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withdrew further and further into his exercises, desperate to find an answer. The Shadows imposed their programming, their basic postulates onto the tech. All the mages' spells were built on those. If there was a spell to access the tech itself, it must be something even more simple, more basic. What could be more simple than an equation with only one term?

A sensation intruded-far above, movement. The force of his will fell upon it. The White Star. It had begun its descent. It carried elements of Vorlon technology. It was an atrocity. It was a threat to their home, and he must destroy it.

A target, at last, for the brilliant orb that he had become, for the blazing web of his malice. In war those unfit were exterminated. In war he was victorious, and through war true perfection would be realized. The thrill bloomed through him.

He tried to force the Eye's attention away, but he could not avert his gaze. He could not allow the ship to pass. Even as he struggled to do so, he directed the weapons platforms in orbit to lock on to this target.

Then the answer came to him. An equation with no terms. A spell that demanded nothing, in which neither was master, neither slave. A spell that simply opened a door, a door to the wellspring of darkness.

The Shadows had given the mages this Trojan Horse, and what was inside, he did not know.

Perhaps nothing. Perhaps even greater destruction.

Was he a fool, thinking that from the Shadows anything good could come?

He had spent his life in the pursuit of order.

Now it was time for uncertainty. It was time for chaos.

In a second the White Star would be at optimum distance from the weapons platforms, and he would direct them to fire. He narrowed his focus. At the end of the dark, suffocating tunnel of his control,
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