Dark and Wild water part 1 image card

Somewhere in the Arcanum Ocean, the first week of Lux Aestas, 2998






When the days began to feel longer and the sunlight wormed its way under clothing and inside houses, heating up whatever it touched, Grisson knew she’d be summoned back to the Warriors Guild. 


Lux Aestas1, with all its golden light and warm weather, brought a bountiful of jobs for her and her team. She was grateful, of course, but the islands at the centre of Lumina tended to be uncomfortably warm during Lux Aestas and she longed for the colder seasons. 

Her home, Murex Cay, was mostly rocky mountains and windy open plains, but she had been a warrior for five years now and she supposed she was used to this kind of weather after all. It did make her armour feel ten times more stuffy than usual, though.


“Wooo! I’m so ready for Lux Aestas!”


Grisson snapped out of her internal complaining and glanced at the person who had flopped down next to her. He swung his legs over the edge of the Thunder Chaser and grinned boyishly at her. 

She rolled her eyes at him but a smile tugged at her lips. 


“Of course, you’re a Lux Aestas person,” she said.


Blazerbyte’s grin grew wider. “Thank you.”


“Not really a compliment,” Grisson narrowed her eyes playfully. Blazerbyte just shoved her shoulder in response.


She hadn’t been entirely on board with him joining the Storm Starters when Nandi recruited him, but lately, she had been enjoying his company. They’d yet to fight in a real battle together but she was sure he’d easily keep up with the team’s fighting styles. The mystic, though only 17 years old, was quick on his feet and good at adapting. Plus, he didn’t get annoyed with her dry sense of humour and she could appreciate that. 


“Oh, hey, I just received it,” Yannick Wirespark’s deep voice sounded from behind them. 


Blazerbyte dashed over to him excitedly as the soft beeps and pleasant chime sounded from Yannick’s arm gear. 


Grisson slowly detached herself from the Thunder Chaser’s railing and stood up to lean against it instead. She knew what the message was - they all did - but she liked the sound of Yannick’s reading voice (it was way less annoying than his actual one) so she decided to pay attention this time. 


The ranger swiped his finger over the screen on his arm and a projection of the message appeared above it. 

Blazerbyte stuck his hand through it, earning a swat from Yannick when the screen glitched. 


“Ahem,” he cleared his throat, “The Warriors Guild has assigned a new mission to you, the Storm Starters. We expect your timely arrival on Arcencai to discuss the details.”


Up on the deck, their team leader, Nandi Bravefire, adjusted the coordinates of the seacraft. 


“It never gets old, does it?” 


Grisson turned at the familiar footsteps of Galia Greenwich, the other ranger on the team, as she stood next to her. She had her back against the railing as well and was staring wistfully as Yannick continued to read. 


Grisson tilted her head at the younger warrior. Galia nodded at the projection just before Yannick recalled it. 


“Receiving a new mission,” she explained. “Doesn’t it give you that thrill?”


Grisson turned back to watch Blazerbyte try his hand at pulling up the projection, much to Yannick’s annoyance. The older man snatched his arm back, resulting in being chased around the seacraft as Blazerbyte raced after him.


She chuckled at the scene and felt a small spark of excitement fizz through her. This was her team, as chaotic as they were, and she loved them.


“Yeah,” she eventually answered, trying to sound as nonchalant as possible. “I suppose.”



****



“We’re coming up on Arcencai,” Nandi announced from the quarterdeck, the warm wind playing with her hair. 


Grisson slung her quiver across her shoulders, securing it firmly this time (last week, Galia had accidentally bumped into her and the bag had slipped off her shoulder and into the waters. Nandi had not been pleased with either of them). 


“Wow… I can’t believe I actually missed this place,” Blazerbyte said as he leaned over the railing, not caring about the seaspray that soaked his hair. 


“Really?” Galia picked her head up from where she had been lacing up her boots. “You’ve only just graduated! I thought you would have wanted a bit more time before you came back?”


Blaze pulled his head back, face sprinkled with ocean water. “No way! I only spent, like, two… yeah, two years here!” He turned back to watch as Arcencai grew larger and larger as the seacraft pulled up along the docks. 

“I hope I get to see some of my friends.”


“Sorry, kid,” Nandi said as she locked down the seacraft. “We’re just here to sign in, get the specs, and pick up Micah.”

She leapt off the deck and landed perfectly on the dock, the end of her spear clanking against the shimmering stone. 


Grisson followed suit, pleased none of her arrows had fallen out - but the others waited for the ramp to extend before joining them. 


