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Cause [1.3.2]

Zack Lyons went upstairs with the enormity of what he was about to do weighing on his mind. Ever since he had been a child, he had known that his psychic powers meant he was destined for something. He had hoped and dreamed to be a hero, but now that the moment was upon him, now that he had verifiable proof that something beyond his own universe existed… he felt nervous.

Spirit links. What would his be? Laptop? Headphones? He glanced at them briefly, but that felt wrong. His spirit link had to be something with more of an emotional connection. As he scanned his room, he spotted the clown doll sitting cheerfully on the beanbag.

“Jojo. Are you a spirit link?” Zack asked, smiling. The clown doll, naturally, did not respond. Zack smiled; he had owned the doll for a long time, and it had become a part of him. His profile picture was the smiling face of Jojo, after all.

He extended a hand towards the doll and telekinetically lifted it. It was a tremendous strain on his energy, but he moved it towards him, and as he did, he felt the power of some godlike force flowing through him. There was a brief flash, and he vanished.

He was thrown out of the gate several moments later, on Zion. A Zionid figure, clad in golden armour, extended a hand towards him as he clambered to his feet. There was a book lying open on the floor in the light of the gate, and behind him, a female Zionid with ashen skin and long brunette hair, tied in a single ponytail, just poking out from under her helmet.

“…You must be Raziel.”

“Uh. Yes, I am Raziel.” replied Kushel nervously. He shook Zack’s hand, and there was something alien about the gesture. Zack, in the back of his mind, assumed that it was just because the Zionid was unused to human interactions.

“I’m Yasen.” Yasen said, smiling at Zack. Zack nodded. “Um, pleased to meet you. What now?”

“Now, we wait for the others. How many are there?” Yasen said.

“Well, there’s six of us. But I don’t know if we’re all going here, or if some are meeting Mizar too.”

Kushel and Yasen exchanged worried glances.

“I’ll, uh, warn Mizar. And make sure the others arrive safely.” Yasen said. She began to type out a quick message.

 

Denneb? You there?

absolutely; what do you require of my limitless intellect?

OK, for starters, I am by far and away the superior scholar.

But more importantly, Mizar and his friends are summoning aliens from within the universe to help them fight the Kings!

oh. Shit.

‘Oh shit’ indeed, Den. Get Alcor and head to the palace’s underground and stop them!

uh, ok, how am I doing that exactly, z?

Fucking dammit, Denneb! Head underground, arrest the Voidians present, and when the kids arrive, either arrest or kill them. Is that so hard?

no, ma’am. On it.

 

Yasen nodded, looked up, and smiled at Zack. “Your friends are safe and sound. No need to worry.”

Five minutes remaining.

 




 

On the fifth floor, when the ten-minute timer had started, Serafina had turned to ascend back up to her apartment. Sure, she had planned on going shopping, but the fate of the universe seemed slightly more important. She raced up the stairs she had just walked down, pushing past people coming down and bursting into the apartment. She thoroughly ignored Julia and Amie and ran into her room.

Something here was her spirit link. She wondered if it was her shades, but when she took them off and observed them, she felt no surge of power or energy. Her eyes wandered her room, and there was a knock on the door. “Serafina?” came Amie’s voice.

Serafina went to the box she kept under her bed, where there was an important series of letters stored. She pulled it out and opened it, and there it was: the final letter her previous boyfriend had sent her. It was a spiteful piece, and the first time he had revealed the extent to which he had manipulated and controlled her. Reading it had destroyed her, but she hadn’t had the heart to destroy the letter.

The door to her room opened and Amie poked her head in. “Serafina, are you alright?”

Serafina said nothing and walked over to the window, opening it. Oxygen was important for a fire. As was, she thought, being pyrokinetic. She focussed hard on the paper, willing the letter to burst into flame, but there was nothing. She felt a bit of power, though, and realised that this was indeed one of her spirit links. She did not have much control over her pyrokinesis, and so willingly setting something on fire required a lot of her concentration.

“Serafina, don’t ignore me!” Amie said from the doorway, more angry now.

There was a strong wind suddenly, and the letter was ripped from Serafina’s grasp. Serafina, continuing to ignore her mother’s lover, watched the paper flutter out of the window and, after a few moments of wondering what to do, went to her phone, about to send a message.

 

Hi. It’s Cassie – I’m borrowing someone’s phone.

I was just about to message you!!

Can I trust them completely??

You must jump, Serafina. You will be safe.

 

Serafina closed her phone and glanced out of the window. The paper had been lifted up by the wind, but now it began to drop. As it sailed past the window, Serafina clambered onto the window ledge and looked down at the world below.

“Serafina, what are you doing?!” screeched Amie. Julia came running too, and she almost fainted when she saw Serafina framed in the window, watching the city streets far below. “Serafina! Please talk to us!”

It was a frightful thing, to see a world below and nothing but your hands preventing you from falling. She saw the letter – the hateful final letter he had sent her – and breathed in deeply. She had to act now, or she would never reach it. Cassie had never been wrong before.

“I love you, mom.” she said quietly. Julia put a hand to her mouth and sobbed loudly.

With her eyes firmly staring at the buildings all around, rather than looking down, Serafina leapt, hearing the impassioned screams from her maternal figures behind her fade into silence as she focussed on her goal: the letter.

There was a strange feeling of weightlessness for a moment, and then she dropped like a stone. A flailing hand caught the paper and she screamed with exhilaration, beginning to focus her power on it. With seconds to spare before she hit the ground, the paper flickered and burst into flames, charging her with masses of psychic energy. There was a brief flash, and she vanished.

Serafina maintained her energy when she came out of the gate, and crashed into Yasen, Kushel and Zack with the force of terminal velocity, throwing them all back. The Zionids’ armour protected them from the worst of it, and Zack hit a mossy section of the stone wall that cushioned the blow somewhat. Serafina got to her feet shakily, breathing heavily and adjusting her shades.

“Sheesh, it’s dark in here.” she said, refusing to remove the sunglasses and pretending that she hadn’t just risked her life. Zack leapt up. “Serafina! You made it!”

“Just about.” she replied. “So, uh, what’s happening here?”

Yasen and Kushel were whispering hurriedly.

“Raziel’s friends may arrive anytime. We should leave whilst we still can.” Yasen said.

“Yes. We have two, and if they split the warriors evenly between Zion and Void, then there’s only one more to come.” Kushel replied.

“Only a few minutes left. If they don’t turn up now, they might not make it. And if they do, I’ll get Harrut to intercept them and make an arrest. Problem solved.”

“Exactly.” Kushel said.

“What are you whispering about?” Serafina asked.

“Nothing. Come on, we have to get going. Your friends will be arriving later, but we need to leave as soon as possible.”

“That seems sudden.” Zack said, shrugging. “Oh, Serafina – this is Raziel, and this is his friend Yasen.”

“Oh, pleased to meet you!” Serafina said, following the two Zionids as they left the book on the ground and the gate where it was, still switched on, and made their way out of the catacombs

“Time for pleasantries later.” Kushel replied. “Come on. We must make haste.”

The two Officials and the two kids ascended the ladder to the overworld of Zion, leaving the real Raziel clinging to the last moments of life deep below ground, tears in his eyes as he saw his plan falling into tatters.

Four minutes remaining.

Cause [1.3.1]
Cause [1.3.3]

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