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a last-minute addition to their plan. Galen's ship passed through the jump point, and the roiling red currents of hyperspace vanished, leaving him in the blackness of space. He must follow the others. He must leave before he was consumed by chaos. Let Elizar spend a lifetime looking for him. Elizar would never find him.

Ahead lay the Lanep system. Galen reviewed what he knew of it, striving again for calm. Elric had learned, while investigating Morden's records, that EarthForce's New Technologies Division had built a base here, to experiment with fragments of a Shadow ship. The fragments had been discovered during an archaeological dig in which Morden had participated. Galen couldn't believe the Earth scientists would risk manipulating such advanced technology. But apparently the desire for power was not limited to techno-mages.

When Elric had reported this to the remains of the Circle, they had quickly altered their plans. The Circle had decided that a probe and relay must be left to observe what happened here. Galen sensed the hiding place was not far; that would explain their concern. And perhaps they still wanted to believe they had some role to play in the universe. Perhaps they even hoped the researchers would discover some key to controlling the Shadow's technology, as unlikely as that was.

They entered the system, approached the first planet, on which the base had been established. The primitive Earth technology would not detect their presence. Through his ship's sensors, Galen studied the brown, rocky planet, noticing some strange energies.

The ships ahead of him came to a stop. Galen moved below the others so he could get a clearer view, and stopped as well. He focused on the coordinates of the Earth base. An intense burst of energy flashed from the
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