Planet X-Mechanica··On-going Novl duration N/A
The Loneliness of a Great Mind
The alarm clock on the small metal nightstand began to ring with rage, but its owner had already woken up, in fact, he hadn't slept all night. It was the first day of the new year, a year that was very important to him, as he would start his lessons at the Darkon Imperial School, the largest university on the planet, and most importantly for those who wanted to be in the future upper classes.
The year that had just begun was the last one of the seven years period, the Laskun year, a year that's significant for most, since a great cycle of major events for the planet would end. This planet is called X-Mechanica and it's the younger in the Alatlion Galaxy.
It was built, not created!
This planet has evolved inside science's cradle and engineering, which of course has its roots far deep in the galaxy's history, when all the races had helped for its construction.
It is located exactly at the center of the galaxy and is surrounded by seven suns, as many as the galaxy has. That's the reason why the day reigns, with the hours being completely different from anywhere else, while the year consists of more days and definitely without months and seasons.
Fifty-seven days had passed since the boy had turned sixteen years old, a record age as to accept him at university, which in most cases happened after the age of 18. He had ginger curly hair up to his shoulders and a pair of gray eyes shining in the darkness of his room. He was quite muscular, well-exercised and tall for his age, 1.79m. His name was Atlantas Rarnello and his dream was one day to lead the '' Fantastic Armadda ''! He turned off the alarm clock and got up from his small, hard metal bed. His room looked more like a prison cell, a nearly six square meters room, rectangular with a single window and a door, an individual toilet with a small sink and a small metal nightstand. He immediately went towards the window, pressed a button that was next to it, and that immediately started to open, leaving the first rays of sun fill his room. The more the shutters opened, more sun was coming in, as if it was just outside his window. But that didn't bother him, he even felt that the light was warming him deeply into his soul, something that only the sun could offer him! He stood staring at it with his eyes wide open, although it brought tears to his eyes, they were the only tears of joy he had felt since the day he was born.
- Good morning, Helinor, he said with a huge smile. Today is my first step closer to you.
Atlas made a U-turn and went to the sink, opened the tap and washed his face. The water stank like soil, having a brown color, but it was the only one he could have at this time. He took off his pajamas, wiped his face with it and folded it carefully by leaving it on the edge of his well-laid bed. Immediately afterwards he took and put on the only clothes he had, his totally ripped up jeans and a dirty gray t-shirt with the Armadda logo on.
As soon as he opened his room's door, voices and shouts arrived in his ears. Before he could take a step, a little girl walked in front of him, with the same ginger hair, a shining dress and the same gleaming smile.
- Good morning, Atlas, he told him without stopping.
- Good morning, Stasa, he replied instantly, watching her going down the metal staircase of the house.
Their whole home was a huge dormitory, hosting other than the family's five children, some others as well who had come to this planet to study. It was a rectangular, four-storey house, with three rooms on each floor and a large dining room at its base. This was the case inside all the houses of their city block, a large building that housed more than a thousand families and another three thousand students, housed in the Jaji area, one of the world's poorest and most remote from the center areas.
Atlas followed his little sister to the dining room, where he found all the tenants having a poor breakfast.
- Good morning, he said cheerfully.
- We'll see, his father replied immediately, interrupting the words of all the others.
Atlas stood, looked at him, and after he realized he was once again stoned, he went speechless to sit on the only empty chair he found. As soon as he sat, his mother got up to get him breakfast, but his father stopped her saying,
- He's not a baby.
Atlas stood up again, went to the kitchen and put whatever had remained on a large platter, a slice of bread and two eggs.
- I don't assume you have a problem with that, do you? He told him again ironically.
- None, he replied immediately.
- Nice and it would be best to say thank you to those who pay for it!
- Thank you, he said vaguely.
His father got up abruptly, almost turning the table upside down, dragging his wife and his elder son when they tried to stop him.
- You must learn to respect, piece of shit! These were his first words while he went towards him. When they talk to you or when you address someone, look him in the eyes!
- I had a good teacher, Atlas replied immediately. His father raised his hand to slap him, but the young man was not willing to sit with his arms crossed. He avoided the hit and immediately pushed him back, making him lose his balance and fell down forcefully on the ground.
- Bastard! He said in hate.
- I wish I were, he answered right away!
