“Jason! Wait up!” I stopped and turned around to see my friend Stan running up behind me. It was Friday, I’d just finished my last class of the day and I was ready to hit my dorm room for some serious gaming time before I broke out another package of Ramen noodles for dinner then head for work.
“What’s up, Stan?” I asked as my friend caught up with me. “I was just thinking about kicking your butt in ‘Call of Duty MW16’.”
Slightly winded, Stan said, “I was just going to ask if you had any plans for Saturday night?”
Frowning, I said, “Yeah. They have me scheduled from six to close on Saturday.”
Grinning, Stan said, “Looks like you’re making a career out of Mickey D’s. But hey, too bad. Some of the guys were thinking about going to Fast Freddy’s to play some pool.”
“Hey, they’re actually thinking of making me a night manager, which means more money. I don’t want to screw that up.”
Before Stan could make a reply, a voice called out from my right. “Stan, the man! I was just going to give you a call.” I looked over and saw Brandon Duff sprinting over to us. I didn’t know Brandon very well, except that he was good friends with Stan. Both their dads ran big, international companies. My dad ran a gas station in Stanton Texas.
Stan and Brandon bumped knuckles and Stan said, “Hey! Dude, what’s up?”
Brandon pointed to a concrete bench under a nearby tree. “Let’s go over there where it’s out of the way. I got something totally cool to show you, but I got to keep it under wraps.”
Stan and Brandon seemed to forget I was there and started walking over to the tree. Brandon shot me a glance and Stan said, “He’s with me. He’s cool.”
Brandon gave me another look then laughed. “He must be a gamer too!”
Stan and Brandon sat down on the bench, and I took a spot next to Stan. Brandon set his book bag down on the grass and unzipped one of the pouches. He pulled out a black, unlabeled mini-DVD case. He opened the case and extracted the mini-DVD.
“Behold, gentleman. What you see is extremely hot, and very illegal.”
Stan took the disc and held it up like he was examining a jewel. “What is it?”
Snatching it from Stan’s hand, Brandon said, “That my friend is an unlocked copy of the not yet released “Gor” game.”
“Holy shit!” whistled Stan. “That’s supposed to be the most immersive game yet! And you said unlocked? Is that legal?”
“Unlocked, and very illegal.”
I’d heard about the Gor game. It was an incredibly detailed and accurate representation of the Gor books by John Norman. The game was very controversial as it, like the books, almost centered around female slavery and brutality to every one. It was going to be “the” game to get for the Brain-Box 400.
The Brain-Box 400 was a quantum leap in game design. The player put on a headset that covered the whole top of the head, directly stimulating the cerebral cortex making the player believe he was in a real, non-virtual world. An unlocked game had the potential to be extremely dangerous as all game parameters had their limits removed. The risk, while rare, was a very real destruction of the cerebral cortex.
“Holy shit!” Stan said again. “I gotta play this!”
Brandon laughed. “I kinda figured. Vermu is coming over to my house at around one tomorrow. Think you can make it?”
“You bet your ass I can make it!” Stan blurted out.
Turning to me, Brandon said, “What about you? Jack is it?”
“Well, what about it, Jason?” asked Brandon. “We’re a man short. Almost all Brain-Box games work best with an even number of players.”
“Hey, I don’t know. Unlocked games are dangerous.” I said.
Brandon laughed. “Don’t be a pussy. That brain frying shit is just a myth.”
Stan poked me in the shoulder and said, “Yeah man, don’t be a pussy. Hey come on. It’s going to be one royal blast.”
Going against my better judgment, I said, “Hey, ok, sure. Stan, can you pick me up?”
Stan bumped my knuckles and pointed at me as he said, making a reference to another new popular game, “Ace in the can, man! Ace…in…the…can!”
Stan and I arrived at Brandon’s house in the north east part of town just a little before one in the afternoon. Unlike Stan and me, Brandon lived in the same city as the University. The maid met us at the door and directed us up a winding staircase. The floor of the foyer was marble and the obvious display of wealth was almost intimidating. Our family’s trailer in Stanton was nothing like this.
We entered Brandon’s gaming room and were completely blown away. Computers, gaming consoles, ultra-wide tv’s and computer monitors was enough to take your breath away. And in the center of the room was the Brain-Box 400, surrounded by large, fluffy cushions. The cushions were almost a necessity as each player lay unconscious on average 30 minutes for the game’s run. Even with unlocked games, the console will kick you out after an hour.
Brandon’s friend Vermu was already there lying on a cushion, fingering one of the headsets. Vermu was from India and had a rather thick accent. He stood up and bumped knuckles with Stan and said, “Hey bro, glad you could make it!” He then looked over to me and said, “I haven’t met you before. I am Vermu.” He held his knuckles out to be bumped.
I bumped his knuckles and “Hey. I’m Jason.”
Vermu tilted his head as he listened intently at what I said. He asked, “Are you from Texas, by any chance?”
I laughed and said, “Yep. Stanton Texas. Home of three thousand friendly people and a few old sore-heads.”
Vermu looked quizzically at me and said, “Oh?”
Feeling embarrassed, I just said, “Well, it’s what’s on the sign outside the town.”
Brandon turned on the Brain-Box 400 console and delicately inserted the Gor game disc. “Enough chit-chat guys. Let’s get to playing. Anyone needing to take a piss, this is your last chance.”
We each picked a cushion to lie on and then we donned our headsets. The positioning of the headset had to be just so. When correctly positioned, you saw a brief red flash so show that the console was synched with your brain. I leaned back and closed my eyes. I could hear Brandon inserting the disc and punching a few buttons.
Music swelled up inside my head. It didn’t seem to come from my ears. It was just there. Before my eyes the Microsoft Brain-Box 400 logo swirled. As each headset was locked into the console, the headset number and its IP address (you could play on-line for a fee) and some other data popped in front of my eyes. Then the text “You are the 3rd player to enter the lobby.” scrolled in front of my eyes.
A moment after I entered the lobby I heard someone laugh and say, “Hey, who’s the chick?”
I looked around as the last player entered the lobby. I didn’t see any girls there. I heard Stan start to laugh. “It’s Jason! That’s hysterical!”
“What are you guys talking about?” I asked looking at the other three avatars, dressed only in briefs standing in the lobby.
Brandon said, “Shit. My little sister must have locked one headset port on female.”
I looked down and saw boobs in a bra and below that, panties. “Restart the game!” I demanded.
“I can’t dude.” Brandon said matter-of-factly. “Even unlocked, the game is so intense, it will only allow for one play per day. It’ll just screw the rest of us for the day. Too bad for you Jack…”
“…sheesh…Jason.” Brandon continued. “Either play what you’ve been dealt, or exit the game. Up to you. But we’re playing on. You guys ready?”
“Ace in the can!” shouted Stan.
“I am ready,” said Vermu.
“I really don’t want to be a slave girl.” I said angrily.
Stan said, “Hey, most women in Gor are Free Women. The odds are in your favor.”
“Ok.” I gave in. “It’s only thirty minutes.”
Brandon said, “Could take almost forty-give minutes. Anyway, I’m locking in game parameters. Avatar characteristics are random. Sorry, I’m not allowed to change that. For convenience on-line-isms are allowed to simplify things. For language, do we want Gorean, John Norman style English or standard English?”
Stan said, “Standard English. Shit, if we use John Norman style, the game will take four hours!”
Brandon continued, “Standard it is. And finally, the game’s goal. The winner is whoever can steal the city of Ar’s Home Stone and get it past the city gates. If you help the winner, you do get assist points. All right. Game insertion in ten seconds.”
A count down formed before my eyes as the lobby disappeared. I was not happy. Even if my character started as a Free Woman, I’m sure I’d screw up and wind up with a collar around my neck, serving paga in some dingy tavern. Everything suddenly went black and I felt myself being unceremoniously dropped onto thick grass.
I opened my eyes as I slowly tried to sit up. Long black locks of hair slid down in front of my eyes. I looked down nervously and sure enough, there were boobs, dangling there all naked. I instinctively reached down to my crotch and sure enough, all I found was a vagina. “This totally sucks!” I said to myself. I quickly looked around to see if anyone heard.
As I looked around, I saw that I was in the middle of a large, green meadow surrounded by a thick forest. Oh great, I thought. If I’m not picked up by a slaver or just some random man, I’m likely to be dinner for a larl or a sleen. Even if I ran across a tribe of panthers, they’d probably just enslave me as well.
It was then I noticed that I was both hungry and thirsty. I knew there’d be no way to satisfy these basic needs without being caught, much less actually winning the game. If I just exited the game, Stan would never let me live it down. It was bad enough that he was never going to let me live down being a girl.
