Chapter Six – Found, But Not Dangerous
Silvia sped through the streets as casually as she could, but people still ran in terror all over the place. She managed to ignore their taunts and made her way to Neonia; the streets of adverts and restaurants. For some reason now, she wished she hadn’t of tried to escape through the glass. Was it a mistake? Her crimes were now becoming countless, meaning the price on her head was becoming countless, too. In concern, she sped off through Neonia with despair close behind her. Strangely enough, the thing on her mind was Max the Human. Max wasn’t bitter, or judgemental like every other Human in the galaxy. What was so different about him? Maybe Daniel’s poison hadn’t reached him yet.
Her thoughts now lingered on the Arcadian chief and his outrageous plan to put her on Trano. She knew because of his slippery mouth that he was after money… which was her. What kind of deal did he have going? Who was dealing with him? And why were they obligated to pay him money? It couldn’t possibly get any worse from there.
Silvia made her trip to Suburbia, ignoring the nips from the glass shards. Some minutes later, the view of desolate and graffiti covered Suburbia came into view. It was quiet and dormant, only litter and bits of paper blew across the place. Some Thieves were wandering about with bags of stolen stuff, trying their best to cover their metallic scars with a bandana or something of the sort. With a sigh, Silvia arrived at the alleyway and gave the wall the usual taps with her nail, falling into the dark hole with a bored face. Once landed, she found herself gaping up at Sean, Barsy and Sam, who gawked back at her in alarm.
“What?” she snapped miserably, standing up with rubs of her arms.
“Silvia,” Barsy started firmly. “It was on the fix... you leaping out of that window...? That was mad. If you hadn’t landed right, you could have died.” he muttered in despair.
“Daniel would have liked that.” added Sam casually.
Sean elbowed him hard on the shoulder, giving a grunt. Silvia ignored the punch. She knew Sam was right anyway.
“Yeah?” Silvia said. “So what? It’s not like I haven’t been on the fix before and it’s not like Daniel hasn’t laughed at our misery before either.” she sighed, slopping down on a hover chair.
“I know that Daniel... likes our misfortune but-but that? Tell us.” Barsy demanded suddenly.
“Tell you what?” asked Silvia, looking away from him.
“Tell us why you’re so upset and what Daniel did to you in there. He was planning to take you to Trano, need I remind you. He’s up to something.” Barsy barked.
Silvia knew she had no other choice put to tell them her thoughts. “Ok... if Daniel catches me I’m either dead or locked up in a cage for the rest of my life. You know… that’s the worst thing about Thieves; they have eternal life. If you jump off a building you live, if you stay in a cell all your life, you live and... it’s just not fair...” she wept, curling up in the chair.
Sean glared at her, his arms folding. Sam gave his lip a bite as Barsy gave a look to Sean. Sean stepped forward, putting his hand on Silvia’s shoulder.
“Silvia... we’ll make sure you’re not caught... I’ll try, they’ll even try.” he muttered, letting Silvia hold his hand with a smile.
Barsy stepped out beside him. “I know what you’re feeling, Silvia, but I need do to know what Daniel did in there and what he said, how he acted... tell us everything.”
Silvia glanced at him and sighed. She was in no state of mind to explain the events. But, she needed to, if she wanted all the help she could get. She turned on her seat, opening her mouth to explain the horrid events. She included Daniel’s niceness, the money she was supposedly worth, Max’s strange attempts and Daniel’s mentioning of wanting her “details”. A while later, she had finally finished.
“I think he was trying to get you to be like Humans.” Sam mumbled thoughtfully, giving a shrug.
“No...” Barsy muttered, peering down.
“No? What else could it be, Smarties?” asked Sam irritably, his jade eyes squinted.
“Don’t you see? He was being nice to Silvia, he let her be alone in his own living room, he gave her somewhere to sleep, he offered her a drink and when Silvia pretended to cry, he reacted to it! He’s being manipulative. I knew he was smart but not that smart. He is obviously looking information or something off her!” Barsy exclaimed.
“You mean like... what she likes? Like, like what she doesn’t like? Like, like... like if she has a boyfriend or something?” Sam asked with another shrug.
“It’s Daniel,” Barsy moaned. “I’m guessing he wants to know where we plan everything. He catches other Thieves easily because they sleep in an alleyway or in a dumpster or something. He can’t find us and we can’t allow him to. Silvia is too precious. She’s Suburbia’s leader… and she is an inspiration for our species to not give up.” Barsy snapped.
