In the days before their world shattered, crumbled, and finally fetched up against that cluster of old realities known as Driftwood, they were called the Valraisangenek.
This is the foundational short story in the Driftwood setting, the one where I established my ground rules and introduced the character of Last, whom you can see again in other stories. Everything flows from here.
This story appeared in the online magazine Beneath Ceaseless Skies, in their fourteenth issue. It also appears in the Driftwood novel, from Tachyon Publications.
The story is told in alternating points of view, by Last himself, and from the point of view of a survivor from a newly-shredded world. The emphasis on racial/cultural identity and purity can definitely be read as a metaphor for life in today’s Earth, where local traditions have been shredded by the inexorable grinder of the global economy — and who of us can claim to comprehend that?