By Christopher Leeson
Sitting under the glittering chandelier, Kalwa's red cocktail dress was drawing the attention of everyone in the room. In fact, she wanted to be seen, wanted to attract men. However, the people around her, the men, the women, the dominants and subs, aroused in her no interest. Still, she still had some time.
Many bondage clubs were thematic. Elsewhere, classical Greece and Rome were special favorites. But this one had attracted Kalwa's attention because it catered to Goreans. Fan art displayed on the walls were suggestive of the book series, some of it very well done. Also, there were notices announcing that costumes and specialty gear, such as barbarian-type slave collars, were available for rent.
Millions of Earth people knew about the planet Gor, but only from books purporting to be fiction. Gor was a fantasy universe featuring action-adventure stories, but it was the Gorean tradition of “pleasure slavery” that had had enchanted millions. That was the element that had made it stand out among many other imaginary worlds.
If one of Gor's heroes rescued, say, a princess, he would probably lock a collar around her throat, burn a slave brand upon her left hip, and take her home to a life of erotic bondage. Because Gorean science had long ago extended human life and youth to centuries, that amounted to a great deal of bondage. Since the first volume had appeared in print, Gor enthusiasts had established fan organizations in divers nations. Some of these, though certainly not all, were actual domination and bondage groups.
Kalwa, while waiting for something to happen, casually regarded the club visitors. Those with nervous, forced smiles she sized up as first-time visitors, with little or no club experience. Kalwa herself was no first-timer, far from it. She was in her element, radiating a relaxed and confident air. Her pose appeared casual, but was actually calculated to lure in aggressive men.
Thus far, she had spotted no likely-looking male. Bondage clubs attracted too many subs. She didn't want to be bothered by that sort, and so deliberately avoided any moves or glances that might betoken “dominatrix.” When a sub came up to her, despite her off-putting body signals, Kalwa knew how to send him packing with two or three well-chosen words.
If, as it occasionally happened, the hunting proved disappointing, she might eventually have to settle for one of that type. Her employers wouldn't mind one bit; quite the contrary. It was Kalwa who would feel frustrated should circumstances impel her to take a mere consolation prize.
But the young woman had been on a winning streak this trip and had hopes of ringing up a perfect score. Kalwa checked the clock above the shelves of liquor. It would still be a full two hours before she felt pressured to settle for the best of a bad lot.
The subtly-lit lounge smelled of cigarette smoke, beer, wine, and also of tasty appetizers. Hot wings, spinach dip, cheese, and crackers. She was actually beginning to feel hungry when a man paused near her.
Kalwa looked him over at a glance. Tall and athletically built, his suit was smart and expensively cut. Appearance wasn't too important in her eyes, actually, but she preferred men who were hygienic and presentable, especially about clothes. It was also encouraging that he appeared to be robust and healthy.
“I've watched you send several men away,” he remarked. “Waiting for someone in particular?”
She smiled. “Yes, I am. My type.”
He smiled back at her. “Would you know your type if you saw him?”
“I have a talent for finding exactly what I want.”
The stranger appropriated the bar-stool beside her. “I know what you mean,” he said. “Secretaries, lawyers, shop owners, accountants. Tourists! Most of these people don't belong here. They're out for cheap thrills.” He touched his heart. “They don't really understand the game, deep down.”
“They at least help the club survive; the cover charge isn't exactly cheap,” Kalwa observed.
Her companion nodded. “It kills me how so many of them sit alone drinking too much, before they finally give up and go home to read pornography. That kind of customer rarely comes back.”
“Let me guess, you're a dom.”
“Bing!” he replied cheerily. “And you?”
“What do you think?”
“I'd say you could be a lady who does it both ways.”
“Bing!” she conceded.
Kalwa started to squint, trying hard to bring his aura into view. Suddenly, she succeeded.
“That's an odd look,” the stranger observed.
“Oh, I was just wondering if you like it both ways, too.”
He shook his head. “No, I like to smack, not be smacked.”
“No. It's just not my thing. It's the women who enjoy pain that warm my heart.”
