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Literature / Great Ship

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The Great Ship universe is a series of science fiction novels, novellas, and dozens of short stories, written by Robert Reed

In the distant future, an enormous ship larger than many worlds is discovered streaking towards the Milky Way at a third the speed of light. The near-immortal, transhuman descendants of humanity are the first to set foot on the enormous ship, and the first to claim it. The ancient reactors are warmed up, and life is nurtured inside the millions of enormous caverns inside the ship's hull. A burst from the moon-sized engines catapults the ship around a brown dwarf, setting it into the galactic plane, where humanity sells berths on the Great Ship in exchange for worlds, information, and technology. The nearly indestructible hyperfiber hull makes the Great Ship Nigh-Invulnerable, a very desirable feature to the nearly immortal, fantastically rich sentient entities in the galaxy, who desire something safer than a planet to reside on. Technology, colonization rights, pledges of assistance, and information is sold for the right to reside on the Ship.Tens of thousands of species reside in the Great Ship, some interacting in the enormous cities and ports, others secluding themselves in distant caverns and empty fuel tanks.

The Great Ship universe is a fairly hard, Mundane Dogmatic science fiction setting, as it eschews FTL travel and many other staples of standard Space Opera

The Great Ship series :

  • Novels:
    • Marrow (2000)
    • The Well of Stars (2004, sequel to Marrow)
    • The Memory of Sky (2014), seemingly unrelated story that obscurely hints at a relation to the other stories.
    • The Dragons of Marrow (2018), that ties The Memory of Sky to the end of The Well of Stars.
  • (Notable) Short stories and novellas:
    • Aeon's Child
    • Alone
    • Eater-of-Bone
    • Marrow note 
    • Mere (Chapbook, 2004)
    • The Remoras
    • The Greatship (Short story collection containing most of the Great ship stories)

Marrow starts off several thousand years into the ship's voyage as Washen, one of the ship's high-ranking captains, receives a coded message to vanish along with every other important captain - as they are recalled into the core of the ship. Buried under the mass of granite and hyperfiber lies an entire planet inside the ship's core - Marrow - which is suspended in the center by enormous electromagnetic barriers. After a Space Elevator is lowered to the surface and an outpost is established, the electromagnic barriers strengthen to the point where the space elevator is crushed, stranding almost all important captains on the surface of what is essentially a Death World, forcing them to try and carve out a living and await rescue. But Marrow has strange effects on their children, and there's no sign of the rest of the ship even knowing they are missing...

The Well Of Stars takes place several hundred years after the events of Marrow - the Wayward mutiny has been crushed, but at a terrible cost, crippling the ship as it plunges into an abnormally dense and dark stellar nursery, the home of a species - or entity - that calls itself the Polypond. With no way to avoid the nebula, and with every surrounding civilization either revering the polypond or no longer existing, the captains brace for the worst. A substantial portion of the plot deals with the enemies of the ship's builders, the !eech, possibly being in pursuit of the ship and that the ship may have been intercepted by this party already, long before the stories began.

Some short stories were released at random in science fiction periodicals, but it appeared The Well of Stars was the intended, open-ended conclusion of the series. Reed released The Greatship collection of short stories in 2013 which included a story set on the post-Well of Stars Greatship, and the ship has new owners and is on a mission far from the Milky Way at this point. The next year, Reed released the seemingly unrelated The Memory of Sky which was a novel focused around an immortal child, Diamond, in a strange world that seems almost like a tiny Dyson sphere. Some of the characters seem to have a few of which have obvious characteristics of the Greatship's alien races, but this is the only apparent tie to the Greatship storyline that is immediately evident. Eventually Diamond must escape his world and finds himself emerging to be face to face with the Greatship's captains.

The author once again seemed to leave the Greatship universe hanging with no hope of resolution, until an interview with the author cryptically revealed the name of a new novel The Dragons of Marrow which had been released in digital form in mid-2018. The Dragons of Marrow per the foreword, will be followed by a trilogy of new books takes place on on a war-torn Marrow where Marrow's cycle of expansion and purging of all surface life has coincided with the major captains each leading technically-advanced but tribal factions, with each captain possessing an implanted doomsday device of sorts that kickstart's Marrow's purge cycle in advance of schedule. A major wrench in this cycle comes from the arrival of the characters from The Memory of Sky, one character of which seems to somehow already possess one of these doomsday devices. Hints to the purpose of the Greatship are provided, in addition to the fact the !eech war for the ship seems to have been lost, millions, perhaps billions, of years ago and the captains have been in a cycle of war ever since.

