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completely ignoring them.

"Three," Londo said. "This is definitely not good."

That much, at least, was true.



Chapter 8



Galen followed Blaylock to a table in the ship's lounge. They sat beside the wall, where they could have a good view of the rest of the room.

Galen had barely seen Blaylock for the last eleven days, and they had exchanged few words. They'd traveled as close to the Omega sector on the rim as they dared in their mage ships. Then they'd stopped in an obscure port, ships disguised, and hidden their vessels, switching to public transports. They had taken three different ships under different identities to help mask their origins. The ships, up until this one, had been crowded and poorly constructed, offering unhealthy accommodations and no privacy.

This last ship, though, which would bring them to Tau Omega-the system G'Leel had called Thenothk-was a luxury cruiser. Though Blaylock had not shared his reasoning in selecting the ship, Galen thought he wanted to observe some of the more powerful immigrants to the rim.

Based on the little data the probes on the rim had been able to collect before they'd been destroyed, Thenothk seemed the system with the most activity, members of many different races converging there. On the fourth planet a great city had arisen, millions drawn to this beacon of darkness for their own secret reasons. Whether this planet was also Z'ha'dum, the legendary home of the Shadows, they did not know. But Galen and Blaylock could fit in.

They posed as owner and employee of a company that produced high-tech FTL relays. This gave them an excuse to bring one such relay as a "sample," which would allow them to send a message to Elric or the others if they had critical information they were unable to deliver in person.
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