“Hey Mom! I’m going out to the forest! Do you need anything?” I shout out as I grab my bow and bag.
“No hun! Just get back before your father and brothers get back.” She shouts from the library part of the store. I smile and run out the door and jump into the sky.
The wind blows only in certain currents on Aeria. Some are reserved for the airships and the army. Others are the exclusive channels only the 1st class are able to use. Then there are channels for people like me who own wings. These tunnels lead you to anywhere you and to go on Aeria. Right now, I’m heading towards Terra, the forest realm for some hunting and gathering for my mom’s shop and for some practice before school starts. She’s an Apothecary while my dad works on the front lines with my 3 older brothers as medics. Myself, I am an aspiring adventure/apothecary/inventor. Needless to say, I don’t really fit in with my family. I am the first since my grandfather to make it into the adventurer school. It was my dream to follow into my grandfather’s footsteps. It’s the reason why I constantly travel to Terra, other than to see my best friend, Olivithea or just Thea for short.
I pull off into the channel that goes to Terra and collapse my wings into a single black-bronze chamber and put on my hunting goggles. A few more moments and I dive bomb into the cushiest looking trees. My landing is less than stellar but it will do. I equip my bow and start to hunt. Within 10 minutes, I nabbed 2 rodechta and 1 rare catch from one of my already set snares. I start to cut down my finana when I was hit by a blastmast 20 bullet square on the back. I spin back towards the way the bullet came from and shoot multiple paralysis arrows. I don’t get out of position until I hear a thud and multiple curses coming from my victim. He looked like a 1st class because of his pure white skin that most likely hasn't seen the sun in years and cyan hair with midnight blue streaks. I roll him so he is facing upwards and my suspicion was confirmed. He had the star pupils that marked the 1st class from the rest of us. I tch and walk away until I hear, “Aren’t you going to let me out of this?”
“Why should I? You were going to steal my finana. Besides the paralysis wears off in a few turns.” I turn back and walk towards him.
“Where did you get paralysis arrows?” He asks me. I look into his eyes. Like his hair, they are a definite shade of navy blue.
“I made them. Why is a first class like you on Terra? Shouldn’t you be on Aquadia?”
“Why is a second class on Terra? Shouldn’t you be on Aeria?” He smirks at me.
“I asked you first.” My pale green eyes narrowing on the boy.
“I ran away from my guards to get some peace and quiet. Also I wasn’t going to take your finana, I was admiring the snare that you used. You’re an adventurer student aren’t you?”
“Yes I am and to be fair, I am here on Terra for some hunting and gathering practice. Let me guess, you’re a government student aren’t you.” I push him so he is sitting upwards and I sit across from him. I push my dark, evergreen hair behind me as I listen to him.
“Yes I am. How did you find out and how does a second class have crescent moon pupils?”
“I just do, my family all has sun pupils except my late grandfather and myself. I knew you were a government student because of your cloths. Only government students wear suits like that. How can you move in that anyways?” I ask him for I was wearing standard adventurer cloths, which were a billowy top (today’s colour is pale green to match and highlight my eyes, my best feature, or so I am told) with a tight, dark green undershirt, dark brown cargo pants with bronze decal, and leathermetal boots with all sorts of unregistered tricks added to them.
“It’s all I have ever worn. Don’t you feel so underdressed in that… outfit?” He looks mildly disturbed/mortified/in awe at my outfit.
“We have to be ready to move at a moment’s notice, otherwise your shot until you can’t move, then you can only hope that whoever got you will give you a quick and painless death.” I smirk at him. He tries to move but the paralysis hasn’t begun to wear off yet.
“Duly noted, what’s your name?”
“Why do you want to know?”
“I think I should know who shot paralysis arrows at me, also I want to know your name so if I see you at the general classes I won’t shout out ‘hey, green head!’”
“Celestiestelle, but Estelle for short. And yours?”
“Rondljakob, but Jak for short.” I smile a little but then my wrist dial went off, letting me know I need to switch to gathering. I get up and put my bow back into the storage area of my wings.
“Sorry to leave you Jak, but I have to continue on otherwise my father will never let me hear the end of it.” I leave the blue-haired boy, still paralyzed.
“Hey! Are you going to lift the paralysis??” Jak shouts as I continue to walk away, taking my time picking up various plants. He sighs loudly in an annoyed and starts to shift around looking for a way to get up. As I disappear from his line of vision, I speak into my comm to lift the paralysis. I hear an exasperated cheer and the sound of footsteps heading back the way he came.
