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occasions when Elric had failed or miscalculated, Galen had seen him do the same.

But what about taking responsibility for his lies? What about telling the truth? Galen's distant anger drew nearer.

They stood in silence, the wind whipping past them. Galen found himself unable to speak. How could Elric have kept this secret? How could Elric have lied to him, about the one thing that changed everything?

"I'm sorry I did not tell you," Elric said. "You should have heard the truth from me. And you should have heard it long ago."

Galen knew the Circle had sworn him to secrecy, but Elric would not use that as an excuse. That just made Galen angrier. A thousand bitter responses came to mind, but Galen uttered none of them, willing the wind to carry them away.

"I learned that truth when I was elected to the Circle nine years ago. It made me question many things. But ultimately I knew that I believed in the mages. I believed in our ability to create beauty and wonder, to gain knowledge, to do good. The origin of the tech did not change that."

Did they think they would never have to pay for what they took? Did they think themselves immune to the designs of the Shadows? How could they be, when they didn't have the least understanding of the tech?

Galen tried to still his mind, to think nothing, to feel nothing.

"The truth did, however, reveal the fragile base on which our order is built. And it explained many things. I realized that control and obedience to the Circle and the Code were even more important than I had known. I tried to teach you those things. But they were no substitute for the truth.

"If I had learned the truth before taking an apprentice, I don't believe I would ever have taken one. I was-uncomfortable with the idea of training a student
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