Will you accept your fate or will you fight against the system?
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Posted: Feb 13 2018, 08:52 AM
Captain SSS Viper
Another birthday. These were always a lavish affair in the Gray household. Vanic remembered when his sister turned sixteen their parents went all out. She got everything she wanted and more. A big tent was rented and anyone who was anyone had been invited. This wasn’t her party today, but Vanic’s. It wasn’t anything special, but it was still a big deal. No expense was to be spared for the man who had finally gotten what he wanted, a ship of his own.
Vanic was in his room getting ready. He was supposed to wear a suit, but no tie. The event wasn’t super formal, but he could tell his parents had something up their sleeves. All their family friends had been invited to a dinner party. Deep inside he hope there would be no gifts. What was he supposed to do with them all, keep them at his parents home? It was large enough certainly.
There was a knock at his door.
It was his father. Vanic was being rushed to a room before any of the guests could arrive. Naturally he protested the entire way. All the secrecy, except for the fact his father rambled on about a generous gift from a long time friend who could not make it to the party. It was a gift given in the form of an apology. He sighed as the door was pushed open.
He walked into the room.
“Would you just tell me what this is all about? I still have to ge…”
His words were interrupted by the sight of a beautiful woman standing in the center of the room. Vanic’s father handed him a letter indicating the woman as a pink, his. This one was special the letter said, but it did not elaborate on how or why. Another sigh escaped his lips. He turned to his father, but the man was already leaving, and he shut the door.
Vanic looked at the woman and sighed again. He just looked at her and shrugged. Biting down on his lower lip he walked over to the wet bar along the left wall of the room and grabbed two glasses. His dad had a special label scotch in the room. He wasn’t supposed to know where it was, but Vanic did. The contents of the glass bottle were poured into the crystal glasses. One was offered to the pink.
“I’m Vanic, but you probably know that already,” he said handing her the glass. “So what are we supposed to do now?”
Posted: Feb 14 2018, 10:47 AM
Effie had known this day was coming for weeks. It had been arranged while she was still completing her Pink education. If a Gold wished to claim her, so she was claimed. It had been something of an odd transaction; the Gold hadn't desired her, not for himself. Or at least, not at first--but that was the trouble with a good Pink. They found one way or another to make you want them, even if it was just long talks over almost-forgotten texts and fresh delight over the Violets' artistry.
The beauticians and stylists had all but outdone themselves. They'd approached her not as a blank canvas, but a statue almost completed. It makes it a bit more challenging, but that's the fun, they'd confided over the hours and hours of chatter. They draped her in rich pink, a deep rose, hemmed with gold like ribbon. She held still as they painted her nails, as they wove her hair into complicated knots.
A Brown ensured she arrived from one location to the next without hiccup, an Obsidian keeping an eye on them both, only living when another Brown and Obsidian accepted her at the Gray household. Data about her arrival had already been sent over, but Effie herself had brought the handwritten letter of apology and congratulations.
There was something presumptuous in a Pink as a gift when all Golds were entitled to two, but it spoke of confidence that Effie would be a good Pink for this particular Gold. What that meant, Effie had almost been optimistic about--at least, until earlier chatter from the Violets had gotten under her skin. There was lore, or perhaps a general rule, that it was better to be shared by Coppers who wanted you than Golds who would never be satisfied. How do you fulfill the desires of those who have everything?
Venus, give me strength, she prayed as the door to the waiting room (living room? sun rooms? so many rooms) opened. She looked at them both evenly, a gentle smile on her face. The father she'd met, briefly, ensuring he'd gotten the letter. She'd first thought she was for him, but no, no, she was for Vanic, the son.
He was young, so young. Perhaps her age, at most. But his disinterest in her made him seem younger, his flustered annoyance with this disruption, the way he couldn't seem to help but sigh. Effie waited, smiling and bowing her head briefly as the father left them in peace.
"Effie," she said. Her eyebrows rose at the offered glass, delight illuminating her features as she remembered she didn't have to refuse it. Moreover, he certainly didn't have to offer it. "Thank you." Long fingers accepted the heavy crystal, sharp eyes inspecting the amber liquid even before taking in its strong scent. She'd never had scotch before. Wine and other liquors tended to be the choice of Pinks, at least the ones she'd met so far. Anything before that had only been in rituals, carefully measured for their gods.
