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26 May 2013 @ 08:50 am
FIC: Serin's Secret Garden, Part 4/18  
Author: Osiris Brackhaus
Story Title: Serin’s Secret Garden
Part: 4/18
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: 1.400/50.000
Setting: 'Phoenix Empire' verse, see Phoenix Empire Timeline & Index and the Phoenicipedia
Summary: Inside the Secret Garden, Kendrik struggles with his supernatural senses – and makes friends in his own, particular way…
Feedback: Yes, please! Constructive criticism welcome!

The pain was getting worse by the minute.

It had started harmlessly enough, just a simple throbbing behind Kendrik's temples. Nothing severe, just a sign that he was constantly blocking a lot of negative emotions around him, and that it was taking a toll.

While Mistress Ondine had shown him around the place, he had hardly noticed anything overly strenuous. The canteen, the training rooms, everywhere the background radiation had been bad, but not overwhelming.

Here, in his tiny cell all by himself, it was a different matter altogether. The place was cramped, but nicely furnished, windowless but perfectly aired. And still, lying down on the narrow bed hadn’t brought any relief. If at all, the rest had made things worse, as if the silence of his own mind made the hollow voices outside all the louder.

And it wasn’t just the pain and suffering of the poor slaves that had been killed here over the centuries that got Kendrik’s nerves fraying. It was the despair, the hopelessness, the resignation that seeped through the walls of his cell and seemed to drain any confidence out of Kendrik. He wasn’t even sure any longer he was able to pull this off.

He had been here just a few hours, and already he was feeling stretched thin. How was he supposed to manage this for any real amount of time? How was he supposed to fall asleep in here, amid this cacophony of horrors? He would have to sleep eventually.

With an infuriated grunt, Kendrik hauled himself out of his bed and started pacing through the tiny room as much as that was possible.

He had done it again. Succumbed to the emotions outside of his head, made them his own.

He wasn’t desperate, he was neither weak nor exhausted. It was them, the others out there who were desperate. He had to remain focused on his mission. A mission that was vitally important to the Empire.

With relief, Kendrik felt the hopelessness inside him recede. So it definitely had been an external emotion, and him being angry about this had helped separate him from it. He had made a beginner’s mistake, and he would not let that happen again. Kendrik thanked whatever deity might be listening that he had made this mistake when he was alone.

Nervously massaging his hands, Kendrik wondered what he was going to do next. Ondine had told him to wait in his cell until his instructor arrived. But this tiny, impersonal cell offered no distraction at all, nothing to take his mind of the demons lurking just outside his perception, all the horror and despair that was scratching at his mental defenses. And he definitely couldn’t go on pacing up and down, three steps in each direction. That would drive even a non-psychic crazy.

So finally, he remembered what he had been doing back during the days when had just enlisted with the army, and he had been forced to hide that he was a psion – he started working out. Swiftly, the tiny chair and the equally tiny desk were put onto the bed, and Kendrik was down on the floor, doing push-ups. Two-armed, one-armed, with his feet on the chair, you name it. Anything to keep his mind from going silent. Anything from keeping himself from hearing those voices outside.

Though, actually, some of these voices seemed to come from the other side of the door, not from inside his head.

Startled, Kendrik stopped moving, listening carefully. So far, the Secret Garden had been a place full of dignified and diligent silence. But now there definitely was a man outside in the hallway, yelling, cursing. And rapidly coming closer.

“You fucking little rat!” a man’s voice shouted somewhere not far off. “I’ll make you pay for this, you filthy little coward, I promise -”

Before he could even think about it, Kendrik was back on his feet again. Grateful for any kind of distraction, he was out on the hallway without even putting his shirt back on.

He wasn’t half out of his room when someone ran into him. The other person was short and much lighter than Kendrik, but running damn fast, and both of them had trouble to keep their footing.

“Whoa, watch out!” Kendrik exclaimed, more startled than angry.

“No, no! Please, let me go!”

Instinctively, Kendrik had grabbed the other person’s arm, and only now really registered that he was holding a boy, half-naked, who was struggling to get out of his grip. Black haired, maybe fourteen, fifteen years of age, with the most startling blue eyes Kendrik had ever seen.

“Please!” the boy pleaded, his eyes big as saucers and oddly mesmerizing. “Please, Clive will beat me black and blue again!”

“I won’t let anybody hurt you.” Kendrik said instantly, his protective instincts flaring. Nobody would harm a child while he was around.

“Okay...” the boy whispered cautiously, trying to pry Kendrik’s fingers off his arm. “Then, like, now?”

“There you are, you little viper!”

Looking up, Kendrik saw a man running around the corner of the hallway. Big and brawny, maybe forty years old, wearing a dark vest over his tattooed chest and thick leather pants with the fly still open. Judging by the way he was staring at the boy, this had to be Clive.

Kendrik hated him instantly.

“Whoever you are,” Clive started, “thanks for catching that little rat for me.”

Walking up to Kendrik, Clive reached out as if expecting him to hand over the boy. Instinctively, Kendrik stepped between them. Whatever the kid might have done, he wouldn’t leave him to such a brute.

“No.” Kendrik replied, a tiny smile creeping into the corner of his mouth. “He’s under my protection now.”

“What?” Clive seemed to need a moment to process the information. “Listen, noob. I don’t care where they bought you from, and what you were. We have our own rules here. And rule number one is – you don’t mess with me.”

“Really.” Kendrik lashed forward, grabbing Clive by his throat and slamming him against the other wall. “Or else what?”

