Chapter 63: Missing Pieces

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

Reads: 400


Lance sat down, feeling the bed below him instantly mold to his form. Whatever this mattress was, it was incredibly soft. Fatigue set in, and whether the drain was more physical or emotional, he couldn't tell. A yawn stretched his mouth, a large breath silently moving out of him as he looked to one wall of the room Adelah had directed him into. Quite a bit of decoration.

A statue had been engraved using the material of the wall, almost looking like a small statue of... Something. He couldn't quite tell what it was, but it mostly resembled a koala. The animal was on all fours, back arched, body frozen in movement like it had just finished a perfect slide. Its eyes were like a snake's, thin and dangerous, and its mouth was open wide, displaying sharp teeth with even longer, sharper fangs. Something that could've been either drool or venom was separating from its teeth.

Multiple thoughts came to Lance's mind as he looked down, shaking his head slightly. This place is ridiculous was one of them, but he made a note to ask Zidane about the origin of the animal and its resemblances to the ones humans were familiar with.

The fatigue transitioned into a depression, memories of the last ten minutes or so speeding through his head. After everything that had happened to the poor guy... he could only hope Zidane was doing okay.

Lance looked up, seeing Adelah standing at the doorway. His room was perfectly lit, thanks to a small, triangular light glowing at the center of the ceiling. This light also illuminated the hall enough to see Adelah and not much else. But he saw her standing there, looking down the hallway, worried.

He didn't blame her, and on the thought about how to let her in, Lance saw the set angular ripples appear at the doorway. Adelah looked at them as well, and both watched the markings fade away, allowing her to step through. Lance hardly noticed the pattern change, becoming something circular as Adelah stopped a few steps into the room. She gave a light smile, the worry creasing her face lightening.

"I'm sorry. I don't mean to interrupt. I know you're probably very tired." Her eye contact broke, glancing to floor. "I was hoping to ask you some things, if it's alright."

"Yeah, sure." Lance offered his hand out in light gesture, and as Adelah walked further into the room, a chair materialized.

She sat down, ends of her clothes gently floating upwards. "Thank you." She was still nervous. Worried. Her face had barely relaxed since she had appeared.

Adelah looked up, bringing Lance's eye to her. "How do you really know... him?"


Inspiration came to Adelah and she nodded. "Yes. That's the name he's going by?"

"Uh, yeah." Lance allowed his hand to fall away from the back of his neck, looking down at his legs crossed together on the mattress. He didn't feel like telling her the story, and part of him wondered how much she really knew about the twelve or so years separating Kyrene's death and tonight.

Either way, he wasn't about to breach any privacy. He cleared his throat, looking away. "Yeah, that's what he's going by."

He saw Adelah nod softly, almost agreeing with the name.

"It's an interesting choice," she said, and Lance could feel the desire to know more burning off her.

He ran a thumb, pushing it off the side of his lower lip. "You'd probably have to talk to him if you wanna know more."

Adelah watched his hand, studying every movement he was making. She met his eyes. "Yes, of course. I will. If he's open to speaking with me, of course."

Lance nodded quietly, mentally tracing the path to the other side of the house. Trying to speed towards whatever room Zidane was in. No one deserved the aftereffects of tonight. Especially not someone like him.

"Is that all you wanted to know?" he asked, looking to her.

"No," Adelah responded. Her stare was on her hands, fingers threaded together on her lap. "I—"

"Oh, right!" Lance's palm was stretching the side of his eye. He needed to wake up. "Right, you wanted to know how we met." He grinned, the expression a little forced. "Sorry; didn't mean to interrupt. It's been a long day."

Adelah gave him a small smile, the expression also more than a little strained. "It's perfectly fine." She continued on, making the question easier for him to answer: "You're human?"

Shock prevented him from answering for the first few moments. He gathered his thoughts and gave a nod. "Yeah, uh, well mostly."

The tail Zidane had made for him was gone, and part of him wished he could just refer to the fake limb, joking that hopefully it wouldn't be the end result, but—hey!—he was slowly getting there.

"Part Spiro." He forced the words out, the statement leaving a hole in his throat. He watched Adelah's eyes widen, and seconds later, her head shook.

