The morning came quickly and Heiphilia once more taking the wheel of the car with Zeydar and Evester. Zeydar was better in a way, Evester could tell, but not perfect. Evester was not sure he’d ever seen the perfect Zeydar since they had left Valaria. It was a few moments into the silence of the car ride that Zeydar spoke first.
“No matter what. We are a united front.” His facade shattered. He seemed tired, lost, and in a daze, but he was attempting to be clear. “Even if Maverin picked us. We are a united front.” Even if it was not a prediction made by the project. Even if they were forced into saving the world.
“We are the ones who have to do it, yes.” Heiphilia agreed. Evester was not entirely sure.
“Then. For the next few hours we lay everything bare. For the next few days we tell each other everything.” Zeydar spoke quickly, grasping Evester arm and seeming to be okay once more. Evester said nothing as he leaned closer to Zeydar. “How Heia knows Maverin. What happened to each of you for the Catastrophe and the Night of Destruction and the Night of Oblivion. I want to know everything.”
“My life? You know. it” Evester answered. EverDanger was his everything, but there were things others didn’t know. What he’d done to survive the Catastrophe or the Night of Oblivion. He thought of all the past relationship’s he had, small things that had never been important to him then and he knew, knew what Zeydar and Heiphilia were planning. To know each other, to read each other, to trust each other. Because in fifteen short days they’d be separated, and from that point on they needed to know that their selection wasn’t just random chance. They had to make sure that even as the world told them to give up that they would remaining fighting and if tested, they would know to trust the others.
They had to know that they’d survive it. And that everyone would.
“When I was five—“ Evester began, knowing it was probably best if he went first.
The cars rocked over dirt as they moved through the world in near silence. Three voices filled the front most vehicle with stories of a past when the world was different.
He spoke of adventure. Of what he’d done to survive day in and out to find her. What he’d done with his friends’ and how he’d prepared for the end. He spoke of the way he’d grown up. The privilege, the desire to be more to do more, to do anything to get the high that he got when he was walking the line of death. He spoke of what it meant to be the immortal, of being able to get anything and anyone he wanted. How no one ever asked anything because they already knew. He spoke of how to this day he wasn’t even sure of who he was supposed to be. There was the version of himself that he was, the one that never died. And when that one no longer controlled the fate of the world, when that one no longer had the adrenaline driving him in purpose, what would he become?
She spoke of love. Of when life was innocent and she believed in simplicity. Where she’d been trained to fight and to talk to others. Where she’d loved her family, and seen them fight. Of the nights she spent with her best friend and the love she had for all those that she cared about. She was filled with so much love in so many ways, and the betrayal had hit her hard. This entire time she’d been trying to justify why she’d been chosen, as if God had made it His will. But instead she found that she’d been picked by man, on a whim, on chance. Selected chance, but chance all the same. And it hurt.
He spoke of the terror. The screams that haunted his dreams to that day. What he had seen and what he had done. How he had blamed himself. He spoke of his father, and the betrayal that hit him when he had learned of true Dreams. He had lived in muted color his entire life. He had lived in a world so thoroughly controlled that the only thing he’d ever had power over was how well he knew magic. How he had fought to get his birthright and when he’d learned of being chosen by the project he thought it obvious. Man or project, he was chosen. He spoke of how he was not sure he could save the world. He was unsure because he was death’s hand.
In that car a vow was made between them. A silent vow that was spoken in breaths not in words. They had heard all but they knew they had to listen. To understand. That if this was to be the way life was, then they had to embrace it.
So what if they had been picked on purpose.
So what if it wasn’t divine intervention.
So what if they knew it could have been anyone in the entire world.
It was them. And because it was them, they had to see it through to the end.
For him, that meant the project, making sure that it was completed to carry all of the people that were alive. That meant making sure they had a home to go to, and a plan to get there. That meant making sure that no one stopped them, and that the procedure for leaving was in place.
For her that meant speaking to the world. That meant unifying the people. It meant eradicating differences and making it so that everyone knew to trust each other. It meant stopping wars. It meant saving lives. It meant bringing love to the forefront and trust. There had to be so much trust.
For him that meant going back to terror and fantasy. That meant opening himself up to the color and erasing its hold over him. It meant ending corrupt in any way that he could and making sure that their efforts did not go to waste. It meant trying to redeem himself in anyway that he could, for he had not been able to save everyone before.
This time they would.
And as they drove, they spoke. They listened. They attempted to become one, much to no avail. but it was impossible to become united in full. There would always be biases. There would always be beliefs and thoughts that separated them. For they were individuals trying to work as gears in a clock. But they were too unique to be gears.
And they had one hundred fifty-one days until the uncertain end.
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