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broke contact with the probes, keeping his eyes squeezed shut.

He hadn't been prepared to see Elizar again. The restless energy raced through him, and he realized his body was trembling. Elizar's life went on too, as if nothing had happened. He was across the galaxy, yet it felt as if he were in the next room. Galen wanted to go into that next room and crush Elizar in his own private universe.

How could Galen leave, knowing Elizar went on?

Galen opened his eyes to the sky. Isabelle had said she would show him a sign. It was a foolish promise; he was foolish even to think of it. The universe had no pattern, meaning, or justice. It cared not whether Elizar lived or Isabelle died. It cared not whether the Shadows triumphed or the mages were killed. All was chaos.

The energy within him gathered itself, ready for his command. Galen wanted to use his spell of destruction on the whole thing. Kill this damned uncaring universe. Kill himself. Kill Isabelle, who had sacrificed herself for him. How dare she?

Morden was right, Galen thought. He was just like the Shadows. All he wanted was destruction.

Something touched him, and Galen jerked away.

It was Fa. Her hand hung in midair, his father's ring on her smallest finger.

The energy was ready to erupt, if he gave it the slightest direction. "Go away," he whispered.

Fa backed away, regarding him with fearful eyes.

His father, his mother-both had died senselessly. There was no reason or pattern. People saw patterns because they wanted to see them, just as people believed he could tell fortunes because they wanted to believe he could tell fortunes.

If only he could have seen the future.

He knew the tricks, knew what to say or do to convince someone he could see the future, or change the present. But
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