YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 36 (CHAPTER 183)

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124 Days Until Corruption And the Uncertain End (part 2)  

Heia watched the screen uninterested. The World Council meeting was as boring as she expected it to be. The politicians bickered and talked about things that most of them had not seen personally. The X’s were fighting. The Circles were divided. The Stars refused to comment. It was much as how Heia pictured politics worked for them usually. There were no surprises to be had.

“Why isn’t the Prime Minister talking?” Robee asked collapsing down next to Heia.

“He’s fed up with their inaction.” Lynx answered. “Granted it makes sense. I don’t blame him.”

“The votes are beginning.” Onyx spoke quickly drawing their attention to the screen again.

“It’ll be unanimous for the Circles.” Lynx snorted. “Estashia hasn’t lost her touch yet.”

“We may be in for a surprise or two.” Kim sat down behind Heia.She placed her arm around the back of the chair pulling Heia closer to her. Kim leaned against Heia and the two snuggled closer watching. “You know her.”

“She’s a demon in the skin of a human is what I know.” Lynx rolled her eyes.

“Just because she almost got you expelled…” Kim sighed. There was a whole story to it that Heia had not heard before and her interest was piqued.

“Listen. What I did was not illegal.” Lynx snapped.

“Yet.” Onyx added.

“Whose side are you on?”

“What happened?” Heia only knew a little of how Lynx and Onyx joined EverDanger. They were the last members to join. EverDanger began as Uly, Kim, and Evester: childhood friends from Ovaria who decided to do something crazy. Phil was added after Kim met him and Rayda was scouted by Uly. Crass came later followed by the sisters last.

Lynx at first did not answer, but when she started talking the words tumbled out. She explained of Onxy and Lynx were in a private school. The two had met unsavory people while on vacation and had gotten into some dangerous business. Lynx had brought the business to Valeria, and she had been caught by Estashia. Estashia threatened her despite the fact that what Lynx had done was not exactly illegal. It had something to do with the Sweet Dreams trade. Estashia had made a deal with her to stop the drug trade and then when the girls graduated she introduced them to Evester and his friends. Lynx was about to go on when Kim hushed her and pointed to the TV.

For a moment Heia didn’t know what she was hearing before Lynx started laughing and Onyx giggled. Estashia had said a bunch of jargon that Heia did not know and Europa had issues a third vote for something that only the Circles could vote on.

“What does that mean?” Kori asked from behind.

“Estashia… She’s asking to become Queen.” Kim answered. 

“Queen of the Circles?” Trace repeated. “Is that possible?”

Queen of the World, Heia wanted to correct her. If Estashia had the power, and controlled the Stars through Zeydar, she was untouchable. It was unheard of.

“Will she get it?” Heia asked Kim.

“She’s royalty ain’t she?” Lynx asked. “How can she not?”

The whole council was held in the palm of her hand from faked opposition to situations. Estashia already controlled it all. It was how Evester and Heia had gotten out of trouble. It was how Everster got out of EverDanger immunity to all laws. It was how the Circles were going to pull their weight in the evacuation. They were going to unify for the first time in solidarity and prove to the X’s that they meant business.

As the vote began, Heia starred at the face of Alan Penn who seemed interested for the first time. Perhaps the farce would not be a farce after all. Perhaps they could work together. Estashia was keeping her side of the deal. Heia had to make sure that Alan Penn and the other X leaders were brought to the table and did as he was told.

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 35 (CHAPTER 182)

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124 Days Until Corruption And the Uncertain End (part 1)  

The World Council meeting was everything Zeydar expected. He had watched shows that were dramas about council meetings. He had watched some of the most important meetings for history in classes. Before him were faces of all the Tower leaders, those allied to Estashia and those not. There were the shrouded Superiors cloaked in black and hiding their faces from view of the entire world. The X world leaders showed their faces through screens, including Alan Penn. Estashia stood before them all dress in all white as the meeting facilitator.

“We begin the meeting.” Estashia spoke out calling the meeting to order.

Zeydar sat with Shawn, May, Kony, Phil, and Endwin, prepared to speak to the world on what needed to be done. He wondered if Evester and Heia were watching from their own computers. This meeting was being broadcast to the whole world. It was nothing more than a show for unity than it was to discuss specific matters. Primary matters were handled first: spending, funds, allocations, and news. Then it came to the matter that held the attention of the world: the memorandum on the reinstitution of the Space program, protocols, and immediate evacuation of the human species.

Estashia had sent over the proposals and details to them all. They had gotten the Yasloughve project details earlier. This was a meeting for them to go after Zeydar and the others. This was their chance. Europa went over the bill in length, discussing the facts as plainly as she could. Time was running out and they knew it. The Uncertain End was coming and there was nothing they could to stop it.

