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took a step forward. "If they do have it, they could cause great destruction. As great," he said, "as I have."

Herazade raised a cautioning hand. "The risks of sending someone outside are grave. We realize that you would never reveal our position willingly. You could, nevertheless, reveal it unwillingly. We must wait until we know for certain whether they have learned your spell."

"So I must wait"-Galen bit out the words-"until they kill several hundred, or several thousand, or several million, and then you will let me go?" He crossed his arms over his chest. "I cannot live with that. I cannot have more deaths on my head."

"Even if we knew they had the spell," Blaylock said, "what good would it do to send you? How could you stop them?"

"By killing them," Galen said, "before they kill me." He looked to Elric, his lips parted with desperate hope.

If he went, Elric would not last until his return. Though that was no reason to keep Galen here, Elric could not stand to send him away again. Every time he went, he came back changed, hurt. This time, Elric feared they would lose Galen. Indeed, that, Elric believed, was Galen's unstated goal. To suffer the ultimate punishment.

"As we prepared to leave for this place," Elric said, "you told me why you must come with us. You told me that if you remained out in the universe, you would destroy all, gladly. You told me that you were not fit to remain. Has that changed?"

Galen's face tightened. "No, I am not fit." He shivered. "But I can no longer hide here behind my weakness while others die. If you release me, I swear that I will kill only the Shadows and those I know to be their servants. I will not lose control again. When the time comes, when I have done what must be done, I will destroy myself. I have the power,
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