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the actual doing of it. He believed the greatness of our order dependent on how much power we wield, and he desired the greatest power for himself. But it is not the magnitude of power that matters. Men can build weapons more powerful than we are. Our greatness lies in knowing when and where to apply that power. In the finesse with which that power is applied. In the sacred intimacy with which we are connected to that power." Blaylock extended a finger. "Eat."

Galen dug into the food, which was some sort of shredded meat dish. "Can we tell G'Leel what she wants to know?"

"Once we learn what we need. Then you may tell her."

Galen realized he had one piece of news that might at least partially redeem him in Blaylock's eyes. "I translated the spell. I can't be sure of the accuracy, though, without a test."

Blaylock's thin, dour face contracted in a way that somehow suggested pleasure. The expression seemed odd on him. "It is too dangerous to test. We may be detected. We may well have only one opportunity to use it."

"In my language, the spell reduced to a one-term equation, like the spell of destruction. My thought has been that these one-term equations may be only partial spells, and that they may carry great, unstable energies. This one may carry power similar to the spell of destruction."

Blaylock nodded. "You have checked your work?"


"Then we must try it. It offers our best chance of success. And you must be ready, if it goes ill, to do everything in your power to stop it. I have searched what datasystems I could penetrate, and I have learned some of the Shadows' strengths and bases. But there are no files relating to our order, or any plans they may have for us. Tonight, I believe, may be our only opportunity to gain the information we require.
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