no longer move.
"Whose greetings?" Anna asked.
"The natives of this planet. The ones you've been trying to meet. They can't communicate in our language, so they sent me as an intermediary. Their name is too long to pronounce-ten thousand letters long, in fact, Dr. Morden. They are an ancient, noble race as far advanced from us as we are from the tree shrew. Their technology, as you well know Dr. Sheridan, is thousands of years ahead of ours. And they're willing to share it with us. Imagine limitless energy, biomechanical ships, an end to poverty-and us, the archaeologists to make the biggest discovery of all time. They've been in hibernation for almost a thousand years and are just now waking up. We woke them up, in fact. Their hibernation has made them very vulnerable; they need time to regain their strength before other races learn of their existence, other races who might covet their technology. They will teach us their secrets, if in turn we keep their secret. They want to work with us, learn from us about what's gone on for the last thousand years."
"And what about them?" Anna said, pointing down at the crew.
"They didn't understand. They wouldn't have kept the secret, so they're being put asleep until it's safe to let them go."
"Churlstein, you can't-"
"What did they promise you?" Morden asked, his smooth voice gone raw.
"Whatever I want," Churlstein said.
"'All that is desired.' And they'll give the same to you. You have only two choices: to serve willingly, and be rewarded with your greatest desires, or to serve unwillingly, like them."
He inclined his head toward the crew below. Morden touched her leg, pointed a finger down to the left. One of the bluish-gray aliens was making his way along the parapet toward them. Anna checked the other