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of roars at full-throated volume and he never should have been able to detect it.

Nonetheless, he heard a roar.

And he saw the source.

A multi-eyed, tentacled monstrosity appeared directly in front of him. It was four stories tall, like a huge beetle with writhing tentacles, and the last time he had seen the creature clearly, he had been nine years old. He had awakened screaming, and had been unable to fall asleep for the rest of the night, even though his mother had cradled him and rocked him gently and told him in no uncertain terms that monsters simply didn't exist. If his mother had seen this thing, she'd have run shrieking from the bedroom in a fit of self-preservation.

The creature howled in fury and snatched at him. Zero-g maneuvers had never been Sheridan's strong suit, even in his academy days when he was first learning them. At this point, however, he was transformed into an exemplary student as he gunned the airpack and hurtled just beyond the creature's reach. The creature pushed off from the wall like a swimmer, and flew/floated after its prey.

Sheridan didn't look back. There was no point to it-he couldn't even stand to look at the monstrosity that was pursuing him. If he did so again, he had the feeling he might vomit inside his EVA suit, and that would sure as hell pose a major problem.

Instead he focused his entire attention on the access panel he'd used to gain entrance to the artifact. He saw it ahead of him, and it appeared about twenty times farther away than it had before. He opened up the throtde to maximum as he hurtled forward. "One minute thirty seconds to reach minimum safety distance," said the computer. It didn't bother to take into account that his margin for safety was rapidly collapsing, because the creature was ricocheting
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