The strange yellow haired young man suddenly came tumbling down the hill-side; with a huff and a moan he finally came to a stop where the forest met the highway. For a moment he lay silent, then slowly came to his senses and let out a long pained groan as he tried to pull himself up to a sitting position. He was covered in dirt and grass and who knows what else; his neck-length blonde hair was matted with mud, tangled and full of sticks and other plant material. He sat for a moment and tried to clean some of the muck out of his hair, but soon realized it was a fruitless attempt and wiped his hands clean on his pants.
Unfortunately in his escape he had not had time to properly set his coordinates and the mini wormhole that brought him here was only set at a close estimate of where he needed to go. Next time, he thought, he would remember to be prepared for anything. He raised up his left hand to look at his device, which was a digital watch-like gadget strapped to his wrist. It was indeed the right time and general location.
"I finally did it…" he said aloud with a raspy breath. "I finally crossed the barrier."
The young man rose to stand, dusting himself off as best he could. He was a tall and lean male, standing perhaps a little less than six feet in height. However at the moment he looked fragile and pale, as if he could be made of porcelain. Robed in a black shirt and pants he did a good job of blending into the night, it was fortunate luck that this was accomplished since he had not planned it at all. His face was thin and heart shaped, framed by his tussled blonde hair that came down almost to the shoulders. Suddenly he heard a beep, followed by a voice faintly coming through.
"E- …Er….Erykae. Erykae are you alright? Did you make it through? Confirm."
It was the voice of Asher'biku, his mentor and his savior from a most horrible fate. Asher'biku was a Vaesaltian scientist, a descendant of the beings that were said to have first shared their knowledge of wormhole and space travel to the Antorians long ago in the peaceful times. However to keep this knowledge from falling into the hands of corrupt Antorians to come, the wisest Vaesaltians wiped all information they had shared from the material sphere, along with erasing the memories of whomever had come in contact and been privy to the knowledge.
Unfortunately even in their great wisdom they had not counted on the one scientist (Aster Ulai-Dammond) who escaped a mind wipe; he had seen such an outcome and without permission had preserved the information not only in his mind but on data discs as well. These discs were kept hidden for many years, passed down from generation to generation as a great treasure to be given to the People when the time was right. After ten generations the real meaning of the information stored on the discs was almost lost, the technology used to record them became replaced, and they became valuable antiquities whose mystery eventually captured the attention and greed of the scientist's descendants.
Erykae was the youngest in the current generation of the Family Ulai, direct bloodline descendents of Aster Ulai-Dammond. He was currently on the run from his own father and uncle; and currently had come into being in a parallel universe, the thought of being so close yet so incalculably far from home made his head spin. But he quickly came to his senses, he was here for a reason and it wasn't just to stay alive.
"Yes, Asher'biku I made it to the other side, it was a rough ride but I arrived at least," he answered finally, looking around to survey his surroundings.
It was right around midnight; the road was quiet and fairly dark. They were at a close distance to town, since there were orange streetlamps every few meters, bathing everything in a warm glow. Erykae checked his satchel draped around his waist, but found nothing that could comb his hair or quench his thirst. With a sigh he quietly crept out of the side bushes and carefully made his way onto the side of the road. The trip had drained him mentally and physically, it was taking its toll on him, even though he had been warned in time to prepare for it. He could definitely tell the difference between jumping within your own dimension and crossing the Barrier into another.
After some time of walking in one direction on the roadside, towards a faint glow of light in the distance that he guessed might be a town, Erykae started to stumble from fatigue and shivered in the cold night air, even through his long sleeved shirt. All he could think about was getting to a source of fresh water and filling his belly till he couldn't drink another drop. He smacked his parched lips in anticipation. After that he would worry about finding food and suitable shelter for the rest of the night. This place seemed very isolated, he had only seen several vehicles come by since he had arrived, he tried to get their attention but they rushed past him and on into the darkness.
Erykae had never seen vehicles of transportation quite like them, what he could make out was that they were very solid heavy objects made to be wind resistant and rode on four round wheels whose material he could not guess. Either way, he thought, no one is going to pick up a strange dirty person in the middle of the night, and to make matters worse he had no grasp of the local language. Asher'biku had given him what little knowledge of this dimension that he possessed; they were bipedal hominid creatures that evolved on an almost identical path of Erykae's own race the Antorians, though this civilization was several hundreds of years behind technologically and spiritually. So he would probably have no problems blending in, but he needed to find a safe place to hide until sunrise. After that he could seek out the contact that Asher'biku had given him, a woman by the name of Evelyn Sho-L'emai. This was not her original name of course; she had gone by a different name before she was swept up from this plane and married into the illustrious Family L'emai, distant relatives of the Family Ulai but still direct blood descendents of Aster from a different familial line.
