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technology had been on Mars, where an intact Shadow vessel had been found buried beneath the surface. Once it had been partially unearthed, the ship had sent out a signal, and a few days later, a second Shadow ship had arrived and used its powerful weaponry to finish the excavation. The two ships had flown off together. Yet a tracking device planted on the first ship by Morden and his colleagues had revealed its destination: a planet on the rim called Alpha Omega 3.

That was the site of Morden's third contact with Shadow technology. Unfortunately, Elric knew nearly nothing of this final expedition, except that it had ended in the explosion of the archaeological team's ship, the Icarus, and the alleged death of all aboard. The records had been removed completely from the system, existing only as hard copy in a government safe. Elric now believed it was on this third expedition, six months after the death of his wife and child, that Morden had made actual contact with the Shadows and had become their servant.

If that was the case, then perhaps the Shadows had bought him with the promise of revenge against the terrorists. As far as the official records showed, the perpetrators had never been captured. But that didn't mean they had not been caught privately, and killed. That would make the necklace a sign of remembrance and love. But how could that be possible? How could a servant of the Shadows, an agent of chaos and death, feel love?

Perhaps Morden wore the necklace simply out of habit. Elric remained uncertain, a state he disliked.

"You will not hold us here," Elric said. "You destroyed our ship, but you will not stop us from leaving." He scanned the dark corridor for any signs of static. His sensors revealed a strange energy emanating from the smiling Morden,
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