Zero Year Chapter Nine

In the last chapter, Jabari had an awful run in with Black Cat and Wrath. Will they catch up and stop them?

BYR Chapter Nine

Key Information/Terms

  • Legalization of weed: Weed has always been legal in the realm, But you need a license to grow and a license to sell it. Licenses determine how many you’re allowed to grow and or sell. If you except those amounts, you can be fined and or have your product confiscated. Usually, people get fined for it. In some areas, it’s illegal to smoke in public.
  • Eagle Feathers: A popular majority CBD strain. It’s only sold pre-rolled in cartons.
  • There is some more new information and terms in this chapter. I feel that reading about them even out of context can potentially spoil the chapter. So, I’ll explain everything in “Behind Chapter Nine”.

Key Setting

  • Jahazara’s house
  • UPFR capital building

Key Characters

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

  • Jahzara Gyasi
  • Maaza Nkosi
  • Jabari Akpabio
  • Amai Dlamini: Head of security at the UPFR capital building.
  • Spots: Jahzara’s cat. Ironically, he has no spots; he has stripes.

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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 Nine: Mother to the Motherless

Part One: Old Habits Die Hard

This chapter Contains themes of Domestic Violence, Which may be upsetting and or triggering for some readers. If you wish to avoid themes of Domestic Violence, Skip to Part Two. There will be a Domestic Violence Free Summary of part one.

           The same night, before Jabari’s run in with the Ohunu, Maaza was walking to Jahzara’s house. When she got to the door, she rustled through her purse. This is the most stressful UPFR yet. Where are my feathers? There they are. My lighter? “Shit, I left me lighter.”

           *Ashe spell: finger flame* Maaza performed a fire spell and lit her joint. She closed her eyes, took a hit, and rang the doorbell; Spirits walk with me.

           Jahzara was in her nightgown, lying on her couch, reading a book with a glass of wine. Late again. “You have a key.”

           Maaza dung in her purse again, looking for her keys. Her she go. She turned to lock and opened the door. She took off her shoes, put on house slippers then looked at Jahzara. “You couldn’t open the door because you’re drinking? At least your drinking out of a glass instead of the bottle.”

           “Open a window if you’re going to smoke in here,” she said, closing her book.

           “Where’s spots?”

           “I don’t know.”

           Maaza tried to kiss Jahzara, but she got up and walked away with her wine glass in hand. “Where are you going?”

           “Putting my wine away if that’s fine with you. I thought you were ashamed of your alcoholic girlfriend.”

           “Did you have a bad day or something?”

           “My day? My day? Maz don’t play stupid. I’ve had a bad week. First, you throw a tantrum over the Dakarai thing. Next, you stood me up on our day off. Today you sat next to me in a 6-hour meeting and don’t even as much look at me. And now here you are in my house criticizing me for having one glass of wine to unwind.”

           Jahzara had washed her glass and sat back down on the couch before Maaza tried to say something. She sat on the other edge of the sofa with her legs in between her and Maaza.

           “I…

           “Speak up, Please!”

Maaza lead over, took off Jahzara’s house slippers, and started kissing her feet. “Jah, I know that I’ve been bad. You know that I…

Jahzara pushed Maaza back with her foot. “Try again, Maz.”

Maaza got up and looked at Jahzara. “What do you want from me?!?!”

“Where were you, Rashida?!?!” Jahzara said, standing with Maaza.

“Do you think I was with someone else? Is that what this is? I was alone!!!”

“Of course, you were alone!! News flash nobody else what’s to be with you!!! That’s your problem!! You rather everyone hate and fear you than them seeing you and me together!!!”

“You know that’s against the rules!!”

“The rules?!?! The fucking rules Maz?!?! We write the damn rules!! People might like you if you showed you were capable of love!!!”

“This is why I like to be alone!! Look at yourself!! A drunken mess!! No self-worth!! You make me sick!!”

“Oh, you like to be alone? What do you do that’s so damn important when you’re alone?”

“I work on myself, unlike you. I don’t want to be a mess for the rest of my life like you!!!”

“Ha, work on what? You’re finished product Maz!! This is it!! A mess forever!!”

