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sat in darkness, his heart pounding, and tried to think of nothing, to be nothing. Let the time slide by, and let him slide through it, like the ships gliding through the endless currents of hyperspace.

Yet his mind would be still no longer. The blank emptiness that had been shielding him these past weeks had finally slipped away. Since the convocation, he realized, he'd been insulated in that place deep inside, where he hid from himself. Now worry had drawn him out, and he couldn't go back, couldn't drift away and dissolve into mist like a ghost. He pushed the worry down, focused on his surroundings, on the workings of his ship.

A piece of his chrysalis had been incorporated into it, just as with his staff. Two of the Kinetic Grimlis, the group of mages that made the ships for all of them, had stayed behind after the end of the convocation to help him integrate the chrysalis, and to train him in the ship's operation. He had listened with little interest to their rapid instruction regarding engines, weapons, maintenance. What good was a ship, if the mages were all to withdraw to a hiding place for the indefinite future? He might as well travel with Elric, as he always had in the past.

Elric had convinced him to take a few training flights, but Galen had felt little desire to explore the capabilities of the ship, or the nature of his connection with it. More than that, he had found the connection uncomfortable. Associating with the ship, as with his staff, triggered a startling surge of nervous anticipation, as if he'd been injected with adrenaline. The energy from the chrysalis interacted with the restless undercurrent of the implants in a phenomenon mages called parallelism. Thoughts and feelings echoed back and forth between ship and implants, repeating themselves
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