The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 170

Maite was silent on the way home, as she sat in the passenger seat, flipping deliberately through the journal. Kepa assumed she was mentally scanning the pages for Garuna to analyze. He wondered if they were talking to each other, right now. Did they ever talk about him? What did Garuna think about him? Could the AI even think for itself?

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!

Kepa shook his head to clear his thoughts. “Am I jealous of a computer?” he thought to himself. 

Maite looked up, distracted by Kepa’s head shaking. “Everything alright?” she asked.

“Bai, bai,” he replied. “Just a little tired is all.”

“Maybe we should stop and get something to eat.”

“We aren’t so far from home…” Kepa began.

“Ez. But we might as well try something new while we are out here, no?”

Kepa smiled. He loved how Maite always pushed him into new adventures. “Sounds good,” he said.

They stopped at the next town, a small village that, honestly, Kepa had never heard of before. They found the central plaza and a pub that sat opposite the church. As they sat down, an elderly woman rushed over, pen and paper in hand. Before they had settled into their chairs, she had rattled off the menu of the day and stood there waiting to take their order.

“Marmitako for me,” said Kepa.

“And I’ll take the rabo,” added Maite.

The woman nodded before rushing back into the bar.

“So,” said Kepa once they were alone again, “have you and Garuna made any sense of the journal yet?”

Maite shook her head. “Ez. It needs more data – more pages – and more time to discover a pattern. It is particularly hard because we don’t have any kind of cypher or key that says what any of the symbols mean in Euskara.”

“Can I see it?”

Maite refrained from rolling her eyes as she passed the journal to Kepa. She wasn’t sure what he would be able to see that she and Garuna hadn’t.

Kepa randomly flipped through the pages. “You know,” he began and then paused as he stared at one of the pages.

“Bai?” replied Maite after waiting a few minutes. “What do I know?”

Kepa looked up and shook his head again. “Sorry, I got lost in these symbols. They look familiar.”

“Zer?” exclaimed Maite, loud enough to draw the attention of the other patrons. “You’ve seen them before?”

“So have you,” he said. “They are part of Ainhoa’s tattoos.”

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