A Slave to the Servants Ch. 36byDoctorWolf©
"I long to see my baby boy," she said softly.
"You absolutely will," Dara said as Mycah snoozed on her lap. "Hannah and her Sister are championing your cause. They are being quite persistent about it."
"It is politically correct," Eve said in Paterian, but I caught the modern English meaning. "It will probably get them loads of attention for their selfless devotion to the freedom cause."
"Selfless..." Kennedy repeated softly, rolling her eyes and I saw her Sisters agree with her.
Damien raised a brow at the girls' tone, but I understood. Kennedy and her Sisters just did not have political ambitions. Hannah must be being quite vocal about reuniting the human women with their offspring. It was a noble thing to do, but obviously had some secondary gain for Hannah and Ra.
I shook my head and smiled at Kennedy. My girls were day and night different. I wondered how this little girl in my belly would be and my hand drifted over my stomach.
"They will be healthy and strong, Mama," Dara said looking at where my hand was. "I think you will be surprised at how powerful T'vailk women are. I am sure they are glad their family is close again. T'vailk women feel a powerful drive to be close to family...at least they used to."
The girls agreed and started to discuss the uniqueness of this event. Hodlen and his Brothers had some thoughts about what T'vailk women would be like and shared that. None of the rest of us knew much about the history of this particular race of women. They had literally disappeared when the men went to the compounds.
I was glad they'd be strong, though. Smiling at Dara's comment I felt the movement under my hand. Suddenly all of what she'd said struck me.
"What do you mean 'they'?" I asked as my eyes shot wide.
Kennedy and her Sisters looked surprised.
"Women of the T'vailk mountains are born with their Sister or Sisters," Dara said. "They are always born in groups of two or three..."
"Didn't we tell you that?" Kennedy asked furrowing her brow.
I shook my head mutely and understood now why I was so large. This was not a singleton pregnancy.
Kein's happy shout rocked the room as all the men congratulated him. I had to laugh at the goofy look on his face. He startled Molly when he approached us and kissed me deeply. The man could not have received better news.
The little boys barely opened an eye as the men celebrated loudly. Kein and I had been blessed by The Great Harmonious Spirit. We would have more than one child and he was thrilled. Anticipation at meeting our new female offspring rocketed to a new high.
My men talked happily about how much they planned to enjoy this new family. No Nu-reeh to stop us from bonding and force the men away. Kein could be there as his girls got stronger. He would be the first Brother to be able to care for his female offspring.
It wasn't much later when I started to feel as sleepy as the boys. Damien took that as a sign that perhaps the children and me should be in bed. I agreed with him wholeheartedly.
Hodlen's family helped and we stripped the little ones of their boots and daytime clothing. They whined and fussed as they were moved. The boys were cranky when their sleep was disturbed. After the boys were undressed, we wrapped their waists in sleeping shifts and settled them on the bed together. Once they were all piled under the covers, Mycah's family fell back to their dreams and became peaceful again. The sleep tonight would hopefully finish letting them heal.
"You really should rest, too," Molly said softly standing and watching the boys. "I remember how tired I was at the end..."
Molly and the other families retreated to our main room and I stayed in the sleeping chamber with my boys. After closing the drape between the two rooms, I stripped myself and put on my nighttime shift. I'd made this one myself and thought I had been very creative. It had a series of ties down the front. Once my girls were born I could tighten it over my stomach and loosen it at the top to expose one breast at a time. For now the outfit was loose over my belly and tied securely over my breasts.
Laying down with Mycah's family I realized how good I felt about myself. I'd gone from free to slave and survived. Then I'd gone from slave to almost free. In the last many moons I'd learned to be totally free again and now I took care of myself. Through all the changes and stress I had maintained my sanity. Reaching out I stroked the little snoring family in front of me and fell deeply asleep.
It was the middle of the night when I woke again. The men had tied the drape between the rooms open. The fire pit had been left to burn for warmth and cast a soft glow in here. It was dim in the sleeping chamber, but I could see Rynal, Aiden's breeder, asleep just beyond the boys, in front of me. Not surprisingly Aiden was laying by Rynal's head with his hands wrapped in the man's hair. Behind me I felt my family resting comfortably.
