162 Days Until Discovery And the Uncertain End
Evester woke up stretching, a weight upon his chest that was the crumpled mess of blankets covering him and Zeydar who laid partially on top of him. The supplies were on the floor of the car, shaking in the soft hum of the moving car. Evester moved his arm free, to lift Zeydar’s hair to see the clammy, pale face, and strained expression of Zeydar. Evester felt sore. His wrist looked worse than it felt, however as he looked at it in the light of the far, he winced at the idea of it. Breathing out, he dropped his arm over Zedyar holding him close.
“You awake?” Phil asked from the driver’s seat.
“Where’s Heia?” Evester did not want to move much. Zeydar had gotten little sleep, and thus Evester had gotten little sleep. What sleep they could get was broken by crackers and water, as well as Zeydar’s complaints about everything.
“Sleeping in Kim’s car. Kori is driving the other car.” Phil answered without looking back.
Evester tried to think of the rotation. His memories were hazy but he remembered Kony had insisted on driving. Kori had told him that he needed to keep their surveillance up. If Evester was right, Kony, a few month trained Mage, had pulled another all nighter, twice in a row to keep up magical surveillance. Evester could do it but he wondered if Kony could up for that long, let alone if it were worth it. Kony was not Zeydar, and with his limited training, Evester wondered how much help Kony really was. “You could have woke me.”
“That would risk waking Zeydar. He’s not letting you go. And I don’t think he will until he is coherent.” Phil looked back in the mirror for a second. “Wanna talk about that bruise?”
“He was feeling my pulse. He’s using it as a way to focus.” Evester moved a little, to readjust to get more comfortable. He pulled the blankets over Zeydar who was shaking.
“Your pulse.” Phil repeated. “You volunteered.”
“Of course I did. He’s a ticking time bomb. I needed to give him something.”
“For the Project?” The implication in Phil’s voice was that of hostility. It was the reminder of the EverDanger rules. It was the tone that said that Phil did not believe that Evester was doing it for any greater good reason.
Evester heard to tone and implication. “Don’t start.”
“Me?” Evester could hear the eye roll in Phil’s voice. “You are the one breaking all the rules in the EverDanger handbook. The ones you wrote.”
Evester was at a loss for words as his hands moved over the top of Zeydar’s head. Zeydar’s hair was oily, from not being properly washed for days. The action did help to stop Zeydar’s shaking to a degree. “It’s for the project. He needs to be sober for the project.”
“For the project or for you?” There was the question Evester had not wanted to be vocalized.
“Both.” Evester snapped back knowing better than to lie. “If he’s not sober then how can we be sure he’s fully with us? If he’s not sober how can he fully help the project?”
Phil was silent for a moment saying things with his thoughts that Evester had not wanted to think about. The rules. “He saved us.” Phil relaxed into his chair. “We all know that. Just don’t hurt yourself.”
“More than I already have?” Evester laughed. He knew his friends were more worried for Zeydar than him. Evester had a history of breaking hearts, and they did not want him hurting Zeydar out of… whatever it was Evester felt.
“More than that.”
“What else am I good for?” Evester was the Immortal. Things like this could never destroy him. He was the only one that was able to survive at all costs, not because he was great but because he was not a coward. Zeydar did not scare him, the emotions did, but Evester would not admit that. Phil started to slow the car. “What do you see?”
Evester nodded and waited until the car was stopped to try to sit up. Zeydar sat up immediately, eyes wild and breathing sharp. His head snapped to the side, eyes wild. Evester grabbed him before he could move. “What’s wrong.”
Zeydar looked to Evester and blinked a few times until he sighed out loudly. He was back to reality, whatever he had been seeing was gone. Evester had to imagine it was a nightmare. Yet, something about this place had woken him. As Zeydar moved out of the car, Evester followed. “I’m okay.” The house was dark even with their headlights shinning on its form in the middle of nowhere.
“Any Aralax?” Phil asked as he stepped out.
“No.” Zeydar answered tentatively. “Kony was watching?”
“You can feel his magic?” Evester asked.
“I know it almost better than May’s.” Zeydar answered. He looked around, arms out and then they dropped. “No. No Aralax.”
Evester nodded, stepping towards the house, gun ready just in case. They needed to see about how far they were from the workshop and to make a better list of their supplies. Evester was about to walk into the house first when he stepped back looking at the door frame. Everyone backed up behind him quickly.
“What’s wrong?” Shawn asked.
Evester ignited his Holoblade holding it to the door looking at the markings on it. Flashbacks from memories erupted in his mind. Each and every mark was the same. The exact same. Even if he couldn’t exactly remember it, he knew it in his gut. You’ll know what to do. Evester slammed the door open looking to the wall directly across from the door. There etched on the wall, carved into it with a knife or holoblade from the way it was burned, were the words that made Evester collapse to his knees.
His father was alive. Or his father had been alive. Up until recently at least. The house was a replica of his father’s lab from home, only with less control, less mechanics, made to survive and to study. The room was decorated in notes, thoughts, words etched to the walls and the floor boards.
No one spoke a word as the looked into the room. Evester knew no one was there, or else Zeydar would have mentioned it, but this was his proof. The tears fell from his eyes as he starred at the words: The Yasloughve Project is our end.