Zero Year Chapter One

Zero Year is finally upon us!!! Enter the Realm of Maisha Sayari and enjoy the story of Zero Year!!!

Before You Read Chapter One

Key information/terms

  • Goskeechü Ashe Suitakü: the literal translation Shari Shari to English is “Knowledge ashe everything”. It means you can’t lie to the ashe and the ashe will not lie to you. Whatever you feel the ashe is telling you is true.
  • Centering: This is when people press their hands together making prayer hands to focus their ashe.
  • Ohunu: The Ohunu is the Lightning’s Intelligence agency.
  • Storm gates: The Storm Gates are the Lightnings Civilian Security and Protection organization. (Not a police force)
  • -Küch: is the suffix ending you’d use when referring to a superior in Shari Shari (Eastern language). 
  • Roskaazek: It is a Shari Shari curse word that can mean anything depending on the context.
  • Nature dye: When someone’s hair naturally is the color of the elemental nature. Yellow for lightning. Blue for water and Red for Earth. 

Key Setting

  • Chapter one takes place twenty-one years prior to the beginning of the story in Umemardhi or the Lightning nation western jungles. Majority of the lightning is made of jungles. 

Key Characters

Picrew: https://picrew.me/image_maker/296093

Nyarai A. Aku

Alias: Black Cat / Kitten

Age: [4] 24 (17/04/1370)

Home Nation: Western Umemardhi, Sharichui (Lightning nation, Eastern Realm)

Occupation: Youth Combat Instructor (Ohunu Head of Financial Crime Regulation)

Ashe Element/Influence/Ability: Lightning/ Eclipse/ Shaker

In story fact: Nyarai is directional dyslexic and has no sense of direction (left, right, N,S,W,E). She tells left & right by bracelet & bolt. She wears a bracelet on her left wrist and she has a lightning bolt tattoo on the right side of her head. She’s an ambidextrous so remembering by handiness wouldn’t help.

Raziya Aku

Alias: Leopard/ Raz

Age: [26] 47 (22/08/1347)

Home Nation: Western Umemardhi, Sharichui

Occupation: [Ohunu Head of Social Analytics & Research] Chief Ohunu Intelligence Coordinator

Ashe E/I/A: Lighting/Base/Flash

In story fact: Raz is primarily an Academic. She isn’t an Ohunu field agent although she is well qualified for field work.

Dakarai Nwadike

Alias: The Ashe Trembler / Eastern King / Gift from Umechui / Old man

Age: [70] 91 (11/11/1303)

Home Nation: Southern Umemardhi, Sharichui

Occupation: Agradahene and Head of Nwadike tribe

Ashe E/A/I: Lightning/Magnet (Solar)/ Shaker

In story fact: He is incorrectly considered a meditation guru, based on how much time he spends meditating. Despite his great strength he didn’t awaken the spirit state until he was 30, while most people of his caliber awaken it in their teens or early twenties. He was never good at meditation and was never pressed to rage. He wasn’t good at meditation until his 40s.

Kwame D. Nwadike

Alias: Pure Gold / Eastern Prince

Age: 45 (05/01/1328) died 1378

Home Nation: Southern Umemardhi, Sharichui

Occupation: Chief Ohunu Intelligence Coordinator

Ashe E/I/A: Earth/Base/ Metal production | Lightning/Magnetic/ Metal Magnet

In story Fact: It’s said that he has two ashe elements, because Umechui and Jiwetembo both wanted him to represent them with his power.

Khari Y. Nwadike

Alias: Silent Storm / The Runaway

Age: [32] 53 (30/04/1340)

Home Nation: Southern Umemardhi, Sharichui

Occ: [Head of Lightning Advisory Council] Head Chair of UPFR council (1 of 3) 

Ashe E/I/A: Lighting/Storm/Cloud Rider

In story fact: After his Brother’s death, he moved his family to the UPFR and took a job on the council. To people who don’t know him personally, he is known as a coward and the runaway.

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ZERO YEAR DISCLAIMER: Though many of the Zero Year’s elements are inspired by and based on existing African Cultures, Zero Year is not an accurate representation of African cultures. The purpose of ZY is to appreciate and pay homage to African Culture via a fictional story and world. Zero Year is not real and shouldn’t be treated as a canon of African Cultures, traditions, practices, and people.

