Read an Excerpt
Smugglers of Gor
The Gorean Saga: Book 32
By John Norman
OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIACopyright © 2012 John Norman
All rights reserved.
How helpless one is, when one is tied!
His foot turned me over. I was then on my back.
"A half tarsk," he said.
I did not understand what he meant.
I had been warned that I was not to speak.
Such as I, I gathered, must be given permission before we might speak.
I did not wish to be whipped, as had the other girl, who had dared to speak. She was now quiet, absolutely so. No longer did she dare to speak.
It was hard to conjecture what the whip might feel like, on my bare body. All of us had been stripped. I gathered that such as we might be kept in such a fashion. We had been laid side by side, in four lines. There were three aisles amongst us. It was as though we were not persons, but tethered animals. We were all females. As we lay there, the size of males, and their strength, and how different we were from them, impressed me as I think it hadn't before.
Too, the males about were standing, or walking about.
We were at their feet, literally.
I did not understand how they were dressed. They wore some sort of tunics. Their feet were shod in sandal-like boots, open somewhat, but with leather straps about the leg. Some wore headbands. Two carried whips.
I did not understand what was going on. I did know that I, as the others, were naked, and bound, hand and foot.
A fellow was moving amongst us, from one to the other. He carried a coiled whip. He would crouch down, hold the whip to one's lips, and say, "Kiss it, and say 'La kajira'."
He was then close to me. I was on my back. I pulled at the bonds, futilely. Then he was beside me, and the heavy, snakelike coil of the whip was held before me. "Kiss it," he said, "and say 'La Kajira'."
I lifted my head a little, and kissed the whip. "La Kajira," I said. I did not know what it meant.
"The capsules are ready," called a fellow.
I did not understand that either.
A second fellow was following the first, and he, in a moment, was beside me. I caught sight of a large, thick square of soft, damp, folded, white cloth. One hand was placed behind the back of my head, holding me in place, and the other hand held the cloth, firmly, over my nose and mouth. I struggled a little, but was helpless. The cloth was damp. There was an unusual odor. I did not recognize the odor. It was pungent. It was irresistible. I looked up, and saw the ceiling of the large building, like a warehouse, and the lights, not now on. The light was dim. I tried to move my face beneath the thick folds of cloth, but they were held firmly over my nose and mouth. I squirmed. I tried to struggle. My wrists were crossed and tied behind my back; my ankles were crossed, and lashed together. I tried to pull against the bonds, but was helpless. Things began to go black. There was only the odor. I lost consciousness.CHAPTER 2
There were several reasons I turned her over with my foot. First, most were supine, so it seemed suitable, more aesthetic, if the merchandise, in this wholesale lot, was positioned uniformly. Secondly, supine, they were more conveniently positioned for their first lesson, namely, that they were subject to discipline, symbolized by kissing the whip, and, second, enunciating their first words in what would be their new language, appropriate words. Too, of course, in that position, they were ready to be quickly and systematically sedated, for the voyage.
When the merchandise had been secured, each item had been placed in the bara position, though they did not know the name for the position as yet, each on her stomach, head facing to the left, her wrists crossed behind her and her ankles crossed, as well. In this position, they are easily bound, hand and foot. Some of the items had struggled, and must be forced into position, wrists and ankles held, while being bound. Later they would not do so, as they would learn that the least resistance would bring the switch or lash. They would fear then only that the position had not been assumed swiftly enough, and gracefully enough, for such as they were to be are not permitted awkwardness or clumsiness. The strugglers then, and many of the others, had later turned to their back, or side. It made little difference at this point in their new life. The primary point now was merely that they should understand themselves helpless, totally so. The item I had turned over with my foot, as some others, had remained, until then, in the bara position. I took that as an excellent sign, that they were highly intelligent. They recognized that they had been placed in a given position, and realized they had not been given permission to alter that position. Too, given their stripping and binding, they had doubtless begun to sense something of their new condition, and something of the life which would now be theirs. Similarly, several of them, including she whom I had turned over with my foot, when originally placed in the bara position, had maintained the position, docilely, while waiting for their tethering, sometimes Ehn later. All these things are indications of high intelligence in merchandise, and perhaps of something else, as well, something related, perhaps a welcoming, a readiness, a relief, an understanding, such things. Perhaps they had been waiting for years to be so bound.
But there was a third reason, as well, that I had turned her over. It was to better look upon her.
