black lips, slightly parted, remained still.
Galen should have been there to watch over him, to protect him. Instead, Galen had rebuffed him, neglected him, condemned him.
Perhaps he could still reach Elric, could convince Elric to hold on. Galen closed his eyes, visualized the equation for an electron incantation. The tech echoed the spell, and he chose as his setting the circle of standing stones on Soom, as Elric always did.
Unlike the standard message spell mages commonly used for communication, the electron incantation worked through means they did not understand at all. One could communicate with another no matter the distance, the connection made without the aid of FTL relays, minds meeting on some dreamlike inner landscape. Within the spell, they were outside space, outside time.
He found himself standing beside one of the tall, moss-covered stones, the scent of the sea sharp on the breeze. In its brilliant lime-green sheath, the massive stone somehow radiated a sense of life and power. As with most objects in an incantation, it carried heightened intensity and significance.
He looked into the mist for Elric, but saw only the hulking shadows of the other stones. "Elric!" He ran into the circle. "Elric!"
Galen found him lying on the thick moss at the circle's center. He appeared in the incantation as he imagined himself: unburned, restored to the height of his health. His eyes were closed, his hands folded over his chest like a corpse lying in state.
Galen rushed to him, fell to his knees. "I'm here. What can I do? Tell me what to do."
Elric did not move.
Galen grabbed his shoulders, shook him. "Don't die! Please. You can't leave me."
Elric's body was limp.
"Please. I have to tell you-" Galen's voice broke. "I know you had to obey