Volume 1 Episode 1 - Transfer Student

Space, near New Berengaria

Once, there were six friends who all met by chance. Together, they were transported to another world where they each had their own adventure before working together to defeat a great evil. This is their story.

Adell: Ugh. I've had it with corny fantasy stories.

Adell tapped the "close" button on his tablet just as he heard stirring in the bunk bed beneath him. Suddenly, he realized he was talking to himself again. Flopping backwards onto his shriveled little pillow, he wondered if he should try and sleep for a change. Yawning as he mused, the ship shuddered again, making his heart race.

The last two weeks hadn't been easy. His parents fought incessantly over who was going to pay for his ticket to New Berengaria to live with his mother. It was finally decided that his father would pay and for weeks he procrastinated before buying him the cheapest ticket possible on an extreme budget starline. For a few hundred more ren, he could have travelled in relative comfort and, most importantly, the trip would have taken only a week. On this derelict ship, the trip was taking two weeks and he'd be three days late for his first day of class.

Adell wouldn't have cared much about missing those days if the trip had been comfortable. Travelling on a pre-empire converted cargo ship was anything but comfortable. The ship shuddered incessantly, constantly reminding him that only a few inches of metal and insulation isolated him from the deadly vacuum of space. His bunkmate was an unsavory fellow with a scraggly beard and an unsettling habit of constantly scratching his nethers. Despite this, Adell rarely ventured outside his cabin. The halls consistently smelled of pee and there were even more questionable characters roaming around. The only times he left were to use the bathroom or to grab a stale sandwich to bring back and eat.

As such, he had barely slept during the entire two-week trip. His only source of entertainment was the ship's library of downloadable books, videos, and games.

The ship gave a massive shudder and Adell instinctively grabbed onto the bed, fearing the ship was about to fly apart. He realized how pointless that was almost right away, but that did nothing to curb his anxiety, though the captain's voice that came on over the intercom soon after helped a little.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. We have just dropped out of hyperspeed and we are now on a standard approach vector to Chrono Spaceport. We hope you have enjoyed your time with us and that you enjoy your stay on New Berengaria.

Adell stayed where he was. If they were going to crash and burn, he didn't want to be near a window so he could know about it. In his bed he stayed as the ship shuddered through the planet's atmosphere as it descended towards the spaceport.

Rune Lake, New Berengaria

Carpathia City is the capital of the nation of New Carpathia and Rune Lake is one of its districts. Once, it was a suburb on the outskirts of downtown. As Carpathia City grew into a megacity of over 10 million inhabitants, Rune Lake was swallowed up in the sprawl.

The district of Rune Lake's most distinguishing feature is that it is home to Carpathia City's largest gay district with some of the biggest and most garish nightclubs in the entire nation.

A large pride flag flutters over the area.

There's a beach.

And plenty of shopping.

Rune Lake High School

Rune Lake High School is the first high school in the district. The building on the left is the old building and the larger one on the right is the addition, built to accomodate the rapid expansion of the population.

Only one day after Adell arrived after his trip from Andrast to New Berengaria, he got up early to register at his new high school. He hadn't had much time to sleep the night before and he had slept very little on the starliner. It was a short walk from his home to the school, but a treacherous one for him. He shuffled, zombie-like, most of the way to the school. Twice, he was nearly hit by a car, as the low hum of their hydrogen engines was almost entirely inaudible in the morning rush of the city. He nearly walked past the school itself, and he would have, had not a backpack-toting teenager bumped into him as he meandered lazily down the sidewalk.

It took time for him to find the main office. Fortunately, the registration process was mercifully short. They found his name, gave him a school tablet, and summoned his homeroom teacher to take him to his classroom.

His homeroom teacher arrived quickly to greet him.

Teacher: Hello Adell. Just in time. Homeroom is about to start. I'm Mr. McFadden and I'll be your homeroom teacher. Shall I take you to the classroom?

Adell nodded and motioned for him to follow. As he walked down the hallway dodging other teenagers scrambling to get to their classrooms, he did his best to stifle a yawn. However, it was much too powerful to resist.

Adell: *Yaaaaawwwwwnnnn*

Mr. McFadden: You sure seem awfully sleepy. When did you arrive?

Adell: Yesterday afternoon. TransPlanetary Starlines.

Mr. McFadden turned and looked at Adell in amazement.

Mr. McFadden: Transplanet...

Mr. McFadden put his hand on Adell's shoulder and spoke quietly to him.

Mr. McFadden: You must be terribly exhausted. Just do your best today and try not to fall asleep, okay?

Adell: I'll try.

They continued on while Mr. McFadden muttered to himself.

Mr. McFadden: They should throw that entire fleet into the scrap heap.

They continued on until they arrived at the classroom. Inside, there were twenty other students sitting around talking to each other. They didn't budge when Mr. McFadden entered.

