Book one
Dangerous Times
CHAPTER
1
Life on a Post-Apocalyptic Planet
The first day of Tuimang (New Year)
I wrote down the date on a piece of paper and shoved it in my pocket.
“Still keeping track of the date, Shaya?” my companion, Travir said.
“Well someone has to, we’re basically the last people on the planet,” I said.
“There was that city, there were people there,” he said.
“Yes, but this place used to filled with millions- everywhere!” I said.
“We could’ve stayed, you know.”
“Not this again,” I sighed.
“We have a better chance of surviving if we stick with others.”
“You never know if they’ll suddenly turn on you!” I exclaimed.
“True... but still.” We continued walking for a while when I spotted a building in the distance.
“Do you see that? Looks like we’ve found our next refuge,” I said. We started at a run through the hot, dry desert of our planet called Therratosan. When we got there we got a good look at the old structure.
“This looks like it used to be an old multi-home of some sort,” Travir said as he surveyed the outside.
“Or what humans would call an ‘apartment’ or ‘flat’,” I said.
He rolled his eyes, “You and your random Earth facts.”
It was almost impossible to tell what it was, with half of the large structure collapsed on it’s side. Bricks and metal littered the ground, along with other bits and pieces of the building. It looked as if there was only one large room and a half left, with the walls cracked and ready to fall over at any second. The roof was mostly intact, though.
“Well, whatever it once was, it’s ours now,” I said, walking inside it (the door had fallen).
My heart stopped when I saw a reflective metal sitting in the corner of the room. Our reflection caught it and I found myself staring at the unfamiliar person staring back at me, mirroring my movements.
“A mirror...” Travir said.
I nodded, too stunned to speak. It had been literally years since we’d seen ourselves.
We sat in silence for a while, staring at ourselves in the mirror. We were filthy, not one inch of us was dirt-free. My long dark hair was matted and tangled, even though it was braided. Travir’s light reddish-brown hair had grown to about his shoulders, and a stubble lined his jaw. Our once-pale skin was now tanned from the scorching sun, and our black clothes were ripped.
“We need a bath,” I commented.
“Definitely, but for now let’s loot what we can from this place,” he said, turning away from the mirror.
Every time we found a refuge we would loot it for literally anything. We wore most of what we found, I had a bracelet made of scrap metal and coins, a necklace out of small gears, chains, and an antique pocket watch I had found. My earrings were rolls of paper, a writing utensil was tucked behind my ear, connected to it with paper clips. Weapons were kept in my belt, including two knives, a pistol, and many bullet canisters- which was running out of bullets.
Looking around, I saw a bed in the corner by a mostly crumbled wall that was half-buried in debris, the post and frame crushed beneath the weight. To the left of that was the old, dusty mirror- which I quickly turned away from- and an old chair with one of the legs missing. Everything else was either buried in the wreckage or destroyed.
I scavenged the wreckage, finding a key, a few bullets, a book with illegible writing, and a long strip of red cloth, which I tied around my left arm incase it came in handy later.
“Shaya! Get over here, I found something!” He shouted.
I ran over to the other “room” to find him staring down at a dresser. The drawers were open, and in them was clothes.
“Nice work, Travir!” I said, taking the clothes out of the drawer and inspecting them. They weren’t my style, but they were still in better shape than the ones I was wearing. They were mostly clean, too. The dresser must have been protecting them.
“Thanks! It was buried beneath all this rubble, ” Travir said, “there’s a wall over there that you can change behind, if you want. I’ll change over here.”
I looked to where he was pointing and saw the mostly crumbled wall that once separated the two remaining rooms of this place, where the bed and mirror was. It was strange having privacy, even for what little there was, our refuges usually weren’t this... kempt. Even the town we visited a year ago was crowded and vile. People crammed into the makeshift homes they’d built from the remains of the original city.
“Okay,” I said, grabbing what looked like female’s clothes out of the dresser and carrying them over to the wall, where I changed.
We stepped out and looked in the mirror again. I wore a black high-low skirt (the high part being about 1/3 of the way up my thighs and the low part going just past my knees), a long-sleeved light grey blouse, a brown leather glove (with the fingers) to go on my left hand that was missing one, a dark blue cloth glove that went up to my elbow without the fingers on my right, and knee-high socks that had large grey stripes going vertical. I kept my black heeled boots, black leather vest, goggles, and of course all of my accessories.
Travir was wearing faded, ripped jeans, a white shirt with the sleeves ripped off, a belt, and he had kept his dark brown trench coat, belt, and dark green beanie.
“You know, this was kind of stupid since we have to sleep now,” he said.
I laughed, “Yeah, we’ll have to get undressed after all the work of getting this stuff on.”
“Let’s figure out where to sleep,” he said, “there’s a bed over there, we’ll have to move the rubble away, though.”
I nodded and we went over to get the bed ready.
I woke up on the mattress, still in the clothes I’d found the night before. Me and Shaya had both agreed that we were too exhausted to change. I rolled over on my side to cuddle Shaya, but she was gone. I sat up and lifted up the blanket to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. Still nothing. I got out of bed and looked around.
“Shaya?”
I heard no reply. I ran outside and gazed off into the endless desert. I ran around the refuge, calling out her name and ending up with nothing in return. Finally I gave up and returned to the refuge to think about what to do next. That’s when I noticed a drop of blood at the step leading up to the door. Fresh blood. Shaya’s blood.
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