Santarius: The Run and Retreated

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

It's 2321, about two hundred years after the apocalypse has ended. The world is recovering, but not without change. Lands have shifted, the oceans have morphed, and the world powers have knives at everyone's throats.

Meet Caleb Ryker, a 17-year-old student at a utopia school known only as The Academy. He is a Clairvoyant; he has visions in his dreams, visions of the past and things that he has never before seen elsewhere. He is a freak, a godsend, a prophet, and a unique force the world isn't ready to see. Too bad he doesn't know any of that. Yet.

So when The Academy is raided by a group of mysterious soldiers one fateful night, Ryker and his best- and only- friend, Pablo Marquez, are taken hostage for unknown reasons. When they see the face of terrible power...

Their story begins. Enter the world of Santarius, the story of a new Earth filled with amazing people, fantastic places, shocking creatures, and an evil that wants to throw the world into chaos once again.

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Santarius: The Run and Retreated (Prologue & Chapter One)

Submitted: January 26, 2008

Reads: 238

Comments: 2

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Submitted: January 26, 2008

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Santarius: The Run and Retreated

***Prologue***

I was told it all began long into the 20th century, but I hardly believe it; she seems natural the way she is. While it’s still fought on exactly how and why the planet finally snapped, what happened is as clear ever. We abused our home, and Mother Nature abused us as the price. We carelessly abused her being with pollution, extinction, violence, farming, pushing her to her limits… Mother has patience, but all things only have so much will. At first she sent little signs; an earthquake here, a tsunami there, but I don’t think she thought we were getting the message. We weren’t. Over time, disasters came to cities; people were dying by the hundreds, thousands, and eventually the millions. Anarchy struck the masses, billowing smokes clouded the sun, and fire blasted from the mountains. Eventually massive storms of meteorites came, destroying entire countries on any given storm. Nuclear war blew over, one nation attacking another claiming they were behind the events. Then suddenly, she took no more, and by the time we began to care, it was over. The Old World was dead. A planetary revolution had begun.

Everyone is taught this little story in Planetary Evolution (PE) back when I was a seventh year. And I believed it; it seemed so natural and made sense the way we were explained. I believed until I was a twelfth year, when I finally began having the dreams. At first they were only foggy glimpses. Sometimes it was a screen with unknown writing, or a group of shaded men. As the years advanced, the dreams became clearer. I saw hundreds of sophisticated machines like which I’ve never seen. I saw scientists of the old days, calculating meaningless information, whispering crucial secrets hurriedly, and hiding their work from strangers as if having it destroyed would be their doom. I saw the first word: Santarius. I presumed it was a person, but I later found out it was actually a place via the logo that I eventually realized was everywhere.

And then it finally came to me. The dream started with a small group of scientists in a dim white room, sitting in a row in front of what appeared to be a group of judges. This was a dream of many firsts, the first being that I could hear each person’s voice as clear as crystal. It was full color also; I could see the reflecting red light on a clear glass cup, the various shades and hues of everyone’s hair. The red of blood on the floor by each lifeless scientist was seen also. The judges were outraged by the fact that the small group of scientists was found to be Passers, scientists that had children under the presence of Santarius’ experiments. The judges claimed that children born under these circumstances had a slight chance of being able to see through the eyes of the parents, thus seeing the truth, among other things. I remember them taking an oath, an oath forever set on exterminating any Clairvoyants that would endanger their secrets. Their secrets needed to stay secluded for all of time.

Is it true? If so, then I’m a Clairvoyant. I’m in danger of being myself.

***Chapter One***

I’ve always been an early riser, ever since I was a kid. Sometimes I would watch the hazy sun rise above the horizon, or lay in the quiet and listen to the peaceful sighs of my fellow classmates in deep, restful sleep. I had more time then the others to soak in the steamy shower, more food to choose from in the opening hours of the cafeteria, more time to see the earth wake up before my eyes. The sleepy hours of the morning, when the gears of the world were preparing to turn for the busy day ahead, were my best times.

So when I opened my eyes that quiet Sunday morning, the first thing I did was squint with both tired and ready eyes at the digital clock across the room; it read just a minute before seven o’clock on November 23rd, 2321. I slipped off my bed, creeping carefully and quietly to the farthest wall in the room. The door was cracked slightly ajar, conducting steam between its bulk and the length of the wall. It seemed someone beat me to the showers this morning. Ah, well, no difference either way. One kid wouldn’t hurt the moment.

I gently pulled the door open, letting the steam release and evaporate silently into the room. I then stepped in and removed my boxers, throwing them into the laundry chute. Shoot and score. I put myself in a shower stall, set the door shut, and carefully turned the faucet until I found the right temperature. I sat on the slippery bench with a sigh of relief and awakening, grabbed the vanilla shampoo, and poured some on my mud-colored hair.

About a minute of scrubbing through my hair, a screen of light appeared on the glass of the fogging door. It was a TV, requesting as always whether or not I would like to catch up with the news in the shower. It would give either a readable or hearable podcast while you lathered up with soap in the shower. I suppose it was helpful for those on the go, but for me it was an interruption more then anything. I pressed my soapy finger lightly on the NO option, thus turning the screen back to normal glass. I rinsed my hair out, soaped and rinsed my body, and turned the faucet off before stepping out of the stall. Finally, I grabbed a towel to dry my hair and body and dressed myself in The Academy Uniform: a blue blazer atop a white collared shirt, black jeans, black socks and dress shoes, and white gloves with The Academy crest; a black snake with gleaming white eyes set on a blue octagon.