Many years ago a member of the Family L'emai was able to come in possession of the discs. Since their true purpose had long since been lost to history, only a few of the brightest L'emai and Ulai were privy to what their secret might be. Marand Sho-L'emai was his name, a bright young scientist who had long been seeking the secret of his ancestors. Somehow he was able to unlock the information held in the discs and was the first being in hundreds of years to study the science of wormhole travel. After years of testing wormhole travel inside his home dimension he discovered the Barriers, links to the infinite number of parallel dimensions held within the Universe.
Of course the information Marand had discovered did not come without its dangers. He kept his findings guarded closely, and though it was much more dangerous he proceeded to test the capabilities of wormhole travel without the help of assistants. He knew that if he was to share this secret with any of the clans it could start a power struggle as to who would be in control of this awesome ability. Marand was a good man with a kind heart; he knew he must do his best to keep such a thing out of the hands of those with evil intentions.
When Marand first broke through a Barrier he arrived in the alternate plane that Erykae now wandered in; the same planet but with different geographical features and a peoples of similar appearance and genetic structure. He found it a very beautiful place; and decided to spend more and more of his time here learning about the alien peoples and their array of cultures. Within a short time he was able to learn the lingua franca of the planet, English, and create a translation guide between English and his mother tongue, Antelen. However the one thing that Marand did not anticipate was falling in love with an alien.
Just as he thought he might give up and pass out right then and there from exhaustion, Erykae spied what looked like a public park up ahead, he could see sitting benches and large cans for waste. 'Surely there might be some sort of fountain!' he thought with glee as he used the last of his strength to reach the benches. They were simple and made of wood, but he didn't even think twice before sitting to rest his aching feet. He almost thought about falling asleep when he remembered how thirsty he was. Looking around for a moment he could see a few things in the distance, the small park slightly illuminated. In the distance he saw a waist high cylindrical post with a small spout and a tunable handle.
With a groan he picked himself up and walked over to it, he bent down to take a closer look and his lips salivated as the smell of fresh water wafted into his nostrils. 'But how to make it come out?' he thought, as he panicked to find the method of turning on the spout. It pained him that he was so close to relieving his thirst, it would be torture if he couldn't work the device. Finally he found the round knob on the side which was fitted to the design of a hand and as he turned it water began to rush from the spout. He let out a laugh, turned the pressure up as far as it would go and began lapping up the cool substance like he had never before tasted it. After a few minutes when his belly was full and his thirst was temporarily sated, he turned off the fountain and stumbled back over toward the bench. After wiping the excess water off of his face with a sleeve, Erykae thought briefly about sleeping on the right there but after a moment he realized he would be out in the open and exposed to danger. As comfortable as the bench seemed compared to the hard earth, he knew it was best to find a more secluded place to sleep.
Off to the left he saw a small brown building with two separate entrances, though he could not read the lettering he wandered inside. There was no power access to this building and he fished out his small portable lantern that was packed inside his satchel. He shined it inside as he stepped in precariously, the light bounced off the objects in the distance and revealed to him he was in a small lavatory with no other occupants. The floor was hard and cold, made of a similar substance Erykae recognized back home. There was at least another source of fresh water here, there was a sink and a small mirror located on the wall. He decided he would worry about his appearance tomorrow, for now it was time to get some sleep.
"Erykae come in, have you found shelter for the night? I am having some trouble with my instruments, it seems a recent solar flare from this planet's sun is causing some interference." Asher'biku's voice came through his device again, this time clearer and amplified due to the small space.
"Affirmative," Erykae responded, as he made his way to a corner and slumped against the wall and down to the ground. "I am not sure where I am, the coordinates were off. I ended up rolling down a hill and had to walk quite a long way to reach this place. I'm so tired I think I'm going to nod off…" he muttered, curling up into a fetal position. The coldness of the floor penetrated through his clothing, he shivered unable to get into a comfortable position. To make things worse his stomach began growling with hunger, it had been more than 36 hours since his last meal.
"Glad to hear, I will keep an eye on the Field and if Engishana makes a jump I will notify you right away." His companion said once more, leaving silence afterwards in the darkness.
Erykae decided to ignore his hunger and try his best to get to sleep, once it was morning he would venture out to find food and get his bearings on where he was. He tucked his arms inside his shirt to keep warm, slowed his breathing and quieted his mind in preparation for sleep, for a moment he thought of his father and what would happen if he was caught. The healed scar across the front of his neck burned and he reached up and scratched it lightly. It told of a night filled with horror that Erykae would rather soon forget. He switched his thoughts to something more pleasant. Memories of his mother were the only things that seemed to be able to soothe his soul; but like his childhood, his self-esteem, his mother's life and almost his own they were stolen from him when his father went mad.
With happier thoughts occupying his mind, he released his anger and fell into a deep sleep.