Chapter two: I awake in Corcyrus after a long drugged sleep, where I swiftly discover the limitations of my new body.
I dreamt such vivid dreams during the time I was encased within the capsule. It seemed perhaps that several lifetimes went by in my dream state during my gradual transformation and, I suppose, the subsequent space flight. I know now that the strange cube like building situated so incongruously next to the farm yard barn was in fact a space ship of some kind. I suppose like you I had always assumed that space ships would be sleek streamlined vessels or complicated Battlestar Galactica style designs, and so the thought of a vessel able to traverse deep space that resembled a cube hadn't crossed my mind. What I now surmise is that I was loaded aboard the cube like structure along with the other capsules, and unbeknown to the monitoring stations in Great Britain, the vessel had launched from the rural countryside, attaining escape velocity in a short space of time. I lay there in a drugged state, perhaps beside the capsule containing the beautiful Miss Elizabeth Bentley as the ship swung in an elliptical orbit around the sun. How long I was aboard the vessel is impossible for me to tell as I have no way of knowing what the Earth date was when I awoke on the planet of Gor.
Was I unconscious within the pink fluid for weeks, months, years? Gor is supposedly positioned on the opposite side of the Sun, hence the term 'Counter Earth' but I have no idea of the journey time to reach such an orbit, nor do I know the relative speed by which an alien vessel can travel. It seems strange as I write this account now to think back to such an early time in my life on Gor, before I was sent to the vast Tahari deserts on a mission on behalf of the Kurii, before I reached the great desert city of Patashqar, before I was subsequently enslaved against my will, before I served as a Harem Girl in the Oasis of the Thirteen palms, and before I reached the Northern Forests of Gor where the Panther Girls hunt and roam, free from the laws of men. So much time. A lifetime perhaps.
I dreamt such dreams, such vivid dreams, and then I awoke on an enormous round silken couch like bed in a dimly lit room sometime late in the evening at an unspecified date relative to my own planet. At first I felt that familiar sensation that comes with drinking too much the night before, though in this case it was a hangover from the concoction of drugs that had been fed to me during my initial capture. It wasn't a severe hangover, rather a sense of stale nausea fading to give way to a fuzzy head and incomplete recollections of the 'night before'. Nothing felt right as I lay there with my legs curled under me. I must have stirred, moaned softly and perhaps I made an attempt to rise, for a soft deferential voice cut through the dim silence of the evening to address me personally.
"Mistress is awake at last. She will find a bota of water to the right where she lays if she so pleases."
Water. Yes, I needed water right now. My throat was parched with the same dehydrating effect you find the morning after from too much alcohol. I fumbled with my hand until I located the container and, sitting up now, with long hair brushing down awkwardly over my face, I drank eagerly until the 'bota' was empty and my throat felt refreshed. I threaded my fingers through my long hair and quickly confirmed that I no longer wore a wig. This was real hair, a little damp from perspiration, smooth and silky unlike the synthetic strands of my Noriko wig that had a tendency to 'frizz' at the base of my neck after wearing it for a long period of time.
If that was a shock, it was nothing compared to the weight I now felt from my chest where, naked, I could see a pair of genuine breasts hanging unsuspended by any form of brassiere. I cupped my hands under them to feel their weight and to convince myself this wasn't some form of drug induced hallucination. But no, they were real enough. I licked dry lips with my tongue and again felt a difference. They were fuller, more prominent. And then there were my arms and legs, now thinner, weaker, bronzed, flawless and hairless skin, soft with a youth I would have attributed to a 21 year old girl. Udumi's parting words came back to me: "I'm going to give you what you foolishly think you want, and what you therefore deserve."
"Mistress has questions I expect."
Glancing up I saw a girl kneeling on the floor some distance from my bed. She was heart achingly beautiful with long chestnut hair centre parted and cut in layers down the back of her neck. Around that neck she wore a steel collar that I suspected was locked upon her, such that it couldn't be removed without a matching key. On her body she wore a simple white tunic, sleeveless and tightly belted around her high waist, with a subtle and delicate floral print design. The hem line fell to about mid thigh. She was barefoot, wore dangling earrings and softly applied makeup that drew attention in particular to her eyes. She knelt with a straight back, perfectly poised, thighs pressed demurely together with the palms of her hands placed either side. She was so beautiful. I wanted her. But I also wanted to be her. Such familiar emotions from whenever I looked at a beautiful woman. Why did anyone ever wish to be a man? I couldn't understand such reasoning. Women were beautiful. Why didn't everyone want to be a beautiful woman?
I suppose I should have said things like "I don't understand," and "this can't be happening," and "I must be dreaming," but in truth my reaction was simply one of dumbfounded shock. The girl, sensing this, simply remained where she knelt, awaiting my instructions. I lifted myself with care from the bed and sat on the side, bare feet brushing the tiled mosaic floor, cool to the touch after lying supine in the soft silken sheets for what must have been many hours. The weight of my breasts was hard to ignore as I ran my hands through the long tresses of hair, sweeping it away from my face.
I had breasts! There was no doubting the fact, and yet... how could this be?