"How? How did you—"

"I don't know." An image flashed into his mind, a face he had been warned of, a face he had seen while staying at a hospital. "I could tell you some details, but mostly I don't know how it happened, or why."

"So... Zidane is...?"

"He's helping me. Figure out a way to get me normal again." He glanced up, waving a hand to correct himself. "Normal as in human, I mean." Adelah briefly smiled in response and he continued on, remembering how he'd almost drowned. "I'd probably be dead by now if it wasn't for him."

Adelah didn't respond. She was nodding softly, deeply concentrated as she looked down at the floor beside her. She was trying to figure all this out, connect what pieces Lance was giving her in hopes of forming the bigger picture.

Good luck.

Slowly, her stare moved back to him. "So... That's why you're wanting to meet with Yittek?"

"Yeah, Zidane says he's probably the best bet we have."

"I understand," Adelah said quietly, once again staring downwards. "So that's all then?" She looked to him. "He's simply helping you out?"

Lance dug a nail into the pad of his thumb, careful not to let the irritation show on his face or get angry enough for her to sense. This was a conversation she should probably be having with the person in question, not him.

Despite the hint of emotion, Adelah picked up on it. She stood up, chair sinking back into the floor.

"I'm sorry. You're right, I should be talking with him instead. I just... Figured that maybe you'd be more open to speaking with me."

Lance's mood dampened. She was just trying to help. Probably the least she could do after all that'd happened.

"No, it's alright," he replied. "You're just trying to help. I can understand that. I..." The words hung onto his mouth, his mind trying to dig up more. Remember the blank spots in his memory, like how Zidane had gotten to him. "Just wish I could tell you more, but there's things that've happened and I don't know how they did." A laugh came from him, dark and quiet. "I don't even know why I was injected in the first place."

Adelah was searching the floor, and this time she wasn't trying to figure out Zidane's part in this. She wasn't as concentrated, as concerned as before. But then, she spoke.

"I... Feel like it may have been something to do with working from the inside out," she said, looking up to meet his eyes. "You mentioned being 'injected'. Do you remember who did this to you? Spiro or Razalek?"

"Razalek." That face with yellow eyes and blue hair, that wide grin, all of it sent chills down Lance's back. He shook them off. "I'd never seen him before."

Adelah nodded, once then twice. "That makes sense." She looked around the room, searching for something. "How can I explain this to you? No, that wouldn't be something you'd understand..." Eventually, she turned back, letting out a quiet sigh. "My main point is it's possible that the Razalek who injected you was trying to... Make a weapon, in some cases. When you take something apart, when you work backwards and look at what makes something act the way it does, you can use what you've learned. You can attach that knowledge to destroying that thing, if you'd like."

"You're talking about the war, right?" Lance asked. "So he was trying to make me a weapon against Spiros?"

"It's entirely against our treaty, the one applied to both sides," Adelah said. "Even speaking about this is a viable offense, though as long as word doesn't get around, I suppose everything will be okay." She looked to Lance, seeming concerned again. "I'm only speculating, but if I had to put a reason as to why you are the way you are, then yes, that would be my answer. I hope this helped—" A silence came, and Lance quickly filled it in with his name. His real one.

"—La-ance." Adelah repeated, seeming strained at the new sounds. "Where does your name come from?"

Lance hesitated, confused at the question. He tried to answer it. "It probably goes way back. It's not something recent."

Adelah seemed pleased with this. A smile came to her face. "An ancient name. Humans are rather fond of culture, aren't they?"

"Only what they get to pick and choose."

For the first time, he heard Adelah laugh. Her hand covered her mouth, keeping the laugh inside. Her eyes opened, smiling at him. "I won't keep you awake any longer, La-ance. I've overstayed my welcome as it is. Thank you for this talk."

Lance nodded. "Yeah, you're welcome. Thanks for the help."

She smiled, nodding back to him, and as she left the room, Lance began thinking. He knew a lot, enough for his perception of the world to be completely flipped. But as much as he did know, as many pieces of the puzzle that he did have, there were some very vital parts missing; chunks of the main picture gone. How had Zidane gotten to him? How had he known about the cells in Lance from the beginning?

The questions just kept coming.

Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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