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at the urgency in his voice. It wasn't as if a Human were endangered. Nonetheless, there was something about the entire situation that was seriously creeping him out. "Pull it back!"

There was a pause as the pilot obviously tried to comply with the order, and then the pilot said, "Not responding." Unable to fully believe what his instruments were telling him, he added, "Eighty percent." And before Zack could think of anything that anyone could do, the pilot announced, "It's dead."

And so are we.

It was Zack's first, gut reaction. Intellectually, he knew that there was no reason for him to feel that way. This was probably just some sort of bizarre mechanical glitch, easily explained and not very ominous at all.

The problem was, Zack wasn't a particularly intellectual guy. His gut was what he tended to go with, and more often than not, his gut reaction was the correct one. The 'bot was dead. And so are we forced its way into his consciousness and wouldn't take its leave of him, no matter how much he wanted it to.

Stacy Soto, head robotics technician on Babylon 5, didn't like being in a position where she didn't have the answers at her fingertips. That was what had drawn her to robotics. Robots were simple, straightforward tools. Either they worked or they didn't, and if they didn't work, then determining the whys and wherefores was simply a matter of technology and dogged determination. But now Soto was faced with a mystery, namely her total inability to get up and running again the 'bot that had been incapacitated by the artifact. Nor did Soto know precisely why such a breakdown could have occurred to begin with. If there was one thing that she found extremely off-putting, it was a mystery. And never more so than when she was being questioned by the top brass
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