The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 96

Maite and Kepa approached one of the flying egg things. As they got closer, it grew, seemingly sensing that there were two of them.

“Everything here seems to have its own brain,” said Kepa. “Everything seems almost alive.”

Maite nodded. “I guess, if they’ve perfected artificial intelligence, everything might.”

The Adventures of Maite and Kepa 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!

“At least the robots haven’t taken over!” exclaimed Kepa.

“Not yet, anyways,” replied Maite.

Like they had seen others do before them, they walked through the shell of the egg. It dissolved around them, as if they were walking through nothing, and reformed when they were inside. 

“Now what?” asked Maite, looking around for some kind of controls. The inside was completely featureless. “There’s nowhere to put it.”

“Maybe just hold it out?” ventured Kepa, though he felt silly for saying it.

Maite shrugged. “Why not? Zergatik ez?”

She held the dodecahedron in her outstretched palm. It immediately lit up, its edges glowing. Beams of light shown out of each face, reaching out in twelve directions until they hit the surface of the egg. Immediately the egg took off into the sky. 

Maite had expected a sudden jolt, like a fast elevator, but somehow the launch was smooth and she barely noticed. The shell of the egg was opaque such that she really couldn’t see what was outside beyond vague shapes and shadows, which shifted subtly as they moved. Otherwise, she couldn’t even tell they were moving. There was no noise, no sense of her stomach dropping like she normally felt in elevators. If it weren’t for the shadows on the wall, she wouldn’t have known they were moving at all.

Moments later, the shadows stopped moving and the egg dissolved around them. They were standing in what seemed to be a smaller plaza, almost the size of an intersection between streets back in their time, except there were no cars. Maite looked around. Not only were there no cars, but there seemed to be no doors to the buildings that surrounded them. What she could only guess might have been streets at some time extended in various directions from the plaza, but they were covered in gardens rather than asphalt. Brightly colored flowers and plants that she had never seen before decorated the ground. Walkways snaked through the center of the gardens, immaculately maintained to the point that Maite wondered if they were actually ever used.

Maite was still soaking in the strange sights around her when her reverie was violently interrupted by the piercing sound of sirens. Panicked, she looked around until she noticed Kepa staring at the sky. Above them were two spheres, identical to the ones they had seen in the airport, laser beams scanning back and forth over their bodies. And, just behind the spheres, standing on some kind of floating platform that seemed almost like a flying surfboard, she could see a woman. The woman was dressed very plainly in a dark uniform that oozed authority, its blunt and simple lines a stark contrast to the flamboyant costumes they had seen earlier at the airport. 

“Gelditu!” barked the woman as she pointed what Maite could only guess was a weapon of some sort at them. “Stop!”

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