Chapter 82: Shield

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

Reads: 420

Almost immediately after walking into the kitchen, Lance stopped.

He stared at Zidane, who was still slumped over the table, arm acting as a pillow for the side of his face. Lance waited, but Zidane had yet to breathe.

Maybe it's a Razalek thing, he thought, striding around the table.

He prodded Zidane's shoulder with a knuckle. "Hey... You dead yet?"

An incredibly slow breath moved Zidane's back. Lance's foot shifted away, his mind counting the exhale's seconds.

Seven... Eight... Nine...

At thirteen, the crossbreed became still once more. Lance waited, and at twenty, another inhalation started up again.

Lance dismissed the confusion, walking around Zidane and heading towards the fridge. After all, he hadn't seen a Razalek or Spiro ever sleep before.

"Good morning."

He straightened from his bent position, hand still holding the fridgerator door open as he looked to Yittek. He turned back to the fridge's contents, taking a small mug labeled with his name. "Morning."

The sound of Yittek's quiet steps stopped.

"Good. It appears he's receiving some sleep."

Lance closed the door, perching a brow. "He sleeps like that?"

Yittek shook his head. "No; he's connected with his clone. When he's connected, his body goes into a type of... lower state; the organs work at their minimum level—hence the slow breathing—and renders the body unconscious. So, yes, I suppose you could say that he is, indeed, asleep."

Lance nodded, thinking back. "He mentioned a clone before."

Yittek nodded, striding to the doorless cabinets behind Lance. He reached in, ripples echoing away from his arm, and spoke as he pulled out a container of food.

"Yes. I don't know of the details, but it appears Zidane has a clone so Zooka will not know he's gone."

That's nice of him. Lance blew on the tea, watching Zidane breathe again.

"So... He's where now?" Lance asked, though he already knew the answer.

"With Zooka, I'm sure," Yittek replied with a smile. "She's never too far from him, even with the training MOCT provides."

Lance nodded curtly, taking a sip of tea that was too hot. He swallowed it down, a memory coming to him. A reply he had given his mother, kitchen table separating them.

"No." This coffee's rancid.

He wondered what had changed; what was different about Lisa, now that he was gone. Did she still read the paper in the morning? Did she still wait up for someone she didn't remember?

I was such an idiot...


He looked up, stare moving to Yittek. A water bottle was in the Razalek's hand, extended out to him.

"When you're done with the tea," he said, "please drink this as quickly as possible."

Lance took the bottle, glancing to Zidane again. "You know if he found anything out?"

Yittek only turned, walking around the table as he flashed Lance a smile. "We'll have to see when he comes back to us, now, won't we?"

Lance just returned the smile and watched Yittek stop besides Zidane. The Razalek's hand extended, gently resting on the back of Zidane's head. A deep breath drifted from Yittek, and a moment later Zidane breathed in. Lance counted the seconds. Twenty.

"Deeper sleep?" he asked the Razalek.

Yittek nodded, placing his hands behind himself. Lance hesitated, eyes flicking to Zidane before he asked, "Isn't that a little... I dunno, a little dangerous?"

A soft chuckle came from Yittek. "Even Zidane's lungs can match up to a natural Razalek's. He's getting enough oxygen; there's no need to worry, Lance."

Lance nodded, looking down towards the floor as he sipped at the tea. Yittek suddenly spoke, voice much quieter than normal.

"If you'll excuse me for just one moment..."

He disappeared in a burst of fire, leaving Lance to murmur out into the open air.

"Yeah, sure..."

"Lance?" Yittek's voice.

Yeah, what's up? Lance returned, but only a short pause answered him.

"Nothing. I'm simply testing something."

Zidane drew in another breath, and out of habit, Lance counted the seconds. At ten, Yittek appeared again, a few steps outside of the kitchen. He walked forward, hand propping his chin and his other arm across his chest. A large map dropped out of the ceiling, cord bouncing as the chart was unraveled completely.

