Sunday, 7 May 2017

Harem Girl of Gor Chapter Five

Chapter Five: Erin


I was dressed in clinging white pleasure silks as I danced before two men on mosaic tiles on the ground floor of the slave pen building that surrounded the open courtyard of metal grilles which in turn provided light and air for the dismal slave caverns below. It was the first time in six weeks that I had been taken up out of the cavern and onto the surface of Patashqar and the first time since then that I was breathing clean air.

One of the men I knew – he was the physician working in the slave pens of Banu Hashim, but the other man was new to me. He had short cropped hair, Roman style, greying throughout, with a similarly coloured short beard and he stood with the aid of a walking cane on account of the fact that his left leg was lame from what looked like an old battle wound. This sort of injury is quite common from war, as crippled and injured soldiers far outnumber the dead. My own father had taken a shrapnel wound in his leg when I was about three years old, which never healed properly, and had probably ended his military career. I remember my mother telling me with tears in her eyes one morning that, 'something bad had happened to Daddy, and he would be in hospital for a while.' When he did come home eventually it was with a set of crutches that made him look frail.

“She dances well, but what of it,” he said to the physician.

“I believe she is of interest, Marcellus. Particular... interest.” The physician rubbed his chin and gazed at the other man with a knowing look.

The greying man's eyes flickered as he recognised the inflexion in the physician's speech. “Do we own her?”

“Ah, no... she is private property, here for a period of training.”  

“What's her name?”

“Emma. She's a barbarian.”

“From Earth?”

“Yes”

Marcellus looked at me and slowly nodded.



Things had changed since my period of confinement in the pit, as Bahira no longer looked kindly upon me. Any mistake I made was no longer corrected with the understanding that I was a well behaved slave-girl who was trying her best to learn. Instead she now regarded me with cold stern eyes and used the dreaded switch to reinforce discipline at every opportunity, for I had spoilt myself in her eyes with my tantrum when the leather worker had pierced my ears. 

I was not popular with the other girls in the pen now either, for the discipline rules meant that if one girl in the pen acted up, all the girls were punished. The other girls had been given basic slave gruel for the days and nights I had been incarcerated in the pit, instead of the more appealing kitchen scraps and treats that we might otherwise earn. Each girl too had been switched on the upper thighs five times by Bahira – a painful punishment, though nowhere near as painful as the brutal whipping I had received at Pallas's hands. The point of such a group punishment is to turn girls against the slave who has acted up. The other girls will inevitably tend to enforce discipline themselves and deal with the girl in such a way that she wouldn't dream of doing anything that might earn the pen another series of punishments ever again.

So it had been with me, for Kima had punished me herself upon my return to the slave pen. Each girl in turn – even Kara – had been told by Kima to beat me about the thighs and ass with a length of rope she had borrowed from a compliant guard. It had to be a group punishment, so that I understood no girl in the pen would stand by me if I got them into trouble again. The night of my first return, I was woken very early in the morning before dawn in the straw, and I was turned onto my stomach, my wrists and ankles stretched out and held firm by various girls. They then took it in turn to beat me with the length of rope while Kima watched, counting the blows.

I remember gazing up in dismay as my chain sister, Kara, stepped forward and received the length of rope from Kima.

“You too, Kara. There will be no exceptions.”

I knew she didn't want to beat me, but if she disobeyed Kima she too would suffer, and someone else would simply beat me in her turn.

“I'm sorry, Emma,” she said quietly. ”But you shouldn't have acted up like that. We all had our ears pierced. There were no exceptions. You have to understand you aren't special, you aren't better than us – you're just a common kajira.”

And then Kara beat me three times about my thighs. She didn't spare her strength, for Kima was watching closely.

After my initial punishment, Kima had ordered the other girls not to talk to me. I was to spend my days and nights in isolation until Kima felt I had learned my lesson. Kara would no longer be permitted to curl up in the straw with me – I would have to sleep alone in the cold instead. Kima told Kara she could sleep with the new girl, Nicola, who had been added to the pen while I spent several days in the hole.

A slave-girl in the Tahari is almost certainly expected to be able to dance, and it is common place for a new girl to be trained extensively in those arts even before she learns the skills required to pleasure a man in the furs. Much of this is to do with the fact that the most beautiful Taharian slaves tend to be bought for the harems of wealthy men where dancing skills are expected. Girls in harems tend to live a relatively easy life, spared the toil and back breaking labour that might occur in poorer, outlying desert villages.

