The rather tall woman slumped bonelessly in her chains.
A broken saber and it's scabbard, an emptied pistol with its holster and belt, in addition to a ripped military uniform of captain's rank, along with high black riding boots were crumbled at her feet.
Kimo Fook's brown eyes looked without pity at the manacled unconscious woman. He studied her a moment, dispassionately, seeing the naked sweat slickened body, criss-crossed with the livid red marks of his nine-tailed whip on her flesh, before he turned and walked the worktable which sat in the interrogation hold.
At the plank table he put down the cat-o-nine with its dragon-embossed pommel and three-foot length lashes. Fook then pulled twice on a purple satin rope, situated along a bulkhead, before directing his booted feet toward a high back black velvet chair, which sat in a corner of the room. In repose, he crossed his long legs at the knee and retrieved the mouthpiece of the gently smoking brass and glass huqqha which sat on the table beside the chair. Fitting the water pipe's polished koawood stem to his lips he inhaled, filling his mouth and lungs with the chamber-cooled aromatic smoke of cannabis.
After a few moments, just as he was exhaling the pungent smoke through his nostrils, the door to the cabin opened and in walked a servant girl. She was short and chubby, dressed in a linen peasant blouse, bodice, and long skirt. Blonde hair tumbled down your shoulders and backs in waves. She was pretty and smiling, the sight of the woman dangling in the chains disturbing her not at all. She curtsied, showing dimples, as she approached her employer's chair.
"You rang, Grandmaster?"
"Yes, Poppi. I've worked up a thirst. Green Fairy."
"Yes, Grandmaster. At once." The young woman curtsied again, displaying her pretty dimples again, as she left the room.
While he waited, Fook took another draw from the pipe's stem. He relaxed his six-footer lean muscled frame back into the seat, his forearms and hands resting on the carved hardwood arms of the chair. In the warm yellow light of the hold his bronze skin tone, a gift of his mixed Polynesian/Chinese DNA, gave off a burnished glow. Raven wing black dredlocks curtained the sides of his face. He was dressed in attire, an open white shirt, pin-striped trousers and button-hook dress boots of fine leather, which would not have been out of place on any street of London or New York in the late 19th or early 20th Centuries.
Fook was Grandmaster SteamPunk of the dreadnaught airship, the Smuggler's Blues. The huge craft was the flagship of his somewhat eclectic privateer fleet. The 'Blues was a steam-powered behemoth vessel pushed through the atmosphere by dent of several gargantuan screw-propellers. The craft was indeed so large that she resembled a small medieval Chinese village set on a multi-level deck. Her extensive forecastle and flying-bridge were pagoda-roofed in red tiles. Her masthead was a roaring golden dragon. A multi-purpose aircraft carrier/troop transport for hire.
As he sat, he could feel the throb of the steam engines resounding through the ship from below-decks.
Directly, the servant girl, Poppi, returned. In her hands she carried a silver platter. On it was a reservoir glass, a small pitcher of chilled water, an antique silver slotted spoon, a silver stirrer, tongs, and a small porcelain bowl containing sugar cubes, along with a tall bottle of verte absinthe, also known as Green Fairy.
With grace and skill, Poppi brought the tray to the table by Fook's chair and set it down beside the huqqha. "Shall I prepare it, Grandmaster."
Bending at the waist, her magnificent cleavage presented to good effect, Poppi began the preparation of the drink. First, she lifted the cut-glass lead crystal reservoir goblet from the tray and tipped its rim to the warm flesh of the bulge of the top of her right breast above the bodice. She turned the goblet a complete three-hundred and sixty degrees, ascertaining that there was no chip or flaw, no imperfection in the rim which might disturb the grandmaster's lips.
She set the glass back onto the tray. Picking up the decanter of absinthe, she poured a measure of the clear jewel-green spirit into the goblet, restoppered the long bottle and set it aside. Now, across the rim of the goblet she carefully placed the flat-slotted spoon. Next, she took up the short set of tongs, grasped a single sparkling white cube of sugar within its teeth and placed the confection atop the spoon. Then, she lifted the pitcher of water, its contains cold enough to form condensation along its glass sides. Carefully, skillfully, the servant girl poured the water over the sugar, dissolving it, the granules snowing down into the mixture of water and emerald spirit.
At four parts of water to one part absinthe, the drink began to bloom, clouding the mixture and casting a pleasant and delicate herbal perfume into the air.
Poppi replaced the picture on its linen towel on the tray. She lifted the spoon and placed it back to the try. from, Taking the goblet into both her palms, she stepped directly in front of Fook and drifted down to her knees, her long skirt bellowing briefly about her. Lowering her head, blonde waves drifting over her shoulders, she presented the libation to him.
"Please accept this drink in hopes that if will please you, Grandmaster."
Fook smiled. Having enjoyed the ritual and the girl's grace. He reached out and relieved her of the drink. In reward, he caressed the round tops of her breasts with the side of a finger. Poppi moaned, both in arousal and gratitude, before he dismissed her with a gesture.
She left with a swish of her skirt and flirty backwards glance over a shoulder.
