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Elizar? Where is the good?"

"I find it very good," Elizar said.

"Beg for mercy," Tilar said. "That will make it even better."

Anna increased the intensity and sent the next shock.

Kell's leg jerked against her as his body was racked with wave after wave of spasm. His muscles writhed, unable to coordinate themselves enough for him to scream, or even to breathe. His heart fluttered within her hand, and Anna's heart jumped as well. She didn't want to fail. He must not die until they directed.

After a few moments, Kell's heartbeat returned, though it was erratic. His breath came in rapid gasps.

Elizar must have noticed, for he raised a hand. "Stop."

She discontinued the shocks.

Elizar approached Kell and stood over him. "You see that we're serious. We can go on like this for days. Tell us what the mages are planning. What action has the Circle decided?"

"I will- tell you nothing," Kell said.

"You will tell us everything. You have no choice." Elizar moved away. "I realize I haven't properly introduced you to everyone. You remember Tilar, of course. And earlier you saw your embarrassingly strange, constantly neglected student, Razeel. But I haven't introduced you to our latest addition." Elizar's hand extended with a flourish. "This is Bunny. Bunny is a telepath. I've promised her that if you don't tell us everything we want to know, she can tear your mind to shreds to get the information. She's looking forward to it. She's a bit unstable."

Bunny put her hands on her hips.

"So you see, it's foolish to suffer," Elizar continued. "Either way, we will find what we want. Isn't it for the good to tell us now and die quickly?"

"I think you were right before," Kell whispered. "The good-is for me to be tortured. And to die having revealed nothing.
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