into his pockets. "Let's make sure you can pretend, at least, to be Sheridan. Then you can have what you want. One of the ancient civilizations you studied had a love incantation that you used to read to John. What was it?"
"The song of the Anfran star god. 'Bring me the love that ascends as far into the heavens as the gods can reach. Bring me the love that is the ultimate joining of two essentials, with nothing withheld, nothing rejected. Bring me the love that is returned stronger than it was given, that grows more powerful and irresistible with each exchange. Bring me the love that enriches all it touches, transmuting misfortune into promise, weakness into strength, selfishness into generosity, limitation into possibility. Bring me the love that knows no borders.'"
Morden's mouth twisted in a strange expression.
The true meaning of the love incantation came to her in a flash of insight. "That's what I feel for the machine, Morden. The ultimate joining. Sheridan could never have felt that with John."
"But she did. One Human can feel that for another."
"One Human can't join completely with another."
"They can, in a way I can't explain. But everything you feel for the machine, you once felt for John." Morden looked away. At last, she understood one of the emotions the archaeologist woman had felt. Anna didn't know how it could be so, but she had once felt for John the great passion she felt for the machine. And she must make John believe she felt it still.
Morden looked back at her with a smile, his teeth strikingly even, white. "We have to finish getting you ready." He set the case on the seat beside him, opened it. "Take off that dress, and put this suit on. John has a picture of you in his drawer, and this is what you're wearing." As Morden held out