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He had thought his spell would conjure a simple globe, at most. Instead, the energies and instabilities generated had been so great, the spell could well have killed them all. He had considered that the one-term equation might be unstable, but never that it would carry such great power. He was just thankful Elric had stopped it in time, overriding his control and erasing the spell.

The mages had stared down at him as if he'd revealed something about himself, something horrible. Perhaps Galen's memory was inaccurate. The conjury had been so startling, intense, and the override so disorienting, that he might have a distorted view of their expressions.

Nonetheless, the spell had arisen out of his language, his way of thought. Did it in some way reveal him?

It was a foolish idea. The spell had been logically derived.

And as Elric had said, the power had been there. Galen had just discovered it.

Apparently a spell needed at least two terms to be stable. The spells of other mages always translated into multiterm equations. The one-term spell was an idiosyncrasy of his language, Galen had decided, not ever meant to be conjured.

Elric had compared Galen's discovery to the discovery of the atomic bomb. Perhaps, as the atomic bomb had been created by splitting an atom, the great dark sphere of energy in the training hall had been created by splitting a spell.

Galen had no idea what exactly had been forming there. The energy had been directed, gathering into the sphere, growing darker, then fading. Whether it would have lost all coherence and degenerated into wild energies, or whether it might have ultimately formed into a stable construct of some kind, like a black hole or something more exotic, he didn't know.

If only the mages had not lost the scientific
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