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shifted. The craggy silhouettes parted, and a thinner, softer silhouette came forward between them. The dim light reflected off a curve of yellow hair. Galen's arm fell limp; the gun clattered against the floor. Beneath the curve of yellow hair, the face was a pit of pure blackness, and in the moment he saw it he was captured by it, its hunger pulling him toward it, sucking him in. He found his legs had stopped their forward movement, yet his mind was rushing ahead, unable to resist, wrenched from his body into the rich shining blackness.

Chapter 15

The blackness spread over Galen's mind, branching into tentacles, burrowing inward. He'd thought at first that he'd entered the blackness, but he now realized the blackness had entered him. The tentacles slid deeper, twisting, writhing. Then the end of each sprouted a claw, dug in.

He saw Elizar sitting before him. It all makes sense now, doesn't it? Then Elric stood before him in a hallway on Selic 4. It is the test of what you are. A techno-mage or a traitor. One who kills, or one who does good. One in control, or one consumed by chaos. One who brings darkness, or one who brings light. Then it was Blaylock, sitting across the table from him on the transport. Elric and the others, Galen said to him. They're on Babylon 5.

Bunny was scanning him. She was going to find out what she must not find out. He desperately visualized a blank screen in his mind, narrowed his attention to it, to the letter A appearing in blazing blue in the upper left-hand corner. It felt strange, doing the exercise without the echo of the tech. Yet he had done it many times before he'd received the implants.

It all makes sense now, doesn't it? Elizar said.

He forced the letter B to appear beside the A.

Then it was A B C in a
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