THE SLATE OF VALE PART 19

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CHAPTER 19

THE SILLY PLAN

Its two days now.

Forty eight hours away from the last visit to the teacher’s block.

No sign of Jeff or Ema. No news from Zone-3 as to the way about of the two. Raz, Leonard and Sandra keep telling them to calm down that everything was okay. But they seem not to understand. Plants were turning from green to yellow, the sun’s heat drops during the day but crawls during the night, the foggy night was bare of stars and almost all the fishes in the school pond are dead.

Nothing was okay.

The world has changed.

And there was the talk about the Blaze. It’s true that the ocean is never satisfied with all the waters coursing through it, but if the ear could get filled up with what it hears then Matt could feel his ear overflowing. Two more students had died and the school had blanketed and slipped it under the rug. Who could have known that the members of the staff were up to something? The extent to which they would go to make a secret remain a secret still remains a mystery.

“Matt…”

Isaac had been clothed with dirt and had patches under his eyes. His lips had been what? Swollen and covered with dry blood? Or was it painted with red lip stick. Was he not the Blaze, the one to save them all from darkness? Was the Blaze not some kind of messiah in whose splendor the world would blossom? Why was Isaac bind with nothing but chains?

“Matt…”

Was the Blaze not the light born the stories talked about? The stories that had beating their brittle thought as kids. If the stories too were all false, then it’s hard to say what to believe. Everything in Anadan might be made up stories to imbue the curiosity of people. After all these time of waiting, we have finally found the Blaze. What does Campter mean by that? And…

“MATT!!!” someone shouted and Matt blinked himself back from the void of his subconscious mind to reality, noting for the second time that morning, that he was still with his friends.

Raz was waggling his mouth and it took all of wills power to hear a thing the boy was saying.

They had assembled in the cafeteria hall together with the rest of the students, who waited for breakfast to be served. All were in dark jumpsuit except for the chefs, who had whites with T-shaped clover caps hanging lazily on their heads. They were mostly women and moved from one table to the next, dropping trays of coffee and bread on every table. Some students were complaining about eating the same breakfast every morning, but the ladies paid no mind to them, they get the same complain regularly.

Rays of the rising sun that perched over the horizon were streaming in from the window, its light clinging to the humid air of the night. The students, especially those in grade one, wore inexplicable happy looks as they look forward to the training with Campter.

How ignorant.

“I don’t like the feeling of today” Pinna was saying. She wrapped her hands over her body and let the vapor in her breath escape as she exhaled. Soon the sun would reach its zenith; hopefully it would radiate more heat than cold today. “Please, tell me I’m not the only one with a frame of mind running wild.”

“I presume it has nothing to do with the cold” Leonard asked and watched Pinna nodding in approval, “then it’s the effect of the adventure two nights ago, don’t worry, it will wear off soon.” He assured.

“Now that you’ve mentioned it” Sandra leaned in, the brightness of the red trends on her training Jumpsuit, was threatening to push Matt back to his wandering thought. The trend looked like blood, the blood on Isaac’s lips. “What were…” she lowered her voice that they turned to a whisper, it was a miracle the table did not whine at her weight which seemed concentrated on her folded hands. “…what were they talking about that night, who was that guy they called the blaze?”

“That was Isaac Newman, Nineteen years of age, from the city of Zapper and of the linage of red. He lost his father to the great blast fifteen years ago and is the only child. Currently, his mother stays in the hero’s city and works as a trader.” Raz summarized, he had been reading Isaac’s profile from the phone which was now resting on the table.

“Isaac is not in this hall, neither was he in class the last two days, he’s not the one to skive. What do they want with him?” Matt asked “they would not parade him like a hero, the chains they clothed him with already proved that fact”

“I don’t know, if all the stories in the history books are bait to lure the Blaze out in the light; then…I think just maybe, the Blaze might bring destruction to the world instead of balance. Think about it.” Raz said fiddling with the Sol-X that was resting in his palms. From the tiny red light beeping on the top, it was quiet obvious that the Sol-X has not seen sun light for at least a week.

“How certain are you, the History…”

“…are all false. Weren’t you paying attention?” Raz put in, not minding the glare Sandra was shooting at his direction for interrupting her.

An awkward silence enveloped their little company as two chefs emptied the content of their tray on the table and walked away.

“This one is new, bread and cold coffee” Ham asked, more of a question than a statement.

“I like coffee when it is cold, so please, if you don’t like it, do well to shove it this direction, mine is too small.” Matt said and noticed the crease forming on Ham’s face, even though the boy grumbled under his breath, he passed the coffee nonetheless.

“Old habits die hard” Raz emphasis shooting a glance at Matt “Anyway, Jeff and Ema are probably on their way back to the academy, we should make plans for them to sneak back into the block without detection.”

“Make plans? I thought we already had a plan” Matt asked worriedly, and for a moment until Raz replied, it seemed as though he had lost his appetite.

“We do have a plan, but that was before the inquisitor showed up.”

“What has the presence of the Inquisitor got to…” Matt was interrupted

“A lot Matt a whole lot. Before his arrival, the staff was carrying out its duty with this reluctance that you could easily meander under their nose. But now…everybody is up and doing, beautiful acts to impress the inquisitor.” Raz said

It’s been two days since the inquisitor arrived at the academy, but it seemed as if it’s been two decades. The teachers were now early to class, to training and to games, always sticking themselves to the inquisitor.

Like stamp on an envelope.

“So what then is the plan-B” Matt asked sipping from his tea cup and watching Sandra at the same time. Has she added extra make-up to impress him?

“The plan is simple, they are supposed to sneak in through the river Irk flowing towards the north wind from the outside. Of course they would have to swim and we would have to open the gate for them, I and Leonard would do that. The real problem is…” Raz paused, paving way for Leonard to finish.

“…we need the access code of the gate, which is found in one place in the academy.” Leonard added.

“No way” Matt almost shouted as he dropped the cold coffee and wiped his mouth with the napkin. “I am not going there; the surveillance area is the last place I want to be.”

“The surveillance is roofed together with the school’s store room, and the only Linage that has access to that store room is the gray, which makes you the perfect man for the job Matt. Just pretend you are going to drop something and bring us the password of the gate.” Leonard finished and for a time, Matt felt like wiping the smile off Leonard’s face with a perfect blow. If urine were so easy to pass, why can’t birds pass theirs?

“When do you need the password” Matt asked, gulping down his fears and clouding his mind from the result of the unknown.

“Now” Raz said

“Now?” Pinna and Ham bellowed but turned down their volume when the hall shot their table choirs of eye ball.

“What do you mean?” Pinna continued in a whisper “You gave someone such a tedious task and expect them to come out with results immediately?”

“Matt has the choice to decline, but this is our only chance to draw Jeff and Ema back to the school walls, Campter is already asking questions as to their way about, who knows how long before he finds out.” Raz said and leaned away from the table.

“Please Matt, you are the only route to this silly plan” Sandra said, surprising the table. The girl never said please to anyone, not for anything she could do herself.

“Did I hear you correctly or is the cold coffee affecting my auditory nerves?” Pinna asked Sandra who was looking at Matt.

“Your body cells are working just fine Pinna” Sandra smiled and pulled her gaze away from Matt while leaning on the table.

Matt could not tell which of her words soothed him the most. The fact that she said ‘please’ or that she had called the plans of her closer friends silly.

“I will do it” He said making up his mind. Not because the almighty Sandra had begged him, but because deep down in his heart, Jeff’s absent is making him a little bit crazy.

“Jeff is family and so is Ema. I will do it no matter what it takes” Matt finished and for the first time that day, he felt a sense of purpose hanging on his shoulders.

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