Chapter 40: Trust, Part I

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 455


"I've been looking for a way

To bring you back to life

And if I could find a way, 

I would bring you back tonight"

- Let It Die, Starset


Lance slid a little further down in his chair, looking out to the room before him. The moonlight from the windows made everything bright enough to see the beds—two columns, one on each side of the room, the empty space between the foot of the beds creating a walkway. Somewhere deep inside Lance's mind, he realized that aside from Kyrene's death, this was the first memory that occurred at night. Pain snapped into his gut. He turned to back to Zidane, trying to forget what he just realized.

The crossbreed looked to him, eyes still seeming just as colorful even in the dark. Almost like—

"Are your eyes glowing?" Lance asked,

"I guess you could say they are," Zidane answered with a grin. "Spiro iris' work in a way that's a little similar to pupils, except they capture and reflect light instead of just capturing and adapting. Our irises are hooked up to our emotions, too, so when we're experiencing something like happiness, the light that's gathered and reflected prolongs that feeling for a little while. In some ways, you could say the irises take in the energy properties of light." He shifted, sitting a little more upright against the bed frame.

"That's... Fascinating."

Zidane nodded a little bit, nonchalant. "I guess to someone who's never been around the race before, yeah..." The light in his eyes came back a little then, a faint realization coming to him. "That trait developed from need for a camouflage, actually. Darker eyes helped them blend into darker environments, lighter eyes helped with lighter environments."

"So with darker eyes... There's no light being taken in?"

"Yeah." Zidane nodded again. "But with darker eyes, there's not a lot of influence on mood, since light is being blocked and there's little to no energy to gather."

"The whole using light energy kinda reminds me of—" Lance paused, closing his eyes and retrieving the name again. "Razaleks. It's like how they use food, right?"

"Yeah, that's an interesting connection." Zidane flipped a hand over and opened his fist, revealing a bright structure made up of thin white threads. It rotated slightly, nearly seeming like a holographic piece of abstract art. "The energy won't go into being able to do anything like this because they don't have the right organs and connections through their body, but it's definitely a similarity..."

Lance thought for a long moment, looking away from the structure brightening up their small section of the room.

"Are there more differences than similarities?" he asked finally, turning back. "Between the two of them?"

Zidane closed his hand, the structure disappearing underneath his fist. He didn't answer right away, and for once Lance realized this was the first question he didn't have an immediate response to.

"Depends how you look at it," he said quietly. "Evolution and DNA traces us back to the human species—or traces the human species back to us, however you wanna see it—so in a way we're all identical. But then years and centuries and millenniums eventually split us apart, leading to everything as it is now. If you look at it from a straightforward-historical standpoint, then no, there's really not much difference. But from a biological standpoint, listing out what's different and what's similar, really getting down to all the details"—He shrugged, his shoulders heavy—"Yeah, there'd be more contrast than similarities."

His eyes were no longer glowing, and despite the moonlight still making it bright enough to give the room an outline, their small section seemed too dark. The shadows had no direct source, and for some reason Lance could feel them reaching, curling towards him, constricting and making it a little harder to breathe...

Lance cleared his throat, looking to Zidane again. The crossbreed looked up from the sheets, eyes darkening as Lance spoke.

"So why were Razaleks even here? Was it the spy thing?"

Zidane nodded. "Part of Ezyta's training; check up on the human territory to see how terrible it is."


So what happens now? This question came as a distant thought, but it took Lance a moment to realize he had actually spoken it aloud; the distant volume of his own voice traveling out into the silence between them.

When he looked up, Zidane was lying down, eyes closed, sheets pulled up to his stomach. His hands were on top, fingers not interlocked but with one hand laying on the other. It nearly looked like he was lying in a coffin.

Everything was still, silent. And then shadows rose from the spot beside Zidane's bed, two of them reaching up until one was drastically tall and then other drastically smaller. These forms took on shapes—female curves accompanying the taller figure while Lance could only see a head and shoulders form for the shorter one. The shadows retracted, trailing back down towards the floor and ending the teleportation.


Neither of the Razaleks moved. They didn't speak, either, and their statue-like presence gave Lance time to stare at the woman. She was beautiful, and despite her height, Lance saw also saw youngness to her face. The youth was a little difficult to see underneath the heavy expression of disgust, but the details captured his attention. A faint line of freckles ran across her nose, and something about this held Lance's focus for a moment longer. He barely saw her hand reach down, long fingers spreading out to Zidane's arm.

There was a flash of motion and light—enough for Lance to see Zidane sit upright, blade flashing—and then the crossbreed's arm was bent back in a nasty, jagged line. The knife flew from his hand, the impact silent, while his mouth opened. Nothing came out; no scream, no yell, no sound except for a tight series of breaths quivering in his throat. Within seconds, however, they too were reduced to nothing.

Lance sensed the shorter Razalek silently tap the floor with the ball of his foot. A transparent dome rose around the bed's area, encasing all four of them and then disappearing. A sound barrier.

Zidane's arm dropped, his eyes opening wide in pain and flecks of spit shivering out of his mouth. Like before, the shirt he wore was long-sleeved, but Lance could see the faintest bump on one side of his upper arm. There may have been another, larger one further down towards his wrist, but Lance couldn't bring himself to glance down and see. Witnessing the breaks were enough.

The faintest pain touched Lance's arm—matching the spots where Zidane's bumps were. Despite the fact that Lance's discomfort didn't change, he could feel Zidane's pain lessening, matching a level close to his.

"Lift your hand in my direction again and I'll fry the pain receptors." The woman's voice was low with nothing but pure malice; the way she spoke was a weapon all on its own.

