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Galen, she extended her four orange hands toward Elizar.

"No," Elric whispered. "Galen must do it."

Elric's face, for the first time in Galen's experience, had lost its sternness. Even when Elric was in a good mood, his face always carried a tension to it, a sense of discipline, as if he were always examining, evaluating. Yet now it was completely relaxed-no lines between the eyebrows, no stern compression of lips. It was as if he had lost control of it, as if he was so far away from Galen, and from this moment, that he had left his body behind.

Galen realized he had destroyed any chance he had of becoming a techno-mage, that he had gone against everything the mages stood for. He couldn't even fulfill this one last task Elric had set him. "I can't," Galen said.

That brought the sternness back to Elric's face. "You will." Elric laid his hands on Elizar's arm, sending a fleet of microscopic organelles from his body into Elizar's. From his pocket, he brought a crystal hanging from a silver chain. He laid it in Galen's hand. Then Elric stood and took his place behind Galen, taking hold of the chrysalis.

Elizar's good arm rose a few inches, flopped back down. "I can"-each syllable came out with a panting exhalation- "do it myself." His face had gone white.

Elizar was in no shape to heal himself. Galen had no choice but to try. He closed his eyes and visualized the equation to access the crystal and the organelles with which it communicated. The crystal requested Elric's key, the secret symbol that would allow Galen control. Elric used the same key on all the probes and devices to which he wanted Galen to have access. Galen visualized it, and the crystal's systems became available to him.

He held the crystal by the end of its chain over Elizar's arm. The organelles
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