FOn Culúlic, the forests dreamed, as they had for thousands of years.

The dream of the forests dominated the planet, skipping from synapse to synapse, rhizome to rhizome, along the metal-threaded branches, in a standing wave that hugged the world. All life moved to the beat of the wave; from the far-flung vine-web that pumped water and minerals across the land to the smallest leaftrimmer mites, from the deadwood-scavenging razorclaw to the fruitspreader bats, the dream of the mezuar had entrained them all. All was harmony; all was the forest, and the forest was all.

So it had always been, the forests’ memory recorded; so it would always be. But now there was a disturbance in the wave; thought-not-like-thought, on the empty plains where no thought should be. Quickling thought that did not follow the dream, cold and sharp and edged.

The forests shifted in their slumber, and reached out, and drew closer to waking…