I had found of her interest, of course, weeks ago, when I had encountered her as a clerk in a large store. How startled she had been when I had looked upon her. Her lips had trembled, as with some question, possibly as to an earlier acquaintance. We had not, of course, known one another before. Yet there seemed some sort of recognition, on her part. That pleased me. Then she had backed away, embarrassed. That, I suppose, was to retreat from my regard. I did not lower my gaze, and she seemed suddenly frightened, and turned away, hurrying into another aisle. She was, of course, being assessed. I was conjecturing what she might look like, naked, exhibited on a slave block, responsive to the deft touches of the auctioneer's whip, what she might look like, barefoot, in a tunic, hurrying through the streets, avoiding free women, her neck fastened in a light, closefitting, locked, metal collar. Did she sense such things? I do not know. Perhaps. In any event, I placed her, tentatively, on the initial manifest, and arranged for the usual inquiries, looking into her habits, her background, her interests, her tastes, her familiar itineraries, and such. She was also, unbeknownst to herself, videotaped several times, in various garments and against various backgrounds, which tapes were suitably reviewed. As I had anticipated, she was found acceptable for acquisition, or harvesting. Accordingly, I placed her on the final manifest. In education and quickness she was clearly superior. It was conjectured, as well, from a diversity of subtle cues, physical and psychological, that she had unusual sexual latencies, which might, in time, acknowledged and stimulated, enfurnace her belly in such a way that she would be not only excellently responsive but, far beyond that, helplessly, beggingly needful. She suffered from the usual confusions and deprivations common to young women of her milieu. As with so many others, she seemingly found her life largely a round of banalities. Her life was largely boring, empty, and meaningless. She was restless, ill at ease, and unhappy. What she should be, and do, and think, and try to feel, was largely set before her by a culture of idiosyncratic stereotypes, the opinions she was to hold were prescribed for her, and the values she was to maintain, or pretend to maintain, brooked neither question nor deviation. Every culture has its simple scions, naive and unquestioning, dogmatic without inquiring into the credentials of dogmatisms, mindlessly righteous in one of a thousand ways of being mindlessly righteous, each contradictory to the other. On the other hand, some, the highly intelligent, or, perhaps, simply, the more cognitively alive, or aware, in the secret castles of their own mind, ask questions, wonder about alternatives, think for themselves, however secretly, as is prudential in any tyranny, one of edged weapons or edged ideologies, capable of drawing their own blood, and slaying their own millions.
She looked up at me.
I do not think she recognized me from the store, weeks ago. Too, the light was not bright, and I was not now dressed in the cumbersome, barbarous garments in which she had first seen me.
How tiresome, and confining, are such garments! At least they had been removed.
I looked down on her, naked, bound at my feet.
She was beautiful, of course, else she would not have been entered on the acquisition list, but so, too, were the others. And many were doubtless more beautiful. I thought that, in a first sale, she might bring something like a half tarsk. She was, in measurements with which those of her background would be familiar, some five feet five inches in height, and something like one hundred and eighteen pounds in weight. She was a brunette, with brown eyes, a common linkage, nothing special. She did have an excellent figure, but there was nothing special in that, either. One selects them with such things in mind. It was trim, well-turned, exciting, and slender.
I regarded her, more carefully.
She looked up at me. She squirmed a little. She realized herself well tied.
I found her personally of interest, but I doubted if, in a first sale, she would bring more than a half tarsk.
Perhaps if she had been strikingly beautiful? Several were. Still, a woman often becomes more beautiful. That is not unusual. It has to do, one supposes, with the life, with admission, with openness, with honesty, with fulfillment, with happiness.
Yes, I thought, in time she might become truly beautiful.
I recalled how she had kissed the whip, frightened, to be sure, but, too, seemingly gratefully. She had placed her soft lips upon it, gently, truly, fully, and had kissed it tenderly, deferently. In short, she had kissed it well. She had then completed the small ceremony, as instructed, saying "La kajira." She had said this softly, obediently. She would not know what it meant. In time she would learn.
Perhaps she suspected its meaning. One does not know. She was extremely intelligent and, latently, despite the indoctrinations and conditionings of her unusual culture, profoundly, biologically feminine.CHAPTER 3
I soon learned to call men 'Master' and, shortly thereafter, free women 'Mistress'. The gulf between free and slave is profound and momentous, and such as I were brought, at least on the whole, to this unbelievably fresh and beautiful world, so bracing and green, as goods, no more than livestock, to be disposed of in markets. I was soon branded, that there would be no mistaking me, for what I was. How that simple mark transformed me! I was then different, radically so, from what I had been! And I knew myself so, and, yes, gratefully. Oh, I cried with pain, of course, helpless in the iron grip of the vise, my wrists fastened behind me, in the snug, unslippable metal bracelets, and sobbed, but, in my tears, did they know this, I sobbed, as well, with joy. At last it had been done to me. At last I was free! In a thousand dreams, had this not been done to me? Had I not, in a thousand dreams, been so marked, so designated, so proclaimed, so identified?
