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hadn't the Shadows taught it to Elizar? His tech had been deactivated, just like Galen's.

The Circle, after hearing Galen's report of his experience on Thenothk, had agreed with his conclusion. Yet neither he nor they had been able to find this fail-safe.

He wondered, now, if it even existed. Perhaps the Shadows had no fear that their control system would be discovered, and so had not planned for such an eventuality. In one thousand years of research, the Circle had not found it. He wouldn't have learned anything about the system either, without his connection to Anna. Further, if the Shadows didn't completely trust Elizar, they may have withheld their secret from him. The only danger might be the medical one, which, though serious, could be risked.

With Ing-Radi dead, their best healer was Gowen. He would be unwilling to perform any such procedure. Removing a piece of the tech would be, to him, an atrocity. In fact, Galen could think of no mage with medical expertise who might be willing to undertake the task. He could not explain the true reason for his request, except to the Circle. As for them, Galen believed they would find the risk unacceptable. They seemed disposed to risk very little these days.

A conventional surgeon, if highly skilled, could successfully perform the operation, but Galen could not go to a conventional surgeon, for that would violate secrecy, a part of the mage's Code. More important, he was trapped here.

If he would go through with it, he would have to do it himself. Which, of course, he had known since he'd begun this walk. And which, of course, was why he continued to walk. Though he had studied physiology and medicine when he was younger, he was far from an expert. His talent, as he well knew, did not lie in healing. With his meager
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