82 Days Until Seconds And the Uncertain End
Evester looked over Uly’s notes and then back to Uly’s beard, to the notes and then the beard. Uly’s beard had grown out again and become a mess. The clean cut Uly was gone, and the bags under his eyes were dark. His lips were chapped, and he had lost a bit more weight. His hair had grown long and he looked like a disheveled genius more than ever before. To Evester, however, he looked sick.
“Stop starring Evester. It’s rude.” Uly smacked Evester with the papers.
“Are you going to shave.” Evester caught them and then took Uly’s wrist and pulled Evester closer. He looked at Uly’s beard and his skin.
“No time.” Uly pulled back, yanking his arm for Evester. They were both silent and then Uly went back to his work.
“Europa won’t…” Evester began when Uly slammed the papers down. They looked at each other and Evester smiled. Uly collapsed to the table.
“She hasn’t seen my face.” Uly groaned. “Besides what she thinks doesn’t matter.” They both knew it was a lie.
There was another long silence as Uly peeled himself up and then they looked back at the papers there on the table before them. The final reports were done. The final plans could be made. With all the preparations in order for calculations, they were able to begin their heist plans. The prep work had to be done upfront and Evester saw the totality of Uly’s effort there in the reports.
“This is it?” Evester pointed to the date.
“This is it.”
“You are sure.”
“I’ve ran the numbers a hundred times.”
The documents had the last of the ships finished five days before the Uncertain End. It was close, but unless something happened, they could make it. They could save everyone. They would begin expediting everyone off the planet twenty-five days before. The cyrostasis could begin at five days into space. “And the planets?’
“The system is still working on it.” Uly tapped his fingers along the table. He had seen the final choice by Uly. Uly had not talked to him about it. The three final planets had been chosen but Uly was second guessed himself. Evester, who had yet to see the final write up, did not know why. He trusted Uly.
“I thought you knew which ones you wanted.”
“I second guessed myself. This decision is everything.” Which meant that the final calculations were not on which of the five to three but of which of the three was the best.
“When will you have it.” Evester whispered.
“The formal final results at the rate we’re going? The day I am to depart. If I am on one of the last ships to go up.” Uly looked to Evester.
“We talked about this Uly.” Evester understood what he was doing. he was doing the calculations for all five. “We are going to vote. The world will vote, and we will give them the only viable option that we decide on.”
“But if we’re wrong?” Uly looked down. He began tapping again. “We will vote. I’ll give you the top three but please let me run this to confirm. If anything changes then I will send the signal to all the ships.”
“And if it doesn’t?”
“Then we will have better idea of what to expect.” Uly’s voice dropped. He looked at Evester and narrowed his eyes. The two of them starred at each other for long enough that Evester had confidence.
“Yes.” Evester agreed. He trusted Uly’s choice. “But you clean up and rest and get more food until then. Deal?”
“Deal.” Uly agreed, sighing in relief that Evester agreed with him. Evester heard the sound of the other scientists returning from their break. He changed the conversation. “Shouldn’t you be one of the first up?”
“And leave you alone here? I’d sooner stop working than let that happen.” Uly gathered the notes and made them into a stack for Evester to take with him.
Evester laughed eying the scientists that came in. “You will find the right choice.”
“Thank you for your support.” Uly sighed as he began to rub his face. He looked to his hand and then pointed to himself. “Am I that horrible?” Evester nodded and Uly began to laugh.
“I will tell the others the plan to convince people to leave their homes.” Evester announced to those in the room. Uly already knew and had a tenuous acceptance of it.
“Four days from now.” Evester gathered the notes close to him and placed them into a folder. The whole trip was already planned. Everything was in order. Evester felt more confident by the day. He just hoped that Uly would rest. He’d need to get Rayda to watch over Uly and make sure Uly got rest.
“It’s fine. I’ll have Endwin— Endwin!” Uly jumped up. “He said that he needs you to give him some things.”
“Give him what?” Evester had no idea what his brother could from him.
“Endwin is sweet talking the Circles for your mother, getting the new generation on Europa’s side. Alliances and the likes.”
“What does he need from me?”
“I’m not sure. It’ll probably be nothing.” Was Uly trying to get Evester out of the room with the plans? There was a possibility of it. Evester stood up.
“But deals with the Circle devils.” Evester nodded as he started off towards the door.
“It won’t be marriage, no one wants that from you.” Uly called after him.
“I’m still an Igilistal.” And Evester hoped that maybe one day there would be one person who — Evester’s heart dropped. Marriage? Νο. He could not get married. He could not think of that. Yet why did he suddenly think of Zeydar. Of Zeydar being there when he woke up. Of Zeydar being there as he grew old. Evester… He realized then that there was no way he was going to be able to run from it.
“Sure.” Uly rolled his eyes. “I have work to do. The plan to convince the world is yours, do your best.”
Evester nodded and left the room, heading to the computer communications room to contact his brother. He dropped off the paperwork in his room into the locked box before he called Endwin.
“Hello.” Endwin answered. There was shouting from behind him.
“Is everything okay?”
“Zeydar is training Kony.” Endwin continued to walk away from the noise into a quiet place.
“Uly said you needed me.” Evester cut to the chase.
“I need access to your records.” Endwin answered. Evester gave his password so his brother could access the house system and Evester’s contacts. “Graceon all but staked his claim on you.”
“Graceon…” Evester thought for a second. “He’s still set on that?”
“He is.” Endwin answered. “Is that why you called me.”
“I gave Zeydar the book.” Endwin answered. He shut the door behind him. Evester paused for a long moment. He starred at his brother.
“This is why you needed to talk to me? We have a communication hold now, and you needed to talk to me for this?” Evester tried to avoid the conversation and the more he talked the more he realized that he was.
“Yes. Graceon is offering himself. I have plans that I have to make. Alliances have to be drawn. If you are going to be a part of the considerations I need to know.”
“I’m never getting married.”
“Do you like Zeydar.” The words attacked Evester directly. “I know you want your freedom, but I need to know. I need to know what to do to move this along so that we are not a complete mess when we get to the new home.”
Evester was silent for a moment trying to come to terms with what was being said to him in that moment. There before him, his freedom was being dangled before him.
“Zeydar read the book.” Endwin’s words made Evester stop breathing. He had so many questions. What did Zeydar think? Did he hate him? Was he going to — Evester felt the elation rise in his chest and the relief that perhaps Zeydar understood a bit more of the pressure that Evester was under. And Evester wanted to blaze past that pressure and expectation and do what he wanted.
“I won’t date Graceon.” Evester answered finally. “I like Zeydar.” Endwin and Evester shared a long look. Endwin was quiet for a bit before he then nodded.
“I will let mother know so we can take it into consideration for planning ahead.” Endwin said before he ran his fingers through his hair. “He might not be ready for you Evester.”
“I know. I think he still fears that I want him for different reasons than I do.” Evester grew more certain of it in the passing moment. He was ready to prove it. As Endwin hung up on the call, Evester leaned back in the chair and starred at himself in the black screen. He was going to have to tell Zeydar and then the choice would be up to Zeydar. Evester had made his choice. He wanted Zeydar.