The Rebellious Slave Ch. 08byHisPet21©
To my readers: As always, comments are appreciated. I enjoy the writing process more if I know others are enjoying my work as much as I am. As usual, beware the sexual violence. It appears in this chapter. Other than that, enjoy!
Eventually, Kara was taken down from the wall. As afternoon shadows cast themselves across the floor, Arlington's butler appeared with a rolling lunch cart, which carried two finely cooked steaks, a tray of green potatoes, and what looked like a vegetable medley. Although hungry, Lord Arlington insisted on putting Kara away before lunch, so that he and Lady Charlotte could enjoy their meal free of the girl's occasional shrieks of pain and distress. Carefully, Arlington removed the clamps from Kara's nipples, untied her contorted body, and gently set her down on the velvet cushion below. She was unable to eat with the gag secured as it was, so Arlington also administered a nutrient injection, then led a blindfolded Kara back from whence she had come.
But to Kara's surprise, Arlington didn't leave her in the cell. She supposed it was unhealthy to leave anyone in the dark for more than eight hours a day, and Arlington clearly wanted his property intact, or at least relatively intact. So, instead, Lord Arlington kept her in the living space adjacent to the "torture room," the one identical to his own but for a television and numerous pieces of bondage furniture. To ensure Kara stayed put, Lord Arlington first cuffed her wrists in front of her, then connected her tied hands to a long chain fastened into the wood of the ground. With a dismissive nod, he then told her to stay put, explaining that she was clearly not ready to share in his company and that of his guests. Kara was to be kept were she sat for the day, then maintained under Mister Karp's watch each day until Arlington felt she was well trained enough to take a more personal interest in her. And with that, Kara was left alone.
Her first order of business was to see how far the chain extended. Standing to her feet, Kara soon learned that she was able to move in a large circle, around the bolt where the chain was connected to the floor. The diameter of this circle was roughly three feet across, and Kara padded along its circumference to see what she could find and to explore her immediate surroundings as best she could. The room didn't look any different from the first time Kara saw it, but upon getting to her hands and knees to explore further, she could see a shiny, black device under an arm chair. Confused, she squinted her eyes. It looked like a remote.
Of course! Kara thought. The remote to the television!
Kara, eyeing the door warily, decided to go for it. Arlington wouldn't be back from his meeting any time soon, and she doubted Mister Karp would be stopping by either. Getting onto her belly and inching toward her prize, Kara strained to reach the device and found she fell short by a few feet. No matter. Reaching up to the sleeves of her dress, Kara viciously ripped away at the cloth until she was free of the wretched dress and was able to fashion it into a lasso. Feeling awfully clever, she tossed it toward the remote and, once the remote sat inside the ring of cloth, pulled it toward her.
Please, Kara thought desperately, have batteries! Please, let it have working batteries!
And holding her breath, Kara pressed the little button that was marked, "POWER." Immediately, the television set flashed on and, with it, the speakers. There was a cowboy shoot out taking place on the screen, and loud bangs ricocheted off the walls. Cursing her stupidity, Kara hit the mute button and turned off the television, quickly hiding the remote under a nearby sitting cushion. She sat silent for several minutes, waiting for angry foot steps to approach, but none came. Feeling safe once more, Kara turned on the television, now muted, and set it to display subtitles in her language.
She was unfamiliar with the channels she clicked through, but finally found one that appeared to be a news station. Kara hadn't had access to reliable news since Gardok fell, and though she wasn't sure how accurate the station was, felt grateful for any hints of Calihistra's fate and, more importantly, the fate of its people.
But instead, a fat gray lump of fur assaulted Kara's eyes, followed by two cheery reporters. "In other news," the senior one said, "check out this cat! See how angry it looks, Bob? Its owner's outrageous videos have gone viral over the past few days..."
Nope, Kara thought. Not that news channel. Time to find another.
And, eventually, she found what she was looking for. On the screen before her was a close up of Gardok, its smoldering buildings still crumbling, bodies lining the streets, & a broken water main spewing gallon after gallon of water. Then, the screen changed, and there were crowds in the streets welcoming home Isleydor's victors, waving green and blue flags as Isleydor's national anthem played. Rolling along in a sleek black car, the roof of which was down, Kara could see Arlington grinning and waving at the crowd. God, couldn't Kara get even a small break from that man's obnoxious grin? Hadn't his mother ever taught him to change his facial expressions once in a while, so that his stupid grin wouldn't get stuck onto his stupid face?