“Can’t we spare a little time?” Galia asked their leader. She gestured back at Blazerbyte who was gazing longingly at the glimmering academy in the distance. 


Nandi looked truly apologetic, especially when Galia grabbed Blaze and plopped him in front of her, saying, “Look at his eyes! They’re so sad, Nandi!” 


Getting the hint, the young mystic made his lower lip tremble and blinked innocently up at her.


The leader looked like she was about to crack. 


“Well…”


Just then, a thin golden thread of rope shot out and wrapped itself around Blazerbyte, yanking him to the back of the group.


“Stay strong, Nandi!” Yannick shouted as he caught Blaze just as the boy was about to crash into him. “Remember the mission!”


“H-Hey!” Blazerbyte protested and tried to wriggle out of the rope. “What gives?!”


Nandi shook her head and inhaled sharply. “Right, yes, the mission.” She said firmly. “Thank you, Yannick. I swear, those two combined could get me to do anything,” she muttered as she continued up along the path to where the portal discs were.


“Nasty trick you just pulled,” Grisson chuckled as Galia fell into step beside her. 

She rubbed the back of her neck sheepishly. “He just looked so sad!”


Grisson slung her arm around the ranger’s shoulders. “Yeah, that’s why I try not to look at him head-on,” she half-joked, “That kid’s puppy eyes are no joke.”


“I just don’t get it,” they heard Blaze say. “Why is she in so much of a hurry?”


“It’s the first week of Lux Aestas,” Yannick explained, still pulling him along with the rope. 


“Does she hate nice weather or something?”


“It’s not that,” Grisson found herself saying. Usually, she let the rest of the team sort through their squabbles and nonsense conversations, but she knew Nandi wasn’t the type to explain her actions and wanted to defend her - even if these were just innocent questions and not actual attacks. 


“The beginning of Lux Aestas is when the narwhals migrate,” she continued as they neared the portals. “They’ll arrive from the Gossam Sea soon, and we need to be there.”


“We do?” Blazerbyte asked, but they had arrived at the portal discs and Grisson stopped talking. 


“Is the big one fixed?” Yannick asked Nandi, who was checking which disc they could use. 


“Yes,” she replied, “But the line to the Guild is still down so we might have to take separate ones again.”


Grisson stepped away from the group and gazed at the discs. They were all sizes and decorated with intricate mosaics made by the students at Nexus Edge. She found her favourite one easily - a large purple tile with the image of an archer readying an arrow. It wasn’t as fancy as some of the others, but she felt like it had been made just for her. 


“Is everyone ready?” Nandi asked. 


Galia was sharing a disc with their leader and Yannick still had Blaze trapped with the rope on another (she was surprised the kid hadn’t zapped him, seeing as they had a limitless supply of Sparx now that they were on Arcencai). 


“Yep,” Yannick said and Nandi closed her eyes and twirled her spear so the sharp end connected to the portal disc. It glowed as she summoned the Sparx, and then a bright red line of light zipped across the sand, connecting itself to Yannick and Blaze’s disc, and then to hers. 


Grisson closed her eyes as well, knowing how bright the portals could get, and yet the darkness behind her eyelids still swirled with colours as she was whooshed away across the island. 



****



When she opened her eyes again, they were no longer standing on the beach. The academy was a bit closer, but behind them now, and they weren’t alone.


The bustling noises of the market flooded her ears as warriors by the hundreds chatted by the stalls that were piled high with exotic dishes and strange-looking fruits. She could make out a couple of the Innovators Guild specialists fitting some technomancers with new gear, and a few civilian reporters interviewing some of the more highly ranked warriors. 


“Now this is the place I missed,” Yannick announced as he stretched and licked his lips at the diverse range of food before them.


“Mhm, the place, sure,” Galia teased as more portals beamed up and other people arrived and left. 


“Hmm, that’s strange,” Nandi murmured. She tapped her spear against the disc again, but nothing happened. 


“Did you not mean to bring us to the market?” Grisson asked, stepping down and coming to stand beside her leader.


In the background, she heard a yelp as Blaze finally sent a little spark of electricity in Yannick’s direction, freeing himself from the rope. 


Nandi shook her head. “I wanted us to arrive right inside the Guild, but it seems we were blocked.”


Grisson knelt down to inspect the disc, but Galia’s voice rang out excitedly: “It’s Micah!”


The group immediately looked to where she was pointing, and sure as daylight, Micah was striding up to them, a warm smile on his chiselled face. 


