“You said there were only six Rig-mertians left.”‘That I know of. Yes. Xenith lends them out to those she finds worthy. If someone comes to her who’s unworthy she destroys them. Most everyone who’s askedto borrow a Rig-mertian has been killed. The odds are against you, Maximus.’“We’ll see.”‘Why take such an enormous risk?’“Don’t ask needless questions. This is the only way I can achieve my ideals.”‘You could at least let me switch to a new host before you commit suicide.’ Lurzsaw their destination world appear on the view screen. ‘Ten thousand years of life and itsdown to this.’Maximus sped the ship onward. The planet became the size of a dinner plate ontheir screen. Then they hit an invisible wall.Maximus jolted forward. He caught himself on the console.“That’s close enough.”He froze. The world on his view screen had pulsed as the words boomed aroundthem.‘Xenith—speaks through the planet?’ Maximus thought.‘Xenith
the planet,’ Lurz said in his mind. ‘I suppose I should have mentionedit.’“I know why you’ve come, Maximus Crom.”The world looked like the coiled flesh of a massive eel, yet with an atmospherethat made it hazy in places.