Word Count: 1479
Tyberos stared at the wall mounted case that held his father’s Lightning Claws. The metal gauntlets huge in comparison to his hands, he knew the insides were padded with wires and god knows how many other bits of arcane technology. But even still he was sure his Fathers sacred weapons wouldn't fit over his hands without several straps to keep them in place. Their segmented fingers glistened in the glow-lights and the two foot long claws that stretched from the back of the tritanium hands crossed each other creating a harlequin patterned lattice work of monomolecular death. The blades emanating a pearlescent sheen even without power running through them, the deep red paintwork was scratched in places but Father wouldn't have them re-painted. 'The bodies of warriors bare honour scars boy! Why not our weapons too!' He would always shout when Tyberos would bring up the idea of having them repainted. Staring at the arcane close combat weapons Tyberos wondered how many lives had been ended by their glowing blades? Father had killed all twenty six participants of his Hunger Games with them, in only four days too, giving him the record for the quickest victory in the history of the games. As well as earning himself the name that he still treasured to his day, 'The Red Wake'.
Looking from the gleaming weapons to his reflection in the glass he studied himself, all dressed up in their families finest political regalia, wearing a military uniform that was bought instead or earned. But it looked better for it. Tyberos wasn't one for barracks and drills. No, ten years of training, dedication and service to your country or five hundred thousand credits would get you the same thing in Capitol. For a family as wealthy as the Guillimans, in a city where everything could be bought, made life extremely comfortable, and extremely simple. Straightening his uniform Tyberos heard the door sweep open and delicate, high heeled footsteps enter Father's trophy room. 'Dreaming of what might have been Brother-dearest.' Francesca whispered as she wrapped her arms around his stomach and rested her head on his shoulder. Her breath running past his ear warmly.
'More like what is to come, Sister-dearest.' he rumbled causing her reflection to pout.
'Someone's gwumpy!' she teased. 'Want a hug?'
'We don't hug.'
'You don't hug,' she corrected. Releasing him she sashayed over to the plush leather sofa before sitting on it and crossing her legs. 'The rest of the world does.'
'The rest of the world isn't me.' he muttered attempting to flatten out the creases she'd put into his uniform.
'Thank the heavens, or else everyone in Pangaea would be a miserable bastard.' rounding on her Tyberos shot his younger sister that would have made lesser beings weep, but his sister just smiled back coyly, a dark spark behind her strangely seductive eyes. Like Tyberos she was a good looking individual, slim waist, large bust, comely face...The sooner Father marries you off the better. Several potential husbands for her already flooded into his mind as he stood there, each one famous in Capitol for their spouses having had 'accidents'. 'I'm joking brother; you know how much I care for you.'
'Hmmm...' turning his eyes back to the ancient weapons in the case Tyberos wondered if Father would mind if he ran them through his sister? A butler entered carrying a tray of champagne flutes and a bottle of the finest vintage. 'Leave us.' he said to the servant without look at him. In the reflection in the glass Tyberos saw his sister lick her lips at the servant and very slowly cross her legs over. 'LEAVE!' Tyberos bellowed making the drooling servant boy nearly void his bowels. When the door shut behind the snivelling servant Tyberos turned once again to his sister-dearest. 'Is there one butler in this house you have not f*ucked?' he asked in an angry hiss. He didn't want the guests hearing this.
'No.' she sneered without a hint of shame or compunction. 'If it bothers you tell Father to stop hiring the cute ones. Besides,' pouring the champagne for herself Francesca sat back and met her deep blue eyes with his. 'The fops in this place all think they're the Masters of Intercourse, when in reality then spend they grunt and groan thier climax like Gorillas then fall asleep. The servants do try to...withhold fire...shall we say.' she winked.
'Only because they will lose their job if you do not reach your pleasure.'
'An added incentive.' taking a sip of her champagne Tyberos shook his head. If she wasn't such a gifted killer she'd make a fine whore. He thought moving over to the window. The glistening silver buildings of Capitol stretched up to the cerulean blue sky like fine crystals, their twisting structures and shining windows only adding to the resplendence of the city of all cities. Hover vehicles flew through the sky in ordered formations among with spliced species of birds and other genetic mutants that had escaped their pens and taken to the skies above Capitol. 'Do you wish to know about the participants already chosen?' That was like asking if a lion wished to know the name of the gazelle it killed. But...if it stopped her talking obscenities.
'Very good, District 13...'
'Spare me the list of cannon fodder. Peoples from the Hell Zone never last a day, any other Career Gamers?' he interrupted.
With a smile Francesca nodded, 'Four. Juliak from District 2, Marvel from District 4 and also his partner...I forget her name. Ugly woman...' his sister droned on while Tyberos's heart sunk. No Gabriel, no Xerkxes. This Game’s will be the dullest in history. 'But the other districts have yet to choose.'
'Have you bought your vote?' he asked quietly. Acts of such bribery were common, but still frowned upon by many. For the first time Francesca grew some dignity and answered quietly.
'You know Father would never allow it,' she whispered.
'I'm not asking about Father.' he said with an icy stare.
She met his gaze with a small smile. 'No I didn't. Did you Brother-dearest?' she asked with mocked innocence.
'You know I didn't.'
'Always good to check brother!' the smiled taking another delicate sip from her champagne.
'Who said you could drink!' rumbled a powerful voice from the doorway making Francesca nearly drop her glass. Shooting to her feet as Tyberos spun with his back straight to face his father. Evil looking bastard. Bald, scarred, burned, with eyes as black and uncaring as coal and a permanent scowl upon his rough skinned face.
'Apologies Father.' Francesca curtsied to him as he entered his trophy room.
'Alcohol dulls the senses, as well as the mind. And you need to guard whatever's left of yours girl!' he thundered. Voice like rusted iron.
'Yes Father sorry Father.'
'Boy!' Its Tyberos, can't be hard to remember its the same name as yours!
'Father.' he answered dutifully.
'You look well...' Tyberos didn't answer, instead he waited, knowing the insult will come soon. 'Shame it’s only a Naval suit instead of Army.' And there it was.
'Come, the lottery is being drawn.' turning on his heel the vile man left him and his sister to follow a dutiful distance behind. The balcony was huge but crammed with guests in preparation for the results of the Games. Government told the people that the Games were a way of providing a better future for winners. Bollocks. Pure bollocks, it was entertainment, a chance for honour and glory, as well as a way of ruling the populace of Pangaea through fear of the Games. Any political activists were either gunned down on sight or called to take part in the Games, and they never survived the first hour. Reaching the edge of the balcony the voice of the gorgeous commentator in her low cut dress and bulging bust stood beside the two tumbling machines rung through the air. The white balls spun through the empty space as Tyberos saw the holo-screen projecting the ceremony that was happening at the foot of their building.
'And now, the Hunger Games are being drawn...' two balls dropped into special compartments before rolling towards the commentator. 'And now, the woman competing in this year’s hunger games, is...' pressing a button on top of the circular orb a robotic voice rung out.
'Emily Saintjohn.' the crowds clapped and cheered as the girl’s death sentence rung out.
'And now. The male, competing for the Capitol in this year’s Hunger Games, is...' pressing the second orb the voice took decades to ring out.
'Tyberos Guilliman the Second.' The gathered on the balcony gasped, Tyberos cheered. Looking to his father for a smile. A look of pride. Anything! But he just got the same old scowl. Fine...scowl away you old fool. I'll prove I'm better than you! I'll earn your name!