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Chapter One: Goskeechü Ashe Suitakü

The roars of thunder broke through the steady hum of the rain. Dark clouds hid the night sky. Strikes of lightning lit the dark sky for a millisecond at a time every so often. It was rain season in Umemardhi. The rain would remain, but in the morning, the thunderstorm would be over like always. The violence in the clouds woke up Nyarai. Her skin was brown with spots of vitiligo along her forehead and fingers. Her nature dyed hair was in twist with purple kitten barrettes at the ends. She was only four and had yet to grow accustomed to the stormy nights. She left her bed in search of her father. A story would do the trick.

She wasn’t tall enough to turn on the lights, so she ran her hands along the walls as she walked down the hall. She turned the knob to her parents’ room and opened the door. “Daddy, I can’t sleep,” she yawned, rubbing her eyes.

They weren’t sleeping in the bed. She walked around to the master bath to check for them. Lightning flashed from the window, and she quickly ran out of the room. She thought he might be in his study, but the door was locked. The thunder growled her again, so she kept moving to the front of the house. Maybe he was out front with Mommy. The living room was also empty. She climbed on the sectional and turned on the lights.

           Files were all over the floor. The front door swung back and forth in the wind. The rain was coming in the house. Maybe they were outside. She was too scared to put on her Hijab or shoes. Just as her toes touched the wet porch, Purple lightning exploded in the trees in front of her home. 

           The wind howled and whirled past her. It’s was like she felt someone touched her. “Daddy?” She ran with a smile on her face thinking she would finally feel the warm embrace of her father. The wind guided her through the trees into the jungle. She reached an opening and stopped to look at the sky. 

Suddenly a giant owl swooped down at her. She jumped and crouched down on the ground. When she looked up, she couldn’t tell which way she came from. The wind was no longer guiding her. She couldn’t see the house anymore, she was lost. Her father said to never go where she couldn’t see the house. She went too far. 

           Tears started to run down her cheeks. She looked up, and the owl circling her up above the tree. It came down full speed as if she was its prey. Just before it grabbed her, Nyarai was surrounded by a cyan-blue sphere of light. *Light Protection Sphere Three Layers* The owl bounced off the sphere, breaking one of its layers. The owl kept ramming the orb, trying to break the sphere.

           A dark skin woman with an emerald green raincoat and matching Hijab dashed through the trees calling out her to niece. “Kitten!!!” Nyarai opened her eyes and saw the blue light spheres protecting her. “Raz?” she said, wiping her tears as snot ran down her lips.

           *Spirit State: Ashe Awakening*. Raziya’s eyes glowed cyan blue as she picked up speed running to Nyarai. The owl viciously pecked at the spheres until it broke the last layer. Nyarai was fully exposed. She got up and started to run as fast as her little legs allowed. 

           “Kitten!!!”

           “Raz!!!”

           The owl snatched Nyarai by her arms. Her feet were a few centimeters off the ground. *Lightning bolt spear* Raziya called on a bolt from the sky and launched it straight through the owl’s head. 

           “Oh, Kitten, are you okay? Why did you come outside?” she said, hugging her tight.

           Nyarai cried into Raz’s shoulder and tried to answer her. “I… I… I was looking for d… Daddy and I went too f… far. I can’t find him.” 

           Raz wiped Nyarai’s tears as she fought back her own. “It’s okay, love. He’ll be back. Do you wanna spend the night with Titi Raz?” 

           “Okay, but I forgot my shoes and hijab.”

           “It’s okay, I have things for you.”

***

           Five black trucks with six wheels each speed down the road leading to Nyarai’s home. One black car followed behind. Thirty Ohunu agents jumped out of the vehicles dressed in their Anthracite grey uniform rain suits with Umechui’s emblem on the left chest and Ohunu in 3m across the back. 

In the car, the driver stayed in, but Khari, Kwame, and Dakarai exited. Khari was brown skin and average height with a slender build. He had a skin fade and a clean-cut goatee. In his right ear was a hearing aid. He wore the same rain suit as the agents. He walked into the house, followed by agents. 

Kwame was dark skin and stood 12 centimeters taller than his younger brother. He was muscularly built. His dreads were fastened at the top of his head by an emerald encrusted golden bracelet, and a thick beard with streaks of grey. He wore rain boots and rain suit bottoms with no shirt. He accessed the outside situation and directed the agents.

