The train bounced back and forth on the tracks. Matt stood reading his book. People did stare at him but he didn't care. What he really did not care for was the armed girl, two heads shorter than him, in a black uniform besides him. Even though he could easily defend himself, Matt's father insisted for him to have an escort. Matt's choice today was Lt. Shion. She did excellent in training today. All of the students under him have been given this opportunity. Matt's made sure they have a rather dull time and groan about babysitting. All just to get one little smirk at his dad. Why the protection? Mostly, if there is any attack from rebels. Those against the society's welfare. People who believed in the system of democracy, that hasn't been around for thousands of years. Shion looked more nervous then bored. Matt sighed and turn the page with his thumb. His other hand held his bag, full of more books.
"Commander, sir?" Shion had finally spoken to Matt's irritation.
"In public, please refrain from saying my position." Matt said with all the coldness he could muster. Her shoulders jumped a bit.
"Also refrain from saying sir."
"Yes, sir...I mean command...I mean..." Matt snapped his book shut making her shoulders jump again. Why is she so anxious?
"Matt. It's Matt" He placed the book into his overflowing bag.
"May I have permission to speak?" Matt wanted to slap himself on the forehead for how idiotic this trainee was. Matt said nothing. "What book were you reading?"
"Interested?" There aren't a lot of people fond of books for fun. Matt always wanted to find another person who loved reading for fun as much as he does, but alas no one likes reading after high school unless your job requires it.
"Yes and no, sir. I'm just curious to what book you were reading."
"A classic. Most, don't understand it and I do admit that I am one of those people. However I like puzzles."
"Understood" Thankfully the girl didn't salute him. "Where are we going?"
"A public library. The only public library."
"Sir, with your access..."
"Don't care." Matt knew what she was going to say. What they all say. You have access to go to the Overseer's personal library. He has all the books ever written. Matt avoids that place because he might run into Sean. Matt glanced at the girl that had caught his eye earlier. She stood out almost as much as he did and one man noticed it to well. He kept scooting closer. She had this fiery hair and wild green eyes. Her clothes said street rat, crop tee, pants, and writing on her arm. Her right hand said don't trust me by the means of a black glove. Matt glanced at Shion then to the man. He was old and probably suffering his mid-life crisis. He stunk like cigars. Those were a luxury only found on the black market, Matt noted. Matt held out his bag to Shion.
"Here's an order. Stay here, stand still, and hold this." Matt said and Shion grabbed the straps. Immediately after letting go he could see her struggling to hold it up. Matt walked with a smirk toward the girl. He bent down so that he was eye level with her. She happened to be staring at the floor. "Is that man going to be a bother?" She only nodded. "Do you know that man?" Again she nodded. "Can you tell me who he is?" She shook her head. Matt could see tears forming in her eyes. Matt sighed, walked over to the man, and sat down. This stopped his progression toward the girl.
"Hey" The man gruffed. The smell of smoke was sickening.
"May I see your right hand?" Matt asked taking off his own glove. His father never let Matt out of his sights until Matt put on a glove. He usually walked around without it. There was no shame in always telling the truth. As if Matt started a ritual, which is what he did, the old man held out his right hand. Criss-cross markings on the back of the man's hand told Matt this man had a hard life.They grasped each others hands allowing any marks to be shown. The back of Matt's hand was on top.
"Who are you?" The man asked looking at Matt's clean hand.
"A sixteen year old who has not lied." Matt turned his hand to have the man's hand showing up. Everyone was paying attention and Shion did not know what to do with herself. "Why are you creeping up to this frightened girl?"
"I thought I know her." No new cuts appeared. Now Matt's hand faced up in the air. "You have never lied? Why?"
"What a wasteful question. I have never lied because lying is bad. No one can trust a lier. I rather have people I trust surrounding me then potential liers." Matt turned his hand. "Now why would a man of the black market ride a public train following a girl... if not for two reasons. One is that he believes he owns her having bought her off the black market which is a crime. Second a lovely young girl sitting alone on a train is perfectly nice prey to a perv who wants the upper hand and would follow her home." The man hand twitched. "However if the second case was true then there would be no reason that she couldn't speak to me. Thirdly she is not wearing any school clothing. I do know that schools offer rides home for citizens living in the 'bad' district. Which our government is carefully planning to help those who need it most." The man turned the hands like a hand shake. "This all leads to the assumption that she doesn't go to school or has not received education. The assumption then can be clarified that she indeed has had some schooling because of her posture. A child in the slavery system, would not know how to sit properly or tie their shoes. I have taught a few myself. I volunteer to help with raids and give these people their lives back." Matt tightened his grip. "With all that I have noticed it is clear that one, she was in slavery, two, she was not always in slavery, and third to avoid lying you have to over power her not in public. Would say my conclusion is correct?" The man was deathly pale and begin to sweat under the pressure.
"Yes" His voice was breathless and the muttering from onlookers started. A woman touched the red heads shoulder with a look of pity. The girl was silently crying. "Who are you?"
"I have already answer that but it seems you are dissatisfied. I am Matt and I go to the Academy." Gasps overtook the pitied looks. "Now I have three questions. Will you allow me to ask them."
"Yes" The man paled more. "Will you let go of my hand or loosen your grip."
"No, because then you would run away." Matt said without hesitation. The next stop would be in another minute and that would be his stop. "One, do you own this girl? She knows you but to protect herself she shook her head. Two, are you trying to hurt her? Three, did you take her from her home?" It was silent. "Oh, right! Shion, please place my bag on the ground, stop this train, and notify the authorities. Sorry for the inconvenience everyone. You see, he is trying to decide if lying would be a shorter sentence than admitting."
"No! That's not why I paused! Ouch!" The man suddenly exclaimed using his other hand to hide the sudden series of cuts appearing on his hand. The man lunged forward with his head. Matt dodged the attack, twisted the man's arm behind the his back and pinned him to the floor.
"Oh! I forgot to get his name"
"Pete." A small voice said and everyone looked at the girl. "Pete the Person Keeper." Matt smiled.
Do I still consider myself free?
Sitting in a cell?
The cell is my paradise as it is my prison
I do not see how we can grow if we do not lie.
I have never met a person
Who cannot lie.
Diary Entry 55