The town seems like any other town. Simple, quiet on the exterior but digging beyond the surface will reveal a whole new world of deception, lies, and most of all, power. This is where the rich come to raise their families. But they all have their dirty little secrets. Isolating themselves from the rest of the world is the norm here, weeding out the 'bad seeds'. The children are raised with a sense of 'being privileged' and their parents encourage this. They go to private universities where they are taught to rule the world.
But there is one little problem...
The government says they have to allow a certain number of scholarships every year to the underprivileged kids or risk the closure of their schools. On the far end of town lives the poor, the down-trodden, and the downright scum of the earth, or, at least, that is how the upper class sees them. Mana Marrow tries to hide this embarrassment in their town but now, with the government intervening, they will have to allow some of these young adults to mix with their own precious, spoiled, and pampered offspring. The town comes together to form 'The Hetaireia', a secret society for the Elite, and figures out a way to make this work in their favor, however, and soon the lucky chosen underprivileged youth begin their university studies only to find that all is not as it seems. A hierarchy is born and they find themselves at the bottom rung, treated as less than second class citizens.
Will you be one of the privileged students that seem to rule the schools?
Or will you be one of the poor, who struggle for the acceptance that they may never find?
Or maybe you will be an adult, working in the town, the schools, or at the factory that supplies jobs for little pay and hard labor?
The choice is yours, so choose wisely!
1) A level or class to which people are assigned according to their social status, education, or income.
2) A group into which members of a population are divided in stratified sampling.
Mana A word found in Austronesian languages meaning "power, effectiveness, prestige", where in most cases the power is understood to be supernatural.
1) Meaning 'Secret Society' in Latin.
2) A term in ancient greek for a corps of bodyguards during the Byzantine Empire. It means "the Company".
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PERMALINK // Feb 2 2018, 07:26 PM
I'm just a hazard to myself
It was finally time!
Well, any time could have been time but now was the time that was actually time. If that even made any sense. It was finally time for Maximilian to work on recording his debut album, and Mummy had booked him some time at the recording studio and was paying for everything and this was supposed to be the best day of all time. Alright, so maybe it wasn't the best day of all time but it was definitely a good day because he'd been waiting to do this since he'd first picked up an instrument at, what, age five? Maybe even younger.
The backing track for his first piece had already been finished, including all of Maximilian's fussy violin solos and everything else that was destined to make the song utterly perfect. Now he was taking a slight break from the situation in order to relax from the utter stress that recording had been - so really, no stress at all - and had made his way down the street to a cafe just by the studio for a cup of coffee and some pain au chocolats. The classic relaxers, Maximilian liked to think.
PERMALINK // Feb 2 2018, 09:47 PM
Those past days had been a nightmare. All had began at the Whitman's Christmas dinner, and all finished at James' mother funeral. A revelation. Of course, Stella had her doubts. It felt strange that two Elite men were interested in her. But she had hoped, for something real. And all the world had crumbled down with her hearing the discussion of the two brothers, talking about the scholar as if they were mere pawns or entertainment. She had been deeply hurt, and had took all her stuff out of Caleb's rooms. She only wanted to go back home and forget about them. About their Elite life. About... her broken heart.
But Caleb had other ideas. And what Caleb wanted, Caleb got. That much she had discovered... a little too clearly recently. And what Caleb wanted now, was that she used the talent she had and finally be creative somewhere else than in his art studio or his bedroom. Stella had always dreamt to sing. For real, in a studio, to have some of her song released, and played everywhere on the radios. She knew she could, she had a real gift for it.
Only the timing was bad. Everything other than that was wrong, and going to waste. Caleb had used his name, of course, to book a room at the MM studio. She had been silent during the trip to the studio. She had tried to forget all the circumstances that had led her here today, only to focus on the positive outcome: she was recording her first album!
The morning had passed way too fast. Immersed in music, all the world fade away. She could have continued, but the technicians and the musicians needed a break. And when she stopped, she realized she did too. The guys told her she could grab something to eat in a nice place nearby. So she went. Thankfully, Caleb had had to go back to the faculty, so she felt a little better to take a break on her own. Without the constant reminder of her situation.
