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He wanted to be angry with her, to point fingers and speak in a most accusatory fashion. But he knew that if he was going to head in that direction, he was going to have to do some serious finger-pointing in the direction of one John Sheridan.

Perhaps, he reasoned, the supportive approach might be preferable.

"It wasn't your fault," he said. "Lots of people fell under the influence of that thing. And more would've fallen if we hadn't stopped it." But after a moment, he realized he could not help but add, "However, that doesn't explain your decision to hold back information before that thing began broadcasting those telepathic signals-----But we won't mention that part, will we?

It would make the conversation so depressing."

"Yes. It would," she sighed. She appeared lost in thought, and then she said-to herself as much as to him..."Bill would be alive right now."

There was nothing he could say to that, nothing that could possibly make her feel better. She placed a report on his desk and continued, "This is everything I had on the artifact. Maybe it'll be useful someday ... maybe not."

"And what about you?"

"I'm ... going away for a while," she said after a moment. "After everything that's happened, I have to decide if I want this job anymore. I didn't like the part of me that thing brought out."

"Then maybe it's a learning experience for you," Sheridan said, knowing full well that the exact same thing could be said of himself.

If Trent realized that, she was too polite to comment. Instead she simply replied, "If it is, it's a hell of a painful one."

"Ain't no other kind, Dr. Trent," replied Sheridan with grim empathy.

The Zocalo had been mostly put back together. There was still some residual debris, but the place was open for business again,
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