for their meetings. Tonight they held a vigil. He passed the wide doorway and saw them crowded within, kneeling rigidly on flying platforms, as they would through the night, small fireballs cupped between their hands. They wore plain black robes, their bodies scoured of all hair. They were over seventy now. Though some of their group had died, their numbers had been more than replenished as the mages increasingly turned to Blaylock's techniques of discipline and self-denial to help them retain control in this place. Galen noted that Blaylock had left the vigil; Miostro ran it in his stead.
Their chant followed him down the hall.
Keep us true to the Code.
Keep us focused on good.
Drive from us all temptation.
Guide us instead to your will.
Show us the way to become one with you.
Show us the path to enlightenment.
And bring us to unity with the universe.
They asked the Shadow tech, designed for chaos and destruction, to grant them peace and enlightenment. They asked it for help in fighting its own programming. It was terribly sad, when he thought about it.
They were struggling for control, as was he. He even used some of the same techniques they did. But he could not buy into the fairy tale Blaylock had spun. He saw no good in becoming one with the tech. He was already too close to it. Galen knew what the tech was, and knew what he was.
He was a killer, with only two more to kill.
The only way to convince the Circle to release him was to find some way around the Shadows' ability to nullify his tech. The Circle's greatest fear was that he would be trapped, his tech inactivated, his mind scanned. With mind-focusing exercises, a skilled mage might hold off a deep scan for a few seconds, but a powerful, determined telepath would soon breach