Crouching, I moved as quietly as I could through the soft, green grass towards the line of trees, hoping the trees would provide a place to hide. I was happy to see that there was a small stream meandering through the forest. The water looked clean and I hesitantly drank a handful. It was the best water I’d ever tasted and the text “100 points survival” popped in front of my eyes. I didn’t know we got points for behavior.
I followed the stream for quite some time, until I seemed to come upon a road, as there was a bridge spanning the small stream and the forest thinned out. I climbed up the incline of earth near the bridge so I could if anything was coming. I almost stepped out on the dirt road when I heard some sounds and saw dust in the air to my left. I quickly slid back down the incline and hid under the stone bridge.
Just moments later, the bridge groaned and sighed under the weight of what sounded like heavy wagons being pulled by God knows what. Terrified, I waited for what seemed an eternity under the bridge. When the sound of the last wagon that crossed the bridge disappeared, “25000 Evade capture” appeared briefly in front of me. I breathed a sigh of relief and cautiously crept back out from under the bridge.
A road meant people, and possible capture. But it also meant food and maybe some clothes. If I could steal some free woman’s clothes, I might be able to pass through the city. But beyond that, I’d be fair game, clothed or otherwise. Being a woman on this world definitely sucked.
Running through the tall grass, I skirted the road for almost half a mile at least. I looked around in amazement. The immersiveness of this virtual world was almost total. The game didn’t have to generate the environment completely. A lot of the work was left to your own brain to fill in the details. Stirred up dust from walking, flying things, insects and the rustle of leaves filled sight and sound.
Admiring the game was not a good idea though. I almost missed hearing foot falls coming towards me on the road. I quickly darted into the woods and crouched, hoping nothing heard me. I could hear two men talking along with an odd sound coming from the animals they were riding.
They were just about past me when one of the animals seemed to become agitated. Through the tall grass, I saw its head turn towards me. I froze, afraid to even breathe.
One of the men said, “My thalarion seems to have caught the scent of something.”
The other said, “I can’t see anything. But then, you could hide an army in that tall grass!”
The first man said, “Well, we don’t have time to look. The Ubar will have our heads if don’t bring that prisoner in the farming village back promptly.”
The two men rode swiftly away. “30000 Evade capture” flashed across my vision. I thought how I was racking up the points. Not worrying about being overheard, I said, “Console…rank.”
A pleasant female voice floated through my head stating, “You currently rank forth out of four.” Well that sucked.
I looked quickly around and then began skirting the road again. For about half an hour I traveled with no more events until I crested a small hill. In the valley below me, was a small city. “Well crap!” I said aloud.
The city was surrounded a stone wall and the road went through the wall at a gated entrance. Beyond the walls, stood the short rounded towers that made up a typical Gorean city. A few in the center were taller than the rest. All were painted a variety of bright colors. And there was no way I was going to be able to sneak in to steal food or much of anything else.
I decided to stay on the edge of the woods and try to get around the city. I still had a lot of daylight left, but I was beginning to worry about it getting dark. I knew it was a game and that nothing bad would actually happen to me, but I still didn’t want to get eaten by some wild animal. And I didn’t want to go out on the first day of the game.
I was getting thirsty and the only water I knew of was that stream at the bottom of the valley going around the wall of the city. I looked as carefully as I could at the walls and I couldn’t see anyone along the top of the walls. If I could get down to the water without being spotted, I should be hard to see from the wall as I’d be right next to it.
I ran as fast as I could to the wall, splashing through the shallow stream, my bouncing breasts almost throwing me off balance, and flattening myself against the wall. I stood still for a few moments, breathing hard. I looked up the wall in both directions and took a few steps down to the stream. I knelt down and took a few handfuls of water. I was starving too, but I couldn’t do anything about that.
I clung close to the wall as I followed the stream around the city. The hill on the other side leading to the forest had become too steep to climb quickly.
I soon came to a corner in the wall and carefully looked around it. Beyond the corner was a stone bridge over the steam, and the forest was fairly close. The stone bridge connected to the wall at another gated entrance. The gates were bound to be guarded and trying to get around was going to be a problem.
Just then, from above me, along the top of the wall someone shouted, “Look! There’s a girl by the stream!” Several other shouts rang out. My only thought was to try to get to the forest. I had nowhere else to run.
I was halfway up the hill, when I looked around saw several mounted men bolting through the gate, shouting. I tried to hurry, but I slipped on a loose stone, lost my footing and fell backwards down the hill where I hit my head.
I awoke to a pounding headache and it took a moment for my vision to clear. I felt something on my neck and reached up to find a leather collar.
“She’s awake, Master” I heard a nearby voice say.
I raised myself to one elbow and saw I was in a cage with several other girls. “Where am I?” I asked.
One girl lying on the straw mats next to me said, “You’re in the kennel of the House of Corvis,” the girl said dully.
I rose quickly to my feet, almost losing my footing on the loose straw mats. I grabbed hold of one of the cage’s bars and said, “No! I can’t get caught! I don’t want to spend the rest of the game rotting in some stupid cage!”
“Silence!” shouted a man outside the cage as he wracked his coiled whip across the bars.
I knew that everything around me was a construct, so I just shouted, “You stupid NPC! Let me out of here! I can’t get any points inside a cage!”
The man’s face reddened as his expression changed to one of fury. “Why you insolent slut!” He quickly removed the lock and stormed into the cage. His entry into the cage was so swift, I involuntarily took a few steps back. He removed a short whip from his belt and before I knew it, I was being beaten by it.
“After the lesson of the whip, beast, you’ll learn to be silent!” The whip stung like hell, but he was careful not to damage my flesh. I shrunk back against the cage, trying to make myself smaller as he struck me several more times. After the final strike of the whip, he said, “You don’t speak without permission, slave!” He slammed the cage door shut and quickly locked it.
I sat there curled up in a small ball, crying. This is a game? This isn’t fun…I’m a girl, I’m naked, I’m in a cage and I’m in intense pain.
After a few minutes, I lifted my head and looked around again. The girl lying next to me was looking at me, grinning. She said in a low tone, “I’m smarter than you! I’ve been here three days and haven’t felt the whip once. You’re stupid!” A couple of the other girls in the cage turned to look at me and laughed slightly.
I frowned at her, still stinging from the beating, and said, “I’m new here.”
Her eyes widened, and with a puzzled expression said, “You’re a barbarian? No wonder you’re so insolent. They’ll beat that out of you. But there are some Masters that like some fire in their kajira.”
Changing the subject, I said, “You’ve been in this cage three days? I need to get out of this cage now!” I said, wiping away a tear. “I can’t stay here.”
The girl laughed and said, “Oh, you will get your wish tomorrow. We’ll all be leaving these cages. For different ones. I heard one of the Masters say we’ve all been sold to a big slave house in Lara.”
“I can’t go there!” I cried. “I have to get to Ar!”
“Quiet over there!” said a different man gnawing on some bone.
Another girl suddenly walked over and grabbed a handful of my hair and yanked on it. “You’re going to get us all in trouble! Stop being stupid! I wouldn’t count on being sold to a Master from Ar.”
I plopped down on the straw mats and felt lost. I said, “Status!” and before my eyes rolled the current ranking. At the bottom of the list was my name. I wondered if I should try to stick it out, or just abort now and get the pain over with.
I suddenly felt tired and fell right to sleep after I laid my head down on the straw.
It was the second day in the slave wagon and my leg started cramping again. I was in a small, caged wagon with nine other girls. The straw mats we were sitting on were incredibly stinky. Little breeze passed through the bars of the wagon. It wasn’t quite tall enough to stand full height and wasn’t roomy enough to stretch out without lying across another girl.
Our wagon was part of a caravan of wagons, carts and pack animals being escorted to our destination by armed and tough looking members of the warrior class, all riding a vicious looking animal called a thalarion. Our journey would last three more days. The immersiveness and depth of detail in this game was amazing, but spending five days sweating in caged wagon filled with naked, unbathed girls and exposed to the weather, insects, dust and monotony, I have to say, the game wasn’t a whole lot of fun. Especially so when the console cost about ten grand.
As I lay there on the straw strewn floor of the wagon, and stared at fellow captives, any guy would be tempted to be astonished that anyone would complain about being locked up with nine naked girls. Well, it’s different when you’re one of the naked girls being carted to some unknown future.
The girl sitting next to me, poked my leg with a finger and said, “You are quiet. You don’t like us?”
I smiled weakly and shaking my head said, “No. I don’t dislike you. I’m just not happy about my fate. It’s not fair as I have no way to win.”
She looked at me quizzically. “What do you hope to win? You’re a slave now. You can’t possess anything.”
I knew it was pointless to tell her about winning a complex video game. “I guess I meant that I have no way to get out if my situation. I’m stuck to the end.”
“Yes, we all are,” she agreed. “I am called Dekah. What are you called?”
