The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 154

Maite turned back to the bay. The large ships sat quite, rocking almost peacefully, belying the threat they posed for the city and the inhabitants. Maite shook her head. She was sick of the death and destruction that seemed to follow her at every turn, that seemed to be at the heart of every bubble she had visited so far. Did the zatiak seek out these times of conflict or was it that humans were always at conflict and it didn’t matter where the zatiak went? 

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!

“Humans are always at conflict,” murmured Garuna in the back of her mind. “The only solution is forced compliance, for a superior being to guide the flock, to keep it in line.”

“And I assume you are that superior being?” asked Maite, rhetorically.

Not catching the irony, Garuna replied “Of course.”

“I assume the whole reason you wanted to come with me is to reestablish yourself, to find a way to resume power again. Is that not right?”

Garuna was silent for a moment. “You are too clever,” it eventually replied. “Yes, that is my goal.”

Maite nodded to herself. “And you think the zatiak are a path to that power?”

“I do not know what the zatiak are, but I do expect they can help me achieve my goals.”

Maite sighed. “And then what? Subjugation of humans? Making us do what you think is best?”

“Isn’t what I think is best better than what you have all been doing?”

Maite fell silent. She hated that Garuna might be right, that humans might be better off with an all powerful, but benevolent, dictator. The thought made her stomach churn, but how could she argue that humans had done a good job of things so far? Thinking of Kepa’s body laying in that street, she couldn’t.

“Kepa. That’s all that’s important,” she thought to herself. “Damn the rest.”

The fort stood in front of her. She could feel the pull of the zatia from within. She knelt down and placed her palms on the ground in front of her. Small bolts of electricity snaked from her fingertips and along the damp ground. As they reached the stone fort, they found any bits of metal to aid their journey as they fanned out and spead across the entire structure. They snaked their way better stones, up walls, across the ceiling, until they found the zatia. 

“There,” said Maite, standing up. “It’s in the center.”

She approached the door, two massive wooden structures hanging in front of her, keeping her from bringing Kepa back. She placed her palms on the doors and let out an electric discharge. She squealed as the electricity jumped back at her, almost knocking her over. 

She shook her head as she wiped her brow. “The wood is insulating,” she muttered to herself in disappointment. She looked down at her fingers. Blisters were starting to form on her fingertips. 

“Humans are always rash, never thinking ahead, never evaluating the situation,” rumbled Garuna.

“Isilik!” she barked out loud in a voice full of anger and frustration. “Shut up!”

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