- How dare you, his father replied, and stood up to move towards him.
His two elder siblings, however, had got up, stopping another attack towards their brother, which of course he didn't like.
- Let me, he said, spitting.
- Calm down father, said the eldest son.
- Let me go, I said!
Atlas put down the bread he had in his hand and headed for the house's door. No one spoke during this route, only his father huffed and puffed out of hatred. As soon as he grasped the door's handle he heard him saying once again:
- I'll deal with you when you come back and then there won't be anyone to protect you!
- I don't think so, he answered indifferently.
- What did you just say? How dare...
- You won't see me again, I won't come back, I prefer to die in some alley rather than to see your face again!
- Do you think that ...
- It makes me sad that I won't see the others again, I'm going to miss them, but this house has nothing else to offer, especially as long as YOU are alive!
- Do you think you're so great? His father's next words were heard, this time with a crazy smile on his lips. Do you think you'll become better than all of us? That because of the fact they accepted you at the university, you'll get to become a member of the army?
- This is my goal and that's what I'll try to do.
Atlas opened the door of his house and went out immediately, not wanting to hear more from his father. He immediately started towards the building's exit, a five minutes route.
Tears went streaming down his cheeks as he passed in front of other houses' doors along the dark corridors, climbing down the stairs and jumping over some rails to shorten his path. When he finally got to the road, a journey that seemed to him it lasted centuries, he lifted his head up to see his beloved sun again. His tears dried out on his cheeks and a smile lit him.
He had taken his decision, he was now free, and although he knew that his life from now on wouldn't be easy he didn't care. He preferred to live free one day, rather than return to a house that filled him with sadness.
He took a deep breath, looked at the neighborhood's large clock, and started running toward the nearest train station. He ran alongside the metal streets that were full of rails, past the huge buildings that hid from time to time the sun and the metal parks with the ruined slides and swings.
Shortly before the station, there was the local market, with improvised stalls where vendors were trying to sell all sorts of junk to earn their living. Spare parts of all sorts, rotten food, torn clothes, broken toys and whatever composed the poverty of his region.
As he passed between the stalls, a mechanical hand caught him by his t-shirt and stopped him violently. Atlas stopped looking irritated and looked the man.
- Where are you off to Rarnello? An old man with rotten teeth and a mechanical eye told him.
- I've asked you a thousand times not to grab my t-shirt, cause if it's ripped...
- I'll give you another one, the old man replied immediately.
- Do you have another? He immediately asked him with his anger evaporating.
- Of course I do, do you have ten imperial crowns?
- Come on, Reno, you know I don't, but if you give it to me for free, I promise you that as soon as I become a member of the imperial army I'll...
- You'll forget us! He interrupted him. Like so many before you.
- Then why did you stop me? Atlas told him angrily.
- Because I want you to help me with a humanoid, my wife's servant broke down and ...
- I don't have time Reno, I'm sorry, my train is leaving soon and there's no way I would be late on my first day.
- When do you return?
- Okay, lied the boy. He immediately straightened his shirt, greeted the old man and started running to the station before he asked for more.
The deeper he entered the market, the more people he saw, people and robots having occupied almost every inch of the road. Atlas didn't stop or cut off speed, according to his calculations he would get there on time. So he started maneuvering among them, jumping over stalls and short people to make it on time. Once he arrived at the station's entrance, he saw the train he was about to board and that gave him less than three minutes.
He went in and passed whoever he found in front of him, forgetting about the ticket he had to pay for, either way he didn't have any money for that. He hoped, just like the previous times, he would get lucky. He walked to the platform eight, and by taking three large steps he was found at the train's entrance, jumping in seconds before the doors closed.
All the trains on this planet were three-storey, super-luxurious and very fast, with many of them reaching even 1,000 kilometers an hour. They were the only people's transportation for long distances, since the aircrafts were used only by members of the imperial circle and the high-ranking ones. All the vehicles belonged to the "MechaRoad" company, a branch of the central imperial company "Galactic Rob", which ruled all the machinery companies by producing components, metals and anything else someone needed to build something.