“So, are you exclusively a dom?”
“If I say yes, would that disappoint you?”
“Not at all.” That was true; his aura had intrigued her.
Kalwa, not wishing to waste time, beamed him a look of acute interest. He noted it and smoothly took her left wrist. His grip was solid; to make sure he was serious, she applied a slight tug of resistance. He did not release his hold and, for a moment, stood waiting for her to give some affirming word or sign. Kalwa decided to make her agreement explicit, saying, “Do you intend to fish or cut bait?”
His kiss came swiftly and hard, almost too hard. The man was proving that he was not shy about public kissing. In fact, he exuded a distinct dominant nature. Many men could fake this, but this stranger seemed genuine.
Kalwa joined in the kiss, letting her tongue dart between his teeth to seek its opposite number. He took a fistful of her dark hair. When she pressed against his broad chest, Kalwa could feel the flex of hard muscles. Body heat was radiating through the man's jacket; she started imagining the two of them alone together, hot and sweaty, with slick flesh against slick flesh.
As the fierceness of their embrace gradually lessened, the stranger began playfully biting her lower lip, wanting to hear her cry out. For Kalwa, the slight pain registered as sweet pleasure. By accepting pain, she was declaring her acquiescence to the game. His breath tasted of mint and, more particularly, of the pheromones of primal maleness. As she let herself go passive, he kept his grip on her hair and let his tug sharpen.
When her companion fully drew back, Kalwa's lips felt swollen and moist; her breath was coming in small gasps. “Your lipstick tastes like candy,” he told her.
The young woman straightened to a more dignified position upon the stool. “Like it? Want to taste some more?”
“Most assuredly!” With his second kiss, the dom deliberately licked the flavored pigment off her lips. When eased back, he said, “You're mine for the weekend.... What should I call you?”
“Hawaiian? You don't look Polynesian.”
“I'm not; guess again.”
“You have an accent, but I can't place it.”
His brows arched. “Ah, does that mean you're into...pleasure slavery?”
She touched a slender finger to her lower lip. “I am very much into pleasure slavery. And I do kajira dances, too.”
“I always bring my own slave collar and pleasure silk. They're in my handbag.”
“And you, are you full Gorean?”
He pursed his lips. “Since recently, but the more I've experienced it, the more I've liked it.”
“In that case, I only wish that I'd met you hours ago.”
“It's not all that late. Hopefully, you aren't an early-to-bed person.”
“I could be,” she replied slyly. “It all depends upon who I'm going to bed with.”
This bold retort lit up his face. “Turn over control to me, baby,” he said, “right now.”
The words had come out as a quiet but firm order and her expression conveyed her agreement. He released Kalwa's hair, but only to run his digits through her shimmering tresses. The dom's cunning fingers sent tingles down her spine. “What would you say about pleasing me in the furs, my lovely captive," he finally asked.
Kalwa looked askance. "What moves do you like?”
“Who paddles who?”
“Who do you think?”
“Just a paddle? Not the whip?”
He frowned, both with appreciation and admonition. “I would need to know my kajira much better before we start talking about whipping.” He then smiled. “Whips are for committed lovers. Do you have any favorite fantasies that might help us get acquainted?”
“Of course. Do you?”
“Always. We'll go on a voyage of discovery.”
“You haven't told me your name yet...master. I'd like to put it into my diary.”
“Noted. Do you have a room here, Ned?”
Kalwa's burgundy-colored pleasure silks resembled baby-doll pajamas. Ned took in her bravely-displayed beauty with interest. “You look like a goddess,” he said. “And you do nice slave face,too. You're the image of a harem dream, not a slut.”
She bowed her head. “It pleases Kalwa that her master flatters her with a compliment so dear to a slave's heart.”
An hour had passed, an hour of leisurely pleasure. Kalwa had retouched her lipstick several already, to keep up with Ned's sweet tooth. They so far had played a number of scenarios, including her performance of a slave dance.
