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from that," said Isabelle, "which we accept without question."

"Late in life, he became the first mage ever to be reprimanded by the Circle, soon after it was formed by Wierden. There was a time, after my first reprimand, that I was consumed with knowing who else had been so blessed, and for what reason. I didn't quite make it through the whole long and ignominious list-to which I welcome Galen, our latest esteemed member-but I did get to Osiyrin, since he was first.

"The records of the Circle's proceedings are closed, though. When I couldn't find the reason he was reprimanded, I looked at some of his research, thinking perhaps that was it. The study of the Drakh seemed his most unusual piece of work. I don't know why the Circle would reprimand him for it, but then I don't know why the Circle does anything it does. I imagine they were afraid the Drakh would discover his work and call down the wrath of the Shadows upon the techno-mages."

"Can we read his work?" Galen asked. He realized he had a message.

"There it is. And let that be a lesson to you. Know everything." Isabelle said the last sentence with her, and Burell gave her a crooked smile.

Burell returned to the experiment, yet Isabelle's gaze lingered on her mother, her face falling into lines of worry. After a few seconds she seemed to become aware that Galen was watching her. "You take the first half of Osiyrin's research and I'll take the second," she said. "Meet you at the end."

Galen nodded, opening the document in his mind's eye. It was written in the ancient runic language of the Taratimude, of which he had a basic understanding from studying the work of Wierden. It would take him far too long to read the work in that language, though, so he used his Taratimude program to translate it.

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