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it was a trap or not, he must reach Blaylock quickly. The probe on Rabelna was one hundred feet below them, and seventy feet to the north. Galen turned right, hurrying ahead. The curving tunnels seemed as mazelike as the city above.

In his mind's eye, the argument continued.

"This is ridiculous," Elizar said. "He could have all the information we want, and somehow you've destroyed our opportunity. I don't think our associates will be pleased with that."

Tilar spread his hands. "I haven't done anything! He's faking it. You know how he and his hairless holy order can turn their senses on and off. He's obviously got some method of turning his brain off." Tilar looked down at Blaylock. "He'll wake up if he really wants to. We just have to make him want to." He circled Blaylock's fallen body. After every few steps, as punctuation to his speech, he drew his leg back and kicked Blaylock, hard. "You act like you're so pure. Self-denial. Scouring. You claim the tech connects you to God. Well I have a message from God. He says he wants no part of you." He dropped to his knees beside Blaylock, took Blaylock's hand in his. As he bent forward, he obscured Galen's view.

"What do you think you're doing," Elizar said.

"I'm waking him up. Come on, Blaylock, you're not going to sleep through this, are you?"

Galen's view shifted as Rabelna stood and walked around Tilar to see what was happening. He had Blaylock's wrist clasped between his knees, Blaylock's palm facing up.

Galen closed his eyes, but the vision remained. From somewhere Tilar had produced a knife, and he cut a deep channel from the heel of Blaylock's hand down the length of the index finger. Blood spilled down Blaylock's palm. Tilar dug into the wound with the knife, searching for the threads of tech within.
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