They tore away from the portals and swarmed him with hugs and greetings, and of course, plenty of questions about his Gogi mission. 

Even Grisson couldn’t stop herself from wrapping her arms around her friend. It hadn’t been that long since she last saw him, but she still missed him fiercely. 


“You’ll never guess how I got this, Micah!” Blaze was saying as he pointed animatedly to the cut that was healing on his cheek. 


“-and then he ate all of the watergrapes! All of them!” Galia exasperatedly tried to tell him about what happened the other day.


“Not all of them!” Yannick protested her slander. “Not all by myself, at least.” 

At that, he gave Grisson a pointed stare, which she ignored. 


“All right!” Micah laughed, his light voice skillfully quietening them down. The team stepped back a little to give him some space. 

“There’ll be plenty of time to catch up when we set sail.”


“Do you know why we landed at the market instead of the Guild?” Nandi asked. There was a hint of worry in her dark brown eyes, and it made Grisson worry, too. 


The Gogi nodded. His expression was calm but it did little to soothe her, or Nandi for that matter. 

“The Guild is tightening up security,” he explained. “After what happened over Virida2, they decided to cut the lines directly into the guild. So, in other words-,”


“We have to walk!?” Blaze interrupted, holding his face in horror.


Micah laughed. “That’s how we do it on Gaia Island!” 

When Blazerbyte’s expression grew even more horrified, Micah laughed again. “It’s really not that bad, I promise.”


“Never take me to Gaia Island,” Blaze grumbled as Micah led them along the winding path.


But Grisson hung back, her stomach twisting into knots. The incident during Virida… she’d heard about it, of course, but it hadn’t occurred to her that the Guild might not have been able to put a stop to it yet. She’d thought they’d certainly have captured the perpetrators by now.


So many of the toughest assassins had fallen prey to that rogue group. She wasn't even half as talented as them - how could she ever hope to survive?


“Hey,” Nandi’s gentle tone pulled her out of her spiral of fear. “Don’t worry, nothing is going to happen to you while we’re around.”


Grisson nodded, looking at the colourful display of Lux Aestas flowers that lined the path instead of her leader’s eyes. She didn’t want Nandi to see how scared she was. 


But Nandi always had a knack for knowing what she was feeling. It had been like this ever since she joined the Storm Starters all those years ago. She had always wondered if she was easy to read, or if Nandi was just that intuned with her. 


“The BlackJack Order are driven by hate3,” Nandi said, “They’ll never be able to win like that.”

Her words comforted her a little, but it was the squeeze that Nandi gave her shoulder that really did the trick.


Grisson turned and hugged her friend. She pressed her face into her shoulder and felt the warmth of the other woman’s arms as they wrapped around her gently. This was the only warm thing that didn’t make her feel like she was suffocating. 


“I promise you,” Nandi whispered as she stroked her hair. “We’re all looking out for you. We won’t rest until the BlackJack Order is taken down.”


“We have a pretty long way to go!” Micah shouted back at them. “Come on, you two!”


“What?! You said it wasn’t that far!” Blaze’s whine drifted through the breeze as Nandi nudged her to start walking. 


She hadn’t been this scared of an enemy before, but she didn’t have the luxury to be frightened. Not anymore, not now that she had graduated.


Grisson sucked in a deep breath and pushed the fear down as far it would go, and then marched onwards like the brave warrior she was.



****



The meeting had gone the same as all the other meetings went: the Guild Masters updated their digital map and gave them their rations of Sparx. They were given a brief on the pirates and smugglers who had been scouted along the migration route, and then the team was ready to leave. 


Blaze had been surprisingly quiet throughout the whole exchange, probably in awe of the sprawling art that lined the guild walls, and the heroic statues of the Legendary Warriors on display. Grisson had tried to pay attention to what the Count and Corris Vayne were saying, but her eyes kept searching for the tell-tale signs of battle: scorch marks, chips in the tiling, recently repaired windows - but she couldn’t find a scratch. Had the BlackJack Order not actually made it inside, or was the Guild just trying to put on a show like nothing happened?


Soon, they were back on the seacraft with their new supplies and destination punched into the navigation computer. Grisson stared at the shrinking island as the Thunder Chaser pulled away, not sure what she was feeling anymore.


"So… why narwhals?" Blaze asked as he joined her again. 


"Did you zone out during the briefing?" She glanced at him. He awkwardly tugged at his collar and bit his lip. 


"You know the answer…"


Grisson suppressed a chuckle. "How on Lumina did you convince Nandi to let you join?" 


