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Author Topic: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!  (Read 1503 times)

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Offline KohakuRiver

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GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« on: December 10, 2020, 04:34:01 AM »
I finally decided to start writing my manga before I drew it because I was tired of redrawing many pages and still not liking it, and changing the story. I realized I was doing everything out of order, and that I could still do character designs while writing!

So now, with much ado, is the story of GALACTIC.

The story will take place in multiple arcs, from different points of view, but the main characters in the story are Ace, Nero, and Levi. All the stories are connected and create one large one. When drawn the chapters will be in a different order to give the reader more suspense. :)

The story won't be written in order because I decided it was best to write different stories at the same time, different character backstories, but in the top post, I will put them all in order so I don't confuse anyone that actually reads it, lol.

There are characters that are gay, if that's not your cup of tea, don't read it. There are sexual situations but I DONT POST SEX SCENES, because It doesn't further the story, but it is IMPLIED. There are scenes of violence and abuse but I try not to over glorify them, and I will put appropriate labels at the beginning of chapters. Some stories and character arcs are overall much more violent than others, simply because characters, just like people, happen to live more violent/ chaotic lives.  There are bad words too so if you're a prude don't read this, lol. At the end of each chapter I put my own thoughts, explanations for further chapters, and stuff I hope the reader notices so when I draw the manga I can know what I want to try and convey best.

100 years after the independence of Earth from the Empire, it looks a lot different. Descendents of people from the Empire and Earthians fought for their independence and won. Now they vow to defend weaker nations and planets from the Empire, and anyone that wants to return to the days of subjugation. They created the Galaxy Defense Program, and Slater Academy to train those who wanted to join. This is the story of  Squad 27, their terrible social lives, and sometimes, eventually, they do actually help people. Eventually.

Genres: Tragedy, Romance, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Action

Summary: Nero wants revenge on the family that betrayed him, the people that sold him, and the world. He wants to watch it all burn. How far will he go to achieve his goals?

True Power
Summary: Ace's last year at Slater Academy is hard. His girlfriend left him, he didn't get the job he wanted, and he and his best friend seem to be becoming distant. All of that changes when he finds a breathing watch, a talking mirror, and a  bracelet that is just too friendly.

Summary: Tae-Oh is a slave that lives a life working for the Regal Family. Every day is mostly the same, until the day the Empress gives him a task that he cannot refuse.

Born Duty
Summary: Leviathan Slater's life is planned out for him. Join the Defense Program. Run the Academy. Marry Mary Jane. His grandfather Michael Slater helped liberate Earth from the Empire, and as his grandson, he must continue the proud family name. But one day someone asks him, what would he do if he had a choice?

Summary: Roy lived a life of sin until he converted to Catholicism at the age of 14. He changed his name to Gabriel when he turned 18 in an effort to emulate Christ. When he died he went to Heaven but someone brought him back. Gabriel is now a vampire forced to walk the Earth, forever barred from the gates of Heaven. Will he ever find a way back in?

Summary: Harmony is loved by everyone. Her ability grows stronger if people like her, so she lives life to make sure that no one could ever hate her. Volunteer work, dressing pretty, never saying no, is the perfect way to the best that one can be. One day Harmony finally meets someone who will never like her. She can't handle it. Her world starts to unravel and her powers become weak.

Son of Stars
Summary: Rie-Toh is the leader of the rebel group Son of Stars. He is willing to die for his homeland in order to destroy the Empire and free the planet of Ionadis from its evil. He visits the Seer to know his future. She predicts that one day, Rie-Toh will meet a red-haired man with blue eyes that will lead him to victory. A month later, he meets two.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2020, 04:51:36 AM by KohakuRiver »

Offline KohakuRiver

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Re: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2020, 04:41:59 AM »

Chapter 1: Revenge is Dish best served Hot
Warning, depiction of sexual events
“Do you ever think about getting revenge on the people that hurt you”? Adonis looked up from his phone and looked at Nero. His long red hair was like a cloak covering his skinny body, as he sat on the floor, hugging his legs to his knees. “Sometimes”, said Adonis. “I try not to dwell on the past too much. It makes it hard to move on”.
Adonis got up from the hard wooden floor, and strode over to the closet. He made it there in a few steps, with his long legs and big feet that shook the floor in confidence. Everything he did, he did with purpose and power.
Adonis took out a blanket from the closet and draped it over Nero. He knew Nero got like this sometimes. He would shrink inside himself, and hide inside the deepest parts of his mind. Adonis set the kettle and in a few minutes came back with some tea. It was Nero’s favorite flavor: raspberry. Adonis didn’t like it. The color reminded him of  water mixed with blood.
“Thanks”, muttered Nero, as he sipped from his tea. One of the few foods he would drink, or eat, for whatever strange reason. Adonis had taken him in nearly two years ago. Over time he realized that he could only push Nero so much until he would fight back. So he learned to push a little at a time, so slowly that he wouldn’t notice that his comfort zone was expanding. Adonis also knew that asking him what was wrong would never get him an answer, he had to wait for Nero to tell him first.

After a few minutes, Adonis finally got the answer to the question he never asked.

“Today at work I was stuck with that guy again, Monty. He *censored*ing sucks”. Adonis couldn’t help but laugh. Every time Nero worked a shift with Monty he would always have something to say. He had never enjoyed the misery of someone else’s life until Monty started working at the convenience store with Nero. “It’s not funny! Every day I have to cover his ass! Today he put all the new stuff in the front. You’re supposed to cycle all the old stuff to the front! Even new hires know that!” Nero groaned. “And the worst part is, today he asked me out on a date.”

Adonis laughed so hard the green tea he was drinking started coming out of his nose. “ It is so hard to hate people who are oblivious, but Monty makes it so easy.”  “ Did you turn him down”, asked Adonis. “Of course I did”, replied Nero. “Then he spent the rest of the day *censored*ing everything up cuz he couldn’t focus!” “Oh stop”, said Adonis. He grinned. “I’m starting to feel sorry for the guy. You better have been easy on him when you rejected him. Monty may be stupid, but he’s got feelings too”.

Nero pouted. “ I told him to eat *censored*”. Adonis laughed so hard he got a cramp.

Adonis turned to him and said “ What’s all this got to do with revenge?” Nero looked to the ground. Adonis felt guilty. He broke the rule of pushing him too hard without realizing it. But Nero told him on his own.
“Just… sometimes I get angry. I think about all the people who hurt me, and they are doing great. But I’m not. It sucks”. Adonis couldn’t really argue that. Nero had come far since he first met him, that fateful day on the bridge, but they weren’t doing so well as of late.
The rent was late for the 2nd month in a row. They probably wouldn’t be able to pay for it next month either, as Nero his 2nd part time job a few months ago. Adonis couldn’t get a job easily because he was a felon. He made some money selling his...product at clubs, but he was new to the business, and he didn’t make a lot of selling as it is. The only furniture they had was an old mattress someone threw out on the street. It was Nero’s bed.
“Don’t worry”, said Adonis. “Tomorrow will be better. It’s your birthday, after all”. Adonis hugged him close. “One day it will be better. I promise”. Nero pouted. Adonis hugged him tighter until he got upset. “Why.. do that”... Nero said, through labored breaths.

“Stronger hugs means more love”.

“*censored* you”.

Adonis let him go, as he could see Nero wasn’t very receptive to strong love.

“Tomorrow you can come with me to a… work event. Its kind of a work thing, its a party”, said Adonis. “My boss is also having a birthday party. I know we can’t afford to do anything for your birthday, but it makes no sense staying in all night. It’s going to be huge. Think of it as your own birthday party”. Nero jumped up and rushed to the bedroom. “ I can’t wait! Its been too long since we’ve done anything fun”. As Nero was looking for something presentable in his closet, Adonis entered. “Just be careful at this party. Its a dangerous crowd.”
“You act like my dad all the time”, said Nero. “Tomorrow I’ll officially be an adult anyway, old man, so I’ll be fine.” Adonis immediately regretted inviting him to the party. Adonis was 5 years older than Nero. Even though it wasn’t a huge gap, he had grown up a lot faster than most. He felt more like Nero’s father sometimes than a friend. Adonis had no choice but to go anyway.  The leader of his group  invited him to the party because he thought it would be a great chance to move product to other towns through all the generals that would be at the party. And the rent was always due.
“Is the party during the day, or night”, asked Nero.  He pulled out the only jacket that didn’t have any holes. “I will take any excuse I can to get off work.” “ It’s at night. You’re going to work”, said Adonis. “We’re already behind on the rent, and you can’t find another job as it is”. Nero flinched. Adonis knew he couldn’t read. Why would he hurt him like this?

“Sorry, that came out wrong.”

“Its okay”.

Adonis left the room and sighed. He took off his shirt and unfurled his wings as he sat cross legged on the floor. Sunlight streamed through the living room window, as Paradis’ eternal sunset graced his dark skin. Adonis always wondered, how for a planet called Paradis, how could so many live such horrible lives. It was tiring putting on a brave face every day for Nero. But he knew the alternative was no better. One of them had to be strong.

 Maybe tomorrow would be better. He would make lots of money and buy Nero a proper birthday present. And maybe, finally, a couch to sit on.

The alarm on Nero’s phone went off. It was 4:30 AM. Time for work. He rolled off the mattress and onto the floor. The shock of the cold floor was the best thing to wake him up in the morning.
Nero hated waking up so early for work. His shift started at 7 AM, deep into the city. But the nearest bus stop was far, so he had to wake up early. Today was his 18th birthday, so it was easier for him to wake up this morning. He hated the morning walk, but today felt different. Today was a day for only good things.
After a quick shower, Nero changed into his uniform. Since today was his birthday he decided to treat himself with breakfast. At least he wouldn’t have to lie and say he ate breakfast to Adonis. Adonis probably knew anyway that he was always lying about eating breakfast, but it was one of the many things he let Nero do because it wasn’t worth the energy to fight anymore.
Even though he was eating breakfast today, he wasn’t going overboard. He found an apple in the cupboard and left for the bus stop.
Nero hated Paradis’ eternal sunset. It always shone in his eyes as he made his way to the bus stop. The two suns that circled the planet made it hard for him to sleep when he first arrived, eight years ago. He never felt like it was night time. Whenever he mentioned to coworkers he was an immigrant, they would always ask him about night. They said the word night, with a tone of reverence. 
Once every a thousand years the planet of Paradis would go a little farther outside of its orbit it shared between the two suns. It would circle only one star for roughly a week. On the last day, it would be complete and total darkness. That day was approaching soon. Two years from now, the entire planet would hold ceremonies, parades, concerts, to celebrate the once in a lifetime event. As the day approached even closer, the questions about night time were asked more and more often by friends, coworkers, and even strangers, once they realized he wasn’t from Paradis.
After his 30 minute walk, he finally arrived at the bus stop. Sitting at the bench was Mrs. Fuentes. Just like Nero, she was an immigrant to Paradis.  She had long silver hair, put into a long beautiful fishtail braid. Many wrinkles lined her face, but she still made an effort to look her best. Her nails were always done, and she used the same perfume. She wore neatly pressed outfits, always color coordinated, always perfect. She took pride in her job as the receptionist at Triangle Corporation.
Nero loved Mrs.Fuentes.

“Buenos dias, hijo”, said Mrs. Fuentes. “How are you?” Mrs. Fuentes spoke a strange language that no one had heard of.  It didn’t even translate through the auto chips everyone had implanted near their cochellas. She loved to teach Nero new words. She always said “Spanish may be dead on my home planet, but it will live on if it continues its legacy through you.”
Nero hugged Mrs.Fuentes. “I’m good”, he said. “Today is my birthday, and I’m going to a party”. “Oh, good for you dear,” she said. “Feliz cumpleanos”. Mrs. Fuentes searched through her purse and brought out a small box, small enough to fit into one’s palm. It had a miniature bow on top. “I remembered it was your birthday. I got you this”. Nero was shaken up. It had been so long since he had something new.
“Don’t be shy, open it up”, said Mrs. Fuentes. “I think you’ll like it”. Nero opened the small box and inside he saw a pentagram pendant. “How… did you know…”, asked Nero. “I remember one day when I came to the bench after you, a very rare day indeed”, said Mrs.Fuentes. “ I heard you praying at the stop, but it was to some woman”, continued Mrs. Fuentes. “I didn’t want to pry into one’s religion. It's unbecoming of oneself”, she huffed. “But I searched her name online. I found out your people like to wear these things, these stars. So I got one for you.”
Nero’s finger’s fumbled to unlock the clasp, but Mrs.Fuentes helped him unclasp it. She put it on him and smiled. “I was worried you would find it too girly, but then I realized you probably like that sort of thing. You always wear that pink rabbit watch and keep your hair long”. Nero blushed. “Thank you Mrs. Fuentes”, he said.
Heavy tears rolled down his face. “ No, no, no tears”, she said. “Today is your birthday, only smiles”. “I’m not sad”, he said through heavy sobs. “I just never thought I would have something like this again.” Mrs.Fuentes placed her hand on his shoulder. “You never thought you would have another necklace”, she asked. “No”, replied Nero. “A piece of home”.
Suddenly a loud popping noise could be heard. The bus was here. The bus soared through the sky and landed at the bus stop. The city never wanted to invest in anything outside of tourism, so all the buses outside the main part of town were old. They got onto the bus, for their ride into the heart of the city.

The only upside to the hour long bus ride was that Nero could listen to his books on his phone, and that the bus stop was across the street from his job. The bus exited the hyperway, and landed at his destination. Nero put on his backpack, and exited the bus. “Thank you sir”, said Nero as he got off at his stop.
Instinctively he checked the time on his rabbit watch, but then remembered that it was broken. He rolled his eyes in exasperation, then checked his phone for the time. He was 20 minutes early for work, as he was every day.
Inside the break room Nero hung up his orange backpack, and tied up his hair. He hated tying up his hair in a bun. It showed off the old tattoo on the back of his neck.  It made him embarrassed, but it was a small price to pay for steady employment.
Monty walked into the break room, and Nero froze. He actually felt kind of bad for Monty yesterday, after he was so mean to him. Adonis was right. Everyone had feelings. Nero was also a little more forgiving since it was his birthday. He was an adult, which meant no more fights at work. Time to be mature.
“Good morning Monty”, said Nero. He smiled. “Today’s my birthday. Look what I got.” Nero showed off his necklace with pride. “Oh, thats nice”, said Monty. He walked over to the employee lockers and put his stuff inside. Monty didn’t seem one for conversation like he usually did.
Nero tapped Monty on his shoulder. “What do you want”, he snapped. “I- I’m sorry”, said Nero. “I was  a little harsh to you yesterday. It wasn’t right for me to hurt your feelings when you confessed to me.” Monty’s face turned from one of anger to hope. He held Nero’s hand. “Does that mean you’ll change your mind”, said Monty. “ Do you still want to go on a date with me?”
“Sorry, I can’t”, said Nero. “But maybe we could hang out, after work, just as friends”. He pulled his hand away. The face of hope quickly turned back to anger. “Why”, yelled Monty. “Why are you leading me on like this?” “I’m not leading you on, I-” “Yes you are”, said Monty. He grabbed Nero’s wrist. “Promising we can hang out after work but just as friends? Flashing that silly necklace in front of me? Did your boyfriend give that to you? You’re just trying to make me jealous!”
He swung Nero into the lockers and held him against them. It wasn’t very hard to hold him down, Nero didn’t weigh much, and he was plenty afraid of Monty.
Monty leaned in and breathed hard into his ear. “Don’t worry about it”, he said. “If you’re trying to make me jealous, it's working”.
He stuck his tongue down Nero’s throat in a desperate attempt at kissing. Nero froze up. His body went stiff and he shut his eyes. Monty shoved his  left hand down Nero’s pants while gripping his wrist tighter with the right.  Nero relaxed and just imagined he was somewhere else, like he always did, when this happened. “You’re so cute,” said Monty. “I’m going to make you leave that guy of yours”.
Suddenly the door opened, and Tana walked in. She was the manager from the overnight shift, whom Monty was supposed to replace. She froze when she realized what was happening. Tana covered her eyes. “Guys…. Please do that at home”, she said.
Nero was upset. She thought that he would willingly do this sort of thing at work? “Sorry about that”, said Monty. I just couldn’t wait until tonight. He leaned separated from Nero, and smiled his customer service, *censored* eating smile.
“ I know you guys are dating, but don’t you think this is a bit much”, said Tana. “Stay professional at work”.  “Dating”, asked Nero. “Since when were we dating”? Heat rose up his face. He couldn’t tell if it was out of embarrassment, anger, fear, or all three. “You don’t have to stay in the closet dear”, said Tana. “This isn’t the Stone Ages. Monty told me all about your relationship a month ago.”
Suddenly the room began to spin. Nero felt like he couldn't breathe. This isn’t good, he thought. I’m having another episode again. “I’m going”, he said. “I can’t do this.” Nero grabbed his bag and ran out the store without hearing what his manager had to say. He ran, and ran, and ran until he reached Silver Beach.

Like a true city dweller, Nero kept his swimsuit  and sunscreen in his backpack at all times. 90% of Paradis was water, and swimming was the same as breathing to those that lived there. Especially since some inhabitants could breathe underwater as well.  Nero knew he couldn’t go back to work, so he decided to enjoy his birthday. No one was going to take that from him, no matter how hard they tried.
Nero emerged from the public restroom wearing his favorite trunks, bright red to match his hair. He walked down the boardwalk and tried to forget the morning. Working girls littered Silver Beach, trying to get customers for the day. Tourists were easy pickings, many of them who travelled to experience this specific part of the authentic Paradis experience. Nero sighed. He figured today was his last day of work, and soon he would have no choice to go back to his first job, joining the other girls on the boardwalk.
He rubbed the tattoo on his neck. It was  a bad habit he had ever since he first got it. It was a beautiful rose covered in a vine with thorns. But he had it for so long it faded on the back of his neck.Nero got a dollar popsicle from one of the stands, and found a spot on the shore. He remembered the day that Adonis found him. It was at the bridge near Silver Beach.

