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of killing him.

Blaylock stood. "Let us make ready."

Galen hesitated. "You haven't finished your lunch." Blaylock gave him a dour look. "If I had wanted Gowen with me, I would have brought him."



Chapter 9



In his mind's eye, Elric watched as Vir stumbled through yet another dark passage in the section of Babylon 5 known as Down Below, searching for the techno-mages as his master had commanded. The Centauri attach© tripped over a pile of rags and discovered a sleeping figure beneath. Fed-for that was who it was-stumbled to his feet, his wild dark hair sticking out in all directions as he let out a mad howl. He chased Vir through several preplanned twists and turns before allowing Vir to "escape" him.

Vir stood with his back against the wall, gasping, his eyes wide with terror. He didn't yet know that today was his lucky day. Today was the day when he would at last find the mages. Because today was the day when it served them to be found.

Once they had arrived on the station, it had taken only hours for Londo to conceive the plan of seeking the mages' blessing. Obsessed as he was with power, he considered the arrival of the techno-mages only in how it might further his ambitions. He had told Vir of the important role techno-mages had played in Centauri history. Centauri history, however, was only distantly related to the truth.

One thousand years ago, a minor noble in the Centauri Empire had led his people in the extermination of the Xon, a sentient species who shared their home planet of Centauri Prime. To celebrate this great realization of their destiny, the butcher declared the beginning of a new era, that of the Centauri "Republic"-which was nothing but the Centauri Empire under another name-and appointed himself the first emperor of that republic.
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