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could carry five hundred passengers. The mages had purchased it under the name of a false holding company Alwyn had long ago established. The transaction had been carefully disguised so that their enemies, when they searched the records with sufficient effort, could discover the true owners. Elric expected they would apply that sufficient effort within a day of his arrival on Babylon 5.

Once they discovered that the mages had purchased the Tidewell, the Shadows would destroy it, hoping to delay the mages and throw their plans into disarray. At the same time, the Shadows would continue their investigations. They would assume that the mages had some second method for leaving the station; their order's use of deceptions and misdirection was well established.

But of the mages' arrangement with the Zekhite, no records existed, so it could not be discovered-except through this "chance" leak. When Rabelna brought news of it to the Shadows, they would believe the Tidewell had been the mages' misdirection, and the true plan was to leave on the Zekhite. In their arrogance, they would believe they had discovered the whole of the mages' strategy.

What they would not know was that there were not five hundred mages on Babylon 5 but only fifty. And of those, only half would board the ship that was to be the target of the Shadows-an unavoidable sacrifice necessary to maintain the illusion. For the other half, Elric hoped, there was the third shell in this game, a third method of transportation: twenty-five tickets bought under a variety of names on a small luxury liner, the Crystal Cabin.

In the bazaar, security arrived to break up the fight. Alwyn was being pounded by two Greens; Carvin climbed up onto a nearby display counter, ran down its length, and launched herself at them.
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