He didn't know why he went back, but he did. An empty mind and wandering feet had led him in the opposite direction of his uninviting ghetto with his very inviting alcohol, to a place he hadn't seen in eight months now. To a place he didn't want to see.
His old Ghetto loomed above him absently, haunting him endlessly.
"But... but you are a man to love Seamus Harper," her hazel eyes shone clearly through the seas of red. "Have you only accept that-" He interrupted her before she could finish.
"I will -never- be that man!"
Shay shook the thoughts out of his head, and cautiously walked up to the door of the place he had used to begrudgingly call 'home'. It was as beat up as ever, if not more so. He moved slowly, looking this way and that as he crossed the room, his mind noticing every detail as he unconsciously looked for trip wires and traps that just weren't there. He climbed the stairs carefully to the second level, and looked around at the first of the three 'entrances' that he used to go through everyday. The walls had been demolished, leaving one long, empty room.
At the other side of the room, where the softened wood bed used to be, was the sullen lump of an Earther. Tasha..? It seemed too good to be true, and he stumped as he crossed the room. Messy auburn hair, shorter than it used to be, half-hidden by a grimy blanket. He didn't know anyone who had that colour hair asides from the spirited girl he had driven away all that time ago…
"Tasha," it took him a moment to realize that tears had welled up at his eyes, and he wiped them away as the dirty lump shifted. It turned, murky hazel eyes poking out just above the blanket. "Tasha… what are you doing here..?"
"Tasha..?" The lump said in a very masculine voice; Seamus stopped short. That's not her… but I was so sure. It was the only thing logical. What Earther in their right mind would sleep above ground? "My name s'not Tasha… do I look like a girl?"
The boy pushed the grimy blanket off of his malnourished body, revealing yellow skin stretched thinly over a bare chest, a disfiguring scar wrapped over his shoulder. Seamus noticed the way he cradled his left arm, and guessed that he had been badly injured in the past.
"No," Shay responded. "But you remind me of a girl I used to know. She had the same hair and similar eyes."
"S'not hard to have brown hair," the boy shrugged, lifting his good arm to wipe sleep out of his eyes. "And the eyes aren't that special… hey, what are you doing here? No Earther in their right mind would be above ground for long."
That's what I said…
Seamus muttered out some unintelligent excuse as he started to turn around. It was along the lines of 'I thought it was going to rain', even though the acid clouds above showed no signs of a downpour. Before he could take another step though, the boy started speaking again.
"Stay awhile, it's been awhile since I've talked to someone…" the boy yawned, and Seamus heard him stand up. "'Sides… I might be able to help you find that girl you're looking for… what was her name again?"
Turning around again, Seamus found that the boy was taller than him. By almost a foot. His fast mind working on overdrive, he saw the slight limp in the boy's step as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other. "It's not important… you should sit back down."
"I'm capable of staying up," the boy said defiantly. As if to prove his point, he took a staggering step forwards. Seamus wasn't convinced. "See..?" The boy huffed out, as if the action had taken most of his energy. "I'm fine."
"You should sit back down." Seamus said pointedly. The boy laughed, and slowly sunk back down to the floor. Looking hesitantly around the room, Seamus sat down as well. Might as well find out if he knows anything useful… maybe I can finally get off this god forsaken rock.
"You look like the hero-type," the boy observed. That caught Shay's attention, and he looked at the boy crossly.
"What makes you say that?" He asked the boy. … why am I thinking of him as a boy still? Indeed, the 'boy' looked to be older than Brendan, let alone himself.
"The data port," the 'boy' said with a tilt of his head. "Why have one if you weren't going to use it against the Ubers..? I want one, actually, but I doubt I'd ever be able to survive the surgery. When did you get yours?"
Seamus thought carefully, looking at the intense interest on the 'boy's' face. I have to be careful not to say anything I'll regret later. "I was a kid."
"A kid..?" the boy blinked, a mixture of wonderment and confusion showing on his face. "How did you afford it?"
"Ubers forced it into my neck." He answered automatically, trying not to think about it. He knew he had blacked out, but thankfully someone had knocked him unconscious before the surgery.
"Ah," the boy nodded, understanding. "Damned bastards… but lucky you."
