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back and forth in the small white prison in his mind. Blaylock had always believed that unity would come through perfect mastery, perfect discipline, perfect control. Control had brought Galen no closer to the tech, only to the Shadows' programmed drives and desires. In walling up those desires, he had walled up himself. Whether one was master or slave, one was not free.

He had been on the wrong path. Elric had told him.

You expend all your energy on maintaining control, on containing the monster. You focus on a single piece of yourself, and neglect or bury the rest.

Control was not the solution. Perhaps there was no escape from the Eye, from the Shadows' plan. He had failed again and again in his task: failed to kill the three he had set out to kill, failed to destroy the Eye. He would like to make one last attempt to do good. But he didn't know how.

You have chosen certainty over uncertainty, declaring yourself a monster. Certainty brings order, which you have always desired. But life, as you have discovered, is not always orderly.

His path was no longer clear. He couldn't simply relinquish control. If he did, the force of the Eye would take over. Besides, he didn't think he knew how anymore.

He needed to find some way to tap into the tech, as he tapped into the Shadow communications. To hear it, if there was anything to hear beyond the Shadows' programming. And to allow it to act.

But how?

With a vertiginous twist he was back in stifling blackness, wrapped in countless arms and legs, buried in layer upon layer of machine people. The Eye had pulled him from the incantation.

Five seconds.

The brilliant energy poured from him in pulsing waves, endless, overwhelming.



As thoughts of destruction flooded through him, Galen
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