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store the accumulated memories, though patterns, neural data, and synaptic pattern relays of a human being, from birth to the point of recording, on just seven crystals.

The problem was that several thousand such crystals were arranged in neat, tidy rows in the room beyond the holographic display screen that pulsed softly in front of Marcus.

The Drazi had gotten him into the maintenance room through a service entrance whose night access codes had not been updated in some time. The next security patrol would come this way in less than 20 minutes.

All the datacrystal groups had been numbered in sequence on the control panel in front of him. But without a key to connect the numbers with the names involved, it could take hours or even days to find the right seven crystals.

The Drazi who had accompanied him this far nodded at the rows of crystals. "Take and go," he said. Marcus had managed to convince Farn that there was some small value to the minerals that went into making the datacrystals. The Drazi thought it was a great deal of effort for very little reward, but it was simpler than explaining what Marcus was actually after, and why.

After all, there were moments when he didn't quite believe it himself.

How do I find her in all this? he wondered, desperately aware of how little time they had. There was no way he could do it by going through them one at a time.

Then let's hear all of them, he decided.

He touched the master control, which activated all the datacrystals in the archive. Instantly the room was filled with the he sound of a thousand voices, all talking at once.

"I am Shadrala of Narn unless the equation calls for my political expertise was in have good no sing achieved the ending of--"

The Drazi covered his ears. "Insane!" he said.
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