At the moment, Kalwa was going down on him with abandon. His fingers were clutching her scalp, steadying her as she gave him pleasure. “That's it, baby,” he said as she worked his erection with one hand while her tongue thrilled his formidable length. “Don't stop,” he commanded breathily.
The girl's technique was unusually good and Ned couldn't keep control. He suddenly lurched and his seed jetted. His “pleasure slave” was ready, sucking and lapping rapidly, trying to consume every drop of his tribute.
At last spent, the young man's softening cock slid from between her lips. Kalwa rested back on her haunches and wiped her mouth with a bare arm.
Ned got up also, dried himself with a washcloth, and then donned a pair of leather pants. “Very good, Kalwa. You have a talented mouth.”
“A slave is pleased to be told such a thing.”
“Now, my little kajira shall serve me in another way. Place your forearms upon the carpet.”
The slave-clad girl did so.
“Rest your face and forearms against the floor and keep your bottom high, Ned instructed her. Rather than obey, Kalwa shook her head. This act of disobedience surprised Ned.
“Don't be angry, Maser Ned,” she said.
“Then what else do you prefer to do?”
“Let's just cuddle on bed together and talk, my warrior. I know so little of the fierce captain who has captured me. Oh, come, dearest master. Your kajira adores you so.”
Ned let himself smile and, taking her hand, raised her up.
A moment later she was lying prone upon the bed's satiny comforter. He got in beside her and they lay with their bodies touching, their noses only inches apart.
“Am I a passable Gorean pleasure slave, master?”
“Hmmmm. More than passable.”
She laughed softly. “Earth women who are natural slaves are indeed very common, master. Most of us, living in ways that do not suit our natures, scarcely know what we are at our core, not until a strong and virile male subjects us to his power.”
She paused. “May a kajira speak?” He gave consent. “Did my master tell the truth when he said that in his games he always been the master and never the slave?”
Ned frowned. “It's true.” He put his hand on her shoulder and brought her in close for a kiss. She squirmed away. Exasperated, he said, “Bad slave, I would taste those sweet lips again.”
Kalwa shook her head. “Master's own lips have become very red, and so has his tongue. He has had enough. Your slave would gladly kiss you later.”
Again her words were not in keeping with her role and they irked him “You must...” His statement was interrupted by a yawn. “Must obey your master...”
“I shall, my lord, but did not master consent that we should talk first?”
Ned yawned again. “Talk about what, lovely kajira?”
“Your slave becomes very curious. Has my master ever enjoyed fantasies about Gor in his private mind, fantasies that he has never dared to act out?”
He looked askance. “Everybody has...fantasies like that.”
“It's true. Sometimes the slave Kalwa has desired to play dominant with a girl. She even has imagined being a male who dominates a low captive wench utterly. If she does not obey immediately, I think it would please Kalwa to make her feel the kiss of the slave whip.”
“Ahhh...nice thought,” Ned said dreamily. “But why would a woman ever think about being a man?”
Her hand made a tossing gesture. "Can you not imagine, master? The physical power of the man is something that a woman both fears and admires. It is something to be very much envied. What one envies, one wants to possess. Is that not true.”
Ned shook his head. “Yes, but Gor already grants the female slave so much, what is left to envy?"
“Would a life on Gor would appeal to my master also?”
He yawned. “In the books...one can envy those Goreans who are rich and glorious in war.”
“Yes, such males live wonderful lives. But the males of Earth are not like the males of Gor.”
“While the males of Gor are confident and proud, I have heard it said that some Earthmen envy the women of Gor."
"Envy them for what?" Ned asked with interest.
"They envy them for their softness and beauty. They wonder what such beautiful creatures feel, wonder if the experiences of Gorean slave girls are as erotically satisfying as they seem to be in the books.”
He frowned. “Such unworthy thoughts would not occur to a true male, either of Gor or of Earth.”
“Kalwa supposes so. But has her own master never wondered what pleasures might accrue to him had he had been lucky enough to be born a girl?”
“No, never,” he said, slightly nonplussed.
He yawned, almost ready to nod off. “Well, sometimes....Uh, no, I don't mean that!”
