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to leave. Then he followed.

The location-underground with no ready exit-wasn't a good one. But as far as he and Isabelle had been able to discover, the Drakh had no weapons. Although the Drakh was physically quite large, Galen felt certain they could handle him if he became violent. He wondered why Captain Ko'Vin, who was always armed, had been so afraid.

Isabelle stood outside the Drakh's room, her hands weaving mist. It appeared as granular red wisps in his mind's eye. With her dark robe and pale red skin, she seemed to float like a spirit.

The mist quickly filled the Drakh's bedchamber. Galen waded carefully through it. He breathed deeply, repeating to himself his vow to uphold the Code and the directives of the Circle. He would conjure nothing by instinct, but consider carefully before visualizing any spell. He touched his pocket and felt the special tranq tab they'd made. They would use it after they'd gotten all the answers they wanted, or earlier, if the plan began to fail. Galen found the brilliant red of the Drakh's body, knelt beside the Drakh's head.

Isabelle came into the room and stood to one side of the door. She nodded to him. She would record whatever the Drakh said and did. She moved her fingers, and a dim light suffused the mist. Galen turned off his sensors, his regular vision now sufficient.

The Drakh lay on his back, arms straight down beside him, his face turned upward. He slept with a thick cylindrical pillow beneath his neck, which kept the back of his head from touching the mat. He seemed larger in person, and somehow more real. A subtle scent hung around him, like mold. His skin was a striated brown and black, looking more like rock than flesh. The two craggy outcroppings on the back of the head were striped with more fluid lines,
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