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that that particular White Star was the one commanded by Ivanova.

Then, over the chatter, he was able to make out a Starfury pilot calling out over his com unit, "Alpha Six to Control. We can barely hurt those things! We have to hit them four times before they even notice!"

A reply came quickly from Ivanova, "Then you'll have to be four times as accurate!"

"We have to withdraw!"

Although Sheridan shook his head within the helmet, still he said nothing. Nor did he have to, for Ivanova responded firmly, "Negative. This is just the first wave, sent to soften us up for the main fleet. If we can't take these guys, sure as hell we can't take the rest. Keep at it. Everyone else ... defend yourselves but continue to target the energy field surrounding the artifact! Hit it as much as you can and don't stop!"

And Sheridan, inching his way through what seemed an excruciatingly long period of time as he edged toward the artifact, watched the Starfuries continue to dart about, trying to stay one step ahead of the alien vessels, drawing their fire away from the Minbari cruisers and White Stars, while at the same time providing offense of their own. Meantime the other vessels stepped up the level of their attacks. Bursts continued to dissipate against the artifact's shielding, but it seemed to Sheridan that more and more of the blasts were hammering home with some effect. Even though they weren't getting through, the energy flare-up seemed more continuous each time, and

Sheridan could only pray that the enemy's resources were not limitless.

Then a shadow cast itself over Sheridan and he looked up- "up" being a relative term, of course-just in time to see two White Stars hurtling right toward him. His impulse was to try and dodge, but that would have been an utter waste
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