"It's been three months since Calihistra fell to Isleydor," a handsome reporter began, his face superimposed on the images of the parade, other war heroes now being emphasized. "With the White Horse Rebel Alliance successfully overtaken, its members either executed or sold into slavery, Isleydor can now appreciate its long sought victory. Peace with the locals has been achieved, and various negotiations have begun, in order to assure a peaceful transition for all!"
Disgusted, Kara turned off the television set and sighed. What had she expected? Of course, the media in Isleydor was biased! Why wouldn't it be? What had she expected to find out? All she would learn by watching the news was how generous Isleydor was being, a savior come to release Calihistra's citizens from the clutches of the White Horse. Kara's organization had been dubbed a "terrorist group" by Isleydor's Ministry of Propaganda, for refusing to surrender when Calihistra's Primary Counselor's already had. Carefully, Kara got onto her belly to put the remote back where she'd found it, in case Arlington became suspicious of its absence, and froze. She had missed something else on the floor, something she only now noticed because it vibrated and glowed impatiently.
A phone. Arlington had dropped his phone.
Scrambling for her make-shift lasso, Kara quickly pulled the phone toward her and was relieved to find that it wasn't password protected. Perhaps Arlington wasn't as clever as he looked. Ignoring the current caller, whose name Kara didn't recognize, she quickly began to compose a text message to her friend Maria Ling, from Nartia. She would have to be quick, or the entire attempt would be pointless. If Lord Arlington caught her in the act, he would keep her locked more tightly away, so that even an unslaver hired by Maria wouldn't be able to reach her.
"Help," she typed furiously, ignoring the many typos she made. "Traped at ARLington's. Need to hire unslaverrr. Quick! Love, Kara." With the adrenaline in her veins pumping furiously, she pressed "Send," then went into Arlington's messaging history to delete the evidence. And then, she heard it, the creaking of the door. She had been so focused on the task at hand, that she'd completely overlooked the footsteps outside her room. And even as Kara tried to finish her work, there was Arlington.
Kara watched in horror as Arlington's eyes widened in surprise, then narrowed in fury. His face lined with rage, he walked ominously toward his girl and lifted her in the air by her hair. Tossing her onto her stomach, Arlington's knee dug into the small of her back and Kara cried out as Arlington wrestled her arms behind her, ripping the phone from her hands. She could hear several small, whining beeps as Arlington checked through his phone.
"Very resourceful, Kara," he commented, his knee digging even more heavily into her back. But Kara didn't care. This was still a victory. Even if Maria's unslaver wouldn't be able to successfully reach her, even if Arlington locked Kara away forever, at least the word was out. Maria might know where her family was hidden, and could at least let them know where she was and that she would be okay.
"I see that your rationale mind cannot reason its way to obedience," Arlington hissed at Kara, furious. "Perhaps your irrational mind will be more willing to follow my lead." With that, Arlington lifted Kara and carried her under his arm toward her cell, where she was casually tossed on the floor. Arlington loomed over her, and calmly smoothened his features, washing the anger from his face. It was clear that he did not intend to stay angry for long, nor to exact violence against Kara in his anger. A moment later, he was kneeling by Kara, undoing that gag and handcuffs that held her. She looked up at Lord Arlington, confused by the sudden freedom. Hadn't the gag been secured, only to remain for a week?
"I've decided that you'll remain ungagged, at least for tonight," Arlington told her."Please understand that tonight isn't a punishment for your insubordination, so much as a necessary evil. I cannot have you both insulting my guests and plotting escape, least of all using my personal belongings. I had hoped to go at a slower pace with you, but I need some sort of foothold to work with. If you won't budge an inch, I suppose I'll have to throw you forward a foot or two." And with that, Lord Arlington left her in the darkened cell, to await her fate.
