I do wish that I could understand the Leviathan around me.
Remus decided to bring me along with him to a meeting between him and the Leviathan in attendance. I assume they are important to have such an audience with Remus in attendance. He’s been silently listening to the conversation around him, occasionally chiming in but not once has he raised his voice or shown any signs of anger.
He seems calm. He’s allowed me to stand near the window across the room, his eyes sometimes wandering in my direction as he listens. I don’t dare make a sound during what seems like an important meeting for him. We’ve been in this room for hours, giving me plenty of time with my own thoughts.
Now that I know more about his origins it’s strange to even look at the Leviathan around me. Compared to Remus, they’re extremely ordinary. I take in their features with interest. They have solid-colored hair and eyes, nothing out of the ordinary about them.
It poses the question, what exactly is Remus? What part of his mother makes him into such a... divine being? I can see now why the people of this race regard him with such awe and sometimes even fear. I don’t think they even know what he is exactly. They just know he is powerful and not to be trifled with. He is the descendant of the woman that built their society into what it is today. Which pulls my thoughts in the direction of his father. He never mentioned him when speaking about his mother. He made it sound as if his mother arrived alone and if that’s the case, is Remus only half of whatever his mother is?
I jump as Remus speaks across the room, his voice loud and authoritative. I can tell by the twist of his features that he is irritated with whatever is happening. The Leviathan around the room gaze at Remus, nodding their heads in understating to his command. His gaze sweeps over them with irritation prominent before he barks another order. Remus says something once more, and the Leviathan all rise to bow before gathering their papers and exiting the room. I keep my eyes down as they file out, eventually leaving Remus and me alone in the large room.
“Come here, Iris.”
Remus’s voice comes out of the silence, and I slowly make my way across the room until I am standing in front of him. I feel his hand close over mine, gently rubbing the flesh there before he suddenly pulls me down across his lap.
My heart accelerates at the close proximity of his body under mine and I immediately try and pull away from him, my mind already racing to our session just the other night.
Remus’s hands come to rest around my waist, his finger lifting my chin so that I can look into his eyes.
“You have been surprisingly well behaved today.”
A small smile tugs at the corner of his lips as his eyes graze over me. His fingers trail down to the silver pendant that now hangs around my neck. He gently pulls it between his fingers, his eyes focused on it in the palm of his hands.
“Could it be... perhaps with a little positive reinforcement, you become more... obedient?” he chuckles.
His mockery makes me feel anger, but I have to tamp it down. Ever since he told me the origins of himself and his mother, I’ve been afraid to test him. I see him in a different light. The gap of our existence has expanded beyond my original thoughts, and now I am terrified to test it. He can send my mind to a torturous place just by looking into my eyes and expand my life just by giving me a drink. There’s no telling what else Remus is capable of.
Remus pops open my locket, looking at the picture of my family that lies inside. His eyes graze slowly over each individual face, lingering on our features before he smiles softly.
“What a quaint family.”
His eyes remain focused on the locket until he finally grows tired of playing with my emotions. He closes the locket, standing to leave the room with me in tow.
We walk up the hall of the pristine building, the sun shining brightly inside the windows. Remus walks ahead of me with his head held high, not sparing his people a glance as he passes them. Each Leviathan that comes near him immediately bows to their leader in greeting, but Remus still doesn’t acknowledge them. His demeanor makes me wonder how he feels about his race as a whole. He seems to regard himself as above them, and even still he did say that they imprisoned his mother at one point. It makes me wonder if the only thing that holds his loyalty is his mother’s ability to forgive a race that imprisoned her... And for some reason, she gave that race her son to lead and conquer for them. Or perhaps, she did it more so for his father.
We finally reach the elevator, and when it closes, I feel Remus’s eyes on me.
“What plagues your mind so much that you seem to be elsewhere?”
Remus’s words pull me out of my thoughts and I look at him. He’s watching me with an amused expression as he has been all day. He seems to be in a strangely playful mood so I decide to voice my thoughts.
“Do you... hate your race?” I ask in the silence.
I wish at this moment I had a camera or even a photographic memory because my question surprises him. His stone-cold features break just as a look of shock passes over them and he gazes at me in confusion.
“What?” he asks.
In all honesty, I expected him to threaten to have my tongue removed as he loves to do, but he doesn’t. He regards me with a strange expression, still not responding so I decide to.
“It’s just that... you don’t seem too fond of them,” I whisper suddenly wishing that I hadn’t said anything.
Remus lets out a breathy laugh gazing at me with that purple gaze.
“Hate?” he repeats looking up at the ceiling, “Hate is such a strong word. I don’t hate them, the same way you wouldn’t hate an animal you’ve been charged with. You would feed it. Take care of it. Give it a better life than it would otherwise have without you... but you wouldn’t put its existence above your own.”
Remus’s eyes meet mine and I feel a chill snake up my spine as he speaks.
“An animal knows its place in regard to the being that ensures its survival.”
The door to the elevator opens just as Remus faces away from me, exiting the building.