“My name is Jason.” I said.
“Jason? That is not name fit for a beautiful slave girl like you. I’ll call you Jannah.”
I laughed at her comment. All the slave girls here were beautiful. It was a job requirement. “Why Jannah?”
She shook her head and said, “I have to call you something and I’m not calling you Jason.”
I looked thoughtfully at my new friend. She was in complete acceptance of her fate, but then, she was programmed to do so. Everything and everyone I could see was being activated by a program. Even their random behavior was controlled. I hoped there was some way I could take advantage of that. The others were probably having a blast with their sword fighting and swashbuckling adventure. I on the other hand, well…
“So Dekah, what’s going to happen to us when we reach Lara?” I asked, to kill time.
“I over-heard the slaver talking to the man who bought us for the slave house there.” Dekah said as she leaned forward and lowered her voice. “We were all chosen for our exquisite beauty. There we will be trained as pleasure slaves.”
I frowned. That really didn’t appeal to me at all. “I thought being pleasing is something we’re taught anyway. Along with serving, and dancing and crap like that.”
“We’ll be getting training more intense than that.” Dekah said. “We will learn how to drive a man wild with passion and pleasure.” She then flashed a wicked smile. She then leaned forward and whispered, “You please your Master well enough, you might be able to manipulate him.” She continued to grin as she leaned back against the bars of the wagon.
I turned away from her and looked out the back of the wagon and watched a couple of the warriors guarding us. I was repelled by what she was suggesting doing in pleasing a man, but the game was offering a hint at a way I could take control of my situation.
I looked at the gaggle of goofy girls sprawled around the inside of the wagon and decided it was going to be a long three days.
It felt good when they removed the chaffing leather collar. I rubbed my neck at the pure pleasure of having that nasty thing removed. But not more than a few seconds later, before I could even react, a band of metal was snapped around my throat. The click of the lock sounding so final.
I felt the sting of the whip across my naked back. The man standing in front of me growled, “Cross your wrists, girl and submit!” There were two men on either side of me with whips. They looked like men who enjoyed their jobs way too much.
I didn’t know what I was supposed to say. I didn’t grow up female on this stupid planet. I thought a moment that these guys yelling at me were just dumb NPC’s waiting for me to say anything. I got down on my knees, crossed my wrists, and said the first thing that popped into my head, “I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United Sta…”
I was cuffed across my mouth. It hurt. A lot. I wanted to cry. This was yet another reminder that the game took itself very seriously. I yelled, “Hint!” Everyone around me froze. Fighting back tears, I said, “Submission.” Several links appeared before my eyes, along with a timer that indicated how many more seconds the hint would be displayed. I read the submission text and said, “Close hint.” Every one around me started moving normally again.
I lowered my gaze and said, “I submit myself, fully, and as a slave.” The man bound my wrists and I continued, “I am yours.”
“You are Danna. Who you were before is irrelevant. It is not your future and you are to forget it.”
“Yes, my Master.” I said meekly. I had a sudden urge to burn every Gor book.
The man clicked a leash to my collar. He handed the other end, along with the leashes of several other girls to another man and said, “Get these started on their training today. I think each will command high prices once properly trained.”
“Come along beasts!” said the other man harshly as he jerked our leashes and led us away into the inner bowels of the kennel to which we now belonged.
We were led down a spiral staircase to a lower level of the kennel. The stone floor was damp and cold. I’ll probably die of pneumonia down here, I thought.
At first I was surprised to see the passageways lit by what looked like light bulbs instead of torches. I’d read only a handful of the books, but I started to remember that Goreans used energy bulbs, one of the few high-tech things they were allowed to have.
After about fifteen or so minutes of walking, the man led us into a large, well lit room. He unclipped our leashes and instructed us to wait. He then turned, and walked back to the hallway, locking the door behind him.
The room had a number of cages lining one wall. The stone floors were covered with soft, warm furs. The walls were adorned with drawings of girls in various positions of serving or submission.
Dekah walked up to me and said, “I’m now called Hannah.” She looked around the room and said, “I’m excited. We’re going to have high value.” She giggled and said, “And I’m going to be worth more than you!”
Forcing a smile, I said, “I really don’t care Dek…Hannah. I’m now called Danna. I guess the owner of this establishment likes names that rhyme.”
Hannah looked at me with a strange expression and said, “You talk funny.”
A woman entered the room, dressed in a leather camisk, escorted by two guards carrying what I later learned were called slave goads. They hurt. A lot.
The woman cracked the whip she was carrying and said harshly, “Down on your knees, slaves! I am Brenda and I am the First Girl of the Lara Slave House. You will address me as Mistress. You will learn to please men better than kajira bred expressly for that purpose, or you will die.”
I thought, what perverted little four-eyed misogynist programmed this fun place?
In a loud voice, I said, “Status!” I was shocked by what I saw. I had moved up into third place. Apparently I got a ton of points for submitting. I said “Close status” and everything resumed.
Slapping the whip against her palm, the First Girl said, “Our first lesson begins now! Bring in the kajirus.”
Two male slaves, that I later learned were called kajirus, dragged a large, very naked and very well muscled man into the room and chained his arms and legs to the wall. He had a cloth bag tied over his head.
I turned to Hannah and whispered, “What’s the bag for?”
Hannah frowned at me and said, “You really must be new here. It’s so he won’t know who is pleasuring him and get affections for who ever it is.”
The man was, well, very well endowed and I felt myself strangely drawn to him, which disturbed me greatly.
The First Girl then announced, “I’m going to have each one of you show me how well you can pleasure this kajirus so I’ll know how to schedule training.” She then pointed at a raven-haired beauty just a few girls down from me. Sternly she said, “You! Pleasure him!”
“Yes Mistress,” the girl said as she stood up and walked over to the male slave.
Oh, my God! I thought. There was no way in hell I was going to be doing any of that. I started to panic. Maybe now is the time to abort out of the game? I tried to think. I then yelled “Menu!” Everyone paused again, and a list of commands floated in front of my eyes.
I quickly scanned the list of commands. My eyes rested on the command “Skip ” That had to be the command I was looking for.
I said, “Skip, one, week” and suddenly the world around me shifted to a blur.
When my vision cleared, the First Girl was already speaking. We were kneeling in a line in front of her as she paced up and down our rank. “…very proud of my girls! You all have learned your lessons extremely well.” She stopped for a moment and pointed towards me. “And Danna, you learned your lessons the most quickly. I’ve never seen a girl have such appetite to please men.”
Apparently there are unintended consequences of skipping periods of time. Memories of the past week started flooding my mind. Images and events that quite frankly I don’t want to talk about. The game, filled in the blanks by making me be the best slave girl for pleasing men. Just looking at men now, would start to fill me with desire. I would have been better off just sticking out the past week after all. I remember everything, the feelings, the tastes, the smells, as if I had been there.
The First Girl continued speaking, “And so girls, you have completed your training, and are now ready for sale. You will all fetch high prices.”
Oh great. I would soon have my own Master. Really exciting…not!
We were all lined up in a row, naked and kneeling in submission waiting for a prospective buyer to inspect us individually. Just as the other girls had done, when the man stepped in front of me, I raised my arms and in as submissive voice I could manage said, “Buy me, Master!”
The man studied me for a few moments. He lifted my hair and checked my ears. “Open your mouth, beast,” he commanded. He then inspected my teeth. I hated being treated this way even though I was starting to become numb to it. “Can you cook and keep house as well as provide me with the most exquisite pleasure?”
“Yes Master.” I said truthfully. We all got full training on serving and preparing meals, as well as bathing a man, writing dances, as well as providing the most intense sexual experience. If a week doesn’t seem long enough, try extreme training under the whip. You learn fast.
Turning from me to look at the slaver next to him, the man said, “I’m looking for a girl that does more than just sit around looking pretty.” He looked up and down the line of slave girls and continued, “They all seem to handle sitting around looking pretty.”
The slaver laughed and said, “All these beauties have been trained to provide you with whatever service you require.”
The man nodded and proceeded down the line, examining each of us. After looking at the last girl, he turned and looked down the row, while stroking his bearded chin. He squinted at us a few times and said, “Hmmm” several times as well.
“Well, sir,” the slaver started. “Did you see anything you like?”
“Oh, yes, yes. I certainly have. They are all beautiful, so I look for other things.” He walked back down the line and stopped in front of me and said, “I kind of fancy this one. Something about her seems different from the rest. Have her stand up. I want a better look.”
“Stand, slut!” shouted the slaver. “Turn around slowly.”
I stood as gracefully as I could manage. I smiled shyly to the potential buyer as I slowly pivoted in front of him. Even though I had skipped through it, the past week was so grueling and I was so mentally exhausted, that I was almost starting to forget I was in a game. I smiled and went through the positions and moves with as much femininity as I could muster, following the slaver’s commands. I found myself wanting desperately to be bought.
