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didn't know when. He began a new exercise, another, another, recoiling from those thoughts, withdrawing from those feelings. Doing three at once allowed him to think of little else; he must concentrate to continue them all without error. His attention narrowed, the walls of the exercises rising up around him, blocking out the past, blocking out the many things of which he must not think if he was to retain control. The walls pressed in on him, holding him together, pushing him forward down the narrow tunnel of his thoughts.

He must leave this place. The Circle refused to let him go, for fear of the device the Shadows had secreted within him, their power over him. He had planned to destroy it, yet he knew that if he did, it would kill him.

Suddenly it struck him what the Circle required. If the Circle had their own power over him, then they would have nothing to fear. They must implant in him their own device, which would carry out their desires. He would become a Trojan horse to send against their enemies. Then the Circle would let him go, and he could fulfill his purpose.

He had been trapped in his thinking, focusing all his energy on trying to take control from the Shadows. But there was another, much simpler way to gain his freedom.

Galen realized Blaylock stood over Circe. Blaylock's thin, severe figure seemed to exist at a great distance, as if Galen peered through a telescope at some remote land.

Gowen was speaking. "I've been able to repair some of the damage to her heart and lungs. More extensive healing will take much longer, if it is even possible." He glanced at Galen. "She remains near death."

"If you stop your ministrations, can she survive for a short time?"

"Perhaps thirty minutes, an hour."

"That is sufficient. The others are beginning
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