Tale of Souls Chapter Twenty Seven
The sun also rises in whatever way it feels like the next day, and knowing the exhaustion we all had – we’d all passed out in Makoto’s office after hours it seemed like talking through things. I woke up to the curtains being drawn and a portal loudly churning.
“What’d I miss?” Kristoff pulled the curtains after stepping out of the portal.
I blinked as the sun tried to burn through my eyes, which were still slatted, and my hair still black and red. I coughed, I was going to try and use the excuse we were all drinking, but with Makoto soundly snoring himself – and no alcohol in sight – it was not going to roll.
“Can you shut those, it’s too fucking early.”
“Can you shut those? IT’S TOO EARLY” Kristoff mocked me, and pointed to his split laying under Ryan. “Can you explain this, because I have no memory of it – yet Mike picked up on it just hours ago.”
“No seriously can you shut the damn curtains, i’m not sure i can handle that much bright lights.”
“Answer me, what the fuck happened in here – and why is the older Aura sleeping with pop tart crumbs all over her face and clothing. Why is my niece in the corner with her phone playing tetris and squeaking like she’s pikachu, like she’s seen some traumatic shit and can’t get past it.” Kristoff grumbled, opening the other set of curtains and lightly tapping Makoto in the side to get him to wake up.
Makoto slowly woke up and tried to sit up, but ended up coughing a bit before stabilizing. He took a look at his surroundings, and attempted to stand. Attempting, that is – but yet only to fail. His frail figure managed to sit up, and a sigh escaped his lips.
“Your niece from the future attacked, but we were spared the worst of it thanks to low-self-esteem and teamwork.” Makoto rolled his eyes and pointed at me, “Saitou has no plans on divorcing you just because you slapped into the lasagna due to your depression – At least not at this stage.”
“You didn’t read the note.”
“I wrote the note, as a prank you fucking ninny. He was nothing less than worried about you when you face planted in your dinner. “ Makoto buried his head in his hands, “And with you Kristoff? Aura preyed on your fears, and your inner programming – your brother subdued her with truth and the other brother with pop tarts.”
“Seems to me like someone else is still jealous I get to save the world after all of this” Kristoff quipped, jokingly and walked over to his other half and peeled him out from under Ryan. “C’mon me, get up – it’s time to get to work. I don’t have time for pleasantries, nor a shower, we’ve got shit to do and no time to do it in.”
Within seconds he’d refused with himself and walked back through the portal and we all watched it closed like nothing had happened. With no Yasuo coming back out, I’m only assuming that the older Aura is a shifter like her Papa and Grandfather.
“Well, he didn’t really leave us any clue of what’s going on over on the other side.. “ Ryan rubbed his eyes as he noticed Kristoff was gone, and Rana was face down snoring into the carpet.
“He’s not meant to, he’s under strict instruction to leave us here.” I sighed and scoured Makoto’s desk for some sunglasses. My eyes are in pain, and I don’t know what from – my heart hurts more than usual and I feel like i’m losing it. Maybe I tore down an unknown barrier or a million?
“Chill Justin, just re-shut the curtains, we’re all feeling the glare. Aura, can you give your phone to your Daddy and go find your cousin for me?” Makoto coughed a bit, you could tell he had aged a bit since the attack. Which seemed odd to me, because as far as I was aware – aging wasn’t a real thing for those from the quadrant. Until I remembered that he’d survived several fuckups, and when you live on Earth longer than you intended to – then you start to age quicker than you’d like.
“While you’re at it can you wake your older self up and get her to help Uncle Makoto up to his seat?” Ryan sat up and blinked a bit, “I’d do it myself but I’m trying to get your Uncle Rana to wake up and he’s seemingly dreaming of something interesting cause he’s snorting AND snoring.”
“It’s ok Daddy, I’m awake. I’ll get up and help Uncle Makoto.” Aura’s older self suffered from a similar issue – the emotional toll it took just to get here, and then using abilities she and Yasuo both swore off due to their ill effects. It’s one reason you don’t see Saitou doing it that often anymore – shifting that is. She stood up and put her arm around Makoto’s shoulders and propped him up and helped him into his desk chair.
“Rana, get the fuck up.” I yelled, and walked over and nudged him in the shin with my leg. “We don’t have all day, we have shit we have to do.”
“Mhmhhnmmnmnm” Rana rolled over and winced as his bandaged side knocked into Ryan’s foot. “MHMM OWWW. LIKE I KNOW I’M DYING BUT CAN YOU MAKE IT LESS QUICK BY MOVING YOUR GODDAMN FOOT.”
