Tale of Souls Chapter Twenty One
“Watch, we can show you a timeline you’re more than familiar with – that you’ve walked to, and that is at risk.” Kaji sighed and motioned for us to follow. He walked towards what looked like a bunch of futuristic computers with transparent and holographic displays. Shit straight out of the movies if you ask me. “Wait here, i’ll get an expert to turn the toys on.” He walked away for a moment towards another room and left us hanging – except that you could hear him yelling from the other room.
“I do not FUCKING CARE if you’re eating your fucking lunch Jessica. NOR do I care that your toy is trying to suck dick for money. We’re battling a WAR, and I saved your ass before the Makaras ran over the club you were set up in. Get up and help, save your timeline and fucking stop bucking me.” Kaji snarled louder.
“I’ve been on my feet for twenty hours, and you’re bitching. I’m eating. Nice. Maybe some of us have shit to do between commands idiot.”
“No, it’s what I told you the other day if you need a chair, fine – if you need to eat at the station, fine, but we are scant for resources and we’re all on the same edge. We can’t take the same sort of breaks we expect in regular employment, we all have to push shit to get this over with.”
“FINE. I’ll come help, but you better get that kitty chair out of storage you promised, and you better let me eat my food at the station.”
“That’s fine, but leave your friend in here – don’t let him scare the newcomers.”
“He doesn’t like pets.”
“Pets?!? YOU KNOW these people and you’re calling them pets?”
“I haven’t seen them in a long time and Dizzy can’t tell the difference between aliens and humans these days. I’m not saying I’m calling them pets – but he thinks they’re all untrained animals.”
Kaji walked out holding the hand of an asian woman in her thirties, a familiar face of course – but with my brain the way it is, she’s familiar but I’ve lost her name and the reason I know her.
“I saved Izuchi from the third wave.” Jess, or Jessica Nishikawa, sometimes called Necromancer – occasionally can revive dying or dead things. It takes a ton of energy, and usually reserved in an emergency – but she’s also amazing at technology. Yes, now I remember – Izuchi was just about to be perma-dead and I watched him start fading while Jess basically zombified my teacher in front of my face. Well at this stage, that could be something that was Lily’s memories – but i don’t know how, because she’s separate yet not. Rana would remember wouldn’t he?
“I saved your sanity from the fourth one.” I grinned.
“Sex is not a personal achievement bucky. Just because you didn’t want to fuck your other best friend and I was bored – does not count as sanity saves. Roll again bastard.” Jess grinned and walked over to me, and kneed me not in the shin – but in the crotch. “Just because that’s no human parts down there doesn’t mean it’s not gonna hurt.”
Ugh. She got me, and i’m doubled over – and I swear to you, this hurts far fucking more than human parts as she would love to know.
“Jess, behave. We need you to show another world left on the screen. The quadrant timeline 58610.311” Mike raised his eyebrow and groaned, coming over to help me back to the straight and somewhat narrow. Straight, like perpendicular, not sexually straight.
Within seconds the feed was live on the screen – wasn’t a radar picture of dots, this was like a CCTV footage of a reality. This was the one timeline, the one I’d walked into where everything was normal – we had no knowledge of other timelines, let alone abilities or aliens. The one where I’ve got a college degree, and I’ve known Jess on the internet for nearly fifteen years. Coincidences happen right?
“This is the fourth quadrant, and it used to be one of over five million before the first wave. There was a fucking playground for walkers before I was born. Portals were safe to travel in and out of, and there were wars sure – but nobody dared touch the timelines.” Mike smirked, letting half his hair turn blonde again, “When I was around before the first wave – before Mike was ever born – the Makaras were warring with the Arashi kingdom. They’d successfully overturned the Illyara ancients long before I was born – but our former kingdom of Warai was defeated by them. I was barely a toddler in our age and way of growing up – and I lost my family and my home and the only one left to raise me was Makoto.”
