The Rebellious Slave Ch. 16byHisPet21©
Author's Note: What a relief it is, to finally publish this particular chapter! It has been rolling around in my head for forever, and I finally have it down on digital paper. Yay! If you have been enjoying my stories, I would love to know your opinion on this particular chapter, and which character you find most intriguing at this point. I'm really just curious, honestly. As always, I am indebted to you all for your support. It keeps me invested in the story, and in my characters. Seriously, all of your comments mean a LOT to me. And finally, some rumors have started to go around that this is the last chapter. It isn't. I am pretty sure you guys would kill me if I left it here, and I hope you soon see why.
Kara's time at Bremmington was, overall, quite pleasant. In fact, Kara considered her captivity at Bremmington to be an enjoyable, week long vacation. Certainly, Kara's accommodations were less pleasant than they had been at Lord Arlington's Manor. Kara's mattress was filled with straw, so that it was painfully itchy. And if that wasn't bad enough, Kara was fairly certain that a family of mice lived in her mattress. It was cold too, since Kara's clothes were made of a thin, synthetic material. And worse still, the tap water from the sink was always red with rust and undrinkable, so that Kara only had access to fluids at lunch and dinner. The meals themselves were equally unpleasant, and the portions were far too small. But Kara adored her miserable little cell, because it was completely free of Lord Arlington's evil presence. And as far as Kara was concerned, any time away from Lord Arlington was inherently agreeable.
By her third day at Bremmington, Kara had established a routine. In the early morning, the lights would flicker on and Kara was taken by a guard to shower, alone. Normally, showering at Bremmington was a group activity, but as a resident of Cell Block D--albeit, a misplaced one--Kara was watched very carefully whenever she was taken from her cell, and was never permitted to interact with other prisoners.
After the shower, Kara would receive clean prison clothes and was then taken to the usual Interrogation Room. Taylor always asked her the exact same set of questions, and Kara always answered the same way, with a series of successive denials. The interrogator was usually annoyed with Kara, and the slave couldn't blame her. It was clear to the both of them that Kara had no useful information, and that her answers were only being tested for consistency as a matter of protocol.
Finally, following the questioning, Kara would be returned to her cell for lunch and Karrington would lead the pair in a series of exercises, which he had developed to "stay strong and sane." Kara wasn't any good at push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, or pretty much anything else. To some extent, she was even glad that a wall separated the two, so that Karrington couldn't watch her flail about miserably. Then, when the lights went out in the afternoon--for the cell block was cast in darkness for 17hrs each day--the two prisoners would tell each other stories, in order to pass the time.
Kara's specialty was fiction, particularly of the science fiction and fantasy varieties. Before the war, Kara had been something of a book addict, and had an impressive collection of novels back in Telma. On Karrington's whim, she would tell him fantastic stories of dragons, and robots, and alternative dimensions. Karrington enjoyed them all immensely, and always repaid Kara with a tale of his own. But Karrington wasn't very good at making up stories on the fly. So instead, he focused on nonfiction. The man had a fascinating past, and Kara was never disappointed with his stories. For the former general had been born into a military family, and personal tales of wartime had been passed along through the generations. They were always filled with excitement, triumph, and unbearable sadness, making Kara cry on a few occasions.
And so, Kara Chrystein and Ben Karrington became good friends. They meshed well together, and enjoyed each other's company immensely. But perhaps more importantly, they were trapped together in a world filled with darkness and despair, such that reciprocal sociability was a mutually beneficial arrangement. After all, with predators all about, circling and circling like half-starved sharks, friendship was a very valuable commodity, necessary for maintaining one's sanity. In such a place as Bremmington, bonds between prisoners formed with surprising quickness and lasting partnerships blossomed with an ease unfitting for the outside world. Not that Kara or Karrington particularly cared.
On Kara's fourth day of captivity, the lights flickered on as they usually did and the cell block's occupants began to stir in unison. With a groan, Kara rolled out of bed and lazily scratched her irritated back. The straw in her mattress hadn't been changed in ages, and she was developing a rash. Concerned with the state of the sore, which now burned painfully, Kara moved toward her cell door and held out her wrists in anticipation of her escort. And, sure enough, she could soon hear the door being unlocked, as a guard came to fetch Kara for her morning shower. The medic would be sure to treat her rash with soap and hot water. Maybe, Kara reasoned, she could even get a guard to take her to the infirmary. But when the cell door swung open, there was no guard in the doorway. Instead, there was Lord Arlington, wearing a dark blue cloak and a sinister smile.
