A hologram of a spinning golden planet, in stasis, turning gently. You can see the storms moving over its face. But when the Commanders congregate below it, when they activate whatever controls are below, it changes. Fissures appear on its face. Is that their home? When the room empties I play with the controls, but it's older, native technology that I don't recognize at all.

I don't know what it means. It's not difficult to hide in these caverns when you're as small as I am, although the Psions tend to look around them when they pass me. There are infinitely many cracks and crannies. They are not a race that fears infiltration or espionage.

There is meaning to the structure and layout of their buildings. This is a warrior people, and they lay out their fortifications along ancient principles and time-tested strategies. I can't figure out the sense that lies behind it. I would need ten times the computing power for inference calculations. But I know it's there. I can intuit it. It's like an open hand, ready to squeeze into a fist. A threat. A gesture of power.

For all their might and strength, for all that they have dug into Mars and flung up battle walls with the bureaucratic grimness of conquerors, I suspect they are fleeing from something. That within their hard shells and thousand-folded shields is a sharp seed of terror. But of what? Does something follow them? Should we fear it too?