Author's note: I write stories with a bondage slant, not bondage scenes spliced together with a little bit of story. If you want nothing but descriptions of sex with whips and chains, then I am not the author for you.
THE PLANET ERICPOTSDAM, Early 24th CENTURY A.C.
The Story of Sindrelaine deta Lensering
In this story, we learn: Who was Sindrelaine deta Lensering? How did she become enslaved? How was she treated while she was a slave? What did she do? What effects did her actions during her slavery have on the society in which she lived?
At the Time of the Great Plagues, terraforming teams had successfully launched an Earth-type ecology on the land areas of planet CBQ 4960, which its colonists were about to name Ericpotsdam.
The terraforming teams' biggest initial assets had been a rich native ecology that filled the oceans and seas with plant life, and a lack of land-based life forms. The marine life had created large amounts of free oxygen and produced something uncommon, a breathable atmosphere, somewhat lower in surface pressure but higher in oxygen concentration than the air of Earth. This oxygen had been released quite recently, as geologists measure time. Land-based life forms had not had the opportunity to evolve. So the imported ecology on the land did not have to face local rival life forms.
The terraformers had started with mosses and lichens, which could survive without soil by clinging to rocks and mud. They added additional life forms step by step. After a bit more than two hundred years, the area around the primary gate was ready for colonists to begin farming, with grasses and trees and birds and animals and the other ingredients of a terrestial ecology all well established.
And then a terrible convulsion occurred on Earth. Several very nasty plagues got loose from a military bioweapons facility during a revolution. These plagues swept through all of Earth's population, not just that of the small nation where the bioweapons were being designed. Sooner or later almost everybody spent some time feeling too ill to care for themselves. Over a billion people died.
As the plagues spread, few people were paying attention to the followers of the Philosophy of Eric Potsdam. These followers were living in a small town in Iowa under the leadership of Moses Potsdam, Eric's son. Moses knew that a nearby university was responsible for terraforming planet CBQ 4960, and that this planet had been readied for colonization as soon as the relevant government bureaucracies could be persuaded to grant permission. Moses Potsdam had hoped to move his followers to a distant corner of the planet, where they could live with minimum outside interference. But when the plague epidemics reached North America, Moses led his people in the hijacking of all of CBQ 4960. His people transferred to the planet, and then they demolished the warp gates that were the only access, cutting themselves off from Earth to guarantee their own way of life and to avoid the plagues.
Thousands of years went by. The people spread out over the habitable areas of the planet. Languages and governments and cultures changed. But the people of the planet held firm to the tenets of Eric Potsdam and to the way of life inspired by those tenets.
That way of life was built on three fundamental ideas:
-- Everything in moderation, including progress. Most changes since about the year 1900 were not progress. Change was usually deterioration, not progress, and it should be feared since it would probably make people unhappy.
-- People need real work, important work that needs to be done, in order to be happy. Computers steal work.
-- Men are happiest when they are in charge of their women. Women are happiest when they are under the control of their men.
And so the followers of Eric Potsdam established a way of life based on his version of an ideal society in the year 1900, before computers took over so many jobs and left so many people with no real work to do. And unlike Earth in the year 1900, female slavery was an accepted part of Eric Potsdam's ideal lifestyle.
Introduction: Who Was Sindrelaine?
The Noble Lady Sindrelaine deta Lensering was born in the year 2290 AC (After Colonization of the planet) in Vegonyn City, the capital of the Vegonyn Empire. As her name and title indicate, she was born into one of the more senior "detayana" aristocratic families. She had a happy and privileged childhood.
She grew into a strikingly beautiful teen-ager. She was a blue-eyed blonde, just over 1.65 meters tall, with a very good figure and a radiant smile. As a noblewoman, she wore a doublet ring engraved with the crest of her family on the last two fingers of her right hand. Between the impact of her smile and the reaction of most people to that ring, she had little trouble getting what she wanted from life. But she didn't use these tools to slide through life the easy way. She was a good and hard-working student. She was of course fluent in her native Vegonesi; she also became competent in High Turian and in Yeremeni, two of the other languages of the sprawling Vegonyn Empire. She also studied Ancient English, the language spoken by most of the original settlers and the common ancestor of all of the languages spoken on Ericpotsdam.
For her eighteenth birthday, Sindrelaine wanted only one present: a round-trip train ticket to visit her older brother Laresh and his wife. Laresh was a lieutenant in the Imperial Navy, stationed at Port Esfollk in the easternmost province of the Empire.
Sindrelaine's parents were nervous about allowing her to go; rebellion was beginning to stir in the outlying provinces. Her father in particular thought that the regime in power was badly mishandling the situation and making things worse. Unfortunately he was in the minority political party and had little influence. Up to that point, however, most of the rebelliousness had been concentrated in the south. The railroad lines between Vegonyn City and Port Esfollk hadn't been affected yet, although there had been disturbances in some of the towns along the way. So in the end he bought his daughter the ticket.
The train ride east took four days, including an overnight stopover in the rail-junction city of Catrie. Sindrelaine had never stayed in a hotel by herself before, never changed trains in a city away from home on her own before, never traveled more than one night in a train before. She was aware every time a new steam locomotive took over, because each one had a whistle that sang at a different pitch. She hummed little tunes to herself, harmonizing with the whistles and taking their rhythm from the clickety-clack of the hardened aluminum-alloy wheels on the expansion joints in the hardened alloy rails. (Iron was relatively scarce on Ericpotsdam, so steel was valuable and was used only where it was really needed.)
