Chapter Thirty: Puzzles, Interviews and Love
Word Count: 1610
Pacing the tiny holding room he'd been locked into Silas could see the ghostly green clock counting down to the final minutes before they entered the Arena, the sun was rising higher and higher in the sky and when the shadows were at their smallest that was it...the Hunger Game would begin. Twenty-six people would enter and only one would walk out alive...the nerves in his stomach were enough to make him taste the bile crawling up the back of this neck. Catching a glimpse of himself in the reflection of the window Silas barely recognised the man that stared back at him, that lean gangly young boy had been replaced by a tall, broad, muscular man. The only similarities the two identities had were their emerald green eyes and the long raven haired dreadlocks that snaked down his back. Vigil's outfit specification had been one simple word. Practicality. Silas needed to be able to move swiftly but also have enough weight behind him to be a threat. He had to admit Vigil's final outfit was perfect. A thin pair of black combat trousers laced with dozens of hidden pockets, perfect for storing weapons or medicine, a skin tight long sleeved shirt made of some strange kind of super fabric, and a leather jacket. Again designed with dozens of hidden pockets.
Eliza. Rory. Eliza. Rory. Eliza. Rory. The battle between the two half’s of his soul had been continuing since Silas had woken up from his unconscious stupor after being decked by Odin. Then Odin's words returned. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Tell her. What did these infernal riddles mean! How could they help!? Really?! They were just in the mad ramblings of an old fool who wasn't named Odin, he was named Ratchet. The television in his room was suddenly birthed into life as a picture of Roxanne Richie appeared, he barely paid it any attention. Instead he drove himself near to madness trying to figure out what they meant! My enemy is Tyberos...but his enemy could be anyone! Throw a f*cking dart at twenty five names would be better than this. Roaring to himself in the silence of his solitary chamber Silas dropped onto the hard cushioned sofa and closed his eyes. The voice on the edge of his hearing drifted lackadaisically between his ears, until, 'Ruari, you look nervous.' Snapping his head up Silas nearly burst into tears seeing her. She looked so scared. So fragile. That face her had so longed to kiss and hold was lined with terror.
She shifted in her seat nervously. Their words were lost to him. He just rose and stared at the screen. Reaching out a hand he touched the liquid crystal display, running his hand down the curve of her jaw, she looked so beautiful even now. As there interview progressed he became aware of his name being used more and more, he didn't care why, he just wanted a chance, just one chance to hold her again, to kiss her and hug her and tell her everything was going to be alright and tell her...tell her...tell her everything. Then as she got up to leave she turned and said the most beautiful, heartfelt and caring words Silas had ever heard. 'If I win, I want them to give Eliza my winnings.' Silas stared at her face. It was so neutral. She wasn't saying it to win voters. She was saying it purely from the goodness of her heart. Without really know why Silas kissed the screen. Her picture. Hoping beyond hope that she might be able to feel it through some unknown force of nature...Eliza was going to be alright. Suddenly knowing that if he saved Rory and sacrificed himself for her that Eliza would be safe and have more than enough money to get herself out of District Thirteen suddenly allowed him to think clearer.
The battle between his souls stopped. All that mattered now was Rory, protecting her from Tyberos. The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend...AEON! He realised. Heart thundering in his chest he remember Aeon had been drawn in the desert area. That was closer to Rory but more rugged and hard going terrain...but still...it was something. But how to get a message to him? How? His door burst open and a Game Keeper stood before him, his stark white flak armour a great contrast to Silas's dark attire. 'Your turn for the final interview.' the large man croaked. Silas barely heard. His mind was swimming. How do you get a message to Aeon warning him about Tyberos when he was locked in a room identical to Silas's...identical. The television. As the door opened to the interview suite Silas saw Roxanne smiling at her him. Tell Her...Odin Stronghammer you old genius! He smiled at Roxanne, the first sign of any internal happiness for the past seven days; she was his key, his angel, his conduit to Aeon. As her camera whirred into existence Roxanne smiled, her eyes already tearing up. 'Silas.' she whispered. 'Welcome, please, take a seat.' Silas rushed over to Roxanne and hugged her briefly, trying to put all the unsaid feelings into the affectionate action.
