So, night time had fallen, and it was the perfect moment to bring Blackie and Kitty in the city. I wasn’t sure yet how Kridec would do it, but she’d assured me she’d made sure the guards were’nt an issue, and the only thin I had to do was open the gates. It worked, and a little while later we were trying to get Blackie inside of a building. Turned out, she was a bit too big for the door. *creaking wood*
[Music in background]
This is Nadec, my adventure. Written down in a better way than I can tell it.
[Music louder and solo]
Episode 30: skipping is easy
Blackie’s voice in Nadec’s head loosened up a knot between her shoulder blades. She glanced around the corner of the alleyway she was in, towards the city’s main gate. The lanterns around it gave enough light to see the two guards standing near the guard post at the bottom. The two towers next to the gate each had one guard at the top.
‘Says Kridec, ready get!’
The guards on the ground turned their heads in the same direction, as synchronised as if rehearsed. They walked away from their post, oblivious of anything else but the Need to investigate. Before the top guards noticed the absence of their fellows, both of them slumped down.
Nadec ran towards the gate. She turned the wheel connected to the chain to lift the two heavy beams. Once they were released from their supports and floating in front of the gate, she tugged the tow chain—a short length of chain attached to the bottom beam. The beams moved out of the way. She unbolted the five heavy locks while wondering why it needed such a heavy security.
When she swung open the gates, a welcome meow was the first thing she heard, followed by Kitty jumping on her shoulder. A serious-looking Kridec nodded at her.
‘Well done. Come, let’s get this done. My Need can only do so much. I’m stretching it thin already. Blackie, make them wake up in two hours. That should be enough to get into the building and sneak back out.’
A vague outline of a shadow moved in the lantern light. A thin squeak of escaping air filled the otherwise silent night.
‘How did you know she could adjust her wake-up farts?’ Nadec mumbled, partly to herself, partly to Kridec.
‘I didn’t. It was a good guess.’
‘How did you cloak her? Are we hidden too?’
‘No, only her. If anyone were to look out and see us walking about, it wouldn’t raise that much suspicion. A dragon is a completely different thing. I enveloped her in a cloud of Need. It makes anyone looking in her direction feel the Need to see a shadow instead of a dragon. It’s one of the more complex uses of my Line. This way.’
‘Mind manipulation. Huh.’ Nadec followed her aunt into the city, baffled by the options of the Line. She assumed all the Lines had such a broad array of uses. If everything went to plan, she’d have access to all those different Lines soon. She’d really be all powerful. It scared her to think about. She’d have to somehow learn about them all. But if she were to fail… The people who controlled Wyny were up to no good. She remembered what the zlurp had said. They want to conquer Earth. With all that power, there’s a good chance they’d be able to destroy it completely.
‘This is one of our stock houses.’
Kridec’s voice flustered Nadec. She didn’t know how long they’d been walking, so caught up in her thoughts she’d been. She stopped next to her aunt, in front of a large building. Kridec opened up a double door.
‘Blackie might have to squeeze a little bit, but once through the doors, she should have plenty of space to stretch out. The stock house is empty right now because we’ve been wanting to rebuild the interior. We have a big plan, providing indoor rooms for several different shops. People would be able to come here on bad weather days and do all their shopping in a controlled environment, without getting wet or cold.’
It was pitch dark inside. The streets didn’t have lanterns or any other lighting. The two moons—the smallest one full, the other half full—gave enough light to see by on the streets, but didn’t reach inside of the building. The sound of flint and steel was followed by a small bright flash, and the steady flame of an oil lamp. Kridec must have dropped her Need around Blackie because she appeared like a black dragon-shaped void. The void filled the doorway, trying to push in.
Blackie spoke to Nadec, making her gasp.
‘What about food and water? And, even more important, poo and pee? I can’t believe I didn’t think of that before.’ Nadec rubbed her forehead in annoyance.
‘Don’t worry, I did. One of the best features of this building, is that it’s built around a well. See?’ She walked towards the middle of the open space. There was indeed a pool of water. ‘We want to make this into a key feature in the middle of the shop house. Integrate it with sculptures and the like… But that’s not important now. The well is neverending, so there’s your dragon’s water. I’ll have one of my city servants bring food daily. And carry off the bodily waste.’
