Kailani Veil: Victim or Villain?

Disco Ball

Interview by Mr. Archibald Wright, Professor of Ethics

For the sake of convenience, and my own comfort, I’ve arranged to meet Kailani in the Grunt Guild, the elite club on the topmost floor of the Cosmos. She sits across from me on a small turquoise pouf, looking about as happy as a lobster about to go in a pot.

“Relax, sweetheart, it’s just an interview.”

Her eyes widen and I can almost see the power lurking within her, twin flames always on the verge of escape. “I’m not supposed to be up here.” She steals a glance at the scry screens, the climbing vines, the disco ball overhead.

“We have special permission, dear.” I reach forward and pat her shoulder. This always reassures my nieces and nephews, although I’m not certain it’s having the same effect on her. “I’m a member of the Grunt Guild, so this room is free for my use. Maybe you’ll earn the same distinction someday.”

As she fiddles with the fringe on her shimmerfish jacket, sparks escape her fingers, leaving a scorch mark. Her mouth sours.

“Well. You seem to be at full strength. But the question is, how? How did you manage your spectacular recovery when no other mage has regained their lost powers?”

Kailani shrugs. “I’ve only been a sea sprite for a couple weeks. How should I know? Ask the Healers or the jengu.”

“Did you enjoy living topside? Are you part of a human spy network?”

Her eyes flash. Literally. I shift to the side so her electric currents skitter across the floor instead of zapping me in the chest.


“You didn’t answer my question.”

“Of course I’m not a spy. What would the humans want with this world anyway? None of them knows it exists!” Her voice grows small. “I sure didn’t.”

She seems sincere so I try a different tack. “What about your brother? He’s in Simple School, isn’t he?”

Kailani nods and bites her lip.

I lean forward. “Do you think it’s fair that you have magic while he doesn’t? Is it ethical for him to be excluded from TIDES?” She just stares at me, so I continue, “Do you resent your magic? Do you wish you were back topside and that you’d never come to the sea?”

She’s on her feet in an instant. “I won’t pretend I understand this place, with all these crazy powers that Finn can never share. And I won’t pretend I don’t wish he were here at TIDES with me.” She takes a deep gulp and her gills flap against her neck. “But don’t accuse me of hurting anyone or spying on this world. I’ve never seen anyplace more beautiful. And for the first time, I finally feel alive.”

What questions would you ask your favorite characters?