Blazerbyte looked playfully offended, his hand covering his heart. 

"Your insults are as sharp as your arrows." 


Grisson stared at him, and the young warrior's face turned pink. It wasn't long before he buried his head in his arms. 


"How long were you waiting to use that?" She asked, the faintest of a smile on her lips. 


Blaze groaned in embarrassment, not answering. 


"He was practising ever since yesterday," Yannick offered, heartily clapping her on the back. "I told him it wasn't funny."


"Go shoot a mile!" Blaze's muffled voice croaked out. 


Grisson let a laugh slip, and when she did, a lot of her earlier troubles managed to fade away, if only for a moment. 


"Thanks guys," she murmured, straightening up. 


Yannick gave her one of his trademarked grins and reached out to ruffle her hair. 


Blaze lifted his head. "We're teammates, Griss, we've got your back!"


They joined her at the edge of the Thunder Chaser and she told Blaze once again about what their mission would entail. He listened in raptured silence as she explained how they were to watch over the migration and protect the pod from poachers. Yannick even revealed a long scar on his chest that he had gotten two years ago from where a pirate had tried to gut him, boasting about how much worse the pirate had ended up. 


"Maybe you'll get something from this mission," Yannick flicked Blaze's cheek. "A scar that'll stay." 


The mystic rubbed his almost-healed cut with excitement in his eyes. "You think so?!" 


"Hey! Don't tell him stupid stuff!" Galia scolded, and the three of them began one of their famous squabbles. 


Grisson watched with faint amusement and then turned her attention back to the sea. 

The wild waters splashed against the boat, carrying promises of dangerous bandits. 

But she knew that when whatever came for them, she was ready to defend her friends at any cost. 


She had their backs, too. 



****



When morning came, Micah happily announced that they were close to the Gossam Sea. The narwhals would be nearby, he said, and there was a prize for the person who spotted them first. 


Grisson rolled her eyes at this competition. It wasn't fair - Galia had supersight so she always won - but Blazerbyte didn't seem to care about the uneven playing field. He raced to the quarterdeck and scanned the waters, looking for the sparkling tusks that would be breaking through the surface. 


Galia lazily looked at the ocean, a smug smile on her face. When she caught Grisson's eye she shrugged sheepishly.


Nandi, however, didn't even bother participating. Her gaze was firmly fixed on the smuggler route map, a frown on her face.


"Problem?" Grisson asked, looking over her shoulder. Many different islands were circled in red ink, and purple dashed lines ran across the paper. Various handwritings scrawled ship names and geographical coordinates along these lines, indicating which ones were the most dangerous. 


Nandi didn't look up from the map. "Have a look at this," she said, pointing to a dark black ring near the coast of the Star Dasata Archipelago, a blue Sparx island. There wasn't anything else written, except for a small question mark. 


"An unknown ship?" Grisson asked, tracing her finger over the ink. 

Nandi nodded. "That is possible. The black ink doesn't appear anywhere else. And I can't find a handwriting that could match this question mark."


Grisson mirrored her friend's frown. "Maybe whoever marked it made a mistake?" She knew how unlikely that was - this map was thoroughly checked by the scouts. It would be hard for an obvious slip-up like this to go unnoticed.


Nandi didn't even humour her question. 

"We're quite far from Star Dasata. Whatever it is probably won't be a threat to us."


"Unless it is following the narwhal migration as well," Micah's gentle voice flowed through their conversation. 


"The scout would have recorded that," Grisson protested. She trusted the Gogi but he didn't always know the inner workings of the warrior life. He couldn't understand how dedicated the Rangers were. 


"Perhaps it was docked," he replied, green eyes looking at her curiously. "Or perhaps it isn't a ship at all." 


"What else could it possibly-,"


"Oh! I found them!" Galia cheered pointing at some distant wave. 


The three at the map picked up their heads and made their way over to the young ranger. She was beaming as Blazerbyte scrunched up his face.


"I don't see anything," he scoffed.


Nandi placed a hand on his shoulder. "You will. Just wait a few more minutes until the ship is close enough." 


"You're not even going to double-check?" He whined and reached for Yannick's arm device (it had a magnifying feature that had never been used). The older man snatched his hand away with a look of annoyance. 


"Galia is always right about these things," Yannick told him. "I don't know why you even tried to play this game." He shook his head and Blaze pouted at Micah, who only laughed. 


"Your prize, Miss Greenwich," he said, and reached into his coat, pulling out a glass tube. They all crowded around him to get a closer look at the smoky thing that was encased.


