161 Days Until Mystery And the Uncertain End (part 2)
Evester looked over the house twice more before looking to his notes. The notes before him were all on Aralax and the Catastrophe. They depicted how the Aralax moved, lived, thrived, fought. Notes on their anatomy and on how to kill them more effectively than even Evester knew. On their ideal conditions for living and questions on what they were planning. Their social structures and hierarchies. Notes that had taken time to research. Then there was The Catastrophe. The way the Catastrophe had worked. Why it was happening now and questions on where to take the population to go. There were details on where to settle the population. Then there were details on what Evester thought had to be on the Uncertain End.
The ultimate question on what was the Uncertain End? What was to happen? And if it did happen, what would that mean? Still it was the Uncertain End, because Evester’s father could not figure it out.
“You good?” Shawn asked from the back of the room. His voice bounced across the wood floors, softly, but deep. The sort of voice that Evester did not want to ignore, because Shawn never spoke to him. It was only as Shawn spoke to him, that Evester realized he was crying.
Lookin up, Evester saw through his tears to see Shawn starring at him with disinterest. “Yea.”
“Anything we need to know?” Shawn did not ask about the tears. Shawn rarely asked about anything that wasn’t directly important to the matter at hand. What Evester knew about him came from second hand stories only, and from how Shawn acted. A military man, in his actions and words, a trustworthy one in his promises that he kept.
“He was here three days ago probably.” Evester answered, wiping the tears away. He pointed aside. “Some of those carved out walls are new. Also he mentions the progression of the wars being fought and military movements.” His father had been keeping track of the whole world from this outpost, living for the project day in and day out. But, he was alive.
Evester had a strange relationship with his father, he knew that. Uly and Kim were more siblings to Evester than Europa and Endwin. His father was both mother and father to him, where his mother had been more a stranger. Evester had gone his entire life, up until the Catastrophe, taking his father for granted. It wasn’t until there was the possibility of his father being dead, that Evester had been hit full force of how much he cared. Sitting in the room only further strengthened that emotion.
“So he’s alive?” Shawn asked. “You are certain?”
“Somewhere.” Evester knew it deep in his body. His father was somewhere close. There was a mountain range about a day’s drive out, and if Evester had to bet on a location it would be where he placed his bets.
“And we need to find him in six days.” Shawn walked closer, squatting down next to Evester to look at the notes Evester was going over.
“We can do it.” Evester believed that they could. He had to believe they could make the deadline and get to Uly at the meeting point.
“Will he just go with us when we do?” The way Shawn said it made Evester doubt it. Evester wasn’t sure. He had thought it was obvious. Of course his father would, but now he wasn’t so sure. “If he doesn’t want to what do we do?”
“He will.” Evester would convince him no matter what. He had to make sure his father went with them. Otherwise, all the losses they had incurred would be at a loss.
“Are you sure we need him?”
“Uly can probably figure out a way to make a team of scientists to figure out a new home for us, however no one knows the project better than my father. We need my father to ensure the Uncertain End does not come sooner.”
“Sooner?” Shawn’s voice broke, in the fear of what that meant. “You mean to tell me that there is a chance that the Uncertain End could happen at any time?”
“Other scientists who worked on the project in the past, those who were not of my father’s team? They predict that it could happen at any moment. It is one of the reasons why it is called the Uncertain End. However, my father was always adamant that the Uncertain End happened at one fixed point. That is the point that I have been operating under.” One hundred sixty one days.
Shawn looked to the notes on the walls. “I’d trust your father. He hasn’t been wrong once and those scientists had been.”
“Yes, they had been.” Evester took in the sight of Shawn, dark skin hair that was growing out from the once neat cut. He looked as haphazard and worn as the rest of them, but he was just as built for a fight as he had ever been. Limited food supplies almost didn’t seem to hurt him.
“And then we get to Uly and then what?”
“We finish the Space Program.”
“For the next, what? One hundred and fifty days?”
“Something like that, yes.”
“You realize that the leaders of the world aren’t going to make it that easy.”
Shawn was not wrong. The world leaders would make things difficult. In many ways, Evester had not thought past getting his father back. It had always been, get Heiphillia, get Zeydar, get his dad. He had never thought beyond that, because it had mattered little to him. With Shawn asking him then, Evester was at a loss.
Evester decided to change the conversation. “How are you holding up with–“
“Me? You are asking me?” Shawn asked. “City boy, I grew up in the Undercities, and worked on the LowerLands. I am fine. How are you?”
Evester changed the conversation again. “You and Heia have been friends–“
“You really are trying to avoid the conversation.” Shawn shook his head and sat down fully with one of his knees propped up. “Do you know why there are kids all over the world named Heiphillia? It’s a Circle name, not a X name.”
“Heiphillia Corosova.” The famous woman who had been a part of the Igilistal family by marriage. She was a saint of the X’s working to save them when a deadly plague swept over the LowerLands. While all of the Igilistal family had tried to help, she alone had gone to the LowerLands to lead them, to help them, and to save them. She had been a Star, a low ranked one if Evester remembered correctly, but she had magic and her magic had helped advance healing, particularly down in the LowerLands. “The Healer.”
“I always wondered how Circles remembered her story. You all probably remember her as some righteous hero that went to the Lowerlands to save us. We of the Lowerlands remember her in a more vindictive way. The plague had been killing us, yes, but we were surviving as we always were. She may have saved us, but she brought us back into the politics and hold of the Circles. By doing so she made us lower again. She made us subjugated again. She made us suffer in a different way, because were once again beholden.” Shawn glared into Evester’s eyes. “Every name has a meaning. Every name has a purpose. We name our children after Heiphillia not to praise her but to scorn her and to take what she did to us and turn it back to reclaim it. What is the original meaning of Heiphillia?”
“It’s something akin to sovereignty.”
“Heiphillia for our people is a name of power. A name of control. Someone who can go into a situation and destroy the status quo. A name that brought us such bad luck should be a curse, but we changed it to make it a charm. A charm to destroy the Circles who had claimed us back.” Shawn went on. “The world leaders are not going to make it easy for us to convince them that we are saving the world but you are lucky you have Heia.” Shawn stood up looking to the wall and then heading to the door. “Because thus far she has only lived up to her name, and our people will find a sort of poeticism in that. You should think about how to deal with the Circles and Stars, because we can take care of the X’s.”
And then Shawn left Evester alone in the room that seemed to get colder my the second.