Nadec gaped at her. This plan felt foolish. She felt foolish. She didn’t want Blackie to be locked up like this, even if it was only for a long week. She turned to face Blackie which made her aware of the sound of creaking wood, reverberating in the otherwise silent night.
‘Shhhhh, Blackie, hush.’
Blackie stopped wriggling.
‘Fit not.’ Her voice was petulant and slightly panicked in Nadec’s head. Kitty yawned, jumped off Nadec’s shoulder, and head butted Blackie’s chin. He swooned down and rolled onto his back, playfully touching the chin with all his toe beans.
‘Balls. Kridec, the doorway’s too small. We’ll have to hide her outside after all. I don’t think it would’ve worked to keep her here anyway.’ Someone bringing a load of food—and removing massives piles of dung every day—would be too conspicuous.
Kridec shook her head before Nadec finished the sentence.
‘I told you before, not an option. Our home will get invaded soon, and once word gets out—which it probably already has—every area of the forest will be searched.’ She frowned at Nadec. ‘Just Skip her inside. What a fool I am, we could’ve done this all along.’
‘I can do that?’
‘How else did you skip to our home? Of course you can do that.’ She grabbed Nadec by the shoulders, but released immediately ‘I don’t have time to explain everything so I’ll try to make it quick. Whenever I had someone slap you, I reached beyond Realms to grab the closest person near you. It’s complicated, but let’s say it’s all to do with fine tuning my Need. I transferred the Need of the task I had for you, to you, right at the time I made the person slap you. That’s how you could feel where to go and what to do.’
‘You injected me with the Need of the task?’ Nadec was incredulous. It sounded complicated, there should’ve been an easier way. Like, just telling the truth.
‘Something like that, yes. It doesn’t matter. Point of it all is, with the task ahead of you, you knew where to Skip. We made you believe that’s the only way you could Skip, from Earth to here and back. But your options are endless. I won’t get into it now. I’m sure the box your parents left has more answers than I could ever give you. Have you opened it yet?’
‘Yes, but it was too random. And I guess perhaps I wanted to take a quick nap which accidentally turned into a very long nap. Anyway, Patat is having a look at the box’s content right now. He asked if he could and I said it was alright. He might be able to order everything in rank of what’s most important to know.’
Nadec’s mind spun while she talked. She could skip everywhere? To soften the feeling of being overwhelmed, she thought back to what Patat had looked like when releasing him from the chest which brought him into the city, as part of her baggage. That had been funny.
‘How did I skip to your home? I had Patat slap me because I thought that’s how I’d know where to skip to, and it worked. But it doesn’t feel like that should have worked, with what you just told me.’
‘I can’t be certain. Perhaps you knew all along and it gave you the confidence you needed. You’d skipped many times to that same place, so it is ingrained in you. Now, enough talking, let’s get this beast inside. Let her touch you—you’re able to transport others without touching and even without skipping yourself, but it’s not a good idea to try it now—activate your Skip, and keep the middle of the building firm in your mind.’
Blackie looked miserable. Her head, neck and shoulders were inside. The rest seemed really stuck. Nadec lifted Kitty up, pecked him on the head, and moved him away. There was no need for him to skip along. No need to take the risk. Kitty sauntered over to a pile of sand in a corner and started digging. Nadec chuckled and got in position. She touched her foot against Blackie’s snout, and almost jumped when something wet touched her leg.
‘Really?’ She sent to the dragon.
‘Sure be. Want not you lose me.’ Blackie held her tongue firmly in place, wrapped around Nadec’s leg.
Hands on knees, Nadec began the process. Slamming her bent knees together while crossing her hands, she felt the energy build up. She focused on the spot in front of her, the center of the building, next to the pool.
You have been listening to Nadec, chapter 30: skipping is easy
Narrated, adventured and lived through by myself, Nadec. Written in a better way than I can tell it, by Astrid Jef.
Don’t go just yet, we’ve got bloopers coming up. [music on background] Find us on Twitter @astridjef and @nadecandkitty.
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