You know the drill -- I'm posting unproofread drivel as I write it...
T H E I N F I N I T Y S E R I E S
* III *
Author: D. Sanders
The Rest of this un-proofread BS can be Found here:
“I wonder how my dad is. I know he’s feeling a bit down since I left.” Brion said just looking at his dinner.
“Son, every father hates to see his children grow up because you do it so damn fast. He’ll be fine eventually, we all will.” Val said pouring wine for everyone and then holding up his glass. “To family.”
“To family.” Everyone raised a toast and drank deeply.
Lord Xantarun Indivar wanted nothing more than to get to his chambers at the university and shut his door. He couldn’t take a breath without everyone watching the favored youngest son of Sansun’s Leading Lord Xartova Indivar. Xantarun’s elder brothers all followed in their sire’s footsteps and held political pull in all the jurisdictions of Sansun.
Xan favored his hosting parent, Devapa Indivar. Devapa had always been the gentle guide in his life, taking great pains to teach his son what it truly meant to be noble. Xan missed his Hopa terribly; Devapa had died suddenly from blood clot in his brain. One moment he had been there, smiling and telling Xan a story, the next moment Xan had seen his beloved Hopa fall lifeless to the floor. What angered Xan the most was his Sipa’s reaction. Devapa had barely been in his grave before Xartova had a new mate at his side. Twenty years of mate-matched union, three children, Devapa turning blind eyes to infidelity with their Ounta servants and other Primas and what did he get out of it? Just his youngest son weeping at his grave in anguish and fury at the waste and wishing it had been Xartova in that grave instead of the beautiful Devapa.
Xan vowed then never to be like his Sipa, he hated everything about him. Devapa had been the noblest of them all, and bore it all in silence. Xan would never forget his Hopa, never.
Xan reached his rooms, vast and palatial as befitting his rank, he found that too a waste and excess. But that was the way Sansun was and he was just one man fighting a caste system that had been in place for thousands of years. The Prima, the gifted ones ruled everything, they had the finest clothes, food, education, everything at a whim and gained off the labor of the Ounta.
Biologically the Ounta and Prima were no different. They were a bi-gendered humanoid marsupial race, They were all tall, male in all outward appearances and they all had the same reproductive system, each was capable to sire or host.
When they mated, the sire’s semen would enter the small gestational chamber of the host. It was a small flapped canal accessible only when penetrated at the right angle. It was very hard to reach at all and only the right conditions would achieve a conception and only if the host was in his fertile season, Every six months or so for a few weeks every inhabitant of Sansun went through a period of almost an insane need to mate, if both partners were in a mating heat Xan had heard the sex was incredible. But then he didn’t know, he’d yet to find a decent partner to mate with, so many left him emotionally cold but if he ever did find one and the conditions were perfect, in a few weeks he or the host would painfully pass what was commonly called a pearl.
It looked nothing like a pearl, and more like a jagged hard stone. It was incredibly painful for the host to pass, even if they were quite small. The stone would then be placed under the large flap of skin that covered their abdomens where the pearl would soften allowing the fetus within the protective passing pearl to grow inside the pouch of the hosting parent. The pearl casing would be reabsorbed into the host’s body after a few months and the infant growing would begin to suckle from the hidden mammary glands within the pouch. The entire process took nearly a year before the infant would emerge from the protective pouch of the host. Only to return there until it was just too big to fit for comfort. An infant would sometimes demand of its host to return to the pouch when the host was just not able to hold him any longer.
Many long nights of crying and tantrums were endured. Prima and Ounta alike.
Xan had been one of those demanding infants according to his Hopa. Xan smiled as he remembered his Hopa teasing him about it. “You were nearly two before you stopped trying to crawl back to me. Such a silly, but adorable child.” Xan could hear Devapa’s voice in his head to this day, soft, gentle and warm. Even as an infant he’d been highly attached to the man who had born him as host.
Ounta’s were just like the Prima in that aspect. The only differences were the talents the Prima possessed. Prima’s were gifted, telepathic, telekinetic, empathy; the entire range of psychic abilities ran strong in the Prima. It was the main reason the idiotic caste system had come about and the races split into Prima and Ounta.