Clive didn’t reply. Instead, he jerked up his knee, going for Kendrik’s kidneys. But Kendrik hardly cared. Clive was heavy set, and clearly a trained and dirty fighter, but still almost a head shorter than Kendrik. He was no veteran soldier, and definitely hadn’t been through the augmentation process that was standard for the soldiers of the Scilla Republic. Kendrik could have broken his neck there and then, but he didn’t. He was supposed to act like a pet, and he would only betray the full extent of his abilities when he had no other option.

In a brawl with a whore with an attitude problem, though, he still had plenty of options.

So Kendrik let go of Clive, and instead of delivering a killing high kick to the other man’s head, he settled for a swift exchange of punches, making sure Clive could land a few, insignificant hits of his own. Within merely a few seconds, Clive was stumbling, holding his bleeding nose and desperately gasping for air.

Damn, that felt good, Kendrik thought to himself. Beating up bullies is a perfect remedy to despair.

“Now piss off, you pathetic fool,” Kendrik snapped at Clive, adding a deft kick as an incentive. “Next time, try to pick a fight with someone your size, or I’ll jump in again to even the odds!”

“You will pay for this!” Clive hissed, furious but not in the mood to take the fight any further. So he hobbled away, fuming, surely plotting some bloody revenge for the humiliation.

Actually, Kendrik found himself looking forward to the attempt. He felt invigorated and fit again, much to his own surprise. He knew that adrenalin was a perfect way to help him fortify his mental barriers, but the amount of protection a good old fist-fight offered baffled even him. He should try and seek out Clive regularly during his stay, Kendrik decided.

Turning around, Kendrik looked for his new ‘protégé’, but found the hallway empty. The boy must have bolted instantly as soon as Kendrik had let him go. No surprise there, of course. But Kendrik would have liked to talk to him, find out why Clive had been so mad, and at least get a name to go with those amazing eyes.

But he would still be here for a while, Kendrik decided, and maybe it was good to have something to look forward to. Like meeting that boy again, and finding out a little more about his story.

Meridaemeridae on May 27th, 2013 06:59 am (UTC)
Colin probably agrees with me and Yaden too. And I don't know if Tegan and Sam are around yet, but if they were, they'd agree as well, as would the female spouse. Therefore it's at least six against one and since I'm sure that group marriages work on a majority rules basis, Kendrik should come home!

Besides, there's always another way! Prosecute the brothel for tax evasion maybe . . . it worked for the US Government and Al Capone!

Or just bomb the shit out of the place and blame it on N'Bosoti terrorists.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 27th, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
Urm, I have no clue how you've gotten the impression that this group marriage is a democracy... Colin decides what's being done, and that's the end of it.

Sam isn't around yet, and Teagan, well, Teagan's still a demon. His comment on Kendrik's mission probably was something along the lines of "He, brothel sounds about right to me. Maybe, if one of those Dracon is up to his elbows in his ass, he'll find that stick Kendrik must have forgotten up there at some point." He's following his own set of morals, to say the least.

And all this just goes to show that you and the Empress would be perfectly d'accord on this matter. Though he probably wouldn't bother with some flimsy pretense. Dead people don't conspire, as simple as that. (And besides, Serin wouldn't be the first planet the Empress had scorched...)

Luckily, we're all working for the Emperor, here.
Meridaemeridae on May 28th, 2013 04:03 am (UTC)
Sounds like a democracy to me - a democracy of Colin, and I bet his vote is to bring Kendrik home.

And I can't wait to meet Teagan for the first time and see how he interacts with the other spouses.

Lastly we may be working for the Emperor . . . but who is in charge of the emperor? Bet it's the Empress. MUWAHAHAHAH! Can't wait to meet him either! I think scorching a planet (especially one like Serin - scorching it would be an improvement don't you think?) is a perfectly reasonable option.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 28th, 2013 07:14 am (UTC)
Colin's vote is to let Kendrik do this when Kendrik thinks he's capable to. After all, he's saving a lot of (mostly) innocent lives with this.

For Teagan and the others, you'll have to wait for 'The half-blood Demons of Kadan' to see how they met.

And no, the Emperor is in charge of the Empress, as odd as that may sound. She's just a little overprotective of him, sometimes. :D
Meridaemeridae on May 29th, 2013 09:01 am (UTC)
Well then I think it's about time that there was a mutiny and Colin was overthrown cos he's obviously not competent to be in charge with decisions like that!
Beryllrynthjan on May 28th, 2013 08:27 am (UTC)
You have to keep in mind that the Emperor we are talking about here is Leesha and he sure as hell is in charge :D
Meridaemeridae on May 29th, 2013 09:00 am (UTC)
And I'm sure the Empress is very careful to make sure Leesha keeps believing that. MUWAHAHAH! ::grins::

Is the empress a boy or a girl or a both cos you and Osiris have used both pronouns.
Beryllrynthjan on May 29th, 2013 09:14 am (UTC)
The Empress is entirely and gorgeously male.

*looks at Empress*


*dodges blaster fire when Empress notices*
Meridaemeridae on May 29th, 2013 10:05 am (UTC)
Are the empress and Leesha in love? Is the empress the sort of caring, loving, supportive, wonderful spouse that Leesha totally deserves?

::drools at the Empress while he's too busy trying to shoot you to notice me::
Beryllrynthjan on May 29th, 2013 10:24 am (UTC)
I'm afraid you'll have to wait until we get around to writing all about Leesha and his Empress. Currently I'm busy with more Yaden, working my way up to introducing the wife.