Resurgere ex Cineribus - Rise from the Ashes

Author's Notes- This is my first attempt at a story centered around Vulpes, so hopefully I can make it work. He's such an interesting character, I couldn't help but give in to the urge to explore just what may be going on in that head of his. I really want to emphasize a very split personality in him. Ruthless, yet merciful. Cruel, yet gentle. Loyal, yet ambitious. I also plan to dive rather deeply into the Legion's way of living once the Nipton "arc" of this story is complete. Just a friendly warning, the story will include or mention some rather adult/dark themes including: Prostitution, drug use, slavery, sex, strong language, bondage, torture... Not exactly a walk in the park. So please, read with caution.

Please leave a review and tell me how I'm doing! Praise and critique are both welcomed with open arms.

"And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication." Revelation 17:4

Comparing the two was like comparing a violet and a rose. Two frail flowers, both rooted among the rest of the profligate filth, their sweet allure laced with disease and drugs and immorality. They stood before him like dolls on display, eyes glittering in a haze of chems. The rose was tall and shapely, boasting full rounded hips and a cinched waist under her pre-war dress. The bends of her arms were dotted with the tracks of her addiction, letting them show without a care in the world. It was disgraceful. And the violet, appearing so deceptively pristine and soft. She actually looked as if she were still in the latter part of her teenage years. Her clients must've been the lower end of the dissolute, drawn in by the seduction of taking such a sweet, young body. But there was something different about that one. While the rose put on a pretty show, it was painfully obvious that she was all used up and broken beyond repair. The violet, however, looked on quietly. Unaffected. She was far from broken, and Vulpes was struggling inwardly with the urge to pluck the little flower where she stood and pull all of her petals off until there was just nothing left.

"Girls, this is Mr. Fox. He'll be staying in our little town for a few days," explained Mayor Steyn, a slippery man with such lax ethics it made his present company's stomach churn. Steyn stood behind the women, nudging them a step or two closer to their new guest. "How 'bout one of you make him feel a little more at home?"

It was the rose who spoke first, pushing her way past the coy little violet. Her demeanor suggested pride and vanity, painted up like the whore she was. She tucked wavy auburn hair behind her ears and out of her face, using her free hand to brush against the man's shirt collar. For a split second, she could've sworn that he actually shuddered at her touch. If only she knew that it wasn't out of excitement or even fear, but disgust. "I'm Rosie," she purred, curling her fingertips around a lock of her hair.

Vulpes narrowed his eyes and smiled politely. How ironic. "Rosie," he repeated. "Your name is quite fitting." Roses. So overwhelmingly popular in a romantic sense in pre-war times. So over-used. Violets were much more appealing to the Frumentarius. He turned his gaze to the other woman. "And you?"

She hesitated a moment to reply, but didn't look away from the man's cool blue eyes. "...Sylvia," the girl finally told him.

"Hey, why don't ya take 'em both?" Steyn interrupted, laughing hardily. He squeezed between the girls, snaking an arm around their waists. "We could even work out a discount, if you wanted the extra company. Whattya say, Mr. Fox?"

A tempting offer. Vulpes was more than capable of handling two at a time. In his head, he imagined how easy it would be to take both of these whores and turn them against one another, literally fighting one another for his attention. Women such as these were easy to trick, and had virtually no loyalty to anyone except the one who held the coin before them. The man had several unique talents, being a master manipulator counted among them. Even Caesar himself noted how easily Vulpes broke in slaves, in the very rare instance he took them. The impressive, although slightly disturbing, thing was that he did so without having to resort to beatings, or even forcing himself upon them. He took some of the most resistant captures, ones that others would rather just kill than have to deal with, and broke them psychologically, completely and totally.

He looked over the two once more, carefully taking in every detail of their behavior, before he answered. "Mr. Steyn, it's a generous offer, but I think I only have use for this one," Vulpes told the man, eyeing the one named Sylvia.

Steyn nodded, giving him a knowing smile. "Ahh, I see. So you like 'em young," he mused, gently stroking the girl's long, dark hair.

Vulpes was slightly intrigued by Sylvia's reaction to her pimp's touch, the way she twitched in disgust and nonchalantly tilted her head to the side, all in an effort to escape his slimy grasp. She smiled a sweet, almost genuine smile at Vulpes, quickly slinking away from Steyn and approaching him.

"I-I've never done this before. You'll be gentle with me, right?" she said, sheepishly batting her eyes. Quite the actress. There was something very unique about this one, and she might have that ignorant man and her fellow whore fooled, probably even the rest of this cesspool town, but she didn't fool Vulpes.

"I promise you, my dear. I will be anything but gentle with you," Vulpes assured her in a cold, even tone.