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Nai Vatoru


Master Inika

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This is designed as supplementary material to my currently unpublished novel, ELIKO: Legacy of Dystera. Here's some useful lexicon you should know without having the book:Andon: The prime species in the ELIKO universe; similar to humans in most cases.Zendreii: A relatively poor country, part of the politically repressive Viaran Empire.Zahnan: Unit of Dysteran time.Zahl: Unit of Dysteran measurement.Chapter 1 A thunderstorm woke Eliko from his sleep. In his slumber, he had dreamt of somewhere else, where peace and liberty reigned and honesty was the wage people worked for. It was a serene, lush place. Then, Eliko pulled himself out of bed and looked out his window, and remembered where he was. Here, massive skyscrapers poked the stars, vehicles soared through the airspace, and smoke stacks puffed a dark blanket over the cityscape. If there was any place like his dream in Zendreii, Eliko knew, it was bulldozed and turned into a megamall long ago. The Zendran native pulled a shirt and shorts from his pile of clothes and put them on. He stepped downstairs and, grabbing his wallet from the shelf, stepped out into the street. Still not thinking clearly, he took a deep breath of air, and then almost gagged himself with a coughing fit. He walked down the street left a bit, looking over every living structure, all of which were massive, colorless, and cone-shaped. A loud crunching sound woke Eliko up fully, finishing what the morning mouthful of smoke started. The Zendran jumped and saw a one-man aircraft having crashed behind him, the windshield shattered and the thing dented beyond repair. A figure staggered out of the craft, holding a bottle in his hand. A moment later, the figure collapsed to the ground, and the bottle, too, shattered. Eliko stepped over the unconscious being and rummaged through his trashed flyer. He found one of its propellers was still mostly intact, and, with some effort, tore it out. Then, carrying the device under his arm, he casually continued his morning walk. After about a silent hour of walking, Eliko put his propeller by his feet and rested up against a wall. The sun had only made itself visible a few minutes ago, even though it was almost noon. Eliko wondered if the sun was hiding until it felt safe. Then, he laughed lightly, and let himself slump down to the floor, to toy with his new item. “I got the drugs, you got the money?” Eliko turned to his right and saw a hooded Andon, about his age and build, waving around a capsule of pills. He constantly shivered, and Eliko could hear his teeth chatter. “Excuse me?” the mechanic asked. The shivering figure gasped. “Uh, sorry, I, um, I thought you was someone else.” The Andon then stood and ran, soon vanishing. Eliko shrugged, and looked back to the propeller. He could tell it had sustained some damage, but nothing he hadn’t dealt with before. For one, he’d need to stop by the market for new axel bands. All the ones on this one were either snapped or stretched out. “Morning,” a voice called. “Hey Gazime,” Eliko replied, so quiet it was hardly heard. He didn’t even look up from his work. “Did you know that depression has risen 10% in our subceptor in the past zahnan? Oh, and assisted suicide used to be legal in the United Dysteran Commonwealth until 10 BVR. I don’t get why they outlawed it.” “Gazime, the Commonwealth is no more. The Empress made sure of that. The only things we still have from the Ceptorial Charter are the ceptors themselves.” Eliko finally looked up, frustrated with the propeller, to see Gazime. They were very similar physically, both with pale blue skin and generally thin frames. One difference was Eliko’s black body paint, which touched only on his lower limbs, clashed with Gazime’s silver paint, which he had etched a serpentine design running down his biceps with. Eliko looked across the street and saw four older Andons sitting on a bench. One was obviously the leader, sporting ornate necklaces and piercings, and sitting on the table itself. Nearest him was a slender female, who tapped her fingers on his knee seductively. On the other side of the leader were the two remaining ones, one very thin, and the other slightly heavyset. “Can you believe girls like that worship guys like that?” Gazime said, looking straight toward the girl, who may or may not have noticed. “Hey, that’s life in the Empire.” Gazime just walked away, muttering to himself. That left Eliko to himself to ponder the four newcomers. He looked across, only to see the leader was looking at him, too. ---- “What’s that kid doing here?” Nikorahku asked, looking at the younger Zendran across the street. “These are our parts.” “Don’t worry about it Niko-baby, it’s nothing. He’s just lost,” the girl tapping his knee, Narki, said. Nikorahku still twitched at the young Zendran. “Well if he’s not, he needs to get lost.” “Yeah,” Bez, the heavy Andon, agreed. “This is Niko’s ground.” Nikorahku pushed Narki off of him and stalked across the street. The other three followed, having no choice. Soon, the Zendran looked up when their shadows covered him. He was sitting down, messing with a propeller. “Uh, hi,” he said awkwardly. “You know who I am?” Nikorahku asked, trying to stay calm, and flashing his ring with a bulky chrome “N” on it. “Niko? The Niko? I’ve heard of you. They say you own every club and bar in Zendreii.” “Hey, my friends call me Niko. You call me Nikorahku. Now who are you?” “Um, Eliko.” Then, the Zendran added, “But my friends call me Eliko. You call me, uh… Elikorahku.” Narki lifted her foot and smashed the propeller, crushing it flat. She bent over and picked it up, hurled it like a disk through the air, and watched it crash into a window. “Elikorahku? Really?” “I’m going to pick up my other girlfriend. You better not be in a zahl radius when I get back.” While the three stalked off, the tall one stayed behind. “Hey, I’m Lance,” he said, helping Eliko up. “Don’t worry about Nikorahku or them.” “Bro, let’s move!” Nikorahku shouted from down the street. Hastily, Lance shoved Eliko back to the floor, trying to be gentle. “Sorry. See you.”Review

