Silent Dance

What happens when dance becomes the main source of income? A group has appeared and taken control of the global market and influential figures believe a dictatorship will begin; whilst others try to unmask the group and seize the world for themselves.

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5. Chapter 5

Following a heated argument at home, Silver reluctantly let Kade off the hook for having forgotten to notify her of Alex’s arrival. After accepting this fact, she began to question Kade on the why, who, what, where, when and how of Alex’s presence at their school. She managed to get out of him that Alex had ‘run away from home’, so to speak, although his father found out about it soon enough anyway. He had told Kade that he merely wanted to ‘get away’ somewhere his dad couldn’t pull strings at – hence the school. That part was self-explanatory as everyone knew that whilst it wasn’t official or public in any way, Phoenix High was undeniably under PhoenixCorps; and indirectly, Mafia itself. The ‘how’ hardly even needed to be voiced really. It was obvious enough that Alex had sufficient funds to retire, let alone take a short flight, arrange for some comfortable living arrangements and pay to enroll in Phoenix High.

 

                “Fine,” she sighed, “whatever. He’s here, nothing we can do about it now.” She paced the living room briefly before stretching, yawning and running her hands through her dark tresses fondly. “I’m going upstairs,” she announced. The underlying message of that sentence didn’t need to be said for Kade to know why. Work.

 

                “I’m gonna go get a snack,” Kade cut in, relieved that he had narrowly escaped Silver’s wrath. “You want anything?” Silver spun around on her heels to look at him and pursed her lips, her eyes drawn to the ceiling in thought.

 

                “Sushi,” she decided promptly, “salmon and avocado.” Kade failed in trying to keep a smile off his face as he nodded and headed off to the direction of the kitchen. Silver slung her bag over her shoulder and headed off in another direction.

 

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The rest of the week passed uneventfully in the usual routine. Silver made it clear to Kade to stay away from her – even more so than before – at school after noticing Alex often trailing after him every day. She didn’t want any complications to arise; especially this close to the day she’d been waiting for all these years. She was casually leaning against her locker, on the phone.

 

                “Yes, today. Can you make it?” A pause as she listened to the gruff voice coming from her phone. “Okay then, I’ll send Jean to pick you up?” Another pause. “Yeah he’s got one.” Silver’s head turned whilst she still paid close attention to the voice on the other end of the phone. She saw that the approaching figure was Kade. And Alex. Shit. “Yeah, yeah I can do the rest of the day. Anyway I’ve got to go, see you later.” She pocketed her phone in time to see Kade approaching with an apologetic smile and plastered a polite smile on her own face.

 

                “Oh, hey Yin!” Alex called out. She returned the greeting with slightly less enthusiasm. “You guys going home together?” He raised a brow almost suspiciously.

 

                “Nah I usually take my bike,” she casually replied, “but Kade offered to give me a ride today.” Her sadistic side enjoyed watching Kade’s internal stress on how to adapt to the alibi she was currently weaving.

 

                “Oh yeah,” Kade managed an equally casual tone, “’cause I’m heading to the airport, y’know.” Alex’s brow furrowed in confusion.

 

                “Now? But there’s still plenty of time left.”

 

                “I have to meet up with Silver...” Kade defended rather weakly. Alex bought the story, however.

 

                “Oh so she’s coming?” he inquired with innocently curious excitement.

 

                “Um yeah...” he deliberately glanced at his watched. “Oh we’ve got to get going. Come on s—Yin!” He jerked his head. He flinched at Silver’s expression; definitely having caught his near-fatal mistake.

 

                “Alright. See you later then,” Alex rocked on his heels and slowly spun around to head the other way. He seemed oblivious to Kade’s slip-up. Silver waved and recited a polite farewell. They walked out the main entrance to find a sleek black car waiting for them. Kade opened the door for Silver who thanked him and slid inside. The car rumbled as it went on its way and Silver huffed, running her fingers through her dark hair. Kade pursed his lips. She didn’t seem in a very good mood. Was he supposed to apologize or something? But then again, it wasn’t like he did anything wrong..

