Benny, tired of the pressures of academic work, has gone on a field expedition, without Braxiatel's permission. She is on a planet whose insectoid species is currently undertaking to refurbish the palace garden. Benny at first is barely interested, but when she takes note of their progress, she realises that there must be something under the garden. She hacks into an orbiting satellite to get scans of the ground underneath the gardens and discovers that there must be an ancient tomb under the garden. She convinces the archaeologists to dig at the tomb, and a tunnel is uncovered just as it grows dark. They quit for the night.
As Benny returns to her rooms, a slave warns her that "they" intend to kill her — seconds later the slave's head is shot off. Benny runs away, and at first she heads away from the palace before realising that they expect her to head for the spaceport. She doubles pack towards the palace and heads into the tunnel.
Inside the tomb, she can feel a consciousness in there with her. In the dark she can feel the remains of the original god-emperor, Bug I, and his family and slaves. Also in the tomb is a strong power source. As the consciousness of Bug I prepares to destroy the city, Benny is suddenly transported to a Lacaillan ship. Braxiatel contacts her there and tells her that he received a complaint about her hacking the satellite. The Lacaillans tried to transport the power source, but they were unable. The power source explodes, destroying the city.
- Benny is rescued by a Lacaillan ship using popper technology.
- This story is told in the second person.
to be added