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of Bedlam, of old-style madhouses, with insane and depraved minds, possessed by men who crawled and writhed about, stinking of their own filth and vomit, and he thought of the perverted designs that might have come crawling out of their minds.

That's what the artifact, ultimately, was: a mad dream given form.

He made his way deeper into the artifact, knowing that-no matter how fast he was going-he had to hurry even more.

His instincts were accurate. Outside, the fight was going badly as more and more ships were falling in battle. A White Star, trying to outmaneuver one of the alien vessels, hurtled into a crossfire between two more foes. Pummeled from all sides, the White Star was pounded into oblivion, erupting into flame which was just as quickly snuffed out into nothingness in the airlessness of space. The alien craft continued, flying through the floating remains of the White Star, searching for more prey.

Meantime Sheridan moved farther, faster, down around one corner, toning another... and suddenly, just like that, he found himself at the core of the artifact.

He couldn't believe it.

"Holy..." he whispered, but there was nothing holy about it.

Even though, intellectually, he knew the size of the artifact, nevertheless it seemed to him as if the core went up forever. It crackled with energy along its length, so much so that Sheridan reflexively shielded his eyes to protect himself. From behind his visor, through squinting eyes, he was able to make out some sort of grey and pulsating energy field at one end. Even though he didn't have any instruments with him to use for analysis, he knew it was a different sort of energy. It...

... it frightened him.

He pushed aside his trepidation and moved toward a corner area, but he couldn't take his eyes
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