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expended to power the jumpgates whenever someone came through. Minimal distance meant minimal discharge.

This was, however, a special case, and the bottom line was that there was simply no choice. If the struts weren't moved, the artifact wouldn't emerge, period.

In the B5 command and control center, the technicians were hard at work readying the struts, making it possible for them to part sufficiently for Ivanova, her people, and the artifact. Ivanova waited patiently-albeit not too patiently-for clearance. This was quite possibly the longest period of time she'd ever spent in hyperspace, and once this maneuver was done, then she would be most pleased if she didn't see the place again for quite some time.

A tether had been extended from her Starfury to the artifact, and the other Starfuries were attached as well via a variety of tethers and cables. Ivanova flashed on an image of Gulliver's Travels, a story that her mother had read to her many, many years ago. Specifically, she thought of the scene in which the tiny Lilliputians endeavored to tie down the castaway Gulliver, utilizing all their-for them-considerable resources ... only to have the sleeping "giant" awaken and prove to be beyond their capacity to restrain. She couldn't help but wonder if, like the Lilliputians, they were now in the process of gamely hauling in a sleeping giant. And if that was the case, heaven only knew what would happen if the giant woke up.

Then she received a communique from Babylon 5, as C&C informed her, "Optimum distance achieved. You're clear for jump, Commander."

"Jump" hardly seemed the word. She felt like she was trying to wallow through hip-deep mud. It wasn't a jump so much as a shlep.

She'd wondered if it was even possible to move the struts sufficiently away from
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