Spensa Nightshade

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Spensa Nightshade
Parents Zeen & mother
Ancestors Becca Nightshade, great-grandfather, great-grandmother
Abilities Cytonics
Titles Callsign: Spin, Hero of Alta Second[1]
Aliases Alanik[2]
Profession Pilot
Groups DDF, Skyward Flight, Flowers of Night's Last Kiss Flight
Homeworld Detritus
Universe Cytoverse
First Appeared Skyward
This page or section needs to be updated with new information for Cytonic, Evershore, and Defiant!
Be aware that in its current state, it may not include all additional content yet.

When this is done, Jerkface, I will hold your tarnished and melted pin up as my trophy as your smoldering ship marks your pyre, and the final resting place of your crushed and broken corpse!

—Spensa to Jorgen Weight[3]

Spensa Nightshade, callsign Spin, is a Defiant Defense Force pilot from Detritus, the daughter of Zeen Nightshade, and a cytonic.

Appearance and Personality[edit]

I’m not exactly a ‘there are nuances to this situation’ type of girl. I’m more of an ‘if its still moving, you didn’t use enough ammunition’ type of girl.


Spensa is nearly twenty years old[5] with brown hair and is 151 centimeters tall (4'11" in feet).[6][7] Spensa's favorite color is blood red[8] and she prefers simple but flavorful food.[9]

As the daughter of "The Coward of Alta", Spensa was looked down upon by her fellow Defiants. As a result, she acted fiercely when confronted by others and used intimidation as a defense mechanism. Spensa would often lash out at people who threatened her and even those who didn't, using a wide and somewhat graphic vocabulary inspired by stories of glorious heroes from Earth that her grandmother told her. She was certain that her father was not a coward like everyone thought, and she was bent on proving it by seeming as 'brave' as possible. However, she believed that bravery was about being the most daring warrior and to never show fear. She thought that anything less would make her a coward and prove that the DDF had been right about her father.

In her time in Flight School, she came to realize that being brave wasn't as simple as she thought. People she respected, like Cobb, were guilty of doing things that she would consider cowardly if she did them herself.[10][11] As she loses flightmates to the Krell, she realizes that true bravery isn't just about sounding heroic and what other people think. Instead, bravery is about her own confidence in herself and knowing that, no matter what anyone else said, she was not a coward.[12][13] She becomes embarrassed by how she acted before and realizes that it's okay to get scared sometimes.

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Spensa is an excellent pilot[14] and also has cytonic abilities. So far, she has demonstrated the ability to intercept the Krell's faster-than-light communications with their drones and to react to those orders faster than would be humanly possible.[15] On one occasion, she was also able to activate M-Bot's cytonic hyperdrive.[16]


Spensa lived in the Glorious Rises of Industry with her mother and her grandmother, Becca Nightshade, who she referred to as Gran-Gran.[6] Gran-Gran's mother was the "engines" of Defiant, enabling its faster-than-light travel.[12]

Spensa went to school and did reasonably well, but occasionally skipped classes to go exploring or hunting. She skipped class on the last day of school when a sanitation worker was giving a presentation. She accidentally found an old ship in a cavern, seemingly high tech and unfamiliar in appearance. She also found a yellow and blue slug whom she named Doomslug. She was told she could take the pilots exam, and was confident in her knowledge. To her horror, she found her pilots test to be all questions about city sanitation. she failed the test, having skipped class that day.[17] She sat in the exam room for hours, then picked up a blank regular test and filled it out. Cobb, her father’s old wingmate and a First Citizen, entered the room and looked over her test. He asked her some questions, and told her to show up at flight school the next day.[18]

The rules of this classroom are simple. I teach. You learn. Anything that interferes with that is likely to get one of you killed.


Spensa went to Flight School the next day, befriending a girl named Kimmalyn.[17] The training room had several flight simulators, and Spensa met the rest of her flight. She instantly disliked Jorgen, who is rich and priveleged. Cobb made Jorgen flight leader, which outraged Spensa.[19] The cadets spent hours practicing takeoff and landing in the simulators, and afterward an alarm went off. They were called to head towards the battle because Nightmare Flight was down in the caverns. They weren’t supposed to engage in combat, just hover near the city and look threatening. But when a Krell ship went towards the city they engaged. Kimmalyn managed to snipe the Krell fighter and destroy it, and Skyward Flight went back to the surface.[20]

