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her fingers, Isabelle broke contact as well, and she unfolded her legs and stretched. "He's working with the Narns on the Khatkhata, and probably others like them, but he couldn't be more different from them. No alcohol, no sex, no gourmet foods, no wild expenditures."

"He's got over five million credits in his account. Brown draws a generous salary, but the Drakh doesn't pay himself anything. As a middleman, he's in a perfect position to capitalize on this."

"All he does is work, eat, and sleep," Isabelle said.

"You're describing a monk," Burell said, her face pressed to the viewer on the image processor. They both turned to her. "The behaviors and motivations are the same. He's devoted to this work. It is his holy cause. No pleasures, no distractions. He's acting just like a monk. Or Blaylock."

Galen wondered how he had failed to see it. All the signs were there.

"How can helping the Shadows spread war and chaos across the galaxy be his holy cause?" Isabelle asked.

"Because he is a Drakh. Because the Shadows are their lords."

Galen was astonished. "How do you know that?"

Burell raised her head from the viewer. "To be a good techno-mage," she said, "you have to know everything about everything." She looked from Galen to Isabelle. "I just love the looks on your faces."

"What is your source?" Isabelle asked.

"You know the mage Osiyrin?"

"Was he a contemporary of Wierden?" Galen asked.

"A little before her time, but yes, they did overlap. Osiyrin took an interest in the Drakh, who were figures of mystery even then. He studied them-surreptitiously, of course-and collected some fascinating data. His records are available."

"How did you come to know his work?" Isabelle asked.

"Aside from my quest to know everything about everything?"

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