"Do you have a mirror?" I wanted to see my face. I had to see my face. I was familiar enough with the concept of breast implants, and I was still dizzy enough from whatever drugs I'd been given that the thinness of my arms and legs might simply be an illusion. Even the long hair could simply be some sort of transplant, but my face would be the deciding factor. What did I look like now? Again I cupped a breast in one of my hands and marvelled at how real it felt. This couldn't simply be an implant. The skin didn't feel tight and stretched against my chest.
"Not in this room, no, but Master Kurgus will bring one when he comes to speak with you."
"Who is Kurgus?" The name meant nothing to me.
"My Master, Mistress, and the man responsible for you now. He owns this house, the grounds and all the girls within it."
I gazed at the girl and, noticing her collar again, my right hand moved to my throat where I touched bare skin, smooth and free from any such ornamentation. Seeing this hesitant motion on my part the girl smiled softly, parting her rouged lips.
"Mistress is not collared, nor is she branded. Mistress is free," she quickly explained to reassure me.
I nodded quickly as if this was obvious to me. "I hadn't thought otherwise." The girl simply smiled as I said that. Nevertheless my hand strayed to my thigh where, according to the books a slave brand would be placed, I touched with my fingers and found only smooth, bare skin.
"Mistress has not been enslaved. She alone of all the captives taken in the last consignment from Earth has been spared that fate. Mistress can relax, safe in the knowledge that she is now a free woman of Gor, granted the protection of the men of Corcyrus."
"Gor doesn't exist." I straightened up as I said it. "Where is Udumi? This fantasy of hers is elaborate, but it has been carried to extremes. Where is she?"
"I do not know who that is, Mistress. I am a house slave resident in this villa. I know no one by that name."
Again I stared down at my body, fascinated and shocked in equal measure by what I saw. With my head clearing it was now obvious that every inch of my body had changed, and dramatically so. From what I could see - the slim waist, the rounded hourglass thighs and bum and the large firm breasts that moved as I did, this was a change that went far beyond the cosmetic surgical processes I had heard of. Even if such a drastic and convincing change was possible through modern surgery, my body would surely be black and blue and covered in scars from the surgical work while it healed. But no, there was not a blemish anywhere that indicated a skilled surgeon had applied a scalpel to any part of me. My fingers brushed down and searched where my penis and balls had once been. Now there was nothing save for a soft down of blonde pubic hair and beneath that fine hair, moist vaginal lips that parted easily to my exploratory touch. Again there was no numbness from the scars of castration. I should be in agony down there if my manhood had recently been cut away and inverted to form the crude resemblance of a vagina. But instead as my fingers probed in stunned disbelief, I felt the stirrings of pleasure as I moved my fingers slowly around the inside of my new sex. I swallowed hard and pulled my hand away, for the girl in the collar was watching my every move. "There are no scars..." I whispered in astonishment. "There are no scars..."
"The process leaves no scars, Mistress. That would be counter productive. You have been gifted a flawless and perfect body through the brilliance of my Master's science. You are a woman now, Mistress, a real woman. That is not a man's body that has been cut and stitched together."
"You must bring me a mirror!"
The girl shook her head slowly. "Master Kurgus will bring you a mirror. He will be here soon. In the meantime, Mistress should perhaps avail herself of a gown or robe to cover her beauty." She indicated a set of hooks fixed to a wall. From one hook hung a wrap of pale blue silk edged in white. It was mid thigh in length with a sash that tied beneath the line of a girl's breasts. With a start I recognised it – it was the very same silk wrap I had left in my hotel room; the very same wrap which I would have worn on my return from the fetish club; either that or one from the same range. A pair of soft slippers of a similar colour lay on the floor underneath the robe. There were two other hooks on the wall. From one hung a set of linked chains and rings, and from the other hung a light whip. Sensing my hesitation the girl added, "Mistress would not want to be naked before my Master, would she? He has plans for you, but those plans might easily be forgotten for a moment if he saw you as you are now. He is after all a man of Gor.” Her words sounded ominous without perhaps meaning to, and instinctively my new body shivered at the implications. “If I may?" she asked.
I nodded and the girl rose elegantly to her feet. She crossed the floor in smooth, graceful steps to fetch the pale silken wrap and bring it to me. The sleeves were long, draping halfway across the back of my hands, whereas before to my larger male body they would not have been. Carefully, Louise drew the garment over my body. I felt giddy at the touch of the soft garment. It was a woman's garment, something that was hardly new to me, but this time it was dressed upon a woman's body – mine. The silk felt cool and soft against my skin, especially when she tied the sash tightly with a slip knot bow that dangled down my left thigh. "You should always tie such knots to the left, Mistress. It is the custom here."
"Why is that?"
"Historically it allows a Free Companion to swiftly release the knot with his right hand in order to bare a woman for use. As on Earth, right handed men on Gor are the norm. If you had a Free Companion who was left handed, then tying a knot on your right thigh would be permissible."