The train had a lot of people, as usual, cause its destination was the planet's central station, the one who joined all the lines from each area, however far these were from each other. This served Atlas' plan perfectly, a plan he had applied many times to avoid control. So he went and stood at the center of the train, where he could see both exits. The train started raising speed, reaching the maximum in less than a minute. Every passenger who boarded such a train for the first time experienced nausea, dizziness and vomiting, but they all got used to it after a while, and that was another daily routine.
One hour had passed and there were three more left. Atlas began to feel sleepy, and that was the worst possible scenario for him. He hadn't slept all night, and after the tension that his father had set up, all the fatigue began to come out. It was completely stupid of him not to rest on such an important day, but his enthusiasm wouldn't allow him.
The train made its first stop, in the Frilcha area, a very poor area with crowds of people boarding. Atlas was happy with it, as he could hide himself even more easily, but his sleepiness started to take over. So he began to think what he should do. The easiest thing to do would be to talk to someone, but he wasn't used to it, he didn't talk a lot.
- Is someone sitting here? He heard a girl's voice over his head.
Atlas turned to look at her. She was slim, with also delicate features, small lips, small black eyes and brownish long hair. She was dressed very nicely, and that revealed that she was from a good family.
- No, he said as kindly as he could. The girl sat next to him and looked out the window the amorphous figures created by the speed.
- I always feel nausea, she said without looking at him.
- Yes, he answered vaguely.
- My name is Margarita Losiel, she said, looking at him this time and stretching out her hand.
- Atlas, he said, shaking her hand, but looking left and right.
- Are you from around? She asked again.
- Look, he started saying, as he continued to stare at the train corridor.
- I'll give you a ticket, she said to him happily.
- What? He turned his face towards her.
- I'm bored and I want some company, she began saying with a smile. I don't often get much far away from the center and this journey seems enormous to me. I'll give you a ticket if you hang out with me. You seem to be a good kid though talking doesn't seem to be one of your assets.
- All right, he said, without much thinking.
He might not be willing to talk, but he had managed to find a ticket, which was of the utmost importance by then, either way he might fall asleep, so he wouldn't have to listen to her and on top of that he would have a valid ticket.
- You look very young to head to the center on your own.
- I'm starting classes at Darkon University.
- Really? She exclaimed. At such an early age?
- How old are you?
- You may be one of the few who have entered the University so young, but again, no one has reached Costigar's record, which is fifteen years and fifteen days old!
- What? He said looking distraught. How is this possible?
- He's a great mind, everyone says he has a brilliant future ahead of him, maybe you'll meet him in the school you're attending, he's still studying there, for how long I don't know.
- How old is he now?
- 18 I think.
- And why don't you know how long he'll be there for?
- It seems that he has been proposed to go to the higher education school Klamanta...
- This is impossible at such an age! He interrupted her being annoyed.
- But that's what I've heard.
- Fine, he replied skilfully, and turned to look elsewhere.
- What are your goals?
- To become a pilot of "Fantastic Armadda".
- WOW! Really? You have to be very well-excercised, good in mathematics, sharp, determined, excellent in mechanics and... wait a minute, she interrupted herself. What's your name?
- I already told you, Atlas.
- Rare name, but what is your full name?
- Why does it matter?
- Tell me!
- Atlantas Rarnello.
- Having entered at such a young age Darkon University and having these kind of dreams means that you knew what you wanted since you were a child, you have worked it, and it's a matter of time to succeed, so I want to say that I met you on your first day before you become famous, in your first step towards success!
Atlas was shaken by her words because it was the first time that anyone's words gave him strength! He was usually the dreamer, the black sheep at home and at school. No one ever believed in him, nor did his other brothers who only protected him in case their father tried to kill him and totally destroyed their family.
- Your parents must be very proud, she said again.
- My parents are dead, he said without thinking.
- I'm sorry, I'm sure that...
- You have no idea, he interrupted her looking irritated.
The woman silenced, realizing that it was her fault to insist. She might have shown all the kindness of the world in her words, but that didn't erase the fact that it was a painful matter for him. So she opened her bag and gave him a ticket, closing it and turning her gaze out of the window.
- I wish you all your dreams come true, she said, closing her eyes, wanting to sleep, showing Atlas at the same time that she would leave him alone.
He was ready to answer, to thank her, but he didn't. Inside him, however, he gave a promise that when the day came, he would look for her, and then he would thank her for being the first to believe in him.
