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into an argument. If the anger returned, if the energy reached the great burning rage he had felt on Thenothk, he could well destroy them all.

Flaying would be insufficient punishment for what he'd done. He had condemned Elizar for killing only one. Yet in his destruction of the city, he had killed thousands. Many of them could have been there simply to do a job, like G'Leel and her crew-perhaps he'd even killed Captain Ko'Vin and the other Narns.

In all those thousands, Isabelle might have seen the possibility for good. All Galen saw were targets for his anger. Even now he regretted he had not destroyed the entire city. And Elizar. Always Elizar.

Gowen stopped beside them, breathless. "Blaylock," he said, and in his wide eyes and clasped hands, Galen could see his relief and concern. He bowed. "The blessing of Wierden upon you."

"And upon you," Blaylock said.

Gowen turned to Galen with a grateful smile, gave a short bow.

"I must speak with Elric," Blaylock said. He looked at Galen as if he wanted to say more, but instead he set off across the plateau, the wind pressing at his back, revealing the stick-thin figure hidden within his robe.

"Won't you come?" Gowen asked Galen.

As Gowen had rushed to Blaylock, so Galen should rush to Elric, should meet him with relief and concern. But he could not. "Go ahead," he said, and after a brief hesitation, Gowen hurried after Blaylock.

Galen looked to the crowd that hid Elric at its center. Fed stood on the periphery, arms at his sides, oddly quiescent. Alwyn pushed his way out, getting into a shoving match with Tzakizak. Galen used his sensors to gain a magnified view in his mind's eye. Alwyn's jaw was tight with anger, and the shoving intensified. Alwyn conjured a fireball. Tzakizak stumbled a few steps
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