Chapter 11: One hand Shakes, the Other Points the Gun
Tyberos Guilliman the Second
Tyberos smiled easily as he sidled up to the fake faced reporter. Turning on his inner charm at the flick of a switch, noticing a man with ridiculously long hair smiling like a fool at the bottom of the steps he shot the boy a quick glance. Six foot one, lean, athletic, nineteen to twenty years old, right handed, narrow face with gaunt skin from malnutrition...District Thirteen competitor...cannon fodder. Giving the boy no more of his attention Tyberos spread his arms and hugged Roxanne Richie, the top reporter for Hunger Games.TV. 'Roxanne, an absolute pleasure.' he said after embracing her quickly and kissing her on each cheek.
'The pleasure is all mine Mr.Guilliman. May I have a quick interview?' Roxanne asked looking flustered.
'It would be an honour.' he smiled easily placing his hands behind his back. Without any physical motion from Roxanne the camera that hovered over her shoulder whirred into life, its lights falling onto his face and its lens like eyes zooming in onto his face. He may have imagined it. But far off in the distance he was sure he could hear whooping girls.
'Mr Guilliman the whole of Capitol knows who you are so there is no need to make introductions, so instead, tell us. How does it feel after over a decade of waiting to finally be participating in this year’s Hunger Games?'
'It feels incredible Roxanne. I'm supremely confident in my abilities, training is going well and I look forward to finally be able to step into the arena. Which by the way I've had the privilege of seeing a small glimpse of, it certainly will be a games to remember.' he winked to her. Shock flew across her plastic features at his last comment.
'The arena designs are top secret.' she whispered.
'Not to us Roxanne.' he smiled making her giggle.
'Well this certainly is interesting. Now your obviously part of a team with your sister, how did she feel about your name being called and hers not?' Tyberos resisted a smile. Sister-dearest had thrown a paddy like a small child. Shouting and kicking and screaming, finding comfort in her many bed mates to try and deal with the reality that he was going to achieve glory and she wasn't.
'Francesca was disappointed of course, but she supporting me with my training.' he lied brilliantly. 'I would have certainly been awkward meeting her in the arena.' he grinned.
'Your father killed his brother in the arena,' the reporter began.
'I'm not my father!' he bit making her jump slightly. Immediately regretting his outburst Tyberos smiled, he could feel Father's eyes burning holes in the back of his head. 'What I mean to say is Father is more the soldier than I am...I have a much softer heart I fear.'
'Of course. Now you Father's record still stands as the quickest Hunger Games victory in history. Do you think you can best it?' I thought we were here to talk about me b*itch not my father!
'It has stood for thirty years. Records are made to be broken.' with that Roxanne turned to his Father with a smile. Questioning him as Tyberos was left stood there like a fool! Resisting the urge to spin her round and force the whore to talk to him Tyberos noted a woman walking past them towards the steps that lead to the ceiling. She shot him a hard stare with electric blue eyes before ascending the stairs. Tyberos made a mental note in his mind as he watched her place her left foot onto the first step. Left footed, five foot seven, stronger than she looks, broad shoulders, tattooed face....District Thirteen female. Yet more cannon fodder.
'And lastly Mr Guilliman do you think your son can beat your record?' Roxanne asked as Tyberos tuned himself back into her conversation.
'Anything can happen in the arena.' tapping Tyberos on the shoulder Father pointed him towards the stairs.
'Thank you Ms Richie.' smiled Tyberos as they departed.
'Thank you Mr Guilliman.
Walking up the steps with a hand on his dress sword Tyberos prepared himself for the verbal barrage that Father was about to throw at him for losing his temper the way he did on camera. But to his surprise nothing came. Maybe the old fool thought better of it. The dome was warm with the temporal weather conditioning units rumbling away outside, the walls decorated with images of star constellations and distant nebulae. Cameras similar to Roxanne's flew above the crowds, focussing on spots of heated discussion or on notable figures. So it was only natural that when they entered every camera in the room flew towards him. Again he couldn't be sure, but he thought he heard distant screams of loyal fans drift from the open doorway. Shaking hands with everyone that offered Tyberos made mental notes on the people that were there. The trainers, stylists and mentors for the thirteen districts were all present, obviously, but it was the faces he didn't recognise that interested him. He saw three other Career Gamers from Districts two, four and one. All stared at him with icy cool faces and glasses trembling in their hands. You should fear me.
He knew everything about them; they were talented but nowhere near his league. It was the other competitors that interested him. Finding a lull in the conversation between himself and a notable army general Tyberos examined three, one being the dreadlocked cannon fodder that stood by the bar with that foolish grin across his features. The other two were a man and a girl who the dreadlocked fool appeared to be looking at. Watching the pair closely Tyberos took a brief sip of his whiskey as he watched the girl pass the boy a drink with her left hand. Right handed, five foot eight without heels, lean, chemical stains on her finger nails...chemical engineer. No...she lacks too much muscle for that...pharmacologist...District Three. So you're the volunteer. Turning his attention to her friend Tyberos struggled to find anything unique about him. He held his drink in both hands as if afraid to drop it, was around six foot two, wore a suit like he came from money and stared at the boy at the bar with a strange mixture of contempt and suspicion. He must be her partner, he volunteered as well...why? Tyberos wondered. Then he saw it. A small glance at the girl. Why do men do anything? Fool.
'What?!' Father hissed from behind him. One of his aides was stood beside him, cowering away from the scarred general's rage. 'You're sure!' he said keeping his voice low in order not to attract the cameras.
'Yes General.' whimpered the aide. Turning his black eyes to Tyberos Father flicked his head towards the door. He wants me away from the cameras...this can't be good. Walking into the cold night air Tyberos didn't stop until he reached the edge of the building, looking over the illuminated city briefly Tyberos turned and sat on the buildings edge. Watching his Father approach with his hands clasped together behind his back and his ugly burnt face looking like the face of death itself.
'We have a problem.' the old man said reaching his son.
'Does that mean I have a problem, or you have a problem?'
'Don't get cocky boy!' Father roared. Tyberos shut his mouth. 'A jabberjay recorded a conversation between the competitors from District Three. They're teaming up.'
'What?' coughed Tyberos after nearly inhaling the whiskey he was drinking.
'They're teaming up together, and before you ask they can do that. Our Servitors checked the rules.'
'Surely the rules don't say you're allowed to team up.'
'Of course not boy! But they don't not say it either.' rubbing a callused hand across his bald scalp Father paced before his son.
'So what. Its two nobodies from District Three...' a hand grabbed his collar. Pushing him backwards over the edge of the building. Leaning dangerously over the edge Tyberos grabbed his Father's arm as the old man pushed him further.
'Never underestimate you foolish boy! The arena is like nothing else! It is not a boxing ring where one punch makes no difference. One bullet, one arrow, one spear or one sword in the arena is the difference between life and death! From flying and falling.' panting in fear Tyberos tried to break his Father's iron hard grip around his uniform, but he was so strong! 'This is a challenge none have ever faced! Respect that fact boy!' pulling him back Father flung his son onto the ground. Face scraping against the hard concrete. Push the old fool off! Kill him! DO IT! he roared to himself. But he stayed where he was, frozen in fear of his own Father who paced like a caged lion before him. 'How many other career gamers are taking part?...HOW MANY!'
'Three!' Tyberos said loudly. 'Three...'
'Team up with them. Even the odds.'
'I don't need help!' Tyberos yelled as Father walked back towards the dome. The old man heard. He was sure of that. But he just kept walking. I don't need help.