There was nothing spoken on the human trafficking that had the hands of all three governments all over it. There was nothing said for their lack of concern for each other. No one said a word regarding the terror that had already come to pass. The moment at had was peaceful, pretty, sparkling and hopeful. 

Zeydar stood when his name was called. He turned on his microphone and starred to the faces and cameras that watched him.

“State your name.” Europa called to him.

“Zeydar Arcadius, Star.” Class One, he added to himself.

“Zeydar would you mind explaining to us what my husband said about this matter.”

“The sooner we can join hands and get off this planet the better situation we will be in.” Zeydar recited the lines perfectly, as if he had not prepped by her hours before.

Estashia motioned for him to sit before she addressed the room. “As you can see. It is necessary for us to work together with the X’s to accomplish this task in less than a hundred days.” Zeydar turned off his microphone, watching her and wondering: could they do it?

Estashia went on, explaining what would have to be done, the changes they had to accomplish, and the way the world would have to move. She brought about the two votes that would be present after all questions were asked. The first was on assisting the X’s in their work and evacuation protocol, bill. The second was on the treaty, and bill for society in the future.

The questioning began. No vote for the world could be as simple as Estashia’s forced votes for the Circles. The questioners targeted Zeydar first, as Europa had warned him.

“Where were you when you were missing?” One Lowerland Ministers asked him.

“Holed up and detoxing from Sweet Dreams.” He answered honestly. “However, when the Tower began her collapse I aided her to stop her from falling.” It could be confirmed by Micah Rayblay, and would be. No one was to know the  Superiors were at hand for the collapse. The Circles knew but the world did not need to know.

“Why should we trust the X’s?”

“What can be done about money?”

“Where are we supposed to be until then?”

“Is this a suspension of government.”

The questions came pouring out, fielded expertly by Estashia and her team that had presented the bills. The Circles were already all on Estashia’s side, even if this farce of a meeting was showing otherwise. Zeydar looked to Europa, watching as she wrote notes and prepared what looked like the protocols for an additional vote. There was a special protocol in place that had been used sparingly since the establishment of the Cloudcities. In the few times in history it was used, it created waves for the world and economy. It was a protocol that made this fighting moot. 

It was the reason that the Igilistals were kings.

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 34 (CHAPTER 181)

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126 Days Until Death And the Uncertain End 

The videos were edited in a way that Evester’s words not only explained how to predict attacks, but now to take Aralax down with expert skill. They had different examples, angles, slow down and graphics to show the exact angle to strike. They were all practice videos and he reminded others that they needed to practice before they attempted to use the skills. Then he had uploaded them to the EverDanger channel. Evester starred at the comments coming in and the questions that were being asked. He and Karla were in charge of answering questions, not that Evester wanted to do the task at all.

“So many people are responding.” Karla cheered, as she typed away. She had agreed to do all the answers, so long as she was allowed to watch him paint.

He never should have agreed. “Karla. Please…” Evester tried to get her to move so that he could continue to paint. He needed to get paints behind her and she refused to move. It was not until he was practically begging that she giggled and moved out of the way. Grabbing the blues, he turned back to the canvas. He liked his current piece. Somehow Uly’s advice wasn’t a load of crap, and the more he did it, the less he thought about doing dangerous things. Perhaps it was because this piece was about his feelings for Zeydar and working through them was proving to be far more difficult than he wanted, or perhaps it was because he did like the medium.

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 33 (CHAPTER 180)

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127 Days Until Experimentation And the Uncertain End (part 2)    

Shawn walked next to Zeydar hands in his pocket and a grimace on  his lips. Kony walked a bit more sturdy, despite the fact that his fear radiated off of him. May had fallen back into her military stride, eyes open and chin up. Phil, however, walked like he didn’t have a care in the world as they approached the Superior meeting that Zeydar had to go to. Zeydar was uncertain how he himself looked, but with the familiar wrap of his Superior coat, he felt concealed. He knew that his party was a sight to behold as they walked across Star campus together. Pulling the black hood further over his face, Zeydar focused on what he was going to have to say.

He’d been drilled in it by Europa and he was going to be okay. Even if he did not have the others at his side, the Superiors were not so powerful that they would be able to get him to do things he did not want to do.

“You can not go in there alone.” Shawn warned him.

“I won’t have to. I’ll have Kony.” That was if they let Kony in to the room. Getting in was a contention, let alone them agreeing to speak plainly with Kony in their presence.

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 32 (CHAPTER 179)

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127 Days Until Experimentation And the Uncertain End (part 1) 

Evester tossed paint at the canvas that was laid on the ground next to him. He liked practicing painting more than music. There was nothing to compare his art to. Music felt different, but painting? He felt that as long as he thought it was good enough, it was. He wasn’t good at painting realistic images. Something about the form of real objects and bodies just did not translate with his hand. He knew he needed to work more on it, and cared little to truly try.

