In 2012, a catastrophic event happened around the world. It wasn't the rumored zombie apocalypse, an earthquake or a flood or robots rising against humans. It wasn't a plague, either. yet, those things were preferable to what really destroyed the world.
In fact, the event was the decline of human morality.
As we all know, humanity once lived in harmony with the earth, but everything changed when evil came into the world. A secret group called The Whisperers (rumored to actually run the world) encouraged crimes, hatred, and perverse moral sins, and discouraged kindness, peace, and gratitude.
As the world's tolerance for depravity grew, a large group of humans, (having had enough of the world they were living in) left Earth and went to a mysterious world. There, they established cities that flourished and kept to the old ways of life, not the ways of their former home.
(Not surprising, this exodus happened several times in history; the most famous exodus happened in 1999, when 10 million Christians left Earth and settled in a land across from the established cities. (But that's for a different story.)
Let's get to where we should be right now.)
As the exoduses continued, with many people going to the Mars colonies, many leaders became concerned with the conditions of their countries. Those leaders, influenced by the Whisperers, began making laws that forbade people from leaving or conspiring to leave the countries they lived in. Many people went underground and escaped while many more plotted to destroy the Whisperers and those who supported the group.
In 2031, World War III began. Yet unlike the last two world wars, this war was a war against depravity encouraged by the Whisperers. Many people who went underground when the laws forbidding them from escaping from the depraved Earth rose from under the city streets and raided houses of people who supported the Whisperers, killing those people or taking them prisoner. As the war spread, many countries ended up being toppled; the people in those countries soon discovered the horrors they had unwittingly allowed to exist. Most of them repented their sins while many others decided to leave Earth for the Mars colonies.
But that wasn't the worst of it.
In 2037, a terrible disease known as Putrid Atrophy attacked almost the entire world population. That illness attacked one's body through tick bites. (Ticks flourished in unclean places, such as beds and couches.) Within a few hours of being bitten by a disease-ridden tick, the victim would suffer from a high fever and die.
Millions of people, especially those who lived in poverty, died from the illness; those who survived saw the destruction of humanity as they knew it. World War III had already devastated the world population, with as many as 15 million people killed during the war. The AIDS virus (which couldn't be cured) killed 4 million more people around the world before it too burned off.
As for the Whisperers, they and their supporters were captured and taken to the place where Auschwitz once stood. There, they all faced court trials and were executed for their crimes against humanity. As many as nine million people were executed for their moral crimes. The Whisperers were destroyed and their properties seized by a group known as The Watchful Eye. That group sought to undo the damage that the Whisperers and human depravity had caused to the world.
When the war ended in 2038, the survivors got rid of the diseases. With the help of the Watchful Eye, they began the long and difficult process of rebuilding their world, which was destroyed by war and diseases. Many nations appeared in places where seven major continents once stood. Cultures and civilizations developed all over the world, civilizations different from the world destroyed during the wars.
Within a few years, trade resumed with not only the Martian colonies, but with several other planets. As the Earth slowly recovered, nature quickly reclaimed the cities destroyed during the wars. Most technology was declared obsolete. In many countries, many people were encouraged to take up farming and living in small towns as opposed to living in the cities. In fact, many farming communities grew where cities once flourished.
Yet in the midst of the rebuilding, something strange happened.
In 2044, two children disappeared from their homes; the victims were one boy and one girl from different areas around the world. No one knew where they ended up. It was believed that some surviving members of the Whisperers took the children, but that rumor couldn’t be proven. Someone tried to find the missing children after they disappeared, but that person had disappeared along with the children.
Time passed and the world recuperated from the battles and illnesses that ravaged most of the world. Somehow, every 70 years, a boy and a girl would disappear, never to be seen again. Those children who vanished were orphans; who would miss an orphan if he or she disappeared without a trace?
This is the story of a boy and girl who were taken from their homes. They ended up in a strange world, where their arrival is part of a saga that would change the entire world…
First, we should meet the children.
Here's the story of a girl named Elva, who had disappeared from her hometown of Namatius, Senzacion on Monday, October 7, 2077 at 10:45 AM. Ironically, it had been 70 years since the end of World War III when Elva disappeared.
