“The British? The Portuguese?” exclaimed Kepa. “What the hell is going on?”
Maite heard what almost sounded like a sigh in the back of her head. “Do they teach you nothing at school?” mused Garuna almost dryly. “In 1813, the British and Portuguese besieged the city to expel the French occupiers.”
“Dammit!” cried Maite. “What are we supposed to do in the middle of a war zone?”
“Begira!” exclaimed Kepa. “Look!”
Maite looked to where Kepa was pointing. A few smaller boats were leaving the larger ships and rowing to the island. Kepa couldn’t see for sure, but he imagined each was filled with soldiers.
“They’re coming this way!” he cried.
“We can’t fight them,” said Maite. “We need to get off of the island.”
Kepa nodded as he grabbed Maite’s hand and dashed down the hill. The path they had taken up was gone, lost to time. Instead the way was covered with dense foliage. Kepa pushed branches aside, breaking them when he could to clear the way. He stumbled more than once on rocks that littered the ground.
“Ow!” He heard Maite cry out. Turning back, he saw her on the ground. His eyes widened when he saw blood staining the white sleeve of her dress.
“A branch ripped up my arm,” she said, teeth gritted, as Kepa helped her up.
“We’re almost there,” replied Kepa. “Just a little further.”
Maite nodded as they continued their dash down the side of the island. They heard gunshots in the distance.
“They must have reached the island,” panted Maite.
A moment later they burst through the tree line. In front of them was the water. A small dock with a small boat lay invitingly in front of them. It was only then that Kepa noticed the French soldiers standing guard.
He quickly pulled Maite back into the trees. He counted three soldiers between them and the boat.
“What now?” he asked.
Maite looked down at her hands. They began to glow from the inside, such that she could see the veins and bones in her hand. She looked up at Kepa. “We have the power of the zatia.”
Kepa nodded. “I’ve only used it to blind people. I don’t know what else we can do.”
“We’ll figure it out. We don’t have any choice. Let me go first. They are less likely to shoot a woman.”
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