YP – B3: QtnoWLM – Chapter 33 (Chapter 130)

164 Days Until Focus And the Uncertain End (part 1) 

The day of the split up had Heia in tears. They knew it was coming from the day that it was officially agreed. They knew who were going, based on decisions that day. They knew they had to do it, in order to stick to the project time line. Still, the separation created tears. Her family was being further spilt apart. Heia, Kim, Shawn, Kony, Kori, Phil, Zeydar, and Evester were staying. Uly was leading the team of Rayda, Karla, Crass, Lynx, Onyx, Robee, and Trace away to the location of the Ships. Uly had not taken his time trying to decide who was to stay and who was to go, because inherently everyone had known. Ultimately, Heia agreed, but it did not make the parting easy.

“We will be fine.” Karla pushed Heia away. “Crass will make sure I’m fine.”

“We’ll protect her.” Robee rolled his eyes. “Not that she needs our help. Her kill count is higher than yours Heia.”

“Yeah,” Kori looked to Heia. “Are you sure you should be staying?” It was a joke meant to lighten the mood and Heia knew that. Unfortunately, she could not joke back.

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YP – B3: QtnoWLM – Chapter 32 (Chapter 129)

165 Days Until Desperation And the Uncertain End

Zeydar stood outside of the safe house watching Kony, who starred off into the distance. The light was growing low on the horizon. Another sunset that brought a fear of destruction. Too close to the enemy to feel safe.

Most nights, Zeydar placed the traps, the spells that would protect them and activate if an enemy got too close. Tonight Kony was supposed to lay his magic down along with Zeydar’s.  Kony had gone through many text books on the drives. He’d learned many spells and much theory. With his practical training with Zeydar, Kony was on par with many Mages in terms of spells. Zeydar was no disappointed in Kony. Kony hav put in effort more so than some of the Mages Zeydar knew. Kony had pressed to learn, perfect, and master the spells. What Kony lacked was time. He did not have the time to understand the spells even if he could cast them. He was not as apt at adapting them and working them to work for him better. He did know understand the full history behind them, and nor did he have the practice that made him quick and precise the first time he said them.

Still, Zeydar knew that was asking for something they did not have. Could not have. And could not think about at this time. Zeydar felt Kony lay out the spell for defense. It was correct but not complete to the best conditions of the night. Zeydar would have to adjust and strengthen them later. Kony went again for the next one and the next one after that.

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YP – B3: QtnoWLM – Chapter 31 (Chapter 128)

166 Days Until Listening And the Uncertain End   

Evester looked over the map and then looked out through the lens. Back to the map. The lens. The map. The lens. The map — It was it. The mountain no longer looked like the images he remembered from online. The mountain was covered in holes, cave systems, built by the Aralax rather than naturally occurring. To hide from the sun. It was the right location, everything everyone had spoken on, but seeing it in person was far more fear inducing than images alone.

“What do you see?” Heia asked. 

“That’s it.” Evester confirmed handing her the binoculars. They were in a car far enough away to make it away in a quick get away, but they had done their best to locate it since arriving at the safe house. It was also the middle of the day, which gave them an edge.

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YP – B3: QtnoWLM – Chapter 30 (Chapter 127)

167 Days Until Tedium And the Uncertain End  

Kim had said not to wake them. That neither of them had slept through the night for a while. Zeydar since starting the trip and Evester far longer, that he had not even when in Valaria. The two were lying ontop of each other in their own slumberland as Heia was tasked with watching over them. Deeply, thoroughly, completely asleep. The noise of the outside could not wake them and the look of it made Heia sleepy herself. As the two slept the rest of the party moved on and did more tasks.

Rayda and Phil, checked on the vehicles and started patrols. Shawn, Trace, and Robee worked with training with Crass and Lynx. Onyx worked on food with Karla. Kori helped Kony with his studies, popping in with everyone else to see if they need anything. Uly made the plan on when the group and where the group, would start searching for Evester’s father.

