Thunderpeak going all “Tsunderepeak” (hat tip to Psolo Ghoti) was a surprise to a few readers who were still rooting for Magda to get with Penk…as more than a close, trusted comrade. That ship wasn’t really a concern for me at this point: even if we hadn’t meant to put it to bed back in “A Traal to Remember,” Penk and Magda’s respective destinies are pulling them away from each other now. The more traumatic loss for Magda was the death of Tectonicus, and you can see her working that out a bit here, trying to figure out how she’s still worthy and useful. But she’s an upbeat sort in a newly optimistic community, so she’s doing all right with that.

On Penk’s end…as I said to a reader when this chapter was first published, “Don’t feel too bad for him. Look at his title and his body. Penk is very, VERY eligible. He may have put off finding a mate until the joined civilization he leads is a little more settled, but I doubt he will be alone for much longer.”

FB: “First scene of the last chapter” is all well and good, but the real milestone to celebrate today is “now over 100,000 comments.”