Exile Dawn: Chapter 1

Note:  This is a VERY early draft of some new work of mine.



Chapter 1

Leon Erastis’ strong hands worked over an outdated aircraft , gutting its useless innards and repairing what was worthy of salvage. Some parts would be replaced, while others had been tossed aside as scrap metal.

Leon’s pale, angular face reflected in the cockpit’s terminal screen as he poured over the details of reformatting the ship’s navigation system. He wiped a bit of sweat from his forehead, and combed his fingers through a short crop of light brown hair. While he sat back in the pilot’s seat waiting for the system to load its updates, Leon noticed an old holo-card tucked in one of the console slots and pulled it out.

At his hand’s touch, a small hologram came to life, displaying an animated loop of a happy family waving and smiling at the camera. The holo-card’s display began to stutter, and finally fizzed out, its circuits having been weakened by age.

The old memento inspired little reaction from Leon. In fact, he felt a little resentment toward it, since happy memories seemed to have evaded him for the better part of his life. Some people have it all, and they just had to leave these reminders for the less fortunate to find. Normally, Leon would’ve held on to misplaced belongings until the owners were found. Today, he honestly couldn’t have cared less. One less reminder of mistakes past.

His crime would haunt his record for decades, but at least his stolen genes worked well enough. Not that they did any good for him socially or employment wise. Though, enhanced abilities did provide hours of entertainment.

Leon counted himself lucky he’d avoided a stint in prison, since he was a juvenile at the time. Instead, he was sentenced to serve 18 months in a juvenile facility. That was difficult, but hardly as terrible as it could have been.

In the meantime, life as an aircraft mechanic wasn’t too bad. He worked alone and the money was decent, so there was little he could complain about.

The aircraft’s terminal chimed when it’s reformatting was complete. Leon’s attention returned, and he started installing the new software and tweaked the settings. Most glitches should be taken care of by the reformat, but that was never a guarantee.

As his stomach gurgled, Leon hoped that any remaining problems would be few.

* * *

Nevi Ynewt had just arrived in the Ayhelene system, specifically planet Helena, both evading and searching. Only having barely escaped murder at the hands of a lynch mob, she was in want for a place to lay low for a while. Helena was far enough away from the world on which she’d caused ecological disaster, but news could still travel fast.

Nevi’s long white hair blew across the pale olive skin of her face as she exited the immigration port. She searched the crowds warily, her light brown eyes panning for anyone suspicious. The onrush of departing and arriving people was overwhelming. She had to get out of here fast.

After several city blocks, Nevi spotted a strip of open restaurants offering different cuisines. She decided on a Helenian restaurant, since the culinary nuances of her own people were rarely if ever found on other worlds. She entered the small establishment and sat on a stool at the bar. A drink would help calm her nerves right about now.

The bartender greeted her with a light smile. “Just arrived?” he guessed.

Nevi nodded, keeping the duffel bag she carried in her lap, careful to keep safe the precious cargo within. “Yeah, I need something to take the edge off,”she said. “A rum and coke would be fine.”

“Sure. Anything else?”

Nevi quickly scanned a small menu, and ordered a a bowl of ramen. As the bartender served

drink, and then left to pass the order on to the kitchen, Nevi rubbed her eyes wearily and sighed thinking of the colossal mess she’d made for herself.

After she finished slurping from the ramen bowl, and having downed the drink, Nevi continued on her way to find a hotel to stay for the time being. The buildings and homes of the many enclaves were built into the mountainous terrain. These colonists had successfully blended into their chosen home world. Many alien plants, both ornamental and fruit bearing, adorned many balconies. While the enclave didn’t lack for modern style, it still gave off a rustic appeal.

The beauty of the scenery, and the near effortless meshing of civilization and an alien wild reminded her of a home she might never be able to return to. The memory of her own world stung with longing, and guilt. She would probably never be able to face her people after her mistakes.

She found a hotel not far from the marketplace, paid for a room, and took a long shower. She stashed her duffel in a private storage compartment in the wall, and watched it slide closed. The door would stay locked unless she gave it a personal password. All hotels had one of these in each room, and the passwords could be changed and suited for different customers.

As she slept that night, Nevi dreamed of her unique ‘children’ flying in the skies of a new world, one they’d call their own.

 *   *   *

Chapter 2 is currently being worked on, and it’ll be posted soon. In the meantime, let me know what you think of the first installment.

~ Lynn