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unfolded from around him.

He forced himself to continue. He must know it all, and he must hurry. Across from the pods stood the large sails of Shadow skin. Bodies cloaked in shifting redness formed the supports between the large stretches of skin. It was the beginning of a large structure-perhaps a Shadow ship, perhaps something else, he couldn't be sure. Farther down, he thought he recognized different species of animals, from which strange objects were growing. Then more humanoid shapes. In some cases the object being produced grew out of the chest or stomach, in other cases it grew out of the side, looking almost like a conjoined twin. As the object grew larger, it pulled the Shadow skin away from the host, revealing a limb, a foot, the top of the head. He saw pieces of Drazi, Humans, Narns, Minbari, Centauri, Pak'ma'ra, others.

These were the substrates listed by the Eye.

Then he reached the source of the sound. The Drazi lay on his chest, an object growing out of his head and spine that looked almost like a second brain and spinal cord. The object must be nearly complete; the Shadow skin had pulled away enough to reveal a strip several inches wide down the length of the Drazi's shriveled arms and legs, and of his head, which was turned to one side, his mouth and one eye had been freed. He was panting, gasping desperately for air.

Galen knelt beside him. "Can you hear me?"

The Drazi's eye was pointed at the ceiling. It did not move.

Galen studied the strip of withered scales on his arm. Beneath, tissues were desiccated, muscles atrophied, bones decalcified. The Shadow skin had drawn all strength from his body. There could be no saving him. He would already have died, if the Shadow skin were not keeping him alive.

Galen found his hand clenched about
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