I continue back to my landing spot, picking up roots, seeds, and other various herbs we need for the store. Scaling back up the tree, I find a sturdy branch to stand on and get ready to jump back into the channel to go home. The tricky thing was securing my bag so it won’t fall off in the channel. I click it into place and release my wings. With a jump, I leap into the channel going homeward bound. .1 turn later I am back home and unloading my bag as my mom looks over the roots I got.
“Well done hun, though I would have wanted a few more blue stemmed alroot.” She says as she puts the roots into a jar. She has long evergreen hair like I do. In fact, the only thing that is different about us is our pupils. Hers are suns, mine are crescent moons.
“I know, but they are starting to get sparse in the forests I am alowed to hunt in. Also, I managed to catch a finana in one of my snares.” I says as I grab my journal from my grandfather and write down the characteristics of the finana and all of that jazz. My mom waltzes around the store putting the herbs in their place and starts to grind up the alroot as we got the mail for the day on the communicator. Mom sighs as she reads that dad and my brothers won’t be coming back until school starts. All of my brothers are in their third year or above of medic school. Aeclexio, Lex, is a battlefield surgeon like my dad and is the oldest of all of us, Ralfealrico, Ralf, is just a battlefield medic and is next oldest, then there is Benraneno, Ben, who is a battlefield apothecary like my mom was before she became pregnant with us. I am the oddball of the family like my grandfather was. I have his old journal, bow and arrow set, wings which I have restored and upgraded, and an old steam communicator with a functioning keyboard and storage system. They were not completely surprised when he died and those were passed down to me. I get to use them when school starts in four days. I can’t wait to see Thea and Rod. Thea is an inventor student and Rod is a science student. They aren’t quite as high on the scale as I am. Thea and Rod are both third class second rank, whereas I am a second class first rank. My family has been in the military as long as the people have inhabited Aeria, Terra, and Aquadia.
My family was one of the first people to serve in the military, in fact that is what makes up the entire second class. All of the third, fourth, and fifth classes are determined on job of the head of family. Third is the medics, educators, and merchants in that order. Fourth is high, middle, and low makers in that order. The fifth is the lowest class and that is the mutts, orphans, and the homeless in that order. No one from the 4th second rank and lower have ever made it into the schools or the military. In our world, it’s all based on family lines. After helping my mom clean up the shop, I head back into my workshop and start to work on rebuilding my pet robot. Natural pets aren’t allowed in the living area, so we build our own. My mom has one for when I am at school and not able to help. Mine is almost done, I just have a few more panels to finish then it will be complete.
“Now if I could just complete this last circuit.” I say as I stretch the wire and use my last smidget of steam to secure the wire and the robot comes to life.
“Beeeeeeep boop bop. Welcome creator, I am Robocratic version 17. What name do you wish for me to use?”
“Uhhhh, Ronh. The name I wish for you to use is Ronh.” Not the greatest name choice but it was off the top of my head. I set up all the basic controls and start to pack up my workshop. School starts in four days but that is when we have to be moved in by. Classes doesn’t start until next week. Thea and I will be room neighbours, and we each have our own rooms this year. First years in the adventurer and inventor schools share a dorm and we are lucky that our class is small and we don’t need to share our room. The only thing we will be sharing is our workshop area. Smiling, I put on my music device and a few mix records Rod made me. Dancing, I head up, with Ronh following me, to my loft area.
The loft area had originally been my brothers play area, but then I came along and needed space for a room. I have painted the walls a light shade of green with bronze details of machine parts and adventurer items like a compass or a scale. My bed is in the far right corner and is a four poster with a thick, dark green material from Terra. The floors are a dark oakspruce from Terra as well. In the far left hand corner is my personal workbench and storage chests for materials that I hunt and or gather for myself. In the near right corner is my bookshelves and bay window with reading nook built into the window. In the near left corner is where I keep my equipment and a few non-school cloths. In the center of the room is a large, ornate compass table which I found in the attic of my grandparents’ house. Currently, the table is covered with practice maps and sketches of animals, plants, and other adventure things. I set Ronh on my bed and head towards my equipment and grab a few bags and pack them with almost everything in my room including Ronh, much to his dismay.
"This is the cleanest I have ever seen your room, Estelle." My mom comes up the ladder and stands next to me.