“I’ll take her,” the man said.
“20,000 Bonus Points! New Master” flashed across my vision. Apparently being a slave girl wasn’t the dead end I thought it was.
The slaver motioned me to him. He reached for my neck and with a click of a key, removed my collar. A sudden urge to run flashed through my mind, but I quickly squashed it. It would only get me beaten. Instead, I turned to face my new owner.
He smiled at me and then placed his own collar around my neck, the click telling me it was locked. I didn’t get the chance to see the owner’s name on the collar. It didn’t matter. He’d only be “Master” to me. The slaver poked me in the ribs as a reminder of the next step.
I lowered myself to my knees, raising my arms and crossing them at the wrists. I said, “I submit to you my Master with all my heart, love and loyalty.”
“Bracelets!” commanded my new Master. I dutifully put my hands behind my back, crossed at the wrists while he snapped metal bracelets, not unlike handcuffs, on my wrists.
My new Master dropped several silver tarsks into the slaver’s waiting hands. “It was a pleasure doing business with you, sir!” The slaver nodded and my Master turned to me and said, as he clipped a leash on my collar, “I think I’ll call you Tanya.” He started walking towards the exit of the kennel. “Come, mine!” he barked at me and jerked on my leash. I followed him out into the sunlight.
I was led through the streets of Lara, naked, bracelets, and leashed. I didn’t have time to get embarrassed about it. And I wasn’t the only girl that I saw in this state. We walked for almost twenty minutes before arriving at an inn. I was then led up some stairs where my Master stood a few moments before the door to his room, examining knots he’d tied to the door latch. Satisfied with what he saw, we entered the room.
There was an eyebolt embedded in the floor at the foot of the bed. My Master secured my leash to this bolt. He finally turned and addressed me. “Mine, it is too late to return to my home in Ar tonight. Tomorrow we will join a caravan headed for Ar for safety.”
Ar! He said we were going to go to Ar. I was still in the running. I had no idea how a slave girl might steal the home stone of Ar, but at least I’ll be in the same city. My spirits were definitely lifted.
I kneeled on the fur covered floor as the length of the leash didn’t allow me to stand all the way. I smiled at my Master as he rummaged through some of his bags. Finally he pulled something out of the bags and tossed it at me.
“Put that on, mine,” he said. He had tossed me a rep cloth camisk with a rope to tie it together. A camisk doesn’t cover much as it’s open on the sides. It’s designed to allow the Master to remove it quickly. Without looking at me, my Master continued, “I’m hungry and most of all thirsty. I saw a tavern just a few minutes walk from here.”
My Master pulled the leash free and we left the room. Master retied his knot on the door’s latch and then we left the warmth of the inn into the cool night air. The descending darkness did nothing to reduce the crowds of people moving through the streets. I was surprised to see slave girls walking freely on errands for their Masters. I hoped to one day gain my Master’s trust enough to go out alone for errands.
After a short walk, we arrived at the tavern and entered. A riot of sounds and smells accosted my nostrils as soon as we passed through the doorway. There was a jingle of bells from kajira dancing in the dance pit. Voices of men laughing and talking, and of girls laughing, squealing and flirting.
The girls of course, were all paga sluts. Their use could come with the drink. I shuddered watching them. If I did not please my Master, I could very well wind up a paga slut myself, or worse. The kettle sluts worked in the kitchens and then there were those girls that begged in the streets for coin. Well, if I wanted a quick way to get to Ar, then I best keep my Master happy.
We walked through the dimly lit room over to a wall with eye bolts mounted in the stones. My Master chained me to one of these bolts and then he walked away to find a table. I was not happy as I was getting pretty hungry myself after smelling all the food, from sizzling bosk steaks to roasted verr.
I watched him as he sat down at a table with a few rowdy looking men. My guess he was trying to hitch a ride with any wagon heading towards Ar as well as getting something to eat. He talked briefly to a slave girl. I saw him point at me for a moment before dismissing the girl.
I wasn’t alone on the wall. Several other girls were also chained there. I looked at the one nearest me and said, “Tal,” the traditional Gorean greeting.
The kajira looked over at me with disinterested eyes. “Tal,” she said, and looked back at the floor.
I smiled at the girl, anxious to have someone to talk to. I said, “I am called Tanya. What are you called?”
The girl just looked at the stones and said quietly, “My Master hasn’t named me yet. Says I have to earn it. This morning I was Free and working at my family’s farm outside Koroba. He swooped down on his tarn and stole me right from the field. I watched my parents on the ground just stand there helpless and watched as we flew away…” Her voice trailed away and her eyes took on a distant look.
I was trying to decide whether I should say anything else or not to her when a slave girl set a bowl of some lumpy liquid before me. “Your Master ordered it,” she said and walked away.
I looked down at it and sighed. It was a bowl of warm gruel, which is all I’ve had to eat since I was captured. No spoon, I drank from the bowl. It wasn’t steak, but it did get rid of my hunger.
The hours dragged by and I was getting tired sitting on the cold stones of the tavern floor. At one table several men were playing a game of chance and my Master sat down at it. I watched from a distance and he seemed to be holding up fairly well in the competition. I watched as long as I could before finally falling asleep.
I awoke with a start, seeing a strange man bending over me and snapping a collar around my neck. “Get up, bitch,” he shouted at me as he jerked on the chain he’d attached to the collar. “I own you now. I won you. What are you called?” He was swaying a little. He was probably drunk.
“I am called Tanya, if it pleases Master” I said meekly.
He slapped me across the face and growled, “Address me as ‘My Master’, slut. I don’t like that name. I’ll call you ‘Myrtle’.”
Meekly, I just said, “Yes my Master.”
He studied me for a few moments before saying to himself I think instead of to me, “I needed another girl for the farm house. You were probably thinking you’d be in some rich man’s pleasure garden. Not like you get a say, is it?” He then laughed a deep belly laugh. It made me cringe.
Dawn was just breaking as my Master jerked me out into the street. We walked over to a two-wheeled cart pulled by a kaiila. He tied me to the back of the wagon and then he climbed into the driver’s seat. With a crack of a whip the kaiila started moving and I was jerked almost off my feet. As far as my new Master was concerned, I was just another animal and was expected to keep up, walking all the way to where ever we were going.
My heart sank. I was never going to get to Ar now.
It was nearing mid-morning when my Master stopped his wagon by a small stream to water the kaiila. My feet were killing me, I was dog tired and dying of thirst. I tried to get to the stream, but my chain wasn’t log enough. Tugging on the chain didn’t make it longer.
“May I get a drink too, my Master?” I asked, trying to sound extra submissive.
“No, girl,” he said gruffly. “We need to be on our way.”
“But…but…you let the kaiila get a drink!”
My Master walked up and slapped me, hard. “Silence! Insolent slave! The kaiila is worth more than you.” He climbed back into the wagon and snapped his whip to get the kaiila moving again.
“You gotta be kidding me!” I cried.
The wagon suddenly stopped and my Master climbed back down and approached me, his face red with fury.
“One more word out of you, you worthless slut, and instead of bringing home a slave, I’ll be bringing home sleen food. Are you going to cause me any more trouble?” He stood there, his nose almost touching my face.
“No, my Master!” I whimpered. He slapped me again for good measure and got back onto the wagon and we began our journey again.
If I live, I thought, I was going to have to remember to kill Stan for inviting me to play this oh-so-fun game with him.
Speaking of Stan, to try to keep my mind off the fact that I was dying of thirst, I was curious what everyone’s standings were. I said, “Status!” and the world around me paused and numbers appeared before me. My score was within two hundred points of the second place player. I said, “Full Stats!” and more information appeared before me. Stan was in last place, trailing me by at least a thousand points. I had to chuckle at that. I was surprised that Brandon was only five hundred points ahead of me.
The scores dissolved away and once again I was trudging behind my Master’s wagon. The road crossed the shallow stream just ahead of us. As we approached it, I could manage to run to one side of the wagon, and splash in the water. I got slightly ahead of the wagon and quickly got several handfuls of water.
An hour or so later, we arrived at a walled compound with a large house, and several other buildings, looking much like a barn and storage buildings as well as a few long barracks like buildings. Looking beyond the low wall, were slaves and bosk out in the fields.
A man greeted us as we pulled up in front of the farm house. “Tal, Lukus.” He looked over at me and asked, “A new slave? Is she a personal slave or one for the fields?”
My Master grunted, “Personal. I won her in a game in a tavern. We can use an extra slave in the house, plus, she’s a pleasure slave. Thought she might be a reward for you and the other foremen when you do a good job.” He grinned. Which is something he shouldn’t do.
The other man looked at me with a hungry look in his eyes. “She is indeed beautiful. You say she’s a trained pleasure slave?”
