| [FYI Post]
||[Feb. 26th, 2008|11:36 am]
It was too bright. It was far too bright for her eyes, which had been accustomed to darkness for the past few days. She was dressed now, at least, some sort of white dress that was a pretense at modesty. She had been lined up and hosed down, had her hair scrubbed and teased, given treatment by pinched and scornful looking women that she had in the past paid salon artists large sums of money to achieve. The part of her that was still thinking critically, vanishing fast, wondered if she would be able to visit a salon again for a long time after this.
They started to send them out one by one, onto the stage. It was a podium on which she might have sang at one point, in a karaoke bar or at some sort of get-up-and-sing benefit party. What they had them doing in no way resembled a karaoke bar, although it did sort of resemble a benefit auction, if she had been some sort of piece of furniture or antique. As far as she could tell, at least, they weren't required to debase themselves for the amusement or interest of the audience. There was no one wandering around checking their teeth or their muscles; this was higher class than that. The physical screening had, largely, already been done. This was putting a particular image with a person who desired that image. And then it was her turn and the flat hand pushed her roughly in the small of her back and sent her stumbling out.
It was far, far too bright out under the lights, and something kept her from raising her hand to shield her eyes from the glare. The murmur of the crowd was little more than background noise as she stood, one foot cocked up on the ball of her foot to give her hips a slanted and swaying appearance in a pose that was not her own. The bidding started but it was slow, sluggish. She felt something lifting her chest and shoulders, proud and even haughty. It wasn't her own movement, not quite. But there were no hands on her shoulders and she didn't know what was going on.
//This is pathetic.//
The words were muttered to herself, and no one heard them, but she heard them in a language she barely recognized and had no idea she knew. Which would have been alarming a few months ago. It was, perhaps, comforting in a way, that she wasn't alone in this, that she had the backing of a creature that may or may not be divine, but was certainly older and more experienced (and more arrogant) than any member of the audience.
And more short-tempered, evidently. There was a restlessness stirring in her that made her hips sway, made her shift her balance from foot to foot. The scrutiny of the men and a few women wasn't bothering her any longer, but the callous disregard they had for her or any of the women who had come before her was infuriating. And, apparently, a serious problem that had to be dealt with.
//None of you know what you have done, what you have perverted.// Her words rang clear in the room and did stop the talk for a moment, largely because no one could understand what she was saying. //None of you understand what you have taken. You are ignorant, self-important pigs wallowing in the shit you create and calling it gold.// By now they were all silent. The bidding had stopped, no one said a word, no one dared interrupt the tirade. Even if they didn't understand her words they understood, on an instinctive level at least, the magnitude and power of what faced him.
//If this is what the world has been reduced to, it is no wonder, I suppose, that I have slept for thousands of years. If this is what the world has been reduced to, on the other hand, perhaps it is time for us to return. Time that you remembered what it was to have grace walk among you, since you clearly cannot recognize it when it is standing before you. You will have a lesson, then, although you will not reap the benefit of it for long. And perhaps you will serve as a lesson to others, a sign to those who will recognize me for what I am...// And, just before the end, Star felt the strangest sensation of eyes turning back inward on her, as though her own eyeballs had rolled to the back of her head to look at her on the inside. //And a sign to those who should know better that some things are unable to be fought.//
And then, whatever happened, she had no awareness of it.
She wasn't sure what street she was on, or even what city. It was an American city, she knew that much, from the accents and the signs and what was going on around her. But which city, she didn't know. Not one she recognized.
She was wearing a dress, not the white one she'd been in before, and shoes. Apart from a slight stagger to her step and the fact that she had no idea where she was or what she'd been doing a moment ago, she seemed to appear fine. Normal. A surreptitious glance at a newspaper told her she was in Miami. How the hell had she gotten to Miami?
Somehow, she had to get back to DC. It had been... god, it had been almost two weeks since she had been abducted. Her family would be frantic. David would be... she didn't know what David would be, but it would be somewhere between frightened and angry, and most likely towards the side of angry. God knew what Stephen was thinking. She didn't even have the money for a phone call, or...
No. She did. Cash monies in her pocket, and some of them in denominations she barely recognized, let alone... she tried not to let her surprise show as she took her hand and a twenty-dollar bill out of her pocket, heading for a cafe. Food, and drink, and then she would call home, see if anyone was there or listening. And then she would call... someone. She wasn't sure who yet.