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had searched the convocation for allies, just as he and Isabelle had searched the port city. They had found G'Leel to provide information. Had Morden found anyone?

The situation had seemed much simpler when they had been sent to Zafran 8. The threat had been from without, not within. Yet now, everything had changed. "How could Tilar possess a chrysalis?" Galen asked.

Elric's lips formed a thin, grim line. "That is the most troubling," he said. "The Circle must launch an investigation at once."

But where could Tilar have gotten the chrysalis, except from one of the Circle? Galen believed in the Circle, trusted them. He knew that Tilar's accusation could not be true, that Elric and the rest could not possibly hope for his death. Tilar had planted the lie among truths, as mages were taught to do. It failed to convince.

Yet Galen also knew that Elric had not believed he could succeed. And he remembered Elric's anger toward the Circle when he'd left for Zafran 8. Why had Elric been angry? And why had Galen been chosen?

Elric had refused to explain. The Circle might even have forbidden him to do so. Yet Galen felt as if he needed some explanation, some certainty to hold to.

Isabelle was looking at him curiously. She turned to Elric. "Do you think the information we have gathered is sufficient to convince the Circle that the Shadows have returned?"

"That," said Elric, "is difficult to say. I believe your evidence leaves no room for doubt. This time, I think, they must accept the truth."

"I trust in the Circle," Galen said. "But I require something. A reason. You never told me why I was sent to Zafran 8. I know that I was not the best choice. I know that you were unhappy with my selection. So why then was I sent?"

Two frown lines appeared between Elric's
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