"That's…" Blaze began.


"Black Sparx," Yannick finished for him.


Micah nodded and tossed the tube towards Galia, who caught it with both hands. 


"The energy is so strong!" She gasped as the tube vibrated against her palm.


Nandi folded her arms. "If this was the prize why did you even make them compete?" 


Grisson watched as Micah mischievously winked. "I thought it would be more fun this way!" 


The Gogi explained how he had found a washed-up Mind Seed pod on his last expedition, and when he realised it was from the Jasper Reefs (Galia's home island) he knew he had to bring some back for her. 


"Again," Nandi sighed, "Why did you make a competition out of this?" 


Blaze bickered half-heartedly with Micah as Galia tucked the Sparx away, saving it for a special occasion. She hadn't been home in many, many months, and this small part of her island felt like it was worth everything in the world.


"Hey! I see the narwhals now!" Yannick shouted from the quarterdeck, pointing east. 


And sure enough, a pod of the speckled seabeasts jumped through the waves, their spiral tusks glimmering under the Lux Aestas sun. 


Grisson stepped closer to the railing, feeling that familiar calm wonder she felt whenever she saw them. 


The pod swam closer, not caring that the Thunder Chaser was in their path, instead effortlessly splitting formation and circling the ship. 


"Hey! Hi guys!" Galia waved at them. The narwhals clicked eagerly in response, a couple of them even flipping through the surface as they showed off. 


"Woahhh…" Blaze exhaled. He reached out a hand to pet the nearest one, who shyly ducked beneath the waters and resurfaced further away. 


"Hey, kid," Nandi called him over. "Look at the outer ring." 


Blaze leaned over the railing and took in the narwhals that had formed a misshapen circle around the pod. They were larger, and their tusks sparkled with something other than just light. 


"Are they…" Blaze clicked his fingers and a tiny spark of electricity fizzed from the tips. 


The narwhals at the edge of the ring looked over curiously. One of them swam a little closer and clicked its throat. Blaze jumped back when the tusk released a bolt of electricity up into the air. 


"They're like me!" He laughed.


"Yes, now don't waste your ration of Sparx," Nandi said, covering his hand with her own. "Even as a mystic, you can't tap into the natural ocean energy like these creatures can. Save it for when there is a threat." 


On the other side of the seacraft, Grisson dipped her hand into the water. A smaller narwhal with a long scar running over its left eye bumped its melon against her skin. 


"Hi, Fisher," she greeted warmly. The narwhal whistled and bumped her again. 

"Did you enjoy your Virida in the Gossam Sea?" 


Fisher splashed playfully, and then one of the larger narwhals, the electric ones, nudged him back to the centre of the pod. 


"Why did she do that?" Blaze asked as Fisher played in the centre with another narwhal. "Are you not supposed to pet them?"


Grisson straightened up. "The electric narwhals are guardians of the pod," she explained. "They protect them during migration." 


Blaze tipped his head. "Then what are we for?" 


Yannick flicked his forehead. "This is why you pay attention to the mission briefs!" 


"We're not here to protect the pod, Blazerbyte," Micah said. He sat on the railing casually, not scared he might topple over into the water (to be fair, he had never once lost his balance). "We're here to protect the guardians."


Grisson tuned out the conversation as Micah once again went over the mission details with him. She trailed her hand in the water, watching with a melancholy thoughtfulness as the electric guards chided some of the younger narwhals who had strayed too far from the pod. 


Without the guards, Grisson knew the pod wouldn't survive in the Gossam Sea with its wild and weird sea creatures. And yet, the poachers who hunted the electric narwhals didn't care about that. They didn't care if they destroyed every last one of them - as long as they got what they wanted: the electric tusk. 


It was a brilliant source of electricity and could power a whole factory without the use of Sparx for as long as it remained in good condition. Private corporations paid unbelievable amounts of money for one since it costs them less, in the long run, to power their businesses with a neverending supply of electricity than it would to use their rations of Sparx legally.


Grisson gritted her teeth as she was reminded of corrupt officials who turned a blind eye to these schemes since it was technically doing less environmental damage to the island than it would be if they used coal or another kind of non-renewable energy source. 


The narwhals' black and white skin peeked through the water as they swam idly nearby, waiting for the Thunder Chaser to start moving. They were used to the team following them as they made the journey to the icy Kiesah Sea, and then back again at the end of A’urei4 by now. 

