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the hotel room.

"You could fill a thimble with what I know about archaeology. But I have to say, I don't think I'm going to be able to sense anything, let alone be able to order it 'round to fetch your slippers."

They both laughed, and Anna had him sit beside her in front of the isolab window. She set the isolab scanners to record.

"Is there anything you need?" she asked.

"I assume you want to keep it isolated? This would be easier with physical contact."

"I'd like to try it this way first. If there are any changes in the object, we can get a clear record. If it doesn't work, then we can try physical contact."

"Very well. Just give me a few moments quiet, please."

He folded his hands, and his face grew serious. Anna studied the isolab readout. The scanners were detecting no change. The mouse sat, stubborn, silent. Then the gray began to flow over its skin, not like before, in a halting, block by block progression, but in a wave of darkness pulsing down its body from head to tail, again and again, faster and faster, like a heartbeat.

Anna jumped up, bit back a yelp, sat down again. The mouse's temperature was beginning to rise. The wave had now engulfed the mouse, so that its entire skin seemed to lighten and darken at once, pulsing. It glowed with a gray, shadowy light. Even its shape seemed to be pulsing, growing larger and smaller, as if it were panting. The frequency and amplitude of the brain waves increased. The temperature of the mouse shot up.

"Terrence! It's superheating!"

The pressure in the room changed. Anna's ears popped, and with a flash of light and a shriek that shredded the fabric of the air, she was scooped up out of her chair on a geyser of hot air and tossed back over her desk to the floor.

Her ears rang. She shook her
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