YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 1 (CHAPTER 148)

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After Enduring

Zeydar awoke to the sound of screams, the magic against his skin scraping him like blades. Fear, warning, pain: his magic screamed. Wake up, was what it was telling him. Slipping from his bed, Zeydar moved across his room towards the window and balcony, throwing it open. He expected to be met by the city lights that would calm what ever panic had overtaken him. Instead, Arcadia was burning.

The gardens and parks were up in flames, like pillars of lights in the surrounding areas beyond the limits of Campus, but close enough to feel the heat. Sirens were screaming in the air. The tall sky scrapers were all dark or glitching out in flickering light and broken glass. He could hear the faint chants of people, chants that were moving closer to Star campus, along with the sounds of explosions. All around him a ripple raced along the air, damage to the barrier. And then he felt it break, a snap that made magic breath in anguish. There was yelling, spells flying, sirens, and so many alarms, all at once. His once silent living tower was thrown into the torrent of sound and light. 

In the musk of the smoke and flame above, Zeydar could see the shadows of figures inhumane, casting their image to the dome overhead. Inhumane screams, the sounds of guns. More guns and magic, getting closer. Screams. Chanting. The campus was on fire and buildings were falling.

“Zeydar.” Tyler called from the door. 

“Tyler what is happening —“ Turning to the door, Zeydar saw the one man who had always held his confidence, bleeding profusely. Tyler’s side was majorly wounded despite the pressure he tried to give it by holding the wound. Zeydar’s gut told him that if Tyler moved the hand, he’d die on the spot. Without finishing his question, Zeydar raced over to him as Tyler stumbled into the room. “What happened to you? Why is Arcadia on fire?”

“Monsters. The Project said the monsters would come and they came. They came in the riots. Everyone is in danger. The riots haven’t encountered the monsters, but they are here. You are in danger.”

“Why?” His tower was secure was it not? Even without the magic barrier? The alarms weren’t going off. But how had Tyler gotten injured?

His mind snapped to focus on the injuries that were making his floor a sea of red: healing. 

Continue reading “YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 1 (CHAPTER 148)”

YP – B3:QtNoWLM – Chapter 43 (Chapter 140)

156 Days Until Trust And the Uncertain End

Evester sat in the car the chill having hit him like a tidal wave, releasing a bunch of the emotions that he had buried in his heart as he watched Zeydar leave, Heia following. The two walked further away and disappeared nearly completely, further than they had gone the day before when it had been military bodies they found. Fear, it was fear that Evester felt. This one would be his father. This one would be the end of this leg of the journey. It would be his father this time and all the effort would have gone to waste.

Evester held his jacket close, focusing down on his wrist instead, that was finally yellowing away from the purple and back to his regular skin tone.

“Are they typically gone this long?” Shawn asked irritated from the back seat. He had elected to join them this day, rather than Phil. He was less talkative than Phil, but in a way that was good, because it meant he wouldn’t be bombarded with questions about his feelings, as Phil would ask.

“This is the third route we’ve tracked. I don’t have a standard.” Evester rested his chin on the steering wheel, feeling as anxious about it as Shawn was. Each time there was the chance Evester’s father would be found. Each time there was a chance that they would never come back, despite it being day. There was too much at stake and each day they were away from Uly and the others, saftey and true warmth and supplies, was another day they put themselves at risk.

All for a man who had faked his own death.

“What’s your plan for when we find my father?” Evester tried to make small talk. He wanted to fill the silence with something, to keep him from over thinking, from fearing, from wondering about if Zeydar was cold and if Heia was safe.

Continue reading “YP – B3:QtNoWLM – Chapter 43 (Chapter 140)”

YP – B3:QtNoWLM – Chapter 42 (Chapter 139)

157 Days Until Allies And the Uncertain End

Heia looked out to the world: empty, vast, distant. It was covered in the softest sheets of thick snow, that their car was able to get over, by technology alone. She shivered in the back seat holding a blanket close. Evester drove asking Zeydar for instructions, who directed them forward in the direction that he sensed. Heia knew little about magic and, she realized as she glanced between them, even less about their relationship as of late. Distanced because Evester had a path his father. Distanced because Zeydar was pushing away. Heia was not sure which one it was.

She didn’t care.

“Turn here.” Zeydar pointed up ahead. Signal on for no reason other than habit, Evester moved the car off the road towards where Zeydar had pointed. Stepping from the vehicle, Zeydar left them into the frigid air outside as it it did not bother him at all. Heia recoiled from the onslaught of the chilled breeze, watching as his hair moved in the breeze outside. Tumbling out of the car, blanket around her, hat on, gloves on, scarf wrapped tight, Heia moved to his side. Zeydar was serene in the outside air.

Inside the car Phil was grumbling from inside the car about how Heia needed to shut the door. So she did, leaving Evester alone with Phil inside the car. They’d told Evester never to get out, in case it was the worst. If it were, then they’d see it first and be able to figure out how to help him.

