A/N: The genre of this story is drama/action. This is my first submission, please review and let me know what you think.

Chapter 1 - A Party on Brightonia

"ARE YOU READY TO GET WASTED!" A young man shouts while walking into a dorm room with his fist in the air. He had a backpack on and was wearing cargo shorts and a white t-shirt with a design of what looked like a mad bear. He had an average but slightly athletic build. He walked over to his mp3 dock stereo and turned it on to a loud rock song.

"Vic. It's Friday and you KNOW I'm ready!" The young man's closest friend, Embert said boisterously.

"Ugh you two..." A young woman says with clear disaproval.

"Lighten up Holly, this is only the ten thousandth time you've criticized us and the ten thousandth time you're drinking with us" Vicari countered. Vicari walked over to a table, pushed a biology book onto the floor, and pulled two one-liter bottles of liquor from his backpack.

"You treat your books like that and still manage to get all A's. You make me want to kill you" Holly said in a sarcastic tone. Holly was dressed in all black and was wearing a skirt with black frills. Complementing her outfit were black skater shoes and black wristbands. She had long slightly curly hair. The only other color she displayed was the light red of her lipstick. She was attractive for being a gothic. She was sitting on Vicari's bed pinching the underside of her forearm habituously.

"He might drink enough that you don't have to kill him. But Vicari is special Holly. He's the only person who can have a love-hate relationship with school..." Embert mused. Embert was sitting on the opposite side bed. There were copious posters of naked women on the side of the room he was sitting. He sprawls out onto the bed without taking his shoes off. Embert had a skinny build and was an ecclectic dresser, currently he was wearing blue jeans with tears at the knees and a black t-shirt with a white long sleeved shirt under it.

"Holly's been trying to kill me forever. Just the fact that she only wanted to kill me just now is amazing of her HA!" Vicari joked. Vicari was pouring some of the contents of one of the bottles into a third cup as he was speaking. Holly didn't anything back but just smiled to herself. Vicari took all three cups at once and walked over to Holly then Embert, giving them one each.

"Cheers!" Vicari cheerfully exclaimed while raising his cup in the air.

"AAAH" A person yelled as they were stabbed. Two men hunched over the bleeding person and proceeded to look through his pockets. One of the criminals picked out a wallet from the person's pocket. The other criminal took the watch off of the person's wrist.

"You're lucky you had this much" One of the criminals said in a matter of fact tone. "You sit up there in Light Brightonia enjoying all the perks of life while we scrounge for crap in 'Dark Brightonia'. You know I had to travel a long way to get here and mess you up" The criminal said bitterly.

"Ay don't lecture him. We're outta this stitch" The other criminal said to his partner. The two stood up and walked away. They walked down to the end of the block where they fell to the ground. They had died the instant they fell to the ground.

Paramedics were already on the scene and were tending to the man who had been stabbed. A police officer retrieved the wallet and watch from the criminal's pockets and gave it to the paramedic.

"I don't think they know exactly how the justice system works in Brightonia, their kind never do" The police offer said to the paramedic.

"What with the surveilance system and the gamma laser it's not even a system just machines doing your job" The paramedic quipped.

"Y'know that's true" The police officer said.

...This isolated case of criminality is only the beginning of the truth behind the reality of Brightonia, a national leader in the world of Gaia, a planet very similar to what the reader calls Earth. The time frames of the two worlds in comparison are identical. However, the events transcribed in this book occur in the year 2200.

Vicari downed almost all of his cup right after he said cheers. He then sat down next to Holly who was sipping her cup with a slight grimace on her face. Vicari put his arm around Holly, his sleeve moved to uncover a tattoo of a star near his bicep. Holly took her free hand and moved his arm away then smiled at him. Vicari put his arm back around her.

"You're too friendly with everyone..." Holly said dryly. Holly then looked Vicari in the eyes, making their eyes meet.

"Vic! Those girls from the gym are having a house-party off campus and want to know if we can go..." Emberto said without looking up from his phone. Emberto had a weird half smile on his face as his thumbs were fiddling with the phone's keyboard.

"We're in!" Vicari said cheerfully breaking eye contact with Holly for a second to look at Embert. "You're going with us right?" Vicari asked Holly.

Holly folded her arms and looked down at Vicari's arm around her shoulder. She then flashed him an angry look for a few seconds and softened it because there was almost no change in his face. "Sure, I'll go with you" Holly said wryly.

