95 Days Until Waving And the Uncertain End
The first wave of attacks were fought off and the worst of it was over, that was, until the final battles came. Maverin worked each day consistently to figure out exactly when those attacks would come, and Uly drowned in his own work to get them safe. Unable to work nights, they were forced to use the few hours of daylight that there were. The barriers were up, traps were made, and in that Evester hoped that their nighttime progress could resume.
“Will this work?” Karla asked as she stepped back from the trip line.
“Well it had better.” Evester sighed. For if it didn’t, they’d have to continue to fight each and every night. That did no one any good. They also needed the days to train. They had more soldiers to cycle through. They needed the Mages to come and get trained. They needed to finalize the details for their home. There were only three months left and the time crunch had never felt more pressing. After Heia’s show of dedication, Evester was vitalized to press forward. He had to do his part, so that she was not left to support it all on her own. “We don’t have anything else we can do.”
“We could pray that they stop attacking us.” Rayda suggested as a joke.
“And when was the last time prayers ever worked?” Evester teased back.
She shrugged. “Just a suggestion. It never hurts.”
“Neither do explosives.” So long as no one was stupid enough to cross the trip line. Aralax? He figured they would be and no person had any business being out this far. They had another envoy of people coming that night. Soon they’d be training during the day with little sleep. Evester didn’t mind the act of being busy, but he did mind the fact that he couldn’t do anything else. He wanted rest, for the first time ever he admitted that to himself. He wanted rest, and he wanted the end of the world to end.
“How long will it take for them to figure everything out?” Karla went on.
“Long enough that we need to get back to the headquarters and start dissecting those bodies so we can use them as skins.” Crass answered.
“I honestly don’t want to.” Evester grumbled at the idea of using Aralax bodies for protection. It seemed wrong. They were sentient.
“We really don’t get a choice.” Rayda shook her head.
The four of them continued to check over the defenses talking about little. Evester looked to the blue sky thinking of the other EverDanger members. He hope that they were all well.
“Zeydar is fine.” Rayda patted Evester’s back.
“Actually I was thinking of everyone else.” Evester tolled his eyes.
“Sure.” Crass said to ta chorus of giggles from Karla. None of them believed him. He didn’t believe him. Evester had only really cared for Kim, Phil, and Uly in EverDanger. Uly and Kim more than everyone else combined. It was because of their close proximity here in the warehouse that Evester had actually hung out with Rayda and Crass for more than a few hours at a time. They had been EverDanger compatriots, but they had never really been friends. They had been friends of friends.
Evester realized how much he loved them now. He wished that it had not taken the end of the world for him to know them. He, however, believed that only the end of the world would have changed him. He would have never considered anything else before. He would have never wanted to be with them in other ways before. Rayda and Crass were Uly’s friends from college. He had met them through classes. Crass grew up with a rough life but Rayda had a good one. Her family was middle classed and she’d had a happy childhood. She wanted to help people and she had chosen to stay with Evester and Uly.
“Thank you guys for staying with me and Uly.”
“Who else would have?” Rayda asked, lifting her eyebrows. She couldn’t lift one on its own. “You two are helpless on your own. Uly always gets this way when he’s preparing for anything, exams, saving the world, EverDanger missions. And you?”
“And me.” Evester laughed. “I want to change that.”
“Don’t.” Crass disagreed. “The person you are is good.”
“But messy and destructive and…”
“And you know that now. You are working to be a better person but don’t eliminate the part of you that makes you unique. You might be reckless but now you know that has consequences. Just because it has consequences doesn’t mean this world doesn’t need a few people who are reckless.” Rayda smiled.
“We need you to guide us Evester. Lead the way and we will follow.” Karla agreed. “The path is wild and scary and we need to have someone who is willing to brave that.”
“You want me as a sacrifice?” Evester gasped.
“Yup.” Karla laughed and Evester joined her. He took the words to heart. They had never wanted him to stop thrill seeking and to stop chasing adventure. They wanted him to realize the weight of that and to accept responsibility for it. They wanted him to grow up and to take the mantel fully as the one who would brave the storm.
Evester vowed to protect them. They were his friends and his allies. They were his support and those he wanted to defend. He had gone into saving the world to find his father. He had done it all because of the thrill but now he had a direction. His heart beat at the thought of it, slow, painful, melodic. It was not the fast pace drive that adrenaline usually gave him. This was rhythmic and slow, powerful and deep. The thrill was there. He loved the idea of the unknown and the fear drove him forward. He had a purpose, and a desire to go forward. He wanted to save the world for them. He wanted to brave the unknown for them and for himself.
He didn’t have to change. He just had to grow.
What would become of his emotions when the danger was no longer there? They would remain, because the danger was not what drove him. Not anymore. They were. The danger was just for fun.