Thursday, June 19, 2014
February 18, Part 1
We had a couple of days before Finiuld put in another appearance. When the Little Creep showed up outside our habitat, suddenly appearing out of nowhere as he was so damned prone to do, he wasted no time. Before we could react more than Oses growling and my startled yell, Finiuld pointed his garage door remote-looking thing at the Nobek. Oses was on the ground unconscious in an instant.
It occurred to me then that Finiuld apparently couldn’t use his knock-out gadget when he was phased. He had to be in line with our reality for it to take effect. I didn’t know what use that knowledge might have for us in the future, and I certainly didn’t have time to consider it right then. Finiuld disappeared for a moment and then showed up inside the enclosure.
I had a split second of wanting to go after the tiny bastard. Maybe it showed in my eyes, because Finiuld warned me, “I promise you he will die if you make one wrong move.”
I froze in place, almost too afraid to breathe for fear Finiuld would take it as a threat.
He smiled, apparently pleased that I wasn’t going to chance Oses’ life. “Take your fur off.”
My eyes widened. “You want me to be naked?” Meanwhile I was thinking, if this little freak thinks I’m having sex with him, he might as well kill both me and Oses right now. I’d go insane if Finiuld touched me that way.
Little Creep grinned. “Oh, most certainly you must be nude. I am having a party, and none of my guests have ever seen an Earther female up close. They’ll want to see everything.”
Something inside me shrank to hear Finiuld’s plans for me. What else would they want to do to me? Did Ofetuchans go for Earther women in a carnal sense? Would I be raped as part of Finiuld’s entertainment?
As I hesitated, the bastard got impatient with me. “Either disrobe and come with me now, or my guests will watch the Nobek die with you screaming for his life. They would enjoy it, too.”
What could I do? Hating that nasty little creature with all my heart and soul, I slipped my sheath off and stood shivering before Finiuld.
He looked me over, but not with a leer of someone who might want to force himself on a woman. It was more like someone who might be looking at a racehorse he owns to make sure it was being properly tended.
Apparently I passed muster, because Finiuld nodded. “I will be touching you now so we can pass through the walls. Your collar will allow it with no harm to you as long as you keep both arms at your sides and slide your feet along the floor without lifting them. Deviate, and the collar will activate. Do you understand?”
My mind flew a mile a minute. Here was something else to wonder at later, whether or not such contact might mean I could pound the little fucker into a grease spot on the floor. Temptation warred with prudence. I decided quickly that now was not the time to test it, not with Oses nearby and in danger.
Finiuld’s hand closed over my wrist. “Let’s go.”
I walked beside him as he’d told me to: arms tight against my sides, my feet shuffling across the ground, taking care not to lift them any more than I had to in order to move forward.
We went through the containment field and then kept going, walking straight at the small bit of wall between Lurb’s habitat and the forever-crying Plasian’s. It was hard not to balk as we approached the solid-looking barrier. I had to keep reminding myself we were phased and would pass through it without problem. That didn’t keep me from wincing and closing my eyes in anticipation of bumping my nose as we walked through the wall.
The silence of the menagerie was broken by tinkling laughter and the hum of conversation. My eyes opened again, and I found myself surrounded by more of Finiuld’s kind.
It was as if I’d been dropped in the middle of a psychotic leprechaun celebration. There were male and female Ofetuchans, at least two dozen of them. They all had that crazy spiked wiry hair like Finiuld’s, except in varying colors. Black hair, orange hair, fire-engine red hair, even fluorescent green hair. They were as tiny as my captor, no one taller than my hip. They had those black pit eyes and tombstone teeth. Ugly little fuckers. I had the sudden crazy vision of myself wearing cleats and punting them all through football goalposts. I damned near laughed out loud at the idea. That’s when I knew I was on the verge of hysteria. I was naked and about to be put on display for these nasty beings.
The floating platforms were everywhere, serving up drink and munchies, just like a party back on Earth. The Little Creep critters sat on mushroom seats or stood around talking. What sounded like thousands of fingernails dragging across chalkboards swirled in the background. I later figured out it was their version of music ... I think. Who the fuck knows?
The floor beneath my feet was soft, which I was to appreciate all too soon. It was a sickly pink color that clashed horribly with the Ofetuchans' clothing. They wore the most hectic colors, all in that shiny plastic-y material Finiuld always sported. Eye-searing greens and yellows and purples and teals – it gave me a headache. Finiuld’s choice of orange was particularly grotesque.
