There is always an Empire somewhere, and somewhere an arid plain, restless only with dust. In temples, and in palace corridors, men of power and purpose act with deliberation. In jungles, snakes bask easily on hewn stone, night spiders in patient ambush crouch beneath fragments of water pots. Does the tree, falling in the fullness of its time, find ears to hear? In a day, millions of insects perish, undetected even by their killers, and millions more hatch, each unaware of the careless footfall which has provided the surety of a little space, a short existence of constant hunger.