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The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness

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"Will we ever reach truly understand each other?" Deidre Skye asked.  It was night, and she was fast asleep.  But her mind was linked with Voice's, as it increasingly was when she slept.

"It is an interesting question, earthdeidre," Voice replied.  Voice would come into Deidre's consciousness with a POP! - and then communicate with her using something in-between a thought and an actual sound.  It was serpentine, like the hiss of a snake.  Or the tinnitus of a mindworm.  "You have come here with your earthpeople and your earthplants.  And perhaps you have come here with your earthdisease also.  It is difficult to trust you.  The others make holes and fight for resources.  Why are you here, earthdeidre?"

Deidre had explained the trip from Earth before, but she wasn't quite sure if Voice had ever understood.  She tried a different tactic.  "I would like to get to know you better," she said.  It was becoming clear to her how the whole planet and its natural inhabitants were actually a single living entity - and perhaps Voice itself.  "I feel we can learn from each other," she added.

Voice pondered this.  "Maybe so, earthdeidre.  You listen more than the other earthpeople," it said finally.  "But! You must stop hurting us."

Hurting?  ...right.  The mindworms.  They were part of Planet, yet they terrified Deidre and her people nonetheless.  "We will no longer hurt you if you no longer hurt us," she said.

"That is noted, earthdeidre," said Voice.  "The other earthpeople are using us to their own ends.  They may use us to hurt you."

"I know," said Deidre.  "But as for you and I... let's be friends."

"Friends!  It is a new concept."

"Will you try it?" Deidre asked.

"Hmm. Worm and sea and fungus and earthdeidre... yes, we will try it."