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"I take it you do this often?" Miss Callister asked curiously as she observed Ziana skillfully pick the lock of the back door of the house.

"I take it you don’t do this often?" Ziana retorted. "I thought you knew who you were hiring. Of course I do this often." As if to punctuate her words, the lock clicked sharply and the doorknob became loose. "Amateurs," she scoffed. "These perfect little aristocrats are so cocky, thinking they're safe up here in the Hills. A chimp could have opened this door."

Miss Callister's laugh was like two glasses clinking together. "Then, perhaps I should have hired a chimp? It would have certainly cost less." She laughed again. "Come, Miss Torch. Let's go inside before someone notices us."

The woman walked through the threshold without even checking if it was all clear. Ziana opened her mouth to warn her to stop, but no alarms in the house went off. She breathed a sigh of relief. Her face contorted into a scowl as Miss Callister impatiently beckoned her to follow, obviously not realizing the danger she'd just put them both in with her carelessness. Ziana cautiously walked through the door and shut it behind her as softly as possible.

"Are you sure the owner of the house is away on business?" Ziana whispered.

Miss Callister didn't bother to keep her voice down. "Of course! I happen to know they are currently very preoccupied with their job."

"If you say so."

Switching on her flashlight, Ziana followed the sight of Miss Callister's long, bouncing blond hair. The woman was at least in her late twenties, and she was practically skipping through the broken-in house like a young schoolgirl. Ziana rolled her eyes. Whoever it was Miss Callister was trying to rob, she was clearly happy about it.

"This is a very personal revenge, isn’t it?" Ziana said as Miss Callister expertly navigated the halls of the fairly large house like she'd been there many times before.

"Does it matter?" the woman questioned, though her voice didn't lose its irritating kindness. "You've already been paid."

Ziana bit her lip to keep from saying something she'd regret. If there was something she absolutely hated about this Miss Callister, it was the way she kept reminding her about how badly she needed some cash. Miss Callister was clearly living a comfortable life, while Ziana was scraping up whatever plundering jobs she could find. Did she trust Miss Callister? Absolutely not. Something was definitely off about her. But Ziana was at the point of desperation. This one job's pay would keep her fed for weeks.

Alright, maybe she was just a bit envious of Miss Callister. It was impossible not to be. Her clothes were perfect, her face was perfect. Ziana felt so inadequate standing next to her, with her dull brown hair and frayed, wrinkled clothes. It was hard not to be jealous of someone who clearly had a much better off than her.

Reluctantly calming herself down, Ziana replied, "No, I guess it doesn't matter. I have my money, and you have whatever weird revenge it is you're looking for."

"Good girl. The vault is right at the end of this hallway. We're almost done here."

I could jump for joy, Ziana said to herself.

A large painting of potted flowers hung on the wall at the back of the hallway. Miss Callister grabbed the painting by the sides of the wooden frame and hoisted it down. She set it against the left wall, exposing a wide metal vault hiding behind painting. The rectangular opening was as large as a door, slightly caved-in to have room for the lever that jutted out.

It had no lock, which didn't surprise Ziana. These aristocrats thought they were so safe from robbery. Though their vaults did contain goods, the vaults themselves were more eye-candy than anything, shiny things to show off at house parties when everyone was a bit tipsy. She couldn't blame them, really. She had a petty liking for shiny things as well.

Grasping the lever, Ziana pulled down with all her might. It took a bit of elbow grease, but the bar swung down after a few seconds of sharp tugging. Stepping back, she pulled the handle so the door could ease open. As she had guessed, the vault was the size of a walk-in closet. The walls were lined with rows of shelves, coated with valuables and possibly family heirlooms. Perfect.

"You're quite strong for your age," Miss Callister commented with admiration.

Ziana allowed herself a laugh. "Well, my jobs are usually a lot more difficult than overriding a simple security gate and picking a few locks."

"So I've heard."

The two of them stepped through the opening of the vault and looked around. Ziana took one of the large burlap sacks from her bag and whipped it open, handing it to Miss Callister. "There," she said. "Thieve to your heart's content."