Edited by Master Inika

"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

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Chapter 2 “Here we are,” Eliko said. “Zendreii City, capital of the Viaran Republic of Zendreii!” The three Andons stepped out of their cab and looked around. As with the rest of the Viaran Empire, skyscrapers and cone-shaped living towers were abundant. The obvious influences of brutalism were apparent. In the distance, waves crashed onto shores of black sand. “Oh, my, how impressive! The capital of a Viaran republic,” Gazime said with annoyed sarcasm. “This city might as well be the cleanest rag in the garbage can.” Gazime was dressed in dark colors, with a spiked haircut. Taroi sighed. “Just try to enjoy yourself, okay?” Taroi’s attire differed, as he wore a white shirt with a star on it, each of the five portions being a different color. Eliko nodded in assent. “So,” Eliko said, “how long until you guys have to go back to the academy?” “A week,” Taroi said. “Well, let’s make the most of your break,” Eliko replied. Then, he added, “I don’t have to go back ever.” Taroi laughed. “Yes, if only we could all be as smart and diligent as Eliko.” The three started walking through the noisy streets, looking for a directory. “You know, the Zendran Reform Church is here, if you guys, you know, want to go see it.” Gazime said “No,” Taroi and Eliko both said. Gazime knew asking was a futile effort. Taroi was a devout atheist, especially regarding the view of Kerei, the Psytheist god, held by Psytheist religions. Gazime didn’t quite know what Eliko was. According to the engineer himself, he was “experimenting with unconventional Botaxoni religions.” “I’m not going to that monument to conformity,” Taroi said. “Kerei would love everyone, not just who those Reform Psytheist clerics say he does.” After awhile of walking, looking for an interesting spot to explore, the three settled in a park in the center of Zendreii City. They were sitting on the shadow of a massive Zendran flag, sporting the Seal of Viarra in its center, a symbol of Viarra’s unfaltering dictatorship. “How do these sorts of things end up happening?” Eliko asked to no one in particular. “One 19-year-old holds power over the whole empire, three separate countries.” “Well, there are limitations!” Gazime said, again with his sarcastic tone. “The Viaran Courts must approve of anything she does.” “And when they don’t,” Eliko said, “they ‘disappear.’ Just look north. I can see her tower from here.” Eliko’s two friends looked and noticed they could see the Viarra Tower, radiating fear, zahl away in Aviotrak. They knew that, even then, the Empress was inside. “That’s a pretty big raincloud next to it,” Taroi said. “Raincloud?” Eliko asked. He looked to the right of the tower and saw a massive, dark object floating in the sky. “That’s no raincloud. It’s a city.” “He’s right. It’s Kuro, the capital of Aviotrak, and richest city in all Dystera,” Gazime said. As if reading from an encyclopedia, he continued: “The entire city is protected by a force field, and the only way in or out is teleportation. There’s only one telestation strong enough to penetrate a force field, owned by the government, and it’s obscenely expensive.” “I wonder what it must be like to live there,” Eliko said. “Five three-course meals a day, I bet.” “And what protection, behind that force field,” Taroi added. “I’d like to see a foreign fighter jet get in there.” Gazime sighed. “It’s the richest, but that’s misleading. The entirety of the Kurovian wealth is held by a very small minority. Most of Kuro is poor.” “Poor?” Taroi gasped. “How would you know?” “Because,” Gazime said, “I used to live there. If you two will stop drooling over that city of poverty for two seconds, I’ll tell you how I got from there to here.” “We’re listening,” Eliko said Gazime looked at the city with sad eyes, and said, “I was born in Kuro. My parents moved there after my dad inherited Ryker International, as you both know, formerly the largest energy stock trading company on Dystera.” Neither on Gazime’s allies could believe their ears. Taroi said, “Ryker International? The Ryker International? Mr. Ryker was one of the richest men in history!” “Yes, and it seemed I would be, too,” Gazime continued. “But, Viaran Revolution happened. With the political disruption, most other countries pulled out of the Aviotran economy. Many powerful businesses, including Ryker International, went bankrupt. We were trapped in Kuro, like many, because we couldn’t afford to teleport out.” “So how’d you get out?” Taroi asked. “Don’t rush me!” Gazime said. “Knowing no other way of life, I was devastated when the Rykers lost it all. Just a year ago, I was a very different person, so you’re not going to believe what I did next. I tried to kill myself.” That truly did shock the other two Andons. Despite Gazime’s obsession with death, and their initial concern upon meeting him roughly a year ago, Gazime had made it clear he was not willing to actually go through with suicide. “I threw myself over the edge of the city, ready to be electrocuted against the force field. Then, I don’t know why, but there was an energy surge, and I fell straight through. I broke every bone in my body when I hit the ground, but I survived. When I woke up in the hospital, I was convinced that Kerei intervened. If I am to die, it will happen on its own.” Now, when Eliko and Taroi looked at Kuro, they knew Gazime was looking at his former home. They could see how it could have molded someone like Gazime. “I would try to go back, but I could never afford it,” Gazime said. “I will need you three to come with me.” The Andons turned to see a masked Officer, holding a Viaran military insignia in one hand and a laser gun in his other.Review

Edited by Master Inika

"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

nichijou2.jpg

Click here to visit my library!

