• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 08


Ig'ran fretted in the transparent dome that had become her prison, her terror and agitation obvious from the contorted gesture of her emaciated form.

She was not schooled in deception, verbal or non-verbal. None of them were. Honesty was instinctual among her kind, so she didn’t know how to hide the anguish. Her four babies had been ripped from her breasts as she had fed them in that supposedly secluded cove.

Her people had ventured from the once peaceful depths as the population had decreased and the sickness from above waxed. They hoped to find fresh blood for their lines and, of course, seek to replenish their waning provisions and replace their dying crops.

It had been harrowing to discover the bodies of emigrants and swimaways along the current of migration yet, despite the implied peril of their corpses and skeletal remains; she had waved her husband on ahead when her time had come.

The pod needed his wisdom and instinct. He was the elder, their leader, and – she'd assured him – she would be along soon.

She wondered where he was now. She could imagine him swelling with pride at his offspring.

Her four babies had been ripped from her breasts –

The creatures with detachable skin the colour of the Arctic sky at noon returned, their bulbous chests splotched with what looked like blood.



They carried tools that reminded her of those clutched by the skeletons of pirates which housed the decaying wrecks to the down-current of here. Her father had taken her on a sightseeing trip there once.

These tools were not caked in the hard mud which rotted, and looked a sharp as coral for all their lack of size.

Where were her children?