Many of the short stories set in the Great Ship verse have a mix of action, mystery, with the occasional bit of Slice of Life for the immortal passengers.

Tropes featured in the Great Ship universe, and in the short stories:

  • Aerith and Bob: Some characters - primarily the older ones - have relatively normal names, such as Quee Lee. Younger characters have odder names, such as Washen. The youngest have especially odd names, such as "Promise" or "Till".
  • Alien Blood: Orleans, a Remora, has black blood with the consistency of ketchup.
  • Alternate Universe: Hyperfiber is so strong because it spreads any impact or heat damage across thousands of dimensions. In a more straight example, the Tila from Mere have quantum structures in their brain that causes an "aura" around objects they see - which they interpret as glimpses of thousands of alternate realities.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The stories focus on the human characters and their adventures on the Greatship, and it is difficult not to root for them. However, it is inevitable that the humans have NO IDEA what they are doing, NO IDEA how dangerous the Greatship's mission or cargo could be, and really, if the Greatship should be in humanity's hands or not. Indeed, the humans strut around in their chrome(!) uniforms bragging about their accomplishments and how they keep the ship together, but despite having crews manning mile-long control rooms, they have no idea how to truly operate much more than the ship's environmental controls, propulsion really only the maneuvering thrusters and elevators.
    • In Marrow the !eech seem to be outright antagonists.
    • In short story Alone the ship speaks to the progaonist and talks about how the builders created the ship to be the bleak end of everything, however also notes that a second ship was sent chasing after the first after the builders had second thoughts. The protagonist reasons that the ship couldn't know about the second ship unless the second ship had already caught the first one, or actually WAS the second ship, which could imply that the !eech (Bleak), which couldn't catch the ship but manipulated humanity into letting them aboard, are trying to prevent the end of everything.
    • In The Well of Stars it is clear that the humans have no business taking control of the ship due to the ship's unknown purpose/intentions, so the !eech taking command at the end, saving the ship from the Polypond, could be beneficial.
    • It should be noted, however, that the !eech's first announcement to the ship's crew seems just as propaganda-filled as the human captains would have done.
    • In short story Hatch a character named Hawking, the !eech administrator, of a human colony atop the rim of the ship's engine nozzles (yes, they're that huge) stationed in his position to stand watch for human ships approaching or leaving the Greatship. Despite his race's intentions, Hawking is very fond of the story's human protagonist and seems to go out of his way to communicate and provide aid.
    • In The Memory of Sky and The Dragons of Marrow one character is clearly an !eech but is devoted to aiding Diamond and his friends.
    • In short story Kingfisher the Panwere who are described remarkably the same as the !eech, who have not yet been revealed to the humans left in the Milky Way are already aboard the human intergalactic ship sent to chase down the stolen Greatship. They seem benevolent, exchanging aid and favors to individuals in exchange for being told stories (gathering information?).
    • In short story The Man with the Golden Balloon an alien agent acting as part of "the secret rulers of the galaxy" seem to have manipulated a lesser species into becoming a technological civilization simply so they could build a massive machine he required, only to be destroyed upon its completion. However, this ruling body also appears to have steered humanity into finding the Greatship in the first place.
    • In Precious Mental the supposed rulers of the galaxy seem to have good intentions at least on a "big picture" scale, however, they are the antagonists of this story as they try to stop an ancient race from returning from the Andromeda Galaxy with a better or independently-designed version of the immortal bioceramic brain. It is suggested the secret rulers are trying to prevent this because the "common" design of bioceramic brain used by all species in the galaxy may have been intentionally designed to hide an otherwise obvious fact.
  • And I Must Scream: Mere starts with a child being kept barely alive (yet full conscious) through a 10,000 year voyage - most of which was spent screaming in pain and from insanity.
  • Antimatter: Antimatter is a popular choice for ship propulsion, as ships using it need only very small amounts to accelerate extremely fast; Mere's scout ship in The Well of Stars uses a chunk of anti-iron slightly large than a thimble as propulsion. Marrow's containment fields are powered by a massive matter/anti-matter reactor buried in the core of the planet