Silvia was surprised by his compliments, making her smile slightly. It went quiet for a while and, after looking at each other mysteriously, they just went to lie on their seats and watch TV. Sean cuddled up beside Silvia, his arms around her. Silvia gave him a peck on the cheek, but she knew she had nothing going on with Sean. Sometimes, however, she knew he thought he that he did.
Meanwhile, Max was out on his red and flame printed hover-board, ignoring his uncle’s strict orders. He knew Daniel was at the station, obviously working his head off and making sure his precious deal was still on. Max had the gut feeling that Daniel being out for Silvia was something very, very bad. He didn’t want to see Silvia be sold over for money, or be tormented on Trano, or be shot in the head for that matter. He just had to get away from the apartment; it was shrouded with too many recent memories.
Wherever the path led him, Max hovered down it with a tedious expression. He passed Arcadia Park and Neonia, trying his best not to wander into a movie theatre or some expensive sweetshop. He passed the street of adverts, stopping at the sight in the distance. Miles down the road, was the path to Suburbia; the place he knew the A.P.D would not dare enter. The last time they did, they were nearly demolished. The police was to wait for a Thief to wander from their territory, and then snatch them up. Silvia was down there, Max knew, so he decided to take the risk to find her. Before though, he had headed to a paint shop back in Neonia.
Parking his hover-board in the hologram capsules, he wandered in as innocently as he could. The shopkeeper was some elderly man, listening to music with wireless headphones. Max simply slipped by him and scanned the shelves. He looked and looked, hoping to find silver paint at a cheap price. He found a mere tiny tin of it at a bottom shelf, instantly picking it up and dawdling to the counter.
“Fifteen dollars, please.” the man at the counter said tonelessly, his hand out.
Max anxiously handed him the notes, not bothering to wait for a holo-receipt. He wandered out, hopping on his hover-board until-
Max spun around, his eyes widened. “Cindy!?”
The girl who had ran over to him nodded, her blue eyes glinting. She seemed to like to twirl her pale, blonde hair about a lot, which touched her shoulders. Her outfit mainly consisted of yellow and denim, and a golden sun-printed hover-board was under her arm.
“What is little Max Polo doing here? I heard about the break-out of your apartment. Silvia Grey, wasn’t it!?” Cindy exclaimed in her bossy tone.
Max nodded. “Yes, yeah… but, but, Cindy, I’m kind of very busy right now, so if you don’t mind-”
“Disgusting Thieves. Things should all be shot dead on sight. None of these laws, that’s what I say. I see you have paint! Is that for art class? Yeah, I have none left. I came over to buy some. Maybe we could paint together some time?”
“Yes, Cindy, that’s fine, but I’ve really gotta-”
“Ok, sounds good! I’ll call you when I’m free, Max! See you later! Maybe we could order a pizza? Invite Henna and Mark, too? Sounds good! Ok, bye!”
Max gawked at her head into the shop, forgetting to park her board in the capsule. Quickly, and with the paint clasped in his hand, he sped off and found an alley close to him. Cindy was quite a concern with him when he thought about it. If there was someone who loathed Thieves more than Daniel, it was the rich, spoilt, snobby and frankly quite irritating, Cindy Sparks. But, with his thoughts turning to Silvia, he crept behind a dumpster and whipped his extremely thin phone out. Onto Google he went, searching images for Thieves’ scars. Once he found a clear picture, he slowly started to paint the scars as best as he could onto his cheek with the paint. It took a while for him to get it right, but when he did, he knew he had to be careful.
He hovered out of the alley, keeping his hand over his cheek gently so no one could see the scars. He knew he couldn’t risk being caught as some casual Thief. It took quite a long while, but graffiti-plastered Suburbia was reached down the long roads. Max’s eyes darted around the place wearily, hoping no Thief would decide to approach him. Some were wandering about and chatting, ignoring Max completely. However, he was caught by surprise when a man approached him with a smile.
“Hey, newcomer.” he sniggered, folding his arms.
Max glared up at the incredibly tall Thief. “Hey,”
“Where’d you get that hover-board? How’d you managed to steal something as sleek as that? The Humans love that stuff. You must have some skill!”
Max chuckled. “Haha, yes, I’ve practiced. Anyway, can I ask you a question?”
The man nodded. “Yeah, go on then,”
“Where can I find Silvia Grey around here?”
The man chortled. “Haha, no one knows where her hideout is around here. She’s kind of secretive that way. Only three other Thieves know where it is. But, I’m sure you already know them, eh?”