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Chapter 3 “What’s going on?” Eliko asked. “We have been monitoring you three. You are disillusioned with the prosperity Viarra has given to you all. It has been decided that you three will be sent to Trins’zet, for reeducation to becoming productive members of society,” the Officer explained to them. “Excuse me,” Gazime commented, “that would be much easier to accept if you were not aiming a weapon at us.” Keeping his laser gun positioned to the three, the Officer simply repeated the explanation he said before. “Sir, they’re with me.” The four Andons turned, and only Eliko recognized the newcomer. It was Lance, an ally of Nikorahku. While Nikorahku and most of his friends were stereotypical Viaran loyalists, Lance always seemed… different. “You know these three?” the Officer inquired, obviously skeptical. “Yes. Worry not, for they would never have a thought against Viarra’s good intentions.” The Officer shrugged, and paced away. Immediately, Lance walked in the other direction, gesturing Eliko and his friends to follow. Without speaking, Lance brought the three to his vehicle. It was a massive Lightning-95, an imported Skian speeder, considered very high quality. Lance allowed the other three to board, and they sped off. “Why’d you help us?” Eliko asked, getting straight to the point. “Oh, I did more than help you,” Lance replied. “Have you ever been to a Viaran reeducation facility? Anyway, as to why I did, just out of mercy.” “But you’re Nikorahku’s friend,” Eliko added. Lance stopped his Lightning. It was obvious where they were: Ceptor 3, a mysterious place almost completely covered by a dome and taboo to Viarra. “Viarra works on a big scale. Ever wonder how I got this car, a Skian Lightning-95, in this economy?” All three said nothing, but their expressions told they obviously did. “It was a little gift from the Viaran government,” Lance said. “The state controls everything - media, the economy, everything. A person in this empire has two choices. The first one, I took. I’m loyal to the empire, or they at least think I am. I always salute a flag of a Viaran nation, speak well of her to my peers, and do whatever she says, basically. In exchange, she alters the media to favor what I like, and utilizes our command economy to make what I want cheaper. Some things, like this car, are just for being good. Nikorahku, Bez, Narki, and I all chose this life.” “And the other choice?” Eliko asked, already knowing the answer. “The choice made by you and your friends,” Lance said. “The choice to be an individual. Anybody who goes against what Viarra says socially, religiously, or politically faces the worst. The media deems everything they do backwards and primitive. Their businesses are given the lowest quality materials and forced to keep prices either too low to live off of or too high to sell. All this, might I add, is illegal as per the Ceptorial Charter.” “How come Viarra gives you the treatment? After all, you’re just like us,” Gazime noted. “Surveillance,” was Lance’s simple answer. “Constantly. In your homes, at the store, in jail, and even on the streets. Finding you three dissenting in the park was child’s play for them. I only speak openly of my opinions here, in Ceptor 3. Viarra’s been too afraid to put anything like that here.” Then, as if he had heard his own words for the first time, Lance gasped. He reached up and, using all his strength, tore off part of the metallic disk that centered the steering wheel, right under his mouth. Underneath it, to his horror, was a small microphone. “No,” he whispered. “Oh, God, how could I have been so stupid?” “What’s wrong?” Taroi asked. “Viarra knew,” he breathed. “This car wasn’t a gift, it was a trap! She knew I was against her, she just needed to be sure.” Lance jumped out of the car and ran off, dodging and muttering to himself. Gazime now realized that, almost inaudibly, there was a rhythmic beeping sound. “Guys, get out, now!” he shouted. All three scrambled out and, following Gazime, ran. Not a second after they exited, the Lightning-95 exploded, throwing pieces of charred metal all around. “Okay,” Gazime assessed, still breathing heavy, “Lance never actually said our names, so we should be safe. Still, we should get out of here.” “We need to help Lance,” Taroi said. “He helped us, after all.” “I’m afraid he’s beyond our help now,” Lance said. “In a kahnan, two at most, Viarra will have our friend. His name will be removed from all documents, written or recorded, effectively erasing him from history. Lance himself will be ‘reeducated,’ and, if he’s lucky, then given a new name and new life, as a proud loyalist of the prosperous Viaran Empire.” “You have a special talent, Gazime,” Taroi commented. “Whenever I get an ounce of national pride or joy of any kind, you can stomp it out in four sentences.”Review

"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

nichijou2.jpg

Click here to visit my library!

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