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group were constantly appearing in many different guises in various locations throughout the station, so that their numbers seemed much greater, and so that mages who were not here, including the other members of the Circle, appeared to be among them. Their numbers had been increased in the station database as well.

Extensive food and supplies had been ordered, as if to sustain them over a long period. It had been made clear to all the vendors that the supplies must be available by the day after tomorrow, when they were leaving.

Three of the younger mages-Emond, Chiatto, and Ak-Shana-were generating an elaborate web of false communications, from mages who were not here to other mages who were not here, discussing their fictitious activities. All on the chance that the Shadows could detect their communications.

Of course that was the great unknown: the Shadows. Their powers and their thoughts. The mages had searched the station for anomalous bodies of static and found none. Shadows, if they were here, had to be few. But it would take only one to see through their illusions. Elric hoped

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