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Anna had been taught never to break off, not until the enemy was utterly destroyed.

Galen crossed his arms over his chest. He must not go. He must not go. He broke the connection, turned his mind away.

His ship activated its jump engines once again. Following the instructions Blaylock and Herazade had left, it opened a jump point amidst the roiling red currents. With a great rush of speed he was sucked into it. For a moment the ship's sensors went blank, and he lost all sense of direction or movement. Then the calm blackness of normal space surrounded him. After a moment's thought, he recorded his coordinates as directed, though he had no expectation of returning to this place.

Now he had a decision to make. He had information that might save lives. Perhaps he could do some small good as he completed this final task, if the idea was not ludicrous. Two people needed to receive the information he possessed. Galen would rather have kept to himself, which best helped him retain his equilibrium. One of the two, he knew, would be an unsettling force. Nonetheless, he would make the contact.

He composed the message. We need to meet. The FTL relay aboard his ship quickly routed the message to the relay nearest the recipient, and then to Alwyn himself.

In a few seconds, the reply came. And I should trust that this is you because...?

Because I still tell you that your golden dragon is brilliant.

But it IS brilliant, Alwyn wrote. And when have you ever said that?

Your golden dragon is brilliant.

Hell, it's great to hear from you. I knew you'd come to your senses eventually. We've got to have a party. Get stinking drunk and have some fun. Reminisce about old times. Catch up on things. Where shall this debauchery occur?

Galen smiled slightly. Alwyn hadn't
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