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Blaylock had nothing to say.

Galen left the burned room, carrying thoughts of destruction with him. Finally he could move forward.



Chapter 8



In his room, Galen packed for his journey. Select items went into his valise; others, which he felt might be of use to those he left behind, were placed in a plastic container. The rest was dropped into the trash. Reorganizing his belongings helped to keep him calm, focused. With the exercises running through him, he need think of nothing except how each object should be categorized.

Of the items he would leave for the others, there were few: some blank data crystals and other research supplies; a few minor inventions; a scarf; a vial of ash. Perhaps Blaylock would find a place to spread her remains, and those in the second vial that Galen would soon receive.

He turned his mind away. Of his various spells, the basic postulates, the research he had done into the tech, the knowledge he had of the Shadows, and the files Burell and her daughter had given him, he would leave no trace. He carried those things inside him, and they would die with him.

From the corner of his closet, he removed his staff. Over four feet long, it was a lustrous black, with golden etchings of circuits in finest filigree. It fit perfectly into Galen's hand, warm and smooth and balanced, like an extra limb. He could not use it where he was going. Instead, it must be left in a safe place, for he had programmed it to self-destruct at his death.

He laid it on the bed in a category of its own. It had been Elric's gift, welcoming him into magehood. As he stared down at it, a hard shiver ran through him. He crossed his arms over his chest, rocked back and forth.

A message arrived from Blaylock. Come to Gowen's room at once.

Elric had
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