She ordered a Lady Grey and a chocolatine, and took the first table she saw, before realizing someone was just next too her. Someone she actually new, she smirked. Ok, he was a founder boy, too, but at least.. him... She had no story with him... At least not the kind she had with the Whitmans, "Hello stranger!" she said teasing to Max.
PERMALINK // Feb 3 2018, 12:38 PM
I'm just a hazard to myself
Maximilian had been halfway through his pain au chocolat as he waited for the coffee to cool down to a temperature that made it actually acceptable - or possible, rather - to drink when he found himself interrupted by someone else's sudden presence. He hadn't particularly cared to talk to anyone just now and, doubtless, it was going to be one of those really irritating poor kids who wanted endless attention and appreciation from him, and, honestly, Maximilian simply didn't have the time to deal with that. He was someone of importance and he most certainly didn't need to waste his life dealing with the random whims of the peasantry.
Fortunately, the person who had opted to speak to him, upon further investigation, didn't prove to be anyone Maximilian found too annoying. He'd spoken to Stella before, in the Ridge Creek parking lot and, although she had mildly irked him by not knowing exactly who he was, she wasn't as annoying as plenty of the other scholars were. He was, surprisingly enough, willing to talk to her. Besides, wasn't she close with Wes or something? Maximilian was down to talk to someone who was close with them.
"Hey," he greeted, turning his seat ever so slightly to get a better view of her as he spoke. "What are you doing here?"
PERMALINK // Feb 3 2018, 09:10 PM
Max was a weird man. He was sometimes so full of himself, it was almost funny. At least for Stella. All her life, people, people considering themselves better than her, superior, had made her feel she wasn't good enough to breath the same air as them. And in the same time, what could they do? deprive her from breathing it?
Since she was with the Whitman, the feeling of being belittled had been both diminished and exponentially enlightened. Weston had seen something in her. Caleb had seen something else in her. But they were still Elite, Founder boys, and whatever she would do would never be enough for them. Caleb had been bluntly clear about it during that terrible Whitman Christmas dinner: an elite would never never marry a commoner.
So yeah. Founder boys... she was kinda used to them by now. But where Max was different, was that... he had a gift. Caleb was a painter, Max was a singer. Stella was a painter and a singer. Music. Was a specific universe. And...
Stella smiled at Max. He had the attitude of the Star. The Star he would become, as soon as his album would be released. She knew he was supposed to record it soon, and was not really surprised to see him around. She turned her chair to face him better, as he had himself turned to see her as if inviting her to discuss. She had a large smile, after the previous days, his face was a welcomed one.
"I'm so happy to see you here! You're recording? I'm sure you are!" she said with a grin and a smirk expressing mutual understanding. Her hand squeezed gently his, out of joy for him. " I can't wait to hear your first album. Is all going as you want?"
She took a bit from her chocolatine, and nodded to him, at his question: "I'm recording too. First single... I'm so stressed I haven't been able to eat in days and now suddenly I feel like I could eat a elephant... how weird is this, eh?"
PERMALINK // Feb 5 2018, 12:21 AM
I'm just a hazard to myself
It was difficult with Stella because, yes, technically, she was a scholar but, at the same time, Maximilian almost wanted to give her some amount of respect. And he loathed giving the poor people any sort of positive attention because then, urgh, what if they began to think they deserved it? Maximilian was not keen on the idea of the entire town's basic infrastructure shifting just because the poor kids thought they deserved respect. Hence, his reactions towards Stella were relatively mixed.
"Um, obviously. Mummy's finally paid the studio so I can have my recording time for my debut. I've done all the, like, backing stuff and my violin solo already," he informed her proudly, happily sipping his coffee as he shared how pleased he was with her. "I'm doing my vocals later today but, urgh, I just needed a break at the moment. I need to do shit in my own time or my music just doesn't work the way I want it to." That should make sense to someone like her, right? She was there for the same thing, wasn't she? "But, yeah, it's going to be lit when it comes out."