“Not only that but Felix’s time is from this quadrant, i’m from the same quadrant as this timeline – but mine’s gone.” Kaji looked at the screen, “This one I’m a burlesque drag performer, and a nude gardener. He’s got some fucking amazing taste, and a great artist. Jealous as shit, but you gotta take what you can get.”
“What quadrant are we in?” The younger Kristoff walked towards the work area that Kaji and Jess were standing at. He pointed to ‘Elsa’ and I and replied, “Well what one are they from and Is my time from the same one?”
“Mike, and these two – plus their Saitou is from 743733.54372. I’m from 87036.771459920.1a – which folded about three revolutions into the second wave. Each wave is a series of revolutions before a final tsunami and a shunt. You’re from 743732.54731a, which only just recently folded. Rather, it folded because of the last shunt. We’re in the final wave so the shunts come with the revolutions, as things slam shut.” Kaji looked towards me, “You have a good heart on you, there’s hope for you yet.”
“Me? I thought you were talking to baby elsa.”
“No, I Mean him too – but his world’s been doomed for a while now. You were lucky to get out of it before the shunt was permanent. Mike swooped Zane and …”
“HALLO. DO U HAVE LICORICE” Suddenly, the younger of the two Kristoff’s changed form. Something I had no clue that Yasuo could even do. His hair was blonde like his father’s and there was a bit of a faded tint near the tips of the cotton candy pink he dons when he’s in his masculine mode. “I lied. you’re stuck with me. SKYE THANKS FOR COVERING FOR MY ASS”
“Hold up, you said you were STUCK.” I snarled, I was confused as hell and I didn’t know what was going on at this stage.
“I was. But the shunt forced me into the lines, and the kid couldn’t be saved. I got lucky that Mike was waiting for me, but they’d been searching for the kid for years now – and they found his body the other day.” Yasuo sighed, shuffling his feet.
“I knew about this sadly, I tried, I tried to bring him back but the energy wasn’t there. He was long gone and so were the rest of the family.” Jessica looked toward me for a moment, “I can’t just zombie like raise people from the dead, they can’t be stone cold – basically they’re not technically dead when i raise them.”
“So what are we to do about all of this? Where are we going with all of this.” Kristoff grunted and walked heavily towards the panel where Jessica was. There wasn’t much left for him in this and he was confusing me even more. So there’s parts of us that aren’t the same? Everyone’s from different timelines and we’re all screwed?
“You’re brash, settle. Your instructions aren’t simple, so you just gotta have some patience. You’re going to hate to hear this, but one of you is staying and the other one is going back to fight. Well you’re both going to fight, but one of you is going home to fight – and the other is staying here.” Mike sighed, “As much as I’d love for it to be Justin that stays here because he has some talent we could use – Kristoff is more skilled in this area and needs to stay here.”
“STAY HERE AND DO WHAT?” Kristoff yelled, “Stay here and die?” His eyes flashed black and red, and he put a fist towards Mike. “There’s no fucking logic in this, you’re keeping me here to die for what? Your pride?”
“Oi, you’re staying here because you’re the new me – you hadn’t settled, and you still got the fire to fight. I’m tired, I have to make sure you have a home to come home to Kris. There’s something to be said about letting your family support you however they can.” I sighed, I didn’t think I agreed with the plan either but there wasn’t much more I could do – I AM tired, I need to get back and sort everything. The truth is, Kristoff has the flame and fire and could tear someone limb from limb if he had to – I’ve settled, the more my mind opens up the less I still have a flame.
Don’t get me wrong, I got enough left to fight for my family and friends – but I’m useless as shit standing guard in the lines. Kristoff and Rana were third generation walkers, and Kristoff ended up somehow being more natural at it. I’m a fourth, so the more I do this the more tired I get, and the riskier it is on my health. The visions aren’t the same thing, but they’re pairing with the walking and it’s getting more dangerous.
“First off, don’t fucking call me that – and two – it’s not like I don’t got family back home.” Kristoff growled, louder than previously – he was still hiding information from me. He was concerned about something else. “And three no, i’m not telling you SHIT after that one.”
