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Galen's anger had been misdirected. Kell had erred, but he had not been the one to betray the techno-mages. He had not been the one to join the Shadows. He had not been the one to kill her. The grief and fury he had felt at the sight of Kell's ship returned full force, and a sudden surge of energy drove through him, burning to act, to strike back.

"The ship belongs to Elizar," Elric said.

Behind them a door slid open and Galen spun, ready to attack. With fierce focus he forced his mind to be still, to be blank. He would not conjure on instinct.

Two dark figures emerged from the air lock.

Galen stepped out of the spotlights, saw that it was Blaylock and his former student, Gowen. Galen struggled to slow his breathing, to regain control.

"The blessing of Wierden upon-" Gowen's greeting broke off in a gasp.

"He has been flayed," Elric said.

Blaylock addressed Gowen. "Turn away. Come no closer."

Gowen obeyed.

Blaylock's pale face, scoured of all hair, seemed to float in the shadows. "They know where we are," he said.

One after another, the ship's lights went out, leaving only the light globe Elric had conjured. Then in the near darkness, brilliant red fire spread down Kell's arms. The fire curled into runes, formed a message.

We will reclaim the techno-mages.

The tech echoed Galen's outrage. Elizar still had dreams of overthrowing the Circle, of leading the mages with Razeel and Tilar at his side. He believed it was his right as an heir of the line of Wierden. Yet Galen had thought Elizar's hopes would have died when he'd become a murderer. How could he think they would ever accept him now, after all he had done? And how could he have the arrogance to treat the mages as if they were his to command, his to "reclaim"?

Elric glanced at
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