Nearly three hours later the train arrived at its terminal station, the 'Crossroad Station', the largest and most famous station on the planet. People from every corner got off the train, either to go to work or go shopping, as all the big companies were situated there, around the imperial palace. As normal, when an emperor controls everything, especially on a huge planet like this, he wants everything to be close to him so he can to act fast when needed.
The emperor's covers an area of 98,000 acres, with its courtyard covering an additional 726,000 acres. The tallest tower reaches eleven kilometers into the sky, where, of course, is the emperor's retreat, while the next tallest tower is five kilometers long. Inside the palace are all the offices of the state-owned companies as well as the seven higher education schools. The center of the planet, which is also located around the palace, starts from the gardens' entrances and extends to a distance of 200 kilometers away, covering an area of approximately 10,000,000 acres. But what few have seen is the palace's basement, which extends almost as long as the entire planet's center and is the base of the imperial army, with its depth reaching 1,000 kilometers into the ground.
Atlas looked with awe at the station since it was the first time he was there. He may have seen pictures of it, he knew everything about it and the center of the planet but he had never traveled this far before. All the things inside were gold-plated, with the marble floor shining out of cleanliness.
Columns kept the domes decorating the ceiling, while the walls were covered by the logos of all the imperial societies, with the emperor’s logo dominating in the center and higher than the others. Suddenly some words sounded in Atlas' ears, "We don't have much time", which made him come back to reality because he himself didn't have much time, approximately half an hour, while his route to the university would last twenty-five minutes the least.
He looked at the south exit of the station, which led to Elmont square. Once he identified it, he started running towards there, and found himself outside 2 minutes later, facing it. Everything he had read about it was not enough, seeing nature's beauty ruling everywhere.
Trees everywhere, fountains and pylons with small fires smoldering, while the air gently hit the faces of all who were there. He took a deep breath and started toward his destination avoiding looking at the store windows, which would distract him and would certainly stall him to his lesson.
Twenty minutes later he stood at the university's entrance. A large entrance was hulked there, with the name sign being on the top and the door wide open. Numerous people of all tribes entered, regardless of age and financial class, all with one purpose, to learn and evolve by acquiring their own place in planet’s society. Atlas followed the mass, passed through the entrance and stopped at the reception, where he would get the information he needed for the class he was supposed to attend.
- Good morning.
- Name and surname, said the old lady who was behind the counter.
- Oh, Atlantas Rarnello. The old lady typed the name lazily on her computer screen waiting for the results.
- I'm sorry but you're not registered, she said vaguely, next.
- What? Uh, there must be a mistake, did you type it correctly?
The woman looked at him in an even more bored look, as if telling him that she had no purpose of dealing with him more.
- My last name has two ''Ls'', he said again, making a desperate attempt to before being thrown out.
The woman looked at the screen and realized that she had written it wrong, deleted the last letter and placed one more L.
- Second floor, right corridor, room Antoine Chalkon.
Atlas didn't even thank her, he just turned and walked to the nearest stairs. He rushed through the stairs and found himself on the second floor in no time. He instantly turned right and ran to the end of the corridor where the room she had indicated was, opened the door and walked in.
The room was huge, which was normal, considering that all the freshmen were gathered there. Inside there were at least three thousand people, all seated looking at the teacher's desk, where an elderly man with long and very dense hair stood, with a large white and very dense as well beard, tall and strong, with a tired but full of satisfaction mood.
- Come on in my child, he said politely, looking toward him.
Atlas went and sat on one of the few seats that were left empty, one that was closest to him as he already felt shy that everyone was looking at him.
- Welcome to Darkon University, said the old man. My name is Hugo Gomez and I come from the planet Akramanta, the realm of blacksmiths as many of you know. I'm here to teach you the basics of our world, the beginning of our history and everything you'll need to know for your studies. Forty-five days from today, you'll be asked to decide which field of study you want to choose, where you'll learn more and start your practice. The branches are three: Science, Economics and Engineering. Each of them has at least two other courses to study for your future, which will reveal if you're capable of any of the imperial colleges of higher education. The science branch will help you learn about physics, chemistry and medicine, giving you the chance to attend one of the Zelila and Klamanta schools. The finance field of study will teach you more about history, business management, economics and the galaxy's geography, giving you the opportunity to go to the Askanda, Takalum and Laskun schools. Finally, the engineering branch, where you'll be able to learn all the secrets of technology, will give you the opportunity to apply for one of the million vacancies that exist in various jobs. For the few that will excel, the Helinor and Prestonia schools are open.