Admiral Ironside despised Spensa and thought her to be a coward like her father, and forbade her from sleeping or eating at the Flight School. Spensa was forced to sleep in her cave with the broken ship, and to make the long commute between there and the Flight School. Because she was forbidden to eat at the Flight School, Spensa was forced to hunt for rats and mushrooms in the caves to feed herself. Still, she didn’t complain, knowing that Admiral Ironsides would take any chance to see her ejected. She tried to connect power to the ship, but her light line’s power matrix was too weak.[21] When she arrived at flight school the next day, she found that her friend Rig was quitting.[22] Spensa and the other cadets spent hours upon hours practicing maneuvers before letting them try destructors, as well as teaching them to use light-lances. Spensa also discovered that her helmet contains sensors to monitor her bioreadings. They engaged in a competition with their light-lances organized by Cobb, in which Spensa and Jorgen competed fiercely. They grew angry at each other after Jorgen revealed that Spensa’s father is Chaser, the infamous coward. At the end of the day, Spensa stole the power matrix from Jorgen’s hovercar.[23]

The next day Spensa hooked up the power matrix to the ship, and it powered up. She discovered that the ship could talk, as it harbored a very advanced AI. It introduced itself as M-Bot, a long-distance stealth ship. M-Bot’s data banks had been mostly corrupted, but he knew his last orders, which were to lie low and not get into any fights. Most of his systems were offline, with only a few like communications still working. Since Spensa couldn’t fix M-Bot on her own, she recruited Rig to help her, who was still deciding on what he wanted to do, now that he wouldn’t be a pilot.[24] He was amazed and energized by the sight of the ship, and decided to get a job at the Engineering Corps so he could help fix it.[25]

Sometimes I don’t feel like a teacher. I feel like a munitions man, reloading artillery. I stuff you into a chamber, fire you into the sky, then grab another shell…

—Cobb after Morningtide’s and Bim’s deaths.[26]

When Spensa was in her cave, M-Bot’s sensors picked up a large force of Krell inbound, and Spensa hurried back to Alta Base. She arrived late to the battle, and joined the dogfight with the Krell. Morningtide died in battle, and soon after Bim got shot down as well.[27] Spensa and the others in Skyward Flight were still in shock the next day, and Cobb pushed them hard in training to keep them busy. Spensa later found Cobb watching a replay of the battle, and learned that Cobb had been the one to shoot down her father. He retold the story of her father’s cowardice, but his attitude hinted that the official story is false.[28]

Once Skyward Flight was proficient with the light-lances, Cobb had them move on to learning how to use the IMP. During the course of their training, M-Bot created a private communication to Spensa using his abilities as a stealth and reconnaissance ship, and allowing them to talk privately during the course of her training. Tensions between Jorgen and Spensa grew, until Spensa grew so enraged that she attacked him, shocking the other cadets. Spensa quickly fled, dreading her imminent expulsion as soon as Jorgen told Ironsides of her actions. She eventually went to Ironside’s office to confess, but then found that Jorgen didn’t turn her in. Jorgen told her that they couldn’t afford to lose another pilot, and apologized. After that, Spensa’s view of Jorgen changed, realizing that he was always putting the flight before himself.[29]

Spensa participated in a large skirmish over a large falling shipyard, which was home to many large sources of acclivity stone. In the course of the battle, two of Nedd’s brothers from Nightmare Flight died.[30] The next day after flight training, Kimmalyn pulled Spensa into a hallway, then took her to the girls dorm, where the rest of the girls waited with stolen food for Spensa. They hung out all night, talking and eating. They had a great time, and Spensa enjoyed the acceptance as they bonded.[14]

With Spensa’s help, Rig managed to get some of M-Bot’s basic functions to work, and Spensa used her light lance to open up the cavern ceiling. She flew M-Bot out into the open, and was amazed at how incredibly sensitive and incredible the flight was, even though M-Bot didn’t have a booster.[31] At training, they practiced defending against lifebusters, using a modified recording of a previous battle. Spensa realized that the DDF must have the recording of the true Battle of Alta hidden away somewhere.[11] A large force of Krell came down through the platforms, and Skyward Flight was called into battle again. During the course of the battle Hurl’s shield was overwhelmed and her ship was severely damaged. She went into an out of control descent, and was supposed to eject per Cobb’s instructions. She refused to be a “coward” however, refusing to eject and crashing. After the battle, Skyward Flight was given mandatory leave, and Kimmalyn quit Flight School. Spensa found out where Hurl crashed, and decided to go give Hurl a proper pilot’s funeral.[32] Jorgen joined her, recovering Hurl’s pilot pin and giving her a short funeral.[33] Spensa took the booster from Hurl’s ship, and Jorgen figured out that she is building a starship.[34]