Max clenched his teeth slightly, knowing he had no idea of who the three were. However, he forced a smirk, nodding slowly. The man simply shrugged and paced on, clambering up a wall and disappearing. Max hovered on anxiously, praying for no more encounters. There were many alleyways that Max wanted to go and explore in as he scanned around, but one had finally caught his attention; it was very narrow and small. He kept his eyes on it, almost finding it hard to make out.
It was so unnoticeable unless you were glaring at the same spot for ages. Max felt a curious urge to go and mosey down it. He was just about to reach the entrance, until-
The ground met his face before he could even think. His hover-board went thrashing away into the wall from the force, the crack almost making his ears bleed.
“Come on! I wanna fight, newcomer!”
Max peered up, seeing some woman with her fists in the air like a boxer. However, her eyes widened in horror once Max finally came into eye contact. She lowered her fists, her jaw dropped.
“Human.” she simply hissed.
Max raised an eyebrow, only noticing his reflection in her metallic boots. The scars were smudged from the thrash, sending him into absolute panic. He started crawling backwards, whimpered insanely.
“Human,” the woman repeated again. “H-Human. Human! We’ve got a Human over here! WE’VE GOT A HUMAN!”
Max shot himself up, ignoring his smashed hover-board and sprinting to the incredibly narrow alley. He dashed down it, dread filling him that it was a dead end. He noticed two bikes parked up, filling him with inquisitiveness. But there was no time to think of where they came from. He glared up at the sky in terror, whining like a mad dog. He could hear the voices and pounding of feet nearing, knowing he had done a stupid thing. From fury, he pounded the wall madly, stopping at his fourth punch. Just before the Thieves could sprint to the sound of his breathing, his feet fell.
Darkness surrounded him like a flash. Max fell the mysterious height, screaming in panic as the light closed ahead of him. He kept falling and falling with wet eyes from the whipping air, until-
The only sound was grunts and groans. Agony flooded Max’s arms and legs. He didn’t know where he had ended up, but he knew the ground was stiff and icy. Finally regaining some strength, he picked himself up. He coughed some dust from him, glaring around the newfound place. It was silent and quite nippy, but what captivated him were the graffiti walls. He glared at the gorgeous paint, running his hand over it from wonder. He noticed a thin TV, the hover chairs and a couch. But, no one was here.
“Hello?” he called out in concern.
No response. Max investigated the next room, only finding a few hammocks and magazines lying around. The stench of pizza also lingered in the air, driving him out. He wandered into the far room, seeing a mere kitchen with many strange tools plastering the place. He gazed at the fridge closely, noticing some carvings on it. Grey, Stars, Cades, Cords were all scribbled to the object with a knife. Joy hitting him, Max knew this had to be Silvia’s hideout. But, he was stuck here. There was no way for him to get out. With a lurch of regret, Max headed back out to the main room, settling on the couch. Thankfully the place had full internet, so he flicked out his phone and locked his attention to YouTube.
“You three boys ready?”
“Ready to rob the hell out of this place?”
“Do you know what we’re after?”
“Food, food and food,”
“And what would that be?”
“Which stands for…?”
“Enjoy Eternal Life!”
Using the top vents, Silvia and the three boys had made their way into a newly furnished shop which was to be opened for the first time tomorrow morning. Silvia had equipped her silver, sleeveless hoody, where she had now flicked her hood on and strapped a black bandana around her mouth. A spiky club lay in her hands, sniggers playing from her mouth. Barsy was swinging a crowbar about, Sam had somehow gotten a thick plank of wood and Sean was tapping a metal bar while his foot anchored on top of a large radio, smirking.
“Right, play the music, Sean.” Silvia ordered with a broad smile.
Sean used the heel of his trainer to press a button, where single beats started to play throughout the entire shop. Fanning out like a pack of prowling wolves, Silvia took the centre aisle, Sam the right, Barsy the left and Sean decided to clamber on top of the high shelves for a path. The music then became uplifting beats of hardstyle, leading the four Thieves to start dancing as they completely devastated anything fragile. Sam had scoped out a large trolley from the far side of the place, leaping into it and scooting around the place like some maniac.
Barsy was busy destroying some “thud-a-thief” game at the arcade section, growling at how “disrespectful” Humans were. Sam had unearthed him, however, leaping out of the trolley and whamming it right into Barsy. Screaming, Barsy found his crowbar flying from his hand and his back thrashing into the trolley.
