ℌᴀᴛᴇ ᴍᴇ, ℭʜᴀꜱᴇ ᴍᴇ, 𝔖ᴛɪʟʟ ᴛʀʏɴᴀ ʀᴇᴘʟᴀᴄᴇ ᴍᴇ
- Sep 9, 2015
Season 1 of Chalice had been a resounding hit.
Gale Lockhart could not have been more pleased. The highbrowed director had burst onto the cinematic scene out of nowhere and taken the world by surprise, his debut show airing during primetime and available over every streaming service imaginable. The truth of such a meteoric rise was far less flashy; he had money aplenty to throw at this latest venture of his, and, with his family name at his disposal, tugging a string here or there had required effort, but nothing he couldn’t handle.
It helped that while he was not as old as his many siblings, he has had plenty of time in his immortality to sharpen a literary acumen far keener than any human’s. But Chalice was more than that. Gale had never intended to produce just a show. No, he wanted to create a sensation. Chalice was a bold experiment. Instead of filming an entire season and releasing it incrementally, he pushed both himself and his employees to the utmost - each forty-four minutes episode was simultaneously filmed and edited in under just shy of a week and aired on the same Sunday. The breakneck pace meant that there were little breaks, and, but for just how good the compensation was, it wouldn’t have been surprising for a riot to have taken backstage.
There was a method to this madness. Chalice was more than just well-advertised; it promised an unprecedented level of audience engagement. The show engaged with streamers, with social media, and offered its own app. With naught but a few taps upon your smart phone, you too could weigh in on what happens in the next episode! It was a spin on a familiar genre of choose-your-own-adventure, but directed with such precision and executed with such polish that each end product was worthy of critical acclaim.
At its inception, Gale had been met with skepticism, if not open hostility. Had he not had the resources to fund his own production, this level of insanity would have never hit the silver screen. A gimmick, his critics decried. Doomed to fail and to flounder below even typical mediocrity. But, to the consternation and astonishment of his naysayers, he captured the world’s eye in less than three episodes, and from there, launched a hailstorm of excitement and hype that was near unparalleled. Defying all expectations, the show, and at its helm, Gale, had kept his grip on the reins of that ever tempestuous mare known as zeitgeist and forced her to yield, to bow her proud head and to canter to the beat of his drums as he himself kept his eyes only upon the heartbeat of the cutting-edge, commanding his faithful mount always one step ahead of the ‘what’s next.’
The genius himself was lounged upon one of the pristine white sofas of his urban penthouse, causally sipping a viscous red that could have been wine. It was dark out; the sun had long set and the floor length windows lining two full walls suffused the main living area in the dazzling lights of the city skyline. But even that was drowned out by the red-orange ambient light that covered the room floor to ceiling. This was the afterparty for the successful season, and only his staff had been invited. But of course, he was not cruel - they’d each been allowed a plus-one if they so chose. His penthouse had everything one might expect, pools, jacuzzis, a private DJ, one full-sized bar indoor and a mini bar outdoor. And of course, enough booze to knock out several elephants and, if you knew who to ask, plenty of drugs too.
“Ma chérie, come dance with me.” A ravishing French blonde in a cocktail dress that left little for the imagination, his plus-one for the night, was sprawled across his lap. Her well-manicured fingers traced adoring lines across the sharp cut of his jaw, down his well-muscled neck, and across the broadness of his shoulders and chest. Despite his lack of a tie, his outfit spoke only of pedigree and good taste - black suit, black shirt, and black belt, contrasted only by a startlingly scarlet pocket square that peeked out, the same color as his eyes. His hair was done in its usual modern blowout, his natural waves soft and textured where it rose from his angular face, a luxurious burnished brown that was nearly black. But it was kept tight and neat behind his ear, nothing more than a few fine umber curls at his nape.
“Later,” he promised. His voice was rich but not overly low, as magnetic as his gaze. One of his arms was wrapped around the small of her back, presumptuous but lacking in any overt carnality. He did have a soft spot for his French girls, but this party was about his crew, and it would be unseemly for him to retire much too early. In any event, he was a cunning businessman at his core, and while the night was still young, there was no other environment than this that he preferred to negotiate in.
People (and not quite people) shuffled from room to room, dressed to the nines or at least, to their best imitation thereof, but he paid them little heed. There was only a matter of timing; the target of his meandering thoughts of wealth and prestige was ever so late in arriving. But then again, he supposed it was only expected for next season’s star to arrive fashionably late.