Free Companionship on Gor is the closest the planet has to the institution of marriage, and is often considered the only decent and honourable way in which a Free Woman can permit herself to have sex with a man. It is typically enacted between a Free Man and a Free Woman for a period of a single year, after which the ceremony can either be renewed or left to expire. Such relationships, even referred to as privileges, are not entered into lightly. While the man, or the woman for that matter, may have many slaves, there is only one free companion. The female free Companion is usually regarded highly. She holds a status higher than that of an wife. It is said that "There is no freer nor higher nor more beautiful woman than the Gorean Free Companion." There is never any mention of 'wedding' rings being exchanged, as on Earth. Rather, the point at which the companionship becomes valid is an interlocking of arms and drinking the 'wine of free companionship'. Tradition states that it is often the custom for the new 'bride' to playfully struggle and pretend to resist her new companion. Such struggles of course are purely symbolic in nature, a game of sorts, and are permitted and perhaps encouraged by the man, for it is ever the case that on Gor a man can and will easily overpower a woman for real should he feel it necessary to do so.
The woman tends to wear as many as eight veils. These veils are then ritualistically removed from her during various phases of the ceremony, in effect 'undressing her'. In some cities the woman has all of her veils publicly removed in order that those in attendance may then express their pleasure and joy in her beauty. This is a rare exception to the common rule that a Free Woman of Gor would ordinarily never bare her face to strangers.
The customs are of course barbaric and demeaning to women. But then they are customs on Gor, not Earth.
"I do not have a Free Companion."
"That is true, Mistress, but the custom remains. There are many customs that you will become familiar with in time." She adjusted the drape of the hem about my thighs, then she placed the two slippers on my feet. "Mistress would normally wear a light house veil in her apartment, but my Master wishes to see you unveiled to begin with."
"My body... It's female..." This was impossible, clearly impossible. And yet this felt too vivid to be a dream or hallucination of some kind.
"Of course it is, Mistress. You are a woman." The logic was simple enough to her mind.
"No, you do not understand." I touched the swell of my breasts again through the thin layer of silk. "I'm not a woman. I'm a man."
The girl smiled and shook her head. "Mistress is apparently confused. The evidence is clear enough. I have seen her body. It is not the body of a man."
"Where is Udumi? I insist on speaking to Udumi!"
"Please Mistress, I do not know who that person is. Please forgive an ignorant slave."
This was insane. I wasn't dreaming. I was without any doubt fully awake, albeit still sluggish from the effects of the drugs I had been given. And yet from what I could so far ascertain without the benefit of a mirror, my body was now that of a young female. Was I thrilled by this revelation? It was after all what I had always dreamed of and fantasised about. It was what I had striven to imitate, crudely, with makeup, prosthetics, wigs and clothes. But now there was seemingly no illusions involved. These were real breasts. I had rounded girlish hips and a slim waist. There was no evidence I had ever possessed a penis and ball sack. In its place were vaginal lips, moist now to the touch. My head reeled and I sat down on the edge of the great round couch, its surface covered in silk sheets. As I did so my left foot inadvertently brushed against a heavy iron ring fastened to the base of the bed. It was secured at what I supposed was the foot of this couch, though the absence of a headboard made it difficult to tell for sure. A length of steel chain was fastened at one end to the iron ring. The remaining loops of chain, perhaps some fifteen feet in length, lay in coils on the tiled floor. The other end seemed to have some locking clasp like arrangement that could perhaps be secured to another ring.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"Louise, Mistress, if it pleases you."
This was worryingly familiar to me. I had, in my youth, as I have previously mentioned, read several of the BDSM heavy 'Swords & Planet' novels of John Norman. I was familiar with the concept of a hapless female protagonist being abducted on Earth and waking to find herself helpless and confused on the planet Gor. I had often, as a teenager, taken a guilty pleasure from the books, reading them late at night, curled up in my bed, imagining not that I was the mighty iron thewed warrior of Gor, dominant to the slave girls, but rather that I was perhaps the spoilt, arrogant, virginal girl of Earth, taken to Gor against her will to be trained and sold in the slave markets. My guilt as a teenager had been in my helpless desire for the role reversal. Obviously as a man I was supposed to identify with the strong, powerful Gorean swordsman, so why then did I dream of being the rich, vain and very beautiful Eleanor Brinton, she of Park Avenue, New York? Why had I been so excited as she woke up on the floor of her apartment to find she had been branded in her sleep and a steel collar had been locked about her throat?
"This is some sort of game," I said.
"A game, Mistress?" Louise looked confused.
"There is no such place as Gor," I said. "It is make believe."
"Mistress is a woman on Gor. It is most certainly real."
"No. I'm not stupid. There is a rational explanation for this. Where am I really?"
"Mistress is in the city of Corcyrus, on the planet Gor; a city south of the Vosk river and north-east of Argentum, who are our rivals and sometime enemies. It is a city traditionally ruled by a female Tatrix, as opposed to a male Ubar. We are approximately 1,000 pasangs west of the Thassa if that helps."
"No it doesn't. None of that means anything to me. You're speaking in gibberish."
"I understand the confusion of Mistress. I too was brought here many years ago, and I too refused to believe the truth at first. It will be easier once you see the three moons of Gor for the first time. Perhaps when you see a great Tarn in flight..."
