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tossed the stone toward Morden, turned, and walked away.

As he set one foot after the next down the dim passage, he waited for the Shadows to attack.

No attack came.

Of course a murder here could be messy, and noisy, and draw the attention of the captain. It would be better for the Shadows to kill them all together, after they had boarded their ship and cleared the station. A malfunction could be blamed, and no wrongdoing suspected.

Elric descended another steep, narrow staircase, finding his legs shaking with either exhaustion or fear, or both. He had rejected the Shadows' final offer of alliance. They would turn their full efforts to the destruction of the techno-mages.

His plan was all that stood in their way. The success of that plan was now in doubt, with Shadows on the station. He would have to make certain they were kept away at the critical moment, so they could not uncover the mages' illusions.

Elric's legs gave way, and he stumbled down several stairs before he regained control. He sat on the bottom step, unable to continue. He pressed the heel of his hand to his forehead. His heart was pounding in time with the throbbing in his head. He had many things to attend to, yet only a single thought penetrated the pain: Galen. He was in danger.

Gowen appeared at Elric's side. "May I help?"

Gowen had been waiting for his return. Elric straightened, though he felt he could not safely stand. "How is Ing-Radi?"

"She is weak, but improved. I left her resting."

"The Crystal Cabin has arrived?"

"Yes. Just a few minutes ago. The Zekhite is on schedule to arrive tomorrow."

"And Londo?" He could check himself, but he did not have the energy or the focus.

"Alwyn sent the computer demon into his datasystem as soon as your meeting ended. His
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