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heel and headed to his office.

Ivanova shook her head grimly ... which was no great shock, really, since "grimly" was her trademark. "Well, the vultures are starting to circle."

"I thought vultures only came around after you were already dead," Zack pointed out.

To which Ivanova replied, "Maybe they know something we don't."

As they headed back to their respective stations, Ivanova had the creepiest and most uneasy feeling. Soto's explanation seemed to make perfect sense, the whole business with proximity being the key.

And yet, somehow, it seemed just the least bit pat. There was another, far more chilling interpretation to the events which now came unbidden to Ivanova's mind. What if there was something about the artifact that allowed it to pick and choose who, or what, it let near? What if it disabled the 'bot because it didn't want information to be uncovered ... or at least, uncovered until it was good and ready to make a move, whatever that might be. What if... what if it had not disabled the Starfuries... because it needed the Starfuries. Needed them to escape the confines of hyperspace and return to normal space so that it could...

... it could ...

"It could what?" she said in frustration.

Zack glanced at her. "Something on your mind, Commander?"

She shrugged. "I'm just being paranoid."

"Well, you know the old line about that."

"You mean how, just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you?"

"Yup. Of course, the only question is: Who are they?"

It was a perfectly reasonable question ... and Ivanova was beginning to have the distant, dread feeling that they might have stumbled upon a gigantic, heaping helping of "they," whatever they were, and it was sitting right outside Babylon 5 just biding its time
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