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which ran again and again through his mind: It is only at the meeting of knowledge and ignorance, of light and dark, that new understanding may be found: in the shadow.

Someone stood over him. Galen looked up.

"What do you read there?" The alien was humanoid, of a species Galen had never seen before. He had a long, pale face, with a narrow, flat nose and golden eyes. A circlet adorned his bare head, and a thin gray beard ran halfway down his chest. His clothing was made of a strange metallic fiber that looked almost like armor. He spoke in English, his voice mild.

Galen thought he must be hallucinating, but decided to answer anyway. He forced his numb lips to move, his lungs to expel air. "They once knew the path." His voice was rough. "But they lost their way."

The alien inclined his head. "It is difficult to live an entire life and find that your answers have not ended the questions, simply changed them."

"Who are you?" Galen asked.

The alien smiled, and in the kind lines of his face Galen found he trusted this being, whether real or hallucination. "That question would require many times your life span to answer, and it is not fully answered yet. But I have long lived here, and I have watched the universe seek understanding through the conflicts of the Shadows and the Vorlons."

Curiosity resonated through him. "How do you know what the universe seeks?"

"It told me, of course. I think now, though, the universe has learned as much as it can from them. It is time for a new age."

"Certainty can never lead to understanding," Galen said. "Only uncertainty."

"You are wise for one so young."

Galen shook his head. He suddenly had the overwhelming urge to lie down, to sleep. But he felt he should not. Not yet. He had more questions. "Do you know
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