D a r k B l u e T w i l i g h t

Author's Notes:

© copyrighted 2002. please do not redistribute, copy or reproduce in any way shape or form without my

consent. Thank you for reading. Please r&r when you're done ^_^.

1. Miki

x . x . x . x . x

Miki stretched out on the somewhat smooth ground. Bits of weed and tuffs of grass poking out among the dirt and rocks, that had been long since embedded into the ground, were everywhere in sight. Her border collie puppy, Abercrombie, gingerly picked his way through the mounds of broken beer bottles and litter around him. The new Kinetics field had not yet been finished, but of the sections that had been, she was fairly sure that it would not be too difficult to slide on it's surface.

She and her best friend, Deryke, strapped on their kinetics shields and stood up somewhat wobbly. Neither of them had ever done this before, since the game was entirely new to Mai Lufecapri. However, she was well aware of the danger involved, but had conveniently forgotten it at the moment. Nothing else mattered at the moment but the race.

"This is going to be so much fun." Deryke said excitedly as they reached the Kinetics arena.

"Yeah," Miki agreed, taking care not to scratch the shields as she jumped over some left over slabs of marble that had been used in the building. "Let's just hope Tori doesn't wake up early and find me gone."

She reached the chain link fence and punched in a digit code at the gate. There was a pause, and then a small ding! sound as the light switched from red to green. She pushed through and gazed around, smiling a bit, remembering how long it had taken her to get the access code into the construction site. Though it wasn't finished yet, people in Falwsgreen had been known to break in and steal all the materials for their own purposes. This building company was one of the more prosperous ones, taking extra precautions to protect the site from any vandalism.

Abercrombie scrambled over another slab of marble and proceeded to bump into her ankle. Deryke grinned, reached down and picked him up.

"By the way, is Fly back yet?" Miki asked, watching as Deryke reached into his pocket and pulled out a doggie treat.

"Naw he's still in Sake right now," said Deryke, "He'll be back this afternoon though."

By now, they had gotten to the starting point of the wall on which they would race. Miki's gaze swept over the whole strip and nodded; satisfied.

Kinetics was a game of gravity and agility. The shields strapped on their hands and feet projected a gravity onto the strip in front of them and the wall at the end that intersected the kinetics strip projected the gravity onto them, drawing them like a magnet; except much more powerful. So in a sense, they would be falling down the wall, head first, or they would be racing along a vertical wall to the end.

Except the wall wasn't finished yet. The starting point had been built of marble and started out horizontal, on the ground. Then, it began to twist subtly and finally straightened out into the unfinished wall. It was supposed to be big enough to hold at least ten people comfortably, with lots of space, but it was barely enough to accommodate four comfortably. There were gaping holes, places in the wall that looked unstable, caved in areas, and one entire section in the middle wasn't even built yet.

She was right, it would be dangerous, anything could happen and they could be seriously injured, but Deryke was right too. She grinned, if it worked, it would be really fun.

Suddenly there was a small humming sound, and the few lights that had been set up around the area glowed with a radiant light. Miki shielded her eyes and when they had adjusted, she lowered her arm to see Deryke walking over, looking extremely apprehensive. Abercrombie was bounding along next to his feet looking happy as usual.

"Found the switch," Deryke announced, "Already on."

Miki recalled the information she'd read in the newspapers, along with everyone else, how the game worked. It was a race, that was it, but the technology in the kinetics shields was extremely advanced for a game. Once the gravity at the end wall started you off, you had to use your agility to avoid other racers and hug the wall for support while boosting yourself ahead. The kinetics shields not only projected the gravity, but they also controlled your speed according to the level of energy you had left. Enormously advanced technology.

"You ready?"

He grinned again, "Anytime."

Abercrombie stayed behind, seeming to know it would be fatal for him to scramble up onto the starting point with Miki. He contented himself with staring at them intently and whining softly, "Just stay there, Abers." Miki said giving him a reassuring scratch behind the puppy's ears.

She turned back around and crouched low, she had to use all her energy to steady herself and hold back for a while first. The gravity at the end wall was getting stronger and stronger since it took a full minute to start up completely.

Deryke grinned at her and she smiled back. Then, ZOOM! ZOOM! The race was on!

It was a rush! There were no words to describe it except for that. The wind whipped by, howling in her ears and tugging the hair tucked behind her ears. The rate at which they left was so alarming that Abercrombie had started barking but Miki couldn't hear the small yowls above the wind. All she felt was the exhilaration of going so incredibly fast. An immediate thrill of excitement tingled down her spine as she bit her lip and concentrated, going faster and faster. The energy drained out of her as she zoomed along the wall, oblivious to anything and everything else. It simply felt wonderful to be able to go this fast and not have to pay for it with a ticket. Before her lay mile after mile of empty strips of marble that she raced upon, every meter zipping by in a split second and less. The momentum and her speed carried her over the pits and unfinished areas like they weren't even there. She certainly didn't notice anything.

