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As soon as I arrived where most of the bright lights seemed to be taking place, I let the remaining square I stood on descend to the ground with a whoosh, almost flashing my skirt up. I pushed it down and took in the situation.

Humanoid figures darted about the place, their limbs longer and lither, their movements rough and fierce. Several Specialists I recognised were combating these creatures under the moonlit skies, projecting destructive beams of light and colour of all colours from their bare palms.

“Sage, help!” Katherine’s voice caught my attention. I whipped my head in the direction of her voice and caught her backed up against an empty house with two Seekers on her hands. “Help!”

Katherine needs my help? I echoed in confusion. But she’s – nevermind.

I quickly leapt into action, running for her with ease and produced an array of exploding orange orbs. I watched them knock one Seeker off his feet, a frustrated wail escaping his open mouth.

Gaining upon him in seconds, I swung a foot forward into the side of his head swiftly and he was out like a light. The first trick I had learned when trying to knock out a Seeker: they fell unconscious like any normal human would. “Katherine, where did they all come from?”

A bright white light blinded me momentarily before fading out and leaving the remains of empty clothes on the ground. Now that trick, I hadn’t learned. For a moment, I wondered where the Seekers in the clothes had vanished to.

Katherine breathed heavily, stumbling towards me. “The Protectors think there are some hidden Seeker hives somewhere in the region. They’ve been sent for the Chroma at school because of the raw essence. They’ve come to recharge their energy.”

“Crap, how could this have happened?” I squeaked in terror. “Isn’t the town protected by a barrier?”

“The Keepers left town to deal with a Seeker crisis five hours away,” she gasped, wiping a bead of sweat off her brow and let out a war-cry, white beams shooting off her bare palms. “You’re the only one that’s been training with them so they specifically asked for Oliver to retrieve you.”

“But I –”

A heavy weight knocked me to the ground and swiped at the back of my dress with what felt like sharp knives. The jagged points gashed at my skin, forcing a scream of pain from my throat.


Familiar yellow light engulfed my vision followed by a startling wail from my attacker who sat on top of me. The weight lessened before I could blink and I was able to roll back onto my feet, clutching at my back.

“Damn it, pay attention!” Jocelyn yelled in my face and shook me vigorously. “What the hell were you thinking?”

I wiped her spit off my face and glanced over her shoulder. My hands shot out from beside her, fabricating a shield of orange before three Seekers slammed into them, their icy-blue, almost white eyes burning with rage and hunger.

“There,” I sighed, arching my back and flinched at the obvious sting. “Is it bad?” I kept one arm in the air, securing the orange shield and turned my back to her.

“They’re swelling up but no blood – that Seeker’s nails were on steroids,” Jocelyn muttered with a shake of her head. “Oliver will patch that up for you.”

A sudden thought occurred to me. One of the Keepers had been particularly interested in Healing Codes and one of them she had conveniently asked me to decipher was a fast-healing one – a code which could easily heal surface injuries. I hoped mine were surface scratches.

“Go fight – I just need a moment to recover,” I told her hastily and urged her away. “Go!”