Seremides had no doubt paid for me to have dancing lessons as some spiteful put down. He obviously resented the authority I had been given by Kurgus on this mission – authority that would be restored to me once I left the pens, once I was given fine clothes and veils again, once the steel collar proclaiming me as the property of Seremides was removed from my throat.

It no doubt amused Seremides to know that I would have to train as a dancer before then, presenting myself before men, hoping to please them with my performance. There was no longer much tolerance for my mistakes. I was again being trained as I had been in the first few days, when the switch was used to correct my posture and movements. Bahira remained angry with me, and she made it clear that my attitude problem had obviously been due to a lack of discipline.

“I’ve been soft on you, Emma. That won’t happen again.”

Now any mistake in my training was punished with a sharp crack of the switch. Now Bahira would bark commands at me instead of encouraging me with small compliments when I did something right. The mood in the training rooms had changed. The other girls shunned me, knowing I was out of favour with the guards and the trainers. They did not wish to be tarred through association. When I made a mistake, some of the girls would berate me for it – something Bahira permitted.

“You’re so clumsy, Emma” Tuala had hissed as I made a mistake with one of my dance steps. “All you’re good for is scrubbing floors!”

Kara rarely met my gaze during the training sessions. She knelt beside Nicola now – I noticed the two of them had struck up a friendship. Nicola had been an Earth girl from Italy, but she spoke reasonable Gorean since she had been transported from Earth three months ago. Had she been acquired by Udumi? Had she always been a girl, or had she once been a man like me? I was curious whether Udumi was still operational, but Nicola of course wouldn’t talk to me or answer my questions, for Kima had forbidden her from associating with me in any way.

At night I lay in the straw by myself, feeling alone. I missed Kara’s soft warm body that was so exciting, so sensual and so beautiful. I was deeply unhappy now. There were chain earrings in my earlobes and a small steel ring through the septum of my nose. The piercings would ruin me as a Free Woman when Seremides did eventually free me. I would have to go to great lengths to hide the lobes of my ears at all times, but in doing so that would draw attention to them. Gorean women do not normally need to conceal their earlobes from one another, and it would be considered suspicious if any woman did so. The obvious conclusion to be drawn would be that she had something terrible to hide. Women would probably demand I showed them my earlobes to clarify my condition.

I would almost certainly be considered a pariah when the truth was known. Even with the collar gone, I would be treated as a natural slave by my own sex. I would be an embarrassment to them. I would never be able to strike up a true friendship with a woman on Gor ever again.

Pallas no longer spoke to me after the classes were finished. Simba now spent time with him, receiving little gifts of candy treats. She seemed to be his favourite in the pens. Sometimes as I passed she would offer me a triumphal look and once or twice she made some derisory comment about me that made Pallas laugh.

The marks on my back healed quickly, surprisingly quickly in fact – something that was commented on by the physician who attended the slave pens.

“Your body heals well, Emma,” he said after examining the faint marks that remained. “There’s no sign of any infection. You’re very lucky. The beating Pallas gave you was harsh.”

“I know, Master,” I said softly as I lay on his examination couch on my belly. “I was there.”

“I’m going to draw a sample of your blood, Emma. Extend your arm – I need to find a vein.”

I did as he instructed and presented my left arm. The physician produced a sophisticated looking syringe with which he took a sample of my blood. “You seem in remarkably good health despite your incarceration in the hole. Do you know how long you were down there?”

“No Master, I do not.”

“Six days. You could easily have died. You were supposed to have been given water from a long handled ladle on the third day, but the order failed to be relayed. You were six days without water.” The physician looked at me curiously. “That is a long time to go without water.”

“I licked water from the stone walls, Master. There was a lot of condensation there.”

“Hmm.” The physician held the vial of my blood up to the light that streamed through the barred windows of the ground floor rooms in which he worked. “But still…”

What interested me most about the room was the fact it contained equipment that wouldn’t have been out of place in a hospital on Earth. Considering my experiences of Gor to date had been of a technology level pre-dating our Renaissance, this room was a surprise as it held sophisticated instruments and machines. It was incongruous with the presence of swords and shields and a society that had not yet developed motorised transport. This physician obviously understood the science of medicine and anatomy and wasn’t a practitioner of leeches and potions as I might reasonably have expected.

