In their far-ranging migrations, the nomads collect heat sources to keep their white-and-gold balloons aloft.  Sometimes they scavenge shards of starfire, and at other times the radiance of first love.  Their warriors harvest vendettas between families that worship at the altar of gun and sword.  And their magicians charm pride from composers who write whickering suites for the horse-headed fiddle, or choirs famous for singing the fossils of extinct birds out of the earth.

As for the children, they gather the warmth of companionship on slow, cold nights as the balloons drift between the galaxy’s cabochon planets.  Perhaps they know something that the adults have forgotten.

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