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So I searched for correspondences between the words he spoke and the signal, and I found them in part of the transmission. It's a voice speaking, saying those same words to the Drakh that the Drakh said to us.

"There are other parts of the transmission going on simultaneously. I haven't figured those out yet."

Galen felt a smile form on his face. "You're brilliant."

Isabelle smiled in return, that mysterious, lips-pressed-together smile that seemed meant only for him. She came around the counter and hugged Burell. "I'm so glad you're feeling better." They held each other, and Galen remembered her quick embrace of him earlier. He wished he had put his arms around her.

She released Burell and poured herself a cup of coffee. "Now we need more transmissions to decode. We need to find out what they're planning."

It was basic to all mage strategy to know more than one's opponent. "Now is the time they're likely talking about us," Galen said. "If they have any plans involving the mages, they may come out."

"To go back to a place after you have once been discovered," Burell said, "is never wise. In fact, if I were the Circle-which of course I'm not-I would have already ordered you two to leave the system, at least until things calm down."

Isabelle ran a hand down Burell's head. "I'm not going anywhere."

Galen knew Burell was right: going back to the Drakh's building was not wise. But there were so many unanswered questions, and who knew when they would have this opportunity again? The Circle could stop the investigation; the Drakh could move his operation elsewhere, now that it had been discovered. It would take time to locate another Shadow, and meanwhile what might the Shadows do?

They had said the mages were already divided. Perhaps he and Isabelle
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