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they were safe. He pressed her back.

Several other Shadows followed this one. He thought he could see them swiveling their heads, studying the tunnel.

In his mind's eye, Rabelna at last turned, and Galen saw Tilar bent over Blaylock. Tilar was at work on the other hand now, the brilliant white of his shirt drenched in blood up to the elbows. Rabelna moved quickly away to stand near the door.

In the tunnel, one of the Shadows stopped its forward movement, its head tilted toward them. The body of static grew larger as it approached. Galen stopped breathing. He was racing with energy, desperate to reach Blaylock, cursing himself for getting into such a position.

The other Shadows hesitated now, looking toward this one.

The Shadow stopped in front of the false wall, and its head turned back and forth. It moved closer.

"Stop, now," Elizar said within the white room. "This is pointless. He's just going to bleed to death."

The static shape bent toward them, its head arching forward, coming up against the illusion of the wall, penetrating the wall. Something happened to the Shadow as it passed through the plane of the illusion. Through the dark screen came a head of shining blackness, its own veil of illusion vanished.

G'Leel jumped.

Fourteen pinpoints of light formed its eyes, and as they turned from Anna to G'Leel to Galen, they glowed like tiny furnaces of malice. The creature let out a high, piercing shriek.

Galen dissolved the illusion as the spell of destruction formed in his mind like a thunderclap. Energy fell upon him with crushing pressure in layer upon layer upon layer, then shot out, capturing the Shadow in a sphere. Its shriek hushed as the sound was sealed within. Yet other Shadows took up the call.

The sphere began to redden and darken,
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