155 Days Until Answers And the Uncertain End (part 1)
Zeydar stepped knowing that the pressure on him was the gazes of all those who watched from the comfort of the heated cars. They had given up their safe house, packed the cars with their limited supplies, for this chance. A chance that had led the three cars to the edge of the mountains that went up into the blue sky. They’d given everything for this moment, and left no other paths behind. The success of the mission was on him and him alone.
Spell in his mind, Zeydar twisted his Staff, focusing not on their eyes but on the trail disappearing in the minutes. He’d always known that this trail led here, and it was that reason he’d ignored it. No rational person would go here on their own, so he had assumed it meant that Maverin were captured if the trail was his. However, Aralax did not take prisoners, and the man was never called sane.
Opening his eyes, Zeydar looked out towards another Hive. This hive, like the other, was imbedded into the mountains and connected through underground caverns to protect them during the day. Unlike the other, this mountain range was covered in trees that towered high and the trail led right up towards the top. It may have been a Circle resort at one time, with the paved roads heated so that the snow did not cover them. A resort that was no longer their personal playing field.
Zeydar knew better than to assume that Evester’s father was alive that close, but he also knew it folly to assume he was dead. In that moment Maverin was both, holding a high possibility that they would not find his body. Turning to the cars, he found them all standing out of the cars. Each shivered and glared at him with a hundred questions, save Kony who was starring out in fear knowing what Zeydar knew. The kid had picked up on reading Zeydar’s spells and magic, better than his own magic and spells, which Zeydar could not fault him for.
“If he’s alive, he’s that way.” Zeydar pointed up the mountain, as he walked back to the cars.
“It’s getting close to sunset. By the time we get there, we’ll have an hour — maybe, and it’ll probably be less than that. There is not enough sunlight before the sun sets.” Shawn looked to the sky. They all could feel it, the way that there was movement around them unseen. This high up? This close to night? Dusk would be enough more than enough for the Aralax to move.
Then they would have to escape and Zeydar did not want to think about the escape.
“Is he alive?” Evester asked the one question no one else did. Was it worth it to go up there and possibly risk Zeydar’s life?
“I can’t be certain.” Zeydar did not want to go up, but if they had to, he would get them out.
“What do you want to do?” Kim asked Evester. She needed him to know that if they went up, it would be like Valaria — all on Zeydar and no one else.
“We need my father.” But he would not risk them would he? Zeydar starred at Evester trying to find whatever proof he had that Evester would not risk it, that for once Evester would walk away from the challenge. Instead he found the smile that he’d seen a million times online. “We go in.”
The Immortal had risen.
It was dangerous, a larger risk than anything else. Zeydar remembered what he had to do last time to get them away. This time they’d be in the center of it all. He’d have to go nuclear and he wasn’t sure that… Zeydar looked to Evester’s wrist, yellowing from the bruise remnants. Would he be able to get through it all with only something like that. Valaria he’d sucked Kony dry of magic. He’d destroyed more than he’d fixed.
“We need to plan our escape then.” Phil nodded. “We stick together. Do we leave one car behind as a decoy?”
“We may need to.” Kim agreed.
“I can explode.” Zeydar stepped closer. All eyes were on him. “It will get us away. And if I use all my magic it won’t hurt you as we drive away.”
“We can’t deal with you going into withdrawal.” Shawn shook his head.
“There is no other way.” Zeydar insisted. “You want us to escape unscathed? Then I explode. We can’t discard a car as a distraction. It won’t matter. They want us. We need all the vehicles to move effectively.”
“I’ll help you.” Kony stepped forward, offering out the magic that had grown in the months since Valaria, from the constant stress and use. Even if Kony couldn’t use it liek a Class One should, Zeydar could. “You can take my magic from me. You kept in control for Valaria that way. You can do it again.”
“And then the drive back?” Heia asked. “What do we do then? Have you go nearly catatonic again as we try to escape. You’ll destroy Evester if you cling to him.”
“No.” Evester shook his head. He was not thinking of himself, however, he was focused on Zeydar. “You don’t have to explode.”
“But—“ Zeydar started.
Evester pointed out. “Yes, you will need to kill everything in our way as we escape, but we have one target to hit if we don’t want them to follow.” He directed their attention to the hive, the mountain itself. However he meant the inner caverns. To destroy them from the inside. “Can you do that? You don’t need to wipe them all. You just need to injure that.”
“That will make them swarm.”
“Not if it is injured enough.” Evester stated. He then looked back. “And if my father’s notes are right, then he’s been working on a way to do it for us. You injure it and a chain reaction should occur.”
“And if your father is not up there?” Kori asked.
“Then we go.” Evester stated. “The project has a deadline.” But no one believed him. Zeydar less specifically. There was no way that Evester would simply walk away from this without something of note. The Immortal had risen and he was ready for war.