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him, but Galen could read no reaction on his stern face.

The fiery runes faded, leaving them in the light of Elric's single globe.

"The Circle should meet at once," Elric said.

"We must remove Kell to the facility," Blaylock said. "This ship must be destroyed."

Elric nodded and conjured a platform beneath Kell that lifted him from the chair, then straightened so that he lay flat. With a wave of his hand Elric created the illusion of a sheet shrouding Kell's body, and in Galen's mind the image rose unbidden: Elric walking from the fire of the explosion, the bodies of Galen's parents floating behind him, supine, shrouded in sheets.

Energy churned inside Galen, searching for outlet. "I will destroy the ship," he said.

Elric hesitated, studying him. Galen tried to make his face impassive. He didn't think he fooled Elric, but Elric didn't seem to have the energy to argue. Instead Elric nodded and moved with Kell toward the air lock.

"Use your ship to destroy this one," Blaylock said. "Remove yourself to a distance. Take no unnecessary risk."

"Yes," Galen said.

Soon the others were gone, and he was left with darkness and the smell of blood and decay. He visualized his mind as a blank screen on which to impose equations. First he conjured several light globes, illuminating the area. Next he accessed his sensors, studied the walls of the ship, confirming what he thought. Then he went to the panel in the wall behind the chair. He slid it open, as the Grimlis had taught him. Sometimes maintenance or repair was necessary.

There, within the recess, like a thick silvery worm, clung a section of Elizar's chrysalis. Ripples on its skin revealed the tension of its muscles as it held to the interface pane. Processors ringed it, the nexus for them all. Silver
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