Chapter 3: Captus
The back of the car was cold, the windows were open as John and I were carried from our attempted heist location to the capital of the Kaine District, Sector 1.
Sector 1 was the most important Sector in all of the Kaine District. I wasn’t sure about the Greyson District, or the Ryker District, but high society members and important buildings were kept in the first Sector.
That is where the dungeons are.
The place where John and I will be sent to live out the rest of our miserable days until they take us to die in front of the town. “You’re some of the lucky ones.” The Enforcer tells me as he drives along the winding road, his guards training their guns on us.
“It’s Wednesday.” He says. “The Alpha doesn’t like to spend his time on scum like you human’s on Wednesdays. You won’t be hung, you’ll be shot.” He tells us from the front seat, not at all pleased by what he’d just told us.
“It’s a shame, really.” One of the guards tell us. His face is covered by a helmet so I can’t see his face but I know it’s probably menacing. “I like watching the little ones struggle.” I says, dropping his gun for a moment to stroke my cheek with his gloved hand.
I chomp my teeth at him and turn my head to look out the window. My hair blows wildly around my face as the people blur by. Alpha Kaine’s Enforcer doesn’t seem to mind that I’m uncomfortable, playing the Selthia Anthem on the radio at full blast as we continue our sweet little drive through town.
John and I never did jobs where we lived, it was a way to keep us safe. If no one knew us it would be harder for them to identify us when the guards came to their doors, demanding to see our faces. Most of our thievery was done in Sector 4, the second wealthiest Sector of the Kaine District.
It was practically one gigantic mall in the middle of the district with its only inhabitants being the business owners who need to get up early for work in the morning and don’t want to make the commute.
Our anonymous employer lives there too. at least, I think he does. Every package he has us send to him with our latest loot is always addressed to some warehouse in Sector 4. Never the same place twice but always in Sector 4. I have a feeling the man is too lazy to venture far outside of his comfort zone to pick up a silly old package.
“Are you ready to die?” The guards snickers to John, pushing him roughly in the shoulder to attempt to get a rise out of him. John only sighs deeply and stares blankly out the window, his head resting gently on his hand.
“What were you doing with that little girl robbing the bank, hm?” He continues to taunt. “Get her knocked up and not have enough money to pay for living arrangements so you thought you’d rob a vault?” I know he knows he’s lying. I’ve seen it enough times.
Lycan’s always have a glint in their eye. The mischievous ones can be spotted from miles away. Besides, a Lycan could easily smell the scent of a growing fetus from a mile away. It doesn’t upset John any less though.
He lunges forward, grabbing the Lycan by the wrist, pushing it away from him quickly, leaning into his helmet as if he could see his eyes right through them. I thought he would say something threatening, maybe tell the Lycan off with some choice words, but he doesn’t. Pushing the Lycan’s arm away, he turns back to his window, sighing deeply again as he falls back into the same absence as earlier.
They taunt us, trying to get us to fight back so they can violently bring us to the end. Lycan’s are vultures. They lust for blood and war. They killed my mother and sent my species into poverty, and I hate them for it.
“We’re close, boys.” The Enforcer says from the front, his turn signal flashing as he rounds the corner to the town square. People sit on wooden boxes around the stage. Supernatural children are braced on their fathers shoulders, watching us carefully as we take our last breaths.
“Ready them.” He demands. The guards obey, carefully removing their gloves before ripping our black attire to shreds.
I’d read about this is books but I never thought it was true.
The Lycan’s were stripping us of our clothing the was Jesus was stripped of his before being thrown on the cross to die. They were going to treat us like animals, our clothes would be removed and we would march up in ratty clothing or nothing at all to be shot quickly.
This was the part that wasn’t televised, the part no one got to see because it was just so horrific.
I wonder how many Lycan’s would revolt against their beloved Alpha Kaine if they knew about some of the falsehoods they had been taught from birth. Not every criminal walks into the town square on their death day wearing already torn clothes, sometimes they are made to look worse just as a sign of disrespect and low rank.
“The Alpha will be in attendance, today.” One of the guards says to us slowly. “You are lucky. It is an honor to meet the Alpha’s eyes just once before you die. There is nothing like the feeling of completeness when one is around their Alpha.” He replies, praising their leader happily.
“Kaine is no Alpha to me.” I say defiantly, watching the Enforcer throw ropes over his shoulder to bind our hands with before we are marched to the square to be murdered like diseased dogs.
The guard ties my ropes tight, impossibly tighter than John’s as punishment for my mouth. What do I care? In a few minutes I’ll be dead, I might as well show them what I’m worth now before I lose my chance.
Some part of me hoped for a miracle as they shoved us out of the van, a rope putting our bindings on a leash so they could lead us through the town like proud hunters displaying their catch of the day at a bar.
A few tears fell down John’s face, landing quickly on his shirt, dampening the material. They trickled down with no signs of stopping. John had given up on his life long before he met me. He was practically waiting for death when he was assigned to me as a partner.