The logical part of my brain continued to tell me that there was no way that a counter Earth planet called Gor could possibly exist. It was the subject of 1970s exploitation novels; it wasn't, couldn't possibly be real. And yet how I could I account for my feminine body? Was the possibility of an alien world any more unbelievable than the idea that I could wake up in the body of a young girl in her early twenties? The silk robe felt so smooth against my soft hairless skin. I was a girl. I was a girl! I felt faint, overcome by the sudden realisation that I was, beyond any doubt, now a girl.
"Is Mistress hungry?" Asked Louise kindly. I realised I was indeed feeling very hungry, as if I hadn't eaten in days. I placed my hand against my narrow flat stomach and felt the digestive juices gurgle with nothing to work on. I had been drugged, kidnapped, taken somewhere isolated and then I had blacked out. Udumi had promised to give me what I wanted and therefore deserved. And now I was a girl. A girl! I looked at my small hands with their slim fingers. Each nail was long and perfectly manicured. I stood up. How tall was I? It seemed to me that the dimensions of the room and the size of the furniture within was somewhat out of proportion to what I might normally expect. The bed aside, because it was obviously enormous to begin with, all the items I could see were proportionately larger than I was used to.
"How tall am I, Louise?"
"Mistress is maybe five feet, four inches tall," she answered. "Maybe five feet, three," she added as she moved closer. I think she is maybe an inch or two shorter than myself."
It was true, now that the girl stood close in front of me, I had the unfamiliar feeling of looking slightly up at her. This explained the strange perspective as my body was now almost a foot shorter than it had been. And too, I felt weaker than I had been before. My arms were thin with no trace of muscle.
How could this be? No science I knew or understood could produce such a dramatic transformation.
"Is Mistress hungry?" Louise asked again.
"You wear a collar." It was a stupid thing to say, but I said it nonetheless.
"Of course, Mistress. I am a slave."
I had no chance to question the girl any further, for the door on the far side of my chambers suddenly opened without warning. Immediately Louise dropped to her knees and sat there with her back straight, her head up, eyes lowered submissively, her hands at her thighs, her thighs spread as a tall, powerful looking man entered the room. He was easily six feet, four inches tall, with closely cropped receding hair and a well trimmed beard. He wore a crimson Roman style tunic and sandals and was heavily muscled, as are many of the men of Gor. His steely gaze swept the room, fixing first upon Louise as she knelt in perfect slave posture to one side, and then on me. He seemed a giant, and I wasn't used to looking up at someone so much taller than myself, but of course much of the difference was now a factor of my reduced stature. I was shorter by far than I had ever been as a man.
“I am a busy man, so in order to forestall the usual hysterical questions common to your weak, disbelieving people: you are not dreaming, this is real, and yes, you do now have the body of a girl. My name is Kurgus and I own this villa. ” Kurgus plucked a handful of purple grapes from a silver bowl and placed them in his mouth. His voice was deep, resonant, rich, like a baritone. “Furthermore you are no longer on the planet Earth. You have been taken across the vast expanse of space in a ship of advanced technology, and you now lie on a soft couch in the glorious city of Corcyrus on the planet Gor.” He noticed the spark of recognition in my eyes. “Ah, so you are aware of the place. No doubt you have come across it in John Norman's somewhat sensationalist books.”
“This... this can't be...”
Kurgus held his hand up to prevent my incoherent rambling. He had of course heard it all before, many times, from other girls. “Please, spare me the cries of disbelief, the wailing, the petitions to return you to your home. It is early evening. I suggest you rise from the couch, walk across the floor to the open doorway which leads out onto a veranda. Look up into the night sky and you will see the three moons of Gor illuminated in the night sky. You will smell how different the air is to your own polluted world, and as you move I am sure you will feel the subtle difference in gravity on your body, as Gor has a lower gravity than your home-world, Earth.”
“This is insane. I'm a girl... How... how is this possible?”
“Our enemies developed a sophisticated machine that is capable of reshaping human tissue to any pattern that may be desired. We acquired the technology for ourselves through subterfuge and we used it on you, as well as many others. Understand this – we didn't simply cut bits from your body in some crude surgery, rather your entire body has been reconfigured from the inside out. You are biologically in every sense of the word, a woman, as if you had originally been born one. Only your mind and memories remain the same. And even those are now subject to the heady mix of female hormones that your body produces.” Kurgus turned a full length mirror around that had previously been hidden from view so I could see myself at last as I knelt back on the couch. “And as you can see, we have made you incredibly beautiful.”
I gasped as I saw my face for the first time. It was perfect. Large eyes, small nose, full pouting lips, high cheekbones, a smooth creamy complexion, and long silken blonde hair. This was everything I had ever dreamed of – everything I had ever tried to make myself resemble with the aid of makeup and wigs. I jumped off the couch and ran on soft slippered feet towards the mirror to crouch down and feel the contours of my face as I stared into it. Oh God, those lips were to die for. The one feature I had most wished for as a man was full pouting lips. I had always wanted lips like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, the sort of lips that could take a simple coat of lipstick and look incredible. But no amount of expensive lip-plumping serums or enlarging the outline of my natural lips with pencils had ever produced a look as good as this. Now they were natural. I turned my face from side to side, almost sobbing with delight at what I saw. And my eyes – they were large, like Jenna Coleman's. I was beautiful.