The eyes of the slave-clad wench grew brighter. “Don't be embarrassed, master. Many men, I think, find great pleasure in that exact same thought. Now, pray, does my master think about these things sometimes or never?”
The true answer came hard to him, but at last he said, “Sometimes.”
Kalwa sat up, gleefully. “I knew it!”
“Noooo...” said Ned. “I shouldn't have said anything.”
She decided not to press the issue. As if satisfied, she fell quiet, cuddled up to him, and waited patiently in his strong arms until he dozed off.
Kalwa sat up. Ned had ingested more than enough of the drugged lipstick to lower his inhibitions. He had already answered her most important question, while remaining too strong-minded to tell her very much.
But she had told him even less. Kalwa was not of Earth. Her masters were the Kurii race, migrants from a lost planet far away. She had come to Earth serve masters' interests and now, with time pressing, she had to work swiftly. She wanted to leave before the interrogation drug wore off.
“Ned, do you hear me?”
“Yesss,” he said, sighing.
“You must answer all my questions truthfully. Tell me, when you imagine yourself a girl, are you ever a Gorean pleasure slave?”
“Yes. Not always.”
“Do you have many fantasies about being a girl?”
“Are these fantasies sweet, exciting? Do they give you pleasure?”
“When you are a girl, do you like being with girls, or with males?”
He seemed to struggle against answering.
“You must tell me. Does the pretty little slave within you, the one who so yearns to wear the collar, desire the love of soft girls or of strong, virile men?
After a pause, he said, “Men.”
“How interesting; tell me your favorite fantasy. You will speak confidently; you will feel no embarrassment.”
It took additional coaxing, but at last Ned began speaking. “I saw...the movie Total Recall. It was...about a machine that gave the user a powerful dream, just like a real adventure. I could see, feel, taste, smell. In my fantasy...I go to the Recall clinic and ask for a fantasy.
“What type of fantasy?”
“Alpha male...Lots of women to bang. I want to take beautiful, powerful women into my palace and reduce them to needful, purring love slaves...”
“Please, go on.”
Ned haltingly explained how the machine's buffer doesn't clear. It still holds the adventure experience of the last customer. That customer was a woman with a kinky sense of fun.
Ned's character abruptly finds himself in a garish apartment. The furniture is upholstered with plastic and strikingly tasteless. He senses that something is wrong. Looking down, his hands are small, slender. His suit is too big for his size. His hair hangs over his cheeks. Reaching back, he gets a fistful of it.
The character goes to the mirror and is astonished to see the reflection of a woman, a young and pretty woman. In the dream he clearly remembers going into the Total Recall clinic, but what he had asked for has nothing to do with the fantasy that he is suddenly experiencing. Then someone starts speaking...behind him.
Ned's character turns and confronts a tall, powerful black pimp wearing a broad, tropical hat. The pimp grabs the character by the arm. He tells – the girl – that he wants her for his “stable.” She understands and refuses, but he only laughs. Next he tells her to strip, but she still defies him. He man calls out and his several “street wives” come in. They mob the girl and take off her male clothes. Afterwards, the troop of hookers give their "guest" a bath. Once dried, they put plentiful makeup on her face and sprinkle her with a florid scent – one that fairly screams “cheap and trashy.” As a final touch, they compel her to wear a silky nighty that barely reaches to her thighs.
The pimp takes charge of his newest acquisition and tries to kiss her, but she fights back. He throws her over his knee and a wife provides him with a flat-backed hairbrush. As he spanks her with zeal, it's like fire is licking at her buttocks. She yells and kicks. When she is exhausted, he throws her cross-ways upon the bed.
Holding her down, he kisses her like a famished hound kisses a steak. She feels his hands savoring the feel of her bod. His strength intimidates her, but there is something else that keeps her in his power -- his overwhelming quality of dominance.
