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Always Watching Chapter 2


Started by Beowulf
Post #15865
Banned

144
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Nord)
"It's a fucking dragon!" the sound of Ralof's voice pulled Silvanus out of his coma-like state. He had been staring at the dragon, mouth open wide, eyes staring, as the creature roared fire from its mouth, scattering guards and Stormcloaks alike. Silvanus could hear screaming, and realised that it was coming from his own mouth, as he was wrenched backwards by the neck. The Imperial who had called his name out on the clipboard was holding him by the scruff of his neck, staring up in horror at the creature that had interrupted the executions. Silvanus, sensing he was distracted, kicked him hard in the crotch, and was dropped on the floor as the man yelled with surprise.

"Hey, I was trying to HELP you!" shrieked the man, as he fell backwards, tripping over a feebly stirring body. Silvanus swore, raised his foot, and brought it down on the man's neck, killing him. Then, he began to run. He could hear Ralof calling his name, but he did not care, he kept running, pelting towards the open gate. He could see people already running out of it, arms waving. He gritted his teeth and sprinted after them. He heard cultured, Imperial voices yelling curses after him, but he would not stop for anything, nor would he turn around.

He could hear loud screaming, and the sound of the dragon roaring, and breathing fire. Silvanus had to dive under a pile of wreckage to escape a crimson flame that missed his ankle by inches. Huddling under it, he saw a small child with him, shivering and crying. Although the youth had little kindness in his heart, he liked children, and felt a need to save this one.

"Come ON!" he grabbed the boy's hand, and lifted him onto his back, knowing that the child would not be able to run long. The boy whimpered, but clung to Silvanus' back like a limpet. Silvanus ducked out from under the shelter and began to run for the gate again, although knowing that holding the boy on his back would slow him down a great deal. The Breton was strong, yes, and nimble, but nevertheless, he was only sixteen, and slight in figure. But he knew he had to escape, and so that was what kept him going. Some would argue that he did it out of caring for the little child on his back, but Silvanus did not. He did it entirely for himself, as he would many other things.

"Mother Mara!" the boy screamed, as a jet of flame narrowly missed them, burning an Imperial soldier next to them to ashes. Residents of Helgen were fleeing, and Silvanus was nearly knocked over in the rush. But they were getting closer to the gates, now, and from there, they might be able to escape…

And yes! They were through the gates! But the danger was not gone; although the guards seemed not to care about the escaping prisoners anymore, the dragon was not gone. It flew in the air, sending its fire down, striking the men and elves alike down.

The floor was rich with blood, and corpses littered the ground. Silvanus kept running, the child pounding up and down on his back whispering words in his ear, but Silvanus did not care what they were, and just kept running.

Soon, the road gave way to forest floor, and the sounds of screaming were gone. Silvanus, completely shattered, flopped down, sliding the child off his back, and lying down on the floor, out of breath. The boy lay next to him for a second, before sitting up, and looking at him.

He looked at him for a long while. Silvanus barely registered it, panting heavily, head resting on a bed of moss.

He looked at him for a long while. Silvanus barely registered it, panting heavily, head resting on a bed of moss. It was only after about five minutes, when Silvanus had regained his strength that the boy spoke.

"Why did you save me?" he spoke plainly and quickly. He looked very distrusting, and Silvanus had the urge to slap him hard. The youth, however, controlled his quick temper, and looked seriously at the boy, daring him to elaborate. The child, nervously, did so. "I mean, my pa and ma said you were a… a killer. Evil. So why did you save me if you're… evil?"

"Because I like children."

"Oh. Aren't you called Silvanus? And you're sixteen? My sister said that you were very good-looking."

"Thanks."

The boy, seeing that the older youth wasn't going to say anything more, timidly stuck out his hand for Silvanus to shake. Silvanus saw this, and laughed. He enveloped the boy's small, grubby hand with his large, slender, pale one. They shook.

"Thank you for saving my life back there. My name's Haming. I… do you think my family survived?"

"Probably not."

"Oh…" Silvanus sat up, and saw Haming had his head in his hands. He was crying. Silvanus' hands, still bound, were hurting him. He could tell that the bindings would leave scars. Wincing, he pulled a knife he had picked up from the floor in Helgen, and handed it to the boy.

"Cut my bindings, would you, boy?" Haming sat up too, and took the knife. He wiped away his tears with the back of his hand, and, holding the knife so hard that his knuckles turned white, he carefully sliced down the middle of the binding. Silvanus nodded his thanks, took the knife, and put it into his belt-pouch. Then, he tipped his head to the side, and considered the grubby little boy in front of him curiously.

