The universe as we know is never ending, and so far, to popular belief, we're the only life out there. However there is so much more out there than we can ever imagine and comprehend. It's full of life, creation, love, and joy. As well as tragedy, hate, death, and extinction. It's what life is all about, a never ending cycle. Though there are times when the universe bends it's own rules. Where instead of just the flip of a coin, you end up with the odds of a dice, to where the unexplainable and miracles happen, and possibilities are endless. Many of these mysterious factors take place the deeper you go beyond your own understanding. One of these phenomenons is a galaxy farther out in space than our technology can ever detect. In it is a star system known as the Taillos system. There are seventeen planets orbiting one star, on perfectly balanced circular orbits. Some even on the same orbital ring. Three of those planets in particular, Gaifelida, Merenia, and Lerona, share the same path. All supporting life as well. The inhabitants of that system call them the trinity guardians of life and the star is called the life giver, also known as the star Solestia, named after the goddess of light and creation in their beliefs. The planets are believed to be watched over by goddesses Lurestia of nature and weather, Nerenia of water and ice, Tithia of ground and fire, and kept in constant balance by the goddess Aurania of air and peace. Even though their galaxy has what appears to be the perfect star system, the people are flawed. Constant issues result in on going cycles of war and peace.
Recently Gaifelida was again in a great war. The Chetaran people, of the Auroptia nation, were against the Therians of Lapidara. Those races along with Torans and Pumerans, even though are alien to the humans of Earth, are cat-like in appearance. The Chetarans resemble the cheetahs of Earth and the Therians resemble the lions. Torans and Pumerans are similar to our tiger and puma species. All the races of Taillos have traits similiar to either Earth's animals or the creatures of legends and folklore mixed with a human like body. Some Taillosians believe Earth was once part of Taillos, sharing orbit with the three planets, watched over by the goddess Lilitania of darkness and death, and was said to have been cast out by Aurania with permission of Solestia for creating chaos amongst the life trinity. However Lilitania was clever, as she was sent away to the other side of the universe she made a cursed pathway undectable to her sisters, that linked her back to the others, enabling her to constantly send her dark thoughts and destruction to the people til the end of time as way of revenge, which in the peoples minds is what causes the hate behind all the wars. They believe that when people are able to think with love and kindness it helps Aurania create a more powerful shield against Lilitania's curses, creating times of peace and fertility of the land, but when they fall to their own greed and evils it makes the shield fail, leading to wars and destructions, causing Aurania to begin again at trying to build her shield. These beliefs also come with the idea that all the races and species evolved from the same organics that the Earth has and shares with the other three planets, except due to Earth's outcasted celestial location caused things to evolve differently. Others however believe that there was a more advanced alien millions of years ago that had planted life on the planets and other planets in the far reaches of the universe, thus creating different species yet all very similar to each other. There are some who believe there is no connection at all and everything is just a coincedence. Then you have a very small group of actual Earth humans amongst the planets, who arrived hundreds of years ago by coming with a navigational explorer who accidentally found a way to Earth and back, they of course brought their beliefs of God and other Earth based religions, who in turn believe that the Taillos system was God's side project and everything is still under his creation and that's also why the similarities of the planets exist, which most Taillosians can never come to believe and think the earthlings brought evil with them to Taillos, which is the cause of more fighting amongst the people.
The great war between the Auroptians and the Lapidarans took place on a large island called Ceratis. Which was part of the country Auroptia at the time and unfortunately middle ground for the war, giving it the title of the Ceratisian war. There was a small village under seige on the east coast of the island. It was the last battle of the war with the Therians of Lapidara. The infantry unit sent to defend the village was led by a captain, a chetaran noble named Celestar. Under him was 1st lieutenant Tarvis, who at the time was very young. Being only sixteen years old and moving so quickly up the ladder of command was an amazing feat. Celestar, age twenty six, saw Tarvis like a younger brother to him and took him under his wing with everything, also being partially a reason to why Tarvis was where he was. They were very close as friends and since they had each other's back, managed to gain most victories in the war. The small village they were sent to help was called Merana, and like the rest of the towns and cities, was being burned and looted. The Lapidarans were known for taking prisoners as well. Ceratis's population was being taken away as prisoners of war, and due to be placed in slavery, gladiator games, or exicuted. Tarvis and Celestar were doing all they could to drive the Lapidaran's forces away. Tarvis's platoon was in charge of the north side of Merana and Celestar the south. Coming together in the end to defeat and drive the Lapidarans off shore. They had succeeded in doing so, but were too late to save every one. Taking majority of the Merana people hostage, the Lapidarans were able to flee on their ships unharmed, Celestar did not want to risk injuring the Merana people knowing that near by Auroptian ships will save them out at sea before they could reach their borders.
