are covered by deposits of sedimentary rock. Sand and dust eroded from these two types of rock have formed eolian deposits in various sheltered areas.
The atmosphere carries a radioactive residue, the decay patterns of which suggest its decay began approximately one thousand years ago. The nature of the radioactivity-which I leave to the physicists..."
-the group laughed here, as physicists were generally despised-"...is indicative of an artificial source, suggesting a war may have been fought on the planet at that time. No life has been detected above the microscopic level, which may be a result from that war. But the atmosphere is extremely dry, which would aid in the preservation of any organic remains.
Weather patterns appear violent. Dust storms covering one-quarter of the planet's surface are nearly constant. Some constituent of the dust is causing sporadic disruption in our communications with the probe and some image distortion. But I think you'll find the results quite impressive." With a touch he activated the view screen on the wall behind him. A static-distorted image appeared of rocky terrain stretching toward sharp distant mountains. The atmosphere was a reddish brown, the same color as the rock, clouded by intermittent gusts of dust. The landscape appeared harsh, desolate. As the probe panned to the left, a tall thin finger of stone appeared in the foreground, covered with vague runes. As the probe continued to turn, more pillars were revealed, at varying distances. They stretched as far as the eye could see."
"Surviving structures include numerous inscribed pillars, obviously not natural formations, ranging from one hundred to one hundred fifty yards high. These pillars are spaced at a constant distance of 2.43 miles from each other, and are spread