Spensa asked Cobb about the old battle recordings the next day, and he gave her his authorization code to access them. On her way back to M-Bot after getting the recording, FM brought Spensa to a restaurant with some members and former members of the flight. Spensa found the food to be amazing, since she had been eating rat meat and mushrooms her whole life.[35][6] Afterward, Spensa went to M-Bot, who told her he could show her the battle using his holoprojectors. Spensa watched the battle, and saw her father break off from the flgiht and fly up through a hole in the debris belt, saying that he could hear the stars. When he came back, saying that he would kill everyone. Chaser fired on his own flight mates, and Cobb shot him down.[10] Shocked, Spensa spent an entire day in M-Bot’s cockpit, trying to process the information. Cobb told her the next day that if she ever saw “the eyes” or could hear the stars, she should tell him immediately. Spensa had seen the eyes before, but didn’t tell Cobb for fear she would no longer be allowed to fly. After the flight school doctor had been tipped off about Spensa’s living condition by Cobb, Spensa was given permission to stay and eat at the Flight School with the rest of Skyward Flight.[36]

Then those pinpricks opened. A million white eyes, like stars, all turning directly on me. Focusing on me. Seeing me.

—Spensa seeing the eyes[37]

With the booster installed, Rig finally had M-Bot ready to fly at full capacity, though some of his advanced features were still inoperative, like his cytonic hyperdrive. Spensa took him out for a flight, amazed at his incredible speed and GravCap capability. M-Bot projected a holographic battle onto her windshield, providing a realistic simulation, and she had him do the Battle of Alta. She noticed that her father almost seems to anticipate the Krell’s movements, acting just before they do. She heard the stars singing, and suddenly the cockpit went black, and Spensa saw millions of white pinprick eyes focusing on her. She screamed for M-Bot to turn it off, but he said that he didn’t project what she described. M-Bot feared that Spensa might make him participate in battle against his original pilot’s orders, and so powered down to wait for his pilot to return.[38]

Spensa visited her grandmother, who told her that their family had been the engines of the ship Defiant. They could hear the stars and power the ship to far away places. Gran-Gran thought of Spensa’s ability as a gift, not a curse.[12] When Skyward Flight was out scouting, when a large chunk of valuable debris fell along with a large swarm of Krell. They engaged, and during the course of the battle Spensa was shot down. Her ship began to go down, and she reluctantly ejected, blacking out in the process. She woke up on the ground, and Admiral Ironsides dismissed her from the flight school for ejecting. This left Skyward Flight with only two graduating members, FM and Jorgen.[39] Spensa attended their graduation ceremony, filled with conflicting emotions. Afterward she went to a restaurant with the other of her flight, and listen to a radio as a huge contingent of Krell, a full hundred of them, are making an attack on Alta. A bomber flew in, but was shot down. The anti-aircraft emplacements were damaged, and a force of Krell flew towards the weak point. Spensa realized that there was still one ship on Alta Base she could use.[40]

The Battle of Alta Second[edit]

Spensa got permission from the ground crew to use Arturo’s broken down ship, whose shield system was inoperative. She took off anyway, and announced her arrival on the flightleader channel. She spotted a second bomber, and tried to take it out. It was guarded by ace pilots, and her destructors became damaged. She planned to ram the bomber as it grew close to the death zone, but her acclivity ring failed and she fell into a dive. She crashed, but survived.[15] Cobb arrived, flying M-Bot, who had re-written his programming to accept Spensa as his pilot. She entered M-Bot and flew after the bomber. After a brief dogfight, she heard a command sent to make the bomb detonate in one hundred seconds. She had Kimmalyn shoot the bomber’s clamps, releasing the lifebuster.[41] Spensa grabbed the lifebuster with her light-lance and flew away from Alta at full speed, bomb towed behind her. Right as the countdown reached its end, M-Bot noted with surprise that the cytonic hyperdrive was online. Spensa engaged her cytonic abilities, teleporting her and M-Bot out of the explosion.[16]

Spensa entered the place of the eyes, and they focused on her. She jolted back into M-Bot’s cockpit, and he reported that the cytonic hyperdrive was now offline again. She found that she was one hundred kilometers away from the blast site, and that almost no time had passed. Spensa called Alta Base, and heard cheering. Ironsides told her to return to base and that she’ll pardon Chaser, but Spensa saw a hole in the debris belt.[42] She flew up through it, where she discovered that the belt was a series of organized defense platforms. She saw a large space station beyond them, and could hear the Krell communication. They tried to overwrite her vision like they tried with her father, but M-Bot jammed the signal and kept her safe. M-Bot translated some Krell communications, as well as downloading some of their data. He discovered that the Krell are effectively their prison guards, keeping the humans contained on Detritus.[43]

Making a Plan[edit]

Over the next six months, Detritus progressed much, and so had Spensa’s skill. She grew adept at listening to the Krell communications and moving before they did, and as a result the Krell started sending aces in manned fighters to kill her.[44] In the midst of a dogfight, two Superiority battleships arrived, and Spensa was told by command that they were capable of possibly bombarding the planet.[45] After returning to Platform Prime, Spensa was informed that the engineering team had discovered an old recording from the platform. After Spensa, Cobb, and a few others arrived, they played the recording. The recording showed a command room, with a woman panicking and saying that their defenses had failed and a delver had come. The delver enveloped them, and the screen went black, but Spensa saw an image of herself staring back at her in the screen, which nobody else in the room saw.[1][46]

Jorgen! I need you to come here right now and talk me out of doing something incredibly stupid.

