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away anything that he considered his, and he made his position quite clear when he said firmly, "It's scrap metal. Guaranteed. I will pull the trigger myself if I have to." He waited for this to sink in, and when it had thudded sufficiently deep into her awareness, he continued, "Second..."

If Sheridan had suddenly torn away his face to reveal that he was actually a Nam, he could not have gotten a more astounded reaction from her. "There's more?" she gasped incredulously.

"Thanks to the embargo we're running short on supplies around here. Spare parts, certain foods we can't grow ..."

She was way ahead of him. "And you want us to break the blockade, bring you whatever supplies you need."

He shrugged, as if she'd stated the self-evident. "If you're going to work here, you may as well bring lunch. I'm just making sure you bring enough for everybody."

Slowly, and with commendable caution, she said, "All right, Captain ... let me think about it. We still have to decide if what's out there is worth all these conditions."

She could say whatever she wanted, but Sheridan knew that he had her. One didn't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure it out. She looked like a coiled spring, as if she were prepared to unwind and hurl herself upon the artifact, wrapping herself around it like a joyous lover. The only thing was, she hadn't quite admitted it to herself.

Not surprising, really. She had enough scientific chops to refuse leaping to any sort of conclusion or commitment. All Sheridan needed was some small thing to push her completely over. He suspected it wouldn't be long in coming.

As it happened, he didn't have to wait at all. For he hadn't even had the chance to get another word out when his link beeped. He tapped it and said, "Sheridan."

The voice of Susan
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