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hands. "You can't expect me to pay you now."

Carvin seized him by the wrists and pulled him close. His drink flew off the table. "I'll tell you exactly what I expect," she said, still smiling, her voice mild. "Lord Refa owns a ship, the Ondavi, that is docked here. You will tell him you need the ship. You will use any excuse, make any promise to get it. It is well within your power. You will tell no one why you truly need it. And you will have it ready for us in two hours."

"But that's completely impossible! Lord Refa will not simply give me his ship."

Their faces were only inches apart. "You can be very convincing, Londo. I'm sure you can talk him into it."

"I may not even be able to reach him in two hours. He is a very busy man, you know."

"Surely for an important person like you, Refa will make time."

"It's simply out of the question. You have cheated me. Why should I honor the debt?"

She released one of his wrists, found the drooping lock of his hair, ran her ringers down it. "You have known the anger of one techno-mage. Would you like to know the anger of all five hundred?"

Londo pulled away, stumbling to his feet. "This is an outrage! I've done nothing to you people! Nothing but try to form a friendly relationship!"

"You have formed a relationship with us. At your own peril." Carvin stood and came around the table to him. "Have the ship ready. In two hours."

She kissed him on the cheek and walked out of the bar, leaving Londo, with his drooping lock of hair, looking stunned.

* * *

Galen stood in the dim stone tunnel, looking through the open doorway into the brilliant white room. Within, on the far side of the table, stood Elizar, with his long maroon velvet coat, his dark goatee in the shape of the rune for magic, his angular,
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