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not yet.

He slowed his breaths, opened his eyes. Where had Elizar been taking him? Somewhere to nullify his tech? Elizar had brought him back the way he'd come. He was only a few yards from the Eye. He saw no enclosed space where Elizar might intend to trap him.

As if from a great distance, he saw Elizar gliding toward him. He must catch Elizar off guard, try something different. Elizar's shields were only moderately strong; with sufficient time and effort, Galen might break through. How he would ever destroy the Eye, if each death incapacitated him as the others had, he didn't know.

Elizar stopped before Galen, brought his hand to his mouth, and with a jerk of his head released a short, precise syllable. The platform descended to the ground, dissolved.

Elizar's hand returned to his side, clenching into a fist. His dark blue gaze fixed on Galen, his jaw tight. His velvet coat betrayed short, rapid breaths. He wanted to attack Galen; Galen knew the feeling well enough to recognize it in another. The tech's energy quickened in response. He worked through his exercises, waiting, waiting.

Finally Elizar spoke, his voice hard. "Are they really all dead?"

Galen took a moment to steady his respiration, heart rate. "You should know. You and your 'associates' are responsible for their deaths."

"But all the mages? At first I believed they'd died. Later I started to wonder if they'd found some way to trick the Shadows, to get away."

"No doubt it soothes your conscience to think so."

Elizar gave a truncated laugh. "My conscience? I sacrificed everything to learn the secrets that could save our order. You're the one who could have warned them. You could have saved them. But you didn't. I still can't believe it."

"You saw what I did on Thenothk. I am perfectly
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