"I am the holder of the program." The Progenitor set her fists to her hips separating the long open tunic which dropped to her knee boots. They were planted far apart and firmly in the sand. Her tunic gleamed. Its intricate patterns were formed of metallic threads and polished gem dust floating in small lenses incorporated into the weave.
Since I had just returned my gray worksuit was creased, smudged and stained. I was a cay bug to her impresarion moth. It did not signify to me except as a parable of life. "If you wanted another servant you should have had your chief attendant hire 1. You could have hired any rogue rider intent on funds for racing to obey you. If you want me to work you must let me." I was telling her more than I had intended but if she tried to bar me a vast destructive power would be loosed. I could not tell if the Progenitor knew this.
"You have worked. Now step aside and let me."
"I have only begun."
"You have done enough."
Unfortunately Pennbaston had not departed in the morning's lingering twilight with the eager diggers. She stood now 1 among the 1/2 circle facing the rock wall several meters behind the Progenitor. They were watching us, servants holding instruments, maps, and pads on pillows and suspending umbrellas over their employers for the midday sun was hot and fierce and mediated by no humidity. They held cases of cooled refreshments and cloths dipped in cosmetic oils and trumpet-flower water. There were scientists and others of the Progenitor's colleagues, historians, sensers, all here to plunge into the power and the unknown. They had no conception of what lay within the wall.