"I have to bring all my own supplies for school mom." Downside of being a first year, you have to bring all your own stuff.
"I can't believe that you are going off to school so soon. It feels like yesterday that you were running about the shop with Ben and Ralf with Lex looking over you guys. Now all of my children are going to be away at school!" She fakes tearing up.
"Don't worry mom, I'll be fine. I have Thea and Rod along with my brothers when they get back." She smiles at me and puts her arm around my shoulder. Both of us are about average height and build with the exception that I am a bit leaner because of all of the running that I have to do for class. I take one last look about my room and grab my bags. My mom grabs the ones I can't and we head back to the shop front. Once there, my mom gives me the bag of all the herbs and other things I will need for school and two packages that wrapped up neatly beside them.
"What are these mom?" I pick up the smaller one of the two.
"Those are from your grandma, she said that your grandpa wanted you to have when you were going to school for your first year. Go ahead and open them." I open the smaller one first. It's a bronze steam cuff used when you need steam in a pinch. They stopped making them when I just turned five. Now 12 years later I get one. I smile and put it on, to my surprise, it's fully loaded with steam. I open the larger one and it’s a white bronze necklace with a black diamond pendant. I marvel at it for a bit before I put it on. My mom gasps and says, "You look so beautiful with that on. I have one more thing for you, it's from your father and I." She pulls out a circlet that looks exactly like the necklace I was wearing. She puts it on my head and stares at me. Then she starts to tear up for real this time. I bring her into a hug and hold her there for a while.
"Your grandfather gave that to me as a wedding present and now it's your turn to wear it with pride. Let's get going before the airways start to get crowded." She says as she picked up 3 of my now 6 bags. I pick up the rest and pile them into the family airship. I take one last look at my family home before heading into the airship and heading towards the schools in Aquadia.
A turn later, my mom lands the ship and I get a trolley for my bags.
"Well, this is where I leave you. Be safe and study hard. I love you Estelle." My mom says as she hugs me one last time.
"I will mom and I love you too." I smile and start to head towards the main area. There I see a familiar set of blue eyes. Apparently he spots me and starts to head over. I groan inwards and put on a pleasant face.
"Estelle! I didn't know that you were a first year as well." Great, he's a first year too.
"Yes, it seems like you know where you are going, do you mind pointing me in the direction of the adventure living quarters?"
"I'm heading that way to meet up with a few of my friends. Why don't you follow me and let me pull that?” He says as he tries to take the trolley handle from me. I push his hand away and say, "I can handle my own trolley." He shrugs and starts to head northwest to a cluster of three living quarters buildings. It's a short walk from the main gates to the adventure dorm and much to my dismay, the government dorm is also located where mine is.
"Well, here we are. The man over there in the green is the guy you want to talk to. I am going to see my friends back in the dorm, we should meet up again in a little while. I want to get to know you better, and apologize for hitting you with my blaster." He rubs the back of his head with his left hand while his right hand was shoved into his pocket. You could see a light dusting of pink on his cheeks.
"It's no problem, besides I did shoot you with some paralysis arrows. Shoot a comm at me when you want to meet up with me. See ya later Jak." I turn and heads towards the guy in green.
"Hi I am Celestiestelle Thorinston, could you please tell me which room is mine?" He looks up from his list then tells me I am on floor three pod three room 17. I thank him and head towards the elevator looking machine. I step inside with my trolley and press 3317 and hope it will lead me to my room. Sure enough, it led me right to the front door. I put my palm to the machine and it lets me into my room. I put the trolley in the center of the room. I find a panel and start to customize my room. I set it to canopy bed, dark hardwood floors, pale green walls and bay windows. I add a few storage chests and work tables plus a mini area for Ronh. Then I start to put my equipment and clothes away. After that it was make the bed, get the curtains up, and change into a nice knee length brown skirt, cable knit forest green sweater, my metaleather knee high boots, brown tights, and my newly acquired jewelry, minus the circlet, I had taken off on the ride here. That's when Thea knocked on my door. I run over and give her a big hug.
Thea was shorter than me by a few good inches, quite tan, had curly, flame orange hair, and a busty chest. Rod was behind her with a good head on Thea, pale skin, and blood red hair. He is much calmer than Thea and also much quieter. Thea twirls about my room marveling at how I had done it.
"You should come over and do mine! I can barely figure out the thing that opens my doors!" She grabs my wrist and yanks me to her room, which is right next door. Thankfully, Rod shuts the door behind us. We head into her room and she hands me the panel.