Before we get to that part of the story, here's a bit of her background:
Elva Shepherd lived in Namatius, Senzacion. The city was located where the city of Sacramento, California once stood. The overpopulated city sitting astride a stream is best known as the location of an ancient battle. The battle was the Venetian-Pacific War, which was fought during the years 2027-2039. Many of the city's residents were employed in pottery, and the city was famous for its luxurious mausoleums. The tombs were dedicated to the military and people who had died during that war.
Elva was a curious girl with sharp green eyes and silver-blond hair. She was 14 years old and short for her age. She had cream-colored skin, an upturned nose, high cheekbones, slim lips, and slightly pointed ears. In fact, many people who knew her said she looked more like an elf than a human, a fact which would later reveal itself later in the story.
Elva was born on May 9, 2063. Her mother, TaLuna, had died when she was a little girl and she didn’t know who her father was. Raul and Victoria Shepherd (TaLuna's distant cousins) raised Elva in the community of Wildwood Arbor, which was located outside of Namatius. Even though Wildwood Arbor was a nice place, it was separated from the rest of Namatius; the people living there were anti-social. (In fact, rumors about the residents of the neighborhood practicing magic ran rampant throughout the city; that will be dealt with later on.)
There was no luxury in Senzacion (save for the elite families controlling the country), yet there were the problems of mental illnesses and gangs running unchecked through the city. Anyone with a mental illness would fall victim to the violence caused by the gangs; the police often had trouble with protecting the public and stopping the gangs.
Elva grew up dealing with the gangs that ruthlessly tormented the people every day; many orphans living in Wildwood Arbor were kidnapped and assimilated into the gangs. Raul and Vic didn’t like this; they tried to protect Elva as much as they could. Yet the fact that she was an orphan made her a target for the gangs, who attempted to get her to join their ranks.
Even with that issue about her being targeted by the gangs, Elva did well in school and was among those who might have been sent to the capitol boarding school for advanced education. She was independent, loyal, sensible, and brave. Yet she was stubborn and rebellious, both characteristics which would affect her future.
With the deaths of Raul and Vic when she was 10 years old (she had no siblings or other living family members to take her in), Elva was sent to live in the community orphanage, where most children whose parents were unable to raise them would go. There, a group of adults (all who were part of the church) took care of the children until they became of age. At 16 years old, children living in Senzacion were considered adults; they were married off to a person their guardian chose. Marriages in Senzacion were usually arranged from birth, in some cases marriage happened between relatives (mainly cousins), and marriages were for life; divorce was prohibited. Seldom would an unmarried person be permitted to live in Senzacion, unless they were part of the local clergy, who were not allowed to marry.
One day, Elva was walking underneath the trees in the Wildwood Arbor Park. The park was small and old-fashioned. It featured many trees, flowers, and a small playground. Elva wore a checkered green dress, a red scarf, and black shoes. She was two years away from becoming of age, in which she would be married to a young man of the headmistress' choice. However, Elva didn't think she was ready for marriage; in fact, she was an independent girl who refused to be tied down by the normal aspects of everyday living, including marriage and family. Not when there was a large world for her to discover.
But little did she know that her future would take a strange turn...
As Elva silently protested against the unfairness of her life, a hand mysteriously appeared out of thin air. Elva found herself being snatched from where she stood, which was beneath a large tree. Elva gasped in horror as she was yanked through what looked like a portal in the tree. The portal closed quickly, leaving no evidence of Elva being there.
No one saw the kidnapping, as most of the people who lived near the park believed that a gang had snatched her. There had been enough rumors of gangs kidnapping orphans and forcing them to join their ranks that Elva's disappearance was seen as an gang-related kidnapping.
Although the search for her continued for several weeks, the authorities never found her. Many gang members were arrested and the orphans they captured were rescued, but it was too late to help them, as they were no better than the cruel people that captured them. (We'll deal with that story later.)
Yet, Elva had vanished from Wildwood Arbor Park; no one knew where she ended up. Elva had no idea that her life would never be the same…
Now we have the story about a boy named Troy; he was also taken from his home at 10:45 A.M. on Monday, October 7, 2077. Little did he know that his disappearance happened 70 years after the wars and plagues ended.
