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little he knew about it. Best had made a serious error.

Procedure dictated that all ports be confirmed closed before opening a jump point. Best had failed to do that, and through his negligence had endangered his ship and crew. But checking ports was a precautionary measure, as many procedures were. No port should have been left open in the first place. John had assumed, with good reason, that the engine port had been left open through incompetence or carelessness on the part of Best's crew. But what if it had been left open on purpose, by someone who knew that Best would not check before opening a jump point?

The gamble would have been risky, but perhaps not unacceptable for someone desperate enough to take chances. John had heard of a handful of other such jump point misfires, and while they could generate dangerous displacement effects and do serious damage to a ship, none had ever destroyed one. The error would be showy enough that it couldn't be ignored, but most likely not fatal. He gave Corchoran five minutes, ten. The report did not come. John linked down to the brig.

"I want you to release Lieutenant Spano immediately. Tell him to get into an EVA suit and get out to the laser tube with Lieutenant Watley on the double. Then I want you to find and detain Commander Corchoran. Make that your top priority."

"Yes, sir."

John rested his forearms on his knees and tapped his hands together. He felt like he'd made the right decision. But if he was wrong, they would be unable to stop the Homeguard cruiser and Babylon 5 would be destroyed, and all those on-station would be killed.



* * *



Anna stood and caught Donne in her light, the EVA suit a brilliant white against the darkness. Donne's movements seemed shaky as she climbed over the ir-regularly
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