Chapter 1:


From Nowhere to Sender

The municipality of Pardence wasn't unlike the other sprawling metropolises dotting the western plateau, hence the reason the young woman commuting to work hated it. The crowds, the clutter and all the noise even this early in the morning antagonized her.

Skillfully weaving her way through the crowd she made for the edge of what would be generous to call a walkway. At the very least she'd be able to walk much faster and maybe even drink her hot chocolate without scalding anyone.

Reaching the edge she increased her pace considerably before going in for her first sip. Tucking a few wayward strands of blond hair away from the lid she observed steam emanating from the cup as it caught the waves of light that weaved through the breaks in the city's skyline.

Whatever meagre amount of tranquility the moment had offered soon dissipated as the small forms of children and their piercing cries approached her location. A group of school children likely in the middle of their own commute, a much less graceful one at that, shattered the morning lull and nearly an older man's kneecaps as they moved about carelessly against the flow of traffic.

Sensing the children were on track to cross her own path the young woman deliberately adjusted her speed and positioning so the ensuing collision would propel the brats away from the rest of the crowd. Best keep this an isolated incident.

Sure enough the child leading the charge turned his head just before colliding into the right side of her waist, eager to tell something to one of his companions. The boy was effectively side checked away from the crowd and just managed to stay up with the help of his friends.

Jumping on the opportunity presented to her the young woman directed a scathing glare at the startled boys and gestured to her hot chocolate.

"Oi, Ankle biters! Cut the shit! Unless you want to be wearing this next time!"

The tragic victim turned bright red from either anger or embarrassment, likely a little of both, and made to retort before getting a good look at the woman. Both his and the other boy's attention had shifted to the jacket she was wearing, causing them to swallow whatever crude comments they'd honed by picking on the girls they liked at school.

As no further words were deemed necessary, both parties returned to their respective commutes and carried on with their lives. Turning her attention back to the hot chocolate Lux unconsciously fiddled with the fraying bits at the bottom of her jacket.

The jacket in question really wasn't anything special, in fact it was standard issue. Reserved for members of the Luridian Convoy Federation's security division. Although this one did identify her as an active member of field service, a rarity in all part of the expanse. She doubted those brats really understood what that meant.

Thoughts already moving elsewhere the young woman spotted a rather burly mail carrier a ways ahead of her. As a repercussion of his job the man's pace was of a similar speed to her own and she expended the required effort to catch up to him. Settling behind his wide frame she finished her hot chocolate in peace as the unit in front of her parted the crowd with his presence alone. With any luck the man's route would take her all the way to her place of work. The city's Crusader station.