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23 May 2013 @ 05:52 am
FIC: Serin's Secret Garden, Part 3/18  
Author: Osiris Brackhaus
Story Title: Serin’s Secret Garden
Part: 3/18
Rating: PG/NC17
Configuration: m/m, M/m
Characters: Kendrik/Yaden, Kendrik/Luca, Kendrik/Yuri Dracon
Warnings: slavery, prostitution, rape mentioned, violence, sex, sex on stage, various abuse, severe brainwashing, murderous flora, drugs, potentially underage sex.
Word Count: 2.300/50.000
Setting: 'Phoenix Empire' verse, see Phoenix Empire Timeline & Index
Summary: Arriving on Serin, birthplace of House Dracon, Kendrik enters the Secret Garden as a slave, to learn how to perform for his master’s guests…
Feedback: Yes, please! Constructive criticism welcome!


Birthplace of House Dracon.

Home of the most poisonous, aggressive, omnivorous and plain murderous fauna and flora humanity had ever encountered. Particularly the flora. Quite unsurprisingly, Serin was also the source of most of the drugs, poisons and precious organic materials of the Empire.

It was a fascinating planet, to say the least, and Kendrik was almost a little disappointed that he would not be able to see much of the famous forests of Serin.

But as Commander Li Ma had promised, he had been ported right to Serin spaceport. From there, a grim chauffeur had picked him up in the lobby, his lapel pin of a stylized dakka flower in a square box instantly identifying him as a member of staff of the Secret Garden. The guy hadn’t said a word, only picked up Kendrik’s impressive array of valises and walked him to the underground parking area. From there, they had left along the planet’s only road towards the establishment Kendrik would be ‘training’ in for the next weeks.

Looking through the tinted glass at the seemingly endless lineup of houses, Kendrik smiled despite himself.
Serin was a planet no one in his sane mind would consider suitable for human life. The original settlers must have been pretty damn desperate to even try building a life among all these monsters. But these days, there was a sizable population living on Serin, most of them along the only real city on the planet – the houses along the only real road on the planet.

Originally, human settlements had been single, fortress-like mansions and towers in the wild, protected from the constant assault of wildlife by massive energy screens. With those mansions unconnected by roads, all transport had been organized by air travel.
But when off-world trade became more and more important and House Dracon rose to become one of the Royal Houses, they decided that there had to be at least one ground connection from the spaceport to the Lair, the central palace and official seat of the head of the House. So a wide swath of jungle was cut down, at tremendous financial and human costs, until a proper road went from port to palace in a single straight line of almost fifty miles.

It didn’t take long for the inhabitants of Serin to realize that on both sides between the road and the energy screens, there was enough room to build a small house. As cheap, protected building ground was a thing unheard of on Serin, it only took a few years until the whole length of the road was settled.

Today, the buildings lining the road were stacked like sardines in a tin, piling as high as the inward-curving shields allowed. With no natural landmarks along the road through an endless sea of green, the houses had to become landmarks by themselves. Consequentially, a breathtaking riot of building styles, colors, lights and advertising lined the road, with each new building project trying to be even more iconic than its neighbors. It made the half-hour trip from the spaceport to the Secret Garden a unique tour, indeed.

As one of the oldest and most renowned brothels of Serin, the Secret Garden had been one of the first buildings here on the road, and one of the very few still standing. Since almost four centuries, now, it had been the first address for bored Dracon who longed to be entertained. Four hundred years of drugs, rape, murder, torture and all kinds of cruel games the House of the Dragon could come up with. It was a history that made the jaded Dracon smile with anticipation and elicited shivers in every other citizen of the empire.

The generations of human suffering that had happened behind the walls of the Secret Garden had saturated the place with pain. Several psions had already collapsed in screaming agony just because their cab had passed the building.
But exactly that was the reason why Kendrik was so uniquely qualified as a spy inside the Secret Garden. He wasn’t just a strong telempath. He also was a blocker, able to suppress both supernatural effects and his own empathic senses. As far as he knew, he was the only psion even considering to work inside the Secret Garden, let alone to actively use his supernatural senses.

But Kendrik was confident he would have the strength do get this job done. He had been a soldier before he had met Yaden, fighting in the civil war that ravaged his home. Killing another sentient was about as painful to a sensitive empath as it could be, and he had done it many times. Too many times, probably, but he had always been able to separate himself sufficiently from his perceptions to get the job done.

How much worse could a brothel be?

The Secret Garden’s background radiation was also why the Phoenix Knight Tower had chosen this slightly cumbersome method of transportation, instead of porting him directly into the establishment. Sitting in a car, traveling at a comparatively leisurely speed, he would at least have a chance to call the mission off as soon as he felt overwhelmed by the residual emotions.

