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on their progress, which turned out to be nonexistent. When IPX reported that the probe detected no signs of sentient life on Alpha Omega 3, Morden theorized that the activity of the ships might have been automatic, that it was possible the culture was long dead. Endless arguments ensued over the theory and what course of action should be taken. Until Anna. And the mouse.

Earthforce learned from IPX that the mouse had many of the same characteristics as the ship found on Mars. Suddenly the prospect of using and mastering this technology seemed much more immediate, and the appropriate course of action was clear: send an archaeological team, including Anna Sheridan. Anna remembered Chang telling her he "needed" her for the expedition. Anna had thought he'd meant he needed her because he knew she would do a good job. Now she understood that he needed her because others wanted her on the team-others at IPX, and others in Earthforce. While this thought had angered her before-Chang may not even have wanted her on the expedition, in fact he'd seemed disappointed at her acceptance-now as she thought about it she wondered if he'd been disappointed because he'd known the potential dangers of the trip and had wanted to protect her from them.

Morden had told her that Chang and IPX had been under strict orders from Earthforce to keep the discovery of the ship on Mars a secret. Although Morden hadn't said it, and she thought he would disagree with her if she did, Anna was left with the sense that Earthforce was using them all as pawns-IPX, Anna, and the rest of the team, even Morden himself-in the attempt to secure this new technology.

After Morden had told her about Mars, Anna had told him about the probe, and about the smuggling arrangement between Donne and Hidalgo. He seemed
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