Hello and welcome to Chapter Five of Gyaros: The Mice Eat Iron! If you missed out on Chapter One, Two,Three or Four you can find them by CLICKING HERE. The Mice Eat Iron is the first book in the Gyaros trilogy which is being co written by myself and my brother Alex Healy. The first in the series is OUT NOW and can be sampled or purchased on Amazon, with the other two books to release before the end 2013.
WARNING: This book is adult fiction and contains violence, course language, adult themes and horror elements. If you find any of those offensive or disturbing you might want to avoid reading this post. Gyaros is meant to be thrilling and fun escapism, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about the adult content
It was 2:05 by the time Miles made it back to his room, he was lucky enough to catch a tram just seconds after reaching the station. Exhausted from a day of work and a night of gaming, Miles collapsed onto his bed without undressing or even turning out the light, he laid there for about a minute with aching hands and sore eyes before softly drifting off to sleep.
*Buzz buzz* *Buzz buzz*
After what felt like only seconds, Miles’ eyes were abruptly forced open in order to locate and silence his loud and annoying alarm. Miles rubbed his eyes roughly with both hands and began to stand up. As he struggled to his feet, he noticed a mild headache as well as a stiffness in his neck which he attributed to holding himself in the same position in front of an arcade machine for over two hours. Still partially dressed from the night before, Miles tidied himself up in the bathroom, examined his bloodshot eyes in the mirror, dressed himself, packed his briefcase with his usual lunch and took with him a small red umbrella that the elderly owner of the motel had been kind enough to give him the previous day. “Someone left it behind, no use lettin’ it go to waste” were his exact words. Miles rushed out the door of his room which locked automatically behind him with a quiet *Beep* as he made his way down the stairs and through the motel lobby. Miles greeted the owner with a nod on his way out into the never ending downpour of the Yellow District, popping up his umbrella.
Miles was slowly adjusting to his new routine and he was actually beginning to enjoy the simple work of a cinema janitor. Now that a little more time had passed since the incident with Tyler he was able to appreciate the fact that the work was fairly easy, and he was free to think while he cleaned up, something he never had time for while dealing with the highly cerebral Energy Department duties. That being said, he still yearned painfully for his old life. ‘As long as I just keep my head down and play it safe, I’ll be back up in the Green Districts again before I know. I can do this.’ He tried desperately to convince himself as he made his way to the nearby tram station in the heavy rain. The bottoms of his legs were soaking wet as they would briefly leave the shelter of the umbrella with each step he took. ‘Just six months, that’s all, then I’ll be back at my old job again. And I know Hellen will come to her senses, we’ve had hard times in the past but we’ve always worked it out, why should this time be any different?’
Miles arrived at work on time as always, he lowered his umbrella, shaking the excess water off it before once again stepping through the large double doors of La Cinema Magnifique. He found Ryker already behind the counter preparing for his shift.
“Here you go, man,” he said as he tossed Miles his uniform from across the counter top.
“Thanks,” replied Miles with a subtle nod. He buttoned up his shirt and began his regular duties around the cinema, once again alone as the hours slowly rolled by with little to distract his mind from his current situation. It was becoming harder and harder for Miles to believe that everything was going to be okay, the everyday struggle of life in the Yellow District was wearing him down. The constant sound of pouring rain, the dirty, cracked up streets and the often violent people who inhabit them, was this a life that Miles could ever get used to? As much as he tried to convince himself that things were getting easier, the fact remained that he was not built for this kind of life. An already shy and sensitive guy, he had spent his entire life cocooned in the Green Districts make things that much harder. A few days had been bad enough, to think that this was going to be the next six months of his life made Miles wish that he could take it all back. ‘I could’ve been a better husband, a better worker, a better father. If Hellen just told me there was something wrong I could have changed! I could have made things work god damn it!’
Miles was snapped back to reality suddenly upon hearing an aggressive argument outside. He could make out at least three different voices, one of which sounded like Ryker’s. Miles dropped his broom and quickly made his way out of the empty theatre and into the lobby. Through the glass doors of the cinema Miles could see Ryker outside confronted by three large, tattooed men under the unrelenting downpour. Reluctant to get involved in the argument, Miles watched from inside the cinema, peering from behind one of the faux Greek pillars.
