I was thrust onto the plank of the slave ship, arms bound. Nobody would believe my story. I had fallen from a world far beyond this one, into a land of ruthless barbarians. All they knew was that I was exotic, and would fetch a high price at the market in Atari.
I caught their thoughts repeatedly. I panicked at realizing my
predicament, to be fettered in chains to other people, in a cramped
dark hold on a Tharkosan slaveship. It had the potential to be a
nightmarish scenario. My psionic barrier would be tested to the
maximum level. I dreaded what was to come, and would do anything to
A burly Tharkosan escorted me onto the deck of the boat. He jerked
me along by the rope bound at my arms and my collar clinked at my
neck. “You are slave now,” he told me in butchered common
tongue. “You nothing better then sauron dung. You belong to us,
and we give you to the Atari.” He sniffed down his blunt nose at
me. “You fetch high price.”
Terror rippled down my spine. “How do you know that?”
He gave me a big smile filled with cracked white teeth. “Because
He jerked the rope again indicting for me to follow and I
staggered forwards after him across the deck. My equilibrium already
seemed off, my head buzzing. I was acutely aware of all the raider's
on deck staring at me with their bloodshot angry eyes, and the churn of
crude thought chains. Their minds all seemed thick, red and smoky.
The physical stink wafted on the sea breeze. The brute who had my rope pulled me
towards a hatch on the deck that seemed darker and smellier then the
rest. He pulled me near, and I sensed a miasma of pain and misery
emanating from the hold of the slaver barge. My brain clenched in
fear, and I scrambled, resisting at the cusp of the hole.
The smell that wafted out was beyond description. Dirty humans,
packed in tight, tethered to the floor. And worse, the dense cloying
sensation of their dark victim thoughts pressing up against me,
tainting my perspective, sending black waves of depression into my
mind . Nobody wanted to be a slave, I quickly realized. Nobody
asked for this. All I felt boiling out of that dark stinking hole,
was a miasma of fear, anger and despair.
And the Tharkosan raider was going to shove me in there. Me.
The thought of going down in that reeking hole was more then I could
I tried to escape. I jerked away from him and tried to run back
the way we came. I was surrounded by raiders in a second, their
thoughts and mouths both laughing at me. It was a silly escape attempt and I
was carried back by one of the raiders, my clothing clasped in his
large cruel hands, tight around my neck. I kicked and punched and struggled,
fighting all out, but still too weak to impact the Tharkosan who carried me. The raider at the hatch opening chuckled. “Feisty,” he said.
“Spirit will increase your cost on the market to the right buyer.
Or it will attract the wrong one.”
I shrieked. The dark emotions of the slave hold boiled
underneath my feet, a vicious whirlpool of rage and despair. In
addition to the rising mental voices of miserable slaves, I heard a
nonstop psychic cacophony from the boisterous raiders. They did not
have to speak to me for me to understand that they thought I was pathetic.
I was worth nothing to them except the price I would fetch in Atari.
They saw me as cargo, not a person. My mental boundary flickered
and the more time that passed, the more I felt it weaken. My
nostrils burned with ammonia. The raider carried me closer and
closer and closer to the dark stinking hole. I wondered how long it
would be until I had fresh air again.
“Please don't put me in
there,” I pleaded. “I beg you. I'll do anything. I can't go in
They said nothing. I knew they had heard it all before. Many,
“You don't understand what I am!” I screamed.
“You are a slave,” the Tharkosan replied. “That is all.”
He threw me in.