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that the Shadows, if here, remained hidden, depending on Morden to serve as their eyes and ears.

Elric had studied Morden as much as time had allowed. Though the Shadows' servant remained an enigma, Elric believed he knew enough to manipulate the man. As Elric had expected, Morden had avoided the mages since their arrival. Instead he used others, whether they knew they were being used or not. Morden used the senator and John to try to detain the mages, Londo and Vir to gather intelligence on their numbers and purpose. And in just the same way, Elric would use Londo and Vir to carry what information he desired to Morden.

But soon, Elric knew, Morden would confront him. And Morden would present the Shadows' final offer.

In his mind's eye, Elric saw Vir drawing close. Several mages in disguise ran past Vir, as if fleeing.

"What is it?" Vir cried out in panic.

"Techno-mages!" Beel yelled, pushing past him.

Vir pressed himself back against the wall, murmuring to himself. "Attach© to an ambassador. How dangerous can that be? They never told me that the ambassador was a madman. 'Go to the techno-mages, Vir. Arrange it, Vir.' Obviously they don't want to be bothered. Obviously they won't be happy to be bothered. And who will they take that out on, I wonder."

He took several heavy breaths, straightened, continued onward.

From Elric's position, the illusory wall he'd conjured appeared no more than a dark screen. Through it, he watched Vir approaching the intersection. It was time now to convince Vir that the mages wanted nothing to do with Londo, when the opposite was actually the case.

Vir peered around the corner into the corridor that separated them, took in the glowing runes on the walls. He withdrew his head, then, after a moment, extended it again.

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