275 Days Until Chaos and The Uncertain End (part 1)
The UnderCity was dirtier than Evester expected, and that was saying something considering how he had lived in the Towers and atop the LowerLands for a few weeks. He had figured that UnderCities would be like CloudCities in terms of cleanliness. How he was wrong. He wanted to attribute the smell and musk to the Catastrophe, but after almost eight months wouldn’t they have fixed it already? Did the X’s like living within their own filth and disease? There was no way any decent human being was that desperate. However, X’s were genetically inferior, he had learned this within his classes. Their inferiority often came in their own learning and intellect, he had to remind himself.
He found it hard to believe that any intellectual species would be complacent as such, however.
Gloves tight on his hands, mask drawn up, hood over his head, holoblade tight against his chest with his bag and documents, Evester sat on the grounds in the only corner he could find away from the prying eyes to read over the documents again. Memorization was never his strong suit. The notes that were the most important for him were the information on the Aralax.
In truth Evester, like most Circles and Stars, never gave much thought to the Yasloughve Project outside of how it broke his family. It had simply been fact of their lives, an outdated system that predicted when events would occur. It’s predictions were hard to read, the solutions vague and in truth with their technology and systems, the system wasn’t needed. It was why MAY had so much support when they shut down the project. Unnecessary funding that could be given elsewhere, and the last predictions the system had given were the notes in his hands translated and analyzed by his father.
The program was vague, but blunt. These are the people who will save the world. These are the locations of importance, the massive attacks, the dates of destruction. This is how to survive an Aralax attack: weak points, habits, basic culture information. The system provided humanity with the means to survive and thrive in the advent of travesty. The system was in place to state the necessary ways to do so and the exact details of what would happen.
This also meant that Evester knew every major Aralax attack from now until The Uncertain End. It was what the Yasloughve Project called it. It was what all Circles and Stars knew it as, due to the Yasloughve Scientists knowing about this term and this term alone. Evester’s father was the only Scientist to translate and understand all the system’s predictions, but the knowledge of The Uncertain End had been around for as long as the Catastrophe.
When the project had first predicted the Catastrophe, it had given two dates: the Catastrophe date and the date of The Uncertain End labeled as “uncertainty.” The Catastrophe would be large and last until then but humanity had until the second date to survive. The Uncertain End was the last point that the project could predict. It was the big selling point for the Magician’s plight against the project. MAY, unlike AntiLove which claimed discrimination, had stated over and over that due to the program being unable to predict after the uncertainty point, that it was outdated and without the capability of being of use for the humans. Evester’s father had understood that the uncertainty point was the turning point for humanity. If they didn’t survive to put in the input factors for after the event, how could the program still run? It was Armageddon, the end of all humans. That was The Uncertain End, and back before the Catastrophe no one wanted to believe it.
The Yasloughve Project gave the way to avoid destruction, in the simplest terms but not the exact methods. It had been Evester’s father who had filled in the details with his messy handwriting and questions. The project gave the ingredients and tools; humans had to adapt. “Humans had to adapt,” it was written hundreds of times in all the notes. Aralax weak points, habits, culture, estimated abilities? The project had been pretty spot on for predictions, but it couldn’t add the element of life that the creatures had. They could think. They could adapt. They were smarter than most X’s, Evester figured. Humans had to adapt back.
Folding the notes away, Evester started to practice his real of what he read mumbling the words outlaid to himself in a sort of trance as he watched the X’s travel through the UnderCity.
No one knew how the Yasloughve Project was so smart. Its creator had never made a comment about it and it was only long after her death that the program’s truth came to light. It was a simple program designed to estimate natural disasters, but as data had been input for space patterns, human patterns, natural disaster reactions, and the likes, it had adapted. It became more accurate to predicting humans. It predicted wars, massacres, tragedies, disasters, and then it separated the species into three types: Stars, Circles, and Xs. The Stars, also called Magicians, were the superior bloodlines that had to be saved. It was in their blood that magic was discovered. Circles were secondary superior bloodlines without magic, and to this day that was the only distinction between the Circles and Stars. Circles took to governing, and control while Stars took to honing magic and becoming superior. The two worked together to support each other as they were normal citizens, not the genetically inferior x’s. The Xs were the extras, humanity’s dregs and discarded bodies. Yet the Yasloughve Project needed an X, Heiphilia, to save the world?
