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where he'd never seen any before. When he'd felt threatened by Elizar at the convocation, his first instinct had been to use his chrysalis to attack with overwhelming force. After the initiation, his body had raced with the tech's energy. The agitating undercurrent relentlessly urged him toward action. Each time he used the tech for attack, he felt its eager echo. Whenever he was in danger, he felt its driving need to strike out. The effort to control it was exhausting.

Since he'd agreed to flee with the rest of the mages, to repress his desire for revenge, he'd been fighting both himself and the tech. The restless energy had intensified. On Selic 4, he had been unable to hold it in any longer, and had destroyed Elizar's chrysalis. He'd been so consumed with the urge to destroy that to regain control, he'd had to turn the energy against himself, repeatedly.

Out in the tunnel, as he'd cast spell after spell of destruction, the tech had sung inside him, the energy flowing more easily than ever before, as if that was what the tech had been meant to do. As if that was what he had been meant to do.

Elizar nodded, clearly seeing the recognition on Galen's face. "Wierden established the Circle and the Code to curb our destructive impulses. That is why such stress is placed on them, why the penalties for violation are so severe. Some of us have buried our impulses so well that it is little struggle to obey the Code. For others, it is a constant battle. But without the Code and the Circle, we would revert to chaos."

We all have thoughts of things we must not do, Blaylock had said, thoughts of destruction. Most follow me because they must. Without the daily scouring, without the fasting, without the meditation and repentance, the abstinence, the vigils, the sensory denial,
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