Troy Branden lived in Ebis, Cesurius (where Tampa Bay, Florida once stood). This huge crowded city is located beside the sea and primarily created from timber. A highly trained city guard protects it. Its most popular attraction is the beautiful center square. The square was designed in 2050, some years after the battles were over. It is also well-known for its unique buildings, and most of its earnings come from textiles. The people there were skilled tile makers, and their tiles were popular all over the world.
Troy Branden was a peculiar boy with wide blue eyes hidden behind thin wire-framed glasses and straight brown hair. He was 17 years old and short for his age. He had white-colored skin, delicate ears, and a strong chin. He was born on May 17, 2060. His parents were Eric and Helen. They and Troy’s younger brother, Trevor, lived in the community of Point Pointtree, which was several miles from Ebis. Point Pointtree was a great place, with none of the gang attacks Elva had to deal with in her community. Yet, there was a problem with mentally disabled children being born in Cesurius. The nation made various laws stating that no one with a disability was permitted to live in the community.
Troy grew up dealing with the truth that his brother was unable to behave properly and their parents had to protect him from the guards who went out in the evening, raiding homes and looking for disabled people. If discovered, those people were taken to the mental hospitals all over the country, never to be seen by their families and friends again. Troy was not thrilled at having to lie about Trevor’s existence, but he knew it was better for his family and himself if Trevor was not found. The charges for hiding a disabled person ranged from years in prison to execution. Troy knew several people executed because of they decided to protect their disabled relatives instead of handing them over to the government for institutionalization or execution.
Despite the problems he had with his family keeping his brother hidden from the world, Troy made excellent grades in high school, but he knew he was no genius. He was loyal, mature, and sensible, but he also caved in to others, which would not look good in his future.
When Troy was 15 years old, there was a raid on his neighborhood; several disabled people living on his street were detained. Yet those people refused to go down without a fight, so they fought for their freedom. Many people living in the neighborhood were drawn into the riot, which lasted for three weeks. During that time, schools and businesses were closed, as the streets were dangerous. Troy feared for his family, knowing that they could become targets for either the rebellion or the police because they decided to keep Trevor hidden instead of turning him in.
People all over the nation soon found out about the fighting in Point Pointtree. They pleaded with President Patrick Gallagher to put down the revolt. He responded by sending out the city guards to Point Pointtree; The guards arrested many people who took part in the fighting.
By the time the rebellion was over, many people arrested for their part in the fight were executed. Eric and Helen were among those who were killed in the fight; several people had dragged them from their home and beheaded them in the streets.
Troy was now an orphan and Trevor's only guardian. He had to quit school and take care of Trevor, always protecting him, and making sure that other people didn't see him. Many people turned against the Branden family for their part in the riot that killed their handicapped relatives and many other people; they plotted to kill Trevor and send Troy to an orphanage. Troy realized because he dropped out of school, he had compromised his future. He never liked to compromise, often giving in to the other person’s views if necessary.
He was last seen wearing a blue shirt with orange lining on the sides, blue jeans, and blue shoes. Troy was with Trevor on the playground in the middle of their neighborhood when a disembodied hand grabbed him. Before he knew what was happening, Troy was taken away through a portal in the tallest tree in the park. No one in the park saw the kidnapping and no one knew where he had gone.
Trevor was the only person who saw the kidnapping of his older brother; since he was handicapped, no one believed him. Troy had looked after his brother since their parents died in the rebellion; most of their neighbors despised Troy and detested Trevor. So no one could help him when his brother was kidnapped.
Unlike Elva's kidnapping (in which many people were arrested), Troy’s kidnapping was soon forgotten. Everyone assumed that Trevor had killed Troy in an unexpected fit of rage. Trevor himself was later sent to the Ebis Institution for the Criminally Insane, which was tragic because his parents were dad and his brother was gone and the people believed he had something to do with their deaths.
As for Troy, he had no idea that his life was about to be changed forever and his destiny was linked to that of another person whom he had yet to meet…