“That’s what the fool who lost her to me said. He paid several silver tarks for her,” my Master said as he unchained me from the wagon. “Can you take this wagon to the supply shed and have it unloaded?”
The man nodded and mounted the wagon and headed away from the farm house. My Master took my chain and led me into the house.
The house was large, made of stone, two stories high, and consisted of a large central cylinder and three half cylinders attached. Inside, the stone floors were covered by furs tossed seemingly randomly. I was surprised to see the inside was lit by the energy bulbs which seemed to defy the low tech aspect of Gor.
I was led back to the kitchen where a slave girl was on her knees scrubbing the stone floor. My Master attached a very long, but somewhat lightweight chain to my collar.
My Master walked up to the girl scrubbing the floor and gave her a short kick in the side, knocking her over. “Pay attention, slut. I brought you some help. Show her around and what duties are expected of her. I’ll be back in a few hours. I’m going to check on the fields.”
“Yes, my Master,” she said as our Master turned and left the room. We heard the door shut a few moments later.
The girl stood up and stretched. “Greetings kajira. Welcome to the chain. It’s been a while since I had a chain sister.”
“Tal. Our Master calls me Myrtle. What are you called?” I said returning the greeting.
“I am called Blanche,” she said.
I laughed and said, “Apparently our Master hates women.”
She blinked at me and said, “Why would you say that?”
I was going to explain how I didn’t think our names were very sexy, but just said, “Nevermind.”
Blanche said, “Well, anyway. We are in the kitchen. This is where you’ll prepare our Master’s meals. He gets up early and expects breakfast ready when he is.”
She then led me on a tour of the house. Our chains were long enough to give us the run of the house. I was only half listening. I was pretty much out of the running. I could still rack up points by pleasuring the men on the farm, but I didn’t feel I was that desperate for points.
“Anyway,“ she turned and smiled at me. “I’m glad you’re here. I’m the only slave, well, until now, that’s allowed inside the house, but I’m not allowed outside the wall around the house. I stay busy, but it still gets lonely around here sometimes.”
“I can imagine,” I said. “Not much around here to amuse yourself when you have all your chores done.”
She led me back to the kitchen as she continued talking. “My Master does have a library of sorts. He has quite a collection of scrolls, which is unusual for a farmer. He never talks about his past, so I don’t think farmer was his original caste.”
I looked around the kitchen. All the training I fast forwarded through that I had been given on preparing meals started flowing back into my memory. I ignored it as I said, “You can read?”
She looked down at the stone floor for a moment before she said, “I wasn’t always a slave. Six years ago, I was in caravan with my father. We were going to the Sardar Fair when our caravan was attacked. My father was killed and I was sold. I try not to think about it.”
Suddenly feeling bad, I said, “I’m sorry. That must have been really hard for you.”
She nodded slightly and an awkward pause followed. Her eyes suddenly brightened and she said, “Come. I want to show you something.”
I followed her out of the back door of the kitchen, past the sleen pens. We stopped right at the length of our chains. She sat down underneath a large tree in a field of bright yellow flowers called talenders.
“I love this place!” she said, her eyes bright. “I come here when my chores are done and our Master is away. As far as I know, he doesn’t know about my private place. It’s so beautiful and quiet here. I have no cares here. No collar here. No Master. Just the beautiful talenders and the songs of the birds in the trees.”
“It is beautiful here,” I said honestly. “I can understand why you would want to come here.” We sat there in silence for several minutes, listening to the leaves rustle in the breeze. I was tempted to place one of the pretty yellow flowers in my hair, but I fought the urge. To do so signals your Master that you want him to take you to his furs.
A few minutes later, we walked back to the farm house.
As the days went by, I felt more and more comfortable with my new life. I didn’t really give it a thought I was in a game. This was just how things were. Just like Blanche, I’d fall to my knees at our Master’s feet, begging to please him. It’s funny how quickly I came to love my Master. Like almost all Gorean men, he was a strong and powerful male which made me all the more attracted to him. He was strict, but fair and I knew it was my fault when I was punished if I failed to please him. Blanche and I had become almost like sisters.
“Myrtle! At my boot!” bellowed my Master. I rushed to his feet where he was standing in his well stocked library. From his tone I could tell he was displeased. He was holding a scroll.
“Yes my Master!” I said as I dropped to my knees, bent over and kissed his boot.
He waved the scroll around in the air as he said in harsh tones, “Were you…reading…this scroll, slut?”
“I…um”, I hesitated to say anything.
“You know you can be killed if you lie to me, girl,” he barked.
I swallowed hard and said with my head down, “Yes my Master. I was reading it.”
He slapped me hard. “You know you are not allowed to touch any of the scrolls in my library! You are to forget you ever learned to read, girl! Are you clear on this?” He struck me across the face again.
Keeping my eyes on the fur covered floor, I said, while trying not to cry, “Y…yes my Master. I will not read your scrolls again.”
He kicked me in the flanks and barked, “See that you don’t. I might not be so gentle with you next time. Now get back to the kitchen and finish preparing dinner.”
“Yes, my Master!” I said as I slowly backed away before turning to run to the kitchen. Master wanted dinner a few hours early today because a new buyer was coming for dinner and he wanted time to make the deal before the buyer returned to the city before it got dark.
The tears were now streaming down my face as I entered the kitchen. Blanche said, “I’m sorry, Myrtle. You have to be very careful if you read one of Master’s scrolls.”
I pulled several strips of bosk meat from the cold storage and said, “I’m never making that mistake again.” I gently massaged my cheek where I had been struck. I put the steaks on the grill.
“You just have to be careful is all,” said Blanche as she removed pastries from the oven. “He did the same thing to me, but I still go there and read.”
Just then, Master entered the kitchen and he knocked the pan of pastries out of Blanche’s hands. “You still do what, you insolent slut?” He slapped her hard, causing her to take a step back.
Blanche began to cry as she said, “I’m sorry my Master! Blanche begs forgiveness. I just enjoy reading. Blanche won’t read any more, my Master! Please, Master! Blanche begs forgiveness!”
“Beast, I should gouge your eyes out! Slaves do not read in my house! Understood?” He shoved her hard, causing her to stumble backwards against the grill where the steaks were cooking. Then things happened so fast, it was hard to follow, but the grill was knocked from its resting place, tipping it, causing the steaks to slide to the floor. Still trying to hold on to her balance, and trying to get away from the fire she fell against, Blanche continued to fall backwards. With a sickening crunch, she fell, her head cracking against the corner of a counter top. She dropped into an awkward position on the floor, blood streaming from the back of her head.
I ran to her and shouted, “Blanche! Blanche!” I knelt next to her, taking her arm. There was a lot of blood pooling on the floor. She wasn’t breathing. I couldn’t find a pulse. Tears welled up in my eyes.
“Get up you lazy slut!” shouted our Master.
“She’s dead, Master! She’s dead,” I cried. I touched her hair and cried, “Oh, Blanche…”
Master just stood there a moment, surveying the kitchen. He grunted and said, “No steaks, no pastries. I’ll have to meet with the buyer in town at a tavern instead. I want this mess cleaned up by the time I get back, girl.”
“Master! Blanche is dead!” I was crying to hard I was shaking.
He walked over to where I knelt next to the lifeless form of Blanche. He bent down and removed the chain from her collar. He said, “Make sure you clean up all this blood. I like a clean kitchen. As for that,” he pointed to Blanche as he stood up, “drag it out to the sleen pens and feed it to the sleens. I’ll be back by sundown.” He then turned and left the kitchen.
I just knelt there in shock and anguish by the lifeless body of my only friend. Even though we’re only property to be disposed of in any manner our owners see fit, the cold callousness of our Master left me incredulous. I ran my fingers again through Blanche’s hair, my tears dropping onto her.
I stiffened with a sudden resolve. There was no way in hell I was going to feed my friend to the sleens my Master kept for hunting. I went to the front room of the house and peeked out the window. I saw Master mounting his kaiila and riding out of the gate. He wouldn’t be back until sundown, so I had enough time.
I went back to the kitchen and with every ounce of strength I could muster, I knelt down, pulled Blanche’s body by her arms up and over my shoulder and painfully brought myself to a standing position. Struggling with her weight, I went outside the house near the sleen pens. I went as quickly as I could to the spot by the tree in the talender field.
Using my hands, a stick and a large rock (anything like a shovel could be used a weapon and therefore kept well out of slaves’ reach) I dug a shallow grave in the soft, rich soil of the talender field. I cried and tried to sing a song as I dug. I knew she’d want to be here with her beloved flowers.
At the back of my mind, I knew this wasn’t a real person. She was a construct. But it didn’t matter. She deserved to be buried here rather than being treated as a lump of meat to use as feed.