—Spensa to Jorgen after discovering Alanik[47]

After watching the recording, Cobb pulled Spensa aside and told her that they needed to find a way to get off Detritus, such as figuring out the secret of Superiority hyperdrives. He suggested that Spensa and a team could hypothetically infiltrate the Superiority space station, but didn’t know fully how to go about it. Spensa felt an odd sensation as a solitary ship appeared outside Detritus and began to make its way through the platforms.[48] Spensa and Kimmalyn went out in their fighters to check out the ship, which they found hurtling towards the ground, out of control. They slowed down the ship’s descent with their light lances, and brought it to a mostly controlled crash. Inside they found a humanoid female alien, with pink skin.[49]

She was badly wounded, but used a translator pin to speak to Spensa before passing out. She told Spensa not to trust the Superiority, and cytonically implanted Starsight’s coordinates in her mind. M-Bot hacked the alien Alanik’s records and found that she was going to Starsight to join their star fleet. Spensa realized that it was her perfect oppurtinuty to go to Starsight in Alanik’s place, using holographic technology that M-Bot had to disguise her as Alanik. The coordinates began fading from her mind, and she had to make a rushed decision. She discussed the idea with Jorgen, who told her she should go. She climbed into M-Bot, then used the coordinates to hyperjump just outside of Starsight.[47]

At Starsight[edit]

Spensa activating her holographic disguise

My chronometer indicates no time has passed. You engaged the cytonic hyperdrive…or, well, I think you are the cytonic hyperdrive.

—M-Bot to Spensa after her hyperjump[2]

Spensa made it to Starsight, which is around 40,000 light years away from Detritus. She and M-Bot manage to gain entry into Starsight, her disguise and M-Bot’s faked information holding up.[2] At Starsight, she was greeted by Minister Cuna, who showed her where she was staying and explained the workings of Starsight.[50] She went to tryouts for the Superiority fighter force, in which the Superiority used drone ships with live fire. The Pilots had to survive for thirty minutes. Spensa saw a large ship floundering, and rescued it with the help of Morriumur and Vapor. The four ships worked together during the exercise and passed, and afterward they were put together into one flight, including Brade.[51] Spensa met Mrs. Chamwit, her housekeeper. Spensa was highly suspicious of Chamwit, believing her to be a Superiority spy despite her kindly nature. Spensa talked with Cuna a lot, learning about Starsight and its politics.[52] Spensa and her flight boarded their carrier ship, the Weights and Measures, which hyperjumped them to their training location. As they hyperjumped, she heard a shrill scream that nobody else appeared to have heard.[53]

What do you idiots think you’re doing! That was the most embarrassing excuse of a hostile approach I’ve ever seen! Brade, you were ordered to clear the firing path, not fetch a fist of enemy nose hairs!

—Spensa trying to whip her flight into shape[54]

They trained on a delver maze, but were wildly disorganized. Vapor recognized Spensa’s flight experience, and made her assistant flightleader so she could lead the group in doing drills. She found herself falling into the role easily, unconsciously copying Cobb’s mannerisms.[54] After learning the basics of fighting against delvers on the delver maze, Spensa worked on assembling a drone at the embassy, with M-Bot’s assistance. She learned more about Superiority, and about the taynix.[55] After M-Bot programmed it, Spensa released the drone aboard the Weights and Measures. After practicing with her flight, her drone was discovered, and Spensa was forced to hide it after much ensuing chaos. Spensa was discovered by Vapor and Cuna, who assumed her to be a generic UrDail spy. Spensa watched the drone’s video of the engine room, taken before they hyperjump, and saw that they were using taynix to hyperjump.[56] Cuna reveals Winzik’s plans, which are to use delvers to control rebellious planets, likely including Detritus. Spensa revealed herself to Cuna, who is amazed rather than angry. After the flight gets called into action, Spensa decided to reveal herself to Brade, who immediately started sounding the alarm, announcing that she had found the human spy.[57] Spensa was forced to escape in her Superiority starfighter, hyperjumping back to Detritus but leaving M-Bot behind on Starsight, who was trying to re-write his programming. After going to Platform Prime and briefing Cobb, then heard Brade screaming into the nowhere. Spensa realized that Winzik was attempting to summon a delver to attack Detritus, and she hurried to her starfighter.[58]

Fight against the Delver[edit]

Why should you believe them?” I asked. “You know I’m not the monster they say I am. You flew with me. Our people were allies once, long ago. You know the Superiority doesn’t care about your kind. Come with me. Help me.

