“Zer?!?” exclaimed Maite. “De Lancre is here too?”
Marina, or at least the woman whom Marina was possessing, nodded her head. “Bai. And he’s been here a while. He’s somehow worked himself up in the government. He’s an advisor to the lehendakari.”
“The Lehendakari?” asked Kepa. “We still have our own president?”
Marina nodded again. “Yes, though it’s a bit more complicated than that. I’ll fill you in later but, first, we need to get you out of here.”
“What’s the rush?” asked Maite.
“I assume you saw all of the video screens and cameras out there?” responded Marina. “I’m sure de Lancre is watching and he’ll be sending his thugs after you.”
“How would he know it is us?” asked Kepa as he looked down at his near-naked form, blushing again. “My own mother wouldn’t know it was us.”
Marina shook her head. “I’m not sure. But, he always seems to be one step ahead of me in this time.”
“Hold on a minute,” said Maite as Marina was about to open the door. “How did you find us so fast?”
Marina smiled. “I knew I would like you,” she said. “You are always thinking, always questioning.” She paused a moment. “The zatiak. The ones you already absorbed? They act as a beacon for me.”
“And you just happened to be right here when we arrived?” questioned Maite.
“Well, no,” admitted Marina. “But, in this future, the number of descendants of my blood line are quite extensive. Even a drop of blood lets me inhabit them and this one happened to be here, near where the beacon, and you, popped up.”
“Won’t de Lancre be able to find us the same way?” asked Kepa.
Marina shook her head. “Ez. This is a special connection between you and me, because of those first zatiak I gave you. If he were able to find me in the same way, I’d be able to sense him too. And a number of our encounters would have turned out completely differently.”
Marina opened the door, just a crack. “Arraioa! Damn it! They are already here.”
Kepa peaked out the door as Marina stepped back. He could see several black spheres hovering over the crowd, moving randomly back and forth, pinpricks of laser light shooting from every angle of their surface, touching every person in the large hallway.
“What are they doing?” asked Kepa.
“Scanning the room, looking for anomalies,” replied Marina.
“Wait a minute,” interjected Maite. “How are we anomalies? When we arrive in these bubbles, we take on a local identity, right? We effectively belong in this time. They won’t know the difference.”
Marina sighed. “But, he knows you are here. Somehow he knows. I don’t know how, but he always knows.”
“However he knows,” interrupted Kepa, “those balls are coming this way.”
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