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back, not to the front. Long, and tapering to points. The central shape more flattened. Yes. That's it. And it had a way of moving-I can't really explain it. It seemed alive."

The image between his hands was sleek, alien, disturbing. Yet familiar. The ancient Narn holy book, the Book of G'Quan, contained a drawing of a similar shape, which it associated with a darkness that had fallen upon the land. If these were the Shadows' ships, then they had acquired an important piece of information. Galen dissolved the illusion.

"You don't recognize the image?" Isabelle asked.

G'Leel frowned. "Recognize it? No." Her red eyes flicked between Galen and Isabelle. "A huge city is growing on the fourth planet of the Thenothk system. Each time we go, it's fifty times the size it was. Millions are migrating there. A race called the Drakh are going in great numbers. And some are being brought against their will. Our hold carries twenty sleeper tubes, each one containing a Human mindwalker. A telepath. I don't know why they're being taken. But I don't like it.

"On the planet, I see a few Humans, Narns, Drazi. But most are species I've never seen before. In the bars-where we spend most of our time-I've overheard talk of war. And I've heard a name-I don't know if it means anything. The Shadows."

Galen's eyes met Isabelle's. We have a piece of evidence, he wrote. At last.

It is as Burell feared.

"What is it?" G'Leel asked. "Who are the Shadows?"

"They are an ancient race," Isabelle said. "At rest for a thousand years. They have powers far beyond ours, and a thirst for warfare. Now they have awakened again. They are spoken of in the Book of G'Quan, and the very ship you described is pictured there."

"You take those religious myths seriously?"

"Myth begins in history.
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