Tarvis and Celestar are now at a stand still on the shoreline while the Lapidaran captain is sucessfully retreating by using hostages as a shield and having all his ship's canons facing the Auroptians. Tarvis, seeing that there is nothing more they alone can do, is yelling out to the captain and trying to reason with the him to let the Merana citizens go, but seems to be getting no where in convincing him to do so. Celestar's attention shifts to watching the last of the civilains being dragged on to the ship. One woman in particular is being dragged by her arms.
She keeps screaming out hysterically "No!...Please!...Keiko!...Kira!" reaching out to a single burning home near by on a hill. Celestar's eyes meet her's as she enters the ship, being muffled by the man dragging her aboard, the fear in her eyes spoke more to Celestar than words could describe. He knew those were the fear of a mother about to loose her children. With out a second thought he raced away from the shore to the hill side where the house was burning. At that moment he could hear a child's cry. Instinctively he rushes into the building to the room where he hears the crying come from. There, trapped in a corner, is two little girls, an infant and a toddler. Quickly grabbing them both he rushes out of the house, just as he gets through the front door the whole thing collapses behind them, blowing tons of burning debris outward. Instantly crouching down and huddled around the two, he protects them, but ends up with some deep burns and scratches as a result. He stands up to the sound of canons and screams, as well as sees the Lapidaran ship sailing away in the distance.
Later upon returning over to the area where his company is stationed for the night, Celestar enters his tent. Tarvis follows in right behind him, and is really angry. "Why did you leave! Because of you taking so long, who knows where, we had no way of contacting the Auroptian ships in time!".
Celestar, is at this point, is a little caught of guard by this attitude coming from Tarvis. "I ran to save two children trapped in a burning home. When I got out I saw the ship sailing away and instantly called our ships to make their move".
Tarvis still very annoyed by his captain's actions says to him "Yea, but it was a little too late! We just got word that our ships didn't catch them in time, so you chose to save two instead of about fifty people! You should have made that call before they fired canons at us, which killed a bunch of our men, might I add!".
"Don't be so cold hearted! You weren't haunted by eyes of their mother like I was. If at that moment you saw the look in her eyes you would have gone to help her children as well!" said Celestar.
"No! I would have stayed put like you should have! You made me look like a fool! I was left standing there when they sailed off with no way to alert our ships, no direction for the platoons, and no way to reasure the rest of the citizens, that are left, that their family will return to them!".
Celestar places a hand on Tarvis's shoulder "Tarvis, in war there are always casulties, and everyone knows this, you always have to do what you can to save everyone at that moment, you can't plan or know what's going to happen, no one will look down on you because the negotiation attempt failed, or look down on me because I didn't get the call out in time due to saving a few lives, because what you and I have done the past few months has been a great achivement. We may have lost a few today, but we tried our hardest, and have saved thousands of Ceratisians in the long run, honestly everyone sees us both as heroes. I know it's hard for you to take in because your still so young, but trust me, you are a hero to the people of Auroptia."
Tarvis finally calming himself down a bit, decides to just leave without a word. One of the sergeants enters Celestar's tent. "Sir, Merana's leader would like to meet with you.".
"Ok, Thank you. I'll be right there."
In the village center Celestar meets with Merana's govenor, Nereus. "Thank you for meeting me here, unfortunatly my office was destroyed, but my home thankfully survived, so we'll talk there. Come, this way." Nereus points Celestar to a path that leads down the road to a large house. The house looks similar to a small old greecian or roman home you would see on Earth, with intricate pillars and carvings. It's painted mostly white with traces of gold and oceanic colors and surrounded by lots of trees and flowering plants. Celestar wonders how it wasn't a prime target, given it boasts royalty compared to the rest of the town. As he enters the house he realizes it wasn't. Everything was either stolen or destroyed inside. The man's home is nothing but an messy empty shell. Nereus, notices Celestar's shocked expression as they get inside. "Don't worry, at least I still have my health and shelter, everything I owned can be replaced or remade. When you go through times like this, you see things as they are, 'things' and that's it, compared to your own life and family, it's all meaningless." Celestar agrees and admires the old man's spirit. They were able to find some small chairs, that managed to survive and was hiding in the debris of what was destroyed. As they sit and get comfortable, Nereus starts talking with Celestar. "I understand things did not go as everyone had hoped, and I truely fear the outcome of the citizens that were taken away. However I do want to thank you for saving the rest of the village, things could have been so much worse than they are, as well as thank you for risking your life to save ours. What you did throughout this war has been a symbol of true heroics, like saving those two children in the fire, and keeping most of our people alive. However, I am sorry about those troops you have lost along the way as well. Their sacrifice will be remembered and honored by everyone in Auroptia."