To his way of thinking, as he wafted the spirit beneath his nose, Fook thought the bouquet of the absinthe went well with the robust aroma of the cannabis smoldering in the water pipe. As he savored the first sip on his tongue, he looked across the swooned captive. The pattern of lashes he'd laid on her skin pleased him as well as did the drink. When it came to welting a woman he liked to think he was an artist.
Still, the initial whipping had been merely a softening up exercise.
Fook hadn't really expected the professional soldier to break under such a relatively gentle whipping. Harsher methods, more persuasive ones remained, should they prove needed, which he suspected they would be. The woman possessed actionable intelligence which could be sold to the highest bidder, then resold to everyone else who could pay. Money was a serious matter to Fook.
Drink in hand, he stood up again, crossing the hold to a corner where sat a wooden bucket of lemon-scented water. He picked it up one-handed and walked close to the woman in chains, before dashing the contents of the bucket over her lashed back. The citrus-laced solution splashed its diluted acid into the angry welts. The woman came to life with a piercing howl, her back galvanizing, chains rattling violently.
He sat down the bucket and walked around her, holding up the glass, offering the huffing, heaving breasted woman a drink. "Thirsty?"
"I will not so willingly drink your poison," she hissed. Her eyes full of pain and hate.
"Actually, its absinthe. Rather superior absinthe at that. I purchased a few bottles in Paris, last time I was there."
To all apprerances, the subject didn't interest the officer. "You think me, stupid? It's poison. I'm a soldier, I am entitled to be shot."
A slight frown pinched Fook's brow. "I don't wish to play the contrarian, Captain, but at this time and in this place your entitlements are essentially nonexistent. You'll forgive my being so blunt."
She spat at him but the spray of spittle fell short. "Release me. Face me in fair combat."
At that, the grandmaster gave a derisive laugh, before he took another sip from his glass. Feeling the fumes going slightly to his head, conspiring with the drugged smoke to deepen the mellowness of his mood.
"I think not. Your chains are conducive to the conservation I wish to have with you, concerning troop deployments, armament strengths, and the like."
It was her turn to sneer. "I would rather die than betray my Leader, before I betray the Fatherland."
"Is that so?" His question was asked in the purist of curiosity. Fook was, among many other things, an enthusiastic student of human behavior. "Do you sincerely mean that?"
"Yes," she defiantly confirmed. "Death, before dishonor." Her chin jutted out and her eyes flashed.
Fook nodded, sipping thoughtfully at his goblet. "As you like it."
The wind whipped at Realm-Captain Eva Müeller's short hair, the dark curls buffeting about her face and neck. Below her bare feet was a two inch thick, one foot wide gangplank and beneath that, a full mile down, was the endless blue of the heaving Atlantic.
She remained naked, but Captain Müeller's hands had been freed the better that she might maintain her balance as she walked the plank. Two crewmen had prodded her out to the center of the extended board with long mooring poles.
Granting that it was difficult to be certain of another's thoughts, Fook, from his vantage-point firmly on the deck, felt that the good captain did not seem so eager on the plank to embrace death as she had declared while down in the hold. He watched her with keen interest.
Less than twenty-four hours in the past, Müeller had been captured in battle.
Fook had been hired by the Allied Resistance to transport several hundred troops as reinforcements to a battlefield where the Realm forces had enjoyed numerical superiority. With the arrival of the Smuggler's Blues, the fight had tilted in the Resistance's favor.
Not being a soldier, Fook hadn't particularly enjoyed watching the spectacle. There had been a great deal of yelling. A great deal of bleeding. A great deal of dying, most of the latter on the Realm's side. Captain Müeller, rendered unconscious by the concussion of an exploding mine, had been captured alive. She'd been brought to the ship by members of Fook's crew who had been plundering the dead after the battle.
The war, depending upon how one measured such things, had either been going on for three years or forty-five. The Realm forces against practically everybody else on the planet. Atrocities had accrued as they are wont to do during war. Many such atrocities had been attributied to Müeller herself.
The captain was a highly decorated daughter of the Fatherland, as well as a reputed sadist who enjoyed dispatching the enemies of the Party in creatively gruesome ways. Haughty, a woman who knew no pity, her concerns only with duty, victory for the Great Realm. Hail Leader, amen, and Fatherland without end. Müeller was greatly wanted by the Resistance as a war-criminal. The term never failed to amuse Fook, the implication being that the very act of war itself was not criminal. In any case, he intended to take his captive directly to Allied Supreme Command Headquarters in North America to negotiate a hefty bounty.
However, he was quite willing to forfeit said bounty to see just how committed Müeller actually was to her expressed code of death before dishonor.
She didn't look very formidable trembling there on the plank, Fook thought. The unfiltered at-altitude sunlight imparted a somewhat unhealthy cast to her pale Nordic complexion. But, he allowed that her uncomely waxy pallor was most likely the result of fear.
Suddenly. To the surprise of all, Müeller voided her bladder. As she involuntarily splashed the plank with her urine, the assembled crew roared in disdainful laughter at the formerly arrogant, but no longer very fearsome, realm-captain's so public humiliation.
