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72 Days Until Brilliance And the Uncertain End (part 2)
Heia stood looking to the skies of the air field. The others were too busy to be there. Their tactical team was progressing well, after May had the chance to practice against Aralax twice. She had been flimsy on the first day, but the second day had provided her with great insight. Kim was confident that with the week they’d have the semblance of a team. They needed communicators, Kim had told her. She was the one person who seemed the most optimistic.
“How is the practice?” Alan Penn stepped to Heia’s left. He too looked to the sky looking for the ship to arrive. The notice had come suddenly, not that it seemed out of character for Evester.
“Well enough.” Heia thought of how the others were working their asses off with May. Lynx and Onyx were fixing the war formations and Kori and Robee and Trace were training the Circles to become skilled in the Aralax killing techniques from their flimsy base. The more that Heia thought of it, the more stressed she became. They had twenty days to make a unit worthy of envy. There was no way they were going to make it in time. They’d never prove the combination worked and change the war.
“And the respect?” Alan Penn mocked her.
May was getting sorting that out, at least. Heia felt that she was respected and that there was a general tense respect amongst everyone in their unit. Even if they hated each other, the Stars were not acting haughty. Bigotry was not something so easily erased, even Heia knew that despite her friends. The Stars thought them a different species. Even with May beating them into submission for Heia, Heia could not command the same level of respect that they had for her. “Will take time.”
“This will fail. You know as well as I do that the Stars will abandon us.” Alan Penn warned her.
And that was what Heia feared. “I didn’t know you were such an advocate for doom.”
“Don’t play that you haven’t thought of it.” Alan Penn turned to her and she to him. They starred at each other as if they were equals. Heia knew the man had placed the Mages with her so she would fail. She also knew that he wanted her to see that it would fail so she would stop fighting him. Somewhere in his heart he had the best interests in mind for their people, somewhere deep, deep, down.
“The Mages will support us. Their Superiors told them to.” The words sounded like sandpaper to Heia’s ears. How could she say them when she did not even believe them?
“They were forced into it, by Estashia. And once they get out of her control they won’t bother with us.”
“And what do you suggest? We all die?”
“That doesn’t have to be the choice.”
“We will not direct the Aralax to attack them. We will not attack their cities and take their strong holds. We are all on the same side.” Heia was not sure that was his plan, but she needed to make it clear that she did not agree with it.
“For now.” His words confirmed all her worst fears. In a way it was the best for the Xs to have the Aralax attack the Towers, with their protections, but Heia would not let that happen.
“Forever.” The world had to act as a united front.
“You think this shallow peace will last if we get to another place?”
“When we get to another place, it will no longer be shallow, because we will have united to survive this and the new world.” And the people would force them to act in their best interest. The people would rise up. They would not let a situation like this happen again. Heia would ensure it.
“Circles will never get their hands dirty.”
“And Stars would never help an X, yet here they are.” Heia looked back to the skies as her hair began to whip around her. The plane was there. She watched as the plane landed and rolled its way towards them. “The Stars will bend. The Circles are already bent and controlled. If this alliance fails it will not be their fault.”
“You have faith in outsiders.” Alan Penn had none.
“I have faith in the project.” She turned to face him as the doors to the ship lowered. “And the project picked me.” Heia watched as the plane stopped and staff hurried to assist it. Heia had faith in the people. She had faith in herself. Heia had faith in the world that EverDanger was going to create, and the Immortal’s arrival would solidify that.
When he stepped out, he walked with a girl in white and a tall man in a black over coat. His hair was cropped short. He was done up the way he had always appeared on the screen. There was no immediate external sign of the Evester Heia had grown to know, but when his eyes met her’s she saw him. The man in those eyes was not the one she had met in LakeLost, nor the boy she’d grown up watching. Evester Igilistal had come into his own, and he was there to support her.
For the first time since the Mages arrived, Heia felt at ease.
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