Of These Passing Stars; Part VI

“The experiments conclude that there is no easy way to balance the two energies within you. We really should find an alchemist with the knowledge about the Marks of the Forsaken Brothers. More specifically we are after disciples of Pan and Karthentrex. The intelligence branch sent me details on a lead north of Dragacia. Do you have anything left to do in the capital?” the doctor taps his foot and anxiously glances at the door.

“One thing. This needs to be off the records though. My sources spotted Ariex, my brother, and arranged a meeting. He worked with alchemists of the sect we need. If you want I can go by myself.”

“No. My duty is to watch you . Even if we raided a garrison I’d have to be your accomplice because the High General hates loose ends. Screw him but I have my orders.”

“Damn. I’ll be ready in a second Raejak just get the one device I’ve seen you used to sneak out.”

“I know not what you speak about Synji. I’m a good medical doctor of the Royal Protectorate who respects the Mist Ban.”
“And we totally aren’t the only regiment who uses Mist Alchemists. The taboo is stupid and everyone knows that. Society uses the alchemists unjustly to hide the true issues we face. My brother left the Royal Protectorate for that reason. I envy his strength for walking away from what’s wrong.”

Raejak tosses his arms up then walks into the other room. A few books fall to the ground. He curses the realm of physics for scheming against him since the day he learned about the Mists. He tosses a little metal orb with engravings all over its surface. I glance at the surface and realize there is a map of the capital on it.

“Synji where do we need to head? Also grab my shirt because I don’t think you’ll want to walk there.”

“District Nine.”

He turns the orb until he finds the place. A ray of light emerges from a hole and touches Raejak’s eye. The light thickens up until his eye can’t be seen. Suddenly light rays shoot off from the first one then crisscrosses around Raejak and me. I get all dizzy but hold tightly to Raejak’s sleeve like an anchor.

We appear in a filling bathtub with two naked men in it. Me and Raejak stare at each other for a few seconds. One of the men gets all angry while the other hides his junk with his hand. We start laughing uncontrollably. The angry man punches Raejak in the face making him fall out of the tub.

I get out and grab Raejak by the leg then pull him to the door. The two men keep watching us. We both put our index fingers over our mouths and shush them. When we get out of their house we begin laughing again. Strangers give us mean glances. Raejak finally stands up and I pat his back.

“The town never changes. We get looked at like some disreputable vagabonds. Decades of isolationism but society is the same. It is a wondrous quandary!” exclaims Raejak.

“Raejak, shut up. These people have been controlled by things they barely question. We have competitive sports, competitive politics, competitive jobs, competitive beliefs, and competitive everything. They wouldn’t realize equality and respect if they slapped them in the face.” I grab a cigarette and light it.

“What’s your proof?”

“Look over there. A crime scene where someone got shot. There is an angry crowd standing over there blaming injustice. It isn’t that and they should know that. History says there was a time when people didn’t even have to mass together to express how they felt. We have lived in the same world for centuries. They have much to be happy about but no they all want to extrapolate the situation for their egos. Kind of tragic if you ask me.” I puff out a cloud of smoke.

“You have a point. I just wonder how others see it. Do they truly believe they’re right or were they never taught to think? Education is the first step towards leading a better life. The education system keeps getting worse. Less free thinking and more memorization. All the schools do is perpetuate the problems. Some good teachers still try but the majority just do what they’re told. When in war for us soldiers we must follow our general’s orders no matter what. If we don’t we are labeled deserters. And if we follow the orders and it creates a travesty we’re labeled tyrants. Both things are wrong but society gets to dictate what’s right or wrong.”

“People need to just walk away. Follow your heart and if you’re wrong accept it then move on. And if it gets too hard take a nap. Everything will be better when you awake.”

“I’m not sure laziness is what we need.”

“Would you rather be a lazy bum or someone who only does what he is told?”

“Valid point King of Sloth. Well go find your brother I’m going to drink this bottle of wine and take a nap. Use the code phrase to wake me up.”

“What code!?!”

“The High General’s wife is a slut.”

“Really? That’s the code? Fine! Just don’t go into the brothel because I’m not pulling you out of that diseased cesspool.”

“Probably was caused by the High General’s wife.”

“You don’t like him do you?”

“Fuck you. Go talk to Ariex and remember the code. It’ll save your life.”

sa;bdry

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