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Cause [1.3.3]

Geoffrey Summers had taken Mizar’s advice, and armed himself with a kitchen knife. Standing dumbly in the kitchen, he wondered what his spirit link was. He made his way to his room, hoping not to disturb his mother, and set to work finding objects of personal significance.

He didn’t have much, but he suddenly remembered the moment that had cemented everything for him. His first trip abroad; the first trip with his dad that had taught him to value experiences over money. His homeland.

The plane ticket was still in pride of place, pinned up on the corkboard he had behind his computer setup, amongst letters and pictures he liked to keep close by when he was gaming. He reached out and pulled the pin free, letting the ticket flutter down into his lap. He picked it up and held it closely, focussing on it. He began to feel some kind of strange power flowing through him, and he let himself fall into the warm embrace of infinite energy. There was a brief flash, and he vanished.

A few seconds later, he was unceremoniously dumped through the gate, whereupon the Voidians, Cassie and Lola all breathed a sigh of relief.

“We thought you weren’t going to make it!” Cassie exclaimed. “Are you OK?”

“Yeah, yeah, I just spaced out. I’m fine now.” he said. Fafnir hammered the button and the gate’s light vanished, leaving the group in the musty darkness of the catacombs.

“Nice to finally meet you two in person.” Geoffrey said with a smile.

“You too.” Lola said.

“British accent? Cute.” he replied. Mizar sighed.

“Cut the flirting immediately. We do not have time for sappy romantic bullshit, because if you haven’t realised yet, you’re only here to prevent YOUR OWN UNIVERSE from being destroyed. Alright?”

Geoffrey nodded. Lola, with a brief telepathic foray into Geoffrey’s mind, felt a general sense of ease and relaxation. She made sure to check through the rest of the group as well, and discovered, to her relief, that none of the Voidians seemed to be particularly suspicious. Their motives were genuine, from what she could glean.

“Right, that’s the three of you. I wonder why it prioritised you three to come to Void?” Rana said, wondering aloud.

“Uh, what?” Lola asked in some confusion.

Mizar beckoned the group. “Walk and talk, people, we’ve got to get back to the apartment before someone gets suspicious.”

As they walked, Fafnir began to explain some more of the details.

“Welcome to Void! So, Raziel and Mizar don’t actually live near each other. You see, the universe is looked after by not one, but two dimensions, known as Zion and Void, land of eternal daylight and land of eternal night respectively…”

Three minutes remaining.

 




 

Joseph had taken a few minutes to run home, but he was still well within the ten-minute deadline. His uncle had been surprised when he had blurted something about forgetting his wallet, but it was likely enough that he hadn’t asked any more questions.

Panting heavily, Joseph arrived back at home, fumbling with his key and entering the house after a few failed attempts at unlocking the door due to his nervousness. He burst through the door and charged up the stairs, leaving the door wide open.

His phone beeped. He ignored it as he entered his room, but it beeped a second time and he sighed to check it quickly.

 

Joseph, wait.

Do not find your spirit link yet.

uh, why?

we’re on the minutes, Cass.

Trust me. I’ve seen bad things if you go through now. Promise me you will wait until one minute is left. Then go.

…are you sure?

 Have I been wrong before?

Good luck, by the way.

thank you. you too.

 

He checked his watch. There were about three minutes left, by his count. With nothing to do but wait, he began to look around his room, wondering where his spirit link might be hidden. It would have to be something that had been charged with his power, something that he valued.

Of course, Joseph thought. Didn’t even need to come home. It’s my conventionsthaler.

The lucky coin was in his blazer pocket, and he left it there, confident that it would be his spirit link. A minute or so passed, and with about one minute remaining, Joseph took the coin out of his pocket and held it in his hands. He wasn’t quite sure what to do, but he closed his eyes and let his psychometry flow. Coin – printed 1771, held: important, Joseph II of the Holy Roman Empire.

There was a brief flash, and he vanished.

When he was thrown through the gate, there was nobody there. He stood up in confusion, expecting to see Raziel. It was only a few seconds later that there was a clattering from outside and three Zionids ran in: Ephra, Vasa and Cassil.

The gate shut off moments later, having used up all of Raziel’s power, plunging the room into darkness.

“You timed that fucking closely.” remarked Ephra. “Welcome. Where’s Raziel, and your friends?”

“I, uh, don’t know. Who are you guys?”

“My name is Vasa.” Vasa said. “The blonde is Cassil, the redhead is Ephra.”

Joseph nodded. “Uh. Right. Also, there’s a book on the floor.”

Vasa tutted. “Raziel should’ve taken this with him.”

He gasped in horror when he lifted the tome to reveal a pool of blood below it. “…That’s really not good.”

“What does it mean?” Ephra asked.

Cassil began to scan the room, and then she heard it: laboured, quiet, almost deathly breathing. She lifted her wrist phone to light the room slightly, and she saw Raziel’s prone form. He turned a shaking head towards her, spear still sticking out of his chest and ruined breastplate.

“ARGH!” Cassil screamed. The others turned and saw Raziel, and Vasa retched in horror.

“…Cas…sil…” Raziel breathed. “…held… on… just to… see… you…” Cassil knelt down by him, tears in her eyes.

“Who did this?” she asked, a look of abject horror etched onto her features.

“I… love… you…” Raziel said, giving a final smile. “Save… universe… for… me…”

In the shadows of the palace catacombs, Raziel, creator of the plan to save the universe and tireless leader of his friends through thick and thin, died.

The only sound was Cassil’s tears for a minute or so as she sobbed, holding his prone body close to her. “I loved you too, you idiot… if you’d have just told me…”

Joseph coughed awkwardly. “Um. Do you mind not crying for a second?”

Cassil fixed him with a thousand-yard stare. “…why?”

“I have the power of psychometry. If I touch that spear, I may be able to tell you who owned it, and therefore who killed him.”

Cassil took Raziel’s spear from his side and slotted it into her belt beside her own spear. After this, she stood aside, allowing Joseph to cautiously advance and place a hand on the spear in Raziel’s chest.

“…I’m getting…” Joseph murmured, eyes closed.

Spear, weapon – made ????, held: wielder, Yasen. Victim, Raziel.

“Anything?” Vasa asked desperately.

“A name. Yasen, does that ring a bell?” Joseph asked. He removed his hand from the spear and stood back respectfully, watching the faces of the three Zionids drop.

“…Yasen… I don’t believe it.” Cassil said. “I don’t fucking believe it.”

“She hated Raziel, but to kill him? That’s illegal.” Vasa replied. Ephra nodded stoically. “Her hatred for Raziel must’ve overcome her code of honour as an Official.”

Cassil fell silent for a moment. Without another word, she turned and walked away. Seconds later, they heard the clanging of her ascending the ladder out of the catacombs.

“…I think we need to give her some space.” Ephra said. “What are we supposed to do now?”

“Find the others.” Vasa said. “If Yasen was here, and she killed Raziel… I think she’s kidnapped or plans to kill the others. We have to stop that from happening, at all costs.”

He turned to the body. “But we should take Raziel with us. Perhaps we can convince the Officials to side with us against Yasen. She could get removed from the Officials for this kind of first-degree murder.”

In silence, with Vasa bearing Raziel’s body, they returned to the dark surface of Zion.

Cause [1.3.2]
Cause [1.3.4]

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