"Well, if you're family are dead… well, I'm sorry. My family's all dead too. Maybe… Well, soon, I'll sneak back and see if your family are amongst the dead. If they are… then we'll go to Riften. I'll leave you in the orphanage, and we'll go our separate ways forever. If your family live, then I'll leave you with them. Mind you, I can't be noticed. In Whiterun hold I'm a wanted man."

"Oh… so you're a fugitive?"

"Yes." Silvanus tipped his head backwards, and ran his fingers through his tangled, white blond hair gently. His fingers scratched his scalp, and he grunted in pain. His fingernails, sharp and ragged, had made his scalp bleed. He took off his ragged white shirt, and, as Haming watched in awe, began to tear it into strips. He shivered at the cold, but he needed to cover up some of his nastier wounds. Leaving his head uncovered, hoping that the blood would just go; he bound his bleeding arm, and looked at his leg, which had a small piece of timber in it.

As Haming watched in horrified fascination, the Breton took the wood in both hands, and pulled. The skin split horrifically, and with a whimper, Silvanus pulled the wood cleanly out. Then, he took a strip of his shirt, and bound the wound as quickly as he could. He did this again and again, creating layers to his bandage, and when he thought he was bound enough, he lay back again.

Haming, who looked a little sick, went to sit by his head.

"I'm scared." He mumbled. Silvanus opened his eyes a little, and saw the child had tears welling up. He closed his eyes again. He was not particularly bothered about crying children. He'd had the tears beaten out of him. But he could never bring himself to do that to another child, so he simply ignored it.

"Why are you scared?" his lazy reply barely escaped his almost completely closed lips. Haming stood up, and began to pace. Silvanus sighed, and opened his eyes, looking after the boy, eyes not totally focussed. He seemed to have forgotten that there was a dragon.

"I'm scared of the Dragon. And being an orphan. And being out in the wilderness. And… lots of things." His stomach gurgled. "And I'm hungry."

"You want to find food? Feel free." Silvanus was not in the mood for talking, and making plans. He just wanted to sleep. His leg and arm were both hurting like hell, and his head and jaw still ached from where the Imperial had punched him. His eyes, one of which was bruised, closed again, too tired to stay open. He heard Haming sit back down next to him, and felt the warmth of his childish body close to his side. "Try and sleep. You'll feel better."

"Okay… goodnight."

"Go to sleep."

Silvanus awoke to the sound of snoring. Opening his eyes, he looked up, and saw that it was daylight, though only just. It seemed that dawn was just breaking the horizon. He looked beside him, and saw the little boy, still asleep, full lips parted. The youth, feeling a little awkward, stood up, and, for the first time, examined where they were.

A large pine forest, Silvanus supposed. A small river was beside them, and it seemed to be teeming with fish. He could see smoke in the distance, and supposed that must be the remains of Helgen. He sighed.

"What… what's…? Oh. I forgot." Silvanus looked down, to see the child looking up at him with sleepy eyes. Silvanus nodded at him, and began to gather twigs, the cold really getting to him. Having ripped up his shirt for bandages, being in only his ragged trousers and footwraps in the freezing Skyrim wilderness, he was very cold indeed. He needed fire. After he'd found enough dry sticks as he could, he piled them together, rubbing two choice branches together, and started a small fire. Crouching round it, he felt the first warmth he'd had in what seemed like months. A cell in Solitude isn't particularly warm.

Haming crawled up to the fire, and looked deep into its crimson depths. He looked almost mystified. Silvanus raised his eyebrows at him.

"What?"

"I'm really hungry."

"So am I."

They looked at each other for a moment, and Silvanus laughed bitterly. That made Haming shudder again… Silvanus' laugh was… odd. It was harsh, cruel, and sarcastic. But at the same time, very teasing and playful. It chilled the child.

"I'll try and catch us some fish. You stay by the fire and keep warm. After food, we'll go and check if your parents are still alive in Helgen. But first… you need a cover story if they are. No doubt people would have seen me carrying you away, and said I kidnapped you. So… I'll escort you back there, and we'll search a little, for any survivors or signs of life. I'll be there, but in shadow. If anyone comes, I'll kill them. As a disguise… well let's say my name is… we'll say that my name is Cain, and your name is Reuben. We are Breton brothers, who are seeking our fortunes on the road… You can pass for a Breton at a pinch."

"Thanks."

