I've always been a reader in search for good stories and better stories to teach me more about myself.
One day I thought, what if I was the author?
One thought after another, a story and a world created within me.
One Story after another, a world and myself changed.
I hope you enjoy this.
Larkin Potent, an unremarkable young man with a remarkable D.O.E heritage and extraordinary future, visits the de-militarised zone of Coral sponsored University city within the Garden.
Yes, you're wondering, that is a mouthful for a first sentence. Give me a chance to expand.
D.O.E simply stands for Descendant Of the Emperor. Which Emperor? Roman or Chinese?
If you had said Chinese, I'll give you half the prize.
Being Chinese is only half the equation. The other half are dreams. The man that led the entire world to move out of Earth and into Space in 2017, the man that inspired everyone to work towards that goal and create Children for that dream of peace, prosperity and power. And he did it, the man that made dreams of future real. He is none other than...
The Emperor of Dreams.
So what about this Coral Sponsored place and the University City along with the Garden, you might ask?
Let's start with the Garden. The Garden is the size of Earth, but unlike a planet, plates in the form of continents that float like a layer, with 5 layers that eventually end with an inner core. Those plates are inhabitable both inside and out. The air between the core and plates match the atmosphere of Earth. This meant that plants, forests, fauna and humans can live in which cities are built.
Of course, Humans were not the first to live in the Garden. Known as the keepers the first race, the Coral race are a robotic race that merges software to their hardware, much like DNA and human flesh. Like the Coral-organism in the sea they reproduce the same way. With a single core on their chest that functions as the main processor, the rest of the body function much like a humanoid with only four eyes on its head and no other facial features. They express mood by changing the colours of their illuminated eyes.
The other race is known as the Pyrons. A biological race like humans, with beaks and fur resembling bird like faces, arrived at the garden hundreds of years before human's first discovery. The humans and Pyrons experienced peace after the Emperor of Dreams discovered the garden, even working together to eliminate the common enemy. But a few hundred years after differences lead to fights and racism lead to war.
The Coral has taken the role of peace negotiators. The University City once was a refugee centre, but quickly formed into a self-sustaining city to research technology to promote peace.
That was a lot to absorb, oh but I missed out something. Extraordinary future?
Location: University City at the Fountain Greens.
Larkin sits by the third largest water fountain in all of the Garden. His hands touching the falling water, creating an unveiling effect with ripples downstream. Strangely he holds that position for a minute as though he could be getting the breakthrough he has always wanted.
You see, being a D.O.E means you inherit another ability that only the Emperor of Dreams later discovered. He reverse engineered the secret behind Christ's ability to walk on water. The ability is passed down genetically, science still at a loss on how this is possible. Some even lament they didn't question the Emperor whilst they had the chance.
But rather than just walking on water, the D.O.Es use water to create shields, weapons and technology that only they could wield. Larkin unfortunately was born with a weakened ability to manipulate water.
Larkin pulls his hand back with water droplets falling out of his hand. He desperately focuses the water to stop dripping, but consistently fails.
Speaking to his personal AI on his holographic watch "It's not working" punches the ground "Why? Mum's a D.O.E, it's not as if ... maybe I as adopted. But that can't be right, they would have told me. And plus I passed the gene test and I was able to control it on a micro-level. In fact, I scored perfectly and was told I was a gifted candidate to train with Eadgar himself."
AI: "I think you are over-reacting. You should think logically. Maybe there was a flaw in the D.O.E entrance examination, a mix-up perhaps. Their tests are unscientific and I would consider it prone to errors."
Larkin: "According to your logic humans can't control water. Look at the Combat D.O.Es from both the house of Eden and Orchids. They create water swords in an instant. Explain that!"
AI: "I already told you, science is progressing to understand how D.O.Es can control water. Oh and, by the way, you're late for the Sub-Quantum strand theory class."
Larkin would never have imagined his next decision would change his entire world.
A young woman, blue eyes, black hair with pale skin runs up to him. Her palm holding his shoulder down, Larkin feels the pressure, not the strength of an ordinary person. She exhales then looks at Larkin "Umm, friend or whoever. Can you leave your hand in the fountain?"
Larkin replies "But why?"
She picks up a stick and places it under the fountain. As the water separates, white foam and water splashes cloud the surface of the water. She then picks up his hand and places it under the water. Unlike the stick, the water runs off without splashing or foaming.
She finally speaks "You have a beautiful spirit. Water is at peace and bonds together when they're with you."
Larkin perplexed asks, "So you sit around looking at people at the water fountain?"
She giggles "I'm not a creep. I'm an artist. I was painting the water fountain, the third largest but the most beautiful. I saw what you did, it's beautiful so I want to paint it."
Larkin looks at his watch "Look, sorry I have a class to go to. By the way, Larkin is my name. Can we do this tomorrow or maybe you could take a photo?"
"Oh", she disappointingly replies "I only have a day pass to get into Uni today. And I need to submit a few works in a fortnight. Going to be busy... that's ok. I'll just repaint the fountain."