Nero felt hot and dizzy. The skirt he was wearing was ripped at the edges, and he couldn’t find his underpants.  Instinctually he checked his purse, and the money was still there. His last customer wasn’t kind to him, and didn’t pay either, but at least his days earnings were still there.
He leaned on the hot brick wall in the alley behind a hotel. Nero tried to keep it in, but he couldn’t. He threw up, but not much came out except for the wine he had at the hotel room. He was angry at his customer for not paying, but he was more angry with himself for not being careful. The wine bottle was already opened when he entered the room. Little mistakes like that have cost people their lives, he was lucky this time around.
He made his way down the street, towards the bridge. The hot sun beatdown on him and it made him feel even more sick. Nero needed to make his way towards the south side of town. The hotels there were cheap and he had enough money for at least a night. He could sleep off whatever it was that guy slipped him.
After what felt like an eternity, he made his way to the bridge overpassing the hyperway. The rusty chain link fence helped him balance his body as he walked across the bridge. Suddenly Nero felt like he was falling, he braced himself to hit the concrete but instead, he fell the other way, over the bridge. The fence had given way. Nero froze and shut his eyes, the only way he knew how to defend himself. He waited to feel the pain but it never came.
He opened his eyes and looked at a man.  He was large, and was carrying Nero as they soared through the sky. He had dark skin, sandy blonde hair, and golden eyes.  His large brown wings flapped through the sky. Even though it was the middle of summer, he was wearing a mask over the bottom half of his face. Nero looked down and saw the city below. He gripped onto the man tighter, confused. He passed out.
Nero awoke in a foreign room, on the floor. A blanket covered his body, and in the corner someone had taken the time to take off his shoes and place them there. He could hear a kettle coming from the kitchen. Groggily he sat up and scanned his surroundings. He needed to find a quick way out, in case it was just another repeat of the hotel.

Some noises came from the kitchen, and the tan man entered the room.

“Oh, you’re awake”, he said. “I made some tea for you. Are you okay? Do you want to go to the hospital?” Nero held the blanket close to his body. “Why didn’t you take me to the hospital”, he asked. “I didn’t want you to get into trouble. You’re a street girl yeah? You look a little young”. “I’m old enough”, he retorted. “If you say so”, the stranger said. Nero knew from the look on his face that he didn’t believe him. “What's your name miss? My name’s Adonis”.
Miss, thought Nero. He thinks I’m a girl. “Do you want my street name, or my real name”, Nero asked. “Whichever you prefer”, Adonis replied. “Nero”.
“I’ll be back Nero”, he said. He left and came back with some tea. “I’m sorry there’s no furniture in my house. I just moved in.” “.... It’s okay”, Nero said. “If you are feeling better, will you be on your way? If you don’t have a safe place to stay for the night, you can stay here”. Nero stared into the small black mug. He knew that there was no such thing as a free lunch, and he had to pay this man back if he wanted to stay for the night.
“Can I stay for the night,” he asked. “I don’t know where I am, and I don’t have a lot of money”. “ It's okay,'' said Adonis. “You don’t have to pay. I don’t have a bed, but if you want privacy you can sleep in the empty room over there. I can stay in the living room.”
Nero took a shower, and Adonis gave Nero a pair of shorts and a shirt, but they were both too big for him. The shirt draped over his body like an oversized dress, and he couldn’t keep the shorts up. He tried to sleep, but he couldn’t. It's impossible to sleep in a strangers house, especially on the floor with nothing but a blanket.
He decided to get himself a glass of water from the kitchen. Surely the man wouldn’t mind. Nero opened the door to the living room and saw that Adonis was fast asleep.  He tried to walk quietly into the kitchen to get himself a drink, but he woke Adonis up anyway.
Adonis entered the kitchen, as Nero was looking through the cupboards for a cup. “What are you doing,” he asked. “It’s late”.  Adonis was no longer wearing a mask. His face was clearly handsome, but the  large scars over his cheeks were jarring. Nero jumped up and held his hands up. “N-nothing! I just need a drink”. “Relax”, yawned Adonis. He scratched his chest and got out a cup from the cupboard. “I’m not a cop, I won’t shoot”.
“Thank you”, he said. “You’re really nice to me”. “It's nothing”, replied Adonis. Nero walked up to Adonis and hugged him. “I want to repay you for your kindness.” Adonis was touched. “You don’t have to. It's just the right thing to do”.
Nero  grabbed Adonis’s crotch through his pants. Adonis shoved him away, and Nero fell on the cold kitchen tile.
“What, are you doing”, he yelled. “What’s wrong with you!?” Nero began to cry. “This is what you want isn’t it? Payment for the night?” “No, that's not what I want at all!” Adonis held his face in his hands. “You’re a kid. You shouldn’t be doing stuff like this''. “I’m not a -” “ You don’t look a day older than 14, thats why I let you into my house. I can’t just let a kid die on the street!” Nero began to cry even harder. “I’m sorry”, he said. Nero ran to the bedroom and grabbed his things. “Where are you going”, asked Adonis. “I’m leaving”, said Nero. “You’re angry and you don’t want me anymore”.
Adonis shook his head. “That's not true. I can’t just let you leave. You’re a girl. Something could happen to you.”  “It's okay,'' he said. “I’m not a girl anyway”.
Adonis looked at Nero and sighed. “Now is not the time to be having an identity crisis. If you want to go in the morning that's fine, but please stay for now”. Adonis moved in front of the doorway, and there was no way for Nero to leave.  Nero was upset. This giant man who looked like he would mug you in an alleyway was adamant about Nero staying. He didn’t trust him, but he knew that he didn’t want sex, and he didn’t want money. He could have taken those earlier when he arrived at the house. “Okay”, he said. “I’m staying.” Adonis smiled. Somehow he looked even more scary when he smiled. Adonis sat in front of the door, and crossed his arms. “I’m going to be staying right here to make sure you don’t go anywhere”. “ I said I’m staying”, huffed Nero. “But only for the night!”

Nero knew he wouldn’t sleep while there, but he decided lying down for a few hours was better than nothing. He closed his eyes to think of an escape plan. When he next opened them he was still inside the room, and several hours had passed. Adonis was no longer at the doorway. Nero smelled breakfast being prepared in the kitchen.
After using the bathroom, he straggled into the kitchen. Adonis was eating eggs and toast, and another plate was already made for Nero. “Good morning”, said Adonis. “Do you like eggs”?
Nero ignored him, took the plate of eggs and toast, and ate breakfast. It had been a few days since he last ate, and it smelled pretty good. Adonis watched in wonder as the scrawny child finished his food before him. “I have more eggs if you’re still hungry”, he said.
Nero looked him straight in the eyes, defiantly. “I’m not 14,'' he said. “I’m 16. I’m just short”. “Oh…”, said Adonis. “And I’m not a girl either. I just dress like that for work”. Adonis let him continue. He realized that Nero was the type to want to feel like he was in charge, even though he wasn’t. “I’m sorry then”, replied Adonis. “I want more eggs,” said Nero. “Sure, help yourself”, said Adonis.

Nero and Adonis drank tea and got to know each other  in the early hours of the morning. Adonis assumed that Nero forgot he was only supposed to spend the night, or maybe he was too embarrassed to admit he had nowhere else to go. He decided it didn’t matter anyway.

Nero wandered the shore until it was time for him to return home. He didn’t know how he could tell Adonis that he lost his job. He would be so disappointed in him. Nero didn’t want Adonis to get rid of him just like his uncle did. He didn’t want to go back to being homeless. He worked so hard to prove his usefulness, that as long as he could do something then he would never end up alone ever again.  When Nero finally returned home, Adonis was waiting for him in the kitchen.
“ I know I can’t get you fancy stuff for your birthday, but I at least wanted to get you a cake”, said Adonis. On the kitchen counter was a large vanilla cake, with little strawberries on top. “The frosting is whipped by hand, it's the real stuff”, said Adonis. “Happy Birthday”.
Nero had no idea how he was going to tell Adonis that he was probably fired, especially after he spent money on this expensive cake. “How much did it cost”, Nero asked. “It doesn’t matter”, Adonis said. “It's your birthday.” Adonis carefully stuck 18 candles across the cake and lit them all with his lighter. “Make a wish”, said Adonis.
Nero blew out the candles all in one go. Adonis was amused by how pleased he was with himself by achieving that. “I wished to be happy”, said Nero. Adonis flinched. He’s not happy, he thought. What have I been doing wrong? “You know, you’re not supposed to tell other people your wish or else it won’t come true.” Nero took the first slice of cake. “Thats dumb, who went and decided that,” Nero asked. Adonis laughed and started to cut into the cake.
“Stop laughing at me! You laugh at me everyday,” whined Nero.
“I’m not laughing at you”, said Adonis. “I’m laughing with you. Promise.” Even on his birthday Nero managed to find something to sulk about, but generally Adonis felt he liked the cake. He was happy. Adonis never expected Nero to eat the cake, but he had two slices instead of one, and they were both quite large. “You’re eating quite a lot today”, said Adonis. “Well yeah”, said Nero. “I decided I didn’t want to lie to you about eating anymore. I can’t lie if I actually do it”.
Adonis knew that even though Nero thought he wasn’t happy, he was definitely happier than he was when he first arrived.

Adonis and Nero arrived at a large mansion on the rich side of town. They took the metro and walked the rest of the way toward Ascension Hills. Beautiful cars littered the front of the house. Music could be heard from outside the manor, and beautiful people congregated outside. It was like living in a movie.
As they walked up the steps into the foyer, Adonis began coaching Nero. “Please don’t talk to anyone who looks weird. Don’t drink anything unless you open it yourself. Don't-” “Blah blah blah, yes old man, I’m going to be fine. This party is filled with dangerous people, but It's not my first time at this sort of thing. I’ll be okay,” said Nero.  Nero was lying, but he hoped Adonis didn’t notice. “Okay, I’m just worried. Especially since you decided to uh, dress up tonight”.
Nero wore an old pair of simple black heels, a short simple black dress, and straightened his hair. The makeup was old, but still, old makeup was better than none. The dress matched the pentagram pendant Mrs. Fuentes gave him earlier. “Sometimes I wanna feel pretty, sometimes I wanna feel handsome. I think I pass pretty well, and besides, it’s my birthday. Don't have an aneurysm, old man”, said Nero. Adonis rolled his eyes. Nero had only one insult, and it wasn’t even a good one.
The second Nero and Adonis entered the main part of the mansion, they were assaulted by loud music. Nero took off into the crowd, easily losing Adonis. I should have expected that, thought Adonis. At least he can call me on his phone in case anything happens.
In the ballroom people danced on the floor, pushed up against each other,  jumping to the loud music. Nero was so excited, so overwhelmed. He was too shy to dance, but decided to wander around the mansion. It was large and beautiful. It reminded him of his home, back when his parents were still alive. The extravagant parties they would throw, inviting people from all over.
Nero wandered into the dining hall, although to call it just a dining hall was an insult. Large chandeliers hung from the arches, and buffet tables were out. It wasn’t as loud as the ballroom, and people were talking to each other, smoking, drinking. Nero took a beer can from a cooler. I wonder if these are any good, he thought. Suddenly, a young man approached him. “Hey”, he said. “Oh.. hi”, Nero replied. “Did you come here alone,” he asked. Suddenly Nero tensed up. Thoughts of earlier in the day, at work rushed back all of a sudden. He bolted for the next room.
Nero felt embarrassed. The guy didn’t look strange at all, in fact he was quite handsome. Nero thought he was brave enough to come to this party and meet new people, but at the end of the day he really wasn’t. Nothing had changed. How could he be happy if the only person he talks to is Adonis?
Nero made his way upstairs to get away from the crowd. There were less people loitering upstairs, and it seemed possible for one to actually hear the person standing next to them up here. From the second floor one could view the dancers in the pit below. Overlooking them was an Alterian smoking a cigarette.  He was leaning on the railing and watching the party down below. He looked bored even though everyone at the party seemed to be enjoying themselves. Nero decided that he was going  to talk to someone at this party. So he chose him, one of the few people on the second floor.
Nero approached the Alterian. He was huge. Most people feared Alterians. They had impenetrable, dark skin, golden eyes, and an extra set of arms. They were taller than most humanoids, stronger too. Nero was curious because not many Alterians lived on his side of town, they mostly lived deeper into the main part of town.
“H-hello, sir”, said Nero. The Alterian gave him a side eye, and continued smoking. “Hey”, he grunted back. Nero broke out in a cold sweat. Why was talking to people so hard all of a sudden? He decided to keep trying. Adonis always told him to move outside of his comfort zone anyway.
“You seem pretty bored at this party”, said Nero. “You don’t like it? It seems pretty cool here”.  The Alterian stood up straight, and his full size was more apparent than before. “Yeah I hate this party. I don’t like parties, so this isn’t really my sort of thing. My sister wanted it. It's our birthday”.
“Oh my gosh it's my birthday too”, said Nero. A huge grin splayed over his face. He’d finally made a friend. “Huh. What a great coincidence.” The Alterian held out one of his giant hands. “I’m Alto.” “Nice to meet you”, Nero replied. “I’m Nero.” Nero shook his hand, or more like Alto shook him with his intense grip.
“It's a shame you don’t like your own party. I’ve been having a pretty rough day myself”, said Nero. “Oh really. Like what?” Nero realized he couldn’t really talk about what happened. It wasn’t the sort of thing you told people. But he realized he would probably never see this man again at this party. So why not.

Alto looked disgusted by Nero’s story. Of course he would be grossed out. I shouldn’t have ever told anyone about what happened today. “I can’t believe these perverts think they’re people”, said Alto. “I’m not anywhere close to a good person, but I would never do something like that”. Alto put out his cigarette with his thumb. “It sucks that some pervert cost you your job. If you want, you can come work for me”. Nero was excited at the prospect of a new job. Finally, no more hour long bus rides, and maybe better pay.
“What kind of job is it”, he asked. “Oh, don’t worry about it, its not sex work or anything like that, just working at one of my properties”, said Alto. Alarm bells went off in Nero’s head. “Sex… work? Why would you mention that”, he asked. Nero was starting to get scared. Maybe all those things people said about Alterians was true.
“Well, I am one of the generals of the Federals that control the area”, said Alto. “Some parts of the cartel do that sort of thing.” All of a sudden everything clicked in Nero’s head. This was  a party for Adonis’ boss.  The surprise must have shown on his face, because Alto smirked at him. “Did you come to this party, not knowing who I was”? “N-no I just came here with a friend. Adonis,” stammered Nero.
Alto chuckled. He thought it was fun to tease people. This one was easy to bother.
“You know, if you are worried about legal problems, don’t”, said Alto. “I own plenty of legal businesses. This mansion is one of them. I rented it out for parties, I just decided to use it for one of mine today.” Nero looked uneasy. “Look”, said Alto. “You don’t have to come work for me, but I at least want to make sure you’re okay. You can have this.”

Alto reached into his pocket and pulled out a gun.

Nero realized that Adonis was right and that he should have probably stayed home.

“I… I can’t take that”, said Nero. “I don’t even know how to use that”. “Don’t worry”, said Alto. “It's untraceable, so you won’t get caught. Anyone can use a gun. Just point and shoot. Never point unless you’re sure you’re gonna shoot.” “I… I don’t know”, said Nero. “I don’t think I can shoot someone”, said Nero.
Alto sneered. “Everyone says that at first until it's time to choose between your life or someone else’s.” Nero looked down at the ground. He didn’t know how else to tell him no. “ If you wanna know how to use it, just come with me”, said Alto. “I can teach you”.
Nero forgot no was a complete sentence and followed Alto out into the backyard.

The backyard was large, filled with plenty of flowers, tables and chairs, a fountain, and a large staircase leading to a pool. It was empty except for the two of them. Alto picked up the beer cans and wine bottles strewn across the backyard and lined them up a ledge.
He came up behind Nero and put his arms around him. Nero flinched. “ It's okay,'' Alto said. “Sorry,  I should have asked first.” He let go of him. This one is cute, he thought. “I’m going to teach you how to shoot that Monty guy in the nuts. So can I?” Nero loosened up. “Okay. I guess it's okay. And if you try anything I can just shoot you as well.” “That’s the spirit”, laughed Alto.

  Nero and Alto walked down the trail towards the front of the house. Adonis called him, and  that it was getting late, so they decided to meet on the front lawn. “How come nobody called the police after I fired so many bullets”, asked Nero. “ This party is filled with a bunch of criminals, who the *censored* is gonna call the police”, laughed Alto. “.... Fair point…”, replied Nero. “Just remember, if you ever get into a shoot out, you gotta count your bullets, or else you’ll run into trouble”, said Alto. “Count the enemy's bullets as well, so you know when they’re reloading and  you can  aim to kill”. “ I am not going to put myself into the situations that you put yourself into”, huffed Nero. “Hey, hey, what I do is just an unintended consequence of business,” said Alto. 
“Oh yes, before I forget,” said Alto. He reached into his pocket and he pulled out his business card. Nero couldn’t read the symbols on the card, but he could match up the numbers well enough to make a phone call. He could ask Adonis to help him later. Nero stored the card away in his purse.
They reached the parking lot and Nero hugged him. “Thank you so much for today. I… was so scared earlier,” he said. Alto held him close. “Scared of what”, he asked. “ You don’t need to be scared of that asshole any longer”. “No I meant I was scared of meeting new people”, said Nero.  Nero liked being held close by him. His big body was like a giant heavy security blanket wrapped around him. Alto looked into his eyes. He leaned in close for a kiss, but Nero stepped back. “O-oh”, stammered Alto. “I’m so sorry I assumed that you were interested”. “I am”, said Nero. “It's just there is something important I have to tell you first”. Nero knew that Alto thought he was a woman and definitely didn’t want this night to go south. “Okay, what is it”, he asked. “I’m a -”

“I’ve finally found you, Nero!”

