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of people on Babylon 5? It might sound as if he was looking for excuses, to explain a rash of violence that his people should really be riding herd on. Might even sound like he didn't know how to do his job.

Zack wasn't someone given to simply hoping a problem would solve itself. But in this instance, he found himself praying that somehow this whole thing would be resolved without his having to do anything, because he was damned if he could figure out just what he should do.

"Please, let this go away. That would be beautiful," he said.

"Beautiful..."

Kevin Dorman, a mineral analyst with three degrees and an IQ of 180, was judged to be a madman.

Today that judgment came from the people who were walking past him in a corridor, some of them risking a glance at him before quickly looking away, in that manner that people have when they don't want to be caught looking at something they consider truly pathetic.

They figured that he was just some mental defective, or perhaps some drugged-up resident of Down Below who'd come wandering up from the lower depths. In short, anything except an intelligent and fairly erudite individual who, until yesterday, had been fairly unremarkable.

But now Dorman was looking straight up, as if he could see right through the ceiling. Indeed, Dorman wasn't seeing the ceiling at all. He was seeing ...

. . . the Tower, and it calls to you. It is black and gorgeous, it is the most perfect thing in the entire universe. You have been blind, you have been mindless up until this moment. You thought you knew beauty . . . beauty in the laughter of a child, or a star being born, or the curve of a woman's hip. But that is nothing . . . absolutely nothing, compared to the beauty that is within here. Everything you have perceived as beautiful
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