AI: "Larkin, I have found an explanation for this. It is likely that a translucent starch was added which made the water particles bond whilst when the stick touched the water, there was a lack of star...." Larkin cuts the AI off "AI, quit it!"
Larkin looks at her feet, unpolished with torn pants. He smiles lifting his left hand back into the fountain "Ok."
She replies "Thank you."
Larkin answers "Sorry I didn't catch your name."
Smiling, she replies "When I finish painting."
The blush on Larkin's face, perhaps even the nervousness of attempting to challenge the stranger's demands. Larkin had simply never been anywhere close to an attractive woman, let alone one that noticed his small heritage as a D.O.E. As Larkin ponders his next move, the water begins to bend then forming clean bubbles that resemble opals that reflect different coloured light.
The stranger yells from a distance "Hey stop that!"
Eventually, the painting is done. It's sunset, Larkin walks over to the stranger and her painting.
Larkin admires the intricate colours and layers. More amazingly is the curtain effect of the water when he touches the fountain.
She finally unveils her name pointing to the corner of the painting.
Esta's stomach rumbles in hunger. Again it was up to Larkin to save the day by offering to take her to a local Sushi restaurant. Conversing throughout the night, Esta drinking more than she could handle, she spills the beans.
"Sorry, I lied. I don't have a day pass. I'm ... I'm an Arts student. I know you're thinking how bad I am, but you know, just trying to survive. Out of cash so I can't afford a Dorm. Probably need to go back and earn money again then come back."
Larkin also under influence of alcohol shakes his head "All good. Bill on me tonight. Say Esta where are you from?"
Esta replies with a cup of sake between her two fingers and one eye closed "From somewhere I shouldn't belong. What about you D.O.E boy?"
Larkin surprised "You're probably the only person that believes I'm a D.O.E. You wouldn't believe it, my entrance exam I scored 99 and yet I can't even do the basic control of water. My parents, they've been verbally abusing me ever since. Suppose to be in Eadgar's special class for the gifted."
Esta "Why do you need to control water? And why do you need to be part of the dodgy immortal's class?"
Larkin shrugs off "Oh you know. I guess people outside D.O.E don't understand how we value being descendants of the Emperor. His two immortal kids, Lae and Eadgar. Every D.O.E wants to be recognised by the immortal ..."
Esta cuts him off "Yeh we all know the boring story. Don't get me wrong but ever since Lae defected to the Pyron kingdom, Lae and Eadgar just can't stop their stupid sibling rivalry. I mean how many times have we sent stupid ceasefires out over the most stupid of all causes. Last time Eadgar claims Lae's D.O.Es trespassed the beach and onto Human Sponsored Land. Then Artillery fire, Lae sends the D.O.Es and Pyrons to kill other D.O.Es. It just never ends."
Larkin shaken by her reply changes the topic "Sorry. Yeh immortality is stupid. The Emperor was supposed to be immortal but died whilst killing John."
Esta dips her head "Sorry Larkin. I've had too much stress." standing up she heads to the exit with Larkin swiping his wrist to pay the bills. Then holding onto Esta's shoulders guiding her to his Dorm.
You would think something magical happened after. No, Larkin simply slept on the floor whilst Esta sinks into deep sleep on his single bed.
It's two weeks since the first day Larkin had met Esta. The last he saw Esta, she was still asleep on his bed whilst he woke up early to attend a subject on molecular psychology.
Is Larkin crazy for Esta. You bet!
Every day he would start the message to Esta "Sorry again. Let me know if we can meet. I'll do anything to make it happen."
Each day, lonely at the water fountain or in his room, pondering the message box for her reply.
Larkin brings up an e-book written by the Emperor, verses that encouraged the Emperor to do what he did. Randomly flicking through the incredibly dry words of wisdom, the first that appeared.
"I lived a life of want without really wanting. I know this because I didn't do what I needed to do to make it happen. One day I found a need, my habits, environment, family, culture and everything in this world told me I don't need what I need. But God said I needed what I knew I needed.
I did whatever I could do, not whatever was easiest or effective, but all I could do to make what I want to happen... happen.
My dreams came true. Not because I want, because I need and God said I need."
Larkin ponders "Does God need me to follow her? I mean she's an Art student, how can painting help society grow. But why am I following her, I can't even focus on my studies. I have to see her, is she my NEED!"
Larkin's Coral friend Eiko arrives at his dorm.
Eiko waves "Yo, doe. You don't seem well. That human AI still bugging you with BS?"
AI: "It is not Bull Shit. Coral and AI should work more closely ..."
Eiko waves it off "Ah Shut it Ai. We're way older and more evolved than you lot. Don't put us in the same basket. Say Larkin, you didn't show up to class the other day. I got permission to..."
Larkin butts in "Since when do Coral get permission? You hack you win, just like humans conquering. Anyways what did you see?"
Eiko's eyes turn pink "That girl, got a pic. If you want it, 2K per pic."
Larkin shakes his head "You are an extortionist. I won't fall for that."
