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into a packet of probes in his pocket, stuck several of the dustlike grains on the wall beside the air lock. Through them, he checked his appearance. He would not use a full-body illusion; the energy could well draw the Shadows to him.

Fed had done well. The shoulder-length wavy wig, while not something Galen would have chosen, radically changed his appearance. The dirty-blond hair was styled with a ragged line of bangs that ran just above his eyes. Galen had allowed his beard to grow for a few days, so a dark stubble covered his cheeks.

Fed's clothing selections were uniformly outrageous. Galen wore a golden suit with a ruffled lavender shirt and a thick golden necklace. He looked like a stim dealer or-he didn't know what. Most certainly he did not look like himself.

He would have preferred a disguise more compatible with his own personality, as he had used in the past, but he and Morden had met twice before; Galen could not risk being recognized.

He wondered if even Alwyn would know him. But Alwyn would have studied the scheduled arrivals, would have deduced which ship was his, and would be expecting him in disguise. Galen had done the same to learn under which identity Alwyn was traveling. He had arrived in a sleek cruiser the day before, as Thomas Alecto. He, too, avoided using his mage ship for most of his travels. As the Shadows' presence had spread, he'd become more and more careful to conceal his identity as a mage.

Galen accessed the probe on G'Leel's shoulder, found that she was standing in the busy customs area with Alwyn, awaiting his arrival. Though Alwyn was in disguise, Galen recognized him instantly by the sagging skin beneath his eyes. Those bags had always suggested a softness in his personality, one that Alwyn could often display, yet one
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