The satellites' paths drew a sigil on spacetime the engineers who built them could not read. But the complex entanglement of strange states of matter that kept them opaquely linked to each other and to the corporations and armies below was a unique artificial scar on the boundary spaces of the universe.
The satellites' paths drew a sigil on underlying reality that old, remote, and rhizomatic intelligences — escaping into vast computational spaces the constraints of time and distance from which nothing is spared — had long experience deciphering. They watched with godlike attention as this unforgeable sign of a new intelligence became ever more complex, then frantic, and then slowly withered down before disappearing into nothingness, linked to its world by physics and economics, climatology and weapons engineering.
As above, so below.
When the sigil paled away from the parchment of reality — an inarticulate first sound from a deaf species that did not give itself life enough to learn — the watchers shared with each other sigils drawn across solar systems familiar and stifling like ancestral homes, decipherable only by those who have explored the meaning of disappointed hope over a million years of patient calculation.