“Look, I gave you the shit last week, what’s the problem!?” Ryker shouted in a panicked tone.
“The problem is that the stuff you sold me is complete shit, fuckin’ useless, couldn’t get my fuckin’ granny high!” replied the largest of the group as he took a step towards Ryker.
“How is that my fault!? I don’t fuckin’ make it!”
Miles watched on anxiously as the debate escalated, part of him wanted to help Ryker but involving himself in potentially illegal business or violente behaviour was far too big of a risk at this point. He was skating on thin enough ice at it was, one slip up meant a one way trip to Gyaros. After several seconds of shouting, there was a brief silence. Miles sighed ‘Looks like things have settled down.’ But then, without warning, the large man threw a punch at Ryker’s face, to Miles’ surprise, Ryker blocked the attack and delivered a heavy blow to the thug’s ribcage. He doubled over in agony. The other two members of the group quickly burst into action, attacking Ryker simultaneously. Miles struggled to make out exactly what was happening, but as he caught a glimpse of Ryker’s bloodied face it became apparent that Ryker was losing the fight. Without thinking, Miles rushed out the door in an attempt to break up the conflict but soon realized what he had gotten himself into as he was instantly struck hard in the face, seemingly out of nowhere. Miles collapsed onto the wet sidewalk with a splash, joining Ryker as kicks and punches fell upon them like the unending rain.
“Hey! Get the hell outta here you damn punks!”
The three attackers quickly fled as Miles heard a familiar voice yell from the cinema doors. He looked up to see Mr Grayson wielding a large wooden bat with several long nails hammered through it. Miles and Ryker stumbled to their feet and stepped through the door which was held open by Mr Grayson.
“Shit…You guys okay?” He asked in a concerned tone as the two men dragged their bloodied bodies, dripping with water, into the lobby.
“I think so,” answered Ryker through bleeding, swollen lips. Miles assessed his injuries before replying.
“I’ll be fine.” He coughed.
“Hey, listen,” said Mr Grayson with a broad smile, “you’re shifts are almost over, how ’bout I pay you boys a little extra and you go get a couple of drinks tonight?”
“Alright, sounds good!” Ryker replied, “and hey look I’m sorry for causing trouble Mr Grayson, those guys…”
“Ah, ah, ah. I don’t wanna hear it, I don’t wanna know,” Said Grayson placing a hand on each other shoulders “you boys just go out and get some R and R. We’ll start again tomorrow, I can take care of things here for the last couple of hours.”
Miles knew that Hellen wouldn’t like him drinking so he tried to politely decline the offer.
“I’m sorry but my wife doesn’t like it when I drink,” he said sounding slightly disappointed.
“Does she like it when you get your ass kicked in the middle of the street?” Mr. Grayson replied humorously.
“Yeah, dude,” Ryker added, “didn’t you say your wife left you anyway?”
Miles thought about his situation, after everything that’s happened, could a few drinks seriously do any damage to his relationship with Hellen anymore? Feeling his injuries as the shock began to wear off, Miles decided it would be best to kill the pain with Ryker at the bar.
“Alright, I’m in,” he answered with a cheeky smile.
“Fuck yeah! I know a good place,” said Ryker excitedly.
Mr Grayson transferred the two their usual pay plus a generous 25% bonus and they set out once again into the rain.
Ryker lead the way through narrow back streets filled with people and small lanes bustling with activity as the artificial lights changed suddenly from day to night with a loud clunk. Miles followed Ryker as they made their way, both limping slightly now feeling the full pain of their wounds. Neither of the two spoke much on the way to the bar except to complain about their injuries. And besides that, Miles was far too busy marvelling at the dingy underbelly of the Yellow Districts to sustain a conversation. The streets were filled with flashy neon signs and garish advertisements. Street vendors yelled out at the top of their voice, peddling their wears and drunken brawls broke out spontaneously as ladies, boys and everything in between sold their bodies to anyone passing by. ‘Holy shit, I didn’t even know places like this existed’ thought Miles who was thankful to have Ryker there to escort him through the frightening gauntlet that was the south west Yellow District at night.
As they made their way down yet another dark back alley, Ryker stopped about halfway.
“Well, this is it,” he said with a smile.
“What?” Miles replied, confused.
