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passed inside him, shivering up his hands and arms to his head. There it filled him with longing, regret, a desire to continue.

After a few moments, it faded away.

He didn't know what it was. Some residual bit of energy, an echo of an echo of an echo?

Galen dug frantically deeper, his fingers meeting rock, scraping against it. The mak had gone flat beneath him. The sensation was gone. Galen cried out, tearing his fingers again and again over the rock.

Elric was dead.

Chapter 7

Galen pushed himself up to his knees on the charred tiles where he had fallen. He took in Elric's burned body, his mind an exhausted blank, his body churning with agitating energy.

Across from him, Gowen opened his eyes. Gowen's round face was wet with tears. He clutched the crystal to his chest, looked from Galen to Blaylock and Herazade standing over them. "The damage was too extensive." He broke out in sobs.

Galen found himself still holding Elric's hand. He lifted the limp, red weight, laid it across Elric's chest. Then he took its black partner, placed it gently across the first, mimicking Elric's position in the incantation. In the vision, Elric had been healthy, serene. The reality was a ruined shell.

What pain had he suffered as he'd been burned alive? How long had he endured, waiting for Galen to answer his call?

"Circe was always so loyal," Herazade said. "How could she do such a thing?"

They persisted in asking these questions. How could Elizar have killed? How could Circe have killed? How could he himself have killed? The urge was inside them; it was part of them. Even now the great drive to destruction within him was building, the energy welling up, driving through him. Galen began a mind-focusing exercise.

"She was loyal to her own ambitions,
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