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believe in-"

"No. Some follow me because they believe as I do, and for that I am gratified. But most follow me because they must. Without the daily scouring, without the fasting, without the meditation and repentance, the abstinence, the vigils, the sensory denial, the mortification, they would be unable to follow the Code."

"Elric taught that self-control, not self-denial, was the way."

"For some self-control is enough. For others the path is more difficult." Blaylock paused. "I would have to be blind not to see that you are in distress."

Galen looked down, forced his red, clenched hands to open, to lie flat against the table. "I prefer to deal with it myself."

Blaylock's response did not come for several moments, and when it did, his words seemed both a concession and a threat. "As is your right. As long as you do not fail."



Chapter 11



The meeting was not going at all as Elric had planned. He had intended to convince the captain that they meant no harm, to charm him with some magic. Elric carried several trinkets concealed on his person that would hold significance for John, and he had planned to produce one at the appropriate time. His anger was to have been directed solely at Londo, who hadn't even arrived yet. But here he stood in John Sheridan's office, nearly yelling.

"Captain, I insist neither I nor any of my clan represent any threat whatsoever to the station." The pounding in his head was unrelenting. And he was furious that he'd been required to answer the captain's summons when Ing-Radi lay dying. Gowen was attending her, and he was a skilled healer, but he remained inexperienced, and Ing-Radi's physiology was unknown to him. Elric could have guided him.

"So you say." John's tone was belligerent. Clearly, his frustration at
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