When they were scattered to the winds, words lost, minds mazed, it wasn’t just an exile from place, but from each other. Community gone, language gone, every friend a stranger, every stranger a foe, they wandered the earth, incomprehensible not just to others to but themselves, too. They must relearn speech, even for their internal conversations.
That first generation never ends.
They do not notice at first — they have no words for passing time, no numbers to count the days or months — but when they have clawed enough of a sense of self together, they find the world has changed, their children’s children long dead and gone, their great work a rumor for a shepherd’s night, nothing more.
They do not recognize themselves in these new faces.
The gap may have always been there, may have grown wider during the unknowable period of their wandering. These new people are soft, without the pliable layer of keratin that keeps them safe, with only vestigial moons at the tips of their fingers and toes, and with no skyward ambitions. They rage to see them so. They try to seize them, to call them back to what they were, by deed if not by words, and pass through them like smoke, like carbon monoxide, invisible, inaudible, inimical.