Miss Callister's eyes brightened and she grinned. She carefully began grabbing objects from the shelves, examining them thoroughly before gently placing them into the bag. It was as if she wanted nothing to be broken in any way. It was puzzling, but Ziana guessed Miss Callister would want to sell the valuables to hurt the owner of them even more. The items would need to be in great condition to do that.

Ziana settled down by the opening of the vault.

~~~

"Dude... I can't believe it, I just don’t believe it. We're free. We're finally free," Jeff said as he and Nick walked toward the exit of the school. "Twelve years. Wait, scratch that. It's thirteen years, counting Kindergarten."

Fourteen," Nick pointed out. "I went to preschool."

Jeff waved his hand dismissively. "Regardless. Let's just leave it as 'we have been waiting a really, really long time to exit the public school system.' Better?"

"I can get behind that."

As they passed a trophy case, Nick caught his reflection in the mirror and involuntarily cringed. It wasn't that he thought he was ugly or anything. It was the fact that his black hair was dyed golden blond along the tips. He and Jeff always had bets with pretty dire consequences for the loser, but this bet loss had been the bane of Nick's senior year. For Jeff, however, it had provided jokes for the entire second semester. The bet had been a simple one: the outcome of a UFC fight. Nick sincerely regretted it.

As he looked back at the hallway ahead of him, he only had a split second to realize he was about to walk into someone who apparently wasn't paying any attention either. They bumped face-first into each other. Nick's blood turned to ice when he realized it was the last person he felt like seeing at any time of the day. Rodney Holt.

Before Nick knew it, Rodney shoved him back roughly as he glared at him with his stony gray eyes.

"Why don't you watch where you're going, Morrison?" Rodney growled.

Jeff stepped forward, frowning. "Don't start shit, Rodney. It was an accident."

"What're they gonna do, moron? Suspend me on the last day of school?"

The click of high heels approached them from behind. One of the vice-principals stood with her arms crossed. "What's going on here, boys?"

With a sneer at Nick, Rodney walked away without a word.

Relieved with his luck, Nick followed Jeff through the side exit of the school, which was milling with lingering students. They passed through the doors and started down the sidewalk. Nick took a final glance at the sign that read "North Milestone High School". Nick supposed it hadn’t been so bad. Could have been much worse.

"Man, that Mrs. Henderson can spot trouble better than the Weasel," Jeff said. Their apartment complex landlord’s real name was Mr. Wessler. Naturally, they only called “the Weasel” when he was in earshot. Considering the name had manifested in their elementary years, it was a hard habit to stop.

"But see, Nick?" Jeff said, elbowing Nick the ribs. "I told you I always got your back. Rodney ran off 'cause of me, you know?" He grinned triumphantly.

"Oh yeah, you're a real hero. Where were you when he gave me that nosebleed for taking the locker he wanted?"

Jeff frowned, thinking. "Don't know. But I definitely wasn't hiding in the restrooms."

"Right. You were hiding in a storage room that time."

"Well, things have changed! I won't take any of Rodney's crap anymore, and neither should you. We're college guys now."

It was true. They'd certainly been through a lot together, practically growing up like brothers for as long as they could remember. While Nick had been taller than Jeff for almost their entire friendship, it was Jeff who had a few inches on Nick now. Still, they were both pretty scrawny when it came to the muscle department, at least compared to Rodney, the baseball star. Not to mention Nick and Jeff were both lacking in the maturity department as well.

"Yeah, you sound real grown-up," Nick bantreed.

"My senses detect some sarcasm in that statement."

"Your senses are correct for once."

"Wanna stop by the deli?"

"When you say 'stop by', do you mean 'race' and 'loser buys the food'?"

"As usual."

"Alright, then. GO!"

~~~

"I'm glad it was you I chose to hire, Miss Torch," Miss Callister said casually as she examined a golden pocket-watch before dropping it in the bag. "Those men and women at the tavern I searched for you at looked frightful. I don't think I could have worked with any of them."

Ziana snickered. "They aren't so bad as long as you don't piss them off."

