Chapter Forty Five: Eye for an Eye
Silas was as quick on the draw as ever as Fox lunged at Rory. The sights of his duel revolver focussed completely into the inch wide space between her eyebrows. But before he had a chance to pull the trigger Rory ducked from his vision and Fox fell with a wail. Watching the love of his life fight the girl he had lived with for the past three months was a strange and disturbing feeling, he just wished that they could have chosen a better place than this to do it! Lava rained down from the soupy heavens like globules of burning rain. Each drop an excruciating needle of fire against his skin, the largest pieces of volcanic rock fell like comets. Hitting the dusty, ashen ground with solid plunks. How they avoided them he didn't know. He didn't care. He just wanted to get Rory and get out of this hellish place, but before he could react to help her the two women were consumed in a great whoosh of ash. 'Rory!' Silas yelled arcing his gun through the ash-fog. It stung his eyes and made tears sting his cheeks. Blurred ashen shapes lunged out at him from the mist, the smell of his burning hair and sweat was enough to make him gag, and every breath he took felt like breathing in sand. He could taste the blood in the back of his throat.
'Rory!' he yelled again, tentatively stepping a few feet forward through the five inch thick layer of ash that carpeted the cliff side path they ran across. Movement fluttered through the gray snow that floated down from the beige sky. 'Rory,' he said softly flicking his eyes to the source of the movement but keeping his gun aimed in front of him. That was his first mistake. The figure that charged at him was bigger than Clayton and Tyberos; at first just a black boulder against the background of gray but soon it engulfed Silas. Swinging his revolver around Silas tried to take aim. But he was far too late. A foot the size of his forearm shout out, breaking his wrist in dozens of places and the revolver snapped backwards against his grip. The momentum of the kick transferring to the weapon and sending it tumbling through the air. All he could do was brace himself for the impact as this Rhino of a man crashed into him. Pain registered first. Pain. Then the feeling of the weight behind this titanic individual. Bodies colliding Silas managed to hold his ground for all of three seconds before the strength of this behemoth pushed him back against the cliff wall. Hands the size of breeze blocks wrapping around his throat and lifting him a good metre off the ground.
Choking beneath this man’s callused grip Silas looked down and saw it to be one of the competitors from District Seven, he had never spoken during any of the press interviews...in fact Silas could only remember seeing him once. And this bastard had a face you remembered. With a head the size of an ordinary mans chest, a nasty, knotted scar running down his left cheek and a completely bald scalp it wasn't the face of a man that blended into the crowd. 'Aren't you a big fella'?' Silas choked through the Titan's grip. The huge man grunted and squeezed tighter, his enormous biceps crushing out the air from his body, closing his wind pipe as easily as Silas would crush a drinks can. Lashing out with every conceivable type of blow no matter how much force Silas put into the attacks the huge man seemed totally unfazed by them. Even using the pressure points lacing his body proved useless, they were covered in layers of bulbous muscle and every attack did nothing but tighten his grip. Coughing without sound Silas saw the blackness closing in on his vision and kicked out, he hit something that made the Titan's grip falter for just a moment. Taking the momentary lapse of strength Silas kicked out again, and again and again! Realising it was the Titan's groin Silas gave him one final shot that sent a muffled groan through the man’s mouth.
Sucking in sulphurous air as the Titan dropped to his knees clutching his balls Silas dropped onto the ash laced ground and revelled in the air that filled his lungs. Twice in three days he'd nearly been suffocated! Standing up Silas jumped out of the reach of his opponent. 'You know what they say, the bigger they are,' he said smugly. Firing a devastating right cross Silas hit the man across the jaw. He forgot completely about the broken wrist and the shards of fractured bone screamed in protest against the attack. And to make it worse with all his force behind the punch the Titan didn't even move. His jaw was like hitting an anvil. And if anything just seemed to piss him off even more. Without anything else coming to mind Silas just attacked out again. But this time the Titan grabbed his hand, and with his other massive palm, smacked it against his locked elbow. The sound of the bone breaking was enough to echo through even the falling lava and the deep rumble of the bellowing volcano. Screaming as nearly every bone in his hand splintered into nothing but needle sharp fragments the pain seared through his body like fire.
Before he could react through the tears his huge palm wrapped around Silas's throat again, cutting the wail short and making Silas lash out. But it was pointless. This...beast...was far too strong. Unnaturally so. And with no weapons and a broken arm Silas was all but useless. The Titan grunted as he tossed Silas into the ash like a discarded rag doll. Fluffy gray particles lifting into the air as he crashed into the earth, floating down with the raining lava. Feeling a strange heat close to his forehead Silas looked up and saw lava rolling down the cliff path, its black carapace laced with glowing veins of bright red heat. It curdled down the path at a similar speed to a slug, but the heat it brought with it was unbearable. Silas just began to back away when a massive hand grabbed his dreadlocks and pushed him closer to the lava. With his left arm fighting against all the force of this giant Silas's whole body trembled with the effort of it all. The heat from the rolling lava seared against the skin of his cheek, burning his stubble from his face in an instant, and the closer he got to its surface the hotter and more unbearable it became. Screaming as he pressed against the Titan's attack Silas wondered if Rory was alright. He hoped she was. He hoped with his last thought that she turned and ran and never looked back.
