Chapter 1Mature

Earth. They once called it the Blue Planet of the Solar system. But now its getting more and more inhospitable to the human populace by the year. Countries have already been emptied of life, either by choice or the simple fact that the residents packed their bags and moved to a country where things were slightly better. However, as with anything like that tensions run high. Everyday the local news stations and newpapers run stories about continued violence in far off countries. Humans. If any Alien race were watching through a telescope they'd think us pathetic or that we were the biggest comedy in the known universe.

The wind blew softly and brought the scent of fresh sea salt air wafting over the small Scottish town of Holleston. Joshua Karshen took a deep breath of it and sighed, a mixture of happiness and sadness. Living in the seaside town was fun but not when your dad as only bringing in minimum pay as a reserve for the army and because some idiot at the Police Board decided to cut police pay so they could afford that wine that was becoming increasingly expensive as it got rarer and rarer. Josh looked out over the harbour, some of the fishing boats were just coming back in from their day out while others would be out late into the night. A boat passed right by Josh as it pulled up and the skipper waved at Josh before ordering a fellow man to grab the mooring rope and tie the boat up so they could unload their catch. Josh watched silently as crate after crate of fish was unloaded onto the dockside, looked like that skipper had been lucky. Smiling Josh turned away from the Dock and began to walk, he needed to get home, get changed and then head down to his part time job. Ironically it was to do with fish. Shaking his head as he laughed inwardly he made his way home.

"Josh ya lanky sod" came a call from behind him and Josh turned to see who the caller was.

"Marty! You never usually come this way. I though Sean always picked you up"

"Nah. Only if i ask him" Marty smiled as he put an arm round his friend. Marty was tall for his age towering above most if his classmates and he even beat Josh by an inch or two. He had a distinctly European look about him yet spoke with a with no accent at all. At least not from what Josh could hear. "So, you heading to work?"

"Yeah. Ash asked me to do extra day 'cause Mikey called in sick. Not complaining though, gives me a little more money for the kitty" Josh laughed and Marty laughed with him. The two lads looked fairly similar in that they were tall and both hard dark black hair but that was the end of the similarities in appearence. Josh wasn't as broadly built as Marty and so had the tendency to be mistaken for being anorexic. Marty however looked like a bouncer and only had to look at people to send them scattering. As far as Josh knew in all the 15 years that he'd known Marty he hadn't seen nor heard of him being in a fight. Smiling that his friend had joined him they both continued walking and talking until they got to the top of Josh's road. Patting each other's shoulders they said their goodbyes for the time being and Marty carried on his way. Josh stood still momentarily and watched as his friend loped away with his unique walk. In Josh's mind Marty was a brother and he was sure Marty felt the same about him, the pair of them were loathed to be apart. Smiling again he turned and walked down the road to his house. Number 23. It wasn't a house per se but more a flat on top of a tea shop. Opening the door he was greeted by several of the old ladies that frequented it for their wednesday afternoon tea and cake. Smiling he took empty cups and plates after making a note of the tables so he knew who to bring the bill to. Putting the dirty cutlery in the kitchen he was greeted by his mother who was busy bustling round a cake,

"Afternoon son" she said happily, "Would you be an angel and take the bills out before you leave?"

"Already on it" Josh called back as he left the kitchen and gave the ladies their bills and waited around while they paid before cashing it in the ancient till. Once that was done he unlocked the door behind the counter labelled private and climbed the stairs to the flat and went into his room. Quickly throwing his bag and jacket on his bed he stripped out of his uniform and pulled on a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and pair of well worn trainers before grabbing his wallet, mobile and keys and leaving the shop to head for work.

On his way there he felt his mobile vibrate and the display showed the caller as being his dad's mobile,

"You ok dad?" he answered,

"You at work Josh?" came the voice from the other end

"Just arrived why?"

"I won't waste time telling you now but once you're finished for the night can you come straight home please. I have something to tell you and your mother." he said and then the line went dead. Puzzled Josh locked his mobile and slipped it back in his pocket, his dad knew that when he'd finished work he usually went to the Haunt to hand out with Marty and the gang so it must be important if he wanted him straight home instead. 

All through his work one question plaugued his mind: What could be so important?

The End

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