Dakarai’s skin was lighter than both his sons, and he stood just a centimeter taller than Khari. His fit slender build remained even in his advanced age. There was a scare that started at his left temple and ran down to his clavicle. His head was bald, but his grey and white beard reached his chest. He wore sandals, shorts, and an oversized Ohunu raincoat.

           Dakarai opened an umbrella and walked toward Raz. “The Ashe is Black tonight.” 

           “Dakarai-Küch,” Raz greeted as she slightly bowed.

           “How is she?” he asked, walking them to the car.

“She’ll be fine for now.”

           Dakarai wiped Raziya’s tears with his thumb. “I know this is hard on you. I’m grateful that you alerted us as soon as possible. We’ll handle it from here. Get out of this storm and take her home. She’ll need you from here on out.”

           Raziya nodded, got in the backseat with Nyarai. As the car drove off, his mood switched from endearing and loving to angry and impatient. “Khari keep a squad here, Kwame you and yours head south. I’ll go west. Someone get in touch with the Storm gates now!!!”

           “Lord Agradahene-Küch, none of the Storm gates in both the west and south regions are responding,” an agent replied.

           “Contact all regions then. We need to know where Bo and Aza are heading.”

           “Yes, sir.”

           Kwame stood on top of one of the three trucks heading west. *Ashe technique Sensory location*. He connected with all of the ashe within his 600-meter radius searching for Bo or Aza signature. After two or three minutes, an unnatural amount of ashe spiked and was approaching his location. A giant black bird-shaped object swooped down right and crashed in front of the trucks tossing them into the air. 

           Kwame was tossed into the air along with the trucks.*Elemental control: Metal Magnetic Hold* Using his ashe, he caught hold of the trucks and tried breaking the fall. As he tumbled into the ground, his grasp loosed for a split second, and the trucks were thrown into the roots and vines of the trees. 

The trucks were smashed entirely. *Spirit State: Ashe Awakening* Kwame’s eye glowed gold. *Elemental Control: Metal Grip* he motioned his hands and ripped the trucks open. “Is everyone alright? Can anyone continue?” he asked.

           “What was that?” an agent asked.

           “Very black Ashe. I’m going forward. Continue when you can.” 

***

           Back in the house. The agents forced their way into Bomani’s study. Khari and agent Spark were looking through his’s files. They had no clue what they were looking for. Hopefully, something would stand out. All of his Ashe research can’t be gone,” Khari said.

           “Nothing is dated from this year. It’s all late 60s,” Spark replied.

           “Keeping looking we’ll find something,” he said as he felt around for a false shelf or door.

           Spark was going through another box of files until she came across a strange symbol. She ran her fingers across it, and her eyes glowed black. *Ashe Seal Activation: Enchantment Command Kill* She reached for her khopesh and swung for Khari’s head. 

He quickly dodged, disarmed, and pinned her to the ground. “I won’t let another agent go rogue on my watch,” He said with her khopesh at her neck.

           Khari noticed her eyes glowed black. Spark’s eyes glowed a soft yellow in the spirit state. She had to be under some type of trace. He looked other and saw the strange symbol that she had found. He hit her head against the ground, trying to snap her out of it.

           “He was experimenting with seals?” he asked himself.

           “All units beware of any strange symbols. Avoid physical contact with them,” he said in his earpiece.

           “Silent to Gold? Silent to Tiger? Roskaazek!!! I’m getting static. Long-distance communication is jammed. 

***

           Kwame was running through the jungle, getting closer to one of the Storm gate base in the south. To his surprise, a unit of Storm gates were charging at him. 

The Storm gate in front was centering their ashe. *Elemental Production: Sky Strike 7 fold* Seven lightning bolts came down aimed at Kwame.

           *Ashe Technique Stacking: Disruption Sensory Sphere* Kwame reflexively made a sphere of protection. The Storm gates continued to charge toward him. *Magnetic Circular Repel* He created an emp that pushed them back, but they weren’t letting up. “I’ve never seen an enchantment used to this magnitude.”

           The Squad captain grabbed Kwame’s shoulder. Kwame grabbed his wrist and flung him into the other Storm Gates. “Well done, Bo. You were always brilliant. Let’s see if I can break the enchantments without hurting them.”