—Spensa trying to convince Hesho to help her[59]

Hesho was angry at Spensa’s betrayal and wanted to shoot her down, but his crew overruled him, joining with Spensa. Spensa told Cobb to power down all comms on Platform Prime, and she, Vapor, and Hesho’s ship chased after Brade. They were able to disable Brade’s ship, but not before she succeeded in summoning the delver, which emerged into the system. Spensa, in a moment of desperation, redirected the Delver, getting it to go destroy Starsight instead of Detritus.[60] Hesho’s ship had taken damage from their dogfight with Brade, and Kauri told Spensa that Hesho was dead. Spensa hyperjumped Vapor and Kauri back to Starsight, though Kauri’s ship had sustained too much damage to be able to fight. Spensa and Vapor entered the delver’s maze, chasing after Brade, and evading the embers it shot at them. Spensa and Vapor got seperated, but Spensa was rescued by the arrival of Morriumur, whose dual nature allowed her to combat the hallucinations the delver projected. Morriumur carried Spensa to safety, dropping her into the heart of the delver alone.[54]

The thing trembled with emotion I understood without needing interpretation. Horror.

—Spensa describing the Delver’s realization[61]

In a completely white room, Spensa communicated with the delver, who took her own shape before her. She saw the delver’s point of view, which saw the humans on Starsight as annoying noises. Spensa showed the delver her own point of view, how the humans cared for their children and had friends and families. The delver was horrified at the revelation, not having realized that the noises were alive. It promptly disappeared, returning to the nowhere and leaving Spensa floating in space.[61] After being rescued and treated in a Superiority hospital on Starsight, and was greeted by Cuna, who had begun making overtures of peace with the humans.[62] Winzik’s soldiers came for Spensa and Cuna suddenly, Spensa helping herself and Cuna escape, hiding Cuna in a closet. Spensa ran into Brade, who saved her from a Superiority aircraft and asked her to join with Winzik’s coup. Spensa ran instead, finding M-Bot, who had been completely destroyed by Superiority scientists. She found that M-Bot had managed to slowly changed his programming, copying himself into the body of a cleaning drone. With more of Winzik’s soldiers on the way, Spensa lead M-Bot and Doomslug towards the location of Starsight’s nowhere portal, which she had seen before., she touched it, pulling herself and them into the nowhere.[63]

Traveling the Nowhere[edit]

Careful now, dangerous things can hear you in here if you use your powers! Where are you? Describe your fragment, and I shall endeavor to locate you.

—Chet communicating with Spensa cytonically[64]
In the Nowhere with Chet and M-Bot

After emerging into the nowhere, Spensa sensed the delver she changed at Starsight, and could feel its fear. She communicated with it, and it told her she could learn more about her powers in the nowhere. It put a location in her mind, telling her to walk the Path of Elders. Spensa told Doomslug to go home, then hyperjumped to the location in her mind.[4]

They emerged from the nowhere portal into a jungle. M-Bot was angry at Spensa for abandoning him at Starsight, and flew off into the jungle. Alone, Spensa went through her supplies, then heard a cytonic voice speaking to her. She was suddenly attacked by a group of pirates, who defeated her and took her father’s pin, which had mysteriously appeared in Spensa’s flight jacket pocket. Spensa was tied up, and eventually rescued by M-Bot. They, in turn, were rescued by the timely arrival of Chet, apparently the cytonic Spensa had spoken to. After Chet’s grig distracted the pirates, he led Spensa and M-Bot into the jungle, running away from the pirates.[65] Spensa and Chet introduced themselves, but a delver possessed the grig, and chased after them through the jungle. They escaped with M-Bot’s help, and Spensa learned more about Chet, who had been in the nowhere for a long time. Chet offered to be Spensa’s guide in the nowhere, helping her walk the Path of Elders, in exchange for one reality ash every day. Spensa and M-Bot realized that Chet must be M-Bot’s pilot, since the timing lined up perfectly.[66] Chet showed them his uniform patch with the name SPEARS on it, the name of M-Bot’s old pilot. Spensa however, was more doubtful than M-Bot.

Throughout her time in the nowhere, Spensa occasionally cytonically communicated with Jorgen in her sleep, and they used the time to talk and catch each other up on events. Spensa was also able to listen in on conversations Winzik and Brade had with the delvers, who were trying to strike a deal with them.[67]

Chet and Spensa discussed their cytonic abilities, Chet saying he has the ability to cytonically communicate, extend his lifespan, and visualize the entire belt in his head. They traveled across many fragments, deciding that they could steal a starfighter at the Broadsider base, and progress through the Path of Elders faster.[68] Spensa was very impressed by Chet as they went, in several ways. They faced difficulties as they traveled across the various fragments in the Belt, with the delvers trying to kill them at one point.[69] They reached the first step in the Path of Elders, which held memories of a dione cytonic coming into the nowhere and dying on the fragment, trapped forever.[70] They went to the pirate base fragment, observing the base from afar. Chet advised Spensa to bury her reality icon,[71] but Spensa pretended it to bury it, keeping it on her person.[72]

With the Broadsiders[edit]

The more people we have around, the more stable our memories remain, so you’re lucky. No execution for you. Instead you get to be our new cleaning slave.

