220 Days Until Promotion And the Uncertain End (part 4)
Evester’s heart soared to his throat. What could he say? Zeydar was right? Saving the world was not on the top of his goals? That seemed like the wrong move despite the truth of it. Articulating such selfishness was beyond the realm of what was right.
No. He needed to convince Zeydar. Yet, what could he say that would convince Zeydar. What could he do to convince Zeydar? What did he possibly have to convince him?
“Evester isn’t that good at convincing.” Heiphillia stepped in instead. Evester hadn’t expected her to, but he felt a bit of relief that she did.
“But he convinced you?” Zeydar eyed her over.
“I forced him to take me, my family, and all those who are orphans I care for.” Heia’s admission visibly surprised Zeydar. Her tact and callousness towards him, held no reverence. Bitter, cold, tired, angry, Heiphillia was all things, but happy was not one.
“You brought in tens of X’s to the city? How scandalous.” Zeydar ignored her haste and irritation instead tossing the blistering heat of her indignation away. “Unfortunately I can not simply walk away from this.”
“Is it because of the drugs?” Evester asked knowing that if Zeydar was the addict he knew him to be, Sweet Dreams would not come with them, and detoxing was not… Zeydar glared at him. It was a deep glare, filled with a sort of pain and humor that Evester would be so brash, himself, to speak in the way. Evester knew of the manners held towards Stars, afterall. “So it is.”
“You know nothing.” Zeydar brushed him off as well.
“I know you are an addict.”
“And whose fault do you think that is?” Zeydar snapped this time something was personal about the words. They were directed at Evester solely and Evester was caught in a loss of words. Zeydar’s words bubbled with anger and a hint of exasperation. This was the relationship they held. “Sweet Dreams. It was what you gave me the first time we met.”
Evester stood there for a moment knowing that both sets of eyes were on him as the memory came back to him as fuzzy as he remembered it the night after the party. He remembered Zeydar’s eyes now. He didn’t remember the exact party, they blurred together. But he remembered dancing, talking, more… “That was years ago.”
“You met and gave him drugs?” Heiphillia cut in quick, unafraid to hide her distaste for Evester in the words. “Why is that not surprising?”
But, that didn’t make sense. Zeydar had not been there, or at least Evester did not remember Zeydar staying for too long. His memory of the night was hazy at best. Zeydar had disappeared. There was no way Evester had given him too much. He would have remembered if he had… He tried to think o all the details and only one thing stood out amongst the others. “All I did was kiss you.” The words were spoken to himself before he could take them back.
“You did.” Zeydar answered, his eyes focused on something else. It was as if he were struggling with saying something else.
There was more to the story than that Evester had introduced him to the drug. There was more to it than Zeydar was not saying. The time line didn’t make sense. Wouldn’t he have tried to get better? Wouldn’t the Stars have wanted him to get better? If all the Circles knew his secret, there was no way the Stars did not. Unless…
“After the collapse of Arcadia I turned to it.” Zeydar admitted, his voice turning sullen, colder, filled with a sorrow that Evester didn’t understand. But then he did. As Evester starred into the void that was held in Zeydar’s eyes he remembered that Zeydar was the only survivor of the collapse of Arcadia. “I can’t wipe my memories, so it’s the only thing I can do.”
For a second Evester did not know how to respond. How much blood and death had he witnessed? How much pain had he went through? It was not the sort of trauma that was to be scoffed at and ignored. Was that why the Stars let it slide? Was there nothing they could do better for him?
Zeydar’s eyes turned from sorrow to cold hatred. “Sweet Dreams was what you gave me and I ran. I ran from the one person I wanted to meet, because you had set me on the path that I had worked hard to escape from.” He held out his hands to the grass around them. “I turned to Sweet Dreams again after Arcadia, but they never cared. Me becoming what I am was only possible because no one stopped me. I ask you again. Who’s fault do you think that is?”
The Stars wanted him to be addicted to Sweet Dreams? It was the only way that the words made sense.
“The Stars have many secrets and I am one of them.” He then dropped his arms, turning from them to look out to the campus. “Others include the improper testing procedures for classifications.”
“The Council stopped properly testing for who knows how long. There are X’s who may be Circles or Stars.” Evester agreed. He and Heia knew that, now at least.
“And Stars who should be X’s and Circles. And Circles who should be X’s.” Zeydar went on. “The whole system is a mess. The only one that was kept proper was the Circles moving up to Stars. Nothing else. Those that we call classifications Four and Five are what should be,by all rights of the original testing, considered Circles. Then all those without magic are X’s. Three and higher are Stars. That was how the separation was intended.”
The information caught Evester off guard. He heard Heiphillia take a breath herself in anguish.
“But we did not follow through it, and thus everything has been muddled. So yes, that is why I am not against saving everyone. The separations effectively mean nothing now.” Zeydar definitely knew far more than either Heia or Evester. Was this the knowledge of a Star? Evester could see the peaking of a grin on Heiphillia’s face. She clearly liked that someone knew more than Evester. “I want to help you but I am not leaving. And no. I won’t reveal you.”
“What would we have to do to convince you.” Evester needed him to follow. That was what the Project defined. It was what was necessary.
“Nothing you do can convince me. You don’t want to save the world. I don’t particularly care either way. Yet there is nothing you can give me.” Zeydar answered. “Nothing.”
The words left Evester in a bit of a fury. “I can show you the project. I can help you detox. Just—“
“I didn’t realize you were so focused on saving the world. The Evester I know would be in this for the adrenaline, not the heroism.”
“What’s to say he isn’t?” Heiphillia shifted her weight. Her words cut deep. “You say you want to save people? I doubt it with this round about way with your words. Lay it out. Make it bare. Why won’t you leave or are you really a hypocrite?”
“I’m a Superior. I can’t.” He finally turned to them again. His black jacket a warning of his position of power. His eyes swimming with magic and the light bounding off his already darkened skin. “I swore an oath and I can’t.”