265 Days Until Disaster and the Uncertain End (part 2)
The way that Heiphilia’s expression shifted to distress as she understood the date countdown filled Evester with a hope. Perhaps finally she would listen to him. “My father disappeared. I have all his notes in this backpack and I’m trying to stop it.”
“Stop the end of the world?” Heiphilia laughed. “Is that possible?”
What an excellent question, he thought. Yet, the program wasn’t designed to stop it. It was made to know how to react and save lives. “No. However we can save everyone by finishing the Space Program and I need your help.”
Why her indeed. It was a detail that Evester was still unsure about. There was nothing about this girl in particular that stood out to him. At least the project picking him made sense. It made sense for the project to pick Zeydar, he was a Rank 1 Magician, a Star. Heiphilia was an X, with no last name, and no real connection to anything in the world that mattered.
“I am not sure.” Evester answered in the only way that he could, “But The Yasloughve Project named you, me, and a boy named Zeydar.”
“To do what? Save the world?” She snorted.
“Is that so surprising?”
“You trust the magical prophecy machine?”
“You don’t?” The words seemed to cut at her. When had the Yasloughve Project been wrong? The answer was that it never had been. It had been perfectly accurate. There had not been a mistake in the project ever. Not in the event. Not in the way to remedy the situation or to prepare. Even an X like her should know that. Even she should know that it predicted this and people were the reason for tragedy.
“So I, what? Go with you and then we save the world?”
“It’s not that easy.” They had to get Zeydar. They had to follow the events and help the progress of the war. They had to get the Space Program back up and running. They had to find his father. They had so much to do and only Two Hundred Sixty Five days to do it. “But it is why I need you.”
“Because an outdated prophecy machine told you, you needed me.”
“And you believed it.”
Evester thought of the days that he spent leaving his house as his father was gone for weeks on end. He thought of the days that he jumped off high buildings, went through fights, drove fast cars, got high on drugs, and did just about any and anything dangerous without being stopped by his father, who had invested his entire life to this project. He remembered his father giving him a retinal scan. He remembered his father mumbling and speaking to Evester about days to come. He remembered the look in his father the day before The Night of Oblivion. He remembered his father’s voice telling Evester to stay safe, hidden, and to stay smart. That he’d know what to do.
His father hadn’t tried to stop anything because it was up to them to. “Yes.”
Evester was not a hero. He never wanted to be. He never wanted to step foot on the LowerLands. He never wanted to sleep in an UnderCity. He had never wanted to be here talking to this girl who would never understand him or his world. Yet he was, and he’d never felt more alive.
“I’m not going.”
“What?” Evester had expected the response, but had hoped that maybe she would give in to the idea of saving the world. She saved so many children. Why wouldn’t she want to save more?
“I can’t leave my family.”
“Can take care of themselves?” She cut him off. “No. My family comes with me or I don’t go.”
The Eight siblings could be of use. Evester had to admit that he was not surprised. Additionally, the project had specified her as necessary, but had never stated that others could not help. Others would have to help if they wanted to do everything. “Your siblings can come.”
“All of them.”
“Yes all of them.”
“No. I mean all of them.” She stated leaving Evester in a bit of mild confusion. All of them? Then he understood. All the orphans. All of them. How many of them were there? Fifty? A Hundred? There were so many. Traveling with them to save the world. How could he?
“Then I don’t go.”
“Heiphilia they could die.”
“They will die if I don’t go with you anyway. Either we all live or we all die.” Her ultimatum was a risk, a risk that made his body bounce in anticipation. She seemed to see how he was entertaining the idea. “We also need to get approval from my entire family first.”
“You believe me then?”
“I want to see it.” She pointed to the backpack.
There would be no other way, he supposed. The notes were his lifeline and the proof of everything he said. Of course she’d want to see them. He could not blame her. Not really. “Fine.”