—one of the Broadsiders to Spensa after capturing her[73]

Spensa slipped into the base, but was captured along with M-Bot, who pretended to be a simple cleaning drone. The group of Broadsiders, members of Cutlass Flight, treated Spensa fairly well, keeping her busy. Spensa got to know the various members of the crew as she did so, meanwhile having cytonic conversations with Chet, who had been wounded making a distraction. Spensa got permission for M-Bot to help her clean different things for the pirates, and eventually got M-Bot in position to upload himself into one of the pirate starfighters. He took control of it just in time, saving Spensa as she was attacked by Peg, who attacked her since she knew Spensa to be a true killer.[74] M-Bot tried flying as they escaped, but didn’t do very well. Spensa tried to go back for her father’s pin, but found it missing. Spensa returned to the Broadsiders with Chet after certain terms were made, and Spensa was allowed to upload M-Bot to the Broadsiders’ best ship.[75]

I have only the instincts of a warrior to guide me. You will not distract me from my current purpose, adversary. Though you have fought admirably, I will defeat you, then compose poetry for your funeral.

—Hesho to Spensa during their duel[76]

As part of their agreement, Spensa and Chet got to visit the next portal, learning about early cytonics and discovering that the next portal is in Surehold, the Superiority’s main base in the nowhere. Afterward, Spensa fought in a battle for the title of Pirate Champion, Peg insisting a victory would unite the factions. The enemy champion proved to be Hesho, who had survived by being sucked into space by being transported to the nowhere. He had lost all his memories, however. Spensa beat him, then discovered that Peg had been conspiring with her sons, who led other factions, to unite the pirates in an attack on Surehold.[77]

Soon after, five of the pirate factions flew towards Surehold, and engaged with the Superiority’s pilots and the Cannonade Faction, which Hesho was a part of. Spensa engaged with Hesho again, who became possessed by a delver. Spensa managed to defeat him through trickery, using old training instincts he still unconsciously still obeyed. During the battle, a delver on the other side was devouring a planet, causing chunks of matter from the somewhere to appear out of thin air.[78] Hesho joined Spensa after his defeat, and the Cannonade Faction left the battle after a temporary truce was called. Peg talked with Lorn, the base commander of Surehold, whose family was being held captive by the Superiority. Peg devised a plan to get Lorn’s family back, and Lorn allowed them to take over the base.[79]

Spensa could sense her father’s pin talking with her, and knew it was at Surehold. The delvers communicated with her, offering her a truce if she didn’t finish the Path of Elders and didn’t return to the somewhere.[80] She found her father’s pin the next day, and discovered that it is actually Doomslug, hiding herself so that the delvers can’t see her. After her reunion with Doomslug, Spensa talked with Peg, who gave her a fruit from her tenasi tree, a great honor.[81] Spensa and Chet both went to the second to last portal, and saw Jason Write with his AI. Chet said softly that it sometimes takes years for an AI to start thinking for itself. Spensa got a good look at the floating sphere, and it reminded her of the delver maze. Chet whispered that when AI are forced to build a body again, they unconsciously reach for something familiar. Spensa realized that Chet is a delver, the one that she changed during his attack on Starsight. After Chet explained his story, Spensa tried to comprehend all the information, but comes to the correct conclusion that Delvers are highly evolved AI. Chet said that the last portal is on Solitary Shadow, a fragment very close to the lightburst. Spensa bade farewell to Cutlass Flight, and was joined by Doomslug, Hesho, and Chet as she flew off towards Solitary Shadow.[82]

Solitary Shadow and the Lightburst[edit]

But it wasn’t merely about duty. It was about stories. After it all, I…didn’t want to live in a story. Not if it meant leaving my friends and family. I wouldn’t ever be happy in here without them, and I didn’t want to forget them like Chet had.

