Tale of Souls Chapter Eight
“Did you tell my toy I said hi, and make sure my kid was ok?” Ryan laughed, he was in pain and you could tell that we’ve all been trained to be walkers at some point – that we’ve all walked into this by force. We were all doing something else when we were forced in here, though I don’t know if he’s the same Ryan I just saw a few days ago – but he’s a version of him for sure.
“What’s the last thing you can remember besides here?” I needed to know what I was up against and being that things are changing more and more – I needed to know sooner than later.
“I don’t know, give me a minute I just got shunted here about ten minutes ago. I haven’t really walked much in years since before Aura, and my mind isn’t as solid as it used to be then.” Ryan winced a bit and you could almost hear the gears grinding in his head. He acts like he’s the oldest, and he tries to BE the oldest. Considering we were born as the same person, and we were assigned female at birth – there’s no logical way any single one of us is the elder.
Seconds later the golden eyed one with the notebook quietly came out. His left eye turned blue and he chucked the notebook at my feet. His mouth was needle threaded shut, which was something I’d never seen before.
“He wants you to read it, he’s not from our time and he’s not the same Mike either.”
“Hold up there’s more than one Mike? Has the world collapsed? “
I grinned and grabbed the notebook and gave a thumbs up. I turned to the first page and noticed it was all in japanese. I looked up and watched the kid shapeshift, he was still blind but he laughed and was able to open his mouth now.
“Baka.” A quite hefty cheeky laugh came out of him, which means this Saitou wasn’t nearly as heavy into the Trauma that plagued him. “ Uso tsukuna, komakai koto wo urusaku iwanaide yo.”
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN DON’T BORE YOU WITH THE DETAILS, shit you know i can’t read this and it’s only been in the last decade I could ACTUALLY understand you.”
“From my other counterpart in your time? It’s been since you had sex, which counts about six years. And it’s only the dialect of japanese we picked up on earth, you still can’t figure out Warai’s dialect.” Saitou laughed again and motioned for me to swap pages, his accent was thick and he was just as bouncy as Yasuo usually is.
I turned the pages of the notebook to find it all translated by this version of Mike, and realized it was instructions. I’m amazed at the impeccable handwriting, not because of visual impairment, but because my husband’s gotten fucking lazy over the years. His kana writing looks like scribbles from a doctor, whereas Sai looks like he took enough care to think about it. The instructions were pretty detailed. It was a detailed play by play and half of it started to roll into a different set of scribbles that took me a second to decipher.
“Nyeh. It hasn’t just been us this time around, the shunting changes every rotation and before you got here we’d almost finished writing it all down and then had to change hands with the other Mike. Baka can’t write because he’s lazier than ever because of your Sai.” Saitou stood with his hand waving up and down at me in minor disgust.
Why is it that the laziness is all my husband’s fault – he should know by now – the LAZY DIALED up when Mike saved him. His signature on our marriage certificate? A STAMP, because they couldn’t get him to write his name out even in kana without it looking like morse code. Mike saved him long before we got married so I was sort of stuck with mike-days in and out of the course of our marriage.
“Am I meant to read these all now or try and save the pages for later?”
“BAKAYARO!!” Saitou yelled, and walked over to me and grabbed the notebook and whapped me over the head with it. “You read it now, nobody is going to kill you. Time is fucked, and obviously you are too fucked to get it.”
“Can you stop with the insults for five minutes?”
“No, because your time has my kitty. My time has YOUR kitty, and I’m not talking about Rana.”
“So our time HAS a Kristoff, and the future has one and yours has one. And I’m assuming you’re the Spanish inquisition?”
“Do not assume my elder-berry gender.” Ryan laid down on the floor and motioned for the char broiled kid to come out of his room. “Skye, it’s safe – we’ve got it under control. I think Strode’s shitting his pants and Kam’s annoyed but we’re not allowed to kill anyone anyways.”
“You’re fucking lucky WHICH ONE OF ME came out of this shunting – because you know how much i hate it when you guys call me that. Also, our Mike says you suck and you’re never getting sex again if you – wait wait.. Did he just… did he troll me on my way out?” Kaji walked out of his room and burned off the long hair to reveal his blonde hair I saw in the future. “Fuck, that bastard he left me a note trolling me!”