Kurgus smiled, seeing my reaction. “It seems Udumi was right. The soft men of Earth do crave the body of a beautiful girl.”
“This is real?” I ran my fingers through my long glossy hair. It fell in soft cascades over my shoulders. I felt elated, happy and incredibly turned on as I ran my hands down my waist and over my hips, smoothing the silken belted robe about my body. Oh God, but this was amazing. And my legs... my legs were so smooth and soft. No trace of the dark hair that I had to constantly shave as a man.
“I'm a girl,” I whispered in awe.
“Yes. I assume this is not such a terrible thing as far as you're concerned?” Kurgus selected another grape and ate it thoughtfully as I nodded in response.
“But how do I explain something like this to my friends, my family, where I work... I look nothing like I did... I'm not even the same height!” I stood up and was suddenly aware how much larger Kurgus was and how the dimensions of the room looked different from my new perspective.
“You're five feet four inches tall. Your perspective will therefore be different and will take some getting used to. I'm twelve inches taller than you, but only a couple of inches taller than when you were a man.” Kurgus stood beside me and I had the unusual experience of having to gaze up at a man who was able to loom large over me. On Earth I had very rarely met men who were taller than me, but now I felt tiny in comparison. Not just my height, but all my proportions seemed diminutive next to this Gorean male.
“I'll never be able to explain this! People aren't going to believe me when I tell them who I am. Even my voice sounds different!” It was a soft feminine voice, though still with a recognisably English accent.
“That isn't something you need concern yourself with. You won't be returning to Earth. Your journey to Gor was one way.”
“There's no such thing as Gor. It's made up. Just a story.' And yet as I said that I was very aware of the lighter gravity on my body and how easier it was to move about. I felt lighter, more nimble on my feet. The gravity shift alone proved I wasn't on Earth.
Kurgus shrugged. “If I had a silver tarn for every time some stupid Earth girl told me that, I'd be the richest Ubar on Gor. Gor does exist. You are now in one of its cities.”
“No, that's impossible.”
“As impossible as you now having the perfect body of a young girl? Which is the more incredible concept?”
I ran to the veranda and pushed my way through the light silken drapes to stand on an ornate balcony overlooking the grounds of a walled vila. And there in the night sky, exactly as Kurgus had predicted it, were three moons. I clutched the balcony rail, my head spinning as I gazed up at this incredible sight. How could that possibly be faked? And why would it be faked just for my sake?
“Gor is real?”
“Gor is real.” Kurgus stood behind me on the balcony. He pointed with his right hand. “Behold the great buildings of Corcyrus. You will note the alien nature of the architecture compared with what you are used to on Earth. And look there.” He pointed up in the sky where I could just about make out a pair of enormous winged birds with human riders flying past. “The Tarnsmen of Corcyrus,” said Kurgus. “How much evidence do you require?”
“Gor... I thought it was just stories.”
“Much of what you read probably is. The author plays fast and loose with truth for dramatic purposes, as authors tend to do. Step inside. You are not veiled and that is not appropriate for a Free Woman on Gor.” Kurgus placed a hand on my shoulder and steered me back into the room where Louise was waiting with a series of light house veils in her hands. As I stood there, Louise set the veils about my lower face, pinning them in position in a series of three gradually more opaque layers until my lips were concealed from view.
“From now on you will never appear unveiled before a man. To do so would be considered scandalous. Only a slave bares her face to men. Do you understand?”
I nodded, feeling unexpectedly nervous in the presence of Kurgus. Was this the effect of female hormones coursing through my body? Whatever it was, Kurgus unnerved me, as perhaps he did to all women on Gor.
“You may be wondering, so I will tell you. Udumi cleared out your hotel room. She also ensured that you checked out in the morning. It wouldn't do to leave a trail that could inconvenience her in the future. You have, for our purposes, simply 'disappeared' in the night, like so many sissified men who secretly dream of being a woman. The pretty silk wrap you now wear is yours and was brought to Gor with you as we felt you would appreciate something familiar to wear when you awoke. The short hem line of course marks it clearly as an Earth garment, as such brevity would be scandalous to the Free Women of Gor.” He gazed at my legs and the way the silk wrap accentuated the swell of my breasts. “Very pretty." I blushed, feeling scrutinised. "You will be given more appropriate clothing in due course, but for now you are at least partially covered.”
“In the books women are brought to Gor to be slaves.” I was beginning to recall the handful of novels I had read as a teenager. There was Nomads of Gor, Assassin of Gor, and the one that had excited me the most, Captive of Gor, with spoilt rich girl, Eleanor Brinton, brought to Gor against her will in an anklet and collar. Many more were published since then, but I had soon after moved on to other interests.
“Yes, indeed they are.” Kurgus grinned. “Or rather they were. Since the 1970s our voyages of acquisition have brought thousands of beautiful Earth girls to Gor to be trained and sold in the markets of the great cities. I myself was on your planet in the early days acquiring choice meat for the collar. It was an interesting job, though I can't say I liked your noisy polluted world much.”