“I am informed you spoke the barbarian tongue when you screamed and fought back the other day. You are then, I take it, a barbarian?”

What could I say? I had given myself away in that respect. “Yes Master, I am. I was taken from London England.”

“Interesting, and yet your spoken Gorean is truly excellent. How long have you been on Gor?”

“Less than a year, Master.”

“Many things about you puzzle me, Emma.” He referred to some papers on his desk. “You are the property of a man called Seremides, yes? You belong to him?”

“I do, Master. I wear his collar.”

“And his homestone is where exactly?”

“Kadesh, Master.” That was the answer I had been briefed to give if anyone enquired about him.

“Do you know the penalty for lying to a man, Emma?”

I froze on the couch and gazed up at him. “Master?”

“I said, do you know the penalty for a slave-girl to lie to a man? I could for example order you placed back in the hole for another three days as a punishment.”

“No! Please, Master, please, no!” I raised myself on my upper arms on the couch and shifted position in alarm. I could not go back down there again! “Please, Master!”

“There was a subtle inflexion change in your voice and body when you answered me. You would be surprised how easy it is to tell when a naked woman is lying. The absence of clothing makes a difference to her. So I will ask you again, Emma, and I advise you to think carefully before you answer - what is your Master's homestone?”

I swallowed hard. I could not go back into the hole. “Corcyrus, Master. I am sorry I lied. Please have mercy on Emma.”

The physician placed his hands on my hips and turned me about on the couch so that I now lay on my back, looking up at him.

“Did you lie because you had once been commanded to, Emma?”

“Yes, Master.” I lay there, trembling. It was the thought of going back into the hole for another three days that absolutely terrified me. I would not, could not lie to him again.

“I will not punish you for obeying a command from the man who owns you.” Now the physician inspected my loins where the iron belt was locked in place. “You’ve had this on too long. Your Master should have left a key and instructions for us to clean you at regular intervals. The belt is a reasonably good fit on you, but it is chafing here, here and there.” He touched me with his fingers in a very professional manner. “Remain where you are, Emma.” He opened a drawer in his desk and produced a set of skeleton keys. Sorting through them with his fingers he selected three different ones that were potentially a good fit and tried them each in the lock of my belt. The second one produced a click after some trial and error. For the first time in many weeks I felt the hinged belt removed. He had been right, it was uncomfortable and it had been chafing against my skin. It had been difficult to clean myself properly with it on, but still, I was nervous and scared that I was now an unbelted slave-girl before a man of Gor.

The physician set about cleaning me an antiseptic liquid, a soothing cream and disposable cloth.

“Lie still on your back, Emma, with your legs spread wide open.”

I bit my lower lip as I did so, knowing I was open to him in any way he required now.

“You are white silk, yes? “ he said to me.

“Yes, Master. White silk.” I pressed the palms of my hands down onto the surface of the couch and squirmed a little as he verified that with his fingers.

“When were you brought to Gor?”

“Maybe eight months ago, Master. It is hard to be sure.”

“That is a long time for a barbarian slave-girl to remain white silk. Your Master has never desired to use you in all that time?”

“I’ve only been a slave for six weeks…” my voice trailed off as I suddenly realised I’d said something I shouldn’t have.

“You were enslaved six weeks ago? But you were brought to Gor from Earth eight months ago?” Now the physician gazed at me with suspicion for it was plain to see an inconsistency in that.

I shrank back on the couch, feeling scared. “Please, Master…”

“How is it you were not a slave for the first six months of your time here? I have never heard of such a thing.”

Why had I blurted that out? How could I explain this now? Girls captured on Earth were always immediately enslaved. There were no exceptions except the secret exception that applied to the likes of Jacinta and myself.

“I… I simply wasn’t enslaved to begin with.”

“Something about this doesn’t feel right.” The physician finished cleaning me. “Did you know this man, Seremides, during your time as a Free Woman?”

“Yes, Master…”

“In Corcyrus?”

“Yes, Master.”

“Hmm. You may go now, Emma.” He fitted the iron belt back around my loins and locked it securely in place. “I must think on some things.”