“HAHAH. That wasn’t your half that trolled you.” I snorted, “ That was mine, you know how much Mike likes to roll you when it’s his Sai-day? Wait til my Sai’s on a MIKE day, then you’re dead in the water from both ends”
“What do we do about the kid? The rail in there isn’t from any other time specifically that I can tell.” Ryan pointed to Rana’s cell. That sentence concerned me in the instance that if it’s time fluctuating then we’ve got a lot more work to fix things.
“Well you can’t blame me this time, I only fucked up once – and I’m not doing it again.” Inuko walked straight out of her cell and tapped her foot lightly at Ryan’s arms. “I’m not from your time, as I am aware Inuko of your time is either gone or missing – and the other part is Rana.”
“I’m so confused, how many of us are from what time now?” Ryan raised an eyebrow and poked Inuko in the ankle. “Geesh, you carry water harder than our Lily did that one time.”
“I said you can’t blame me this time, I didn’t say they weren’t forcing me to continue the process as my penance. I tried to keep up in my time, I tried to do the right thing. That’s my time’s Rana, and he’s a clone rather than a split. He’s got almost no human DNA in him, and he’s not fully Arashi either.” Inuko sighed and peeked into Rana’s cell for a moment, “Daijoubu?”
“Go away bitch.”
“HEY FUCKER LOOK i haven’t had much of a choice in the matter you’ll DIE if i don’t finish the process, you’re only about six months old human time – and I had the privilege of fucking CARRYING YOU as part of my penance. They made you in our image and fucking ruined your soul in the process. If there was wa-” Inuko stopped, as Rana shoved a sharp object into her side and growled.
“So I die, you could have afforded me the privilege.”
“I’m not meant to LET YOU DIE and it’s nothing to do with the Makara rules, it’s because if i let you DIE FROM MY TIME – I die, everyone else dies. You’ve been coded into time for some reason like this and there’s nothing i can fucking do about it. I GET YOU have my memories and I get you have everything that makes you like the other Rana – and I treat you as much as I can like you’re that Rana – but I can’t let you die, not like this.” Inuko noticed this wasn’t a very deep wound, of course I was sitting there panicking thinking Rana had killed her. Things were getting crazy as I read through the damn instructions.
“Privilege when I didn’t have the choice in the first place to exist.”
“You know you sound just like our Rana when he’s depressed. Then he looks at Matt and Luke and grins ear to ear and shuts up for another week. Nobody said you had to like what’s going on with you, nobody said you had to LIKE that you were created and then implanted into her – you just gotta roll with it and make the future yours at this stage. Sounds stupid and abelist to a point I know but experience here, none of us felt any better than you BEFORE we changed our humanity.” Ryan waved while still laying on his back, and motioned for Rana to calm down a bit.
The instructions were clearer than day by the time I got to the third page. Deciphering my husband’s scribbles was the hardest part of it. One paragraph’s neater than a font typed to a piece of paper and the next looks like morse code and the writer isn’t even drunk. They read out simple instructions of what was going on recently and what the true nature of everything going on was – and how to at least attempt to put a wrench in it before help was to arrive.
“SO we’re not even at the wrench stage.”
“Baka, you ARE THE WRENCH.” Saitou hung his head and sat next to Kaji on the floor near Ryan. “You are the wrench, and while we’re not technically the truth help – we’re help part one – well ok fine we’re the extra wrenches.”
“I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be walking into this time, I try not to get stuck because I still have to figure out what’s going on.” Ryan sat up and looked at Saitou for a moment, “You owe me for stabbing my leg with your arm blades you dick.”
“You’re lucky I didn’t stab you with my dick.” Saitou quipped and stuck a finger up Ryan’s left nostril, “You’re just as dumb as your brother.”
“Rye, when you get back – check up on Aura. Something tells me something’s up with her.”
That was the last of the instructions, the final nail in the coffin per se – was the instructions of what’s going on in the future. If someone doesn’t get that on any of the timelines, then we are screwed.
“Why?” Ryan blinked, batting Saitou’s hand away from his face. “Who’s fucking with my baby girl and more importantley where’s Yasuo?”
