tagSci-Fi & FantasyA Slave to the Servants Ch. 32

A Slave to the Servants Ch. 32


Welcome back, Lit!

Sorry about the confusion with Rue and Runen's families - the names are too similar. Rue and his Brothers were fake masters, kept our heroine in the wall, and wanted to know about Earth. Runen lived in the mountains with the women and tried to rape her to "teach Damien to share". Should have used more different names.

Steve150177 felt it important to give the next bit of info: The last two chapters have covered events that happened in just over one day. This is such a critical period that it had to be covered in detail. This chapter starts where the last left off, dinner time the day after the rescue, but will cover 4 or 5 months.

My thanks again to Steve150177 for his tireless efforts to edit and get this to you quickly.

Don't forget to comment and vote! Expect the next chapter May 2 or 3. Thank you!

Chapter 32

Dinner with Arik and his Brothers was strange. The men were farmers at heart. All they enjoyed talking about was plants, soil, and weather. It wasn't a wasted evening and they did educate Rose and me about what we were eating. It gave the men great pleasure to tell us about the different items we'd picked off the food tables.

Rose and I both made a real effort to behave the way everyone thought we should. We talked to the men and looked at them. Every time Rose looked down I'd pinch her thigh or arm to make her look up. For our first real try, I thought it went very well.

After dinner they insisted we come see the Earth plant they were growing. The women had brought them cuttings and told them it was a plant that originated on Earth. It had been found near a naturally occurring portal before the women shut the thing down.

Rose and I followed the men out the dining hall and into the main thoroughfare. They walked briskly and we had to run to keep up. Finally, I said something.

"Arik, humans walk slower than this! Could you slow down, please?"

The men found our pace slightly annoying, but they understood humans were different. They walked us out to the garage or transport storage space and climbed aboard one.

"I don't know if we're allowed," I said looking out at the dark night sky.

Arik laughed hard at that. The noise got the attention of the many other men out here, most appeared to be guards. Since this was their main entrance, that made sense.

"Allowed by who? There is no one to ask permission. You are free to come and go as you wish. Come with us, please. We want to know if it looks as it should. Hannah and Kennedy are too busy to go out and look with us."

It felt like getting into the back of a van with strangers offering you candy, but I climbed on. Rose followed, but the look she gave me was priceless.

"Use the stored solar energy and don't stay out too long," one of the guards called out in warning. "Don't make us come out to find you. There is no field work that can't wait until the sun rises, Arik!"

Before I could really feel good about this Arik's Brother raised the craft and we were outside. The men didn't turn on any lights and sped down the mountain slope. Luckily there seemed to be a path they were traveling, because otherwise it would have seemed like we were just wildly careening in the forest.

The moons spread some light and I was amazed at the scenery. Through the trees the mountains in the distance glittered in certain places. Closer to us I noted that several plants also reflected the light and some of the leaves almost glowed. This must have been what Hannah and Kennedy saw when they flew away from me. It was unbelievable.

The transport came to an abrupt stop and lowered to the ground. The men leapt off and moved into a patch of moonlight.

"What about creatures?" I asked hesitantly. "Are there racks or scars out there? We could not defend ourselves!"

Arik snorted and motioned us out. "The Administrators put up a shield several moons ago, men from this camp developed it. It keeps most things like that away from the entrance to our home. We have been much safer since then. There is nothing to be afraid of here. The boundary to the protection is farther down."

Rose and I followed as the men stood waiting for our reaction. The ground under our feet was quite damp as we moved through it. I touched the tight grouping of long, tall stalks in front of us and almost laughed.

"On Earth," I told the men, "this is called bamboo. We did not eat it. It was used for building, instruments, and could be cut and tied together to make a barrier. Some types of it can grow very quickly."

The men were enamored and stepped closer to me. I backed up.

"You know plants," they said sounding excited.

My hands went up and I backed toward the transport. "I know some things about plants. My female breeder tried to grow this as natural barrier between us and another human family. It didn't work and grew in a big clump."

