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at the head of the line, beside him.

"I look forward to the opportunity to prove that commitment."

She looked up at him, and for a moment he thought, perhaps, that he had made a connection.

"I look forward to that also, Commander."

Then the door beside him slid open, and the press secretary came through at the head of her party. She announced to the room, "The President of the Earth Alliance, Luis Santiago." The president shook Jeff's hand.

"Congratulations on putting this all together, Commander. You've done a terrific job. We're counting on you."

"Thank you, Mr. President."

As the First Lady took Jeff's hand, the president moved on to Ambassador Delenn. Steepling his fingers at chest level, President Santiago bowed in the Minbari fashion.

"It is truly an honor to meet you, Ambassador." She reciprocated.

"We have come a long way to this moment," she said.

"Perhaps we can go a long way farther."

She extended her hand to shake his, and they did.

"I hope that we can," the president said.

Jeff realized that he was witnessing the birth of a totally new type of interaction between the races, without threats, without fear. Babylon 5 would be the place for this interaction. It would foster understanding, compassion. It was the dawn of a new age for mankind.

* * *

Outside the Agamemnon hung Babylon 5, a shining jewel in the night. Surrounding it were ships from every major race, save the Vorlons, arrayed in proud formation. John felt that he was present at a key moment in history, a turning point. Despite the failure of the previous four Babylon stations, despite the threat to this one, it had survived, and perhaps it could now fulfill its promise. He'd invited Ross and Spano to the command deck for the ceremonies, and as he studied
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