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Cabin, when the pressure in his head suddenly built into an incredible, over-whelming pain. His muscles were quivering, his legs about to collapse. "I must withdraw. I will return in a moment."

She nodded, eyes wide.

He barely made it into an empty corridor before his legs gave way beneath him. He conjured an illusion around himself, a section of wall that bumped out around him. He pressed his forehead against the cold floor and tried to focus on the images in his mind's eye. The pain, that tumor of desolation growing inside him, seemed to block out everything else. He felt as if he were being consumed by it, by all that had been lost, and all that would be lost.

He had gone too long without rest. Now, at this critical time, he was failing.

Angry at his weakness, he forced himself to focus, to access the camera in the customs area. He must not allow the plan to fail.

Carvin was standing in his place, waiting for his return.

Londo strutted into the customs area behind her, his black halo of hair restored to perfect order.

Elric had known that eventually he would emerge, driven by curiosity, a twinge of guilt, but most of all, a desire to assuage his ego, to prove to himself that he was not afraid of the mages. Elric should be the one to deal with him.

Elric climbed to hands and knees. His limbs trembled, rubbery. He did not have the strength to rise.

"The arrangements are satisfactory, yes?" Londo said to Carvin.

"Londo. Yes, you've honored your debt." She extended her hand. "No kiss?"

His expression softened. "You make it difficult to remain angry at you." He took the hand, kissed it.

"There's no need for hard feelings between us. We required a ship; you were able to provide one." Although she was unprepared for the encounter, she was
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