—Spensa deciding to reject the delvers’ offer and return to Detritus[81]

After making a rough plan with the team, Spensa, Chet, and Doomslug touched down on Solitary Shadow, and accessed the final portal in the Path of Elders. They learn that the first delver was an AI Jason created, modeling it after the personality of his dead wife. The AI became self aware, and copied itself after changing its programming. The delvers were furious at Spensa for learning their secrets, and had rejected their treaty. Spensa and the others got back inside M-Bot, and took off full speed towards the lightburst, where they could escape the nowhere.[83] As she approached the lightburst, many of the delvers formed bodies, creating roughly a hundred ships to fight Spensa. For each one she destroyed, a new one took its place. The ships didn’t obey normal laws of physics, making them difficult to kill. Using her cytonic senses, Spensa was able to sense where the delvers were about to move, allowing her to evade attacks. There became too many however, and Chet sacrificed himself to distract them by leaving the ship. As ten thousand more ships emerged from the lightburst, Spensa landed M-Bot on the ground near the lightburst, Doomslug hiding them. M-Bot distracted Spensa, getting her and the others to leave his cockpit, then locking the doors. After saying farewell to Spensa, he sacrificed himself, letting the delvers destroy him and think they’d killed Spensa. The delvers flew away, allowing Spensa, Doomslug, and Hesho to enter the lightburst.[83]

I could start as human, then allow myself to become something more. I was everything they feared. Because they refused to ever let themselves change, but I embraced change. It was the essence and nature of my strength.

—Spensa resisting the delvers in the lightburst[84]

Spensa entered the lightburst, and the delvers were surprised to find her alive. The delvers were furious at Spensa, angry that she knew their secrets. Spensa felt tired beneath the onslaught of hateful delvers. Amidst all of the hate, she felt one delver that was different, which emanated courage. Spensa latched onto Chet, and they connected, their essences intertwining. Their minds and souls joined together, becoming one. The delvers tried to destroy Spensa and Chet, but touching her hurt them. A location clicked into Spensa’s mind, and she hyperjumped back to Detritus, holding Hesho and Doomslug.[84] Spensa emerged in the caverns of Detritus, then hyperjumped to Platform Prime, appearing before Jorgen and several DDF officials. They were alarmed, as her eyes were glowing white like a delver’s. After fainting, she woke up and talked with Jorgen, and had a happy reuinion. Spensa told Jorgen she knew the secrets of the delvers, and also saw that Detritus was orbiting another planet.[85]


Jorgen Weight[edit]

You are amazing.

Jorgen Weight to Spensa[38]

Jorgen is Spensa's boyfriend.[86] They originally got off on a bad foot, due to Jorgen being admitted into flight school without completing the admission test and his ordering around of Skyward Flight prior to being made flightleader.[17][3] As a result, she nicknames him "Jerkface", which later becomes his callsign, much to his chagrin. [19] Jorgen also outs Spensa as being the daughter of Zeen Nightshade, The Coward of Alta, after Spensa bests him during flight practice.[23] In retaliation, she steals his car's power matrix.[23] The animosity in their relationship reaches a peak when they get into a fight which ends in Spensa physically attacking Jorgen.[87] Spensa expects Jorgen to report her, but instead he tells her that he needs every pilot on the flight, even her.[29] After Hurl's death, Jorgen helps Spensa give her a pilot's burial and they discuss how the both of them live in their parent's shadows. Jorgen also allows Spensa to steal parts from Hurl's ship and encourages her to build her own ship so that she can fly and be Defiant.[33][34] Later on, they talk about the deaths of their flightmates and hug.[88]. Spensa also confides in Jorgen about her and her father's "defect", and he calls her amazing and reassures her that he still wants her on his flight.[38] Both of them, along with the rest of the Skyward Flight fly together in the Battle of Alta Second.[41]

Jorgen later tells Spensa off for her recklessness and helps her vocalize her thoughts and why she pushed herself so hard.[89] Spensa then notes that his being an embodiment of the order, unlike her, made it difficult for them to begin a romantic relationship.[89]. After Alanik crash lands on Detritus, Spensa discusses infiltrating Starsight with Jorgen. He helps by walking her through the practical aspects of her plan and encouraging her to go, telling her he trusts her, after which they kiss.[47]

Multiple times while stuck in the nowhere, Spensa contacts Jorgen using her powers. Each time they exchange heartfelt words or gestures to one another, expressing their deep feeling for each other. Jorgen officially calls Spensa his girlfriend the first time they make contact, after which Spensa offers to give him a dead orc carcass in a show of her gratitude. [90] They kiss again once reunited after Spensa wakes up from fainting into Jorgen's arms. [91]

The Corrupted Delver[edit]

Spensa with Chet and M-Bot

I told you that I understood crazy. I was wrong. Thank you for the master class.

When the Superiority brings a delver into the physical realm to attack Detritus, Spensa ultimately defeats it by teaching it empathy.[63] Renouncing its former hatred, the delver creates a mortal form for itself in order to help and guide Spensa through Cytonic training in the Nowhere, choosing the name Chet Starfinder.[93][82] The delvers' hatred of Spensa is especially great because, as they see it, she corrupted one of them.[84]

Through their friendship, Chet experiences trust, betrayal,[94] and courage.[95][84] At one point, he asks her to run away with him and be Nowhere explorers forever, and she is tempted.[79]

In a sense, Spensa is Chet's creator,[82] as well as his student,[79] his employer,[93] and his friend.[95] In the end, they appear to become one mind,[91] with Spensa apparently still in control but with access to his knowledge.


