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the mouth, where access to the outside and food was easy, though there were a few cultures where habitation was far below the surface. The extensive ruins on the surface were indicative of surface dwellers, but she'd been troubled before by the complete absence of bones and personal possessions on the surface. Perhaps, during or after the war, they had taken shelter in caves. Perhaps they had died out there. Or perhaps, considering what she now knew about Mars, they hadn't. Anna turned back to the crawler and to the pillar that rose up behind it.

Morden had refined his previous work on the identical pillar inscriptions. Previously he'd translated them to read, "Every light casts a shadow."

He'd now corrected that to read, "Every light carries a shadow."

This, unfortunately, hadn't led to any insights. Anna felt no closer to understanding this race than she had been back on Earth. Morden had revealed last night that the only reason he'd been able to make the progress he had in the translations was because he'd obtained a few textual samples from the ship on Mars. Though those had been insufficient for translation, he had, in the three intervening years, discovered their similarity to two very obscure ancient tongues, which he had then studied.

When the probe had begun transmitting new samples, Morden had been ready for them. Unfortunately, the work was still very difficult, and without the probe transmitting new source material, he'd been unable to make any further translations. Both teams had been instructed to record any writings they discovered. Anna headed down the dune toward the others. She had given Razor the job of overseeing the assembly of the mobile elevator platform, a complex and critical piece of equipment for cave excavation. With the platform they
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