“Sam! What are you doing!?” Barsy yelped, clutching the sides of the trolley for his life.
“Just a taxi drive!” Sam exclaimed in delight, sprinting faster with the trolley.
Sean had leaped from the higher shelves right into the spacious trolley; forcing the crisp packets he was holding to explode everywhere. Sam managed to catch some in his mouth, munching loudly as he started screaming with the joyous music. Silvia was busy smashing some claw machine, letting the dozens of teddies spill out onto the floor, all with money strapped to them. She swung her club about with manic whoops, pumping her fist to the music. She knew at the back of her mind that this was only going to worsen her situation if she was caught, but Sean had mentioned to let go of her concern. After all, Thieves didn’t care about the rules.
“Silvia! Hop on!” Sam’s voice called, making Silvia spin around.
She caught sight of the speeding trolley, where Sam had latched himself onto the back of it. With a smile, Silvia leaped onto the left side of it, screeching wildly with the music. Sean did the same, but Barsy was trying to keep himself steady so he didn’t go soaring out of the speeding danger. Sam sent them everywhere around the shop, where they sprayed graffiti all over the shelves and walls, clasping food and stuffing it into them at the same time.
It was at least an hour later, and they were all stuffed to their eyes of junk food. Sam had cleared an entire shelf out for himself, using it as a bed. Barsy was lying on the floor, tinkering at some device he had managed to scope out. The music was now something from the 1960s (none of them having no clue of where it came from, but Barsy seemed to like it). Sean and Silvia swayed exaggeratedly together to the slow music, humming in each-other’s faces as if they were drunk.
“Ah… E.E.L is awesome.” Sam had chuckled, carving his name to the shelf above him with a knife.
“It sure is.” Barsy sighed with a beam, expecting his device closely.
“Surprised the alarm hasn’t gone off yet.” Sean announced, twirling Silvia around with the tune.
And, as if karma was too early, there was a horrible bleeping from a red light in the corner of the walls. Sam stopped immediately, giggling slightly. Barsy peered up, giving a groan.
“It’s a new shop. Of-course the alarms are gonna be crap.” he mumbled.
“The sirens will be here soon. Don’t wanna be on the fix, either!” Sam chortled.
“Right, grab some food and let’s just smash the door down.” Silvia ordered, clambering out of the trolley.
After grabbing sandwiches, sweets, crisps and almost everything under the sun, Silvia had smashed the glass door with her club, sprinting out and down a back alley. The three boys paced after her, their arms stuffed with stuff. The sirens went off in the distance soon after, making Barsy cringe.
“Quick! I’m not going to jail for something like this! Put the food in the bags and let’s go!” he hissed, leaping onto the police bike Silvia had stolen.
Sam clambered on after him, holding the bags to himself as if they were pieces of gold. Once Silvia and Sean had mounted the silver bike, they sped off through the clammy alleys, sniggering as they knew the A.P.D was too late to catch them. After a while (with a rather fun conversation on poisoning food on the way), the four had reached Suburbia. They ignored the usual Thieves who wandered about, heading down their usual alley without being caught. Once parking the bikes with silent sniggers, Silvia tapped the wall proudly, falling down the usual height after and landing into her precious hideout. But, something else caught her eye. It was like a stab; a shocking stab. She slowly peered over to the couch, and she was pretty sure the boys were doing the exact same. Max had turned his attention to them, sliding his phone away anxiously.
“Um… hi?” he whimpered with a small wave.
Silvia was astounded. She couldn’t find any words. She simply stuttered, pointing a shaky finger at him aimlessly. How could he have found her hideout? Of all people, why was it him? Sean had dropped his bag of food with the widening of his oceanic eyes, but Barsy remained blank. Sam, however, was trembling like an earthquake.
“Who-who-who is that!? Who is that, Silvia!?” he screeched, almost toppling over Barsy.
“I don’t know, but whatever it is, it’s a Human! Look! No scars! What the hell!?” Sean yelped, his fists starting to clench.
Barsy groaned. “Calm down, calm down... it’s just a Human that somehow found our hideout. We can easily dispose of him without anyone knowing. I do have a few devices I’m willing to try.” he sighed, staring at Sean irritably.
Silvia stepped forward, her mind still boggled. “I know this boy... I’ve seen him somewhere before, haven’t I?” she said slowly.
Her voice rung like a wedding bell in Max’s head, making him look up to make direct eye contact. He gazed at the love his life with a small blush, standing up immediately. He rubbed any dirt he could find off himself, giving a slow gulp.