The Ounta were talent-less, and it had been easy in the planet’s history to force the weaker into servitude. Xan detested the way his father treated Ounta’s like they were nothing and only put there on Sansun to serve him. Most Prima’s treated Ounta’s like that; it was accepted behavior in the society, which Xan found morally appalling. Ounta’s never were seen, they wore either shades of black or gray from head to foot, and veils covered their faces.
The only parts of an Ounta one looked upon in public were their eyes and their hands. They wore collars that caused physical pain if they spoke, so they were also a silent race that spoke in hand gestures and with their eyes. Household pets were treated with more dignity than an Ounta and they had no power to fight back. Xan pitied them but he was only one man and he knew it was pointless to try and change an entire society’s viewpoint when for thousands of years it had been accepted as the status quo.
Xan often wondered just how many Ounta’s really were talent-less, even though it was illegal for a Prima to mate with an Ounta, Xan had known his father had taken many to his bed and the gods only knew how many half siblings Xan had working as slave labor in his childhood home.
Surely with all the behind closed door mating that went on, surely some of the Prima talent had been passed on to Ounta offspring. But the Ounta had no voices, and accepted what others told them and feared the Prima retribution and punishment if they dared break the simplest of laws.
Showing his face in public would lead to severe beatings and torture. If an Ounta had been caught mating with a Prima he was killed outright. No punishment ever visited the Prima however, it disgusted Xan to the point he had become withdrawn and was often found lost in his studies rather than associate with the snobbery of the Prima society he’d been born into.
He threw his cloak over a chair and headed toward the bar in his room when a knock came to his door and he threw it open in a huff.
“Begging your pardon your Lordship. I hate to disturb you while you are settling into your chambers, but I have brought your personal Ounta.” The low-ranking Prima said, a silent black clad man behind him, eyes downcast.
“I don’t need an Ounta. Take him away.” Xan said angrily and the Prima gasped.
“My Lord, he is to attend to your needs, I hand picked him myself for you. He has been specifically trained to meet your needs and tastes. Here at the University, meals are taken in your chambers and the laundry is accessible to Ounta’s only. You need him while you are with us. He will not leave these chambers, he’s specifically trained to be a chamber Ounta, available to you only.”
“Fine. He will be bored to tears.”
“He’s just an Ounta my Lord.”
Xan’s eyes narrowed, he hated that phrase. He stepped aside to allow the Ounta to cross the threshold and the Prima House Master led him to a small side chamber door beside the fireplace. This would be the Ounta’s small cubicle of a room while he lived with Xan.
It held a cot and a small chest, it was boiling hot behind the fireplace and had no window. It was a cell. “You can’t expect him to live in here.” Xan said angrily as the Ounta set down his small bag of belongings. His eyes shot up and he looked at Xan as if he’d said something he’d never heard before. His eyes caught Xan off guard; they were a brilliant and electrifying blue.
“Of course he will live in here.”
“It’s an oven in here and that bed must be older than my great-great-Sipa. If you must make me keep an Ounta, I order you to at least give him the means to sleep properly.”
The House-Prima laughed. “You must spoil your Ounta’s at home. This is a grand room for such a high-ranking Ounta. He’s here to serve you, not sleep. You are very witty my Lord. Have a good evening.” The House-Prima left and Xan fumed.
“I wasn’t joking. Damn it.” Xan hissed turning to the Ounta standing there just staring at him.
“Come on, this place is huge, there’s got to be a better place for you to make yours.”
The Ounta just stood there staring, eyes wide with disbelief. He shook his head, indicating the room was fine for his needs with his hands.
“Do they have a voice limiter on you?”
The Ounta nodded.
“Barbaric. I would hear your voice come here.” Xan said from the door way and the Ounta walked over. “Turn around, let me see the clasp.”
The Ounta obeyed and bowed his head to give his master access. He felt strong hands move the head covering away to expose his neck. “These damn things piss me off. Almost got it, they can be tricky trying to read my fingerprint as a Prima. There. Access code accepted.” Xan said as the electronic device beeped once and slipped off. The Ounta took a deep breath and his hands flew to his neck. He must have worn the collar for years, it looked as if it had seen better days and it was well worn.
The Ounta turned and fell to his knees before Xan and wept. “Thank you My Lord.” He sobbed, his voice soft and mellow, and he sounded exactly Like Devapa to Xan’s ears. The whisper of a baritone in the lilting delivery of breath and sound.