It suddenly occurred to Effie that her new Gold had never had a Pink before. Had he? Could that be? Then again, it wasn't as though she'd been a Pink outside of schooling, so perhaps. She refrained from stating the obvious--he could do whatever he desired. 'We' didn't go unnoticed, either.
"Well, you could unwrap your present," she offered, a teasing grin. She held out a small package, neatly wrapped. "Happy birthday."
It was a shot in the dark, finding a present for someone she didn't know yet, someone whose desires she was expected to not only know but predict. She had little to go off of--he was a Captain, more apt to celebrate his ship than his birthday, apparently. She'd gone with what she'd known. It was bound paper, heavy; finding the right edition of the Argonautika had taken a bit of White knowledge, just as simply knowing about might've tipped her hand.
Posted: Feb 14 2018, 09:40 PM
Captain SSS Viper
Young was not the word Vanic would have used to describe himself. Naive was the best word for him. The young captain had been learning the hard way that the world did not work the way he thought it should, or would. His entire life he had been told being a Gold was good, and that Golds ran the world. They did, but it did not come without challenges. He was flustered by it all, confused, and searching. It was making it difficult to enjoy his birthday, but did it matter? The party seemed to be more for his parents to rub shoulders with Golds they wanted to be connected to.
Effie... it was nice name, it fit her somehow, but clearly a nickname. The thought occurred to him as he was handing her a glass of scotch that he was treating more like a peer than property, but that was Vanic. The young man had is own moral code, one he lived by and followed. In a world where Aliens existed, humans would always be better and deserved some sort of distinguished treatment.
He nodded when she thanked him. It was more than obvious he had not been expecting this type of a gift. Most men his age would like have the woman in their bedroom by now, and the thought certainly crossed his mind. Perhaps he was in shock, but there was... there was something about her which made him curious.
He took a sip of the scotch, savoring the flavor before he swallowed it. His eyes closed slightly as the aromatic liquid danced along his tongue before sliding down his throat. Vanic looked her over as she offered the gift. His eyes stopping at the package, wrapped as it was. There was a light blush at the playful smirk which tugged at Effie's lips. The double meaning of her comment wasn't lost on him.
"You did not have to get me a gift... you are supposed to BE the gift."
Vanic accepted the gift with a nod of gratitude. It was clear she took her role as his Pink seriously. He still refused to think of her as property, it seemed wrong. The fact a human would own another human, but such was the caste system.
His blue eyes took in the particular addition of Argonautika he had just unwrapped. The paper was left on the floor. Vanic took the hand she had free after setting his glass of scotch on the bar top. One of the Browns would come and clean up the small amount of a mess he had left. How did she know, or had it been a simple matter of chance?
Vanic led Effie up the large staircase which was central to the main hall of the mansion. The white marble steps showed off the wealth his parents had been able to secure for their family and the opulent lifestyle they enjoyed as a result. Half way up the stair split, and Vanic took them to the right. His bedroom was in the east wing, the only other resident of that wing was his sister Sara.
They were headed to his room, but not for the reason any onlooker might think. Once they were inside he closed the large double french doors to the living room which proceeded his bedroom. The colors and style contrasted that of the main house, clearly more masculine and darker in tone.
There was an industrial feel about the room, but Vanic did not take the time to give a tour or point out his favorite pieces. Effie was escorted right to the the shelves bear the opaque glass doors which closed off his bedroom. One shelf in particular was pointed out to her. Every edition of Argonautika was on the self in order, except for the one in his hand. It was rare and difficult to find even for those with the resources at his disposal.
"How did you know? I mean you trained to know certain... things... but this...
Vanic placed the edition with the rest of his collection. He was eyeing a complete set. Perhaps this unexpected gift and party were going to go better that he expected. As far as he was concerned it already was going better.
Posted: Feb 15 2018, 07:07 AM
Effie had no idea how this day would go. She had her assumptions, but she'd long learned not to expect the Gods to be held by any mortal notions of schedules. She'd seen the set-up for the party, the bustling of Browns preparing. She did not know if she would be expected to be on display, the guest of honor's new Pink (and only Pink), or if she would be sent away as the Golds talked amongst themselves. She'd assumed the former. Even if she was not to speak to anyone, she understood the sight was enough.
