Chapter Six: Fox and a Raven
The steady rumve, rumv, rumve, rumv of the train passing through the promethium accelerator halos was the only sound the filled Silas's ears as he lay on the most comfortable object in his life with his feet up against the window frame. Inky black dreadlocks hanging vertically down over the edge of the plush pillows. He tried to bight back the tears, but they refused to be stopped. Weeping into his hand with the tears running down his forehead into his hair Silas tried to erase that picture of Eliza from his mind. Standing at the gates beside Titan and the other villagers. Clutching to the ugly cloth teddy bear she'd had since she was a baby. Balling her eyes out no matter how hard Silas tried to tell her everything would be fine and she'd see him before she knew it. But she wasn't convinced. She always was smarter than me. He laughed wiping the tears from his inverted face. She didn't believe it because I don't...the chances of me coming back. It was right at that very moment, the tears stopped. All emotion died. He could die. He'd always known it to be a possibility, not even a possibility, a certainty. But the plain and simple fact that in one month, he, Silas Alberec might b dead in a city he'd never known, thousands of miles away from his family and friends.
Just as fear wrapped an icy hand around his spine Fox charged into his cabin, hastily wiping the tears away Silas righted himself but she didn't seem to notice. Her focus intently on the screen slowly emerging from the spine of one of the opposite sofa. 'You gotta' see this.' Silas barely had chance to ask why she had suddenly decided to acknowledge him after twenty-seven hours of silent travel before the screen burst into life and a human woman appeared on it. She was attractive with enhanced features and breasts wearing a silver dress and a plastered smile.
'Well Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls around Pangaea the twenty-six participants of this year’s Hunger Games have been decided with many bouts of controversy and a few surprise faces already! This Hunger Games looks to be the most exciting yet and it has only just begun, I'm Roxanne Richie with the exclusive scoop.' the woman said as the opening credits to some celebrity news show flashed blindingly.
'Why's this so...'
'Shush!' Fox hissed sitting beside him with her elbows resting on her knees. Silas had thought her quiet beautiful when they first met on the train platform, with her tribal tattoos, olivine skin and piecing blue eyes she made an impressive first impression. But on closer inspection her tattoos covered up several beauty flaws, her chin was pointed, the bridge of her nose like a blade and most off putting where her eyes. There wasn't even a hint of a spark behind them...they were just dull, lifeless impersonations. Turning back to the strange screen Silas listened and watched carefully,
'This year from Capitol we have a very special Games lined up, with a bigger arena than ever before and competitors that are certainly the most unusual and diverse we've ever seen. No one of merit were chosen from Districts Eleven, Twelve or Thirteen...'
'F*uck you!' spat Fox.
'However with several Career Gamers in the mix it certainly appears like we will see fights like no other this year. The most famous of these Gamers is the son of the Games most successful ever competitor, Tyberos Guilliman the Second,' as she spoke a picture of a blonde haired man of mid twenties with a smug expression and a charming, easy smile superimposed itself in the top corner. 'Is the son of Tyberos Guilliman the First. Also still known as the Red Wake by many of his fans even today after he completed his Games by killing every participant himself within only four days.' as she broke into a smile a video covered her up, a single man with crackling claws attached to his hands slicing his opponents into nothing but cauterised chunks.
'Sweet Goddess...' Silas whispered watching the grainy image struggle to keep track of the man’s movements.
'What we all want to know is does his son have his father’s skills? And will he inherit the title of Red Wake.' pausing Silas felt the tension between him and Fox grow like rising water. Her hand found his knee. He didn't know why, there was nothing sexual about it. They were both just seeking the comfort of another human being right now as they looked upon the faces of either their death, or the victims. 'But it was in the Third District that the most controversial Reaping occurred as not one, but two people volunteered to take the places of the competitors drawn in the lottery. The male competitor a one Aeon Neil and...fe...erg...Ro...' looking out the window Silas saw a bad electrical storm brooding over their heads. Even still he watched the flickering freeze frame images. He saw a flash of skin, a leather jacket, brown hair. And when the picture cleared he saw the back of her for the briefest of moments before the doors to her train slid shut. 'Who are these people? Why did they volunteer? All will be revealed during the banquet dinner and the competitor interviews. But you can be assured that HG.TV will be here with the inside scoop before anyone else. This is Roxanne Richie signing off.'