But I get ahead of myself again. A week or so before I found myself dancing in white pleasure silks before Marcellus and his physician, I was being lifted in a near comatose state from the sunken pit in the terrifying hexagonal room.

Men carried me into a small bare ante-chamber some distance away from the hexagonal room with the punishment pits. I probably cried and snivelled the whole way as my tortured limbs gradually grew accustomed to moving again. Delirious from lack of food and water, I found myself passing momentarily into unconsciousness and then awake again. I was deposited on my side onto a cold flagstone floor where I lay semi-conscious. I had lost some weight while I had been in the hole and I felt extraordinarily weak. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand unaided and so I just lay there. Even if I had been commanded to kneel in Nadu my body would simply have failed me, but no such command was given thankfully.

“Give her water, Erin, but sparingly so she isn't sick,” said one of the men. Even in my wretched state I was aware of the name that had been spoken and what it meant. My eyes were still growing accustomed to light after so long in the darkness of the pit, so I could barely squint at the dark haired girl who knelt beside me, pouring cold water into a bowl from a jug. She placed a rag into the bowl until it was saturated and then she raised it to my lips.

“Suck on the water,” she said as she stroked my forehead. My hair must have been matted with grime and sweat, for I could feel her fingers move through tangles as she lifted my head up well enough for me to suck water from the rag. I began to cough and choke even from that small amount.

“She should have been given water days ago, Master,” said Erin, looking up.

“An oversight. It has been reported.”

“She could have died, Master.”

“You are not here to identify errors in procedure, girl. Simply give her water, wash her and feed her.”

“Yes, Master.”

I lay there for a while, the room spinning about me as Erin dripped water onto my tongue and lips. As I grew accustomed to taking the water without choking, she lifted the small bowl to my mouth and allowed me to lap the liquid with my swollen tongue.

“Slowly,” she said in a controlled voice. “Your body is probably in shock.”

I tried speaking, but found it difficult to say much. Was this the Erin I had been sent to find? She must be. Her spoken Gorean had an accent of sorts that sounded slightly American to my ears. This had to be her.

“Emma,” I croaked.

“I know your name. Save your strength, Emma. You were in the hole longer than the other girls. The Masters were very angry with you.” Seeing that I was able to sit up, Erin propped me up with cushions made from straw stuffed sacks, and she dribbled more water into my mouth.

“They pierced your ears then,” she said with a smile.

I choked as I nodded. I could feel the steel bars locked in my earlobes, and I could feel the small Turian style steel ring in the centre of my nose.

“It’s degrading, I know, but we all go through it.” Erin had earrings in her ears, though her nose was unadorned. “What is done is done. There is no going back.”

“I hate men,” I said in a hoarse rasping voice.

“That is natural enough. You have been through a terrible ordeal.” Erin began to wash my body with wet rags. I was covered in grime, dried sweat, and of course my inner legs and thighs were stained with piss and shit. It must have been an unpleasant task for the girl, but she seemed to take it in her stride.

“Part your thighs, Emma,” said Erin as she moved to wash me there. The belt of course was an obstacle but she worked around it.

Moving my legs was agony in itself. I moaned and cried as I did so. I knew there was something I was supposed to say to Erin – a question that would prompt an answer which in turn would send me into a subliminal hypnotic state, but tortured and broken as I was, I couldn’t remember what that question was. My brain felt scrambled and burnt out. In time it would come back to me, but time wasn’t something I had the luxury of.

“Erin… I know you…” I eventually managed to say.

Now she looked at me in concern. “What do you mean?”

We were alone in the ante-chamber so I knew it was safe to speak while the men were absent. I could tell her now. “You work for Kurgus. I work for Kurgus.”

Erin’s eyes flashed angrily as I said that and she put the piece of rag down on the flagstone floor.

“Who are you?” Her fingers pressed hard against both the carotid arteries in my neck as she said that. I realised with a start that if I said the wrong thing, in my severely weakened helpless state, she was going to cut off the blood supply to my brain and kill me.

“Kurgus sent me…”

“Recognition code. Quickly girl,” she said.

“I… I don’t… I don’t have… he didn’t give me…” Kurgus had never given me a recognition code or password of any kind!

