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away from Sheridan as she suddenly realized what her next big trick was going to be. She had to stay alive if she was going to find out whether Sheridan would succeed. It gave her new incentive. Susan Ivanova wasn't afraid of death. She was, however, afraid of dying before she got to the end of the story. That was, to her, simply unacceptable.

Maybe it was a Russian thing. That's why their books were so damned long: so they'd have something to live for.

"Bring us around," she snapped as she saw two more alien vessels angling toward them. "Let's buy some time."



Chapter 18



The door had not slid right open when Lennier had walked up to it. This he found mildly irritating, but there was no reason to be frustrated over the technical problems that Babylon 5 was displaying. Certainly there were other things to worry about.

Lennier stepped up to the door and noticed that it was open, but fairly narrowly, just enough to get one hand in. He slid in a hand and shoved, and the door slid open under the pressure he exerted. He took a step in, the darkness of the room even greater than that in the hallway.

He noticed a quick movement in the air, but couldn't make out what it was. And then he felt a sharp pain in his upper left leg. He clutched at his thigh, his only acknowledgment of the pain being a brief gasp, as he sank to his right knee. He realized that a dagger had buried itself in his leg, halfway up the length of its blade. Had there been any light in the room, he would have been able to knock the projectile aside with ease. But the darkness had worked most decidedly against him.

Someone came toward him very quickly, grabbed the knife, and twisted it. Lennier lunged at his assailant, but the pain was too much and he once again hit the floor. His assailant
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