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back with the goods. They knew they were sending us out with a nest of vipers. And they expect us to deal with it. I want no hints to the others that the probe's malfunctioning was anything but accidental."

"We may never find out who's responsible."

"Worse things have happened."

With a sigh he turned to the side, leaned toward the bed.

"By the way," he said, reaching under the pillow, "did John ever teach you how to shoot?"

He brought out a small PPG.

"I've begun carrying this with me. You take it. I'll sign out another one."

He handed her the pistol, a weight in her hand. Anna shook her head.

"We're sitting on the find of the century. Don't they see that we need to be able to do our jobs..."

"That's just it, Sheridan."

He sank back in his chair, a slump in his chest.

"It is the find of the century. And the find of the century is not found with the calmness of the find of the year, or the find of the year, or the find of the month. This technology is going to change everything. And whoever controls it is going to control everything. We're way out of our depth here. That's what being a part of history means."



CHAPTER 10



"I know you're out of touch, and you probably won't get this for months, but I just wanted to say happy New Year. There's a godawful party going on here, with an ancient goddess and prancing professors wearing ceremonial dewlaps and stuff that would send you into a cold sweat, but all it reminds me of is that New Year's when we were in Lucerne, on the lake, and the fireworks, how they seemed to cover the sky, and how we both shivered under that coat you borrowed, and the way you looked at me..."

"I don't know what evil spirit possessed me to cancel our vacation. I should have gone AWOL. I miss you so much tonight.
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