239 Days Until Acceptance and The Uncertain End
Heia looked to the only entrance into Valaria from the Infinity. There were many exits out that the Circles and Stars had access to, but only one pathway in. Heia had never known X’s to be able to immigrate into a CloudCity. She didn’t know it was possible, however the fact that there was a way in told her otherwise. Gave her hope, at least.
“Actually.” Phil corrected Robee as he said what Heia hoped. “It’s for the Circles and Stars who want to visit the Infinity. There are some scandalous things you can do down here that you can’t in Cloudcities. The other exits are for company and government use.”
“There are far heavier restrictions on crossing now.” Rayda continued. “After the incident of the fall of Arcadia.”
The fall of the westen king, Arcadia? Hadn’t Arcadia fallen when the tower was destroyed from an Aralax attack? Heia tried to remember the details.
“It wasn’t Aralax?” Layla asked.
“X’s overran the city of Arcadia, and then the tower fell in… an explosion caused by the Aralax. Or that’s what they told us in Ovaria.” Uly answered. “In truth no one knows. Not really. However with The Night of Oblivion having taken its toll on Ovaria and then taking Mav… They used Aralax as the source. Rumor says it was the Magicians that destroyed the tower from the panic attacks of magic being spotted and claimed to be used.”
Ovaria, the King of the East, and the former final home of the Yasloughve Project. It was where EverDanger was from.
“When was the last time you were in Valaria?” Kim asked Evester.
“Last time I visited my mom.” Evester answered. “Seems like forever ago.”
Heia tried to place the details. Evester’s parents were separated and Valaria had housed the Yasloughve Project for years until it was petitioned to be stopped. The scientists shut down most of the labs, but the one in Ovaria, the last lab and the home of Evester. Ovaria was supposed to be shut down, but Evester’s father continued the work in secret. She didn’t want to confirm if any of her conjectures were correct, so Heia kept her mouth shut.
“So we are a school trip?” Andre asked changing the topic back to crossing. “Does that happen?”
“Often?” Uly asked. “No. However it does sometimes. I need to make sure the records match as we try to get you in.”
Evester’s eyes met Uly. They seemed to share unspoken words before Evester led the others from their place on the bus to off of it. They were dressed like Circles, with their X’s covered. Children of all ages, and undoubtedly suspicious.
“No matter what.” Crass spoke to Heia and her family. “React distraught. Do you understand me? Not disappointed. Distraught.”
Distraught? Heia did not ask for clarification. They came to the guard area where vehicles waited on the other side of the blockade waiting to transport citizens up to the city.
“Hello.” Kim walked to the counter. “We are here to return up to Valaria. Elenore’s Academy of Sciences and Arts?”
Kim’s voice was smooth as Uly stood next to her along with a few of the others. Evester stood with her, disguised and thoroughly engaged in the task at hand.
“What?” Kim asked. Heia had missed the answer that she had recieved from the officer. “What do you mean?”
“Ma’am….” The officer tried to calm her down.
“Do not tell me to calm down!” Kim snapped. “Do you not see? There are children. What do you mean the information isn’t there?”
“No.” Kim handed him cards, “Check. Check us.”
The man checked. “Yes, I see here Ma’am, but we don’t have the information for your departure.”
“You mean to tell me that we are stuck out here?”
“No! I will not calm down!” Uly placed his hand on Kim’s shoulder as she caused a scene.
“What’s wrong?” Rayda called to her. Kim turned to her and Heia knew that was the cue. Knew that was the cue to act distraught. Not disappointed. Distraught. So, she took the lead forcing herself to act the best she could. Kori began to cry with Karla, pulling tears out of nowhere, but the air and it forced the younger kids to cry. They didn’t know why they were crying yet they cried when the older kids did. Some of the other kids understood to get angry. Some comforted the crying children and Heia let her glare settle on her face.
“What are we supposed to do? Stay down here?” Kim growled. “I never!”
“We can take it up with our supervisors, but there is nothing I can do for at least twenty-four hours.” The man answered. “We have protocols.”
“Protocols?” Kim shouted.
“Excuse me.” Evester spoke with a voice that was not his own. “Can I make a phone call?”
“A phone call?” The man asked.