The bed was warm and I was very cozy, but my bladder would not be denied. I rose as quietly as I could and tiptoed into the main room. The belt with my weapons hung near the main entrance to our living space and I quietly slipped it on. I was just putting on my boots when I heard a noise behind me and turned.
"Why are you awake?" Mycah asked loudly. "The moons aren't set and it isn't time to be up, yet."
The young family was standing and staring at me. They were as bright and awake as I'd ever seen them. The observant, nosy little boys had heard me get up and followed.
"I drank water before bed and now I need to go release it," I explained in a quiet voice. "Go back to the bed with your male breeders. I'll be back in a moment."
I saw them thinking and then Jonathan and Rees were putting their hands over their private parts. I'd seen that gesture on Earth. The power of suggestion was too much and now the little boys needed to use the pot, too.
"Get your boots," I sighed. "We'll all go use the pot and then go back to bed."
I helped the little ones with their foot wear and felt Damien's family in my mind. Assuring them all was well, I walked through our leather drape into the central area where the men congregated. The room with the lacquered pots was close to our rooms. It was late and I expected we would be the only ones out here. We were not.
Three families sat morosely around the communal fire pit in the central area. From their dress it was easy to tell they'd been Warriors at one of the compounds. They must be particularly stressed to still be up at this time of night. I knew Paterians like their routines. This wasn't when these men should be up if they weren't on guard duty.
Mycah's family followed me but started to go toward the men. They were always curious, but this seemed like a bad time. I reached down and grabbed Mycah's hand to pull him with me.
"Come with me, boys," I said in a commanding tone. "Leave them alone and let them talk. We are using the pots and then going back to bed."
From the fire I heard some low, vile cursing and chose to ignore it. The men couldn't believe I'd dare to touch Mycah and the idea I was commanding his Brothers was horribly offensive. My awareness was raised, but the men didn't move as I pulled Mycah to the room with the lacquered pots.
The little boys followed their Brother and proceeded to repeat the things they'd just heard. The filthy cursing was not what I wanted Mycah's family to learn. Bane had taught me these words, but we didn't use them except in jest. It wasn't appropriate for the young ones to say.
"Those aren't good words," I told Mycah. "We don't need to use those types of words. Your male breeders will teach you better words. Honorable men speak respectfully to everyone. You and your Brothers need to act honorably."
While we used the pots the boys wanted to know what those words meant. I explained they were ways of saying you didn't like someone, but they were very impolite. No one would respect you if you spoke to others like that, I tried to tell them. It was a difficult and trying conversation. Certainly not one I wanted to have this time of night.
Now the boys wanted to know why those men didn't like them.
"They don't like me," I told Mycah's family gently as I straightened the wrap on Niah's waist. "Men on Pateria used to be taught that humans aren't valuable. They think I should be a slave. Daddy, Christof, and Damien have talked to you about this. That isn't how we think."
In preparation for the boy's curious nature I took Mycah's hand as we walked out of the room with the lacquered pots. Jonathan took my other hand and the rest of the family followed as we made our way back to our rooms.
The boys had no sense that this was the wrong time to talk and started to say the things Damien's family had taught them. Slavery was wrong. Humans were strong and should be valued. Mama was special and we were lucky to have her in the family. Their bright, clear voices seemed to resonate in the contained space.
I saw the men by the fire start to rise and now they had my full attention. My eyes took in their enraged features and their clenched fists. Unfortunately, watching them infuriated them further, but they were a danger and I couldn't look away. My safety and the boys' safety was my business.
The men were coming toward us, prowling really. They wanted to hurt me. As far as they were concerned a slave that did what I had done deserved to be punished. With my girls nestled in my belly and Mycah's family right here, that just could not happen.
I released the boys' hands and shooed them toward our rooms.
"Mycah," I commanded pushing him toward the door, "take your family to Damien and Daddy."
