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some distant past. A couple stood before a mirror, preparing for a night out. The man's hands were huge, with prominent blood vessels. He wore a ring with a ragged black stone. As he fastened lapel pins to his jacket, he spoke. I'm a much better teacher than you would be. I teach him discipline, obedience. Of course you undermine my authority at every turn, manipulating him to your own ends, smothering him with your false love.

Galen squeezed his raw hand into a fist, accelerating his exercises, narrowing his focus. The Shadows and Vorlons had coexisted as enemies for as long as histories, legends, and myth told, always fighting through surrogates. Was this what they fought over? Had billions died, species been eliminated, the galaxy been thrown again and again into chaos and despair, all so two ancient races could fight over who provided the best guidance?

How dare they?

How dare they unleash their conflict on the innocent, whether it was the passengers on a single ship or the inhabitants of an entire galaxy?

The translation continued to scroll down through his mind's eye.

The Vorlons broke the ancient agreement.

They must, finally, be destroyed.

If the Shadows were truly considering the annihilation of the Vorlons, this war would go far beyond any that had come before. Galen searched through more talk of chaos and destruction for anything further.

If the younger races refuse to join us, they too should be destroyed. They are infected with rules and structures.

If all the younger races must be destroyed or subsumed to rid us of the Vorlon influence, it may be for the best. Again and again we have tried. They have proven too slow to adapt to our ways.

Multiple species had been exterminated in previous Shadow wars. The Taratimude was but one.
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