Chapter Two – The City of Arcadia
Silvia had made her way over to Suburbia; the wrecked and dull part of Arcadia which was now Thief territory. The place had been overrun by them in late 2050, twenty years after the Calamity, and it was now 2200. The Humans had been driven out of their homes or put to death by the rioting Thieves, who were as protective of the place as anything. Silvia, however, claimed her seat as the leader of the place. Having driven around the graffiti covered place silently for two hours, her feelings were getting worse. Was it hunger? Depression? Fear? Or all three mashed into one pile? Either way, it was hell.
After a few more minutes of driving, she finally stopped at a very narrow alleyway, peering down it. She glanced around nervously, hoping that no one was watching her from afar that would disturb her. Slowly she hovered down it, parking the bike along the graffiti-plastered wall. It was only a dead end for most. She paced up to the wall, tapping it four times with one of her sharp nails. And all of a sudden, she plummeted straight down through a dark hole. The cold wind rushed passed her until she landed cat-like on the ground, where she gradually stood up and glared around the room in exhaustion.
In the room was a very, very thin TV which had seemingly had no remote. Two white and rounded chairs with soft insides were hovering a few inches above the ground adjacent from it. A rough and dirty sofa was at the side, matching the exuberant walls, although some of it was plastered in gorgeous graffiti.
Silvia, however, did not at all feel at home. Questions stabbed at her head. She waddled through an automatic door on the right side of the room. Inside was a very small and basic kitchen. Only a fridge, a few weird-looking tools and a counter was found, along with burn and scratch marks on the wall. With a sigh, she snatched a sandwich out of the fridge (which was rather empty) and gulped it down roughly. A sick feeling pierced over her, forcing her to groan.
She staggered through another door at the other side of the room, were four hammocks were hanging. There was a barred window on the ceiling, harbouring a view of the darkened sky, which was glittered with rain. She clambered into the lowest hammock and lay as still as a statue, staring into nothingness. After waves of thinking and nervousness, she slowly, but surely, shut her eyes and fell to slumber in the hammock. And no sooner, it felt like hours passed. Faint voices could be heard echoing through the room.
“Is she ok?”
“Yes... she’s just exhausted. Glad she escaped. The other Thieves were being so annoying about it,”
“Can we wake her up? Please? Please? Haven’t seen her in nine months,”
“Shut-up and sit down or... or something,”
“Why don’t you?”
“Shut it, Sam... Look. She’s waking up,”
“... Shut-up, Barsy...”
Silvia slowly opened her eyes, sitting upright. In front of her were three boys that looked of eighteen or nineteen, each of them with the usual metallic scars on their cheek.
“Welcome home, Silvia.” one said with a smile. He was the tallest of them, had bronze-tanned skin and black hair with a small gelled tip at the front. His chocolate eyes were calm, and seemed the most formal, considering his leather shoes and neat leather jacket.
“Barsy.” Silvia breathed with a grin, hugging him tightly.
“Hey, hey… forget about Smarties. Where’s my hug, Grey?” the second one asked, who was smaller. He was rather cute, and had greasy, brown hair with lime eyes. He was quite sloppy-looking, with his stained hoody and joggers.
“Sam! I’m glad you’re ok…! I hope Barsy has been looking after you.” Silvia sniggered, giving him a tight cuddle.
Barsy frowned. “I know he’s childish, but I’m not taking responsibility for him. He ain’t no picnic. Arcadia’s most annoying Thief if you ask me.” he moaned.
Silvia glared around at the final boy, who had sharp, oceanic eyes. He was tall and quite lanky, yet strong-looking at the same time. His brown hair was gelled neatly, and he was clothed in a grey, short-sleeved top and a sleeveless denim jacket. A glimmering star was tattooed onto the side of his neck. He beamed at Silvia, where she actually leaped out of the hammock and into his arms.
“Sean! I’ve missed you so, so much! ”
Sean was nearly choking at her strong grip, but hugged her back tightly. “I’m glad you escaped…” he chuckled, managing to get her off of him.
“Where’d you all go? You weren’t here when I came back.” Silvia sighed.
“We were out... getting ourselves a meal,” Barsy said, shrugging. “We arrived probably a few minutes after you fell asleep and we just wanted to see you... err... wake up...? Welcome back anyways. Glad you got away from the sirens.” he added awkwardly.
Silvia smiled as Sam grinned, holding up a bag of stolen Chinese food. The gorgeous smells hit Silvia immediately, where she bit her lip and grinned. Once they had ambled out onto the seats, Barsy immediately got the conversation running.
