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that could well be noticed. Now Galen understood why Blaylock had said their visit here would be brief.

Blaylock had stressed the use of probes. Since the microscopic devices utilized a more conventional technology, if they were discovered, they would not betray the presence of mages. Already he and Blaylock had planted them on many of the ship's passengers, including Rabelna Dorna, and Blaylock had skillfully slipped them onto several of the spaceport employees.

The two of them came out of the port onto a narrow street, towering buildings surrounding them on all sides. The noise was terrific-like a thousand stet-hammers breaking through metacrete. Great engines roared, metal screeched on metal. The sour-smelling air seemed to become lodged in his throat, and Galen started coughing.

"Breathe lightly," Blaylock said. "The air is filled with poisons."

As Galen struggled to bring his breathing under control, he studied the area. He knew it was afternoon, but he could not find the sun. Plumes of smoke rose into the sky, creating a black haze that made it seem like twilight.

A new wing for the port was being built to their right, the source of much of the noise. To their left, an oversized lift was negotiating its way out of the port and onto the narrow street. It carried a massive energy generator, its sharp silvery edges standing out against the dark buildings.

The streets were busy with traffic and filled with many different species: Drakh, Streib, Wurt, and in smaller numbers, Humans, Centauri, Drazi, Pak'ma'ra. There were several species he couldn't identify at all. In the doorway of the building across the street, Galen caught a glimpse of static. Another up the street, moving away from them. Two more beyond that. Galen realized the impossibility of their
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