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Seconds of Your Life Just Slow Down

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Cyrus Mathews was in a situation like many other kid in Venice, like any other person really. They’d either been orphaned or lost someone they loved close to them, be it friends or. Cyrus had just lost his parents to a building collapse, a bomb having destroyed the first layer they and many others were in. Cyrus himself was only at the ripe age of twelve when this had happened and it had nearly destroyed him.

He missed his parents and he wished every day that they were still around and that the bomb had not gone off in the building. He wished they stayed at home with him. Safe from all harm. Wishing did nothing for Cyrus, he slowly realized

Now this story isn't about his childhood. This story takes place some years further when Cyrus first met Anna Monroe and when Venice started to go downhill completely. This is about when Cyrus became death itself...sort of.


“Cyrus you better not still be sleeping!” a voice called from above the man’s room. Cyrus groaned, rolling over in his bed and shoving the sheets from his body. The cold welcomed him as he slowly pushed himself up and yawned. “Cyrus Matthews did you hear me!?” the voice called again.

“Yeah, yeah old lady I'm not deaf!” he snapped back, faintly mumbling to himself as he fully climbed out of bed and changed his clothes. If he had the choice he wouldn't bother washing the sleep from his eyes, but with Joyce Cullinan in the house he really had no choice. Once he’d finished making himself look decent he quickly rushed up stairs and stood still in the doorway.

“Took you long enough.” Joyce teased as she set the table. “You mind finishing with the oatmeal for me Cyrus?” she asked, her voice old, soft almost. Cyrus replied with a nod and moved to the large pot on the stove, slowly stirring it. “You woke late again. How are you ever going to get things done if you keep sleeping in?”

He shrugged, “Maybe I should look into afternoon jobs rather than morning ones.”

“You know we already have someone running the afternoon jobs Cyrus. I gave you the morning ones because you seemed so enthusiastic about them when you first moved in.”

“That was before I got only three hours of sleep a night.” Cyrus huffed, “Why are we making so much of this oatmeal again?”

“Some of the other kids are meant to come by in a few. I’m not going to starve then Cyrus. They're thin enough as it is.”

“To be fair they actually have family or friends to feed them.”

“And some of them don't.” Joyce places the rest of the plates down and looked to Cyrus with worry, “What's eating at you today dear?”

Cyrus placed the mixing spoon down and shut the stove off. “Does it really matter?” he softly asked. “Really's nothing.”

“I worry about you dear. A child your age shouldn't be this grumpy at eleven in the afternoon.”

“Morning actually. And I’m fifteen. I’m not a child.” Cyrus lifted the pot off the stove and set it down on the table. “What time are they getting here?”

“Should be soon. You go on and finish those mornings jobs. I’ll finish up here dear.” Joyce smiled, slowly pushing Cyrus out the door.

Cyrus wanted to protest against it but at this point he really wanted to do anything but stay in the home. He grabbed his coat and quickly made his way outside into the cold breeze of the city. The city wasn't the best place to live and Cyrus himself honestly thought about making his way to one of the safe zones near it but he really didn't want to leave Joyce behind. She was kind to him, only mother figure he currently had. He didn't want to lose that.

The morning went by slow for him. He bought the groceries and grabbed some water for back home, making his way back he’d decided he’d take a shortcut. Cyrus didn’t take this path often but he felt this way was best if he wanted to see the people coming over and talk with them. It wasn't dark so luckily no one came out and hurt him on his way there.  When Cyrus opened the door he was welcomed but light fits of laughter. Quietly he walked into the kitchen, listening in on the conversation as he put everything away.

“Really Joyce you are far too nice to me.”

“Well you are going to be future mayor of the city Henry.”

“That doesn't mean anything Joyce. I would still consider you a close friend.”

“And I’d consider you a part of this family dear. You best make time for us to talk when you are mayor. Don't you forget to visit.”

“Right. Well I must be going. It was lovely seeing you.” the man, Henry, stood up and made his way to the door, “I’ll try and come by later this week.”

“You be safe Henry.” Joyce gave him a hug and lead him to the door, quietly watching as he left. “You know you could have talked to him Cyrus.”

“Who? The future mayor? Oh no I’d end up ruining his ego if I did that.” Cyrus snorted, “Isn't he one of the wealthy kids? Shouldn't have to feed him.”

“Cyrus Matthews!” Joyce snapped. Cyrus flinched at the tone of her voice. “You do not disrespect that man do you understand? He's trying his best to make the city better.”

“Sure. Better for all the rich assholes that live within the city. He probably doesn't think once about people like us!”

“He cares for everyone Cyrus! He isn't like most of the wealthy. He has a friend, miss Anna Monroe, she's just like us and I know they'll make this city better together when the time comes."

“Or maybe they'll fuck us all over and we'll all be blown up and dead because one city with two “good” people isn't going to stop anything from happening!”

“Cyrus!” before Joyce was able to say much more Cyrus shoved past her, quickly making his way to his room downstairs and slamming the door behind him.

Chapter Text

<5 years ahead>

Cyrus wouldn’t admit it to anyone else but he was lost. He didn’t really know how he ended up in this situation...actually that was a lie, he knew exactly why he was lost, he just didn’t want to admit to that either. His day had started like any other morning with him complaining to Joyce and leaving to work on his morning tasks but somewhere in the middle of completing these tasks he ended up starting a fight with a small group of wealthy kids.  It wasn’t his fault, he’d like to think, they were the ones who decided to make jokes about him. Not his fault his first reaction was to strike one dead in the face and knock him over.