It wasn’t great, but after sliding her gently into her makeshift grave, I covered her with soil, knowing it wouldn’t take long for the flowers to again grow over this spot and Master would be none the wiser. I looked up at the sun and knew I still had plenty of time to clean the kitchen.
Something blotted out the sun for a moment. I blinked, not sure of what I saw. I quickly scanned the skies and at first saw nothing but the sun and clouds. Then there it was it again. A huge, majestic shape in the sky. It was a tarn! I sucked in my breath and stood up, ready to run the distance back to the farm house.
I started to run, but the giant bird landed abruptly between me and the house. From the steel on it’s talons, I could tell it was a war tarn. The warrior who was flying him, slid off the saddle onto the ground. I was at the length of my chain so I couldn’t run away! The warrior slowly approached. I got down on my knees, shaking like a leaf.
“Greetings, Master,” I said, not looking at him in the eye. I knew he was going to steal me. I’m sure the only reason he didn’t swoop down and grab from the ground was because he noticed I was chained to the house.
He stopped a couple of feet from me. He said, “Stand, girl.”
“Yes, Master.” I stood and he appraised me. I looked at him as he removed his helmet. He was quite handsome and oozed masculinity.
He studied me for a moment before saying, “Jack. Um, I mean Jason. It’s me, Brandon. I had a hell of a time tracking you down.”
I stood there a moment, thinking this Master must be insane. Then it hit me, like a bucket of cold water. “Brandon? Wha…what are you doing here? You were looking for me?” All the tension drained from my muscles as my mind slipped out of the game’s reality.
“Yeah, dude. I need your help. You’re smokin’ hot by the way.” He stood there staring at me with that hungry look I see from men all the time now.
I laughed. “You need my help? I’m a slave girl. You’re obviously a mighty warrior. How could I help you?”
He grinned and said, “You and my friend Vermu are neck and neck point-wise and I don’t want him to win even second place. You, sadly, as a girl can’t actually win, but I thought you’d want the assist points. It’d give you a solid second place. I could have used any NPC slave girl to help me, but since you’re actually playing and was given a bad deal, I thought you’d want the points. Your friend sucks, by the way.” He laughed before continuing. “He can’t even beat a girl!”
“Well, of course I’ll help you,” I said. “Anything would beat staying here.” I glanced at the fresh grave in the flowers. “My Master will be back in a couple of hours.”
Brandon laughed again and said, “Well, you won’t be here.” He pulled what looked like bolt cutters from his belt and gripped my collar with it. A moment later, the collar snapped off and clanked to the ground.
I rubbed my neck. It felt great not to have that steel ring around it. I said, “Thanks so much! It feels good to be rid of…”
With a deftness that was hard to imagine, Brandon had clicked his collar around my neck. He said, “Down on your knees girl and submit to me.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me, Brandon!” I exclaimed. “Seriously dude?”
His face flushed red with fury, his expression twisted in the anger of someone who expects to be obeyed without question. “Kneel, beast! I need your absolute obedience as well as your exquisite beauty.” He drew his sword.
I dropped to my knees with a sigh. I extended my arms crossed at the wrists. I lowered my gaze and said, “I submit to you, my Master with my heart and soul.” I felt the steel bracelets snap around my wrists.
“That’s a good girl,” said Brandon. “I need to make sure you are mine in all ways. Once we arrive at my camp, I’ll explain my plan.” He looked away for a moment, and then said, “Ally, Jason.”
I looked at my Master and said, “Ally, Brandon.” A confirmation message flashed across my sight.
He snapped a leash to my collar. He said, “What are you called, beast?”
I just looked at him for a second. I said, “I am called Myrtle, if it pleases Master.”
He frowned. “It doesn’t please me. You are now called Shana.” He turned and started leading me to his tarn. “Come, mine.”
I looked back at the talender field and in my mind I said silently, “Good-bye my sister.”
My Master was mostly silent for the first hour after we arrived at his camp. He had erected his tent on a broad ledge of a canyon wall that was accessible only by tarn. Using flint and steel, Master had started a fire and then I began preparing him his meal. He had set his tarn loose so it could find its own meal.
Approaching from his left, I set his feast before him. “I hope you find this meal nourishing and pleasing my Master,” I said as I kneeled next to him. He had laid out a large blanket over the dirt, then several layers of furs on that.
He smiled approvingly and said, “It looks very delicious, my girl.”
I was starving, but I just sat there silently, watching my Master eat his fill. On the ledge, the only sounds were the wind, the crackling of the fire and my Master’s noisy chewing.
As he was finishing, I asked, “May I ask a question, my Master?”
He grinned and said, “You just did, my girl.”
I frowned and said, “Besides that one.”
With a smile, he said, “Ask away.”
“I was just curious what you would have done if my old Master had been home when you came to get me,” I said, watching the flames flicker light across my Master’s handsome face.
“Oh, I had come prepared to buy you from him,” he said wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.
“And if he didn’t want to sell me?” I asked.
“I would have slain him and taken you,” Master said matter-of-factly.
My eyes widened at his statement and I just stared at the fire for a few moments.
My Master picked up the plate with the portions he hadn’t finished eating and set it front of me. He said, “Eat. I would otherwise just throw it out.”
“Thank you my Master!” I squealed with delight. I picked up his scraps and ate them greedily.
He changed his sitting position and studied me a moment before saying, “Would you like to hear my plan, slut?”
With food still in my mouth, I said, “Yeft muh Math-ter.”
He seemed to be amused by watching a starving slave girl stuff herself. He said, “It’s like this. Vermu has spent his time amassing an army. Not a great army. A few mercenaries, but mostly thieves and raiders. I have reliable intelligence that says he plans to attack Ar in two days. He thinks he can destroy Ar’s army and then take its Home Stone at his leisure. He won’t succeed. You know why little one?”
I swallowed audibly the lump of food in my mouth and said, “No, my Master. Why?”
My Master grinned and said, “Because we’re going to steal it tomorrow night.”
My eyes widened at his statement. I blurted out, “How my Master! It’s in the palace which is heavily guarded.”
His grinned grew larger. He said, “I know. I’ve been busy too. I’m the Captain of the Guard at the Ubar’s palace in Ar. I have his complete trust.”
I laughed and said, “Good work, my Master. But I still don’t see how you are going to get near the Home Stone.”
His expression became a bit more serious. He said, “That’s where you come in. There’s a big celebration in the palace in honor of the Ubar tomorrow night. I’m going to gift you to him. You, a pleasure slave to delight all his senses. You will perform a captivating dance. All eyes will be on you. Then I can quickly dispatch the few guards defending the Home Stone. I’ll make the roof, call in my tarn, and then quickly fly out away from the city, winning the game.”
I sucked in my breath. I said, “That’s a lot depending on me, my Master. And it still leaves a lot to chance.”
He flashed a smile at me and said, “You are extremely beautiful. You’ll have the attention of every man at the celebration. If your dance is alluring enough, no one will pay any attention to me. Are you up to the challenge?”
“I guess,” I said starting to feel nervous.
“You guess?” laughed my Master. “I ran into Stan very early in the game at a tavern. He said it was too bad you had to be a kajira for the game. He was going to join forces with you as you were the kind of player who just lunges in head first, slashing your way to a win. But, he knew you couldn’t win as a girl.”
“I do not wish to displease my Master,” I said with a grin.
My Master had gone to his tent, but I remained outside on the ledge, watching the bright night sky. In all the time I’d been here, this was the first time I ever had the chance to see the Gorean night sky in all its glory. It was basically the same night sky as Earth’s but it was slightly different.
The night air was filled with sounds and I was so happy that we were on a ledge, free of larls and other predators of the night. The night air was also starting to get a little chilly, but I was enjoying the first relatively easy night since my arrival.
“Girl!” called my Master. “Come to my furs.”
“Yes, my Master.” I replied. Surely he wasn’t really serious. I entered his tent.
“Stand,” he said. “Now remove your camisk.” I pulled the knot out of the rope holding the camisk together. It fell to the floor of the tent. “Rotate. Slowly. Okay, stop.” I turned full circle for him. I stood totally naked before my Master. Embarrassment before a man had been trained out of me, but I was still uncomfortable.
Master parted the furs, revealing his own nudity. He indicated he wanted me to lie down next to him. I slid into the furs beside my Master. He just stared at my face for a few moments. He ran his fingers through my hair.
“Tonight my girl, you will come to fully understand what it means to be a woman,” he said as he grabbed a handful of my hair and drew my face to his.
I put my hand on his chest as he kissed me. I slid my fingers down his magnificently muscled torso. I felt my body start to respond to his touch. My breathing became deeper as his kissing became more passionate. With a free hand, he squeezed one of my breasts. His knee pressed against my heat. He rolled me over so he was above me. He sucked on my nipples while his fingers found my clit. I gasped with a pleasure I had never known before. I remembered having sex with men during my fast forward of my pleasure training. But it had been nothing like this.
