“Bai,” replied Ainhoa. “Zer nahi duzue?”
Maite looked at Kepa with uncertain eyes before returning her gaze to Ainhoa. “Ummm,” she began. “Actually, I was hoping to talk to Marina.”
“Nor?” asked Ainhoa when suddenly her eyes flashed, changing from Ainhoa’s dark brown to the green they recognized from their earlier encounter with Marina.
“Marina?” asked Kepa.
“Bai,” replied Marina with a smile. “I guess the zatiak I gave you also let you call me to you. Provided, of course, there is a vessel nearby.”
“Is that all Ainhoa is to you, your vessel?” asked Maite. “That’s a bit cold, isn’t it?”
Buber’s Basque Story is a weekly serial. While it is a work of fiction, it has elements from both my own experiences and stories I’ve heard from various people. The characters, while in some cases inspired by real people, aren’t directly modeled on anyone in particular. I expect there will be inconsistencies and factual errors. I don’t know where it is going, and I’ll probably forget where it’s been. Why am I doing this? To give me an excuse and a deadline for some creative writing and because I thought people might enjoy it. Gozatu!
Marina shrugged. “I know she is more than that. When I possess her, I know everything about her — her hopes and dreams, her lusts and passions, her fears and anxieties. I know her through and through. But, what else should I call her? Call all of the kinswomen that I possess?”
“I guess vessel — ontzi — is as good as anything,” replied Maite. “Anyways, what happens next? How do we know when to help you, where to go?”
Marina paused for a moment, a look of concentration on her face. “To be honest, I’m not quite sure. It’s not like I’ve given the zatiak to anyone before. I’m not quite sure what to expect. But, I suspect the zatiak will be the key, they will guide you and transport you where you need to go.”
“Seriously?” asked Maite, clearly frustrated. “You ask us to help, but you don’t have any clue how this will happen?”
“Begira,” replied Marina. “Look, I don’t know half of what is going on, I’m learning as I go. It isn’t like I created the zatiak, at least not on purpose, and I don’t know exactly what giving them to you means. I just know it was the right thing to do.” She took Maite’s hand. “I’m just doing the best I can. I need you to trust me and to help me figure this all out. Otherwise de Lancre…”
“Yeah, I know, badakit. De Lancre will control all of the magic and rule the world.” She sighed. “I just wish we had more to go on.”
“I do too,” replied Marina. “I really wish I could tell you more. But, I simply don’t know. For now, go on your trip, do your interview. When the time is right, I think the zatiak will show you the way.”
Maite looked at Kepa, who shrugged. “What else can we do? We can’t just sit here, waiting for something to happen.”
“Fine,” said Maite, resignation clear in her voice. “I just hope I don’t end up regretting this.”
Marina smiled. “Oh, I expect you will, at least a few times. But, I also think you will find this journey fascinating.”