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knew, being on the far side of the artifact might somehow interfere with his transmission. And second, if someone or something within the artifact, or any of the alien ships, were to lock on to his transmission and realize where he was, they could swing around and blow him out of space with a single shot. Still, he had absolutely no choice in the matter.

Activating the send function of his comlink, he announced, "Sheridan to Ivanova... I'm in position. Go."

"Confirmed," came back Ivanova's voice, which prompted Sheridan to let out a quick sigh of relief. At least one of his main worries had been groundless. Now as long as he didn't find himself staring down the gun barrel of an alien vessel, they might actually have a shot at pulling this off. Ivanova's voice sounded choked, though. She was coughing, and he realized that her ship had probably sustained some damage. He prayed it wasn't too extensive.

"Control to assault fleet," continued Ivanova's voice. "Everybody who has a clear shot at that energy field... take it. Now."

The word "fleet" seemed overly generous to Sheridan at that moment. Just before he had moved behind the artifact, out of visual range, he had cast a glance behind him and witnessed a field littered with broken ships. The vast majority of them had been from Babylon 5. The devastation had been nearly beyond imagining.

For a moment Sheridan flashed on himself, back in his quarters, looking eagerly at the artifact hanging in space and saying smugly, "Besides, it is mine." Yes, indeed, all his. This nightmare. This utter debacle. The search for knowledge and his eagerness for fiddling with something beyond their understanding, resulting in a calamity that could border on biblical proportions if what the Vorlon-inhabited Lyta had told him had
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