*Dual Elemental Control: Earth Pit Prison Magnetic Vibration Hold One Third* The ground under the Storm gates opened up and formed a stone cage. All seven of them were trapped in a magnetic hold, unable to move. 

           “Gold to Silent? Gold to Tiger? Roskaazek!!! I’m getting static.”

           *Ashe Technique: Split half* A clone of Kwame appeared and ran off back toward Khari and the house.

***

           Dakarai had made it to a base in the west. He was entirely surrounded by thirty enchanted Storm gates. *Static finger tap one eighth* He lifted his left index finger over his head, and sparks of lightning hit every one of the storm gates knocking them unconscious.

*Godly Summoning: Spirit realm entrance * Dakarai’s eye glowed amber yellow, and he entered the spirit realm. The floor was made of stone tiles with tree roots and vines cracking them. The air was thick with storm clouds. He couldn’t see what was in front of him, but he continued to walk until the stone tiles ended. He looked up, and the clouds parted. Sitting on a throne of storm clouds was Umehui Roho. The Tiger God of Lightning. 

           Dakarai did not kneel, but he cleared his voice and spoke. “Umechui Tell me, am I feeling Usiku Upebundi’s presence?” Umechui looked down at him and saw the persistence in his expression. Dakarai had asked similar questions before, and they always fell on deaf ears, but this time he was going to answer him. “Goskeechü Ashe Suitakü.”

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Behind Chapter One

In this Chapter start with a flashback of Bo and Aza’s flee. Baby Nyarai wakes up in the middle of the night to an empty home. She wonders outside and is saved by her aunt Raziya after being attack by an owl. The Nwadike men and Ohunu agents arrive on the seen in attempt to find Bo and Aza before they cross the boarders. They are encounter with enchanted Storm gates and eventually come up short. Lastly Dakarai visit Umechui in the spirit realm.

Questions I think you might have

How did Raz know to come for Nyarai?

            Kind of a complicated answer but the spoiler free answer is sometimes you just get a bad feeling about things and luckily Raz was right to act on it. 

What is Raz’s relationship to Nyarai?

            Nyarai’s mother Aza is Raziya’s older twin sister. Raz was also Bomani’s best friend growing up. 

Moves and techniques

Moves and techniques are in astric because they aren’t verbalized by anyone. I always thought it was weird in anime that characters said their attacks before or while they did them, so it doesn’t happen at all in zero year.

Use of the words White and Black to describe people

Maisha Sayari is based on Africa before European imperialism, so everyone is black. People don’t describe their skin with colors. They say pale (albino/vitiligo) light, medium and dark. When someone says someone is black, white or gray they are referring to their moral affinity. A black affinity doesn’t believe rules are absolute and that sometimes wrong thing can bring good. A white affinity believes that laws are absolute as long as the lawmaker is logical and that doing something wrong is wrong even if it can bring something good. A gray affinity is caught in the middle and believes there’s truth in both believes. Gray is also used to describe someone as boring, bland or nonchalant.

These are all of the questions of the top of my head I think readers would ask. If there are any further questions you may have about this chapter please interact in the comment section or on twitter. I’d like to answer at least five of them. If I answered all of your question for this chapter, you’re welcomed to still interact on twitter or in the comments section. What did you liked? What didn’t you like? So far who’s your favorite character?  Who’s your least favorite? Ask me questions about the process of writing Zero Year or this chapter. Interact with another reader. Share so someone else could read Zero Year along with you. 

Disclaimer:  I’ll try my hardest to answer questions without spoiling you guys. If it’s a really good question with a spoiler answer I’ll repost the question for other readers so they could also think about it. Constructive feedback is welcomed. I want to become a better writer and storyteller. I won’t answer or respond to anything that I feel is disrespectful. Also, I’m a full time student. Bear with me please.

Chapter Two Preview: The next chapter is titled “How Long Has it Been?”. We jump to present day at the 20thUPFR summit. Also Nyarai sees her best friend in person for the first time in a little over two years. What do you predict will happen next?  

            I’d like to thank you for taking out some time to read Zero Year. It really means a lot that you decided to read. I hope you continue to read. Please like the post, leave a comment and share, share, share!!!!

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