 

                “Kade,” Silver’s voice broke Kade out of his train of thought as he whipped his head around to look at her inquisitively. “Zeke will be coming over, but I may have to go to his place later on too.” Kade put this information together in his head before nodding in understanding.

 

                “Okay,” he said slowly, “is there anything you need me to do before we leave?” Silver chewed on her bottom lip thoughtfully.

 

                “No, it’s alright, just get ready to leave.” Kade nodded an affirmative. Soon enough they pulled up to the grand archway entrance of the Phoenix Hotel, where the valets pulled opened the doors and they both slipped out. Kade began to make his way inside the glass doors as Silver went over to the front windows of the car and rapped on them firmly. Then were wound down, revealing Jean’s amused face. “Jean, I need you to pick up Zeke and bring him here.”

 

                “Okay, anything else?” Silver shook her head before reaching into her pocket and pulling out a sleek black card with a blood red design, holding it out to him. He glanced at it once and took it.

 

                “Drive safely,” she said, a smile playing on her lips. Jean let out a bark of laughter before winding up the window and zooming off. She turned around and quickly caught up with Kade who was holding the elevator for her. Slipping in, the doors closed soundlessly as Kade produced a black card identical to the one earlier and slipped it into the card slot. The hidden levels appeared, glowing in the dim light of the elevator, and Kade’s finger lightly brushed over it. They parted wordlessly to their rooms to settle their baggage, among other things. After an hour or so, Kade walked into Silver’s room through their adjoining door.

 

                “Zeke’s here,” he announced, Silver looked up from where she was bent over her bags. Sure enough, behind Kade stood a bulky man who was very tanned by many hours working under the sun for his official job. He looked quite intimidating and gave you the feeling he could probably pull off working as some sort of high-class club bouncer or a celebrity bodyguard. A light smile broke his expressionless face as he saw her.

 

                “Oh, hey Zeke,” Silver smiled widely, pushing herself off the floor and making her way toward them. Zeke moved out from behind Kade and produced a large metal box.

 

                “Here’s your usual goods,” his deep voice rumbled through Silver as he handed the box to her. She took it and set it down on her bed. “Are you finished? I can wait,” his eyes glanced at her bags.

 

                “No, it’s alright, I’m almost done,” Silver turned for a quick glance herself. “Just making space for your stuff,” she jerked her head, indicating the shiny black box on her bed. Zeke nodded in understanding. She put it snugly into her suitcase, and proceeded to zip it and another larger baggage up before heaving herself upright again.

 

                “Then, shall we?” he half turned, motioning to the door. “I will need to do the more.. difficult things at my place.”

 

                “Wait,” both of them turned to Kade who had spoken up. “You’re going to Zeke’s to do the.. skin stuff” A smile touched Silver’s lips at his poor choice of words. She nodded an affirmative anyway. “Do you want me to come with you?” Kade’s expression was dead serious as he looked Silver in the eye. She smiled gratefully but shook her head.

 

“No, it’s okay,” she took a deep breath, “I’ll be fine,” she gave a tight-lipped smile that was meant to be reassuring. Kade looked like he was about to object but Silver was faster as she brushed past him and motioned for Zeke to follow. “Come on Zeke,” said man glanced at Kade minutely and eventually shrugged apologetically before following her out. As they rode the elevator down to the lobby, Zeke pulled out the thin black room card Jean had given him to gain access to Kade and Silver’s place and returned it to her. Jean was already waiting out front as they slid in and they were on their way.

 

“Procedure questions,” Zeke’s voice came from beside Silver. She turned to look at him, brow raised, but eventually nodded obligingly. Zeke shuffled in his seat as he reached for something in his back pocket. A slip of paper with messy black writing scrawled on it. “Skin colour, scar removal, birthmark removal, hair colour, eye colour, finger coating, nail shaping, teeth brush-up and moulding. Am I missing anything?”

 

“I don’t think so,” Silver shook her head, “but can we change the hair colour to synthetic? And the eye colour.. how’s the specs for the lenses?” Zeke had pulled out his phone, tapping his fingers, flicking his wrists.