“Am I going to be...” I put my hand to my mouth, suddenly recognising what this all meant.
“A slave? No,” he chuckled. “I was wondering when you would reach that conclusion. No, you are not a slave.” He pointed to the girl in the white tunic with the steel collar locked around her throat. “She however is a slave. She was taken from Earth in... when were you taken, Louise?”
“In 1993, Master,” answered the girl. “From an apartment in Rome, in Italy. I was taken by two strong men, made helpless, bound, and shipped to a hidden landing field. There I was collared and transported. I was branded and trained in Ko-Ro-Bar.”
“Ah, yes, there have been so many girls over the years. It is easy to forget individual details.” He regarded the girl with approval. To my ear there was no trace of an Italian accent, or any Earth accent, though her English seemed good.
“Perhaps I should make something clear, Lady,” said Kurgus, addressing me again, and now by my apparently new sex. “You were brought to Gor to be a slave. That was to have been your fate. That is what we do now. Udumi enjoys selecting men who secretly crave to be women, and with the technology that we have stolen from the Priest Kings, we give them their wish, though when they then find themselves in a slave pen subject to the lash, they quickly realise the high price they are paying for their fantasies to become real.”
“No...” I backed away from Kurgus, but he simply reached out, took my right wrist and pulled me back. I stood there, flustered, my head reeling.
“Pay attention. You are not a slave. You will not be a slave if you do precisely what I say. We have other plans for you.”
Kurgus lifted my chin with one of his fingers. He gazed down into my soft blue eyes. “From time to time we also bring women to Gor to act as our agents. We are engaged in a decades long war with the alien race that controls this planet: the Priest Kings. Nod if you have heard of them.”
“Norman's sensationalist propaganda paints them as some benevolent race trying to protect the people of Gor from destroying their world through technology and plundering its resources, but in actual fact they are the enemy of all true Goreans. The people of Gor live only so long as the Priest Kings tolerate them. When they are angered they simply destroy whoever and whatever displeases them. Cities are reduced to ash by their weapons of mass destruction. These alien beings are not our friends. Nod if you understand me.”
I nodded again.
“Good. In recent times we have lost a number of our agents. We have obviously been betrayed somewhere within our organisation. I am keen to recruit new agents outside of the usual channels, so that the leak within our security will be unaware of them. You my dear are the first to be selected. Traditionally we use women because Gorean men overlook them when they consider the possibility of foreign agents. Women are not expected to be active in covert work, because it is not the way of Gor. Most Gorean women would therefore be useless for the tasks we set, but Earth women with their over inflated sense of self importance often produce adequate results. But with just a few exceptions, our female agents are invariably handicapped by the fact that they are women, with very different mind sets to men. Since acquiring the stolen technology of the Priest Kings I have been curious as to the possibility of fielding female agents with male minds. The best of both sexes perhaps. The Priest Kings recently used one such agent to great effect. I communicated my thoughts to Udumi, whom I trust, and she has offered me you. Like the other weak men that Udumi selected for shipment to Gor, you were transformed within our body shaping machines, but unlike the others you awoke on a soft couch in comfortable surroundings, as opposed to the dry straw of a slave pen. The others by now are coming to terms with their new status as slave girls, ready to be trained and ultimately sold. Of course if you have no wish to work for me then it is not too late to have you collared, branded and placed in a kennel of your own.”
“I will work for you!” I said very quickly.
“Good. Very good. I commend your obvious enthusiasm for our cause. This then is what will happen. You will be taught Gorean and you will be trained in all the customs and behaviour patterns of a Free Woman of Gor. You will be prepared in all respects to pass yourself off as a native of Corcyrus. And then I shall send you out into Gor to do my work. In return you will have a new life as a woman. No longer do you have to pretend. Come, I shall introduce you to your tutor. Come.”
“This is Tallia,” said Kurgus as he indicated the proud, sultry looking dark haired woman. To my surprise she was naked, leashed, with her hands braceleted behind her back. She was taller than me by three inches, with long straight hair, centre parted, and a lean Kate Moss-like body. I say she was naked, but she wore leather thongs around one ankle, and a necklace of what looked like large crocodile teeth that hung between her breasts. She regarded me with an expression of resentment and distaste.
“I'm to be taught by a slave?” I could see the girl react with a scowl as I said that.
“Not quite,” said Kurgus. “You will note that despite being a captive, she hasn't yet been branded nor does she wear my collar.” He placed his hands upon her left hip and turned the girl's body to display her unmarked thigh.
“I am not a slave” hissed the girl at me. “Do not call me that again.” I could see her body shift as she tried to flex her wrists in an attempt to free them from the slave shackles. Locked in Gorean steel as they were, that proved futile.
“Who is she then?” I gazed at her lithe body with a degree of sexual interest. Having been transformed into a voluptuous woman did nothing to inhibit my libido and my libido's tastes were still very much inclined towards beautiful women such as this one.
“Tallia is a fresh capture. She was taken a few days ago in the Northern Forests. She is a Panther Girl.”