“Anita?” He whispers to me from behind, catching the eyes of several witches huddled in the corner of the square, their hands covering their mouths in obvious whispers. I don’t reply to him, it would be too obvious. I knew John couldn’t take a beating on top of his death sentence.
“I’m sorry.” He continues, trying to inch closer to me without noticeably treading on my heels. “I shouldn’t have messed up the plan.” He says. His hand reaches out and brushes against my upper thigh quickly as we continue on.
I think he meant to grab my hand, maybe deliver a friendly squeeze to it. He doesn’t try again.
The Enforcer rings a bell in the town square, holding his arm out in our direction. “There will be a public double execution in ten minutes.” He announces, jumping down from the stage to go whisper in his Alpha’s ear.
I cannot make out the features of the illusive Alpha Kaine. I know what he looks like. His face is in the news as a hostile warning every day, his snarling face haunts my nightmares.
The Alpha is uninterested with what the Enforcer has to say, waving his hand in dismissal at the same time as a guard behind me shoves his knee into my back to get us to start moving. It’s customary to parade the prisoners around the square a few times before the execution.
I don’t know why, it’s almost like a warning. But I’m grateful for the extra moments to collect my thoughts before my life ends and I’m sent down to the fiery pits of hell for my crimes against the sinless Alpha.
Alpha Kaine’s throne is large, covered in red velvet cushions and fused with gold.
Even without his princely title he still spent every waking moment trying to prove to his district that he was better than them, more their superior than their equal. What does Queen Elara think of her son going back on his vows to the people when he was dubbed an Alpha? Does she agree with his harsh punishments and unjust rulings?
The guard pushes me forward roughly, the one stationed in front of us taking us through a serpentine motion around the center of the pond. I let my head fall, watching the back of the guards heels as I was poked and prodded by members of Alpha Kaine’s so called pack.
They mocked me.
Some threw fruits at John and I while others laughed loudly, overjoyed by my misery and my very public up and coming demise.
“Eyes up.” The Enforcer boomed from beside Alpha Kaine.
Their so called Alpha had yet to say a word about this whole thing, tapping his chin in thought as his gaze settled at first on me then on my attire. The disgust in his eyes was clear by the way they squinted, his brows falling as his lip curled to the side. Is my species or my “choice of profession” that makes the bile rise in the back of his throat? Maybe it was both. I can’t tell.
“What are their crimes?” Alpha Kaine asks, his eyes unwavering from me, his tongue suddenly glued to the roof of his mouth.
The Enforcer gasped, staring at his superior in uttar befuddlement. “Treason against the crown of course!” He proclaimed. Several onlookers gasped at his statement, as if they didn’t see a thousand people die a week for the same crimes.
“More specifically please, Cyrus.” He says, his fingers itching towards his face. Go on.
“They were caught robbing your favorite vault, sir. In Sector 4.” The Enforcer replied, voice wavering under Alpha Kaine’s authority.
Alpha Kaine had no reply, he simply nodded and resumed his previous position, jaw set in his palm as he let out a sigh of boredom from his throne.
The guard in front of me made a detour, up the steps of the stage and gestured for John and I to sit in the only two chairs on the platform. We obliged.
The metal was cold on my bottom. One of the legs of the chair was uneven leaving me to rock awkwardly as Enforcer Cyrus stepped forward, pulling a pistol from his pocket.
He set the weapon up, pulling a round from his pocket and safely stowing it in the barrel, pumping it once. “You, Anita Goldstein, will die by gunshot for treason against the crown. Do you deny these claims?”
I look down at the ground, pulling my bottom lip in between my teeth. “No.” I mutter. “These claims are true.”
He shakes at my statement as the towns people gasp again as if they’re watching the most interesting soap opera they’ve ever seen. Alpha Kaine sits up, his head leaning forward as he rests his elbows on his knees in interest.
Why is he interested in me? Surely hundreds confess to their crimes every day.
“I have stolen. I steal regularly. All because of the low life you Lycans damned me to for something I cannot control.” I say, looking first at Cyrus then to the crowd of people, before my eyes rest on Alpha Kaine’s.
“I am human!” I proclaim. “And if this makes me the devil then shoot me right between the eyes and end my miserable life.” My speech is directed at Alpha Kaine and he knows it.
He sits back for a moment, crossing his leg as he shrugs. My speech does not matter to him. I’m sure I’m not the first to give it, either.
Enforcer Cyrus’s gun comes to settle on my forehead, his finger touching the trigger gently. “Touching.” He says emotionlessly.
“Stop!” A guard shouts from behind me. Enforcer Cyrus looks at him in confusion before turning around to glance at his Alpha, whose hand was raised in the air lazily.
“Take them to the dungeons, Cyrus.” He tells the Enforcer in front of me. He stands slowly, his hands on the back of his throne as he turns to the gaping people around him. “Go on with your lives. There will be no executions today.”