Chapter 54: Travel, Part I

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

Reads: 487


Lance scratched below his eye, the muscles in his fingers aching at the movements. Like most of the pain he'd been feeling today, he ignored it, looking out into the forest clearing. He didn't remember such a space being here, and considering the fact that it was just big enough to fit the teleportation insignia, Lance wondered if Zidane had moved any trees in order to get a wide enough clearing.

Looking out into the center, Lance noticed Zidane still running last minute checks. The crossbreed remained crouched down half a foot above the markings like there was an invisible platform raising him up. He'd been doing this for what'd seemed like a while now, and the more time that passed the more nervous Lance got.

"How much longer?" he asked out into the space between them.

Zidane took a moment and then stood up, walking around the large, empty circle they'd soon be standing in. "You can step up on the platform. I'll be done in a few minutes."

So, there was something between him and the ground; it wasn't just him floating. Lance stepped away from the tree he'd been leaning against, feeling his legs groan as they moved towards the outer edge. He stopped, looking at the swirls and slashes inches away from his feet, encasing symbols he had no hope of recognizing.

He raised his foot, tentatively padding the air before hitting something solid but invisible. Almost like the first step of a staircase. He stepped onto it, suddenly feeling a spark of nausea at the fact he was floating.

"Weird?" Zidane asked.

The crossbreed watched him from the inner ring, the brightness of his eyes telling Lance he understood exactly.

"I'm gonna make one more quick pass around the outer edge," Zidane continued. "You can take your time heading to the center."

He started off towards the west side, leaving Lance to stare down at his feet and the ground below them. He smiled at this whole situation, almost laughing at the fact that he was floating. From the corner of his eye, he saw Zidane look up almost alarmed at first. Realizing the situation, he gave an easy smile, turning to look at the markings below.

Lance didn't see this. He remained interested in the platform before starting towards the center, studying the markings as they passed by. He recognized a few of the symbols from the drawing Zidane had been etching yesterday. This insignia was done at a much larger scale, though. If he drew it any way like he did before, Zidane had to have gotten some height from the trees, drawn from a longer distance.

Approaching the center, Lance stepped off the platform, careful to make as few footprints as possible. He looked up from the marks his shoes were making, seeing Zidane step down from the platform, a breath coming from him as he moved down. Something to disable the platform, probably.

"You ready?"

The situation dawned on Lance, weighing heavily in his stomach. He could only nod, fighting off the nerves.

"You got everything worked out?" he returned.

Zidane nodded. "Yeah, I don't think we're going to have any issues with this."

You don't 'think'? The question remained locked inside Lance's head. He remembered some problem Zidane was trying to work out. They could get fused into trees?

"Yeah," Lance replied, his voice was weak. "Awesome."

Zidane grinned, laughing. "There's no way I would teleport us without being absolutely sure it'd work. I'm just pulling your leg, Lance. There's nothing to worry about."

The cluster of nerves started to die down, and a little bit calmer, Lance watched as the crossbreed closed his eyes. Zidane was still for a moment; then he breathed in, hands raising along like he was gathering the energy. When he exhaled slowly once again, Lance felt the world shift. He sensed the markings in the earth glowing, but his vision was slanting, blurring as if the Earth had been tilted and everything was sliding off. Lance felt himself become weightless.


The familiar feeling of weightlessness that always came with teleportation left, gravity settling into Zidane once again. He remained tense, cracking one eye open. The bark of a tree greeted him, his nose nearly touching the wood. He stifled a sigh in his mouth—way too close. He took a step back, looking around at the forest they were in. Looked like the same trees as before. Slowly, he checked himself. Feet, legs, hands, arms... Everything still there. And the teleportation insignia had traveled with them— perfect.

A small sound of pain came from behind him. In the time it took for Zidane to turn around, dozens of images flashing through his mind. Lance standing there, one arm completely infused with a tree. Or with a branch stabbed through his foot...

But when Zidane turned around, there were no trees, no blood in sight. Lance was hunched over, one hand on his forehead, the other curled around his stomach. A moment later, his body gave out, crumbling before Zidane grabbed his arm, supporting him.

"I think I'm gonna hurl."

