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demarcated a space within which something would be done.

If removing the cleanup term did have an effect, what might it be? Perhaps the sphere wouldn't form at all. Perhaps it would be opaque or have some other property. Or perhaps it would be deformed in some way. In any case, it wouldn't be very impressive.

Galen forced himself to take a break. He released his screen, stretched tight muscles. Outside the circle of light cast by the lamp on his worktable, his room had fallen into darkness. The walls of stacked stones had lost definition in the dim light. His rough wooden wardrobe, night table, and bed were vague, indefinite shapes.

On the wall above his worktable, four long shelves hung in shadow. Galen organized all his projects and materials there. Each item was neatly in place. Galen had found he couldn't concentrate when items were left out on the worktable, or in any disarray. Items on the bottom shelf related to his recent research projects: microscopic probes that he had made, probes made by Elric and Circe for comparison, data crystals containing his latest translations of spells, props he had developed for a variety of minor illusions. On the second shelf he kept objects left over from previous projects: powders and potions, crystals and microchips, loose components and curious novelties. The top two shelves held older projects and other materials for which he was not sure he would find a use: his medical research, various primitive inventions, an identikit that could produce replicas of the identicards issued by twenty-three of the major governments, a keycard Alwyn had given him for his last birthday. Alwyn had promised that it would open any door.

A burst of light from outside drew his attention. He got up from the rough wood table and went to the
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