Master was taking me, making me his totally. Each powerful thrust of his hips sent wave after wave of pure pleasure through my body. And then in one blinding explosion of sensation, I fully understood what it was to be a woman. He owned me, mind, body and soul.
Loudly I gasped, “Master!” and that’s when he knew I had finally surrendered totally to him. The euphoria that surrounded me was greater than anything I’d ever experienced. He slowed down and pressed his himself against me. I could feel the pounding of his heart.
In a breathy whisper, I said, “Brand me, my Master! Brand me right now. Make me yours forever!”
He smiled and with his breathing heavy, said, “I’m gifting you to the Ubar of Ar tomorrow. I don’t think he’d like you branded.” He must have seen the sadness in my expression as he quickly added, “Temporarily gifting you. After I have the Home Stone, I’ll pick you up and we’ll fly away together.”
“I am your slave, my Master.” I said. “I never want to leave you.”
I couldn’t believe it. I was finally in Ar! I had given up all hope. We walked along a bustling street, as we made our way from the tarn cots to the palace. I walked behind Master, watching people, slaves and various carts and wagons pulled by a variety of animals. I may not win, but I made it to Ar and I was going to be part of the win.
I was leashed to my Master with a small, light chain. He said it was for my own safety as he was worried about someone trying to snatch me. He knew I wouldn’t run away. I loved my Master with all my heart. I would never leave him.
We weren’t far from the palace gates when the words “Biggus Dickus eliminated” flashed before our eyes. We both called for a status and I had to laugh when I saw that Stan’s name was shown in red with an “X” beside it. His score was very far behind mine. What a spaz, I thought, for him to pick that name for his character. Now he had to sit out the game and listen to music in real time. My Master turned around to look at me, and I smiled and gave him a thumb’s up gesture.
We approached the gate and the guards snapped to attention when they saw Master. They saluted and let us pass, never giving me a second glance.
The palace grounds were gorgeous. There were huge trees all around the palace. Fountains dotted the grounds as well as little gazebo-like buildings. Vines clung to the palace walls and wrapped around the columns at various entrance points to the palace. The palace itself was very tall and like most Gorean structures was cylindrical and painted bright colors.
Slaves scurried everywhere on some task given them by their Master. I saw a kajirus unloading heavy bags of who-knows-what from a wagon. I was surprised by the amount of activity in the palace court yard. As we approached the palace entrance, we saw a group of about 20 of the scarlet caste, the warriors standing near the entrance, some talking very animatedly.
One broke away at our approach and gave my Master a broad smile and salute as he said, “Tal, brother! You just missed the most amazing act of…well…stupidity I’ve ever seen.”
“Tal, Captain! What did I miss?” asked my Master.
“A lone warrior, with mercenary armor came charging through the palace and up the stairs, whacking and hacking everyone and everything he saw and screaming inexplicably, ‘Leeeeeeroy Jenkinnnns!’ If you discount the few slave girls he decapitated and some of the warriors injured, it was quite hysterical. It became obvious he was heading for the chamber of the Home Stone. The palace guard quickly recovered from their shock and dispatched him in short order. Despite his yell, his name turned out to be Biggus Dickus. Obviously a man of no honor. His head was presented to the Ubar. Needless to say, the palace guard has been beefed up.”
My Master frowned as he said, “Well, I’m glad some of the guard was awake. I want the guard doubled at the entrance tonight for the Ubar’s celebration. No one comes in who is not on my list, is that understood?”
The warrior captain snapped to, saluted and said, “Understood, sir!”
“If anything else comes up, I’ll be in my quarters,” my Master said.
The warrior saluted again and said, “Honor and Steel, my brother!”
Flashing a smile, showing his beautiful, white, even teeth, my Master returned the salute saying, “Honor and Steel.” With a tug on my leash, we walked through the entrance. Other than a few greetings, my Master was silent as we made our way to his offices.
Master shut the door behind him as we entered his office. He let go of my leash and pounded his fist on his desk. Growling, my Master said, “That moron friend of yours might have possibly fucked things up for us! Now there’ll be more guards and more eyes looking for off behavior.”
I giggled, saying, “That sounds like Stan though. We’re nearing the point where the game will force an end, even if no one has completed the mission. He has no idea what you or your friend has planned, but he probably thought you two were going to act soon, so he probably decided to just charge up San Juan Hill and hope for the best.”
With a scowl distorting his handsome features, my Master said, “Well, his timing couldn’t have been worse. We’ll still have to go through with the plan tonight though. If we wait, Vermu’s forces might succeed where Stan acting alone failed.”
Master opened a large box by the wall near his desk. He pulled out beautiful red dancing silks and handed them to me.
“Go change into these, my little slut. Take a bath and wash your hair first. In the box, you’ll also find cosmetics and perfumes. Use whatever you feel is best,” my Master said with a faraway expression. “The Ubar’s celebration begins at sunset.”
After asking a few kajirae, I managed to find the slave’s bathhouse. Though simple in design, it was beautiful none-the-less. The bathhouse was filled with naked girls laughing and bathing or playing in the water. At the time, I didn’t find it at all odd to not be ogling at all these absolutely knock-out girls. I’ve never seen so many beautiful girls in one place before and I didn’t really pay any attention to them as I slid, naked myself, into the warm, inviting pool.
I leaned back in the heated water and closed my eyes. This was another new luxury for me to experience. I could really get used to this. I thought I needed to get as much mileage as I could from these experiences as one way or another, it was all going to end in a few hours. I was almost giddy just thinking that I was going to get to play a part in the winning of the game and was glad I had never quit when things seemed the most hopeless.
Ever since my Master had told me of his plan, I had been trying to compose a dance to perform at the Ubar’s celebration. I had decided on a capture dance, about a panther girl losing the freedom of her home in the forest and sold into slavery. Granted, it wasn’t all that original, but it was the best I could do on short notice. Besides, I could probably say anything as I’d be performing before a bunch of NPC’s who would just react to me dancing, rather than what I said.
I sang a little song to myself as I splashed in the warm water, utterly content.
I should have been embarrassed standing there in flowing, thin, red silks before a hall full of men. But I wasn’t. In fact, I basked in it. Reveled in it. I felt beautiful and desired. Knowing that the eyes of every man in the great hall of the palace of Ar were fixed on me got my…um…juices flowing. As we approached the Ubar’s table, I gracefully slid to my knees into the nadu position, exposing my heat the Ubar.
“My Ubar!” my Master said. “I present to you a gift. A beast of pleasure, trained in the most exquisite arts of pleasuring men. She is sure to delight your every senses. She is skilled in bathing and dance as well. My Ubar, I give you Shana.”
The Ubar smiled a toothy grin. I was expecting some grizzled old man, but the Ubar was quite the handsome warrior himself with a six-pack that definitely wasn’t airbrushed on.
“Captain of the Guard, you have outdone yourself. She is indeed most beautiful. A prize befitting a Ubar,” said the Ubar. He pointed at his feet and said, “At my boot, girl.”
Smiling seductively at him, I walked to be next to him and then dropped slowly to my knees beside his boot. He idly stroked my hair as he waved his hand and said, “Bring out the feast! Let us celebrate!” There were roars of agreement as warriors, and important dignitaries found seats at the tables, with my Master taking a seat next to the Ubar.
It was quite a party. There were girls dancing in the large dancing pit in the middle of the tables. A band of minstrels playing accompaniment for the girls. Carts loaded with bosk steaks, verr cheese, fried vulos and assorted fruits and vegetables. And barrel after barrel of the finest paga in Ar.
My Master glanced at me nervously a few times. His plan only had two possible outcomes and one of them wouldn’t be very pretty. The skies of Ar had grown dark and torches flickered on the walls. The great hall was lit by the strange energy bulbs
Finally, with a grim expression he nodded at me.
“My Ubar,” said my Master as he stood up from the table. “Your new pleasure slave has prepared a dance for you. Shana, dance for your new owner!”
“Yes m…yes Master!” I almost said “my” Master when addressing him. The Ubar, who thought he was my new owner would not be pleased. I stood up, my red silks fluttering about my legs. I walked as gracefully as I could to the dance pit. The sand felt cool against my bare feet.
I picked up a long stick that had been placed by the dance pit for my use. The band began playing the music I had selected for my dance. I crouched down, bowing my head to the Ubar, my long hair cascading over my shoulders to touch the sand. All eyes were on me, and I loved it. Then I slowly stood, brandishing the stick as if I was going to attack something.