“So... what was Mr. Daniel Polo like this time?” he asked in the middle of the meal.
Silvia rolled her eyes at the sound of his name. “He said he was going to put me on Trano… but I managed to escape though the interview room’s window.” she snapped angrily.
It fell into silence, the three boys giving looks to each-other in worry.
“Oh, so he was being a real di-”
“Ahem!” Barsy coughed.
Sean glanced down at the ground, avoiding eye contact with Barsy and muttering something under his breath. Even though they were all Thieves, Silvia wondered why Barsy was so well-mannered. He hated cursing, he hated dirtiness, he hated incorrect spellings. He hated everything to Silvia. There was a long silence amongst them all, but Sam broke it.
“Silvia... you know what Trano’s like. It’s horrible… so horrible. So you’re going to have to avoid being caught and put there. It’s literally a nightmare come true for Thieves… especially you Boss Thieves. You’re the prime victims.” he warned.
“Hmmm. Sam actually used the word literally right. Well done, Cords.” Barsy said in a not-bad tone.
Sam smiled proudly to himself as Sean sniggered slightly. “Hey, Sam... Did you get the car back-?”
“Oh... the one we were meant to rescue Silvia with yesterday? Yeah... Daniel took it off me. I got away just in time. He wasn’t happy with it, as usual. All I did was murder a few to get to it. Sorry, Silvia. I called them, but they wouldn’t answer me. I heard them say I was silly and undignified. Oh, and they laughed.” Sam finished to Silvia casually, chewing loudly on his rice.
Sean glared at him in disgust, going red soon after. Barsy frowned, clenching his fists. Silvia gaped at them all, fury sprawling on her face. She remembered the day they all made a pact that if they found aid to get one of them out of prison’s clutches, they were not to let it slip. Sam peered at them all, his pale skin going even whiter. He stood up, running out of the room to the hammocks. As Barsy was about to talk he then sprinted back in, snatching the food and disappearing.
“You were meant to rescue me!?” Silvia squealed. “And you didn’t even bother helping Sam with it!? The pact, you idiots! You left him there with Daniel to fend for himself!? He could have been imprisoned!” she screeched.
“We’re sorry! Ok!? We sort of… um… forgot that we sent Sam… he wanted to do it… but, ah, it was all because... ah... well... we were hungry!” yelled Sean, panicking.
“Really good excuse, Sean.” Barsy hissed into his chest.
Silvia had her jaw dropped. “I was in jail for nine months! NINE! KEEP YOUR PROMISES!” she shrieked heatedly.
“Yeah! Some people get pregnant for nine months!” Sam’s voice screamed faintly from the room, forcing Sean’s eyes to roll.
“Accept our apology! It wasn't a big deal! You escaped, didn't you? Sam did it without our consent. The rescue would have failed, anyway!” demanded Barsy.
Silvia sighed. She looked at each of them, her silver eyes glinting. She knew he was right, and it must have been the recent news of her transfer that dragged her into such a mood. For once, she decided to let their past promises go.
“Fine. I forgive you... you’re right, Barsy. I’m just stressed, that’s all, ok? But say sorry to Sam. You know how insecure he is.” Silvia ordered with a flick of her hand.
Sean and Barsy nodded, giving a glare at Silvia’s swishing tail. They finally finished up their food and went into their hammock room, lying down on their hammocks in tranquillity. Sean and Barsy apologized to Sam (which seemed to be an act, considering their sniggers). Sam, however, managed to snub it. As Silvia sat in silence, she thought to herself deeply. She knew there was no purpose for her here in Arcadia, or Earth for that matter, except to keep her reputation of the galaxy’s most wanted Thief.
And that’s when she thought of Arcadia; the most majestic city in the world that she lived in. It was always alit in the dark with its neon lights and showcases, as well as booming music and many, many tourist attractions. The Thieves patrolled the streets, attempting to hide their metallic scars to try and disguise as a Human. Silvia knew it wasn’t that they wanted to be Human; there was no such thing. It was probably to try and make the robberies easier.
But, newfound sensors have now made it impossible. Even though Arcadia was like a rainbow-mad dreamland to clubbers and Thieves at night, but by day, it was a totally different story. Hovering cars always plastered the streets and the travel tubes above, as well as the A.P.D (Arcadian Police Department) with their guns and sneers. The streets were crammed with Humans, too, and Silvia hated the sight of her opposite species, especially with their horrible fragrances and formally strict posture.
