253 Days Until Melancholy and The Uncertain End (part 1)
It was a day before the proclaimed attack and Evester was nervous. The orphans had been fully packed. Everything was in order for them to leave that night, yet Evester was worried. What if the attack came early? What if the Project spoke the day it was discovered? Why was he so worried about the X’s? Because he had been caught and forced to help Heiphilia and her family with preparations? Perhaps that was the issue. This was an anxiety inducing situation and with each growing hour Evester’s nerves threatened to explode in anticipation rather than fear. What would happen? Would they all die? It was killing him, like the nerves before he tried something new.
“What are you smiling about?” Heiphilia growled as Evester walked past her. “Wipe that off. This is war.”
“Yes. War.” Evester’s smile dropped but his blood would not stop racing. Would he die? Would she die? How many would? Would they be able to escape in one piece? He was almost physically jumping.
And she didn’t like it. “What are you so happy about?”
“Nothing.” He needed to contain himself.
“Do you like the idea of this?” She could read him and that was not a good sign.
“No.” He tried to reign himself in, but the damage was done.
“This is my family in danger, here.”
“And your family will be out by tonight.”
She glared at him as she walked by to help the orphans with their final preparations.
Evester couldn’t help but remember when he was a child, racing around with his siblings. What were Endwin and Europa up to? He’d know soon, because there was no way in the seven hells that he was dying there that night.
Heiphilia was essentially groomed to say yes to him. He didn’t know what sort of life she had lived or why, but he didn’t care. She was too caring to say no to him when the idea that she could save lives was on the line. This thought led him to the analysis that he needed to figure out what to do with getting Zeydar on to his side. Zeydar was a Star, a Magician. To be able to convince him was going to be an task entirely different. Magicians were haughty from what Evester had interacted with. This one, he knew, had lived in the Tower that had been destroyed by Xs and Aralax, but outside of that, Evester knew nothing.
For now there was the battle. The battle with the Aralax that was coming and made Evester giddier than a child on their birthday.
“Evester.” Kori called out to him.
“Yes?” Evester looked to her. She had her holoblade, as did Kony and Karla. The three were ready to practice. “Have you packed?”
“Of course we packed.” Kori smiled. “Now teach us.”
Evester had only taught Kori up to that point, realizing in that moment that she had taught the other two. “Show me what you have.” With his words the three lit up their blades to reveal a sight that had Evester’s giddiness disappear. Kony’s blade was blue. That was the color of a Circle’s holoblade. A complete ignition. Kony was a Circle marked as an X? Why had the committees not taken him to the Circles? Why had they not brought him to live amongst his people.
“When you are children are you evaluated before you get your tattoos?” Evester tried to make the question as nonchalant as possible.
“Are we supposed to?” Karla looked between the two. “I don’t remember that, but I don’t know anyone who ever is. We are given the marks at eight like everyone. Or we were at the Marking House.”
There was no testing? Was that common in the UnderCities, on the LowerLands, in the Towers? If they weren’t tested individually… How many Xs were Stars? Were Circles? Were genetically superior left to rot with the rest of the Xs as thought of blood by birth and not genetics? The Yasloughve Project had separated them and yet it was not reinforced.
“AntiLove protested any testing that the Project asked for.” Kony answered the unasked question. “I don’t know of anyone who was tested.”
Had AntiLove done it, kept them there for how long? AntiLove had been around for far longer than MAY. AntiLove had been around since practically the beginning of the Yasloughve Project. How long had the testing been messed with until it was abandoned completely? As if to return humanity to one state where everyone was equal. People were not equal and Kony’s blade was a show of that.
“Why?” Kony asked.
“Your blade is blue.” Evester didn’t bother to hide it.
“What does that mean?” Kony asked.
“It means that you aren’t an X.” Evester spoke the words much to the disdain of the siblings.
“What am I then?”
“We’d have to test you, but only a Circle or Star has a blue holoblade. Look at your sisters.”
“How could this happen?” Karla asked worried. “Does this mean he will be taken from us?”
“I have no idea.” And somehow that was why the Yasloughve Project meant to save all of humanity. Why, then, were they separated? “It does not matter for now. For now you need to be able to kill Aralax.”