The crowd parted as she was led through it. Her Twarg guardians had thrown back her hood revealing her golden mane and white skin. Head up she swept the crowd with her brilliant blue eyes staring down every gaze she met.
A murmur of astonishment followed her. It was obvious that the people gathered in the square had never seen anyone like her. By the time she reached a large platform in the centre of the square a steady buzz of excitement was stirring the crowd. Up the steps she went, this time looking neither right not left. She was a heroine after all. She would not show fear or be cowed by the fate that awaited her. Mounting he platform she looked out over a sea of people. Were they all there to attend the slave auction or had something else brought them? As she was escorted to the centre edge of the platform she knew why they were there. They had come to see her, the strange golden haired woman who had materialized in the middle of the desert. She could hear them muttering the name the Twarg traders had given her, White Goddess, Chraga Suhm in their language.
She noticed that she had been placed between two large iron eyebolts that were set into the timbers of the platform. It didn’t take much intelligence to figure out what their function would be, and it was confirmed a few seconds later when the chains attached to her collar were padlocked to them. But her captors did not stop there. Additional shackles were locked onto each of her ankles forcing her to stand with her legs slightly spread. Only when they were sure she could not move freely did they proceed with the next step.
“No you don’t,” Kara said as one of the Twarg attempted to remove the simple desert robe that concealed her body from her ankles to her neck. With a deft twist of her arms she sent him tumbling off the platform to the crowd below.
A loud shout followed by boisterous laughter followed this outrageous act. Apparently the crowd thought it great entertainment. The Twarg on the platform with her were not so amused. Muttering angrily they closed in around her. But Kara did no go quietly. A stranger among the Twarg she was indignant although not surprised that she should be treated like some sort of commodity. Slavery was a vile practice. Angry at her treatment she lashed out at the men who came at her.
She was a head taller than any of them and skilled in the fighting techniques she had learned from the Amazons and the Attalans. The first man to reach her she laid out with a blow to the jaw; the second she tossed into the crowd after the man who had tried to disrobe her. But she was heavily outnumbered, and also chained to the platform. She could move her arms but could not turn around to defend herself. It did not take her captors very long to figure out that if they came at her from behind she could not respond to their attack.
Her arms were seized, the men grabbing her clutching at the cloth of her robe and then while she continued to struggle the robe was pulled upward and over her head.
Kara stood naked, breathing heavily as her almost celestial beauty was revealed to the crowd. Once again the cries of “Chraga Suhm” rippled through the crowd. Kara was too angry to notice the similarity between the name and the term that Theran had given her. She had been stripped and humiliated before, but not in front of hundreds of people. Slowly she brought herself under control, quieting her breathing and standing tall and beautiful before the waiting crowd.
Her imposing presence actually silenced the crowd as they stood in awe of the white- skinned golden-haired goddess. It was a silence that held until one of the men of the platform spoke. Although Kara could not make out all of what he was saying she understood enough to know that the auction was now underway.
“This is what it must have been like for the millions sold into slavery in Earth’s dark history,” she thought. “Alone and helpless on a platform, surround by those who viewed them only as objects to be bought and sold.” It was both crushingly humiliating and frightening. Fear haunted her as she wondered what her master would be like. How would she be treated? What would he want of her? She dreaded the idea that she would soon be completely subject to someone’s will. Bitter experience had shown her just how unpleasant that could be.
The bidding was spirited at first, with hundreds of people participating. Eventually, however, the number of bidders declined until there were only a few wealthy individuals left. Kara tried to remain aloof from what was happening, but she could not help sneaking a look at the remaining bidders. One of them she saw was not even part of the crowd, but was seated above it on a litter carried by a dozen men. Like all Twarg men his face was concealed by a hood, but she noticed that he was richly dressed, his clothing heavily ornamented with gold and jewels. When he bid he did not speak but simply gestured with one finger. Kara was not surprised that at the end of the bidding he was the only bidder remaining.
“This is a great honour for you,” Golden Goddess,” said the Twarg standing next to her. “You have been purchased by the Littan.”
“The Littan?” asked Kara. “And who is he?”
The man puffed air through his mouth, a sound that Kara had learned indicated surprise or disgust. “You do not know of the Littan? No wonder you were found wandering like a naked savage in the desert. He is our honoured ruler and now your new master. If you value your soft white skin be careful how you speak to him. The Littan is most unforgiving of those who insult him.”
