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You could drink those fools under the table. Come on, let's make some money.

I have enough money, G'Leel said.

This sobriety thing is getting really annoying, Ko'Vin said. You didn't find religion, did you? He leaned close. What you need is a little love to loosen you up.

You're starting to look pretty repulsive, she said.

Ko'Vin made a dismissive, untranslatable sound, and lurched to the bar for a refill.

G'Leel had been a valuable source of information before.

Perhaps she'd learned more since they'd last spoken. Galen located the probes. They were only a quarter mile away.

Isabelle would say that G'Leel's presence here, at this time, was evidence of an order to the universe: the universe had put G'Leel here in order to help him. But he found no special significance in G'Leel's presence. They had first questioned her because she was transporting people and materials to Thenothk. The fact that she was here now was a logical consequence.

Isabelle had convinced G'Leel to give them information. She had known, somehow, that this drunken, mercenary Narn would help them. She had believed that G'Leel could transcend herself.

Just as she'd believed Galen could transcend himself.

That's why I was put in your life. You have opened yourself to another. That was the first. Next you will open yourself to yourself. Finally, you will open yourself to God. To his design.

He could not do what she asked. He could not open himself to anyone again-not another, not himself, most especially not a god who would take her away from him as part of some cosmic plan. He was who he was, and he would continue to fail her, even now.

The only way to maintain control was not to open up but to close down, to hold his words and his actions within. If he opened himself,
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