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knocked out the Drakh's monitors and alarms. But locks always had a battery backup. "We've got to try something else. Force?"

"That will ruin our plan." Galen's mind was racing. He felt like an idiot. He strove for calm, control.

"Heat? Electrical surge?" Isabelle suggested.

"Will that open it?"

"No idea," she said.

Galen turned the card upside down, jammed it in again. The door clicked open. Isabelle turned at the sound. "Brilliant!"

They hurried inside, closed the door gently behind them, sealing themselves into blackness. Isabelle's shield gave her silhouette a faint blue glow. She had urged Galen to conjure a shield as well, but he'd told her that if he tried to sustain one, he'd be unable to concentrate on anything else. Anyway, if all went to plan, they'd be in and out without anyone knowing they were there, just as Elric taught.

The plan was a bit crazy, but they'd been able to come up with nothing better. The Drakh was likely the only one on Zafran 8 who knew whether or not the Shadows were involved. But he never left the building, and their probes had detected no communications to the rim that they might intercept. The only way to discover the truth was from the Drakh's own lips.

In his mind's eye, Galen looked out through the probe on the outside of the front door. Using the infrared band, he watched a Wychad across the alley wander toward the main street and the lights. No one had observed their entrance.

The probe in the Drakh's bedchamber showed that he was still asleep. It was five after ten. He was the only one in the building.

Galen put his sensors on the infrared band, so he could find his way. Isabelle preceded him down the stairs. He checked that the door would open from the inside without any trouble when they were ready
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