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it. With a silky whisper, the Shadow skin slipped away.

Drakh swarmed around the curve, guns held to their chests. Galen looked down at himself, but saw nothing. The camouflage illusion-or whatever it was--worked perfectly. Just as it did for the Shadows. The Drakh showed no reaction to his presence.

Galen raced ahead of them, tracking the probe through the twisting tunnels. He came out onto a parapet, followed the signal back into the interior. Twenty yards. Ten. Five.

He came up behind Morden, who fired a PPG from the shelter of a doorway. Ahead, John was pinned down in an indentation in the rock, a small group of Drakh firing at him from the far side.

Galen conjured a fireball in his palm, seized Morden's wrist. Morden screamed, his gaze darting from side to side, searching for his enemy. Desperately he jerked his hand free, and the weapon fell to the tunnel floor. Galen kicked it away.

Morden retreated into the meeting room, hand clutched to his chest.

Galen turned on the small group of Drakh. He had only seconds before the others caught up to him. The equations flowed out. At the far end of the tunnel, each Drakh was captured within a sphere of darkness. Each Drakh crumbled inward to nothingness. The implosions split the air with a barrage of sound, then left them in sudden, deafening silence. Only a handful of smooth, scooped formations in the floor marked where the Drakh had stood.

John looked up and down the seemingly empty tunnel, his expression a mixture of horror and confusion. Galen spoke into the silence.

"There is one techno-mage fighting with you. Wait three minutes before you act. Now run."

Galen turned as the first shot of the coming onslaught burned past him toward John. It was the last shot they fired.

Equations poured down
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