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signs of change as well. The lines on either side of her mouth had deepened, along with the tiny lines above her lip. She, like so many of them, had destroyed her place.

"They would not have joined the Shadows," Alwyn said. "And if ill, they would have contacted us. Do you believe Kell, too, fell ill?"

"You speak as if you've made up your mind what we must do."

Alwyn gave her a hard stare. "I know what's right, without waiting for the Circle to issue a proclamation."

Circe frowned. "We must all follow the Circle. We are sworn to solidarity. Besides, they may well have information we do not."

"Of that I've no doubt. They may know who killed every Earth president from Santiago back to Kennedy. They may know the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. They may even know the meaning of the universe. But it doesn't change what I know."

"And what is that?"

"That we must fight the Shadows," Alwyn said.

Galen looked anxiously down the hall toward his room. He didn't want to be drawn into this debate.

"We haven't the numbers or the technology to win," Circe said.

Alwyn dismissed her comment with an impatient wave of his hand. "I didn't say we must fight them to win. But we must fight them. If our Code is anything more than a convenient balm to our conscience, we must make a stand. Besides, the Shadows won't relent. They'll find us in our hiding place, cowering like cowards, and they'll destroy us. Better to go down fighting. And we may even surprise you; we may be able to do them more damage than you suspect."

Circe pursed her lips. "If that's how you feel, Alwyn, then why have you come here? Why aren't you out killing Shadows?"

"Because I still foolishly hope that the Circle may see the light and change their minds."

"That they
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