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murders and wars. The temptation he posed to the mages would remain. Yet still Galen hesitated. "How can you live with yourself?"

"I only offer people what they want." Morden's even white teeth gleamed with his old smile. "You know, you could really stand to enjoy life more, Galen." His hand slipped into his pocket. "What do you want? What would make you happy?"

There were more Shadows on the station, and they'd gotten close enough to regain their influence over Morden.

The door slid open, and Galen only had a moment to catch a glimpse of several armed Humans as he conjured a platform beneath his feet, launched himself at the hole in the wall, and shoved his body inside. Plasma bursts boomed into the wall around him. Frantic energy welled up, desperate to defend, to counter with deadly force.

Galen raised the gun, fired at the glistening membrane. It splattered against the sides of the shaft, and he raced past, losing himself in the narrow, twisting passages.

He'd known exactly what he was going to do. It had all been planned. He had wanted to kill, and the Circle had ordered him to kill. Yet he had not killed. And he had not freed Morden. In some foolish attempt to do good, he'd instead done nothing.

The Shadows' strings to their puppets could not be cut. He had not been able to save Anna, or the hybrid, or Morden. Only one path led to freedom, as Gowen had discovered. The choice he'd presented to Morden had been a false one. There was no freedom for either of them, except in death.

It was not a mistake he would make again.



Chapter 13



In Anna's mind, behind the barrier of brilliant, blank whiteness, vague forms were taking shape. This didn't feel at all like Bunny's intrusion into her mind. There was no pain, no pressure. Instead, in scattered
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