202 Days Until Collapse And the Uncertain End (Part 6)
Evester struggled to run. He had broken something. A rib perhaps? Jumping from a moving vehicle was not the best idea, but it was all he could have done in that instance. A broken rib, how could he have been so stupid? Heia looked worse for wear, but she was fine. Lynx seemed to have dislocated her shoulder grabbing Heia. Not that Heia realized.
Evester rounded the corner towards where he was supposed to meet the others to find a massive blockade of cars that had been moved by the fall, as well as broken buildings. Fires lit the street, and the smell of oil was clear. They’d be lucky to get over it before it went up in flames.
“Uly…” Evester could not find a way around it.
“You have to go over, the other way around would take too long.” Kori answered.
“Are you sure?” Evester asked.
“Yes. Look up.” Evester looked up and saw Kori and Kony standing on the side of a building that was slanted over. Kori waved and Karla climbed up with them. They were directly in the danger zone, and Evester knew they weren’t stupid enough to think they were safe.
“Can you drop us a rope?” Getting to her would be easier. Getting to them would be faster. Getting to them made their chance for escape higher.
“Yes.” Karla answered. “Come this way.” She and the others hurried to drop a rope for the three on the ground. Evester led Lynx and Heia towards the rope.
“Can you climb?” Evester asked Lynx.
“With one hand? Easy.” Lynx answered. “Relocate my shoulder?”
“When we get to the other side. I don’t want you blinded by the pain.” Plus the others would be able to do it better than he could.
“Alright.” Lynx looked up. “The gasoline and fire…”
“I know.” Evester did not like the smell and he did not want to wait long. The rope dropped down fully and Evester pushed Heia to it first. “Climb. Go.”
“I—“ Heia looked up.
“You don’t get to say no. Climb.” Evester needed her to focus, to keep going, and to trust him. The longer they waited the higher the chance they had for death.
They were not going to die.
Heia did not say another thing. She started to climb, slowly but surely. “Heia going up.” Evester then looked to Lynx who nodded and went up after. Once Heia was up, Evester started on his own. The pain made his eyes sting, but he pushed on forward through it. He felt hands grab him and pull him up. “Leave the rope. Run.”
The others did not ask twice, as they raced along the building and back to the ground, away from the fire and vehicles, right as an explosion sounded and the flames burned hotter. Evester began to count, to listen, to think of what he knew about explosions.
“Go!” Evester pushed them to run faster, faster than they could. They needed to get out of the direct line of fire. His eyes darted across the street looking for any place to hide when the flames cast the street in a fire sea.
“Here!” Phil yelled, arm in a makeshift sling. Evester saw them inside a building and pushed the others toward the door. They went crashing in, and into cooled air right as the street was blasted in flames from the cars that exploded and lit on fire. It was a sea of flame and smoke. Phil and Crass struggled to keep the door shut and to barricade it. Zeydar sat in the center of the hall, rocking himself whispering. Uly had a cut over his eye and what looked like burns. Crass was otherwise unscathed. Onyx had her hair singed, cuts, bruises, and burns but nothing broken from what Evester could tell at first until he saw her leg and realized it was a bad injury.
How would she be able to walk on that? She wouldn’t, he realized. And that was how their chances for survival plummeted.
“Lynx come here.” Crass directed Lynx to him and placed her arm back with a snap. Heia winced and looked around.
“Kony. Kony. Kony.” Zeydar repeated over and over again. Kony raced over to Zeydar’s side as Zeydar gripped him. Zeydar said words over and over again, thrusting a staff into Kony’s hands and saying the magic words again and again.
Kony started to repeat them and magic was cast over them. Unlike the cool air that surrounded them, this air was blissful. Healing magic? Wasn’t that reserved for extreme emergencies? One person at a time? Evester only knew of Stars in hospitals using it, not just anyone ever. Kony didn’t know any magic or theory.
Evester felt as his pain subsided. He watched as cuts and bruises healed a lot, but did not disappear completely. He watched as Kony’s eyes blanked out and then Zeydar pushed the boy aside, forcing Kony back to consciousness.
“You can do magic?” Kori grabbed her brother.
“No. I…” Kony gripped himself and nearly collapsed. Zeydar stood.
“I took his magic and fed my own, and used him as a medium to heal you as best as I could in a short time without exhausting or hurting him.” Zeydar answered, seemingly back in control of himself.
Lynx did not seem to be as injured, Onyx was moving her foot and Phil breathed out easy.
“Got him.” Uly spoke to Evester.
“Micha.” Evester spoke into the headset, motioning for Lynx to give him the laptop. She pulled it from her bag again and handed it to him. “Do you have where the explosions have sounded?”
“Yes.” Micha Rayblay’s voice came over the headset, making Evester have the smallest inkling of hope. That they could save their Tower.
“Link the computer address I’m giving you now.” Evester read off the address and moments later the images appeared. Zeydar peered at the computer and pointed at locations. Evester marked them. “I’m sending you the high risk areas. Put those failsafes on now, so that nothing happens when the explosions go.”
“If they all break the Tower still falls.” Micha warned him.
“I will stop them.” Zeydar answered. “Just strengthen them, and support it. Get everyone out.”
“How?” Evester asked Zeydaar.
“Don’t worry. Get out.” Evester didn’t like the sound of Zeydar’s words.
“Evester we are sending you the new route.” Kim said over the headset. The new plans showed up. Zeydar nodded and walked to the door.
“Where are you going?” Evester snapped.
“To stop this. Go. I’ll meet you before the exit of the Tower in five days.” He pushed aside the barricade, exposing the room to the flames that bathed the only shelter they had in blistering heat.
“You can really stop it?” Evester was breathless.
“I will, now go.” And Zeydar disappeared into the flames. And as soon as he was within them they vanished as did he.