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himself the occasional drink, and on a planet of aliens for whom alcohol was near poison, this small bottle contained a nearly irreplaceable Human luxury, one he guarded carefully.

And most importantly, it was a gift from Catherine. Where was she right now? What would she think of where he was now? In the darkness, he lifted the shot glass in a silent toast to their love, and drank down the burnt-gold liquid. That was all he would allow himself tonight. He was determined to make it last until he saw her again. He put the bottle away, closed the chest, and went back to bed.

He slept fitfully that night, and though the nightmares didn't return, he dreamed of trying to find Catherine, but always just missing her, always arriving a few moments too late.



CHAPTER 3



Sinclair overslept the next morning and awoke feeling more groggy than usual. When he finally emerged from the bathroom, his Minbari helpers had already come and gone, leaving his breakfast... and his bed back at a forty-five-degree angle.

He didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Take into account, he reminded himself, that the Minbari believed sleeping in the horizontal was tempting death. It had to do with their physiology, although it had been more of a danger in the past than it was now. His helpers obviously believed they were doing this stubborn Human a favor by saving him from his own folly.

Should he talk to Rathenn about it? No. He wanted Rathenn to spend his energy on more important matters, like getting him in contact with Earth and Babylon 5. Somehow he'd deal with these more trivial matters on his own.

On the walk over to the government palace, Rathenn gave him the good news.

"I think the Ambassador will find that the uplink to EarthDome has finally been established for his
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