Chapter Eight: To See the World in a Grain of Sand
Tyberos Guilliman the Second, Silas Alberec
Looking around the large semi-luxurious floor that he would be inhabiting for the coming months before the Games began Tyberos inspected every inch with a keen eye. Running hard cerulean eyes over the battle mats laid out in large, marked squares in the centre of the room, the dozens of weapons that sat in cases or hung from frames on the walls. Every form of blade, gun, and blunt force weapon sat in this vast space. Including several other weapons he had never seen before in his life, strange exotic looking things with carvings lining their shafts and eagle tail feathers tied around the bottom of their stone blades. His living quarters were...adequate. Only a single king sized bed with cotton sheets instead of silk, One must make sacrifices during the Games. He said to himself as his training partner inched up beside him. She was a pitiful excuse for a human being. It took every ounce of his self control not to turn and snap her neck right now! At least them he'd be done with that never ending weeping, it was all she had done since her name had been drawn apparently. Cried, shouted, wailed, then cried some more. Gods it was starting to get irritating.
'As you can see everything is of the highest quality,' said the girls appointed Stylist. Of course Tyberos ignored the pompous civil servant push up, no matter how much he sucked up to him, all the Stylist cared about was having his candidates win. And with Tyberos in his camp the Stylist obviously knew he was going to have a very successful year.
'It is satisfactory.' said Tyberos turning to look into the large living room. The T.V was already blaring, on HG.TV of course. What else would be on at this time of year, by the looks of things the reporters were going through all of the competitors, guessing who would come off best in the Gala and Press Interviews. As well as with fans of the Games who screamed participants names at the top of their lungs while dancing on the spot, holding homemade banners above their heads as they did.
'Satisfactory?' squeaked the Stylist in great offense. 'Mr Guilliman I assure you that this equipment is top of the line...'
'Look whatever the hell your name is. I've worked with the top quality equipment since I could walk, I know the difference between top of the line and second class hand me down knock offs polished up to look pretty!' Tyberos raged making the tiny well dressed man bow his head, skittering backwards in fear the Stylist muttered apologies under his breath. 'Now here's what's going to happen, I will have my own Stylist and Trainer come in. You have no say on this matter! I will train with my own weapons, at my own time and eat my own diet. You have no control over what I wear, what questions I decide to answer of how I answer them is that clear!?' he thundered making the Stylist and the weeping girl jump.
'Of course Mr Guilliman...I...I am your humble servant.' stammered the tiny man.
'Good. Remember that. Now leave.' Tyberos commanded with all the regal tone and strength of his father. Without a word the Stylist bowed and hurriedly left him alone in the room, at least he thought he was alone until he heard one solitary whimper. Oh for the love of the Gods.
'This is it...It's really happening isn't it.' she whimpered into her silk handkerchief. 'I'm going to die...'
'Most definitely. But think yourself lucky,' he said whilst turning to leave, not even bothering a glance at the hysterical b*itch. 'You have three more months to live at least. But just pray that we don't meet in the Arena girl! I'd kill you before you had time to blink.'
Silas handed Fox the glass of whiskey as she sat on the edge of a worn cushioned sofa, holding an ice pack against the back of her neck where the taser had hit. 'Thanks.' she grunted taking the half full glass in her free hand. Sitting in the armchair beside the sofa Silas felt himself sink into it, it was the comfiest chair he'd ever been in. The whiskey was the finest alcohol he'd ever tasted, a hundred times better than Crow's home made moonshine anyway, but even this huge apartment block they owned for three months and the fact that he was in the Games couldn't fill the hole in his chest. He missed Eliza. He'd been so excited when he heard that they could have visitors, she could come here, see the Silver City, bring Titan and Crow and all the others too. But his dreams had been killed quickly when the High Marshall Grall had told them that all visitors must pay for their travel costs and accommodation. Peoples in District Thirteen couldn't afford food; even if the whole population gave Eliza all of their life savings she'd still only have enough to reach District Nine. Government...you are one cruel b*astard! He said toasting the vast building that stood above and below them.
Exhaustion was quick to wash over him as she drank his whiskey, savouring the honeyed coolness on his tongue and the burning feeling down the back of his throat. 'To see the world in a grain of sand,' he said staring at the plain plaster ceiling above his chair.'
'What?' Fox rasped, inhaling sharply through her teeth after a large swig of the amber liquid.
Silas smiled, 'It was a poem my sister used to say all the time, four lines about how the Siblings must see our world. To see the world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wild flower. Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and see eternity in an hour.'
'Okay...' said the tattooed girl with a quirked eyebrow.
'I'm just thinking it must be like how Government sees things. The heads, the Admiral Council...we must seem so small to them. So fragile.'
'Are you going to do this philosophical Buddha sh*ite until we step into the arena? And don't mention them again!'
'Who? The Siblings?'
'Yeah the Siblings numb nuts! Who else do you think I'd be talking about. I don't believe in the Gods. An all powerful brother sister team, bollocks! Superstitious nonsense.' she grumbled.
'Are you upset because that guard tasered you...because to be honest it was funny as hell at the time. You were flopping about on the floor like a carp.' Silas smiled at the joke. The look on Fox's predatory features sent a chill straight through him. 'Just trying to diffuse the tension!'
'What I'm upset at Silas is the fact that I'm stuck here with you for three months! Look,' she said dropping her glass and icepack down onto the small table between them. 'I don't want to know you. I don't care why you're here, I don't want to know why you're fighting, why you have that stupid smirk across your face all the time, in all honesty Silas if it were up to me I wouldn't even want to know your name! I'm here, to train. That's all. No talking, no bonding, no midnight heart to hearts. Because at the end of the day, we're not friends. We're enemies. And the closer we get now the harder it'll be to kill you when the time comes.' she paused for breath before carrying her rant on. 'If things were different then I probably would get to know you, and you’re cute, I could take you to the bedroom right now and ride you like a race horse,'
'Good to know.'
'But I won't. I'm here to compete. I'm here to get in that arena, kill everything that moves and get my arse out of that Hell Zone we call a district forever! I don't want to know you and I definitely don't want to be your friend.' finally stopping Silas sat with his whiskey nearly toppling from his fingers.
'So I was going to invite you to a sleepover...but now...' raising an eyebrow to try and provoke some kind of smile from the hard faced woman across from him Silas waited with baited breath for several seconds. Fox just rolled her sapphire eyes, picked up her drink and left. Shutting the door with the peeling paint behind her with a crack! Bugger. Silas thought. He couldn't help feeling like he'd just lost his only friend in the world.