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him gain what he most wanted, without telling him what it truly was.

And so he had become a monster.

His anger was like a message from a distant galaxy, barely perceptible, its passion lost in the transmission. He didn't want to hear it. He would keep still, and it would pass.

Gowen and Fed came out from among the ships. Gowen quickly scanned the plateau, and his gaze stopped on Blaylock. He hurried toward them.

Blaylock spoke. "Regardless of its source, the tech can do good. Elric has done much good on his home, as others have done on theirs. The temptations and the difficulties for us are many, which is why I have always advocated cloistering ourselves away. Only by foreswearing worldly temptations and pleasures can we free ourselves from the directives of the Shadows and focus on the tech itself. Only that way can we gain complete control of it and perfect unity with it. I truly believe it is a blessing that links us to the basic powers of the universe, and that through it, we can forge a connection to the universe, and attain enlightenment. The tech may have been designed for one purpose, but that does not preclude it being used for another."

They had made him a weapon. What purpose could a weapon have, except to kill? Perhaps for some of the other mages it was different. Perhaps some of them felt the urge to destruction less strongly, or had better control. But when given the choice, he had chosen destruction. He seemed to have a natural affinity for it.

He watched Elric's ship, waiting for it to open.

Blaylock continued. "When I learned from you that the Shadows use living beings in those ships, which have killed so many without mercy, I feared that the transcendence I had sought was not the path. I feared it might end in bloodshed, with us as
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