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the nearest jump gate is several hours from here. You've got nowhere to go and we have locked our weapons onto your ships. Surrender and prepare to be boarded." When no answer was immediately forthcoming, he added, "I won't ask again."

Ivanova wasn't sure if the Raider was getting instructions from his own people ... or just giving himself a moment to fully come to terms with the hopelessness of his situation before surrendering to it. "We hear you," he said with a sigh. "Standing down."

"A wise move," Sheridan informed them. Then, without missing a beat-as if their capitulation were so certain that it was merely a formality to be dispensed with as quickly as possible- Sheridan continued, "Commander Ivanova..."

She perked up immediately upon hearing her name, and nodded, before realizing that nodding wasn't an especially useful response. "Yes, sir," she said crisply.

"Since this particular mousetrap was your idea, you get to go on home while we escort these gentlemen to the penal colony in the Drazi Freehold."

Ivanova was renowned for many things. Her loyalty, her boundless confidence, her quick thinking. But there was one aspect of her personality that was truly legendary: her ability to recognize that someone felt bad about a situation... and make them feel even worse. She was so accomplished at turning the screws that one disgruntled, and to this day unknown, crewman in Command and Control had once left an entire screwdriver kit sitting at her station. She had appreciated the compliment.

"You sure I can't go with you?" she asked, her voice laced with disappointment. "I want to see their faces when they get a sniff of Drazi cooking."

Sheridan endeavored to keep the amusement out of his voice as he replied, "Negative, Commander. And make sure everyone
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