It all seemed like a great adventure. She arrived safely at Port Esfollk and spent a month visiting Laresh and his wife. Later in life, she looked back at that month as the last of her childhood.
The journey back to Vegonyn City would take much longer.
Chapter One: Capture
Rebel bandits pounced on the railroad during the first night of Sindrelaine's return journey. They captured a signal tower, which allowed them to stop her train with a red signal. Teams of bandits swarmed onto the train the moment it stopped.
The bandits had learned that a shipment of gold would be on that train, gold that could be used to buy supplies for the rebellion. But there was no gold shipment; the bandit's information was wrong. The bandits stole watches, and wallets, and pocketbooks, but it all amounted to chicken feed when compared with the loot that they had expected.
And then one of the bandits noticed Sindrelaine's doublet ring. He shouted "Hey Skipper! This one's a deta Lensering!"
The bandit boss came over and checked her out. He asked "How are you related to Rolant deta Lensering?" He knew that Rolant was the head of the family.
Sindrelaine answered quite honestly, "He's my father."
"Well, well, well. There is an item worth ten million Imperials of gold on this train after all. Tie her up and we'll pack her along."
Sindrelaine looked desperately around for a way to escape, but none was available. She was standing in the aisle of a railway passenger car with bandits in front of her and behind her.
The bandits had come prepared with ropes and sacks for handling gold bars, other valuables, and anyone who tried to interfere with their raid. Within moments Sindrelaine's wrists were lashed together behind her back, her ankles were roped together, and a sack had been pulled over her head and tied as a totally effective blindfold. One of the bandits picked her up and tossed her over his shoulder.
"Raiders off! We're clearing out!" The bandits swiftly left the train and mounted their horses. Sindrelaine was tossed across the back of a spare horse that had been brought along to carry gold, and the bandit gang rode off.
Soon afterward, her father Rolant got a ransom-demand letter. There was an enclosed photograph of Sindrelaine, kneeling in the corner of a stone-walled cell. She was looking up at her captors through the bars of the cell door with her hands behind her back and an anxious expression on her face. The bandits wanted ten million Imperials, in gold, or they threatened to gang-rape and kill her.
* * *
The Lensering family controlled a fortune worth far more than ten million Imperials, especially when allowance was made for the recent financial inflation in the Empire. But the Lensering family didn't have ten million in cash. Their fortune was mostly in land, and cattle, and partnerships in railroads and aluminum foundries. Their holdings even included a steel mill.
Rolant went to several banks looking for mortgage loans. They all turned him down. A banker who was also a friend explained that the banks had government orders not to loan any money to the Lenserings. So Rolant made an appointment with the prime minister.
He got no satisfaction. The reply was "I'm sorry. If I let you ransom your daughter, the money will be spent on weapons that kill other fathers' children, and I will have those fathers complaining to me and those children on my conscience. Besides, if we let the kidnappers succeed once, soon they will try again. After that any Vegonesi aristocrat would need a squad of bodyguards in order to travel. I wish there were a better way, but there isn't. Your daughter will just have to take her chances. I hope she survives."
So Rolant wrote back to the kidnappers pleading for his daughter's life. He explained why the ransom they were demanding was impossible. He pointed out that the emperor's forces had never murdered any women associated with the rebellion; he hoped that the rebels would not escalate the violence and start murdering helpless opponents. And he offered a token ransom of fifty thousand Imperials, which he could easily raise in cash.
* * *
And so the question for the kidnappers became "What do we do with Sindrelaine?" They got together for a meeting, over too many rounds of drinks. Sindrelaine wasn't asked for her opinions, of course. She had been brought from her usual cell so that she could hear her fate discussed. She was still fully clothed in the light gray dress she had worn for traveling. The dress had a close-fitting neckline and a calf-length skirt, befitting her status as a young Imperial noblewoman, but it had become rather rumpled and dirty since her kidnapping. Her captors were taking no chances that she would escape. Her hands were tied behind her back, her head was once again in a sack, and a two-meter chain anchored a cuff on her ankle to the wall.
Sindrelaine listened closely, anxious to learn what would happen to her. The conversation went about like this:
"We can't rape and kill her. She's too pretty. Wiping out that kind of beauty would be a Godawful shame."
"You aren't suggesting that we should just turn her loose, are you?"
"Hell, no! Look what the Imperial bastards did to the wives and daughters of the First Rebel Company in Agiyayta. They put them on the block and sold them into slavery."
"We're not supposed to escalate our campaign, according to that bastard Rolant's letter. But enslaving his daughter won't be an escalation. Not after what happened in Agiyayta. Let's let that bastard have a dose of his own medicine."
"Yeah. Besides, that offer of a 50,000-Imperial ransom is an insult. We could probably get more for her by enslaving and selling her."
"But the bastards could hold an open sale, in public, all perfectly legal as far as they were concerned. If we tried that in any public space, we'd be arrested before we could collect our money for selling her, and she'd be rescued. Remember, we're still bandits. In a good cause, but still bandits."
"We could keep her for ourselves. Pass her around. Personally, I would love to be the one that draws the long straw and gets to bed her first."
"Yeahh!! Me too."
"We can't all be first. And we shouldn't be choosing places by drawing straws."
"Why the hell not!? That would be fair."
"Who the hell cares about fair!? Having her should be the prize for heroic conduct in this outfit. Maybe even in other outfits; we could loan her out. When we've won the war, everybody who's had her gets a medal with her picture. That would be worth more than an official Gold Shield for Heroism or a promotion in the nobility."
