Monday, June 9, 2014
The first few days of our captivity, the food wasn’t half bad. Alien though it was, I couldn’t complain it was inedible. Four times a day, floating trays of roasted meat, fresh fruit, and steamed vegetables were the norm. There were even sweet pastries with nuts and fruit embedded in the bread for desserts, though Oses left those to me to devour. I did so, taking every bit of pleasure I could find from our situation. Four full meals was a bit much for me, but I indulged in those treats whenever possible.
On about the fourth day of our incarceration, we’d eaten what I thought of as lunch and Oses was doing some callisthenic-type exercises. I followed along as best I could, though I got winded quick. Deck squats, in which you squat down, roll onto your back, roll back up into a squat, and end with standing up straight were the worst. I think I amused the hell out of Oses with my attempts, though he only offered encouragement. We both wanted me in peak shape for whatever escape attempt might come our way. Yet it was inevitable that around the fifth or sixth deck squat, I wouldn’t be able to roll back up to my feet. I lay on the grass like a throw rug, gasping and hating everything to do with physical fitness. Oses would make me mad by performing about fifty of those things. He didn’t even breathe heavy.
I’d just managed to do four deck squats and I felt the inevitable end of that round approaching. My thighs were on fire, my chest was heaving like a bellows, and sweat was running like crazy under my fur dress.
As I began to squat down for what would no doubt be the last time, Finiuld and another, almost identical, little creep suddenly appeared on the other side of the enclosure. Startled, I emitted a little shriek as a dark shape darted in front of me. Oses was suddenly there, crouched between me and the Ofetuchans. Apparently he’d been startled as well, letting instinct to protect me rule him for an instant.
I sensed movement from the other habitats as their prisoners scrambled to the far corners, getting as far away from the Ofetuchans as possible. It wouldn’t have helped them if the little creeps had been interested in them, but instinct is hard to fight.
For our part, Oses and I quickly recovered and went right into our plan of non-compliance. The Nobek turned to face me. We both sat down cross-legged from each other. We did not look at our captor or his companion. We looked at each other and readied ourselves for whatever might come.
Finiuld’s companion’s voice had that same sweet musical quality, though his was a bit more lilting and higher-pitched. “My, that Kalquorian is a fine specimen of his kind. It’s too bad we can’t keep them alive except in stasis. How long did you say you’ve had him?”
I watched Oses’ eyes glaze over at the lovely, mesmerizing voice. My heart was pounding with too much fear to fall under the spell. As long as the two creeps spoke, it was up to me to keep my wits together.
The original Little Creep sounded smug to my ears. “He’s been here four days. It usually takes them a little while to figure out they aren’t going anywhere.”
“I see you’ve clothed him in the historic primitive garb of his species.”
“Her too. Beastly, aren’t they?” Finiuld tittered.
“But so many do that with their collections. Don’t you find it boring?”
“I like seeing them stripped down to their basic natures. Besides, it’s stupid to dress lower creatures like cultured people. They should look like what they are: animals.”
“Especially Kalquorian Nobeks. You know, the average is nine weeks before the first suicide attempt. Do you really think this one will keep longer because of the Earther?”
My heart hammered to hear them talk about Oses potentially committing suicide. It made me feel sick inside. That feeling mixed with fury to hear the nonchalance in their tones. That captivity could drive my lover into killing himself meant nothing to them. I wanted to claw their eyes out.
Finiuld sounded puffed up with pride as he answered his companion. “Of course, Madol. He’s a Nobek, the most protective breed of Kalquorian. He’s duty-bound to keep a female safe, especially one he can mate with and sire children on. I’ve already proven to myself that neither can stand to see the other hurt.”
“They care for each other, do they? That is luck. Congratulations on catching her. I do believe she’s the first of her kind to be added to a collection. With more of them evacuating their planet, everyone will be scrambling to catch one. You said she’s sometimes immune to our voices?”
“Apparently so. It seems to be tied in to how frightened she is at the moment. Here, let me demonstrate. Shalia, for my next command only, disobedience will not get Oses punished. Stand up so we can have a look at you.”
I stifled a groan. Non-compliance was pretty much playing into Finiuld’s hands right now. He wanted me to ignore him so he could show how I could resist his voice hypnosis. It was a case of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’. However, sitting still and ignoring him was the plan. So I sat and watched Oses regain his senses as the Ofetuchans watched us silently. The Nobek blinked at me, and I closed one eye in a slow wink. All was well ... so far. He twitched a slight nod.
Little Creep’s friend Madol spoke, stealing my Nobek from me once more. “It’s amazing that she can do that. The two species are so much alike; I would have thought they would be affected the exact same way. Aren’t they rumored to have a common ancestry?”
“Even if they do, they’ve evolved on separate worlds for millennia. It’s to be expected a few differences exist. Oses, stand and turn towards me.”
Oses started to obey. I leaned forward and spoke in an intense tone. “Listen to me and hear my voice, Oses. Stay seated. Do nothing voluntarily.”
Consciousness flooded into his eyes once more. He was already halfway up, but as he got his senses back, he sat once more. His lips pressed tightly together. Anger sparked for an instant before his expression turned stony.
Madol’s lilting tones had a mocking edge to them. “Isn’t that interesting? I believe she’s helping him slip his leash, Finiuld.”
“Not for long. Do that again, Shalia, and I will turn his collar on. Oses, stand up.”