As soon as I sensed the boys moving away, I pulled my gun and aimed it. Over the last moon I'd proved to myself I knew how to shoot. Paterians weren't as fast as the aliens and I had a fighting chance with this weapon.
"Stay away!" I said firmly to the men. "There are no slaves here, only free men and women."
"Silence, slave!" one of them ordered. "You have no right to touch our young or hold those weapons! There are no bands on your form, so no owners to protect you!"
"I can and will protect myself, cousin," I stated in a low, firm voice.
"We will reprimand you and you will not make this mistake again!" another of them stated.
My whole form was tensed and ready. I felt fear and used it to heighten my senses; it did not own me. Unlike any time other time a man had approached me like this, I felt ready to defend myself.
Killing these men was not an act I would relish, but it would have to be done. I trained my gun and took a breath. Their ignorance was signing their death certificate, but I had to keep my daughters from harm. It was my only option to stop them so I could get away.
A moment before I pulled the trigger, and ended the first man's life, I sensed movement beside me. The aggressors stopped approaching and I watched the looks on their faces become concerned. They glanced around and I furtively did the same thing.
Tyle's family, as young as they were, could look as vicious as any Warrior was trained to. Still in their sleeping shifts, each of them carried either a sword or a gun. The guns were aimed and the swords were at the ready. Once I noted their presence, they slipped slightly in front of me. None of them got in front of my weapon, though. If I shot something, it wasn't going to be one of them.
Mund's family was out of their room and so was Basin's. They were tightening the circle on the aggressors. Damien and his Brothers moved in synchrony with Holden's to add to this side, as Stayne and his Brothers moved with Arnold's family and closed off the exit from the other side. The men from the camp had emerged from their rooms and surrounded the Warriors.
I sensed it now. The Great Harmonious Spirit had the men. Damien and his Brothers had not called the entire camp, just our close friends and family that lived in this section with us. We needed them for added security.
The large show of force was only so the aggressors would not attempt to fight back. My men could have handled this themselves, but it may have endangered our offspring. The other men did not mind helping and this way was safer. We could depend on the camp to help us keep an altercation from ever happening.
Now, we all waited.
The men stood at the ready. I felt their thoughts and knew they were merely bidding their time. The entire thing was planned out and very organized, as far as The Great Harmonious Spirit was concerned. Next was a period of education and then sanctions.
A transport landed outside our area and five male Administrators walked briskly inside.
Everyone kept their weapons trained on the aggressors initially, so I did, too. As the male Administrators approached closer the weapons were lowered, but not put away. I was not part of the Great Spirit, so my actions lagged behind the men's. It seemed appropriate to follow their lead, though. Dealing with unpredictable Warriors was their domain.
The Administrators that came in were wearing clothes that had been hastily thrown on, as opposed to sleeping shifts. They carried weapons on their waists, but had not drawn them. They were here to teach and not agitate these aggressive Warriors.
The Administrators took in everyone down here as they stopped several body lengths away from the troublemakers. I knew these Administrators vaguely and was surprised it was them that had come. Gunth and his Brothers were who I expected, but they were not with us anymore. I shook my head at my own foolishness. It would take me some time to stop looking for the big man and his family.
The lead Brother in this family of Administrators was named Carg. He and his Brothers were masters of organization. Carg and his family monitored our food supplies and our textile supplies. It was because of them we never went hungry and always had materials available. Unlike Gunth's family, they didn't appear physically powerful. Carg and his Brothers were of small stature and a light build. Their power was in their minds and their capacity to anticipate the camp's needs.
"There are no slaves in this camp," Carg said in a firm, but slightly nasal tone. "You are not slaves to the women and the humans are slaves to no one. You must learn to respect those around you. The way you were taught in the compound is not acceptable here."
The Warriors cursed a foul stream. They started toward the Administrators with the obvious intent of harming them.
Tyle's family tightened around me and Hodlen's joined them. The camp would not endanger the life of a child during this altercation. My girls would be kept safe by their extended family. Mycah's young family was inside our rooms. All the precious ones were perfectly safe.
"We do not listen to shopkeepers!" one of the aggressive Warriors yelled as they sprang forward.