Maaza began to shake with anger. Tears started to stream down her face. She rose her right hand and backhanded Jahzara across the face. Jahzara held her face and started to tear. When Maaza saw the look on her face, she instantly regretted it. Why do I keep hurting you?

“I guess old habits die hard.”

“Jah wait… I didn’t mean to… I-

“Leave your key and go,” Jahzara said as she ran up the stairs.

“Why are you pushing me away?” Maaza said as she followed her.

“I learned from the best.”

Jahzara had run to her room and sat on the edge of the bed to cry. Maaza leaned against the nightstand with her arms crossed, watching her cry. “I know I said I wouldn’t raise my hand at you again, but you make it hard.”

“Do you hear yourself? You’re not even sorry! I said go home Rashida.”

Maaza got on her knees and hugged Jahzara. “Jah, I need you. We’re a team. Without you, I… We won’t accomplish anything.”

Jahzara looked at Maaza. Her eyes were heavy, and her face looked sincere. “I know I just don’t like when we are like this. Love shouldn’t be this way.”

Part One Domestic Violence Free Summary

Prior to the events of chapter eight, Maaza visit Jahzara after ghosting her for almost two days since her spat with Dakarai. After an argument, they make up.

Part Two: Ancient Forbidden ?!?!?!

About an hour later, Jahzara laid with her head on Maaza’s lap playing with Spots. “Did you do it yet?” Jahzara asked.

“No, I wanted to do it with you.”

They both got up. Maaza held Jahzara’s hand, leading her out to the balcony. Jahzara grabbed her phone, and Maaza put on a hawk glove. They both walked to the edge of the balcony. Jahzara clung to Maaza’s right arm, and Maaza outstretched the other. *Spirit State: Ashe Awakened* Maaza’s eyes glowed gold. “Come to me.”

An eagle flew from its nest and flow toward Maaza. After a while, the eagle landed on Maaza’s arm. *Ancient Ashe Technique Stack: Link & Cast* Maaza and the eagle were locked in eye contact until the eagle’s eye started to glow the same gold Maaza’s did. “Make the call.”

Security Head Amai was doing her final round of the building before she locked up. She walked down the hall, turning off office lights and shutting doors, then her phone rang.

“Go,” Maaza said to the eagle as it flew away.

“Who could this be?” Amai said to herself.

“Hello Amai?” Jahzara said.

“Oh, hello, Lady Gyasi! To what do I owe the pleasure?”

“Something silly. I just got a notification about a security breach on the 9th-floor balcony. I don’t know if it’s the new system or that bird again. Can you please check to see if everything’s okay?”

“It could be the system. I didn’t get anything, but I’m on the 9th floor I’ll go and check.”

“Oh, thank you so much. I owe you one!”

“No problem. Have a good night Lady Gyasi.”

Amai walked out to the 9th-floor balcony. First, she checked the doors and then the cameras. Nothing was out of order. She began to walk around the balcony to make sure nobody was out there. She did her round, and everything was fine. The Tree with the eagle’s nest was empty too. 

“Hm maybe it was the system,” she said, walking back.

Before she could open the door, the eagle came swooping down at her, causing her to fall. *Ashe Spell: Possession* The eagle hovered in front of her with an intense glare. When Amai looked it in the eyes, both of their eyes started to glow gold.

“My child.”

Part Three: The Orphan

*Continuing from the end of chapter eight*

“I’ll cut her tongue out!!!” Jabari said as they ran to the capitol building.

The building was in sight, and there were still people in the streets of the city. Jabari slowed down and exited their ashe rage. They went around the back of the building to avoid making a scene. “My child!” Amai called out.

*Ashe technique sensory location* Jabari was frozen in their tracks. Their ashe flared in a rage again. “Show yourself. I am not to be toyed with.”

Maaza and Jahzara were sitting on Jahzara’s balcony in the residential district smoking. “You wouldn’t strike your mother, would you?” Maaza and Amai said.

Jabari began to look around frantically. They couldn’t locate an ashe signature. Where is she? “I have no mother. I was orphaned as a child.”

“That was my greatest mistake. A mother should never abandon her child.”

