148 Days Until Terror And the Uncertain End
Heia sat with Evester, listening to the monitor. They were waiting to hear any sudden change — something bad that they’d have to stop– and hearing nothing. There was the soft thump of Evester’s recorded heart beat, it was loud enough for Zeydar to hear it in his agony, but not loud enough to drive anyone else nuts listening. For Heia it was a strong metronome clicking its time away for them all.
Plans were being made as Zeydar’s process continued. Like the heart beat, time moved on and they too had to keep going. Lynx, Onyx, Trace, and Robee announced their plan to go with Heia, while Rayda, Crass, and Uly would remain behind. They had to bolster Heia’s numbers for what she was planning in convincing the X’s to join the Circles and Stars. They also wanted to share what they learned from fighting, all while making sure that they were overwhelmed by the politics, they knew she’d face. Kori said she too, was going with Heia.
“I’m going with Zeydar.” Kony announced, snapping Heia’s attention back to the meeting.
“You are?” Kori asked him. There was devastation in her voice, as if she could not believe that her brother would make such choice. She was probably one of the few people who thought it. Kony was a Star, he had to learn magic. Heia had seen the way Kony had fallen for magic so thoroughly, and how much he ached to learn more. Kony’s choice was no surprise to her, at least.
“I want to stay.” Karla agreed. “To help Crass.” This surprised Heia.
“You are?” Kori looked to her sister shocked. “I thought we were going with Heia.”
Heia had thought so too. Hearing Karla say she would stay behind seemed to shock everyone in the room. Karla never voiced what she wanted or what she needed. She was amicable, helped everyone, and had never once complained. However, the determination in Karla’s eyes told Heia, that the girl had made the decision long ago.
“You need to go with Heia.” Kony shook his head. “Zeydar can’t go up against the Stars on his own, and even if I not as well trained, I am a Star.”
“You don’t need me,” Karla answered. “I’m better suited here.”
The three needed to grow up a little, without each other. They all could see it. They’d lived their entire life by each other’s side, and now their skills were branching them in separate directions. Even if it hurt, they too needed to do what was necessary for saving the world. Kori bit her lip and nodded.
“Don’t worry Kori. Crass will protect me.” Karla reached for Kori to give her a hug.
“It’s more Kony I’m worried about.” Kori flat lied, but everyone let her do it. She hugged her sister and silence took the room. The only sound was of Evester’s heartbeat, steady for them. Heia returned her attention to the screen, the meeting completed. She needed to know that Zeydar was okay, and better, that he would not hurt him in his pain. Her thoughts had drifted from the shock of Karla’s decision when Shawn spoke.
“I’ll protect him.” Shawn’s voice broke the resounded silence. Heia turned back to him, confused by what he meant. Him? What did Shawn mean? Who was… Where was…?
“What?” Evester asked to clarify for everyone in the room.
“I’m going with Zeydar.” Shawn’s crisp words had Kony’s eyes wide and Heia’s plans shattered. She had hoped that Shawn would be her in to talk to the X military, and to get them to change their tactics. He was supposed to be her right hand and best support.
“I refuse to go back to the military that told me to abandon civilians and those I cared for. I can’t stay here. Zeydar needs a X at his side, who knows how they work and think. The Circles will not ignore us.” Someone strong willed like Shawn could make sure that they would not be ignored. “He also needs someone strong enough to support him. His cravings will remain and I can watch him to make sure he does not scum to them.”
“We think alike.” Kim drew the attention to her. Shawn seemed as confused as they all were by her comment. “I’m going with Heia.”
“What?” Evester snapped, not furious but startled. “You– can’t. Kim, you can’t.” There was true panic in his voice. Heia knew that Evester loved Kim and Uly more than any of the other EverDanger members, but she had not expected this.
“Evester don’t look so hurt. I love you but Heia needs an insider from the Circles, and I’m best suited for that task. I also know you. Shawn knows Heia. Phil is planning to go with Zeydar.”
“Guilty.” Phil laughed.
“Which means that with Karla here, we will be able to best predict how each other will move without having to talk directly.” Kim answered. “I can’t be by your side protecting you forever Evester. Gotta let me go. You gotta learn to take care of yourself at some point. You don’t need me to anchor you anymore and you know that.”
Heia was not entirely sure what Kim meant by anchor.
“How about how Zeydar will move? None of us know that.” Evester spoke when all eyes were on him calling him out on the lie. Maverin outright chuckled.
“No one knows him better than you and Heia. I don’t think even his Stars do.” Kony answered for them all. “Evester don’t play with us.” He paused, pointing to the monitor and the sound of Evester’s heart beat. The sound filled the room for a moment. “Just because you haven’t had sex with him, doesn’t mean you don’t know him.” Heia watched as Evester’s face burned in color. “You know him.” Kony looked to Heia. “And you do too.”
Heia knew addicts. She knew outsiders. She knew Zeydar’s pasts and his relationships. “I know him.”
“Then its settled.” Kim nodded.
Heia’s eyes went to Maverin. He sat there nodding his head like he agreed, laughing at their antics. In the man she saw her teacher who had taught her so much in life, and she had to force herself to look away. Heia was still furious with him. Her belief that she’d been chosen for a higher purpose had been manufactured. She’d been picked for it and trained for it, on purpose by someone who she had once trusted so deeply. However, after listening to Evester and Zeydar, she knew that training was necessary. She had to admit she understood why it had happened the way it had. It did not stop it from hurting her.
However, she had been trained throughly. The results were what mattered. The results had her in a room with highly trained individuals, planning a revolution across the globe in a matter of days. Even if it were manufactured, she was still picked and she had a duty to that.
“It’s settled.” Heia agreed, monotony swelling over them all once more.