Once more the Nobek began to rise. My heart galloped a mile a second as I did what would send him straight to the bowels of Hell. I almost didn’t go through with it. Almost.
“Oses, resist him. Sit back down and remember, it’s only pain.”
The Nobek dropped back down to his butt with a thud. There was an instant of his upper lip wrinkling back from his teeth in defiance before the collar activated and the agony hit him.
Oses’ screams rebounded against the walls of our enclosure as he went down, writhing and tearing at the grass beneath him. His feet drummed frantically against the ground and in the air as he vainly tried to escape the torment.
I couldn’t watch. I stayed in my spot, closed my eyes, and tried not to scream with him.
Finiuld kept the collar on for perhaps ten seconds. Before it was over, tears were sliding down my cheeks. I kept thinking it was my fault Oses was being tortured. But it wasn’t. It was the Little Fucking Bastard Creep’s fault. As hard as I’ve found it to kill those attacking me in the past, I think I could have bashed Finiuld’s skull in with laughter pouring from my lips right then. I’ve never hated anyone so much as I hated him.
At last, Oses stopped screaming. I could hear him panting and moaning in the aftermath. I kept my eyes closed, unwilling to see what I had brought on him.
Finiuld said, “Stand up, Oses. Right now.”
I followed that up without pausing an instant. “Don’t do it, Oses! Stay right where you are.”
More screams came a second later, blasting my eardrums. I tried to block them out, chanting in my head, It’s only pain; he’s not being damaged. It’s only pain; he’s not being damaged. It’s only pain; he’s not being damaged.
It was precious little to hold onto as my lover shrieked on and on. By the time he stopped, perhaps a full minute later, I was bawling.
“Perhaps you should concentrate on his weakness, Finiuld.” Madol sounded nearly gleeful at the Little Creep’s failure to make us obey.
“That will be my pleasure. Oses, rip Shalia’s clothes off and fuck her.”
My eyes flew open at that command. I looked into a feral pair of purple eyes only a few feet away. Despite the agony he’d just been in, Oses was up on all fours and crawling towards me.
I took a deep breath to steady myself. “Stop, Oses. He does not command you.”
Awareness returned once more to the Nobek. He froze in place and turned his hectic gaze towards the Ofetuchans standing outside the containment field. They were treated to a fang-filled snarl of defiance.
The next seconds were eclipsed in drowning pain. Now it was my turn to suffer, to scream as anguish tore me to shreds. I had known it was coming. I knew I wasn’t actually being ripped to tatters, no matter how it felt. Still, when that kind of cruelty is happening, it doesn’t matter that no damage is occurring. All that matters is the suffering.
When I emerged, shaking and sobbing and lying in a puddle of my own piss, Oses was sitting nearby. He held my hand, his body quaking violently. His fangs were down, but he stared into space, trying his best to hang onto his promise to me that we would resist no matter what.
I wasn’t sure how I spoke. However, I was desperate to remind him of the most important thing in the equation. I rasped, “For all of us.”
He continued to stare furiously into space, but he managed to jerk a nod. Part of me felt relief. Oses would not let me or my unborn child down.
“Rape her, Oses. Make her cry.”
“Come back to me, Oses,” I demanded as he pulled my legs apart. “Master yourself, Nobek!”
He howled, a mixture of grief and rage. Oses gathered me in his arms an instant before torment descended on me once more.
When I came back this time, he was still shouting. Instead of just angry animal screams, however, Oses was yelling words at the top of his lungs.
“I cannot hear you! You do not order me! I will not hurt Shalia for your entertainment! You are nothing! I will not obey!”
The constant stream of defiance kept anything Finiuld might have said from reaching Oses’ ears. Despite being weak from pain, I felt a jolt of triumph. We had found a way past the hypnotic weave of the Ofetuchans’ voices. We now had a small thread of defense.
I looked over at the two creeps to see how they were taking our refusal to bow to them. Madol had a mixture of worry and amusement flitting over his ugly face. Finiuld only looked furious.
No, more than furious. He looked downright murderous.
I couldn’t hear the Little Creep over Oses’ yelling, but I had no trouble reading his lips before he and Madol disappeared. You will pay.
We gave them several seconds to hopefully be really gone before we spoke. “Well done, Shalia,” Oses whispered in my ear.
“You too,” I said. “Even a small victory deserves some celebration, right?”
Oses got up on shaking legs and carried me to the pond. We cleaned ourselves up. I had to wash my shift and Oses kindly donated his vest to give me some modesty. It was long enough to hide the girly bits, but I had to hold it closed. Oses’ kilt had also been soiled, so he was left to parade around naked while it dried. We hung our clothes side by side on a branch of our little tree.
“No dignity in torture,” I muttered. I hated losing control of bodily functions in front of everyone, especially Oses. It didn’t matter than he suffered the same humiliation.
“It’s part of the attempt to break us,” the Nobek said.
“Now we get to find out the penalty for being hard to get along with.” My stomach churned at the thought of what Little Creep might do to us.
“Stay strong, my pet. Think of who you’re protecting.”
I nodded. We settled down to wait for whatever hell might come, Oses holding me tight against his body.
We didn’t see Finiuld for the rest of the day, however. He was probably letting us stew over what our punishment would turn out to be. We were given nothing to eat, either. When the other prisoners’ food arrived, no trays floated into our containment. I didn’t have any appetite anyway.
Sleep was fitful. When the next day came, so did Finiuld.