"Could you do it like my room back home?" She asks me. I smile and say, “And you're an inventor student? Alright I will. Let me guess Rod left to his room?" I look around for our friend who has disappeared.
"Yea, that and guys aren't allowed in girl’s pods for very long. Hurry up and start working your magic!" I set her panel to daybed, sunset orange walls, and Tiffany windows. I add a few tables and multiple storage units for her to organize all of her cloths and equipment. She squeals and gives me a big hug.
"Thank you soooooooooooo much!!!!! It looks just like home! I have to ask, who was that you were talking with outside of the dorm? He is super cute."
"His name is Jak and he was showing me the way to get here. We met earlier in Terra while I was hunting. He was looking at one of my snares from a distance and thought I was a predator and shot me with a blastmast 20 so I shot him with some of my paralysis arrows. Then we talked for the remained of my hunting time. He's a first year gov student."
"Why was he on Terra? And aren't gov students exclusively first class kids?"
"He was trying to get some peace and quiet. Yes, gov students are exclusively first class kids. He has the star pupils to prove it." Thea and Rod have diamond pupils that Mark the third class. Mine are a rarity. Hardly no one has crescent moon pupils anymore.
"That sort of makes sense. It looks like you have a comm." I look down at my watch. The message was that Jak was waiting for me just outside the dorm and wants to hang out now.
"This is where I leave you. See you later Thea!" I wave as I head out her room and to the elevator thing. I head inside the room and down to the lobby/hangout room. Just outside the door was Jak in a light blue collared shirt, khaki pants, and loafers. He smiles when he sees me.
"Hey, you look good."
"You mean I look like I belong in a business meeting. Anyways where do you want to hang out?" I ask him as we start walking.
"There's a really cool cafe on the grounds that I found right before I saw you. It's where a lot of people hang out after class or so I am told by my sister. She's a fourth year in the government school." Figures, he probably comes from a long line of government students.
"My brothers haven't told me anything about the grounds or anything. They aren't here yet either."
"Didn't they come with you when you arrived?"
"No, they are on the front lines with my father. They are all medic students. Lex is a fifth year, Ralf is a fourth year, and Ben is a third year. What's your sister's name?" I ask as we head into the cafe.
"Janleia. Wait a minute, Lex Thorinston is your eldest brother?"
"Yes he is, why do you ask?" I sit down at a table near the fireplace.
“It’s just, he’s kind of a legend around the grounds. I mean, him and his brothers are already working on the front lines and they haven’t even graduated yet.”
“Our parents were the same way, in fact, most of my family was on the frontlines before they graduated from school. I’m not allowed to go until my third year of school. That is the very youngest a person can be. It’s a rule that only applies to my family.” A man comes over and asks what we would like to drink. I have a stratober smoothie, and Jak ordered a Terra coffee no sugar.
“So your family has been in the Military as long as you can remember?” He asks stirring his water. I take a sip of mine and say,” Since the first family head almost 700 kiloyears ago.”
“So you’re a part of an ancient family? Which style?”
Ancient families are the first 7 prominent families that came to Aquadia and Aeria. Thorniston was the 7th family and the first family into the military. There is the royal family that lives in the capital, Aqualita. Most of the first class families not tied to the 6 other families live in and around Aquavita, the secondary capital. My family lives on the main hills in Aerita, capital of Aeria. Each family chose a style type from the old world. Mine is what they called Scandinavian. There is Victorian, Roman, Egyptian, Mayan (grrr), Island Tribal, and the Royal family’s of Orient.
“Mine is Scandinavian, rustic dark woods and humble upbringing. Most of my family is in the medic profession, there have been a few that have achieved greatness in other professions like my grandfather. He was the adventurer that found the Celestial realm. Which I am supposedly named after.”
“I heard the that the final project for the first years is going to be in the Celestial realm. Every class is going to send a group of their very best to help the adventurers there.”
“And that’s new news? I’m already signed up.” Our drinks get to our table. I take a sip of my smoothie while he stares at me.
“How can you already be selected? How big is the adventurer class in our year?” He takes a small sip of his coffee.
“There is 5 of us. We share a dorm with the inventor and science students. Each pod has 5 people right? Well in mine there is 1 inventor, 1 medic, 1 science and 2 adventurers. The next pod over has the other adventurer girl. The other 3 are in a pod with my friend Rod. All of us are slated to go because we are adventure students.” I set down my drink and dig through my bag to show him the letter that had arrived the day before.