"So we just let her rest, between heroic actions by this troop? Let's face it, there's a lot of routine training and a lot of hanging around doing nothing involved in fighting a war."
"Who decides that somebody is heroic enough to take her to bed? If we draw straws . . ."
"WE AREN'T DRAWING STRAWS!!!"
"What then? High card, with you stacking the deck so you can win?"
"I DON'T CHEAT AT CARDS!! At least, not with you guys."
"Oh yeah? I still owe you forty-five silver deka from last week, and I don't think that my luck or my play was really that bad."
"We're supposed to be discussing Sindrelaine, and . . . "
"And a wimp like you knows that you wouldn't stand a chance with her unless we choose who gets her by drawing straws."
"Who are you calling a wimp?"
"Sit down, Charley. This is supposed to be a meeting, not a brawl."
"Does it make that much difference who gets her first? I mean, if it's done fair, all of us will get her eventually."
"Who wants to be ninety-third? That would take about three months, if we each get one night. Would you really want to stick your pecker in where ninety-two other guys have already been?"
"Besides, she's pretty because she's got a fire inside. If we treat her like that, we'll put her fire out, and by pecker number ninety-three, she may be suicidal."
"And we don't want to do that. Like I said at the beginning, it would be a Godawful shame if she died."
"So we should keep her for people who have done heroic acts, and . . . "
"And you are planning to nominate yourself as a high-class hero."
"Are you calling me a coward!?"
"No, but you just admitted you know how to cheat at cards."
"I NEVER --"
"Drawing straws would --"
"GENTLEMEN!!" That was The Skipper, the boss of the unit. Everybody shut up and turned to hear what he had to say:
"One thing has become quite clear. If we keep Sindrelaine for ourselves, she will be a cause of discord that could rip this outfit apart. We have the best rebel outfit in this part of the Empire. Sindrelaine could contribute quite a lot to her bastard family's bastard Imperial cause if she managed to rip this outfit apart. So we can't keep her.
"Besides, if we kept her, we will become individually and collectively Target Number One for the Imperial Army and the Imperial Police. None of us could dare go home again, even after we win the war. The Imperial bastards would send assassination squads after us.
"We aren't going to kill her. That would just be a perfect excuse for that bastard Rolant's friends to start killing Tureyan-culture women whenever they felt like it.
"But we aren't going to turn her loose, either. Not after what happened in Agiyayta.
"I like the idea of giving her to somebody who has done heroic things for the rebel cause. I don't think that any of us have been heroic enough, and that includes myself. But I can think of somebody who is that heroic, and I don't think that anybody here will argue with me on that. And he is already Target Number One for the Emperor's government, so he wouldn't have anything new to worry about.
"Let's give her to Tollis deta Sia."
Chapter Two: The Gift (Sindrelaine)
For over an hour, Sindrelaine had been kneeling on a thin rug at the foot of a bed in a rebel safe house somewhere in the west-central Vegonyn Empire. Her knees were a bit sore, but there wasn't much that she could do about it. Her hands were chained in snug metal cuffs behind her back. Her ankles were locked in the ten-centimeter-wide cuffs of an angle brace, which simultaneously kept her feet together and her knees apart. Her wrist cuffs were chained to the angle brace, so that she could not rise from her kneeling position. A leather blindfold was buckled around her head, with soft pads on the inside which ensured that she could see nothing. Her mouth was gagged, with a broad pad across her lips, a 5-mm pin poking into her mouth, a stuffed leather ball on the end of the pad filling the space between lips and throat, and leather straps around the back of her head holding the entire assembly firmly in place.
Her paired honors sash and her golden doublet ring, the symbols of noble rank, were long gone. Instead there was a 20-mm-wide gray steel collar around her neck. The collar was hammer-punched "Property of Tollis deta Sia". Her captors had shown her the lettering before the collar was locked on.
In addition to her restraints and collar, Sindrelaine wore only a bikini-styled red top that supported a sort of upper skirt which reached her waist, and an equally red miniskirt that would reach mid-thigh, if she were standing. Both skirts were semi-transparent. She was barefoot. Her long blond hair had been pulled into a ponytail which poked out between her blindfold and gag straps.
She could only wait, and worry, and wonder. Tollis deta Sia had a nasty reputation. A fair number of Imperial soldiers and policemen had been killed by his actions. She had no way to protect herself and nobody to help her. If he wished to mistreat her, Sindrelaine's life would be nasty, brutish, and short.
With her eyes securely blindfolded, she had to depend on listening to learn about her surroundings. Her first clue that something was happening was the click of the door lock and a gentle squeak of door hinges.
Then - WHAM-Thud! Bumblety-bumblety bam! These sounds were followed by words in a tenor voice that sounded like mild cursing, but Sindrelaine could not understand them. She thought that that was one heck of an entrance.
Then came the click of the door closing and locking, followed by footsteps around the room and most of the way around her. There were more words, apparently in a language that Sindrelaine did not know. She made the reasonable guess that the language was Lovanter. The initial tone of voice sounded like enthusiastic appreciation for a pretty slave girl. Then the tone changed as the tenor voice gave: a command!
Sindrelaine was confused. Was the intonation of the Lovanter language so different from Vegonesi that a simple statement in Lovanter could sound like a command to her? And if it really was a command, what could the owner of that voice be ordering her to do, confined as she was? After all, the only joint in her body that she could move freely was her neck.
Her neck . . . In a moment of inspiration, Sindrelaine tipped her head forward as if she could look at the floor through her blindfold.