Lucky..? Seamus glared at him. He acts as if I wanted this thing in my neck… I wish I'd never had it! That way I might have died years ago.
"You could say that I'm the hero type, too," the 'boy' carried on, ignoring the glare being shot at him. "But recently… with my arm and my leg, I haven't been doing much hero work."
"I'm not a hero," Seamus amended immediately.
"Maybe a revolutionist then..?" The 'boy' tried again.
"I'm not a revolutionist," he glared at the 'boy' again, and this time he got a reaction. The 'boy' cringed slightly. "I'm not a holy man. I'm no hero. And I'm definitely no messenger from the bloody Devine."
His eyes clouded over with red for a moment, and he clutched at his skull. Images of explosions filled his mind, with the echoed cry of dying Nietzcheans…. And Tasha, looking him in the eyes before she started to drag him away towards the allies.
"You okay?" the 'boy's' voice anchored him back to reality, and he looked up into familiar murky hazel eyes. Seamus just nodded, and tried to ignore the memories pushing behind his eyelids. "That's good… thought you might've blacked out or something."
"No," Shay shook his head. And thank the Devine that I didn't…
"… you said that you weren't a messenger from the Devine," the 'boy' reminded him. Seamus blinked slowly. "Why?"
"Someone called me that once," Seamus replied. "They were on the wrong side of an Uber's cage."
The 'boy's' face was suddenly filled with recognition. A recognition that made Seamus nervous. "This happened eight months ago, didn't it?" Seamus didn't answer, but felt the redness wanting to come back as panic swept his being. The 'boy' continued. "At a hidden slave camp, in a Nietzchean base that was blown up eight months ago, not to far away from here… right?"
"That's a coincidence," Seamus muttered, hoping against hope that his voice didn't give him away. The redness threatened to envelope his entire vision.
"And you saw a boy before you went there, didn't you?" He continued. Shay's world stopped for a moment, before his mind started to make all the connections. "And he asked you to look for someone… a girl named Erskine."
The 'boy's' leg and arm. Broken. Probably from some sort of Nietzchean torture device… He should have died.
"That girl you're looking for is my sister, Tasha, isn't it?"
He's Kyle. Seamus stared at him blankly. "Those slaved found you and helped you, didn't they?" Kyle nodded. "And they told you that I took Tasha?" Another nod. … he must have found out, somehow, that I used to live here.
"What happened to my sister," Kyle asked gravely. "I've been looking for her for months now, but I haven't found hide nor tail of her."
"She was staying here with me for a week, and then she leaved." Kyle cursed at the response, and started muttering darkly under his breathe. Seamus felt guilty, somehow, for what had happened. "Look… I know you cared about your sister-"
"Don't be all apologetic to me!" Kyle snapped at him. "Do you realize what she had? Do you realized what might happen if a Nietzchean finds her? What might be happening how?" Seamus gave him another blank look. "Of course you bloody well don't… you're not the 'hero type'… ha, what a laugh."
"You don't seem too worried about Tasha," Shay noticed. Kyle barked out a coarse laugh. … he doesn't care about her at all. So why the hell did he want me to save her?
"It's what's around her bloody neck that I'm worried about," Kyle explained. "That Nietzchean base that you blew up? It was testing the combination of cybernetic technology and mudfoots to make brain washed weapons… and I stole all of their plans and put them in her necklace."
An image of Tasha, the first time he'd seen her, came to Seamus' mind… and her necklace, with three, disc-like beads woven into it. "You bastard."
"Bastard?" Kyle laughed again. "Me? What about you? You left me there to die in that alley!"
"You made every Uber on the planet want your sister's head." Seamus stood up and turned to leave, glaring at the boy as he did so. "It's people like you that make me hate this stupid planet… you're no better than the Nietzcheans."
"You would rather me leave the information with the Ubers so that they could infiltrate the tunnels and figure out everything..?" Kyle's voice asked as he was walking towards the door. "I'm sorry that I don't believe in the 'Great Harper' to help us all whenever we face annihilation!"
Seamus stopped at the door, but didn't turn around. "You don't have to fucking believe in me, but at least I would have fought them like a man instead of sinking to their level."
With that he left, a red curtain slowly dropping over his vision.