. Babylon 5 hasn't even been dedicated yet, and we might already have another war on our hands.

"We found Spano," Corchoran reported over the link.

John's eyes narrowed.

"Good. Bring him to me in the weapons bay."

After Ross had left for the laser tube, John had ordered Corchoran to question the other weapons officers, who were assembled in the mess. But when Corchoran had arrived there, he'd reported that only Timmons and Watley were present. Spano was missing. John had suspected that Spano was responsible for the sabotage ever since Ross had confirmed that one of the weapons officers must be involved. Spano's disappearance had reinforced those suspicions. John regretted not bringing him up on charges earlier, not getting him off the ship before they were deployed. Now the mission was in jeopardy. John was sitting at the weapons diagnostic system, waiting to hear from Ross. He pressed his link.

"Ross."

"Ross here."

"Have you reached the optics yet? I need that estimate."

"I'm opening the tube hatch now, Captain. Stand by."

John tapped his hand on the console. The laser tube ran down the center of the ship, where there was no gravity and no oxygen. Any activity was time-consuming. Ross was moving quickly, John knew, though
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