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tech quickened in anticipation. Yet the cold, the driving need to act, did not come. They would return, he sensed, in time, yet for now he had a brief respite. He'd released a great deal of energy last night, had saved Blaylock, had been able to strike, at least in some small way, against the Shadows. He found some measure of satisfaction in that.

But where was Blaylock?

The bedroom door was open a crack, and red light leaked in from the next room. Voices spoke in Narn. Galen accessed his translation program, and the words appeared in his mind's eye.

I promised I would see him safely off the planet. Galen recognized G'Leel's voice. She sounded angry. We can easily smuggle him on board. What difference does it make to you?

You say it's easy, but they'll be looking for him, said Captain Ko' Vin. It's a risk. And there's no reward.

He'll tell us where the Centauri arms are kept. We can destroy them before they ever reach the Centauri.

Keeping one hand wrapped around his side, Galen laid the other flat against the bed to push himself up. The bed was an artificial stone, he realized. G'Leel's hotel must cater to Narns. As he stood, pain sang through his left leg. He shifted his weight from it, swayed unevenly as dark spots danced before his eyes. Against the wall, he noticed an empty cargo container the size of a coffin.

And what good does that do me? Ko'Vin asked. G'Leel, you've turned into a political fanatic.

What do you want? Do you want me to pay you for taking him, and for possibly saving our people? Let's negotiate. Let's settle on a price, the amount you need to be motivated to do something good.

Galen had to find out what had happened to Blaylock. He forced his swollen leg forward. When his weight came down, he felt a horrible grinding in his
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