No longer attracted, Lance felt his stomach recoil. Zidane was breathing hard through his nose, hand holding his wrist and black eyes staring at the foot of his bed for a few moments. Then they rose to meet the woman's, their color becoming something even darker.

The Razalek matched his hatred, lines on her face burrowing into her skin. A massive energy burned from Zidane, something so powerful it made the air thinner. The anger from the woman rose, but didn't increase enough to match his. Her glare only narrowed, mouth opening for the first time in over a minute.

"You're not human."

"No shit," Zidane replied, keeping his stare locked with hers.

Her lips turned downwards at the curse, but she pressed on. "What are you?"

"Take a wild guess, lady. You got two blanks to fill; one of them's pretty damn obvious considering I could see you standing there like a bunch of idiots."

A smile etched the corner of her mouth upwards. "So you're one of us. That much I guessed. What's the other blank?"

"You want me to pull down my pants and show you?"

Both the Razaleks' eyes went wide in shock, and when neither said a word, Zidane looked away. "I got a tail."

"What?" The volume of her voice nearly made Lance jump out of his skin. Before he could fully comprehend what had happened, Zidane was suspended in the air, hands near his neck and face quickly turning red. The Razalek's hand was extended towards him, cupped as if she truly had her hand around his throat.

"Disgusting, absolute abomination ruining thousands of years of evolution. You undeserving putrid disease—"

Zidane was writhing, legs desperately flailing, his upper body thrashing. Tears slid out from his red eyes; soon, his breath became mostly wheezing inhales, and then transferred to brief chokes.

Lance broke his gaze away long enough to see the face of the woman, the hatred on her face nearly matching the surge of Zidane's. The shorter Razalek beside her, however, had his eyes closed and his face void of expression. His head wasn't bowed, nor was it even lifted towards Zidane. It looked as if he'd simply fallen asleep standing up.

"Miz Ezyta," he said quietly.

"What?" the female snapped.

"Miz Ezyta, your third Royalty task."

Her hand tightened, nearly becoming a complete fist. Zidane had stopped thrashing by now, his hands limp by his sides. It was then, standing there beside the bed, that Lance sensed something powerful. Something inside Zidane was ramming against a locked door, almost about to break through.

"What about the stupid tasks?"

"Miz Ezyta. Please remember the requirements of the third task."

A fraction of a second, and something registered on the female's face. Her hand expanded into an open palm and Zidane gave a large inhalation, finally able to breathe again. He stayed in mid-air, curled over with his hands by his chest. The energy from before had fled; whatever had been trying to break through was gone.

The smaller Razalek opened his eyes, stare instantly on Zidane. Though his expression remained blank, Lance felt a small hint of emotion. Something like joy?

"Would this work?" the woman was saying.

"That depends on you, Miz Ezyta."

Her glare twitched downward at this response. She looked up to Zidane. The crossbreed remained floating, quickly beginning to regain his breath. Lance noticed a faint flash of light come from the female's hands as Zidane dropped, landing on the bed and bouncing a little from the harsh impact. Before he could move any further, hundreds of images overtook Lance's sight. Through seeing flickers and noticing what details he could, he realized these weren't anything he'd experienced himself—these were images of Zidane's memories. Some flashes were the tiniest bit slower, but the delay was enough for Lance to recognize the faces. Zidane's father, Orah, with his sister, and, then, another one with just him alone. Kyrene, the wind chime streaming blood down the middle of her face. And, then, Zooka, her smile beaming wide.

Lance's sight came back to him in flashes of bright light, attention zeroing in on the woman's cooing voice.

"Oh, so much I could use! Where should I even begin with this?"

Zidane lifted his head up, keeping himself bent over crossed legs. When he spoke, the sadness in his voice was more than clear. "Go fuck yourself."

"Hmm..." The woman pointed her fingertips to her upper chest, eyes closing. Lance could see the gold marking on her hand lightly glow. "Let's not have you talk."

Zidane opened his mouth again, his aggressive question absolutely silenced. He paused, mind catching up to what was happening, and then thrashed his body forward, his scream never sounding.

Memories came to Lance. Being in a hospital room, having that thing silence him so quickly. Fear came, and quickly he swallowed it down. Focusing as much as he could on the scene in front of him.

A satisfied smirk came to the female Razalek's face. "Much better! Now sit up"—Zidane was immediately upright—"and listen to what I'm going to offer you."

Lance was now standing off to the side of the bed's end with a clear view of both their profiles. With this angle, the woman's ears were perfectly clear. He looked at their full length, seeing how they nearly reached past the crown of her head. A deep, revolted shiver ran down his spine. The woman's mouth curved into a smile, one that never reached her eyes.

"How would you like to bring your mother back?"

Everything inside of Lance suddenly became zero-gravity, the shock distracting him from witnessing Zidane's reaction. He could feel something from him, though—something distant and ghostlike.

"What..." Zidane's voice slipped from his mouth.

Faint laughter came from the Razalek as her fingertips rose to her lips. Her hand flourished out towards him. "You act like you know it's not possible!"

"I..." Lance could tell Zidane was searching through his mind, trying to find something. An explanation on how it wasn't possible. Some sort of response. But how could he know something he was never taught?

The woman's eyes lifted, moving past Zidane. "Would you like me to demonstrate?"

Lance looked, seeing Zooka lying on the bed next to Zidane. She was on her stomach, hand hanging down towards the floor. Sound asleep.

"No," Zidane said quickly, turning back. "It's possible? You could do it?"

She nodded. "If you're willing to do something for me."



Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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