Brian's attempt to woo Jane in chapter 19

Jane looked at the discoloured brass of the jar in front of her. It had a timeless class. She brushed dust from the glass and stared at the brain within. What to do? She’d decided to stop her crazy experiment weeks ago. It had been easy at first: the time she’d spent with Brian made her feel more human than she ever had; she hadn’t given the corridors of the Pleiades building a thought. But like an addict, she returned there as soon as life got tough. Maybe she’d been working too hard. Weeks of little sleep and long stretches of work were taking their toll on her resolve. She’d hit a wall with what she was working on, and no matter how much she chiselled away at it with her mind, it was defeating her. She didn’t like defeat. Like a ghost she had been floating in and out of Brian’s life. When she ran out of energy to work she would go to him and he would take care of her before she disappeared again. He rolled with it. He didn’t ask questions, but he listened and supported. It was so important to her to find a way, any way, to break the impasse and finish what she’d started. ‘Just one more,’ she thought, ‘one more to give my mind the kick it needs.’

She looked deeper into the jar, trying to find a way into the soul of whoever used to possess this mind. She felt a tingle of excitement at her own depravity, and then disgust as she thought of Brian, waiting for her somewhere, oblivious to her current dilemma, and her past.

‘Just one more,’ she thought.

She had no choice, did she? She had to finish her work. This was the only way.

‘Just one more.’

She thought of Brian. Her hands trembled. Her chest felt tight as she tried to suppress heremotions.

‘Just one more,’ she whispered, ‘one more … one more … one more … NO MORE!’

Jane punched the lever that retuned the jar to its cubby hole and ran. She didn’t stop until she reached Brian’s.