“We just got home!” exclaimed Maite as she reluctantly followed Kepa to the white light.
“But,” pleaded Kepa, “it’s here. We can’t ignore it.”
Maite looked away, avoiding Kepa’s eyes.
“There was one, back in California, while you were asleep in the car…” she began.
“Zer?” exclaimed Kepa. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Maite turned back to Kepa, her face red. “You’d just gotten shot and we’d finally escaped that sheep herder hell!” replied Maite, more angrily than she intended. “We weren’t ready… I wasn’t ready to go through another one, not yet.”
Kepa’s shoulders slumped as he nodded. “Ulertzen dut. I understand.” He looked up at Maite. “How are we going to keep doing this? There might be thousands of these damn things floating around the world. We will kill ourselves if we try to chase them all.”
Maite shook her head. “I don’t know. We can’t do them all, not alone. I hope Marina is doing her part, chasing these things down. And maybe she’s recruited others to help. Maybe we’re not the only ones jumping through time, chasing these zatiak?”
Kepa’s eyes opened wide. “Do you think there are others like us?”
Maite shrugged. “Why not? Why would we be so special? For all we know, she has a whole army, chasing these things through time for her.”
“And…” began Kepa, as his mind raced. “And, do you think de Lancre is also recruiting his own…”
“Minions?” interjected Maite. “I hadn’t thought of that.” She shook her head. “I don’t think so. He doesn’t seem to be one to share power.”
“Why would Marina share?” asked Kepa. “Can’t she take on de Lancre more easily if she has more of the power herself?”
“That’s a good question,” replied Maite. “Maybe she just wants to keep him as weak as possible, and needs us to help her by eliminating zatiak from the time stream. But, we don’t know. Maybe there is something else.”
“I don’t know,” shrugged Maite, throwing up her hands. “But, maybe, she has a way of sucking them out of us when we collect enough. Maybe we are just temporary vessels, storing the zatia we find until she can claim them.”
Kepa shivered. “I don’t like feeling like a pawn.”
Maite nodded. “Neither do I. But we don’t have much choice right now. If we don’t help Marina, de Lancre might become too powerful for her to stop.”
Kepa sighed. He looked at the white light floating in front of them. He looked at Maite. “Are you ready?”
Maite nodded, her shoulders slumping slightly. “Bai. Egin dezagun hau. Let’s do this.”
Kepa, grabbing Maite’s hand, reached out and touched the white light. The light grew and grew, filling their vision, blinding them, until it flashed briefly and all went dark.
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