"On the clearest of nights, when the winds of the Etherium were calm and peaceful..", that's how adventurous stories start, right? At least that was what I thought for the last 17 years.
My Story starts in one of the darkest nights since the big blackout when I was a kid. If you think black is the darkest thing you know, then you have no idea how dark it can become here in the OUTLANDS. It's how we called it, far enough from the huge city with the glass dome placed over it like people did in old history books. Tonight, even the lights in the dome seemed to be weak. Life out here was simple, our houses were formed like domes too with the rooms as deep under the earth as our robots could dig. Down in the capital nobody had to worry about the heat that would keep rising in about 30 days from now, the dome was protecting them with a very strong shield. Out here the two Suns that would bring us light and energy could literally kill you in just an blink of a eye if you didn't make it inside before sunrise.
I was enjoying the 3 months of darkness of every year, maybe even a little bit more the older I became. It was my time to dive deep into all the books Granny and my Father saved before they left Terra-1. Stories about God's and Lover's, Books with photography of Animals we will never get to see. We could see them if we had the holograms, but it's different.
Books were forbidden, you could get a harsh punishment if the Rangers catch you with one. They would send you right to the tunnels no matter what age you were. In darkness you had to work besides old machines or replace them if they break down. Not many who got sent there came back and when they did something was different. They were different, marked by hard work and their eyes turned into light shiny green from adapting to the rarity of light.
Still if you wanted to get books or other forbidden thins you had to take the risk and a even more risky path to Serenity. It's a place further than the outlands, with everyone who was refusing to follow the rules of the emperor. I have been there a few times, even though everyone was telling me about the danger I was getting into. Danger not from the people and creatures around that place, the real danger was the Rangers trolling around and the times of sunshift.
Nothing could stop me from making my way there this night, except for one thing; Nio, my best friend and literally the loudest person on this planet. I lost count of all the times we almost got caught just because he was simply existing. There he was with his shiny silver hair slighty peaking out under his hoodie. Another piece I found in serenity, I got one for him and one for me, knowing both of us weren't able to hide our hair. We both turned from dark brown to silver during our adventure down in the abandoned mines on the other side of the dome.
We've been there too often, while people down in the tunnels got their green eyes ours turned into a rare blue, notable from miles away if light finds its way through the darkness. Other than planned, we got on the way back to the mines. Sometimes we found rare things in there, hidden in the walls or buried in the ground. Strange things our generation never saw before. If it wasn't that special, I took it with me to Serenity to exchange it for something more practical.
Our old way in was still untouched, at least that's how it looked from first sight, as we went in further we were noticing some weird cold breezes. It was never cold down here, always warm from the generators that went miles deep almost into the core. The power of the generators kept the dome up and the city save from all outside influence. Wasn't it that old man who told me before the last blackout it was colder than ever before? My thoughts made me hold in for a while, staring into the hollow tunnel right in front of me. Nio was gone, and so was the light he carried to keep us on track.
Calling his name wasn't an option, there could've been rangers around here who kept their eyes open for intruders and whatever was going on with the generators. With my hands tracing along the cold, wet wall, I tried to get back where we started. That was the deal if something ever happened we would meet there.
With every step the wall was getting colder and at that moment I realized I messed up. I needed to get back on track and get a clear mind, but right when I thought I couldn't do anything about it, I heard a well known sound from around the corner. Softly I whispered his name and became more relaxed when I heard mine back. Everyone called me Remy, they didn't know that my real name was Romeo, from one of my Mother's favorite characters in a book.
Relieved from finally being together again, we kept on walking instead of heading back, we hadn't been in an adventure yet so there was no reason of going home. The cold gave us chills sporadically, as we kept on following the tunnel. I told him about the story my Mother told me earlier that day, about dancing. People our age going to places to move our bodies to created rhythm, of course he had to make a joke out of it with moving like a broken robot until he stopped facing me.
"Your eyes, Remy." His voice was different now.
"Stop blinding me with the light, Idiot!" I tried to cover my eyes with my hand until I noticed his light was pointing to the ground and the light was coming from behind him.
Merci pour la lecture!
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