Kara did not answer. So now she was a slave of the Twarg king. Now doubt she would be expected to submit to his will. She watched helplessly as the chains that shackled her to the platform were unlocked from the eyebolts, but still held by several guards. Evidently her little display of violence had convinced the Twarg that they could not afford to take any chances with her. That was made abundantly clear when manacles were placed on each of her wrists and a heavy chain was secured about her waist. She now wore so much iron that even walking was made difficult. Pulled by her captors she was dragged to the edge of the platform and loaded onto a litter carried by eight men. Two men wearing armour rode with her, placing her between them and locking her shackles to the litter to ensure that she did not try to escape.
The ride to the palace would have been more interesting if Kara had not been so preoccupied with her predicament. She watched for the slightest chance to escape, but there was none. The litter was carried smoothly through the streets. No one obstructed its passage no matter how crowded the street was. Upon seeing the flag signifying the authority of the Littan the crowd magically parted allowing the men carrying it to pass without even having to break stride. Within a half hour they were walking into the walled courtyard of the Littan’s palace.
Once again Kara was reminded of the Arabian Nights. The palace was a fabulous place of ornate architecture, splashing fountains, and hundreds of guards and servants. She was carried deep within it, finally passing through a heavily guarded doorway and into a section of the palace where there were only women. It was here that the litter stopped and Kara and her guards dismounted. Kara wondered at this. If this was the Littan’s harem as she supposed it was, why were the men carrying the litter and the two guards allowed to enter?
The inhabitants of this part of the palace were quite different from those she had seen so far, the most striking feature being that she could actually see that they were female. Unlike the other members of Twarg society these women were only light dressed, their costumes consisting of diaphanous multicoloured cloth. Kara watched her guards as she was led through the hallways. Interestingly they showed little or no interest in the large quantities of delectable female flash that was on display.
A middle-aged but still attractive woman came toward Kara as she entered a particularly luxurious room. She was surrounded by female attendants and was obviously a person of importance. Coming to a halt a few feet from the heroine she spoke to the guards. “Remove her chains. I doubt she will try to escape.”
“Thank you,” Kara said, relived to be rid of so much dead weight. The feeling of freedom as the shackles were removed was tremendous.
“You are welcome, my dear.” The women looked coolly at Kara for a few seconds before continuing. In spite of the fact that she was almost a foot shorter than Kara the woman oozed authority. “I am Falana,” the woman said. “The Littana and bearer of the Littan’s children. I rule here.”
By “here” Kara assumed the Littana meant the harem. She had learned enough about Twarg society to know that although the Littan was allowed as many women as he could afford, and that was a very large number indeed, the was only one queen and only the queen’s children were considered royalty. The numerous other offspring had no legal status other than what the Littan allowed them.
Falana was tall by Twarg standards, but Kara still towered over her. Like the other women she was almost naked, most of what she wore consisting of jewellery. But there was one disturbing aspect of her attire. Her nipples and been pierced and two large gold rings inserted in the openings. The rings were connected to elaborate and extensive ropes of gold that extended to a heavy gold collar about the woman’s throat. It was spectacular, but all Kara could think of was how much it must have hurt when Falana had received her royal decoration.
“Come with me,” Falana said. “The Littan has ordered you prepared and I am in charge of the procedure.”
Kara didn’t like either of the words Falana used. “Prepared” and “procedure” sounded somewhat clinical and quite unpleasant. But she followed obediently.
Falana took her to a part of the palace where males were more numerous, eventually taking her into a room where four male attendants waited. Still devoid of clothing, Kara wondered why males were allowed in the harem at all.
Falana gave her an explanation. “Oh, they are not males,” she smiled. “At least not in the normal sense of the word. They were all chosen as young men for their lack of interest in women, and then had their sex organs removed as an extra precaution. They are quite unable to have sex or even show any interest in women.”
The revelation shocked Kara. “What a price to pay for being different,” Kara thought. She was beginning to have strong reservations about Twarg society, especially the part that she was supposed to play in it. She had no wish to serve the Littan as one of his playthings and she would tell him so when she was presented to him.
“First you need to be cleaned,” Fulana said, guiding Kara toward a steaming pool of water. “You smell like a kapert.”
