Chapter 1 – A Reason for Adventure
Jason was a boy like most others, he dreamed of adventures beyond the realm of imagination. He was born on Shaddel, the nearest star port thirteen miles away. His parents worked the local library and so provided Jason with an upbringing of modest wealth and knowledge that few others could have imagined. Every day he spent with his nose buried in books and eyes watching videos.
Shaddel was not a backwater planet by any means, but nor was it in the core worlds. It seemed to be perfectly positioned within the middle of the unimportant worlds that would simply provide a means of survival for the other worlds around it. Farm foods were the primary export, so there were not very many big cities on which to continue to explore or to make one’s mark. For a fair price one could make a trip to a nearby core world for a week or month of fun, depending on how much credits one had saved up.
Alas, I have gotten off track. Such is the curse of the narrator. You see I want to know the story as well and sometimes a little bit of premise is a good thing.
Since the time of his birth, Jason has had a fairly simple life. He had always maintained good marks in school and had often turned the tide of any school games that were played. His smarts and quick wit often complemented his athletic skills.
There was an odd this that happened on a particular day while he was minding the library while his parents were out running errands. Jason was approached by a young man who was in a gray cloak. He was asking about a particularly rare book that was rumored to be in this area. “The Adventures of the Bounty Hunter and his pet”. Not exactly a humdinger of a grand book, but it was true that it was rare. Only thirteen copies were made; it was printed by a local publisher and the story was not even that good. But that did not seem to deter the man’s search for the book.
Jason felt no shame in telling the man that his parents were the only ones that could sort out where the books may fall and to whom they may lend them out to. The man let out a sigh. He said that he would be back tomorrow and asked that one of the parents be available for a business transaction.
Jason thought that the man was odd. His gait and stride was like watching a man that spent too much time in microgravity. He kind of loped with each step. He probably was a well-worn traveler, a spacer. His gray cloak covered his pale gray tunic and pants. There was something truly otherworldly about him. It was as if he portrayed many battles and many stories within his coverings. But his youthful appearance seemed to be the true lie within his appearance.
Jason stared at the night sky. Far above his home, the stars moved and he knew that those that moved the fastest were actually giant capital ships that were on patrol. He had often thought about joining the army. Going to exotic and far off places. Seeing the galaxy and the wonders that were out there. To go into battle and get cut off and survive on his wits and cunning alone. To be the main character like all the stories that he has read about.
He went down to the dinner table after he heard his mother call him. With a quick leap and a roll with his landing, off the roof he went. Dinner time was a good time, a chance to reconnect after the labors of the day and tell of the events and stories that took place within the day. Jason made sure to recount the strange visitor that he had met at the library and he made sure to ask that his father stay at the library tomorrow to chat with the visitor for when he returns.
After dinner, Jason took a walk that landed him near the outer edges of town. There he saw the visitor sitting on a concrete barrier looking up at the stars. Jason approached him and a dialogue started between them.
“May I join you?” Jason asked, coming up from behind.
“You may for as long as you like.” The visitor said as he scooted over.
“What is it that you are looking for, really?” Jason asked, sitting down next to him. “Surely it is not a really bad book that was written some fifteen years ago.”
The visitor continued to look at the stars for a bit longer. It seemed to Jason that his focus was concentrated on one particular star that rested up there.
“Usually people ask for a name before trying to start a conversation.” He said with a sigh. His sight line was still unbroken.
“I’m sorry. My name is Jason. We met at the library earlier today.”
“Yes, I remember. My name is Raavik Yaan. I am the Apostle of Libra Nexus. I am what would be considered a Sentinel in the core worlds. I did come here purely for the trash book. Though the book might be considered trash, the author did supposedly journey to the world that was mentioned and find an exceptional planet with untold riches.”
“And is that what your profession really is? Treasure hunting?”
“I suppose in a sense, yes that is my current line of work. I seek many rare and mythical treasures that many have long sense considered lost and forgotten.”
“And what would you do once you have collected them?”
“I take them home to my space station and share them with the others that live there.”
Jason breathed deep and let it out slowly. “The night is getting on so I need to get home. If you will excuse me, I will see you tomorrow.” He stood and started to walk back home.
“My offer stands if you still would like it.”
Jason stopped and called back. “What offer?”
“To stay as long as you would like. There is a galaxy full of treasure and adventure out there. I am willing to take you beyond the realm of the galaxy to show you. Think about it tonight. If I get my book tomorrow, I will be heading out shortly after. If you want to join me, come with me after my pick up. Pack light, for you will not need much where I am heading. I will provide for food and necessities, all you have to do is come with me.”
Jason thought about it on his way back home. Could he really forsake his home and family for adventure and excitement? He doubted he could without a good reason. Adventure was not a good enough reason for him.
The next morning he once again accompanied his parents to the library. The offer of Raavik was still fresh on his mind, it was there but there was not a reason to leave. To simply leave was not enough of a reason to follow. Perhaps a reason might be given within the day, but he was not sure.
The workload at the library was nothing new. Books were put up, retrieved, borrowed, recycled, reused, the cycle was endless. When new stories were brought in Jason was the first to read them, and memorizing them he often thought that the stories were works of perfection. Heroes that knew exactly what to do when great strife was up them and dire times. All that to say that Jason felt no need to leave as long as he could remain at peace.
Jason was sitting in a window on the second story when Raavik Yaan approached once again. This time his father was manning the front desk. When Raavik walked up to the front desk, Jason was mildly curious and went to the balcony to observe the interaction between his father and his most recent acquaintances.
Jason was surprised. Very surprised. For Raavik and his father embraced as if they were two old friends that had not seen each other in an extremely long time.
“Jason!” His father called him. “Come down here and mind the area! I have an old friend that I need to catch up with.” With that Raavik Yaan and his father disappeared into the back room. Jason had always thought that his father had few allies and even fewer friends. But this Raavik seemed to be a good friend.
Jason descended down to the desk and minded the library. He tried his best to get close to the backroom to hear what they were discussing, for he felt a bit of an ominous feeling. Like something bad was about to disrupt his peaceful life.
His mother came in a little later and when she asked where his father was, Jason stated that he was in the back talking to Raavik Yaan. She looked a bit taken aback by the name as if she had not heard it in a long time but she knew who it belonged to. She went to the back room and joined them, and it almost seemed to Jason’s ears that she squealed with delight at seeing Raavik.
They all came out after a while, with contented smiles on their faces, as if the discussion was exactly what they needed. For some reason, Jason thought that his parents looked more youthful, as if many years had been subtracted and their time as parents had been nothing more than a dream.
“Jason, Raavik here tells us that you were invited to go with him. Is it true?”
“Yes, father, it is. But I had no intention in going with him.”
Jason’s father looked almost insulted by this. “Why not? Raavik is perhaps the keeper of the greatest library in the galaxy. There is nowhere else in this galaxy that is as full of histories and knowledge as that place is. You really ought to go with him little bookworm. You will have more fun there than if you were to stay here and lament.”
Jason’s mother went into the back room and came back out with a small survival kit. “Go with him. Then come back and tell us all about the Nexus.”
Jason reluctantly took the bag and followed Raavik out the door to his speeder and they went to the space port. He was not as excited as his parents to leave his security, but perhaps they were right. Maybe there really was something beyond his books that he could look forward to. An adventure to be had.