When Atlas heard the name Helinor, he got excited, he smiled effortlessly and moved slightly on his seat, something that was noticeable by many. He didn't pay any attention to them, but many were disturbed by this move.
- Like every new student, Hugo continued, so will you, the first thing you'll learn today is the beginning of our planet's construction, which many may already know, but it's good to know exactly what happened, to be simply reminded that our history is everything, a priority for everyone and especially for the emperor. It all began when 10,000 years ago one of the galaxy’s seven suns exploded, resulting in the destruction of the planet Parmanon and the death of three billion souls, a team of engineers from the planet Ergon, decided to create a planet that would withstand any kind of disaster and this way eliminate the chance of any type of life's extinction. Of course, this was quite difficult to do, because it was almost impossible to build a planet from scratch. The particular group, later called "Builders", had the knowledge to build something like this, but they didn't have the physical strength, knowledge of metals and science, but also the way to transfer all the materials from other planets. So, this team decided to enter a spacecraft and travel from planet to planet and ask for help. Though they knew little about the people, the tribes living on different planets and their powers, they were convinced that they would make it. This trip lasted about a hundred galaxy years, with “Builders” staying on many of these planets they visited in order to experience the peoples' habits but also the powers of each one. Indeed, when they completed this trip, they had mapped accurately the Alatlion galaxy, which no one had ever done before and of course later this would help them complete their work. Fortunately, 99% of races accepted to help, mostly because they wanted to know the other cultures too, since only a few of them could travel outside their planet, and less because they wanted to help with the planet's construction itself; many of them would return to their base after it all ended. However, in order to start this and of course complete it, some rules had to be introduced to everybody equally, since each tribe had its own customs and traditions. So it was decided to set up a council of seven members, as many as their galaxy's suns, which would consist of seven different representatives of each race whose purpose would be to agree among themselves and decide for the mass. Of course, the races were many more, just as many as the planets, but many had common elements between them and they could end up in an agreement. Each planet sent its chosen one, the tribes that matched each other picked one among all the chosen ones, and somehow they came to create the first council named "7 Generals" and lasted until the election of the first emperor of Julius Darkon galaxy. One of them was called Antoine Chalkon and was the head of "Builders", but also of all those who would take part in the construction work. He was even one of the three who thought and completed the idea of creating a planet. Another one was Jamal Polo, a special geologist studying the planet's Gelantioum rocks. One of the two women in the council was called Ataesina Dominquez and came from the planet Akramanta, also known as the Kingdom of Blacksmiths. Aeron Elmont was the planet Natura king's son, the most ancient planet in the galaxy and responsible for the existence of nature where it flourished. Next was Gunnar Markku, one of the leaders of the planet Thekhi, home of the so-called "Keylords".
The second woman was Memphida Therso, one of the deities of the planet Pyramid. Finally, Oiolikos Kalcha, was a member of '' Magicians of the Mountain ''.
The names of all of these had light whispers. Obviously, everyone commented on each one, depending on the planet that originated, his origins, but also his knowledge too. There were so many things that were written about the galaxy, the races and the planets, that everyone knew something different, creating their own point of view.
- The main construction of the planet X-Mechanica lasted for one hundred and fifty galaxy years, Professor Hugo continued, with the possibilities of developing it more being open to the future as everyone hoped that the evolution of science could make it even better, as it has already happened and continues to happen. The planet's first inhabitants consisted of all tribes of the galaxy, something that in the early years was wonderful and, at the same time, very interesting, especially for those who wanted to analyze the world. They no longer needed to travel to the entire galaxy, only to this planet, wandering from region to region and learning a lot about each one's lifestyle, customs and traditions. So, in less than fifty galaxy years, X-Mechanica became the center of science, engineering, arts, economics, astrology, and even the world's history, in short, it became what the first visionaries imagined the center of the galaxy would be!
The whispers stopped, giving their place to a total silence. Everyone knew things, many knew most of what they had just heard, but the way their professor got them across was very special.
- Any questions? He asked scanning everyone. No one spoke, everyone was waiting to hear more, either because they were extremely hooked or because they were thirsty for learning.