"I suppose so. After all, they were kind enough to help me find you. I hear you have quite the reputation for being good at what you do. They say you're like a ghost, only quieter and harder to catch." She laughed. "I also hear you do some work for the Underground?"

Flattered by Miss Callister's words, Ziana smiled. "The Underground? Yes, from time to time. I'm not actually a part of it, but they do pay well for jobs when I need one." She couldn't help but brag just a bit more. "You know how the lights flashed and electronic music started blasting during the mayor's speech a few weeks ago? Well, that was me. Let me tell you, those Underground folks really liked that.”

"Oh, dear! Aren't you afraid of being banished to Earth?"

"Bah! They'd have to arrest me first. Like you said, I'm quieter than a ghost and even harder to catch. Oh, is that bag full? Here, take another."

Miss Callister gingerly set down the first bag and took the second one. As she collected more items, she asked, "Wasn't your mother one of the original members of the Underground?"

Ziana went rigid and narrowed her eyes at a blank spot on the wall. "Yeah, why?"

"Forgive me, I'm only curious," Miss Callister said apologetically. "I've heard many stories about her. From what I understand, she left the Underground when she became pregnant with you. She went into hiding and changed her name, didn't she? That was very motherly of her, to give up the Underground like that to keep you safe."

Ziana sneered. "Yeah, she still went and got herself caught."

"She was sentenced to be banished, wasn't she? I... I heard what happened before her sentence was carried out. I'm terribly sorry, Miss Torch. What of your father? I've never heard much about him, other than his base was raided.”

"Yes. He and my mother separated when she left the Underground. He cared about it too much to address the fact he was a father," she said bitterly. "He was killed in the struggle during the raid. All Underground members have been sentenced to banishment, if they survive arrest. Dozens, maybe hundreds have suffered the same fate for over fifteen years now. There may be no death penalty in the justice system, but banishment is just as good as one."

Miss Callister looked dumbstruck. "It’s a wonder you haven’t become an official member of the Underground yourself. But I suppose the risk of penalty is a good deterrent.”

"I'm just trying live my life," Ziana replied with a shrug. "I think the Underground gives me jobs because of who my parents were. They expect to join them one day, I guess. They are sadly mistaken."

The small room lapsed into an awkward silence. Miss Callister finished collecting the valuable belongings of the person she was seeking retribution from. She tied up the second sack and placed it by the first one. She looked at Ziana expectantly. Something, though Ziana couldn't quite put her finger on it, looked utterly different about Miss Callister. Her expression suddenly had a new sort of cruel intelligence.

"Well, if we're done here, we should get going." Ziana took a look at the bulging bags. "I hope the person you're robbing deserves this."

Miss Callister laughed, tilting her head. "Believe me, Ziana, the person that will suffer from this deserves exactly what's coming to her."

Something in her voice tipped off Ziana’s gut feeling. A trap. She turned to make a run for it, but before she had even made it halfway down the hall, there was a sharp prick of pain in her back. The pain was nothing commpared to the sudden burst of electrocution that shot out from it. Every nerve of Ziana's body screamed in pain. She fell forward, shaking as if having a seizure.

Even as pain continued to rattle her body, she managed to turn her head to side and see Miss Callister approaching. The woman held a stun gun in one hand. The look on her face shined with malevolence. She knelt by Ziana, pulling her immobilized hands behind her back. Ziana felt the cold metal of cuffs being fastened tightly around each wrist.

"I, Officer Moira Callister, am placing you under arrest for admittance of being an aid to the illegal organization known as the Underground."

Officer Moira Callister forced Ziana to her feet as she began to regain feeling her body. She immediately began to struggle, but the moment she did, the cuffs sent a zap of electricity similar to the stun gun, but in a smaller concentration. Ziana stopped moving as the pain shook her for a few seconds.

"Don't think you'll be able to worm your way out of this one," Moira Callister said. She pulled back her collar to reveal a small recording device pinned underneath it. "Every word you've said has been documented, and my men already surrounded the property. In short, you're screwed."

The fear of electrocution kept Ziana from struggling, but she hissed every curse word she'd heard in her entire life. Anxiety raced through her veins, making her light-headed. She couldn't see any way to get out of this mess. As far as she knew it, her life and everything she'd worked for was over.