Shifting restlessly in his seat, Kendrik found himself adjusting the slave collar he was wearing around his neck. A thick golden choker with a beautiful emerald, it suited him so well it almost looked like a piece of jewelery. But it was unmistakably a slave collar, and Kendrik was more than a little surprised how much it irritated him. Even if he only pretended to be a slave.

But then, the Secret Garden approached, and Kendrik focused on his mission again. Even before the building came into sight, he could feel a churning cloud of pain and misery in that direction. The sheer volume surprised Kendrik, who had assumed it would be maybe as bad as the background radiation at the site of some war crime, or the like. He had seen and survived enough of those. But this was so much more pervasive, choking, threatening to overwhelm any sense of self in the former soldier.

But so far, he coped. Clamping down on his own powers always felt like turning the world around him black-and-white, a whole dimension of information missing from his perceptions. Dull, but sometimes dull wasn't a bad thing at all. Like, right now.

The car slowed down as they finally reached their destination, and Kendrik got a first and last look at the building he would be living in for the coming weeks. Somewhat squat and flat, the Secret Garden didn’t look so much like a building, but more like a twenty-foot-high wall, a smooth, windowless expanse of shiny black bricks that stood in stark contrast to the otherwise gaudy architecture along the road. Not even a sign or name marred the austere beauty of the place. The only visible interruption of that wall was a plain, covered driveway, its open sides covered by holographic scrambler screens for privacy.

Leaving the road and entering the driveway, Kendrik had to swallow, trying hard to keep his calm. Every nerve inside his body screamed to run, to flee from this place of evil. But it didn’t get worse than that, and slowly, he felt himself relax into some state of uncomfortable calm. At least, it could be mistaken for meek insecurity easily enough, as it would befit a Dracon pet being sent here for training.

The car stopped, and much too soon, the driver opened the door, gesturing Kendrik to get out.

Taking a deep breath, he braced himself and did as he was told. Much to his own discomfort, he realized his hands were trembling. Nothing that would give him away, actually, it made him being a pet much more believable. But it also meant keeping himself from running away was eating up much more of his concentration than he would have liked. It would take some getting used to before he could even think of opening his psychic senses here.

Around him, the sounds of the road were muted, the outside world a lazy waterfall of faded colors through the scrambler screens. The Secret Garden took a lot of effort to live up to its name, Kendrik mused.

The driver ushered Kendrik into the building with gentle insistence, while a whole flock of servants descended on the car and took care of Kendrik’s luggage. A succession of liveried guards led Kendrik through a maze of dimly lit foyers and dark corridors, apparently just the rooms used to store the coats and weapons of the various patrons.

Finally, a huge, double-winged door opened before them, light and music pouring out like a revelation, and despite everything, Kendrik had to smile at the carefully manipulative orchestration. The Secret Garden was not only secret, it was also well removed from the outside world, implying a sense of safety and privacy that would allow the patrons to truly relax, let go and enjoy themselves. And probably, spend unholy sums of money in the process.

Behind the door, a huge, red-and-gold lobby almost collapsed under its own splendor; a grand and oddly tasteful cave of fluted pillars and chandeliers, vaulted ceilings and gilded murals. A handful of guests were lingering on purple settees, apparently waiting for their friends or some poor whore they had ordered. Maybe both.

Kendrik was still marveling at the admittedly beautiful ceiling and wondering how in hell they had fit such a high room behind the black wall as he finally was addressed for the first time since arriving here on Serin.

“You must be Kendrik.”

Snapping around, he found himself facing a stunning woman of indiscernible age. Beautiful, yes, but it was her striking poise that made her stand out even with all the splendor around her. Kendrik wouldn’t even have needed the fine slave's collar around her neck or the square pin at her chest to know she worked here.

“Welcome to the Secret Garden. I hope your voyage here was uneventful?”

“It was,” Kendrik replied politely, trying to sound like a pet, even though he was mostly guessing. “I hope it is not too much of an inconvenience that I am here.”

“Your master paid for us to train you,” the woman replied evenly. Clamping down on his supernatural senses as he did in the moment, he couldn't even tell the color of her aura, but Kendrik was sure there was something like compassion in her eyes.

“We’re all professionals here, so as long as someone pays, we’re happy to oblige," she continued, allowing herself a tiny smile at her mediocre joke.

“Don’t worry, it won’t be too bad," she added with a reassuring nod. "I am Mistress Ondine, and you can address me as ‘Mistress’. Think of me as your shift leader, but really, in all ways that concern you, I am your current master. I will assess your skills and assign your training. I will report your progress to your master, and I will ensure you won’t fail. Any questions?”

“No, Mistress.”

“Good.” She smiled, but the smile never reached her eyes. “Now follow me, I will show you your quarters.”