Nero turned to see Monty in the parking lot.

“ You cheating slut”, yelled Monty. He made a beeline across the parking lot toward Alto and Nero. “You came to a party all dressed up like this. No wonder it took me so long to find you. If it weren’t for the tracker on your phone I wouldn’t have recognized you.” He took a knife out of his pocket.
   Nero froze up. He knew he had the gun, that this is what it was for. But he was scared. Alto stepped between them. “Who the *censored* are you”, he asked him. “I’m Nero’s boyfriend,” replied Monty.  Alto looked at Nero. He looked scared. His eyes were closed shut, and his body was stiffer than a board. Whether or not it was true, Alto didn’t want him around.
   “ You need to leave. I don’t want you here”, said Alto. “I’m not going to ask you twice”. Monty ignored him. “Nero, come with me. Let's talk about this. Come back with me so we can explain everything to Tana,” said Monty. “She has this crazy idea that I’ve been assaulting you. Tell her the truth”.

   Alto realized why Nero was so afraid.

“C’mon sweetheart, come back with me. Help me get my job back,” chided Monty. “We worked so well tog-” “ No we didn’t”, yelled Nero. “I hate you. I hate you so much. You’re a snake.”

A crowd had gathered to watch the spectacle.

Alto reached for Nero’s purse and took out the gun. “Wait, don’t do it”, said  Nero. “There are different ways to settle problems”. Adonis pushed through the crowd, and called out for Nero. He could hear the fighting but couldn’t push through the crowd.
   Monty walked towards Nero and Alto. “Hey, hey, no need for guns. Listen man, it's all good”, said Monty. Monty realized that he literally brought a knife to a gunfight, and the odds were not in his favor.
   Nero tried to wrestle the gun from Alto’s hands, but it was impossible. “Why are you stopping me”, asked Alto. “This guy is trash, I’m doing the public a service right now.” “Because killing people is wrong Alto”, said Nero. Alto rolled his eyes, and pointed his gun directly at Monty. Nero leaned his whole entire body into Alto, causing the gun to misfire directly into Alto’s chest.
   Thankfully his tough Alterian skin made the bullet as dangerous to Alto as a golf ball. The bullet ricocheted right off him and into the pavement. The crowd booed.  They started chanting for blood. Nero took advantage of the misfire and smacked the gun out of Alto’s hand.
The gun slid between Monty and Nero. Monty saw an opening and lunged for the gun, but Nero was faster. Monty jumped on top of Nero and tried to wrestle the gun out of his hands.  Nero gave Monty a good hefty kick to his family jewels, and Monty rolled off of him, crying in agony.

“You *censored*ing bitch! I’m gonna kill you!”

Monty struggled to stand, and picked the knife up from the ground. Alto walked over and pushed him back down. He kicked the knife out of his hand,  and then kicked him directly in his face.Blood gushed out of Monty’s nose like a fountain. “ You *censored*ing slug”, said Monty. This comment already sent an angry Alto over the edge.
Alterians were called slugs and worms because of their ambiguous genitalia. What was normal to an Alterian’s body  was disgusting to the average Paradisian. Alterians spent years trying to argue that they should be classified as humanoids instead of beasts, that they had conscious thought. And over time they were, but that wouldn’t change the years of hatred and racism that still was present in their society.
Alto swung with all his might right into Monty’s ribcage. He let out a small whimper, and gasped for air. Nero stood up and watched as Alto repeatedly kicked him, over and over again. The crowd cheered Alto’s name, and wanted more, as it was obvious that Monty was not going to win this fight.
Adonis finally pushed through the crowd and saw the commotion. “Nero, are you okay”, he yelled. “I’m o-” “Nero, shoot him”, said Alto. “Shoot him now”.
Monty was on the ground, crying. Blood streaked his face, and it was obvious he had peed his pants. “What are you doing”, yelled Adonis. “Stop, stop right now!” The crowd began to chant.

Shoot. Shoot. Shoot.

Nero didn’t know what to do. He knew Monty was scum, but he was already on the ground, bloody and defeated. The chanting of the crowd got louder. Nero pointed his gun at Monty. Monty rose up and tried to get away, but it was too late.

Adonis ran over, but four shots rang out.

   Blood poured out of Monty’s mouth and chest. His body went limp and the crowd cheered, screaming for more. Alto’s shoes were covered in Monty’s blood. “Look who’s the slug now,” said Alto. He wiped the blood off of his shoes using Monty’s corpse.

   Alto walked over to Nero and held him close. Nero was breathing hard and fast. His mouth tasted like pennies, and all of a sudden he really needed to pee.  “How did it feel,” asked Alto. “Did you like your first time?” Nero’s entire body shaked. Tears fell down his face. He was so tired of crying today.
“I’m so angry at myself. So angry that I.. didn’t feel bad looking at his dead body. It felt…. Really good watching him fall to the ground”.
Adonis strode across the parking lot, and grabbed Nero away from Alto. His shirt tore into pieces as his wings pushed out from his body. They created a protective shield between them and Alto.

“Stay away”, growled Adonis.

He picked up Nero, and he took a running start and a giant leap into the sky. The crowd dispersed seeing as the fight was over as fast as it began. It had been a long time since Alto had felt so excited about anything. This was the best birthday party he ever had. He hoped Nero would call him soon.
Alto’s men  and his twin sister came into the front yard, once they heard the gunshots to make sure he was fine. “Oh my god, what happened here”, said Azara.  She saw the corpse on the ground, leaking blood all over the pavement. “Why can’t you just leave well enough alone for once, Alto? This party was going great and you just had to throw a fit because you didn’t want it.”
“Ask anyone in the crowd”, said Adonis. “He attacked me and my friend first. We were minding our own business. It was self defense”. Azara didn’t believe it was self defense, looking at how badly Alto had mangled his face. She decided to drop it. Only one person died, so technically this was a good day for them.
 Once Alto assured his men that he was unharmed, they took Monty’s body to the furnace in the basement, never to be seen again.

« Last Edit: December 10, 2020, 04:47:38 AM by KohakuRiver »

Offline KohakuRiver

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Re: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2020, 04:42:38 AM »

Chapter 2 : Death Box

When they arrived home, Nero took a quick shower and went to bed. Adonis and him didn’t say a word to each other. Adonis was up, as he couldn’t sleep. He felt such intense guilt. Nero was probably going to prison, and it was all his fault. Adonis had been to prison before, and he didn’t want Nero ending up there. He wouldn’t make it out.
When Nero awoke, Adonis was sitting in the corner eating leftover cake. He still didn’t know what to say to Adonis. He was scared of him not wanting him anymore. Nero was also scared about how easy it was to shoot someone. His hands hurt from the blowback of the gun, but the pain was gone by the time he awoke.
“I’m sorry”, said Adonis. “I should have never brought you there. I don’t know what I was thinking”. “It's okay”, said Nero. “You didn’t kill him. I did.” Nero sat up on the bare mattress, and bit his nails. The realization that he was now a murderer was starting to sink in. He didn’t feel like a murderer though. He felt the same. Better almost.
“What was Monty even doing there”, asked Adonis. “How did he know where we were”? Nero accidentally bit into his thumb, and blood seeped out. Proof I’m still human, he thought. Thank the gods. Nero knew he couldn’t keep lying to him. Technically it wasn’t really lying though. He never said what happened, so technically it never did. But it did happen, and Monty’s ashes were now being used as fertilizer in Alto’s backyard.
“Monty touched me at work”, said Nero. Alto was shocked. “What do you mean? Did he…. R-” “NO,” yelled Nero. “No, he didn’t get that far. I feel like I should have noticed earlier though, what he was trying to do. I’m so stupid.”
Adonis walked over to the mattress and sat next to Nero. “You didn’t cause any of this. In fact, I feel like I did. My friend Tana hired you, after I gave the recommendation. I put you in danger not once, but twice”. Nero shook his head.
“It's not your fault. I should have noticed, “ he said. “When he first started working with us he was really nice. He never said or did anything wrong. One day while I was trying to get something in the walk in fridge, he passed behind me, and I swore he squeezed my butt.”
Even more guilt seeped into Adonis. “ He started doing a lot of stuff that could easily be written off as clingy, or overly friendly, but soon he started doing more, and I was too scared to say anything. I didn’t want you to get rid of me”, he said.
“Why would I ever get rid of you”, said Adonis. He put his arm around Nero’s shoulder, and gave him a side hug. “You’re like a brother to me. I care about you”. Nero’s voice started to crack. “Because… if I complained I would probably lose my job. Or I would have to get a new job. And then I couldn’t pay the rent. You would get rid of me, just like Uncle did.”

Nero never liked to talk about when he lived with his uncle. He told Adonis almost everything. What it was like when his parents were still alive, when he lived in the Empire. When he worked on the streets, and would sleep in alleys or old hotels and abandoned buildings. So when he heard Nero mention his uncle he knew that something inside of Nero had never truly healed. Adonis felt that in many ways, he had failed him. How could he ever think that he would get rid of him?

Adonis covered his face and started to cry.

“Hey, hey, you can’t do that”, said Nero. “That's my thing”, he said. “I do that every day, and you can’t steal it from me”. Adonis started to laugh through his tears. Adonis wiped them away from his face and sighed. “I just don’t want you going to jail. I’m worried someone’s going to call the police.”
“Don’t worry about that,” said Nero. “Nobody called the police when I was playing with that gun earlier and shot a bunch of cans in the backyard. Alto also said a lot of the people there were criminals, so I’m sure nobody is going to say anything”. That’s definitely true… maybe we might make it out of this okay, thought Adonis.
“What are we going to do about the rent now,” said Nero. “It's due in two weeks. Even if I get a new job today, it takes two whole weeks to get my first paycheck, and it definitely can’t cover how much we owe the landlord.” “Don’t worry about that for now”, replied Adonis. “We’ve always managed to pay the rent somehow, and we’ve made it this far. I’m sure we figured something out. Lets just worry about today first.” Adonis got up from the floor. “I’m going to make you breakfast. Go wash up”.

“Okay, old man”, said Nero.

After breakfast and a shower, Adonis left for the food pantry.  Nero took this chance to call Alto.
He grabbed his purse out of the closet. It was covered in specks of Monty’s blood. Nero was upset. He couldn’t afford a new purse and didn’t want a constant reminder of last night. After shuffling through the makeup in his purse he found the card with the strange marks. After some time, trial, and error, Nero was able to match the numbers on the card to numbers in his phone. The phone began to ring.

Alto arrived at Florentine Beach around 1 PM. It was the nicer of the many beaches that littered Paradis, and the city of Atlantis. Alto hated the name of this city. It was changed a few years ago in an attempt to increase tourism. It worked. The original name of the town was Atlaan, and that's what many natives still referred to it as. The name change reflected the government’s values; faker than plastic.
Alto preferred Florentine Beach to the others. There were less street girls, or as the euphemism sometimes was beach lovers.  He walked down the docks, and arrived at his boat,  Notorious. Alto hated the name. Azara chose it. Alto began to wonder if there was anything in his life he still genuinely liked.
Nero was waiting in front of it. He was wearing a simple white t-shirt, flip flops, a neon green speedo and his orange backpack. He was applying sunscreen on his legs when Alto approached him.
“I’m surprised you called me, especially after last night”, said Alto. Nero looked up from what he was doing, and tensed up. “I… wanted to know what happened afterwards”, he said. “Really, that's all you came here for”, asked Alto. “You weren’t interested in spending the day with me?” Nero stood up, and stretched. “I don’t know yet. I don’t know what to make of you.”
Alto noticed when Nero stretched that his chest was… conspicuously flat. Nero noticed that he was staring at his chest a little too long. Nero crossed his arms across his chest. Alto said a sentence he never thought would come out of his mouth.

“Ma’m, where are your breasts”?

Nero’s face flushed red. “That was actually what I was trying to tell you yesterday. I don’t have any. I-” “ Did you… get sick…”, asked Alto , tentatively. He knew what it was like as an Alterian for people to ask intruding questions about your body. He didn’t want to do it to someone else. “No, that's not what happened at all. Here just watch”.
Nero took off his backpack, and then took off his shirt. Alto began to panic. He looked away. “I didn’t think you were this kind of girl,” he said. He didn’t turn his head too far though. He still wanted to see.
Nero was male. Hard to dispute. No breasts.

Alto’s lust quickly turned to confusion, and then anger.

“Did you come here to mock me”, he yelled. “This is some sort of sick trap, isn’t it”. Nero stepped away from him. He miscalculated his reaction. He knew he would be upset, but he didn’t think he would be violent. He hoped. “I wasn’t trying to trick you. I just like to dress like that sometimes. Last night I just wore a stuffed bra!”
“Why would you like to dress like a woman”, asked Alto. “Do you think you are one?” “No, not at all”, replied Nero. He was used to the assumption. “I like it because it makes me feel pretty. I feel strong.” Alto was even more confused. How could a skirt and heels make someone feel strong?
“When… when I dress like that I feel like I’m someone else. That all the bad things I’ve been through don’t matter, because that’s what the old me went through. This other part of me, she’s stronger because she is something brand new.” Alto stared at him. What kind of things had he been through?
“I still… don’t get it”, he said. “I’m not against it, I just wish you told me when we met”. “I didn’t mean to lie. I just thought that we would never meet again at the party. That's why I told you all that stuff about work. I thought it would be okay,” said Nero. “I’m sorry for lying to you. But I’m not trying to trick you.  I just want you to understand. Haven’t you ever wished to be someone else?”
Alto understood that feeling perfectly. When he was little he came to Paradis, along with millions of other refugees. He was weak, and malnourished. He hated his life. He joined the Federales when he was eight. And after years of hard work he became the man he always wanted to be. As a child he always wanted to be someone else. Someone strong. But one day he realized that that was never going to happen, that he had to become strong on his own.

“Yes. I get it. I understand it perfectly,” he said.

“I called you today to make sure everything was okay after I left”, said Nero. “And because I wanted to take you up on that job offer.” Alto wasn’t so sure he wanted Nero to work for him anymore. Last night he felt that he met a confident young woman, now he was staring at a scrawny kid who looked like he couldn’t lift half his own weight.
“I, I don’t know. What can you even do”, asked Alto. “Just get a job somewhere else, plenty of restaurants hire kids like you”. Nero pouted. “I am not a kid. I’m eighteen, as of last night.” Alto rolled his eyes. “Yeah, cool, whatever,” he said. Nero hated being called a child. He hated it so much. In his mind, being a child was nothing but weakness, especially after how weak he felt during his own childhood.
“You didn’t think I was a kid last night when you tried to kiss me”, Nero retorted. “Hey, hey, don’t talk about that”, said Alto. He crossed his lower set of arms across his abdomen, and pointed with his upper set. “This is different, okay, I didn’t know last night, I am nothing like that pervert.” Alto got his boat keys out of his pocket. “I’m going for a drive. You should leave”, he said. Nero was angry. He came here for a job, and he wasn’t leaving without one.
Nero walked right up to Alto and grabbed him by his upper arms. Alto was shocked. Everyone was afraid of him. No one dared to touch him, but this kid had no problem with approaching him. “You can’t go! You promised me a job, Alto”, screamed Nero. “ Nothing was ever in writing. I think it's best for us to forget last night even happened”, said Alto.
Nero pouted. His chin shook. Adonis had spoiled him by rarely ever telling him no, and it was not a fun experience hearing it from someone in a very long time.
“Please”, begged Nero. “I want to be strong, like you”. Alto laughed. “You want to be strong, like me? You look like you need to eat a cheeseburger”. Alto continued to laugh, which just made Nero even angrier. “I want to be strong without makeup. I want to be so strong, that no one can ever hurt me ever again.”
Alto stopped laughing. He felt sorry for Nero. “You don’t wanna be like me, believe me”, said Alto.  Alto noticed that Nero was still holding his hands and he got flustered. He let them go. “Please,” said Nero. “I can’t find a job at a restaurant. I… I can’t read…”
Oh *censored*, thought Alto. Now I’m the asshole if I say no. Why’s he doing this to me?  Alto sighed. He turned away from Nero and took a few steps. He stopped. He turned back around. “Get in the boat. I bought tickets to a thing… it would be a waste anyway if we didn’t go”.
“Yes! Yes, thank you Alto”, said Nero. He hugged him from behind. “Get off of me, please,” said Alto. “And put a shirt on. Its…. weird seeing you without one on”.

Alto gave Nero a grand tour of Notorious. He had 4 crew members onboard, and a captain who was paid to drive him wherever he wanted whenever. Nero was easily impressed by the boat’s interior. He had never been on a boat before, and couldn’t hide his amazement. Alto was amused whenever people came to visit his boat. They had the same look on their faces that he had  when he met the leader of the Federales. Alto was shocked by  all the money and power he had. Alto wanted it too. So he took it.
On the topside of the boat Nero and Alto relaxed, feeling the ocean breeze. Nero’s hair flew through the wind, and he never felt so free. He didn’t want to go back home, to the empty house, and the sad mattress, and the bare fridge. After some time, Notorious reached her destination.
They had stopped at a strange pedestal surrounded by empty boats in the middle of the ocean. Nothing could be seen for miles. “What is this place,” asked Nero. “ It's Oceania”, said Alto. “Come, lets go”. Nero was still confused about where they were. As far as he knew, they were at a creepy boat graveyard in the middle of the ocean.
They got in a little dinghy, and rowed over to the large wooden pedestal sticking out of the ocean. On it was a button, shaped like a whale. It had a cute little sign on top of it. “What's that say”, asked Nero. “It says ‘customer service’”, replied Alto. He pressed the button. Suddenly, large glass walls rose up on the sides of the pedestal. It closed on top of them. Nero clung close to Alto. “This… is not good customer service”, said Nero. The walls enclosed on all sides of them, creating a cube. “Now descending”, said a chirpy computer voice. Suddenly the box descended into the depths of the ocean.
Nero screamed. He didn’t want to die. This man led him to a trap in the middle of the ocean and he was going to drown them both because he didn’t have any breasts. “Please, stop screaming”, sighed Alto. He covered his hand over Nero’s mouth, which didn’t stop the screaming but definitely muffled it.
The cube stopped at the bottom of the ocean floor. “Depressurization in process. Please wait”, the death box chirped. Nero’s screams stopped. Alto’s ears popped from the depressurization process and he let out a loud burp. A little ding went off. “Depressurization is complete. Have a nice day.”
The front wall lowered, and in front of them was a long tube. The glass walls were see-through. You could see fish and strange creatures all over the ocean floor. They all had bright colors, and paid no attention to the people inside the long tube. People walked up and down, kids were getting balloons at one  of the carts, and there was a gift shop where you could buy Wemy, The Friendly Whale plushies.
“What is this place”, asked Nero. “Have you never been to an aquarium before”, asked Alto. “You really need to get out more”. Nero turned three different shades of red. “I just thought… you were angry… with me”. “ I mean yeah, I kinda am, but because of the screaming. It was an elevator. There was no need to scream.”