“Oh.” I recalled reading about them in the first Gorean novel I had found: Captive of Gor. Panther Girls were unusually dominant Gorean women who had fled to the forests as either unsatisfied Free Women or escaped slaves and, assuming they proved themselves to be strong enough to be accepted by the other Panther Girls, would join a group and and live with them in the wilds, hunting and scavenging, occasionally preying on men who entered their territory, but more often than not be prey themselves for well equipped bands of hunters who ventured into the forests to capture such girls. In many ways they were the archetypal 'Amazons' of Earth's mythology. Usually dressed provocatively in tight fitting animal skins, and armed with simple knives, spears and bows, they lived a precarious existence in curiously female only environments. It is worth noting that a woman who turned out not to be strong enough to join a Panther band would find herself enslaved and sold back to men at the first opportunity. Panther Girls despised weak women, especially those who had fallen prey to men. They hunted slave girls who entered their domain and, with but few exceptions, caught them, bound them, tormented them, and sold them back to men at forest exchange points.
'Would you like to be a slave girl?” asked Kurgus of Tallia.
“Of course not, male.” Tallia stood tall and proud, but still she looked small and weak compared with Kurgus.
“I could have you taken down to the pens to be branded and taught to kiss the whip?”
“I will never kiss the whip.” Tallia glared first at him and then at me. “Collar and brand this girl if you wish to make someone a slave. She looks like she is born to the collar.” Tallia sneered at me as I stood there clad in my silk wrap. She could see my legs were mostly bared and the wrap did little to conceal the shape of my breasts, so I suppose she could be forgiven for thinking me collar meat. Free Women on Gor do not ever dress in public the way I was dressed at that moment.
Kurgus ignored that. “You were once a Free Woman, yes?”
“I was, and then I ran away to the forests and became the Panther. Then I hunted men,” she said proudly with a smile. Perhaps she was thinking what it might be like to catch Kurgus in a net, tie and bind him, and enjoy him as sport beneath the full moons of Gor, when it is said Panther Girls rape their male captives.
“Then I offer you an opportunity to earn your freedom, Panther Girl. This girl here is from Earth.”
“She looks like a silk slave,” said Tallia with relish. “You men have always claimed that Earth girls are born to the collar.”
“So it is said,” remarked Kurgus, “But this one is not to be collared. You are to teach her the ways of Gor. The ways of a Free Woman of Gor.”
“Wait a minute. How is it she is speaking English?” I gazed at the Panther Girl from the Northern Forests, suddenly realising she was speaking my language.
“Tell her,” said Kurgus with a nod in my direction.
“Your Master picked me out from the other forest captives because I could converse in English. I was the only one who could. One of our band was brought to Gor many years ago from Earth, but the silver ship that brought her here was intercepted by the Priest Kings. The ship crashed near the Northern Forests, killing many of the occupants but she escaped alive. Like the others of my tribe she chose not to kneel and serve men.” She tossed her head with pride. "She taught me her language."
“Teach this girl, Tallia, and I will be merciful.”
Tallia shrugged as if it was all the same to her. “Free my wrists, male. I do not wish to stand before this silk slave with my wrists chained.”
Kurgus nodded and said to me, “The keys to Tallia's bracelets are on the peg over there.” He pointed to a row of pegs set into the wall. “Free the Panther Girl. She is not a slave.”
“Okay.” Ignoring Tallia's insults, I crossed the tiled floor and took the keys in my right hand and then as Tallia watched me like a hawk, I stepped behind her and unlocked the slave bracelets. As the final ratchet clicked open, Tallia pulled her hands free and began to rub her bruised wrists. The slave bracelets had been tight, I guessed.
“Better?” asked Kurgus with a smile.
“Yes.” Tallia was obviously feeling confident now. She had not after all been made a slave, nor had she been whipped for her insolence towards Kurgus, and now it seemed that Kurgus was offering her a chance to avoid such a fate in the future.
“You will have a set of chambers, Tallia. You will live and work in them, teaching Felice about Gor.”
“Felice?” I asked, confused.
“That is your name on Gor. Emma is too much of a slave name. You are the Lady Felicia Fonseca Gebara Torres of Corcyrus from now on, understood?”
“Yes.” Now it was my turn to scowl, in response to being told that 'Emma' was obviously a slave name. The nerve of the man!
“Good. In that case, Felice, it is time for you to learn your first and most important lesson, which Tallia will now teach you.” Kurgus walked casually up to the Panther Girl and whispered something quietly into her ear. She looked amused and simply nodded, her eyes not leaving me. Kurgus stepped back now and nodded at me. “I have work to do, so Louise and I will take our leave of you now. After your brief lesson you will have the night to yourself. You may explore your apartments but you are not to leave them just yet. Your formal studies will begin in the morning after Louise arrives to bathe and feed you. Study hard, Felice, for failure means the collar and the kennels in the basement below.” He nodded to Tallia and then left the room, closing the door behind him.
“So, silk slave girl.” Tallia regarded me with amusement. “Your first and most important lesson on Gor.”
“What? What did Kurgus say to you?”
Tallia ignored my question. Instead she strolled around the room, admiring the soft drapes and furnishings suitable for a Free Woman. She opened a closet and ran her fingers through a series of full length gowns and robes. Shelves inside the closet also held a succession of veils and delicate sequinned slippers.
