On Galaxy's Edge Ascendance Online - Alex T. Kolter

CHAPTER ONE

HOME

A bright blue flash filled the confines of the small room, and Nero, sat dejectedly on the room’s bed, glanced towards the window, grateful for the distraction. A deep rumble soon followed the flash, and with an apologetic look at his mother, he ran towards the window and looked up. Above, a great ship was flying over their house, and the city. He felt the walls of their small house shake slightly, and another bright flash followed the first, as the ship flared its engines and maneuvered its vast bulk. He stood and watched as it descended further, until it was little more than a kilometre above the city, and nearly grazing the tops of the tall skyscrapers that peppered the centre of the city.

“Nero?” his mother called from across the room.

The young boy continued to watch as the ship disappeared behind the tall buildings, and then finally tore himself away from the window. He slumped back down onto the bed, and looked over to his mother, stood holding a glass of water, an amused expression on her face.

“If you ever want to be a deep space pilot, you need to know this stuff, Nero,” she said. “Learning the history of our planet, our galaxy, is useful for whatever you do.”

“But why?” Nero asked, a slight whine in his voice. He had already been listening to his mother lecture him about history for nearly an hour, and he was itching to get outside, to find someone to play with. He didn’t know of any other mothers that liked to teach their kids so much. He was jealous of them.

“You know why Nero, we’ve had this conversation before. Look, if you can just recap what we’ve been going through, I’ll let you go, okay?”

“Okay,” Nero said, a relieved expression crossing his young features. “Um, so there was some big event.”

“Which was?” his mother prompted.

“I thought we didn’t know?” Nero asked. “Just something happened that made everyone leave Earth-that-was?”

“Correct.”

“Oh. Well, then they made their way to Dimora.”

“Not quite. Yes, they came to this planet, but that was many centuries later. In the interim, they settled on other planets in the original solar system, after they had abandoned Earth. They seeded those planets, made them suitable life, and then they began to spread throughout the rest of the galaxy, once spaceflight was developed enough. But, as I say, so much of that time has been lost, we only have vague ideas of what happened.”

“Uh-huh.”

Nero’s mother, Kata, paused as she surveyed her bored son. Then she sighed, evidently having decided that Nero wasn’t going to learn any more in this session. “Alright, Nero. Obviously you’ve had enough for one day. We’ll finish up tomorrow.”

Nero smiled, stood up, and was already making his way to their door before his mother had stopped speaking.

“If you’re going to go play with Alfie, make sure you find some food on the way back. We’ve run out of protein sticks. Here...” Kata opened up a battered tin on the small kitchen counter, pulled out what money there was in there, and handed the tiny amount to Nero. He took it, and with a faint smile at Kata, pulled the door open and stepped outside.

****

Nero jumped, arms and legs reaching out in front of him, straining in an effort to reach the adjacent building, and then he landed, feet thumping down on the solid roof, and he sprinted forward. His heart was pumping hard, adrenaline coursing throughout his body, and he glanced behind him, to see his pursuer make the jump as well. Damn.

He looked forward again, and saw, next to the building he was running on, a large crate stood in the alleyway. With a smile, Nero changed direction and ran to the crate, leaping off of the building’s roof and landed on the solid cube. It made a loud bang as his feet made contact, the metal denting slightly in the middle, and then he leapt off onto the ground. He heard his pursuer follow him, the noise echoing in the confines of the alley.

A larger street was ahead of him, and he recognised where he was now. With a grin, he ran onto the street, and turned left, coming up to a building with a brightly coloured sign above the door. Nero didn’t look, but he knew it said ‘Naka Club’. He had visited there a few times when his mother had been out for the night. There was always a fun atmosphere in that place.

As he