The tenor voice said something that sounded like criticism, but Sindrelaine had apparently guessed right. She felt strong fingers working on the back of her head, and then her blindfold dropped away.
The voice gave another command, which might reasonably be either Head Up!, or Keep Your Head Down! A wrong guess would probably mean punishment. Sindrelaine paused, then started to bring her head up slowly, awaiting feedback from her new owner. The strong fingers grabbed a tuft of hair at the front of her scalp and pulled hard up and back; that hurt! The voice said something angry.
Sindrelaine found that she was looking up from very close distance at the face of an annoyed man. She also discovered that in her opinion, Tollis deta Sia was one of the handsomest men she had ever seen, despite his annoyed expression. He was tall, dark-haired, well-built, wearing the black uniform of a Railway Inspector, with white piping and buttons and a pale gray honors sash hanging straight down from the anchor strap on the left shoulder of his jacket. The sash was tucked under his white belt. Sindrelaine had the rather irrelevant thought that that uniform would be good cover for a spy and saboteur. Railway inspectors travel often, and the honors sash would be good camouflage for a shoulder holster.
Tollis smiled encouragingly. He said something wheedling. Then he gave: a command! Sindrelaine realized that she had learned her first phrase of Lovanter, although she had heard it only once before. The phrase was "Head down, slave girl!" So she followed that order.
Tollis said something approving. He reached to the back of her head again, and unbuckled her gag. His hands slid along the gag straps and caressed her cheeks. He pulled the gag pad gently but firmly downward. Sindrelaine braced her neck muscles, and the gag popped out of her month. Her jaw was stiff from long-term gag wearing. She exercised her jaw to work the stiffness out.
Tollis gave another order. Sindrelaine answered "I would follow your orders, Master, if only I could understand them." She didn't move.
There was a long moment of silence in the room.
Chapter Two, again: The Gift (Tollis)
At that time the Imperial government was stubbornly pushing hard for all of the residents of its polyglot realm to learn, use, and standardize on living in the Vegonesi language and culture. Tollis deta Sia was a firm believer in the right of the Tureyan-culture citizens living in the Empire to maintain their own ways of life. Imperial policy could not be shifted by peaceful petitions or non-violent demonstrations. Tollis had therefore accepted the need to use violence to prevent the slow destruction of his society.
Others had reached the same conclusion before him. The rebellion actually began in the south, in Lovant, perhaps because the need was greater there. On the other side of the Tureyan Channel to the north of Vegonyn, the Kingdom of Danitz was the center of the Tureyan culture, and High Tureyan was the standard language over there. Tureyan would not be abolished even if the Vegonyn Empire became uniformly Vegonesi. But Lovanter culture and the Lovanter language existed only in the Imperial province of Lovant. To keep their culture alive, Lovanters would have to fight.
Tollis deta Sia had wrecked one train carrying a regiment of Vegonesi SWAT Police bound on an enforcement mission. He had assassinated one of the nastier and more thick-headed Imperial governors. He had committed several other acts of mischief, and his name had been associated with several bombs that exploded in Vegonesi neighborhoods in cities along the northern coast, although Tollis hadn't actually been involved in any of those bombings. He thought that bombings were counterproductive and just invited massacres of his own people in retaliation. But the reputation followed him anyway. To the Imperial government, he was Public Enemy Number One.
The flames of rebellion were about to burn brighter. Tollis had just spent all day negotiating with Leonhard Berine, one of the top leaders of the Lovanter rebellion. Months before, Tollis had arranged for weapons, ammunition, and related military supplies to be smuggled across the Tureyan Channel from Danitz to the rebels along the northern coastline. A new deal had just been concluded; the Lovanters would be supplied with Danitzer arms via the North Coast Tureyans.
The negotiations had been long and difficult. Tollis had left the Tureyan-culture shoreline towns where he was most comfortable in order to close this deal, and he was worried about the risk of capture and arrest in this unfamiliar territory. With all this stress, he was thoroughly tired. He shook hands with Leonhard Berine and drank one glass of wine to mark the closing of the deal. And then he headed straight to bed.
He opened the door of the bedroom that had been assigned to him. A sexy-looking slave girl was kneeling at the foot of the bed. He had had no warning of this.
When the authorities list you as Public Enemy Number One, and you wish to stay alive, then you must learn to react swiftly when surprises occur. Tollis acted instantly on the assumption that the slave girl was there as a distraction to hold his attention while an assassin pounced. He threw his weight against the door of the room, which slammed against the wall (WHAM!). He dropped to the floor in case the assassin would be shooting through the window (Thud!). He drew his pistol, rolled across the floor, and scrambled back up again against a wall (Bumblety-bumblety bam!). With the wall behind him to cover his back, he scanned the room looking for threats.
There was no assassin hiding behind the door or anywhere else in the room. Tollis took another look around and said "Oh Rats!". A moment's thought convinced him that assassination was unlikely in the house where he was staying. Leonhard Berine's people controlled the surrounding area. Tollis holstered his pistol.
Tollis went over to the dresser to check out a wooden box on the top that hadn't been there before. The inside was divided into compartments for holding chains, and cuffs, and gags, and similar supplies for keeping slave girls captive. Some of the compartments were empty, presumably because the slave girl was wearing the items which would be stored there.
The girl deserved a closer look. She was chained effectively helpless. She had blonde hair and an excellent figure. Her face would probably be pretty also, although he couldn't be certain. Too much of it was hidden under a blindfold and a gag. She seemed to be tense, but that was a reasonable reaction to being placed at the mercy of a total stranger. Tollis looked more closely at her collar: "Property of Tollis deta Sia".