She could see nothing but the empty strip of marble ahead and hear nothing but the wind in her ears. Somewhere, a puppy barked madly. Suddenly, she caught sight of something bright green. It was Deryke's favorite hat. The one he always wore no matter what the weather. He was catching up to her!

She urged herself to go faster, to leave him behind in a cloud of dust. She had to get ahead! Then suddenly, she was! She was ahead! No wait, he was ahead! No she was! He was! She was! He.!

"MIKI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Tori's enraged voice roared below her. "MIKI what the HELL do you think you're DOING!!!"

Miki and Deryke's eyes widened. She acted instinctively to slow down, but the momentum wouldn't let her stop so quickly so she did the only thing that entered her mind. As she was slowing, she peeled her kinetics shields away from the smooth marble and clapped them together. The gravity immediately countered each other and cut off. The safety precautions kicked in and cut off on her feet too. She dropped to the ground. Deryke emulated her moves and they prepared, somewhat guiltily, to meet Tori.

It was then that Miki noticed Abers was still howling madly and was in a state of frenzy and that the lights had all gone out. Tori strode into sight from the gate, which, she now noticed, stood wide open. His finger was still jabbing the gravity cut off button as he glared at her furiously. Then, he strode over. Abers ran along with him, bobbing at his heels.

"MIKI!" he bellowed again, "What. Were. You. Thinking????!?!?! You know how DANGEROUS this game is? Do you even REALIZE you could have been SERIOUSLY HURT????? To actually-I can't-how-I can't believe you even-!" He sputtered.

Miki carefully kept her gaze on the ground, acknowledging his words but not really saying anything that would get her in more trouble. Tori took a deep breath to calm down and when he spoke again, he did so without yelling.

"It's the crack of dawn." He said slowly, "And everyone thought you were still asleep in your room but I woke up early and went to check up on you. ONLY TO FIND that you WEREN"T THERE except for a note saying you went out for some early morning exercise!" he gritted his teeth. "Some exercise! Playing with these Kinetic toys and stuff.don't even know where you could have bought those at." he glared suspiciously at Deryke as though he thought he was the one to blame.

Which he was.

The conversation continued in a similar vein for about another half-hour. Throughout the exchange Tori's voice rose higher and higher until he was bellowing again and then he sent Miki home for an early breakfast and ignored Deryke completely. Deryke, who was quite used to such ranting from Tori, only grinned. He managed to drudge up another doggie treat for Abercrombie and winked at Miki when they left.

"I still can't believe you did that, squirt." Now that Tori was calmer, he ruffled Miki's hair gently and began to reprimand her again.

Miki only glared up silently at him as she walked along.

"Why can't you be more like other girls and just got to parties or something for fun?" he continued.

"I do go to parties."

"Not the ones that count. You need to associate with the members of the court more than with people like Deryke." Tori said. "You have to think about your future in Mai Lufecapri. This will someday be the most prosperous nation in the world. And you can't be breaking into places for fun all the time. It doesn't look good."

"I didn't break into the site." Miki said, "I only found the door and."

"Yeah right." Tori interrupted. "I know you and I'm not blind I saw the security measures they put up there." he sighed and ruffled her hair again, "C'mon squirt we got lots to do today. Dad's celebration party-" he deliberately emphasized it, looking down at Miki while he spoke. "-is coming up. We've got to help in the decorating and guest list and everything in case you forgot-"

He was interrupted by a white and black ball of fur suddenly crashing into his feet. There was a small whimper of pain.

Miki scooped up her puppy. "I didn't forget." She began.

"Don't bother Father or anything, I warn you he's been a little touchy lately-" Tori continued as though he hadn't heard her. "I think it's something to do with one of his new plans for his new term or something. Maybe he's having trouble getting it approved through the Senate."

He sighed and turned his back, looking out towards the ocean. Their palace was located on a small cliff overlooking the beach. A tropical forest was located to his left and with the sun rising over the treetops it provided a spectacular view.

"Eat your breakfast," he instructed, "It's probably already getting cold since I ordered Cook to prepare it before I left to find you." he turned around to face Miki again but she wasn't there. The extravagant breakfast lay untouched except for a missing bowl of fruit. He sighed and shook his head.

A/n: thoughts? comments? please review ^_^