The horrible bedlam of the situation overwhelmed him, and he stood transfixed, blank eyes staring at the cataclysmic mishap. The dream...that awful nightly vision of the horrible death of the Likable Triple Cities...it was happening now! Then those lovely communities on the other side of the planet -- the Gourmet Food Growers Pellet Pavilion and the vast proto-vegetoid farms -- were also doomed! Bob didn’t feel well.
A frightened space pup bounded by, spotted Bob, and ran to him for comfort and an explanation. Some wet tonguings of his exposed ankles roused the message technician from his stupor. Also the sight of another extant creature settled his nerves somewhat.
‘If a space pup could survive,’ thought Bob, ‘and I survived, surely others could, too! Perhaps they’ve holed up in that underground terrarium. I might as well check there first. Anyway, it’s high time I got outta this dive!’
Bob pummeled the animal reassuringly and then whistled for it to follow. The space pup didn’t hesitate.
Like dancing spaceblurms on a greased mahogany pie, the two town residuals clambered over the planetary detritus in search of other living leftovers. Meanwhile, many sectors of the Likable Triple Cities continued to collapse all the way through to the other side of Mokus 5, occasionally passing huge chunks of proto-vegetoid farms sailing by from the other direction.
After a further adventurous journey dodging falling FrugaHomes and expanding consciousnesses, Bob and the space pup reached the locale of the underground terrarium. But where there once had been a tidy facility of carefully tended treehouses, there was now only an ugly gorge, scarred with greenish splinters.
"Zoons!" Bob astrocursed. "What now?"
An answer was all too swift in coming, as an abysmal crevasse suddenly yawned open directly beneath them. Bob and space pup vanished helplessly from the surface, plummeting head over heels over paws into the churning innards of the planet.
For Bob, it was the end of the world.
More importantly, it was also the end of this chapter.