The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 102

“What have we done?” moaned Kepa. “We need to go back and get Maite.”

Marina was half pulling, half dragging him through yet another dark tunnel. Kepa didn’t know where the others were, if Marina had simply abandoned them too. All he knew is that his stomach was revolting against him with the thought of Maite lying on the cold stone floor.

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!

“And what?” asked Marina in a biting voice. “Get caught ourselves? How would we be able to help anyone if we get caught too?”

Kepa pulled his arm free of Marina’s grip. “When did you get so cold? The Marina we met seemed much more… compassionate.”

Marina sighed, her shoulders slumping as she did. Kepa saw her face soften in the flickering light of the drone that floated above them, guiding them through the tunnels. “I’ve been doing this a long time. Fighting de Lancre, looking for the zatiak. Living through these… what did Maite call them? Bubbles? And when they pop, everything is undone. It’s hard to see the people or the things that happen in these bubbles as real.”

“They are real to us,” said Kepa, rubbing his chest where Donny McCowen’s bullet had pierced his heart. “Just look at you. You’ve changed. You’ve let them change you. Even if the people in the bubbles don’t remember what happened, you do.”

“Egia da. That’s true. And I’ve lived through so many of these. How many have you lived through?”

“This is our third bubble.”

“Three?” Marina laughed. “I can’t even remember my third. That was so long ago.”

“How many have you done?”

Marina’s eyes wandered absently for a moment. “At least one hundred, I think.” She shrugged. “I’ve lost count.”

“A hundred?” exclaimed Kepa. “How many zatiak are out there?”

“Too many. I feel like I’ll never finish.”

“I can understand how you can become jaded, doing this over and over, watching friends and family die, only to do it all over again. It has to wear you down.”

Marina nodded. “Bai. But, you are right. It is no excuse for becoming so cold. If I lose my humanity chasing these zatiak, it isn’t worth it.” She turned to Kepa, the weak smile on her face betrayed by the sadness in her eyes. “It’s good to have your… optimistic perspective.”

“You can say it. I’m naive. Maite often says so.”

“Optimistic, naive, idealistic. Whatever you call it, don’t lose it. It will keep both you and Maite sane during this ordeal. Now, let’s get to the safe house and figure out how we will rescue her.”

If you get this post via email, the return-to address goes no where, so please write if you want to get in touch with me.

What do you think? Leave a Reply!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.