 

“I gave you your quarterly replenishment in that box, but I have some spares back at my place where you can check it out,” Silver nodded but stayed silent, “The hair.. are you sure you want to go synthetic for this one?” She looked down and was studying her hand as if it was suddenly very interesting.

 

“I..” biting her lip, Silver took a deep breath and shut her eyes. Zeke watched her patiently, but didn’t say anything. Finally, her eyes began to slide open slowly, determination set in their depths. “Yes.” Zeke didn’t seem very concerned with this turn of event as he made a note of it in his phone.

 

“The rest is okay?” He asked, eyes still focused on the screen. Silver nodded, but remembered he couldn’t see and voiced a yes. “Alright.” Silver took that as all he had to ask and leaned back into her seat, sighing. She rubbed her hands together and laid them in her lap, eyes taking in the details of her skin. Soon, the car pulled to a stop among what seemed to be a neighborhood of warehouses. They got out, Jean holding Silver’s door open for her.

 

“Thank you,” Silver smiled at him fondly as he shut the door. He placed a hand on her shoulder and she looked up at him curiously.

 

“Do you want me to stay with you?” A corner of Silver’s lip twitched at hearing him repeat Kade’s words from earlier, but she gave him the same answer. “I can –”

 

“Just wait for me, Jean,” she cut in, throwing him a half-hearted smile and following Zeke into the building. She turned around abruptly, adding, “oh, do you mind flitting back to the hotel and getting my luggage while you wait?” Jean nodded and affirmative and she turned back around. Once inside, Zeke turned to her and gave her the slip of paper he was scribbling on and she took it, unfolding it.

 

“You know the drill, I’ll be watching over from the side if you need anything. Otherwise, just give a holler and the guys will be there.” She nodded and he jerked his chin towards a direction behind her, turned and left. She spun on her feet towards the direction he indicated and walked towards the changing room. Walking over, she studied the piece of paper in her hand. It was a makeshift map with numbers, arrows and word indications. From the changing rooms to a location labeled 1 was an arrow. Under the number were the words hair removal. Suppressing a shudder, she slipped into the changing room, locked the door behind her and began to strip herself of her clothes. She took her time, and came out shortly after, wrapped in a very comfy robe that dragged on the ground as she walked, following the map’s directions to the first stop. A girl who looked about in her 20s met her at the station and led her into another room, a massage-table-like horizontal chair in the middle, with another upright chair beside it and a table of tools. Silver pursed her lips skeptically and the girl smiled as she took her robe. Silver laid face-up on the chair-table thing as the girl prepped.

 

“Silv,” a sudden voice shocked her and she jerked none-too-gently in surprise. “I’ve made some changes since the last time you were here. Look to your left.” It was Zeke’s voice; and she had pinpointed the source to a little black speaker box hanging by the corner of the room. She narrowed her eyes suspiciously at the box, even though she knew he couldn’t see her, and turned her head. Her hand patted around curiously and came back with a white cord. Eyebrows rose in amusement, she pulled it and realized they were a pair of earphones. A smile stretched her lips as a knock on the door was heard. She turned to see the girl cracking the door open slightly, mutter a few words and shut it. She walked over to her and held something out to Silver in her hand. Looking down, her smile brightened as she took her iPod, plugged in the earphones and slotted the player into a holder by the side of the chair-table. Turning up the volume, she sighed in resignation and prepared herself for a little pain.

 

Station two was scar and birthmark removal. It wasn’t too bad, other than the chill that ran through her every time the machine touched itself to her skin to do its work. Of course, it was more complicated because of the fact that the removal wasn’t permanent. She caught herself frowning in the mirror that was ever-present in each station – probably for her own benefit. She always did that. Odd as it were to some who she knew paid big money to do permanent versions of these procedures, she herself had an interesting like for scars. It wasn’t a kink or anything, she thought as she laughed to herself, but a part of her personality she had developed she guessed.

