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Spurn (Walker Saga #2)
Author:Jaymin Eve

Spurn (Walker Saga #2)

Jaymin Eve




To my parents (especially Mum) for always believing in me



Chapter 1



Talina


Talina floated on her back facing toward the half-sun. She barely noticed the expanse of sparkling blue and green waters surrounding her. Instead, she focused on the peace and quiet as she lay semi-submerged in the depths. Her one and only aim had been to escape the endless squabbles of her family. And she had finally swum far enough. She’d reached the edge of the territories, but despite the push of the drifting currents, she wasn’t quite brave enough to cross out of Earon’s quadrant. After all, it was a punishable offence to enter any of the other clan areas.

The four moons were just beginning their slow spread across the pale pink skies of Spurn. They were the force dictating the measured ebb and fall of the tides. Talina loved it when the weak light of their half-sun was washed away by the bright moonlights. Sighing, she turned over to lightly tread water. It was probably time to stop hiding and face her mother. Gladriel had been in fine form today. As head of the Earon clan she took herself and her duties far too seriously.

Talina hated confrontations, and she hated being around other Spurns; that is, with the exception of her brother. If only she could escape forever, but there was nowhere to swim. The four clans divided their world, each with a distinct hierarchy and private quadrant.

Earon was the second strongest, and with her mother as the leader she should have loved her life. But instead, she hated it. In Earon, she was nothing but a half-breed.

She duck-dived beneath the water. It took a few moments (far longer than most Spurns) for her gills to kick in and the instinct to breathe through her mouth to cease. Talina hated her differences; they drew attention, marked her as weak. And on Spurn the weak were eaten, luckily not by each other, but there were plenty of other predators in the waters.

Still, she had to admit there was truly nothing comparable to a glide through the ocean. She didn’t even care that her webbings were small and fragile. She ducked and dived with the currents, searching deeper until the strength of the moonlight waned. There was a fine line in the deep water between light and eternal night. Talina had never been able to venture any deeper, not without assistance. Her defects, her weaknesses, prevented it.

Talina, be back at our pontoon before half-moon. Do not make me tell you twice.

She flinched as Gladriel’s voice echoed through her mind. Her mother was the one Spurn she was forbidden to block out. She had the capability, but it wasn’t worth the drama.

Rising once again, she swam closer to the surface. The protective clear lenses over her eyes flicked, clouding her underwater vision, before settling back into place. Glancing to her left, a pod of droltines swam alongside. The playful pink creatures with large fins and spout-shaped noses were a very distant cousin to Spurns. She danced with them in delight until they moved off in a different direction.

Talina groaned as her stomach rumbled; she hadn’t eaten that day, refusing the morning’s ration of cucreamer. Normally she loved the sweet, pink fruit, but for some reason, earlier she’d been unable to stomach any food. But with the distance she had traveled, her energy had depleted significantly. Through her lenses she noticed a small stock of krillonia, the shrimplike planktonic crustacean that was her favorite. Gliding in the midst of the dense cloud, it was simple enough to open her mouth, expelling the water through the small gills on her neck, and take in the sustenance.

Satisfied for the moment, she increased speed toward her home pontoons. A flash in her peripheral vision brought a broad smile to her face. A familiar image darted out of the gulfstream to fall in beside her.

Raror, where did you come from?

She opened her mind to speak with her brother. He was the only one never to judge her, and she loved him dearly. His emerald-colored hair, long enough to secure him as a future leader, streamed behind in the ocean depths. The visible veins beneath his skin were more prominent than ever; he had to have been swimming long and hard to get that amount of pump.

Earon was called to Silver City for a meeting of council heads. Mother sent me.

The deep rich timbre of his voice echoed through her mind. Without fail it evoked memories of the many nights he had protected her, rocked her to sleep and comforted away her hurts throughout the years. His voice was the sound of safety. Talina had only been to the underwater city once. It was difficult for her to make that distance; the water pressure at that depth played havoc with her senses. But Raror was often there. It was the neutral ground where the four clans discussed all issues.

What has happened to bring everyone together?