Eiko waves his hands "No no, misunderstanding. I'll give you the pics of you and her on the day for free. These pics are what some of our military ops put together. Esta isn't even a student here. Got pics and info of where she is and where you can find her."
Larkin breath deepens "How much?"
Eiko turns around "Like a good friend, I'll tell you my cost price. You need to offer something higher, else I'll never do business with you. Cause these pics are worthless to everyone except you."
Larkin shoots "Sure."
Eiko lays his hand on Larkins wall, projecting a figure of $7.43K.
Larkin lays his hand on the same wall projecting a figure of $10K, replying to Eiko "I prefer to spend only $8K, but I'll do it for $10K"
Eiko's eyes turn lime green, a sign he is happy with the trade. The Contract signed, Eiko requests the payments made in installments to avoid detection from University's fraud system.
Larkin quickly reviews the pictures with Eiko, the images without a doubt shocking.
Larkin replies "I can't believe she's alive"
The first picture shows a refugee camp in Pyron territory. The Wraiths, demon possessed black cloaked soldiers, raiding without remorse. The Coral peace keepers and Pyron military rushing in to crush the raid.
There in the midst of refugees, Esta crouching with a rifle, listening for Wraiths moving quickly through the shallow alley ways. Armourless unlike other soldiers.
Another image of Esta, crouching whilst leading chinese children away from Gippers, human sponsored reptilian soldiers from the planet of Gipps where it is thought, millions of years an Alien race captured dinosaurs and experimented them on the planet Gipps by adding intelligence to their genetics.
Lastly a rare mountain pyron lifting Esta up to cross over the wall and into Pyron Sentries for safety.
Eikon taps his finger on the wooden desk demanding attention "Pics taken yesterday."
Larkin rubs his eyes then stretches "Explains her gripe. These pics, Eadgar will never approve these being published."
Eikon hacks Larkin's firewall to view the Pyron internet "Look at the Pyrons. Unfiltered pictures of body parts everywhere by Wraiths and Gippers, it's all over their media."
Larkin shakes his head "The amount of censorship on my profile is ridiculous. What's the coral position on this?"
Eikon replies in a relaxed manner "Well, it's been like this for over two generations. Corals don't care, but we do help out with the Will of the Garden. The Garden wants peace, so we do what we can to assist. It doesn't mean we have solutions. We generally don't like to be put into a position."
Larkin nods "I see. I remember reading a communist group wanted their own land as soon as they arrived on the Garden and started a war with everyone and tried to get the Coral to support their cause."
Eikon: "Yeh we blasted them. Then you and Pyrons knew we were holding back. We got the big guns around here. Look about Esta... Is she worth it? I don't think so. I mean theres plenty around uni that look like her. And I know you're kind, trying to be the hero and all that. But if you do go ahead, I don't blame you."
Eikon drops a small parcel into Larkin's hand "A gift. I'll let you decide."
Larkin opens the small paper wrapped parcel, inscribed is an address in Pyron territory.
Fable, Larkin's Pyron study friend pops in "Just in time Larkin?"
Eikon bows with respect "Yeh, damn straight. Good work!"
Fable one arm in the air in an announcement pose "Always a performer. Larkin I have your Visa approved. Just need to have the Eden Clearing House give permission."
Larkin shakes his head "They'll never approve it. They'll know once I go there, I won't return. Eikon, where was that speech about if she's worth it? You think shes..."
Eikon shakes his head dimming his eye colour to orange "No. Fable just wants to see your reaction when you see whats going on in the refugee camps."
Fable whispers in Larkins ears. "Technically humans and pyron governments hate each other. Just letting you know, your access is approved but they don't care if human approval is there or not."
Fable changes his extravagant pose to a humbling apologetic gesture "I shall take my leave. And you too Eikon."
That night, Larkin looks to the skies. He wonders "Why am I still at uni? I'm only doing summer schooling cause I have nothing to do. I'm studying here whilst Esta is out there saving kids."
As always Larkin turns to the book written by the Emperor for words of guidance.
"I hate regret, regret when I could have sacrificed myself but lived with a poorer outcome. I lived listening to my parents believing education will bring prosperity and freedom. But I was so wrong, it only brings personal prosperity when all I wanted was peace in my heart. Only Christ could do this.
And Christ tells me my parents were wrong.
And then I became who God wanted me to be. Not the subtle murderer the world wants me to be, thinking ignorance will save one's self life.
It was hard but I got through.
Even when water found me, it was still hard. But in the end I look back and think, wow, I did it.
I challenged my parents then the world. And now freedom for people.
Oh I wished it would last."
Larkin looks at at the picture of Esta, with the line of children all following her to safety. What can Larkin do?
Larkin begins by writing a list of ideas to solve the fight between the Pyrons and Humans. One after another, he strikes through the probability of success as being zero to nil. Lastly the final point.
Bring Esta to human media and have her share to the world the videos and photos of the devastation caused by the Wraith organisation.
Larkin sets off into Pyron territory to the address. With tunnel gateways, the journey takes 5 hours to reach.