Benny is on Jovellia to investigate a church that has beautiful stone tiles hidden under layers of plaster. She is to remove the plaster and record the mosaics, then preserve them until a team can arrive. One rainy day as she works on the scaffolding she falls off. When she hits the wood floor, she falls through into a tunnel. She explores a bit until she sees a humanoid skull in a graveyard.
Back at the church, Benny examines the first skull. When she picks it up, there is a cold and flat chip on it which gives her a static charge when she touches it. She suddenly starts to hear a voice in her head.
The skull talks to her telepathically. It has optic implants that allow it to see, and it is part of a telepathic network. It wants her to dig up the other skulls or it will detonate. She agrees, and as she digs, she tells the skull about something similar she experienced before: a telepathic network connecting soldiers together.
By the time she finishes the story, she has dug up another skull. She tells them their technology is different from what she experienced and says that they've been brought to life. When they question her use of the word "life", she tells them a story about an unexpected place where she once found life.
Benny has now dug up a third skull, and they are starting to remember. She wants to ask them about their deaths to fulfill her duty, but she thinks it's too early to ask them. They wonder if they are machines, but she says she thinks they aren't. Their chips are similar to some she once encountered in a machine after being separated from Adrian and Peter.
Benny tells the skulls that she thinks the chip from the machine is the same technology as that used by the Danpetroan army as well as the chips in the skulls. She thinks that the black stone is alive. She can't answer any more questions about it, so the skulls ask her to tell them more about the machine.
- A storm across the Barrian Pass prevents Jasmyn from coming to investigate Benny's find.
- Jasmyn mentions one of Benny's previous expeditions on Tripelka.
to be added
- Benny tells the first skull about the time she joined the Danpetro army, which had a telepathic network to connect the soldiers. (PROSE: A Game of Soldiers)
- Benny tells the first two skulls about her experience on "Cooker Island". (PROSE: Cooker Island)
- Benny tells the first three skulls about her adventure in Earth's past with John Watson. (PROSE: A Gallery of Pigeons)
- Benny tells the skulls about Adrian's adventure in Earth's past. (PROSE: The Firing Squad)