The program director might have the undeniable benefit of not having to face a horde of disgruntled historian wannabes in person, but the assistant director is not so fortunate. You can see a line is already forming near the pale underling as students bombard him with questions, comments, and allusions as to the barnyard origins of his immediate parentage. Even though you already have a sneaking suspicion it won't really help, you queue up and wait for your turn to vent. Unfortunately, you're still three away when the AD finally has enough, mumbles something about a family emergency and beats a hasty retreat to his office.

Without much in the way of options to change your fate, you open up your planetary assignment and find out what the fates have in store for you: Siltrada 7. One of three inhabited planets in the system, life readings are supposedly so faint that it is believed the sapient species there which once numbered in the tens of billions is now down to less than thirty, scattered across shelters or caves on the planet's two major continents. It is as yet unexamined, but is suspected to have been another victim of the plague of arms races and inherent violence that has so often ended civilizations less advanced than the pacifistic one you have known all your life.

Your flitship and crew will be ready for your departure in the morning, as will those of your friend Anias for her own post-civilization destination.