only a few feet from Elizar's darkening figure, in the front rank of soldiers.
The pain was incredible. His body was rippling, deforming, pulled in different directions. His glittering black arms stretched downward, reaching the floor and curling there. He wanted to scream, to run, but he could not.
Flesh will do what it's told.
The space around him seemed to gather itself. The distortion stopped, and the contraction began. The dark sphere clenched around him, crunching arms and legs up into his body, breaking ribs, crushing organs. Elizar and the cavern faded to black. With a brilliant excruciating flash of pain, the sphere closed around his heart, and he felt nothing more.
Galen found himself on the ground, panting hard. Elizar glided in front of him and hovered there, the blue tinge of a shield discoloring his skin.
"It hurts, doesn't it," Elizar said. "Don't try it again."
Galen's fury rose up, irresistible. Elizar had to die, and now was the time. He visualized the one-term equation again.
As the space around Elizar darkened, he shook his head. With a touch of his hand to his mouth, a jerk of his chin, the sphere shot out to surround another Shadow soldier.
The whispers flooded back into Galen's mind. Orders must be followed precisely and accurately. There can be no error. There can be no deviation. It was the Eye, Galen realized, the Eye giving direction to the soldier. Flesh will do what it's told. Say nothing, do nothing, until ordered.
The sphere's distortion twisted through him, and his glittering black body began to spin, a dervish, and with his increasing speed, he began to deform, organs, bones, features melting, stretching.
Say nothing, do nothing.
He wanted to scream, to fight, but the Shadow skin controlled his body, not he.