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and Elric turned to face him. It would be their final meeting. Londo had a mild smile on his face. He wanted to prove to Elric, and to himself, that he had no fear of techno-mages. "I wanted to thank you for your amusing little gift. It took me two hours to repair the damage to my quarters, and I don't think the smell will go away for days. Now if I may ask, does this torment end when you leave, or am I going to have to spend the rest of my life paying for one little mistake?"

His one little mistake. Elric wanted to strike down this petty, self-indulgent, careless man, a man who killed equally with kindness and hatred. But he must not reveal the depth of his anger, must not reveal that he knew the mages aboard the Ondavi would be killed. He had not needed to work so hard to control himself in many years. He fixed the butcher with his gaze, and he, too, put on a mild smile. "Oh, I'm afraid you're going to have to spend the rest of your life paying for your mistakes. Not this one, of course; it's trivial. I have withdrawn the spell. But there will be others."

Londo drew back, wary. "What are you talking about?"

"You are touched by darkness, Ambassador. I see it as a blemish that will grow with time. I could warn you, of course, but you would not listen. I could kill you, but someone would take your place. So I do the only thing I can: I go." He turned away, then stopped himself. Surely he could do some small bit more, without revealing the deception. If he could plant a seed of truth in Londo, a seed that might someday force the butcher to see himself for what he truly was, in all its horror, then perhaps he might have done some good. He turned back.

"Oh-I believe it was an endorsement you wanted, a word or two, a picture to send to the folks back home, confirming
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