"Your clients?" Michael asked Galen.
"That remains to be seen." The security chief would draw Morden's attention; he could be a valuable distraction.
"You make a strange combination."
"Not at all," Alwyn said. "Disaster relief depends on getting the necessary supplies to their destination quickly. Guy has often come through for us in the past." Alwyn turned to Galen. "We're hoping to build a more permanent relationship with him."
Alwyn was playing games, but Michael's gaze had drifted to Morden. His main purpose here was to let Morden know he was watching. The security chief set himself up as the one Morden must evade, while other, hidden security provided the real surveillance.
Michael took a photograph from his pocket, handed it to Alwyn. "Have any of you seen this man? He's missing. There's a reward for information on his location."
Alwyn shook his head, passed the photo to G'Leel, who then passed it to Galen. It was Stephen Franklin. "How much?" Galen asked.
"You tell me where he is, and I find him there, and he's in good condition-five hundred credits."
Morden stood and began threading his way through the tables toward them, out of the caf©. The Shadows came one ahead of him, one behind, their angular silhouettes moving with a strange, scissorlike action.
"I'll keep a lookout," Galen said, and returned the picture to Michael.
As Morden approached, he looked toward Michael, smiled. The shape ahead of him, shimmering with white dots of interference, seemed to seethe with malice.
And then the words were bubbling up through him again, only now there were a hundred times as many as before, his blood effervescing with the rush of them. Words upon words, whispers upon whispers, messages upon messages boiled through him.