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the training hall on Soom. It seemed to generate great distortions of space and time. I don't think I'd be comfortable having something with that magnitude of energy in my body, even if just for a moment. Not without a lot more testing.

"You could try it on tissue cultures, to start. Or molds or bacteria. They would give you a better sense of your accuracy and any gross side effects. Though that still wouldn't tell you the particular effects on more complex organisms."

Galen had considered doing tests on tissue cultures, but he feared losing control once he started conjuring the spell of destruction, as he had on Thenothk. Once that great rush of energy came down upon him, once the brilliant incandescence sang along the meridians of his tech, he didn't know if he'd be able to stop. If he was to cast the spell, he dared cast it only a single time.

Gowen was simply confirming what Galen had thought: The idea was very dangerous and he was not sufficiently prepared to execute it.

"Give me an example," Gowen said. "How might one- theoretically-use this?"

Galen knew he was treading on dangerous ground, but he continued. "Imagine you had a tumor somewhere very hard to reach, such as in the spinal column." He conjured a scan of his own spinal cord in the air between them. "Say it was here, where this strand of tech ends, and just that size. And one wanted to remove it."

Gowen studied him. "That is a difficult place to reach with conventional surgical methods. But not impossible. I would be worried, using your method, that bits of the surrounding nerves could be captured within your sphere, and those nerves severed. Even if you could assure that wouldn't happen, the nerves might be traumatized by the procedure and severely damaged. Repair might eventually be possible,
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