- Very well, Hugo said again, and started speaking again.
The first few hours had passed and the teacher decided to take a break and rest. Most of the students went out of the room, some stayed in to note some things down, others because they were alone and had nothing to do outside and Atlas because he had thousands of questions he wanted to ask! Even he himself was thrilled with the incident, that he wanted to open a conversation with someone, but there was a serious excuse, his future! Hugo was preparing to go to his office, which was behind a small door in the corner of the room, from where he had appeared before Atlas appeared in the room, when he saw the young man raising his hand.
- Please... He told him kindly looking tired.
- I'd like to ask who was the first of the 7 Generals you mentioned that took the place of Helinor.
- High Helinor, Hugo corrected him. You must be Atlantas Rarnello, aren't you?
- Yes sir.
- The second youngest in seven years, with the highest score in engineering. Are your skills just as good as your grades?
- Indeed, sir, said Atlas with confidence and passion.
- Wonderful! Minds like yours are always useful in our world. Atlas nodded his head with satisfaction accepting for the second time on the same day nice comments about his abilities, something that he hadn't been used to, before he even needed to prove it. But there were some people in the room who weren't thrilled by their teacher's comment and the fact that someone already had the same goals with them, threatening this way their future.
- The answer you're looking for is Memphida Therso of the planet Pyramid. She's a horrible woman with tremendous powers.
- What kind of powers?
- I'm sorry my child, but I can't tell you more, you'll know all these if you take a course in finance, where you're likely to get permission for the imperial library where there's all our galaxy's knowledge since the ancient times. It's not the whole knowledge for everyone, he finished and headed to his office.
- Is there any other way to get access to the imperial library?
- There is always a way, he replied and went out the room.
Each day on this planet consisted of 36 hours, while the days of each year were 515. There's no night, although everyone knows that nights exist on other planets, with each living organism choosing to separate the day from the theoretical night. Finally, on this planet there was the terminology of the "Sevyear", that is the seven years period, where each year had one of the names of the sun. Of course, their names were used by many more things on the planet, almost worshiped them as gods, which is logical since their energy gave an uninterrupted life in X-Mechanica.
The lessons ended twelve hours later. All the students would return to their homes or stay in a shop spending their time until the next lesson, which was sixteen hours later. If the distance to their home was long, it wouldn't be wise to spend money and time travelling all the way back, that's why there were many half-board hotels at the center of the planet.
Naturally, this didn't work for Atlas, who had no money. That was the reason why he came out of the university looking to find a place to sleep for a while. He left the central square of Elmont and searched for an isolated park. After moving for about two kilometers, he found what he was looking for. It was a dilapidated and abandoned park with broken swings, rusty slides, and incomplete fences, just like the parks in the area he grew up, but it seemed quiet and suited his purpose.
He walked in and went to the best well-maintained bench, laid down, got comfortable and closed his eyes. Inside his mind were all that he had learned, along with everything he dreamed for his future.
- Do you think by sucking up to teachers will get you higher scores?
An unknown voice was heard next to him. He immediately opened his eyes and faced a group of five older and fitter than him kids. He immediately realized what was going on, so he tried to find a way to escape.
- I had no such intention, he said immediately.
- You must learn to respect the older ones, said a second boy. Just because everyone talks about you, it doesn't mean that you'll fuck us all!
- I just want to know more...
His words were interrupted by a third boy's kick in the stomach, which made him collapse out of pain, trying to breathe at the same time. Unfortunately, for him, the blows kept going, coming from all the boys and hitting him everywhere in his body.
Atlas fell down and tried to protect, mainly his head, but many of the blows aimed at vital organs, which made him suffer fatally. Then he began to feel his body surrender, and the end reaching.
A shot was heard in the air, the hitting stopped, and immediately after the five young men fled. Atlas couldn't take a breath, and felt his warm blood covering almost all of his face. He opened his eyes and tried to see, but his vision was blurred. Then he heard new steps, this time from a single person.
- You have to learn to live with the loneliness of a great mind like yours, people are intimidated of what they can't conquer, they detest it!
Atlas made one last attempt to see who was the person who spoke to him, but his senses betrayed him. He closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep, perhaps the eternal sleep that death had to offer.
- End of Unit 1 –