The men were not deterred. "The women here are not interested in plants. They do not eat them and do not use them to build with. Would you like to spend more time with us? We could mate for fun," Arik offered.

I heard Rose's sharp intake of breath and I took one myself. My body shook with fear as the five of them eyed me lustily.

"I do not wish to mate," I said very quietly, but felt certain the men would take whatever they wanted. They could and I knew that.

"Will you please take us back?" Rose begged quietly. "Please, don't leave us out here. We will do whatever you want. Ciara, we cannot stay out here alone," she finished gripping my arm.

The men didn't seem to understand and motioned us back on the transport.

"Of course, we will take you back," Arik said, as his Brother started the transport. "Why would we not take you back?"

The looks of lust and want were gone and I felt very stupid. I tried to play down what we'd said, but Arik's family was persistent. Eventually, Rose was forced to explain how human men sometimes took a girl places only to demand sex as payment for a ride back.

Arik and his family were horrified. The very idea that Rose had thought them capable of that offended them greatly. When his Brother noted Rose must have been offering them sex as payment the men were almost speechless. They demanded to know why we thought they were like that. They wanted to know what they'd done to earn such a vile reputation.

"We didn't mean to offend," I pleaded as the transport lowered in the storage area. "Things are different on Earth and they are different on the compounds. We have nothing to compare this place to."

Arik didn't really accept that, but he tried to understand. The men had been told that ex-slaves would be strange and easily confused. The Administrators had asked them to welcome us but be cautious around us. The warning made more sense to them now. Still, the men seemed happy to leave us and moved quickly back into the camp.

Rose and I let them rush ahead and walked slowly back toward our dwelling. We both had to use the facilities, so we found the lacquered pots on the second floor. The men using the room were heedless of our presence and one simply pointed out the private area set aside for us.

Behind a drape were two pots separated by wood hanging from the ceiling. It was like our own private "ladies room". I was actually very glad for it.

As I washed my hands Rose laughed out loud. Whatever was funny amused her greatly and she couldn't stop giggling.

"What is so funny?" I demanded as we skirted quickly past the men using their latrine.

"Can you imagine," she asked, "what Gunth would have said last night if Basin was still putting the plug in my bottom? Can you imagine having to take it out in front of all those men last night? How strange would free men find something like that."

She was right and I had to laugh, too. It would have just solidified what the men already thought of slavers. They would have been totally offended.

"Thank God for small miracles," I said to her and we both laughed.

Rose and I determined quite quickly we could not sleep alone. After removing our ornamentation from our pockets and hiding it behind the bed, both of us folded our outfits and put them on the shelf under Jonathan's picture. We ended up huddled in my bed, together. The very idea of going into a room and sleeping alone made us both cringe.

We lay silently next to one another listening to the muted sounds in our little cave.

I'd left the fire burning in the main room and the leather drape to my room was open. That allowed warmth and light to still move into our sleeping room. The dancing light coming through the opening flickered and made shapes on the wall. I watched the patterns and allowed them to calm me. How many times had I sat and stared at the fire with Damien and his Brothers?

It took a long time, but I finally drifted to sleep with Rose curled up beside me.

"Psst, Ciara," a familiar voice whispered in my ear, "wake up."

I was warm and comfortable, but that wasn't Evan's voice. My eyes shot open and I was staring at Tyle's young face. He was leaning over me and grinned broadly. Rose roused beside me and stiffened as she realized we weren't alone. The men didn't even notice our initial reaction and continued to smile at us.

"Hello," Aryn said jovially from behind his Brother, "my male breeder, Bane, sent you a message."

I sat up quickly and the blankets fell to my waist. The young men didn't even notice as they all crowded into our bedroom. After having been truly dressed the entire day prior, I felt my nudity and pulled the covers over my breasts.

Aryn knelt in front of me and I saw a large purple bruise on his chin. His brothers were all similarly marked with several bruises and small cuts. He looked so much like his father. I automatically reached out to touch his bruise and only remembered myself as my hand slid across his face.

The boys looked shocked, but they didn't move as I pulled my hand back.

