Authors: John Norman
Tags: #Gor 32
This is an unusual book, having to do with alleged events on the alleged world, Gor, the Antichthon, or Counter-Earth, as it seems to have two narrators, or authors, who, as the texts will have it, see, and relate to, certain events, possibly of consequence to the fate of worlds. It may be recalled that the great ship of Tersites, to the best of our knowledge, was the first ship to successfully negotiate Thassa, the sea, in a voyage which led to the World’s End, an unusual gaming board on which two, from the human point of view, alien species may be gambling for a world, the pieces being men. In this book, which, in its way, constitutes a prequel to MARINERS OF GOR, we learn that a mysterious cargo, suitably disguised, was covertly placed on the great ship, a cargo which might influence the outcome of the aforementioned gamble, or wager. One narrator is a young woman, once a Miss Margaret Alyssa Cameron, and the other is an individual whose name, for reasons which will become obvious, is withheld in the manuscript. It does seem clear, however, that the individual referred to was somehow instrumental in bringing the former Miss Cameron to the height of a large slave block in the coastal city of Brundisium, one of Gor’s major ports.
SMUGGLERS OF GOR
Book of the
by John Norman
Copyright © 2012 by John Norman
Published by E-Reads.
All rights reserved.
Cover art: Boris Vallejo (Chess set added in)
ePub and Mobi
editions v5.1 by Dead^Man Jan, 2013
New cover by Dead^Man
Retail Edition, reformatted
How helpless one is, when one is tied!
His foot turned me over. I was then on my back.
“A half tarsk,” he said.
I did not understand what he meant.
I had been warned that I was not to speak.
Such as I, I gathered, must be given permission before we might speak.
I did not wish to be whipped, as had the other girl, who had dared to speak. She was now quiet, absolutely so. No longer did she dare to speak.
It was hard to conjecture what the whip might feel like, on my bare body. All of us had been stripped. I gathered that such as we might be kept in such a fashion. We had been laid side by side, in four lines. There were three aisles amongst us. It was as though we were not persons, but tethered animals. We were all females. As we lay there, the size of males, and their strength, and how different we were from them, impressed me as I think it hadn’t before.
Too, the males about were standing, or walking about.
We were at their feet, literally.
I did not understand how they were dressed. They wore some sort of tunics. Their feet were shod in sandal-like boots, open somewhat, but with leather straps about the leg. Some wore headbands. Two carried whips.
I did not understand what was going on. I did know that I, as the others, were naked, and bound, hand and foot.
A fellow was moving amongst us, from one to the other. He carried a coiled whip. He would crouch down, hold the whip to one’s lips, and say, “Kiss it, and say ‘
He was then close to me. I was on my back. I pulled at the bonds, futilely. Then he was beside me, and the heavy, snakelike coil of the whip was held before me. “Kiss it,” he said, “and say ‘
I lifted my head a little, and kissed the whip. “
,” I said. I did not know what it meant.
“The capsules are ready,” called a fellow.
I did not understand that either.
A second fellow was following the first, and he, in a moment, was beside me. I caught sight of a large, thick square of soft, damp, folded, white cloth. One hand was placed behind the back of my head, holding me in place, and the other hand held the cloth, firmly, over my nose and mouth. I struggled a little, but was helpless. The cloth was damp. There was an unusual odor. I did not recognize the odor. It was pungent. It was irresistible. I looked up, and saw the ceiling of the large building, like a warehouse, and the lights, not now on. The light was dim. I tried to move my face beneath the thick folds of cloth, but they were held firmly over my nose and mouth. I squirmed. I tried to struggle. My wrists were crossed and tied behind my back; my ankles were crossed, and lashed together. I tried to pull against the bonds, but was helpless. Things began to go black. There was only the odor. I lost consciousness.
There were several reasons I turned her over with my foot. First, most were supine, so it seemed suitable, more aesthetic, if the merchandise, in this wholesale lot, was positioned uniformly. Secondly, supine, they were more conveniently positioned for their first lesson, namely, that they were subject to discipline, symbolized by kissing the whip, and, second, enunciating their first words in what would be their new language, appropriate words. Too, of course, in that position, they were ready to be quickly and systematically sedated, for the voyage.
