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complete some paperwork to release the patient."

Then he left, the curtain billowing behind him.

"I am the machine. I am the machine."

Donne approached Terrence, her eyes narrowing with what might have been fear.

"Tell me everything you know."

Anna told her, Donne constantly interrupting with questions. It was obvious Donne knew nothing about archaeology, and very little about any of the other sciences. At the end, Donne seemed no more satisfied than when Anna had begun.

"So you have no idea what planet this 'mouse' originally came from?"


"And you have no other 'mice' to study?"

"No. Only the quasi-bones I told you about, and the remaining fragments of the mouse."

"I need a fragment for study, as well as some of the bones. And I need all your notes and test results."

"You'll have to go through IPX for that. They own everything."

Anna took a step closer to Terrence.

"I want to help any way I can." Donne turned her harsh, clenched face on Anna.

"You will help any way you can."

She pointed to the monitor.

"These brain waves are the same that you observed from the mouse?"

"I am the machine. I am the machine."

"It's a similar, perfectly cyclical pattern," Anna said.

"Originally the brain waves of the mouse had a lower amplitude and frequency. But as Terrence made contact, I saw them both shoot up to about these levels. It's as if Terrence reflected the mouse's patterns and reinforced them."

Terrence's gloves had been removed, revealing slightly paler skin, pruny fingertips. Anna laid her hand over his. She had stopped shaking.

"Can't you bring him out of this telepathically?"

"Thank you for your suggestion, Dr. Sheridan. That will be all."

Her tone could have frozen helium.

"Will you let me know how
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