The men seemed to prefer the waistcoat look I’d grown used to seeing on Finiuld. The women wore ruffled blouses with split tails that reached to their ankles. Their real tails slithered from between those lengths of fabric. They also wore what I can best describe as tights that molded to their stumpy little legs.
They all looked like a nightmare. What I didn’t know was that things were going to get much worse.
I had the idea I would stand in the middle of the room where they could all walk around me, looking at my shivering body, and probably laughing at how odd I looked compared to them. Yeah, I would be the oddity in this hectic hell of ugly. I should have been so lucky.
We were still phased apparently, because no one noted my and Finiuld’s entrance. He was still holding my wrist, in fact, keeping me out of sight. He tugged on my arm.
“On your hands and knees, Shalia.”
I didn’t bother to think about it. There was no point but to do as I was told, so I got down as he commanded.
Finiuld stared me in the eye. “You will remain like this unless you are told to do otherwise. You will obey my guests, whatever their whims. You are nothing more than a toy to be played with. If you misbehave or cause trouble, I will give you no other warnings. Oses will die horribly. There are no more chances, no more mercy. Do you understand me?”
I could tell Little Creep wasn’t fucking around. He would kill Oses, feed him to the Tragooms. No matter what, I couldn’t let that happen. I had to get through whatever the party held for me. I nodded.
“Be sure you do.” Finiuld narrowed his glare for an instant. Then his face wreathed itself into a happy smile (which didn’t do a damned thing for his looks) and let me go. He stepped away and announced, “Behold the Earther female!”
The members of the freak show turned as one to settle their gazes upon me. My heart nearly stopped beating as I became the center of attention. Then the Ofetuchans surged forward to crowd around me.
I can’t go into detail about what happened that night. The one good thing – the only good thing – was that Finiuld’s race apparently doesn’t find Earthers appealing for sex. I was not raped. However, I was humiliated in that I was treated like an animal. I was accorded no acknowledgement as a thinking, feeling being. The Ofetuchans petted me like a dog at the best and pinched, swatted, and groped me like a mere curiosity at the worst. They took turns riding me around like a pony to great hilarity. They offered me bites of food. Obedient because I had to keep Oses safe, I tried to accept the unwanted morsels. The food was snatched away at the last second. It was my tormentors favorite game, and I had no choice but to play along.
They kept themselves amused with me for a long time. Hours went by, and I was given no rest. The final humiliation was being made a serving tray. I was forced to remain on my hands and knees as my back was used as a table. Pinches and tickling were delivered on occasion to make me jerk and the contents I supported spill. I was chastised for being a clumsy bit of garbage, my backside paddled by hard little hands. Then I was loaded up with more drinks and food until someone else decided it would be fun to make me jump.
I did my best to distract myself by taking in my surroundings and listening to conversation. I was surprised to learn the collar also served as a kind of interpreting device. The Ofetuchans spoke, and I heard what they said in my language through the collar.
As I said, I gave my surroundings as much attention as I could, hoping for some clue of a way out. The room had no doors. Beings that phase themselves on a regular basis apparently have no need for such. Escape was going to be harder to make happen based on that alone, I thought.
Finiuld stayed nearby, no doubt to keep an eye on me. He had no problem with his guests delivering petty abuse to me, so it must have been to keep me in line. I heard a bunch of inane conversation as his friends congratulated him on acquiring me right under the protective Kalquorians’ noses. He preened under the accolades, offering advice on how others might add to their collections. I crouched, the Earther serving tray, dreaming of punching every one of Finiuld’s big teeth out of his mouth and wished the nightmare would get over with.
However, one line of conversation perked my ears up. A black-haired Little Creep asked the resident Little Creep, “You say extreme emotion makes the Earther capable of escaping our voices. She is still susceptible to the pain collar?”
“Perfectly. Once I had it on her, it worked as well as it does on the rest of my stock.”
“Just make sure your navigation program and crew keep you far from those pulsars. I would hate to hear you were killed by one of your animals because of a power failure. Oshesy’s stable caused quite a bit of havoc once they killed him and figured out how to use his phasing unit.”
“Poor bastard. His timing couldn’t have been worse, caught in the Adraf’s containment when that happened.”
My heart pounded with excitement. So the Ofetuchans could be overcome ... if chance was kind. I had little faith in chance, but a ton of faith in a certain Nobek who knew how to make his own luck. I could hardly wait to get back to my cell to tell Oses what I’d heard.
Unfortunately, the party dragged on for hours. I thought it must have gone on for an entire day. Or maybe that’s just the way it felt. By the time Finiuld took me back to the habitat, I was shaking from exhaustion.