Come with us before the Circle and confront them with it. I will support you. I will stand beside you and demand the truth. Give them the chance to answer your charges. You should not forswear them without giving them that chance; I know I cannot. They have made me everything I am. They have given me all I have. I have sworn to live up to their faith in me."
Elizar slammed his fist against the table. "No. It's not possible. I tell you that Burell is dead because of the Circle. They valued secrets more than they valued her. You must join me. It is the only way the mages can survive." Elizar's dark blue gaze fixed on him. "Galen, you and I share a dream. We want the same things. We want the mages to do good, not putter away their lives with petty magic tricks. You and Isabelle and I can stand together in the new Circle. I told you there would come a time when I would need your support. This is the time. And you need mine. I am your only salvation."
"I cannot do what you ask. Come with us back to the Circle. Together, we can uncover the truth. And with Isabelle's weapon, we can convince them to fight the Shadows."
Elizar turned to Isabelle. "It is your own mother who lies dead. Isabelle, surely you?"
She brought her hands together under Galen's. "No."
Elizar's mouth hung open at a crooked angle. He seemed at a loss. Then his mouth wrinkled shut, and his gaze flicked between them. His confidence, which seemed to underlie everything he did, had vanished. He whispered. "You don't understand. You can hear what they say. They can't let you share that power with-" Elizar bolted upright. "No! No! Not yet!"
Galen jerked to his feet, Isabelle with him. Something slipped over Galen's body, and a blast of plasma bloomed yellow across his chest, rippling through the