Nero covered his face in shame. “I was positive you were going to kill me”.

“What? No, why? I said I had tickets ,remember? Tickets to the aquarium!”

Nero felt even more  embarrassed. It was just a regular outing. This wasn’t a dangerous place. He thought Alto always lived life dangerously, so why were they at an aquarium? What kind of drug lord visits the aquarium? Well apparently Alto did, and quite often.
Alto was a regular at Oceania. He was a top donor, and he came here frequently to escape work. Alto walked with Nero down the Oceania aquarium and explained all the different types of fish to him. He got him a Wemy Whale plush, and even a shirt. Since Alto was a top donor, they even got to meet the four legged fish, Tomo. They took pictures of Tomo, even got to pet him.

After a long day of walking through Oceania, they decided to take a rest at the jellyfish section. They ate cotton candy and sat at a bench shaped like seaweed.
“You’re really smart”, said Nero. “You know so much about fish.” “Well yeah, I used to read about them all the time as a kid. It was a hobby of mine. I even used to have them as pets before the war.” “The war”, asked Nero. “What war”? Alto was a little worried about Nero. He seemed really unaware of the world around him. Maybe giving him a job would be a blessing instead of a curse.
“The war on Altera”, replied Alto. “When the Empire invaded. They destroyed most of the planet, and took all our resources”. Nero felt deep shame. He lived in the Empire as a child, and heard of the many wars. Everyone at the capital lived an easy life, supported by their numerous colonies, especially Nero’s family.
“I’m so sorry we did that to you”, said Nero. “So sorry”. “We”, asked Alto. “You didn’t do anything.” “I am from the Empire”, said Nero. “I lived there until I was ten, when my parents died”. “Just because you lived there didn't mean you had anything to do with the war Nero”, said Alto. “You were just a kid anyway”.
Nero squeezed his Wemy plush tight. His family directly contributed from the war. No matter what Alto told him, nothing could change that.

Alto tried to change the subject.

“I  have decided to let you come work for me. At my estate,” he said. “It's safe. Not many know where it is, so there won’t be a repeat of last night”. Nero was over the moon. He finally had a job. “It's nothing fancy. Just cleaning. You will work under the head maid and butler, and they’ll teach you what to do. I don’t think it involves much reading, so you don’t have to worry about it.” Nero leaned on Alto’s shoulder. “Thank you”.  He is so touchy, thought Alto.  “You don’t want to negotiate pay”, Alto asked. “No. It's okay, I trust you”, said Nero.

Alto liked Nero because he reminded him about the parts of him that used to be good. But he was really worried that he was simply too trusting.  Nero seemed to lack any kind of boundaries as well. Alto had taught him how to kill a man last night, and yet here he was cuddling up next to him on this bench. He had no sense of danger. But that part of him also made him want to be around him to make sure nothing would happen to him.
Alto was also conflicted because last night he almost kissed a male, and he felt an oncoming identity crisis. But he reassured himself that it meant absolutely nothing, and at best Nero would be an employee, or an acquaintance.

Nero had been working at Alto’s house for a month. Nero felt weird calling it a house, but he also felt pretentious when he used the proper term; compound.  It was located in the outskirts of the city, near where the jungle began and civilization ended. It was large and sprawling, and had several smaller houses surrounding the main house. A large gate at the entrance was the only way in, and walls surrounded the compound with guards at the top. Guards at the top of the walls patrolled the compound.
He really liked his new job. When he first arrived he was afraid. Guards patrolling an area will do that to someone. But after a while he got to know them, and they were mostly friendly, except for Paul. Everyone hated Paul.
The head maid, Carol reminded him of Mint, who took care of him as a child. Unlike Mint, Carol was a large woman. She was like everyone’s mother, keeping tabs on the workers of the compound, and helping run the place. She set Alto and Azara’s schedules, and took her work seriously. Carol never made a mistake, and Nero understood why she was in charge.
In an attempt to get stronger Nero decided to cut his hair. He was tired of people treating him as a kid. He never cut his hair because it was common in the Empire for people to keep their hair long. Uncle also told him he looked nice with longer hair. But he hadn’t seen uncle in 4 years. It was time to move on. Sadly cutting his hair was a mistake.
Nero’s waist length hair was now clipped a little bit past his earlobes. When he sometimes bent over or turned his head, the tattoo on his neck was visible. He tried to cover it up with makeup, but it's hard to apply makeup to a part of your body you can’t see. Even when he was successful, it would sweat off during the day and ruin his collar. So after three weeks at his new job, feeling comfortable around his new coworkers, he decided to stop applying makeup to his neck. Soon they all started to avoid him. No one wanted to be associated with the Mark of an Enemy.
The only person who never treated him any different was Rosaline. Rosaline had long black hair, pretty eyes, and pale skin. Her family were also immigrants, like many others in the city of Atlaan. When Nero started his job at the compound, Rosaline helped him learn the ropes, and they would always spend their lunch break together. After cleaning the western wing that day, it was time for their break. Rosaline and Nero liked to have their lunch in the garden. Nero was quiet today. At first he put on a brave face, but being ostracized by his coworkers was hard, even with Rosaline’s support.
“Nero”, said Rosaline. “Why is everyone avoiding you”, she asked. Nero was stunned. Did she really not know what the mark on his neck meant? She didn’t stick around him because she was supportive, but because she was ignorant. For some reason this made him angry.
“Because of my tattoo, Rosie”, he said. “Becuase of this stupid thing I never even wanted.” “Why did you get a tattoo you never wanted? It looks really nice”, she said. Nero was embarrassed. But he knew that he couldn’t hide this part of his life forever. And if Rosaline didn’t want to talk to him after his explanation, then she wasn’t a friend to begin with.
“Have you heard of Enemy”, said Nero. “Yes,” said Rosaline. “They ‘re a gang in town… I try to be careful in certain parts of the city”. “When I was younger they got me,” said Nero. “Did you join their gang? You’re not in it anymore, are you”, exclaimed Rosaline. “You know the owner is into that line of work… if he learns you’re in their group you could lose your job at best”, she whispered.
“No, Rosie, Alto isn’t going to do anything”, said Nero. “I didn’t join their gang, but they wouldn’t let me leave either. So they put it on me, so they could always find me.” “So you’re not in the gang”, said Rosie. “I knew  it! You’re not the type”. I killed a guy last month Rosie, thought Nero. I am halfway there. Nero took a sip from his thermos. “It doesn’t matter Rosie. They don’t know that. I can’t be angry at them for avoiding me, but at the same time it still hurts”.
Nero felt like he wanted to cry again, but he didn’t want to start that up again. Part of being stronger was not crying. He wanted to prove he was a man, and could handle anything. He didn’t want to get hurt ever again, but he didn’t think he was much stronger if the silent treatment was the thing that brought him to tears.
Rosie hugged him, and it surprised Nero. “You’re not a bad man,” she said. “When you talk you never look people in the eyes. You’re too gentle. Just explain it to them, and they’ll understand”. Nero rubbed his neck. “I don’t think that’s simple Rosie.”
“Well it doesn’t matter if they don’t like you”, she said. “You can’t make everyone like you anyway! And most of the people who work here are older than dirt. They’re stuck in their ways!” Nero snorted through his nose, and almost spat out his tea. She was right. Why was he looking for the approval of a bunch of relics?

Alto returned home after a week-long business trip. The Generales were losing territory on the southern side of Atlaan, and he spent the entire week planning and executing, but mostly executing. He was finally excited to be home where he could avoid any and all responsibilities and push them onto Azara.
Alto made his way up the main stairwell, into the elevator, and up to the top floor, where his room was. Across the hallway from his room was Azara’s. She bedazzled her entire door. Alto wondered if they were really both twenty five, and made a mental note to see if he could remove it.
He opened the door and inside he saw someone making his bed. Something about them looked familiar. He approached him and noticed the tattoo on his neck. How did someone like this get in here, thought Alto. We’ve really got to step up security in this place. Alto reached for the gun in his pocket, but suddenly, Nero turned to face him.

He screamed.

“Can you stop screaming all the time, please”, begged Alto. “You’re going to pop my eardrums one day.” “I- I’m sorry, you scared me. I didn’t even hear you open the door”, said Nero. “What are you even doing here anyway”, asked Alto. “I work here. It's my turn to clean this section of the house”, replied Nero. He was annoyed. Did he think he couldn’t do something as simple as clean a room?
Oh, of course, thought Alto. I just felt it was weird he was in my room. “Yes, of course. I’m being silly,”, said Alto. He felt uncomfortable with Nero, after seeing that tattoo on his neck. “Do you want me to leave”, Nero asked. “I can come back and finish later”, he said. “No, no it's fine. You can stay.”
As Nero went around the room dusting furniture and making the place presentable, Alto searched for his remote. Out of all the trinkets he bought after he acquired this house, this was the best purchase he ever made. If only he could find the remote. “Hey, what are you looking for”, asked Nero. “A remote”, grunted Alto. “It's really important.”

Nero took  a remote out of his pocket. “Do you mean this? I found it while sweeping under the bed earlier”. “Yes”, yelled Alto. “Let me show you what it can do.”Alto walked over to Nero and took the remote from his hand.  He pressed a button on the remote, and the lights dimmed in the room. The glass walls to the patio changed to that of a scenic view with a moon and stars. The sounds of crickets chirped in the room. The ceiling had stars in the sky. Alto had night in his room.
Nero was overwhelmed. He hadn’t experienced night time in eight years. “This was the best investment I’ve ever made”, said Alto. “Out of all the things I left when I lost Alteria, I never thought I would miss this”. “This is amazing Alto. I love it,” said Nero.
Nero had the biggest smile on his face. It had been a long time since he felt like this. Happiness always felt like something he was chasing, but for this moment he knew that this is what it was. Nero turned to Alto. “I don’t know why, but I’ve really missed you,” said Nero. “Everyone is so cold to me here”.
That genuinely made Alto sad. He thought his home would be the perfect place to keep Nero safe, but he couldn’t control everything. “Why are people being mean to you”, Alto asked. “Was it something you did? You can be a lot sometimes, you know.”
Nero huffed and pouted. “I did absolutely nothing”, Nero said. “Maybe that's the issue”, said Alto. “Have you been keeping up with work?” “Of course I have!  I would have been fired by Carol if I couldn’t keep up”, Nero replied. “It's this stupid tattoo. I didn’t choose to have it, it was forced on me, and they all judge me for it”.
Alto realized he was no better. He also realized what Nero was. He felt a pit in his stomach. “You are one of the lost children, aren’t you”, said Alto. Nero looked to the ground. “Yes. I’m ruined. Even if I’m not with Enemy, the truth isn’t any better.”
The lost children were children taken off the streets of Atlaan for trafficking. Every year they would go missing, and every year the police made little progress in the search of missing children throughout the city. The issue has become a problem for so long, that an entire generation of adults is appearing around the city, with these marks on their bodies. An entire group of people, their shame and their secrets made visible to the world, unable to escape what their abusers did to them. And instead of meeting them with kindness the world treated them worse than the people who took them. Most of them did sex work. No one wanted to hire an Enemy, gang affiliation or not. In an attempt to curb the disappearance of children all over Atlaan, the local government decriminalized prostituion. But it just exacerbated the problem of trafficking, and the kidnappings increased.
Alto never had to face what he had done in his life. Never had he met the victims of his crimes, or went to prison. He felt that everything he did was to simply secure and defend the territory of the Federales, and that it was all justified. But for the first time in his life he wondered if any of his actions hurt someone he cared about. If his group did the same things that his foes did. That he was no better than them. All of a sudden Alto felt very small.
Nero cried. It had been a week since he last cried, so he felt that he had lost some sort of imagined fight he kept in his mind. “Please don’t tell anyone”, he said. “I just want to be strong, and to forget.” Alto took him into his arms and Nero just began to sob. Alto held him until he was done, until it seemed like there were no more tears left to cry.

“You are already strong”, said Alto. “You don’t need to keep trying”.

Nero and Alto separated. Nero rubbed his bloodshot, puffy eyes, and wiped his nose on his sleeve. “I’m just tired of being sad. When I’m done crying all I feel is anger. My heart is warm”. Nero’s body shook and he tapped his foot. He was angry. Angry at himself, the world.

“It’s not fair”, said Nero. His beautiful face contorted to that of pure rage.

“Every time I sleep I dream about what they did to me. Some days I can’t look in the mirror. I can’t even say my real name, any more, because I don’t want to be him anymore. I can’t.” Alto brought Nero close back to him once more. “It's okay. You can’t change the p-” “It’s not okay”, yelled Nero. He pushed Alto away.
“I’m so tired of everyone telling me how to feel! I’m so tired of everyone not wanting to hear about what happened!” Nero paced the room, gripping his fists, until his knuckles turned white.
“Why is it that they all get to go on with their lives, being happy, when I am the one that is hurt? That I am the one that has to get better? It’s not fair. I want them to hurt. I want them to lose everything they lost, like how they took everything away from me”.
Alto had never seen him so angry before. He looked crazy. But Alto realized that he was just scared. Guilt overwhelmed him, and he knew that he was not someone to tell Nero how to feel.

“Tell me then,” said Alto. “Tell me how you feel. Tell me what happened.”

Nero’s face of rage turned to fear. “I can’t. You won’t like me anymore.”

Alto scoffed. “The first day I met you, you killed a molester on my lawn. How could I not like you”? A weak smile came upon Nero’s face. “Okay, I’ll tell you everything. From start to finish, all the bad stuff, and the good.”

Nero and Alto sat on the bed. “Just promise me one thing,” said Nero. “What is it”, asked Alto. “ Promise you’ll still be my friend afterwards”.

“Of course”, said Alto. “Nothing could ever change that”

« Last Edit: December 10, 2020, 04:47:15 AM by KohakuRiver »

Offline KohakuRiver

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Re: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2020, 04:45:26 AM »
Chapter 3: Castle of Monsters
Warning: Depiction of abuse

Aelfric woke up late in the middle of the night. He had a nightmare, and woke up sweaty, wet, and uncomfortable. Embarrassed, he realized he wet the bed. Papa would be angry again. He was always telling him he was too old to wet the bed, and that he couldn’t sleep with him and mama anymore. He was embarrassed, but he needed to change his sheets. He decided to tell Mint. She never was mean to him, and she always smelled like cookies.
Slowly he made his way out of the large bed. Aelfric loved his large bed with lots of space, but found it hard to walk down the elevated platform the California sized bed was on top of.  He made a walk of shame across the marble floor and struggled to open the chamber doors. The doors wouldn’t open, as much as he tried. Aelfric pushed, and pushed, and after a few minutes he realized he was wasting his time. He could just teleport to the other side of the door!
His abilities were newfound, and he couldn’t teleport very far, but he knew he could at least make it to the other side of the door. He closed his eyes and imagined the other side of the door, in the hallway. The only limits to his powers were that he could only teleport through what he called “tunnels”. Some tunnels were longer than others, some short. Sometimes he had to go through many tunnels to get to his destination.
As Aelfric emerged through one of his portals, he found a ton of objects crammed up against the door to his chambers. Pictures, decorations, tables, were all pushed up against the door. Why would anyone do this, he thought. Why would someone try to stop me from leaving?
As he walked down the dimly lit hallway Aelfric became uneasy. It was strangely quiet. Even at night he could hear the sounds of people throughout the castle. Most of the nobility had left for another campaign on the war front, and very few people were left in the castle. His mother had left along with them, and Aelfric missed her dearly. She was the only one who was nice to him. His brothers and sisters were too busy to play with him, or too old.
 The air around him started to smell sour. There were no lights on at the end of the hallway, and he couldn’t find the switch. Suddenly, Aelfric slipped on the floor. He tried to get up, but every time he did, he slipped back down. He felt something in his way as he crawled on the floor. Stumbling through the dark, he finally stood up and found the light switch for the hallway.

Once light flooded the hallway, Aelfric regretted it.

Bodies of servants littered the hallway. Blood streaked the walls. What he had bumped into and crawled over was the  body of one of the door men, Mr. Reynolds. His pajamas were covered in blood. Suddenly Aelfric’s pajamas felt wet and warm again, and Aelfric realized he had peed his pants again.

That was when Aelfric realized that the objects up against his door weren’t to keep him from leaving, but to stop someone from coming in.