Celestar is humbled by his words. "Thank you sir, we're just doing our part in serving our country. Sacrifices in the line of duty are to be expected in times like these."
Nereus stands and starts pacing around. "Yes. Well, I need you to sacrifice some of your time before you make it back to to the main land."
Celestar is confused with this sudden request. "Sir? Any task or mission you plan on creating must go through my superior officers first, they are expecting us to return as quick as possible for debriefing. We can't just take on favors and do whatever we wish. No offense to you in any way of course. That's just procedure."
Nereus stops pacing and looks at Celestar. "I am aware of procedure, and this task has been cleared all ready. I had made some calls right before you met me here. You are to escort a caravan of civilians to the city of Lithea. It's about a four day journey on foot. Most of the men will stay to work on repairing the town, but all the women and children are going to take refuge in Lithea for the time being. Here is a notice your general signed in agreement."
He hands an electronic tablet like device to Celestar to look over. Upon reading it, he sees it's legit. "Alright. Sir we will protect the citizens and get them to Lithea in one piece. I guess I'd better get going then." He stands and salutes the govenor in the traditional Auroptian manor. Nereus salutes him back and walks him out.
On their way to the door he gives his blessings to Celestar. "Thank you and may you all have a safe journey."
Just after dawn most of the town is packed up and just about to head out. It is a large group of people, vehicles, and livestock, along side the remaining military, which is being lead by Celestar and Tarvis. Lots of couples, families, and friends are saying their goodbyes to those choosing to stay in order to fix up the town. Govenor Nereus is there giving his best wishes and reguards to the towns folk as well. Celestar and Tarvis are both given the town's best dyceras to ride, which are large, very strong, and similar to horses found on earth. The males have two long horns on top of their head, making them more menacing and sought after for military and police, the females are a bit smaller and have no horns, usually seen pulling carriages.
Nereus meets with Celestar, followed by two young girls looking the age of seventeen and twenty. "Celestar, these are my two daughters, Aesia and Felina. They will be staying with my sister Azura in Lithea. Please keep a close eye on them and make sure they behave. They can be a handful." Nereus glances at them and sees them smirking and trying to look innocent.
Celestar starts thinking this trip will be a headache on his part. "Yes sir. They will get there in one piece." The girls say goodbye to their father and get on their kerikkos, another horse like creature. They resemble a unicorn with a large curved horn, the females have smaller straight horns however. Overall it is much smaller and daintier than a dycera, and prized mostly by women and royalty. Everyone now is packed up and starting to move out. Tarvis is positioned to the front of the group and Celestar is guarding the rear.
The sun starts to rise, bringing a gorgeous morning to the first day of their journey. As they get further up the road they come across a farm house. Celestar goes up to the house to see if the residents will allow them to rest near by and use their utilities, since most of the chilren are waking up and becoming restless.
After he knocks on the door an older, about middle aged woman answers. "Good morning ma'am. I am Celestar, captain of the 26th infantry unit in the Auroptian army. Me and this large group i'm escorting are making our way to Lithea, and have been traveling for a little while now. Would you be kind enough to let us stop near your home and allow use to some of your utilities?"
She smiles. "Oh! Sure! My husband and I don't get much visitors out here. Take all the time you need. Your animals can use the field to graze as well, mine are all locked up in the barn, they already ate."
"Thank you ma'am, but we won't be long. We have to get as much traveling done in the day as we can."
The woman then walks out to the yard with Celestar. "My name is Jyna, and I do have one condition though." Almost afraid to ask, Celestar gives her a questionable look. "You have to take my daughter to Lithea too. She's been wanting to get to the city and start living her life. Bout time too! She's twenty four and should have moved out years ago! Don't get me wrong, I love her to death, but she can't linger around here if she ever wants a career and family of her own. But anyways, my husband, Draven, hasn't let her go since he's afraid of her traveling there on her own, and has been too busy with the farm to take her. Since you guys have a large group and military escort, it'll be safe enough for her to go with you." Figuring one more won't be an issue, he agrees to let her come with them. "Wonderful! I'll break the news to Draven. Oh! She's got to hurry and get packed! How long did you plan on restin'?"
Celestar forgot that she would probably need to pack. "I'll give her two hours to pack up and get ready." Jyna is overjoyed for her daughter. "That's more than enough time!" She calls for her. "Tessa!...Tessa!" Celestar sees in the distance a small hill out in the field, where Tessa was laying in the grass. She stands and as she turns to face her mother, a slight breeze catches her golden brown hair and lilac sundress, giving her a graceful appearance in which Celestar captivated by. As she runs to her mother Celestar is even more stunned by her beauty.
"Yes mom?" Not really noticing Celestar. "Honey, this is Celestar. He is going to take you with him and his group to the city of Lithea!"
