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launchers had been melted into pools of slag. Most of the Drazi, however, remained standing. He looked more closely at one, clearly visible between columns of machine people. Her rifle was gone. The gray, scaled hand that had been holding it was gone as well, leaving a blackened stump. She swayed, staring at the black soldiers in terror. She and the others had been spared, to serve some further use.

Here was the new army. Here was the darkness of which Kosh had spoken.

One of the Drazi broke away, ran for the wall, began rapidly climbing toward the lowest balcony. A strange ripple ran through the cavern-a shift... in something, Galen couldn't say what. And then he saw. A spherical area around the escaping Drazi began to redden and darken.


A hard shiver ran through Galen as the tech surged. At last it was time to kill.

In the distorted spacetime of the spell of destruction, the Drazi's head twisted around in alarm, the gray scales of his face undulating in waves. Below, the glittering black ranks snaked from side to side. Galen's shoulders stretched wide as he searched for Elizar.

Then the darkening sphere did something Galen had never seen before. It moved, floating away from the wall, carrying its prisoner and the chunk of rock to which he clung. As the sphere darkened, it came to hover over the other Drazi, showing them what would happen if they tried to flee. The captured Drazi's mouth opened in a silent scream.

The sphere snapped into its rapid collapse, and the Drazi's body crumpled like a piece of paper. The shrinking sphere paled to gray, then, like a mirage, simply faded away. A blast of air rushed in to fill the void with a great rolling crack.

If Elizar had the spell of destruction, then Galen's only chance was to crush Elizar before
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