The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 156

Musket balls exploded as they hit the electrical aura surrounding Maite, but she could feel each of the shots as they hit, like if she were wearing a bulletproof vest, she imagined. One exploded in front of her throat, causing her to gasp and momentarily lose her concentration. The next one hit her shoulder and she screamed out in pain. Her vision went fuzzy and started turning red. 

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!

“Garuna, can you take over?” she asked, barely conscious as she put all her strength into maintaining her aura. “I need a moment.”

“Yes,” replied the AI. Maite slumped as Garuna took over the zatiak’s power within Maite, overriding her pain and exhaustion to redouble the power of the electric shield surrounding her. She could feel her body drain even faster as Garuna tapped into her body’s resources, pulling every ounce of energy from her.

“Too much…” she mumbled. 

Garuna seemed to ignore her. The AI didn’t have control of her body, but it had full access to the power of the zatiak and it was seemingly relishing it. Maite sensed that the AI almost seemed happy. 

“What are you doing?” asked Maite. 

“This power…” began Garuna. “It is so… addicting. I’ve never felt this way.”

“You must stop!” barked Maite feebly. 

“No,” replied Garuna passionately, in a desperate tone that made Maite shiver. “I need more.”

“You are killing me. If I die, you die.”

There was a slight hesitation before Garuna stopped, returning control back to Maite. 

“If you ever do that again,” she began. But she knew the threat was hollow. How could she stop the AI if it really wanted to take control again? She wasn’t sure she could even if she knew how.

In her mind, the AI remained silent.

Maite turned back toward the soldiers that separated her from her goal. Blood flowed down her arm, which dangled uselessly at her side. Her eyes, however, sparkled and flashed like the most brilliant lightning storm.

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