He could influence their thoughts only crudely, with the limited knowledge he had of them. He hoped, at least, he knew their desires, for in those lay his only chance of success. And he must succeed, for the survival of the mages depended on it.
Elric looked to Muirne and Beel, who stood beside him. They were both only in their forties, yet they too had been weakened by the loss of their places of power. Their weakness was less severe, since they had been connected to their places for a shorter time, yet he could see new signs of aging in them. The roots of Muirne's blond hair were going prematurely grey, and Beel's eyes seemed to have withdrawn into shadowed hollows.
They stood before the large window at the front of the passenger compartment, drawing attention to themselves without seeming to do so. All three wore black robes, and to make himself even more conspicuous, Elric had chosen the robe Isabelle had given him, curving silver and copper cords adorning the front in a bold pattern. In the crook of his arm he cradled his staff. It was short, in the ancient fashion, only three feet long and of a dull, unadorned silver. He wanted to make sure they were recognized by as many as might have memory of them. Once the transport docked, the news that mages had arrived must spread quickly through the station. Elric anticipated their strategy would be successful, for the other passengers shot them nervous glances and kept their distance.
"We have only fifteen minutes until our arrival," Muirne said.
Elric gave a grim nod, shifting his attention to the images in his mind's eye, which he knew the others watched as well. Through Babylon 5's security cameras, he saw Alwyn and Carvin loitering in one of the station's less reputable bazaars, among the crowds and noise.