Aelfric decided that he had to go. He just didn’t know where. Papa told him that if the castle was ever attacked that he should make his way to the servant’s quarters, where there was a tunnel that would lead outside the walls. Aelfric didn’t want to go, but he knew that if he could find a way past the doors, then whatever hurt the others would eventually find him.
As Aelfric teleported past the blocked door and the bodies, he decided to make his way to the servants quarters. To get there, he had to walk all the way down to the main staircase, through the general hall and past the kitchens and dining hall.
Fear gripped him as he walked down the hallway. Aelfric closed his eyes, and held onto his pendant that his mother gave him. If I just close my eyes, I don’t have to see it. He knew of course that he eventually would have to open his eyes if he made his way down to the main stairwell.  Suddenly, he fell face front into the ground. His nose began to bleed. More blood covered his body, as he realized that he had come upon another group of corpses.
Their bodies contorted and twisted into various positions. Limbs torn from their sockets.  Aelfric crawled through the bodies, keeping his eyes on the ground so he could avoid more of them, and so he wouldn’t slip on the blood.
When he finally made his way to another hallway free of horror, he started walking. Aelfric felt so tired, even though he hadn’t gone very far. Faintly, he heard voices in the distance. He knew he must be close to the main stairwell, because he passed the portrait of Sir Teller and his family. Aelfric ran towards the voices. He knew someone had to be there to help him.

Breathing hard and covered in piss and blood, Aelfric stood at the top of the main stairwell. At the bottom was his father, and the twins, Godiva and Leofric.  His father was on the ground, badly wounded. Godiva held a long, ornate staff, and Leofric had a dark crown on his head. Aelfric remembered that mama told him he should never touch them.
Deep inside the house there was a room filled with many objects, with a big, black door. Everything inside looked normal. Aelfric went inside the room once. He didn’t  understand why his mother told him never to go inside the room. But the objects in the room started to whisper. The shoes and the gloves began to cackle. Aelfric never went into that room ever again. Godiva and Leofric took two objects from the room, and they never should have. Aelfric never told mama, because he knew Godiva and Leofric would hurt him.
“Papa”, cried Aelfric. “ I’m scared!” Leofric and Godvia turned to look at him. There was nothing but contempt in their eyes. “Their pet monster has returned”, said Leofric. “What a waste. All those foolish servants died trying to protect you, and here you are, walking right up to me”.
“Leave him alone”, yelled Griffin. “ He doesn’t know anything!” Godiva pushed her heel into her father’s body. Griffin yelled out in pain. “Shut up”, seethed Godiva. “You don’t get to tell me what to do anymore”. Godiva struck her staff against the ground and the room turned dim.
Long dark tendrils snaked along the walls and made its way towards Griffin. They wrapped itself around his body, as Aelfric watched in horror. “ You need to run, dear”, gasped Griffin, as it choked the life out of his body. Slowly the tendrils squeezed harder and harder, until his eyes bulged, and his bones cracked.

Blood poured out his mouth as his entire body went limp.

Godiva squealed in excitement. “Oh that was even better than I thought it would feel”. Leofric took Godiva into his arms and kissed her deeply next to the corpse of their father.

Leofric and Godiva turned their eyes to Aelfric. He fainted, at the top of the staircase, and tumbled down the stairs.

Leofric stood over his body. “What should we do with the monster, Diva”? “Oh I already know what I want to do with him, Leo,” she said. “ I want him hurt the way he hurt me….”.

Leofric held Godiva close and looked into her eyes. “I love you, Diva”. “I love you too Leo. I won’t let them separate us ever again”.

Aelfric woke up in a room he didn’t recognize. He was still in the blood covered pajamas, and his mouth felt dry. He stumbled out of the bed and into the bathroom. His head was pounding and he felt like he wanted to throw up. He drank from the faucet in the bathroom, and took off his pajamas.
Around his wrist was a little child’s watch, shaped like a rabbit. It told the time: 10:47 AM.  He didn’t remember putting the watch on, but he didn’t mind it. It was a little too girly for him with the pink band, but he loved the rabbit. Aelfric tried to take it off, but the watch had no way to take it off. The band fit tightly around his wrist, and after a couple of minutes he realized it was meant to never be removed. This isn’t a watch, is it, thought Aelfric. But he had no idea what it could ever be used for.
Aelfric knew that he had to escape, but he didn’t know where he was. Of course, he knew he could just teleport out of the room. He couldn’t go very far, since he couldn’t control his ability very well, but he knew he could at least teleport back to his room.
He closed his eyes and tried to open a tunnel, but instead pain shot up his arm.  He fell to the ground, crying.

Now he knew what the watch was for.

   With nowhere to go, Aelfric began to panic. He couldn’t leave the room, he couldn’t teleport out, and his father was dead. His mother would return home soon. His only option was to wait until she returned, and she would rescue him.

Aelfric laid on the bed and sobbed. He never understood why Godiva and Leofric hated him. They always called him a monster. One day Cynbel caught Godiva and Leofric in the library. They were kissing. Cynbel told mama that Aelfric had caught them, and ever since Godiva’s love and affection turned into hate. Leofric always hated him to begin with.

Aelfric didn’t know how long he was inside the room. He had counted every blue stripe of wallpaper in the room. It didn’t take very long. He counted the seconds, but stopped when he got to 83, because he felt it just made time feel longer than it was
He wondered where Cynbel and Divina were. Did Leofric and Godiva kill them as well? Aelfric assumed the worst, but tried to calm himself. He didn’t see their bodies on his way to the main staircase. Maybe they escaped. Suddenly the door opened, and Aelfric shot up from the bed.
It was Mint. She entered the room, holding some clothes. Aelfric was so happy to see her. She looked exhausted. Mint already worked a lot as it was, and was very thin.  He rushed over to her and hugged her tightly. “Mint I’ve missed you so much”, he said. “You’re here to save me, aren’t you”? Mint looked away for a moment, and then looked back at Aelfric. “You’re so dirty. Let me help you take a bath.”
Mint ran a bath for Aelfric and washed his back. Blood mixed with the water on the tub left ghastly streaks in the tub. She dressed him, and fixed his hair, and told him that she would return soon. Aelfric waited patiently for Mint to return. He knew he could trust her. Leofric and Godiva had betrayed him, but he knew that Mint never would hurt him.
   Mint later returned with some food. Aelfric was ravenous. He couldn’t remember when he last ate. Mint left him some coloring books and left again. She promised to return.
   Aelfric slept, and awoke to a  new plate of food on his beside. He didn’t know how long he was in the room, as there were no windows. He filled the coloring book, but wasn’t interested at all in it. Mint no longer came to bring him food, but an unfamiliar face. Aelfric spent the days drifting in and out of sleep, unaware of how long he had been in the room.
   One day, Mint came in. She looked even skinnier and paler than before. Aelfric was upset. “You promised you would come back! It’s been so long”, he wailed. “When can I leave the room? Please let me leave!” Mint smiled and tried to console him. “You get to leave the room for a bit today. First you need to get dressed. There is an event going on.”
   Mint gave Aelfric a bath, and dressed him in a new set of clothes. This one was his finest suit. Mama got it for him on one of her expeditions. Aelfric loved it because the buttons were shaped like crescent moons.
   Mint took Aelfric with her out of the room, and down the hallway. The halls were scrubbed clean, as if horrors of the other night never occurred. They went to the main stairwell, and walked towards the garden. Aelfric could hear many voices outside. Is there a party, he wondered.
   Outside in the backyard were many people. Men and women, of various ages and from various places sat in neat rows. A podium was set up in front of the audience. An event of some kind was happening, but Aelfric wasn’t sure what it was. All the women were wearing white dresses, and the men black suits.
   Godiva approached Mint and Aelfric. “You brought him. Good. I hope you won’t start giving us problems like you did before. We have ways of making you finish the job”. Godiva grabbed Aelfric from Mint, and dragged him towards the podium. “Let me go”, yelled Aelfric. “I know what you did! I saw you kill-” Godiva grabbed Aelfric’s face and smashed his lips together so hard he struggled to breathe. “Be lucky your pretty face is of some value tonight. Your best interest is to stay quiet right now, or else you will be more use of me dead than alive”.

Aelfric didn’t say anything else for quite some time.

Next to the podium was a small chair, in which Aelfric sat in. He felt nervous in front of the crowd. He had no idea what was going on. The crowd began to chatter and coo about him. How cute he is, one said. I hope he’s well trained, another added.

Leofric made his way to the podium and turned on the mic.

   “Welcome esteemed guests! Tonight we celebrate the beautiful tradition that has existed since the beginning of the Regalia Empire. It ensures the continuation and purity of our race while creating an order that all must follow. The Regalia Empire is proud to be the only nation that still practices slavery. Subservience is something that should be forced, and guidance to the lower class is the only thing that can keep balance in society.”

The guests clapped. They all nodded and agreed. This is the natural order, of course.

Aelfric heard this speech, or something close to it many times in school. He just never thought it would ever apply to him.

“Tonight we offer a specimen of the rarest value. Highest bidder wins. It will be a silent auction, for the sake of anonymity. Bidding lasts 30 minutes. Just write in your offer on the clipboard at the table in the back row, and take your time to mingle,” said Leofric.
The guests all got up, and took their time talking, signing their bids on the back table. Leofric turned to look at Aelfric. “You’re awfully quiet tonight. Usually you can’t stop spewing spit all day”, Leofric said. “ I don’t want to be here anymore”, said Aelfric. “You scare me. Anywhere is better than with you. Maybe my new master will be kind”. Leofric scoffed. “You’ll be lucky if your new master doesn’t cook you. Many of these people have very… fringe interests”.

The bidding was extended for an extra 30 minutes. The participants were very interested in the product at hand.

Aelfric realized he needed to do something or else he wouldn’t have another chance to escape. “I need to pee”, he told Leofric. He planned to go to the bathroom, and climb out the window. “Piss yourself like you usually do”, said Leofric. “If you get out of that chair I will kill you”.

Aelfric stayed firmly planted in the chair.

The bidding came to a close, and appetizers were served. As the guests mingled in the garden, eating their tasteless crisps and fizzy drinks, Aelfric’s stomach turned. Godiva came, and grabbed him out the chair by his wrist. “Come with me. It’s time to meet your master”.

Godiva took Aelfric to his father’s study. Inside was a man waiting for him. He sat in a chair, and smoked a cigar. He didn’t look scary, like Aelfric imagined his new master to look like. He was quite handsome, and his suit was neatly pressed. In his lap was a briefcase. His watch looks nice, thought Aelfric. It  had diamonds studded on the side.
“Here is the… boy”, said Godiva. She seemed to struggle to get the word boy out of her mouth, but was willing to pretend to be nice for the sake of the sale. She needed the money for her future plans.Empires are taken, not given. “Thank you”, grinned the mysterious man.  He got up from the loveseat and placed the briefcase on the desk. “The agreed upon payment is inside”, he said. “All of them are real, all of them rare”.

Godiva opened the briefcase, and inside were hundreds of blue tinted diamonds. She shut the case, and looked at the man. “I don't want to seem ungrateful”, said Godiva. “But this thing is not worth the spit from my mouth.” Aelfric flinched. Godiva’s attempt at  being nice didn’t last very long. “Why would you spend that much on one? You could get so much more for the same price”, said Godiva.

The mysterious man laughed. “These are pennies to me. I have an endless supply of diamonds.”

Godiva seemed satisfied with his answer, but it begged more questions. “I will prepare the product for shipment”, she said, with a smile. Godiva picked up the phone from the desk and made a call.

In a few minutes, Mint arrived at the study. “Take him. Get him ready to leave”, commanded Godiva.  Mint took Aelfric by the hand, and he began to cry. “Please don’t ,Mint. I’m so scared”. “Finish the job Mint, and your son will be released immediately. He’s taking up space in the castle dungeon that could be spent on creatures of higher value”, said Godiva.

She took him out of the study, and did as she was told. 

“ There is one more thing I ask of you sir”, said Godiva. “Oh yes, what is it”, he asked. “I need you to make sure he never returns. I don’t care what happens. Just make sure that it looks like he doesn’t exist”. The mysterious man smiled. “Why are you so focused on ridding yourself of this child? I know your kingdom does not value men, but surely a prince is of some value to your people”.
“He is no prince”, said Godiva. “He is a monster. His blood is not pure. My parents made that thing through unnatural means and it parades around our sacred halls, ruining our family name.” The mysterious man pressed on. “ He disturbs you? A mere child?”
“That thing was made to one day grow into a weapon. He is the last one of them. Leofric killed the others, but two survived. It is his biggest shame,” said Godiva. The man understood. “He threatens your place in the empire”, he concluded. “A man with stronger abilities than you? Usually only women have stronger abilities than men.”
“He is undeserving of the title of Mother Empress”, said Godiva. “I will ascend the throne and protect my homeland from inferior beings such as himself”. “That will be quite some time from now”, said the man. “Your mother is still alive and well. You Regalians are known for living quite long as well. What will you do?”
“ I won’t do anything”, said Godiva. She made a mocking frown, and pretended to  be sad. “ But the Methulians stormed this palace and killed my parents, small brother, and most of our servants.” The mysterious man laughed. “You’re a smart girl”, he said. “If you weren’t an empress I would make you come work for me”.
“Sadly I will be too busy to work”, said Godiva. She opened the briefcase and stared lovingly at the jewels. “Next week I will destroy Methusalah for their crimes against the Empire. It’s a shame, really. Coincidentally their oil reserves and mines will be depleted.” “How wonderful”, said the man. “A smart, kind empress, bringing freedom and security to the people of Methusalah. The Empire is clearly in good hands.”

Nero stood outside the castle gates. Mint had an iron grip around his wrist, and on the other hand a briefcase. Leofric came to the gates with a skinny man in chains. He could barely walk, and there were sores on his feet. Leofric forced him to continue walking by smacking him with a cane whenever he started to slow down.
Mint cried when she saw him. “My Tamuz”, she said. “Please stop. You already took one son from me, don’t take him”. Leofric rolled his eyes. He thought it stupid when people told him what to do, as if he would listen. “I brought the man as promised. Thank you for finishing our tasks. As an added bonus I have granted your son freedom from bondage. He is a free man.”
The words meant nothing to the man, as he was gaunt, and barely able to stand. He could not comprehend the words from Leofric’s mouth.
Mint gave Aelfric to Leofric and grabbed her son . She sobbed deep heavy sobs and stroked his hair. “My love, I am so sorry. So sorry”. Leofric was bored. He had a show to watch and this chore was keeping him. “In order to keep your silence, you are not free. You are still property of the des Regalis family. Speak of what happened here and your son dies.” Mint nodded. She knew they would find another way to keep her silent.

Aelfric cried for his mother as Mint left with his son. Leofric kicked him and he cried quietly.

A black luxurious car with tinted windows came to the castle gates after some time. “Finally”, said Leofric. The mysterious man stepped out of the car and smiled. “It's time to go home”, he said. Aelfric shook his head vigorously. “No. I live here”, he yelled. The mysterious man’s smile was still plastered on his face. It was quite off putting, especially in the dark. “Don’t you want to live in a place where you are wanted,” asked the man.
Aelfric thought about it. He knew that if he stayed he would die. He knew if he went he also might die.  He didn’t know where Cynbel, Divina, or his mother were. Even if he did get away where would he go? He was only ten years old. Aelfric picked up his suitcase and shuffled into the car. The mysterious man got into the back seat as well, and the driver pulled away from the castle gates.

“ Do not worry”, said the man. “Everything will be different from now on”.

And sadly he was right.

It had been a few weeks since Aelfric had come to live with Uncle. Of course that wasn’t his name. Aelfric never knew his name, and he would never tell him. Aelfric couldn’t read the language of this strange, hot planet, so it was useless searching for any paper that would give him any clues.
When Aelfric first arrived Uncle was always kind to him. He bought him anything he ever needed or wanted. His supply of money was limitless. Aelfric had no idea how Uncle had this much money. He never seemed to really work, at least in the sense most adults did.

One day he finally got his answer to the source of his limitless wealth.

Aelfric had become friends with a woman named Runa. She came five days a week to clean the apartment. Aelfric lived in a large apartment. However, he was mostly alone, except for the times Uncle came to visit. The apartment was at the very top of a skyscraper, so there was no way to leave out a window. The door was locked with a retina security scan. It was impossible for Aelfric to leave. Uncle seemed to have his own, separate house, away from the “filth of the city, and those that crawl in it”.
One day, Uncle came to visit Aelfric. Runa was wiping down a table, and chatting with Aelfric. When she noticed him walk into the room, she froze. She wasn’t supposed to talk to the boy, or even acknowledge him. “Hello, Runa”, said Uncle. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you”. “Yes sir, it has been long”, she agreed.
“I like the work you do here”, he said. “I want you to stay as long as possible. In fact I was thinking of giving you a raise”. Runa immediately perked up. “Just give me a second to get it out for you”. Uncle pressed his hands tightly together. He pressed them so tight together, his knuckles turned white, and his face began to sweat. He unclasped his hands, and diamonds began to spill from his hands. Aelfric’s mouth hung wide open, amazed at Uncle’s ability. Compared to his own, there were so many more possibilities.
Runa was in shock. “This is my raise”, she asked. “There is no way I can accept all of this”. “Of course there is,” replied Uncle. “The only requirement of your raise is a little increase in responsibility. You simply have to cancel your plans of taking the boy with you today.”
Runa pretended that she had no idea what he was talking about. “ Of course he isn’t going home with me”, she said. “I have so many children at home, where could I keep one more?” “Exactly”, replied Uncle. “What's the difference between one more child”? Runa smiled at Aelfric. She scooped the diamonds out of Uncles hands, and put them into her purse. She carefully picked up the strays that fell out of his hands, and added them to her collection. “Goodnight sir,” she said. Runa left for home without Aelfric.
Uncle sat at the table across from Aelfric. “ I know you’ve been planning to leave here. Today was the day you were supposed to leave,” said Uncle. “I would never leave you, sad Aelfric. I love it here”. Uncle looked hurt. “I don’t like it when you lie to me. I have recorders and cameras all over this house, in every room. I know when you *censored*, I can hear every fart, and I know about your plans with Runa”.
Aelfric knew he couldn’t lie to Uncle. He also realized that Uncle possibly possessed the strongest ability he had ever seen. The power to control others.
“I, I’m sorry”, said Aelfric. “I just miss my mama so much. I hope she’s okay. I really hope she’s alive.” Uncle sighed. “That doesn’t matter anymore”, he said. “I am your only family now. It hurts me so much that you would try to leave me”. Uncle got up from the table, and walked over to Aelfric. He grabbed him by his hair and dragged him towards the other room. Aelfric screamed, and kicked, but it was impossible for him to break free. He was so much bigger and stronger than him.
Uncle locked the door. “I have been really patient with you. I hoped that you would come to care for me the way I care for you. But clearly that won’t happen. Leofric was right. Subservience must be forced”. Aelfric was scared. There was no way out.  He was trapped like a mouse.

