Яппаньки вам,уважаем(ый)(ая)(ое)!

gasp, and her wide-open mouth undulated. From her sinuous lips, her voice emerged, rich, booming. She spoke in Drakh. The program translated automatically.

Tell Tilar they will join with us or they will die.

Galen dropped the cord and swooped down beside Isabelle. With fierce focus, he visualized the equation, extended his platform beneath her. He clamped his arms around her rigid shoulders, grabbed his staff, formed the equation of motion, raced for the front door. Her mouth moved against him, strange words driving out of her with the force of possession. The Shadow's secret words to the Drakh.

Who speaks? The magic workers are upstairs!

Galen stopped the platform and grabbed for the door handle, while the pounding of footsteps sounded behind him. The menu for the staff remained in his mind's eye. He selected a high-intensity shock wave, slammed the staff against the floor. A rumble roared through the building, and the walls began to shake. Galen heard someone fall on the stairs below. He ripped the door open, fled into the alley. Isabelle yelled a single Drakh word.

Kill them.

Dawn was breaking, and the dim light overloaded the infrared. He sped down the long alley, switching back to his regular vision. He hadn't gotten more than a dozen yards when his sensors read multiple energy bursts behind him. Guns. They were shooting.

He raced for the main street, furiously forming one equation of motion after the next to jig the platform up and down and throw off their aim. But the street was still several seconds away, and Tilar had somehow associated with his chrysalis, conjured a platform, and now several of them were on it, rushing in pursuit.

The road to Galen's right exploded, throwing his platform to the left, and Galen barely managed to straighten
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