Kara immediately jumped to the back of her cell, more from shock than anything else. But she quickly regained her composure, making sure to smoothen her features and stand tall. After all, Arlington couldn't touch her, at least not yet. And though frightened, Kara grabbed onto that fact and allowed it to give her strength. "You aren't allowed in here," Kara hissed, making sure to keep her voice steady and confident. But secretly, she wondered if Arlington had weaseled his way out of needing to abide by appropriate protocol. "You need to leave. You aren't supposed to be in my cell. You aren't supposed to see me until the week is out, and they've finished questioning me."
"Oh, but I'm not here on business," Arlington grinned, stepping into the room. A guard followed in after him and set down a wooden chair, so that Arlington could take a seat. And, Kara noticed, the man was back to being his cool, collected self. "I'm here for pleasure only," his lordship continued, tapping an obnoxiously pink 'Visitor's Badge,' which was clipped onto his front pocket. "A little paper work, some gentle prodding, and it's amazing what you can accomplish in spite of the bureaucracy."
"Five minutes, my lord," the guard insisted, his voice tense. But Kara wasn't surprised by his nervous tone. Giving orders to Lord Arlington was a lot like poking a lion with a stick and hoping it wouldn't kill you. "Then, my lord, I must insist that we depart," the guard finished. And the poor man closed the cell door behind Arlington, in order to give Kara and his lordship some semblance of privacy.
However, the perceived privacy was an illusion. Kara knew that Karrington was listening in, for as she glanced toward the right most wall, the little hole there suddenly darkened, as if someone were looking in and had blocked out the light. God, Kara didn't want Karrington involved in this. He was untainted by the knowledge of her torturous enslavement, and Kara didn't want him to treat her differently because of it. She didn't think she could stand being pitied, not even for the next few days.
"Of course, I'll only need two minutes," Lord Arlington told Kara, a wicked grin on his face. And he leaned forward in his seat, to better see Kara and watch her reactions. "True, you still have a few more days of precious freedom," Arlington continued, his voice serene. "But lest you forget, I thought I would stop by and remind you that I own you, Kara. I own every inch of you, and that is no exaggeration. I could even kill you if I wanted to, but you know that I won't. It would be too easy, and I paid a lot of money for you."
Lord Arlington paused then and adjusted his visitor's badge, giving Kara time to let his words sink in. Then, he turned back to her, his face tight. "I know you must be very proud of yourself, after freeing Tamius Sue," he admitted. "I hope you find that little ego boost worth the price you will pay. Surely, you must realize that with Tamius gone, you're now my primary trophy slave. Now, all of my attention will be devoted to you. Such a lucky girl, you are."
Kara stiffened at that, frightened by the truth of Arlington's words. But when a smile crossed over his lordship's features, she quickly relaxed, determined not to give into him and entertain him with her reactions. But in another moment, Arlington was standing to his feet and approaching Kara, his footsteps pointed and intimidating. In spite of herself, Kara became frightened and tried to maneuver around Arlington, but he easily blocked her path. Eventually, Kara backed herself into a corner, completely at her lord's mercy. There, with no means of escape, the slave could only cringe as Arlington grabbed her face in his hands, his grip painful.
"Enjoy these next few days as best you can," Lord Arlington told her, his voice dangerous but playful, as if he were a cat with a cornered mouse. "Because these next few days will be your very last as Kara Chrystein. When I get you home, I am going to lock you in a deep, dark hole for a while, until you honestly can't remember what the sun looks like. And when I finally do take you out, no amount of begging and screaming is going to sway me toward mercy. I will relentlessly crack away at your spirit until it shatters, no matter how long it takes. Every fear that you have, I will expose. And then, I shall use those fears against you, until you no longer think of yourself as 'Kara Chrystein,' but only as 'Arlington's Girl.'"
Arlington touched Kara's face then, in a gentle and yet sadistic caress. His hands were warm, and his body pressed firmly into Kara's, until she could feel her lungs compress and the air within leave them. "And just when you think you can take no more," Arlington continued, almost endearing. "Just then, I will fuck you senseless until you are writhing in pleasure and the agony of knowing that it is I who bring you such pleasure. Think about all that, while I'm gone," he whispered in Kara's ear. "Better yet, dream about it."
