Shabina stared at Rydin.
Rydin refused to meet her gaze.
The humming of the lights was the only sound that broke the silence. Their past together hummed along with it.
How fast did the light travel? Not as fast as the swirl of emotions and thoughts of everything.
Neither of them said anything.
Lavindra said nothing either. For once she was at a loss for words. She could have entered the cell same as Shabina but did not.
Shabina finally spoke, her words were rushed like she was trying to get them out quickly.
“Rydin Razi of the Sanctuary Meeqat, you have interfered with The Opening of the World Water Council Session….”
Shabina paused, it looked like she was having difficulty believing what she had to say next. When she spoke it was like rapid fire.
“…. you have performed Full Spectrum a destructive and dangerous form of Spectrum outlawed under the Waterist Resolution…”
“… the punishment for your first offence is life imprisonment.”
“…. the punishment for the second is Full Dehydration….”
“… what do you have to sa–“
“So you are jealous, right?” Rydin cut her sentence off.
Shabina stalled, Lavindra looked amazed.
“Excuse me Rydin.” Shabina was truly unsettled.
“You are jealous of course. The Great Shabina Rhung, Potential Protector can’t do full Spectrum, and the useless Rydin Razi just did it.”
Shabina seemed at a loss, Rydin was anything but, as he answered back.
“I would much prefer the Full Dehydration to Prison, so if you can arrange the extractor, we can call it a date.” Rydin had a confident look, which faltered a little as he added, “but killing is easier said than done… please tell them not so screw it up or I’m lucked.”
Shabina was trying to control herself, and failing.
“Is this some kind of game? Do you understand the consequences of what you have done?
Rydin however didn’t back down. Rather he slowly stood up. “Don’t act like you give a damn,” he gestured wildly as his words tumbled out. “I do know that you are only here because I ruined your precious ceremony. I know that I am not speaking to you, but to Potential Shabina Rhung. I don’t know that person.
Shabina’s face was slowly contorting; it would only take one more push of the line.
Rydin was on a rant, growing bolder, and like he had done many times before, he pushed…
“I don’t know why I interfered, but it is clear that I should have just minded my own business, and let my brothers destroy each other, and you in the process. My humble apology, YOUR MAJESTY!”
…and he pushed too far.
Shabina lost it on him, and lunged forward grabbing his wrists and slamming him into the wall. She held him there.
Rydin’s confident demeanour disintegrated: like a prism smashed into a million pieces. He now had a totally different look on his face. He yelled in pain, but the pain had nothing to do with the physical impact or even the cuts on his body. No the pain was of something else. A look of…
They were face-to-face, inches apart. Rydin grimaced in her tight grip, she refused to lessen it. In another place, someone could easily mistake them for two people madly in love, pressed tightly against each other.
They were simply mad though: at each other.
Shabina spoke in razor tones, “How do you know how to use Full Spectrum?”
Rydin labouring to speak, “I don’t.”
Shabina. “Stop lying.”
Rydin. “I am not.”
“I can make you divulge it.”
Rydin looked very afraid all of a sudden. “Don’t you dare.”
Shabina had a wild look in her eye… Rydin’s look had transformed like he was in absolute terror, gone was the determination, the bluster…
He tried to fidget out of her hold; she looked down at his futile attempts.
“Don’t bother. You know how much stro-”
She stopped speaking and surveyed his wrists.
“Why are your wrists bandaged up?”
She relaxed her vice-like grip and he immediately began picking at what was left of the bandages on his wrist. They had been torn to make room for the tubes coming out of his wrists.
He shook his head not wanting to answer. He looked around trying to figure out how to put some distance between the two of them. There was nowhere for him to go. Shabina stepped back a tiny bit though.
She asked again, “Rydin, WHY ARE YOUR WRISTS BANDAGED?”
Rydin paused, “Wait… I thought you wanted to know how I did Full Spectrum?”
Shabina, “You told me you stopped doing that.”
Rydin looked away, “I did, I was just shaving.”
“Wait are these cuts from the tubes? Or did you shave your wrists?” Shabina sounded incredulous.
“Both I think. One can never be too presentable. I started shaving my face and got carried away.” Rydin flashed a fraudulent smile full of teeth while pointing towards his wrists.
“You look better with a beard, you look like a kid right now.”
“That’s what we are discussing right now, my appearance? I thought you wanted to know about Full Spectrum?”
“Rydin you’re seeping water from those bandages.” Shabina sounded alarmed.
“Umm, I think that’s probably not the only place.” Rydin gestured to the many cuts the tubes had made when inserted into him.
Shabina, “But you’re seeping from your wrist wateries! Why didn’t the lysician treat this?”
Rydin, “Oh probably because I am going to die or get looped anyway right, so what does it matter if I dry out?”
Shabina halted at hearing him say those words.
“Your punishment hasn’t been decided.”
Rydin, “C’mon Potential you wrote it in your theses yourself. Full Spectrum use is completely outlawed. There are no exceptions to punishment for users. It’s the only thing all three Facets ever agreed upon.”
“Yes, but we need more information. After all, maybe. Well, it’s just that. Look we need to…”
“Shabina you’re starting and stopping your sentences,” Rydin said softly. He looked at her with an odd expression.
The two of them just kept staring, each of them fighting lines of history crashing into the present.
Rydin spoke calmly, “I don’t know how I did it or why I intervened, okay, but you are never going to take that at line value. You want to understand for yourself.” Rydin stuck out his wrists and began to unwrap what was left of the bandages which was literally nothing., “So go ahead. It looks like today is my last day anyway so since the cuts are already made there’s one less step.”
Shabina bit her lip, “Rydin…”
Suddenly Shabina was jerked backwards, and spun around.