He said "Apparently somebody is giving me a very nice present. A very nice present indeed. I suppose that I should unwrap that present so I can take a closer look. So, head down, slave girl!"
For a long moment there was no reaction. As Tollis reached for her, she suddenly lowered her head. He said "If you are going to be my slave girl, you will have to learn to respond to orders faster than that." Then he unbuckled her blindfold and said "OK, Slave Girl, Head up!"
Again there was no immediate reaction to his order, and he had just told her she should respond quickly. He couldn't allow their relationship to start without punishing this kind of direct disobedience. So he grabbed a tuft of her hair and pulled her head back and up, hard. She gave a grunt of pain around her gag, and he said "I told you you have to learn to respond to orders quickly!"
He found that he was looking down into a pair of the biggest, bluest, scaredest eyes that he had ever seen.
He didn't want a disobedient slave, but he didn't want a terrified slave either. He smiled, and said "Come on. I'm not that hard to live with. All you need to do is obey my orders promptly and efficiently. You can manage that, can't you?
"Let's try again. Head down, slave girl." This time her head went down immediately. He added "That's better", and he unbuckled her gag, and gently but firmly pulled it out of her mouth.
He paused for a few moments while she worked the kinks out of her jaw, then ordered "Head up again!"
She answered "I would follow your orders, Master, if only I could understand them." She spoke Vegonesi, with an upper-class Vegonyn-City accent.
There was a long moment of silence in the room.
Chapter Two: The Gift (Conclusion)
Tollis switched from Lovanter to Vegonesi, and said "I'm sorry about the hair pull. That was a punishment for not obeying my order quickly, but it isn't really fair of me to punish you for an order that you cannot understand." After a moment, he added "I just told you to bring your head up." Sindrelaine followed that order immediately.
She realized that her new owner was thinking of her as a person and not just as a live sex doll. He was actually willing to apologize to a slave girl who was completely in his power. And he was, after all, a really handsome dude.
She was kneeling with shackles on her wrists and on her ankles. Now she realized that Tollis was putting a shackle around her heart. If she could put a shackle around his heart also, then she would be safe.
He asked "Who are you, anyway?"
She answered "I am Master's slave, now. My born name was Sindrelaine deta Lensering."
He smacked his head and said "Of course. I've heard about your kidnapping. Now that you are my slave, you will need a slave name. I will call you Sindrie."
And she replied "Yes Master, I am Sindrie."
Tollis knew that he would probably be initiating a virgin as soon as he learned Sindrie's born name. He did not wish to hurt her. Depending on how he treated her over the next few hours she would either enjoy sex, or else just put up with the demands of men, for the rest of her life. He had to get it right, for her sake. And at the same time, he realized that sex with such a beautiful young woman would be fantastic fun for him if she enjoyed it. So he began slowly and carefully.
He picked her up in his strong arms and transferred her to the bed, still kneeling, facing the headboard. He sat in front of her, and gripped her shoulders, and kissed her very gently, using hardly any pressure at all. Then he kissed her harder, and then he picked her up and placed her facing him on his lap with her knees on either side of his waist. He wrapped an arm around her waist, hugged her tightly, and kissed her harder still. He said "Open your lips" before he kissed her one more time. And then he began a gentle caressing massage, starting of the tops of her shoulders and working slowly toward the more sensitive parts of her body.
Sindrie realized that being chained actually helped her to enjoy herself. She did not have to worry about morality or propriety or whether or not she was doing it right.
Eventually the signs of her arousal were obvious. Tollis set her down and went over to the box of confinement gear on the dresser, where he picked out the equipment he would need to hold her in a spread-eagle position. Soon he had her stretched on the bed, naked and never entirely free of chains during the entire process of shifting her position. And then he began again with gentle kisses and caresses of her shoulders.
In later years, when talking about the night they met, she said on more than one occasion that she had had little choice about what had happened to her during the next few hours in that bed on that night. The loss of her virginity was inevitable. But she had enjoyed herself all the more because she was chained, with no control over what was happening. And as far as she was concerned, despite the chains Tollis had never - never, ever - raped her.
Chapter Three: A Developing Relationship
Four months later
It was fortunate for Sindrie that she had been a good student of High Tureyan during her school years. She was usually left behind when Tollis went to carry out some sort of mischief against Imperial authority, and the people around her on those occasions almost always spoke High Tureyan much better than they did Vegonesi. They treated her well if she contributed, so she worked as a kitchen slave, as a cleaning slave, and as a slave nurse to anybody who was wounded. She was usually kept chained to something solid, because nobody wanted to explain to Tollis that she had been allowed to escape. The slave-owning society in which she lived provided many good attachment points in their buildings.
She wasn't always kept in the same place, of course. The North Coast Resistance was still an underground movement. A leader like Tollis had to shift hiding places constantly in order to stay at least one jump ahead of the authorities. The Imperial authorities got very close, once or twice.
The closest calls came in rapid sequence about four months after Tollis accepted and named Sindrie. Tollis was eating supper with about a dozen other rebels in the dimly-lit basement of a safe house in Villton. Sindrie was kneeling by Tollis' side, barefoot, wearing a sleeveless mid-thigh-length slave dress and handcuffs behind her back. Her dress was made from light-tan unbleached sea-cotton, spun from the fibers of a seaweed that was native to the planet Ericpotsdam. Tollis was feeding her one bite at a time. Suddenly the lookout that they had posted in an upstairs window burst into the room and announced "Two lanterns in the bell tower of the New South Church!" That was an agreed-on warning signal. A detachment of Imperial Police had been spotted leaving a train at Villton Central Station and heading into the Old City. The safe house would probably be searched very soon.