“Uh, we’re here,” Ryker pointed to a small sign above a heavy looking wooden door. Lit by a dim, flickering light bulb, the rusty metal sign read Wolf’s Den.
“You’re joking, right?” said Miles angrily, accustomed to lavish restaurants and cafés of the Green Districts.
“It’s not as bad as it looks. C’mon I’ll show you,” and with that, Ryker pulled the heavy door open with a grunt of pain. Bright red light suddenly illuminated the dark alley and the sound of rain was now accompanied by loud chatter, clinking glasses and pulsating music.
Miles cautiously stepped through the door and examined the inside of the establishment. His anxious expression soon shifted to one of surprise, this bar was probably the most well maintained thing Miles had seen since arriving in the Yellow Districts. Though relatively small, Wolf’s Den had a lively and welcoming atmosphere. The customers were from a variety of different sub cultures and no one seemed to be causing any trouble. Behind the bar, four young women rushed around busily, mixing and serving drinks.
“Hey, Wolf!” Shouted Ryker over the loud noise of the room as he and Miles approached the bar. Upon hearing her name one of the women quickly looked up, she was the tallest of the four and wore a black leather jacket with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows revealing several colourful tattoos on her arms. Her dark black hair settled just below her shoulders in a natural and messy fashion.
“Woah! Ryker, you look like shit!” She said loudly, her eyes widened in both shock and amusement.
“It’s nothin’ you can’t cure,” replied Ryker as he took a seat at the bar, prompting Miles to do the same.
“Heh, damn straight! I got just the thing,” said Wolf with a sly smile as she finished pouring a large beer for a previous customer before preparing something for Ryker and Miles.
“Who’s your boyfriend?” She asked jokingly as she reached under the bar for a bottle.
“This is Miles, he started working at the cinema a few days ago. He’s from the Green Districts,” explained Ryker.
“The Green Districts? Fuck me, I knew there was something different about you,” Wolf stared at Miles, her eyes narrowed into an intimidating look before the devious smile returned to her face.
“Well Miles, let me give you somethin’ they don’t serve up in the Green Districts anymore,” she said as she placed two shot glasses on the table and filled them from a large blue bottle.
“First one’s on the house boys,” she added.
“Alright!” Exclaimed Ryker before downing his drink and slamming the glass back down onto the table. Wolf and Ryker both looked expectantly at Miles as he carefully examined the clear liquid in his glass, he brought the drink up to his nose to smell it before finally pouring it into his mouth and swallowing hard. It had a strong, bitter taste and seemed to burn all the way down Miles’ throat.
“What is this stuff?” Miles asked with a twisted face, trying not to cough. “Raxxin,” Wolf replied raising her voice over the loud music. “Finest in all of Elissa” she added with a grin. Miles could feel the effects of the drink starting to kick in immediately as a wave of dizziness washed over him and the pain of his many injuries began to subside.
“Keep it comin’ Wolf! We got a 25% bonus from the boss man today,” said Ryker excitedly.
“Shit, is he tryin’ to kill ya?” Wolf jested. “Tell ya what, palm me fifty creds and I’ll let you keep the bottle.” Without hesitation, Ryker placed his right hand on one of the credit transfer terminals on the bar and completed the purchase.
“Thanks boys, now if you’ll excuse me, I have other customers to attend to.” Wolf said with a wink accompanied by her usual smirk, and she turned her attention to one of the busy bar’s many other patrons. Ryker took the bottle of Raxxin and poured Miles and himself another shot each. Miles was prepared this time, he quickly downed the drink without too much discomfort.
He looked around to witness a club full of the most diverse and colourful group of people he’d ever seen in any part of Elissa. Up on the brightly lit stage both men and women danced sensually and suggestively to the loud electronic music as some of the patrons watched on.
As the night continued and the Raxxin slowly depleted, Miles began to tell Ryker about his four year old son, Chet. This was the first time Miles had discussed his personal life with anyone since losing his job at The Energy Department.
“He sounds like a good kid,” Ryker said sincerely.
“I just wish there were some way I could talk to him again, just to tell him his father will be home soon, to let him know that everything’s going to be alright,” said Miles, burying his face in his palms.
“Can’t you call his school or something?” Ryker asked.
“He was transferred to another school after I was sent down here and I’m blocked from the data network so I can’t find him or make any calls,” Miles replied, frustrated.