 

Finger coating was.. ticklish, as she put it. It involved intense scrubbing of her hands, feet, and most specifically, her fingers. Then taking molds for each, waiting as a sort of “skin mask” was created, and securing it over her own. The actual “mask” was ultra-thin and had properties that allowed her to still feel like she wasn’t wearing anything on top. Despite its lack of thickness, it was very strong and did not tear easily. As she rubbed her fingers together and stared at them whilst walking to the next stop, she thought to herself that maybe she was slightly paranoid; going this far. Her lips quirked up at the thought. Finger coating was basically putting a cover over her fingers, hands and feet with a smooth mold to prevent her from leaving fingerprints. She recalled in earlier years that Zeke had suggested he make the molds with their own unique set of fingerprints which would, of course, be traced to Silver’s identification. She had waved it away as being too much; although she did humor him now and then with it.

 

The process for skin colour was probably the easiest on her. All that the process entailed was her being systematically sprayed, dipped and coated in a sort of skin paint. The process made even the best spray tan look like child’s play. As she surveyed herself in a mirror once again, twisting and twirling to look for any spots that may have been missed out, she was conversing with “little black box” Zeke.

 

“How long did you set it for?”

 

“The retreat is for a week right? It should last for at least ten days. You can come back here to get it off once you get back if you want.” She nodded absentmindedly, and knew that even though he couldn’t see her nodding, he’d know.

 

“Okay then,” she was satisfied with the results, “on to the next.”

 

Nail shaping was the most boring. It was merely a more intense version of a manicure and pedicure. She hardly did that in the first place, so she wasn’t in a position to say what the difference between them was. Not long after, she left with perfectly shaped nails in top condition, treated and painted in a classic French style. She distractedly ran her fingers over the smooth surface on her nails as she wandered to the next place; teeth brush up and molding.

 

Silver always had tendency to avoid dentist appointments. Not that she dislike the appointment nor the dentist themselves, but the procedure was torture. In her mind, it was such a waste of time and as long as her teeth weren’t as horrible as those depicted in pirate movies, she had no obligation nor want to make any efforts to change them. However, she just heaved a sigh and endured the cleaning, whitening, and everything else that came with the procedure. When she was done, she had literally leapt off the reclined chair. The last few didn’t involve her directly and she was glad the whole thing was almost over. She was handed a new bathrobe which she slipped on and padded over towards where Zeke would be set up. Sure enough, he looked up as he heard her footsteps approaching and waved her over.

 

“The colour you want will remain the same, right?” He asked as they walked side by side.

 

“Obviously,” she chuckled.

 

“We have new samples now. The last one you used was good, but I knew we could’ve done better. I want you to have a look at them and see if you’d like to change.” She nodded when he paused. Zeke held the door open to yet another room which Silver stepped into. Her brows went up, impressed, as she took in the scene. There were rows upon rows of tables which filled the room. Along the table were head mannequins, like those seen in saloons, each with exactly the same wig on them. “Go ahead,” Zeke’s voice encouraged her as she went up to them. She threw him a glance before reaching out to touch the hair on the first one. Slowly, she rubbed her fingers through each of the wigs in the room.

 

“The contacts are ready to be tested. If you test them today and we finish up the specs, it’ll be a close call.”

 

“But you can do it?” she asked without looking up.

 

“Yes, I’m sure we can make it before the flight.” Silver laughed.

 

“Don’t worry,” she looked up, “what’s the point of owning a private jet if it leaves without me?” Zeke smiled, recognizing the smirk she had pulled. Some things never changed. “Okay,” she had finished and was walking back towards him. “I like that one,” she pointed to one of the mannequins, “number forty eight.” Zeke didn’t miss the fact that her hand had retreated to fiddle with the ends of her own hair. “It’s close to my own hair.”

 

“I know,” he flashed her his own smirk, “okay I’ll get Vicky to make the fitting.” She nodded and they parted. A couple of minutes after, Silver returned, hair a shocking comparison from mere moments before; tied in a messy bun. Zeke shot her a disapproving look at the bun but he quickly brushed it off as he handed her a black case and motioned to a mirror placed atop a desk that was eye-level with her.

