teach Galen that. Enjoy life. Enjoy it while he could.
* * *
Galen sat in his bedroom hunched over his screen, a fistful of hair gripped in one hand, rocking back and forth. The spells on the screen had turned to nonsense. His brain had stopped functioning several hours ago. All he could think of was that look of grave disappointment he was going to see on Elric's face in the morning.
In the nearly one thousand years since Wierden had established the Circle, all the spells that were worth doing, and were possible, had already been done. For the last several hundred years, spells were built upon, intertwined, varied with great creativity and ingenuity. Mages altered their presentation, generating different effects. They added ever more complicated flourishes, reflecting their unique identity and power.
Yet these increasingly complex spells didn't seem truly original. The truly original he found as he moved further and further back in the history of the techno-mages: Gali-Gali's discovery of the unfolded shield, Maju's leap from electron incantations to healing spells. A truly original spell would have to be on a par with those of the greats, and that task was beyond him.
He'd studied those great spells extensively. One difficulty every mage faced, though, was translating the work of other mages into his own spell language. Each mage had to discover and develop his own spell language, because a spell that worked for one mage would not work for another. Elric had explained that the tech was so intimately connected with one's body and mind that conjuring became shaped by the individual. Since each person's mind worked differently, mages achieved the best results in different ways. An apprentice trained to achieve clarity of thought, and his preferred method