Chapter 2: Europan Dream

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3rd July 2309 10:08 EST - Towers and skyscrapers glistened the horizon like metallic fingertips reaching for the sky. The artificially enhanced Europan sunlight could not be drowned out by the hordes of vehicles that littered the horizon of Jupiter's fourth-largest satellite. Its beauty and scientific advancement were the pinnacles of modern Terran society.

As with every technological advancement, the opportunity for great wealth followed closely behind. Massive advertisement hoardings lit up the streets and the sky as the largest and richest corporations within the Human Confederate do what they could to feed their greed even further.

As Europa housed a large portion of the Human Confederate's super-wealthy and oligarchy, the advertisements were generally welcome.

Like most achievements in history, failure always precedes success, and even this was true for the shining light of Human Confederate accomplishments. Hidden away in the depths of society, Europa held a dark secret. The satellite's surface was scarred and corrupted, caused by the first failed colonisation attempt.

A hard-hitting recession and crippling worker's strike in the 22nd century caused the proposed beacon of humanity to fail miserably, yet all humanity did was build over the top of a failed infrastructure. An infrastructure that was now only suitable for refugees, criminals and others who failed to live the Europan dream.

The streets were habitable, but the danger was high. There was no security, no police force, no governance, just a failed state close to anarchy forgotten by those who lived the high life above them.

As a result, this was society's nightmare or a vigilante's dream.

"Your dad would kill us if he knew you were here!" a young woman's hazel eyes studied the bleak and damp surroundings furiously, eager not to fall into an ambush like their previous two trips to the underground.

Her male counterpart smiled but remained silent as his clear blue eyes flickered around, constantly on the lookout for his next adventure.

Each of his steps oozed confidence, yet tinged with caution as he surveyed each door, window, street corner or darkened crevice always anticipating the next piece of trouble.

"Jason, are you listening?" the young woman's normally steady and assured voice trembled slightly as she recalled their last trip here. Fighting off armed men twice her size was not something an eighteen-year-old should be doing after college.

Jason ruffled his jet black hair before his piercing gaze descended on his counterpart. "Dad is in meetings all day, " he said with confidence, "besides, don't you feel alive when you're here Aurora? At any moment we could be attacked, or rescue someone in need, " his smile seemed to glow passionately as memories flooded his mind.

Recalling their last trip to the underground caused her lips to flutter in satisfaction, "It was somewhat satisfying in escorting that old lady home last week. One day, though, we'll have to deal with more than we can handle."

"There's nothing we can't handle!" Jason's arrogant smile plastered itself over his face.

Aurora briefly chuckled, "You're a dick Jason Scharn!" she responded, knowing it was one of the reasons she was always drawn to his adventures.

Jason studied two call girls standing at a corner next to a light that was the only form of illumination in the underground. Their attempts to entice any man or woman that walked past ended in failure, yet as their glance headed towards a gap between two buildings they quickly turned in the opposite direction and walked briskly away.

"Get ready," said Jason, catching Aurora's attention.

Standing in the middle of the street, Jason abruptly halted, with Aurora closely following. Whoever was about to appear would likely want to get up close and personal.

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