It was this first meeting, these few moments, she knew must be settled first. Not knowing her new Gold, what she would have to perform, what she may have to endure--these were the moments that made her stomach turn, her nerves go on edge. She could not think of him as her master; her role was entwined with his, but she knew who she was. She took a small sip of scotch as though it was her inherent right, not simply because it was given.
(She was glad it was a small first sip. It truly was a drink of the Golds--so powerful, so potent, so little was needed to feel its flavor, and yet how much did they drink?)
(She liked it.)
Supposed to be? Effie tried not to think of that too hard. Could she be rejected--returned? To whom? To where? Her smile did not waver. Pink might be known for their deceit, but that was only because it took nothing less than perfect masks to hide the uncertainty behind the beautiful facade. And to hide all the things she was looking for--little twitches, little tells, ways of determining what he liked or didn't like without him having to tell her. The best Pinks didn't need to be told. Often times, they could see what their clients actually desired rather than what they thought they wanted. At least, to a point.
She watched him unwrap the gift, thought nothing of how he left the paper on the floor. She had done similar things in the past, and had only stopped when she realized there was no Brown to clean it for her. Her focus remained on his expression. Mild searching for delight, distaste, disinterest.
He said nothing.
Effie resisted the urge to speak long enough for him to take her hand. She placed her drink down (as loathe as she was to do so--who knew when she'd be able to try it again? still, propriety), moved with him as he left the room. Her heart lodged in her throat, pulsing hard, blocking a million questions. Did he like it? Did he hate it? Did he even know what it was? Where were they going? Didn't he have a party to go to? Should she be worried? Was she worried? Was she scared?
Up and up the stairs they went, around a corner and through a sprawling palace of luxury. Effie couldn't tell if she believed only good things or only bad things happened in a place like this. She remained ambivalent even as they stepped into a different wing of the home. Her grip was firm, if not tight--certainly not the playful clasp her contact should've been. More like a sudden exploration with a childhood friend.
They'd been alone before; that was no different here. There was no bed, there was very little to suggest this area of the house was even his at all. She was reeling from assumptions, waiting for him to speak, quietly praying to Jove that his caste would be kind if she could not ask for His protection.
Then her eyes fell upon the books. The shelves of books. The attention around Vanic vanished, if only for a few seconds. Seconds that felt like eternities. Some of the bindings were different, but she hadn't seem some of those texts in years. Old friends in new clothes. She smiled to keep her eyes from watering up.
When she saw the shelf solely filled with copies of the Argonautika, she let out a laugh. She crouched down to see all the variants, her skirts fanning out around her like wings. "You're a captain. I assumed you'd like the story, but I had no idea you'd know it so well..." Her fingers reached out towards a thirty-fourth-century edition she'd almost gotten him. She stopped herself, barely, as he bent down to place her gift with the others.
"You're not going to read it?" She asked. She flushed, realizing it was accusatory. "Excuse me, I meant...you clearly like the story, very much. I'm surprised you put it on the shelf so fast."
(Spoken as someone who clearly loved books, loved readings, and had always known and loved them both.)
Posted: Feb 15 2018, 09:55 AM
Captain SSS Viper
There was something curious happening with Vanic and his pink. He never stopped to think he would have something in common with a pleasure slave, per, personal pink, or whether it was Effie was supposed to be. The book she had given him could not have come cheap, and he was curious where the funds would have come for that. Perhaps she had persuaded the man who had gifted her to buy it.
The collection of books in the lounge of his bedroom was impressive. Even more impressive was Vanic had read every book which was on the shelf. There were a great many books ranging from fiction to non-fiction. Classics to newer works were on the shelf as well. His range of tastes were wide, and the wonder in Effie’s eyes told him she loved the collection.
They had something in common. It was a place to start.
”You can touch them if you want,” he said as he motioned for her to look over his shelf. His eyes just took in the scene of a beautiful woman enjoying the sight of his books. Most would find them as decorations, but the way Effie looked at them contained a hunger similar to his own.
He looked back to the collection.
”Read it… we have a party to attend. I’d love to, but…”
Did he have to attend his own party? His parents had their friends, and they wouldn’t notice how their own son wasn’t in attendance. After all, this was more about them than it was him, or so he thought. Vanic looked at the couch. The chase lounge sectional looked inviting, as did the present he placed on the shelf. If he was honest, Effie looked inviting as well, but she was supposed to be. Her training made her that way.
