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blip was unmistakable. "Whatever it is... it's huge," observed Ivanova. She considered what she was seeing for a moment more, and then switched frequencies. "Delta Squadron to Babylon 5, do you copy, Babylon Control?"

The voice of Corwin came back, riddled with static, sounding dim and faraway. Transmission through hyperspace was a dodgy proposition at best. Considering the distances involved, it was nothing short of miraculous that it was coming through at all. "Confirmed, Delta Squadron, this is Babylon Control."

"Have there been any reports of missing ships in this area?" asked Ivanova.

"Negative, Delta One. What've you got?"

She pondered the question and didn't come up with any answer that really jazzed her. "I'm not sure. It's almost as big as an Explorer ship, at least a half mile across. But it's well off the jump beacons. May have been damaged or lost power, then been pulled off course by the hyperspace tides."

"Can you leave a marker?" suggested Corwin. "We'll send an investigating team..."

Ivanova shook her head reflexively, even though Corwin naturally wasn't in a position to see it. "Negative. It's moving at a diagonal to the beacon; if we leave we'll never find it again." Her mind made up, she said, "All right, we'll investigate and get back to you. Delta Leader out." Without delaying for a moment, she switched back over frequencies and asked, "You there, Delta Seven?"

"Right here, Delta Leader."

"We're going after it," she informed him. "We'll determine what it is, see if it's safe to call in for a rescue operation. We'll form a relay from the homing beacon to avoid getting lost in hyperspace."

"Roger that, Delta Leader," Marlette said. There was one time in his career when he had been briefly lost in hyperspace, when his instrumentation
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