Feeling both triumphant and a bit afraid, Kara tried not to let her imagination run wild. She simply couldn't afford to do so. Instead of working herself up into a potential panic, at the thought of Arlington's sinister face, Kara thought back to Lord Arlington's conversation with Lady Charlotte and concluded that Isleydor did, in fact, plan to take over Nardia. Escape to that region might be pointless then, depending on when Kara managed to make her escape. And as Kara continued to contemplate the conversation, fear dissolved and a terrible wave of anger rippled through her. To attack Nardia was so cowardly an act, unbearably so, that it was almost unthinkable. Nardia had always been such a peaceful country, refusing to engage in warfare of any kind. It was also a primitive nation, with so few technological advances readily available, it was as if the land had been lost in time. Kara had visited once, as part of her medical training. She had traveled by horseback everywhere, she'd only seen one television, and her phone wouldn't work. All long distance communication was handled by post. To attack such a small, defenseless country was not merely cruel, but obscene. The nations of the Northern Hemisphere had always acknowledged the unspoken rule that Nardia was to be left alone. And Kara had friends in Nardia. Why hadn't she thought to warn Maria when she'd had a phone in her hands and the chance to do so? Kara cursed herself for the negligence, and ground on her teeth.
It must have been very late when Arlington came for Kara, as she had nearly drifted off to sleep. It was a rude awakening when the cell door came unlocked, opening loudly, the incoming light a terrible affront to Kara's eyes. Fighting through protective tears, she looked up at her lord, and saw that he was hardly more than a dark silhouette against a lighted background. Kara hoped he would explain his plans for her, but Arlington said nothing. Without a word, he unceremoniously grabbed a fistful of hair and dragged Kara into the "torture room," releasing her and locking the cell door behind her.
There was such a terrible coldness to the way he approached her that Kara was suddenly and inexplicably afraid. Survival would depend on her being calm, collected, and obedient tonight, no matter what. She'd taken a huge risk today by contacting Maria, and was now desperate to remedy the situation in any way she could. And so, she decided to lie still on the floor until told otherwise, her skin cold against the tile. Perhaps, if she were obedient, Kara would have another shot at complacency and Arlington would let his guard down. From under her brown locks, she could see Arlington towering above her form and Kara took a deep breath, preparing herself for whatever her lord had in store. She had to make up for earlier, if she were to have a shot at escape. And she had to win back some mercy and trust if she wanted the leeway to plot that escape.
"Kneel, slave!" Arlington hissed at her, and the violence in his voice was so punctuated that Kara obeyed, kneeling under the fluorescent white lights above them. She watched with a mixture of fear and interest as Arlington crossed the room, relieved that he was not binding her to any of the sinister pieces of furniture surrounding them. Kara was even more relieved to find that he completely passed by the wall of canes, whips, and floggers.
Instead, he approached a drawer in the wall, very wide, and unlocked it with a brass key. Kara, tension twisting her heart violently, waited to see what Arlington would remove from the drawer. But, to her surprise, he removed nothing. He merely pulled the drawer outwards with a grunt and Kara could see that the drawer was exceptionally long. It took a while for Arlington to fully pull it out from the wall, and when his lordship had finally finished the task, the drawer's full length turned out to be roughly six feet and five inches. Confused, Kara looked inside. It was empty, just a flat metal bed with what looked like several leather straps.
"This," Arlington told her, "is the coffin."
It took a moment for the words to register, and Kara's face instantly melted, heart quickening with each intake of breath. Within a moment, she had jumped to her feet and was at the door, furiously pulling at the knob, but it was firmly locked and coded. Of course, Kara knew all along that it would be, but her rational self had detached from her mind, and only instinct remained. With no way out, Kara turned toward Arlington, searching his face for any softness, but his eyes were utterly merciless. "You can't do this," she choked, tears already welling up in her eyes. How had he, in such a short time, learned of her intense fear of small spaces? She had been careful to hide her claustrophobic tendencies, hadn't she? She had withstood being restrained for long periods on multiple occasions, hadn't she? How had he known? How?
"It's unfortunate that it must come to this," Arlington told her, patting the metal bed with the flat of his hand. "But you are proving to be very difficult to work with, and I believe this may soften you up a bit. It will make you more accepting, more malleable to my instruction. But don't fret, my dear. I intend to break your spirit, not shatter it. You'll only be kept in here for a day, at most."
