A/N: Hey guys! I'm back with the sequel! Just a couple of notes, here....this one continues right were the last one left off, but I'm going to try and write it as a stand alone, so new readers won't have to go read the first (it's crazy long! Plus, I like to think that my writing has improved a lot since then). And secondly, I'm posting this story simultaneously on a site called Storywrite. Shorter chapters do better there, so my chapters will be shorter than usual. Still, I hope to update more often because of this.
That's about it, I think. Enjoy the read....and please review. If you enjoy it, then please take the time to tell me so - it's common courtesy. :P
Edit: Did some editing - had gotten some suggestions on how to make it better. :)
The year 2330.
The planet had just seen its most terrible world war yet. Advanced nuclear bombs had shredded the land, destroying billions of lives, and felling entire nations. The damage was irreparable; radiation would fog over half the planet for hundreds of years.
The Earth was broken, weary. . .it couldn't take more damage. If warring continued, the Earth would no longer be able to survive.
Realizing this, the Great Leaders around the world banded together to create the Council. They knew that humans will always find conflict with one another, and will always seek to end their arguments through violence. After all – it had been happening from the instant man set foot upon the Earth.
So, after long discussions and deliberations, the Leaders created the Covenant. An agreement to destroy all warring technology. Bombs were destroyed. Tanks and war machines were deconstructed. Entire military forces were disbanded. All technology that could be used for war was utterly destroyed, along with all blueprints, instructions, and information pertaining to them. All that was permitted were the basics that allowed human life to prosper. Electricity. Vehicles. Communications. Medical technology. The like.
To make sure the Covenant was upheld, the Leaders created TroKas, which in turn created Flyers. Flyers were to be the sole military force on the planet, a nation-neutral police whose only purpose was to make sure the Covenant was obeyed. They alone were given simplistic weaponry – swords, stun grenades, laser guns. They were to flush out and utterly destroy all those who held any form of forbidden technology.
For several years, the flyers did their job well. There were skirmishes, arguments, battles, yes – but for the most part, the general populace remained unaffected and unharmed. It was hard to wage a battle with little more than kitchen knives, after all. The people were content. They recognized their need for flyers, for the Covenant, and they were satisfied.
The flyers changed....
...And war began once more.
He buried the baby.
He wrapped its stiff form snugly into its blanket, then laid it to rest amidst the rubble. Five broken chunks of concrete were all he needed to cover the tiny bundle.
When it was done, he stepped back to look upon his work. The baby's grave was nearly invisible – just another heap of rubble amongst piles of fallen debris. It was unlikely that anyone would find it, or even knew it existed.
Nor would they care to:
The city had fallen. All around him, for fifteen miles in every direction, smoke rose from blazing destruction, masking the city's remains with a gray haze. Fallen buildings littered the ground with broken glass, shattered concrete, twisted steel support beams. The dead were little more than ugly carnage that painted the landscape with red, broken limbs.
He remembered when, only minutes ago, he'd held the baby in his arms. It had been alive then, staring up at him with huge, trusting brown eyes. Too weak to cry, too weak to move, the babe hadn't protested when he lifted it from the grasp of its dead mother.
How stupid of him.
He thought he'd be able to save it, to find a survivor who'd be willing to take the child in.
He should have just left it in its mother's arms.
No one had come forward to help, even though he knew they were there, hiding in the ruins, watching him warily. They had seen that he was carrying a dying babe, they had heard him calling out for help. Yet no one answered.
The only response he had gotten was an enraged scream ordering him to get out of the city. Get out of here! the voice had shrieked. You and your kind are not wanted here! Get out, get out!
Jett stared at the small grave. And swallowed hard, suddenly realizing that he had gotten himself into something way over his head. He was alone, for he had no allies, no friends that he could turn to. . .
He was only seventeen. A slim, five foot three teenager, and small for his age. Yet, he managed to look formidable, as he wore the white armored uniform of a flyer.
His hands clenched. This is your doing, he hissed inside his mind, lashing out the man responsible for this mess. You killed this child. You killed this city!
Turning away from the grave, he lifted his gaze, and caught sight of two, pale faces watching him from the open windows of a crumbling building. As soon as they saw him looking, they ducked out of view. Jett sucked in a sharp breath.
"Hey!" he called out, tying to sound as friendly as possible. "Do you need any help?"
A face reappeared in the window. Worn and creased with sorrow, a middle-aged man stared back at him. For a moment, the features were arranged in a sorrowful frown.
"Please leave," the man returned, barely raising his voice enough to be heard. There was no trace of malice or anger in his voice, but the heavy sadness and despair were enough to make Jett flinch.
Yet, Jett didn't back down. "I want to help you."
"No. You've done enough." The man's haunted gaze turned away from the young flyer. "Please leave us alone, and return to where you came from."
Growing frustrated, Jett took a step closer. "I'm not one of the Kairg," he exclaimed. "And I'm not part of TroKas. I'm on my own, and I want to help!"
