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you have experienced smaller time delays and know that they can easily lead to accidents and the destruction of the probe. So we're just going to have to wait until then.

You now have access to all the data, which are updated on a real-time basis. I want you to study them and get me your recommendations for our most efficient use of the probe."

Chang sat.

"Now I'll have Dr. Sheridan tell you about her experience with the mouse."

Anna described her discovery of the mouse, the characteristics she had observed, and the conclusion she had drawn that it was a biomechanical device of some kind. She tried to convey the sensations she had received from the mouse, and how those had led to her decision to bring in a telepath. At that point, Dr. Chang interrupted.

"The telepathic contact seemingly triggered the mouse to explode," Chang said, his words aimed at Donne.

"That's all we know at this point. I've made test results on the mouse available to you also, and there are a few surviving fragments I'm keeping under lock and key if you'd like to have additional tests run. If there are no questions..."

"Excuse me," Morden said, with his fixed smile.

"I wanted to ask Sheridan about this mouse."

Chang began picking at the callus on his index finger. It was obvious that Morden knew Chang was covering up something, and he was circling in on it.

"You say you felt you were in some sort of telepathic contact with it. Do you think if you had concentrated harder, or sustained your contact with it, that you could have triggered the explosion?"

Anna chose her words carefully.

"I really don't know. But my instinct tells me that my contact with the mouse was of a much lesser intensity than that of the telepath. It felt almost like my own mind wandering, like dreaming
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