The warning triggered a beehive of activity every bit as vigorous as if an actual beehive had been tossed onto the table. Tollis ordered "Take your plates upstairs and stack them in the kitchen", where they could be washed to destroy the evidence of an illegal gathering. Rebels who lived in the town headed for their homes, so that they could pretend to have been there all evening long. Tollis and the other rebels from out of town prepared to scatter in a variety of directions.
Tollis did not want to leave anything incriminating in the house, so he grabbed what he could and stuffed it all into the false bottom of a wheeled trunk. He replaced Sindrie's "Property of Tollis deta Sia" collar with one that did not proclaim his identity, chained her collar to the trunk with about two meters of chain, left the safe house, and boarded a trolley car that was en route toward Villton West Junction Station. That station was the terminus of the Villton and West Hargen Railway. The management and employees of that line were almost all of Tureyan culture. If they were questioned by Imperial authorities, Tollis could be confident that they would all deliberately forget seeing him get on or off a train.
The Imperial Police had foreseen the possibility of rebels escaping on that line. Fortunately for Tollis, the Imperial search team had arrived in town on an express that did not stop at Villton West Junction. The detachment that was assigned to that station had to double back on a local. Tollis and Sindrie reached the station and boarded an outbound train just before the police arrived.
Unfortunately the train was not scheduled to leave for another twenty minutes. Tollis and Sindrie were seated in a four-person compartment on a passenger car with two total strangers when a policeman stuck his head in the compartment door and announced "General Search! Papers!" The cop looked around the compartment and aimed a wicked leer at Sindrie. Sindrie shifted closer to Tollis, moving instinctively toward his protection; the cop had a predatory look in his eye. She was still handcuffed, and still chained to the trunk that was now on a shelf over her head. She felt very vulnerable.
The cop decided to save the search of the delicious-looking slave girl in this compartment until last. He started with the two other people who were strangers to Tollis and Sindrie. "Stand up! Give me your papers! Turn to the window, and grab the window frame while I search you! Why are you traveling? When and where was this ID issued? When and where were you born? Where do you live?" He checked the spoken answers against the information in the ID, and eventually said "Siddown. OK, you! Stand up! Give me your papers! Turn to the window . . . . "
Sindrie did a slow burn, but she contained her anger well. She had never met such a rude policeman before in her life. Of course on previous meetings with policemen, she had always been the Noble Lady Sindrelaine. Seeing how Imperial Policemen could treat ordinary people was a revelation to her.
Then it was Tollis' turn. "Stand up! Give me your papers! Turn to the window, and grab the window frame while I search you!" Tollis was not carrying anything incriminating on his person, so the body search revealed nothing.
"Why are you traveling?"
"On business. I am a fish oil buyer for a distributor in Hargen." Of course Tollis was carrying a phony ID and business cards to prove that claim.
"Is this your slave girl? Why is she along?"
"Uhmmm . . . It's very very pleasant to have her around, especially at night in a hotel room. If you see what I mean."
"Do you have an ID for her?"
"It's with the papers I gave you already."
The cop looked through the papers and said "Siddown! You, slave girl, stand up!" He checked the collar she was wearing; it was engraved "Sannford Lannenn's Slave Girl", which matched the ID paperwork that Tollis had handed him.
He ordered "Face the window! Stand still while I search you!" Sindrie was wearing just a slave dress, and handcuffs, and a collar, and sandals. A search should have taken about fifteen seconds. But for some reason, the cop seemed to think that Sindrie's breasts needed an extra-thorough massaging inspection, which took about a minute. Sindrie couldn't fight back. She concentrated on not screaming in anger.
The cop moved on to her crotch and her body below the waist. His hands began an equally detailed inspection there. At that moment a police lieutenant stuck his head into the compartment and said "Officer Charlow! You are supposed to be working, not playing with other people's slave girls! Now, leave her alone, and come along! We have to inspect the train that just arrived on the next track. Move it, now!"
And so Officer Charlow followed his lieutenant off of the train. He never did search "Sannford Lannen's" trunk, as he should have been doing when the lieutenant intervened. He never did find the bomb detonators, or the pistols and submachine gun, or the collar engraved "Property of Tollis deta Sia", all of which were in the false bottom of that trunk. He missed the chance for the arrest of his career in favor of feeling up a slave girl. And the girl, who could have become a Noble Lady aristocrat once again, remained a slave girl instead.
Sindrie stood in the compartment for a few moments feeling confused. The entire interrogation and search had been handled in High Tureyan, the language of her life as a slave. But the lieutenant had spoken to Officer Charlow in Vegonesi, the language of her childhood and her nobility. She thought for a moment about shouting "Hey, I'm Sindrelaine deta Lensering", at the policemen, but they were gone before she could reorganize her thoughts. Besides, that would mean betraying Tollis, who would probably be executed. She didn't like that idea at all.
And she liked the idea of what had been done to her even less. She sat down beside Tollis and said "Dirty rotten bastard!", in Vegonesi.
Tollis answered "Thank you, Sindrie. I love you too."
Sindrie didn't follow the connection between what she said and what he had just said at all. After a moment, she turned and looked at him with a shocked expression. Had he really said he loved her?
