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a moment, another ripple followed, and another, as if the passage were wrinkling. Galen glanced back, saw the extension had sealed up behind him and was retracting, rushing at him like a great wave. He had only an instant to hold his breath before it slammed into him, enveloping him in its fluid currents, tumbling him over and over, driving him forward, into the Vorlon ship.

Then the movement stopped, and Galen found himself submerged in the ooze of the ship. He fluttered his eyes open for an instant; the yellow-green glow surrounded him. He jerked his arms and legs, trying to push his way through it. His sensors revealed a hollow area a few feet ahead. That must be the interior of the ship.

As he struggled, the material tightened its hold, as if he were thrashing through metacrete that was hardening by the moment. Movement required more and more effort, grew more and more limited, until finally, he was immobilized.

Frantic energy welled up in him, and he found himself visualizing the blank screen in his mind, ready to impose spells upon it, to attack.

But killing the Vorlon was not his purpose. He would not lose control. He would not strike out. Instead, as the need to breathe intensified, he focused on his exercises, building them step by orderly step in his mind.

If the Vorlon meant to kill him, then he would be killed. Whatever happened, though, he could not allow the Vorlon to learn the mages' hiding place. He would not be the cause of their deaths.

The ship's grip on him remained tight, holding his straining limbs in their awkward positions, squeezing around his chest, pressing at his face, and somehow he could sense that intelligence all around him, the shifting yellow-green patterns winding over him, studying him.

At last the pressure to breathe
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