I trotted down the steps to the cafeteria with a calm but quick rhythm. The cafeteria was three floors below our common room, which would normally be annoying to go down with a crowd, but in the mornings the stairs were almost always clear, save for a few early risers like me.

Once I had my breakfast in hand (scrambled eggs with cheese, wheat toast, and pork sausages), I took a seat in The Lobby, an almost-royal section of the cafeteria normally crowded by my fellow senior class, but empty in the earlier hours, even on Sundays. There were leather couches, a fancy carpet, a coffee bar, and a grand piano for the musically gifted. My only company was a kid that I think was in my Geometry class. What was his name? Bobby? Maybe it was Robby? I could never remember.

“Morning.” The kid peeked up from his textbook to greet me.

“How you doing?” I replied nonchalantly.

“Ah, decent. Tired,” he smiled lightly. “But still decent.”

“That’s good at least. By the way, I prefer Ryker.”

“Sorry, mate. Won’t happen again.”

We sat in silence from there on. I gobbled down my breakfast while Bobby or Robby continued studying, occasionally nibbling on his croissant. I left without a word once I finished my meal. The kid was kind quiet, not one to hold conversation. I’d go do something else for a while.

I knew the halls of The Academy like the back of my hand. In the three years time that I had attended this place, I never really established a place to sit at lunch or a place to hang out with the few friends I had. Because of this, I did a lot of walking to just watch the world pass by or to think about life. So when I found a secret place of my own in The Academy when I was just a freshman, my walking days were over. I found a personal sanctuary, one that nobody else, not even my best friend, knew about. Well, if anyone did, they would’ve revealed their whereabouts by now.

The Academy had seven stories, along with a rooftop observatory and a ground cellar. To get to my hideaway you had to climb to the sixth floor and, when no one was looking, lift a large, secretly false tile from the floor. A space about twenty feet by twenty feet would be revealed, with an opening just large enough to let a student like myself in and set the tile again as if it were never touched. Finally, with a few seconds of crawling under the floor, you could make it to one of the old, stone balconies just under the roof observatory. My secret place was hidden completely; for whatever reason, the sixth floor had no cameras. It was hidden from the rooftop, for even if you looked straight down, my balcony was under the border. Finally, the tile was one of hundreds, maybe thousands, on the floor. It would take days to find the exact tile. Looking from the ground wouldn’t work either because the balcony edge bent up at such an angle that it shrouded the view from below. But it still preserved, if not enhanced, the view from the secret balcony.

I saw the tile in a dream when I started my freshman year. I saw where the tile was, where it led, and the view I could see. I could feel the peace of mind and the thrill of secrecy as well. It was where I went to clear my head, to escape the world. I dreamed about it at least once a week, and sometimes I daydreamed about me sitting on the spot. I ate there, read there, cried there, and wrote… put simply, it was my happy place. It was very important to me, and I didn’t even know why.

I have problems, I remember thinking with a chuckle.

The rain gently woke me from its repetitive patting on the metal walls of the institute. I yawned and stretched and glanced at my watch. 10:23. Pablo, my best friend, was probably up by now. I cracked my knuckles and crawled back under the tile.

There was one major drawback to my balcony: getting out without being seen. By now the sixth floor was starting to gain some hustle and bustle, despite it being less offering then the other floors. If I lifted the tile at almost any random time, my cover would be blown. I would be in huge trouble, and my spot would be closed off somehow. So I had to rely solely on acute hearing for footsteps and words before I could even think about lifting up the tile. The whole thing was annoying; it could be anywhere from thirty seconds to an hour before I could have a chance to lift the tile. Thankfully, the noises of life halted. I listened for a moment longer, then quickly boost up the tile and jumped out, subtly sliding the tile in place with the heel of my shoe. Nobody heard or saw my actions. My secret was still safe.

I casually descended floors, climbing down the stairs to meet Pablo in the weight room. He was there every morning unless something was wrong, which was rare in itself. I wasn’t too fond of the room, but I respected his interests enough.

One thing I never liked about school was the distribution of groups of people. Some people just had to have a label: jocks, druggies, whores, geeks, and the like. I guess if I were to be considered anything I would be a loner. When the classes clash, it can either be ugly or wrong, the first of the two usually being the case. So when I approached the weight room at the same time two huge jocks walked out of it, an awkward chill was sent down my spine as they eyed me over once and flashed a wicked smile at me. I don’t like jocks, never have. They almost never have a brain; yet they rule the school with an iron fist with, well, their iron fists and muscles. I wasn’t exactly a geek, but the rule could still apply about brains versus brawn.

Just before one of their meaty hands reached out for my arm, Pablo approached them from behind just in time. The meatheads stopped suddenly, turning heads slightly behind them.

“Hey, Ryker.” Pablo said suspiciously with his thick Spanish accent. He eyed the scene about to unfold in front of him. “Everything going okay?”

I shot a glare at the two jocks, now looking around as if trying to have anyone passing by notice that they weren’t all that bad. “Yeah, I’m fine. Thanks.”

“No problem, man.” Pablo made a motion with his hand and the boneheads left the weight room like they were originally planning. Pablo Marquez, my best friend, lightly patted his metal hand on my shoulder and stepped up next to me. “I’m up for a bite. Good with you?”

I couldn’t refuse; Pablo had removed me from more then one situation like that multiple times since we had been friends. He was my ally, as I was his.

“Let’s roll.”


© Copyright 2017 Varuna. All rights reserved.

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