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Could they let it go?

"We need a plan," Galen said. "And this time, a really good one."

* * *

"That is the final piece of evidence gathered by Galen and Isabelle thus far," Elric said, dissolving the last image of the recordings. He stood before his chair in the great amphitheater. "My recommendations are as follows. Commend the two mages on their work and remove them from danger. Begin an investigation into the source of Tilar's chrysalis. And create an expanded intelligence-gathering network to follow the movements of the Shadows. If you have any questions, I would be happy to address them."

Elric remained standing, looking over the others in the semicircle. Ing-Radi, Kell, Blaylock, Herazade-they all were silent, shocked.

They had discounted his suspicions about Morden. The shipping and bank records secured by Galen and Isabelle had made little impact. The statement by the Narn, G'Leel, and her description of a Shadow ship had moved some, though others had remained skeptical. And after viewing the recording of the Narn captain and the Drakh, Herazade had been eager to jump to the conclusion that "It is the Drakh behind all of this, not the Shadows."

Yet the next recording, in which Galen and Isabelle questioned the Drakh, made that theory hard to sustain. It was clear to Elric that a Shadow had actually entered the room and taken control of the Drakh's body. He didn't know how else the events could be interpreted, though he assumed he would find out shortly. The confrontation with the static-filled shape had led directly to Tilar's appearance. Though Tilar had been careful not to name the Shadows, his comments about the "younger races" and a firestorm strongly suggested he was speaking for the Shadows.

And then there was the most distressing
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