At some point Lavindra had entered the cell. Lavindra looked disgusted, and pointed at Shabina who was now face to face with her.
Lavindra was furious. “You would dare use that on him!”
Shabina (the moment over), snapped lines in attention. “Mind your own business.”
“There is no way, you could loop him instantly.” Lavindra was vehement in her opposition.
“We may have to dehydrate him, so I need that information first!” Shabina was no less strong in her counter.
Lavindra still shook her head. “It could have been a fluke.”
Shabina shook her head, “It was no fluke.”
Lavindra, “Oh, do you know something about him the rest of us don’t? I mean since you guys were so intimate; you must know everything about him.”
Rydin’s face expanded at the comment. He watched the exchange that was about him, yet somehow he was being completely ignored.
Shabina looked exasperated, “I don’t know what you are insinuating, but drop that line right now!”
Lavindra wasn’t ceding even a tiny line part. “I don’t think you are telling me the truth, Shabby.”
Shabina seemed a bit more on the defensive, “I don’t care what you think, or feel is the truth.”
Rydin looked back and forth between the two of them, he seemed unsure exactly of what was going on here.
Lavindra pressed her more, “Do you want to Middle on it? If I win you tell me what you know. If you win you can do with him as you wish.”
Shabina look flustered, “What… don’t be stupid that is a nonsense waste of time.”
“Oh is it Shab, or are you afraid you won’t be able to hold a Middle with how all over the place you are right now?”
Shabina reached for her prism in response but didn’t pull it from her wristlet. “Fine, I bet that you are the one,” nodding her head slightly towards Rydin, “that is scattered lines.”
Lavindra water blushed furiously, “Take that back right now!”
Advantage Shabina. “Oh yes Lav, you are so opposed to using that on him, right! Especially since the Wrazes never use it on anyone right?” Shabina’s laugh at the end completely rattled Lavindra.
Lavindra fumed. “This is different”
Shabina smiled, “I bet.”
“So you would protect him over The Facet, Lav?”
Lavindra looked confused, “I never said that.”
Shabina smiled. “Then what is it? Are you afraid of finding out the truth?”
“You know you two don’t need to fight, especially over me.” Rydin tried to inject himself back in to the conversation.
Lavindra looked at him as if she had forgotten he was there. She looked beyond annoyed at his interruption.
“Who asked for your opinion, Rydin? This is between me and Shabina!”
Rydin kept the smile frozen on his face, trying to look cool while slowly moving his gaze to the ceiling. He tried to whistle, except all that came out was a pffffttt whoosh of air.
Lavindra turned back to Shabina and picked up her line of speaking. “What if we do ‘that’ to him together?
Shabina looked disgusted. “No way, do I want to be part of three way with you!”
Rydin’s mouth hung open and he looked like he wanted to say something, but just closed it instead.
“FINE!” Lavindra whipped out her prism, it’s 7 colours of resin drizzled and crisscrossed as if you could’t tell where one color started and the other ended. “How about we Middle for it! Inter vs. Multi!
Instinctively Shabina pulled out her own prism from her wrist. It’s 7 colored diagonal bars clearly separated from each other. Shabina looked at Rydin. “That is only allowed in battle, or at the Lining Festival. We could both lose out Potential Spots! Besides what if that activates his—”
Lavindra smiled as Shabina looked stunned, “Shabby you liar.”
And before Shabina could react, Lavindra flicked the end of her prism and it dissolved. Seven colours of spectrum flowed out and quickly solidified. The colours wound around each other in an Inter Twined mass.”
“Lavindra, NO!” Shabina’s prism reacted automatically and seven colours cascaded out as it dissipated: solidifying as Multiple Objects in the air.
Their impromptu creations came very close to one another.
Red. Orange. Yellow.
Violet. Indigo. Blue.
A rush of wind neither hot nor cold.
“What is going-“
But Rydin didn’t finish his words as Lavindra and Shabina’s solidified lines collided. The fragments bounced wildly and suddenly began to pull towards Rydin.
Lavindra smiled gleefully, “Now let’s see what happens.”
Shabina, “You…you SET ME UP!“
But Lavindra didn’t have long to gloat, as the fragments slammed into Rydin knocking him into the wall. So hard in fact the tubes into him ripped out.
“OWWWW, WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH BOTH OF YOU!”
Shabina walked towards him, “Rydin I am sor-”
But without sound, Rydin began glowing a bright white.
It started as a small silhouette but then it began expanding rapidly. It ripped off pieces of the wall.
Lavindra’s cocky look turned to fear. “But those walls are made of reinforced lining..”
Shabina, “You idiot! Rydin, turn it OFF!”
Rydin, “If I knew how to do that, would I be in this mess in the first place?”
The white light doubled in size, it was still silent.
The light was pulsating in untimed and jittery motions, like it was heaving. Then…
CRACK and a blinding flash, a sour smell.
Shabina was blanketed by a white fog that felt like it was made of millions of tiny squishy particles. It threw her back. The bars should have expanded and stopped her but as she flew backwards she noticed the bars had dissolved. She kept flying backwards, and somehow she and Lavindra thudded together in a heaping mess on a brown flecked carpet. She heard voices of alarm, but they seemed very distant.
Shabina looked up and saw a massive hole in the wall she had just come through. As she squinted she realized there was no cell anymore, no floor no ceiling. In fact the there was a tunnel where the cells back wall had been extending hundreds of line lengths back. She could see open sky.
She couldn’t see Rydin.
For the second time that day…
Shabina looked at her unconscious cousin who was bleeding water. Shabina realized she was bleeding water too.
As Shabina passed out her last words were “It’s all going white…”