155 Days Until Answers And the Uncertain End (part 5)
Heia drove down the mountain and around the bends, expecting to see enemies and only seeing them dead before her. She was expecting to see horror, and instead saw the light of day, as the forest burned bright and the bodies began to disappear. Zeydar was clearing their path before they even reached it. She could not let his magic go to waste, so she drove faster, trying to make it down the hills the best that she could without going too fast around bends that could knock them over.
She needed them to get out, and get out fast. How much more could Zeydar take? She did not want to think about it, just like there were a hundred other things she did not want to think about. Later they would. For now it was survival. Down the mountain, away from the fire, and Aralax and…
An explosion sounded, and it took everything Heia had not to swerve at the sound of it. Through her mirrors she could see another part of the mountain on fire. Evester looked back to Zeydar.
“Is he okay?” She asked. How much magic had that taken? Was that it? Was that the inner sections? Was that what would — Another explosion and one that rocked the vehicle as she turned a corner. Biting back a scream, Heia moved them forward trying to balance her speed with the progression of what was happening.
“He’s alive.” Evester answered lifting a radio to his lips and giving orders to the cars behind them. “Take it slower if you have to.”
“I can’t.” Heia disagreed.
“No point in all of this, if we die because you are driving too fast.” Evester disagreed and Heia swallowed her shout.
“We just have to get out. Just have to get out.” Heia reminded herself under her breath. Then she could scream. Then they all could talk. Then everything would be okay. She had to get them out, and so she slowed down a bit, trusting that it was the better choice.
They continued to race down the mountain at a pace that was dangerous but not as dangerous as before. The mountain continued to rock with explosions. Zeydar’s ragged breath behind them was the music she needed to keep tempo with what she was doing.
“Kony, are you okay?” Heia asked as she turned the car.
“Don’t talk to me.” Kony snapped.
“He’s fine.” Evester answered, but could Heia trust that? The sky was almost as bright as day time now, the fires were too much, and the snow was… melting! Heia took her foot off the pedal as the car hydroplaned around the curve. Holding the wheel steady, Heia could only focus on her breathing as they drove through the water. Heia then again had control over the vehicle, and watched as the world around her was evaporating all too quickly. The snow was turning to water that was floating in the sky and then disappearing into steam, mixing with the slush that fell from above, and the ash that fell from the smoke that rose up.
Zeydar. This too was Zeydar, she reminded herself not to look at the impossibility before her as she went on. The steep hills and turns turning to meandering to light ups and downs, and then flat land. It was only when they were on flat land that Heia kicked it up into a higher gear speeding away.
The storm hit then. All of the water to the sky came falling down in ice and hail, snow and slush, rain drops the size of golf balls. The red of the sky, caused by the forest fire was dying in her rearview mirror as the cloud and thick of black smoke, rain clouds, and night, overtook all sight of it.
“Is that Zeydar?” Kori asked through the radio.
“Yes. That–” Evester went to respond when the world shook and continued to shake. Heia almost pushed on the break.
“Keep going. Keep going.” Zeydar yelled. She looked on ahead as she heard the rumbling, felt it, was experiencing it all. Lightning filled the sky as winds began to pick up the world around them. Glancing into her rearview mirror she watched as the mountain began to visibly shake and rocks began to fall. Holes were appearing as whole sections of the mountain disappeared? Collapse? Rain? She was not sure what was making the light disappear, but this was not normal. It was like the Catastrophe, but greater in a way. The Hive began to collapse, she knew.
But was it because of Zeydar’s magic or the traps Mr. Igilistal had laid out?
“Your father had better gotten a lot of research.” Shawn’s voice came from the radio.
“He did.” Evester answered reaching back for Zeydar who slapped his hand away. “What?”
“I don’t need you yet.” Zeydar hissed. Heia glanced back as Kony wrapped Zeydar with a blanket, his eyes draw in and his skin looking pale. Or was that the odd lighting? The car was caked in the sound of falling hail until there was no more, and only odd silence, odd quiet, and Zeydar’s breathing that made it clear that he head expanded his barriers around them to make them disappear once more. Heia focused on the road ahead of them. She drove into the darkness.
Evester pulled out the map, flashlight out, pointing her in the direction of the safe house that would protect them, where they would find Uly and the others. Where everything would be okay, enough, for her to process what had occurred. What they had seen?
Zero, she thought to herself. Had Zeydar taken down Arcadia? Had he saved Valaria on his own? This destruction had been caused by him, but how much and what damage had he caused?
How would the Aralax react?