114 Days Until Lies And the Uncertain End (Part 2)
She hadn’t meant to call out to Shawn. However seeing Phil and Zeydar and hearing Shawn’s voice had made her heart ache as it had to see her siblings. When he appeared on the screen, she had felt everything come into place. Her entire family was safe. Everyone was okay; he was okay. In those few moments, Heia had felt at peace within herself seeing her best friend safe and sound. She remembered the letters she would get, that even in her anger, she had read, because she needed to know he was a safe when he had been in the military.
And he was. Even now.
The rest of the conversation was on nothing, really. They talked about how Layla and Andre had escaped. They had a catch up on what had happened to them, and how the other orphans were doing. Kony spoke a lot with some oddly phrased sentences at points. Kony spoke as he always had but he often used words she did not know, words that she had to assume were Circle and Star words. Heia wondered whether her brother had been fully indoctrinated into Star culture. Did he speak different with Zeydar and the other Stars than he did with his family? She had many questions but none of the words due to all the tranquility she felt at seeing her family in the flesh.
When Kori wished them the best and signed out, Heia sat back to look at Kim, Lynx, and Onyx.
“Zeydar thought fast.” Trace laughed in a way that let them all know that she did not find it funny at all.
“He had to, Kony looked up.” Kori shook her head.
Heia wasn’t sure why she had doubted Kim when Kim had said that the event would be scripted on Karla and Kony’s end. Kori had asked if they needed to be, and Kim had said no, and now Heia knew why. They had to react real, be real, and true. They had to seem as if it were completely honest and for it to be scripted on their end, would have failed that. Kony had looked up at something Karla said, fright in his eyes for the smallest of seconds as Zeydar reacted. Phil was the first to talk and move, but they knew it had to be Zeydar who had instigated it. It all sounded natural, if it weren’t for the fact that Heia knew that neither Zeydar nor Phil would have intruded on a private family matter.
“He looks much better.” Lynx clicked on the recorded broadcast, that was saved to the EverDanger page. She flipped through the images until she landed on Zeydar who’s cheeks were fuller and eyes were brighter. “He also didn’t explode in the noise.”
“Training.” Heia wondered what else he had gone through to act as normal as he did. She had only ever known him while he was either detoxing or on Dreams, and seeing him now made her remember the Star on Sweet Dreams. She knew Shawn would never allow that, which meant Zeydar’s recovery was going better than anyone could have expected. Necessity, probably dictated it.
Kori then started to recite the facts and news that had been spoken in code, code that Heia hadn’t bothered to listen to. Heia had recognized it. Kim had warned them that it would be there but told them not to respond to it. It was for Karla and Kony to relay information. It was Kori’s job to get that news. It was a lot of information, none of it particularly pleasing but updates on the end of the world, rarely were.
“If everything goes right. The world is going to know how much we are all helping. They, hopefully, will believe that Circles, Stars, and Xs are working together.” Kim sighed. If it went well, Estashia’s non-concern for the X’s would be put into question. Heia knew the stakes but she hadn’t realized their public talks would be so heavily watched. She had not realized that this one talk was such a political move.
“Most are going to see it and see a family coming together.” Lynx told them. “Your reunion now is going to be exceedingly important.”
Uly’s news, relayed by Karla, however, was particularly concerning. It explained why the cease of communications began and why Kony had looked up in a fright. Heia prayed that Evester and Uly were figuring it out as Karla said, but she knew that it would take time.
They didn’t have time.
“And continued communication?” Robee asked.
“Uly gave the Okay for now, but only in the form of these talks. It will be a good way to pass information, and as Europa said, a good political move. Other communication remains on lock until Evester and Uly clean up their end, and ensure there will be no security leaks.” Kori said. “Karla, Kony, and I will continue to speak to each other, at dates and times that Karla decides. Just us three. I think.”
“Just you three.” Kim nodded. Heia thought of Evester and Zeydar who were working their best on their end with tasks she did not fully comprehend. She thought of Alan Penn and the work that had to be done on her end. With a renewed sense of responsibility she began to repeat the number of days in her head. The mantra of Evester was the only solace she had that Uly would pull off the search. She had to believe in him.