Intro. Here I lie now, breathing easier now than I would have been if it had not been for what had happened, what a difference my friends and I had made, or at least felt we had. It was a new society, one that was more just, one that had emerged from a society, which had corrupted in its own system. Here is my story.

Chapter 1 Escape from Torture

It was a typical day at training camp. Then again, perhaps it wasn't just another day. I remember this one too clearly for it to have been considered as any other ordinary day. The hot, merciless sun beamed its rays down on us second class sword fighters, who were all running around the campsite, literally. This was to practice our endurance, or so it claimed. Once around would be 5 miles alone. The more laps you ran consistently in a certain time limit, the more credits you would gain. Credits helped any fighter out of trouble, so everyone tried to get as many as they could, even the first class fighters. In some situations, they would order us to build up and set up equipment around the campsite. We were obligated to do as we were told, but then, the first class fighters would take all our rightfully earned credit.

No one would ever find out. Only some police, but they were easily bribed as long as they were given a satisfying portion. At other times, it would be the police who picked on the slightest mishap. They'd report it, and get a good reputation for guarding the site closely. What a load of phooey. I emphasized that strongly since they had a knack for picking on me. Even the slightest suspicion of a threat would be reported, and forever engraved on my permanent record. In fact, I had so many suspicious reports, my record was probably etched black on the edges by now.

Though they never caught me red-handed, they didn't trust me by natural instinct. In my opinion, they shouldn't. My friend Terry and I had always thought the system unfair. To try and ease up our tension, we came up with crazy ideas on how to justify the system.

"It's too risky," Terry would say.

"Come on, take that chance. Be noticed as an individual who isn't afraid to stand up for their own beliefs."

With a teasing remark, "The sun's really gotten into you this time, hasn't it?"

"No, not in my head," I defied, "But certainly everywhere else."

I had been out in the sun for such long periods of time everyday; I had resulted in having an extreme tan. For most people, it could be considered as severe sunburn. The only part of me that was not affected as much was my neck, which had been sheltered by my sacrificial black hair, that just hung slightly below my shoulders.

"You two are always the ones with the unpractical ideas." Kevin smirked. "When are you actually going to start any of them?"

"Well-"I stammered.

"Too scared, huh? It's all talk and no walk when it comes to describing you. Complain, complain, comp-"

"That's it!" I snapped back at him out of anger. You know what? I'm actually going to execute my plans. We'll see who gets the last word on this one."

Kevin shrugged. He may have been in the exact same class as us, but he sure had an attitude. He was fairly short of stature and in his early teens, which was a few years younger than Terry and I. He had a flashy tattoo of a black dragon on his left arm. His short, spiky hair still had evidence of red dye, something that the general despised. Be he had gotten away with it. He was known as a prankster and he had earned that reputation. If only he wasn't so annoying.

"No walking you three!" The trainer Mace bellowed. "This is the third time this week. When will you learn? You guys are working overtime today."

"Thanks a lot, Kevin." I muttered.

"No problem, anytime." Kevin replied with a smile. I swear if it weren't for all the security and my bad reputation at stake, I would have given him a piece of my mind. Wait, he claims I don't unleash what I think, so in this case, he would have won the argument. Why not prove him wrong now?

"Ignore him, Jyll." Terry reminded me, aware of what I had been thinking. She was always able to calm me down as a caring and patient person. She was even able to tolerate Kevin's attitude, and that was impressive. I had had it this time however. I couldn't take it anymore. We were sweaty, exhausted, and fried from the cruel, unkind sun. Even smart-mouthed Kevin didn't bother me. The feeling was mutual.

"Terry, let's get out of here. Kevin, are you in?"

"You bet I am. I don't plan on working overtime again. ever."

"We can't leave together. This place is too heavily guarded. If we split up, we have to go our separate ways. Remember, our goals are the same, to straighten this unjust society, agreed?"

I didn't like to cope with the idea but I knew she was right. "Agreed." Kevin nodded without question for a change.

When no one was watching, we hid by one of the fortresses, which was rarely used. To our luck, the general was having a meeting, of all days. Kevin saw the perfect opportunity to pull another one of his pranks, humiliating the general in front of all the members in that meeting. The mischievous glint was in his eyes. He saw the wonderful possibility. He had some gum, a few rocks and a slingshot. It would make him a prankster legend. Despite the temptation, he turned away. We all knew escaping would be much more worthwhile in the long-term perspective. The general turned to the window. We ducked and crept out of the area.

