Slavery

For the happy trio it would prove to be the toughest twenty-four hours in their lives to keep their bodies intact. The guards on this slave transport were a psychotic bunch of malcontents to say the least. It had only been five minutes into the flight when some other slave who was being too 'provocative' had been killed in a very gruesome way, one of the guards went so far as to cook a meal for himself from the remains of that very person, a very disturbed group of gaolers indeed. After that no one dared to challenge the guards, the guards explicitly for their own personal amusement encouraged fighting for food. It was no small wonder that hardly a quarter of the slaves ever made it to planet fall let alone not picking up an injury, as a slave you had no rights and abuse was the order of the day.

This was a smaller transport vessel with a short route and few pickups, which meant unusually that most of the slaves from the first pick up point, namely Old King would stand a reasonable chance to make it to planet fall.

The small transport made a total of five pickup stops, any corpses were either 'recycled' in various ways or in some rare cases, just ejected into space with out due process, it had been known that the occasional 'accident' would happen whereby a guard would get ejected into space, but such a fitting justice was rare indeed. Of the original fifty slaves picked up at Old King only thirty remained by the fifth stop, bear in mind it was only a twenty four hour journey to planet fall. Despite the high mortality rate, the small transport had over two hundred slaves by the time of planet fall.

Despite Lorque's ignitable temper, all three managed to make it to planet fall (more or less intact), but the worst was yet to come.

Collar of Submission

Cheezer was out cold; the guard had slammed the carbine-rifle butt into the back of his head when he had refused to work.

His cellmate was an Andorran, he had a missing limb but that did not reduce his effectiveness as a slave, he still had three arms and two legs left.

Cheezer awoke with a pounding headache, but before he could sit upright he was authoritatively and gently forced to lie back down again. He heard a ragged voice tell him that, a collar of submission had been installed around his neck and that it would be a day or two before it would completely interface with his nervous system, once it had done that, the voice told him he would probably be used to operate heavy equipment in generally hazardous areas, "for now get some sleep because once you start work here, you only get one thirty minute break every day to..."

Despite the pain Cheezer fell asleep shortly before the voice finished mumbling the words from the ragged voice.

A Better Tailor

Fairing better, Lorque's submission collar was not so badly installed, and he was already working in the deep mines of Cobalt 7. He had always laughed at those who had the misfortune of ending up a slave, but even though it was a grim situation Lorque was laughing to himself. He had been conscious of his plight for only fifteen minutes before a plan started forming that would allow him to escape this god-forsaken place. That cop was gonna get what was coming to her.

He had no sooner got the hang of his H9-Lifter, when Lorque's machine was suddenly knocked off balance. He was about to get off the H9-L and remonstrate with this clumsy idiot who'd rear ended him, when he heard a familiar whining voice. Usless_Thing.

"It's not my damn fault, it is this stupid ring collar, I can hardly breathe damn it!" Useless_Thing wheezed.

"Quit your babbling, and pick up this stuff, load it back up and move it out of here, before I break your pretty fly boy face!" said an agitated guard.

Useless_Thing proceeded to do as he was told once the guard had eased off the pain dose he inflicted on him.

"Hey you there, yes, you with the lifter, get back to work!"

Lorque felt a massive almost mind melting pain surge through his body, the pain eased off and he could think again, although he found himself unwillingly yet reflexively operating the H9L at top speed.

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