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The sky opened and Samuel looked up.

Above, the starry backdrop fountained, a bulging cosmic mass that shimmered and glowed, raining down a bright azure light on the world below. Samuel watched the display first with hope, then with trepidation, then finally with despair. His eyes remained fixed on the sky long after the rupture had closed, long after the only light left came from a faded, glabrous moon.

Another rescue, and another day that Samuel was left behind.

A year ago, the Earth had been teeming with his kind. Everywhere he went, he could find someone like himself, a fellow traveler who would help remind him of who he was whenever his human skin began to feel too tight. But eleven months ago, Samuel’s world had called them home, and Samuel had yet to be taken with them.

Had they forgotten about him? Surely not. Their kind were numerous, and the evacuation would take time. Holes would be torn through the night sky for years, even decades, and every day, the number of Samuel’s species would dwindle, leaving him a little more rare, a little more alone.

Someday, they would get around to him. Someday, they would take him home.

But when?

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