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His methodical spell language reflected those pathways, reflected him. The spell derived from that spell language reflected him. And his use of the spell had, finally, revealed who he was. Someone who would attack a friend. Someone who would strike with overwhelming force. Someone whose first, most basic instinct was to kill.

The restless energy of the tech churned inside him. Galen returned to his worktable and his screen and tried to ignore it, to work on translating some new spells. But the agitating undercurrent would not allow him to concentrate. The tech was growing.

After a few moments, he became aware that Fa was peeking into his window. He felt relieved at the distraction. Keeping his eyes on the screen, he snuck a hand under the table, into the tiny sack he kept fastened there, and took out a small bauble. "Do you know what happens to someone who stands outside a techno-mage's window?"

"She gets invited in."

Galen turned and gave her a reassuring nod. She remained outside, her thick fingers clenched on the windowsill. This was the first time he'd seen her since his attack on Elizar. She was still frightened of him. Yet at least she'd come.

He walked to the window and crouched in the sunlight. With every motion, his body felt strange, no longer his own. "What do you have there?" He reached behind her ear, produced the bauble.


"That's pretty," he said, as if seeing it for the first time. He handed it to her.

She stared at his bald head, and he saw a tightness in her face, a dismay, that he'd never seen before.

"That man-Elizar-who was burned," Galen said. "He's going to be all right. I wish I hadn't hurt him. I told him I was sorry."

Fa looked down, nodded. It struck Galen that he should have visited Elizar before now. When they'd
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