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knew it; that was why he'd brought the relay, so that any information they gained could reach the mages, even if they could not. Galen was at peace with that; it was the only thought, lately, that brought him any peace. He had hoped for an end to this, and Thenothk would most likely provide it. But he was determined that, if there was any way it could be accomplished, Elizar's end would come before his.

As he started down the street, a ship came in for a landing at the port, poorly maintained engines screaming at the effort of deceleration. The planet seemed to mount an endless assault against the senses. Clouds of haze and fumes drifted down the city canyons. Construction was under way everywhere, confirming what G'Leel had told him about the city's rapid growth. The roads formed a chaotic maze, intersecting at odd angles. New buildings sometimes blocked off entire streets. In other places, roads curled in on themselves and simply ended. There seemed no plan to it, or if there was a plan, it was complex and well hidden. Grand, expensive structures stood beside squat, seemingly abandoned ones. Factories were mixed with residences, businesses with lurid entertainments. Along the way, Galen saw few Shadows. Their concentration was sparse, and they seemed to pass undetected by most. Yet he had a feeling more were here. They liked to remain hidden.

With a growing sense of unease, Galen at last reached the hotel. Inside, it was an island of quiet. In the desire to portray them as well-to-do businessmen, Blaylock had booked them adjoining rooms in one of the more expensive establishments. Galen checked in and went up to his room. He was surprised to find that it was tiny, barely fitting a bed and desk and a miniature bathroom. Space was at a premium here.

In its adrenaline-heightened
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