On the surface an away team of twelve took cover behind some large rocks before the entrance where Ender was taken and Joachim had his communicator out as Petra spoke through it, “Are you sure Captain Wiggin is underground and not in the mountain?” Joachim replied, “I’m sure commander, and we are ready whenever you are.” Petra said, “We are ready, standby.” On the bridge Petra pressed a button on the command chair armrest and said, “Mr. Delphiki we are ready and phaser control is transferred over to you. You may start the countdown.” Nikolai replied, “Countdown has commenced, 10, 9...” When Nikolai said one a single phaser beam fired from the Endeavor and struck the side of the mountain where the elevator doors are and some rock blasted off. Joachim, the doctor and ten security personnel watched wearing dark goggles and saw the metal doors and part of a wall surrounding them glowing white and Petra said, “Anything?” Joachim replied, “Nothing, increase power to full!” and they all watched as more rock blasted off but the barrier still held on and Joachim said, “Can you give us anymore?” The phaser beam grew brighter and made a loud whine noise that grew louder and louder when Petra said, “Delphiki says’s the phaser circuits are beginning to head and advices to cease fire!” Joachim yelled, “Disengage!” The phaser beam stopped firing and on the bridge Petra watched and saw the glowing white light grew dimmer and dimmer till all she saw is the same metal doors and part of a wall surrounding them still intact. Petra sighed and slumped in the command chair and said, “That side of the mountain should have been blasted apart the first second.” Nikolai said (through the speaker in the command chair), It probably was. It’s what I have been trying to explain during the briefing. Their power of illusion is so great that they can influence everything we do or see.” Petra sighed and rested her chin on her right hand as she watched the main viewer showing the metal untouched doors.
Back in Ender’s cage Vena walked from the corner and sat by Ender’s side on the bed and said, “Perhaps if you could ask questions that I could answer, would that be satisfying to you?” Ender kept looking calm as he stared at the glass barrier as he said (mentally), “Hive Queen, can you metal speak to other people besides me?” Hive Queen replied, “If they are not blocking my thoughts, yes.” Ender said, “Can you speak to Petra and tell her what has happened and reassure her I am all right?” Hive Queen replied, “Yes.” Ender said, “Good and tell her about Vena and I am trying to find more information about this place and the Talotians.” Hive Queen replied, “Try not to get emotionally attached to her.” Ender said, “Seriously? She is more than a burden I can handle!” Vena waved her hand in front of his eyes and said, “Hello!” Ender waved her hand away with a look of annoyance and said, “I heard you, I was just thinking of a question to ask. How strong is their mental power?” Vena replied, “If I answer will you pick a dream that I can be a part of?” Ender replied, “Yes.” Vena said, “They won’t do anything that you don’t want them to do unless you don’t cooperate, then they will punish you.” Ender said, “So they once lived on the surface. Why did they go underground?” Vena replied, “War, thousands of years ago.” Ender said, “That’s why life is just starting to bloom on the surface. So when they moved underground they concentrated on developing their mental powers?” Vena replied, “Yes, but they found it is a narcotic and dreams became more important than reality that they forgot how to repair the machines their ancestors left behind. They even live through dreams and reliving them from peoples minds.” Ender said, “Is that why they trick other races to coming to this planet?” Vena replied, “Yes and they make your dreams into reality in your mind or us old memories. Sometimes they even use dream from other being in their race jus to see how you will react.” Vena looked frightened but Ender ignored her and said, “Which means for every race they have more than one gender. Where do they tend to get and earth woman?” None of them noticed but The Keeper has left the elevator and is standing just outside. Vena said, “I answered all your questions, would you please...” Ender said, “But that was a margin that never existed. You inferred you were not real remember?” Vena looked at him confused at first but then with a pleading look she said, “I’m a woman as reals and as human as you are.” Ender looked concerned as Vena spoke, “We are like Adam and Eve in their...” Vena made a painful look as she looked up and fell back on the bed squirming and yelled, “Please don’t punish me! I beg you! Please!” Then she vanished and Ender felt around the bed and then suddenly looked down the hallway to see The Keeper enter the elevator and disappeared.
On the Endeavor Petra laid back in bed unable to sleep and she looked over at the empty side of the bed where Ender slept and sighed. A soothing female voice said in Petra’s mind, “Petra Arkanian.” Petra then bolted upright in bed and said, “Who is it?” The voice said, “Calm yourself. I am the Hive Queen that Ender mentioned to you at your Command School after the last Formic War. You don’t need to speak openly, just speak in your mind.” Petra said, “Why did you call me?” Hive Queen said, “Ender told me to contact you.” Petra smiled with relief and said, “Is he all right?” Hive Queen said, “Yes he’s perfectly fine. Now listen very carefully...”