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Cause [1.4.9]

The night on Zion passed quickly – Joseph had turned in early, sleeping off his worries on the sofa in the hub room. He awoke early the next morning, as was his custom. With a long, slow yawn, he sat up and blearily tried to remember where he was. Slowly, the events of the previous day sunk in.

The plan going into action. The coin. Raziel’s murder. Zion. Spear training.

It had actually happened, hadn’t it?

Joseph stood up from the sofa and looked around the hub room, unsure of himself. His blazer was laid neatly on the armchair – whenever he did have to sleep on a train or something whilst travelling with his uncle, he would never sleep in his blazer.

However, awake once again, he slipped into the comforting embrace of the linen; it was like armour, protecting him from the absolute madness he’d got himself into. Now then… he thought, making a move towards the kitchen, wonder if their coffee machines work just the same as they do on Earth?

The coffee machine – Joseph assumed that it was – was a confusing affair, but after ten minutes of tweaking and searching cupboards for the necessary ingredients, he had an average-looking coffee in a steaming mug. Hope they don’t mind me borrowing a mug.

He was sat quietly on the sofa, moments later, watching a Parliamentary gathering from Edward IV’s reign in 1478 – Clarence was on trial – but he wasn’t really observing it. His mind was racing.

The universe truly was in danger. Raziel had been killed, and by the sounds of it, none of the Zionids had really been expecting it. The altercation with the Officials the day before had suggested that this ‘Yasen’ had acted out of bounds – no arrest, just murder. Clearly, whatever plan Raziel and his friends had been putting into action to fight the Kings was the sort of thing that people were willing to kill over.

So what was to stop other Officials from doing their duty and ‘protecting their King’? Was the surveillance going to take violent action if they believed Vasa was doing anything illegal?

He felt like he had been caught in the middle of a political minefield, and he had no idea what kind of politics Zion functioned on. It would have been interesting to learn, had he not been the one caught in the crossfire.

His coffee was almost finished when his new wrist phone buzzed loudly on the table. He leaned over and attached it to his wrist, finding it quite easy to type on it. Quickly, he located the messaging service and saw, with delight, who it was that had contacted him.

 

GS dude

bro. JC

nice to hear from you! you been OK? JC

GS yeah ive been chill

GS just wondering if you can send me a picture of where you are rn

uh… sure? why? JC

GS just do it already dude

 

Joseph, confused, held up his wrist phone and activated the camera application. He took a quick picture of the hub room and sent it along to Geoffrey.

There was no reply.

 

uh JC

 

Nothing.

 

geoffrey? you there? JC

 

Suddenly, there was a strange fluctuation in the air, lasting less than a second, and a figure was stood in the hub room.

“Dude!” Geoffrey exclaimed, opening his arms and enveloping the smaller boy in a fierce bear hug. Joseph, taken by surprise, blushed.

“Bro. But… how?”

Geoffrey laughed. “You know how everyone’s got more psychic power because they’re outside the universe?”

“…Yeah?” Joseph replied uncertainly. “I guess? Is that what happened?”

“It is, have you not noticed?” Geoffrey said, letting Joseph out of his embrace. “Well, either way, I can now control where I bilocate to!”

“Oh!” Joseph realised. “So you bilocated to what you saw in the picture?”

“Exactly! I figured the picture would help with visualising where I was going. Otherwise I might’ve ended up anywhere in Zion!” Geoffrey said. Joseph chuckled.

They sat down together on the sofa, and moments later, Vasa exited his room, carrying a heavy book under his arm.

“Oh. You’re the bilocator, I assume?” Vasa said, looking at Geoffrey with interest.

“Yeah, I am. Nice to meet ya, I’m Geoffrey.” the young man replied, holding out his hand. Vasa hesitated for a moment, then shook it firmly.

“Hi.” Vasa said blankly. “I had no idea you could bilocate to this dimension. I would have prepared some coffee otherwise.”

“Ah, it’s cool, dude! But, uh, who are you?”

Vasa slapped a palm to his face and went slightly red with embarrassment. “Oh wow, sorry; I’m Vasa. Currently looking after Joseph.”

“Oh, you’re the smart guy who did all the spirit link stuff?” Geoffrey asked. Vasa nodded curtly.

“Anyway. Have you had anything besides that coffee, Joseph?”

“No, I haven’t had breakfast.” Joseph said.

Vasa bustled over to the table and picked up the empty mug. “Right. I’ll get Ephra up and we’ll go out for breakfast. Ra- a friend showed me this great little place a few years ago, and I’ve been going there regularly ever since.”