And like a snake Uncle ate him whole.

   It had been four years since Aelfric lived with Uncle. Lately Uncle had become irritable and hard to deal with. Well, harder to deal with than his usual, horrible self. Aelfric wasn’t allowed to eat as often as when he first arrived. Uncle said he was growing too fast. Aelfric didn’t understand how that was a bad thing. Uncle forbade him from cutting his hair. Aelfric obeyed. Uncle chose all the clothes he would wear. At first this was the least bothersome thing that Uncle out of all the strange and horrible ways he controlled his life, but over time he came to hate the clothes. Aelfric complained about his clothes, and Uncle promised he would get him better ones. All of his clothes were replaced with female ones.

As Aelfric got bigger and taller, Uncle got angrier and angrier. Giving him less food kept him thin, but it didn’t stop him from growing taller. Aelfric began to grow facial hair. Uncle gave him a strange medicine, and all of a sudden it didn’t come back after he shaved.

Over time Aelfric realized that Uncle was trying to keep him young forever, but it was impossible. Everyone has to grow up eventually. Aelfric prayed everyday that he would grow up to be bigger and stronger than Uncle, and he would finally escape him.

One day his prayers were answered.

Aelfric sat in the living room, watching tv. His favorite show was the nature channel. He never got to go outside anymore. He missed the garden in his old home, and the hours he spent playing in it. The front door’s chime went off, and Aelfric got tense. Uncle was home.

Aelfric got up to go meet Uncle, as instructed.

   Today was different than other days. Today a woman and a man were with him. She had a short pixie cut, and wore a beautiful dress. Her drop earrings had tiny little peppers on the end. “Hello Aelfric”, said the woman. “I’m Princess. I’m here to help you”.  The man standing next to her had some sort of kit in his hands.  His body was covered in tattoos, and there was hardly any unmarked skin on his body. He looked indifferent.
   Aelfric knew she wasn’t there to help him. He wasn’t as naive as he used to be. Mint and Runa’s betrayal taught him that just because someone was a woman, didn’t mean that they could be trusted. They could be just  as cruel as men.
   “I know you don’t trust me, seeing as we just met”, said Princess. “But I want to assure you I only want what’s best for us.” She reached into her purse and took out a bottle of Vimu. “I heard it was your favorite soda”, said Princess. “See it as an olive branch”.
   Aelfric took the drink without hesitation. Uncle only allowed him to drink water, and it had been 2 days since he ate.
   “Go relax in the living room and we’ll be with you in a moment”, said Princess. “We have some adult business to discuss”. Aelfric knew adult business was just a term adults used when they didn’t want children to interrupt them, so he left. He had no interest in whatever strange discussions they would have anyway.
   As Aelfric watched a documentary on penguins, he suddenly felt very tired. He decided to take a nap on the couch. They would wake him if they needed him.

   Aelfric woke up to a sharp pain on the back of his neck. It was hot to the touch, and he couldn’t understand how he hurt himself. He was in the backseat of a car, and Princess was driving it. Uncle and the other man were not there. He tried to open the door, but it wouldn’t unlock.
   “Don’t bother with that dear”, said Princess. “The child safety lock is on. I don’t want you opening the door while we fly down the hyper way”. Aelfric didn’t give up escape though. He knew that if he wanted to break free it had to be when she opened the door. He didn’t know where he was, but anywhere was better wherever they were taking him.
   “Where are we going”, asked Aelfric. “Oh, we’re going to a brothel”, said Princess. “It's one of the many I own. I promise it will be a lot better there than it was with your previous owner”. Aelfric didn’t know what  a brothel was, but if he had to be tricked into getting there, it probably wasn’t a place he wanted to be.
   Princess parked the car in front of an innocuous building. It said on the front ‘Royalty Bread and Breakfast’. She got out of the car and let Aelfric out of the back. She grabbed him by his wrist, and had a surprisingly strong grip. “No funny business”, said Princess. “ Let’s just get you inside as quick as possible”.
   Princess and Aelfric walked across the parking lot, and suddenly, Princess stumbled on the ground. Her heel happened to snap on a rock.  Aelfric saw it as a sign from the gods and ran. He ran faster than he thought he could, farther than he thought he could, to anywhere away from there.

Aelfric loved visiting the library even though he couldn’t read. It had air conditioning, free water, and pizza Tuesdays. The librarians helped him get a library card, even though he didn’t have an address. He could check out the audio books and listen to all kinds of stories. He could take a bath in the family stall because the door locked and no one interrupted him while he used the sink.

Today wasn’t Tuesday though, he had no choice but to beg at the street corner near the tourist traps.  He wasn’t there for very long, because it started to rain.
Aelfric found a cafe to hide out in while he waited for the rain to subside. He bought the cheapest thing on the menu, black coffee, so he could sit and get free refills while he listened to his audio tape on history.
This one was about the ancient Empire of Rome on a strange planet called Earth. Aelfric found other cultures interesting. Why would a group of people name their home, dirt? As he drank coffee and watched the people pass by through the city he listened to tales of boy Emperor, Nero. Many tried to take his life, but he foiled all their plots. Politicians hated him because he indulged in the arts. The people loved him, because of the arts. Aelfric wanted to be like Nero. Even though he became king while still a kid, he was respected and feared.
 Aelfric knew as a kid there was a slim chance he would ever be king, he had 4 older siblings. And only women could rule the Empire of Regalia. But in this strange land, he was lower than everyone else, and he knew he would never rise to the throne.
He felt so sad. The soles on his shoes were worn down and had holes. He smelled today because he hadn’t been to the library yet to clean himself. The tattoo on his neck was peeling. He hated it. When he finally figured out what they had done to him, he felt like that they had violated every part of his body, and that they would always follow him no matter how far he ran. He was marked for death.
A young man in his twenties approached him as Aelfric was watching the rain. “Hi”, he said. “Is anyone sitting here?” “Oh I’m sorry if you need the outlet”, said Aelfric. “I can move.” “No, no stay”, said the young man. “Let's sit and talk”. So Aelfric sat and talked with the man for a while. He wore large glasses, a tank top, and cargo shorts. Aelfric was so happy to have someone to talk to. Most people avoided him because he looked dirty wearing the same clothes for days, and he sometimes smelled.
“I’ve noticed you around town”, said the man. “Do you have a place to stay?” “No”, answered Aelfric. “I don’t know how I’m going to find my way back home”, he said. “Oh I’m sorry to hear that”, the man said. “I can help you out if you want.” “Really? You mean it”, asked Aelfric. “Of course”, said the man. “How much do you want? 100? 200?”
 Aelfric realized that he wasn’t a good samaritan. It wasn’t the first time he had been approached, and he knew it wouldn’t be the last. But he was hungry. He couldn’t keep stealing food from the stores in the area. Some of them even had a picture of him on their wall of shame. He realized that this was probably the apex of his worth. Godiva was right.
He had only 3 dollars left in his pocket, and the rain didn’t seem like it was going to let up any time soon.

“Okay”, Aelfric said. “ 150 is okay.” The man smiled. “What’s your name sweetheart”?

“It’s Nero”.

Nero finished his story by telling Alto how he met Adonis. Nero was scared. He had never told anyone about his life. He knew people would never believe him if he said he was a prince. If they did, there was a chance they would try to use him, just like everyone else. Alto’s silence wasn’t helping either. He didn’t know if Alto was bored with the story or being respectful as he was stone faced the entire time.

After a long silence, Alto spoke.

“Let me help you”, he said. “It's the least I can do”. “How could you ever help me”, said Nero. “My sister has won. I’m a monster.” Alto hugged him and said “ You’re not a monster. You never were. And I know exactly how I can help you.” “How”, asked Nero.
“I can help you exact your revenge. I know you’re stronger than you think you are”, said Alto. Nero was skeptical. “I’ve thought about getting revenge plenty of times, but that's just me venting my frustrations”. “But what if it was possible”, asked Alto. “Would you do it? Would rid the world of another Monty?” Without hesitation, Nero answered him. “Of course.”
“Then I can help you. I can use my connections to track them down, to finance whatever you need”, said Alto. “You can have your dreams come true”. Nero knew this was too good of a deal. No one ever gives their services for free, especially a businessman like Alto.
“What do you want in return”, asked Nero. Alto knew what he really wanted but he was too ashamed to ask. He didn’t want to be another person in Nero’s life that took advantage of him. He didn’t want to be another horrible story.

“Just to be your friend”, said Alto. Nero scoffed. “You’re a terrible liar”.

Nero leaned in close and kissed Alto. It was quick, and their lips barely brushed but it was a kiss. Nero couldn’t meet his eyes. He knew that he shouldn’t get involved with his boss. He knew that simply being his friend meant that his life would be hectic. But Nero’s life had always been hectic. He didn’t think it could get any worse. And ever since he met Alto his life only improved.

Alto grabbed him close and they kissed over and over again. Nero clung tight to Alto as his hands explored his body. After a few minutes they parted. They laid in the bed staring at the ceiling of the stars. Nero didn’t know if he could ever truly be strong. But he knew that he wanted to stay with Alto right there, as long as he could.

« Last Edit: December 10, 2020, 04:46:59 AM by KohakuRiver »

Offline KohakuRiver

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Re: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2020, 04:46:34 AM »
Chapter Four: Birthright

Ace was tired. He sat inside the old chapel, near the back of the academy. No one came here often. He walked away from the crowd at the funeral and needed a place to be alone. Everyone was at the wake or packing up to leave the academy.
Ace gripped his father’s sword tight. Images flooded through his mind, and immediately, he let go. Ace hated the sword. He didn’t like holding it. Every time he held it, he could see his father, dying. At first, he thought that it was trauma. The doctors told him so. But whenever he picked up the sword, he saw others. Other people who had owned the sword. How they had died. Ace was certain it was cursed. As he sat there wondering what to do with the sword, the air shifted. It started to smell different.
The air already smelled different from the rain outside. It started to come on down heavier. Suddenly, thunder struck the ground nearby. Ace jumped in his seat and turned to look. He turned back around and standing in the chapel foyer was himself.
Ace at first didn’t know what he was looking at. In fact, he started to think he was going crazy. Maybe this sword isn’t cursed, and I’m just *censored*ing crazy, he thought. Standing next to him was a man with dark skin, wearing a mask, and a leather jacket. “Adonis” said the doppelgänger. “We found him”. They moved towards him, leaving water on the carpet floor.

Ace tensed up. He was scared. Is what he was seeing real?

The doppelganger stood next to him, at the end of the pew lane. “Give me the sword”, he demanded, hand outstretched. “You don’t understand what it is, and I need it”. Now Ace was not a fan of the sword. In fact, he was considering digging a ditch and throwing it in. Or chucking it into the ocean. But he wasn’t going to give it to someone he just met, even if it was himself. “…No…”.

The doppelgangers face twisted into that of complete and total fury.

Even though he was angry, he was somehow still pretty. Now that he was closer, Ace realized he wasn’t an exact copy of him. His hair was longer, he was shorter, and he had long eyelashes. The only indication of his gender was his clothes and his voice. He wore a giant fur coat that stuck out. He was like a cat, puffing itself up,  trying to look big to scare off attackers.
“I don’t know you”, said Ace. “You appeared in front of me. This isn’t yours”. Ace got up to leave. Everything about this situation was strange. “Sit down”, said the boy. He took his hand and pushed Ace down, on his broken arm held in its sling. Ace let out a yelp in pain and sat back down. “I don’t hurt cripples”, he said. “But you’re making me change my mind”. Adonis grabbed his hand and stopped him. “Don’t hurt him. He is just doing what he thinks is best”. The boy relaxed. The taller one seemed to be the one who held his leash.
Harmony entered the chapel, with a dripping umbrella in her hand. Her eyes went wide when she saw the three of them. “Ace”, exclaimed Harmony. “I didn’t know you had a sibling”! Harmony ran on over to say hi. She extended her hand to shake the boy’s, but he completely ignored her. Harmony is socially oblivious, sometimes painfully so.
“I’m not his sibling”, said the boy. “I’m Nero, and I’m here to collect my sword”. Harmony looked at Ace who looked confused. “You aren’t able to use it anyway”, said Nero. “Only those of pure blood or pure soul can use the celestial objects”.  He grabbed the sword from Ace, who was too slow to react with his broken arm. Nero unsheathed the sword from its scabbard, and it went ablaze.

Harmony shielded Ace. “Stay away!”

Nero began to breathe heavy, feeling power coursing through his veins from the sword. His hair turned into flames and lit up the room.  “Yes. This is how it should be. Yes”, Nero muttered. Nero turned to leave. “Give it back!” Nero turned back and looked at Ace.
“No. You don’t even know this sword. It’s alive”, said Nero. “I know”, said Ace. “Like my watch”. “This sword was made to exact revenge, and once you have it you cannot use it or else it will engulf you in flames”, retorted Nero. “What would a weak thing like you need this sword for”?“Revenge,” said Ace. “Why?”
“The soul of the First King, Unas is alive within this sword. He killed the celestials after they consumed his daughter, and trapped their souls within various items. If you don’t even know this, why would you need the sword?”
“I know the story”, said Harmony. “You do”, asked Ace. “How?” “They are fables from my home planet”, said Harmony. “Stories to teach children that holding grudges only ends in sadness and emptiness.” Nero looked upset at her words. “When Unas defeats the Celestials and traps them in the blessed objects, he realizes that he is no better than them”, says Harmony.  “He and his wife, the witch, trap him inside the sword. The Celestials were immortal, and it was the only way for Unas to make sure that they couldn’t hurt anyone”.
“I will make sure to kill my enemies unlike Unas”, said Nero. “You better stay out of my way, bitch”. Harmony stood up and got out her wand. “I swore to defend the weak with kindness from evil like you. The next time you return here will be your last”.
“Nero, we should go. We got what we came here for,” said the tall man. “There’s a funeral going on. We shouldn’t disturb them”.  Nero wanted to stay and fight, but he knew that time was of the essence. He had a plan he needed  to finish, and no one was going to distract him from his goals. Nero  and the tall man turned and left. Harmony was going after them, but Ace pulled her back.
“What is it”, said Harmony. “We need to stop them. We can’t let him hurt people!” “Let him have it”, said Ace. “He won’t get very far. I’ve seen the fate of everyone who holds it, and it ends in nothing but sadness”.

Offline Coryn

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Re: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2020, 02:22:21 PM »
Glad to see you're finally getting to being productive Kohaku! Sometimes you just got to jump in and do what you can.

Reading the summaries, I got a few up front thoughts before delving into the story proper.

1. MR is pointedly anti-hate, so if anyone here gives you grief for having gay characters, let us know so we can take appropriate action.

2. Good luck with the whole out of order thing. It's not easy for the best of writers, and definitely not easy for regular folk. Not to mention you have a dearth of characters, so don't overdo it.

3. This empire could probably stand to have a proper name. Obviously "Galactic Empire" is already claimed by star wars, so maybe take some inspiration from dune and give it a name based on its history.

4. Hard right turn with Brimstone arc. Hard to imagine a kid living that much of a "life of sin" before the age of 14 though. I don't know if you've met one recently, but most kids are pretty dumb and dumpy once you meet them as an adult. So it's sorta hard to take the premise seriously on that end. Also seems pretty weird to go full on Catholic in the far future, but again, Dune is a good touch stone for the evolution of religious beliefs. This arc (and Love/Loathe) also bring up a question of what genre this is exactly. It felt pretty hard core sci fi until this point. Now hell is real? The universe needs some clarification.

That's all for now. I'll check out the actual chapters once my schedule clears up a bit.

Will review stories upon request. My latest arc:

Offline KohakuRiver

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Re: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2020, 08:32:28 PM »
Glad to see you're finally getting to being productive Kohaku! Sometimes you just got to jump in and do what you can.

Reading the summaries, I got a few up front thoughts before delving into the story proper.

1. MR is pointedly anti-hate, so if anyone here gives you grief for having gay characters, let us know so we can take appropriate action.

2. Good luck with the whole out of order thing. It's not easy for the best of writers, and definitely not easy for regular folk. Not to mention you have a dearth of characters, so don't overdo it.

3. This empire could probably stand to have a proper name. Obviously "Galactic Empire" is already claimed by star wars, so maybe take some inspiration from dune and give it a name based on its history.

4. Hard right turn with Brimstone arc. Hard to imagine a kid living that much of a "life of sin" before the age of 14 though. I don't know if you've met one recently, but most kids are pretty dumb and dumpy once you meet them as an adult. So it's sorta hard to take the premise seriously on that end. Also seems pretty weird to go full on Catholic in the far future, but again, Dune is a good touch stone for the evolution of religious beliefs. This arc (and Love/Loathe) also bring up a question of what genre this is exactly. It felt pretty hard core sci fi until this point. Now hell is real? The universe needs some clarification.

That's all for now. I'll check out the actual chapters once my schedule clears up a bit.

Thank you for taking the time to read stuff and make an actual criticism.
So basically in my story, there are multiple universes. The Empire, which  I plan on calling The Real Empire, comes from a nearby universe. They are so greedy they travel just to get more colonies, it's pretty intense. In the Empire the universe comes from, there are multiple gods. In the universe Earth is in, there is only one.
I define dimensions as different planes of existence. So for instance, Hell would be like a different dimension in the story! Does that make sense?

