245 Days Until Misery and The Uncertain End
They had traveled over the long stretch of land and past two Towers before arriving at the center of the world. The Cloudcity of Valaria sat in the sky supported by her Tower several times larger than what Heia had seen for the other Towers. It would take at least three days to travel around the base outside, it was so wide. The Tower itself was cast in grey letting light in without showing a thing inside. A Tower, she thought, The Tower. The center of the world. The place where X’s were said to be able to get better lives. Heia had always dreamed of living in a tower.
She would finally enter one.
“Alright.” Evester had his mask over the lower part of his face, obscuring his words a bit. Heia had long grown accustomed to his voice unobstructed. “From this point on, we need to be extremely careful once more.”
As if they hadn’t been with the Unwanted Guests that were probably following after them. Evester had been too relaxed about them being followed, Heia noticed. However, she couldn’t say a word about it, not anymore.
Evester kept talking. “Towers have eyes everywhere. They will not attack you, but they will steal. This is not the prized home that you had dreamed about.”
The caravan approached the Tower. He went on. “Additionally I propose we discard the other two cars. We have eaten most of the supplies and while it will be tight. One vehicle to protect is easier than three.”
“Agreed.” Layla stopped the bus, opening the doors to tell the others of the plan. As everyone moved to the bus Evester spoke to Heia.
“There will not be immigration orders as all are free to enter and leave the Tower as they want. However with this many people they will be hostile, thinking we are going to be taking their homes.” Evester spoke low to her, for her to hear alone. “We need to continuously move upwards.”
“How long will it take us to get to the top?” Heia hadn’t been able to see Valaria as they had gotten so close. “Months?”
“Walking perhaps, however we have a bus. This was able to let us travel here in a few days. It will get us to the top in the same or less. Especially since there is a fast track up and down the Tower for movement.”
Heia nodded and once she heard the doors close she knew the other cars were forever lost to them. Moving to the front, Heia watched as Robee and Trace barred the door from being able to be opened from the outside. To protect us, Heia figured. She and Evester sat behind Layla who was to drive in. Andre called out for everyone to be settled and the bus roared back to life.
The Tower loomed over them casting them in shadows. The bus rolled towards the Tower entrance and for a moment Heia was blinded by darkness. Her eyes adjusted to the tunnels that were black and illuminated by lights, before being blinded once more by the bright lights of the Tower.
Evester leaned past her speaking towards Layla. “See that circle in the center? Head there.”
The Tower was a mass of light: flashing lights, grey buildings, metal buildings, glass stretching up and towards the heavens on levels that supported them like floors of a house or business. The center was hollowed out with what looked like a road for vehicles to move around, up and down to other levels. She could not see above them, but she could look out towards the center of the Tower and across to see the levels that seemed like their own towns, their own worlds. Flashing signs, languages she did not know, technology that she did not recognize and there was so much noise.
Opening a window a bit they could hear the chatter of the city, the rumble of vehicles, the sounds of music, video audio from screens that showed world news that was not world news. It was happy news. It was not the truth.
“Welcome to the Tower.” A voice rang out as the moved from the tunnel. “Enjoy your stay.”
The voice was eerie, the same one that was speaking all over.
“Remember to pay your taxes. It is tax season and everyone must do their part.”
“This Tower is your home. Make sure to pick up your trash.”
“If you have a problem, remember to contact your local enforcement agency. For a better Tower. For the betterment of all.”
“What is that?” Heia asked Evester.
“Oh? The messages? They only play out once every hour or so. Some more often in specific places. You learn to tune them out after time.” Evester shrugged. “We are taking the fast track up. We shouldn’t have any difficulties as we do.”
“Are you sure?”
“I don’t know I’ve never taken a vehicle up before. I’m assuming we should be okay.”
“MAY asks you to be the on the look out for the following face.” Evester’s face came up on the screens that were all around them. “If you have any information on him, be sure to inform your local enforcers. Enjoy this lovely day.”
“We need new clothes.” Evester decided ignoring the fact that there was an entire automated message about him. He didn’t seem bothered that it had canceled out all the other noise around them, creating a single message. His face was the most wanted, yet he was here. “These are good. But I need you to have some things more suitable for war and to blend into Circle Society. Layla keep driving I need to contact some people.”
Evester stood up and motioned to others on the floor to switch places with him.
“Is that a smart idea?” Heia watched as he pulled out his phone to turn it on after it had been off this entire time. The last it had been on, he had announced to the world where he was.
“No. Probably not.” Evester answered as he relaxed to the floor letting everyone else sit on the seats, “But EverDanger never backed down from a challenge before.”