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but that it might be enough.

"They knew that I was watching, through a ring I had given Fa. My father's ring. Once they had all the information they could get from her, Razeel-" Galen paused, his gaze falling and his mouth tightening in a way Elric recognized. He was doing a mind-focusing exercise, struggling to retain control. "Razeel began to slowly kill Fa. After a time, I was able to access the systems in the ring." He paused again.

Galen had finally opened that Pandora's box. Elric searched for any sign of change in him, but saw none. Still he hid from the truth.

"I delivered an electric shock to Fa, killing her."

A brief image flashed Fa's face, neck muscles seized in spasm, mouth gasping, eyes wide in agony. Quickly Galen replaced it with a view of mist-shrouded sky. Then the images vanished.

Fa-she had been a sweet girl, innocent and affectionate, curious and adventurous. She had embodied everything good and special about her home. Now both were gone; Soom's fleeting, unique beauty was lost.

Galen bowed his head. He'd been forced to kill one of those few he'd allowed close to him. "Soom might not have been attacked at all if not for my stupidity. Perhaps some other planet-" He raised his intense blue gaze to look at each of them in turn.

Elric realized that his hand was still pressed to his temple, and he lowered it, straightened.

"I would like to request the Circle's permission to leave the hiding place, to pursue Elizar and Razeel and kill them, so the secret of destruction can again be contained. It is my fault they may now have it."

Blaylock frowned. "Yet they may not. They may have suggested they did simply to lure you from hiding. Their true goal may be to obtain the spell directly from you, as they failed to do before."

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