Honestly Love/Loathe will probably just be a few chapters instead of an entire volume like the others.

Brimstone... honestly i think i overdid it with the summary, LOL. But before Gabriel converted he was doing drugs cuz his mom did drugs, and he lived in a pretty bad neighborhood. So when he converts its all like, a  huge deal for him, yknow?

Offline Coryn

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Re: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2020, 10:16:52 PM »
I see. I work with multiple universes as well, although the greater architecture as concerns afterlives and such is a little less analogous. But I see where you're coming from. It just didn't read like that with the summaries. But what this really comes down to is how well you pull off the explanation of the multi-verse in the story as it is read. It's a big concept to weave in there, so you have to be strategic about when you reveal what information and how you do it. I'd suggest putting a sort of road map together on that. Don't get so into it that you don't actually write chapters mind you, but don't go into it blind.

Will review stories upon request. My latest arc:

Offline KohakuRiver

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Re: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2020, 09:54:06 AM »
I see. I work with multiple universes as well, although the greater architecture as concerns afterlives and such is a little less analogous. But I see where you're coming from. It just didn't read like that with the summaries. But what this really comes down to is how well you pull off the explanation of the multi-verse in the story as it is read. It's a big concept to weave in there, so you have to be strategic about when you reveal what information and how you do it. I'd suggest putting a sort of road map together on that. Don't get so into it that you don't actually write chapters mind you, but don't go into it blind.

I have recently realized this and have changed a lot in the time since I have last posted. I am doing a lot of heaving time line usage and making sure i get everything right.  There is also a scene where time travel occurs, so i realized I can't just write the first part of the story and go from there, as a lot of people do, i need a full comprehensive timeline. I'm about 3/4ths of the way done, and I've also done some serious world building.

Offline KohakuRiver

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Re: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2020, 10:18:19 AM »
Update on the world-building context for one of the settings in my story.

One of the major settings in my story is the planet of Ionadis, which doesn't appear until the last part of the story. It's mentioned a few times in passing throughout the story. It's where one of the character's Nero comes from
The planet of Ionadis is a metropole of the Empire. The Empire's economy is based solely on colonization and slavery. it's not a great place.
The map pictured is the major continents of Ionadis closest to the capital, and where many of the most important events take place.

Political and Government Info on the Planet of Ionadis

In Depth Overview of the basics of how their government works
The Regal Empire is a Confederate Theocratic Nation-State. They are made up of several different states, many of them dependent on the largest state and metropole, Regis. One of them is wholly recognized as independent but still adheres to many rules of the Empire. Two are seen as territories trying to secede (Masona Kingdom and Pistorum) and are actively watched by the central government.
The state religion of the Regal Empire is Novana, the followers are called Novites. There are sects, cults, and heretics for almost every god or goddess in the Novana religion. The most common sects are Solarians, Sarains, and the First Sons.
The Empire follows a Constitutional Parliamentary Hereditary Monarchy.
The top of the empire is run by the  Mother Empress and the High King. Below them are the prince and princesses. Dukes and duchesses preside over states/provinces or appoint a Dominus. Barons and Lords preside over smaller towns.At the local level people can vote for who to represent them. The only parliaments that people can vote for are at the local and state levels. This is how States and provinces come up with their own laws tailored to different religions and ethnicities and various areas. Judges are appointed by the Dominus.
The Empress is the head of the church as well. Even though she is in charge she is guided by a council of five called The Insightful, and their various ideas influence her decisions. The national constitution if needed to be changed is voted on by the Dukes and governors of the different States/provinces. The Kingdom of Masona has someone to represent them in the empire but their vote never counts. The head of the military is a sibling of the Empress . If there is no living sibling, then the High King is appointed leader of the military.
Most of the Empire’s immigrants are slaves. Immigration to the metropole is extremely limited.  Voting is allowed for all of those of legal age, and are landowning citizens. Legal age of the Empire is 17.
The media is controlled by the state. Any show is allowed as long as it does not admonish or question the teachings of the Empire. All news media and journalism is heavily censored.
Women are considered at the top of the cultural hierarchy and it reflects in the law. Women have more freedom to move around then men, while their movement is restricted. The current Empire has become slightly more liberal, allowing voting of both genders, but only those of the landowning class.
Men are treated as they don’t know better, and are sex obssesed, and that women are smarter and will guide them. Men are allowed to hold lower levels of government, but not higher levels of clergy or government. Depending on what sect your are in defines if you lean towards sexism/egalitarianism.

In Depth info on Economy. They seriously rely on stealing of resources and colonization and pour all their cash into military, as evidenced in the second picture. Relgion also plays a huge role in their society, since on their planet they have proof of gods being real.
The empire mostly has a capitalist system that is based off of colonialism, imperialism, and mercantilism. Many of the subjects are free to import as many goods as they want but if they are to export any goods it's highly taxed to make sure that they keep all their goods within their economy. Because of the way that they gain their profits through conquering various lands most of their money goes towards the military. The empire's economy is also supported through liberal use of slavery. Because of this system many in the empire do not work. This is fine for nobles in the upper classes who are born into money and have no need to work but keep the lower classes in poverty because it is hard to compete with people who are forced to work for free.
Very little of education is publicly funded, creating a wider divide between the rich and the poor. There is little investment in science unless it relates to medicine because of the use of magic in the Society of the empire. Science is seen as a waste of time and hobbies of people who are rich.
The only aspect of society that they choose to put money into pertains to the ocean. Most of the empire rains a lot and has a lot of water and many of the people of the sea live near water so it is an important aspect of their culture. It also explains why Sarai is one of the most revered goddesses.
Most of their income comes from selling the resources of their colonized lands. Because of the heavy use of slavery colonialism and imperialism to gain income the empire refuses to change how it gains its income because it keeps the wealthy living lavish lifestyles and prevents them from ever having to work. These ideas are fueled by their culture of strength and power as supreme. They view the Empress as a mother who punishes other lands and shows them the “right way” and “beauty” of the Empire.

Basic Overview of Major things that Are Legal, Banned, Or Warrant the Death Penalty
Legal and Regulated
Prostitution, sale of Alcohol, tobacco, and any drug deemed “of the earth”.
Very little if no gun control
Female Homosexuality

Illegal or Banned
Jail Time
Murder, Obscenity( if religous), Abolition of Slavery

Death Penalty
Murder, Male Homosexuality, Blasphemy, Atheism, Dissent, Treason

Corporate Fraud, Public Embezzlement, Miscegenation, Obscenity (if sexual)

Life Imprisonment
Abortion, Murder, Child Abuse, Male Homosexuality, Transgender Identification, Euthanasia

Inter-State Politics
Most of the states on the map get along, except for like three. The major flame that stokes war will be unsurprisingly ethnic and religous differences. Shocker, right?
The info in the spoiler goes in depth into some of the states, their views on each other, and the racial make up.
Pistorum is an island in the northern reaches of Ionadis. Many of those that live there are Masonan or people who fled for the farthest reaches of the Empire after the Unification War. They follow the sects of Lunos, Glaciei, and Bruma.
The capital is Kilhell, and is also home to the largest regiment of the rebellion group Sons of Stars. The Pistorium government funds their illegal activities to overthrow the empire, but all of their attempts have been unsuccessful. The central government in Regis in retaliation has given no support to Pistorum until it ceases its efforts, still forces taxation upon it, but never bothers to invade or crush it because its an icy island with very little of value.
It gets along great with the Kingdom of Masona, but every other province hates it.
It is home to the temple of Glaciei in Moshagand.
Britia, Bhia, and Froila
These three provinces separate Regis from the Kingdom of Masona. Originally during the War of Unification these three tried to join to create their own kingdom, but it failed. Now they act as a natural buffer between Regis and Masona so they don’t start another needless war.
Brita doesn’t support Masona. It wants its land to expand its sea ports. It doesn’t like Regis either, but it takes whatever side in politics that gives them a temporary advantage.
Bhia fully supports Masona in their quest for independence, but never outwardly states it. They carefully toe the line so one day they can have a kingdom of their own.
Froila simply wants Masona and Regis to exist together for trade deals. They are neutral and don’t care unless they feel threatened by either Masona or Regis.
In all three provinces it is a healthy mix of Masonans, Sunwalkers, and Regalians. Most of the area are deserts inhabited by oasis towns.
The province between Pistorum and Masona. Most of those who live in Ingen follow Solara, Bruma, Glaciei, Lunos. It is also home to the cult of Marth.
A major trade route passes through Ingen, bringing people of all ethnicities through it at one point or another. Its proximity to the ocean also brings in People of the Sea, and its proximity to Masona and Pistorum has plenty of Masonans. It is one of the most liberal parts of the empire, and has the highest level of racial coexistence and religious tolerance.
It is also home to one of the smaller groups of the Sons of Stars in which Rie-Toh is the leader of.
Ingen is generally respected amongst most of the other provinces, however the province of Regis feels it is too “culturally loose”.
(and kelly)
Regis is the biggest province, is home to the capital and also has the largest population. In the capital of Rex is where many people in high society, nobles, and merchants live. It is also home to the des Regalis family and their castles and various estates.
The religious sects practiced there are the only ones that are allowed: the First Sons, Daughters of Debella, and the Solarians and the Blessed of Diva. The Empire is a theocracy, and it focuses its religion towards Solara. Those in the capital of Rex found not adhering to their conservative and religious views are quickly imprisoned, kicked out, or executed. It is home to the Temple of Solara in the city of Rex.
Most of those that live in the capital are DayWalkers who are also astrals. The society in the province of Regis is extremely rigid, and there is not much tolerance of differences.
A small group of the Apprentices of Isolda stay there, working in the shadows and spying amongst the elite to find out where they can find more celestial objects.
Regis is also the wealthiest of provinces because of its inclusion of the capital, multiple trade routes and ports.
Many move to Regis for improvement in economic status, but those who are minorities try to avoid the capital of Rex at all costs.
Elguf is home to many People of the Sea and the Temple of Sarai. It is an island on the eastern side of the empire. Most of the religious believers follow Sarai, and her children Natio, Fluvio, Hurio. There are few followers of Solara.
The racial makeup is very homogenous, but the ethnic makeup is divided evenly between the people of the sea that are more human like versus those that are more animal like.
Elguf neighbors Elreth and Elsin, similar in beliefs and racial makeup.
All three of these provinces are on good terms with each other, and generally try to avoid most of the conflicts in the empire because most of them are rooted in racial conflicts.
Island of Sunmira
The Island of Sunmira is largely independent. It is one of the provinces farthest from the capital of the empire, and is the birthplace of Unas, fire of god and Revenge. His temple can be found in the city of  Litwele. The temple of Debella can be found in Freystals. Its capital is Sungulf, a town… that is sunny… in a gulf, LOL.
Almost all of the believers are Daughters of Debella or the First Sons. There is a small minority of those that worship Diva, however they are mostly merchants who worship wealth, and can be found in almost any major town.
The Week of Victory, and The Great Feast is celebrated here. Opulent parades and feasts are also held on the day of Unas’ and Debella’s birth.
Near the Temple of Unas is the altar of Toris.
Sunmira is loved by the province of Regis. It makes a ton of money through trades, and also worships the son of the patron goddess Solara. They are similar in religious conservatism but tend to be more racially diverse.
Sunmira does not wish for much from the capital since it is already largely independent, but knows that its independence comes with fealty. When it comes to the realm of politics they agree with everything Regis does, to the chagrin of everyone else. They are not liked much outside of Regis.
Secretly the home of the Hidden Kingdom. Has the Forest of Fear, which makes your deepest fears a reality.

Offline KohakuRiver

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Re: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2020, 10:26:11 AM »
Religon is a major part of Ionadis. Especially since in their universe gods are real, and their descendents are living proof of it. Here is info on their religion, and the general spread of it. There are cults, secret societies, and sects. Since they all believe in the same religon, they are all divided by sects which also split them down even deeper across ethnic and racial lines.

The Story of Creation
From The Void came forth Solara and Lunos. Always in conflict, they were rarely together at the same time (explanation of night and day). Solara and Lunos always competed with each other, trying to prove that one of them could create better things than the other.
Solara’s tears of sadness when she was alone in The Void created the ocean (explanation of water). Lunos did not like her tears, and created the sky to separate himself from them (explanation of sky/wind/air).
Solara saw that Lunos had separated her from the water through creation of the sky, so she created land so that she had something to walk upon to visit her sadness (explains the earth). From Solara’s new tears she created vegetation and plants all over Ionadis(explanation of plants).
When she had seen the beauty of her tears had created life, she cried once more. Her tears of joy created stars and light (explanation of day).
Lunos did not like that she had more things than him. He did not know how to create his own light, so he created moons to reflect off of hers (creation of night).
Solara was lonely and tired of crying. She knew that she could breathe life into the world through the creation of vegetation. She wanted company, for her brother Lunos rarely visited her (explains solar eclipse).
Solara decided to make lower creatures (animals of the land) from the dirt and soil. She took clay, and various other tools and stuck them together to make their shape. Once satisfied she used the heat of the sun to give them life and energy (explains creation of animals).
Lunos felt that these lower creatures were not to his liking. So from the waters he breathed life into it(fish), and from the skies he created movement(birds).
Solara was jealous of Lunos’ flying creatures. They looked down upon her creatures of land. She did not like that Lunos had created creatures in her domain of the sea, she felt it mocked her sadness.
Solara then created the DayWalkers, those who walked among the light. Their skin soaked in the sun, and their hair was dark and long. She made them strong and tough to protect them, to handle the severity of life,  and she felt it was good. No longer was she lonely.
Lunos saw what Solara had done and did not like it. He did not like that Solara had made more than him. He did not know how to create the things Solara did. This is because true magic comes from pain. Something must be given to earn power, in turn this keeps the universe in balance.  Solara was stronger because of the pain from her loneliness.
Lunos created his own reflection of the DayWalkers, the Nightwalkers. With pale skin like that of the moon, and light hair like the birds of the sky, Lunos cherished them more than the DayWalkers, and felt that they were superior. He gave them intelligence so that they would create and know how to avoid the harshness of the world.
The NightWalkers and the DayWalkers did not like each other. They felt that one was superior to the other, which was far from the truth. Their abilities complemented each other, but they were far too different to understand it. After some time they would kill and maim each other, creating suffering and malice.
Lunos and Solara saw this, and it was not good. They did not agree on many things, but they both loved their creations dearly. So they met to agree what to do about their creations (Solar Eclipse). They walked upon the sky and saw all that they created and found beauty in it. They made love and created the heavens (explanation of heaven, duh). They walked upon the land and saw beauty in what they created, and once again after their lovemaking, Solara was begotten with a child. After some time they could not come to an understanding, and they separated once more.
When it came time for Solara to give birth, she cried tears of joy. The tears fell to the sky, as little tiny stars (meteors, meteorites) fell upon Ionadis. They cracked upon landing and out came her children, the Sons and Daughters of Stars.
Problems later on
So since the des Regalis family came to power, they wanted to justify their rule. The des Regalis were Nightwalkers, but Lunos was seen as evil, and by association Nightwalkers were seen as evil as well. So they rewrote all their religious texts to change the truth. They knew that it was hard to make people believe that Lunos was not evil, or that he was even neutral, but they used their cunning and intelligence to come up with a plan. They rewrote the books to say that they were the Daywalkers. They said their skin was pale, and it shone in the sun, therefore this must be true. After some time people began to believe this new truth. Some Nightwalkers refused to believe it, and have the original texts to this day. They are in the minority.

Death of Toris and Unas' Revenge
There are many in the Pantheon of Ionadis. Few are loved, most are feared. As the children of Lunos and Solara walked upon the land, seas, and skies, they came upon the first creations of their parents. They saw them as inferior, for they had not the abilities as they. They saw them the same as the other animals:food. They would hunt them for sport, and eat their meat. Their blood was quite delicious to them.
Solara and Lunos saw this, and it was not good. Solara cherished her first creations, especially the DayWalkers. So much so that one of them gave her a child, Unas. The god of fire was quite strong and virtuous. He defended the mortals from his powerful siblings. They hated that someone with impure blood, was as stronger or sometimes stronger than him. This was because of his many followers.
Unas created the first kingdom on Ionadis. He was a natural leader, and many of them followed him and his teachings.
Lunos had a child with a mortal as well. The goddess of ice and cold, Glaciei. She preferred the company of very few others. She had a much smaller kingdom, but it was mighty in its own right. She defended those in her dominion from her older siblings as well, protecting them for being hunted for sport.
Unas was the most loved out of all the other gods by his mother. It made them very jealous. Glaciei was the most loved of the gods by Lunos, which made them jealous as well.
Unas and Glaciei met many times to discuss how to defend their people from the terror of their siblings. One night they made love, and created Veris(Spring masc.),Stiva(summer fem.),Autu(fall masc.), Bruma(winter, fem.) (Explains the changing of the seasons).
Their children presided over various parts of Ionadis, protecting their subjects from the tyranny of the gods.
This further enraged them. No longer could they eat or kill as they pleased. Some gods pleaded with the others to cease. That they could find good will with the mortals. Others felt that they should teach Unas and Glaciei a lesson for taking away what they loved the most by taking away what they loved the most.
Glaciei loved flowers the most in the kingdom of Ionadis. They brought her great joy. One day the gods saw this, and knew what they must do. They gave her a small flask, a drink that they told her would make her have the ability to create as many flowers and plants as she pleased. Was a horrible lie instead. Whatever plant she touches dies. Glaciei was brought with deep grief and sadness.
Unas was harder to trick once he had learned what happened to Glaciei. He was careful to make sure that they could not hurt what he loved.
Unas had a mortal wife, the witch Isolda. She was very weak in constitution, but very strong of the mind, since she was a Nightwalker. She knew how to use magic in the world because her life was filled with much pain. She turned her pain into power, and became a very strong witch. She begat him only one child, a daughter named Toris.
Unas had many lovers, and many consorts that gave him many children, but Unas loved Toris the most of all his children. He kept her shielded from the world so that the gods could not hurt her. She was very naive, and was easily tricked by the gods. They knew what they must do.
Marth, the god of death snuck into Toris’ chambers at night to kill her. It would be very easy, since she was a very small child. When he was about to strike her, she moved away, and was only wounded instead of killed. Her blood spilled upon the floor, and from it life was born. The ground beneath them grew flowers, the objects in her chambers came to life. Instead of killing her, Marth took her away, to the heavens to use her blood for himself.
When Unas learned that Marth had taken his daughter he was filled with rage. He went across the lands searching for Marth but could not find him. One of the many gods, Vitas, the god of life,   felt pity for Unas and told him where she was, in the heavens. Unas wept many tears, for he could never go to the heavens as he pleased, since he was a demigod. He swore one day to get his revenge.
Isolda was a very cunning woman, and helped Unas for his revenge. She told him that the gods were very strong, and could never be killed, but they were simply power personified. If they could contain them they would never hurt another mortal again. So she told him to hold a large banquet, and invite all of the gods.
Unas did not think it was a good idea. His older siblings hated him, and would never come to a feast of his. Isolda told him she must give them something they could never resist; the flesh of mortals.
Unas killed the many criminals he could find, and cooked their flesh. He invited all the gods in the heavens and Ionadis. They all came, enticed by the promise of flesh and blood. Unas wept many tears for he would never see his daughter again. He hoped that Marth would bring her with him from the heavens, but he did not. He was unsure if he should continue with his plot of revenge, but Isolda pressed him on. She too missed her child, and thought to forgive them if they returned her, but they did not. Marth stated that once someone was taken by Death, they would never return.