Over what seems to be a span of days, the pimp names Ned's character Dolly and keeps her confined. These are days of strict bondage, days in which she is taught everything that a streetwalker needs to know. Despite her wish to resist his abhorrent plan for her, Dolly's body, overtly, has other ideas. The black Hercules seems to have an uncanny skill at getting her physically excited. Inch by inch, she starts giving in. The first time Dolly has an orgasm, it breaks the dam of her resistance. Her comes thereafter are many and frequent. It is like her body wants to react with this man, even though her mind does not.
She fears she is losing the sense of who she is, that she is becoming someone totally different. The dark man has even started to look disturbingly attractive.
One night, the pimp tells Dolly that it's high time that she hits the street. He tells her to show him everything that she's learned so far. Placed upon her knees, she has no choice but to perform the oral technique that he has taught her. She knows she must swallow his every drop or else be punished. Then Dolly's demanding lover give her anal sex. She had hated sodomy the first few times she'd been subjected to it, but by now no more hate is left insider her.
Suddenly, she's on her back and he's on top of her, subjecting her to his hard-pumping penetration. Something clicks in her spirit. Before this instant, she had been his prisoner; now it is like she's become an exultant bride on her honeymoon. Her passions rise to a stratospheric height. Her bridal orgasm puts an end to every pretense of rebellion, even of reluctance. Dolly cries out in gratitude as his hot, jetting semen fills her tight love cup.
Dolly cannot understand why she is giving in to a criminal bully so absolutely. It is like her days of slave-like existence have awakened a dormant persona inside her – a persona which is utterly female -- and who is a shameless slut. The more the player makes his new street wife submit, the more she accepts that she legitimately owes him her total submission. After that, the pimp shares a shower with Dolly and, with the water falling, the pleasure she harvests from his sensual fondling is indescribably pleasant.
When her lord and master drys her with a terry-towel, Dolly is in euphoria.
But her night has only just begun. The pimp turns Dolly over to his “wives.” They put her into a short, striped dress and make her wear high-heeled pumps. The wives then convey the new streetwalker to a lamppost outside a bar. “Look sexy,” she's told. When a randy-looking man steps into view, they point him out and tell her, “Pick him up.”
To her surprise, the girl's amateurish approach is good enough. The John escorts her into a cheap hotel. In a shabby room, he takes her, hard and fast, and then leaves. The wives are waiting for Dolly down in the lobby and the rest of her night consisted of picking up more customers, one after another. When they return home in the small hours, Dolly has to turn over every cent that she's earned to her sweet man.
'How does the adventure end?” asked Kilwa, intrigued.
“I never bothered with ending it. I just imagine other nights, other customers.”
“Wow!” Kalwa exclaimed. “That's really a daydream! Do you like boys in real life?”
His body gave a jerk. “No. Not at all! But girls...should be with guys.”
She regarded him wonderingly. “Why do you enjoy girly fantasies so much?”
He was slow in answering. “I don't know...I just do.”
Kalwa had heard such vague answers many times before. Four other times just this trip alone. “Do you have actual Gorean daydreams, too?” she inquired.
“Tell me about one.”
Ned now described being in a escape pod in space with three other girls. They set down on a some planet with no people in sight. The capsule sinks into the mud and the four are a slimy mess when they get to solid ground. They find a clean pool, undress, and go swimming. But when they're out in the water, they see that some primitives are taking their clothes and weapons. They splash to land, but, barefoot, can't catch up to the savages.
For a few hours, the girls creep through the leafy cover, not knowing what to do. There must still be tribesmen about. The idea of becoming slaves to shaggy primitives is not inviting. Trying to find some safe hideout to pass the night, they are startled by shadows against the sinking sun. Men on giant eagles are sweeping down from the sky. The girls bolt in all directions, chased by eagles flapping over their heads. One rider snares the first of the four with a lasso, and then, one by one, the others are captured also. The prizes of the hunt are each bound across an eagle saddle and flown as baggage into a city. There the warriors sell them to slavers, hard-looking men who put the quartet into a caged pen.
