Slum Rats

“That’s just what a lot of the kids are sayin’, isn’t it? Cyd asked. “Saying they’re rounding up all the non-citizens?” Matt’s three little lambs were sound asleep in one of the parked cars as Cyd, Mathia’s, Axel and the Skye parents sat talking on the other side of the garage. “Because if it’s not.. -- “

Mathias sighed pulling out his eviction notice. “They’re not rounding anyone up there kicking them out. Whole building got ‘em.” He said passing it to her. “Everyone on the block too, it was freaking pandemonium. I’m pretty sure my whole block is on the edge of a full-blown riot at least it looked like that before I came here.”

“Fuck.” Cyd swore, picking up the same letter she’d seen on Axel’s desk, the one littered with mounting bills. “Even here.” She eyed Axel briefly, the boy being unusually quiet, defeated. It wasn’t like him.

“We’ll figure something out.” Mrs. Skye said, rubbing her hand over Axel’s back comfortingly. “We always do.”

“There’s the Hive.” Cyd offered. “That’s where a lot of the ravers are going. They said that they ain’t hassling no one in the Hive. Not Osec, anyway.”

“That’s … what I think the end goal is. We don’t have rights or recourses so it’s not like we can challenge this.” Mathis sighed. “The hive is already packed and now add in the entire slums? It’s a whole new world down there, with its own mini economy and currency. Slum rats are going to be at a major disadvantage. Not like we have a choice.” He said seeming to be debating with himself. “The upside … they may be handing out evictions but there not handing out pink slips … yet …” He doubted they would. It was one thing to push the undesirables out of view but you still needed someone to take out the garbage.

“So what are you thinking?” She asked, hopefully. Her mind was set on the hive, for her and Axel. He was set to lose the garage, the thing he put his blood, sweat and heart into. Not a citizen, he wouldn’t get that chance again there. The Hive, he could find work. She’d sold him on the idea of rebuilding. But Matty? If Matty stayed, that was the other half of her heart. She couldn’t just leave him, not knowing where he was, what was going on. And for what? To lick the boots of some citizen shit? “Your business could really take off down there.”

“I have three mice to look after, even if I crashed at a friends, I can’t leave them.” Mathias admitted. “The job also gives me connections, but there isn’t much of a choice. I have to scratch it out in the hive. Find a way to make it all work.” Mathias reasoned. “And … I think the sooner we go the better. People are still reeling, there going to want to fight, and complain but we know that all it’s do it result in a mass exodus. We jump ship now? We might stand a chance if not just setting up shop but a place as well before the Hive runs out of space.” Mathis at the moment was being extremely pragmatic and with three kids hanging on and his family he was NOT taking any chances!
Cyd nodded. “Mom? Dad? This is your chance. You’ll never have to work for She Yen again. I… don’t know what kind of work will be in the hive, but we’ll find a way. You, me, Matty, The kids. Axel. We’ll find a way.”

“Our home is with you our kids. Besides we can’t afford any place else. Wer’e Skye’s well figure something out together.” Moma Skye said with confidence. “What business is she talking about Mathias.”

Mathias glared at Cyd.

“He helps me with my music,” Cyd covered. “You know how tech and sciencey he is. There’s… a lot of clubs, places there that can use that sort of thing. Matty’s going to revolutionize things.”

“Uh-hu.” Papa Skye said not buying it.

“Oh look at you two working together! Survivors are what you are! I’m so proud!” Moma Skye said hugging her two kids. “Axel get you ass over here!” She said with all the affection in the world.

“Skye family hug.” Cyd said reluctantly, enjoying it none the less. “We leave tonight. Just the essentials, whatever you can carry with you, no one’s gonna want to take in a whole… covered wagon of shit.”

“And whatever you do … don’t catch Dysentery.”

“Maddy …” The eldest of the three said from the door rubbing her eyes. “I need to use the bathroom.”

“Eh … duty calls.” Mathias said.

“Literally.” Cyd teased, knocking a shoulder to Axel to try and lighten his mood. “The Hive. It’ll be an adventure.”

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