Slightly taken aback and with cameras rolling Roxanne hugged back before he broke apart. 'It's so amazing to see you I can't even express!' he said almost laughing.
'Well I'm so glad that your this happy to be here.' as the two sat down Silas saw Roxanne's eyes narrow slightly as if puzzled, but the look quickly vanished. 'Now Silas. Less than thirty minutes before Games begin, how are you feeling?' she asked crossing her legs.
'I'm not really thinking right now to be honest with you Roxanne. I can't think, I'm a firm believer of if you over think something you make mistakes, and if there is one thing you can't do in the Arena is make mistakes. One mistake and you're dead.' he said sitting back into his chair. He needed a message for Aeon, but Roxanne had to ask the right question without him sounding mad.
'We've just been speaking to Rory...' Silas felt his stomach tie into a not. My Rory. He rubbed the arms of the chair he was seated in, she'd been sat here not moments ago. 'She seems to care for you very much. How did all this happen?'
'I don't know, we met, and that was it...I...we...' tears growing in his eyes Silas pushed them back. 'I'll tell you the truth Roxanne; I've hated myself these past few days. Because I couldn't decide between my Sister and Rory...it tore me apart. But now thanks to Rory, she'll be safe.'
'Yes...if Rory wins you do understand.'
'She'll be safe.' Silas nodded with tears running down his face.
'You're willing to sacrifice yourself for her?' whispered Roxanne. Her own tears gentle rolling down her face.
'Any day of the week. I won't sit back and watch her die. I won't. I just won't.' Roxanne coughed, disguising a cry that was all too obvious to Silas. He smiled at her for it.
'You are a true hero Silas Alberec...if we had more of you this world would be a much, much better place.'
'It would certainly be a much more hairy place.' he grinned flicking his head around to make his dreadlocks wave behind him.
Roxanne laughed. 'Most definitely. Now Silas,' she said whipping her tears away with the back of her hand. 'You gave a message to your sister the last time we were interviewed. Do you have anything to say to her now?'
Silas nodded. 'Eliza...Eliza your my sister. I will always love you no matter what the outcome of these Games, I know you've always been smarter than me baby girl...so you'll understand why I'm doing this. I can't sit back and let the girl I've...' he froze. Tell her. 'The girl I've fallen in love with,' he said it. 'Die in this forsaken place. It's like,' then it hit him. This was his moment! 'It was like the fairytale Mum and Dad used to tell us, about the Man, the Woman, the Scarecrow and the Giant. The Man and Scarecrow both loved the Woman, but the Woman was able to see past the Scarecrow's ugliness and love him for what he was...then when the Giant came the Scarecrow fought and fought to save the Woman from his wrath...but it was the Man...Always the Man that was able to save her. He was always in the background, but never stopped loving the Woman. So he protected her from the Giant.' pausing as tears rolled down his face he glanced quickly at Roxanne, behind her streams of tears Silas could see a reporters curiosity behind her eyes. 'That's what we do baby girl, isn't it? Protect those we love. Eliza SySy probably isn't coming home...so...' fighting back the emotion Silas pushed on.
'Eliza I love you more than anything. I am proud to be able to call you family. And remember what happens when a person dies...they become stars. Just look up baby girl. Whenever you get lonely and I'll be looking down on your with Mum and Dad. Just as I always have been...I love you Eliza. This isn't goodbye. It's just...see you soon.'
Roxanne wasn't able to speak after that. She stared at Silas with tears streaming down her cheeks, smudging her makeup. He'd done it. He'd told all of them. He was free of burdens. He'd said everything that needed saying, except this. 'And Ruari Savage...I love you with all my heart.'