The Earth girls are soon taken out again, but only to be collared and branded. A salve heals their burns quickly, and the next day their training begins. Gradually, the Earth girls learn to speak simple words and find out that they are on the planet Gor. The training they receive is almost all sexual, involving sessions with one lusty instructor after another. Resistance means lashes and weeks of discipline turns them all into obedient cowards. At last, the girls have been trained well enough to be sold into the teeming fleshpot industry of Gor. Ned's character is acquired by a “pleasure house,” a Gorean brothel. She entertains many customers daily, but never sees any of her three companions again.
Like most slaves, the alluring Earth girl receives the stabilization serum that keeps humans young. After a full century of wanton sex, the pre-Gorean memories of a barbarian pleasure slave have so faded that they seem to be no more than a faint, half-remembered dream.
At that point, Ned dropped into a deep, true, sleep. Kalwa's questioning had confirmed the impressions that she had gotten from his aura. The nature of his fantasies made Ned the exact sort of man whom she always tried to find on Earth. She appreciated him; he was like a bottle of wine from a very rare vintage. So far, Kalwa had found five suitable men. Once she found a sixth to her liking, her part of the mission would be fulfilled.
In the quiet, Kalwa grew thoughtful. It was strange that she should be in such a place at such a time. She had not been born into the slaver's caste, and hadn't even known that the Kurii even existed until she had fallen slave to one of their human agents on Gor. The Kurii, for their own reasons, had been kidnapping humans for a very long time, both on Gor and on Earth. This was something they had learned to do from the Priest Kings, their enemies, who for thousands of years had been raiding Earth for human livestock. The overriding mission of the Kurii was to defeat the Priest-Kings, which would then allow them to occupy both Gor and Earth.
Because the Priest-Kings had been using human agents to good success, the Kurii had chosen to do likewise. The Kurii's Gorean human agents had proven useful, both on Gor and on Earth. As soon as these cunning men saw the quality of female beauty available on Earth, they urged their masters to allow them to abduct those whom they wanted most. The Kurii indulged their servants. What did did it matter to the Kurii if humans wished to enslave other humans?
The duel of the Kurii and the Priest Kings had already gone on for centuries, but in the recent past the character of the struggle had changed. The Priest Kings had started inflicting heavy blows against the Kurii bases and safe houses, using human agents to identify targets. It seemed that none of the Kurii secrets were any longer safe. After a short while, the Kurii leaned that the Priest-Kings were using what they called a “metamorphosis serum.” It was a genetic means to change humans from one shape to another.
Kurii spies eventually stole samples of the formula for their masters to reverse-engineer. Tests showed that it could change one man to look like another, and one women to look like another, but it could also change a man into physiologically perfect woman. It could not, however, change a woman into a man. Kurii agents suspected that if the serum were made widely available, it would greatly alter Gorean culture, something that seemed undesirable. Of those outsiders that found out too much, most were eradicated. The Priest-Kings usually struck down their own security risks by using the “blue flame.” The Kurii applied their own methods.
By using the serum, the Kurii had once again equalized the power balance in the spy war.
Because of the culture of Gor, it was easier to infiltrate a female into a foreign society than it was to introduce a male. Traditionally, Goreans held women to be naive, unadaptable, unable to fend for themselves. For that reason, females tended to be underestimated and overlooked. Goreans kept a close watch on any strange males intruding upon their proximity, but they regarded foreign women with much less suspicion.
The idea of using women for spies therefore came naturally. Unfortunately, Gorean culture provided women with few skills that were useful in espionage. Training could be carried out, but it is hard to change an elegant lady or a tame slave into a cunning and daring agent. Therefore, the best female spies tended to be those recruited from Gor’s sister world.
By the 20th century, women on Earth had begun performing activities that would have been inconceivable only a century earlier. They had become much more political, aggressive, and violent than were Gorean women. These traits were useful in spying operations.
Even so, in circumstances that were gender-neutral, male agents generally performed better. For one thing, they did not suffer the same capture rates. It was not known why this was so, but the data did not lie. As the espionage war had grown more intense, the highest quality of agents were needed in every circumstance. The Priest-Kings had suddenly gained an advantage by metamorphosing superbly trained male spies into women. In the field, such agents had proven their value.
