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as that they had photographs of Clark in lewd sexual positions with a Psi Cop ... Bester, preferably. But he decided he'd have to settle for something as boring as business sense.

When it came to business, however, Sheridan could manipulate it to his advantage as well as anyone else. He gave it a moment more, even though he knew exactly what he was going to say. Once he'd allowed Trent to endure the uncomfortable silence, he said, "All right... then here's the deal. I'll give you access to the artifact. You'll work with my people at all times," he added quickly, before she could think even for a moment that he was giving her carte blanche, "and you will give us full access to your data at every step along the way. We have first call on anything you find. If the technology behind that thing can be used by Earth against the other races, that information never leaves here."

Trent's face fell. It was the equivalent of throwing a bag over their heads and strapping on boxing gloves. There was protest registered all over her face. "Captain..."

But Sheridan wasn't remotely interested in hearing it. "If you try, we'll destroy it," he said in no uncertain terms.

"You wouldn't," she countered, sounding appropriately appalled. "It's the find of a lifetime."

The joy of the situation was, she knew damned well that Sheridan wasn't a scientist. At least, that was the joy of it, as far as Sheridan was concerned. He was a soldier first and foremost, and since the main thing that soldiers tended to fight for was territory, Trent was all too aware that she was dealing with someone who was much more worried about property than scientific principle. Sheridan didn't care if it was the find of this lifetime, the next, or the lifetime of a star. He wasn't about to let anyone take
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