It was midday when Zeydar woke, followed shortly after by Evester. Heia noticed it only when she noticed the change in their breathing. Zeydar was the first to move and shift.

“No…” Evester groaned to him. “Sleep more.”

“What time is it?” Zeydar asked him in an equally hushed voice.

“Afternoon.” Heia called to them. “You look real comfortable there.”

Zeydar sat up immediately, looking back to her in a panic. He cleared his throat in order to speak a bit louder. “How long were we asleep for?”

“Its midday.” Heia answered picking herself up from the ground and walking towards them. “The others are already training and working.”

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YP – B3: QtnoWLM – Chapter 29 (Chapter 126)

168 Days Until Faith And the Uncertain End (part 3)  

Zeydar was awake. The soft and loud snores of those in the room sounded on as shift changed and light danced in the otherwise dark room. Heia had not given him back his drugs. The others had been feeding them to him, and that night all he had was nightmares. He couldn’t focus on trying to go to bed when all he heard was Arcadia, the chimeras, the world that had been destroyed by him.

Evester turned over in his sleep, his hair falling atop his face. Zeydar starred at him, turning to face Evester fully. Kim was next to him, snuggling closer to Heia who seemed to be pushing her off a bit, not liking the heat but enjoying the comfort. Shawn’s snores were the loudest as he slept on Heia’s other side, holding her hand lightly. Zeydar’s side was cold, from where Uly had gotten up to go to his shift for the night.

Zeydar’s eyes trailed over Evester’s features. He’d seen Evester sleep enough on the bus, but never this close. It was always from afar and it was only in the dimmed light of the space heater that Zeydar could make out much more. He could see the slight twitch of Evester’s face, the way his breath was even and the way he reached for Kim, for her warmth, as she tried to kick him away to get closer to Heia.

The air was brisk over them as the shift occurred. And when the room was all dark Evester gripped Zeydar’s hand. It was such a sudden movement, that if Evester’s hand wasn’t on Zeydar’s, Zeydar was certain he would have thought he’d hallucinated it.

“Nightmare?” Evester whispered so low the Zeydar was almost certain he’d not heard it. When Evester’s eyes fluttered open, Zeydar could see the sleep within them, but the coherence. The deepness to the brown was as filled and mysterious as the night sky. Evester was a light sleeper, this Zeydar knew. However, just how light was it? Was he too burdened by things he could not say aloud?

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YP – B3: QtnoWLM – Chapter 28 (Chapter 125)

168 Days Until Faith And the Uncertain End (part 2) 

Heia walked around the house that was built up to protect them. They had stripped some other rooms to better fortify one room that was smoldering in heat. Blankets were everywhere, as they were all to sleep in the one room. They were on the walls, the windows, the floor, and surrounding the space heater. Their supplies were stacked in areas to keep the food from spoiling. Everyone was moving about figuring out how to best fix the cars and bus back to a suitable living environment when they left the place. Everyone was fitted out in the best winter clothes that they had, as Uly and Rayda dialed in the weather reports. Watch had been decided, set to rotate in and out of the room. Traps had been laid to alert them of Aralax in the even that there was an approach.

Snow was piled up in the lands around them, and the chains on the tires were being checked as they breathed out white in the frigid air. Evester had lectured them incessantly over the headset about what they had to be prepared for and as the night approached, Heia felt her heart racing. Even if the Aralax were far away, had not come here in months, they were sitting ducks. They were in the most danger, because this would be the most comfort that they’d be allotted.

“You okay Heia?” Shawn intercepted her as she walked through the hall from where the food was held and back towards the warm room.

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YP – B3: QtnoWLM – Chapter 27 (Chapter 124)

168 Days Until Faith And the Uncertain End (part 1)  

The safe house was a farm, long abandoned when the Catastrophe struck. There was no food. But it was a shelter outside of their bus and it felt good to stretch out. They called it a safe house, but there was no safety out in the Aralax lands. There simply had not been any sign of Aralax in miles surrounding the location, and that was all they could rely on for safety at this time. Evester laid on the ground of the farm house knowing that soon it would be covered in blankets.

