Gaia was dying.
Her body was covered in metallic boils, her bare skin brown and deadened as the space around her filled with fumes. And everywhere there were the parasites, draining her, sucking her dry and then drier.
And then, as she heaved her last breath, Gaia’s attackers turned against themselves.
Tremors wracked her empty corpse as they lay waste to the few remaining havens. The creatures she had tended so long, and who had betrayed her, ripped themselves apart before her closing eyes. And as she died and watched her children dying, she thought,