It had been an education, her first day out on the open seas. She had gained some experience that both had some meaning in her new home and was completely unlike anything else she’d even heard of back on the Cerebral Moon. It had been quite a hands-on experience, and she was starting to grasp things. It would be quite some time before she’d be ready for her own ship, but progress had been made. She had enjoyed the time on board so far. The passage wasn’t nearly as rough as she dreaded, and the friendly banter with Ruili kept her bright during the hard work.
However, for now, there was some down time — if you think the manning the tiller was down time, but it was a simple, fairly easy thing to do and it practically required her to sit and so, at least to Y’lanna, it counted. She listened as Ruili continued to work on his play. She could see where he was stuck. He had to work out a way to transition from the summer’s day to the starlit lullaby at night. She had enjoyed the time she had shared on this vessel with Ruili.
She had a few thoughts of what the options could be in her native tongue, but this was a musical. The words had to be of a precise metre, even rhyme, and she couldn’t know what the words she chose would sound like in whatever language it was that was common in these parts.
However, there was something that weighed on Y’lanna. She hadn’t told him the full story of how she came to this world, and if anyone deserved to know it was Ruili. But now wasn’t quite the right time to tell him. They had to keep watch and be alert during the day lest something happen.
Though later that night, Ruili suggested that Y’lanna try to get some rest and he would stay up for a bit longer. It was now that Y’lanna saw her opportunity. She went and sat by the side and looked out over the water.
“You remember I said back in The Grand Navigators that I was a refugee?” She didn’t turn to face Ruili. It was still hard to admit that she had allowed herself to be taken advantage of in the way she had, but she knew that she owed him a lot. She needed to do what she could to pay him back for everything he had done for her.
“I don’t know if I am legally a refugee according to your laws or not, but I certainly feel like I am, and there is one thing that I know for certain. I owe you the full truth.”
She paused, waiting for Ruili to say something. He didn’t though she could hear him. He had stopped whatever it was he was doing on the spot and was now paying her complete attention and so she could tell him the story.
She started at the beginning, on her 140th birthday, a year whem Zonelogers are expected to become financially independent from their parents. She had some money, enough to live on for a few months, but she needed a source of income soon. She had desired to become a business woman, and so that’s what she tried to do. She managed to get a loan, which, if she defaulted, would require she pay it back through indentured servitude, as was the custom of her people.
With this new source of money, she looked for a business opportunity to invest in and she found one, a potential gold mine with just enough risk to seem legitimate. It wasn’t. She lost all her money and could neither afford to live nor pay back the loan.
So she was forced to enter indentured servitude for forty years to pay back her debt. Twenty years into the service, she was falsely accused of stealing something. The charges had been dropped but they added the legal costs, including substantially inflated lawyer fees onto her service, adding another eleven years. Another few similar incidents where her “masters” employed legal loopholes and trickery to add more time to her service. She had received a total of another twenty years of service and it looked like they’d come up with even more ways to extend her service, transforming indentured servitude into slavery.
She had to find an opportunity to flee form the planet as that was the only way that she could be free once again. She saw her opportunity when they left the access keys to their “space yacht” and so she took them and left the planet. A Cerebral Moon Military Cruiser must had been alerted to her attempt to flee from her legal state, for not only was it a crime, it was considered piracy.
If she ran, the Military cruiser would fire upon her, and if she surrendered, they would add at least another twenty years to her indentured servitude, and that would be something that she couldn’t deal with. Her only option was something known as the Spatial Vortex Anomaly, or SVA, an area of space that was a mystery. Any ships that went through the SVA disappeared and were assumed to be destroyed by it.
However, of course, it seemed that wasn’t the case as, when she entered the SVA, she found herself in the Aledrethian ocean only to be rescued by Ruili and the crew of the Wolf.
She had desired to start a new life, in a new place free from the burdens that had been unjustly placed upon her and now she had found somewhere to do so. At first, she was uncertain of many things and tentative, unsure if she would have that chance here. It had been Ruili who convinced Y’lanna that she didn’t need to be, that Aeldreth had its own legal systems, but they weren’t so much concerned with order for order’s sake as with justice. That was something completely different to her world and just one reason why she could see herself making a successful new life here in Aeldreth.