Chapter 32

As Crow and Zavala made their way through the Eliksni Quarter, they passed a cluster of young Eliksni gathered around a mechanical dog. One hatchling ran forward and stopped short in front of Zavala, her four arms full of candy. She looked up at him and chittered with delight. A chuckle escaped Zavala's lips, and he was surprised by his own sudden smile. Crow waved him on, and they eventually found themselves in front of a small but impressive workshop. A Sparrow sat suspended on a lift, thrusters removed. An Eliksni tinkered beneath.

"It's coming along," Crow called out. The teenage mechanic jerked in surprise and hit her head on the Sparrow. She muttered an Eliksni phrase under her breath.

"Itzelas, who taught you such curse-talk?" Niik chided as she rounded the corner.

"You did," Itzelas replied with a grin.

"Hm, very likely. Come. Greet our guests."

"Niik and her sister, Itzelas. This is Commander Zavala," Crow said.

"Itzelas? That's a unique name," Zavala said.

Niik slung two arms around her younger sister. "Standard Eliksni would not do for this one." Itzelas pushed her arms away, earning a laugh from Niik.

Zavala nodded. "A pleasure to meet you both. We don't want to keep you, but… well, there's something I wanted to deliver personally to you today."

He held up a small, unsuspecting toolbox. Niik's eyes went wide, and she gasped.

"Amanda's instructions were to share them with someone who 'has machinery on the brain and oil in their veins.' We couldn't think of anyone more fitting, Niik, than you," Crow explained.

Niik accepted the gift, and Zavala held out an item wrapped in cloth toward Itzelas. "And from what Crow has told me about you, I am sure Amanda would want you to have this."

Itzelas unwrapped the cloth, revealing a well-loved spanner. She tenderly touched the initials engraved on the tool, then hugged it to her chest. "Commander… I would like to know her. As you knew her. Will you share her stories?"

"There are Servitor's holo-recordings. We could together-watch," Niik said and motioned for the two Guardians to come inside. "Would you like… some tea?"

Zavala looked down into the hopeful gaze of Itzelas and recognized something he had seen in a young Human girl… so many years ago.

"I would be honored to share her with you."

Chapter 28

Category: Eliksni

Chapter 7

Chapter 31

Category: Book: Tales of the Forgotten – Vol. 3


Chapter 30

Category: Zavala

Chapter 3: Towerless