Elric had told him the spell of destruction was his burden to carry for the rest of his life, the burden to have the power and not use it. But it was a burden he could not carry. He would not carry.
He had lost Isabelle by his restraint. Morden had asked him if he could live with that decision, and he now knew the answer: he could not.
He and Blaylock might both be killed, this planet of Shadows might be destroyed, this universe of chaos and death might be enveloped in a massive wave of destruction. But he would not stand by and do nothing.
He would not lose another.
On the front of the great shape of glistening darkness, a point of red light built to brilliance as the ship prepared to fire. Galen closed his eyes, visualized the spell of destruction.
Energy collapsed around him in a massive, overwhelming wave, crushing him with suffocating concentration. Then with a great rush it shot out of him, flinging him back. As he hit the platform, he threw out his arms, one finding the hard surface, the other flailing in empty air. He pulled himself toward the center of the platform, unable to catch his breath. The air felt charged, strange.
Above him, the brilliant red light on the front of the Shadow ship began to darken. The energy he'd conjured had collected in a sphere centered on it. The sphere itself was difficult to see. Perhaps fifteen feet in diameter, it encompassed only a small portion of the leading edge of the ship, an area that had now begun to turn redder and darker.
The spiky silhouette abruptly stopped its dive, hovering over them. Time felt wrong, sluggish, distorted. Space seemed fluid and uncertain. Galen felt his left lung swelling within his chest, as if it would burst out of him. The few inches between himself and Blaylock suddenly