The news catches her completely off guard. "Really! Oh, wow! But wait! What about the farm? You guys need me here." Jyna escorts her daugher into the house, leaving Celestar to go tell everyone that they're resting here for a little while. Tessa again questions her mother. "Mama, so what about the farm?"
Jyna takes a seat on the couch. "We'll be fine, your dad and I ran the farm alone before you came around, besides I still have your sister Teca here to help out. Well you have exactly two hours to pack your things, so you better get going."
Tessa blankly stands there and lets this all sink in. Then starts smiling and jumps for joy. "I can't believe it!" She then races upstairs to start packing.
The two hours has past and everyone is ready to go. Tessa has loaded up her stuff and said farewell to her parents and sister. Celestar thanks and gives his best wishes to Jyna and Draven. The group heads out and he moves to the front to switch positions with Tarvis.
"So how many strays are we going to keep adding on?" Tarvis blurts out.
Celestar is stunned by Tarvis's remark. "What is the matter with you!?" he says.
"We have to keep in mind that all these people are sharing our rations and we're going to run out." says Tarvis.
"Are you serious!? Tarvis you need to relax. We have plenty of food and the town added food to our stock supply as well. I don't know what's your deal lately, but your forgetting your place. Our orders come from our generals." Celestar says.
"Humph! Whatever!" Tarvis says as he pulls back to the rear.
Night starts to fall and the group has set up camp for evening. Celestar is relaxing by a bonfire finishing up his dinner.
Tessa walks over to him. "Hey." Celestar, shocked to see her, drops his plate on the ground. She starts to laugh. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you. I just wanted to say thank you for allowing me to come with you."
"No problem, it's really no big deal." She decides to sit next to the fire. Celestar feels slightly nervous in her presence. "So what will you do once you get to Lithea?"
Stairing into the fire, as if lost in thought. "I'm not sure. I heard there is a nice academy there, but I'd love to just find someone to settle down with."
Celestar's only response is "uh huh" He is captivated by the way her eyes are glowing in the fire light, preventing him from rational conversation she then goes quiet again feeling a bit uneasy by stare. Celestar realizes how obvious he must look and quickly looks away and gives a more proper response. "that sounds great! I wish you the best of luck" their conversation is interrupted by others joining around the fire.
One of the townsfolk approaches Celestar. "Excuse me sir, sorry to disturb your dinner but this little one kept insisting on seeing you." Celestar turns to see the woman holding a baby in one arm & another child latched to her side. "This is Keiko, the one you saved in the fire along with her sister Kira here" He finds himself actually really happy to see them. Normally he doesn't involve himself with children, but there seems to be a weird connection he had never felt before. He feels like he needs to protect these two no matter what, which he figures is due to the image of their mother's terrified look being imbedded into his memory. Keiko, the oldest runs up to Celestar & hugs him. A bit shocked at first he wasn't quite sure what to do, but instinct kicked in and he hugged her back, knowing that she needs comfort after what had happened to her. "Sir would you mind watching them for a moment? I need to go find my own son." She then hands him Kira and takes off. Shortly after, he starts to panic realizing that he was left alone with these two.
Tessa must have noticed his expression because she started laughing. "Relax, I'm here if she starts crying on you." He quickly plays it off like he wasn't scared then looks at Kira who has these big bright eyes just staring at him, she then starts smiling and giggling. Tessa smiles and says, "They seem to really like you"
"Yea it seems so." he says.
The woman comes back, followed by a pouting little kid. Celestar figures he got in trouble for something. "Sorry, my son tried running off into the forest, so it took me a bit longer to come back. Well I'll take them now. it's past their bedtime." he hands Kira and Keiko back to the woman.
"So they're going to be living with you now?" he asks
The woman looked a little sad. "no, I'm going to watch them til we get to Lithea. they don't have any other family that we've been aware of, so them and some other children in their situation are due to be placed in a foster home that's there."
Celestar became a little depressed. "oh, well at least it'll be a good home, right?"
"oh, yes. the best there is." she claims.
He starts thinking that maybe the fate of all those kids were possibly his fault. If only he was faster when saving the girls and returned to Tarvis's side to help with the negotiating, maybe things would have turned out different. He thinks more and more into that idea but quickly snaps out of it and regains composure. He knows he did the best he could, now isn't the time for self doubt and regrets. What's now important is making sure everyone arrives to Lithea in one piece and that all the kids get a safe new home. "Madam, as soon as I finish escorting everyone to Lithea I will personally seek out all the Meranians that were taken, so that the children can have their families back."
The woman smiled. "bless you sir, I pray that you succeed in that mission, we Meranians will be forever in your debt if you do." she then takes the kids and walks away.