Instead he liked throwing the paint, using it to evoke what he was feeling with his hands and buckets and brushes. He liked the streaks and the dots and the emotion of painting something black over and over and over again. He liked the feeling of his emotions in front of him. It almost was as if he could understand them better that way. It almost felt that he was able to articulate them.

“You were here?” Crass’s voice startled Evester.

Continue reading “YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 32 (CHAPTER 179)”

YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 31 (CHAPTER 178)

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128 Days Until Credence And the Uncertain End 

Heia stood before the cameras and the soldiers next to Alan as he addressed the X’s. He spoke on the combined effort of their people and how they were going to survive together. He had spoken for almost an hour and in that time Heia had recited her speech to herself multiple times. She was certain that this time, when she addressed the world, she would not mess up. When he handed the microphone over to Heia, her mind went blank.

There before her was the emptiness of eyes that starred back at her. They were waiting for her to give them a reason. She was to give them the hope that she had not had when she was in their position. Her speech forgotten. She had been drilled in it and it should have not vanished, but it was gone once again. The speech before, the simple one, had been a mess. This one was supposed to be greater.  

She had to try.

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 30 (CHAPTER 177)

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129 Days Until Reverence And the Uncertain End   

The room was filled with screens of people from all over the world. Those who could make it in person sat chattering with their peers. The area was restricted to those invited. For the first time that meant Zeydar. Europa was there as Estashia’s heir and assistant, but no one else was there. Zeydar was alone for the first time since coming back to the CloudCity. He didn’t have Shawn or Kony or May or Phil. He wasn’t sure he was going to be able to make it through the meeting without exploding. 

The noise was already too much.

The cacophony of greetings filled the air as Europa prepared the meeting. Each person had a folder, lamented and sealed, before them. The council members spoke on recent news and gossip. Zeydar wanted silence more by each passing moment. He knew he was going to be lucky to get through the meeting without yelling at someone to shut up.

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 29 (CHAPTER 176)

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130 Days Until Adaption And the Uncertain End (part 3) 

Evester looked at the Aralax that was before him, bound up and struggling to break free. It was terrified, or at least Evester assumed it was. He circled it with his Holoblade glowing in his hand. He could see the soft blue glow of the holoblade in the Aralax’s eyes as it screeched at them all.

“You want me to kill it?” He asked Karla, squatting before the beast that had been brought to him.

“Yes, but it is a lesson. Remember?” Karla went over the plan again. “Crass and Rayda will protect us. You will talk to me as you did when you first taught me, and show me the techniques.”

You want me to play with a monster? Evester had asked her when the plan had first been announced. Then she had only smiled and said “essentially.” Even now, Evester thought that the plan was folly. “Karla.” Evester smiled at her. “This will kill me.” That didn’t mean he didn’t want to do it more and more with each passing second.

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 28 (CHAPTER 175)

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130 Days Until Adaption And the Uncertain End (part 2) 

Heia stood with Lynx. Heia was dressed in the best clothes that they had. The presentation at hand was one that no one wanted to be present for. It was unfortunate that Heia was the one who was supposed to give it.

“Why do we need to dress her up like a model?” Trace asked kicking her legs to atop the bed where she sat.

“An idol.” Lynx corrected as Kim continued to do Heia’s makeup. “Something to idolize a symbol. They do it in all the great books.”

“I’m just giving a speech for motivation.” They had strong armed Alan Penn into action. The X’s were working around the clock to complete the space program, with factories that had not been used in decades. They had gotten little support from the Circles, but Heia knew that Zeydar and Shawn could not strong from the Circles the way that she had.

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YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 27 (CHAPTER 174)

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130 Days Until Adaption And the Uncertain End (part 1) 

Zeydar stood aside as Kony recited and practiced the magic spells that Zeydar had gotten for him. Zeydar had been called to the Superiors multiple times, and with each time, he had picked up books from the libraries while under direct supervision. Like he had on the bus, Kony absorbed the information like a sponge. He was excellent in his magic control, however his technique was severely lacking. Kony came across as a mage who had only begun, even if he was better off than half of the classical trained mages that Zeydar had seen. Regardless, Kony was far more skilled than he had been months ago.

“Was he never trained?” May stood by Zeydar observing with him.

“What part of, came from the Undercities, don’t you get?” Shawn chastised her. There was a bit of frustration in his voice that made Zeydar wonder if they had, had the conversation before.

“I thought you meant you found him there, not that he was…” May’s words dropped as she continued to stare out. Zeydar knew that she was sheltered, as he had been, however the facts were there for her to read. Kony looked just like his siblings.

“He was classified as an X.” Zeydar spoke nonchalantly before shouting to Kony. “Try that one again. Aim higher.” Kony nodded and did as he was told.

“How?” May asked Zeydar. “We have tests! He should have been here with us.”

Continue reading “YP – B4:Entr’acte – CHAPTER 27 (CHAPTER 174)”