202 Days Until Collapse And the Uncertain End (Part 4)
Zeydar could only recognize certain things that were happening as they were happening. Upon releasing the first explosion the others began to activate and it took everything that he had to keep them from going off.
“I can’t—“ stop them all, he tried to explain to them.
“You can.” Crass spoke to him. “You can.”
“I don’t know where, how.” It was all spinning, all confusing. Spirialling around him. Everything was too hot, and then it became cool, but his body still hurt, and shook. The noise was too much, things were too bright. How. How could be survive this?
“Let go of what can break.” Uly answered. “Nothing more.”
What could break? Nothing could break. If it broke it would collapse. All would die. But magic disagreed. His mind was spinning through fire, and screams, memories of Arcadia collapsing. He could remember the cold, the pain, the vivacity. It was all the same. All the same, and so he should know, know where damage could be taken and not fall.
Was it his fault the Tower of Arcadia was destroyed? That the Tower of Valaria was falling? Did it matter? He could stop this. Save… save as many people as he could, and so he listened to his gut, the instinct that told him things were okay and let parts fall. He let the parts fall that could fall and keep the structural integrity of the Tower, for long enough for full evacuations. He gripped tightly to Crass as the earth shook. This time he knew it was the earth shaking.
“What did he do?” Phil asked.
“Released what he could not control, what damage we can take.” Uly answered. Zeydar did not hear any other words as his mind went blank and magic screamed at him. He couldn’t hold on, couldn’t hold on.
He needed to save everyone, but the magic it required to do that… He didn’t have enough. The screams were back. His body was not his own. He felt the ground on his back and the moment it was there he curled up. Magic lulled him, rocking him, coursing through his body with such ease that he had never felt before.
Don’t reject it.
He knew not to but it scared it. This power. There was so much power and he didn’t know how to control it, how to stop the time bombs, where they were. He had no grounding. He was floating, spinning, disappearing into his own head. He had to hold on.
Hold on and focus on stopping. But he couldn’t. He couldn’t stop it. It was too powerful, more powerful than him. There was no way he could stop it. Not in this state, not when everything hurt, when everything was too loud, when his ears screamed, and his eyes could not open. He couldn’t do it.
“Drink.” Uly held him. Zeydar pulled the water and didn’t realize how much his throat hurt. Was he screaming? Was he speaking? Zeydar felt himself starting to drift to sleep.
Only the magic jolted him awake as it stopped moving through him and spun him deeper into blackness. He was lost on a pathway with lightness guiding him, but no way to fully stop what was happening. The magic caressed him, guiding him.
Break. It told him. Break the magic that was going to destroy everything. Break it how? How? How? He had forced it apart before, and that had failed. He had failed.
Don’t fail. Push back.
He pushed it to split and the world screamed. He was wrong. He had done it wrong. Again. Failure would kill them all. He felt pressure on top of him, that was coated with a sticky wetness. There was so much heat.
“Get inside.” Uly shouted far too close to Zeydar. Too loud. Not safe. Not safe. Uly was not safe. “Phil help me.”
“My arm!” Phil answered. “I can’t.”
“Help me! Crass! Where are you!” Uly yelled.
“Onyx hurt her leg.” Crass yelled back.
“That house!” Uly directed the attention of the others and then Zeydar held tightly to Uly. Heal. He had to heal Uly. But he was so tired. Too tired. He’d failed too much. He could only hold on so much. He’d failed all of this.
“Hold on Zeydar.” Phil hissed over his pain, like the act of speaking was too taxing. “Hold on. We will get you somewhere safe.”
Safe? Where was safe if they were not safe with him? He was going to destroy them, destroy them all, just like he did before.
No. He couldn’t. He had to save. Had to. Had to. Had to.
He knew the tears on his face were his own.