With a sinister smirk, Arlington wrapped his fingers in Kara's hair, pulling her head to the side in the process. When her face was tilted to the left and a cheek was exposed, Arlington planted a soft, threatening kiss upon the skin. Until that moment, Kara didn't think it possible to describe a kiss as 'threatening,' but she knew better now. Arlington's kiss had been just that, warm and soft and barely brushing the skin, but with a pent up hunger that bordered on the edge of release.
"Have a good day, pet," Lord Arlington whispered, brushing Kara's ear with his soft lips. Then, without any ceremony, he let Kara go and walked back towards the cell door. Forcefully, he knocked upon the metal mass until it opened, and in another instant he was gone. It all happened so fast that Kara could hardly believe it had happened at all. But it had, and Kara could feel Arlington's words begin to take their emotional toll. He had intended, of course, to scare her and he had succeeded. With the future so dark and foreboding, Kara couldn't help but feel afraid and alone, especially now that her recent victory was a thing of the past and was no longer able to warm her spirits.
Kara wanted to collapse then, to fall to her knees and sob. But first, Kara walked to her straw mattress and picked up the worn, grey blanket that lay atop it. Tearing away a small section of cloth, she lodged it into the hole between her and Karrington's cells, so that he couldn't watch her cry. Then and only then, did Kara lie down on her mattress and bury her face in the straw, making sure to keep her tiny sobs quiet and subdued. Her tiny body trembled with the effort of remaining soundless, and she gripped the mattress with both hands, allowing the sharp strands of straw to dig into her palms. A few times, she thought she could hear Karrington start to say something through the wall, but Kara ignored his voice, imaginary or not. And she stayed like that for an hour, before a guard finally came to escort her to the shower room.
The guard who cuffed Kara and then escorted her from the cell block was new, but Kara didn't particularly care. She was still upset after Arlington's visit, and even more upset that Karrington had witnessed it. In fact, Kara was so absorbed in her misery that she didn't even realize when her escort--a short woman, with wavy brown hair--took her down the wrong hallway, and into an elevator instead of the shower room. But when the guard gripped Kara's collar and threw her against the elevator wall, her mind suddenly withdrew from the darkness and was pulled back into the present.
"What are you doing?" Kara whispered hoarsely, strongly suspecting that she was about to beaten. So called, "Friendly Fuck Ups" weren't unheard of in Bremmington, and occasionally a prisoner would be abused for the fun of it. Of course, these beatings were expressly forbidden under the Employee Guidelines, but a guard couldn't be punished unless caught. And most guards didn't get caught.
"Hold still," the guard replied, pulling a device that strongly resembled a radar gun from her belt. Kara winced then, as the device was pressed against her collar. But then, with a high pitched beep, the ordeal was over and Kara was released. "There," said the guard, putting the device away and withdrawing a pistol. "The collar has been deactivated. Stay close to me, keep your head down, and shoot if you have to." And the guard gave Kara a gun.
For a moment, Kara was too stunned to speak. As the elevator ascended, she could only turn the gun over and over again in her hands, appreciating the weight of it and the cool feel of metal against her fingertips. Many times, Kara had fantasized about obtaining a gun, and now there was one in the palm of her hand. But why had she been given a gun? And what could she do with a gun, trapped in the bowels of Bremmington? As she pondered these questions, Kara suddenly became afraid. What would the other Bremmington guards think, when they saw her with a gun? Certainly, they would shoot on sight, and Kara didn't want to die. Perhaps it was her mother's "Never Give Up, Never Surrender" policy that had given Kara the will to survive, in spite of all that she had endured. But regardless, even if life for Kara was synonymous with enslavement, she most definitely didn't want to die.
"Excuse me?" Kara choked. She felt frightened, confused, and unabashedly excited, all at the same time. Kara hadn't thought that combination of emotions possible, not until now. "What the hell is going on?"
