TITLE: The Astrum Wars
GENRE: YA Science Fiction
Eli Kim had one cardinal rule as a human on Perspia: Keep a low profile.
He kept his head down as he approached the commercial district.
It was early, a time some still called “the break of dawn” even though one of Perspia’s two suns always blazed overhead. Eli hadn’t seen a true dawn in his seventeen years, and he didn’t see the point of holding onto such concepts.
As far as Eli was concerned, those notions died with Earth.
Plus, he never really understood old Earth colloquialisms. What did dawns break? It seemed almost violent.
Eli trudged up a steep incline towards the checkpoint outside the market. Sand sifted under his feet, but he balanced lightly. Desert covered the planet, a landscape where only the hardiest survived. Eli still fell under that category, even if his parents hadn’t been so lucky.
Don’t go there, he told himself, closing his eyes against the painful thought and taking a deep, steadying breath. He was good at these personal pep talks. They kept him moving forward.
Eli entered the moving walkway that held the humans-only line. He glanced at the other entrance where every other alien in the Astrum Federation queued up. They were not provided with a mechanized path, and some of them huffed out tired breaths as they trudged uphill.
The walkway was not meant as a luxury, it was barred on either side with chest-high barriers to keep the humans single-file once they entered. If anyone became irritable, they could be easily isolated.