Jabari didn’t know if they were being played with or not, but it felt real. They began to cry. “You are not my mother. Lord Shaka is my only parent.”

“A tree in the middle of an endless field. A man in black, your father. A woman in white, me, your mother. A child in gray taking their first steps, you, my child.”

How did she know about the vision I had just seen? Who is she? Why can’t I feel her ashe signature? Their tears were falling hard. Whether if they were being tricked or not, this woman knew them. “Are you the witch messing with my head??? I will cut you down if you don’t show yourself. Kill a witch, and her curses go with her.”

“So stubborn,” Maaza said, rolling her eyes.

“Just like their mother,” Jahzara laughed.

“How can I prove it to you,” Amai asked.

Jabari swallowed hard. They wanted to know who this woman was. How did she know them. Regardless if she was their mother, she knew more than most. There was one thing that would cement her claims as true.“What.. What is my… my name?” with a cracked and shaken voice.

“Mtoto. Your father and I never named you. We called you Mtoto for so long; it just stuck.”

Jabari exited the rage and fell to their knees. Only Shaka know’s I wasn’t given a name. Is this woman truly my mother? Amai caught Jabari and held them tight“W… Why did you leave me? I was alone for so long.”

“Your father and I were under persecution. I still am. I couldn’t risk your safety. But I have never truly left you. Every dream, every eagle that’s flown over you, is me. I’ve always watched over you. I lead you to Lord Shaka. I came to you through a messenger because this is the closest we’ve been physically.” Amai said as she held Jabari’s face and wiped their tears.

“What do you mean?”

“I am not the woman before you, but I felt someone should’ve been there to console you when I told you the truth.”

“Why not you?”

“You father was killed. My love, it is not safe for us to meet yet. We have to work toward that.”

“Who is after you?!?! I will cut them down.”

“We are dealing with forces we cannot yet face. Our family is special. We have a duty the world isn’t ready for us to carry out.”

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BTC Chapter Nine

           A lot happened In this three-part chapter. Mazara was confirmed but very toxic. Maaza knows quite a few Ancient Ashe techniques & Spells for a non-combatant. She claims to be Jabari’s mother, and that their birth father was killed?!?!?!?!? That’s pretty intense!!!

Questions I think you may have

Does Maaza live with Jahzara?

           No, and there’s a few reasons why. The biggest reason is that Council Members aren’t allowed to have romantic relationships with each other. Although they have the power to possibly get that rule changed, Maaza isn’t comfortable with someone living in her space. Lastly, Jahzara is afraid that if they lived together, she wouldn’t have anywhere to go if Maaza hits her.

Why Domestic Violence?

           I’ve always wanted to keep Zero Year as real as possible, and sadly Domestic Violence is real and happens. Now it is not something I plan to sprinkle in like parsley every other chapter. I debated adding that part for a few weeks. It’s not something I added for shock value or emotional response, but it is the core to who Maaza is and her relationship with Jahzara. Domestic Violence will not be a constant theme in Zero Year, and it will not show up often. 

What are Ancient Ashe Techniques Link and Cast and Ashe Spell Possession?

           Link is when a User links their Ashe to an animal to communicate and work with each other. A User can only link with one type of animal. For example, Maaza can only link with Eagles. It doesn’t have to be the same eagle, but since she’s chosen the eagle, it can only be eagles.

           Cast is a transferring technique similar to seals. Casting is when a user sends or gives a technique to another being to execute on some else. For example, Maaza cast the possession spell to the eagle so that it could transfer Maaza’s possession to Amai.

           Possession is when a user uses their ashe to take control of other beings ashe so that they may control them. A user can only possess a being; they have more Ashe than. Possession can’t be broken by those being possessed. Possession is an ancient forbidden sorcery spell because it was largely forgotten and only written in the ancient tongue. It’s forbidden because it’s not right to take possession of someone’s being.

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These are the only 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 Twitter. I’d like to answer at least five of them. If I answered all of your questions for this chapter, you’re welcomed to still interact on twitter or in the comments section. What did you like? 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 college student. Bear with me, please.

Chapter Ten Preview: The next chapter is titled “Checkmate”. This is the last chapter of the 20th UPFR Summit Story Arc. How do you think it will end? 

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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