Mouse and Charlie headed into the city. They wanted to be back in their old stomping ground again, somewhere where they felt more comfortable. The streets were very different to how they remembered them. It was amazing how just a few months had changed things so much.
All of the adults were gone, there were only groups of kids wandering around. Some looked pretty terrifying in their costumes and make-up, some had put in wild contact lenses. Some were driving around the streets, screeching round corners and smashing into poles.
Other kids were quiet and scared, trying to keep out of the way, trying to find somewhere safe to go, somewhere warm to sleep, somewhere where they could get food.
Most of the shops had been looted and food was scarce, at least fresh food was. There were tins left, things that nobody really wanted to eat unless they had to. Mouse and Charlie found themselves eating tinned sardines and beetroot the first night they were back in the city.
After their cold supper they tried to find somewhere to sleep. They wanted to get back to their home but when they tried to find it they were blocked at every corner by these crazy guys on roller blades and others who were wearing blue robes and chanting about Power and Chaos or something.
Mouse was getting really tired and just wanted to sleep. Charlie managed to find a place in a park where there were some other kids sleeping under boxes and on benches. Luckily it wasn’t too cold and Mouse and Charlie soon fell asleep, too tired to care where they were. They were awoken by the sound of a chanting and an explosion and they jumped to their feet as someone grabbed them by their collars and told them to run.
After what seemed like an endless morning of running between buildings, hiding behind boxes and rummaging through littered stores, Mouse and Charlie settled down for another cold meal of tinned food and got to find out more about the guy who had helped them to run.
Gareth was big for his age, he was only 14 years old but he was really tall and very bulky. Although he was tough, he was an all right kind of guy and said that he would help Mouse and Charlie – if they would help him. He would find them safe places to sleep and hide if they would go into the stores and find things that he could trade. He was basically telling them that they would be his little thieving slaves. Charlie and Mouse decided that they had no choice but to do what Gareth wanted, he looked far too tough to cross and anyway, at least he knew his way around the inner sectors of the city and he could keep them safe.
Things went well for quite some time. Gareth wasn’t as bad as Mouse and Charlie thought he might be and they worked well together. Things had to be taken in this new world to trade and although it went against everything Mouse and Charlie had been taught by their mother, they had to take things just to survive. There was no other choice
Thoughts of going back to their home soon slipped away when they heard that a gang called the Locos had looted the suburbs ages ago and there wasn’t much left of the area they used to call home.
One terrible day, Gareth was caught trying to trade something that belonged to the Technos and he was taken away to the leader of the Technos, Ram himself. Gareth tried to escape but was hunted down by the Techno guards and was never heard of again. Some say that he had been deleted.
Mouse and Charlie were devastated, they couldn’t begin to survive on their own in this crazy city. They didn’t know very many kids because Gareth had always kept them on the move and had kept his contacts a secret from them. They kept as quiet as they could for as long as they could and scavenged for food. All they wanted was a mother, someone to care for them and love them. And then they found SaleneŠ