We, here at Adventure Academy, would like to invite you on the final project for the first year’s this year. Our project is to explore the Celestial Realm. The reason is that your late grandfather Charlsetle Thorniston, had left in his will that your class would go on that trip no matter what class you would be assigned to. Your group will consist of an inventor student named Olivithea Chrande, a science student Rodnetho Chrande, and a government student named Rondljakob Braumilton. You all will be assigned to a class and will be working as a unit and as you as their leader. We expect great things out of you.
~The Staff at Adventure Academy
I read the letter aloud to him up until the part where it goes into who is in my group. The postscript said not to tell them until classes start. He sits back and smirks. A few loose strands of hair slip in front of his face.
“Nothing less from a Thorinston. My family isn’t quite known for anything out of the ordinary. Except for my sister Janleia, she is quite the budding lawyer. Myself, I’m going to end up as a head of department and see no action.” He puffs and his bangs go up, then they fall in front of his face. Then he leans forward and stares at me for a while to the point where he leans a little on the table.
“I have never seen anyone with so perfectly light caramel skin and dark evergreen hair. Many of the girls that I grew up with that are here having their hair dyed to be that shade. All of them ended up with dark blue hair and or bright blue with yellow stripes.”
“That would have been a sight to behold. I never really met the kids that lived around us. They didn’t even live around us. On Aeria, there is so many hills and on the tallest hill is a cluster of houses, only the Thorniston family has ever lived there. All the military families live in order of rank and all of the top families that lived remotely close to me were all boys. I didn’t meet Thea and Rod till I was 10 and able to travel on my own. Enough about my less than stellar childhood, how is it that you have so white of skin? I’m sure you must have gone outside at some point.”
“Talk about less than stellar childhoods. My parents didn’t let me outside the family home until I was 10. Even then I was kept out of direct sunlight. I didn’t go back to my house yesterday after our encounter. If I did, my father would have been so infuriated with me not only about ditching my guard, but the possibility of being seen with an ancient and shooting her with an unregistered blastmast 20.” He looks sheepishly down at the table.
“To be fair, I paralyze you for about a turn on my clock. Also isn’t that the reason why you wanted to come here, to apologize to each other.” I smile at him with a smile that not a lot of people get to see. His face goes red, like a firework at the festivals they hold in the middle of the summer, right around my birthday.
“Yea, we should get going back to the dorms. I think the cafe is about to close.” I look around and there are only a few more students milling about. I get up and look around for any sort of jacket I could have brought, which I didn’t. Jak on the other hand did and was just about to put it on when he said,” I don’t think that you brought a jacket did you?”
“No, I didn’t. It was still light out when we walked over here.” I say as we headed out the door.
“Here, you wear this until we get to your dorm.” He hands me his jacket. I give him a questioning look before he says, “I’ll be fine, I’m use to how cold it gets on Aquadia. While on the other hand, you are not.”
“Thanks, are you always this gentlemanly?” I say as I put on the jacket. We walk back and continue to talk about our lives back home. I find out that he lives in the Victorian part of Aquadia. He is a really caring person; it’s just I don’t know what my brothers would think. Maybe I will tell them after our group is announced. We get to the front of my dorm and then he does something unlike any first class I have ever met. He tells me to keep the jacket and gives me a light hug. My face has a light dusting of a blush as I walk into the elevator. I press 3317 and swing into my room just glowing.
“Creator? Why are you so happy and have a masculine jacket?” Rohn asks me from his spot in the corner.
“I just had the best night in a very long while and I didn’t bring a jacket so a friend let me borrow his. If you could shut down now that would be lovely.” I say as I switch into a pair of light green linen pajamas. Today was a good day. I should comm Thea tomorrow and see if she wants to explore the city. With that I fall asleep and dream on what lies ahead of me.
In the next morning, I get up and get dressed in my standard adventurer wear. After getting dressed and gettings some steam to Rohn, I sent a comm to Thea and got a response.
“Hey, sorry can’t explore with you today! Rod and I are heading back for a last minute shopping trip! Be back by the time School starts! ~Thea” I sigh and Rohn starts up and runs around the room. Then runs into a wall before heading back into his area. After a few minutes I receive a comm from Jak.
“Hey, I was wondering if you would want to hang out. I was heading to town and kinda wanted to show you around. Comm me back when you get this.”