“Small wonder,” Kara thought. “I’ve been riding one for five days.” But she made no effort to stop Falana from helping her into the pool. It was only when she was in the steaming water up to her neck that she discovered the male attendants were going to wash her.
“No,” she protested I can wash myself.” But they paid no attention to her. Surrounding her, they began to give her a thorough scrubbing while Falana watched, an amused smile on her face.
Embarrassed at being washed by two men, albeit severely emasculated men, Karra finally emerged from the tub. But the attentions of the attendants did not stop there. She was then forced to allow them to dry her and comb out her hair. Only when they were completely satisfied with her appearance was she allowed to follow Falana. This time she was taken to a room that immediately made her nervous. The only item of furniture in it was a low bench fitted with iron rings. It reminded her too much of the bondage she had been forced to endure when she had been captured on other occasions. She also noticed that she was surrounded by more than just a couple of male attendants. Several armed guards were now part of her escort. Kara began to feel distinctly uncomfortable.
“Sit,” Falana ordered, pointing to the bench. Kara looked at the guards and reluctantly seated herself.
It was a mistake. Instantly four of the guards moved in and in a well coordinated effort seized her wrists and ankles pinning her to the bench and then binding each wrist and ankle to one of the rings on the bench.
”Let me go!” Kara protested. She was embarrassed at how quickly and easily she had been overwhelmed. The guards might be eunuchs, but they were not incompetent.
“Sorry I had to order that,” Falana said smiling, “but some of the newcomers to the harem make quite a fuss when they are given their jewellery.” Her face indicated that she was quite enjoying Kara’s discomfiture.
“Jewellery?” Kara looked at the gold chains suspended from Falana’s swaying breasts and suddenly realized what was about to happen. “No,” she protested. “I don’t need jewellery.”
Falana smiled. “The Littan has never seen anyone like you. As a mark of his esteem he has decided to honour you with full body decoration.”
“I don’t need it,” Kara replied, pulling at the ropes that held her on the bench.
“It is my duty to see that you are properly ornamented when you go to the Littan. It would not be wise to reject his gift and I do not intend to suffer because of your attitude.” Falana smiled sweetly as she finished. It was clear that she was enjoying the situation.
Before Kara could protest again Falana clapped her hands and several servants stepped forward, carrying several trays. These were placed on a small table in plain sight of Kara. She noted that there appeared to be a number of surgical instruments on the trays as well as a large assortment of gold jewellery and gemstones.
Falana approached her carrying a couple of lengths of cloth. “I think you are the screaming type,” she said. “So I think you should wear this.”
“No, don’t,” Kara protested, but Falana grabbed her hair and stuffed one of the pieces of cloth into Kara’s mouth and bound it in place with the other.
“Mmmpph!” Kara cried, the gag shutting off any attempt to protest effectively. She pulled wildly at the ropes that held her wrists and ankles in an undisciplined attempt to break free.
“I think you should sit still,” Falana said. “This is only going to hurt more if you struggle.”
Unable to escape, Kara sat still and waited. But she almost panicked again when she saw Falana light a small alcohol burner and begin to heat the end of a long curved needle in the flame.
Kara broke into a sweat. “This helps to stop the bleeding and prevents infection at the same time,” Falana explained as the end of the needle turned cherry red. “I will also keep the piercing from closing so that I can insert the jewellery.”
Kara’s eyes widened in fear as Falana sat down on the edge of the bench, the glowing needle in her hand. “First the navel,” she said moving the point of the needle toward Kara’s mid-section.
“Mmmppphh!” Kara screamed as the needle sizzled through her flesh. Smoke from her burned tissue rose into the air as Falana held it there for what seemed an eternity of pain. Probably it was no more than a few seconds, but the agonizing pain had a way of proving Einstein’s theory.
Falana twisted the needle in the wound, clearly enjoying her work. “A diamond, I think,” she said to one of the eunuchs. “That will go very nicely with your colouring.” She selected a diamond-ornamented gold stud from one of the trays of jewellery and, removing the needle, inserted it into Kara’s navel. “Yes, that’s very nice. Now for the nipples.”
Kara twisted while Falana reheated the needle, but there was no give to the ropes that held her. Cursing Zhim’s red sun, she waited while the Twarg queen heated the needle until it was once again cherry red. Then moving over to Kara she took the nipple of her left breast between her thumb and forefinger. “These are quite beautiful,” Falana said. “Pink is one of my favourite colours and your nipples are so erect and perfect.” She rolled the taut bud between her fingers while Kara continued to struggle.
