Daivarru climbed down the brightly lit ventilation shaft past jagged thorncicles and serated bladevanes until he reached the section of the shaft’s internal ecology where everything had been smashed flat and smooth by the death throes of the wounded glide-nodule. He paused on the periphery of the packed-down detritus and debris. The translucent pod-like object was still there. It looked safely dead. But Daivarru knew better. Machines usually couldn’t lie to him, not without going to extreme measures or using capabilities that many of them lacked. The heavily damaged glide-nodule was sleeping, deep-code repair routines running softly at the very threshold of sentience or thinkability. No one would notice it unless they knew where to look for it. He was one of those who intuitively knew where to look. He was good with machines.