Excerpt: Ki-Chan Book #2: Zodiac Dreams

(NOTE: A recurring theme of Book #2 is that Ti-Chan accidentally discovers a brand new power, the ability to travel into Ki-Chan's dreams. Here, he makes his second trip by mistake, and at this stage, hasn't told anyone about this new power. As noted in the last book, the current Humanesques share their bodies with beings known as the Zodiac Soldiers. Ti-Chan is about to meet the duo he and Ki-Chan were patterned after. An enemy from Basheeba's past is linked with Mindy, but we will see them in a future book. FOr now, let's head into a rough introduction!)

It’s early in the morning on Sunday. Ti-Chan is sound asleep in bed, rolling over onto his right side. In his dreams, he is back in a black room as he was months ago, but now he finds a small light. Running into the light, he finds it is peeking through from behind a giant boulder. Using all of his energy to push the boulder aside, he reveals an opening to a great, grassy field.

Ti-Chan: Where am I? This isn’t Chichibu.

A cool breeze blows past him, causing goosebumps to pop and spread over his arms. The high sun does nothing to warm the area. He tries to walk forward, looking for anything familiar.

Ti-Chan: If the grass wasn’t so high, wet and plentiful.. I might think this was the Serengeti in Africa.
Voice: You are a Leo. Is there anyplace else a lion would be?

Ti-Chan turns quickly to see a version of himself in metal armor, tied to a tree with vines, as if he was being crucified. There is a square shaped spiral cut out from the metal over each of the man’s breast plates, revealing a muscular, hairy chest. Slits all over the arms and legs allow for movement, though as the man is tied to the tree, he is not able to leave. Matching the armor, a slate, gray-blue helmet with white ribbons and a white feather adorns his head.

Ti-Chan:… You… I think you’re Leonis. You’re me, right?
Leonis: Nay, Tige. You are patterned after me, but we are not the same soul. The day will come when we are separated for good.
Ti-Chan: Well.. how did you get up there? Where are we? Are you hurt? Let me get you d-
Leonis: STAY BACK!!

Ti-Chan hesitates. Leonis turns his head forward, motioning for Ti-Chan’s eyes to follow his direction.

Leonis: …. She doesn’t forgive herself. The Scorpio Soldier. She rescued me, saved my life. But still she does not forgive.
Ti-Chan: Forgive … what?
Leonis: This half is our side, the plain belonging to our father constellation of Leo. Look yonder.

Ti-Chan’s eyes follow the grass ahead. On his side, the sky is a crisp, clear blue with just a few white clouds. But there is a split in the sky where it turns a dark, blood red with black clouds. Looking down, he sees a familiar, yellow baseball cap, hiding in the green grass.

Ti-Chan: Pixie?

She doesn’t answer him. She is crouching low like a lion, looking for something. Her eyes dart up, and she moves, just as a blast of energy shoots past her.

Voice: You fool. Have you ANY idea the danger he is in??
Ki-Chan: ‘Couse I do! Why d’ya think m’ here?
Voice: Then you are aware that YOU are partly to blame!!

Similar to Leonis, though with circular cuts in armor instead of square, a double for Ki-Chan appears. Her eyes are glowing pure white. She bears black mascara and her lips are blood red. Her hair is longer, combed. She shoots energy beams at Ki-Chan as the girl dodges, trying to stay ahead of her moves.

Ti-Chan: That must be… Basheeba? What’s going on?? Why is she attacking Ki-Chan? Don’t they share a body?
Leonis: She is not attacking her. She is training her, strengthening her on the Scorpion side. Lady Basheeba is aware Kiana is her vessel, but just as she would of herself, she expects the girl to be at a level higher than that of even the Starwalkers.
Ti-Chan: WHAT?? That’s crazy!! The Starwalkers are GODS!

Ki-Chan dodges another blast before finally firing off one herself, but Basheeba deflects it, then raises a hand.

Basheeba: KIANA!! You hold back your full potential when all of your power is needed, yet you unleash all when only a fraction is necessary. For the sake of the Leo Soldier, you must find within you a balance. Harness your potential or he will fall.
Ki-Chan: Bu’ ‘s hard! I don’ mean ta get s’ damn angry.
Basheeba: Anger is only one of your issues, child. You intended harm onto your victims, but you lacked control. Whether you save his life or not, he will fall because of your missteps.
Ki-Chan: Did… did Leonis fall … b‘cause o’ you?

Basheeba fires an energy shot into Ki-Chan’s left shoulder, then dashes across the field. She spins Ki-Chan backwards, then locks her arms under and over Ki-Chan’s, locking her hands behind Ki-Chan’s head.

Ti-Chan: KI-CHAN!! Basheeba, let her go!!
Basheeba: DO YOU SEE THIS?? Look, child, gaze upon Leonis. Can you see how he is held?
Ki-Chan: ACK!! Yeah! ‘S like … A … TREE JEBUS!!
Basheeba: I was a fool, such as yourself once. I did not have control over my powers, nor my temper. I was blind. And this was what became of Leonis, crucified alive by thorns. Jealousy… the potential that he may bed someone other than myself... my own rage blinded me. I was not witness to what the demons were planning. Had I been more observant, controlled myself, but struck sooner, he never would have been shackled in such a way. Is this the future you desire for Tige? IS IT??

Ki-Chan screams, letting loose enough energy to break free from Basheeba. She grits her teeth as her eyes begin to glow, slowly turning white. She lunges at Basheeba, and the two trade fists.

Ti-Chan:..This is taking beating yourself up to a psychotic level.
Leonis: Lady Basheeba. She was able to rescue me from this state. She saved my life, my virtue. And yet… She is displeased. She blames herself for these shackles, and cannot forgive herself. Again and again, I have tried but to no avail. I am unable to save Basheeba from the one thing that cost her … her life.
Ti-Chan: What was it that really killed Basheeba?
Leonis: …. Herself. You were told this, were you not?

Ti-Chan’s eyes widen, remembering. He turns to Ki-Chan, who is battling Basheeba now in the red side of the field.

Leonis: Rough though she may be… Kiana... is very much like Basheeba in every way. She is the strongest of all of us in terms of power, but her heart… is fragile. Tige… she needs you... Much more than you could ever know. More than she will say. Can you be for her... more than I tried to be... for Basheeba?

Ti-Chan wakes up with a start. He hears rustling from the room next door. Bleary eyed and groggy, he leaps out of bed and over to the next room, where the door is slightly opened a crack. Ki-Chan is still in her green star pajamas, pulling out a white t-shirt from the closet, her cap held brim up in her teeth.

Ti-Chan: … Pixie? What are you doing up this early?

She pops her head out of the closet, looking determined.

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