 

“I have Jayden on the line,” he went to sit opposite from where she was, at a desk complete with lots of complicated machinery. Beside him were other people from before who were studiously working away. “He’ll want to know what you want shown on the display.” Silver had finished putting in the contacts and was blinking away the initial discomfort.

 

“How are the contacts?” She asked, turning her head here and there to focus at different things at various distances, testing it out.

 

“They’re soft, and there are two pairs so you can keep one in the cleaning box while you wear the other. I don’t suggest leaving them in at night, but if Jess puts up two-ways then there’s no helping it. I’ve put in some drops that you can put at night and in the morning to ease the dryness. The contacts themselves should be able to last more than a month of usage so there’s no problem there.” Silver nodded, satisfied and turned to him.

 

“Jayden,” she called out.

 

“Yes ma’am,” they all laughed as his voice came through the speakers in the computer.

 

“I’m keeping the speaker in, can you connect from the location?” She asked.

 

“Sure can. So you won’t mind me to eavesdropping?” She laughed once.

 

“Doesn’t matter. Here anything you think I’ll be interested in, I want you bringing it up on the display; got it?” Jayden uttered an affirmative as Silver and Zeke heard light tapping in the background. “Zeke, did you make the changes in my glasses like I requested?” Zeke nodded silently before his face lit up abruptly.

 

“Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you. Jay and I managed to make the contacts a single way. So you won’t need to worry about not having your glasses with you.”

 

“Okay, cool. For now, Jay, I just want the usual scanners, and updates. Also, send out a message to everyone with level two clearances and above. I want private lines open at all times for me. That includes you. Got it?”

 

“Yeah, I got it.” Zeke held his right hand towards her, palm facing up, and motioned with all his fingers except his thumb curling inwards. Staring at him for a moment, her mind caught up and she proceeded to take out the contacts. Carefully placing them back into their casing, she handed it over. He attached wires to that case and another identical one and began typing on his keyboard vigorously.

 

“Jay, you got the codes?”

 

“Yeah it’s coming in.” Zeke said nothing in return. Silver smiled as she watched him work alongside Jayden silently. She slowly retreated and made her way to the changing room. She pulled on her clothes methodically, taking her time. Once finished, she straightened out her clothes; checking herself in the full-length mirrors in the changing room. Satisfied, she exited and went over to the area she knew some used as a lounging place. Tucking a lock of hair behind her ear, her fingers lightly brushed over her ear.

 

“Jean?” she said to no one in particular. Her right ear heard static before it cleared.

 

“Yeah? You done?” Jean’s voice came over the line.

 

“Almost. Just waiting for Zeke and Jay to finish making the modifications to the contacts. Can you bring over my laptop? It’s in my suitcase.”

 

“Sure thing.” Silver fiddled with her iPod while waiting. She looked up in time to see Jean led towards her by one of the people there. It only took a few strides of his long legs to reach her and he held out a sleek black slab of plastic which she took in both her hands. “Schmitz is here; outside.” Silvers eyebrows shot up in a silent really? “I take it you didn’t call her then,” she shook her head and Jean continued on. “Well she said she wanted to accompany you to the airport. She went to scout the perimeter when I left.” He threw a glance over his shoulder as if he could see her. “I didn’t even know she’d left Fenice Rosa, let alone came here,” he frowned disapprovingly. Silver smiled, whenever he pulled that face it made her imagine Jean as a fatherly figure who would disapprove of naughty things, but let you off pretty easily.

 

“Yes, I guess there’s a cause for suspicion,” she trailed off, looking over at the entrance herself even though she knew she wouldn’t be able to see anything. “Don’t worry about. Anyway thanks,” she motioned to the black slab, “and you can probably get ready to leave soon.” Jean nodded and promptly left. Silver picked up the plastic slab, pressing her thumb firmly to its side. The “screen” flickered to life and went through some basic configuration, startup settings and security systems before opening up the home screen. Time flew by as she immersed herself in her work. Soon, Zeke came up to her, looking rather weary – no doubt because of all the work he just crammed in to make it in time – and handed her two black cases.

 

“Have fun, yeah?” She smiled, nodding. They embraced, and she waved goodbye; turning to leave. Looking down at the cases, she approached the sleek black car. Jean had leapt out to hold the door open for her, and just before she slid in; she remembered something.

