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remotely approaching scientific foundation. That wasn't the way Morishi worked, throwing himself into wild-eyed flights of fancy. He had to know for sure, which meant he had to find a way.

The door to the control room opened and a clearly irritated Elizabeth Trent entered. Without preamble, she asked, "Bill, what's the penalty for killing a captain aboard his own vessel?"

Morishi didn't have to wonder what she was talking about. Up until now, she had managed to, at best, tolerate Sheridan, but it was clear that this "marriage of convenience" between the two of them was in its death throes. "Death by spacing," Morishi told her, which of course didn't sound particularly alluring.

Still, she appeared to give it some thought. "How long does it take?"

"About three, four minutes."

She pictured herself, thrashing about in the unforgiving vacuum, and wondered how long she could endure it. Or, more to the point, how long it would be worth her while to endure it. Deciding she didn't like the disparity in calculations, she said, "Two minutes less and it'd almost be worth it."

She shook her head, still clearly angered over some sort of dispute she'd had with the captain. Morishi didn't have to ask her for the details: he knew they'd be forthcoming on their own, and he was right. "Of all the nerve ... to try and blame us for his problems enforcing discipline..."

Morishi couldn't quite believe it. Here he'd been wondering how to broach the subject, and she'd handed him the perfect segue. "Well, in all fairness, things have been getting strange since we got here," he pointed out. "Just this morning, while I was having breakfast, there were all these people..."

But to Morishi's dismay, Trent didn't seem to have heard him. "I know what he's doing. He wants it all
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