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to their brilliant pinpoint eyes. But she didn't like the word approachable. The liberators were wise, brilliant, wondrous, and terrifying.

She looked back at Justin. "Our ship, the Icarus, had an accident. The crew was killed, com system destroyed."

"Anna-remember what we talked about. You must look sad when you talk about the accident. That is what John would expect from his wife."

Although Anna knew some of the facts of the archaeologist woman's life, she knew none of the thoughts or feelings. What desires she might have had, what dreams, Anna couldn't imagine. With her weak body, her pale, lifeless sensations, her expedition, and her accident, she had known nothing of the real joys of life. She had never danced among the nighttime clouds. She had never shrieked an oratorio of evolution through bloodshed.

Anna arranged her face, tried again. "Our ship, the Icarus, had an accident. The crew was-"

"Let's try something else. Sometimes, when people are sad, they will turn away, to hide their sadness. Why don't you do that? Begin the story, then stand and turn away. And speak more slowly."

First Justin had told her the face must show sadness. Now he said she must hide her face.

A question occurred to her. "Why can't I just tell John the truth? That the liberators freed my potential and joined me with the machine?" She found herself growing excited about the idea. She could describe that to John much better than the deaths of some inconsequential Humans. "I could teach him the true greatness of the liberators, and explain the joys of the machine, the beauty of it, towering dark in the vault of the universe-"

"No, Anna. John must not know that." He paused. "The more he knows about our ships, the more of your sisters he will be able to destroy. Try the
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