"You should have done your research, Ziana," Moira Callister jested in a matter-of-fact tone. "Then, you would have figured out you were helping me break into my own home."
Alrighty, I'm home and ready to get this thing started!

So, here's the start of the rewrite of "A Giant Planet", which now goes under the title of "Night Life", as you can see. I've been planning this rewrite for quite a while, and I'm super excited to finally be posting it! If all goes as planned and I don't get lazy with writing (which will most likely happen when school starts), I'll be posting weekly chapter updates.

As I said in my journal before, this has undergone a lot of changes. Now I actually know where I'm going with the plot instead of just winging it with each chapter. The two main characters have kept their original personalities. It's others that have changed or been added in. (By the way, Nick's friend, Jeff, might become my new favorite character to write. xD)

Hope y'all enjoy!

Chapter 2--->
Add a Comment:
 
:iconphoenix-firemage:
Phoenix-FireMage Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I had a suspicion about this...
I'm not sure whether or not to be pleased that I was exactly correct.
Reply
:iconlaescritora:
LaEscritora Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I just wanted you to know, I am finally reading this all the way through and I could not be more excited! :D
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Yaaay! :la:
Reply
:icontekkitkid99:
tekkitkid99 Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2015
Wow.





(cant think to say anything else!)
Reply
:iconrandomarthq:
RandomArtHQ Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Great first chapter! I'm hooked already!
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! :D
Reply
:iconralph-waldo:
ralph-waldo Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
That's so weird, my father's name is Rodney Holt! :o
Reply
:iconyumib3at:
YuMiB3at Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesomely written, couldn't take my eyes of it!
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! :hug:
Reply
:iconyumib3at:
YuMiB3at Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome!:iconriddlerglompplz:
Reply
:iconglkthread:
Glkthread Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh yeah, I love it already ^_^ Awesome start.
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! :hug:
Reply
:iconsteampunkshen:
SteampunkShen Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist
:iconrainbowdashepicplz: It's so awesome to see Ziana&co back...great start! ^^
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
:iconfluttershyyayplz:
I'm glad to be writing about these characters again. ^^ And thanks! :hug:
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:iconcommandercody212:
CommanderCody212 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012
Awesome work! It's written very well!
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks, I'm glad you like it! :hug:
Reply
:icontp32:
tp32 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012
Awesome, start!! I like title, I love rewrites!! Can hardly wait read what happens next. Keep up the good work.
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! ^0^
Reply
:icontp32:
tp32 Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012
You're Welcome!!
Reply
:iconlaescritora:
LaEscritora Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yay I love it! It's off to a really good start, I can't wait ^^
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! :hug: I'm glad you like it!
Reply
:iconkneeckoh:
Kneeckoh Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Student General Artist
An interesting and quite vague beginning. But I'm sure you would have it no other way. Well done.
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! Being vague is my specialty. xD
Reply
:iconkneeckoh:
Kneeckoh Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Student General Artist
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconsleepyiguana:
SleepyIguana Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Student General Artist
OwO I love this! I can't wait for the next chapter! ^O^
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! :hug:
Reply
:iconsleepyiguana:
SleepyIguana Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Student General Artist
You're welcome! :hug:
Reply
:iconmiyu-dreamer:
Miyu-dreamer Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
A PLANET CALLED EARTH REWRITE!!! FINALLY!!!!
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
:iconyeahplz:
Reply
:iconmicronekogirlpur:
MicroNekoGirlPur Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
wow. i didnt know this was a rewwrite. its awesome so far. oh man. that woman is gonna pay!
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! :hug: I'm glad you're enjoying it!
Reply
:iconmicronekogirlpur:
MicroNekoGirlPur Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
welcome~
Reply
:iconcewilson5:
cewilson5 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Professional Writer
Are you serious!! :-) You're rewriting this?? Oh hecks yeah! I can't wait!!
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yup! I'm so happy to finally be rewriting it! :iconflowerdanceplz:
Reply
:iconcewilson5:
cewilson5 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Yeay!!
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