by Ms. Sundstrom
Aaron stepped off the ship's platform in shackles onto the slave trader platform with all the other people who for various reasons from space crimes one of which was stowing away, to indebtedness, to out and out kidnapping. The most common of kidnapping victims being the young, healthy and attractive and in space when it comes to making money just about anything goes even things that would place one in a correctional institute for life.
Fortunately Aaron was an attractive young man so he had been fed well and taken relatively good care had been given him prior to being placed out to auction such that he had a better chance of bringing a better price. He had been showered, placed in a rather eye stimulating outfit that emphasized his better physical attributes, and perfumed. An elderly woman, who had obviously years of cosmetic surgery, good advanced health sustaining care and obviously very wealthy for space looked him over then walked on to the others on the platform. She had two strongly built attractive men on each side of her. One of her male companions obviously was beginning to get on in the years so possibly she was looking for a replacement.
Everyone feasted in the large slave auction ship for a few days while they looked over the slaves. Then the day came when everyone was to be auctioned off. Women and men were shuffled around, stripped down, poked at prodded, pushed around to see their behavioral responses, set in arenas to fight each other. Slowly as the hours passed by everyone had been brought forward and bid on.
"What happens to those who were not considered or passed over? There are so many here and not so many out to buy." asked Aaron to the other male who had been cleaned and dressed up for viewing. He didn't reply just shrugged his shoulders.
Aaron was brought out to be viewed again by a group of obviously extremely well to do older women. They sent out a very huge woman who came up close to Aaron. He looked at her in disgust. She began to fondle him and caress him. Her smell was horrendous. He leaned over and threw up then passed out.
Aaron woke up looking up at the bodies of many others above and around him lying on a mesh like surface. He began to move and someone next to him said, "Stay still lest you bring attention."
Just then a rather large creature wove its way around the mesh and picked out a dead body then moved on.
"What was that?" asked Aaron, "And where am I?"
"It's a scavenger picked up off a more primitive planet than earth. They call it the spawn of the Devil. Keeps the slave carrier ships clean. They had to breed them so they learned not to eat live humans but everyone now and then if one gets affected by alot of movement they can forget. If they are caught they are eliminated from the breeding stock but if they are not caught eating live slaves they survive. How are they to know if we are dead or alive if we are carried off for consumption?" replied the body lying in the dim light next to him.
"So how long have we been here?" asked Aaron.
"Maybe a month or so. They place us in hibernation, which does not work so well on humans to cut the cost of feeding. Occasionally send someone around to give us some food and drink then put us back to sleep. The hope is that they find you when you are awake before you starve to death. They do pretty good as they do it in sections and have a rather well experienced maintainer here."
Meme just turning 14 at the minimum acceptable age for militarized protection space training and had no idea just what she was signing up for with that agreement for the rest of her life. She just looked at him naively innocent and smiled as he led her down into the small compartment he had fixed below his cabin. If things got bad enough and he got lonely enough he could use her for other purposes. But the advantages he had received from letting a young cadet who was traveling illegally back and forth during the academy years on his ship who had received great deal of rank was just too good to take a chance at alienating this young lady. The objective was to educate her the best he could during the trip such that she would have the advantages she needed to survive in space, be seen as worthwhile, get rank and advantages that would help him with acquiring the better things in space. So far he had acquired mining rights along with being placed in the protective belts with his connections.
All is fair in life space and survival. After all that is how he got out here. He did not have it that good. He had been sold as a slave to the system where he received no income until he worked out his indenture, which kept escalating until he made some friends in the right places this way. Why would he want to do to another young person that which he had been subjected to. It was unjust unfair and had taught him what life was all about in space. No one cared about anyone else and you had to watch your back especially if someone was thinking about more dinner in the slave ships sometimes. It could be that bad.
After all he had not sold his soul had he. He was preparing a better life for them than the space system had for him what if he profited in the process like they did off of all those they could force to work for them for free by the laws they created.
The man in charge of the punishment systems looked out at everyone who had been enslaved unjustly for way too long and thought of all he had been subjected to in the process. He began screening everyone there for their standards and values. He eventually picked through all of them. He had begun his long-term black market system of transport because the Space System Commander Meme had agreed to let him have free reign as he had been very just with her over all. After all he had created and given her the chance to advance to be a part of the system. And what Choice did Meme have if she was exposed she would be ruined.
Aaron struggled to turn around in the mess he was enclosed in. Slowly a sprayer came by and washed them off where everything they had eliminated from their bodies was washed down this long drain system. A fowl horrible smell came up while the opening to the drain system was opened. God only knows what was done with all of that.
All of a sudden something whipped up out of the drain and grabbed a few people who screamed in terror.
A woman came running out with some sort of electrical device and shot what looked like lightening bolts at the snakey looking tentacle that had shot up out of the drain. It let go of the people. She came over to check on the people who had been grabbed.
You could hear her complaining under her breath loudly enough if one was close they could hear. She was complaining about profits and live people being used for the wrong purpose by the greedy something or another in the drain system. Something about food providers and she left. Very shortly the Devil's spawn were sent in to remove two of the three who had been grabbed.
Someone came over to get Aaron and unleashed him from the netting. They took him into the light where he had to shield his eyes, as he had not seen light for quite some time. He looked up and there in front of him was the huge, unattractive looking woman. She looked well fed and healthy. She had started to not look so bad to him after all. She looked at him and asked, "Would you like to sit down with us to eat?"
Aaron nodded his head and she waived him in to sit with her and her two male companions.
"It's not so bad you see my dear for once I was like you, young beautiful and attractive. I was unable to afford to go to space because my academic grades were not so good and my family was not wealthy. So I ended up stowing away on a space trader ship where I was caught and sold after the owner got tired of my company when I grew older. Cannot afford to be too beautiful out in space you see it can give you a horrible life especially if you do not learn early on to not resist whomever desires you the most who has the most power. It will go easier for you the sooner you agree to be company to us or whomever we have need for you to please."
Aaron looked at her and hung his head down. He realized after having seen one or two live people be picked up and taken away by the devil's spawn that there was not really much else to look forward to so he just stopped resisting. He was too hungry and too tired to resist anymore, too frightened.
She looked at him and smiled. She was not really so unattractive when she was cleaned up and pleasantly smiling. He could see that once she was an attractive woman and probably a very nice one who had been hardened by living in a place where even air could be a luxurious commodity for those who were able to contain it and afford it well. He reached over weakly for something to eat and bit in. It was not completely unpleasant.
She looked at him and said, "The name is Divine. Just absolutely Divine. Wouldn't you figure my parents would condemn me with a name like that?"
After he had been with his company for a few days and was well rested, healthier, and stronger he began to be taught how to be one of Divine's assistants for her needs and plans. She didn't seem to really need company and was only interested in eating for the most part. She ate often as if she had not eaten for a long time.
Aaron turned around at the table and asked the other man next to him "What is this we are eating?"
The man looked at him and said, "Can't you figure it out? Look at it carefully."
He looked at it carefully. It looked like different types of eggs. He looked at the other man and slowly a look of disbelieve came over him. He asked, "It isn't is it?"
The man replied, "Yes. Everyone knows you cannot eat your own species out here in space because of the chance of contracting pathogens, and parasites is too risky but if you pass the energy and nutrients through another species it changes and decreases the danger."
Aaron leaned over and threw up.
"Don't worry you'll get use to it after awhile it won't bother you one bit. Besides no one here did not come out of thier own choice to be here. Not a one was forced to come here." the man sitting next to him said and then went back to eating. "I was the same way at first. Try the salad it is excellent."
© 2003 Round Persons' Enterprises
Eeiren's Tales of Fantasy