I’m Elsie, from the planet Caelum.
It’s 96% ocean, but that’s okay. Out of all six planets (or seven, if you believe the myths), we’re the only people with gills. I can breathe underwater for minutes at a time, discovering the secrets of the deep-sea. Diving is my first love.
But not everybody understands.
Each year they run a competition—a single black pearl is dropped into the ocean, and graduating students dive to find it. It sounds easy, but it’s not. The ocean is a dark and dangerous place, with caves, crevices, and flesh-eating creatures. Some years, not everybody survives.
It’s how my brother died.
My parents won’t let me compete. At times it seems like the whole island is against me. I don’t care. I will enroll, win, and gain the ultimate prize—a job diving on the head planet of the entire system. I’ll do…
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