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Blaylock's energy was taken with the shield.

Galen conjured a platform below them and they slammed into it. Blaylock grunted.

"Sorry," Galen said.

A plasma burst sprayed red and yellow over them. Blaylock's shield was intact but weak. He was nearly exhausted. Above them, the window had somehow been directed to open, and the Drakh fired down from it.

Equation of motion. Galen sent the platform down, away from the window. He had to save them. In the red spray of light, he saw Blaylock's face, his mouth tight, eyes squeezed shut with effort. Galen climbed to his knees and jogged the platform away from the lights, diving toward the darkness that dominated a large area behind the building. That must be the demolition site. It seemed unoccupied.

Then the darkness moved, its spiky silhouette rising up against the glowing night sky. From above, he hadn't seen it. A red beam shot from its front edge down into the ground, carving some kind of trench in the earth.

The beam vanished, and for a moment there was just the sound of the wind rushing past. Then with a shriek the huge ship wheeled and dove toward them.

No ball of energy would stop it. No shield would protect against it. There was no time to evade it.

He made the decision in a second that seemed to stretch out forever. When he had faced Elizar, he had held back. He had obeyed the dictates of the Circle. He had thought he could save Isabelle by sacrificing himself. Instead she had shielded him, and she had died.

Now Blaylock protected him, though the protection could not hold. In a moment they would both be dead. The warning to Elric would be unsent; he and those with him would be killed.

And the universe would not care.

Fury rose up in him, fury at Elizar and the Shadows, fury at himself, fury
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