“Die well, Emma,” Erin pressed down hard on my carotids and easily held me against the flagstones with the weight of her body as my head began to pound and I grew dizzy. Compressing both carotids, if you know what you are doing, can cause unconsciousness within 15 to 20 seconds and death within 2 to 4 minutes. She was going to kill me without leaving a cut on my body for I didn’t have any recognition codes to give her!

“I know Jacinta!” I gasped and I felt the pressure ease. “She’s my friend!” I had hoped that Erin must have known Jacinta since Jacinta had been operational since the 1970s.

“Tell me something personal about her, and do so quickly if you want to live,” said Erin as she continued to sit across my body, pinning me down in my weakened state. “Quickly, for men may return any time now.”

“She saw Ziggy Stardust!” I said.

“Yes, so she did.” Erin gazed down at me for a few seconds before making her mind up and moving her fingers away from the pressure points on my neck. “Why don’t you have a recognition code?”

“I don’t know!” I sobbed, feeling my head throb. “Kurgus didn't give me one!”

“What do you want? I thought Kurgus had simply abandoned me. He didn’t seem to care that I was enslaved during the troubles in Corcyrus. Why has he sent you? You can’t possibly be here to rescue me. You couldn't rescue a cat up a tree.” Erin raised an eyebrow in disdain. “I assume you’re English?”

“Yes. London.”

“I lived there for a time when Kurgus recruited me. How long have you been operational?”

“I was brought to Gor nearly eight months ago.”

“Junior then. I can’t imagine you have much in the way of authority or experience which speaks volumes for the level of importance Kurgus must place on me now.” Erin peeled a piece of fruit and placed it between my lips. “Eat. You’re very weak. I would have had more difficulty killing a baby. Kurgus can go fuck himself for all I care.” Erin was speaking now in her native English. “He left me to rot. Look at me.”

I did. Erin was exquisitely beautiful in her collar and brand and earrings in the soft lamp light, with her long dark hair, the sensual curves of her naked body and her perfect olive skin.

“You have information he needs.”

“No I don’t.”

“You do. You just don’t know you do.”

“Oh?” Now Erin seemed interested. “How so?”

“It was implanted subliminally in your head when you lived in Corcyrus. No one told you.”

“What is it I know?”

“I can’t tell you that.” Surely she must realise it was a need to know basis and she did not need to know the quality of information she carried.

”Fine. I’ll call the guards back and tell them that you told me they can go fuck themselves before you’ll ever submit again. Another few days in the pit should be an education for you, no?”

“No, wait, please!” I stretched out my hand weakly. Would she do that?

“Last chance, Emma of fucking London. I’ve been playing this game a lot fucking longer than you ever have. Do not fuck with me after what I’ve been through these last few years. Kurgus wants something from me – you tell me what it is.”

“Kurgus said…”

“Fuck Kurgus.” Erin stood up. “Guards! Masters!”

“No, please… I’ll tell you…”

Jubal entered the ante-chamber within seconds. “What is it, Erin?” He could see I lay on my side on the floor, too weak to have possibly done much.

“I’m sorry, Master,” said Erin, suddenly all sweetness and humility, kneeling in Nadu, “it was Emma – for a moment she seemed to be choking and I was scared she might be dying, but I managed to clear her wind pipe. I am sorry to have troubled you, Master.”

Jubal shrugged, looked down at me again and then exited the chamber.

“That could have been nasty for you, slave-girl,” said Erin as she knelt back down. “Now tell me. Last chance.”

“You have some co-ordinates for a lost weapons cache! Kurgus has been looking for it ever since he lost you!”

“Ah. Operation 'Tarn Strike'. A fucking stupid name. I told them to choose something more inconspicuous sounding that didn’t resemble a bad James Bond film. But Gorean men are hardly subtle. So I know the precise location of 'Tarn Strike', do I? Interesting. How are you supposed to get the information from me?”

“I’m to ask a specific question. When you answer, that will put me into a hypnotic state and I'll speak the trigger phrase that will do the same to you.”

“Sounds like the sort of stupid, overly complex plan that Kurgus would come up with. What's the question?”

“I… I can’t remember… my brain still feels fried from my time in the pit.”

“I see. And are you planning on remembering this question any time soon or would you like to learn to dance and suck men's cocks first?”

“I have to remember!” I sobbed.

