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would do this revealed his growing uncertainty. The possibility of the Shadows' return was already creating distrust and turmoil among them. And the chaos was just beginning.

"As for Elizar," Kell said, "he has spoken for himself to this assembly."

Slowly, Blaylock sat.

Kell's gaze swept over them. "We must now decide the nature of this mission to Zafran 8, and who will be sent. Elric and Burell, you brought us this information. Have you any recommendations?" Kell sat.

Recommend me, Burell's message read.

Elric knew the Circle would never agree, despite the fact that, even with her ill health, Burell was the best one to do the job. She was too controversial a figure to be chosen by the Circle. In addition, choosing Burell would make even clearer the redundancy in the mission. Why send her to collect evidence that she had already collected? Yet he had to plead her case, or she would do it herself.

"Burell would gladly continue her investigation for the Circle. Zafran 8 is her place of power. She has extensive connections to it, probes in all the areas of interest, useful sources of information. Her presence there is expected and so would draw no attention."

"I feel we have asked enough of Burell," Ing-Radi said, her slit pupils avoiding both Burell and Elric. "I join with Kell in thanking her for her efforts. Perhaps more evidence can be gained by approaching the problem in a different style."

"The use of Isabelle, however, would be wise," Kell said. "She would draw no attention."

An inexperienced mage would also take longer to find any convincing evidence, Elric realized.

I don't want her involved! Burell's message read.

I will do what I can, Elric responded.

Elric considered volunteering, but knew he was an unacceptable choice. A member
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