Of course the rest of the group decided to gang up on him which was unfair in Cyrus’s head, and to that he dropped what he had and bolted away. Now he was, as we’ve said in the beginning, lost. Ran down the wrong path way a little too far from home deeper within the city. ‘Joyce is going to be really worried now because of you’ Cyrus thought. In truth she probably would understand, only be disappointed he had punched someone in the face for such a stupid reason. He was honestly about to give up trying to get anywhere and hide in the small alley for the rest of his life, but instead ended up bumping into another person. A slightly taller woman staring with a soft smile on her face.

“I’m sorry I didn’t see you there, was trying to get home to my son.” She’d said rather frantically.

Cyrus lightly huffed, “Not your you by any chance know the way out of this place? I’ve never really been on this side of the city so I’m uh...I’m kinda lost.” he hated to admit it, but this woman may have been his only chance to get home right now. As embarrassing as that was to him.

“Oh? Well what part of the city do you live in? I can take you there before I head home if you’d like.” her smile grew a little more, “I won’t ask how you ended up this far into the city if you don’t want to talk about it.”

This woman seemed a little too nice to Cyrus, it amazed him. She was very calm for someone who just bumped into a total stranger that could've hurt her at any second. He shook his head a little of the thoughts and cleared his throat, “I’m from the northern side of the city but...well ever building in this place looks the same pretty much so I’ve actually got no idea where that is.”

“Oh? Well I’ll take you there then. I know this city inside and out.” She started walking again and Cyrus followed, “May I ask what your name is? Mines Anna Monroe.”

“Cyrus Mathews. I live with a little old woman named Joyce Cullian. She adopted me pretty much after my parents were killed in some explosion at their work. You know...something that happens often in Venice…” Cyrus fell silent for a few seconds before the name of the woman clicked and he’d realized who it was. “Wait, aren’t you working with Henry Turner or something?”

“Sort of. We haven’t completely started working together. After all I still have my own life I have to live. A son I need to take care of, I can’t always do as Henry wants” Anna’s steps began to grow slight slower as she looked back at Cyrus to see if he was keeping up, “You live in the poorer part of Venice right? We’re going to fix that, or at least we hope to. We want everyone to feel equal here, for the killings and war to stop.”

Cyrus snorted and rolled his eyes, “Not to offend you in any way ma’am, I totally understand your beliefs, but war and killing doesn’t ever really just stop. Theres always some sort of killing going on and when theres killing a riot breaks out and that leads to war.”

“And what makes you think that?” Anna stopped. “What makes you think war will never end and no one will ever be safe?” She turned around and looked Cyrus in the eyes. Was she really serious with this question?

“I think that way because I’ve lived in it my entire life ma’am. I’ve seen people just like you and that Turner try to stop war and riots and killing. It never works out no matter how hard you try. There will always be a person of not a group of them who’ll kill and there will always be a war that starts after and causes more death. Sure maybe you’ll have peaceful riots now and again, but those are naturally either ignored or the authority, in this case the military, will make it worse and start to attack this people. Once again that would start some sort of war. Its an endless cycle ma’am.”

Anna nodded her head a little, “That's an interesting theory. Though I have another question for you, what if one were to succeed in bringing peace to the city and end what fighting was going on?”
“Then its quite possible that the said person who ended it would end up being killed by another who wants to start the war and the awful cycle of death would begin again.” Cyrus crossed his arms, as if to challenge her to give him another question. “Can we start walking again?”

Anna only nodded and began to move again, Cyrus rolling his eyes once more and following after her. “You are a rather dark thinker Cyrus, but I understand what you are getting at.” she sighed, “The sad truth is you might just be right, but its always good to try and fix things...even if they can’t fully be mended.”

“And you really think that you and Henry Turner are going to be able to fix it just by yourselves? If anything you two are just asking to be targets for death.”

“Maybe we are. That's not going to stop us from trying.” She lightly laughed, “I don’t just want what's best for the people, but also what's best for my Markos. Hes a very sweet little one. Father of him died not too long ago.”

“Let me guess.” Cyrus raised a brow, “He died in one of the bombings, maybe he was part of the military or something? Didn’t agree with you and drank himself to death? Those are the few common ways people seem to die anyway.”

“Yes for the first two. He was out fighting and a bomb came down near one of their groups. The dust and smoke choked them all to death sadly.”

“Well I wouldn’t of guessed that...that's sounds like the least painful way to die.”

“Yes well...we’re back in your area of the city. I’d suggest you get home soon, its late afternoon and that's normally when any danger comes out. Tell Joyce I’ve said hello would you?”

Cyrus shrugged, “I uh..yeah sure I’ll do that...thanks again for the help.”

“Its not at all a problem Cyrus. If you ever get lost in that area again maybe we’ll bump each other once more.” Anna waved and left on her route back home.

Joyce practically tackled Cyrus when he came home, telling him how worried she’d been when he hadn't come home on time after his morning tasks. He informed her he was fine and had some help getting home after he’d gotten lost, not telling her why he was lost in the first place.

“Anna Monroe? Not many people get to see her like that. You’re very lucky to have had her help you Cyrus. Now I assume since you haven’t eaten all day that you’re hungry?”

Cyrus laughed a little at her enthusiasm, “I don’t need you to cook for me anymore but..sure. I’m pretty hungry and anything sounds good.”

“Then I’ll get started cooking.” And with that Joyce quickly moved to the kitchen.

The rest of the afternoon was rather calm. Cyrus made his way to his room and laid quietly, not quite able to stop thinking about the plans Anna had to help the city. ‘The woman's crazy.’ he thought himself, ‘But maybe...shes got something going. Maybe she can really help the city.’ he turned over in his bed, covering his head with his blanket, “Don’t get too attached know she’ll end up dying.” he reassured himself. The night drug on and he slowly drifted off into sleep.