"I'm sorry," I stammered, "you look so much like your father, your male breeder. I just wondered how you got that mark on your face."

"We fought for him and his Brothers last night," Aryn said proudly. "We chose family over the camp and stood watch for a time while they slept. Arnold's family also took a turn. The other men told us we were wrong. They want us to hate Damien and his Brothers. We disagreed with them."

"Fighting is wrong, violence is wrong," I said, jolted, remembering what Hassar and Reed had told Damien.

"The men that attacked us were sanctioned," Aryn said simply. "We won't let them harm our family or friends, though."

The blanket and my nudity didn't matter anymore. I slipped off the bed onto my knees and hugged Aryn tightly.

"Thank you," I whispered kissing the rough stubble on his cheek.

When I pulled away from him the look of shock on his face was indescribable. He pointed quietly to his Brother and I knew what they wanted.

I thanked each boy the same way, with a hug and a kiss. They'd seen this affection at the cabin, but I was sure they thought they'd never experience it.

The young family found the activity novel. They were tentative in hugging me back at first, but by the fourth one they lay their hands firmly on my skin and squeezed. They murmured to me how they liked this type of thanks.

"They told us you are a Sister, not a slave," Aryn said seriously. "Damien and his Brothers assured us they have no love for slavery and we believe them. In the compound, I know they trained you like one would a Brother."

"Yes," I said quietly as I pulled my outfit off the shelf and put it on. When I was no longer under the covers with Rose it was quite chilly in here. "I wish I could talk to them."

"Basin and his Brothers," Rose cut in looking beseechingly at the young boys, "who helps them? They have no friends here," she said looking ready to cry.

"We stand together," Tyle said proudly. "Damien's family, Basin's family, Stayne's family, Arnold's family, and ours stand as friends. We protect one another and will not allow the others to be hurt. Poor choices were made, but those mistakes have been corrected."

I remembered Arnold. The tough man and his family Damien and his Brothers had helped Hannah rescue from the compound. They must have ended up here.

Rose was such a graceful creature. She somehow managed to get out of bed and stay wrapped in a single bed sheet. Much like I had done she hugged and kissed each boy. Suddenly, she looked at me appearing terrified.

"Do you think I can touch them?" she asked trembling. "Will Basin be...?"

I shook my head and took her hand.

"You are free and not a slave," I stressed. "You can touch anyone you want."

The boys seemed taken aback with Rose's concern and made sure they understand Basin's relationship to her.

"No, no," she said looking uncomfortable, "I am not a slave, but it has been so long...I have not touched anyone except Basin and his family or Keepers they left me with. This is all so strange..."

The young men watched Rose closely before seeming to accept her answer. It seemed to help that she cautiously had laid a hand on Tyle's arm as she spoke.

"We need to go," Tyle said and handed us each a small folded piece of paper. "This is an old fashioned way to pass a message, but it will have to do. We will come again when we can."

I rushed forward and put a tentative hand on his arm.

"Tell Damien and his Brothers I love them. Please tell them that I won't stop trying to be with them," I begged.

Tyle didn't seem to mind the strange job and accepted it without argument. Rose asked for the same thing and the boys agreed to take our messages to the men.

The boys took their leave as Rose and I sat on the bed next to one another.

The strange paper like substance opened to reveal a long hand written note. Rose and I each had one. It appeared the Brothers must have each taken a turn writing.

They loved me, the note said, and missed me terribly. Damien had talked to Hannah. He had told her she should have been honest. We would have still come, but we would have been prepared. My men knew I couldn't stay in the compound, the task Nu-reeh demanded was too much for all of us. He was sad we weren't together, but felt sure he could earn the right soon.

Evan was incredibly depressed about his son. Nothing else that had been done or said compared to the pain of having to leave Jonathan where he was. Evan wanted me to know that he felt our boy still. Even as far away as we probably were, our family was still connected.

