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state, the tech raced with anxious energy. He put the suitcases to one side, found the temperature control, turned it up. The small space made it all the more apparent that there was no avoiding what he must now do. He had a task, the same task he had faced every day since their journey to the rim had begun, and this time he must not put it aside until it was completed. He must no longer resist the memories, must not break away no matter how difficult the work became. If they were to know the Shadows' plans for the mages, including Elric and the others on Babylon 5, they must be able to decode the Shadows' communications.

He pulled the scarf from his pocket, ran his fingers over the small bundle.

To keep you warm, she said. She grabbed the scarf and wrapped it around his neck, her subtle essence enveloping him. She leaned back, biting her lip. Quite handsome.

Did you weave this yourself?

She rested her head against his shoulder. Of course.

Does that mean there's a spell woven into it?

That's for you to unravel.

He sat on the bed, eyes closed, and hunched over the scarf. He forced his fingers, stitch by stitch, down its edge. It was a thought of hers, frozen in time, given to him.

He had already recorded the pattern, yet for some reason he persisted in touching the scarf, as if it held additional information that the recording did not, some essence of hers, something that remained. Yet there was nothing, nothing but an abstract pattern. He had tried to break down the complex sequence of bumps, plateaus, and valleys, yet the sequence seemed random, chaotic, just as the Shadow signals had been.

The simplest way to understand her code, of course, would be to guess what spell or message she had woven into it, and then to search for correspondences between
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