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trusted. He had lied to her. She couldn't believe it, even as the words of his message ran through her mind. If ships had flown here, ships with technology similar to the mouse, biomechanical ships that had been on Mars and had been tracked by IPX, then they knew a lot more about this planet, and about biomechanical technology, than they had admitted. And if the probe hadn't detected any ships, then the ships had arrived before the probe.

IPX had become interested in Alpha Omega 3 because they'd tracked the ships here, not because a probe had happened upon it. She remembered Chang's call to her on Station Prime, how he had related the "exciting news" of the probe's discovery.

But the probe had been sent to follow up, to observe. The higher-ups seemed to think the ships had been functioning automatically, but to Anna, active ships implied an active culture, or at least the possibility of one. Which brought into question the whole concept of sending out an archaeological expedition. The promise of biomechanical ships, lying empty and dormant, waiting for pilots and mass production, must be sending IPX into raptures. Dr. Morden's hypothesis...

He and Earthforce must have been involved in whatever happened on Mars. Which explained his presence here. Someone else she couldn't trust. Someone else with secrets. And John's precious Earthforce had kept those secrets, had allowed IPX to send them out with incomplete information, as long as Earthforce's representative was on board. But it was Chang's deceit that hurt her the most. He had withheld facts from her about the site, the culture, and the technology. Her lack of accurate information would most likely render her research redundant or invalid or irrelevant.

He had betrayed her, in the worst way one archaeologist
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