Still, Fook merely continued to observe, a detached expression on his handsome face. He watched, aloof, as the moments ticked by, seeing Müeller terror-frozen as she stared down at the ocean-sea beneath her, unable to take that fatal step which would plunge her to her doom and the honor she professed to hold so dear. To the death she had so bravely claimed to prefer.
Yet, there the captain stood trembling, eyes bulging in panic, her thighs wet and her feet standing in the puddle of the visible sign of her cowardice in the face of immediate and grim death.
So much for theory, the grandmaster thought, vaguely disappointed. When she brought her hands up to her abruptly weeping face and sank to her knees, in abject defeat, Fook acted.
He leapt up nimbly to the ornately gilded railing, then onto the anchored end of the plank and heedlessly stepped out onto it. He saw the vastness of the unending waters beneath him and was unmoved, having no fear of losing his balance. With an expert fencer's grace, despite his slightly inebriated state, Fook strode forward until he reached the terrified woman, taking Eva firmly by her trembling shoulders and guiding her back safely onboard. Once more on deck, she fell willingly into his arms as he embraced her. Her marked and chilled body shivering violently against him as the former captain wept in racking, soul-rending sobs.
He attended to her bathing himself.
After servants had drawn a hot and soapy bath in his cabin, Fook bid Eva to stand in the dovetail tub. An order to which, with haunted eyes, she passively obeyed. He commenced to bath her with a large sea-sponge. Starting at her expressionless face and working his way methodically down her unresisting long limbed body. The foamy suds sliding frictionless down the contours of her gleaming frame, dripping from her nipples, drifting down her inner-thighs. Dripping in dollops off the curves of her ass.
After he'd gently scrubbed her with the sponge, with Eva not reacting in the least to the abrasion against the welts, he rinsed the bubbled lather from her with tepid water from a long-necked golden pitcher. Then, Fook dried her in a voluminous white towel of fluffy terrycloth, tousling her clipped dark hair, wiping down her wet flesh.
Finally, he anointed her, gently rubbing a fragrant oil into her skin, thumbing it into the shell of her ears and behind them with his fingers, working it over her high cheeks bones, shoulders, arms, fingers, sinuous back, the melons of her breasts, the globes of her ass, mons, legs. Her feet and toes. Gaining a tactile intimacy with the woman in the process.
He carried her to the cabin's bed.
"Crawl in," Fook prompted.
Eva obeyed, unhesitantly, avoiding eye-contact. He covered her with the fresh white sheet and down-filled quilts. Within the comforting nest of the bed, se began to weep again, into one of the big pillows, and he allowed her to cry herself to sleep alone while he went back up on deck.
In the night time hours he felt her hands on him, the touch tentative, seeking permission.
Fook was not surprised. He was, after all, the man who had rescued her from the Abyss and from her own ill-spoken hubris. The fact that he had set her there at the edge was less than academic. For now, her life was cleaved cleanly. There was the Captain Müeller before the plank-walk and the Eva of the here and now.
It was he who had called her back to the living. He who had wrapped her body in his warmth, he who had let her cry on both his shoulder and safe in his bed.
The irony did not escape Fook. He had broken the woman not with the hot passion of a torturer, nor under the cold cruelty of a sadistic tormentor, but the detached, cool, objective act of a scientist, interested only in the outcome of an incidental experiment.
He rolled atop her and entered her gently, as a lover victorious.
Eva gave a quick soprano yelp as he speared into her, then her long arms wrapped about his shoulders, her legs entwined his waist beneath the pile of quilts and blankets. He penetrated her in stages, a short thrust, resting, allowing her sex to accommodate his girth, length, then another short thrust, until the flared head of his glans touched the wall of her cervix.
She climaxed then, huffing her breath again his left shoulder, her short-cut nails digging into his back as her hips snapped upwards in orgasm, her walls pulsing with the waves of her strong release. There were more tears of submission. She sniffed them back.
"You are to say, thank you, Master."
"Thank you, Master."
Then, Fook began to fuck her hard, relentlessly, viciously, claiming her with his cock. His much more powerful body slamming her down into the feather mattress, creating a fierce heat against her slick walls. Her fingers now scratched at his back, scoring thin lines into his bronzed flesh. In the brutality of the slave-rape he forced her to climax again, this time in a string of multiple orgasms, at the crescendo of which he shot looping ropes of seed into her clamoring cunt and she moaned salaciously at the reception of her master's hot cum into her body.
Afterwards, without prompting, she began to speak, her life story jumbled in with the Party's military plans. It came out of her unceasing, an urgent need to tell him, to confess to him her sins, her story. The lancing of an old wound to draw out the venom.
As he listened, Fook remembered his Shakespeare...Draw thy breath in pain to tell my story.
She spoke for hours, through the night. He listened, retaining the military information but nothing much else. From this night on, that which was important in her life would be what he deemed to be of import. And, nothing else.
Finally, she ended.
"Please," Eva begged, her body pressed trembling against him. "Don't send me away."
"Is that how you ask a boon of me?"
"Please, Master. Please, Master, don't send me away."
And so, as dawn broke, spilling rosy light through the wide windows of the captain's cabin they were both assured of one salient fact, Eva belonged to him. She was his property, as long as he chose to keep her.