This is chapter 11 of “Redemption” a fictional tale set in the EVE Universe. Please see this page for more background on this story.
Slavery wasn’t that bad. Work was pretty light, Food was good and the clothes were actually quite nice. Amarr-style robes and stuff but they flowed nicely around her body and felt soft on the her skin. And the metal collar – well, it chafed for about 2 weeks, then she just forgot it.
As long as it showed its green pulsing glow, it was actually quite pretty.
Lydie called these her “guilty moments”. When she heard the voice that compared her current life as a slave of a wealthy Amarr doctor’s family to her previous life as refugee. During these guilty moments, the voice would tell her that she had never really been free to go or do what she wanted. First her parents, then the guards at the refugee camp, now the collar. Someone always stops you from going somewhere. And face it, where would she go? She was penniless, without connection and without family. And, oh yes, by the way, guilty of mass murder and an act of terrorism.
Compared to that, slavery was not bad at all. What does “freedom” mean, actually? To say what she wanted? What would she say? To whom? To the policeman that wanted to question her so badly about Orv about his study in bioweapons? Lydie knew that she could not resist a real, proper Amarr police interrogation. She had seen refugees dragged away only to re-appear a week later, shells of their former selves. They had given up anything and everything and were but husks that blew away. Under that treatment, Lydie would confess to having blown up that refugee camp. But her status as a slave protected her from the police better than any passport. She was property, not to be tampered with.
Freedom to go anywhere she wanted? Where would she go without money? Even the really rich were not free at all. Her masters had plenty, plenty of money. But why were stranded on this godforsaken outpost? Were they “free” to go back to their homeworld? Oh no. They were truly banished, all for the sins of their son. All that money and they could not even buy a Sigil-hauler ticket home. If she was set free, she’d board a luxury liner and just roam the universe? Yeah, right.
When she was locked up in the refugee camp, she dreamed of exploring the station, talking to the merchants about the beautiful clothes and sampling exotic foods. Well, now she was doing that – she was helping the cook to shop for groceries. Her clothes reflected her owner’s high status and nobody would hassle her. Oh, she felt the looks – mostly men – but as a slave she was untouchable by anyone but her masters.
Life was good as a slave. It truly was. It helped that it was a small household, only the butler, the cook, the two Nannies and the “security” guy – a young Amarr guy, technically not a slave, more like a servant. He was quite fetching actually, Lydie made sure her robes flowed just the right way when she walked past him, she enjoyed the almost physical touch of his eyes on her back.
The butler was a different story. He was an old man, all guts, folds of skin and sweaty palms. Used to run a much bigger household and took exile far worse than his masters. He had the Nannies beaten for minor offenses and took pride in running a “tight ship” as he called it. It was he who explained her role as a slave, straight when she came from the hospital and was too weak to walk far. He lectured repeatedly that slaves were forbidden to form liaisons in any form but that it was unfortunately common practice for young, female, low ranking house slaves to consort with the higher-ranked staff for an improvement in their work or living quarters. The repetition of this hint made it eventually into Lydie’s drug-addled brain and so it was no surprise when she heard footsteps coming down the stairs to the storage room where she was allowed to scream herself out of her nightmares.
When the keylock turned, she was fully awake. She even had to stop herself from laughing when the fat bastard clumsily made his way around the the wrapped up furniture, antique paintings and shipping crates full of table silver. He stubbed a naked toe and swore in a Nefantar dialect that Lydie could not understand. Her past martial arts mentors had spoken a Brutor dialect or Amarr, the language of their enemy, the language that all slaves used to communicate.
The butler’s hand touched her shoulder. She could hear his breath and feel the heat radiating from his body. He was old and flabby, she was young and cute, no wonder he tried. She almost felt sorry for him when she took his wrist and stood up, twisting it all along in one elegant motion, forcing him face down into her pillow. She would have to wash that thoroughly. In the meantime, she yanked his arm up behind him and placed her foot on his neck.
What followed was a complicated conversation. His screams muffled, oscillating between threatening her and promising great things if she let him go. This, while Lydie tried to explain in her halting Amarr the dangers of being horny around her. But lacking the proper anatomical vocabulary, she resorted to demonstrations by carefully breaking three fingers of his hand – one after the other – and slowly rubbing the broken ends together. She had hoped to make the point but she wasn’t sure, between his screams, she only got a few words in. She paused to give him a plausible story explaining his injuries in the morning. Slipping on wet floor on his way to the toilet. It can easily break a man’s fingers. And wrist. And arm. Which she did, his old bones came apart easily and with a satisfying sound.
So, she never was hassled by domestic staff, never was reported for anything but truth be told, she never really gave reason either. She worked hard, did her chores and did not talk back.
Freedom was overrated.