Friday, June 12, 2015

144 - You and Whose Kozakay?

Megan opened her eyes to complete black, blinked a few times to try and make sure it was really dark instead of her eyes having failed. The last thing she remembered was the Prophet starting up with his fatuous stink of religion… but then things got…Bozhe moy sladkiy blin levsha mozg rabotayet moy levyy otverstiye ukha… that leaking out my left earhole? No. Water poured on my face, moisture flowing down from this glass mask… mask on my face?

That… marauq.  That silvery wild glorious sparkling… marauq?  I don’t… I um… wait. Who else in our party had manrauq?  Me. The weird stuff from Matthas and the Temple. No one else.

She could remember the pulse of someone’s carotid artery under her fingertips… “…Ten-knife foot…” They knew a word that would stop me. The prophet. The Fehinnans… we were supposed to gather information and bring it back… but… There was this memory of fire bowls showering into the air before burning out, black black black as this…tunnel?

She put a hand down and sat up slowly, drawing hard on the sweet air flowing through the mask on her face.  She put up her hand and her nails clicked on glass.  Haian?  There were others in the dark… She started to pull off the mask and a woman’s voice in the dark said, in Arkan, “Zak, please leave the mask.  We have you in the middle of a pocket of bad air in the Tunnel.”

“Who are you? Kadussus?”

“Yes.  We stashed you in here so that no one following could make it through the foulness.”

“Uh. Dah. We?”

“You, the boy… and the Mahid with the Arkan Prophet.  The boy knocked you out. The Mahid knocked the Prophet out.  They have light on the plaza from what we hear. Half the Prophet’s people have fled the moment they are breathing unadulterated air. We believe the rejin all along the roads have taken them in."

A name floated up out of the depths of her scrambled  thought… Mitzi… “Mitzi?” Moy strashnyy levyy zub Bogini. “General…”

“General Skoriadas has good control of the rejin. Once we sort out what the Mahid has done, what you and the boy have done…”

“Wait… what I, and the boy, have done?”

“Do you remember, Zak?”

Someone’s pulse under my fingertips. Before that a smothering of my manrauq, wrapped and enwrapped and closer and… belief in the Prophet and what he said… Chertov der'mo…

Fucking shit.  Did I… did I nearly kill my precious son?


“Dah, Matta! You’re awake, you’re all right!”

“I’m awake. Did I nearly kill you, boy?”

Silence. “Lixandimi… I do not blame myself for shen that was blown into my face… I’m sorry, my child. You know, my son…”

“Matta.” He interrupts me.  “It’s all right.  You’re all right.  You have the manrauq and we can use it and our wits and fix this problem.”

Such a good boy.  Trusting boy.  As if… wait… he said I had the manrauq.  Someone with more powerful manrauq than I shut me down and dragged me out of trouble…

“Lixand,” she asked, carefully.  “Who knocked me on my ass? When I was full of the Temple support?”

More silence.  The a long sigh, like he was blowing up a Niah rubber bag.  I wait. I wait. “Chert pober, you son of a tiny bitch!” She exclaimed.

She nearly swallowed her tongue as a silver light glowed in the darkness. It danced over her son’s hand. Her son who had no manrauq in the slightest. Her son who had as much manrauq as a squashed mallow flower.

Bright and clear and strong and no colour of Zak manrauq that she had ever seen, it danced over his fingertips and she narrowed her eyes at it, as it 'looked' at her, smugly.

“Son of two brothers, my boy, you’ve gotten manrauq power like myths of old!”

He swallowed hard. She could see the painful track of his throat-apple in his light. He looked like he wanted to weep. Or scream. “Lixand.” He looked up at her and his eyes were  full of tears, full of confusion. “This isn’t disaster. This isn’t calamity. This is joy!  The calamity will come fast enough. Take this joy right now!”

He grinned at her, teeth flashing in the light that used none of their breathing air and shrugged, like the young game-cock that he was. “Sure, Matta. Joy, huh?”

“Watch it, kid, or I’ll kick your ass.”

“You and who’s kozakay, mum?”

She snorted, winced, held her head gingerly. There was nothing to say.

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