We arrive at Remus’s home in the city with an entire staff of Leviathan waiting. Not human slaves with inhibitors, but Leviathan. They each bow upon his entrance, and he waves them off immediately stepping to the side to reveal me.
He opens his mouth speaking to them in his native tongue and I feel his hand on the small of my back as he nudges me forward and into the care of the Leviathan servants. They begin reaching towards me with intent and out of instinct, I look back towards Remus with wide eyes. The fear of being left alone with Leviathan terrifies me. Even in my captivity, I have become familiar with Remus. I understand his tendencies and reactions a little more each day. With these servants, I am completely in the dark. And as I think back to the facility I was forced to see, my terror grows at what individuals of this society are capable of.
Remus immediately notices my concern and I can see a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. He steps closer to me resulting in the servants immediately recoiling as he reaches for me. His eyes shift focusing on a stray hair that has fallen into my face. He reaches for it, his fingers lightly brushing my flesh sending a jolt of electricity through me at his touch. He’s completely captured my attention and he finally speaks.
“An animal knows its place in regards to the being that ensures its survival,” he smiles stepping back.
“I will return for you, Pet.”
Remus looks up at the servants, giving them the nod before they finally move forward to begin primping me for the night.
The servants take their time dressing me up. They trim my hair, wax my legs, and place clothing on me that tightens my body in places I didn’t know were possible. I take note that as the servants work, they decide to mumble to one another in their native tongue. Even their giggles fill the air as they discuss things I couldn’t even begin to understand.
The Levithan language is a fluid one that relies more on flow than tone. I think back to all the writing that I’ve seen in their language as well. It doesn’t move left to right like English. It stays in one place, building upon the words that have been already set up on the page. Humanity never even knew that aliens existed until that day. And now I have been placed so close to the species that I can see their society that’s been formed.
I can see it all without recording, studying, or deciphering it. The mystery of alien life will die with any human that has encountered the Levithan. And that includes me.
It’s been hours since the servants began their task of dressing me up. I stare at myself in the mirror in confusion as a woman that slightly resembles my mother looks back at me. Her eyes are wide and filled with fear, her face filled out and cheekbones high. There’s a light blush on her cheeks and her short hair has been held out of her face by silver pins. The gown she wears is white, and hangs on her shoulders, draping her body beautifully with root-like stitching that stretches over the dress. I shake my head in disbelief. She looks nothing like me... and yet, she is me.
I look up as the sound of the door opening catches my attention, my mood dampening even further when I see Margot entering the room with a bowl of fruit in her hands. Her eyes are dull as she moves in silence, placing the bowl on the table in front of me. It makes my blood boil to see her like this. Remus brought her with us to toy with me even when he’s not around. He’s constantly doing his best to make me understand how helpless I am.
She silently places the bowl on the table bowing to the servants before speaking.
“I have been instructed to guide her to her master,” she says softly. My eyes widen when I hear her voice. Her enslaved voice. Her eyes meet mine, and I see no sign of free will. She offers me a soft smile that makes my flesh crawl.
I follow Margot through the halls of Remus’s home in the city, my head spinning like a top as I take her in.
“...Margot?” I murmur her name hoping to see hesitation in her step but I see none.
“Margot, I’m sorry... I’m sorry I couldn’t save you,” I murmur. She still continues her pace and it makes me heartbreak even further. The light of the living room shines through the upcoming archway and I feel my stomach knotting in anxiety and I find myself twisting my fingers in front of me.
My eyes drift to the chip that is lodged into Margot’s neck and I find myself thinking of Remus’s words.
“The mind is a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. And eventually, the wearer will break out of their... vegetative state”
“Margot, I promise I’m going to save you...,” I slowly reach for the chip lodged into her neck, my fingers itching the closer it gets.
“No matter what it ta-”
The moment my fingers brush the metal lodged into her neck, she whips around, her face twisted in anger as she roughly grabs my arm twisting it at an uncomfortable angle as she shoves me against the wall. I cry out in pain, my heart-wrenching in my chest. When I look into her eyes, I still see nothing even though her features are twisted in anger.
“Do. Not. Do. That.”
My eyes widen, my chest heaving in horror as we stare each other down. I shake my head in disbelief.
“Margot,” I whisper her name hoping to reach some deep part of her, but there is nothing she grips my arm tighter forcing me to flinch in pain. She doesn’t let go. Even as the sound of footsteps approaching sounds over the hall, she keeps her vacant gaze on me, watching me with the intent of holding me still. I see no familiarity in her eyes.
Margot immediately lets go of me, her hands dropping in front of her as she steps back. I can’t tear my gaze away from her even as Remus approaches me. She slowly steps back the closer he gets, her eyes lowering to the ground as she follows whatever silent command Remus gives. I feel his fingers under my chin as he lifts my gaze to meet his. I don’t know whether to feel anger or fear at the sight of him.
His purple gaze is burning bright as he focuses his gaze on mine, his lips pulled into a small smile.