Anstractor vestalia, p.1
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       Anstractor Vestalia, p.1

           Greg Dragon
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Anstractor Vestalia

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

  Copyright © 2014

  Thirsty Bird Productions

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recorded or otherwise, without written permission of the publisher.

  Rewritten in 2016 | 2nd Edition eBook

  For more books by the author

  Table of Contents

  Memory 01 | Prodigy

  Memory 02 | Android Maiden

  Memory 03 | One Shot

  Memory 04 | First Grade

  Memory 05 | Starfighter

  Memory 06 | Aurora Rising

  Memory 07 | First Mission

  Memory 08 | Violent Vani

  Memory 09 | Arisani

  Memory 10 | Fall Out

  Memory 11 | Camille YAN

  Memory 12 | Dark Education

  Memory 13 | Blackout

  Memory 14 | Reset

  Memory 15 | Riyah of Talula

  Memory 16 | Broken Wings

  Memory 17 | A New Cause

  Memory 18 | Master Lucci

  Memory 19 | Hatch Kitten

  Memory 20 | Person

  Memory 21 | Oaths Broken

  Memory 22 | Guidance of Gods

  Memory 23 | Homecoming

  Memory 24 | Cammy’s Secret

  Memory 25 | No Quarter

  Memory 26 | Man of Vestalia

  About The Author

  Memory 01 | Prodigy

  “Your parents gave up their lives in order to bring you to that planet.”

  “I know!”

  “They wasted their lives. You are nothing but stowaway trash.”

  “SHUT UP! I don’t have to listen to you!”

  “That is where you’re mistaken, boy.”

  “And what do—”

  The stick came down so fast that Rafian couldn’t even blink before he found himself on the cold, metal floor. His back was white fire from its impact, and his eyes produced tears that begged for moaning and crying to join in on its escape. But the crying was not coming; this was not the first time that ten-year-old Rafian had dealt with pain.

  “You will learn your place, boy, even if I have to beat it into you,” Samoo LES said, his voice a quiet, cool tone despite the brutality that he was dishing out. The amount of discipline that it took to keep his emotions in check was something inhuman and frightening. Rafian had dealt with angry adults throughout his short life, but Samoo was unlike anyone he had met before.

  What prompted the day’s insults and beatings was Rafian’s refusal to do his morning workout. Samoo was his temporary guardian, assigned to him by the ship’s captain, Abe RUS. They were stationed aboard the glorious starship, Helysian, one of several dangerous X-Class destroyers that trained and deployed marines for the Anstractor Alliance.

  Helysian housed over 100 child cadets, sent to live and serve aboard the ship until their sixteenth year, when they would graduate and get drafted into the Marine Corps. Most of these cadets had military parents so their fate was sealed even before they drew their first breath. Rafian, however, was not one of them: he was an orphaned child from the planet Genese, who escaped a bombing to stow away on one of Helysian’s drop ships.

  When he was discovered and taken before the ship’s captain, he was everything that you would expect a street kid to be: rude, defiant, and with a distrust for authority. Any other captain would have dropped him off at a hub, but Abe RUS saw potential, so he hired one of his best officers to turn the boy into a soldier.

  This was the fifth week and Rafian’s body had the bruises to confirm it. Each morning he was roused by Samoo, made to jog out a three-mile trek, recite military doctrine, and eat a breakfast of laucks and mosh (which would be the equivalent of dry oatmeal and egg whites). The captain gave Samoo a year to make young Rafian great and Samoo was not going to fail, no matter how hard he had to push.

  Rafian looked up from the floor and his eyes met Samoo’s. His trainer wasn’t tall but he was a giant in the boy’s eyes. He rose up into the pushup position and did the 50 reps that had been asked of him prior to his beating. He did 50 more to make up for his temper tantrum and then held his position, expecting the cane to come crashing down on his back once again.

  “You’re learning. This makes me happy. Get your shower, read chapter five of Wings Above Traxis, and then you can go play with your little friends,” Samoo said.

  Rafian got to his feet and took up his shirt. It was originally one of Samoo’s, so it engulfed his skinny frame. The children that knew of him had made it a sport to poke fun about his appearance. He was tall, dark, and awkward, and all of his clothes barely fit him, like that of a Vestalian scarecrow.

  This was nothing new to the orphan, who had been the object of ridicule even when he was living on the streets of Genese. Samoo had told him that he could play with his friends, but his only friend was the imaginary one he had conjured up sometime in the past.

  Rafian ran out of the tiny gym and into the main hallway that connected the recreation area to the officers’ quarters. There were a lot of soldiers but he slid through them easily, trying his best not to accidentally bump into any of them as he made his way to 43C. This was what they called the block where he and Samoo lived.

  Samoo’s apartment was the same as the other 1,500 soldier-issued quarters aboard the ship. It was a ten-by-nine-foot space occupied by a bed, which flipped out from the port wall and could double as a table by selecting that option on the panel. There was a tiny metal sink that protruded from the wall along with a toilet, shower, and a tiny mirror.

  Rafian showered but chose not to leave the apartment. Instead he sat in one of the corners and tried his best to remember his friend, Lendi’s, face.

  Throughout his life, Rafian often wondered whether or not he was meant to be in the world. He had always known pain, loneliness, and disappointment, and it felt like for him, there was nothing else.

  His mother was a seeker, one of the gifted mutants of Vestalia, their home world. She would dream things that existed beyond the limits of their world. She could predict things, and when she was drunk or high on Rascene, she could transmit thoughts into other people’s heads. This skill was not uncommon for Vestalian women. In fact, it was the main reason the Geralos had invaded the planet.

  The reptilian race of Geralos found that by eating the brains of Vestalian women, it allowed them to steal their prescient power for a few months. When the invasions happened, Rafian’s father gave his life in order to get his wife and child safely onboard a produce ship. Rafian’s mother, heartbroken by the loss of her husband, would neither eat nor drink, and after a time, she became critically ill.

  When the ship had finally landed on the planet Genese, five-year-old Rafian was introduced to a harsh new world. The Basce City streets were a cruel teacher and Rafian suffered things no child should ever suffer. By the time he was seven years of age, he had seen plenty of households, since people would take him in only to realize that an orphan born on a refugee vessel was not the easiest to deal with. He was too old and too wild for the average, well-meaning parent and before long he was forced to make his own way as a scavenger and thief.

  In his early days, Rafian would sneak into the local primary school and talk to the children there. They thought he was cool because he had no parents and could come and go as he pleased. He would listen in on classes and mimic the assignments given to them, trying his best to fit in. He wanted to be a regular child, but with no parents, he was forced to s
teal his education along with everything else.

  It was at school that he met Lendi, the only person that he would call friend. She was a caramel-colored girl with big brown eyes, curly hair, and a seemingly permanent grin. She came from a good home with parents who loved her. To him, she was perfect, even though she would always correct his speech.

  Lendi tried to get her parents to take him in, but their kindness had limits that would not allow for it. Lendi was his guardian angel and his raison d’etre. She was always there to give him her lunch whenever he was starving. She would sneak him blankets from her home and talk with him even though his smell turned all the other children away.

  He always wanted Lendi to be okay, and he was willing to do whatever it took to make sure of this. But when the bombs started dropping and the city burned, he had no way of knowing Lendi’s fate. He wanted to believe that she was safe onboard a ship like Helysian, but without proof he found himself worrying that she was gone.

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