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no support, and he'd terrorized and abused his aide from the day he'd arrived on Babylon 5. Ulkesh would not want to help Galen. The Vorlons had always despised the techno-mages, for good reason. The mages were creations of the Shadows, their ancient enemies. More than that, what would beings of light possibly want to do with beings of darkness? If Kosh offered him help, then Kosh was the exception. Yet Ulkesh held his only chance of reaching Z'ha'dum, of doing what he must do.

When John had demanded Kosh's help in the war, Kosh had attacked him in anger. Kosh had struck only to frighten, though, not to kill. Galen didn't know whether Ulkesh would be similarly restrained. But he could not get into a fight with the Vorlon. He simply needed Ulkesh's assurance that the Vorlons would not stand in his way. Then he would go.

If Ulkesh refused, still he would go. He had no choice. And if the Vorlons came for him on the rim, he would not fight them.

Galen added a second mind-focusing exercise to the one already working through its orderly progression. He had to maintain discipline to sense any telepathic intrusion Ulkesh might attempt. From what little he knew, he believed the mental powers of a Vorlon extremely strong, far stronger than those of a telepath like Bunny. Yet Kosh seemed to believe Galen had the ability to stop Ulkesh. He must be ready to react instantly. He could not betray the mages' hiding place.

Ulkesh was drawing closer. No one else was near.

Galen stepped out of the cross-hallway to block Ulkesh's path.

The curtained figure stopped a few feet away, the sleek head inclining, the red eye fixing on him. His whispering voice resonated with echoes upon echoes. "You stink of Shadows."

"I am a friend of Kosh," Galen said.

"We are all Kosh," Ulkesh
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