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plain grey room was silent, each mage absorbed in his own task. Yet now, as he ducked through the circular metal hatch, he heard a high, shrill voice singing a grating melody.

Narn opera. Alwyn had to be responsible.

Carvin, Fed, Ak-Shana, and several other young mages were indeed gathered around Alwyn, who had conjured in the air the image from the probe on Vir.

The probe revealed Londo sitting before his datasystem, watching in horror as Alwyn's computer demon ate his files and destroyed his finances. The lights flashed on and off in his ostentatious quarters, and the wail of Narn opera added an extra element of provocation and torment. Londo bemoaned his fate to Vir as a pleasant female voice from his datasystem informed him he was now the owner of five hundred thousand shares of Fireflies, Incorporated. The mages laughed.

As the Narn soprano's shrill voice ascended in a screeching crescendo, the sound pierced directly through Elric's skull into his brain. "Alwyn. I must speak with you at once."

The other mages quickly moved away, returning to their duties. The smile faded from Alwyn's face, and the image dissolved.

Elric led Alwyn to his small room, where they could speak privately. He scanned the room for any probes or listening devices. He was becoming paranoid. There were none.

The harsh overhead light shone off Alwyn's silver hair and cast lines of shadow down his cheeks. Elric felt awkward. He was not accustomed to asking for favors, and this one could easily be fatal. Yet he had no choice, and no one else to ask. "I need your help," Elric said. "It is a matter of great danger. I need you to go after Galen."

"What happened?"

"Morden has threatened him."

The bags beneath Alwyn's eyes wrinkled as his face tightened. "Does Morden know
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