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"I find actions more effective than complaints."

Michael spread his hands. "I'm free now."

He was treading dangerously. It was Michael's way. He knew that Morden would not act against him after they'd been seen together. He didn't realize that when this enemy did decide to act, he would have no chance.

"For a weak man," Morden said, "the weak link, you seem to invite trouble."

Michael hesitated, lips pursed. When he spoke, his tone was flippant. "You know what they say. What doesn't kill me makes me stronger."

Morden's smile widened. "I agree completely. But when it comes time to act, I'd rather surprise you."

Michael nodded. "My thoughts exactly."

They turned in opposite directions, parted.



Chapter 11



Anna lay on the table in the white room, a grayish-skinned technician standing to one side, Justin on the other.

"Do you recognize this person?" Justin asked. His quavering voice sounded strange to her, thin and flat. It came through the inferior sensors of this inferior body. He turned the comp-pad in his hand to face her. On its screen was the image of a Human.

"Elizar." She found it difficult to articulate the syllables with her crude speaking apparatus, and to simultaneously release the air that gave the syllables sound. It was so limited, this horrible little body.

Justin turned the screen away, made some change, his bushy white eyebrows contracting. "What about this one?"

She had not seen the Centauri for some time, but she recognized him. "Tilar."

As Justin again manipulated the primitive machine, the technician bent over her, poking at her skin with his thick finger. He lifted one of her extremities, flexed it. Beneath her flimsy, pale skin, weak muscles jumped erratically. Justin had explained that they were administering
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