Geoffrey and Joseph nodded as Vasa went into the kitchen.

“So, I saw the chat last night! The fuck is up with that, huh?” Geoffrey announced.

“Oh yeah… I’m kind of worried, but I think the Zionids and Voidians seem to have things under control.”

“I guess. You been training already?” Geoffrey asked.

Joseph gave a yawn and leaned back on the sofa. “Yup. Training with the spear.”

Geoffrey nodded, as if unimpressed, and drew a wickedly sharp knife with a grin on his face. “Check this shit out.”

“Looks like a kitchen knife.” Joseph said. “…Wait, is that actually a kitchen knife?”

“Yeah!” Geoffrey said. “Pulled it from the kitchen at Miz’s request – turns out because I took it with me when I came to these dimensions, it got all infused with my psychic power.”

“…Right…” Joseph said. Geoffrey pushed him playfully and stood up, starting to pace back and forth, with the knife swaying in his hands.

“Usually when I bilocate, I take the clothes on my back and that’s about it. But now? Anything infused with my power comes with me. Which is why I have it now!”

“Oh, I see. So with a normal weapon, you couldn’t take it with you when you bilocate?”

“Precisely, my good dudebro.” Geoffrey said. Joseph nodded, thoroughly impressed, but turned when he heard Vasa returning with a cup of coffee. Vasa ignored them, instead knocking on Ephra’s door.

“I’m up.” came the reply.

“Good, we’re going to Charmeine’s.” Vasa said. Soon enough, the door opened and Ephra stood in the doorway, looking tired and grumpy.

“Let’s go, then. Ugh, I slept horribly last night.”

“I think we all did.” Vasa replied, then noticed Geoffrey staring quite openly at Ephra’s lithe form and voluminous shoulder-length ginger hair. “Oh, right. This is Geoffrey, he’s visiting from Void.”

“Pleased to meet you.” Ephra said offhandedly, putting on her helmet and striding towards the exit. Geoffrey looked sidelong at Joseph, who grinned at his friend’s obvious surprise at Ephra’s less-than-warm welcome.

“Let’s just get going.” Joseph said.

As they left, Joseph noted how bright Zion was in the day. The apartment towers stretched out as far as the eye could see, and where there was space between them, he could see the endless plains beyond. It glittered, almost, as the buildings were built from a mixture of gold-hued, white and grey architecture – some of the apartment complexes had ornate statues on the top, and others were simply flat areas. There were a few Zionids milling around, but it was still fairly quiet, as it was early morning.

The group descended the stairway around the outside of the tower.

“How big is Zion?” Joseph asked, staring at the distant stretches of emptiness.

“Hm? Oh, you’re looking at the horizon. Zion’s very compact, compared to Void, anyway. We’re mostly focussed in the very centre, and we rarely expand outward. Void, if you ever get the chance to visit, is way more spread out, so it’s not as much of a walk to the edge as it is from Zion.” Vasa explained. They reached the lower part of the stairs, with just two stories further down to go.

“These stairs are neat.” Geoffrey noted.

“Is it not dangerous to have a stairway with no railings going round the outside of the building?” Joseph remarked. Ephra chuckled.

“Not really, when we can-”

Ephra jumped off the side of the stairs, plunged down two stories, and landed on the ground below with a thunderous boom. Geoffrey blanched, but calmed down when he saw her waving to them, safely un-splattered.

“What the hell?!” Geoffrey exclaimed. Joseph smiled.

“What?” Vasa said. “She landed on her feet, why are you so concerned?”

“…We couldn’t do that.” Geoffrey said, shuddering. “Like, we’d break our legs. Snap ‘em like twigs in a creepy horror movie.”

Vasa grinned. “Sorry, I’m just messing with you; as I was telling Joseph yesterday, we Zionids have much stronger bones and muscles than you humans. We can survive much higher falls than your flesh-sacks can.”

When they reached the bottom of the stairs, they rejoined Ephra, who was waiting for them. Her hair had fallen out of the front of her helmet in the fall, revealing part of her fringe.

“Fuck, dude. These Zionids and Voidians are something else, huh?” Geoffrey said. Joseph chuckled.

“You could say that, yes.”

“Well, either way, something to bear in mind, Geoffrey. You two, no jumping off high things, OK?” Vasa said, jokingly. Joseph saluted with a wry grin.

“Shit, dude, I wasn’t planning on it.” Geoffrey replied.

With a chuckle, the group continued on their way, guided by Vasa towards breakfast. It was nice, Joseph thought, to let the responsibility on their collective shoulders be eased for a while.

Cause [1.4.8]
Cause [1.4.10]

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