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surface, then another. A ship was hovering over the base, firing down on it. Galen quickly checked the surface for life, but found none. Not a single structure of the base remained. The ship had destroyed everything, had killed everyone, and still it continued to fire, blasting a crater deeper and deeper into the planet. That was just what Galen would have liked to do, on Thenothk.

He extended his sensors to maximum, got an image of the ship. It was sleek, black, organic, with glittering skin similar to that on a Shadow ship. Yet the shape was different. From a long, central core, two rows of pointed extensions stretched outward and down, like two rows of legs. The energy readings were not the same as he'd sensed from Anna either. Most of the output looked very primitive, like that of current Earth technology, while other elements, primarily the skin and the weapons systems, reflected Shadow tech. It was some sort of rudimentary hybrid.

Galen was amazed at first that the Earth scientists had been able to construct it. But then he realized that the mages incorporated Shadow tech into their ships, staffs, and places of power. Apparently it was quite adaptable. Yet the Earth scientists hadn't been able to control their hybrid, and it had turned on them. Galen could have told them the results of using Shadow tech. He could have told them it would bring only destruction. The hybrid was, perhaps, a distant cousin, but still they had much in common.

Galen realized that this research was yet another reason the mages must flee. If Earth knew this much of Shadow tech, it would not take their scientists long to discover that the mages utilized that same tech. And from there, the determination to acquire the mages' knowledge, and their power, would follow close behind.

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