“You don’t have to, I’m not breaking your trust by looking at you like you’re just as tired and angry as I am – but you have to understand where Mike’s coming from. We’re not 25 anymore, it’s gonna take all four of us, and if Inuko still exists out there then her too – Even those we’ve lost are fighting with their past and souls.” Not sure I was really grasping at the whole shunting and folding, because by the time someone’s lost to that – unless we can repair and bring back certain things – the dead are gone. Their souls are fed to the new worlds as compost.
“Justin needs to go home because his family needs him. You’re stuck here with me because you have the rage factor, and I need that more than I need tired adulting tactics. He’s going home to play babysitter, he’s going home to die more than you are. I’m risking him more than I’m risking you – we’re all fairly safe as long as there’s no shunts that screw up the lines anymore than they’ve been screwed. “ Mike lowered his head, “It’s not that anyone’s going to die, but the risk is higher back there – the Makara have infiltrated everything.”
“Hold up, so I’m going home to lay my ass six feet under with my age poofed kid?”
“Yep. That’s the extent of it. I had to toss a coin, and you’re not necessarily going to die – just like I said the risk is greater. You WILL be fighting yes, but likely the fight’s going to come here. And if we can prevent it happening back there – then cool… but there’s no telling their next plan.”
“So he goes home to die, where i’ve got family – where i’ve got things i give a shit about – and if they all die under his care i’m fucking stuck here until the end of time?” Kristoff dropped to his knees for a moment, “I fucking got kids back there I got shit to do – I got … Matt and Luke fucking need me.”
“Hold up. They’re in our time?” Yasuo blinked.
“YES GODDAMNIT. We JUST got them back before you got your ass shunted home. They’d been hiding in the future for no apparent reason – and they’d picked up languages I’d never heard before. I was lucky they were able to understand me.”
“Thomas and Piri?” Yasuo questioned, and it turns out the kids know how to walk without even telling us.
“No, Matthew and Lucas. Matthew Jordan and Lucas Matthew.”
“You did incestuous shit and had twins?”
“Ugh, it’s a fucking long story and no it’s not like that – I don’t got time to explain my ass to you – if you’re going home to die with everyone then go – I won’t forgive you for it, but go.”
“You don’t fucking say.” I crinkle my nose and snarled at Kristoff, his mood wasn’t helping my fears any and I knew he wasn’t helping himself.
“Besides guys the plan isn’t to die – the plan is to stop Aura from finding Aura. The rest of it’s done between the lines.” Kaji blinked for a second, “If we stop her – we’ll be coming home before the rest of the fight begins. We can’t risk bringing our asses out of the lines and have her shunt and fold more timelines because she’s not getting her way.”
“Like the time she shut off the electricity in the haven because she lost a game? “ Kristoff rolled his eyes – he had both hands on the ground, almost as if tears were coming from his eyes. “This shit isn’t fair, those Makara bastards are gonna fucking pay if it’s the last fucking thing I do.”
“Do you even know what ones to smack, because you went after me with an icy cold stab earlier.” Kaji smirked.
“You, it’s because I don’t remember you looking like that, none of us do as far as I know.”
“No, we do – it’s the other way he used to look when he was younger.. Or was it?.”
“You guys remember I’m not really from this time, let alone quadrant of time?”
“Regardless, through my brain I just remember him showing up to the haven before you got out of Jail.” Kristoff, who for the longest time didn’t exist like he does now – was originally for a while a part of Rana, who in turn was at least half of the original Lily. Ryan and I were the only two that were meant to exist as far as I know – and then they went for more.
“Yea, I went in to check on everything for Mike once – and Izuchi almost had me staying there. I hate staying in places too long. Izuchi’s lost his fucking marbles, and he’s inching closer the more we stand here.” Kaji gulped and shuddered, “Ok – we need to get one of you home – and one of you prepped. Sadly Yasuo, you’re stuck with us until we’re sure you’re OK. You were dealt a hefty blow getting shunted here.”