“You know how now we’re not human we’re gonna live a fuckload longer? Your daughter outlives you and goes nuts in the future. She’s on the Makara’s side and god I know that Kam can hear me but i don’t fucking give a shit anymore. I’m spewing out what I can remember and that’s that – the batshit version ported her ass into Yasuo’s body in our time, and she’s coming after her younger self. She’s from our time, and she’s taken Yasha prisoner – evidently Yasha’s from the original timeline the future I went to was from – and she’s kinda going after all versions of her self to indoctrinate herself into the Makara fold like Yasuo’s mother once was in.” I had to take a deep breath after that, no stopping because I didn’t want to lose my train of thought. “I told you and Rana about the portal right?”
“Yea, you did – though it took me a minute, you’re lucky it was me from that moment or that? Yea you know that got shun – Whatever” Ryan laughed a little, his mind was a little scattered. I Think he was on his way back and the ryan from this instance was about ready to come stab me in the shin, dick or nose. “I’ll see you at home hopefully soon, Sai said don’t forget the easter chocolate for Psilas 1.0 and 2.0.”
“Fuck I forgot Psilas was already born by the time I was back in our normal time, and that his older self was visiting and babysitting himself.”
Ryan’s demeanor shifted from calm and playful to nervous and unaware. Meaning our Rye was able to control leaving easier than I usually can.
“What’s going on, where am I?” Ryan furiously shook his head, he took the head band off and let his hair fall in front of his face. “Can anyone tell me what’s going on?”
“Yea Mate, you haven’t murdered my good looks yet.” The silver fox was in his cell the whole time not interacting with us. I felt bad I didn’t connect yet, but I was busy with the instructions. “Don’t mind me ya pricks, I’m just glad I got a few minutes back as myself before this shit all goes haywire.”
“I forgot your name, and I should know it because Ryan used to make me REMEMBER it every time.”
“Nah, I used to make you remember – I had more control in those days until I just started back seating and fading away. By the time he had Aura with Yasuo i’m pretty much a distant memory”
“Are you sure that’s ‘I’m still not at peace’ rather than trying to be nice about it?”
“Fuck, ya got me there. Noah, Noah Alepou.” Noah sighed and walked out of his cell, he looked more peaceful than I remember when I saw him the first time when I was younger. “I’m at peace enough to know that in the future it’s not the kids’ fault what happened to me. Before he got with Yasuo I made sure he snuck off to visit Queensland just once.”
“Thank you, my brain’s a mess trying to remember everything. I’m interested to know why you’re not fused yet.” I wasn’t lying, it was a weird thing to see him just sitting there at as much peace as you can be when you’re forced out of your natural habitat and ready to pay a penance to the government and lose your life.
“S’ok. Because in the original trials you weren’t here at this stage, or at least not at this earlier stage. I hadn’t fused with him properly until later, I won against him a couple times when they first threw him in the lion’s den and here I am. I’m about three fights past that stage, and a day or two before they soup the poor kid up with a few more toys and have him fuse with me as a final boss move.” Noah sighed and sat near Ryan on the floor, “he’s a good kid – but his programming’s a bitch man.”
“You’re a bitch.”
“Rye, you just called Noah a bitch, why?” Kaji piped back up, and raised his eyebrow, he sat there holding controlled fireballs in his hands.
“Because I didn’t want to fuse with Noah, we got along REALLY well and he was secretly teaching me how to avoid this place and how to fight it. Then my programming kicked in and I had absolutely no choice but that.” Ryan untangled his hair in front of me by hand and began to flip it section by section behind him and grabbed three hair ties out of his pocket and handed them to Noah.
“I help him braid his hair cause he’s like a lil’ brother to me that I never had, and now that I get a second chance I’m trying harder to keep him from danger.”
“You do realize sadly if you don’t let him do the ‘deed’ you’re uh – messing with time.”
“No, I mean UNTIL THAT STAGE, i’m not that stupid – I’m instilling enough in him to control my stupidity later. The danger isn’t me in general, it’s my triggers and it’s my innate need to have a damn beer. “ Noah started to take the sections into a general loose braid to keep it out of Ryan’s face. “And also you’re more of a bitch than Ryan, fire turd.”
I noticed the room go black again, I think the enemy hit the reset button – for now that’s going to play in their favor. Yet my tricky bit is to dodge these with as much information each time they shunt me into places.