Prologue

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Ten years ago, people thought that the worst things that could happen to Earth in the future were horrible, but they would not be things that had not happened – to some extent – before. There was climate change – which some still did not believe existed – multiple wars being fought – and countries that really had nothing to do with somehow always seemed like they had to be involved in those as well – and the rise and decline of democracy and equality. And then there were the petty issues printed on the front of every gossip magazine you could find, about celebrities, politicians and royals possibly doing this or that. All of it, in a way, normal. And although some people might imagine what might happen if something not normal would happen to their planet in their lifetime, no one truly believed in it.

Not until it did happen.

Not until the day when the whole world suddenly seemed to quake and shiver, as if millions upon millions of earthquakes were happening everywhere. Then came the light, blindingly white and growing hotter by each second. Screams. Everywhere there were screams.

This day became known as the first day of the Merging. The day when Earth changed from being quite a predictable, normal place to live, to a strange new world.

But, as always, when humans find a place they consider odd – when a new world opens up to them – they do what they do best.

They take full advantage of it, no matter the cost.

For some, that cost is a nightmare.

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