SPOILER WARNING : (If you’ve read The Sundered, you’re good to go. Otherwise, head back to the short stories for safer fare.)

Far away on the world called Motherwater, as the Hope of Humanity was taken apart piece by piece with joy and smashing vigor, its communication console lit up with a blinking yellow light.

Aakesh investigated before Bakura could smash it into bits.

Encountered alien life, from all appearances friendly. All other communication with humans have ceased. We aboard this vessel may be the only humans left alive.The aliens offer a new home, though they do not give many details. We chose to accept. Readings to follow.

Aakesh tilted his head, hair rising like ribbons in water, his eyes brimming with orange fire. Interesting, he said together with all the Sundered Ones, minds united, hearts flowing like a river.

Tell Harry? said Gorish, said them all.

Not yet. Not until we know more, decided Aakesh and all with him.

Harry wept, uninformed. He needed time. They needed time. They did not know who or what had the other humans, and they had learned the hard way: new people were not always good.

So all the Sundered agreed together, but one.

More humans lived.

Motherwater raged.