"Cool because it won't be a party without you!" Vicari said energetically.

Holly continued to sip her drink and as she began to feel more lighthearted, memories came back to her. About this time ten years ago she first met Vicari...

It was recess time at an elementary school, and Holly, then a small girl, was sitting on a swing while broodingly kicking up sand with one foot. She was wearing an old red dress that had tears in the seam at the bottom. All around her children were playing happily. Some were running, some were jumping, but none were paying any attention to her.

Earlier that day, Holly had recieved news from the school's main office that her parents were in trouble and she was going have to go home for the day. Since then, Holly spent her time in class worrying so much that she couldn't concentrate on what the teacher was saying. When it came time for recess, she calmly told her friends that she was going to play alone.

Without any warning a teacher stormed onto the playground and strode swiftly toward Holly. Holly immediately got up from the swing with a tense look on her face. She pursed her lips, watching the teacher who was making hard strides toward her. She finally worked up the courage and yelled to be heard over the other children, "ARE MY PARENTS OK?"

The teacher said nothing and took Holly forcefully by the arm as if she had done something extremely bad. The woman dragged Holly across the playground toward the door she had originally stormed out of. It was then that a young boy who was leading a small gang of schoolchildren looked over to the scene. His eyes filled with both anger and excitement at the same time. He then turned back to the group of children and said "Listen up crew! I'm going to see what's going on. You can't all come with me so today Ron will be the leader!" With that, eight year old Vicari left his crew and ran toward where the teacher had already went into the school.

Vicari snuck into the main office where he saw Holly go into the principal's office. He had just arrived when the door slammed in his face. Vicari balled up his fists, then opened his right hand to open the door. He then stopped and got close to the door so he could hear what was going on inside.

Inside the office, the principal cleaned his glasses off with a handkerchief and began to address Holly. "Young lady both of your parents have went missing. Though tragic, this sort of thing is not uncommon. You will be assigned foster parents in the area nearby for the time being. Do you have any questions?"

Holly fidgeted in her chair while playing with her hands, at this point she was crying. "When am I going to see my parents again?" Holly sobbed. The principal looked at her with a strained look on his face. His eyebrows scrunched angrily for less than a second before his visage returned to a poker face.

"It's always hard when one's relatives go down the wrong direction. Your parents were involved with something they should have not been involved in and they have to pay the consequences. They should have considered you when they acted in the way that they have" The principal stated in a businesslike voice. He looked out of the window of his office for a moment while Holly was sobbing. "What I don't understand is why your parents would stoop to the level of the outsiders..." The principal wondered in the midst of Holly's sobs.

"YOU'RE A JERK!" Was the phrase shouted by Vicari which caused both the principal and Holly to almost jump out of their seats from surprise. Holly wiped some tears and weakly smiled at Vicari who was standing in the middle of the office. The principal's look of surprise quickly turned to anger.

"Youn..." The principal started to say before he was interrupted.


"THAT'S ENOUGH!" The principal shouted. "You both can talk about it in detention."

"Hooollly, you in there?" Vicari said as he was waving his hand in front of Holly's face.

"Y-yeah" Holly replied lightly.

"Jeez you just spaced out after you said you'd go with us" Vicari said jeeringly.

"You had this wierd smile on your face Holls" Emberto added unknowingly ironically.

Holly quickly flashed Emberto a dagger with her eyes. "Shut it, Emberto!" Holly retorted. Holly then got up and walked over to Emberto with her hands behind her back. Embert looked worried but Vicari truly looked scared.

"Dude she's going to cut you..." Vicari said in a matter of fact tone.

"NO, I wasn't Vicari!" Holly said playfully, "I was just going to pretend to cut him". Holly stopped fiddling with her sleeves and started to twirl her hair playfully. She turned around and bounced over to Vicari. She then stood on her tip toes and gave him a hug as he was choosing the next song on his mp3 player.

"You've always been there for me" Holly whispered in Vicari's ear. Vicari didn't say anything back which is unusual for him. He just put his free hand around her. Emberto looked on the scene with a slightly jealous look on his face.

"You two always act like you're going out, I bet you'll be the couple that counts their whole life as their relationship" Emberto said to egg Holly and Vicari on.

"Holly's my sis!" Vicari said both lovingly and jokingly at the same time. Holly playfully pushed Vicar's side as he said that. She then went to sit back on his bed.