Bane's part of the note was cheery. He and Aryn were finally able to be together. He mourned with Evan, but tried to use his own son to alleviate the pain. So far the young family had been invaluable. When no one else would speak to my men, Aryn and his Brothers stepped forward and helped them. It had been a stroke of good luck that we had sent them ahead of us.

Kein missed me, but he was fascinated with this place. He had hidden his excitement when the other men told them not to come to the dining hall. If my family wanted to eat, they would have to catch it themselves. Going outside and tracking the animal they'd eaten last night had been wonderful. My men planned to spend as much time as they could exploring.

Christof apologized to me again. He knew what they had done had hurt me. They had abused me even after they'd called me Sister. I'd forgiven them on many occasions, but it had not fully abated the guilt my best friend felt. Last night Kennedy had talked to them a long time. The men had all struggled with the things she had told them. Some of it had seemed too impossible, but they would continue to try.

I sat for a long time staring at the paper. Rose was beside me doing the same thing.

"We should get ready," she finally said. "The boys were up and dressed, we probably should be also."

I stood and sniffed myself. Rose raised an eyebrow and nodded at me.

"We both need a bath, but I don't know how long it would take to fill that pot in our main room," she said pulling on her skirt.

Taking a big breath, I made a decision.

"Let's try to find the bathing hall ourselves," I said firmly. "They keep telling us not to act like slaves. The free men use the hall, we can, too. I say we walk around until we find it."

Rose and I each took our towel from inside our bedrooms. We peeked out the drape and saw the hall was deserted. Since we wanted to explore, that was probably a good thing.

The central fire pits were all burning very low and casting almost no warmth. I shivered in the cool air in the massive cave.

"We should have brought our coats," Rose whispered to me and I agreed.

We'd have to think about these things now. No one was going to dress us or make sure we were prepared. These really were our own bodies again.

It was so easy to miss, we almost did. Right in the middle of all the little different shops was a tunnel. I touched the wall and it was damp.

"This way," I grinned at Rose.

This had to be the correct direction, I kept thinking. The hall was wide and obviously well used. There were many torches lighting the way, but most of them were burned out at this time of day. The air itself was wet and muggy, definitely a good sign.

The hall ended and I was shocked. We were in an enormous cave. The ceiling was low, but the "room" went on forever it seemed. I couldn't see the other side, it was swallowed in darkness. Steps had been carved into the rock and went directly into the massive pool of steaming, swirling water. The large pool was mostly unlighted, but it was awe inspiring.

Rose walked to the right and I followed her. Men's shirts and pants were drying on a line. The wall behind them was billowing heat from a low fire. It appeared fans pushed the warmth over the clothing to dry them.

Past that area was a stream running down into the main body of water. Neatly stacked to the side were what I would have called washboards in English. Rose remembered the Paterian word and we practiced it as we inspected them. There was a large tub of stuff that felt slick and little bars that smelled like soap.

Well, we guessed we knew where we washed our clothing now.

Rose and I walked back to the main area and stripped. We found a bucket of more bars of soap and rags laid out neatly. We each took one of each and ventured into the water.

The steps were slimy, so we were careful, but once we were in the water it was heavenly.

"It's so warm!" Rose said as she stood staring at me.

It moved against my legs and seemed to be traveling through this area. It was a natural widening of what must be a stream. I assumed the warmth was from the rocks underneath.

I started to wash myself. Rose just stood in the waist deep water and stared at me.

"Well?" I asked laughing at her. "Do you want to wash or not?"

Her concerned look made me stop and I realized this was a serious step for her.

"I have not touched my own body since..." she trailed off. "Even after they freed me Basin and his Brothers always did it. It feels like I should not touch myself."

This must have been what they meant by retraining. I'd been a slave for only a short time and had already regained bits of my independence on my own. Rose and Fuji had never done the things I did. My friends still followed the old directives unfailingly.

"Perhaps," I said seriously, "you start with your hands and arms."

It took a long time for Rose to wash herself. She cried when she had to wash between her legs. She had not touched herself there in a very long time. I suddenly realized she probably had not even wiped herself in the bathroom.

"We'll wash your underthings before we leave," I promised her once she was done.

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