Part One – Escape
Chapter One – Present Day
I scanned the ruins carefully from my hiding place, the city had long-since been overrun by the wild. Animals and plants invaded the concrete buildings with no problems. Funny how all earth had to do was lose most of its humans to get better. Though it'll be a long time until the earth is fully restored. I went back to looking, but nothing stirred out in the open. I prepared myself and - breathing deeply -sprinted across towards the east side of the city. I knew it far better than he did. It wasn't long till I heard the following footsteps but I ignored them and concentrated on my task. I side-stepped into an alley and using the ivy climbed over the brick wall at the back. I ran carefully along the wall towards the park. It used to have a dried up pond, but now it was practically a swamp.
I knew he was close behind me and would've figured out my destination. So I quickly dropped down from the wall and ran using the brushes for cover. I could see the park entrance and ran for it. Gloria and the others knew where to meet me, unlike him. But now it was just an open run, which gave him the advantage. I gritted my teeth as I pushed my legs past their limit. I could see Kimla and Ian waiting in the Jeep. Ian looked bored as always whilst Kimla watched me intently. I really hoped I made it this time. Just to show him. Gloria was stood by the ship only a little bit further away, that was were I needed to get to. No such luck. His arm hooked round my waist and air escaped my lips as I was yanked backwards to the floor. He leaned over me, stupid smug grin on his face as he reached out a hand to help me up. I glared at him for a few seconds before taking it which just made him laugh. He was so annoying sometimes.
“Don't be a sore loser, this was your idea, its always your idea to do this,” I didn't stop glaring at him as he spoke. He sighed and shook his head.
“If it makes you feel better you got a lot further this time than ever before” I still glared at him.
“Err, whilst I love watching you two battle it out, I'd much rather get back home,” Ian commented impatiently.
“Good idea,” Kimla said before starting up the Jeep. Gloria walked over and got in the front with the other two. Leaving me in the back with him. I swear they did this on purpose.
“You're mad at yourself, so stop taking it out on me,” he grumbled. And I knew he was right.
“Next time I’m beating your ass,” I finally joked. I heard him take a small relieved breath before laughing.
“Pfft, I’ve lost track of how many times we've done this. And I don't understand why. If anything ever chases you, just shout and get to me. I can definitely meet you half-way and help. You know that,” And again, I knew he was right.
“I'd rather be able to take care of myself, you know that Arik,” he grinned and shook his head.
“What? Don't you trust me to protect you?” he asked, trying to feign offence.
“I do, but you're not going to be around forever. You'll go back to your planet one day, won't you?” I asked, trying not to let my worry show.
“Erie...” I smiled at his nickname for me. He'd used it ever since he found me when I was eight. I remember now how terrified I was of him. I'd never seen a drac before. And with his lizard-like features I suppose I properly convinced myself he was some sort of dragon monster, though looking back he was only ten, so maybe I had scared him too. He had been a runaway, but I knew he'd have to go back someday. It was inevitable, right?
“...I have no intention of going back...for many reasons. It would only be a last resort if something bad happened here,” he insisted.
“You should be careful how you phrase things Arik,” Gloria said, glancing from the front. Her pale skin covered with black curls, as messy and random as her long brown hair. She was a Zeany, they were very fate and magic obsessed people, I don't understand how they can be advanced and still believe in things like god and the ability to predict the future. But there you go. Gloria was meant to have a very light ability to sense the future. I wasn't sure if I believed that, but so far she’d never been wrong about anything.
I shivered and then waited for the short drive to end. We pulled into the “Inn”, a place Arik and I had had a hand in building. After every other species in the universe decided to take an interest in humans – in the not-so-good-for-us way – there weren’t many of us left. I thought most humans have found their way here. Over the years attacks became fewer and fewer and Earth became something of a meeting place for all those who didn't really belong on their own planets anymore. There hadn't been a incident involving human harm in two years. I saw that as progress.
I washed and changed quickly before heading down to the restaurant/bar, Arik was already sitting down with an empty bar stool next to him, and a drink in front of it. He knew me way to well after all these years, I thought. Taking a grateful sip and feeling the alcohol buzz through my system.
“This better be strong,” I said, sitting next to him. He gave a cheeky grin before his gaze got pulled elsewhere. His expressions hardened. I turned around to see a drac man had entered. Interesting, Arik was the only drac that chose to visit and stay on earth. His species – the most powerful in the known universe – didn't care about humans much, least not the gooder ones.
“Arik, don't do anything,” I said, noticing how tense his muscles were.
“I won't,” He blatantly lied as he stood up and walked over to the man. I let a sigh escape my lips.
“Need something stronger?” Sid, the bartender joked, causing me to laugh.
“I think I may need to stay sober in case something happens,” I said.
“Something like them walking outside together?” Sid asked, his brown eyebrows lifting towards the still swinging door.
“Oh, you have got to be fucking with me, god dammit Arik,” I muttered before heading outside.