“Hey Jak, I would love to go with you. Meet me by the front gates and we can head out.” I grab a dark green coat and a small bag. I head out and headed towards the gates. It’s a .03 turns of my clock to get to the gate and another .02 turns for me to get a comm saying Jak was on his way. A few more moments and he comes running in a metaleather jacket, dark indigo button up shirt, khakis, and canvas shoes.
“Hey! Ready to go into Aquavita?”
“Sure. Is that the nearest town?”
“Yea, it’s about .1 turn from the grounds. The main square has a lot of good shops and restaurants. The actual square itself is used for the winter festival that happens in a few moon cycles from now.”
“Is the festival like the summer one on Aeria?” I say as we walk a little farther to a parking lot to the left of the grounds.
“Yes, only it’s colder and less fireworks. Here we are.” He shows me a steamcycle 200. He grabs the two helmets and gives me the smaller one. He gets on the cycle and gives me a hand before starting up the machine. As it revs up and takes off, I quickly grab his waist. I hold on for dear life for what seems 4 turns, but it then turns out to be .05 turns.
“Are you alright? I don’t think you have ever been on a cycle before have you?” He smirks at me as I hand him the helmet with still a shocked look etched on my face.
“I have only ridden in airships. Cycles is a total other ballgame. Where do you want to go?” I say shaking off the dirt on my jacket.
“There is an old general shop around the corner, a book shop down the way, and a cafe farther down the way.”
“I would like to hit the book shop first, then the cafe. I haven’t eaten yet, and I need a few new books on adventuring and a report on the Celestial Realm. Lead the way.” He starts to walk and keeps his hands in his pockets. I keep a firm hold on my bag and follow him.
“Why do you need a report on the Celestial Realm?” He asks me as we walk into the dusty shop. No one was in the shop but a man who looked like he just graduated from Merchant Academy.
“I need the report to do some background research. It fascinates me that they never found my grandfather’s body after the Celestial Realm was found. All that was sent back was an empty coffin and a letter containing his last will and testament. I want to know before I go in with my team, so I can make sure everyone gets home safely.” He does that smile again and I feel a heat come up. I push it back down and go towards the man at the counter.
“Excuse me sir, do you have any copies of the report that was published on the Celestial Realm?” He looks to his steamcom and goes into the back to grab the report.
“Name, age, year in school please.”
“Celestiestelle Thorniston, 17, 1st year. How much for the report and the first three additions to an Adventurer’s guide: Silver edition?”
“200 pon and 34 thon. It will be a few minutes to get everything, do you two need anything else?”
“I need the first two editions of Intro to Government: Bronze edition, please.” Jak adds and puts another 100 pon onto the table. The man nods and heads back to get our books.
“You forgot to get some of your textbooks?” I raise an eyebrow at him.
“Yes, I needed to get the books from here today otherwise my first day in class will be absolutely horrendous.”
“I take it you didn’t prepare enough beforehand to check your list before you got to the school grounds?”
“No, I thought I had everything but….”
“Stuff happened and you couldn’t get everything.”
“Exactly.” The man comes back with our books. He takes the money and I place the books and the reports in my bag. I thank him, and head out. Our next stop is the cafe a few more stores down. Walking to the store, something catches my eye in a storefront window. It was a metal shop that sold tinkering items along with a long strew of metals and metal items.
“Hey, I’m going to stop in here. I want to see if they have black glass and dark bronze sheets. Some of my gear needs repairs and I think this is a good place to get those items without having to fly all the way back to Aeria.” I turn into the shop with Jak on my heels.
The shop had the same setup as the book shop had, but a different feel to it. I pick up a basket and start to fill it various metals and metal items. After .1 turns, I am struggling with the basket. Mr. Perfect next to me takes and carries it with no effort needed. I shoot him a dirty look and continue to shop. Another .05 turns and we are at the counter, buying all the items and heading to the cafe. On the way, an elderly lady made a comment about how Jak was so kind to carry my bags. It bothers me that a guy and a girl can’t just hang out for a day without everyone making the assumption that we are a couple. I mean, sure he’s a charming, nice, caring guy but a first class and a second class don’t court each other. Only if the parents have arranged a marriage, which hopefully mine haven’t yet, then it happens. If it’s any other way, you can kiss it good bye.
At the cafe, Jak finds a table out on the back patio overlooking the lake. He sets down the bags and opens up the pale but sturdy umbrella. We sit down and look at the menu.