After their large feast and their partaking of sex, the gods were tired and full.  They slept, their food and drink spiked with a sleeping elixir. Unas struck them all, one by to make sure they were weakened. Isolda used her magic to trap them all in many objects, forever barring them from using their powers to terrorize any mortal, ever again.
Isolda took much joy in it, as did Glaciei and Unas. It brought him great peace knowing that his people would be spared by the tyranny of the gods. But he never came to find peace in his heart knowing that he could never meet Toris again. He felt that he was no different than his siblings. He also started to go mad for the desire of flesh. He partook in some of the food to blend in at the party, and now could no longer see his patrons as anything other than food.
In his pain he begged Isolda to free him, to kill him. But Isolda could never kill her husband, for she loved him so. Isolda took his power, and put it in a sword. She kept it with her, until the end of her days.

The New Rulers of Ionadis
All but Glaciei were the only god left to roam Ionadis. She was not as charming as Unas, nor as cunning as Isolda, so she had very few followers. None wanted to listen to her, nor her children whom she tried to give reign over the former kingdoms. (Gods cannot take over other domains) As the belief in her faded, so did her powers fade over time. The only ones who held sway over the mortals were the children of Unas, for his past believers were strong, still hoping for his return.
Many mortals did not like the gods, but they still wanted to acquire the powers that they held. They did not like that the descendents  of Unas ruled over them. They feared another day that they would desire their flesh and bone.
One day, a NightWalker who called herself Prima, had a cunning idea. She knew that the gods were born of the tears that fell to the sky (the meteorites). So she took it upon herself in the dead of night to come upon one of them. She took a piece of the star and took it home with her.
It glowed an unearthly glow and it memorized her. Her husband, Monere, did not like it. He felt it would only bring more trouble. Prima took her time to  break apart the piece of the star, and small crystals fell out of it. Over many days she ground it into a small powder, and did many experiments with it.
One day she felt that she would use the power on a living thing. So she took two fish from the sea and put them into a bucket. She sprinkled some of the powder on it, and from it sprung forth a man  and woman of the sea. They had the top and bottom of a mortal, yet the tail end of the fish. Prima was excited by what she did. The man and the woman of the sea thanked her for giving them higher thought, and promised to take care of the domain of the ocean. They would become King and Queen of the Seas.
Prima gleefully spread the powder on many animals, giving many creatures higher thought. They loved their new mother quite so, and did as they were told. They had domain over the lower creatures. Prima spread her powder into the air, breathing magic into the world.
Once she returned home, she told her husband Monere of her findings. He did not like what his wife did, and begged her to stop. Prima did not want to stop. She took the powder, and mixed it into a drink, giving her the power of the gods. Monere was in great fear of his wife. She told him that he should follow her or she would kill him because she did not trust him to keep how she obtained the power a secret.
Begrudgingly Monere drank of the mix Prima had concocted and gained the power of the gods as well.
Word spread far and wide of the new gods that walked the Earth, and their children that began to conquer kingdoms. The descendents of Unas and Glaciei were enraged. Their forefathers took the land in their name. They were the true rulers of Ionadis.
Prima and Monere took many followers, and of the ones they trusted the most, they gave them the Elixir of the Gods. With a new powerful army, Prima and Monere’s descendents unified all of Ionadis, killing many of the descendents of Unas and Glaciei.
Of those that were left living of the true rulers of Ionadis, they left to have their own smaller kingdom of Masona, over very little land. They vowed for the day they would take revenge and reclaim what was rightfully theirs.
Many of their subjects were DayWalkers, seeing as Unas’ father was one. They answered to only the true rulers of Ionadis and saw the new ones as usurpers.
The descendents of Monere and Prima, the des Regalis took many of the sacred texts and burned them. They created new ones in their own vain image. They told everyone that they were the true DayWalkers, and the subjects of Masona were liars and traitors.
Over time the truth was forgotten, and the subjects of Masona sometimes doubt the truth themselves.

The Great Silence
The citizens of Ionadis fear solar and lunar eclipses, because when it occurred, Solara gave birth to the gods that would eat and consume them. They lock their doors and stay quiet, in fear of angering them.
This day celebrates the goddess of love, Amora. People celebrate this day by holding festivals, parades, getting married, spending time with loved ones, and giving each other gifts.
Celebrated on the first day of winter. It honors the dead and those that were taken too early.
Kins Day
A day that celebrates children and motherhood. Patron saint of this day is Toris, the child of Unas, and patron saint of children. The other Patron Saint is Solara, the first Mother.
Unification Day
Celebration of when the Ionadis was unified as a single empire. The Masonians, and many Nightwalkers do not celebrate this day. It’s  a day filled with patriotism, parades, and celebration of their (hopefully) benevolent rulers.
Week of Victory
This is a week dedicated to strength and victory. Patron Saint is Unas, and celebrates his victory over the gods. For a whole week, contests of strength and power are held at the capital, and the winner is given a symbolic torch as victory, fame, and of course untold wealth. (Think of the Olympics, but weirder) The one that oversees the matches is a young woman that symbolizes Debella,goddess of war and Strength who gives the winner of the feats of strength and power a flower wreath.
The Great Feast
Occurs the day before the Week of Victory begins. The great feast symbolizes the defeat of the gods. Much drink and food is had… and plenty of orgies, lol.
Celebration of the Princess of the Sea by those that live near water, and the People of the Sea. People hold boat races, cook fish, and visit the beach. Parades are held celebrating the gift of higher thought given to the King and Queen of the Seas by Prima.

Offline KohakuRiver

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Re: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2020, 10:32:42 AM »
Religion, continued

Obligations, Rituals,Organization, Etc
Followers of Solara pray every day to her at noon, hoping that she answers their call. They tend to come during the first day of the week, during high noon.
Followers of Lunos only pray during a full moon. They come at night, on full moons, or on the last day of the week.
All followers visit temples given to various gods. They burn offerings of meat to appease them so that they won't kill them. Originally the meat of criminals were used, but in modern times they use animals.
Temples of certain gods are found in certain places. For instance, temples for the goddess of water are .. found near the water, LOL.
People with certain jobs or live near certain areas tend to favor some gods over others. Sailors or people who live near the ocean follow the goddess of water. Farmers follow the god of fall, spring, and of life.
Followers of this religion wear a star pendant around their necks. It's made of gold.
During weddings, many people go to a temple of Amora, and ask for a priest's blessings. During the ceremony, the couple’s hands are tied together by the priest in a giant knot, symbolizing their unbreakable bond. After they kiss, he/she slices the knot with a sword( symbolizing the one Marth used to kill Unas’ daughter), that shows only death can separate them. After the marriage ceremony, the wedding guests sing and dance around the new couple in a circle. An umbrella is made from wood, or an umbrella frame is taken. The guests then shower money on them, sticking the many bills onto the frame, onto their shoulders and back.
During funerals, simple black clothes are worn. Many beautiful flowers adorn the body(symbolization of Toris’ death), and after all the visitors have come to visit and say goodbye to the body, it is buried. Warriors are instead burned on a pyre, symbolizing the strength of Unas and Debella.

Superstitions, Beliefs, Effects of Religion
It is a common belief that lying will make your teeth fall out, and a lie told to children, lol.
Since Solara is the most popular and loved of the gods, women are more revered on Ionadis. Rape is punishable by death. Women have higher roles in government and in power. Only a woman can run the empire. This has also turned into some strange forms of sexism. Men are said to “only think with their lower halves, so they are stupider, and not as smart as women, and need guidance”.
Since the death of Toris is a major part of their religon, abortion is illegal in all of Ionadis, and in some parts even birth control. Many orphans and street children wander the streets.
It is believed that people have feelings of love in the stomach because of “butterflies” when in love, and anger in their heart because their chest hurts. “My heart is warm”, is a common saying, which means “I am angry”.
The people of Ionadis do not see sex before marriage as sinful. In fact they are quite open about sex and believe that it is good especially since it brings forth children and is a celebration of life. Also explains why rape is given the death penalty because its seen as a descreation and insult to women, and therefore life.
Slavery is totally fine, especially since being powerful is a trait revered in Ionadian society.
Some believers are only meat eaters, feeling that they can better emulate the gods better that way. Some believe they must abstain from meat entirely because it was the downfall of the gods. Both are a minority, and seen as odd.
It is believed that during solar and lunar eclipses, the bridge between the mortal world and heaven is connected. One can visit heaven, and partake in the feast that the gods are having.
Ionadis has a giant reverence for nature, especially since Solara created the ocean and vegetation.
Polyamory is totally legal but not widely practiced in Ionadis.  In some places it's encouraged. Not popular because women can only give birth at once, and in  a matriarchal society it makes little sense for a woman to have many husbands. Some do it for clout to show off their wealth.
Those originally known as DayWalkers are known as NightWalkers and vice versa. Dark skin is now equated with evil, while paler skin is equated with purity. Racism ensues.
Because of openess with sex, prostitution is legal, and regulated.
Religious texts are read at temples all over the Empire, and are easily obtained, even given away for free. Everyone has a Book of Dawn in their homes, and there is a copy at every hotel. Masonans have a different version of the Book of Dawn, because of the split between the Kingdom of Masona and the Regal Empire. Visiting the Temple of Solara at the capital, Rex, at least once, is also required within one’s lifetime.
Followers of Amora see volunteer service as required, and is done at least once a month. Extremely helpful in the society of Ionadis because there is no social safety net.
Followers of Marth are a cult that worship death and murder. They gain stronger power through more people that they kill and sacrifice to Marth, and a longer lifespan. They are banned throughout all of Ionadis, and the government makes a concerted effort to imprison them or administer the death penalty.
Priests of different sects gain different related abilities. For instance, a priest of Sarai can breathe underwater, a priest of Unas is not burned by fire, etc.

Sects, Cults, Heretics, and State Religon

Followers of Marth: They celebrate Death and all of its glory. They wish to die a warrior’s death so that they will meet Marth in the afterlife. Sacrifices are common, killing is encouraged, and if found to be a part of this cult, death or slavery is the punishment.
Apprentices of Isolda: A secret society dedicated to finding the objects in which the gods were trapped inside. Many believe that the gods being trapped inside objects were metaphors, but it is what truly happened. The Apprentices work in the shadows to protect Ionadis.
Daughters of Glaciei: Many are Masonans, who believe that one day Glaciei will return, and defeat the false descendants of Unas (the des Regalis family). They worship Glaciei, and her descendants are their kings and queens.
Lunarians: Worship of the god of the moon, Lunos, is banned in much of the Empire. Many still believe in the areas near Masona, where it is allowed. Most who still believe are the rural poor, Nightwalkers, and Masonans. Some who felt that Solara had abandoned them converted to this sect. He is also patron saint for the rebel group, Sons of Stars.

Acknowledged Sects
The First Sons: Descendents of Unas(or those that claim to be). Warriors, knights, and various nobility make up this group. They focus their life to strength, honor and vengeance.
Daughters of Debella: Sister sect to the First Sons. Deblla was the daughter of Unas, and is goddess of war and strength.
Solarians: Most of Ionadis worship Solara, the goddess of the Sun and Motherhood, and is the Empire’s official acknowledged sect, and that of the capital as well. The Mother Empress represents her on Earth, leads the Solarians, and she is respected in kind.
Sarains: Sailors and fishermen worship Sarai, Princess of the Ocean and Safe Passage for sailors. She is the daughter of the First King and Queen of the Seas.
Amorians: Amora is the goddess of love. Most Amorians spend their days spreading love and kindness. The passionate are obsessed with a different kind of love. In the early days of this sect they endorsed free love, with anything and anyone. Problematic at best. In its modern form they espouse equality for all, equality of the sexes, and legality of homosexual male relationships on Ionadis. Many powerful Amorians are focused on civil rights.
Infinite Wisdom: These followers are very small, but fervent. They worship Infiniti, the god of the future. Their leader is a woman who is born every generation, one who can see into the future. Many think that their leader is a hoax, but only time will tell.

Offline KohakuRiver

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Re: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2020, 10:44:21 AM »
The Final Post on Religion, The Gods, Goddesses and Demi-Gods of the Religion of Nova, and Ionadis.
Is a list that will definitely expand over time. FML.

The Void: Where Solara and Lunos were born. Who knows where or what it is?
Solara: The First Mother, goddess of the sun and motherhood.
Lunos: The First Father, god of the moon and fatherhood.
Unas: demi-God of Fire, and after the death of his daughter, revenge
Glaciei: demi-Goddess of Ice and Snow
Marth: God of Death and Murder, Shadows and Evil
Chro: God of time, parent of Anima and Marth
Vitas: Goddess of life, and Good
Eon: Goddess of Eternity
Infiniti: Combined form of Chro, Nose, and Eon. Represents how time, and space are eternal and infinite and connected.
Nos: Twin to the god time, is the god of space
Amora: Goddess of Love
Invidia: Alter Ego of Amora, goddess of Hate and Malice
Amator: Child of Amora,  god/godess of sex. Father was a human lover. Name means lover. Can take the shape of a man or woman
Lush: God/goddess of beauty and vanity. Is hermaphroditic or can appear as either male/female. Child of a mortal and Solara
 The Four Seasons: Veris(God of spring and plants),Stiva(goddess of summer and steam),Autu(god of autumn and harvest), Bruma(goddess of winter and solitude). All children of Unas and Glaciei
The Kingdom of the Sea: The King and Queen of the Sea were given higher thought by the human who obtained goddesshood, Prima. They had many children  with various lovers, who inhabit the various seas. Their favorite is Sarai, Princess of the Ocean. She is the goddess of Sailors and the Ocean.
Toris: Child of Isolda the Witch and Unas. She is the patron saint of children.
Zeka: demi-god of the sky, brother of Glaciei
Natio: Son of Zeka and Sarai. God of safe travel, wind, trade, and merchants.
Fluvio: Son of Zeka and Sarai. God of rivers, fishermen and fish.
Hurio: Son of Zeka and Sarai. God of lakes and reptiles
Debella: demi-Goddess of War and Strength. Daughter of Unas and a mortal.
Callio: God of Knowledge and Wisdom, daughter of Lunos and a mortal
Uisge: God of the rain. Child of Vitas and the King of the Sea
Tair: God of Thunder. Son of Uisge and Amator. Twin is Trom
Trom: God of Lightning, son of Uisge and Amators
Note: God of Sex and rain make the children thunder and lightning. Its the sound of them *censored*ing, haha.
Beul: God of dusk, son of Solara and Lunos, twin is Bainn
Bainn: Twin of Beul, goddess of Dawn, daughter of Solara and Lunos
Folly: God of Luck, games, and tricks. Son of Amora and Natio.
Diva: daughter of Amator and Lush. Goddess of wealth, extravagance, and anything in excess.
Viam: child of Amator and Lush. Patron saint of prostitutes. Depicted as a man or a woman.
Aka: Son of Folly and a mortal. God of thieves, and crime.
Feur, Protector of Lower Creatures: Created by Prima using her magic dust on an animal. He protects all the animals on land, and is their god.
Strix: God of all winged beasts in the sky. Son of Zeka and Amator.
Morsus: Goddess of magic and pain. Daughter of Marth and Infiniti.
Melo: God of music and poetry.  Son of Natio and Vitas.
Ignio: son of Unas and a mortal. God of Volcanoes and destruction
Latio: God of soil. Son of Vitas and Unas
Artio: child of Vitas and Callio. God of Medicine, Healing, and Science
Invictus: God of Protection and Defender of the Weak. Son of Solara
Justitia: The combined form of Unas and Invictus, representing Justice and Law

An image of this pantheon with too much inbreeding. The Romans would be proud.

Offline KohakuRiver

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Re: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2021, 11:12:23 PM »
After lots of worldbuilding, I started to write the first volume while I try to improve my drawing skills. Y'all can read it here, and I'll post charachter designs and more worldbuilding as I go on.

Offline Action Animation

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Re: GALACTIC. Comments and Criticism Encouraged!
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2021, 04:02:38 AM »
wow, im very impressed with the details of your world building it seems your taking this story very seriously. if you do indeed plan to see this story through( judging by what you have I assume it's a yes^^) then I'd be more then happy to give your work a full review
looking forward to your response ^^