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before they're all dead. What can I do, what can I say to gain your trust?"

"Bring Isabelle back."

Elizar's mouth wrinkled shut, and his eyes drifted to the side. "I would if it were within my power. Not a night has passed that I haven't relived that nightmare. But we must get beyond that. She-"

"There is no getting beyond that."

Elizar's gaze returned to Galen, lingered there. At last he shook his head, and his voice was soft. "I must have Bunny scan you. She will know your true intentions. If you will leave me unharmed, I will help you and Blaylock to escape."

Once Bunny was inside his mind, she could find out whatever Elizar desired.

Elizar started toward the door, and Galen pushed off with his good leg, lunging for the gun. He lurched into the gurney, his elbows slamming down onto Anna's legs, and snatched up the weapon. The gurney began to roll away, and he stumbled to regain his balance, a brilliant pain exploding in his shin. He brought the gun up on Elizar, gasping.

On the floor to one side lay G'Leel, her gloved hands open, empty. Galen's grip was tight about her gun. She had risked her life to help him, and he had nearly forgotten about her.

A shot to the head or heart could kill Elizar. And in a moment, it would. But he must make sure, first, that he could get G'Leel away from this place.

"Open the door," he said breathlessly.

Elizar seemed frozen, his eyes wide. His expression was satisfyingly similar to that in Galen's fantasy. "You would have all the mages die." He fell silent, and after a few moments, his face regained its composure. "You're not the person I knew. It is more important to you to kill me, than to save everything you love."

"I love nothing," Galen said, "except the thought of killing you."

Elizar glanced toward
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