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killing here, as his body raced to do, he would simply be fulfilling their purpose. He would be surrendering to chaos.

He hurried deeper until he again found the Wurt and their prisoners ahead. It was quite obvious that he did not belong at these levels, but no one stopped him, or even questioned him. He felt certain he was growing close to Elizar and Razeel.

He was walking into their trap. At least if they did trap him, did nullify his tech, the Circle's device might kill them as it killed him.

The prisoners were split into two groups, and Galen followed one. They were conveyed into another underground cavern, this one about fifty feet across, twenty feet high. Galen stopped in the entryway. The cavern seemed unremarkable except for a thick vein of reddish-brown rock that cut in a vertical strip through the black stone of the far wall. It glowed with the same runes he had seen in the fingers of stone towering over the surface of Z'ha'dum. The runes repeated a section of the inscription he'd read above. This column, he realized, was a continuation of one of those monuments. They extended underground, perhaps connected below to some sort of machine, just as a mage's circle of stones was connected to his place of power. A concentration of energy throbbed somewhere far beneath him. If this machine did run through the planet, coordinating its systems, its defenses, then it must be the Eye, that source of the black light that had invaded him, inflamed him. As the runes pulsed brighter and fainter, like the beating of a heart, he was struck by the sensation that the Eye was watching him.

The Wurt and their unconscious prisoners joined others in what seemed like a large waiting area. Farther down the wall of the cave, a door slid open, and brilliant white light spilled
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