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only with serving the ship, reconnecting with it, as if it were a part of her. The Shadows had enslaved her with their technology.

No wonder Blaylock had been upset. A person made subservient to technology embodied the antithesis of the techno-mages. The mages were masters of their tech; all their training focused on it. Only with control could they follow the Code, use the tech for good. Blaylock believed that perfect discipline, perfect control must be their goal, the path to enlightenment. Subjugating intelligent beings to technology would be blasphemy.

The presence of Anna within the ship was yet more evidence of the Shadows' endless evil. And more important, it revealed that everything the techno-mages believed, the Shadows opposed. No wonder the Shadows were so obsessed with them. By their very existence, they showed that another way was possible, a better way. Living beings could be enhanced by technology, not overpowered by it. It was all the more reason they should fight the Shadows.

In his mind's eye, Rabelna stopped within the dim stone tunnel and greeted two Drakh standing guard beside a door. They allowed her to enter.

The room was brightly lit, with plain white walls. Rabelna hesitated, probably waiting for her eyes to adjust. A simple rectangular table and three chairs were arranged before her. To the side of the table, two figures, their backs to her, crouched over something on the white floor. Galen's heart sped at the sight of the short Centauri crest adorning the head of one of them. Tilar. Beside him was Bunny.

"What's going on?" Rabelna said. "I was ready to leave for Babylon-Who is that?"

Tilar and Bunny had stood, revealing Blaylock lying on the floor. His limbs were in random positions, as if he'd collapsed. His gaunt face was turned
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