Silvanus did not answer, and went over to the river, and stood still. When the curious fishes began to swim around his ankles, quick as wink, he plunged his hands into the freezing water, and withdrew triumphantly, clutching a squirming fish. He ran onto the shore, and dropped it onto the riverbank, where it flopped uselessly, mouth gaping. Wiping his hands on his ragged trousers, he picked it up again, and bashed it down, hard, so its head made contact with the solid earth. It made impact, and the fish went still.

The youth grinned, his sharp, white teeth showing, as he took his knife out, and began to slice the scale off the corpse. When it was completely skinned, he turned to Haming.

"Fetch me two sticks. Clean ones."

Haming nodded, and scurried off into the woods. He came back a few seconds later clutching two sticks, both cleanish, and about the size of his arm. Silvanus nodded his thanks, and sliced the skinned salmon in two, sticking each piece on the end each stick. He then handed one of them to Haming who took it gratefully, and they both stuck the fish in the fire.

It cooked and burned quickly, and they both tucked in. In was foul, but Silvanus did not mind the taste; his grumbling stomach would have accepted human flesh if that was what it had been given. Haming seemed to agree, because he pulled a sour face as he swallowed down the burnt fish. Silvanus felt very hard about slitting his throat, but decided not to. The child was almost essential to his escape.

Silvanus, you see, had a plan. A nasty plan. For the youth was certainly not a man of his word, and he had no intention at all of seeing if his family still lived. He would go back to Helgen to find Ralof, and he would leave the boy in Helgen, whether or not the place was empty, or full of bandits, or if the dragon was still there. Silvanus had decided that he did not like the child much, but he would not harm him… at least, he wouldn't harm him directly. If Haming was killed by bandits, then that wasn't his problem. Or maybe, Silvanus could save himself the bother of sneaking back to Helgen, and just run now, leaving the boy… Yes, he thought. The boy could find his own way home, or get eaten by wolves.

"Why don't you get some more rest? You look tired. Ill." The Breton tried to make his voice sound concerned, but he was almost certain that it was practically crackling with aggression. He looked carefully into Haming's face, but the young Nord apparently hadn't noticed the treachery in the cool voice. He nodded, and, curled back up under his large woollen coat, and shut his eyes, having finished his salmon.

Silvanus waited for about 15 minutes.

"Boy?" he said quietly, but Haming did not reply with anything more than a snore. It was time to act, and maybe lead a group of wolves to where the boy lay… tying up loose ends, and all of that. But first… well, Silvanus had got his kicks pickpocketing and stealing back in Dragons Bridge, and his nimble fingers were quick to remove the boy's belt-pouch and sling it round his own waist. He heard the satisfying clink of gold in it, and grinned like a cat. Taking one last look at the boy's sleeping body, he ran away.

"Some sort of mead." Silvanus jangled a few septims in his hand, as the proprietor of Frostfruit inn looked at him cheerfully, whilst cleaning the bar. Mralki, the barman, grinned at the youth, and rapped his knuckles on the dirty counter.

"You look a little young to be travelling on your own, lad. How much money you got?"

"Enough for the mead." Mralki chuckled wheezily, as he reached under the counter, and pulled out a bottle of dusty Nord mead. Silvanus handed over a few gold coins, and the old barman pocketed them.

The Breton took the bottle, and raised it to his lips. Taking a swig, he flicked his white blond hair out of his face. He could do with a haircut, but his fringe was… useful in his occupation. It was so long it covered his eyes, but he could see through it. He didn't like it when people looked him in the eyes.

Silvanus had been running ever since he abandoned the child in the forest. He'd made it to Rorikstead, and, parched from his travelling, had stopped in at the Frostfruit inn for a drink. He didn't usually like to drink or eat in public places, for the fear of being watched and judged, and anyway, tavern food was not to his taste. For one thing, he only ate (well drank) one thing… and that was not to be found in a tavern.

Anyway, he rarely felt hungry. Having been blessed with very superior senses, he didn't feel hunger or thirst much, nor exhaustion. However, that day he felt tired, and miserable, and for good reason. He did, after all, have a conscience. He never liked to admit it, and he would only ever, in his whole lifetime, admit it to one person, but… that time was far away. And Silvanus did not think, with his arrogance and sixteen years, that he would ever tell a soul… he felt sorry for leaving the boy behind.

Draining his drink, he tossed another septim to the barman, who handed him another mead, which he drank equally quickly. Feeling at ease, he sat back in his bar-stool, not noticing that he was being watched. A hooded figure, dressed entirely in black, sat in the corner of the small bar. Watching the Breton. Waiting.

To be continued…
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The following 3 users Like Beowulf's post:
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Post #16054
Banned

144
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Nord)
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The following 1 user likes Beowulf's post:
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