"I think I'm going to go over to that part now" Emberto said impatiently. Emberto put on a black zip-up sweatshirt.

"Cool let's go!" Vicari said in an animated tone. Vicari turned his mp3 player and the room fell silent.

Holly didn't say anything but remained sitting on Vicari's bed. Emberto was walking over to the door when Vicari looked over to Holly who wasn't moving. She was nerviously playing with her sleeves.

"You coming Holly?" Emberto asked still impatiently.

"Emberto you head down to the party, we'll be there later" Vicari said in a serious tone.

"Y'know you two don't even have to go..." Emberto said slyly.

"GET OUT!" Holly shouted.

Emberto hurridly stepped outside and steadily closed the door behind himself.

The door closed, leaving Vicari and Holly alone with each other in Vicari's room. Vicari stared blankly at all of the nude posters on Emberto's side of the room. He looked like he was going to say something about Emberto's tastes but didn't. Holly fidgeted her hands in her lap and was playing with the long sleeves of her dress. She had a distressed look on her face and was about to cry. Vicari looked down and put his hand on the top of Holly's wrists as she tried to slip a finger into her sleeve. Holly began to cry.

"They... never came back Vicari..." Holly said through her tears. Vicari looked worried for her and wiped her face with his hands. Holly continued to cry.

"Every day I wonder where they could be and if they've been thinking about me it's only worse on them. Then being shuffled by foster places just because I don't want them to replace my parents. They used to do mean things to me. If Akari existed he would hate me too..." Holly said through her tears.

"I've never left your side" Vicari said seriously as he held her wrists "I made sure no one hurt you".

"It's been so long... I still keep them in my sleeve like in middle school and high school" Holly said grieviously. Holly played with the bands on her wrist and moved one to expose scars that were a lighter skin color than her skin. Holly pulled away from Vicari's grasp on her wrists. She then slipped a razor from under her sleeve and played with it in her fingers.

"I'm not like you, I can't forget everything when there's alcohol involved. It doesn't numb me." Holly said tensely. With a bitterly sad face she continued to play with the razor, trying to press against it as much as she could without letting it cut her thumb. Vicari reached over and put his finger on the razor.

"When you say I'm just a sister it hurts" Holly said angrily.

"You're more than my sister..." Vicari said as he took the razor from her.

Holly put her hand on Vicari's thigh and looked him in the eyes. She wiped her face with her other hand.

"W-why don't..." Holly started to say.

"Why don't we find Ember!" Vicari said confidently.

"Yeah sure, and let's mess with him again too" Holly said smugly.

"Ha Yeah!" Vicari said with a laugh.

Holly got up slowly and waited while Vicari threw away the razor that he had taken from her. Then the two left for the party that Emberto was at.

The next morning~

Vicari lay on his bed, looking out the window of his dorm room. He was in and out of sleep, opening his eyes just to catch a glimpse of the sidewalk outside the first floor dorm room, then close them back to doze off again. Emberto was sleeping soundly, in fact so soundly that he was snooring loudly. Despite the loud snores, Vicari was not phased.

Outside the window, people passed by on the sidewalk and were dressed in formal clothing. There was a shrine nearby where they went to worship the god of light, Akari. Akari Amisa he is called, the man chosen by the gods to be a messenger of the light and become a god himself. Akari has disappeared from Gaia, and when he did it was as if he was never there.

Vicari watched them as they passed then closed his eyes and dozed off again.

Vicari, Embert, and Holly go to a career preperatory academy or CPA for short which is similar to what a college is with the difference being that CPA's were started and partially funded by the government. The socialist government gaurantees the health of Brightonia's economy by structuring the school system for two reasons. One reason is so that all citizens are accounted for in the job market and the second is so that there is no real competition for jobs. CPA's are taken just as seriously by the students as college is taken by students in the readers world despite the heavy government regulation involved.

Once Vicari and Emberto finally woke up in high afternoon, they met up with Holly in front of her dorm. Holly was wearing skinny black jeans and a conservatively see through spider web blouse. Her curly hair was kept in a ponytail. Vicari was wearing black construction shorts and a white long sleeve skater t-shirt. Emberto was wearing the same jeans from the other night and a light sweater. Together they walked to the dining center.

Once inside, the three of them walked through the hallway that led to the cafeteria. As they walked they passed more people in formal clothing. Holly shot them daggers with her eyes and her lips were pulled back slightly. Emberto didn't pay them any attention. Vicari's eyebrows were raised when he had seen one of them pass by.