 

“Oh,” she looked up, and proceeded to call out “Schmitz!”

 

“Here,” a woman’s voice rang. Silver spun to see an elegant woman with long legs striding towards her, an affectionate smile on her lips. Silver’s face mirrored her expression and she stood on her toes to give the lady a hug. “It’s good to see you.”

 

“You too,” Silver replied, “shall we?” She motioned to the door, and the woman slid in; followed by Silver. Making herself comfortable, Silver brought up a mirror in front of her and proceeded to put in a pair of the contacts from one of the cases Zeke had handed her earlier. She finished just in time to feel the car pull out of the area. “Jay, you set up?” Lights flickered before her eyes and systems booted up the contacts.

 

“I am now,” came Jayden’s reply.

 

“Good,” she blinked a couple of times to get used to the odd feeling. Pulling up her suitcase and unzipping it, she pulled out the black box Zeke had given her earlier, undoing the firm clasp and opening it up. It unfolded to a portable metal box with a velvet interior and three sub-shelves. In the top shelf, she slid in the two slim black cases which held the contacts.

 

The second had a two-by-four row of small boxes which were similar to ones that held engagement rings and the like. Each box had an alphabet stitched into the top of its case. Six had the letter S engraved in deep crimson; the other two had M engraved in a rich dark blue hue. She pulled out the first box from the left with the letter S on it, flipping open the lid. Inside were two things. A wire of sorts which had an end that was shaped like a rather odd square, and a thin strip of something transparent, in which ran several miniscule fiber-optic wires. She took the first wire, held the square end firmly and opened her mouth. Silver fit the square over one of her back molars so that it rest between the bases of two teeth and wrapped the rest of the wire around said tooth. The clear strip was pulled out, and she removed a sheet from it to reveal a sticky side, which she proceeded to stick right in the hollow under the right ear. Then, she pressed against it a little, and it lit up; along with some notifications on her contacts.

 

“Voice manipulator connected and functional,” Jayden’s voice called out. “Try it out.”

 

Hello,” she dragged out, “mellow yellow fellow.” A laugh.

 

“Works fine. You’re good to go.” Silver hastily but carefully placed everything back as it was, and zipped up her belongings. Just in time, the car slowed to a stop. She let out a deep breath, willing herself to calm down.

 

“Alright, let’s do this thing,” placing her hand on the handle, she called back to Jean “take the week off will you?” She was rewarded with a laugh and an affirmative.

 

“Don’t work yourself too hard.” She smiled. Silver stepped out, but turned her upper torso quickly so that no one would be able to see her just yet.

 

“Schmitz, you coming?” The girl looked up, disbelief in her eyes. Silver quirked a brow and smirked at her dumbfounded expression. Shaking herself out of her stupor, the girl nodded rather enthusiastically; taking Silver’s outstretched hand to exit the car. Once out, they both turned; faces wiped and blank. The effect was quick, if not immediate. People turned, whispers, then murmurs; then the phones and cameras were out. Suppressing a sigh, Silver strode confidently towards her destination as quickly as she could pass off as walking. Schmitz trailed behind her silently. As they walked through the archway that was the entrance to the airport, she slipped on a pair of dark maroon-coloured shades, straightening out her stance and took sure and steady steps toward a familiar part of the airport; the gate leading to PhoenixCorp’s private hangar. Snaking her hand towards her left pocket, she pulled out her phone to check the time. No rush. The gate was through a lounge of sorts where those who had clearance to any of the similar gates through it could relax before departing.

 

Breezing through the make-shift security, she went through a doorway to the lounge and came upon the image of two other people chilling on the expensive couches. She had expected one, not two. “Alex?” the name slipped incredulously from her mouth before her brain had a chance to finish taking in the scene. Said person turned, directing a surprised expression in her direction. She heard Schmitz shifting her stance and Silver immediately held up her hand to reassure her. Calming her nerves after her outburst, she put on a polite smile. She was answered by an honest smile from Alex in return.

 

“Silver!”

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