275 Days Until Chaos and The Uncertain End (part 5)
The location that Evester’s saviors brought him to was hidden from the rest of LakeLost, a collection of homes, barricaded together and protected with metal slabs. The houses were gutted and inside there were children, so many children, playing. Orphans, Evester immediately realized. Orphans of all ages. Those who had lost their families either during the Great Catastrophe or on The Night of Destruction to the Aralax. Their presence alone told Evester that this was a safe place.
After almost dying from the drop, he wasn’t sure he wanted to trust them. The siblings had been ready, but the oldest had purposely not told him until it was almost too late. He knew it was an attempt to get rid of him. He had, however, been prepared for anything and had done far riskier jumps in his life. Making the jump on a moments notice was child’s play.
“Heia.” A man approached them. “What happened?”
Heia? Evester eyed the eldest girl who had brought him here. Was this Heiphilia? That would have been far too much of a coincidence.
“Unwanted Guests.” Heia answered. “We saved him.”
Unwanted Guests? The people that were chasing him? He had known them to be sellers, rather than bounty hunters, but he had not expected them to have such an odd name. Suddenly some of the odd whispers he had heard made more sense.
“Who are you?” The man asked Evester.
“Evester.” Evester answered for himself. With so many children here, he’d give them the benefit of the doubt that the elder girl hadn’t tried to kill him. He knew it was a lie, but he’d accept the lie if it meant getting answers. “A Circle from above. I’m looking for a girl name Heiphilia.” Perhaps they could help him find her.
The man blinked awkwardly, the two twins gaped at Evester, and the one called Heia glared and then hissed, “What?”
“I’m looking for a girl named Heiphilia.” Evester repeated noting their reactions as the only proof he needed that fate was, in fact, on his side. The chance that the Project predicted this astounded Evester, yet it was not unreasonable. The Project was notorious for being able to predict what was needed to solve a problem, and they were bound by the fate of being needed to save the world.
“Why?” She was hesitant.
Would he tell her about the project? No. From what he understood AntiLove had made it so that all of the LowerLands and UnderCities hated the Yasloughve Project. There would be no way for him to convince them that it was good. Perhaps he shouldn’t have mentioned her name. Or he could lie. Lying seemed like the better option.
“Rumor has it you and your family are able to take care of children and I was sent here to ask you to help us.” Evester didn’t need her family, he only needed her. The lie should have been good enough.
“Well I won’t.” Heia disagreed confirming her identity. “Why would a Circle need me?”
“End of the world. Want to destroy the classes. Lots of orphans. Lots of hands are needed.” He was creating an entire life off of context clues, nothing had ever felt more dangerous. The four looked like siblings and seemed to be interacting like they were taking care of the children, so he guessed.
“No.” Her answer was stern.
“I’m not leaving until you say yes.” Yet, he wasn’t leaving yet. If she said no when they had to go find the third, then he’d make her leave.
“You will be staying here for a long time then.” He hoped she were the girl, because it would make it easy and perhaps let him forgive her for their situation earlier.
“I suppose so.” Evester changed the conversation, looking to the two who he figured gave him fake names. “Where did you get Holoblades?”
“Got em.” The girl answered. “Why?”
Evester really didn’t care to know more. If they had the blades, he hoped that meant they could use them. “If I’m staying where can I sleep?”
Heia visibly groaned and pointed him in a direction of open space that was not much of a clue on to where to go.
“Get everything we needed?” The other man asked, ignoring Evester.
“Yes.” Heia answered.
“How are you going to hide that you are a Circle?” The girl twin asked Evester. “Gloves will give you away.”
“If I had patches…” Evester thought back to what he didn’t have when the girl pulled out a bag of the exact patches.
“Can these work?”
“Why are you helping me?” Where had she gotten them? And not only a few but so many?
“We already did. You making a scene will only call out to us more.” She answered. “So can they?”
“Yes.” He held out his hand for the patches and opened the box. “Why do you have them?”
“I thought they would work to cover holes in the shelter, you can’t find much tape these days. Heia said they were supposed to be used to cover naughty bits.”
“They cover skin, used to hid blemishes, nipples, anything.” Evester slid off his glove, and place a patch on his skin. The patch was far lighter than his skin tone, but slowly it began to blend to his skin before disappearing completely and hiding his tattoo. All the eyes were on the change as if they had expected it to stay the packaged color. “Do you have a pen?”
“Yes.” The girl ran off to look for one.
“Does it hurt?” The boy twin asked.
“No.” Evester lifted the patch from his skin. “I’ll need to fake it well, so I’ll use yours as an example.”
As Evester spoke to the twins, he watched Heia who watched him in return. She wouldn’t say yes immediately, he had known that. It was going to take some time for convincing. He had time, but not a lot of time. Luckily he had found her so soon, and fate was on his side. Hopefully he could get to her through her siblings who seemed interested in his status as a circle.
They may be using him, but he could use them too.
I don’t really have a consistent length for these, sorry if that bothers you. However, it is the way it is.