“Tallia? What is the first lesson?”
“You are to be taught your limitations. You are to understand what it means to be a woman on Gor. I'm going to show you.” Tallia continued to search in the closet until she found what she was looking for. Several lengths of thin but strong binding fibre. “I was told that you probably believe yourself to still be equal to a man. I was told that you think you have a man's strength and stamina. We shall see, pretty silk slave girl.” Tallia looped the binding fibre around her left arm and then turned to face me. “What I am going to do is I am going to strip that pretty silk wrap from your body. I am then going to force you to submit, after which I will bind your wrists and ankles and then tie you to the slave ring fitted to the base of the couch. You will sleep on the tiles tonight, while I enjoy the comfort of the couch. If you can be bested by a Panther Girl, and you will be bested by me, little slip of a girl, then you will know you are not the equal of a man in any respect. You will perhaps understand how weak you truly are on Gor.”
“You can't be serious. Kurgus can't have told you to do that to me.”
“Oh but he did. He wants you to understand the limitations of your pretty little body from the very beginning. It might save your life in the months to come.”
Tallia was circling me now and, sensing how serious she was, I backed away towards the door through which Kurgus had exited. Tallia watched me as I ran the final seven paces to the door and tried the handle only to find it locked. I whirled round with my hands still on the handle as Tallia drew herself up before me.
“You're very pretty, Felice. Gorean men will be prepared to pay a high price for you,” she said as her hands moved to the sash of my wrap. It was tied in a loose bow on my left hip and it held my wrap closed about my body. “Quick, run, run to the far side of the room. Try to hide from me.”
I moved quickly, raising my right hand with the intention of hitting Tallia in the face, but quicker than me her left hand caught my wrist and turned it, and me with it, pressing me face first against the door. She was stronger than me from many years living in the forests close to nature, and she was fast too. She twisted my arm up behind my back, holding my hand now by my little finger. It was a superbly effective way of holding my arm in place. Her other hand remained on the sash of my silk wrap. I tried kicking back with the heel of my left foot, hoping to hit Tallia's shin, but she was expecting something like that and I only succeeded in brushing the calf of her leg. In response she twisted my little finger almost to breaking point until I whimpered for her to stop.
“Listen, pretty silk slave girl,” she hissed into my ear. “I'm going to snap your finger unless you run.” She relaxed her grip on me and so I ran, and as I did so, left the sash of my wrap in her hand as it unravelled itself. The loose wrap flapped around my otherwise naked body as I reached the far side of the room where the ornate Gorean couch rested. She had almost but not quite broken my finger. I sucked at it with my mouth as Tallia now wound my sash about her own waist.
“Shameful,” she said. “I can see your belly and breasts.”
I pulled the wrap closed and held it together as Tallia once again stalked me. I ran now to the veranda and looked out once again at the moonlit gardens below. We were three floors up with no easy way down. Trapped, I turned round just as Tallia reached me. I raised both my fists, but again she grabbed them and this time tripped me up, pulling me to the ground. Seizing my long blonde hair, she pulled the length of it around my throat and drew it back like a leash. She sat with her knee in the small of my back and held me like that for a moment before stripping the loose silk wrap from my body.
“Yes, pretty little thing.” Tallia struck me hard across my bottom, once, twice and a third time, then she pulled me to my feet and pushed me forward again. “Run to the couch and kneel by the iron slave ring,” she said.
I ran instead back to the main door and began hammering frantically against it. “Help! Please! Open this door! Help me!” But Tallia was on me again in seconds, again seizing my hair, slapping me hard across the face as I tried to land a blow on her. We wrestled briefly before Tallia put me in a choke hold on the floor. I couldn't breathe! I grew frantic with panic, thinking she was going to kill me and no one would know to intervene, but then I heard her voice in my ear again saying, “submit, Felice.” I slapped the ground several times with my left hand and she relaxed the choke hold. “Good girl. Do you want Tallia to tie you to the slave ring? Once for yes, twice for no.”
I slapped the ground once.
“Is that because you are weak and Tallia is strong?”
I slapped the ground again.
“Then you have learnt your first lesson, pretty silk slave girl. Now run to the slave rings and lie on your belly with your ankles crossed and your wrists crossed behind your back. Tallia will not tell you again.”
I ran there and lay down sobbing. Why was I so weak? Had I still been a man, Tallia would not have been able to beat me so easily. I was genuinely afraid of her in this strange place. I lay there naked on my belly, my ankles crossed and my wrists crossed as she knelt on me and, swiftly with the binding fibre worn loose about her left forearm, securely tied me. Then, making a leash from another length of binding fibre, she secured me by the neck to the ring, such that I couldn't raise myself from the ground.
“There is a saying on Gor that girls look good tied to a slave ring. And so the most important lesson has been taught. What have you learnt, pretty Felice?”
“That I'm no match for you.”
“And that means?”
“That I'm no match for a Gorean man.” I lay there, subdued, helpless, scared. The relative weakness of my soft new body had been brutally but efficiently demonstrated to me.
“Excellent. It may one day save your life.”