“Do not thank me. What do I call you?”
“You want my name My Lord?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Kivi, Kivi Jui my Lord.”
“Well Kivi, please get up off the floor I’m in no mood to play master, nor am I ever in the mood to play these stupid roles. Call me a deviant if you will, but I believe that no man, Ounta or Prima should be forced to be a slave. I do not wish for you to serve me, I am more than able to wipe my own backside and dress myself.”
Kivi’s eyes reflected a smile beneath the veil covering his face. “You are indeed as they say My Lord. I will refrain from wiping backsides if that is not your desire. But it truly will be an honor to serve you. Your kindness is deserving of my best.”
Xan smiled and reached down to offer the man a hand up off the floor. Kivi took it tentatively and allowed Xan to help him rise. “Just be yourself. If I am floundering I will ask help.”
“And it will be given my Lord.”
“I would see your face. I also detest these, these abominations of dignity.” Xan said reaching up to smooth the veil from Kivi’s face and push away his head covering. The eyes had just been a taste of the beauty that had been hidden beneath. Black hair that shone almost blue in the firelight, fair skin, piercing blue eyes and a brilliant shy smile on the youth before him, he couldn’t have been older than Xan himself.
“You’re beautiful. You remind me of my Hopa, he was dark and fair like you.”
“You flatter me My Lord. I could not possibly be as beautiful as your Prima Hopa, He was a legendary beauty, and you favor him not I my Lord.”
“That’s society talking. I favor my Sipa in looks. And stop with the My Lord please. Xan is fine, it is just you and I in here.”
“Don’t make me Angry Kivi, I like you. Call me Xan, please. I don’t want a servant, but a friend would be nice.”
“You are strange indeed. I would be honored to be your friend Lord Xan.”
Xan raised an eyebrow and Kivi caught his slip and his hands flew to his mouth. Xan laughed. “Better. I know it will take getting used to. Come on Kivi let’s find you a place to stay in here rather than this oven. I’m melting.” Xan took Kivi’s hand as they explored the large chamber together and Xan insisted Kivi use the guest room, his logic being he had no intention of ever entertaining guests in his rooms. He was a bookworm and liked his solitude and really didn’t like people much. It was wasted space so Kivi might as well use it.
Kivi was finding it hard to resist his master’s quirks. Telling him no would be impossible. Xan was unlike any Prima or Ounta for that matter he’d ever met. You couldn’t help like him; he was charismatic and genuine in his kindness. Kivi felt like he was truly free, even confined electronically to this room with the tag around his ankle.
Once Kivi was installed in his room, he came out to find Xan seated in a chair a book in hand. “Shall I make you dinner? Are you hungry? Tea perhaps?” Kivi asked and Xan looked up from his book and frowned.
“You need not wait on me Kivi.”
“I want to. It is no trouble.”
“I will lose this debate won’t I?”
“Probably.” Kivi smiled winsomely and Xan shook his head.
“I concede defeat. Tea would be nice, I am tired from a long trip and have no desire to do anything than sit and relax a while.”
“Then relax and I will make you a soothing tea to help you rest well.” Kivi said moving into the kitchen on silent bare feet. His toes poking out under his long black robe as he walked. His clothes were so shapeless and far too big it was hard to tell just what lay underneath.
Long fingered, elegantly boned pale hands set a kettle to boil on the stove and those nimble fingers made short work of the tea leaves he blended into a pot before pouring the water over them to brew. Xan watched him over the top of his book; he moved like a dancer and made absolutely no sound. Even the clinking of china was muted as he set out the tea service and carried the tray to the coffee table next to the couch Xan was lounging on.
“You take two sugars correct?”
“They told you huh?”
“I know everything you like, yes.”
“Then I am at a loss, what do you like?” Xan asked accepting the cup and saucer from Kivi’s hands.
“Whatever you like.”
“Bad answer, try again Kivi.” Xan said sipping from his tea.
Kivi sat on the floor, his hands folded in his lap and his eyes downcast. “Xan, it does not matter does it? Like it or not, I am an Ounta.”
Xan set down his cup and leaned forward lifting Kivi’s chin. “It does matter. It does to me at least. Please tell me about yourself, I’d like to know. And drink with me, I never want you to wait until I am finished. I hate that too.”
“I do not like tea.”
