YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 47 (CHAPTER 194)

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115 Days Until Distraction And the Uncertain End 

Evester looked over the request for the video call. It at least was an email, rather than a direct call. Regardless, it broke Uly’s newest protocols. Evester had only been able to narrow the moles to three. The silence was important. Kori was requesting to speak to Karla and Kony over the internet, live. 

“This is daring.” Karla looked at the request. “She’s an idiot.”

“She’s your idiot.” Evester reminded Karla.

“She’s also lonely.” Rayda told them both. Evester knew that Kori had to be missing her, but he wondered if she knew what they were dealing with. They had soldiers to train, and scientists to maintain a control over. They did not have time for a catch up call, live.

“She has Trace and Robee.” Karla rolled her eyes. The email chain rang out with the notification that Kony responded. His words were: Kori, you idiot. And then it was followed up by: Layla said yes, so I guess we have to.

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 46 (CHAPTER 193)

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117 Days Until Clear Skies And the Uncertain End

Heia looked to Kori who sat under the night sky looking up. When Heia had woken up she had found the window unlatched, and Kori missing. Immediately Heia had known where to go. When the kids were younger, they had often gone to the top of their old home. Kori wassitting under the cool air and the sky with flushed cheeks and wide eyes.

“Kony nad Karla?” Heia asked as she sat next to her sister.

“Kony and Karla.” Kori answered. “I’ve been so far from them for so long I’m trying to remember them.”

Heia didn’t know what to say. The three had chosen it, despite never being apart from each other for this long. It seemed to be taking its toll on Kori. All the side glances she’d give Kony or the responses she expected from Karla, they never came. Heia wondered if Kori was stuck trying to figure out who she was supposed to be without them. The three had been inseparable their whole life and had chosen this moment to separate. Heia was not surprised it was starting to take its toll on Kori.

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 45 (CHAPTER 192)

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118 Days Until Misery And the Uncertain End 

Uly looked miserable. Which was to say he looked more miserable than the days leading up to his eventual collapse. He was laying on the floor with his eyes to the ceiling. The computers were still running their reports. Whatever he had been searching for was coming up inconclusive, or at least Evester thought it was inconclusive. Evester suspected it was about living conditions on the potential future planets.

“You dead yet?” Evester asked stepping over Uly’s body and then dropping down to straddle his best friend. Uly turned his attention from the ceiling to Evester and glared.

There was a long moment where Uly starred at Evester and then looked to the computers. “In twenty minutes I will be.”

“Nothing yet?” Evester watched Uly’s expression. When was the last time Uly had slept?

“Nothing.” Uly stretched and sighed.

“I thought the Project gave us suggestions on planets with viable life.” Evester moved away from Uly to sit next to him instead. He crossed his legs and leaned back o his hands that were placed near Uly’s face. Uly leaned on him. Evester would not tell Uly that he needed sleep. Uly knew that he needed sleep and he did not need Evester to argue with him about it. Uly now had a team, but as the perfectionist that he was, Evester did not doubt that he couldn’t trust the new people.

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 44 (CHAPTER 191)

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119 Days Until Sincerity And the Uncertain End 

The table was dressed with silverware and china that Zeydar wasn’t sure was applicable to a traditional morning breakfast. The rules of the house had been completely changed. They were no longer eating at a Council Woman’s house; they were eating at the Queen’s house. As such, things were highly publicized, and changed. There were cameras, and unnecessary amounts of spoons. Zeydar felt sick to his stomach about the performance of it all. He had been sitting for so long that he wasn’t hungry anymore. Finally when the food came out, Zeydar wondered how long it had been sitting for.

And the dishes did not stop. They brought out copious amounts of food in lavish numbers. There was no way all the food would be eaten, and the intended audience would have to know that. There were too many luxury dishes, some of which Zeydar hadn’t seen since before the Catastrophe. The moment the last dish was placed, Zeydar was sickened by the idea of food. There were people starving. What the fuck was this?

“Somehow I think this would create more havoc.” Shawn looked at the dishes, grimacing.

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 43 (CHAPTER 190)

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120 Days Until Anxiety And the Uncertain End (part 2)

Heia slid her foot back to center herself as she threw out her holoblade and blocked Onyx’s attack. Heia then stepped to the side, keeping her back away from her enemy. Eyes on Onyx, she raised her weapon, keeping the edge of the blade closer to her hand so she hand more control.

“Better.” Onyx drew back giving Heia a nod.

“Why are we learning to fight people again?” Kori asked, kicking her legs as she watched them from the wall. They had picked a secluded corner of the camp in order to practice more techniques. It was the best place away from cameras and unwanted eyes.

“Because war.” Trace answered her, jumping up to sit with her. “People fight people.”

“We are supposed to be fighting death not each other.” Kori complained. “If a war breaks out now, we are all screwed.”

