Pairing: Raymond Toro
Notes: So, finally doing a fic from Raymond's pov. He's one of my favourite characters to write and yet I've never wrote from his pov till now so... I ended up writing this, mostly, on the train today (so it's pretty short!)
The mansion that I lived in was old, one of the oldest buildings in the country in fact. The natives that lived here before settles arrived lived a mostly nomadic life, so none of their settlements were freestanding. Even now they still had a few tribes that lived that way, but most now had communities of their own.
The mansion had been in my family now for over a century, which made us one of the oldest continuing families of Masters. People in New Jersey valued the stability and my father was well liked. As such, no one had challenged him for his position, at least while I'd been alive.
My fingers pressed against the black and white keys of the piano, producing music and I did so. I wasn't very good playing it, but I enjoyed music. So when I had free time I slipped here into the library to play.
I liked it here. My brothers didn't have much interest in books, so I had the space to myself most of the time. I valued it, having a space for myself. Sure, I had my room, but that was just really a space for my things and to sleep.
One day it would be a place for my first slave too. Maybe then I'd spend more time there.
I stopped playing the piece of music that I'd been trying to play and almost jumped when I heard someone clap slowly. "You're doing well my son."
I felt my cheeks flush at the sight of my father in the doorway, a s,mile on his face. I had no idea how long he'd been there. "Thank you sir."
He smiled, stepping inside and closing the door behind him. He was dressed in a shirt and pants, like he always seemed to be. I wondered if he'd had any official business today, but I wasn't going to ask. "You know, I am proud of you. You show all the traits of being a good Master one day."
"Thank you sir." I smiled at his praise, brushing a few stray strands of hair from my eyes. He was probably being too kind with his praise, I hadn't even had a slave of my own yet which was the most important part of being a master. Once I turned 18, in a few months time, I was going to pick my first one as a birthday present. Even now I was a mix of nervous and excited by the prospect of it.
"There is something I would like to show you." I nodded,rising up from my seat immediately without question. "You are to tell no one about this. None of your brothers know about this, only myself and your mother. This is a secret that has been passed down by the Masters of this family. Do you understand?"
"I understand sir." I replied, feeling something tingle inside me. The mix of nervousness and excitement at being shown something like this. Secrets were part of being a Toro, the mansion had secret tunnels that no one outside the family knew about and we were all combat trained, slaves included.
He led me through one of those tunnels, which went from the library towards the suite of rooms my parents used. "What do you know about worlds beside our own?"
It was a question that caught me off guard with it's seeming randomness. "You mean the planets sir? Well there's Mars, Jupiter and V..."
He shook his head, waving a hand dismissively. "No, I mean places other than this one."
I frowned slightly, thinking for a moment. "You mean like those cults that believe in an afterlife? Some world beyond our own where we go when we die?" I didn't quite believe the concept myself, but it was the only thing I could think of. He gave me a look and a small smile, but didn't answer.
We exited the tunnel, which came out behind a bookcase in just outside his room. I'd not been here in awhile, as my parents chambers were just for them and any slaves they used. Sometimes they had guests here too, but not often. He led me past the door to his room and opened the door to another. It was a rather ordinary looking room, smaller than our bedrooms. There was a table and some chairs but nothing that seemed to be particularly different or interesting. Certainly there was nothing that needed to be kept secret or hidden, not enough for him to lock the door as I saw he had.
He walked to a drink's cabinet and I half expected him to get drinks for us. I'd tasted alcohol before, mainly at special occasions, so that didn't feel right. He reached for one of the metal furnishings on the side of it and twisted it. There was an audible click and the cabinet, and section of the wall, swung open, revealing a metal door. Beside it, I spied a keypad but numbers 0-9 on it. "Your mother and grandfather are the only living people that are aware of this place. I am trusting you Raymond with this and the knowledge of what lies within."
I nodded, though I felt slightly uneasy. What was in there that was so important it had to be this well hidden. "I understand sir."
He nodded and then went to a keypad, pressing a series of the buttons, which I couldn't see. The door then opened, sliding into the wall and he reached inside, flicking a switch and I saw lights flicker on in the mysterious room. He gestured for me to follow and I tentatively stepped inside. It appeared to be a storage room of some kind, with shelves full of mostly books. I looked at the titles of a few of them but none of them were familiar or made sense, like The Sinking of the Titanic. The Titanic hadn't sunk, it was still afloat although it was mostly a tourist attraction due to it's age. World War I. World War II. The Civil War. The H-Bomb. the Final Solution. The Holocaust. What was a holocaust?
I looked back to my father, my mind full of questions. "There is another world much like our own." He paused, letting the words hang in the air as if they had some weight, but I still didn't understand. "It is a kind of alternate reality. The places, the countries and states even the towns and cities, are like our own. The people have the same names as our own. But everything there..."
He shook his head, his face looking grim in a way I'd never seen before. "Everything there is wrong. This place is a terrible world. Full of war and destruction and death. The items in this room are from that place. We have gathered them and kept them here, locked away. Safe. The ideas in some of these things... They are disgusting. Dangerous. Evil. It is our duty to keep the from people." There was a flash of anger in his eyes and then he took a deep breath, closing his eyes.
"How do these things get here?" I asked. Among the many questions in my mind, that felt like the most prominent one.
"No one seems to know." He admitted with a shake of his head. "They just seem to appear, as if out of nowhere. One of them even appeared on the grounds, when you were three years old. Your mother thinks that there might be a corresponding thing that when something arrives something is sent there, but no one knows. I've made discreet enquiries but no one seems to know anything. That, or they do and have vowed to keep it secret as we have." He leaned against a table, running his fingers through his hair.
"If these things are so dangerous, then why not simply destroy them?"
"I have considered it. But destroying books, even those containing this knowledge, just felt wrong." He had always told us that knowledge and books were precious, but I wasn't sure if it sank in with my brothers. He came to me, reaching over and touching my shoulder. "I wouldn't hold it against you if you decided to when you become Master."
I nodded, looking around the room, feeling an enormous weight shift to my shoulders, even though I wasn't sure what these things were exactly and I still had questions, but the impact they had on my father was clear enough that they were as dangerous as he said.
He guided me back out of the room, turning the lights off as we went. "I'm sure you have more questions, and I will answer them in time." I nodded, watching as he shut the door and the panel that concealed it. "Not that I have many to give you."
I nodded slightly, watching as he went to open the door. "Yes sir."
He smiled at me, nodding in return. "Now, I need to see your mother, you can make your own way back to the library can't you?"
"Yes sir." He touched my shoulder again, then headed towards my mother's room across the hall, leaving me alone with my thoughts and questions.