As Maximilian had assumed, Stella was there to record something as well and he gave her a reassuring smile as she commented on her levels of stress. "Don't, like, eat an elephant. You have to, like, look good if you're going to do music and you don't want people thinking you're not looking good and not buying your album. That's why I look perfect all the time." Running a hand through his hair, he tossed it back so that Stella could see just how gorgeous he really was before he continued. "If you were one of my girlfriends then, like, I totally wouldn't be letting you eat an elephant either. You should have a little bit of chocolate instead. When I'm stressed, I eat chocolate and that always works. But don't have too much, like I said."
PERMALINK // Feb 6 2018, 11:22 PM
Stella had no idea Max was so confused by her. Honestly, she was a rather simple girl. She liked being around boy, because boys were more direct, more fair play than most of the girls her age. If they weren't happy or didn't like what you were doing, they said it. Plain and simple. When the girls could smile at you saying it was perfect and then stab you in the back..
She knew Max's mom would have paid for all of it... the recording studio and all. He had said so when they had met the first time. She was not jealous. Even if he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, his love for music felt real, and he was putting a lot on the line to have his first album released. Because if he was a bad musician and singer, he would end up mocked in the whole country. Fans could be mean that way. Maybe he was not really aware of the risks, or he was too confident about his own skills. And yet, Stella sincerely wished him to be what he said he was: a very good musician.
So she simply smiled to him, nodding and even whistling when he told her he had played all the instruments himself for the "backing stuff". "WoW!!! Violin? That's really amazing. It's such an hard instrument to play! Will you make me hear your song? Please, please!!! It will be amazing I'm sure! And yes, you definitely deserved some "me" time after all that hard work. I mean, music can be exhausting. Some people can't understand how draining it is... All those emotions... that you have to get out... to express the right way..."
She smiled. Understanding him much more than she could express. Music... paint, that was her way of expressing herself. The only one where she was totally free: free of being herself, of showing of her talent, not worrying to be too loud, too vibrant, too vocal... Not worrying to be too herself.
And she suddenly she looked at him and laughed out loud "Max!!!" She gave him a friendly slap on the shoulder, "I was kidding! I'm not actually gonna eat an Elephant! It's just a metaphor! Was not being literal! Despite the fact that it's gross, I like elephants really much. They're cool animals! But I totally agree with you on the chocolate part... " Shows the chocolatine, "See? chocolate!.."
She smirked and suddenly realized "Your girlfriends? Plural? At the same time? No way... How many have you? Ohhh you're a naughty man!!! Tell me!!!!"
PERMALINK // Feb 10 2018, 08:56 PM
I'm just a hazard to myself
"I suppose you can have the honour of being one of the people who hears my piece before anyone else," Maximilian answered, although he was mildly reluctant to do something like that. The only few people he'd so far allowed to hear his music were Luca, simply because he'd been there during part of his composing; Tristan, because of course, he would; and his valet. But it wasn't as though Maximilian was particularly close with Stella. Nonetheless, he supposed one more critique wouldn't be too bad an idea, and especially not from another aspiring musician. "And, yeah, it is pretty amazing. I told you already, I'm an excellent musician."
Maximilian wouldn't have said he found music 'exhausting', on the contrary, he found it to be quite the relaxing activity whenever he found himself to be stressed out or bored. However, that definitely didn't mean he wasn't in the mood for some time to himself after a particularly long composition. It was fun, for lack of a better word.
Well, whether or not it was gross to eat an elephant, Maximilian wasn't sure about. He'd been to some strange places with his mother where they'd served some strange foods but never had he come across anywhere that was serving elephant and, even if he had, he really wouldn't have wanted to try it. So, of course, he knew that Stella had just been joking, and he knew it had just been a silly little metaphor, but that wasn't how Maximilian's mind worked. It didn't mean he wasn't still going to comment on it.
Instead, he ignored the comment on how she liked elephants and wouldn't eat them - Maximilian didn't - and nodded his approval at her comment about the chocolate. "Girlfriends?" he added after, trying to think. "Oh, I wouldn't know about that. I don't count. It's just whoever I'd like. Most people don't disagree. I have quite the appeal."
