His anxiety was muted by fatigue, though, and after a brief mind-focusing exercise, he fell quickly into a meditative state. He followed the shifting shapes of the mist, the regular rhythm of the sea. The mist sparkled in the dim light, almost as if trying to communicate with him. Then it parted, and a table stood before him. On it sat a black, rectangular comp-pad. A message glowed in yellow on its screen. The comp-pad seemed weighted with import, as if it carried some great secret. Its secret both frightened and drew him. It was a secret about himself. It would change everything.
At the same time that Galen felt the profound truth of this, he realized what was being done to him. The mage challenging him was stimulating the temporal lobes of his brain. Stimulation of the temporal lobes caused extremely intense visions, weighted with emotional import. Galen had read about a spell that did this, and at his request, Elric had performed it briefly on him. Galen recognized the heightened reality, the dreamlike sense of significance. Yet knowing the cause didn't make the vision any less compelling.
He approached the table, picked up the comp-pad. The yellow glow of the words burned into his mind. "To hide from others is magery. To hide from oneself is folly."
The words were a revelation. They carried the wisdom he had avoided all his life. He hid from himself. He did not know if he had always been this way, but it was true of him since he could remember. He read, he studied, he trained. He did as he was told. He focused on each day, avoiding the past, avoiding the future, avoiding the big picture that might be revealed if he stepped back from the canvas.
At times he would become upset, or afraid, but these emotions were like messages from a distant