“Do you know what’s good here?” I ask him peering over the menu. The prices were reasonable, but it looks like the portions were on the smaller side.
“Their sandwich salads, any drink, and their cakes are good here. Anything else I would advise caution in eating.” I smile a little. He brightens up a little.
“Then I will have the rodchta on rye and a terra coffee with sugar. What are you going to have Jak?” I look at him with a sincere glare.
“I think the finana on wheate and a terra coffee black. Why a rodchta?”
“It tastes really good if it’s done right. I’ll give you a bite when the waiter gets over here. I have to say this view is amazing.” I take a look at the lake we were seated beside.
“It’s an alright view. The one on top of Regal hill in my neighbourhood, especially during the winter festival, it’s a truly amazing view.”
“I have never been to a winter Festival. The summer one on Aeria is kinda fun. I get to dress in an oriental dress my father brought back for me a few years ago. I have a winter one like it but I left it back home.”
“Well, during harvest break, go home and pick it up. I bet you look beautiful in oriental wear.” He smiles and I feel a little weirded out.
“Ummm, thanks? Ah here comes our food.” I say as a quick cover. The waiter was a 4th class with the square pupils to mark him. We eat for the most part in silence until Jak says, “There was a guy with dark red hair and a girl with bright orange hair running out of your dorm. Any reason why?”
“Oh, that was Rod and Thea. They were heading back to Terra for a last minute shopping trip. Thea has always been like that.” I say wiping my mouth and setting down my fork.
“Thea is the short one that talks all of the time, correct?” He sets down his knife and fork and takes a sip of his drink.
“Well, that’s because Rod can’t speak. He had his tongue cut out when he was 13.” Jak stares at me.
“What did he do that would cause him to lose his tongue?”
“He fell in love with a commanding officer’s son. They were caught one day at the edge of a creek, just after the officer’s son just kissed Rod. Of course Rod was tried and punished, the son still lives on Terra with his family and guilt free from what I heard.” I don’t know why I told Jak this but maybe it could help them become a good, solid team.
“Oh, here let me pay.” He says as the waiter sets down the small plate.
“I am paying for my own lunch thank you very much.” I put down my portion as we head out the door and back to the cycle. .1 turns later we are back at school.
I walk back to my dorm and open up the report on the Celestial realm.
Day 1, 13:43 We are 13 turns into our study of the of this new realm. My team and I are close to reaching landfall. Our leader, Charlsetle, says we must remain neutral in order to complete our mission and get back home. We don’t know if there is any intelligent life in this realm but we can only hope there is so then we may head back to our native planet.
18:23 We finally made landfall. This realm is as it was described by the traders that first found it. The Celestial realm seems to be made of the stars themselves. Every plant, animal, water source had the glow and glitter of the stars from the heavens themselves. Astria is what we named the main planet. Astrita and Astquita were the next two largest planets. There are several more, all linked by the flowing waters that had the power to hold their shape in midair.
I had to stop reading, in the first segment, the author mentions my grandfather by name. I knew he was a part of the team that was sent to explore it, but I never knew he was the captain. I want to comm mother about this but there is no way to do that here on Aquadia. I must continue reading if I want to continue to figure out what happened to grandfather.
Day 2, 07:35 We rose early this morn to the sounds starbirds. After a short breakfast, Captain Thorinston and first lieutenant Chrande and I set out on the adventure of the kilo year. The three of us all have children back home, and want to get back in time for their graduation from the Academy. Thorniston’s son is graduating from the medical school and will be joining us just in case something goes wrong. Chrande’s son is a science/military student and also will be joining us to conduct experiments. My own son will not be joining us unless we found any sort of life here. I don’t know why they would send a government official on a sort of mission like this. A Braunmilton like myself does not need to be here.
I can’t believe this! Jak’s grandfather was on the trip as well. So it was a first class, a second class, and a third class. It’s not uncommon for a third class to accompany a second class, but a first class on this type of mission? He was right, First class people never leave Aquadia. Not even on diplomatic missions, those were always left to the second class like my family. I set down the report and put on my night gown. The opening ceremony for school is tomorrow and I need to be presentable. As the first female Thorinston attending the adventure academy, I will be awarded the honour of head of class. I head back to my bed and pull up the thick blanket. Many thoughts cross my mind as I try and fall asleep. Why would they put me in a group like this? Are they trying to repeat history? I must stop thinking like this, I need sleep. It’s been a long day……..