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on Rabelna. Blaylock remained lying on the floor, unconscious. Elizar and Tilar had spent the time first arguing over who was to blame for Blaylock's condition, then debating what should be done about it. Bunny had tried to stimulate Blaylock's mind to consciousness, but had failed.

Now she stood over him in her pink dress, hands on her hips. "If I didn't know better, I'd say he was brain-dead. Obviously the functions to keep his body alive are still working. But the higher functions are shut down. He's not asleep. He's not unconscious. He's just"-she snapped her fingers-"turned off. You mages are very fragile."

"That's not possible," Elizar said. "A brain can't just be turned off." Galen tried not to focus on Elizar. When he looked at that angular, arrogant face, his hatred threatened to overwhelm him.

"Well, I don't sense a thing from him," Bunny said. "Not a memory, not a worry, not a wet dream-nothing."

To one side, Tilar studied Blaylock with an intensity that worried Galen. "That's not the way it's supposed to work."

Bunny shrugged. "Well, I can't get anything out of him like this."

As the discussion continued, Galen tried to understand what had happened. Elizar and Tilar had done something to Blaylock. He had no idea what they'd done, but obviously they hadn't expected this result. He feared they'd caused Blaylock some irreparable damage. It was strange, though, that they were so puzzled by his condition.

Galen had considered the possibility that Blaylock was pretending an injury to avoid a scan by Bunny. Yet he didn't believe Blaylock had the ability to simply turn off the higher functions of his brain. Elizar was right; it wasn't possible. And in the unlikely event Blaylock did have the ability, how would he ever judge when it was safe to turn
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