“Humans,” Sean would say. “Are disgusting. Killing us off cuz’ we’re different. Cuz’ we’re immortal. Cuz’ we don’t fit in with society. Humans should be wiped off the planet with their discrimination.”
“Thieves,” Daniel would say. “Are filthy. Ever since that dreaded experiment, half of the galaxy’s Humans are nothing but low-lives and don’t know anything but to drug, steal and murder. They should all be put down at sight, none of these stupid laws.”
And, well, that was the city of Arcadia for Silvia Grey, because that’s all she had known since she woke up on the table with her tail. But Trano was Daniel’s goal now, and that was a death wish. Arcadia was nothing more but a lobster trap for her.
“So... when can we leave Earth?” Silvia soon asked, gazing at the blue sky through the barred window in the ceiling.
Barsy flicked through a glossy engineering magazine. “Leave?” he muttered, looking very puzzled.
“Well... you can’t expect us to stay here all our lives.” Silvia snapped back.
“What planet do you expect us to go to? They all have police on it and they all host danger for B.B.Ds. We don’t belong anywhere except Arcadia.” Barsy grunted.
Silvia quailed. “Don’t call us B.B.Ds… I hate that term for us-”
“It’s our scientific name. Thieves are simply a nickname. It stands for Beings By Darkness if you didn’t know… and we don’t belong anywhere, except the dark like it says.”
Silvia sighed. “We belong in Solarous,”
“Ah... the planet of lights... no police at all... the whole planet is a city, just completely overrun by Thieves.” exhaled Barsy, smiling to the air with the magazine to his chest.
“Yeah, but how do you expect we get there? It’s near the edge of the Milky Way.” Sean said, glaring down at Silvia from his hammock.
“Well... we’ll steal a car.” Silvia muttered awkwardly, looking away.
“We can’t just steal a car. We need the version of the car that can travel from planet to planet in a matter of minutes… or hours… depending on where you want to go,” Barsy said thoughtfully. “It would be quite a challenge,”
“Why? Why would it be? Why will we not be able to handle it?” Silvia asked irritably.
“Because it’s heavily guarded, the place to get it isn’t in America and everyone knows who you are, in case you’ve forgotten, Grey.” Barsy snapped quickly.
“You sound like Daniel.” Silvia muttered to herself.
Sean then stuck his head down again, a look of protectiveness on his face. “Well, you're the smart one, Cades, so figure it out.” he groaned, pulling out a flat hologram with transparent earphones.
“I already have. Go to England using a stolen plane from the military base a few hundred miles from here. It can be done easily with all their ventilation shafts. Get to the warehouse where it’s placed, knock out or kill everyone in sight and leave with the car.” groaned Barsy.
“So why don’t we do it?” asked Sean, just about to press the play button.
Barsy clenched his teeth. “Because we are not leaving!”
“Calm it, Barsy. We could at least give it a try, right?” Sam muttered, shrugging.
Silvia could almost feel Barsy’s temper rising. No sooner, the two boys started bickering viciously at each-other, the argument soon turning to why cars could fly.
“BARSY!” Silvia screamed angrily.
Barsy stopped immediately. “What?” he snapped, frowning.
“We could sneak in using the roof or something. Maybe the vents like you said. We don’t have to barge in and be noticed so easily.” Silvia said gently.
“Yes...” started Barsy, his hand to his chin.
“And?” Silvia asked curiously, looking up at him.
“... But we AREN’T leaving! Plus, we can’t use a rope like those two-hundred year old spy moviesSam watches! The car would way tonnes!” Barsy shouted.
Silvia groaned and gave up on him. She slopped down on the hammock, muttering curses to herself.
“Those are very good movies.” Sam said innocently, going back to his leftover food.
It went quiet. Faint hardstyle music could be heard from Sean's earphones (Sean was already sound asleep). Silvia glanced over at Sam, who seemed to be humming to himself with bites of his chicken. Barsy had turned over, his back to them. Soon, Silvia felt the drowsiness seep over her, but her deep thoughts churned more violently. I will go to England, I will get that car and I will leave this horrid place away from Daniel and Trano, she thought... but how would she ever do it smoothly? That was a mystery, especially when Barsy was around, which was an annoyance with his snobby logic.
To make matters worse, Daniel was still on the search for her. Even though it was quite normal form him, he never had threatened to put her on Trano. Silvia shivered at the very name. Trano. The planet of prisons. Nothing more but a death wish to Thieves. Trying to ignore the horrid images of the place, she fell asleep, escaping to her dreams of being "free".
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