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Hyperfiber, an insanely strong metal that's used on pretty much every starship in existence. The Great Ship itself is nigh-invincible thanks to being absolutely slathered in the stuff.
  • Apocalypse How: Mere ends with a binary star collapsing in on itself, wiping out all life in the system.
  • Ascended Extra: The !eech, which supposedly committed mass suicide in Marrow, return in The Well of Stars and are implied to be the Bleak. Furthermore, in Kingfisher a new race, which appears to have traits of the !eech as revealed in The Dragons of Marrow, seems to be hanging around the Milky Way's ship sent to chase down the stolen Greatship.
  • Aura Vision: The Tila in Mere see faint auras around objects.
  • Auto Doc: Autodocs are primarily used for repairing mutated genes, rather than blunt trauma usually seen in other stories.
  • BFS: Quite possibly the largest one ever portrayed in fiction. At the climax of The Well of Stars, the Polypond attempts to break out what lies at the core of Marrow by boring through the entire Greatship with a hyperfiber blade with black holes around its rim. This device was also previously used to break down most of the planets that used to exist in the Well. Also, the massive pseuodosphere ship in Kingfisher launched via supernova and intentionally scooping up all debris and interstellar medium in its path into a massive ocean which, per the captain, is also the ship's fuel, and can be drained into a miniature quasar at the ship's core for a burst of propulsion.
  • Big Dumb Object: The Great Ship. it is a starship the size of Jupiter, made of the highest grade hyperfiber. Discovered streaking towards the Milky Way at a third the speed of light by a human built probe, its origin is unknown (the area behind it is the emptiest part of the universe), it carries an entire world inside it, and it has tens of millions of caverns and fusion reactors all there to make the interior livable for almost any species. It may be as old as the universe, and one character suggested that it created the universe, or functions as a control center for it - the visible universe simply being another layer to the ship's hull. A common theme in the Greatship stories is that multiple realities, each slightly different from the main one, all exist concurrently. It is insinuated in The Well of Stars and more firmly in The Dragons of Marrow that the Greatship contains a volume in which all these realities coexist.
  • Binary Suns: The Tila's solar system in Mere has two stars in decaying orbits around each other.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Harum-sacrums have two mouths: one for breathing and talking, one for eating. The !eech seem to be flat insect-like creatures that can fit into tiny places and move about the ship via cracks where humans cannot follow. In later stories, they are shapeshifters but have insect-like traits.
  • Blob Monster: The polypond is essentially a macro-scale version of one, being able to cover the entire surface of the Great Ship and having different feelers, sensors and appendages throughout its body.
  • Body Horror: Remoras are extremely disturbing. One of them is described as having photosensitive hairs in the pits of their eye sockets instead of regular eyes.
  • Brain/Computer Interface: Keyboards and such are almost never seen, as everything is done wirelessly
  • Brain Uploading: Almost all humans depicted have ceramic, artificial brains, which are nearly indestructible.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The whimsical first part of The Memory of Sky when Diamond is a child gives way to the darker second and even darker third part when Diamond is an adult. In an interview, Reed stated that the first part was originally conceived as a sort of young adult novel before being reworked.
  • Cliffhanger: The Well of Stars ends with the polypond having bored into the Greatship down to Marrow, only to be foiled at the last second by the !eech, AKA The Bleak. Taking control of the ship, they twist it around and succeed in destroying the hyperfiber blade, which resulted in the Greatship being cut in half into two hemispheres. This book was released in 2002 and there's been no announcement of direct sequel yet, so we have no idea how anyone turned out after that. The Memory of Sky has several of the same immortal creatures from the Greatship but the connection to the Greatship storyline is ambiguous until the characters emerge on Marrow in The Dragons of Marrow.
  • Cool Star Ship: The Great Ship.
  • Cyborg Helmsman: The Master Captain. While she still looks fairly human, she is far larger than a regular human to help disperse heat, and her skin is jam packed with computers, AI assistants, and communication systems to interface with the Great Ship
  • Death World: Marrow is a small world located inside the Ship's core. The planet is periodically allowed to expand and contract via massive magnetic fields, which combined with a matter/anti-matter reactor inside the planet makes the planet have massive eruptions and huge lava flows. The life on the planet is adapted to breed rapidly and thrives off eruptions. The air is tainted with heavy metals, and the planet is surrounded by massive magnetic fields which disrupt normal thought, causing anyone passing through them to go temporarily insane.
