Prologue

“The ancestors smile,” Suby whispered to himself when he saw that three of the four maser rifles were intact. “Must have been the barrel roll,” he thought as he yanked the pins from the nearest rifle’s mount. Three masers!! He couldn’t believe his luck. He could keep two intact and tear one apart for use in his home. The microwave accelerator from one of these weapons was exactly the thing he needed for the coming winter.


Suby’s heart was still racing as he hopped astride the mangled noses of the crashed Zoomers and bent to detach the second maser. Just as the last cotter pin cleared its brace and Suby had hefted the weapon onto his shoulder, the ground began to shake and an immense rumbling thundered through his ears. He was immediately confused. The darkened sky added to his confusion and his first thought was that he had somehow missed the approach of a Superzoomer. Was he being fired upon? Had one of the Septs out on a marauding run somehow caught him by surprise? Were the masers in working order so he could fight back? His eyes shot to the lip of the crater where he fully expected to get some idea as to what was happening. But instead of finding answers, all Suby found was darkness. The ground beneath the Zoomers was crumbling into a deep black void and no manner of fighting it would save Suby. The void opened up beneath him and swallowed him whole.