In the far distance, I spotted a way out. Currently, the police were shifting duties, which meant the place was not as closely guarded as usual. Terry approached closer to the designated escape way. "Hurry up!" She whispered as loud as she could, "Before they find us." Cautiously, Kevin and I followed her. Quietly, we tiptoed with every step getting closer to our goal.

Not realizing this before, I saw that the sun had cast our shadows long as it was about to set. The shadows therefore because more noticeable at far range in distance. Just before I left, I grabbed one of those emergency supply bags.

"Stop them!" I heard a recognizable voice order. It was Mace's. He was probably the first one that was on to us when we didn't show up for our usual overtime. He was a man in his mid twenties. Tall, with a muscular build, and in very good shape. However, lucky for us, he didn't run a very far distance. Nevertheless, that didn't matter all too much. There were a dozen guards chasing after us already.

With the ratio being 4:1, it was not very appealing nor encouraging. It was too late. The deed had been done. Then, I stated, "Now would be the time for us to go our separate ways." I barely made out the last few words while I was gasping for breath.

Terry and Kevin listened, and headed for completely different directions chosen at random. It didn't really matter which way we went. None of us knew where we were going anyway. We had been inhabitants of the campsite for so long, any other place was considered foreign to us.

As the guards gained on me, I reached by my belt to grab my blade, only to discover that it was missing. Darn, I must have dropped it back at the training camp. I thought. I compromised and went to plan B: Run and hide. There were no obstacles in sight, until I came across the prisoners' fence, the one that I had heard about. It was known as the bounds of doom or no escape. It had not been exaggerated. This was no ordinary fence. This was made of the strongest material you could find, impossible to cut, molded into thin wires. The fence was also set 50 feet high, to ensure that no one would ever escape. "Surrender now, there's no way out." One of the two remaining guards told me. Unconvinced, I started to climb. It was a daring one of anyone to attempt. In the desperate situation I was in, I had no other choice. Getting caught with a record like mine was deadly. I would sooner commit suicide than return to camp and face the consequences. For now, I wasn't going to give up without a good fight. I no longer looked back, only ahead. My hands were sore and close to bleeding from gripping onto the thin yet very strong wiring.

"Give it up. You know you won't make it."

"I-"gasping for breath, "beg to differ." I continued climbing. I was almost there. 'Just a little more. I can do this. I thought. Even the guards who were after me had started to slow down. They knew they weren't going to catch me in time, so one of them whispered something in the other's ear. The fence shook when they jumped down from it. Had they given up? It didn't seem like what they would usually do.

My line of thought was interrupted by the unstable fence shaking vigorously back and forth. My sore hands gripped on as hard as they could for dear life. Glancing down, I saw the root of my problem. The guards were trying to make me fall off. It was working. My feet lost their place leaving me dangling by my already worn out hands.

"Keep it up! She'll fall off soon!" One of the guards called in an encouraging tone to the other. I heard him very clearly. He probably intended for me to. Gamesmanship I thought. I wouldn't give in. It was only a matter of inches before I reached the top. Blood ran down from my swollen fingers and rolled down my arms. Trying the best I could, I clenched my fingers into a fist. They no longer listened. They were too tired to. I knew I had to get my feet back on the wiring to support the weight of my body. Barely, just barely, I managed to pull my left foot in place. Then I pulled my right foot over.

Now, I tried to use my feet more, since my hands were numb from pain. It worked. I only need a few more steps. As soon as the top of the fence was within my grasp, I grabbed it with my hand. The feeling of satisfaction was not there like I would have expected. My numb hand felt a tingling sensation of a sting from the fence top. It was made of metal and the sun had preheated it for me all throughout the day, how thoughtful.

Anyway, I had to hurry. At the rate they were shaking the fence, I would soon lose balance hurling down to my death. Quickly, I swung myself over on the other side. Then, I felt a huge sway from the fence, and it was one I could not counter. I could no longer withstand the violent, perpetual motion of the fence, which shook me off and sent me flying into the air. I'm doomed. I thought.

"THUD!" Was I dead? Now if I was thinking. I still felt extreme pain. Conclusion: I was alive! My eyes opened to rejoice, only to close again because of the blinding sunlight. Once I eventually got back on my feet, I noticed that the emergency supply sack had miraculously broken my fall, something I had to be thankful for.

The guards didn't bother to follow me to the other side. They had left. I had made it. However, a major problem was that I was completely on my own, and was also completely clueless when it came to my whereabouts. But that did not matter at the moment. I had escaped, accomplishing the first part of my goal.