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time such a thing had happened.

Alwyn clutched G'Leel's hand, raised it. "G'Leel is going to fight with us. You know the truth now. It's our responsibility to stop the Shadows. Or else we are no more than their cowardly allies. We can strike cleverly, swiftly, in and out before they know it. They'll never catch us."

Galen crossed his arms. "I cannot stay with you."

"There are a whole series of bases along the rim. With your power, we can wipe them out, one by one. And when the Shadows are weak enough, we can strike at their home, Z'ha'dum, and annihilate the whole-" Alwyn shook his head. "What?"

"I shall leave with the others."

Alwyn stared at him. "What is this, some kind of misplaced loyalty? You're just going to leave and let the Shadows get on about their business? What about Elizar? If he still lives, you simply wish him a happy life and fond farewell? I thought you cared about Isabelle. And about Carvin and all the rest. How can you let their deaths go unavenged? How can you go off and hide while the galaxy burns?"

"How is irrelevant. I will go."

Alwyn seized him by the shoulders and shook him. "Wake up, you damned zombie! Wake up!" Tears ran down Alwyn's face. "You're a coward, you know that? The worst of them all. You would run away when you're the one person with the power to end all this. The power to destroy the Shadows."

It was what he most wanted. And it was what he must not do. "I will go."

Alwyn's fingers dug into his shoulders. "Teach me, then. Teach me your spell."


Alwyn shoved him away. "You're a traitor to the Code. You're not doing good. You're hiding. If Isabelle were here, she would stay with me. So would your father. But anyone with any guts around here seems to be dead."

Alwyn would not stop. Galen forced
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