This was the situation when the Kurii had acquired the serum. Unfortunately, they had to confront another cultural problem. Few Gorean males were willing to volunteer for transformation. If a Kurii human agent (and presumably a Priest King agent, too) were forced to transform, he usually became so incensed that he would turn traitor in vengeance.
Also, it caused a morale problem among other male agents. They would suspect that if a colleague were abused one day, they would be abused the next. To remedy this, it came to pass that most transformed Kurii agents (and possibly Priest-King agents, too) were recruited from Earthmen.
Though Earthmen did not know, and did not care about, the Kurii or their cause, the Kurii's human slavers subjected them to regimens designed to instill loyalty into a transformed Earthman. They did this by means of judicious conditioning, by mixing privilege with the infliction of pain. True, only a modest percentage of Earthmen reacted well to these techniques, but at least the Kurii's Gorean-born agents did not get upset when something disconcerting happened to barbarians.
To find sufficient willing agents, the Kurii had to authorize the transformation of many more males than they needed. The wash-outs who rejected training would be collared, branded, and sent for sale to slave markets, usually far away from Kurii centers of operations. Kalwa would have thought that such fierce looking creatures -- they plainly looked like monsters from nightmares -- would have simply killed useless human creatures. Were the Kurii capable of mercy? She didn't know. But, above all, she didn't want herself to be dependent on Kurii mercy.
Kalwa, too, had done agent-recruiting work, off and on. Only months earlier, she had made the acquaintance of a daring and savvy ex-military intelligence officer of Earth. She had taken him back to Gor and never had heard of him again. Was he now an agent, or a slave girl? She hoped the former, because that would mean that she had chosen well.
The Kurii did not want their potential agents to be natural slaves. Unfortunately, transformed males who were not natural slaves oftentimes would not break easily to the collar. This would mean time lost to a program of severe discipline aimed at absolute submission. Regrettably, a kajira who ultimately proved to be unbreakable would probably be put to death.
But there was another use for the metamorphosis serum, one that made Kalwa useful on the planet Earth.
Kurii and Priest King agents had valued the formula as a means to create desirable “exotics,” i.e. slaves with special characteristics. The basic concept of exotic slaves went far back into history. Their characteristics were usually bred in or induced by science. In these late times, Males transformed into kajiras became a popular status symbol for discriminating masters. In private markets, they sold for considerable gold. The most valuable of all were transformed Gorean males, usually citizens of enemy cities. But Kalwa supposed that these were very rare.
Kalwa sometimes considered it strange that she had become a slaver. Captured on a caravan journey, she had become the slave of a Kurii agent. She had worn his brand, she had worn his collar. Her life changed when Kalwa's master realized that she possessed a rare talent, the psychic gift of seeing the human aura.
The colors and intensity of a person's aura revealed much to one who was sensitive. These included the subject’s general state of health, the diagnosis of illness, or they indicated useful qualities, such as mental alertness and courage.
But auras also helped slavers identify natural slaves.
To one like Kalwa, the aura also revealed the trait of natural slavery. Natural slaves of any kind made the most satisfactory variety of thrall. But slave women, even natural slaves of the most stunning beauty, were very common on Gor and commanded rather low prices. Not so males transformed by the metamorphosis serum. Rather fewer men were natural slaves, and scarcity creates value. The locating of male natural slaves was therefore highly desirable.
Why were male natural slaves so scarce? Perhaps, scientists reasoned, it was just a chance of evolution. Just as more men than women are bald, more women than men are genetically configured for natural slavery. The male survived by being strong and doing combat; the woman survived by being beautiful and cooperative. Kalwa had already found hundreds of male natural slaves on Earth and had sent them back to Gor.
She knew that, as a girl on Gor, a man like Ned would be a prize catch. His aura had indicated the intensity of his natural slavery. But he had to be gotten back to Gor without the act of abduction being noticed by the authorities.