Am I terrible?
Perhaps, perhaps not.
Is it so strange that I, then humbled, then reduced, then subject to chains, the whip, the collar, was now free, at last free!
It was a freedom in which I had had no decision, but one forced upon me, and I would not have had it otherwise.
I was grateful to have been taken in hand, and simply treated as what I was, routinely, a female, only that, and gloriously so.
They would have of me what they wanted, and this was what I, too, wanted.
Since puberty I had sensed the radical difference between women and men, and had resented, but dared not rebel against, the lies, the pervasive, insisted-upon, venerated falsities with which I was regaled, and the pretentious, uncomfortable, alien roles which I was expected to assume.
I do not presume to speak for a sex, but I trust I may speak for an individual, myself. Doubtless women are quite different. One may wish for something which another does not. One may envy men, and another may find this emotion incomprehensible. One may hope to be served, and another to serve. One may hate, and another love. There are many things I have never understood, and how ignorant and stupid seem the ideologues, the tyrants, and fools, who see complexity in terms of conditioned, programmed simplicities. Who are the social engineers? Who appoints them? What shall be engineered? Who reviews their work? Need anything be engineered? Why should anything be engineered? Who will engineer a flower, or truth? Whose fingers draw the secret strings? How gross, narrow, and transparently self-serving, are so many manufactured values, principles, and injunctions. What are the credentials of a dictatorship which would review thought, circumscribe belief, and capture the coercive powers of a state in order to protect and propagate a favored orthodoxy? Yet, to be sure, such crimes are muchly precedent in the history of a world; they are perennially familiar to the troubled biography of a species. How many oppressions have been enforced, heresies persecuted, beliefs proscribed, truths denied, absurdities proclaimed! Behind the glistening veils may crouch an unnatural beast.
How naive I am, how unpolitical I am.
Why does the chain lure me? Why does the sight of the whip, and the knowledge that it may be used upon me, thrill me?
I wonder if my feelings are unique.
I do not think so.
How pathological the world from which I have been derived!
How many extend the hand of welcome, a knife clenched behind the back!
How is one to judge what brings about happiness, other than by the test of living, that of life consequences?
I wonder if I speak only for myself.
Perhaps, perhaps not.
But I will, at last, speak.
For years I have wanted to be at the feet of men, to kneel naked, collared, subservient and submitted, before them, to put my head down and lick and kiss their feet, to be bound at their pleasure, to squirm helplessly in their grasp, to serve them in all ways, instantly and unquestioningly, to be commanded, to be owned, to be mastered.
The mark is placed high on the left leg, on the thigh, just beneath the hip. I have also been fastened, from time to time, in a variety of collars. My mark is the cursive kef, the common kajira mark, worn by most slaves. It is sometimes called the staff and fronds, beauty subject to discipline. It is a lovely mark. It looks well on me, and on others. It is, of course, only one of many marks. It is natural that not every property should be marked identically. But it is recommended that each property be marked. That is prescribed in Merchant Law. In the training house, a heavy metal collar, of rounded iron, was hammered about my neck. That is temporary, but it has its effect on us. When I was once displeasing, foolishly, this was replaced with a heavy, iron, point collar, which was very unpleasant. I do not know why I was displeasing. Perhaps I thought it required of me, to comply with some image, alien to my deepest self, which, on my former world, I had been expected to project. Perhaps I was merely curious to see what might occur, if I failed to comply in some particular, if I might hazard some show of resistance or recalcitrance. Certainly I learned, quickly enough. Perhaps I merely wished to ascertain certain perimeters or limits, the length of a leash, so to speak. I speak metaphorically, but it is not unusual that we are leashed. Often we are promenaded publicly. Our masters are often proud of us, and enjoy showing us off. Would it not be the same with horses and dogs, animals of my former world? We must hold our head up, and walk well. Sometimes our hands are free. In any event, these boundaries, the length of a leash, and such, so to speak, were expeditiously brought to my attention. Interestingly, I was not chagrined by the consequences of my small experiment, but, rather, reassured, even heartened. And I was very grateful when I earned my first, more typical, collar, light, flat, and close-fitting. How relieved and proud I was, when, graduated from training, it was first locked on my neck. I knew myself, and I wanted it there. I knew I belonged in a collar. I had suspected that, even on my former world, Earth.
Excerpted from Smugglers of Gor by John Norman. Copyright © 2012 John Norman. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.