Silcarine – The Disciple and the Patrolman

Here’s an update of my Silcarine story. Jess meets up with the male protagonist of my story—March Rivers.

If you’ll notice, I changed tenses about halfway. I’m still trying to decide which one sounds better for this story (present or past tense).

Read and enjoy 🙂

The hoverbus started to move and Jess prayed hard to Sol that March won’t skin her alive for being late again. She rested her head on the window. Outside, they sped pass the people and the gray colored buildings. Jess watched as the scenery became a blur and they were moving at an incredible speed. Slowly, the bus was emptied until Jess was the only one left, still seated at the back row. The scheduled rain had just started and droplets were racing down on Jess’s side of the window.

“Last stop, the watchtower,” the driver announced.

Jess closed her eyes. She could vividly imagine the face of March once she entered the bird’s nest—red faced, spittle flying from his mouth as he shouts at Jess for being late again. It was something she wasn’t looking forward to.

“This is the last stop kid,” the driver shouted from his seat. “You’ll be going down?”

“Yeah I’ll get off. Sorry,”

Jess started her walk to the front of the bus. The doors slid open. Jess looked in front of her at the waiting gravtube that’ll take her up the bird’s nest. “Please don’t let March skin me alive,” Jess prayed to Sol.

———-

March stares at the redness of everything. His eyes then jumps to the clock projected on the wall beside him. An hour, she’s late for an hour. With gritted teeth, March surveys the circular room he’s in. There’s nothing much inside the Bird’s Nest—a place where the patrolmen stay for the entirety of their workshift. March isn’t exactly sure why the Colony needs a patrolman at all. It’s not like something will attack from the surface. There’s nothing alive out there, March thinks to himself as his eyes go back to the never changing scenery of Silcarine.

March thinks back on when he was still in the Academy. He remembers being taught about the planet humans once lived in—a planet that’s very different from where they are now. They were shown a slideshow of holopics of what the planet looked like. It was called Earth and it was a planet filled with colors. Humanity didn’t live underneath the ground; they lived on the surface along with the colors. March saw real rain and real trees and the real sun (though he still isn’t sure why someone would devote their entire life worshipping that). Ever since he saw those images March wondered what it would be like to live on Earth. His reminiscing is broken by the sound the gravtube. March looks behind him and he sees Jess step out. Anger seeps into him once more.

“I’m sorry. I’m really sorry March,” she says to him.

March looks at his partner—her hazel brown eyes pleading for forgiveness, her hands fumbling as they buckle the belt around her waist, her bald head and the yellow sun painted on her forehead. Jess has a very nasty track record in terms of being punctual but March knew part of the blame goes to the rituals she was going to. March tried going in one of these rituals out of curiosity’s sake. They seemed to never end. March swallows his anger and forces himself to calm down.

“One hour. You’re late for an hour,” he says, fighting hard to keep his voice steady.

“I know,” Jess says. Her voice is a shy away from being a whisper.

“Do you also know that I won’t be able to file my report on time?” March can feel the anger clawing its way out. He ground pounds it and wrestles it into submission.

“Yes,” Jess answers, her voice almost inaudible.

“I hope you also know that this will be the second time this week I’ll be missing my report. The third time will be an infraction, not on you but on me.”

“I’m really sorry March,”

March inhales deeply and breathes everything out. “Just go and log yourself in.” March sees the relief wash over Jess’ face. He’s actually a bit amused by it. What does she think I’ll do? Skin her alive?