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but it doesn't lead me to any great cosmic insights." He shrugged. "Not usually."

"None have been successful?"

"Not yet. And the spell can't really be translated, because there's nothing to translate." Fed leaned forward. "Are you sure it happened? When we pulled you out of that Shadow ship, you were so messed up... Just going to Z'ha'dum must have been weird enough. Then being caught at Ground Zero. Couldn't it have been your imagination?"

"I feel it right now, Fed, as I speak to you. I feel it as a partner, not a slave." Galen felt strange talking about it, self-conscious. It was so personal. Yet he wanted Fed to understand, wanted them all to understand.

"The Circle is anxious to talk to you about that-and other things-as soon as you're able." Fed straightened. "Hey- I didn't even tell you who won the election. It was just announced this morning. Miostro, Tzakizak, and Celaene. They're already complaining that you haven't reported to them yet. I think the whole Circle has quite an agenda where you're concerned. They're saying you overstepped your task. I've never seen Herazade so angry. She's worried... about another split in the mages."

Fed had told him about the bloodshed that had erupted while he'd been gone. Soon after his departure, Blaylock and Herazade had told the mages of the tech's true origins. A few followed Gowen's example, unable to live with the knowledge. Many more struck out in anger, at everyone and everything. A group of about thirty, led by Emond, determined that the Circle had violated solidarity and deserved flaying. Others, including Fed, defended Blaylock and Herazade. Many were killed. The solidarity that Elric had so worked to preserve was broken.

Yet in the aftermath, with over forty dead, they came together once again. Perhaps
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