64 Days Until Confidence And the Uncertain End
Evester wiped the sweat from his brow looking up towards a shadow and then towards the sky and sun above. He registered what had been said, trying to savor the words and believe that they were true. Hot, he breathed out before doing a double take at the soldier near him. “What?”
“Right now.” The soldier repeated.
Dropping his shovel, Evester climbed out from the trench that they were building, and hurried to grab his jacket. He followed after the soldier to the city entrance. As predicted, only two of the entrances to the city were open. The others had been caved in. The only other remaining open cave entrance, had a gap similar to the kind that Evester had seen in LakeLost. For precaution, they had set up traps for it as well, meant to cave it in, under worst circumstances.
At the only viable entrance, the city mayor stood with a variety of other persons whom Evester took as additional leaders. Amongst them was the man who had demanded that they leave upon their initial arrival. Watching him led Evester to the conclusion that the man had not been a leader of the city at all.
“Hello.” The woman in a long brown robe spoke. Her hands were placed together. She was far older than Evester, something similar to what Evester’s grandfather’s age would have been, if he had been alive.
“Hello. My name is Evester Igilistal.” Evester gave a slight bow to her, uncertain of the proper practices for greeting elders. His grandfather’s reminders circled his head. Etiquette is of the utmost importance. He had not heard his grandfather’s voice in years, and until seeing someone his age, he had thought little of the man. So many elder people had died in the Catastrophe. It had been so long since Evester had seen someone of her age.
“So it’s true then.” The woman looked at him twice. He rubbed at the dirt he had at his pants, knowing then that he had smeared it more with the dirt he had on his hands. The woman smiled at him, amused. “A Circle actually is helping us.”
“Did you think it a propaganda campaign?” Evester placed his hands behind his back, knowing that he would do more to shame himself otherwise.
“Everything these days are propaganda campaigns.”
“They are. But the Aralax are coming in four days.”
“There is no way to avoid it?” She asked, believing him. He fought back a sigh of relief.
“Not unless they change plans. The Project predicted it.”
“I remember a day when we all called the Project hogwash.”
It was as she said that, that Evester recognized her face. She had been a major advocate for the defunding and termination of the Yasloughve Project as a part of Anti-Love. He could not place her name, but her voice and inflection he could not forget. His father had watched enough of her campaigns and speeches. Evester remembered his father, grandfather, and Adam drinking and speaking, watching her speeches. He remembered his father raving about how batshit she was, and Evester’s grandfather rebuking him. Evester was certain that if his father were there, he would have acted smug.
“Granted. Who would have expected The Uncertain End?” Evester laughed, trying to lighten the mood.
“Your father.” She said with a sad smile. “I made it my life’s mission to see that Project destroyed, but it seems as if it is the only reason we are alive now.”
Evester watched as she walked a bit forward, sturdy and arms crossed. His mind raced as he tried to think of her name. He had never been a good Igilistal. Both Europa and Endwin would have known her name in a heart beat. Kim and Uly would have as well. His grandfather would have chastised him for forgetting something so easy. His father would have said her name upon seeing her. Evester was searching his limited memories for it.
“The Aralax are coming then?”
“Four days.” He answered. “The best plan would be this. Take this time to send as many people to the strong safe holds. Then to gather those who remain. We will protect the group that remains, and resume evacuations afte.”
“Can we evacuate everyone?”
“It depends on the size of the city, but with the resources I have right now? No.” Evester knew that the planes were called for, but he was not certain on the number to call and by the time they got the amount they actually needed, it would be too late.
“And we will have to leave the planet.” She clarified.
“Those who don’t will be left. The Uncertain End can not be avoided.”
“We can’t move past it and see if the Project simply failed us?” She asked, the sound of the last bit of hope in her voice.
“The Aralax are a different species from us. My father has already made the calculations regarding their bodies and the scientists of the world have been detecting strange patterns in the atmosphere. Something cataclysmic is on its way, worse than before.”
“And we will not survive it.” She nodded. The desperation in her voice vanished and stern certainty remained.
“The actual goal is to get all humans off the planet before the end date and to wait. We will wait and see what happens. If we are right, then we will leave. If we are wrong… Then we’ll return.” Evester knew very well that it was not the plan. There was no way that they were wrong. “However admitting that there is a chance that we are wrong to the public would cause less unity and the higher probability of failure. People would rather remain in the status quo instead of act.”
“What’s the chance the Project is wrong?”
“Has the Project ever been wrong?” Evester offered her the answer instead.
The woman starred at him before she nodded. “We will send assistance to you, as well as give you a place to stay. I will not turn away your good will.”
It was then that he knew her name. “Thank you Ms. Jymes.”
The woman blinked surprised that he remembered her name. She then laughed and her face turned cold.
“You Igilistal’s are all the same. Don’t break my trust.” She said before she turned and walked away, saying things that were not important to him. She gave orders on how they needed to send people to assist Evester, and Evester sighed to himself. He did not care if this woman liked him or not. He had to save her.