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across his face. "You want to get philosophical? I serve them because I choose to serve them. If you were smart, you'd do the same. Otherwise you're going to end up like the rest of the mages."

It was no answer at all.

Morden folded his hands in front of him. Though he was clearly trying to regain his smooth, threatening manner, something seemed lacking-an intensity, a passion to his words. "By the way, who was that in Down Below? Who's with you?"

"You left only two of us alive, and you can't remember which two?"

"Blaylock isn't known for his drunkenness. And there's at least one more, the one who came to Thenothk for you."

"Circe. She was killed. As for Blaylock, death changes one," Galen said. "Doesn't it."

Morden's dark gaze met his.

"The Shadows have been manipulating you," Galen said. And as he said it, he knew it was true.

"Manipulating me?" Morden's eyes narrowed further, his forehead furrowing. He shook his head. "You've got it backward. I've been the mastermind behind some of their greatest successes."

"The implant in your brain," Galen said, "that allows you to communicate with them. It stimulates the hypothalamus, influencing your emotions. You feel pleasure in serving them, as long as they provide the signal that orders the stimulation. They can also make you feel anger, or pain. Without their signal, the effect will fade." And what would he find underneath? An equally evil Morden, ripe for the crushing? He hoped so.

"I don't know what you're talking about. No one's influencing me."

Galen found a match to the star field. Elizar was indeed in the Omega sector on the rim, in the Alpha Omega system. Though Galen could not be sure that the streaked brown planet he'd seen was the third from that star, he knew, as one knew things in
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