“See, there. Then I shant ask you to drink with me again.” Xan smiled sitting back. “What do you like?”
“Cool drinks. Juice, I like juice.”
“What else? What’s your favorite food?”
Kivi smiled. “I could make a meal from it. I like it very much. Some Cheese and fresh from the oven bread and I am most content.”
“I’ll make note of that. We must have fondue sometimes for dinner, I like it too.”
Kivi smiled brightly, he was thanking all the gods in the heavens for such a benevolent master.
“What’s your favorite color?” Xan went on to ask as Kivi poured him more tea without being asked. Some habits would be hard to break, even if they were just good manners.
“You would look nice in blue.” Xan mused thinking it would match those gorgeous eyes.
“Xan. There are some rules you cannot break so. What if someone walked in here? I’m breaking a dozen laws right now with you. I am speaking, I am showing my face, and I am in a Prima’s room. Wearing color too?”
“No one will walk in here. I won’t allow it. Besides, we are in private and I told you to do these things. You will not be punished for following my wishes.”
“I pray what you say is true, I am happy.” Kivi said breaking down in tears again. Xan reached out and patted his head and brought Kivi’s cheek to his knee while he stroked sinfully soft hair in comfort.
“I am glad you are happy. I am not happy seeing others suffer. You are no different than I Kivi.”
“I am, I’m…” He was about to say Ounta when he went rigid in almost panic and immediately pulled his veil back over his face and moved to hide in a corner just as a knock came to the door.
He walked out, once again looking the servile Ounta and he silently opened the door. “Get your master Ounta. Tell him the Head master is here to speak to him.”
Xan hearing the exchange stood from his seat on the sofa. “It’s late Head Master. I am weary from my Journey. Can this not wait until the morning?”
“No it cannot my Lord. I have a message from your Sipa.”
“Probably telling me to take at least one political science course this course of study.”
“You are a graduate student Lord Indivar. Four years of University already your Sipa is worried for your political career.”
“I have no desire to be a politician. He knows this already. Give me the message then, I am to bed soon.”
“Lord Indivar, it is an honor you chose our University to continue your studies.”
“You have a good literature department, my father knows full well I intend a career in academia and not government. He tries though, he will fail be he tries.” Xan said taking the note, not once letting the headmaster into his chamber.
“Good night Lord Indivar.”
“Good Night Head Master.” Xan shut the door and spun to face Kivi.
“How did you know?” He asked, his suspicions about Ounta’s surging to the surface.
“I could sense him coming. Please do not strike me.” Kivi cowered in the corner and Xan walked over and laughed just hugging him.
“I knew it! Sixth sense is just one aspect of gifts. Your Sipa was Prima wasn’t he?”
“I suspected this for years, there had to have been enough mixing of blood to produce this, yet they squash you into servitude.”
“I can only sense danger. Many of us can. I don’t know of any Ounta who can do what a Prima can.”
“It’s because you have to be taught Kivi. We can’t do it without learning how either. Come with me, we’re having your first lesson.”
Kivi recoiled in horror and fell to Xan’s feet. “Please, no. You will get me killed. Xan please I beg you no.”
Xan knelt beside the quivering youth at his feet and gently removed his veil and head covering. “Are you that scared Kivi?”
Kivi nodded, his eyes reflecting his terror.
“Then I shall not force you to learn. I cannot imagine the life you know, I am sorry for scaring you so. I will not do anything that will cause you pain.”
“Xan, I am scared for you. Teaching an Ounta will get you killed. That is a crime even a Prima is punished for.”
“I suppose you are right. I just got excited to have confirmation of my theory. I am sorry.”
“It is alright. I just do not wish to see you punished I like you very much, I am blessed as your Ounta.”
“Kivi.” Xan’s voice was warning.
“Detest it all you wish Xan. I belong to you whether or not you like owning an Ounta. I am a gift from the University to you. You do not treat me as property, which is why I am blessed to be yours. There are others not quite as fortunate as I.”
“Again we will probably always disagree here won’t we?”
Kivi laughed softly. “Probably.”
“Then there is no point arguing the point is there?”
Xan smiled, Kivi was going to be good compatible company at the very least. Xan just shook his head and pulled them both up off the floor. “The tea is getting cold.”
“That is when I like tea.”
Xan laughed as he sat down. Kivi was going to be wonderful company if he kept that up.