"Dude I forgot to call my mom! In like a month!" Vicari exclaimed.

"Yeah that's right your mom's one of them isn't she Vic?" Emberto said sarcastically.

Holly's look softened once Emberto said that but she still looked tense.

"Yeah! She spends a lot of time going to church. It's not bad you just go there and they talk about how good things are like light or something. Anyway I'm definitely gonna call her after we get grub!" Vicari said enthusiastically.

On their way out of the dining center, Vicari's group encounters a missionary man from the Akari church that they were talking about. The missionary is a hulking man who appears to have a solid build. The man has long black hair and is wearing a three piece suit which causes him to bare resemblence to a vampire.

"I see that you three could use a piece of the good message" The man said solemnly yet cheerfully in a deep voice.

"We don't want what you're selling" Holly said in her high pitched angry voice.

"Holly, the dude was just going to try to brighten our day you don't have to destroy his dreams" Vicary said lightheartedly.

"Yes young man. If you do not already have, I would like to give you three these quartz crystals which will increase the light and goodness in your lives" The man says with a smile. He reaches into a small cloth satchel and takes out three quartz crystals. He then gives one to Vicari who takes it almost happily. Emberto reaches out after he sees Vicari take his and takes one from the man. The man walks closer to Holly with his hand open and the stone sitting in it.

"Go on young lady it's for you" The man says cheerfully though his frown lines make him appear to be scowling.

"I don't want that!" Holly shouts loud enough for her voice to crack.

"I can't believe you Vicari!" Holly says challenging Vicari's usual easygoing nature.

"Dude I have to give this back" Vicari says without changing his usual confidence.

"I cannot take back your good light. Maybe you can bring some light into that poor girl's life" The man says as if giving advice.

"You know WHAT I don't need your f***ing light mister. The same goes for you Vicari!" Holly runs in the direction of her dorm.

Vicari hurridly puts the crystal in his pocket and takes off running after Holly. He beats her to her dormistory building entrance which was at least a football field away from where they were at the dining center. Holly's crying had caused her mascara to run down her face. She pretends to ignore Vicari as he's blocking the doorway.

"Move Vicari. I don't want to talk to you right now!" Holly says through tears.

"I can't let you push me away because I know you" Vicari says seriously.

While Vicari says that another girl exits the dorm which causes Vicari to move from the doorway for a few seconds which was long enough for Holly to slip past him. Holly looks at Vicari one more time before running away from the door. Holly runs down the hallway and into her dorm room on the second floor. She sits on her bed and starts to cry.

"Why did I push him away?" Holly says through her tears "I need him".

Holly looks up and notices that her roomate is away. She starts to fiddle with her shirt sleeves and pulls out a needle. She holds the needle to her skin but before she can press down, a loud noise interrupts her. Vicari had climbed up the wall and fell loudly onto the floor after leaning into the window which gave way. The glass had broke and Vicari's left leg was cut.

"Vicari!" Holly exclaimed.

"I don't care about all that garbage that guy was preaching. I'm in your life because I need you. That's all there is to it." Vicari said confidently as blood leaked down his leg.

Holly got up and threw the needle into the garbage bin. She still had tears running down her cheek but she had stopped crying. She frantically started looking for her first aid kit which was under her bed. Once she found it she applied gauze to Vicari's leg to stop the bleeding. Once he stopped bleeding Holly sat back down on the bed.

Holly remembers those quartz crystals. One was on the principal's desk as he calmly disparaged her missing parents. She remembered another that was on her foster mother's necklace.

"People use those things as excuses to be crappy to other people. One of my foster mothers fed me sand because she said it had quartz in it and it would cure me of my lack of emotion. There are worse things but I block them out..." Holly said in a numb monotone voice.

"For that guy to say that I need anything from someone pretending to be good brough all of those old things up in me" Holly continued bleakly.

Vicari got up from where he was sitting and threw the stone out of the open space where the window was.

"OW" Someone really far away had shouted after being hit by the stone.

"I won't have anything do with anything that you hate Holly. You can count on me to be true to you no matter what" Vicari says seriously.

The man who had given them the stone had vaguely witnessed what had happened. He smiled wickedly. "Only a fool would throw away the symbol of himself that can absorb the light" The man said with malice.