When the merchandise had been secured, each item had been placed in the
position, though they did not know the name for the position as yet, each on her stomach, head facing to the left, her wrists crossed behind her and her ankles crossed, as well. In this position, they are easily bound, hand and foot. Some of the items had struggled, and must be forced into position, wrists and ankles held, while being bound. Later they would not do so, as they would learn that the least resistance would bring the switch or lash. They would fear then only that the position had not been assumed swiftly enough, and gracefully enough, for such as they were to be are not permitted awkwardness or clumsiness. The strugglers then, and many of the others, had later turned to their back, or side. It made little difference at this point in their new life. The primary point now was merely that they should understand themselves helpless, totally so. The item I had turned over with my foot, as some others, had remained, until then, in the
position. I took that as an excellent sign, that they were highly intelligent. They recognized that they had been placed in a given position, and realized they had not been given permission to alter that position. Too, given their stripping and binding, they had doubtless begun to sense something of their new condition, and something of the life which would now be theirs. Similarly, several of them, including she whom I had turned over with my foot, when originally placed in the
position, had maintained the position, docilely, while waiting for their tethering, sometimes Ehn later. All these things are indications of high intelligence in merchandise, and perhaps of something else, as well, something related, perhaps a welcoming, a readiness, a relief, an understanding, such things. Perhaps they had been waiting for years to be so bound.
But there was a third reason, as well, that I had turned her over. It was to better look upon her.
I had found of her interest, of course, weeks ago, when I had encountered her as a clerk in a large store. How startled she had been when I had looked upon her. Her lips had trembled, as with some question, possibly as to an earlier acquaintance. We had not, of course, known one another before. Yet there seemed some sort of recognition, on her part. That pleased me. Then she had backed away, embarrassed. That, I suppose, was to retreat from my regard. I did not lower my gaze, and she seemed suddenly frightened, and turned away, hurrying into another aisle. She was, of course, being assessed. I was conjecturing what she might look like, naked, exhibited on a slave block, responsive to the deft touches of the auctioneer’s whip, what she might look like, barefoot, in a tunic, hurrying through the streets, avoiding free women, her neck fastened in a light, close-fitting, locked, metal collar. Did she sense such things? I do not know. Perhaps. In any event, I placed her, tentatively, on the initial manifest, and arranged for the usual inquiries, looking into her habits, her background, her interests, her tastes, her familiar itineraries, and such. She was also, unbeknownst to herself, videotaped several times, in various garments and against various backgrounds, which tapes were suitably reviewed. As I had anticipated, she was found acceptable for acquisition, or harvesting. Accordingly, I placed her on the final manifest. In education and quickness she was clearly superior. It was conjectured, as well, from a diversity of subtle cues, physical and psychological, that she had unusual sexual latencies, which might, in time, acknowledged and stimulated, enfurnace her belly in such a way that she would be not only excellently responsive but, far beyond that, helplessly, beggingly needful. She suffered from the usual confusions and deprivations common to young women of her milieu. As with so many others, she seemingly found her life largely a round of banalities. Her life was largely boring, empty, and meaningless. She was restless, ill at ease, and unhappy. What she should be, and do, and think, and try to feel, was largely set before her by a culture of idiosyncratic stereotypes, the opinions she was to hold were prescribed for her, and the values she was to maintain, or pretend to maintain, brooked neither question nor deviation. Every culture has its simple scions, naive and unquestioning, dogmatic without inquiring into the credentials of dogmatisms, mindlessly righteous in one of a thousand ways of being mindlessly righteous, each contradictory to the other. On the other hand, some, the highly intelligent, or, perhaps, simply, the more cognitively alive, or aware, in the secret castles of their own mind, ask questions, wonder about alternatives, think for themselves, however secretly, as is prudential in any tyranny, one of edged weapons or edged ideologies, capable of drawing their own blood, and slaying their own millions.
She looked up at me.
I do not think she recognized me from the store, weeks ago. Too, the light was not bright, and I was not now dressed in the cumbersome, barbarous garments in which she had first seen me.
How tiresome, and confining, are such garments! At least they had been removed.
I looked down on her, naked, bound at my feet.
She was beautiful, of course, else she would not have been entered on the acquisition list, but so, too, were the others. And many were doubtless more beautiful. I thought that, in a first sale, she might bring something like a half tarsk. She was, in measurements with which those of her background would be familiar, some five feet five inches in height, and something like one hundred and eighteen pounds in weight. She was a brunette, with brown eyes, a common linkage, nothing special. She did have an excellent figure, but there was nothing special in that, either. One selects them with such things in mind. It was trim, well-turned, exciting, and slender.
I regarded her, more carefully.
She looked up at me. She squirmed a little. She realized herself well tied.