The fading red star glinted malevolently off of the metallic surface of the orb. The orb irritably sent off a "Ping" into the thin, dusty atmosphere. After hovering, softly humming over the sandy surface of the blue planet the orb sent out another "Ping" just to be sure and then settled to wait. It waited. Pale blue dust settled slowly over its round form as it lingered. The orb remained motionless. A wind blew still more of the fine sand over the form of the orb covering and camouflaging it as a small lump on the surface of the blue planet. Still the orb did not move, it waited.

Already far away the "Ping" traveled through space at a rate of 7,967,980,435,327 miles per second. The orb's second "Ping" followed it closely.

Awakening as the slow movement of the dull dusk light crept across the dirt floor of his room, Anqwar sat up stiffly on his cot. He was exhausted. He had spent all of the previous day on his monthly patrol. To increase the safety of the settlement, each man took a day a month to patrol the top of the giant iron walls that surrounded the city.

Anqwar stretched and climbed down from the cot, which was placed on a narrow shelf about four feet up in the wall of the room. He slovenly folded the thin coarse blanket and placed it at the foot of his cot. With a yawn and a stretch, Anqwar began another ordinary day in the Clachan. He rushed to dress and splash a bit of water on his face. He tied the khaki belt on his red robe and hurried to breakfast.