Grisson hoped the poachers were used to it, too. She didn’t want to fight - it really was getting unbearably hot. 


Maybe the young Assassin had done something to anger the CuriosiTree because just at that moment, a harpoon hit the side of the boat, splashing down under the sea.  


The narwhals reacted quickly, diving beneath the water, clicking and whistling in distress. 

Grisson had just enough time to slice the line that connected to the weapon. She wasn’t going to give them a chance to use it again.


“Quick!” Nandi shouted, grabbing her spear. “Galia!”


“I-I’m looking!” she yelled back, readying her Sparx. Her eyes widened and she spun around to face the leader. “They’re coming from the north!”


Nandi nodded. “Yannick, can you reach them?”


The Ranger tapped furiously at his device. “They don’t seem to - oh! I got a connection!”


“Good work, send the-,”


Another harpoon whizzed through the air. Nandi threw her spear at it before it could impale one of the guardian 'whals. The creature made a sort of bellowing sound and ignited its tusk. Electricity crackled in the surrounding water.


“Sea is out of bounds,” Grisson informed the team. 


“Don’t worry,” Blaze readied himself. “I can handle it!”


“Wait, kid!” Nandi said as she used her red Sparx energy to recall her spear. “We might not need to engage just yet. Yannick?”


“Ah- yes, I’m working on it.” 

The team heard a chime as the Ranger finally got through. 


“Attention, uh,” he covered his arm and looked at Galia.


“Oh, right,” she said and squinted. Black Sparx swirled around her and faded to nothing. “It’s… The Sinking Carlen.”


Yannick cleared his throat. Another harpoon flew dangerously close to the narwhals, but Grisson fired an arrow and shot it away. Both weapons plopped into the water, but only hers was recalled (she hated wasting her Sparx on fetching her arrows but an assassin’s got to do what an assassin’s got to do). 

In the distance, a ship began moving into view.


“Attention, captain of The Sinking Carlen,” Yannick spoke authoritatively, “This is Yannick Wirespark of the Storm Starters. These narwhals are protected by the Warriors Guild. Cease fire and turn around or prepare to face retaliation.”


They waited for a moment, and then the line clicked.


“This is Captain Borrenis.” The voice sounded tinny over the sound system. It was unfamiliar, although Grisson could have sworn they’d faced the Sinking Carlen before.

“We have…considered your proposition, ‘Storm Starters’, ” he sneered, “And I’m afraid we just can’t do that.”


“Blang!” Yannick hissed as the transmission ended. “Did you get that, Nandi?” 


She pinched the bridge of her nose. “Some people never learn.”


Grisson nocked an arrow. 


“Okay, team!” their fearless leader commanded from her position. The red mark on her forehead seemed to glow as she stamped the end of her spear on the floor. “Prepare for battle!”


Blaze grinned maniacally, his fingertips pulsing with electricity.

Galia stood next to Micah, who had their Sparx ready for when they needed to use their abilities. Yannick ran to the ship’s defence control system and nodded at Nandi, who stood on the railing, her spear thrust forward. 


The Storm Starters stood bravely on the deck of their seacraft and faced the oncoming ship with fire in their eyes.


But then Galia felt the hair on the back of her neck stand up and she glanced around. Her breath caught in her throat and she blinked, horrified, at the sight in the distance.


"Galia? What's-," Micah said but she swallowed hard and pointed out to the west. 


The Gogi narrowed his eyes. He couldn't see what she-


"Oh no." 


Pushing its way out through the seamist, a lone black ship cut through the waves. It was unmarked, he could tell, but the tattered flags that waved in the hot wind were unmistakable. 


"That ship is bad news," the Ranger whispered, her instincts never wrong.

But she couldn't possibly know how bad the news was. She wasn't there. She didn't see.


Micah looked over at Grisson. She hadn't noticed it yet: the black ship that would bring about her destruction. And it was coming ever closer.


"Micah… is- is that…?" Galia gripped his arm.


He focused his mind on the Sparx surrounding him, worried for his friends but needing to keep a clear head. 

"Yes," he replied, almost losing his composure.


Those familiar red and black flags.


The dark polished wood. 


It was the BlackJack Order, and they were here for blood.


1Lumina’s summer. 2Lumina's spring. 3A group of people determined to wipe out modern-day assassins. 4Lumina's autumn.

Characters 

Micah
Nandi Bravefire

Yannick Wirespark
Grisson

Galia Greenwich
Blazerbyte

Locations

Arcencai
The Jasper Reefs
Star Dasata Archipelago