I decided this needs to be a three-parter ... the third (and hardest) part probably won't show up for another few days, at least ... but who knows, it could show up tomorrow. ;)
Bret wandered aimlessly, taking in the sights of the City, such as they were. Most of the shops in this part of the City had long ago been boarded up and closed down, only to have their boards pried off and their remaining contents looted. Many of the shops' windows had been broken. Where there had once been well-lighted displays, there were now only dark, gaping maws; the jagged edges of the remaining glass looked like the teeth of a giant monster.
His footsteps retraced the well-rehearsed path back to his alley, his mind lost in memory. This had been a happy city, when the Thurth base was still here. He and the other young Thura would play in the streets during the day when school was out. Then the First War started, and Bret stayed indoors with his parents most of the time, using the feeble shelter of their apartment to protect themselves against attack.
Bret's parents had both been killed toward the end of the war when their city block was levelled by a space-to-surface torpedo. He had been visiting a friend at the time, so he managed to escape unscathed. But like many other teens who had lost their families, he had nowhere to go. He remembered an out of the way alley he and his friends had used for games of hide and seek, and dumped the remainder of his possessions there. Since that day many years ago, he had called the alley his home.
The Thuran were no help; they abandoned their base shortly after the end of the war, and left the humans to their fate. Though the City Elders had many contacts with interstellar traders and could have easily evacuated the human settlement, they chose not to. Like Bret, they too had nowhere to go.
As Bret approached his alley, he carefully looked around to see if anything had been disturbed. There was a mound of trash dumped carelessly at the end of the alley, piled in the corner where he stored his few remaining valued possessions. He shrugged and smiled ruefully, thinking of his long-dead baby sis, her picture buried amongst the discarded scraps of the fat cats' households.
He grabbed the twisted knot of blankets sitting in the corner opposite the trash pile and spread them out on the filth-covered ground. A faint floral print could still be seen on one of the blankets; this one was Bret's favorite. It had been a gift to him from his childhood friend's mother, a last-ditch attempt to provide for a boy with lost parents.
Bret curled up under the blanket and closed his eyes. As he drifted off to sleep, he thought he heard the faint sound of a shuttle landing in the distance. He sighed dreamily, and wondered if perhaps it was a Thurth ship, come to rescue those whom they had abandoned so long ago.
As always, constructive feedback/criticism is appreciated.
Thanks again to northing for editing.