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are." Kell took a step toward him, his body growing taller, broader. "Who are you, Galen?"

Galen felt a great emptiness where the answer should be.

The question reverberated within that emptiness. He had to fill it. "I am a student. I study-"

"But tomorrow you are no longer a student. Tomorrow you are initiated. Tomorrow you no longer study life, but live it. Then who are you?"

"I am a techno-mage."

Kell took another step toward him, his body now huge, dwarfing Galen. "A role."

"I am Galen."

"A name." Kell came closer, his dissatisfied face filling Galen's field of vision.

"I am one who wanted to be a healer and failed."

Kell nodded. "And who are you now?" His voice rang through the corridor.

"I am a seeker."

"And what have you found?"

Galen couldn't think. "Many things."

"What have you found?"

"I have studied the ways of Wierden."

"What have you found?" The question tolled again.

"I have learned the control of spheres."

"What have you found?"

"I have discovered a progression of spells."

"And what have you found?"

The knowledge fell upon him like a curse. He had found only one thing of import. One thing that now overshadowed all else in his life. "I have found the secret of destruction."

"And who has it made you?" Kell's voice rang. "Who are you?"

"I am the techno-mage who carries the secret of destruction. The secret that must never be used."

Kell's body paled and dissolved into mist, and Galen looked down to find his body coalescing out of that mist, his hands white, then gaining color, substance. Kell's voice pealed through the corridor. "Write that across your soul, boy."



* * *



Galen found himself standing in a large circle with the other apprentices. He knew he had not been asleep, but
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