have some news."
Alwyn sat on the couch and leaned forward, his elbows on his knees, an eager smile on his face. "Couldn't stand another minute with those pompous old cowards, could you? Hiding away with their excuses and their precious Code. I knew you'd come to your senses once you-had time, but I didn't think the Circle would ever let you go."
G'Leel stood between them, arms crossed, bottle resting in the crook of her elbow.
"I have a task to accomplish," Galen said. "Then I will return."
The smile fell from Alwyn's face. "A task." He enunciated the word with obvious contempt. "You're still running their errands."
Galen said nothing. Anger whispered at the back of his mind, and the tech echoed it.
"What could be so important that they would allow their greatest weapon to leave them? What task has the Circle sent you on, Galen?"
If Galen told Alwyn his entire task, Alwyn would try to talk him out of it, and when that failed, Alwyn would insist on helping, no matter the risks. Galen could not allow that. He took a moment to steady his breathing, his heart rate, hiding the partial lie. "I must gain information from Morden. It is critical. That is all I can say."
Alwyn gave him a hard stare. "The Circle sends you out to gain information. So that what? You can return with it, and they can sit on their hands and do nothing?"
"Alwyn," G'Leel said.
3.16228. "I cannot explain."
"They're still playing their little games, while the galaxy is burning. Don't they understand? This is no clever illusion or magic trick. The war is growing worse every day. You don't know." Alwyn stabbed his finger at the door, his face turning red. "People are dying out there, by the millions. The Shadows have got everyone turning against everyone else. We need you here.