Emily Skrutskie

“Dad takes a step back, one hand still on my shoulder, and reaches into his pocket. He draws out a little blue capsule, and I feel every molecule in my body screaming to run. Dad must catch the panic in my eyes - he squeezes my shoulder and holds out the capsule. "Cas, it's fine. It's going to be fine. This is just in case."

Just in case. Just in case the worst happens. The ship falls. Durga fails, I fail, and the knowledge I carry as a Reckoner trainer must be disposed of. That information can't fall into the wrong hands, into the hands of people who will do anything to take down our beasts.

So this little capsule holds the pill that will kill me if it comes to that.

"It's waterproof," Dad continues, pressing it into my hand. "The pocket on the collar of your wetsuit, keep it there. It has to stay with you at all times."

It won't happen on this voyage. It's such a basic mission, gift-wrapped to be easy enough for me to handle on my own. But even holding the pill fills me with revulsion. On all my training voyages, I've never had to carry one of these capsules. That burden only goes to full-time trainers.

"Cas." Dad tilts my chin up, ripping my gaze from the pull. "You were born to do this. I promise you, you'll forget you even have it." I suppose he ought to know - he's been carrying one for two decades.

It's just a right of passage, I tell myself, and throw my arms around his neck once more.”


Emily Skrutskie, The Abyss Surrounds Us
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The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #1) The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie
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