With a sigh, the guard turned toward Kara. She was a petite creature, but her bright green eyes held a ferocity that was monstrous. Like all other Bremmington personal, she wore the standard black body suit and had a utility belt of weapons. But, Kara noticed, some of those weapons weren't typical of a guard. There were, for example, a few grenades and even a stick of dynamite. And in addition to these, there was an unusual handgun, loaded with darts instead of bullets. Kara noted that the guard was assessing her quickly, noting the confusion in Kara's eyes before deciding to speak. And when she did so, the guard's words were hurried and stern, commanding even.
"I only have to time to explain this once," the guard warned, her face tense. And Kara nodded her understanding, a silent promise to listen to the escort's words carefully, so as not to miss a single word. "I'm Commander Ciara, and I'm from a Rescue Regiment in Southern Nardia," the guard announced, loading a pistol from her utility belt and poising it in her hand. "We've been planning a jail break here for months, and I owe Florence Querren a favor. You made the pick-up list last minute, and here we are. Right now, we have the surveillance system bugged, and all cameras are running on a loop." Which, Kara realized, must be a good thing, for there was a camera in the elevator with them, pointing downward. "In about fifteen minutes, the electrical system will shut down, and we'll have ten minutes before the back-up generators kick in. In that time, we'll head to the roof and escape via helicopter. Once we enter Nardian Air Space, there'll be a Jet Troop to protect us. In short, we have thirty minutes to get out of here. Fall behind, and you'll get left behind. We don't go back for anyone, regardless of the circumstances. Are you following me, Ms. Chrystein?"
And Kara, dumbfounded, nodded.
"Good," Commander Ciara acknowledged, her features serene, but serious. "Now, you might want to keep your head down." And the woman pointed her pistol toward the elevator doors, which were just now parting. "Apparently, we've been found out, and the second floor is a war zone."
Kara hit the deck as the elevator doors opened, and could hear a series of successive shots being fired above her. The entire floor smelt strongly of gunpowder and blood, a combination not unfamiliar to Kara and her old Medical Unit. As she cowered, Kara could feel her arm being gripped and she was dragged out of the elevator and into a hallway, where she was released and told to stand. And obedient as ever, Kara got to her feet and followed Commander Ciara down a twisting hallway, rife with dead bodies and discarded shells.
"Wait, wait!" Kara cried, as they ran though Bremmington, the sound of gunfire ever present. "We have to go back! I have a few companions--Alan Greenwood and Ben Karrington--who we need to take with us!"
"They're not on the list," Commander Ciara replied, clearly annoyed. They were, after all, in the middle of a gun fight and Ciara needed to focus her attention on staying alive, not on Kara's persistent questioning. "We can't break every miserable soul out of Bremmington, and that's just how it is. Now, move!" And she pushed Kara across a recently cleared hallway.
But Kara couldn't believe what she was hearing, and ignored Commander Ciara's irritated tone. "Ben Karrington isn't on the list?" she pressed, incredulous and concerned by the certainty of Ciara's features. "Are you telling me that the head of the White Horse Rebel Alliance isn't on your pick-up list? How is that possible?"
"The White Horse Rebel Alliance is dead," Commander Ciara replied, this time making her tone threatening. Clearly, she intended to frighten Kara into shutting up. "Karrington is useless to us, Ms. Chrystein. There isn't any room for him on our pick-up list. Now, stay close!"
As Kara was led behind a wall of concrete, she saw that there were several other armed personnel from Ciara's Rescue Regiment, all wielding weapons and attempting to mow down a wall of guards, who were blocking the Nardians' access to a nearby stairwell and elevator. Ciara had said that they would need to head to the roof, and the Bremmington combat personnel were trying to impede the regiment's progress upward. Quickly, Kara checked the ammo in her own weapon and noted that she had about ten shots. As she prepared to help with the gunfire, in spite of her poor aim, Kara realized that Alyssa Terrance had been freed and was also aiding in the fight. Kara couldn't believe that the treacherous woman had made it onto Ciara's pick-up list, but she must have or she wouldn't be running around unbound.
Kara wasn't sure when she made the decision to stay behind, for it wasn't a conscious decision. Somehow, while the gunfight around her continued, Kara's mind processed the recent events without her, and concluded that she could not leave without Greenwood or Karrington. As Ciara and her team dashed across the now cleared floor and towards the second floor stairwell, Kara could see Alyssa Terrance step in front of her. And, while the rest of Ciara's team was distracted, Kara pressed the cold barrel of her gun to the base of Alyssa's head.