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Elizar crushed him.

The first rank of machine people herded the surviving Drazi back into the tunnel. The second rank gathered the few dead, added their bodies to a pile against the wall. The soldiers were being trained not to kill, but to render helpless. That way, the conquered could add to their numbers.

As the black soldiers resumed their original positions, Galen saw a flash of purple among them. Elizar emerged at their front. He wore a long purple velvet coat, a purple and gold vest beneath. The dark goatee scoured into the shape of the rune for magic stood out against his pale skin. His angular face carried a cold arrogance.

Fury raced through Galen, and the tech echoed it.

He used his sensors. This was no illusion.

Elizar's eyes were lowered in concentration. He cupped his hands around his mouth, and with a jerk of his head, released a long, sustained syllable.

With a similar movement he had once conjured a deadly spike.

The front ranks of soldiers marched to the back, those farther back filing forward. Elizar was the puppetmaster controlling them.

Galen lost his view of the purple figure as the soldiers moved. When they returned to stillness, Elizar again appeared.

There was the friend who had betrayed him, who had betrayed them all, who had lied, who had tortured, who had killed, who had sought power for himself, and who had finally found it.

Now, at last, it would end.

He took a moment to assert his exercises, his control. He would destroy only his target, nothing else.

He focused on Elizar, visualized a blank screen in his mind's eye, imposed the equation upon it. The energy fell upon him, bloomed through him, burned out of him.

Elizar's head snapped up.

As a sphere around him began to redden and darken, his eyes found
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