Emaria saw the crab-sled first. A loaded wagon, passengers hacking all around with swords, crossed the plain seconds before it flooded, crashing in a sandbank. Five lobsters rolled clear.

The ones with the swords, could have been Staever and Wrest, but she couldn’t be sure until she got close–and wouldn’t be able to rest if she did not.

Kragn ordered the Militia to pile sand to keep the new channel from leaking into the camp. Scaling this berm, Emaria saw the river bubbling up from below as the sea washed away a whole slice of desert. Lobsters had dug tunnels under the sand to bring the ocean. The ocean planned to take the wells back.

There were legends about destruction like this: heroes who leveled evil mountains and cast dark islands back into the sea. But they never ravaged cities. There was no freedom in the Eye’s imagining for the death of a city. If Emaria had read the whole library, she would have lacked words for this.

Something in the water caught her eye: a glowing shape, smaller than her head, was bobbing against a chunk of wall embedded in a sandbar.

If she stretched out her claw, she could reach it. She lifted it out, letting it drip dry. It was a piece of coral–a manatee’s backup engine, dropped from the hovercraft during its first sharp turn. She pocketed it. She might use it later to put up a shelter.

Eventhe and Arcite came up while she fished out the coral. Arcite stalked a few paces ahead. Emaria couldn’t blame him for not talking–he’d lost two worlds in one stroke. How could any of them relate?

Two worlds. The Pupil no longer stood. I’ve lost both of mine as well.

“This whole thing is too damn convenient.” Arcite said suddenly, pacing in a circle. “So nobody wants to know why the manatees came. Doesn’t matter though, so long as the Field is gone, right?”

He caught sight of Emaria and Eventhe nearby, and snapped, “Leave me alone!”

“Go to the sled,” Eventhe told Emaria. “There is nothing we can do.”

Out of alternatives, Emaria went.

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