Continue reading “YP – B3:QtNoWLM – Chapter 42 (Chapter 139)”

YP – B3:QtNoWLM – Chapter 41 (Chapter 138)

161 Days Until Mystery And the Uncertain End (part 3)

Zeydar stood in the center of the room. He was surrounded by the eyes of those who watched and the words of Evester’s father. Night was fast approaching and they needed to know if they had another night or rest or not. They needed to know if they had to flee or not. Zeydar was the only one who would be able to tell them. Zeydar tested his magic in his staff twisting it about his hand, sending his magic pulsating through it, feeling it in a way that he did not need, knowing he had control again, but also knowing that the magic was beginning to sting him. 

How his skin itched. His hands twitched. His heart beat accelerated. The noise in the room swelled. The air on his face prickled. He burned and when he saw Evester, his heart stilled.

Upon fully understanding what had happened, Zeydar had apologized to Evester. Evester had shaken it off like his wrist was not bruised in the the yellowing purple coloration shaped as Zeydar’s hand print. Evester had said nothing of it, and had only smiled at him, as he did not then. Evester was as focused as Zeydar had to be. He had then dedicated himself to focusing on control so that he could do the spell that would guide them forward. He had to focus on not hurting them or anyone around them.

Eyes to the wall, Zeydar stepped forward to the most recent writing.

Staff to the wall, Zeydar outlined the words that took up much of the wall. The iconic words that had sent the world into a frenzy. He closed his eyes, cast the magic, and looked for tracks. There were traces of a people in the room, from the way the magic showed it to him. One person had to be Evester’s father, days old and growing feint. He then searched around them. Any signs of Aralax, of a threat, of them having to flee, and finding none.

Continue reading “YP – B3:QtNoWLM – Chapter 41 (Chapter 138)”

YP – B3:QtNoWLM – Chapter 40 (Chapter 137)

161 Days Until Mystery And the Uncertain End (part 2)

Evester looked over the house twice more before looking to his notes. The notes before him were all on Aralax and the Catastrophe. They depicted how the Aralax moved, lived, thrived, fought. Notes on their anatomy and on how to kill them more effectively than even Evester knew. On their ideal conditions for living and questions on what they were planning. Their social structures and hierarchies. Notes that had taken time to research. Then there was The Catastrophe. The way the Catastrophe had worked. Why it was happening now and questions on where to take the population to go. There were details on where to settle the population. Then there were details on what Evester thought had to be on the Uncertain End.

The ultimate question on what was the Uncertain End? What was to happen? And if it did happen, what would that mean? Still it was the Uncertain End, because Evester’s father could not figure it out.

Continue reading “YP – B3:QtNoWLM – Chapter 40 (Chapter 137)”

YP – B3:QtNoWLM – Chapter 39 (Chapter 136)

161 Days Until Mystery And the Uncertain End (part 1)

The group had taken a room that Evester’s father had not dedicated to his notes. They’d gotten as best rest they could as Evester had started tracking and writing down as much of the notes as he possible could. Kim and Phil were helping record it all into digital displays so that he did not have to copy it all by hand. Shawn, Kori, and Heia looked over their supplies and made plans for the next few days on what they had to do. Zeydar sat recuperating as the rest of the house worked with Kony by his side, monitoring him. 

Upon reaching the house, Heia had understood a few things. The first was that the house looked exactly like the remains of Evester’s home when the Aralax had attacked. Kim said that it proved that the attack had been staged by Evester’s father, like they had thought. The notes were about things she did not understand and was not sure she would ever understand. They were more for Uly, if anyone. 

Continue reading “YP – B3:QtNoWLM – Chapter 39 (Chapter 136)”

YP – B3:QtNoWLM – Chapter 38 (Chapter 135)

162 Days Until Discovery And the Uncertain End

Evester woke up stretching, a weight upon his chest that was the crumpled mess of blankets covering him and Zeydar who  laid partially on top of him. The supplies were on the floor of the car, shaking in the soft hum of the moving car. Evester moved his arm free, to lift Zeydar’s hair to see the clammy, pale face, and strained expression of Zeydar. Evester felt sore. His wrist looked worse than it felt, however as he looked at it in the light of the far, he winced at the idea of it. Breathing out, he dropped his arm over Zedyar holding him close.

“You awake?” Phil asked from the driver’s seat.

“Where’s Heia?” Evester did not want to move much. Zeydar had gotten little sleep, and thus Evester had gotten little sleep. What sleep they could get was broken by crackers and water, as well as Zeydar’s complaints about everything. 

Continue reading “YP – B3:QtNoWLM – Chapter 38 (Chapter 135)”

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.”

Continue reading “YP – B3: QtnoWLM – Chapter 30 (Chapter 127)”

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?

Continue reading “YP – B3: QtnoWLM – Chapter 29 (Chapter 126)”