to the floor, alarm lights flashing over her. With a final jerking spasm, his father fell beside her. Flames covered them.
Galen broke contact with the ring, became aware again of Circe-her raw, blood-streaked face looking far too much like his mother's. Energy drove endlessly through him.
He had thought his parents' deaths an accident, another example of the random violence that erupted all around him. He had thought the universe cold and heartless for taking them away. The universe, however, was not to blame. The blame fell to his parents themselves, for their lack of control. They had surrendered to chaos, had killed each other and everyone else on that ship.
Each made his own choice. They had chosen destruction.
They are a part of who you are, Elric had said.
Just as they had been drawn to chaos, he was drawn to chaos. He carried not only the programming of the Shadows within him, but the DNA of his parents, their own personal programming of destruction. He too had a choice. He too had chosen to kill.
On Thenothk, he had hoped that he and Elizar would kill each other.
Why are you a techno-mage? Elric had asked.
He had dreamed of becoming a healer. He had hoped to undo some of the damage that the universe seemed determined to inflict. He had wanted, he now realized, to make up for any wrong he had done, causing his parents to fight.
After their deaths, though, all that had become secondary to a much more pressing goal: to hide from the truth. He had not wanted to remember them as they were, or to live with the fact that he had come from them. In the shelter of Elric's tutelage, he had found an escape from the violence and chaos. He had buried the past, created a regimented, orderly spell language, a safe haven for himself.
Yet in pursuing