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the tech. But they could demand endless proofs of loyalty from him, just as they had from Elizar. And with the mages held hostage in their hiding place, he would have to obey or become the cause of their deaths. Perhaps the Shadows would have him work with Elizar, approaching the others one at a time where they hid, weakened and with limited resources, giving each of them one last chance to turn or be flayed. Perhaps they would have him teach the others his spell. What chaos might they generate if they all knew his secret? Or perhaps they would have him fight in their battles, spreading his brilliant heat of destruction.

But there was much more at stake. The mages on Babylon 5 were only a small group. Right now, it seemed, only they were endangered. Could the Shadows suspect the deception? Could Elizar? Certainly he knew how the mages worked.

"Galen. It's the only chance to save them."

"And how will you know," Galen said, "that I have told you the truth?"

Elizar dismissed the question with a flourish of his hand. "My telepath will scan you to confirm it."

Somehow, Galen sensed that this had been Elizar's goal all along. All the truth Elizar had told had been to gain his trust, so he would undergo the scan willingly. When Bunny had attempted to scan Kell, Kell had killed himself. Elizar would not want a repetition of that. He would want to know the mages' true plans.

Galen could not allow Bunny to scan him. She was a P12. He might delay her for a few seconds, but that was all. He did not have the skill to induce a heart attack, as Kell had done. Elizar would learn the secret of destruction. He would learn that the gathering on Babylon 5 was a misdirection. The rest of the mages would be endangered. Perhaps it was true that they should never have been created.
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