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yourselves. But your fear should not be. The disaster is not that our order will end. The disaster is that our order will end without reaching its fullest potential, without finding all the answers it could find, and asking all the new questions those answers pose.

"That fear need not come to pass. Preventing it is within our power. Our future is uncertain, yes, as is the galaxy's. But we should rejoice in that uncertainty, in the power, at last, to be free, and to find our own destiny.

"Elric taught me that most intelligent beings prefer to live in certainty rather than uncertainty. We mages use that foolish trait in others to manipulate their perceptions, for certainty is an illusion. The universe is uncertain, and only when we accept that can learning, creativity, and growth occur. Or as some would call it, transcendence. This is our opportunity for transcendence.

"Blaylock believed that we should try to be the best agents of the universe that we can, to follow its will. The universe simply wants to understand. We techno-mages are among those who can best help it do so. That is our purpose. Not seeking ways to prolong our order through alliance or atrocity. Not hiding from a universe that may at times seem harsh and chaotic, or hiding from ourselves. Even in our passing, we can carry out that purpose, by embracing life, and seeking understanding, and righting for good, for as long as we're able."

Fed's beard spread with a smile, but the others were grim. Herazade spoke. "You could have run for the Circle, as I'm sure many suggested to you, so that you might have a say in such decisions. But you did not. We do not appreciate being lectured to by one who has now twice been reprimanded. We have made our decision, Galen. You will abide by it."

Would he abide
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