  • Spensa's race was intentionally left ambiguous.[96]
  • The first ideas for her character were developed in 2012.[97]
  • If she was a Knight Radiant, she would most likely be a Dustbringer, "with small arguments for Stoneward, Skybreaker, or Edgedancer."[98]
  • Spensa would find a lot of modern-day foods to be overwhelming.[9]


  1. a b Starsight chapter 4#
  2. a b c Starsight chapter 9#
  3. a b c Skyward chapter 8#
  4. a b Cytonic prologue#
  5. Cytonic chapter 40#
  6. a b c Skyward chapter 1#
  7. Skyward chapter 29#
  8. Starsight Release Party
    Arcanum - 2019-11-26#
  9. a b Skyward Pre-Release AMA
    Arcanum - 2018-10-20#
  10. a b Skyward chapter 30#
  11. a b Skyward chapter 31#
  12. a b c Skyward chapter 45#
  13. Skyward chapter 51#
  14. a b Skyward chapter 28#
  15. a b Skyward chapter 50#
  16. a b Skyward chapter 53#
  17. a b c Skyward chapter 5#
  18. Skyward chapter 6#
  19. a b Skyward chapter 9#
  20. Skyward chapter 11#
  21. Skyward chapter 12#
  22. Skyward chapter 13#
  23. a b c Skyward chapter 15#
  24. Skyward chapter 17#
  25. Skyward chapter 18#
  26. Skyward chapter 20#
  27. Skyward chapter 19#
  28. Skyward chapter 21#
  29. a b Skyward chapter 24#
  30. Skyward chapter 26#
  31. Sunreach chapter 30#
  32. Skyward chapter 33#
  33. a b Skyward chapter 34#
  34. a b Skyward chapter 35#
  35. Skyward chapter 38#
  36. Skyward chapter 40#
  37. Skyward chapter 43#
  38. a b c Skyward chapter 44#
  39. Skyward chapter 47#
  40. Skyward chapter 48#
  41. a b Skyward chapter 52#
  42. Skyward chapter 54#
  43. Skyward chapter 55#
  44. Starsight chapter 1#
  45. Starsight chapter 2#
  46. Starsight chapter 5#
  47. a b c Starsight chapter 8#
  48. Starsight chapter 6#
  49. Starsight chapter 7#
  50. Starsight chapter 10#
  51. Starsight chapter 17#
  52. Starsight chapter 19#
  53. Starsight chapter 20#
  54. a b c Starsight chapter 22#
  55. Starsight chapter 27#
  56. Starsight chapter 33#
  57. Starsight chapter 36#
  58. Starsight chapter 38#
  59. Starsight chapter 39#
  60. Starsight chapter 41#
  61. a b Starsight chapter 44#
  62. Starsight epilogue#
  63. a b Starsight chapter 45#
  64. Cytonic chapter 1#
  65. Cytonic chapter 4#
  66. Cytonic chapter 7#
  67. Cytonic chapter i3#
  68. Cytonic chapter 9#
  69. Cytonic chapter 12#
  70. Cytonic chapter 11#
  71. Cytonic chapter 15#
  72. Cytonic chapter 16#
  73. Cytonic chapter 17#
  74. Cytonic chapter 21#
  75. Cytonic chapter 23#
  76. Cytonic chapter 29#
  77. Cytonic chapter 32#
  78. Cytonic chapter 34#
  79. a b c Cytonic chapter 36#
  80. Cytonic chapter 37#
  81. a b Cytonic chapter 38#
  82. a b c Cytonic chapter 39#
  83. a b Cytonic chapter 42#
  84. a b c d Cytonic chapter 43#
  85. Cytonic epilogue#
  86. Cytonic interlude I-1#
  87. Skyward chapter 23#
  88. Skyward chapter 41#
  89. a b Starsight chapter 3#
  90. [[Summary: Cytonic#Interlude_I-{{{3}}}|Cytonic interlude I-{{{3}}}]][[Special: WhatLinksHere/Summary: Cytonic/Interlude_I-{{{3}}}|#]]
  91. a b Cytonic epilogue#
  92. Cytonic chapter 35#
  93. a b Cytonic chapter 5#
  94. Cytonic chapter 8#
  95. a b Cytonic chapter 41#
  96. BookCon 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-06-02#
  97. Skyward Pre-Release AMA
    Arcanum - 2018-10-04#
  98. Skyward Pre-Release AMA
    Arcanum - 2018-10-04#
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