Fun Fictional Distractions
A video had been leaked of an off-grid meeting, and the Sai the Oracle guy was there. Kailian was watching it while Nakase slept in the passenger seat of the self-driving box truck she had lifted to get them out of town. The light of Kai’s tablet was the only light for miles in this place. She knew the light might wake Nakase, but she also knew how fast clips like this seemed to disappear these days, so it was worth it.
The yellow dragon laughed on the screen as an off-screen voice, probably the person making the video, kept asking him questions. The video was looking up at his chest, so it must have been shot by a normal-sized human, or something of a similar size.
"Yeah," the yellow dragon said, "Like most of us, you've been taught to gather information from outside yourself. From articles, books, expert opinions…"
"And you want to fill my head with your facts, right?" The off-screen voice cut in. "Why should I listen to your facts and info over people who have doctorates in…"
Kailian was scanning the background, beyond the yellow dragon in his deep orange robes, half listening to what was being said. There were several individuals moving around. They were all outdoors under a clear blue sky.
"So you want to know why anyone would want me to teach them," the dragon said, sitting up from leaning in to listen to the questioner. "First, I'm not interested in giving anyone more facts. The journey I'm on, the one some have chosen to follow me on, is to find clarity, and to experience freedom, lightness, in their bodies. Learning and understanding with the head can’t do that."
There was a brown rabbit walking by giving the person making the video a scowl as he passed.
"Mhmm…" Kailian said to herself. She remembered a rabbit being mentioned by that redneck motorcycle gang. That's not what she was looking for, here, but it was a sign that she was on the right track.
"...Well, you already know everything needed to do anything I can do," the yellow dragon was saying. "There's a reason why most hero's journeys end in the same place they started. The hero goes on a journey to be shaped by experiences, not dead knowledge..."
Kailian sighed deeply and slowly. She kept scanning the background, slitted pupils wide. Why would a guy like this have a Valkyrie dragon around, anyway?
More passers by in the video were giving the camera looks. The way it bobbed suggested concealment, perhaps in clothing or a pair of glasses.
Kailian snarled a little. There were so many times she felt less like a hero in her own story, and more like a monster. Even here, now, when non-humans had a place in society, she still could feel trepidation from others wherever she went. Sometimes it was fun to play that up, to make people jump. A visceral fear response, immediate fight or flight, from casuals or targets felt like a form of power, and power was fun. Not that she got to play with that much anymore. Not since her career change.
"Hey! No cameras allowed here! Sai, he's got a wearable!" Sputtered the rabbit as the video turned to look at the rabbit running up quickly.
"It's alright," the yellow dragon said. "I'll take care of it…"
The camera jerked, and Kailian saw him. He was in the background.
"Aha!" She said, nearly shouting.
The yellow dragon, Sai, did some movements with his hands, blurred by the camera as it turned to look at him again. In the next frames, the camera slowly adjusted as whoever was recording looked around a city street and said, "shit!"
Kailian backed up the video and zoomed in. That definitely was a Valkyrie in the background.
"Yep," she smiled. "I'm gonna find you, you nasty little brother."
"What?" Nakase said drowsily.
Kailian looked over to see Nakase stirring slowly.
"I'm so sore," Nakase said plaintively.
Kailian glared, her own ears drooping a little.
"Please," Kai said, rolling her eyes and looking away with a pained expression, "You'll get used to it."
"Where are we?" Nakase said, looking around the pitch blackness outside the vehicle.
"Safe for now," Kailian growled. "That's all that matters."
"No, I have work to do," Nakase said.
Kailian sighed and slumped.
"I was doing so well," Nakase mumbled, "I was getting somewhere. So were you, I thought. Why did you have to do…. All this? Why now?"
Kailian glared into the darkness. Her tolerance for words was dropping really quickly.
"How are you seeing clients if you're doing stuff like this?" Nakase said, sounding more tense.
"There has to be more to life than just work all the time," Kailian growled.
"Have you stopped seeing clients!?" Nakase said, her eyes getting wider.
Kailian opened the door, got out and closed it behind her. She rubbed her back and grunted.
Why does she have to be like this? She thought to herself, baring her fangs and clenching a fist.
She walked around to the back of the truck, activating a light in her jacket. She had already broken off the locks, and the latch was easy enough to operate. She opened the door enough to pull out the saddle bag. She carefully pulled out the metal figure. She pulled the paper from her coat. Sure enough, the size of the paper and the figure were about the same. Kailian smiled, showing her teeth. She laid the figure carefully on the paper.
"Wouldn't you know it," she said proudly.
She read the words that weren't blocked by the figure aloud.
"The monarchs sleep where the children played
Find the door in Ocampo Michoacan
Where the lightest wings pervade
Kailian looked at the message silently for a moment.
"It still doesn't make sense," she growled.
Ocampo and Michoacan were a place names. That much was obvious.
She set the message and figure down with a soft clank and pulled her tablet from her pocket.
"Aha," she said with a grin.
Her ears flickered and she looked up to see Nakase coming around the truck.
"Looks like we're going to Mexico." Kailian said.
"We?" Nakase said, still sounding flustered.
"You know, whatever." Kailian growled. "I'm going to Mexico. You can come with."
Nakase looked around the dark. Woods were barely visible around them. She sighed.
"Fine," she said at last. "I'll go. There's a mess waiting for me when I get back, anyway."
Kailian nodded. She was already thinking of how to get there. It wouldn't be easy, but she wasn't letting this mysterious little brother get away, again.