part 1: Exile to Jurai
Two wanderers, humans without purpose or direction, left the planet they once called home, a planet called Earth, volunteering to be part of a dangerous space program.
Jerren Ryo Gregory, a young man who has felt the bitter sting of failure many times in his life, feels there is no destiny waiting for him on his home world. Now he looks to the stars for answers, followed closely by his best friend Ami.
Ami Mizuno Anderson, a young woman whom, unlike Jerren, has achieved much success in her life, discovered that she had failed to shape her own path, much to her despair. When she was provided the opportunity to apply for the space program, Ami jumped at the chance, giving her best friend the option to join her.
In the hope of a better life, the pair embarked on a journey beyond the stars, only to have their ship struck by a meteor, causing them to crash land on the planet Mercury, the sole survivors of the ill fated voyage.
The closest planet to the Sun, Mercury was once part of an ancient Kingdom that had long since passed into obscurity. There on that desolate world, the duo were surprised to find natives of the planet, still alive and thriving millennia after their kingdoms slow decline into the realm of myth and legend.
Highly advanced, the humanlike Mercurians adopted the stranded humans and taught them their culture and way of life.
A year later, Jerren and Ami finally felt at peace with their lives…until the soldiers from a distant empire began raiding the Mercurian settlements.
A mighty galactic empire that controls a vast area of space, the Jurai hierarchy harassed the peaceful citizens of Mercury, stealing people and resources until one day they sent their soldiers down to invade and lay siege to the planet. Many tried to defend themselves; however Jurais military, under the control of General Seina Yamada, was too powerful a force for the peaceful Mercurians. Many died in the siege, but more were taken captive and forced into slavery.
Jerren and Ami, caught in the crossfire and taken as slaves along with their adopted people, disillusioned and fearful of what may lie ahead, cannot help but wonder what fate Jurai holds in store for them.......
In the outer reaches of the universe, Jurian Imperial Military ships returned home after several months patrol in the dark, un-conquered sectors of their mighty empire.
Landing safely on their home soil after piercing the planet’s atmosphere, the gangway lowered and captives were steadily led from the ship's hold, closely observed by their captors.
The majority of the captives were Mercurians from the Sol sector; but two notable exceptions stood out from the crowd, for among these captives were Jerren and Ami, two Terrans of Earth who were roughly forced into the single file line of their fellow captives with the butts of their guards' weapons.
“Keep it moving, kid. You're dragging the line down.” a guard yelled sharply, thrusting the butt of his weapon into his back.
“It's not my fault these cuffs weigh a ton! They make it a hassle to move, much less quickly...” he griped under his breath.
Jerren Ryo Gregory was a black skinned boy, 19 years old. At 5 foot 5 he did not tower over his surrounding captors or fellow prisoners, but an aura of capability made him stand out like a beacon from the mass of defeated faces in the crowd. Wearing a black tank top and jeans, he was somewhat nondescript but a nice enough guy when you got to know him.
The guard caught a vague hint of what he'd said and shoved him yet again, harder this time.
Not far off, Ami could be heard attempting to reason with the guards.
“You can't treat us like this! Captives or not, we're still people!” she cried.
Ami Mizuno Anderson was a small but intelligent 20 year old woman, 5 foot 2, with blue hair and eyes. She wore a white buttoned shirt with a blue vest, a brown thigh high skirt, and brown boots.
“Both of you shut your mouths!” another guard growled, “Or would you rather I make you shut them?” he said, thumbing the hilt of his saber.
“No, no, we're moving. No need for hostility...” she mumbled, shuffling forward with the rest. It wasn't long before they were forced into what they hoped was a temporary holding area as the line wound on out of site.
“These guards must be insane!” Jerren proclaimed loudly, looking over his shoulder to make sure there weren't any guards waiting to strike him again; he didn't need another bruise on his back…or worse.
“Not to mention incredibly rude. They can't just treat us like animals because we're their prisoners.” she sighed, looking down the length of the line, alarmed at how long it really was. Jerren noticed the look and peeked down the line as well.
“Jeez... this line is worse than the ones you find at a newly opened amusement park!” he said, eyes open wide from the sheer volume of people. Ami sighed, turning her attention back to Jerren.
“Yeah, I know. And just a quick estimate puts us waiting here for at least 4 hours, probably more. By the time we get through I'll be an old woman!” she ran her fingers across her face, feeling the wrinkles that didn't yet exist.
Jerren sighed this time, exasperated. Ami smiled at him.
“Don't be such a sourpuss, Jerren. We could both use the exercise. Not to mention this fresh air actually feels lovely.”
“Man, Ami. Seems like no matter how bad the situation is, you always try to find a bright side.” Jerren shook his head.
“Well, someone has to do it. How else would we keep our spirits up?” She replied, smiling in earnest.
“Yeah, you've got a point there, especially not knowing where we're headed.” he said. His head tilted up as he caught sight of what looked like a bird passing by. Ami took notice as well, her head tracking its flight. It was only then that the two truly looked at the planet on which they'd landed, and they were unable to stop staring.
Enormous rolling hills, completely green without even a trace of brown led off into the distance; monolithic trees, stretching high into the sky almost kissed the clouds; an immeasurable array of flora dotting the vast entirety of the ecosystem splashed color everywhere; seemingly endless rivers, clear enough to see the fish swimming, all met their eyes. It was truly a stunning vista to behold.
“This might not be an ideal situation, Ami. But this place is just... it's...” he was unable to find a proper word to describe what he was seeing.
“…Breathtaking.” she replied.
The line began moving again, and faster than Ami had predicted. Soon enough, the pair saw their destination, whatever it may be, on the horizon.
“Well, it looks like you were wrong about how long this would take, eh?” Jerren asked, smiling and gazing around at the pure beauty of the place they'd been taken.
“It would seem so…and I'm almost sad to see it go.”
To Be Continued...