“Oh, do stop!” Falana said in exasperation. “You know you can’t get away. Why are you fighting this? You’re just going to make it hurt more if you keep on struggling.”
Kara gazed up at her tormentor. Her naked body was covered in sweat and her breasts heaved with the strain of trying to escape. She knew that the queen was right. She was just making the situation worse for herself. Fighting the urge to panic she calmed herself and awaited Falana’s next move.
“Hmmpph!” Falana said. “That’s better. But now you’ve let it get cold.” She thrust the needle back into the flame and soon had it glowing again.
“Now just keep still,” she said and thrust the needle into the tip of Kara’s nipple.
“Mmmpph!” Kara grunted as the searing needle burned her tender flesh. This time she did not writhe in pain although the effort cost her considerable self-control.
Methodically, Falana worked the needle into the wound, enlarging it and then carefully chose a one inch diameter gold ring and inserted it into the base of the nipple. That hurt almost as much as the needle had, but Kara maintained her control, not flinching even when Falana closed the ring using a small set of pliers.
“Now the other one,” Falana said. “You are being very brave. That’s good. You’ll have to be brave when you meet the Littan. His sexual habits are a bit… unusual.”
Kara noticed the hesitation. She wasn’t looking forward to being bedded by the Littan, but she wondered how his sexual habits could be much more painful than the body decoration she was going through.
Falana heated the needle again. While she did so her eyes traveled over Kara’s curvaceous body. “Hmmm,” she murmured. “You are quite unusual.” She ran her hand through Kara’s shoulder-length hair. “That golden hair. So silky. And it even feels the same between your legs.”
Kara gasped as Falana’s free hand went where it did not belong. She was distinctly uncomfortable as the queen’s fingers probed her vulva slipping into the tight cleft. “So vary pink,” the queen mused. “Both outside and inside.”
The degrading probing of her nether region was almost as bad as the pain caused by the needle. Kara urged her body not to respond; not to provide Falana with any more encouragement.
“Ah, it’s ready,” Falana exclaimed, turning her attention back to the red hot needle. “Now the other one.”
Kara felt relief as Falana stopped her sexual probing, but that was instantly replaced by the fear of the needle as once again the queen took her nipple between her fingers. This piercing was the worst so far, or at least is seemed that way. Kara realized that she was weakening. After the long journey on the backs of the kapert to the Twarg capital, and the humiliation of the slave market, followed by her trip to the palace and her constant struggle with the guards, she was becoming too exhausted to resist. She marshaled her resources calling upon what reserves of energy she had left. She was sure that the session with Falana still had a way to go and then no doubt something just as grim awaited her.
Falana finished with the right nipple, adorning it with a gold ring to match the left. Kara breathed a sigh of relief. Perhaps this was all that was necessary. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Falana showed her that there were still many other parts of the body that could be pierced as was proven by the many rings and chains that hung form her own.
“If she endured this so can I,” Kara thought, fighting back tears of agony as the red hot needle was pushed through the lips of her vulva. The septum of her nose was next, followed by both ears, and her lower lip. Then the fun began of linking up all of the rings.
When Falana was finished, Kara’s body was adorned with dozens of ropes of gold. A heavy chain of gold encircled her waist and throat. Gold bands ornamented her wrists, ankles, and arms. Dozens of hair-fine gold chains went from neck to her ringed nipples and from there dozens more went to the gold chain at her waist. Large chains went from her waist to the two rings piercing the lips of her vulva. The weight of all the jewelry especially that suspended from her breasts was burdensome and even painful.
Falana had the eunuchs remove the gag and untie Kara from the bench. She had to be helped to her feet. To her further embarrassment she swayed uncertainly as she adjusted to the weight of metal on her body. Her nipples and the other areas of her body that had been pierced with the red hot needle burned intensely. “Now you are almost ready,” Falana said. “In three days you will be presented to the Littan. That will give you time to rest and for the swelling caused by the needles to go down. You will also be properly cleaned. You sweated abominably while I administered your ornamentation. We can’t have you smelling like a kapert when the Littan takes you to his bed.”
Kara was too exhausted mentally and physically to reply. Meekly, she allowed two of the eunuchs to lead her away.