As the screen died the train slowed drastically sending Silas flying across into Fox. Smashing her in the sofa and pressing his head uncomfortably deep into her left breast. 'Enjoying it down there big boy?' she asked looking an odd combination of confused and f*ucking furious.
'Not really.' breaking again the train lurched. Silas shot upwards and crashed back onto the pillows, it was Fox's turn to crash into him this time. Her hands either side of his ribs and her head on his chest they stayed this way for several seconds until the train slid to an equal speed. 'I think you owe me dinner after that.' he smiled.
'Not bloody likely.' she muttered. 'Where are we?' staring out the window only darkness pressed down onto the glass and the occasional flare of a glow light set into the picrete walls.
'Nowhere good.' taking a harsh step forward to brace himself against the trains sudden stop Silas felt uncomfortable with the silence that fell over them, it was all encompassing, almost suffocating. When animals cry and shout and caws, this is good. When all that fills your ear is silence...then you must panic. Titan's words rung through Silas like a harmony bell, looking around there was a sudden hiss of pressurised gas being released and the doors to the cabin slid open. Fox was up at his side in an instant as men and women in black suits with strange looking weapons in their hands and arms surrounded them. Staring each of them down no one moved until Silas saw a white figure enter, the guards split for him and the figure moved to stand in front of Silas and Fox with all the grace of a minister greeting his constituents.
'Greetings.' he said with a beaming smile and his arms spread wide. 'Welcome to Capitol. My name is Vigil...I am your stylist.' a second figure entered, this one in the same black uniforms as the guards but with a scarred face and a stature that was at least equal to Titan.
'Out my way vermin!' he spat pushing the man in the fine white suit out of his way with one mighty heave. 'I am High Marshall Grall. I'm head of security in this facility, all rules are law and any breaking of this laws will result in capital punishment and immediate disqualification of your District from all future Games. Any trouble you two cause will be dealt with severe punishment and possible disqualification of the Games. If I think you in anyway are a threat to this facility or to Capitol itself I will have you arrested and killed. Am I clear?' he said quickly. Voice like rolling thunder.
'Who made you king?' asked Fox sarcastically. A guard shot from the line and stabbed her with a strange black box; sparks flying from metal robs in its tip. Fox screamed a broken scream as her body convulsed; forcing herself onto Silas to remain upright he kicked outward. Knocking the device from the guards hand and sending it swirling through the air.
'AM I CLEAR!?'
'Yes!' shouted Silas. 'By the Goddess yes!'
Grall looked to Silas with a disgusted expression, a massive hand running across his bald scalp. 'Men...give this convict a hair cut!' in a split second Silas had already formulated his battle plan. When he heard the ring of a blade leaving its sheath Silas pushed Fox onto the sofa before ducking instantly. The blade swished over his dreadlocks without a moment to spare and before the guard even realised he'd missed Silas had disarmed him in a swift movement, sent him to his knees and held the knife against the man’s neck. Guns raised a split second later Silas stood calm. Staring at Grall. 'No one...touches...the hair.' he hissed. Cobra venom lacing his words. Several seconds of tense silence passed before Grall laughed.
'Fine. Look like an unwashed daemon. Vermin! Show them to their quarters! I look forward to seeing you in the games boy. Try to buck the trend of your district and last more than a few hours won't you.' laughing along with his guards they all left, Silas hissed, throwing the knife into the plush carpet, the black handle wobbling in its place. The guard shot to his feet and followed his superiors with the distinct smell of urine drifting from him as he left.
'Forgive me Sir...' spoke Vigil for the first time since entering. 'The High Marshall is the Voice of the Admiral Council. He takes the defence of Capitol very seriously. He's...' Vigil looked to be searching for a word so Silas offered,
With a watery laugh Vigil smiled, looking to silas with clear gray eyes. 'Blunt. But to the point. Come. You must be hungry. And much must be done!'