Damien's family moved like lightening and in synchrony with the other men to subdue the raucous Warriors. It was over before it began. The Warriors knelt defeated on the ground with swords at their throats in a matter of moments. Their weapons had been summarily stripped from them. I saw their fear and their awe as they took in the men from the camp.
The silent, organized attack had bewildered the aggressors. It was impossible not to be impressed by my campmates. They made every movement look planned and choreographed, which in a very real sense, it was. As a group, the men from the camp were unbeatable.
"The Great Harmonious Spirit gives us every advantage," Carg said in a very calm voice coming to stand in front of the defeated men. "We respect one another and we gain strength together. You will come to understand this fundamental belief and it will give you strength, also. In order to join us you must let go of the evil teaching that prevails in your minds."
The defeated Warriors looked just that, defeated. They were held in such a way they had no hope of escaping. It was very obvious the men that controlled them held their lives in their hands. Now that they were forced to listen, Carg spent time explaining the importance of respect and equality.
Transports arrived and men filed quietly in behind the Administrators. I noted that these new men appeared to be guards that were on duty. They were dressed and outfitted with all their weaponry, so they must have been on nighttime patrols. The six families of burly, armed guards from the camp stood stoically watching Carg. The Administrator finished his speech and took a step back.
The Warriors were pulled to stand and their swords were placed in the scabbards at their waists. That particular act really surprised me. They'd attacked us and we were arming them? It must have confused them also.
"You have returned our swords?" one man asked quietly.
He touched the hilt lightly, but did not draw the weapon. The formerly aggressive Warriors were grossly over matched right now, so that made sense.
"There are dangers all around us, cousin," Carg said, continuing to instruct. "This is not like the compound where peril is kept at bay by an external force. You will not be stripped of your weapons here, unless it is clear you must die for us to live. In case of attack, you are responsible for the defense of yourselves and this camp."
The Warriors stood and looked around at the men they would have called bandits several days ago. Their cohesive organization was obviously disconcerting. The Warriors couldn't comprehend the way things worked here. The lesson was being driven home, though.
"Since you wish to be awake and you want to fight," Carg continued, "I will leave you with this patrol. It is apparent your families are having difficulty changing. Perhaps protecting the camp will give you incentive to adjust your attitude."
"Our punishment...?" one of the Warriors asked sparing a glance in my direction.
I met his uncertain gaze before his eyes swung back to Carg.
"You are being sanctioned," Carg said firmly. "I have no doubt you would prefer to rest with your Brothers when the moons are up. These men run night patrols for the camp by choice. It is valuable protection they provide for us. They will guide you and you will learn. Your families will stay with them until I feel you have learned from this mistake."
The Warriors looked utterly confused. I could see they had expected to be stripped of their weapons and beaten badly. The peaceful way the camp handled miscreants was very confusing to men from the compounds.
"Pain is not a tool that we use," I said clearly and Carg seemed to understand the purpose of my statement.
He didn't think the way men from the compounds thought. It had not occurred to him to harm these men.
"Your families deserve to be treated with respect," Carg said looking over at me. "You will learn to respect others the same way. Pain is not a tool that needs to be employed. It evokes the fear response and you do not need to know fear inside this camp. This is your home. This is a safe place for your family. In time you and your Brothers will come to trust us and we will trust you, then you will join with the Great Harmonious Spirit."
I watched from behind my guard as the Warriors were led away. Their guides would teach them tonight, as they let them expend their frustrated energy. Change was difficult on this world and changing to the camp's mindset would be a staggering feat for these particular men.
With the danger contained and leaving, I slipped my gun back in its holster. I breathed a sigh of relief that I had not had to shoot those men. The camp would probably have forgiven me, but they wouldn't have liked it if I had killed a Paterian.
The moment The Spirit released the men was obvious. Mycah and his Brothers were instantly around my legs watching the retreating backs of the Warriors. They looked up at me and explained in no uncertain terms that slavery of any sort was not right. Attacking a camp mate was even less acceptable. They spoke with clear resolve about what was right and what was wrong.