270 Days Until Havoc and The Uncertain End (part 3)
Heiphilia was far from an easy shell to crack. Evester knew how much she rejected and distrusted him. Every time he opened his mouth she would watch him, listen, examine, and find any reason to make that distrust grow. If she was going to save him, why distrust him so greatly?
It was probably because he had said he was looking for her without knowing it was her, which in retrospect had been a bit creepy.
Evester adjusted the grip of Kori’s hand as she held the holoblade. He hadn’t planned on teaching them to use the weapons, but since he was confined to the orphanage, he had gotten bored. The girl had insisted he show her and so he had. She wasn’t trained like the soldiers from home. Hell, he wasn’t trained like the soldiers from home. He had picked up all the skills he knew from practical experience. That was how he was teaching her.
“The Circles I saw held it like this.” Kori showed him. Her hands were balanced on the hilt of the blade, holding it lightly, unable to spin it in her hand if necessary.
“Yes, but it is too strong of a grip.” He shifted the way she held it again to grip it lower but not too low, removing one of her hands. It was an awkward place for balance if one wasn’t trained. The blades were meant to be used with two hands, after all. They could be used with one but it took more strength and learning to balance the weight better. “You want a light grip so you can spin it around if necessary.”
He held out his own holoblade, and without activating it, showed her what he meant, spinning it so that he turned the blade around in a swift stroke with his thumb.
“Aren’t these blades meant to be used with two hands?”
“They are. You want to shift the hands back to how you had them for two hands and strong strikes, but sometimes you don’t have that.”
“Sometimes? What are we fighting?” She asked the question as if she didn’t know what he was teaching her to fight.
“Do you want to learn or not?” Evester asked avoiding her question entirely.
“Kori. I need you to go help the others.” Heia interrupted them. It was getting late and Kori was traditionally in charge of helping the children get ready for bed.
“Already?” Kori pouted.
“Okay.” Kori waved to Evester. “See you later Evester. We continue tomorrow.”
Evester waved at her and watched as Heia’s eyes traveled after her sister. She then directed that gaze to him. “Why are you here?”
“To get you to—“
“Cut the shit. Why are you really here?”
“I’m not sure how I can answer that question in a way that you’ll approve of, because I’m here for you.”
Evester hated when people acted like this. As if they knew some grand secret above him that they knew better than they did. His mother, brother, and sister used to speak like this when they were certain his father told him more than he did. “I’m here for you Heiphillia.”
“Sure. Why does a Circle like you need an X like me?”
How he wished he knew why the Yasloughve Project needed her. Why would the project need a Circle, a Star, and a X? Outside of the look of it, of unity and strength, as they rallied in unity against the Aralax, there was no point. The battles and the plans his father had laid out didn’t make any sense for the combination. The project was smart, ever adapting, and his father had only been able to succeed in analyzing and translating that genius before he’d been taken.
Taken. Perhaps this X was supposed to help him get his father back? He was not sure. Either way, he had no real answer for her. None that would really matter. Instead, he came up with a generic response. “Don’t know. You are good with people.”
“Sure.” She did not believe him. “Bet that got you through much of your life as a Circle?”
“What?” His evasiveness? No. He’d never been this evasive in his life. Why evade when you could go head first into the storm? Perhaps he should be stupid and try it instead? Seemed like an interesting and prospectively disastrous option. “What do you know about the Yasloughve Project?”
“What did the Yasloughve Project tell you to find me?”
Yes. “Just small talk since you won’t believe me for anything else.”
“Just what everyone knows. It was a failed project by the Circles that was destroyed. It predicted natural disasters right?”
“It did. What if I told you it predicted this?”
“The Catastrophe?” She refused to believe it predicted them meeting. “Everyone knows that.” She seemed to loathe the project from the way her lips and words seethed with each passing moment.
“I suppose everyone does.” In their own way, everyone did. It was the Yasloughve Project that had destroyed his family. It was the project that had sent him to the LowerLands and to this UnderCity. It was the project that had taken his father and it was this project that was left with him to save the world. “Happy I’m not the only one.”
“Good night Evester.” It seemed that Heiphilia was finished talking with him. It was both good and bad news for him. It meant that he would spend more time alone lost in his own thoughts about details, plans, dates: things he could not change. Things he did not want to change.
“Two Hundred Seventy.” He said the words to himself.
“What?” Heiphilia looked back to him with the words.
“Nothing.” He shook his head not having meant for her to hear it. The Uncertain End was coming and he had two hundred seventy days left. He needed to convince her immediately, or as soon as he could, or else they’d all be at risk. Backpack in hand and to his corner where his new clothes and blankets lay, Evester sat and watched the room glow light blue in night lights as the compound went to bed. Eyes open he waited, listened and then opened his bag. Pulling out the notes he began to reread, rememorizes, review, every single detail.
The Uncertain End was coming and he needed a way to convince her, to tell her that it was important, to find out why she was important.