I spun, poised with the stick, my silks flowing around me. I tried to make it clear I was hunting something. In a clear voice that cut through the great hall, I said, “She was a huntress. Perhaps the greatest of her tribe. The tabuk she pursued would feed her sisters. She had wounded the beast with her spear. She heard its cries of pain as she tracked it down. She must hurry as she knew the cries of the beast would soon bring larls to finish the kill.”
I made a sudden jump and spun, jabbing my stick at an imaginary creature. “Suddenly, the wounded animal jumped past her through the brush, almost knocking her down. She took careful aim and threw her spear. The beast dropped to the ground as the spear found its mark in the tabuk’s heart. Cautiously, she approached the writhing tabuk. Trying to avoid being kicked, she removed her knife from her belt, and with a single stroke, ended the beast’s misery.”
I saw my Master say something to the Ubar who nodded at him before returning his attention to me. My Master walked quickly towards a darkened hallway. No one looked at him.
I continued, “She laid a large rep cloth on the ground and rolled the dead tabuk onto it. She ran swiftly back to where the other panthers of her hunting party had camped. They would help her bring the tabuk back to the tribe. But when she arrived at the camp, no one was there. It was then she saw blood on the grass and signs of struggle. The forest was suddenly silent and she realized that it was she that was being hunted.”
I crouched with the stick jabbing in the air, waiting to defend from an attack when suddenly bugles sounded and there were shouts of men from outside. The band stopped playing and I just stood there wondering what was going on. Men stood up from their seats, drawing their weapons. A young man ran into the great hall and shouted, “We are under attack! Ubar! We are under attack!”
Oh, no, I thought. Vermu decided to attack tonight! I just stood there, watching men running back and forth. Somewhere in the distance I heard someone shout, “They have breached the north gate!”
I felt a little out of place, standing in the middle of the dance pit wearing only thin, soft silks while men all around me were picking up arms, running and shouting. I hoped my Master had been successful in getting the Home Stone. I was just about to go see when something caught my eye.
Someone wasn’t running or even looking excited. He wore the armor of an Ar warrior, but something looked odd about him. He moved quickly and deliberately close to the wall, heading for the same darkened hallway as my Master. I concluded it could only be Vermu. The attack was just a diversion so he could just walk casually inside.
I ran to the hallway, my barefeet slapping on the smooth stones. I slowed down so I wouldn’t make so much noise. I looked down the hallway, but all I saw was a stairway. Running on my tip-toes, I hurried to the stairs. I looked up to the next landing, but saw no one. I ran up the stairs quickly.
Short of breath, I entered the tenth floor. This was where my Master had said the chamber with the Home Stone was located. I looked around and saw about eight dead guards. One more flight of stairs leads to the roof. I started for them when someone grabbed my arm. They squeezed so hard, I cried out in pain.
I was jerked around and slapped as Vermu snarled, “Shut up, bitch! Where’s Brandon?”
Despite the pain in my arm, I laughed and said, “You’ve lost! My Master already has the stone is now heading out of the city.”
Vermu laughed and with his free hand, held up a large rock. “You stupid wench! I have the stone! Who do you think killed those guards?”
My eyes widened as I realized the dead lying on the floor wasn’t my Master’s handiwork. It was then I noticed the blood and cuts on his armor. I looked crazily around the room, seeking my Master. He wasn’t there. I tried to jerk my arm free of Vermu’s grip, but it was no use.
Suddenly there was a shadow cast down the stairs that led to the roof.. A figure shrouded in darkness descended the stairs. I couldn’t see his face yet, but I knew it was my Master! His sword was held at the ready as he reached the last step.
“You’re early, Vermu,” said my Master. “I went up to the roof to first kill the guards there, when you started your attack. I knew you’d save me the trouble of dispatching the Stone’s guards. Hand me the stone, Vermu.”
Vermu laughed again. “You’re a regular comedian, Brandon! My men will be up here any second to escort me out the gate. Lay down your weapon, and I might let you live.”
“This isn’t over yet, friend. Who’s to say it won’t be my men who come up those stairs. They won’t be caught off guard like these poor fellows.” My Master pointed at the dead guards. My Master lifted his sword as if ready to strike. He said, “Are you going to cowardly hide behind a slave girl, or are you going to fight like a man?”
Scowling, Vermu threw me across the room. With a primal yell, he lunged for my Master. Master parried with the side of his blade, spun around and with a mighty swing, cut through Vermu’s armor on his side. He let out a yell as he quickly turned and blocked my Master’s next swing with his sword.
I crouched near the stairs, scared shitless and feeling totally useless. I then noticed a sword from a fallen guard lying near my feet. Trying not to be noticed, I bent over to pick up the sword. Even with both hands, I could barely lift the sword partway from the floor. I looked up with awe at the two men swinging these heavy swords at each other.
I watched in horror as I saw my Master’s sword fly from his hand and clang against the floor. Ah, crap! I thought. My Master’s gonna die.
Vermu pressed the point of his sword against the armor on my Master’s chest. He said, “You can’t win them all, Brandon. Good game, though.”
I looked at the floor and saw a knife in one of the dead guard’s belt. I knew I could never push the knife though Vermu’s leather armor. There was no way I could kill him. He was pulling his sword back for the final thrust to kill my Master. Without thinking, I lunged for the knife, pulled it from the guard’s belt and slammed it to the hilt against Vermu’s thigh.
Howling in pain, he dropped both is sword and the stone and dropped to his feet. Wasting only a brief stunned moment, my Master picked up his sword, and then grabbed the Home Stone. We could then hear scuffling of feet and clanging of steel coming up the stairs.
My Master said, “Good work, my girl! Extra gruel for you tonight! Now come!” He turned to race up the stairs.
Scowling at us, Vermu shouted, “Women have no honor!”
Just as we cleared the roof, my Master blew his tarn whistle and there was an answering shriek from the sky slicing through the sounds of the battle raging below. As the tarn was swinging in to land, I heard Vermu shout, “The roof! The roof! Quickly!”
As soon as the great bird landed, my Master jumped into the saddle and strapped himself in. He pulled on one of the control cords to signal the tarn to take flight. The bird began to flap its mighty wings just as Vermu’s men boiled out the stairway to the roof.
“Master!” I shouted. “Please don’t leave me!”
He held out his hand and shouted, “Run!” The men were almost on top of us.
I sprinted to the tarn, forcing myself not to fear it. He grabbed my hand and started to pull me up. Three men lunged toward the great war bird. With a shriek, the tarn slashed with his armored talons, slicing the men into several pieces. The rest of the men hesitated just a moment.
Their hesitation was just long enough for Master to pull me up on the saddle behind him. He shouted, “Hold on to my belt with all your might! I don’t have time to tie you down properly!” I grabbed his belt just as the tarn lifted off from the roof with the beating of its mighty wings, blowing several men from the roof to the stones far below.
The tarn made one circle around the roof. We could see Vermu shouting at us. My Master waved at him, and then directed the tarn towards the wall of Ar. We continued to gain altitude and speed as we crossed the wall. A few hundred yards beyond the wall, the words “Game Over!” blazed across our vision and the tarn froze in mid-flight. A score list appeared. Brandon won first place. I was in second and Vermu was a very close third. Stan was a very distant fourth.
Everything faded to black and the game’s theme song slowly grew in volume. The game’s credits began to scroll in front of our eyes. I heard Brandon say, “End” and there was a brief sensation of falling and then all of us returned to reality at the same time. All of us were sweating and I know my head felt hot.
I started to drag myself to a sitting position. Stan shouted, “Holy Mother of God! That game was the Geko! Ace in the can! I’ve never experienced that level of immersion before!”
Vermu said, “That sucked, man. That little bitch of yours stabbed me!” Looking at me with disbelief, he continued, “I still can’t believe that the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen in my life was a dude.”
I felt myself blush.
Stan got unsteadily to his feet. He said, “So, Jason. How was it to be a chick?”
I shrugged and said, “It was different.”
Brandon grinned at me and I smiled sheepishly back.
We were all standing and Brandon was pouring everyone some orange juice, the game’s recommended drink after a gaming session.
Vermu said, “Well, I want a rematch, that’s for sure! Next time you won’t have some sneaky girl helping you.”
I rubbed my temples and said, “I have a massive headache. That’s a great game and I never would have believed such detail was possible, but I don’t think I handle that game any more.”
Stan said, “Next time you play, just make sure you’re not set up as female.”
I rubbed my eyes and said, “Hey guys, thanks for the game. I should go. This little kajira has some home work to knock out before going to work. Later.”
Stan said, “Yeah, me too. Jason, think you can help me with some of mine?”
Brandon waved and said, “Thanks for coming over. Take it easy.”
As I slipped the headset on, I heard Brandon say “Free play.”
“Come here, my girl,” said Brandon.
Breathless, I said, “Yes, my Master!” My silks fell silently to the tent’s floor.
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