Along with other work today, I got the first 1480 words written on Tales From The Longview #2: The Selling of Suzee Delight.
As with the first story in the series, I’ve started with the main character, who in this case is the First Courtesan of the Court of the Diamond Dome, a pleasure palace on the small Pact World of Cheegoth. She’s in trouble.
Here’s a long snippet from the scene I finished today.
NOTICE: This material is copyrighted, unchecked raw first draft, probably buggy. Please don’t post typos or corrections (I do my edits at the end of the first draft of the project and will not see your comments when I revise). This material may not survive to publication. Do not quote or repost anywhere or in any format. Thanks.
Preliminary Death Sentencing Interview #1
Danyal Travers, Official Capital Offenses Interviewer, Cheegoth:
You have stated your name and ident. For the record, who are you?
Suzee Delight, First Courtesan, Court of the Diamond Dome, Mariposa Pleasure City, Cheegoth:
What I am was chosen for me when I was nine years old, when the Educational Selectors discovered that I could sing and dance and play musical instruments and draw pretty pictures—and when they also discovered that my aptitude for science and mathematics was even stronger than my aptitude for the arts. Wishing to suppress my mathematical and science interests and to encourage my entertainment abilities, the Selectors removed me from my consumer cohort, named me Tawny Girl, and placed me on the Introductory Arts and Pleasures track. I was trained to be a consort.
Because I exhibited superior skills and ability to learn, when I was twelve I was renamed Sweet Silver and placed into Advanced Arts and Pleasures. Along with my physical and entertainment training, I began learning languages, courtesies, and what the Pleasure Masters refer to as Polite Observational Skills.
Interviewer (interrupting): Spying.
Suzee Delight: I’ve heard it called that. I do not think that is the correct word. My training teaches that as a consort and courtesan, my service to my profession must consist of equal parts information gathering and recording on my clients, and the providing of entertainment and pleasure for my clients.
Third voice: Suppress that, Travers. That does not go into the public record.
Interviewer: I’ve deleted that. Prisoner, please continue.
Suzee Delight: By the age of seventeen, I had learned so far beyond the rest of my Pleasure cohort that I was moved into Masters training in Arts and Pleasures. At that time, I was renamed Suzee Delight, and for the past four years, I have been the First Courtesan of Diamond Dome. I have served at the direction of the Pleasure Masters, and at the pleasure of my clients.
Interviewer: While the information you have given is true, it does not answer my question. Who are you?
Suzee Delight: I’m sorry. I don’t understand your question.
Interviewer: You murdered the Chief Pact Administrators of the five most populous and powerful Pact Worlds. You did so during a seduction dance performed for all five men at once, using a knife that you could not possibly have had, hidden beneath your costume and…on…on…
(The sound of the interviewer taking a deep breath is followed by a long silence.)
You killed all five of them before any one of them could tell what you were doing to the others. Our holos show that you never hesitated, that you never missed a step, that not one of the men had any inkling of his danger or made any move to protect himself when you killed him.
Suzee Delight: Yes. I am a remarkable dancer.
Interviewer: I want an answer to the question I asked you. Someone planted you in the Diamond Dome, someone gave you the order to kill the Administrators, someone gave you the knife, someone put you up to this. WHO ARE YOU REALLY?
Suzee Delight: I am not a who. I am a what. I am the product of my training. Every moment of my life since I was tested at the age of nine has been recorded; every action I have taken with every man and woman who has paid for pleasure from me is available to you in full holographic detail. In every encounter I have acted on my training, and I have done exactly what that training has dictated I do.
Interviewer: You’re saying that you acted on your own—that you murdered the five Pact World Administrators because your whore training required that you do so?
Suzee Delight: I am a courtesan. I don’t know what training whores receive. My lifetime of training as a courtesan required that once I learned and verified the truth about my old friends and longtime clients—Radiva Kels, Stannal Bregat, Nethamatnu Ha, Soth Smithe, and Kiero Chenzwa—I had to stop them before they could commit the crime they had planned.
And the only way I could stop them, because of the enormity of the crime they were planning and how close they were to committing it, was to kill them. They were going to eliminate personal property and rights for anyone classed B1 or lower, and make slavery mandatory on the Pact Worlds.
Third voice: OH, GOD! Delete, delete, delete! Stop the interview, get her back to her cell, and delete that entire last bit.
(The sound of someone pushing buttons while warnings sounded, and then a long pause.)
Interviewer: Prisoner, we’ll resume this interview at a later time.