“Sorry, i didn’t expect you to roll over instead of just sitting up you dumbass.” Ryan growled. “Also why do I feel like before this I’d been backseated for several days.”
“I don’t have time to explain the whole bullshit to you, we gotta get ready – there’s something else I remembered that was happening that was… Aura was a distraction.” I sighed and rubbed my eyes and tried to get my head around everything.
“You don’t have time to explain to me what I’d accidentally found out before Kristoff told anyone and that was why Noah was backseating that day?” Ryan scoffed, “I meant NOW, and not literally – but what the hell are you on about anyways?”
“Remember the protest march before we came back to the haven? What was it a couple months back or something?”
“The one we told you not to go looking at?”
“The video, did you watch it?”
“Yea, that’s how i found out – I was trying to find a coupon, i stash them in Kristoff’s drawer because Aura found them in mine once.” Ryan panicked, noticing his daughter walking towards him and felt a finger stick itself up his nose. “Aura, please remove your digit from my nostril.”
“Ok why” I laughed for a second, noticing it was the OLDER Aura sticking her finger up his nose. “Relentless with the past trauma are we?”
“I ASKED HIM ONCE WHERE THE COUPONS WERE AND HE LIED TO ME.”
“Oooo Someone gonna get murdered.”
“Peekchu” The younger Aura walked up to her older self and poked her in the arm. “I murder you if you don’t stop screaming. I haz headache.”
“Ugh. sorry.” Aura patted her younger self on the head and smiled, “It’s just that in the future that was held against me rather than for your sanity.”
“God my future self is a rampant dick.” Ryan raised an eyebrow, “How far gone am I in the future that I gotta be that abusive.”
“It wasn’t you entirely, you were so far gone you couldn’t really deal with me, you were widowed and I’d just gotten out of high school. You had someone there with you to help care for me because I still was threatening to turn electricity off and I couldn’t string sentences together still – but I could do my math and art really well.” Aura looked at me and started to bite her lip, “Sadly Uncle Rana isn’t there then.”
“Peekchu. WHY NOT.”
“Because little poke-aura, your Uncle is dying of the same thing your Aunt that you’ve never met died from.” Rana winced and finally stood up, “Even if we fix time, we can’t fix me – i’ve only got a few more years if i’m lucky. I’m trying to stave it off with things they’ve researched, but my DNA is almost more corrupt than Lily’s was.”
“NOT COOL. I FIX.” Aura ran and jumped onto Rana and clung to him. “BODY HUGGER!!”
Rana almost fell over but managed to hold the younger Aura in his arms and try not to drop her. He shouldn’t even be lifting her, but she’s trying to do most of the weight bearing and failing. It’s worrisome but adorable.
“Yea, anyways – I knew that it might be a distraction but I know that we had no choice. What’s your theory, why are you bringing this up now?” Ryan peeled the finger out from his nose and sighed looking at me.
“Because I remembered there were more planned ones in our area, and this time I’m aware we need to get involved. Lily didn’t explicitly say it, but there’s a fight to start and we gotta get with it and try to get to the bottom of this.” I grabbed a poster that i’d left on Mako’s desk previously and showed it to Ryan. “ I know i keep fucking my car up, but yours is still working isn’t it?”
“That’s now, and it’s outside the mall by our old place when we were in high school. That’s out in Roseville – the old Har Mar Mall complex?” Ryan squinted, “Ok we’re recovering from a major issue here and we have to leave and do this now?”
“When Noah takes over you don’t have your face mark. You’re gonna be the mole, they probably won’t recognize you. Kristoff’s gone, and he’s too feline and into tunafish now to fucking get through – they know my mark, they know my arm and Rana’s frail and i’m not gonna put him in the middle of shit when he could get re-inefected.”
“And I can’t?”
“No, Kristoff, You and I are shielded so far – I don’t remember why, maybe we’re stupidly not considered ‘failed’ and they’re gonna make us turn on everyone eventually I don’t know.” I grumbled, “But yea we do have to do this now – and i’m sorry to make you go all Silver Fox.”
“Do I have to fake his accent or do a deal with the past again?” Ryan raised an eyebrow.
“UNCLE NOAH! UNCLE NOAH!” Younger Aura obviously had a thing for the Aussie.
“Chill honey, I don’t know how much of him’s left on the inside.” Ryan looked at me for a second, “If i can do it without backseating, and he’s still in there i’ll do it – but otherwise we’re fucked. I can’t afford to backseat. I PROBABLY shouldn’t even be doing what I’m going to do – but sure, let’s get this bullshit party started.”