"A day?" Kara's voice was a harsh whisper, barely audible. Clearly, Arlington had more faith in her strength than she did. "But how did....I don't...." She found it impossible to form the words, but Arlington seemed to understand her frustrations and the questioning look in her eyes.
"You didn't think I would notice?" It was a purely rhetorical question. "You didn't think I'd realize that the very first thing you do once bound, every single time, is to check your range of motion?" Had she done that? Kara hadn't even noticed; it must have been an unconscious impulse. "You think I didn't notice that the threat of forcing your eyes open was more persuasive than the whip? I've read far more complex faces than yours, my dear," Arlington finished. "Now, crawl to me."
Kara shook her had emphatically and pressed her self against the far wall, keeping herself as distant from Arlington as was possible, glad her hands were free. She would need them to keep away from that drawer, to fight off Arlington. "No, absolutely not. I can't. I simply can't." Her upper lip was trembling, and there were more tears now. Not tears of sadness, but of panic. It was an entirely new sensation for Kara. Was this what Alyssa had spoken of when she'd mentioned lines, and Arlington's penchant for crossing them? "Please..." Kara couldn't believe how easily the threat consumed and terrified her. "I'll do what you ask, I swear! I won't speak out of turn again! I won't belittle your guests, I swear it!"
"Oh, but you will," Arlington assured her, his eyes now strangely sympathetic. "You'll continue to oppose me until you are broken down. You aren't broken down yet. You'd have crawled to me by now if that were the case. Now, come, Kara. I demand it of you."
Kara continued to shake her head viciously and wondered if she might be able to grab a weapon from the wall---there were several canes---before Arlington could reach her and force her into that horrible drawer. Kara was weak, but also quick and she might be able to dance just out of reach if he tried to corner her. She looked back toward the drawer and let the revulsion it brought send little shudders through her. God, it reminded her of the freezers from the morgue in Gardok. She'd never last a day.
But Arlington, following Kara's eyes to his assortment of impact devices, shook his head. "It will be unnecessary to fight me off, because I won't be putting you in the coffin, you'll willing lay down inside. It would be easy enough to overpower you. But I don't want to overpower you, Kara. I want you to crawl to me, and you will."
"No," Kara cried, the wet tears trailing down her face. "Don't you understand? I can't do this. Please, anything else!"
"May I remind you," Arlington told her, "that the maximum punishment is a day. I intend to keep you in here for at least three hours, but I can certainly increase that time. Refuse me, and I will do so. If you make me catch you, you'll be restrained for the full twenty-four hours." His voice suddenly turned dangerous. "Now, on you knees, slave! I won't tell you again!" Lord Arlington snapped his finger and pointed deliberately at the floor.
Kara's body, without any instruction from her mind, fell forward onto its knees and Kara realized, as if in a dream, that she was crouched on the floor. She could see wet droplets fall from her eyes and onto the tiled floor, where they reflected the fluorescent lights from above. What was she doing? How had Kara gotten there? Tentatively, she began crawling towards Arlington, but paused halfway across the room. She couldn't do this. Whether it was the fear or her dignity or a combination of both, Kara couldn't tell. But she could not crawl to him, or lie down in that horrible thing.
"Please," she begged, sitting back onto her knees and clasping her hands together. "My lord, please! I apologize for my rudeness, anything else!"
"Anything else won't get the job done. Now, come! My patience is wearing thin."
But Kara couldn't bring herself to get back onto all fours and crawl to him. Obstinately, she remained where she knelt, wracking her brains for a way out. She couldn't overpower the man, or make a run for it, and the begging didn't seem to work.
"Four hours, then," Arlington told her, looking down at his watch. "Get back on your hands and knees, or it will be five. You are going to be put away, Kara. I assure you. By refusing me, you are only dragging the ordeal out further. But, I suppose," he mumbled, more to himself than to her, "that a little resistance is a good thing. Better it is brought into the open and dealt with now, rather than later." He began to undo the leather straps on the table and Kara could hear the clanking of belt buckles being unhinged and locks being undone. Once finished, Arlington turned back to Kara. "Now, I shall tell you once more: Come. Here. Now. I would like to get to bed at a reasonable hour, and you are holding me up, slave."