Chapter 1.1 - Robbed of Their Pasts

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August 13th, 2026. 18:45 PST

        Logan Preaker

Nearing sunset on Route 108 California. A blue transport bus drives across the road, where it carries a handful of people, all carrying packed bags or luggage. Some try to sleep while others are comforting their babies. Six soldiers are on guard with their M4 rifles among the people.

Riding alone in safety with some lovely people I guess. I just hope I can make it out, and others too.

Among the passengers is a tan-skinned man who is next to a window. He isn't sitting properly, only slumping downwards. He looks neat yet timid; his slicked, back and brunette hair is proof of it. The only thing that is unusual about him is the single tuft of brown hair sticking out from the top of his head. Other than that, he is someone you could find anywhere.

His eyes are puffy, almost dull and distant, looking down at his iPhone, which displays a photo.

Hey mom and dad, it's been a while since we have seen each other that day for the anniversary...perhaps the only thing that is happy in such times. 

He then uses his thumb to swipe to the right, changing the picture into another one. 

And you, my fellow students, I hope that you managed to see a safer haven and future for you all, using what I taught you in these times.

He swipes for one last. 

And how can I forget the time my training paid off. By winning both the championships of fencing and kendo sure did lots of wonders...I hope.

He looks at his left hand, staring at it for a few seconds. He is gazing at it, like a gift he loved and now away from his grasp.

All he has...is himself.

He eventually closes his hand, then puts it near his chest while putting his phone in his pocket. He presses it, a bit roughly.

His eyes close as tears fall from his face.

My own blood, the shared blood...all left undone. For my unseen future, I'll do my best to start anew. He presses his hand and tries to hold back his tears.

I'm so sorry...

He wipes away most of them while trying to stay firm and stable.

The bus then stops near a bus stop, in which a middle-aged lady awaits while sitting on one of the benches outside. She gets up and approaches the bus. One of the doors then opens, in which the lady enters inside.  She is wearing a snood, black jacket and long skirt while wearing a necklace that resembles the Star of David. With a dour look on her face, as well as the amount of paper she has in her hands, perhaps a lot of business was prepared for her to engage in. 

The bus door then closes, allowing the bus to continue its trip to Carson City.

 She goes to find the nearest seat, but it seems there are none. She then sees one near the young teacher and tries to go to it, but next to him is a bald man with a rugged face. When he sees the woman trying to sit, he puts his foot on the seat. This catches the lady off guard, as she fixes her glance towards the rugged man.

"Excuse me mister...am I doing something wrong?" she asks.

"Yes. Your presence here is not good for the well-being of the others, so I suggest you go somewhere else to sit," the bald man says.

"But...I've just arrived here. I came from a long way to look for a bus to take me to the safe zone and right now this is the closest seat I can find. Is it that hard to tolerate a being different from you? And don't you care that people need rest from the violence outside?"

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