The Aliens of the Flaming Red Sun 26/Perplexity
Mainly Purple felt it was his duty to be with his mistress in case she needed him for anything but she was quiet and just needed to be left alone. Purple felt guilty when he wasn’t working so he tidied a few things he although mostly he was there with his own thoughts. What was happening to Blue Tentacles simply didn’t look right. He hoped the Great God who is the Sun would forgive him for questioning what his master did but this couldn’t be the proper way to behave. Purple wanted to go to the Sun Temple where the servants worshiped to sort things out. The problem was he knew that the Sun Priests there would just tell him his duty was obedience and something felt wrong about the whole way religion dealt with life. Besides Purple had heard different versions of religion from servants who had been in the homeless swamps and heard what the Sun Priests said there.
A Centaurian came into the room where Purple and his mistress were. Purple shortened his tentacles and drew them into his body when he recognised one of the overseers.
“What are you doing here?” the overseer demanded, “Nobody has seen you working.”
“I’m with my mistress, she may need me.”
“We’ve got other work for you, the master doesn’t like you to fuss over his wife.” The mistress lowered her tentacles slightly in resignation but said nothing.
“In the Sun’s name I beg you, my mistress needs me!” Purple exclaimed impulsively and then regretted being so up front to the supervisor.
“That reminds me,” the supervisor said “before you start any work you should go to the Sun Temple where the servants worship. The Sun Priests there have noticed that you haven’t been worshiping as much as you should and many of us feel you are neglecting your duty.
Purple risked a short detour so he could ask Sad Tentacles, a brother servant to check on his mistress, Sad was a fellow engineer and a distant cousin of the apprentice he had helped at Lady Violet’s establishment and Purple trusted him. Sad Tentacles brought his mistress food and drink from time to time and became really compassionate when he saw her so upset. Like most of the servants Sad loved his mistress much more than his master.
Meanwhile Purple went uncomfortably to the place of worship. The Servants’ Sun Temple was cheaper and more flamboyant than the quiet Family Chapel but Purple had always been taught he should not expect anything better.
“What ails you, Purple Eye Stalks?” a Priest asked ritually.
“The overseer asked me to talk to you.” Purple replied and shifted about awkwardly.
“Oh dear, you didn’t come of your own accord, look we know some of the servants are saying bad things about the master. You’re not part of that are you?” Purple said nothing and set about disguising the way he felt. The Priest was concerned because intelligent Centaurians like Purple were hardest to keep in line.
“Your duty is to look after engines and other machinery. You should think about how to work with engines and other machinery and leave more important matters to the master and his class.”
Purple listened, he remembered that on Earth when slavery happens good people work to Free the Slaves. A lifetime of servitude had taught Purple to conceal his feelings and the Priest had no idea how sceptical he was. “Your master will decide how you work and how you live, your duty is to be obedient and to accept gratefully whatever the master gives you.”
Purple shaped his tentacles to suggest acceptance but only Purple knew how little he agreed.
“Your master will decide what happens to his son Blue Tentacles and how his son Blue Tentacles will live and it’s not for you to question that either.”
The Priest had not seen the boy and had no idea that Purple had been with Blue Tentacles. If he had known he would have realized Purple might not be so easily convinced.
“Good” the Priest added, “now your duty is to go and check the machinery in the Bridal Chamber.”
“The Bridal Chamber?”
“That’s right, the master and Slithery Tentacles both want the New Bridal Chamber to be ready for when the boy stops being silly and agrees to the marriage.”
- Chapter 27 Brothers in Servitude