'A little hint,' spoke the Titan, his words slow and sluggish. 'If you're gonna' kill someone, do it, don't stand there like a fool talking about it.'
'Hey ugly!' a voice spoke through the dusty atmosphere. The next thing Silas knew the Titan grunted before the thunder like crack of his revolver being fired cut through the rumble of the distance volcano that spewed its rage into the sky. Blood and brains spattered across the back of Silas's neck and into the lava, the smell of burning copper filling his nostrils as the Titan's body crashed into the ash. His headless body falling like a shot mammoth. 'Nice advice.' Rory said as Silas painfully lifted himself. Spinning he found her with rifle and pack in one hand and his revolver in the other, its duel barrels smoking slightly, her hair wild and messed, all her weight on her right leg whilst her other poured with blood. 'Silas!' she said weakly, fear and worry racking across her face.
'What?' he asked through the falling ash. Noticing her eyes running down the left side of his face he lifted a hand to it and felt something totally unnatural. His skin felt the same texture of plastic and strangely warped. 'Oh my gods.' he breathed. Behind him the plunks of the falling lava rocks became less and less frequent and soon the rumble of the volcano stopped all together.
'Come on,' she whispered limping over to him. 'Let’s find a place to bed down and heal up.' as his Girlfriend took his arm Silas blindly followed her.
Together they found refuge in a hollow of some massive tree, its roots as thick as Silas's legs and the hollow high enough up off the ground to be safe from almost anyone. 'I feel like an owl,' he said half heartedly. Rory chuckled slightly as she prepared the med kit.
'A one eyed owl,' she said almost softly. She tried to contain her smile as she looked at him, he looked at her with his working eye, the other according to Rory was a milky and inflamed mess. Raising an eyebrow that was no longer present on his face Silas stared at her. 'Sorry,' she muttered, the smile still growing over her bruised face.
'Don't worry about it. You look better through one eye anyway.' he joked. For an instant he thought she was going to take offense but she quickly smiled and chuckled softly,
'I'm sure. Now I think this is going to hurt but,'
'You first,' he said lowering her arm with the health shard with his good hand. 'You're more important.'
'Silas just let me,'
'Not until you heal yourself Rory!' he forced. Her sapphire eyes glittered as she looked at him.
'Oh Silas,' she breathed leaning in and kissing him passionately. Kissing her back Silas didn't notice her arm crawling up towards his bicep until it was too late. She stuck the health shard into his flesh and the blue crystal drained itself of energy, lacing the bones together with an agony that was greater than their original breaking. 'You'll never learn.' she smiled quickly uncapping another health shard and stabbing it into his face. Clenching his teeth so he didn't scream Silas felt the skin of his face crack and splinter and become very hot and very cold all in the same instant. When the pain stopped he was left breathless and exhausted, Rory looked at him lovingly and rubbed a hand down his newly repaired face. 'There's my handsome man.' she whispered kissing him on his knew skin.
'I didn't think I'd ever left.' he joked weakly. Rory smiled. When her turn came to take the health shard Silas held onto her as she stabbed the sharp crystal into her leg. Moaning with tears rolling down her cheeks the deep wound across her calf stitched itself back together, leaving her flawless ivory in place of that crooked cut.
'We can't risk a fire,' Rory said after they spent an hour reloading their weapons and reorganising their pack. 'We'll need to huddle together for warmth,'
Silas smiled. 'Any excuse.' he winked. Rory smiled back with a wicked spark in her eyes before her face fell. 'Rory!' Silas said, heaving Rory suddenly shot to the opening of their hollow and promptly puked onto the branches below. Rubbing her back and pulling her hair back Silas grimaced at the noises, those alone were making him feel ill. 'Easy,' he said softly as she stopped. Pulling her into his arms she suddenly looked pale and clammy.
'I should not have inhaled so much ash!' she said before spitting the last mouthful out of the hollow.
'Are you going to be alright?' Silas asked hugging her close to him. He loved this feeling. Her body so close to his, the smell of her hair and feel of her skin.
'I'll be fine, I just need sleep.' she whispered. Her eyes already closed.
'Then sleep.' he whispered, kissing her on top of her head. 'I'll keep watch. Just sleep baby. We're safe now.'