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the Drazi's arm, forced his grip to relax. He looked up at the rocky ceiling. Even if he could destroy the Eye, even if the White Star homed in on John and penetrated the cavern above, he didn't know if the destruction would reach this far.

This could not continue.

He had to destroy it. He had to destroy it all.

He released the Drazi, forced himself to stand, to move on. He drew closer to the source of light. Against the far wall, stacks of bodies-naked of their Shadow skin, drained of strength and substance and life, long slits cut down their chest or sides. Farther down, bins of the objects harvested- pods, small saucer shapes, mouse-sized objects, and strange brain/spinal cord combinations, like the one that was growing on the Drazi. As he looked at one now, separated from its host, it looked almost familiar, the thick, umbrella-shaped top resembling the bell of a jellyfish, the trailing section like one of a jellyfish's long oral arms. If the shifting Shadow skin were removed, or disguised... it would be... it would be a mage's chrysalis.

He walked to the next bin, his legs stiff with fear. It was filled with canisters he well recognized, wooden and carved with runes. He took one out, opened it, reached into the liquid. Across his palm hung the warm, pulsing threads of the tech. After a few moments out of the liquid, they began to squirm. One curled up on his hand and poked its end at his skin, searching for an opening. Galen returned them to their canister.

Cheerful humming echoed across the cavern. It sounded like a woman's voice. Galen crouched, seeing movement across the rows of atrocities. A spiky figure shrouded in brilliant red Shadow skin stopped beside one of the "substrates," knelt there. The figure looked humanoid, except for a series of tapering
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