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term, that operates under very different rules." She started to speak faster, her voice propelled by her growing excitement. "If I'm right, travel through

Thirdspace is even faster than hyperspace. Where it took days or weeks to go from one star to another, in Thirdspace travel will be almost instantaneous."

The world seemed to reel around Morishi. He felt lightheaded, almost giddy. He couldn't believe what she was telling him, could barely grasp the immensity of what she was suggesting. It was amazing to him: he'd been looking at the same readouts as she, studying the same material, but he'd never for a moment tumbled to the conclusions that she was putting forward. They made so much sense! How could he have been so slow off the mark?

All he could get out was, "My God ..."

Her head was bobbing so fiercely it looked as if it were going to fly off her neck. "It would completely revolutionize star travel, create new avenues of commerce... and it's one hell of a weapon. No more hyperspace probes giving you two days' notice of an approaching battle group. Whoever has Third-space capability can go anywhere, make the hit and get out before they can react. It's the ultimate form of commerce and the ultimate weapon. It's a two-fer, Bill, and it's just sitting there waiting for us to figure it out. Once we do that, all we have to do is figure out where we want to put our Nobel Prizes."

He hardly knew where to begin. Part of him was concerned over the notion that she'd developed ways to transform the artifact into a weapon, since he knew that Trent had no love for anything even remotely militaristic. On the other hand, he had to credit her with coming up with ways to sell everyone on the need for future research.

More than that: it might very well put an end to Earth
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