Kalwa now removed a Kurii-created injection device from her large purse. She dabbed a spot of pasty anesthetic on the sleeping man's thigh. Then the slaver pressed an injection device against his benumbed flesh, to implant a tiny, sub-dermal bead. She chose the location where, at some near future date, a kajira brand would be placed.
Kurii sensing devices could locate such a tracer from far off, even from above the atmosphere. Ned could, therefore, be tracked down wherever he might go for the next few months. Her associates would pick him up at their convenience. One common way was to induce hibernation gas into the prey's room, and then simply go in and take him out. The captive would be conveyed to a ship and placed into a small transport capsule.
Such a capsule contained a genetically-altered bath of amniotic fluid. A captive inside would not drown because the fluid was oxygenated and would preserve his life, even if his lungs were full of it. Into this fluid a measure of the metamorphosing serum would be introduced. This would incrementally invade his cells, introducing the genetic patterns of some other person.
Usually, the patterns would come from a distinctly beautiful woman. If the subject were a mature man, the metamorphosis would also roll his age back to about 18 years. By the time Ned reached Gor (as a cargo item upon the slow, low-tech transports that the Kurii allowed their human servants to use), the transformation would be complete, or nearly complete. The captive would be awakened when he had achieved a full female metamorphosis.
Kalwa preferred to choose men who, though natural slaves, liked to dominate women. That idea held particular sweetness for her. But there was a caveat: she wanted men who -- usually secretly – enjoyed female slave fantasies. The fate of such a one would be a just punishment served in double portion.
But Kalwa's sense of satisfaction was always short-lived. When she looked on a raw kajira experiencing the slave pen for the first time, her own memories of slavery would come back with bitter intensity. Seeing Earthmen enslaved could not satisfy her wish for revenge, for it was not Earthmen that she hated. Those who had wronged her, who had ruined her life, had been Goreans -- Goreans of the type that had put her through her slave paces. She wished that she could satisfy her hatred with the Earthmen she captured, but she couldn’t. Ned, for instance, seemed decent enough, even though he was a dominant.
Doms were sadists, she knew, but sadism was almost always accompanied by masochism. The repressed, masochistic inner life of a practicing dominant might show itself only in secret erotic fantasies. Under training-house discipline, a captive's latent masochism would be awakened. By the time slave-training was completed, a subject's masochism as his dominant trait. If a pleasure slave's dominant side tried to reassert itself later, most masters would take a slave whip to their exotic girl. In time, she would learn that one like her existed to serve eagerly and to submit humbly.
Might Ned actually become a whore, as he had great pleasure imagining? Kalwa wondered. Not likely. Exotic slaves were valuable, too valuable to sell cheaply into public prostitution. They were usually kept as pampered pets in “pleasure gardens” – “harems” in Earth's vernacular. If they were sold, they were normally sold to high-paying collectors.
A slave's life was hard, even at the best of times. But Kalwa had learned that a slaver's life was hard, too. There had been a time – before she had been either a slave or a slaver – that the young woman would have been horrified at the things that she now found herself doing. When the ache grew too intense, she would try to tell herself that whatever fate befalls a person, it is predestined by the gods. One who is not fated for misfortune will not suffer misfortune. If that misfortune is enslavement, the slaver only acts out the role of a divinely appointed agent of that fate.
Other slavers had told her that she would soon stop feeling any guilt. Why was it taking so long, so long for her to become jaded and callous? What Kalwa feared more than becoming a monster was to be found unsuitable to continue as a slaver. She did not like to think about what her fate might be if that should happen.
But who else except a monster would willfully ruin hundreds of lives merely to prevent the ruin of just one -- her own?
Kalwa stepped to the window and gazed outside. Beyond the club lights, there was only darkness. Evil creatures lived in the darkness, she knew. Most people thought that slavers were evil, too. But she felt more like a trapped animal than a creature of evil. It helped a little to remember those slaves who had seemed happy in bondage; it took away some of the pain. But what about her? She was free, yet she couldn't remember the last time that her heart had been lightened by joy.
That didn't seem logical.
Life was strange.
Strange and terrible.