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eggs had begun to hatch, releasing wriggling larvae that raced through his system.

Galen looked at the canister on his worktable. The chrysalis floated within, silver with hints of yellow. It seemed, more than anything else, to be waiting. The chrysalis had become attuned to his system. It would now serve as his source of external tech, connecting his body to various other systems built from lesser technology, such as a ship, a place of power, a staff. It was as if an organ had been removed from his body, yet the connection remained. Wherever it was, he would be too.

And something new had been inserted into his body. From the data stored in the old implant at the base of his skull, the tech knew his body systems, his thoughts, his spell language. It was growing, intertwining itself with his systems, combining itself with him, making itself part of him. The tech couldn't be taken off and stored in a jar. It wasn't something he would access only while safely under Elric's supervision. It was with him now and for the rest of his life, ready to respond to any command he might give at any moment. Elric had spoken to him of this, but Galen hadn't truly understood until now.

He retrieved a small square mirror from his shelf, lowered his robe from one shoulder. As the tech developed, discolorations would appear along his shoulder blades and spine, where the tech came nearest the surface of his skin. Galen had seen Elric's; they formed an intricate brown, stippled pattern that looked like nothing more than an elaborate tattoo. Galen held the mirror behind him, twisting his neck to catch sight of his spine. The discoloration was faint, but an elaborate pattern had already formed. He tilted the mirror, finding that the pattern ran the entire length of his spine.

He had
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