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as well, their motion suggesting, somehow, the solid, structural movement of bodies-one area momentarily resembling a limb, another a head. They were blocking him from seeing them, yet they could not block him completely. "Wouldn't you like your health back? Your power?"

Elric stood his ground. "I made my choices. I live with them. And I will die with them."

Morden stopped, very close now, the Shadows right behind him. "Perhaps you aren't concerned for yourself. But what about those in your care? You're one of the great Circle that leads the mages. Do you want to lead them all to their deaths?"

"We lead them where we must."

"And you'll decide for all of them? Make no mistake, Elric; this is our last offer. A mutually beneficial alliance. Accept and they live. Refuse and they die."

"Then they die."

In the dim light, Morden's even white teeth seemed almost to glow. "You say that so easily. What about your apprentice, Galen? You trained him exceptionally well. We've been watching him, and he shows great promise. Do you want him to die?"

Fear froze Elric into silence. He could not tell if Morden knew where Galen was, if Morden knew Galen was not on the station.

"Does he know your secret, Elric? What do you think he would do if he were told? Who do you think he would hate most?"

Elric's fear turned to fury, and his voice boomed in the narrow passage. "Stay away from him."

"Is that a request? Because I'd be happy to do that for you, if you would do something for me."

Elric conjured a fireball in his hand and seized the back of Morden's neck with that same hand, grinding the heat into the Shadows' servant. "It is an order! From one with the power to teach you obedience."

As Morden screamed out, the chain of his necklace melted, and the stone
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