He said "Yes, that dirty rotten bastard was a dirty rotten bastard. Now you understand better why there is a rebellion in progress."
She kept on staring at him, and he added "You are a woman of the enemy. I could have been a dirty rotten bastard to you, too. Now I'm very glad I wasn't. You would probably have picked him over me, and I would be under arrest now. So thank you, Sindrie. I love you too."
Sindrie said "I think that I just committed high treason."
Tollis replied "Based on not turning me in? Nobody would convict you. Not when you were wearing my cuffs, locked in my chains, open for me to strangle, after I killed the dirty rotten bastard cop. Not that I would ever really hurt you, but the judges in an Imperial courtroom would never believe that. Besides, if you had said anything, you would be supporting dirty rotten bastardly behavior by Imperial cops. That wouldn't be good for the Empire, no matter what the jerk who calls himself Prime Minister thinks. The revolt would fade away inside a month if those bums would show some respect for people who aren't Vegonesi."
"So it would have been OK for me to turn you in to a nice Imperial cop?"
"You would have been tempted. I'll try to see that you never get the opportunity." Tollis leaned over and gave Sindrie a gentle kiss. He added "I do love you, too." Sindrie admitted to herself that she felt much safer with him, wearing his chains, than she would have felt if she had been free and surrounded by Imperial cops with nasty dispositions.
The whistle of their train gave two short toots. The train began to roll toward the Tureyan-culture town of Hargen and away from the Imperial search squads in Villton, moving with the characteristic surge-surge-surge-surge start of a heavily-loaded steam locomotive. Sindrie never did get another chance to turn Tollis over to the cops.
Eight Months After That
The rebellion prospered. Many North Coast towns became so dangerous for Imperial Police that they did not dare enter unless at least a dozen of them were together. And even in such large numbers, a Police troop might lose a few members to bullets from well-hidden snipers. Imperial authority in these towns was being entirely destroyed. The North Coast Resistance began to organize its own peace officers and courts to keep order in the towns under their control. The rebels also established schools, where children could be taught in High Tureyan, instead of accepting the Imperial policy that all education must be in Vegonesi.
Imperial authority might have been restored, but only if the policy of suppressing non-Vegonesi cultures had been cancelled. Sufficient forces to enforce the suppression policy were not available. The Imperial Army could have been mobilized, but the Prime Minister thought that that would be too expensive. Besides, many of the generals did not favor the Prime Minister's policy of stamping out other cultures and making everybody do everything the Vegonesi way. The Prime Minister did not think that Army units would be sufficiently stern about punishing non-Vegonesi actions.
The rising fury of the rebellion along the North Coast and in Lovant stretched Imperial Police resources very thin. The stubbornness of the rebels forced the police to be harsh. The resulting arrests, and interrogations, and trials in kangaroo courts, and severe sentences, soon taught most people to hate the Imperial Police. The rebellion recruited more members and became more organized. Rebel bands became platoons, which were organized into companies, regiments, and brigades.
The safe houses where Tollis stayed became very safe, although he still couldn't settle down in one place very long. Sindrie was still kept with him, of course. She was still kept chained to a secure anchor point whenever he wasn't around, and often when he was. She continued to work as a slave cook, as a slave nurse, and as a slave cleaning woman.
Tollis was becoming much too valuable as an administrator, organizer, and planner to be risked very often as a front-line attacker. As an administrator, he was able to spend more of his time with Sindrie than he could when he was still primarily an active saboteur. He returned from his organizing and planning meetings almost every night. She spent some nights chained spread-eagle by his side. On other nights she was chained to the bed by just one ankle or by a chain locked on her collar. When that happened, she committed passion on him instead of the other way around.
One evening she was working as a kitchen slave, peeling potatoes for a meal for a rebel platoon. A chain secured one ankle to a ring in the middle of the kitchen floor. She was wearing a typical sea-cotton slave work dress, sleeveless with a mid-thigh-length skirt. She expected to finish the large pile of unpeeled potatoes and then be ordered to handle some other part of preparing the meal.
Instead, two men entered the kitchen. They were dressed in army-style uniforms that were obviously of Danitzer design, but with North Coast Resistance unit patches and brass badges. One of the men wore sergeant's stripes; he gave a piece of paper to the chief cook, and another one to Sindrie.
Sindrie read a note in Tollis's handwriting: "Sindrie: You will go with these soldiers and follow their orders. They will bring you to me. Love, Tollis".
The cook said "Sergeant, I can't release Sindrie into your custody, even if you have an order from her owner. I don't have a key to any of her ankle-chain locks."
The sergeant responded "No problem. Very Noble Officer Tollis gave us the keys. Hands behind your back, Sindrie." Sindrie's hands had always been chained by Tollis, or at least by somebody else whom Tollis had introduced her to. However, she couldn't argue with the sergeant. He had the order for the cook, and he had the keys he needed to take her away. Besides, she had the reassurance of her note from Tollis. So she put her hands behind her back for handcuffing with Irish-8-type cuffs, and she allowed her ankles to be chained with a free stride of about half a meter.
The soldiers dressed Sindrie in a traveling cloak, trapping her arms inside. They led her out to a waiting wagon, and they took her away. They offered no explanation of where they were taking her. Cuffed, ankle-shackled, and as always collared, she did not feel that she could ask any questions. She just had to trust these two stern-faced soldiers. After all, they did have that note and those keys.
