104 Days Until Breaking And the Uncertain End
Evester sat looking at the stars. The facility lights erased much of what he’d usually be able to see from the CloudCities. However even the CloudCities changed and manufactured the light. One of the things about running away, that he had loved, was seeing what the true night sky looked like from the lowerlands. Nothing could touch that. Even now he pretended to see that.
“What do you see?” His father’s voice did not surprise him. He had heard the sound of the door opening and shutting. He had recognized his father’s gait, and let the man approach silently. He had figured his father would speak when he wished to.
Maverin sat next to Evester, as they used to in days long past. They would sit on the roof of their home just starring out. Evester had not thought much of those days, because they were as it was, and nothing new or surprising. Yet, looking back at them had been the small amount of time that he and his father had ever just sat with each other. Much of his interactions with his father had been about being an Igilistal, about life, about change. Those nights had been nights where Evester had simply existed with his father. Evester had learned his constellations then. He had learned family funny stories and histories that were passed down not because they were important to the preservation of the family, but because they were funny. He had learned in those nights of his mother and father’s bond, seen love, and memory, and hope all wrapped up in simple words and stories and existing. Evester had learned to be safe.
“That’s because of the lights of the factory.” Maverin chuckled as he sat next to Evester.
Evester looked to his father who was looking up to the sky. He saw how much his father had aged. He saw the lines of exhaustion and the time wearing him down. He was worried for his father. He was concerned for his health. His father had lived every waking moment for this point in time, and Evester wondered if he would see the after. “Have you been helping at all?”
“That’s rude.” Maverin laughed placing his hand on Evester’s head and pulling Evester close for a hug. Evester rested his head on his father’s shoulder. “I will have you know that I have retrofitted the Project for new calculations. It is currently working on predicting the best paths to the planets that Uly has picked. The encounter situations, best case scenarios and worse case, are being run as we speak.”
“Uly has so much work out for himself.”
“He can’t do it without me.” And yet he could, which was why Maverin had not expected them to be so dead set on finding him. They had found Maverin for Evester, not for Uly. Uly needed Evester and Evester needed his dad. Even now Uly was a bit embarrassed by it all.
“Did you know it was going to turn out like this?” Evester asked him.
“I knew that with the prediction of the Uncertain End and the Catastrophe, we would be in for some sort of horror, but no. I did not expect this when I first started breaking the law.”
His father was going to have to have a trial when they returned to the city and to civilization. His father had so much to account for. So many people hated him. Evester’s mother could only do so much to protect him for the time being.
“You say that as if you are disappointed.” Maverin laughed.
“How can I be? You have done nothing wrong, save not telling me anything.” Evester smiled at him.
“But if I told you anything would you have done it?”
“Exactly.” Maverin pointed up. “We can see Venus pretty well tonight.”
At first Evester actually admired the star before he understood why his father had mentioned the planet at all. He remembered the way his father always brought up the planets or constellations when moving onto a new topic. Mars, when Evester was arguing with his friends. Venus when Evester was dating someone. Mercury when Evester was going to be doing a new EverDanger stunt or after one had been completed. “Is that your cleverly planted segue?”
“Uly said you broke code and called home. Rayda said the new painting is unlike the ones before.”
“Uly’s been getting messages from Europa. I hardly think my call qualifies. Besides Kori, Kony, and Karla are talking publicly.”
“Those three don’t count and you know it. And Europa is the next heir of the family. If Uly is her target he’s exempt from all laws in the world.” Maverin said the words as if to say, he was the best example of law breaking. “But you. You called back, in private for a twenty second call just to talk to Zeydar. I knew you went deep but I didn’t realize you went that far.”
“Which is to say what exactly?” Evester felt his blood chilling. “I’d be a forever bachelor breaking hearts and ruining relationships?”
“Pretty much. I might have raised you to be clever, but when it came to people you get bored too quickly. For you to form any sort of lasting relationships? You won’t be friends with anyone, save Uly and Kim, if it weren’t for EverDanger and the current situation.” And Uly and Kim were exceptions because Evester had known them from forever. “You had better not hurt him.”
His father understood. His father already knew what Evester could not articulate, and he was warning Evester to think about it seriously. Evester was not meant to be a romantic person. He was raised up as an Igilistal and a tool for the family in multiple ways. Evester knew that. He understood it. It was part of the reason why his feelings for Zeydar were so clumsy and concerning for everyone. If Evester was not serious, he’d hurt Zeydar. If he was only chasing Zeydar for the adrenaline of it, that was wrong. If he was serious… They had never predicted it.
“As if I could. He’s a Class Zero Mage.” Which Evester was still not completely sure what that meant in comparisons to Class Ones, but he had seen what Zeydar could do with magic.
“That’s exactly why.” Maverin was worried for Evester. Evester was worried as well. Zeydar could destroy him. He knew that. It made his head rush and his cheeks blush at the thought of it. Zeydar was superior in all things, should he choose to be. However because Zeydar could have everything he ever wanted, he did not have to be tied to the Igilistal family and hindered. His wings did not have to be clipped. He could easily break Evester’s heart.
Evester was silent for a moment. “Everyone thinks I’m just going to get bored and disappear on him. Or worse that he will get bored of me.” And he knew why. “But how am I ever going to know if I can’t try?”
“That’s the thing. Romance is about trying, and failing. And you have never fully tried before. Not like this. Not like the others. You never let anyone in Evester, and so yes, you may hurt him, but I’m worried that if it doesn’t work out it will completely break you. You get the chance to try and work at something, unlike your sister. However Zeydar doesn’t…” Zeydar did not have to live as an Igilistal. Evester would. And if Evester fell for him completely. If Zeydar wanted to fly unhindered. Evester would have to let him go, and he’d never move on from that. Not fully.
Evester looked to his father a bit stunned. “That won’t happen.”
“No. I suppose we can’t assume it can. But we can’t assume it won’t either, however you must remember that as you move forward. Be serious.”
“Me serious? I’m far better at it than you.”
“Such a shame that you actually believe that.” Maverin smiled softly at Evester. Evester wanted to articulate it then, but he still did not have the words. He was still afraid of everything and everyone. Fear, he realized, not anticipation. This was not enticing to him, but terrorizing. It was the first time in a long time he’d ever felt this way. He pretended it was his obsession with danger. He acted as if it was the same. It was not, and it was dawning on him just how different it was. He had no control over it, and it terrified him.
Evester laughed at his father looking back at the sky. He paused for a moment and then thought of the blue painting. Perhaps by working on it, he would be able to work through this fear and make a choice. Let go or push forward despite the chance of failure. He’d only know if he tried and he wanted to try. “I have a painting to finish.”
“Ah yes, the infamous blue painting.”
“Does everyone know?” Evester asked. Maverin glanced to Evester with a look saying ‘why else am I out here.’ Evester rolled his eyes and started back inside. “Don’t stay out too long. Your death might catch you from the shadows and I really can’t be bothered to save you a second time.”
“You say that, but you always will.” Maverin’s laughter bounced down the hall even after Evester shut the door.