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signal. Galen pulled it out of the record, sent it to Isabelle. Even if she could find some pattern in the extended transmission, it couldn't be decoded without other examples for comparison. So he searched further.

Going through all the material they had recorded thus far, he found eighteen of the transmissions, all short, all in the same narrow band. In all cases, the Drakh was within three feet of a probe when that probe picked up the signal. When the Drakh was farther away, the probes picked up no hint of the signal. That made life more difficult.

Galen was eager to acquire more samples, so he directly accessed the probes in the building to find out what they were recording now. But none of them responded to his signal. They had been either deactivated or destroyed. Tilar could have helped with that.

Burell's door opened, and she came out, riding in her yellow armchair.

Galen jumped up. "Burell!"

The chair rotated in a slow circle. "How do I look?"

"Very well." The chair looked solid. Yet Burell hadn't resumed her full-body illusion. She was conserving her energy. Galen turned to Isabelle. She seemed busy at work, her fingers moving in spurts, her shoulders making tiny movements as if she were threading her way through the signal. Yet a smile had appeared on her face.

"Don't try to get her attention when she's like that," Burell said. "She's impossible."

"I heard that," Isabelle responded.

Galen returned his attention to Burell. Though her appearance was unchanged, she seemed stronger, sitting upright in the chair, holding her head erect. Apparently the additional organelles had brought her some benefit and allowed her to access at least some of her tech. He wondered how long it would last.

"You two are miracle workers," Burell said. "I
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