The man shook his head, and stepped back from the window, fading into the darkness. "It does not matter," His voice carried over the distance clearly, even after he was no longer in sight.
"You are still a flyer."
Jett stood still, his white-gloved hands forming into fists. He hadn't expected this kind of reception, but he should have. These people had just survived a living nightmare – the destruction of their homes and loved ones – that had been indirectly caused by flyers.
And here he was, a lone flyer, trying to give them aid. Of course they wouldn't welcome him, but he still had hoped that -
A pebble bounced off of his shoulder armor, creating a small tink! Startled out of his thoughts, he looked around, trying to figure out where the stone had come from.
The skin on the back of his neck prickled, warning him that something was not quite right. He turned a slow circle, confused and wary.
Tonk! A large stone hit him between his shoulder blades, shoving him forward with the force of its impact. It didn't even make a dent in his armor, but if it had hit his booster's air intake area - He whirled, suddenly aware that he could be in trouble.
A ragged woman stood up from behind a heap of debris, barely visible in his peripheral vision. As he turned to face her directly, she hurled a piece of concrete at him. "Go away!"
Jett sidestepped, easily dodging the missile. "Wait!" He cried out. "Why -?"
"You killed them!" A male voice half sobbed, half screamed. Jett didn't have time to whirl towards the voice; small rocks clattered against his helmet and fell away. "My Bonia, my precious Lia – you killed them!"
Jett found the man standing on top of a large steel beam, both hands clutching crumbling pieces of brick and mortar. Blood streamed down an aged face, twisted with grief, contorted with rage.
The man hurled both handfuls at the white flyer. "Murderer. . .you murderer!"
Stepping back, then ducking, Jett avoided the projectiles, yet his mind was barely focused on them. Instead, it whirled in disbelief, wondering if this surreal situation was actually happening to him.
More and more survivors appeared from the surrounding wreckage, picking up any and all debris they could find. Each of their expressions were identical; they all wanted him to suffer, to feel the same pain they did for their loss.
"I didn't do this!" He shouted, but his voice went unheard. Rocks, bolts, concrete – anything and everything rained down upon him, and it became impossible for him to dodge. He didn't even try.
He remained standing, letting the objects clang off his armor harmlessly and plummet to the ground. The people's screams surrounded him, hitting him harder than any of their thrown debris could have.
"This is your doing, murderer!"
"I hope you rot in hell for what you've done!"
"Just die...die like how you've killed my family!"
Their enraged voices rose and fell like a storm, joining together in an unintelligible clamor that rattled him to his core. He turned slowly, barely aware of the stones hitting him, and took in all of those faces. He saw the anger, their pain, their hatred – all of which was directed at him.
"I just wanted to help," he murmured, shoulders slumping.
A huge chunk of concrete slammed into the ground near his feet, shattering upon impact. The people were looking for more damaging things to hurl. It was time to leave, Jett realized. There was nothing he could do here.
He tilted his head skyward. A small piece of twisted metal crashed into his visor, the force of its impact causing him to stumble. Gritting his teeth, he regained his stance, tensing all of his muscles.
"Navi!" He shouted out the activation, and immediately, his main boosters kicked in. Jets of super-heated air exploded out of the small protrusions situated on the back of his armor. Jett rocketed straight up, breaking free of the mob.
Spreading his arms wide, he called out the second activation key. "Ala!" His sky-blue wing spikes rapidly expanded and spread, forming three ribs on each arm. A thin, white material snapped out between each rib, forming wings. This occurred in a matter of seconds. Using the directional boosters situated in his heels, Jett adjusted his position until it was horizontal.
Then he flew.
Below, the mob shrieked in rage, sending rocks up after him. He was beyond their reach, however, so all objects fell short. His chest constricted, and his eyes blurred dangerously, obscuring his vision.
He spotted a roof that was mostly intact, with only a corner of it destroyed. The white flyer angled his body and wings, aiming for it.
Not even a minute later, he cut off his boosters, pulled in his wings, and dropped in for a landing. He hit the roof hard, stumbling, tripping, falling to his knees forcefully enough to bruise them despite his armor's protection. Leaning forward onto his hands, he drooped, blinking furiously to clear his eyes.
I should have known. They will not accept me, after all.
A soft, gentle croak sounded from above. He looked up in time to see a large raven swoop in for a graceful landing. Fluffing its wings, it waddled forward until it stood before him. It cocked its head, opening its ebony beak for a questioning squawk.
Jett smiled within his helmet. "Hello, Ravia." She never failed to appear when he needed her the most. Shifting back onto his haunches, he regarded her quietly. "Where is your family?"
The raven fixed her beady black eyes upon him, almost as if she were scolding him. He looked upwards, and saw four smaller ravens circling slowly . "There they are." He dropped his gaze back to Ravia.
She tilted her head the other way, then uttered a cooing croak. Spreading her wings wide, she leaped up, flapping twice before she settled onto his right shoulder. She began to preen.
Jett blinked. Then smiled.
"Life goes on, huh?"