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members of the Circle-save Elric-and he and Isabelle.

Blaylock conjured a flying platform for himself and Ing-Radi and guided them toward her ship.

Kell conjured a platform below Elizar, raised him several feet off the ground. Although Kell's face was in shadow, Galen sensed Kell's dark eyes studying him. From the darkness came a heavy sigh. "You are not injured?" he asked.

"No," Galen said, and Isabelle echoed him.

"We will discuss this in the morning," he said. His steps were heavy as he walked away with Elizar and Herazade.

Galen felt no desire to stand. He felt no desire to move, ever again.

"I thought he was going to attack us too," Isabelle said. "He was so angry. I had my hands ready to conjure a shield the entire time we were talking."

Galen remembered her hands clenched together in front of her, remembered the tiny movements that had generated the shield back in the hall. He realized now that she had thrown up a shield, in the middle of everything. He hadn't needed to act at all.

"You walked in on the middle of it," Isabelle said. "You weren't as prepared as I was."

"It never occurred to me that he would attack us, until he brought his hands to his mouth. Then it was just instinct," Galen said. "Somehow it was just my first reaction. My first reaction to kill him. I don't know why."

"But-you did something, didn't you? Something to stop it. It wasn't the same as in the hall."

"I tried to make it harmless. It was too late."

They remained in silence for a few minutes. Then Isabelle extended her hand. She held the sensor-pad. "You dropped this. In the explosion."

Galen took it. He was out of words.

"I better go. Burell will be worried."

Galen nodded. Her dark figure vanished into the mist.

He couldn't go home now, couldn't
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