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by it? He looked from Miostro to Tzakizak, Herazade, Celeane, Fed. Perhaps they needed more time to grow accustomed to this new galaxy that surrounded them. Perhaps, eventually, they would be ready to stop hiding. Perhaps, if he stayed with them, he could find a way to teach them what he had learned, to conjure nothing. That desire resounded through him. He would like to free more tech. And if the mages remained cloistered away until then, they would not spread their chaos.

He longed to leave this place, to fly among the stars, to learn. He would wait, though, until they were ready to go with him.

Galen gave a single nod, turned, and left. Outside, the sounds of celebration enveloped him once again. But he was eager to begin his new life, to observe, and question, and learn. He could at least visit the stars, if he could not yet move among them.

He went to the observation room. As he paused at the door to visualize the key, Fed glided up to him on a platform.

"Figured I'd find you here," Fed said.

The door opened, and Fed dissolved his platform and followed Galen inside. He was still smiling.

"I always knew you had something to say. I just had no clue it might be something like that. You certainly managed to get Herazade angrier than I've ever seen. The others weren't too happy either."

"And you?" Galen said.

Fed shrugged. "I agree with you. I'm ready to pack up and go. But I don't think most of them can handle the idea."

From the menu in his mind's eye, Galen began to access one probe after another. He knew only small bits of what had happened since he'd returned to the hiding place, and he was excited to see how the universe was entering into its new age of uncertainty.

"So you'll stay with us, then?"

"Do you ask for yourself," Galen said,
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