Vanic grabbed the book and jumped onto the couch. He was in his suit, but he didn’t care. The wrinkles would fine. He was with a pink anyway. He opened the cover then had a great idea.
”You want to read with me? You seem to like books what are your favorite?” Vanic sat up and padded the seat cushion next to him. ”No one likes books in this house like I do… so color me interested.”
Posted: Feb 15 2018, 05:56 PM
It did occur to Effie that the books might've been for pure decoration. Gold could even buy the perception of intelligence by filling a room with books. The sheer range almost tipped in favor of that--as if someone bought without regard for genre or topic, just to fill the space. But she could see the wear on the spines, some more than others. When he told her she could touch them, she knew he understood.
He didn't have to tell her twice. Her fingers grazed the spines, settling briefly on a copy of the Illiad before moving on. She tilted her head in acknowledgment--he was right (aside from simply being a Gold, when he should always be right, at least as far as Pinks were concerned), he had an event to make an appearance at. But she could tell he was tempted to linger, and what was she here for if not to fulfill temptations?
She was still making the heart-wrenching decision of which book she might choose to even look at, let alone have the time to read, when he settled onto the couch with a proposition. An order, really, even if loosely spoken--saying no was hardly an option, and Effie couldn't decide if she would've refused out of her own accord.
She glided onto the couch beside him, stepping out of her heels on the way. She curled up against him, feet on the couch beside her, as though she'd never been anywhere else.
"That's tragic," she said. How did one live without wanting to escape into books? Sure, there were plenty of other distractions--but they were merely that, distractions. "I enjoy the stories of the Gods, or at least ones where they're involved. Seeing how they're used and alluded to in recent literature is fun, too. But so long as there's adventure..." She couldn't didn't particularly books that took place in one location, around one group or family. She understood the comfort, the closeness, but it was so far from how she was raised that there was no nostalgia to tap into, and she refused to wish for things she could never have.
"I could read to you, if you'd like," she offered.
Posted: Feb 15 2018, 10:44 PM
Captain SSS Viper
Vanic almost tensed when Effie curled up against him. It wasn’t sensual, and yet it was. Her mannerisms were perfect. She didn’t get too close, but got just close enough to be disarming. He had to keep reminding himself she was trained to be this way. Pinks were trained to know very whim and fantasy of their of clients. Some even trained in various areas of psychology to predict and read a person well enough to know with just a few moments of interaction. It was a life he did not understand.
He loved that she loved books. Either the Gold which had chosen her for Vanic knew about this, or it was one of those coincidences. Whichever it had been the stage was set for the likelihood that the two would be friends, not just a Gold and his Pink.
Vanic opened the book, and his eyes closed as he took in the scent of the pages.
”It isn’t that they don’t like reading, but books. There is a lot of great technology the greens have come up with, but nothing beats the feel of paper, or the smell of a book. Some of the books on my shelf have that aged smell that comes from simply being old. They are fragile, so I don’t handle them often, but from time to time…”
She smelled nice. Vanic wasn’t sure what the scent was Effie was wearing, but she was intoxicating. Everything about her was designed to make him want her. It was her love of books which was accomplishing that. It occured to Vanic that this could be dangerous. Did he care? Not really, not now. He was lost in a world where story and intrigue ruled amongst the stars. The gods of various mythologies called to tickle his educated mind, and Effie had offered to read. How could he refuse?
”The story of Perseus and Andromeda has always been a favorite of mine. The labors of Hercules is also on my shelf. You may read any of them to me anytime you wish, in fact, I think I demand that you do.”
He smiled. The demand was there, but it was not a rude or boisterous command. This was what he wanted now. The party could wait for them, it could happen without them. All of this was brought on because of one gift, but Effie had accomplished the task of endearing herself to the Gold who had not been expecting a Pink for his birthday. Whatever she had been expecting, Vanic wouldn’t know, and he didn’t want to ask. Perhaps there was the expectation that he unwrap the gift given to him, but there would be time for that later.
Vanic kicked off his shoes. His behavior indicated he was getting ready to settle in for a while. The couch was comfortable, and as Vanic settled into is, he leaned into Effie. This was a much better way to be spending his time, rather than hobnobbing with all the important guests his parents had invited, Vanic was spending his birthday how he wanted to. He would have to make an appearance, but no one was going to fault a man in his twenties for being distracted by his new pink.