157 Days Until Allies And the Uncertain End
Heia looked out to the world: empty, vast, distant. It was covered in the softest sheets of thick snow, that their car was able to get over, by technology alone. She shivered in the back seat holding a blanket close. Evester drove asking Zeydar for instructions, who directed them forward in the direction that he sensed. Heia knew little about magic and, she realized as she glanced between them, even less about their relationship as of late. Distanced because Evester had a path his father. Distanced because Zeydar was pushing away. Heia was not sure which one it was.
She didn’t care.
“Turn here.” Zeydar pointed up ahead. Signal on for no reason other than habit, Evester moved the car off the road towards where Zeydar had pointed. Stepping from the vehicle, Zeydar left them into the frigid air outside as it it did not bother him at all. Heia recoiled from the onslaught of the chilled breeze, watching as his hair moved in the breeze outside. Tumbling out of the car, blanket around her, hat on, gloves on, scarf wrapped tight, Heia moved to his side. Zeydar was serene in the outside air.
Inside the car Phil was grumbling from inside the car about how Heia needed to shut the door. So she did, leaving Evester alone with Phil inside the car. They’d told Evester never to get out, in case it was the worst. If it were, then they’d see it first and be able to figure out how to help him.
“Strong?” Heia asked stepping closer to Zeydar, seeing the rolling hills of white snow and ice. the blue sky and sunlight made the snow blinding, but beautiful, untouched, a winter wonderland built from stories with the occasional white tree shimmering in the distance.
“We are close.” Zeydar’s grimace formed as he moved forward. Heia followed after him, wanting to put the blanket around him. However upon further inspection she did not see a flush to his cheeks, or even his breath in the air. Magic, she reminded herself. Magic to keep him warm.
As they moved over a hill, they found the worst bodies frozen solid in the snow, partially submerged, partially not. Eaten by some animals. Zeydar slid down the hill in the snow, using his magic to blast the snow apart easily without blinking. The bodies fell to the ground, their features appearing more clearly in the passing seconds. It was not Evester’s father but some other set of fools. Heia squatted down not wanting to get closer, darting her eyes to avoid what she saw when she saw the X military uniforms. Zeydar threw the ice over them again, making caskets before covering them with snow once again.
“Three.” Zeydar stated absentmindedly as he launched himself up into the air with the ice and snow, landing next to Heia with a thud.
“Now many more trails do we have?” She stood up slowly.
“Not many more.” Zeydar turned agreed, shaking out his hands and looking to the world in a daze.
“What were they doing out here?” Heia then remembered the military uniforms and answered her own question seconds later. They had been scouting. She turned her focus back to Zeydar who was swaying looking to the sky above them. “Are you okay?”
He slowly drew his eyes down to her and she saw in them what she felt in her soul. He was enough to prove to her that no one ever got used to seeing the dead. They’d both seen so much of it that they should have been desensitized, and even then Heia could never. He was somewhere not there, trying to keep himself from falling into a panic.
“You have a good heart.” Zeydar walked away from the bodies. “Don’t let anyone take that from you. Especially not Evester.”
Heia followed after him back towards the car. “He won’t.”
“He just wants to find his father and finish the task, but he isn’t focused on the saving part.” Zeydar glanced at her. “Saving means more than physically.”
If there were anyone in the world who knew better it was Zeydar. “I will save our planet if its the last thing I do.”
“And I believe that.” Zeydar sighed out. He then stopped walking starring at her, his skin starting to change to a flush. “You are separating, and I will go too.”
For a moment it took her a moment for her to understand. Going back to the X’s had been the smallest of thoughts on her mind. She’d talked to Shawn about it, which meant that Shawn fully believed that she was going to go if Zeydar knew. She hadn’t decided it in full, until that moment when Zeydar said the words. For yes, she was going to leave once they got to Uly. She was going to go to the Xs and convince them to cooperate, because they had to take everyone. “With me?”
“To them.” Zeydar shook his head.
The Stars. “But—“
Would they not hurt him? Would he not fall back into Dreams? Who could control him? Who would be there to support him?
“I’m going to get clean first.” He was certain of it. His eyes said it and he was asking her to hold him to it. ” And I need to tell you and Evester everything. But if you are going to work from the X’s, you need a guarantee that the Stars will listen.”
Heia knew that he was planning on forcing them to listen. There would be no asking, and if he were as powerful as he claimed, as she had seen, then she knew it would work out. It was then that she remembered that his magic was technically over ice, and that was why he looked so comfortable in the cold, despite the anguish that seemed to fill him otherwise.
“I’ll be your ally.” Zeydar told her and Heia knew he, at least, meant it.
“What did you find?” Phil called out to them.
“Three dead. Military. Let’s go!” Zeydar called back. Heia watched as he sauntered over to the car, the snow a flurry around him almost as if it were dancing. There was a perpetual mask of disdain over him, like the world hurt him at every turn. Like the lights got turned on. She was his ally too and she would make sure his resolve was seen through to the end.