There had to be more to it than simple superiority versus inferiority. That was what his father suspected. His father suspected that Stars were not necessarily genetically superior, rather only capable of magic, which is what the project predicted. Circles must be related to magic in some way, and X’s were without the ability at all. If this were true, Circles should be able to do some sort of magic, but it didn’t seem like he was able to. His father wondered if the separating of the species had more to do with unification of the species, and the advent of magic than it did with actual genetic superiority. It was the only thing that explained why a Circle, Star, and X were needed to save the world, he said. Evester was more convinced that the system predicted humanity and knew that unless all three worked together the species wouldn’t survive due to biases.
Perhaps it was both. The system was designed to understand humans after all.
What his father couldn’t understand was why the Aralax. After reading the notes and details day after day, it was clear to Evester that it was not the predictions that understood the species, but his father. The predictions gave simple things: heat resistant, strong bodies, animalistic, weak point in the neck and creases of scales (if applicable). The system had predicted a species that perhaps would come and be able to survive on a broken planet like the one that the Catastrophe created. It was his father that had filled in the gaps. Yet his father did not understand why they came or from where exactly.
It was his father who had been taken by the species early on, during The Night of Oblivion. It was the reason that Evester knew the species were intelligent. They may have been animalistic, but they were intelligent, even the soldiers he had killed that morning had been intelligent. If hadn’t destroyed their team work early on, he would have been a goner. They had come for his father. The man who had gone through the last predictions and analyzed them all. Everyone knew he was able to translate them for the population but no one could access his work when he disappeared. When the news had shown his father’s face as missing on all the screens, Evester was on the run to hide the documents that he had been able to access.
The project only gave simple ideas, his father filled in more details, and Evester had seen the exact creature to fill in the rest.
“Kid what are you doing back there?” Someone called out to him.
“Leave him be,” A woman urged the woman on, “I hear some disease is being spread by the Circles for population control. We don’t want to catch it.”
The rumor mill seemed to have spun into over drive in these parts, not that it bothered Everster. More rumors made his job easier. Evester gripped the notes tightly, as if squeezing them would make sure he had it all memorized. Yet, all he could remember was the blood splattered floors of the Yasloughve Project office — his home. The flickering lights and fading system that was short of completely lighting on fire. The project may have been officially shut down across CloudCities and labs around the world, but in the last stand, by the remnants of the Yasloughve staff, it had been kept on in Evester’s home only to be destroyed in the attack. His father as the only lead scientist left, Adam and his guards, and the few assistants they had for the lab were what had remained of the Yasloughve staff. Only his father ended up missing, the others all died. How he remembered the stench, although he attributed the vivacity of the memory to the UnderCity he was in.
Only his father’s and Evester’s retinal and DNA scans unlocked the safe with his father’s final notes on the Catastrophe. Those who knew about his father’s notes had been a few and if they had known Evester had access, they would have went to find him first. They would have…
Eyes open, Evester starred the man down who was about to grab for his bag that was within his arms. “Try it.”
Evester’s confidence stemmed from being a Circle. Circles were superior. Circles, like him, had been able to get anything and everything they had ever wanted. That still did not mean he could win in a fight against an Aralax head on or let alone a human. When he had defeated the two that morning, he had to set up traps and had to blow a few things up. He wasn’t strong. He wasn’t a fighter. He simply knew their weaknesses and used that for his own good. This end of the world business may not have been what he wanted, but he’d be damned if he lied and said it didn’t feel good. The edge of his seat adrenaline rushes he got from being on the cusp of death every day and that morning was unlike anything he’d ever experienced.
In some ways he wanted the man to fight him. He wanted that threat, the adrenaline kick, but he also didn’t want the trouble. Besides he was infinitely better than this X in every way shape or form.
The man did not fight Evester, perhaps from the sheer reckless self abandon that Evester held within his eyes. He was crazy, anyone could see that and it was the way Evester wanted it.
Rising to his feet, Evester placed the notes back within the bag, threw it over his shoulder and walked back to the streets of LakeLost.
“Two Hundred Seventy Five.” He repeated to himself. To hell with memorizing the notes. He had only two hundred days to get the Space Program up and running, and humanity off the planet. He needed to find this Heiphelia girl and convince her quick. There was not a moment to lose.
Notes: I was planning on having chapters on Fridays and Saturdays, but this is early today only because I have work all day today and I don’t know if I’ll have time to access from my phone. I’ve read through this multiple times and I’m still not sure I found everything that could be fixed. — MM