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 42 (CHAPTER 189)

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120 Days Until Anxiety And the Uncertain End (part 1)

Evester sat with Crass watching as Karla and Rayda showed the soldiers the proper training practice moves. The General was rotating through soldiers at a break-neck pace. Evester understood why, but he was tired of having to intimidate them each time. The General, luckily enough, seemed to have realized that Karla was dangerously skilled, and with each group, more respect was given to her. The new batch needed to begin from the basics. Most soldiers caught on fast enough, having trained in the weapons for a long time, and once they moved from practice, they  were moved to intermediate on the course that they’d managed to make. They had nothing after that and had to send them off, but each group had its own challenges.

“You okay?” Crass asked him.

“I’m not going to tear the soldiers apart, if that’s what you mean.” Evester had calmed down. 

Insulting him, he didn’t care about. Insulting his father? It was probably true. Insulting his mother? She could take care of herself. Insulting his siblings? He went rabid. The worst part was that he always forgot it was his reaction until it happened. One Soldier, had called his mother a demagogue, which phased him none, but then called Europa a demon in the making. Evester probably would have accepted it as truth, if the guy hadn’t called his sister brainless after that. 

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 41 (CHAPTER 188)

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121 Days Until Care And the Uncertain End

Zeydar woke in a fright. Heart beating wildly, the visions swam before him in the form of a fresh memory of terror. The screams had returned. The pain, the flames, the smell of blood. The death. The memories, all the memories. The Catastrophe, the Night of Oblivion, Tyler, on the road, the deaths, the collapse of Valaria, all of it was replaying. And he was there again, screaming, trying to escape but this time he wasn’t chained. This time his magic was with him, sparking like a powder keg, ready to strike out.

Focus on me.

Hands in darkness, Zeydar fumbled around trying to find the recording. His magic spun around him, and he recognized the sound of breaking as the memories formed before him. It was happening again. It was coming again. Everything was so hot. Everything was too much. He needed Dreams to take it all away. The sounds of the night were loud. Sharp breathing scraped him, both his and Kony’s. The darkness was swimming, swirling, and then there was the stinging of the air. He couldn’t breathe.

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 40 (CHAPTER 187)

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122 Days Until Perfection And the Uncertain End (part 3)

Zeydar looked to May who stood before him disheveled and then to Shawn who stood as if he hadn’t just been caught making out with May. Zeydar had been walking down the hall. He had been planning to read books, to practice his magic, something. He didn’t remember his initial goal anymore, because when he had turned the corner he found them. Shawn had May pressed up against a door, and she had been clinging to him. He had not made a single sound and was about to turn when May had seen him and shoved Shawn away.

Then she started stumbling and making excuses.

“Listen. I’m not judging.” Zeydar looked to her, stopping her excuses from digging her into a deeper hole. “But are you sure? Shawn?”

“Yes. Me.” Shawn rolled his eyes.

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 39 (CHAPTER 186)

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122 Days Until Perfection And the Uncertain End (part 2) 

The facility wafted with the odor of humans. Airships had lined the building spanning miles. People moved about creating a cascade of noise bouncing off the walls. Thousands of people were living in the spare warehouses along the strip of land where airships were being transferred. They had what they could carry, enough to fit in their specified storage containers, and nothing more. These people were here to work, and then to move. They had come to assist in fleeing the planet.

“We are currently stocking ships with supplies. New clothes, and the likes.” Alan Penn told Heia as she watched people being checked in. “With the Circles assistance, we have started the transport ships of goods and weapons for all.”

The first thing that was being packed were the ships that would hold food, clothes, instruments, books, documents, technology, and many other things to jumpstart a new economy. Other ships would hold animals and seed for food. Still others would have machinery and equipment along with metal, wood, and other building supplies. There were people being transported all over the world to collect materials and to rip up the remains of the earth before it was destroyed for good. Years of treaties and protocols to protect the planet were being broken for their survival. Each of the ships with human civilization upon them would carry similar things, albeit in smaller numbers. Circles were providing weapons, guns and holoblades, to any who could use them. They were bolstering numbers for the armies and collection groups. The coming battles would need everything they could get for protection.

Karla had requested assistance and Estashia had listened. Things were looking up. 

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 38 (CHAPTER 185)

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122 Days Until Perfection And the Uncertain End (part 1) 

Evester looked from Crass to Rayda and then to Karla. Which one was it? Which one of them was the one who had the card. Fingers twitching, Evester pulled a card from Karla’s hand. Her poker face was incredible as he turned the card around to see the joker. Screaming out in frustration Karla laughed.

“Done?” Uly asked halting their game.

“Evester just lost again.” Rayda placed her cards down. 

“Not true. I could get it to one of you.” He protested.

“Unlikely.” Karla teased him. Dejected, Evester looked away. He knew she was right.

“What is it?” Crass asked Uly.

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