YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 26 (CHAPTER 173)

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131 Days Until Eyes Open And the Uncertain End   

Zeydar looked over the report from the X’s. Heia had already pulled her hand and Xs were beginning to protest and support the cause. Some were protesting the Circles and Stars, while others were flocking in droves to be selected for the factories to work to create the ships. There was movement and it was the movement that would drive them to a greater height in the future. It could only be see as a good thing, although Zeydar did not see all that was happening as a good thing.

“It’s mayhem.” Europa put down the report. “They don’t have the infrastructure to be able to support and manage all those people.” Zeydar wondered if she were already calculating the expenses and requirements to ensure that the whole cause did not fall apart.

“Kim will figure something out.” Phil spoke after he’d finished his copy. “But it will only be temporary. As long as Circles and Stars do not help, it will not be completed.” His eyes traveled over to Zeydar as if telling him that he needed to work harder on breaking the Star establishment.

“The X’s will do something. Alan Penn is not a complete idiot.” Estashia put her pen down. She had written all over her copy and as she handed her notes to Europa she spoke to herself. “However, that does not stop the Circles from having to do their own work.”

“We are going to have to limit consumption. And entertainment.” Europa glanced over her mother’s notes, before picking up a pen and beginning to write in her blank notepad.

“Circles working.” Shawn scoffed. “Can they even do it?”

“The real question is on the Stars.” Endwin looked to May. He at least did not look to Zeydar, although they all knew this was Zeydar’s task. “We will need the Military Mage’s protection of the facilities.”

“I’m not in charge of those decisions.” May answered. She hadn’t read the document, but she insisted on being with Zeydar. Shawn looked to May with a glare and she met him with her own. There was a festering hate between the two of them that was almost magnetic. Zeydar had seen the two of them talking in back hall ways snarling and snapping at each other’s throats to know that they were on the cusp of an argument even in this public setting. Zeydar wondered why it was that they hated each other so greatly, and wondered if it had more to do with him or with their differing world viewpoints.

“I will work on that.” Zeydar took the attention of the room upon himself. This was his task, afterall, and he didn’t want to see his best friend get into a fight. Zeydar knew he would have to go back to the Superiors at some point. He just had to be prepared. Shawn and Phil would be with him. The Stars would not get him, they could not get him. Dreams would not —

“So the X’s are working. We need Circles to work, too.” Kony cut into Zeydar’s thoughts at the most superb time. “Stars to protect them.”

“And new laws stabilized.” Europa nodded. Kony and her eyes met and she smiled at him. Zeydar saw how Kony looked away in surprise. There was a bit of a flush on his face. Zeydar watched as Kony settled himself but Zeydar met Shawn’s eyes who had caught it as well. His eyes darted to Phil who was smiling devilishly towards Kony. 

“For now we will figure out the best course of action for the Circles moving forward. I’ll get the councils to give immediate aid to the X’s.” Estashia, if she noticed Kon’y reaction and apparent crush, completely ignored it. She stood with grace and poise before pushing in her chair. “Europa, with me. We have things to do.”

Europa said not another word as she collected her things, stood herself with equal serenity and left. The two women were off to make plans for the entirety of the Circles, and there were many things that Zeydar figured had to be discussed, politics that would make little sense to those sitting in the room. There were so many aspects to the Circle political and economic structure that Zeydar had never cared to learn, and now he wished he understood better.

“Can things be that easy?” Layla asked from where she sat. She had not read the report either. It was only now, that Estashia had left, that she dared voice her own opinion.

“She’s Estashia Igiliastal.” May answered her. Zeydar felt as if the name was an answer enough but from the way that Layla’s brow furrowed and Andre’s concern echoed on his face, he figured it was not.

“My mother will get it done.” Endwin sighed trying to settle them better.

“So… Kony, what was that?” Phil clipped the conversation regarding the end of the world by flipping it on Kony instead.

“I swear. If you tease me, I will burn you.” Kony glared at him.

“Magic isn’t supposed to be used for attacking others.” May chastised him. “Where did you find him?”

“In the X homes.” Zeydar answered. “Kony, you’re a wind mage. You can’t burn people.”

“Friction can cause burns if you go fast enough.” Kony glared at Phil who was chortling to himself in his chair. Kony’s continued hostility only fed Phil’s laughter.

“Don’t bother him.” Shawn rolled his eyes. “We’ve all been there. Europa is pretty and mature.”

It was a simple crush, Zeydar knew. He wondered how long Kony had had it for. Zeydar thought of his own first crushes, and all at once Evester’s mind came to his mind. Evester when he was younger had been charming, but older Evester… He remembered the way that Evester had reached for him. Zeydar thought of the way that Evester’s eyes trailed Zeydar’s lips, lowered and focused, when he wanted to kiss Zeydar. Zeydar remembered how Evester’s sleep filled eyes stayed on him despite their desire for sleep, filled with concern in the dark of the night. All Zeydar could think of, in that moment was Evester, until Shawn’s hand was on his back and Zeydar realized he’d been having a hallucination. How he wished to Dream again…

“She’s too old for you.” Layla told her brother, not having noticed Zeydar’s attack.

“I know that.” Kony glared at her. “Just stop talking about it.”

“What even brought this on?” Phil asked, having noticed Zeydar but not drawing attention to it.

“She called him handsome when he arrived. Said she didn’t recognize him and that he looked charming. She was being nice.” May answered. All eyes were on her. “What? It’s a guess.”

“Can you please stop?” Kony complained placing his head in his hands.

“We need to go to the Stars.” Zeydar decided to save Kony. Pulling himself together, Zeydar breathed out a long breath before continuing. He commanded himself to focus on nothing but the task at hand. He had to control the Stars. “Phil, Shawn, Kony, you are going with me?”

“Yes.” Kony agreed too quickly.

“And the Military Mage?” Shawn looked to May.

“We are both looking out for Zeydar’s best interests.” May spoke softer then. Her eyes went to Zeydar and he realized that she had not only been told about his sensitivity to sound, but she had noticed his actions a few moments before. She did her best not to bother Zeydar, out of love for him. May had always wanted him off of Sweet Dreams, but she was too blinded by the Superiors to see they were the cause of all his pain. There was hope for her yet. 

Besides, he needed his best friend at his side, and he knew that no matter what, Shawn would ensure her rose colored lens were broken. “Tomorrow. We all go.”

They would go tomorrow to face those who wanted nothing more than to control him or to see him dead.

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