From behind the giant paper, Lance heard Yittek agree with something.

"Yes, this will work nicely..."

"What will?" Lance started towards him, one hand slipping into the pocket of his hoodie.

Yittek stepped forward, placing a dot in the center of the map's circle, and another dot not too far away from its west side.

"This first dot represents Yowlitch's castle," he said. "It is surrounded by a barrier that lasts as far as the circle goes. This barrier blocks out any teleportation, and I believe I felt my energy fade completely upon stepping into it."

"So, it disabled you?" Lance asked, looking to the Razalek.

Yittek nodded. "Yes, which is safe for Yowlitch, but not for us."

"So, what do we do then?"

A sharp intake of air suddenly sounded from Zidane. The crossbreed's eyes tightened in short twitches, body shifting until finally lifting himself up. Sky-blue eyes opened, their color darkening with each rapid blink.

Lance took another sip of tea. "Hey."

Zidane looked to him, and for a moment, Lance thought he saw the fatigue again. Zidane closed one eye, palm swirling against it as he spoke.

"Hey. What'd I miss?"

"Yowlitch has some kind of barrier that blocks out Razalek energy. Fun stuff."

Zidane's eyes darkened. "What? What'd you mean it 'blocks out energy'?"

"Upon stepping into his territory," Yittek began as Zidane stood and painfully stretched, "my energy was completely depleted. I could cast nothing unless I stepped back a certain distance."

"So what'do we do?" Lance asked.

Yittek sighed. "'We' is a relative term. I believe I'll stay here while you two make the trek." He looked to Lance. "I was able to connect with your mind while in Yowlitch's territory, but only if I used a rather large amount of energy, the reserve the floats along Razalek bloodstreams."

"So you need to be here in case we need to teleport," Zidane said.

Yittek nodded. "Precisely."

"When can we leave?"

That brought a smile to the Razalek's face. "As soon as we finish packing."

Zidane nodded, hands in his pockets as he strode past the two, motioning forward with his head. "C'mon," he told Lance. "You're going to like the room I'm going into."

A new room?

"What is it?" Lance replied, following after.

"You'll see."

Lance soured a little, finishing the tea and dropping the cup to the ground. It disappeared into the marble flooring, leaving him to pull the water bottle out of his pocket.

"Drink this." Yittek's words, spoken from memory. "It'll help."

It'll help, Lance repeated, taking the first swig. Hopefully.

Zidane walked into a room, Lance looking around as he followed inside. The walls, ceiling, floor were all covered in weapons, ripples pulsing away from their feet as they walked on the barrier.

"If Yittek's all about peace, why does he have a room full of weapons?"

Zidane returned his grin, looking up towards the top rows. "Documentation, mostly. Preserving history."

Lance nodded, beginning to pass by a section made completely out of guns. Zidane continued speaking.

"Some of them I bought, some of them we made..." At Lance's surprise, Zidane looked towards him, shrugging one shoulder. "What? MOCT pays pretty well."

"Enough for AK-47s and grenade launchers?"

"Yeah." A wide grin accompanied this response, and Lance could only grin for a moment in response.

"So which weapon you pickin' out?"

"This one." At the extension of one arm, a staff sped into his grip. Lance saw flute-like buttons running down one side.

"Cool. What's it do?"

Zidane bent down, picking up a narrow bag off the floor as it surfaced through the wood. "You'll see it when I use it, but, hopefully, I won't have to."

Lance caught the sight of a narrow opening near the top—some type of thin slot— before the staff was slipped into the bag and zipped up.


He turned around, seeing a duffel bag float up to him, Yittek standing at the doorway.

"Please take this. It's filled with useful items."

"Thanks." Lance grabbed the strap, hearing Zidane give a light sigh. He looked over to the crossbreed, seeing his head bowed.

When Zidane spoke, his voice was a breath.

"Think we're ready..."

Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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