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felt himself able to accomplish anything of worth.

He had not been able to save Soom, had not been able to help any of the countless other planets targeted by the Shadows. The mages were safely hidden away; they no longer needed him. He had done his duty. Let them find new leadership at last. As for Galen, Elric could offer no help. He had chosen duty over Galen time and again, had lied to the boy, and ultimately had destroyed their relationship. He wished that, somehow, Galen could find a path to happiness, but he didn't see how it might be achieved. Perhaps Blaylock could help him. They had formed a relationship during their trip to the rim, and if there was any in whom Galen might confide, it would be Blaylock. Not him.

In his mind's eye, Elric shifted from one scene of destruction to another. Even now, he wanted to feel his old closeness to Soom. As he had shared in the death of his place of power, he needed to share in the deaths of all those on Soom. He could not allow them to pass alone. They, in turn, would provide him companionship in his death.

The images from the planet were frustratingly distant; he could not feel the rush of magma through its veins, nor the ragged wounds cleaved deep into its heart, nor the wind blasting over its ruined skin. Yet he felt his own pain, and perhaps it was not much different.

Of the dead, there were few remains. He moved from place to place, remembering them, striving for the unity he had once felt.

The town of Lok was a graveyard of blackened ruins. The residents had been good people, had brought him much joy. He wished them peace.

Beyond, the mak beckoned, his old home. Jab marched across the rocky plain, her probe looking out on a world of vibrant lime-green moss shrouded in gray mist. As she moved forward,
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