projections that fanned out from her spine on both sides. In their arrangement, they created almost the impression of wings.
She touched the pod, and the Shadow skin covering the substrate contracted, closing around the pod and revealing the being beneath, a Minbari male. Excess skin flowed up her arm. She turned her hand, and a narrow plasma beam came from her palm, cut along the bottom of the pod that had grown. With a sharp breath from the Minbari, a liquid of a duller, cooler red gushed out of the open wound, running down his shriveled body to the floor.
She lifted the pod, studied it, the tone of her song sounding pleased. The Minbari's labored breaths grew heavy, slow. Finally, they stopped.
"Evolution will be served," Justin said, his voice hard. "One way or another. You can work with us, or..."
"Or you'll do to me what you did to Anna," John said.
The conversation was quickly escalating. John would be forced to make a decision soon.
A flying platform lifted the pod from her hands and conveyed it to the bin.
"The memories are there," John said. "The voice is there. The DNA is there. But the personality... I look in her eyes, and the woman I love, the woman I married... isn't there."
Alwyn had said almost the exact same thing about Galen.
Her humming stopped, her head rising. "Who's there? Brother?"
He recognized that rich, deep voice. It was Razeel.
* * *
"I look in her eyes," John said, shaking his head, "and the woman I love, the woman I married... isn't there. She would never go along with this."
As he sat there on the couch, John stared at her with the strangest expression. Then Anna realized. He was not her friend. He did not love her. He was not under her control. He had deceived her, just as she had deceived him.