“That sucks man,” Ryker said, pouring them another shot of Raxxin. But then Miles had an idea.
“Wait a minute,” he said turning to Ryker, “you could access the network for me! Please Ryker, you have to help me out,” Miles begged.
“Sorry Miles, I’m blocked too. Four months for possession of illegal substances.” As the words left Ryker’s mouth the brief spark of hope inside Miles was extinguished.
“But,” said Ryker quietly, closing the distance between him and Miles, “there could be a way…” Ryker’s expression was deadly serious “it could be dangerous though. Like stuffed-in-a-shuttle-and-shipped-to-Gyaros kind of dangerous.”
Miles probably should have stopped listening right there and changed the subject but if there was a way to contact Chet he needed to know.
“Just tell me Ryker,” he said looking Ryker straight in the eyes.
“Okay, so Mr Grayson has a network terminal in his office, if we could put him to sleep, then we can use his prints to access the network.” Miles thought about what Ryker just said.
“Put him to sleep?” He asked, confused.
“I know a guy who can get me some dreamscape.” Miles knew exactly what dreamscape was, it was the street name for a powerful sedative drug often used on patients undergoing surgery. It also served as a pain killer with the inadvertent effect of giving the user vivid and powerful dreams while under its influence.
“Do we really need to put him to sleep? Couldn’t I just ask him to access it for me?”
“Come on Miles, he’s not going to risk his business helping someone banned from the network talk to his kid who he’s banned from talking to.”
Passing up another opportunity to end the conversation, the intoxicated Miles continued.
“When can you get it? The dreamscape.”
“Tomorrow, on the way to work,” Ryker replied. The crazy, drunken scheme actually seemed solid, except for one detail.
“How are we going to get Grayson to take it?” Miles inquired, Ryker thought for a few seconds before coming up with a plan. He picked up the blue Raxxin bottle.
“Let’s save him a little something to say thanks for the bonus.”
It all made sense, they had a plan and the means to execute it. Still, in Miles currently precarious situation, attempting something like this could mean instant exile to Gyaros without trial.
“Are you sure you wanna do this, man?” Ryker asked squinting with a concerned look on his face. “You know if something goes wrong that’s it for you, man I don’t even know if I should be helping you do this.” Continued Ryker, suddenly regretting his decision to suggest such a dangerous idea. Miles paused silently for several seconds before finally answering.
“I don’t want to do this Ryker, I have to do this. I have to see Chet’s face again, whatever the risk. I have to tell him that his father still cares, that I’ll be home soon. He can’t spend the next six months of his life thinking that his dad just ran away, or died or who knows what Hellen told him! It’ll be fine Ryker, the whole thing is going to take a total of fifteen minutes. We’ll be in and out and Mr Grayson will just think he drifted off for a while and it won’t raise any alarms because Grayson isn’t under surveillance.”
Ryker sighed. “Alright Miles, but however unlikely it is, you could get shuttled for this, you have to understand that man,” said Ryker seriously.
“I understand, and I’ll take full responsibility if things go wrong. But they won’t, we can do this, and once it’s done, once I’ve talked to Chet I can get on with counting the days and playing it safe. No more messing around.” Miles replied.
“Now, I know you don’t believe that I was ever on Gyaros,” Ryker said as he began to reach into his backpack, “but even if you think I’m lying, I want you to take this,” he pulled out a small metal cube and placed it in Miles hand.
“This plan should work Miles, but if we fuck it up somehow, if you end up on Gyaros one way or another, whether it’s in a week or ten years from now, I want you to remember this,” Ryker paused briefly before continuing, “get to New Fortune and find someone called Mesa, show them this, they might be able to help you out. I know it’s a stretch, but it’ll be your best chance.” Ryker spoke so seriously that Miles actually began to believe him in his drunken state. Though, still skeptical Miles took the silver metal cube and placed it into the top pocket of his shirt. Ryker took the bottle of Raxxin and poured another two shots.
“But we can worry about that tomorrow, we still have the whole night ahead of us,” he said with his usual carefree expression.
And that’s the last thing Miles could remember about that night.
Thanks for reading! “Gyaros Book One: The Mice Eat Iron” is OUT NOW and can be sampled or purchased on Amazon! Let us know what you thought in the comments below
Take care, all the best!