“Uh… hi, Silvia,”
“Max,” Silvia said finally, some horror filling her. “Have any of the sirens followed you?”
“Max?” Sean barked in rage. “He’s the one from the apartment you were telling us about! Silvia, he’ll blab to the sirens!” he hissed in fear.
“Um… sirens?” Max asked, confused.
Silvia had forgotten about Thief slang. “It’s what we call the police.” she mumbled.
“Oh, well, for your information, I haven’t said a word to Daniel about the transmitter. I told you I wouldn’t, didn’t I?” Max asked.
Silvia felt some more astonishment stumble onto her. “What? You... you didn’t?” she breathed, as if about to laugh.
“Yes. A promise is a promise. No matter who it’s with.” Max sighed, giving a smile.
Silvia couldn’t really find any words for the Human boy. She glared back to the three boys, who were all wearing a look of ire. Ignoring them, she turned back to Max. She already knew his naïvetés, so it was time to make him keep another promise. She smiled to herself, stepping forward with a swish of her tail.
“Well, now... Can you keep another one for me?” she asked, pretending to be nervous.
Max nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah, what is it?” he asked.
“Don’t tell anyone about this place, please. It’s kind of half what keeps me alive, haha.” Silvia whispered with a giggle, winking.
Max nodded slowly with a chuckle, his awareness catching up with him at the three boys standing alert in the background. Silvia watched him for a while, finding his shy actions quite amusing. She could almost read his mind; he wanted a way out by the sight of him gazing at the ceiling.
“Now, ah, how do I get out of here?” Max asked expectantly, giving his lips a bite.
Silvia smiled warmly. “Over here. Follow me.” she said, beckoning him back over to the dark space.
She stopped at a red button on a hologram panel, pointing at the space for Max to stand in. Max paced where she indicated with a shy glance at it, darting his eyes at Silvia as he stood still. With a small wave and a smirk, Silvia pressed it before he could manage to speak out. With a depressed look, Max then found the usual alleyway flash before him in seconds. He stood in the same stance for a few minutes, kicking the ground gently in melancholy. He glared back at the tip of the alley, gawking at his broken hover-board in concern. With an even more miserable look, he picked up his beloved item and dashed his way to the edge of Suburbia, hoping to the highest that no Thief would catch sight of him.
Daniel was in his apartment, where he had been staring at two bots fix his glass wall for the past hour. He had heard of the break-in at the new shop near the edge of Neonia, but he had no idea that it was Silvia who had committed it. He had no concern for it, however, because Silvia was still that pile of cash he wanted to catch in her natural habitat; her hideout. He gave a groan at himself once watching the two bots leave emotionlessly.
“Talk about un-enthusiasm.” he muttered to himself, shaking his head.
As he paced down the corridor for his coffee, there was a rapid bleeping from his bedroom. Immediately, he dashed in and snatched his phone off the bed. “Yes, yes? Have you found Max?” he asked worriedly.
“Yes, sir. He is just after exiting Suburbia’s border.”
Rage and astonishment smashed into Daniel. “Suburbia? Suburbia? What? What is he doing there? Have you got any earlier recordings? Answer me!” he hissed viciously.
“No. I’m sorry, sir. Nothing. We were more focused on the shop’s break-in a while ago,”
“I don’t care about the shop. Just use the recordings and track the Thieves down and lock them-”
“It was Silvia Grey, sir.”
Daniel stopped his ranting immediately. He peered into the air, rage coursing through him like a violent river. His hatred of Silvia was over the top from before. But, he still had to be aware that she was a ticket to satisfy his immense greed. Counting slowly in his head, he finally spoke again.
“Just pick up Max from wherever he is and bring him to me.”
Max was still pacing around the streets in misery, having not much clue on where he was going anymore. He knew Suburbia was behind him, but he wasn’t sure if he was in Neonia or another part of Arcadia. As his eyes drooped from exhaustion, a honk was heard in the distance, making him wake back up in shock. An A.P.D car was hovering towards him, sending him into terror. It obviously had something to do with his probably fuming uncle. With no other options, Max ran over to it, clutching his broken board more tightly.
“Max, Daniel told us to bring you home. You shouldn’t be in Suburbia, anyway.” an officer said sternly, parking alongside of him.
“I know. Sorry. Got carried away.” Max snapped sceptically, clambering into the backseat.
But, as the car hovered on, Max knew it had to be a logical excuse to give to his uncle unless he wanted it to be a night full of scolding and banning of his items.
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