Яппаньки вам,уважаем(ый)(ая)(ое)!

only for good, and only when there is no other course.

My need for further information is personal in nature. It is part of my spiritual quest, a quest that does not involve you. If I have not returned by the time you awake to read this, then I am dead. Under no circumstances search for me. Your skills are required by the living.

* * *

The note was signed with the rune signifying Blaylock's name.

Galen would not believe Blaylock was dead. Not until he saw the body. But he wished he had woken sooner. Suddenly it struck him that Blaylock might have encouraged that long sleep, to give himself time to do whatever he needed to do, without drawing Galen into danger. He might even have hoped Galen would not awake until after the Khatkhata had left.

Galen had gone through all of the probes they had planted; he found Blaylock in none of them. He decided to go through them again, more slowly, beginning with the probe on Rabelna Dorna. She walked down a long, dimly lit tunnel of stone. Areas of static interrupted the image. Shadows.

"Does it say where he went?" G'Leel asked.

Galen shook his head. "Was he also injured?"

"Not that I could see."

What information did Blaylock seek? G'Leel had said Blaylock was upset at Galen's fevered rantings about the Shadow ship. In destroying the ship, Galen had discovered that a person lived at the center of it, serving as the central processing unit, coordinating its functions, fulfilling its needs. Somehow, communication had passed between them. Galen didn't know if it had been some strange feedback from the spell of destruction, or perhaps some connection created by his spell to listen to the Shadows. He had heard Anna's thoughts, felt her feelings. She seemed to have become nearly a machine herself, concerned
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