  • Death Faked for You: The !eech
  • Eldritch Abomination: The polypond proves to be one in the end. It's also suspected that whatever is imprisoned at the heart of Marrow might qualify, but no one has learned the exact nature of it yet.
  • Electronic Eyes: Mere gets these in Mere, to see the world in a way similar to the Tila.
  • Energy Beings: It's proposed in Marrow that this might be what the Builders really were. It's theorized that, in a younger universe, they may have emerged and created the Greatship without using physical bodies, which might explain why there wasn't a single shred of DNA, dead cells or any other sign of life on the Greatship until humanity came aboard. It is also theorized that the Greatship has such a diversity of environmental controls because the builders were not certain what parameters would be needed to support future life.
  • Eternal English: English appears to have died out, but whatever has replaced it seems to be very static, courtesy of pretty much every speaker being effectively immortal. The only language drift would be caused by isolation due to all forms of travel and communication being slower-than-light.
  • Eye Scream: Mere in Mere carves out her own eyes with a knife.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Captains have a pretty elitist view of themselves and often express resentment and bigotry towards the many alien and transhuman races who live on the Great Ship.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Polypond.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: The end of Mere has the Tila launching Mere (in a salvaged wreck) and their entire history and art, towards the Great Ship.
  • Genius Loci: The Great Ship has a "voice" spaced out at the beginning of some chapters in Marrow and The Well of Stars. However, it is never shown to interact with the passengers, except for Alone.
    • Gaians are entities that are effectively entire ecosystems - one Gaian covers an entire planet. Some are sentient, others are not.
  • Goal-Oriented Evolution: Remoras direct their mutations to be useful.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When the Polypond attacks in The Well Of Stars, the crew decides to activate the ship's engines. All of the engines, in an attempt to flee as fast as possible.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Mere spent ten thousand years in complete isolation inside a barely functioning ship. She is thoroughly insane when the ship crash lands on the Tila's planet.
  • Healing Factor: Humans and some other species have artificial "emergency genes", which will re-purpose matter in their body to heal wounds. The genes will keep on working until the only thing left is the brain - keep chopping off legs and arms and the genes will start re-purposing largely unneeded organs to regrow them. If deprived of food or water, the body will mummify itself.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Mere convinces one of the polypond's worlds to relate to her enough to reveal that it plans to crack apart the Greatship with a blade made of hyperfiber and black holes in order to free what's beneath Marrow. It tells her that, for what it's worth, it's sorry about everything.
  • Hollow World: The Great Ship, to an extent. It's the size of Jupiter, and full of billions of passageways and caverns. Inside the ship's hollow core is an entire world suspended by energy barriers.
  • Humans Are Special: While humanity is not particularly special normally, they control the Great Ship, making them the richest and most knowledgeable species in the galaxy. At least until the !eech take it from them and redirect it out of the Milky Way with trillions still onboard at the end of The Well of Stars. However, the humans have successfully repelled the !eech from Marrow to the point they may still be the most important species in the universe.
  • Human Subspecies: The Remoras, which are the descendants of the crews sent to repair the hull of the Great Ship. They've been twisted by the hard radiation of empty space, and they actively cultivate their mutations.
  • Jerkass: Pamir.
  • Interspecies Romance: Considering that everyone is immortal they uh, experiment quite a lot.
  • In the Future, Humans Will Be One Race: The only character described as having a specific set of racial features is Quee Lee - who is the only character from old Earth.
  • Large and in Charge: The Master captain. Due to a huge amount of implants, she is packed with different methods of dissipating the implants' heat - which causes her to be very large.
  • Lost Colony: In Eater-Of-Bone, a colony ship was catastrophically damaged and flung off of its trajectory, sending it towards one of the lone stars at the periphery of the Milky Way. The nigh-immortal Trans Human colonists are forced to settle on a world which is extremely metal-poor (particularly in salts and iron), making any kind of machinery precious beyond belief and every drop of blood lost a tragedy. One character laments that there's metal in the world, but so far below the ground that it is unreachable to the damaged machinery of the starship. The colonists cooperated with each other for a short time, but the strains of resource shortages fractured them into dozens of small groups, who often fight each other for resources. "Eater-of-bone" isn't meaningless, either, because even bone and marrow hold the metals required for metabolism.