Zidane focused, connecting to Lance, experiencing what he was feeling. A crippling nausea took out the feeling in his legs, and instantly he felt Lance regain his strength, their support of one another switching. Zidane disconnected, holding Lance up again.

"Just lie down." Zidane lowered him to the ground. "Don't puke on me."

A hint of a grin came to Lance as Zidane let go of his arm.

"It happens with strong teleportations," Zidane continued, sitting down beside him. Not exactly a lie. "You'll feel better in a few minutes."

He looked out into the clearing, checking the markings engraved into the ground. He just needed to make a few changes.

He's doing well, Zidane thought, turning to briefly survey Lance. The human had one arm draped over his eyes, the other holding his stomach. Considering the fact that we just jumped dimensions.

Lance moved his arm away from his eyes, squinting a little at the sunlight. He stared up at the sky for a moment, and then quickly sat up, staring out into the forest.

"Why're we in the same place?"

Zidane stood up, sucking in a breath to create the invisible platform again. He breathed out, stepping onto the invisible surface.

"What you're seeing here is actually an illusion," he said, walking above the markings. "Mirrors where you originally came from. If you have enough energy you're able to get past it, so think of it like a gate."

Complete bullshit. All of it. They had to jump dimensions first; the engravings Zidane was about to draw were the ones that would take them to Yittek. He crouched down, passing a hand over the platform and exhaling. He felt the solid energy disappear against his skin, creating a small window. He reached through and rubbed away the marking that was there, an insignia that looked like the number 5 with no vertical line. Inside those two strokes, however, information had been engraved. Coordinates and energy that linked them to this universe. Two short curved lines flanked this thick engraving, and at the same time these too were erased.

In this same space, Zidane drew a new mark. Two fingers, a slight stroke of the thumb, and a twist of a knuckle later, there was a half circle with two canes coming out of it. Above the center of the canes, an accent had been placed.

Zidane stood up, closing the platform's window. He wished he knew how to tie a teleportation to a specific person, but for now the symbol of the town Yittek resided in would have to do.

He changed one other spot in the insignia; the location of what dimension they were in. He brushed away the location they'd just came from, redrawing the same coordinates that were in the number five marking. His mind went to Lance, wondering how he was feeling.

He literally doesn't exist in this dimension... And he doesn't even know.

When Zidane got back to the center, Lance was sitting up. The human stood, brushing the dirt from his pants as he spoke.

"So," he began, stretching out the word, "this is gonna push us through the barrier?"

Pain flinched into Zidane's gut. He nodded. "Yeah, this should do it. Are you feeling any better?"

Lance gave a nonchalant shrug. "Yeah, considering the situation, I'm fine."

Zidane forced a smile, nothing but the twitch of a lip. Weak.

He looked out towards the far edge of the insignia, pretending to check what he already knew was right. "Well, hopefully things are going to change once we get to Yittek." He turned back, barely feeling any pain as he looked at Lance. "Short teleportation, so you won't feel very sick."

Lance gave him a nod in response, and Zidane could sense the human's apprehension. He cooled the emotion immediately and closed his eyes. He inhaled, focusing only on creating as much energy as possible. When the breath filled his lungs completely, he released it, immediately feeling the earth and his surroundings shift. Like how the ground moves at the start of an earthquake and how the sky becomes powerful at the sound of thunder.

For those brief moments, Zidane felt only that. They were suspended between time and space; quiet; nonexistent; weightless. Gravity appeared again, perfectly cool air greeting him.

When his eyes opened, they weren't where they were supposed to be.

They were supposed to be in a town... Why were they in another forest?

He spun around, and the shock in his eyes was enough to cause alarm in Lance's.

"What?" Lance asked. "What's wrong?"

Calm down, Zidane thought, feeling the panic melt away. It's just a little calibration error. I'm sure we're still close by.

"I just thought we might have teleported wrong," he explained. "It should've brought us in front of a town, but maybe it's better we're further away."

Too much information. His gut twisted, but luckily Lance didn't ask what he meant.

"So this is the Razalek territory?"

Zidane followed Lance's stare, finding an odd sense of nostalgia at the sight of the plants and trees surrounding them. Most plants were wrapped around the trees or connected to them in some way, creating a harmony throughout the forest.

Zooka would like it here...

Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


Add Your Comments:

Facebook Comments

Other Content by Meaghan Kalena