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Class 12 – Rhaetian Revelation
Kyane plummeted down a pitch-black hole. Ink pens would be jealous of the blackness she fell through. There was no light above or below. She reached around her to grab onto anything, but never did. Her stomach threw itself up her chest and into her throat. She covered her mouth to try and tide the sickness. It helped.
“Kyane,” a faint voice said in the echoing darkness. “Can you hear me?” It felt warm and familiar, but the name and face of the person escaped her. Like if she could just look past the dripping ink around her, she would see exactly who it was, and it would all click.
“Hello,” she called back. Her own voice echoed back to her. “Can someone help me?” She asked. The falling continued. No reply came. She looked around again. Still no light. She patted her body. She didn’t have any of her armor pieces.
“Can you hear my, Ky?” said another distance, echoing voice. The darkness around her buzzed and shivered.
“Hey? Where the hell am I? What’s going on?” she asked. The fall continued. The rushing of her body awakened something inside her. Like a trigger. A memory hit her. When she fell during class there was blackness followed by her at an amusement park roller coaster. She was falling in black ink… she was out! The ink shivered again.
“Ky, wake up!” said the faded voice. Yet, it didn’t echo this time.
Light began shining in Kyane’s face. The light was overbearing at best. It felt like she just removed a face mask at the beach. She covered her eyes only for the light to adjust. She blinked and heard a beeping by her head. Her vision cleared and feeling returned to her limbs. She was in a hospital gown in a hospital bed. Her parents, Jerry, Shaotoro, Jamie, and Desmond were around her on both sides.
“Told you she would wake up!” Hinotomi said.
“I knew she would,” Shaotoro said.
“You were a total badass, Ky,” Desmond said. “Sorry for my language.”
“The video was pretty cool,” Jamie said.
“what?” Kyane said. Her voice was still weak. “what happened? how long was I out? where’s Die?”
“We’ll tell you later, just rest,” Damon said.
“You were out for two days,” Jamie said. He then pulled a tray over with her belt and bracelets. “They took them off when they changed you. We kept them for safety.”
Jerry stood up and clapped his hands. “Good to see you’re up and will be back soon. I have work to do.” Vic stayed huddled in the corner.
“bye, thanks for not letting me die,” Kyane said, waving him out. “such a way with words.”
Jamie checked his phone. “I should go too. I’ll be back tomorrow after school.” He got up, slung his book bag over his shoulder and walked out.
“so what happened?” Kyane asked. “while I was out, I mean?”
“Well…” Damon began. His voice trailed off when he realized he didn’t have the words.
“I saw you kick that big guys ass.”
“Watch yo language, son!” a stern voice came from the doorway. “You know I raised you better than to curse in front of a woman!” The group turned and saw a couple, one was a shorter woman in scrubs and curvy hair. The other was a big guy with a short flat-top cut in business casual attire.
“Give him a break, Jude,” the man said. “His woman was attacked by some thugs.”
“Hey… mom, pa,” Desmond said. He stood up. “What’s up?” He ran his fingers over his jeans.
“I heard your girlfriend got hurt and we decided to see if she was okay. Also she can’t run away from us this time,” the man joked. He reached out his hand. Damon met it with his. “Barry Dice. Nice to meet you.” They shook hands. Barry put his free hand on top of their shake. He stepped aside after and showed off his wife. “This is my wife Judy.”
“Thank you dear.” Judy rested her hand along his arm. “Why didn’t you introduce us to her parents? Are you so embarrassed by yo mother and father that much?”
“Na… na… no.” Desmond walked to the other side of the bed to meet his parents. “I just didn’t expect you to visit Kyane, she was hurt.”
“hi,” Kyane said. “it’s great to see you again.”
“It’s nothin darlin,” Judy said. “I heard from Dessy here that you got attacked by some thugs, but that nice Dieous man saved you. How you feelin?”
“Well, we better get going,” Barry said. “It was nice meeting you guys. Desmond, you coming with us?”
“He can stay with us for a bit. Treat him for dinner,” Hinotomi said. “If that is okay with you guys?”
“Great, love it!” Barry said.
“Call when you’re done, Dessy.”
“Will do, ma.”
Desmond’s parents left, leaving it only in silence.
Shaotoro eyeballed Damon and Hinotomi. Damon got it. “Are you hungry, Desmond?” He asked. “There is a good Chinese place just down the block. Best dumplings in Tower!”
“I could eat,” Desmond said. He walked over to Kyane and placed his hand over hers. “Get better, Ky.”
“all i can do.”
Kyane’s parents kissed her and told her the same, and that they would be back later. The three left, leaving only Kyane and Shaotoro in the room. Shaotoro was oddly silent through the whole ordeal. He kept his legs crossed on the seat and head facing her but face never giving away what he was thinking or feeling.
Kyane leaned forward and squinted at him. “how are you, sensei?”
“Scared. Worried. Nervous. Futta, magomusume.”
“why? i’m here. bad guy is beaten. time to party.”
Shaotoro shook his head. “You almost died. You were not ready to use the move.”
“i was just beaten half to death before i did it. it’s no biggie. i can do it fine, no problem.”
“It’s always going to be something.” He uncrossed his legs and walked across the cold tile flooring.
“maybe not. that might have been the end.”
“You know that’s not true.”
Kyane rolled her eyes. They stung. “what’s your point? you were hired to train me to fight and be a teacher. you should expect it.”
Shaotoro nodded to her points. “You’re correct on all of those things. But,” he exhaled and paused. He looked over Kyane lying in bed. Wires and an IV drip hung off her body. Her face was generously painted in black and blues. He couldn’t imagine the rest of her. “I did not think it would hurt so much to see my own granddaughter getting torn apart like that.” He scratched her arm. She was freezing. “You got lucky; I just don’t know when it will be unlucky.”
“sensei,” she said. she covered his hand with her own. “i need to do it. no one else can. and you can’t put anyone else in danger. i won’t pass this responsibility over to anyone else. you can stop training me, but i won’t stop fighting. not until tower city is safe.” She cracked a smile. She started laughing. Shaotoro furrowed his brow. “training me will keep you in shape.”
“Yeah…” Shaotoro said with no guidance.
Kyane kept laughing. “no, you don’t get it-ow. i just imagine you sitting in the dojo eating like a million rice cakes and getting fat and getting into jerry springer or something.” Her laugh started to fade. “ow, ow, ow, ow.” She grabbed her side.
Shaotoro cracked a smile. “You’re a special girl, Kyane. I love you.”
“love you too, sensei.”
Shaotoro shook his head. “Grandpa. Call me grandpa.”
“okay, grandpa.” He put his hand over hers.