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Elizar's revelations had been designed to gain his trust. Now could be the perfect time for a lie.

And the perfect time, at last, for Elizar to make his demand.

Galen spoke evenly. "How do you propose I stop it?"

"You must pretend to join with the Shadows, as I have. They've given up any hope of alliance with the mages now; Elric turned down their final offer. But if I can prove to them that I've turned you, it will reawaken their hope. They will believe that I can turn more. You must tell them that the truth has killed your loyalty to the mages. That you realize you owe the Shadows your allegiance. They have promised that if I gain your alliance, they will postpone their plan to kill the mages."

"And you trust them."

"I'm not a fool. I doubt them. But I know that they still desire us as allies."

"And they will simply let the mages run off to their hiding place."

"They will, if you tell me its location. That is the only way to convince them you are truly their ally. With that single piece of information, we can stop our order's destruction and gain time. In that time, we can learn the secret of the tech's creation." As Elizar spoke, his face grew animated, his mouth rising in a slight smile. "And if we cannot learn it, perhaps with your power we can force the Shadows to reveal it. You destroyed a Shadow ship, Galen! Your power rivals theirs. Imagine if we all knew your spell, how much the Shadows would fear us. But first the mages must be saved. As long as they still live, there's hope."

"And to keep them alive, all I need do is tell you where they plan to hide." Elizar was a fool. He was the Shadows' puppet, whether he knew it or not. They sought to draw Galen in the same as they'd done with Elizar. They would never share the secret of creating
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