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haven't yet confirmed that. They've acted peacefully." He hesitated. "May I ask what your interest is?"

She tilted her head, the vague smile remaining on her face. "The techno-mages aren't simple magicians, Captain. They're extremely powerful, and as such, their movements raise planetary security issues. Particularly such mass movements. We need you to look into the matter. Learn their plans. If they fail to cooperate, you'll have to detain them."

John frowned. "On what grounds would I detain them? They've done nothing."

Her tone remained mild, her expression friendly. "I hear they're staying in the sector you call Down Below, which is officially off-limits. You could hold them for that, at the least."

John gave a quick shake of his head. "But that will only create unnecessary hostility."

The smile faded from her face. "You may believe they're harmless, Captain, but they're not. Their plans are of great concern to us, and you're the only one in a position to discover them. I hope I don't need to remind you of your duties."

"No," John said. "You don't."

"Good." Her smile returned. "We will expect your report shortly."

Ing-Radi dissolved the images. "The Shadow influence is everywhere."

"How could we have been blind for so long?" Elric said. The assassination of the Earth President Santiago had revealed the strength of the Shadows' influence there. Elric should have realized that the Shadows would try to use that influence to compel the EarthForce personnel who ran Babylon 5 to detain them. If the mages would not be detained, then they would have to fight. The station and those on it would be endangered, and the mages could be drawn into the great war.

John had been posted to Babylon 5 only since the beginning of the year. How he would react,
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