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some move against John Sheridan. I don't know what."

"Did they say which planets would be attacked?"

Galen shook his head. "But the message went to a Shadow ship in that quiet zone. I saw the star field around it. The nearest star was Curesse, the second nearest, Regula."

That gave Alwyn pause. "Then I need your help more than ever in defending Regula. If your task is completed, we can all go together. You can help me set up defenses. If you want to leave before the fun gets started, I won't stop you."

"What I did in the caf© was only a test. Now that I know I can follow the Shadow signals, I shall finish my task. That I must do alone."

Alwyn's mouth fell open. "You can't cast that spell again. You stopped breathing! What if that happens next time, and there's no one around to help you?"

"It won't happen again," Galen lied. "I realized my error."

"We can wait until you've finished your task. You said it would only take a few hours, didn't you?" He rubbed his hands anxiously together. "We won't interfere-just be here in case you need us. Then you can come to Regula. One last stop before you return to the hiding place."


"You can help me save my place."

"No, Alwyn."

"You would rather let Regula burn, as Soom did?"

In his mind's eye, Galen accessed the security cameras, searched through the Zocalo for Morden.

"Apparently you think I'm fairly stupid. I know the Circle didn't send you here just to acquire information. If they wanted information, they would have sent Elric, or someone else. They chose you because the task is to kill someone, right? Morden?"

Alwyn's words came to him like the memory of an insignificant conversation held long ago.

"The one thing I can't figure is why they sent you now. Morden's been working with
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