“Pathetic. Kurgus's network has obviously taken a serious nose dive since I was there. Now who is Seremides?” Erin rotated the collar on my throat and read the Gorean inscription.

“My handler! A senior agent for Kurgus!”

“Never heard of him. He sounds like a prick. Does he own you?”

“No! Of course not! It is a ruse - a pretence. It was my only way into the pens to find you. I actually have authority over him!”

“Really? Wow. I can see that's working out well for you. But still, you wear his collar. You wear a steel collar locked about your throat. I presume you don't have the key?”

“No, of course not.”

“You are either very brave or very stupid, Emma of London. What happens when you have the co-ordinates from me?”

“I send a certain message to Seremides through Jubal the guard, and he comes to collect me and then we leave here.”

“And me?”

“Um…” I chewed my lower lip and looked away. There was no easy way of saying this.

“I thought as much. I’ve outlived my usefulness, haven’t I? Let Erin be a slave-girl in the slave pens of Banu Hashim. Kurgus doesn’t need her any more. Fucking asshole.”

“No, it’s not like that. We tried to buy you, but you’re not for sale. We don’t have the men or resources in Patashqar to affect a rescue.”

“So you get to walk out of here in your pretty collar and Seremides is going to unlock it and give you back your robes and veils?”

“Yes...”

“You are so na├»ve.”

“No I’m not!” I was angry despite my weakness and pain. “Do you think I haven’t considered that? I’ve thought about that possibility from the moment I woke up in Corcyrus when Kurgus offered me the chance to be his agent in place of being a kajira. But do you know what – that really wasn't much of a choice at all, was it? Was I really going to say 'no' because I had some doubts about where I might end up eventually? I’ve thought about it, and it doesn’t make sense for Kurgus to have me remain in this collar after I conclude my mission here. Think about it – why spend six months training me for a single mission? Why not use me again, and again, and again? Otherwise it’s a lot of effort to go to for a single mission. And I’ve seen Kurgus keep his word before. I've seen it. There was a Panther girl who trained me in the first few months. He promised to return her to the Northern Forests, and he did precisely that. He said he only breaks his word if there is some exceptional value in doing so, otherwise it is good business practise for people around him to see he generally keeps his word. I believe him.”

Erin shrugged her shoulders. “More fool you. And what of your pierced ears?”

“I… I don’t know… they weren’t part of the plan. The men here weren’t supposed to do that to me…”

“Oh dear. How sad. Wake up and smell the coffee, Emma of London – you’re a pierced ear girl on Gor. Any idea what that means, honey?” She had been conversing almost exclusively in English the whole time.

“Maybe I’ll be sent back to Earth after this...”

“And maybe rainbow coloured unicorns will rule the Sardar mountains tomorrow. Have you not noticed how I ended up?”

“That’s different… we tried to buy you. We would have freed you. I even suggested hiring men to attack this place but it wasn’t practical. If things had been different…”

“Kurgus doesn’t give a shit about me. He never has. I was an expendable resource.”

“Well I’m very sorry for you, Erin. Truly I am. But what do you expect me to do about it? I’m not Lara Croft or Wonder Woman!”

“No, you certainly aren't.” Erin considered me for a moment. “There really is no reason for me to co-operate with you, you know. I don't owe you anything, and I certainly don't owe that shit, Kurgus, anything. Fuck him. Fuck them all.”

“Just who were you on Earth?”

“What?”

“Who were you on Earth? I mean... we come from the same planet... we work for the same man... I just want to know.”

“Why? You think we're going to be fluffy chain sisters and hug one another in-between dance classes? Fuck that.” Erin paused for a moment. “I bet you actually have a chain sister, don't you? Yeah, you look like the sort of girl who'd actually go for that in here. Well, several years ago on Earth I was Caroline Milton, if you really want to know, and I worked in a glorified call centre in the US Embassy in London.”

“I don't understand. How do you know how to kill people by applying pressure on carotid arteries from that sort of job?”

Erin sighed. “Because the call centre job was just a cover. I am... was... an Israeli Mossad agent. And just for the record, since we're doing the full disclosure, getting to know one another thing - I'm gay.” Erin paused as she saw the stunned expression on my face. “Hope that isn't going to be too much of a problem for you, pumpkin.” 

No comments:

Post a Comment