PERMALINK // Feb 11 2018, 01:35 PM
Stella frowned. She had tried to be open-minded, like she was before. She had tried to see past Max's constant haughtiness and demonstration of self-importance, but sincerely, this was getting old. She had plenty of that with Caleb and Weston. Her face relaxed. He was no Whitman. He would not be the one hurt her again and again. He was just a spoiled boy, born on the good side. She relaxed enough to be able to smile. "You don't have to do it if you don't want. I understand. Music... Until it's ready to be shared... That's intimate. Special. Thank you for considering though. I didn't mean to impose. I'm just too.. excited, sometimes. Music and painting... are the only things that make sense in my life right now. "
She finished her chocolatine, still turning the spoon in her -not so hot- tea. For a moment, she had froze, looking at him without really watching. She was exhausted. Not physically: emotionally. Singing was a way to express all the colliding emotions inside her, it left her... empty. She would have liked to stay this way, and empty shell, who didn't care for what the others where thinking about her. As she was before. She didn't mind then. It was freeing. She only wanted to get back to that feeling. she was staring at one of his tattoos without realizing.
He commented on the girlfriends subject and she moved her eyes up, meeting his. Of course he hadn't count. Of course he had had so many, what would have been the point ? - only some perv did count and rate, and... She supposed it was just another kind of game for him. For the Founder Boy he was. What did she know? She was nothing after all. Just another commoner, with stupid dreams.
"Well... Good for you. I guess. Must be nice to feel loved."
PERMALINK // Feb 13 2018, 12:05 AM
I'm just a hazard to myself
Oh, well, that was a change of tune. At least Stella seemed to understand what he was implying. "My music is, like, super special. I put a lot of time and effort into the creation and, like, I don't care for it to be sampled early. It has to be perfect." Of course, once he'd finished recording everything and was on the verge of releasing it, well, then he didn't have any issues whatsoever with allowing her to hear the piece before the rest of the general public. "You can hear my music before the rest of the world. I'd appreciate an actually somewhat musical opinion." Especially if Stella was saying that music was one of the only things that were making sense in her life. He could relate to that somewhat.
Maximilian could tell that Stella wasn't really listening to him right now, given that her expression was a little distracted. That and she seemed to be staring at his tattoos and not his face (which was already shocking, given that his face was gorgeous and he didn't see how anyone could want to look anywhere else). But he decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and questioned, "Were you, like, thinking of getting a tattoo or something?"
"Uh, yeah?" Maximilian agreed, even though that wasn't exactly what he'd been implying. It wasn't as though having many relationships made him feel all that loved, more that it made him feel admired, and admiration was something he really did care for. It was almost as good as love when you really thought about it. "What about you? Anybody special I wasn't aware of?" Not that he actually knew anything much about her life.
PERMALINK // Feb 18 2018, 08:16 PM
Stella had an incredible ear, and the pitch perfect. She knew music, had a well developed musical culture, even more rich since she met Caleb. Despite his recent harsh and brutal behavior, Caleb had been a great mentor, introducing her to many more new musics and artists, living or dead. Now all that kindness was buried under the constant fear she had of him, his temper, of his demons, which seemed unleached more and more often. Too much for her taste.
“Music, it expresses undisclosed feelings and desires. It’s the secret language of the angels. I’d be happy to hear your music when you’ll have it finished. I totally get why you need it to be perfect. It’s a piece of yourself after all.”
Suddenly, she unfroze at Max’s question, tattoo.... She had worked for BJ with the very intention to get her wolf tattoo. The one that really meant something to her... but now, with Caleb’s mark on her back, she had abandoned the idea altogether. She looked at him with saddened eyes,
“I was thinking about getting one, yes. It’s no longer an option.” She didn’t elaborate. He couldn’t understand, how could he? He had all he wanted, nobody could have stolen his most precious dreams from him, because nobody would touch an Elite. Hersel, on the other hand, she was nothing, no one. But he seemed interested. At least he gave the impression to be, and she thought it could be interesting to see his reaction to something... unexpected... “Me? It seems Caleb Whitman is quite smitten with me....”