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40 Days Until Retribution And the Uncertain End (part 3)

Zeydar followed the Superior Supreme Anthony down the long corridor. Elder Majorie followed after them, quiet, and making sure that Zeydar could not retreat. The hall was lit in dim magic light, flickering as they passed. They walked through a doorway and the magic that Zeydar had up to protect himself vanished. Hissing, he knew he should cast another, but his body was aching and screaming at him again thanks to the Dreams that had entered his system. He needed more.

“We will be sure to keep you and Superior Kony separated.” The Superior Supreme told him. “You will not touch him.”

Zeydar blinked before realizing the only way the man knew the plan. “You read his mind?”

“His intentions were easier to read than your own. You hid yourself quite well the moment yo got off the whiteshade.”

Not that Zeydar remembered himself doing it particularly well at all. He cursed himself for assuming that the man did not know his thoughts. Without Kony, there was little he’d be able to do. Panic arose in the back of his throat. He needed to get to Kony. Could he teleport and then ambush him? It would work would it not? The Superior was afraid that Zeydar had a chance of actually pulling off the takeover which meant he had to do it.

But what if they tried to kill Kony through the connection before that? There was a delay in the transport, and if he messed up his landing….

“You can’t always have our minds open to yours.” Zeydar guessed the magic.

“No.” The Superior Supreme chuckled. “But I can use his mind to spy on you.”

“What do you want with me?”

How would Zeydar let Kony know? Was there a way to stop it? He needed to find a weakness when there were none. He’d failed, but there was still a chance of success. He just needed time. He just needed an hour, a day, just a little more time and he’d be able to do it. He’d be able to get a perfect success rate. There would be no casualties. There would be no chance of failure. He’d…

The Supreme Leader lifted his hand and every Staff on Zeydar shattered. He had known it was possible to do but had never seen it. The Staffs had an override that only the administrator had access to. The administrator — Zeydar had never questioned it, but now he knew that it had to be tied to the tablet. Zeydar wanted to flee then, told himself he should when Elder Majorie opened them up into a room, with a large window. Past the window in another room were Evester and Heia tied to chairs. hey were painted in green ink, exhausted, and chanting together. Zeydar ran in, against his better judgement.

“What did you do to them?”

“This is your test.” Superior Anthony said, shutting the door, when he did, Zeydar’s mind screamed. His magic dulled, and his mind spun. He felt dryness on his tongue and looked to the carvings in the wall. “Whiteshade in the walls.”

It was highly condensed nightshade to control him and his magic. Superior Majorie turned on an electric kettle and took out two tablets, placing them in a teacup with a teabag. He could smell the drug. He could feel the pressure of the room weighing heavily on him. He could not get out. There was no way he could.

“The components for the whiteshade were initially used in barriers and limiters. When developing them into the drug that we used to control you, we had to think of the best combination and, of course, allow you to exist. We had options to control you, like we have used on your friends. Another is the variant in the walls, too powerful for you. We determined you’d die if it was injested, however…” The Superior Supreme smiled at Zeydar who was close to collapsing on the ground.

His magic was stripped from him. He felt empty, alone, isolated. His heart was sounding in his head and he couldn’t think.

“Many options were discarded as too powerful, but we did not eliminate them as it might be necessary…” The Superior Supreme held out his hand to Evester and Heia. “Your friends have enlightened us about your relationship with them. We knew you were the chosen ones, but to think that it was a ploy by Maverin to control us all.”

Zeydar glanced to the staffs that Majorie had, they were dull and lifeless, and then back to the ones on Superior Anthony, filled with the smallest spark of power. He had power in the room, but even Majorie did not. How? Why? Why did the whiteshade affect him differently?

“This room hurts you too.” Zeydar hissed. They’d already broken him. They had to know that if they gave him the tea that he’d take it. There was nothing he could do. Not when they had done something to Evester and Heia.

“You will make a choice now Superior Zeydar. The order or your friends.”

Zeydar blinked. They didn’t know? They hadn’t realized? Zeydar looked back to the window and saw his reflection in the glass, standing between Heia and Evester who continued to chant. He looked angry. He looked ready to fight. He looked far from he felt, but in him there was a spark. Zeydar looked at his own reflection remembering the way that Kony had stood, and thinking of the whiteshade.

Kill him or make him a Superior.

“And then what?” Zeydar stood up straight ignoring the pain, ignoring his instinct to flee, ignoring the idea that he had failed. He had not lost yet. “You can’t control me.”

“No, but we can control them. You have two options. The first is the better option. Drink the tea, and they both leave unharmed. The runes on them will remain as our leverage on you all. We will not expose that Maverin lied to the world about you all. You will assist us with securing the best in the new world.”

“And the second?” Zeydar forced himself to look away from the kettle that was beginning to boil. He could hear it shaking him as well. 

“You do not drink the tea and choose. Heiphillia or Evester. Two of you will walk away and we will reveal Maverin’s duplicity.”

“What happens to the third?” 

“You see the choice you have made to cross us.”

Zeydar paused and then looked back at the two, running his eyes over the runes. He knew the spell in seconds, not that he was sure what they’d used to inscribe it on them. Usual magic required herbs, but the color was wrong. Something was off… “You’ll kill…”

He felt sick. Of course they would kill. When the Towers fell, those that were capable sent away their Superiors and no one else. They had controlled him through drugs his whole life. They’d forced a father to drug his baby. They’d do anything for penance and balance and control. Anything. Even killing the face of the revolution or the son of the Queen. 

Zeydar clenched his hands against his pants. He could not. He could not make the choice at all. He… Zeydar looked to the Sweet Dreams, his body aching for it. Just one drink and it would be over. He… He could get over it again. He could do it. He’d done it before and before and again. It was just once more. It was not that bad.

“No.” Evester’s voice sounded.

“Evester?” Zeydar asked. They could hear?

“Zeydar you worked for this.” Evester told him.

He had, but he did not have Kony. Without Kony, he had no in to the contract. Without Kony he would not be able to do anything. He was locked in the room. They wanted to control him and Zeydar needed to make a choice that could save the world. He was alone and he had to make a decision, whatever the cost.

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