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Work continues on the capsule, while Kei, Olson, Mimsy and Shaya watch. Mome arrives and reports the Daitokuiten has been struck from the outside by a large object in orbit. In the Terram command center, reports come in from the regions beneath the affected area. The shockwaves from the impact have caused huge environmental changes which have destroyed the local ecologies. "If the Tokuitens fail," the general observes, "the entire earth will suffer a similar fate."
Olson makes a similar observation, with the usual patronizing undertone. Kei still isn't happy about dying, however, which leads yet again to the usual argument.
The Terram and Emaan force is attacked by the Mu. The Glomar comes under heavy fire and Kei takes off in the Orguss in an attempt to lure the enemy away. The Glomar escapes and Kei eludes his pursuers in the forest.
Kei rejoins the Glomar. They emerge from the forest near a city which Jaby realizes is from his world. Jaby sets out to find his people, but to his horror all he finds are their skeletal remains. Maaie, Leeia and Kei also return without finding any survivors, although they did find burn marks.
Olson figures out what must have happened; as the object which struck the Daitokuiten passed over the region, the resulting disturbances caused changes in the Daitokuiten's index of refraction, causing it to act as a lens. The sun's energy was concentrated and focused on the city. and its inhabitants were burned alive. He also points out that as the Daitokuiten grows more unstable, such disturbances will become widespread and the earth will be reduced to a uninhabitable cinder.
The Emaan make a pyre to mourn the deaths of Jaby's people. Kei finds Jaby on a hill overlooking the city. "Let's go join the praying.", Kei says.
"I'm staying here."
"This place is already dead."
"And I will die here with my people."
"You're being unreasonable, Jaby. The world needs your help! You can feel things that none of us can perceive.". Jaby relents, and the two of them walk back down to the pyre.
Mimsy, who has watched the entire conversation, asks to speak to Kei alone. "Sometimes I just don't understand you.", she says, "You don't want to die, right? That's why you don't want to go to the elevator. Then, the next moment you're off risking your life in battle, and now you're asking for Jaby's help. What are you really thinking? I just can't figure it out."
"I shouldn't have gotten you worried.", Kei replies, "I'm OK. I'm gonna go through with it. It's just...well...the thought that something might happen to me was frightening. I kept thinking, 'What will become of Mimsy and our child...'"
They embrace and are nearly gunned down by attacking Mu. While Kei fights ferociously, Mimsy tells Shaya that Kei has put his problems behind him. "I have complete faith in him!", she declares.
Manisha arrives and drives off the Mu, but the fallout from the battle burns what remained of Jaby's city to ashes. After a final nostalgic look, Jaby turns away and declares that the Glomar will be his home from now on, if the Emaan are amenable. Shaya says that the ship is already a home for all races: Kei and Olson of the Terram, Tai and Mome of the Mu, and the Emaan of course. "An it also is and always will be a home for you, Jaby!"