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five days, and not crack it. Science doesn't pay attention to the clock; it'll take the amount of time that it takes, no more, no less."

Sheridan, for his part, was darkly amused that once again the words "with all due respect" had been used to precede a comment intended in a completely disrespectful way. He was not, however, about to let the comment pass, no matter how amused he was. That was made clear when Trent tried to walk away and his sharp voice brought her up short.

"Doctor Trent..." he said, in a voice that seemed to indicate that if she took another step, he'd have security guards round her up and nail her feet to the floor. She stopped where she was, and turned to look at him with an expression carefully crafted of disdain and tolerance. Sheridan, for his part, didn't give a damn about her tolerance, her disdain, or her craft. He just wanted her to shut up and listen, and it appeared that he had at least accomplished that much.

"You're right," he allowed, "I'm not a xenoarchaeologist. But my wife was. She talked about her work, same as I did, and after a while you pick up a few things."

Trent seemed rather unimpressed by this announcement. It wasn't as if he had a doctorate he could whip out to impress her. He remembered, however, that whenever one speaks with a specialist in the field, it certainly helps to have key buzz words and phrases to toss about.

"By this time," he continued, "you're going to have surface reports, magnetic resonance scans; you'll have some idea if it's a ship or a mechanism, and a general notion of what it does, even if you haven't figured out all the specifics yet."

He watched her face carefully as he spoke, and was pleased to see a flicker of surprise in her expression. Maybe even just a bit of respect... maybe. At
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