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made the cry muddier than it normally was, yet still he recognized it. It was the cry Alwyn had designed for his favorite illusion, the golden dragon.

Alwyn was here. Elric must have sent him.

Belching fireballs down at the Drakh, the wavering golden beast floated past the doorway like some kind of hallucination. Its wings were folded back to fit in the tight space.

Facing the dragon on one side and Galen on the other, the Drakh scattered down the tunnel.

Reluctantly, Galen stopped the flow of destruction. He was blazing with energy, racing with it. He held himself still. In the aftermath of the implosions, only the muffled cry of the dragon broke the silence. Time and space regained their regularity, solidity.

He went to the doorway. Though his leg remained stiff, the pain had again vanished. He conjured a platform beneath G'Leel. Alwyn could take her away-and Blaylock, if he wished. Then Galen would find Elizar. Then this would end.

The dragon passed by the doorway again, returning the way it had come.

The tunnel outside was clear of Drakh. He searched for the static-shrouded bodies of the Shadows and found none. He glanced back at Anna. The black gelatinous substance had extruded from the wall to encase her, reducing her to a shadow within its darkness. He would have liked to free her, to have Alwyn take her away as well, but he didn't know how to go about it. And if he did succeed in separating her from the machine, the signal that had nullified their tech might resume.

There was no time. Elizar could be escaping. She was happiest this way, anyway. Just as he was happiest in destruction.

Blaylock was sliding along the wall toward her. Galen didn't know why he bothered to speak to the liar; it was something in Blaylock's face, in the gaunt lines
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