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but nothing else. He continued to scan, recording his findings in case they might later be of use.

Morden's hands unfolded, palms up. "This plan of yours is madness." His voice was smooth, threatening. "At first we didn't believe you'd go through with it. Now... Do your people want to die so badly?"

"Do your masters need us so badly? Or is it that they fear us?" There, at the upper end of the infrared spectrum, he found them, just as Galen had described. Two bodies of static, behind Morden, one on each side. Their angled silhouettes, crawling with white dots of unresolvable interference, somehow seemed to convey malice. So there were at least two Shadows on the station. Had they come to kill him, if he refused their offer, so that the rest would be frightened into accepting?

Morden brought his palms together, and his smile grew. "Creatures who break and run are more vulnerable than those who remain in their places of power."

Elric inclined his head. "Yet those who stand in the way of a stampede are trampled." The energy coming from Morden was similar to what Galen had detected on Zafran 8, from a Drakh. The Drakh had been receiving a communication from a nearby Shadow. Elric realized Morden must have some sort of receiver implanted in his brain. The Shadows were communicating with him, perhaps telling their puppet what to say. It was strange, Elric thought, that they were so insecure in their control.

"Your threats are empty," Morden said. "Your people are weak. You've crippled yourselves. It's a tragedy, really. So pointless." Morden lowered his hands, and his face contracted with false concern. "You don't look well, Elric. When was it I saw you? Only a few months ago. You've aged twenty years." Morden approached him, and the shapes of static came forward
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