Susanna's Story Ch2: Writing Herself
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The History of YoSaffBridge


Notes: Thanks to Glacier-daughter and Cassie E who both thought there was more to Susanna's Story. Turns out you were right! Thanks to everyone else who provided feedback on my first story as well.

Ch1: The Roles We Play

Chapter 2: Writing Herself Chinese glossary Chunren – fool/jerk

2511 Yolanda Haymer sat idly in her dressing room. The makeup and clothing laid out earlier by the servants still sat ignored as she stared out the window. She should be happy, Yolanda thought to herself. The wedding and honeymoon had both been as elegant as fairytales come to life. Durran's brand new home floated in the sky on a planet with the rest of the Alliance's elite. Everywhere she looked, she was surrounded by appliances, artwork, antiques . . . objects of such splendor that she had never dared to dream of owning such even during her training to be a Companion. She should be able to be happy in this place and with this man. Yet, she chafed in this part after only three months of wedded bliss. The women from the Core still whispered in corners at parties and pointed her out to others. The unfortunate circumstances prior to her marriage to Durran, now common knowledge and very much an element of high society's rumor mill. Yolanda shook her head sadly; her well-performed play was a part of low society's rumor mill as well. Durran had already fired three maids after overhearing them speak of their suspicions about Yolanda's father. He deserved any embarrassment he felt over the matter - Yolanda had given him a way out of the wedding, but his pride and honor had not allowed him to take it. Still, perhaps after events settled down and she adjusted to this life, she would be happy. Durran did truly love her and he could afford to give her anything she might wish for. Sighing, Yolanda turned to the mirror to finish getting ready for the evening's entertainment. Staring at the face she barely recognized in the mirror, she repeated her resolution out loud. "I should be happy here."

That evening, Yolanda accompanied Durran to the Glenfeller's annual gala. Keeping her smile and persona firmly in place, she followed her husband as he greeted his friends, business contacts, and fellow war veterans. After gaining refreshments from one of the waiters, Yolanda patiently made conversation with the wife of Bellerophon's governor as their husbands discussed the politics of re-integrating the worlds of the beaten Independent's into the Alliance.

"And their valuables, shouldn't those be returned as a sign of good faith?" the governor argued.

Durran Haymer dismissed the suggestion with a wave of a hand. "Do you really want to return to them the ability to finance another war? Any world, or individual family, that chose to fund the independent rabble should expect that their valuables would eventually become loot."

The lady governor decided at this point to interject into the men's discussion. "Even so, many of those antiquities in your collection have been the heirlooms of generations of families going back to Earth That Was. To deprive them of their history . . ."

"Is exactly what they deserve for their treason madam," Haymer interrupted coldly. Yolanda carefully suppressed her smile. High society didn't quite approve of the way that her husband had gained access to it any more than they approved of her own upward mobility. Many of the elite looked down on the fact that Durran had increased his previously minimal fortune by looting rebel worlds after deploying biotoxins.

"I believe the quote is 'All's fair in love and war'," Yolanda added just before the governor's wife left their group in a huff. Her husband nodded his apologies to Durran before following.

"Self righteous chunren," Durran muttered quietly before downing his drink in one gulp. "Neither her husband nor her children enlisted, yet she thinks we should return the possessions of her treasonous friends."

Yolanda put her hand around his waist and leaned against his shoulder. "Yet somehow you always let yourself be drawn into the same discussion."

Durran kissed the top of her head. "Only to drive them away, my love, so that I can spend more time alone with you."

"If that were true, we wouldn't have to attend every party," she replied quietly as Durran guided her to another group of people.

Yolanda restlessly roamed the grounds of her home. Hopefully the caged oppression she felt would lift once the armed guards left the estate. Durran had mentioned the previous week his plan to install a state-of-the-art security system to replace the numerous guards that were currently present inside the mansion. He was worried that some rebel or thief would seek to steal one of his priceless artifacts from Earth That Was in order to make him look like a fool. Yolanda wondered idly if he worried half so much about her well being.

Heinrich was a breath of fresh air. He brought an atmosphere she remembered fondly from her days of school on Persephone. Nowadays, it was rare that Yolanda managed to spend much time with anyone her own age. In addition, she greedily devoured the computer and security knowledge that the young man eagerly provided. This game of encouraging his affections while calming Durran's emerging jealousy continued to be a delicate but enjoyable challenge. She found that she enjoyed constructing events so that she controlled their reactions. The fact that Heinrich was easy on the eyes didn't hurt either, she thought as she returned his passionate kiss. Her frequent trysts with Heinrich made Yolanda realize that she would never be happy playing the obedient wife in Haymer's successful and ambitious plans. Recently, everywhere she looked all she could only see the potential to be realized by leaving this planet and life. Sure, if she stayed, Durran would give her everything she asked for, but there was no challenge in that life. While the life of absolute luxury was definitely an improvement on the last year with her father, Yolanda remained a prisoner to this role every bit as much as she had been a character in her father's scheme. Fortunately, she possessed an advantage over all the other poor women playing roles dictated by their rich husbands – she knew how to get almost anyone to give her what she wanted. Looking into Heinrich's infatuated eyes; she shared her plan to ensure they would be able to stay together despite her evil controlling husband. Trusting Heinrich to make the necessary contacts would be a risk, but she knew just the motivator needed to keep him loyal.

Yolanda carefully concealed the money belt containing a substantial amount of platinum as well as the computer chip detailing the security codes and layout of Durran's mansion. Should times ever get too tough or boring, she'd always be able to return to reclaim her share of Durran's museum to the past. Packing finished, she headed downstairs to say her farewell to her adoring husband.

Durran greeted her warmly in the dining room with a loving embrace and kiss. "I wish I could go to Parth with you dearest."

Yolanda embraced him tightly so that her face was obscured from his view. "I know, I wish we could have another honeymoon as well." Kissing him lightly, she turned to take her seat for breakfast. "Not to worry, one night at most and I'll return. Heinrich assures me that if the necessary components aren't available immediately they should arrive by on tomorrow's shipment."

"I still don't understand why both of you need to go on this shopping expedition."

Yolanda batted her eyes across the table. "It's simple – Heinrich will be able to tell if the parts are damaged or second-hand while my presence will ensure the best price. Besides, this way you'll never again have to trust a stranger with the safety of all your precious collectibles."

Durran nodded in agreement before kissing her again. "I'll miss you every second," he said before leaving to begin his day.

After leaving the estate, the rest of her escape went smoothly. Heinrich was practically giddy with the idea of living happily ever after, while Yolanda reviewed her plan looking for flaws. After reaching Parth, they abandoned the shuttle and quickly made their way to the meeting place. Heinrich and Yolanda both stood out against the rest of the clientele of the saloon. It had been years since Yolanda had found herself this far on the wrong side of the tracks. Heinrich's contact joined them late. Yolanda put the intervening time alone with the programmer to convince him of the necessity changing their grand plan. "But you said that we were doing this to be together," whined the youth.

Yolanda suppressed a grimace at his tone. "I know baby, I know, but Durran will be looking for us both. If we wait a few months before meeting up, you'll be able to say how I was taken by force and then join me without any worries about a warrant or anything," she explained as she rubbed his arm consolingly. "Trust me; it will be harder for me to be away from you."

She finally convinced him just before his contact arrived. After a lengthy and slobbery farewell, she was on her way to freedom with the shuttle captain. "So captain, there's a nice bonus in it for you if you can ensure that he doesn't return to Haymer's estate," Yolanda offered as she took the man's elbow.

Just a Girl Making a Living


Thursday, April 15, 2004 8:30 AM


Excellent addition to Saffron''s story. :-)


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