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push them over the edge. As archaeologists, they weren't used to dealing with unknown dangers. They were used to dealing with the unknown, as long as it hadn't moved in a couple of centuries, and they were used to dealing with dangers, as long as they were familiar-cave-ins, falls, mechanical accidents. A situation like this was totally unprecedented. Anna had no idea how to handle it either. She was just taking one step at a time.

"We will search an area centered on the major pillar, extending for a radius of five miles."

She called up a map on the monitor.

"Razor, you take Captain Hidalgo and search sector one, the area of the pillar. You may need to investigate the crevasse Dr. Morden and I described to you. Favorito and Standish, take sector two, which includes some low mountains and many stone blocks. Morden and I will take sector three, which includes the cave site, and we'll investigate the energy source you're reading."

The search already seemed destined for failure. Razor seemed steady, but Hidalgo couldn't be trusted. But he couldn't be left on the ship either. Favorito and Standish-God knew how effective they would be, left to their own devices. She would have put Morden into one of the other groups, except that the secret of what they had found in the caves had to be preserved, as long as possible. She wondered if she was turning into Chang now, keeping a secret from her own team, a secret that might endanger their lives.

"Each group will include thirty techs. Standish, I want you to set up a group of techs as runners, with multi-terrain vehicles, in case our communications are cut off."

Standish seemed to snap out of a paralyzing meditation at the mention of his name.

"Can we at least try to send a message home?"

"It will take us a half
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