  • Meaningful Name: Marrow, the site of the Great Ship's antimatter reactor, and a possible prison for the Bleak.
    The Master: "Marrow. It's a very old word. It means 'where the blood is born'"
  • Meat Moss: Follownig the Polypond war, the Greatship is covered in a living sea.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: Numerous types of AIs reside on the ship, who are totally independent of other species - though they are still technically artificial creations.
  • The Milky Way Is the Only Way: No known species have ventured (far) out of the Milky Way due to the lack of Faster-Than-Light Travel or communications despite almost every interstellar species having become nigh-immortal Trans Humans. The Great Ship was discovered streaking towards the the Milky Way - at a significant fraction of the speed of light - from an almost completely empty section of the sky, and was completely covered in impact craters from a steady stream of collisions from its billion year long flight. However, at the climax of The Well of Stars, it is revealed that a ship has been chasing the Great Ship across the universe; when they seize control after the Polypond war, they activate the ship's true engines and begin the flight back into intergalactic space with the ship's passengers still on board. Short Story Kingfisher takes place on a massive quasar-powered intergalactic ship built by the Milky Way species to chase down the stolen Great Ship. The ship is essentially a massive ocean of fuel on which the protagonists compare themselves to crustaceans living on the surface.
  • The Mutiny: Miocene and Till. Mostly bloodless, until Pamir and the Remoras fight back to restore the ship to the original owners.
  • The Needless: Humans rarely need to eat, and do it mostly for pleasure.
  • Neural Implanting: Nexuses, which are implanted into one's body (or in say, a house), and mentally accessed for information or skills when needed.
  • No Name Given: The Master captain. Her name is said a grand total of twice - Liza.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Since everyone is effectively immortal, most safety equipment is non-existent unless it could damage the brain. Some ships will accelerate at a hundred g's, crushing the bones of the pilot into dust, then the pilot's emergency genes will kick in to mend the bones.
  • Pro-Human Transhuman: Despite most of the characters being immortal transhumans that can survive being dipped in lava, they still consider the Remoras and the Space Amish humans that live a mere century to be their brethren.
  • Only One Name: Some of the younger human characters have only one name, such as "Promse" or "Dream". Most characters do have full names, though rarely ever said because they are implied to be enormous.
  • Orion Drive: If a ship isn't powered by a fusion rocket or an antimatter rocket, it uses an Orion Drive (called a "bomb drive" in the stories), loaded with nuclear bombs.
  • Planet Spaceship: The Great Ship itself is the size of a gas giant. The interior of the ship has hundreds of thousands of enormous caverns which are inhabited by the passengers. The ship has fourteen moon-sized adjustable fusion engines on one end. The ship in Kingfisher was launched by Milky Way species to chase the Greatship across the universe, and apparently contains entire oceans of fuel.
  • Racial Remnant: Mere is the only survivor of the Tilan stellar collapse. She left their solar system with the combined knowledge of their civilization.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: The Great Ship spent at least several hundred million years drifting towards the Milky Way, but it only sustained superficial damage to it exterior shell. All the original technology in it still functions flawlessly. The Matter-antimatter reactor inside Marrow still functions after billions of years.
  • Reactionless Drive: The Great Ship's true propulsion is this - only discovered at the end of The Well of Stars.
  • Sapient Cetaceans: Whale-like aliens are encoutnered in The Well of Stars, who talk via radio wave bursts and worship a nearby gas giant.
  • Scavenger World: Hatch takes place after the Polypond War, with several million people trapped on the rim of one of the ship's nozzles. The refugees harvest the Polypond's corpse for organic material and bits of technology - however, many of the entity's subsystems are still functional, causing the harvesting to be extremely dangerous - if a raider uses a ship slightly too big or creates too much thrust, laser cannons will blast it out of the sky.
  • Sliding Scale of Libertarianism and Authoritarianism: There is very little limits on what one can do on the Great Ship, provided it doesn't affect other passengers and you pay your ship taxes.
  • Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: Most A.I.s are at human level or above - even the houses and ships.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The Master and the Captains have some pretty big, undeserved egos on them. They constantly claim that the ship is theirs (which is technically true but only because a.) humans were lucky enough to find it first and b.) they violently attacked or rebuked most of the other races trying to board the ship before they started selling space) and believe that they're the only thing keeping it functional. It should be noted that the Master and Captains aren't politicians or rulers of any sort; most of them are the team of scientists who originally explored the Great Ship after it's discovery.
    • In one notable moment Washen makes the egotistical claim that without the captains society on the Ship would fall apart (which Pamir even notes is bullshit) only for her to privately admit a few pages later that shipboard extinctions occur pretty often just beneath the Captains' noses.
  • Society of Immortals: 99% of humanity is immortal.
  • Space Amish: Some humans forgo the ceramic brain and most, if not all, of the emergency genes, instead living short lives.
  • Space Elevator: Marrow is connected to the rest of the Great Ship by a human-built space elevator. When the elevator is crushed and later rebuilt, it's used as an invasion point by the Wayward mutiny
  • Starfish Aliens: Almost all of the inhabitants of the Great Ship. It's notable when the aliens are not Starfish Aliens
  • Starship Luxurious: The Great Ship. Thousands of luxurious canyons, beaches, oceans are among the natural formations inside the Jupiter sized ship. In terms of space, the prisoners are guaranteed at least 10,000 cubic meters of personal space. Passengers can claim rooms larger than Manhattan very easily.
  • Stone Wall: The Great Ship. After humanity claimed the derelict, whole swarms of alien ships started showing up to try and capture it. The humans on-board simply closed the hyperfiber airlocks on the star ports and waited until the attackers ran out of fuel or ammunition.
  • Technology Uplift: Humans learned how to make hyperfibers from an alien radio transmission they intercepted. The knowledge to build starships and how to achieve clinical immortality came from the First Contact.
  • Transhuman: Almost all seen human characters have huge amounts of genetic modifications and implants. Emergency genes are artificial genes that all humans have, which can do some extreme modifications to the body in order to preserve the brain.
  • Time Abyss: Practically all the main characters of Marrow are at least several hundred thousand years old. Qeng Lee, a minor character, was born on Earth, before the immortality treatments.
    • Alone, in the short story Alone, is a self-aware robot that had crawled on the Great Ship's hull for billions of years, long before it reached the Milky Way. The entity is so old that it doesn't even know how old it is, what powers it, or who created it.
  • Ultimate Life Form: The polypond is a single biological consisting of liquids spreads across a multitude of engineered planets throughout a nebula. It proves to be more than a match for the Greatship, which is larger than Jupiter and has all of the finest weapons, equipment and crew in the galaxy at its disposal.
  • The Un-Reveal: It's revealed in The Well of Stars that a single member of the Waywards got to see what was imprisoned beneath Marrow, but it's never revealed what they saw.
  • Was Once a Man: The polypond
  • Weaponized Exhaust: Used in Aeons Child - a starship fusion engine was brought into the ship to use as a last ditch weapon to purge a cavern of a Gaian
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Polypond in The Well of Stars wants to destroy to open up Marrow and free what's inside, but not out of malice. It genuinely believes that the process of creating the universe was never finished and that freeing Marrow's prisoner or prisoners will complete it.
  • We Will Have Perfect Health in the Future: The emergency genes and autodocs have effectively wiped out all diseases
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Well of Stars shows that one of the Greatship's more secluded caverns holds an order of monks that voluntarily refuse immortality treatments so that they can learn the answer the great mystery of what lies beyond death for themselves.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Defied with the polypond. Another being that was her "sister" of sorts in the sense that they were born of the same species on the same planet before the being that became the polypond was ejected into deep space to eventually reach the dark nebula tells her that, rather than pitying her, she would do the same thing to her again and would send her into the sun instead this time around.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald are all popular building materials. Diamond is used in place of glass on almost everything, and the others are just pretty to look at but not particularly valuable.

Alternative Title(s): Marrow, The Well Of Stars, Aeons Child