The destination proved to be an "alcovia", a uniquely Vegonesi style of restaurant. Each of the tables was in a semi-private alcove. Each of the alcoves had an arch at one end, with a raised platform beyond the arch. Slave girls were in almost every archway, naked or underdressed and confined in chains, or straps, or ropework. A band played on a larger stage at one end of the restaurant. The slave girls who had enough freedom of movement generally danced to the band music. Other slave girls were exhibited in such rigorous bondage that they could not move at all.
Sindrie recognized Tollis, several of his friends, and their women sitting around the table in one of the alcoves. The archway for that alcove was empty. It wasn't hard to guess who would soon be confined there, even before Tollis spotted Sindrie and her escorting soldiers and ordered "Rig her up!"
The soldiers marched Sindrie onto the alcove platform. The sergeant ordered "Spread your legs." Sindrie looked over at Tollis, who nodded to confirm the order.
Sindrie concluded that Tollis wanted her as a helpless display slave. Since that was what he wanted, she resolved to be the best and most helpless display slave she knew how to be. Within a few moments her ankles were secured half a meter apart, chained to the sides of the alcove. The soldiers removed her cloak and her wrist cuffs. They attached chains from the top of the alcove to her wrists; Sindrie stood up on her toes to add a few centimeters to her height while this happened. The wrist chains were connected to drop weights which pulled them taut, and they had ratchets which wouldn't let them go slack again. When Sindrie relaxed her feet, her heels could not quite touch the floor and she was stretched in an absolutely rigid spread-eagle.
Tollis picked up a box from the alcove table and stepped up alongside Sindrie. The box was large enough to hold a coiled-up whip, or a slave hood, or a blindfold-and-gag set, or some slave clothing that would be much skimpier than Sindrie's work dress. Everybody else in the alcove wondered exactly what Tollis was planning to do.
He turned to face his friends, and he gave a little speech: "This week marks the first anniversary of the day that Sindrie was given to me. I felt that I should give her an appropriate gift to show her what she has come to mean to me since then. This gift will also show the world what I think of her." He opened the box and tipped it toward Sindrie. Owing to the way he held the box, nobody else could could see what was inside. But Sindrie could, and the radiant smile that lit up her face was a strong clue about the contents.
It was a collar. It was the same size and shape as the collar that she had been wearing for most of the previous year, and it would lock as securely. But every other detail was different.
The old collar was the dull gray color of matte-finish ordinary steel. The new collar was gleaming silvery highly-polished stainless steel.
The old collar was coated with a transparent pale-yellow lacquer to prevent it from rusting. The new collar was plated with 24-carat gold around the inside to prevent its wearer from developing an allergy to the nickel content in the stainless steel. The plating wrapped around both top and bottom edges, so it was obvious to anybody who saw the collar.
The old collar was plain on its right front. The new collar had a decorative floral pattern. The leaves and the branches were plated in 24-carat gold. The flower petals were rose-quartz semiprecious gems.
The old collar was hammer-punched on its left front, "Property of Tollis deta Sia". The new collar was engraved: "Sindrie, Esdigie. Owned by - Loved by - Protected by - Tollis deta Sia."
In short, the new collar was an esdigie collar. In most cultures on the planet Ericpotsdam, a man could own as many slaves as he could afford, but only one of them could be an esdigie. Tollis was promoting Sindrie as high as he could without freeing her.
Tollis picked up the new collar, placed it around Sindrie's neck above the old one, and locked it into place with a sharp click. He pulled a key from his pocket, unlocked the old collar, and tossed it aside. He reached for one of Sindrie's wrists to release her from the rigid spread-eagle. Sindrie said "Please, Master. Not yet."
Tollis paused and gave an inquiring look to Sindrie, who added "I want to be helpless for my first kiss as an esdigie." So Tollis wrapped one arm around her and squeezed their bodies tight together. He tangled his other hand in her hair and tipped her head back so that she looked up at him. He pressed his lips firmly against hers and pressed hard while caressing her back. He did a thorough job. His friends around the table gave him a round of applause.
After the kiss, Sindrie asked "Should I stay up here? I have never been in one of these places before, but it seems that you are going to need a slave woman of some sort to decorate this stage."
Tollis turned to his friends and said "How about it? Are you willing to put your women up here, so that my new esdigie can come down and enjoy supper by my side?"
One of the other women, who was also an esdigie, responded "Masters, will you allow us all to take turns and do it in rotation? I'll go next." And that is how the rest of the evening went. Each esdigie spent about ten minutes at a turn in a standing spread-eagle on the stage, dressed in whatever she had worn to the alcovia. Two of the girls were ordinary slaves, and they did their turns naked.
There was also one free wife, named Carille, who volunteered to take the stage and hold the straps on the ends of the upper chains in her fingertips instead of being confined helpless and unable to escape. Free women aren't brought into alcovias very often. Carille did not want to appear snooty to the slave girls around her, but she couldn't submit to public restraint without feeling degraded. Holding the straps, instead of being secured in them, seemed to be an appropriate compromise. Carille never let go until her turn was over.
Sindrie spent most of her time during that long evening at the table alongside Tollis, wearing no restraints. Tollis fed her, one bite at a time. By virtue of her new status, Sindrie fed Tollis the same way. The food was excellent. The alcovia band members were all good musicians. It was a very pleasant evening.
It was followed by an even more pleasant night. When they were alone together, Tollis asked "You wanted to be helpless for your first kiss as an esdigie. First sex also?"
Sindrie eagerly nodded yes and answered "Just like my first night as your slave." So once again, as often before, she spent the night spread-eagle in chains, with Tollis.
End of part 1
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