Mr. McFadden: Adell, just stand here for a moment. I won't take long. Just try not to yawn for a couple of minutes if you could.

Mr. McFadden then directed his attention to everyone in the classroom.

Mr. McFadden: Okay everyone, take your seats.

The chattering quickly ceased and everyone sat at their desks.

Mr. McFadden: This is Adell Amaranth, who just moved here from Andrast. Now, he's very tired from his long trip, so I'll spare him the standard new student self-introduction. I'm sure you'll all bring him up to speed on what has happened in the first few days of classes. Adell, there's an empty desk over in the corner. You can sit there.

Adell: Thanks.

Adell made his way to the desk that Mr. McFadden indicated, keenly aware that all the eyes in the class were on him, trying to figure out what sort of person he might be. He didn't mind. He'd done the same at his old school when a new student came in the middle of the year. However, there was one red-headed boy who seemed to be staring at him with far more intensity than the others. Quickly, Adell gave him a quick look top to bottom. He wasn't sure if the red-haired boy was going to be trouble, but he wanted to remember him just in case. It wouldn't be difficult. Although he was dressed impressively in high-end fashion, his clothes were coordinated in a way that only a circus clown could love. Colors, patterns, and accessories were all assembled without a thought of whether or not they actually looked good together. At least it looked like he probably had a nice body under all that mess. With the red-haired boy's appearance safely tucked away into his memory, Adell looked away and did his best to ignore him.

When he arrived at his desk, he dropped his backpack onto the floor next to him and tried to pay attention to what Mr. McFadden was saying. As far as he could tell, it was general school news and announcements and he quickly lost focus on what the teacher was saying. His words soon became little more than background noise to him as his mind began to wander in a sleepy fog.

It seemed that almost no time had passed before the class came alive again. People were standing up, talking with each other, and gathering up their stuff. Guessing that homeroom was probably over, he suddenly realized he had no idea what or where his next class was. He picked up his tablet and was about to check his schedule when someone slapped his hand down on his desk. Adell looked up to see the red-haired boy from before glaring down at him.

Red-haired boy: So, you've finally come back.

An uncomfortable silence transpired between the two as Adell thought carefully about where he might have seen the red-haired boy before. Nothing came to him.

Adell: I'm sorry, but I haven't lived in this area since I was eight. I think you have me confused with someone else.

The red-haired boy seemed shocked. He pulled his hand away from Adell's desk as though it were contaminated with a horrible disease.

Red-haired boy: Fine! Be that way!

The red-haired boy stomped out of the classroom as Adell watched, befuddled. He wondered if knowing the red-haired boy's name would jog his memory, so he looked around for someone to ask. The closest person was a nekohuman boy with his back turned to him. Adell gently patted the end of his tail, which was hanging close to his face.

Adell: Excuse me.

The nekohuman boy turned and looked at Adell with interest.

Nekohuman boy: Oh, hello. You're Adell, right? I'm Jaze.

Adell: Hi, Jaze. Do you know who that red-haired boy is?

Jaze: Oh, that was Mitani. I wouldn't worry about him. He's usually grumpy like that.

Adell Mitani... Mitani... Nope, I don't remember any Mitani.

While Adell pondered, Jaze took a look at Adell's tablet.

Jaze: Wondering about your schedule? Let me take a look.

Knowing he could use some help, Adell handed over his tablet. Jaze scanned it quickly.

Jaze: Well, your next class is in here, so you can just stay where you are. It looks like we have several classes together. History. Civics. Advanced Geometry. English, which is the class before lunch.

Jaze raised his eyebrows and looked over at another boy standing nearby. He tapped the other boy on the shoulder and he came over.

Jaze: Kaoru and I are going to the sushi place near here for lunch. You wanna come?

Kaoru looked at Jaze with raised eyebrow.

Kaoru: We are?

Jaze: Why not?

Kaoru: Well... I don't have any ren.

Jaze: Oh, they did it again, didn't they?

Adell wasn't sure what they were talking about. He just watched as Kaoru looked away.

Jaze: Don't worry about it. I'll take care of it.

Kaoru: Heh. You mean your dad will. Just remind me later to do something nice for him, okay?

Jaze: Then it's settled. So, Adell, do you want to come?

Adell didn't have to think long. He'd hoped he could find some friends quickly and having something to look forward to would help pass the time.

Adell: Sure. I'll come along. Just let me know when we can go.

Jaze: Easy enough. We'll be in the same class at that time.

Adell quickly forgot about Mitani and the odd encounter from earlier and spent the rest of his morning hoping he'd just met some new friends.

Commissioned art in this episode from:
Atomic Clover

Photoshop alterations of the spaceship by:

All city images and the spaceship from SimCity 4.

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