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his gun in the rockfall.

How he would last another minute without it, Kosh didn't know.

* * *

It couldn't be true. Wierden, who had brought order to the early techno-mages a thousand years ago, who had founded the Circle, who had established the Code-Wierden here, at the heart of the Eye.

As one, the machine people surrounding Galen broke from their web, turned, and grabbed on to him. Their movement propagated outward, in circle upon circle, machine people shifting, severing their connections to Wierden and reforming them with him. Galen felt his awareness expanding, the burning yellow light of his energy surging up and rushing out through the web of machine people, along the vast underground channels and shafts of the Eye, through caverns of activity, up through the pillars that stretched into the sky. Yet he extended even farther, his vision encompassing the White Star in orbit and stretching across the solar system; his direction controlling weapons, communications, substrates; his whispers running through legions of machine people; his will coordinating the attacks of fleets of shrieking ships.

All the Shadows' systems and servants were a part of him, and as they turned to him for guidance, the pressure of that Shadow tech fell upon him, filling his body with a great, irresistible uprush of heat, igniting him to blazing perfection. The Eye showed him what he must do, aroused him with dark desires, revealed to him the profound and joyful truth of the First Principles. Chaos through warfare. Evolution through bloodshed. Perfection through victory.

Chaos was the proper state of being, the state in which all impulse was freed to act. Chaos was the way to strength. Chaos was the engine powering life. He must use the Eye to spread chaos so that potential
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