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in Shadow skin, dying as he gave birth to a chrysalis; the stack of corpses against the cave wall. "Z'ha'dum was our home as well," Galen said. "And if you had seen it, you too would have destroyed it."

"What did you see there?" Ak-Shana asked. She had come up behind him.

Galen fixed one after the next with his gaze. In their faces he saw the tension of control, the adrenaline-heightened awareness of danger, the rush of energy and anger, the driving need to act. "I saw that the Shadows had lost their way. They had abandoned questions for answers. And they had decided to impose their answers upon us all-to manipulate, to control, to enslave, to kill. I discovered that we have been created in their image, and have begun down their path."

"We're nothing like the Shadows!" Chiatto's left hand curled upward like a snake, and struck. A fireball shot at Galen.

Around them, mage shields snapped on.

Galen stopped the fireball in midair. "Your anger, I realize, is partly your own. I too feel anger when confronted by a truth I would rather not face. Yet your anger is also, in part, the Shadows'. They urge you to chaos and destruction. Sometimes, to be sure, anger is well deserved, and destruction is the greatest good that can be done. Yet more often"-he quenched the fireball-"anger brings no good. For the truth cannot be changed with a fireball. The most effective way to change it, in fact, is simply to question it."

"You sealed our fate without consulting any of us!" Though his words were defiant, Chiatto lowered his hand to his side, shaken.

"But your fate has not been sealed," Galen said. "It has been opened."

Chiatto's companions drew him away, and Fed continued ahead, Galen following.

As they approached Blaylock's room, the hall became filled with his
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