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G'Leel rubbed a finger across her lip. "I'm not a reader. But if I'd known it had pictures..."

Through Burell's probes, Galen saw Captain Ko'Vin step out from the elevator into the lobby. He knew they had only another minute or two with G'Leel. "Have you heard of a planet called Z'ha'dum? It is the legendary home of the Shadows."

"I've heard that word. I didn't know it was a place."

"Do you have any idea when the Shadows will be ready for war?"

G'Leel shook her head. She heard the captain's voice and looked toward the lobby. Cadmus was giving the captain his present. There was still time.

"Who would know?" Isabelle asked. "Who gives your captain his directions?"

"There's a Drakh here, in the port. The Drakh sets up our shipments and schedules. The captain told me once how much he hates working with this Drakh. I think the Drakh frightens him."

All Galen knew of the Drakh was that, according to legend, they were allies of the Shadows. "Where is this Drakh?" he asked.

"I don't know. He stays out of sight. But Ko'Vin will meet with him before we leave. He owes us pay, and the captain never forgets pay." G'Leel looked over her shoulder, then back. "Have you ever met a Drakh?"

"No," Isabelle said.

"There's something off about them. They're different. Be careful." She looked from Isabelle to Galen, shook her head. "You're too young for this." G'Leel stood, and Isabelle laid a hand over hers.

"You are a good person. You're going to make an important contribution in the conflict ahead. You have already been a great help."

G'Leel's mouth tightened, and she drew in a breath. When she let it out, her stiff posture relaxed a bit. She was relieved to have told them. Isabelle had known she would be.

Captain Ko'Vin stepped into the lounge. He
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