“The night is going to freeze us. The space heater won’t be enough.” Uly warned Evester as he worked to covered windows. Most of the others were pulling their weight but Evester was not. He knew he should, but he could not bring himself to. Not when it was the first time he could lay on his back without feeling as if he had no space to do anything.

“How long are we going to be here?” Kori asked as she helped unload blankets into the room.

“This is our hide out until we find my father.” Evester sat up abruptly. He noticed how everyone looked at him startled by his movement.

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YP – B3: QtnoWLM – Chapter 26 (Chapter 123)

170 Days Until Panic And the Uncertain End   

The bus went screeching, bodies flying forward, waking all those who had been asleep. At first, she thought it was a dream, her own body reacting suddenly outside of her control. However the jolt was too powerful, too much, and her face was seconds from slamming into the seat before her. Heia jumped up, to keep people from flying too far over, as the bus came to a halt. With a thud the bus stopped and the bus was a mess of groans and snappy comments. People moved about gathering weapons as Zeydar took to his feet, eyes narrowing ahead of them. Heia looked back to make sure no one was injured in the sudden stop.

Rather than injured they looked distraught and ready to fight, awake and ready to do whatever it took to survive.

“What’s wrong?” Evester ran towards Rayda who was driving. He jumped over bodies who had fallen into the aisle and climbed over the seats to get to her.

“You will want to see this.” She announced to them, standing and preparing her weapon herself.

Heai whipped her head back forward to where the bus lights still shined. Through the dark there were the feint traces of red before them. A pool of blood glimmering under their bus lights. The bus dropped into silence as others strained to hear. The only sound was the sound of static over the radio connection.

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YP – B3: QtnoWLM – Chapter 25 (Chapter 122)

172 Days Until Progress And the Uncertain End

Sinking slowly into the dust, Zeydar breathed out exasperated. They were finally let off the bus to take time to themselves. The air was thin, crips, and bit at him freezing him, but it was something else. For five days they had retreated. For five days they had fought to disappear again. For five days they were no closer to finding Evester’s father.

“Remember to be on the look out!” Uly called to them as they exited to a broken city, that had been taken by the Aralax.

“Shawn on me!” Kim called. “We are going to check for Aralax marks.”

“Weapons at the ready everyone.” Evester ordered to all those who were moving about.

Zeydar did not care if they were in danger or not. He was more preoccupied with drinking in the air and letting his body relish in the magic around him. Out of confinement. Able to stand still for a moment. Away from everything and anything that had hurt him.

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YP – B3: QtnoWLM – Chapter 24 (Chapter 121)

177 Days Until Confrontation And the Uncertain End (part 5) 

Evester threw open the doors to where the Xs were being held as Heia tried to find keys to break them free. Evester examined them, closely, to see if there was any experimentation done to them. And while he could find no physical proof, he wasn’t inclined to believe that they were okay. What scientists had been involved in this? Which families? Which political monsters profited from this?

There were so many questions that he did not have answers to. Questions he would not get answers to. Things that he needed to know before anything went crazier than it was already. He could not let anything like this happen again. However there was a sickening notion that rang in his mind that told him, that it already was.

“We have to save them now!” Kony cried out to Zeydar. “We don’t have time to go and save them if we take too long.”

“Fine.” Zeydar breathed out. He looked horrible. He was sweating, his eyes were glazed and his skin was pale. Yet, he was the only one who could get them out. Now. “Step back and everyone needs to get on the ground.”

Kim and Evester relayed his message, and Evester watched as Zeydar used his magic to blast apart much of the metal bars. He made just enough space for people to walk through.  To one knee, Zeydar collapsed and Evester got to his side as Heia helped people flee. Zeydar breathed out heavily, as if he were gasping for breath and would not get it no matter how much he tried.

Continue reading “YP – B3: QtnoWLM – Chapter 24 (Chapter 121)”