Mistress Ondine turned around and led the way, and much to his own surprise, Kendrik found it hard to concentrate on the surroundings any longer. She definitely was a woman of exquisite proportions, and he found himself mesmerized by the way the perfect curve of her ass swayed ever so slightly in her walk. The glossy fabric of her simple sheath dress slipped over her skin with an faint rustle, just loud enough to be audible, making it even harder to concentrate on anything besides her perfectly swaying behind. And he usually didn’t even fancy women.

“You’ll get used to it,” Mistress Ondine suddenly said, and it took Kendrik a heartbeat to remember that he was supposed to look up. She had stopped in the middle of some hallway, devoid of customers, and was now smiling at Kendrik over her shoulder. “Never mind, it is a compliment, and an honest one on top. That is a rare thing in our profession.”

Honestly at a complete loss of words, Kendrik just smiled back at her, sheepishly.

What was he supposed to say anyway? Sorry Ma’am, but I’m a soldier, not a whore? Taciturn but full of passion? Considering the way he looked, that sounded ridiculous even to Kendrik. Even though it had been perfectly truthful until just a few days ago.

Luckily, she didn’t wait for Kendrik to say anything. Instead, she pointed at a bunch of colored lines running along one side of the corridor.

“You see these lines?” she asked calmly. “They will serve as your basic orientation until you feel a little more at home here. Blue line always leads to the staff quarters, the green one leads to the canteen. Red lines lead to the areas accessible to customers, so never go there unless you’re in company. Understood?”

“Yes, Mistress.” Only in the last moment Kendrik managed not to address her as Ma’am. Beautiful and courteous as Mistress Ondine was, there was also an undeniably military crispness about her.

“Good.” Eying Kendrik for a moment, she asked: “Can you read?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Good. There are maps hanging on every major crossing, so you’ll be able to find you way around this place in no time.” Looking Kendrik up and down again, she added: “I’ll show you the canteen next, and then your room, where your first instructor will be picking you up.”

“Yes, Ma’am.” Maybe, if he saw this mission as some kind of kinky boot-camp, it wouldn’t be that hard.

A coldly bemused smile crept into the corner of Ondine’s mouth.

“Mistress will be sufficient,” she remarked with a cocked eyebrow before she turned around on her high heels and swayed down the corridor ahead.

Dammit, Kendrik cursed inwardly. This wasn’t going to be easy.

Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainenmissingkeys on May 23rd, 2013 07:44 am (UTC)
Oh my! The long weekend messed me up, and only your post made me squee with, "Ooh, it's Thursday!" Excellent. :)

How much worse could a brothel be?

No, Kendrik, don't ask that! It's a bad question!

*fans self* This is a lovely intro to the brothel, and lol for kinky boot camp. Seriously, dear, you have totally made my day by posting this. ♥
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 24th, 2013 04:12 am (UTC)
You're not the only one the long weekend has messed up. But, hey, it's better than not having a long weekend, isn't it?

Oh, poor Kendrik is going to ask a shitload of questions he shouldn't. And he's going to suffer for each and every one of them. :D

Glad to deliver. Hope the rest works for you as well!
Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainenmissingkeys on May 24th, 2013 08:17 am (UTC)
The schools here even had Tuesdays off, so I was well and truly confused. Not that I'm complaining! It made for an excellent surprise (and a delightfully short week *g*).

Oh dear, Kendrik. Stop asking the questions! Heh.

This is grand. I'm sure it will continue to be great, too. :)
Charischarisstoma on May 23rd, 2013 10:36 pm (UTC)
Kendrik is having a bit of a conscious identity reconfiguration. I don't know if the training is going to push my kink buttons or if the miasma of pain and suffering is a true representation of what it's going to be like for Kendrik.
How can he determine who are the people his mission is pertaining to if he's closed down so tightly?
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 24th, 2013 04:16 am (UTC)
Conscious identity reconfiguration is a good expression. Though probably this is going to go into a direction no one expects, least of all Kendrik. :D

No idea if it's going to be anything feeding your kinks... Kendrik is going to feel quite tortured, but he won't be the poor tortured slave - is that good or bad?

Kendrik will have to learn how to use his talents even in such environments. He is hoping that he'll get used to it at least a little, like squinting into bright sunlight. We'll see how that works out. ^^
debbiemethosdeb on May 24th, 2013 12:53 am (UTC)
loved it ,poor guy there just a minute and messed up, but if he was too well behaved it would not be believable I guess.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 24th, 2013 04:17 am (UTC)
Hehe. He's going to mess up so many times more. ^^

As Li Ma said - he's essentially a nice guy, and it'll be quite hard adjusting with the life in the Secret Garden. But he'll find his ways.
BerthaBlueberthablue on May 27th, 2013 10:04 am (UTC)
Hehe, kinky boot-camp :) I like Kendrik's difficulties adjusting - seems so realistic!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 28th, 2013 07:11 am (UTC)
Well, glad you like it. You'll get a lot more 'realism' in the next chapters. ^^