“Yes.” Evester held out his hand for the phone as Rayda pulled Heia up to the front with Kim to comfort Kim, who was crying now. Uly tried to talk to the guards as Evester made his call. It was a woman’s voice on the other end of the line. “Morning. — No. — No. — Can I speak to Estashia? Yes Estashia Igalistal.”
The name seemed to make the men at the counter go pale in fear. The name hit Heia with a wave of emotions all at once. Evester’s mother…
“No. I do not have a scheduled call with her. — Yes I know she’s very busy — Just tell her… — No. I must talk to her. Put me on hold if you must to get her connected. — Give her the message ‘Mayhaps I was wrong.’ And see if she’s very happy you’ve hung up on me — yes, I’ll hold.” Evester looked at his nails as he waited. The next thing Heia heard was screaming.
“HOW DARE YOU CALL ME!”
“Hello. It’s me.” Evester laughed into the phone. “No— I’m at immigration. — Yes — Of course I tried to get in. — They aren’t letting us in saying the paperwork was lost… — Yes we. — Mo… Ma’am I understand that you are frustrated however… —“ Everster’s brows furled. “This is not the time… — We… — Estashia!” The incessant talking on the other side that Heia could not make out went silent. “Just… — Something like a hundred. — Yes. I know. — Yes. I know. — Yes. I know… — Okay.” Evester offered the phone out to the guard. “She’d like to talk to you.”
The guard took the phone. “Yes Madam Igalistal? — No we haven’t checked all of their names in the system, only a few. — Yes understood. — Yes. — Yes. — Yes. Have a nice day.” The man handed the phone back to Evester. “We have been asked to send the data of those who we have checked in, and then to await confirmation. While we can’t confirm you all, due to the size of the group. The clearance will be given so that a few of your teachers may go up to get things cleared up in the Embassy.”
“That’s the least you could do.” Kim snapped. “I’ll go.” She pointed at herself, Uly, Lynx, and Onyx to go up. Phil, Crass, and Rayda would stay with them.
“Yes.” Evester spoke into the phone. “Yes. I— I will. I promise. — Yes. — Yes. — I understand.” He looked at the phone as she seemed to hang up. “Love you too.” He then looked at the guard. “It should come in within the next five minutes.”
Evester led their party from the table to let others enter and go and back to the group.
“So, we can’t get in?” Kori asked.
“You knew this would happen.” Layla asked.
“Yes.” Uly answered. “There is only one formal entrance to Valaria.”
“While we go up to create fake identities with the help of Evester’s mother. You will stay here and get educated in the rest of the plan. Once we have the go, then we will get you all in.” Kim explained. She then turned to Evester and laughed. “The fact that your mother answered…”
“She was not happy.” Evester shrugged.
“Sounded like it.” Kim’s smile seemed to calm the crying young ones. “Her son the wanted criminal calling her.”
“She thought I was my father at first. She’ll help us.”
“What power does your mom have?” Layla asked. She had still not understood who Evester was? Or did she not know? Heia wanted to tell her, unfortunately Evester beat her to the punch.
“If my father was the head scientist of the Yasloughve Project. I’m not just highly wanted because I have his information and am his son.” Evester answered. “My mother probably put out the formal search for me.”
“Is your mother the Mayor of the city?” Layla pressed on. Mayors were the leaders of the cities, in charge of their cities and their towers and the councils in them. Estashia was far more important than that.
“No. She’s a World Council member.” Evester said it like it would make more sense to Layla. With her confusion he continued. “Mayors run the cities and are beholden to the World Council. The World Council runs the world.”
They were the ones that made X’s lives horrible.
“World Council members are elected, typically. Like Mayors.” Uly answered. “However not all are. Some families, have been on the World Council since the beginning, and some positions held by specifics forever. The leaders of the Magicians, called the Superiors have positions, for instance. There are ten spots for those Superiors on the World Council. There are ten spots for Circles. Those who are Circles and have one of these inherited spots are essentially human royalty.” He pointed to Evester. “Thus Evester is not just the son of a high classed scientist but the son of human royalty. But not just any royalty—”
“Europa or Endwin are supposed to take the position next.” Evester shrugged cutting Uly off. “I get to do what I want.”
“Ms. Tabatha. You have been cleared.” The guards called to them. Kim turned back and waved to the guard to signal she heard him.
“Kisses all. We will see you soon.” Kim waved and then her scowl returned as she walked away with the three others, leaving them in Infinity waiting for their return.