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piece of evidence: Tilar had a chrysalis. This fact had shaken them to the core. Even Kell.

Now Elric waited impatiently. Nearly five hours had passed since his conversation with Galen and Isabelle. He'd been unable to gather the Circle any sooner. Every moment that passed increased the possibility of danger.

At last, Blaylock stood, a dark specter. "I commend Galen and Isabelle for their success in this difficult task. They have found definitive evidence that the Shadows have returned." His voice, usually so harsh and certain, was hesitant. "Before we take any other action, though, we must discover the source of Tilar's chrysalis." His voice picked up speed, strength. "To have a rogue-someone we have cast away-practicing technomancy is an outrage and an abomination. If each chrysalis is under our control and carefully accounted for, then how could such a thing happen?"

"Yes," Herazade said, "how could this happen?"

Kell extended a placating hand. Blaylock, reluctantly, sat. "I, too, am extremely disturbed by this development," Kell said. "The most disturbing part of it is that each chrysalis is accounted for. The chrysalis Tilar trained with, along with the implants he was meant to receive, were destroyed in the casting-away ceremony three years ago, in which we all participated. This year, we had twelve new chrysalises, for the twelve new chrysalis-stage apprentices. All twelve apprentices are still here; all were in training this morning, each with his own chrysalis."

A new chrysalis was really the only possible answer. Each chrysalis developed in accordance with its user, taking on specific traits that made it incompatible with any other user. Older chrysalises, retained by the initiates and other mages, were far too specialized to be used by another.
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