The Herb Plot 10

by Zack

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© Copyright 2004 - Zack - Used by permission

Storycodes: MM/f; bondage; kidnap; slave; nc; XX

(story continues from )

The Star Fleet Series
The Herb Plot - Chapter 10
by Zack
The Herb Plot by Zack Chapter 10
It was morning, and Mawlop strolled along the battlement that overlooked Sigurla's only beach.  He reflected on how pleasant it was when he was the ruling high priest and Angko wasn't on the island.  As he often did, he mentally reviewed schemes that would make Angko's absence permanent.

Mawlop was accompanied by his lover, Evol.  Evol was gorgeous; he knew it, he flaunted it, and he never hesitated to use it to his advantage.  Right now he had removed his robe and was posing in his loincloth, the rays of the early sun turning his skin and hair golden.  Mawlop sighed.  He had loved Evol, but he knew the sentiment had never been returned.  It was only his position of power that kept Evol in his bed.  He did not doubt that he would be abandoned in an instant if someone more powerful came along.  (Luckily, Angko was celibate).  Mawlop resolved to show Evol who was the master during the day, no matter who ruled at night.

Mawlop looked down at the waves breaking on the beach.  Last night's storm had passed, but even now there was a brisk wind and the sea was choppy.  A floating object caught his attention.  He thought at first it was a body; then the legs made a feeble kick and he recognized it as a naked woman.  Her torso was supported by a float of some sort, and she was swimming weakly, attempting to reach the beach.  He thought, 'Sigur makes even Crnath work for Him.  Just when I need a new test subject the sea provides one.'  He called, "Evol!  Go to the distillery and get a flask of the queen's potion.  Tell Vartro there's a woman on the beach, and have him muster a crew on the capstan.  Then come back here."

Evol sauntered toward the distillery.  Mawlop shouted, "Run!  Get the potion and get back here!"  Evol sulked, but he broke into an unhurried trot.

Mawlop waited impatiently until Evol returned.  The woman had almost reached the shore.  "Hurry, Evol!  Follow me."  He released the rope ladder and they climbed down to the beach.  He had Evol wade out to the woman and carry her ashore and put her on her back, just above the surf line.

Mawlop looked her over.  She seemed to be uninjured except for a few scrapes, and her body was very muscular.  Excellent, just the sort he needed.  Forcing himself to touch her skin, he propped up her head and took the potion from Evol.  He held the clay flask to the woman's lips.  "Here, drink this wine.  It will revive you."

Erig was exhausted.  She had spent the night clutching the hatch cover and fighting to breathe in the wild sea.  At first light she had seen the island in the distance and headed for it.  The wind and current had been in her favor, but her effort had drained the last of her strength.  She was also terribly thirsty.  The neck of the flask passed her lips and she drank the wine.  There wasn't much of it, just a mouthful.  It had an unusual but pleasant taste.  Then she lost consciousness.

Evol asked, "Is she supposed to pass out like that?"

"It usually happens with the first dose.  She'll revive in a few hours, and by then her mind will be ours to command."  Mawlop heard a sound overhead and looked up at the descending cargo net.  "Get her into the net.  Then go up top."

He noticed that the woman wasn't completely naked.  She wore a white ceramic disk on a string around her neck.  He cut the string to free the disk and turned it over.  When he saw Mida's glyph he recoiled and threw the disk at the sea.  It skipped twice on the surface before it sank.

When Evol got to the top of the ladder he was happy to see that Vartro had taken charge of the woman and he wouldn't have to touch her any more.  He felt defiled just from the brief contact he had when he brought the zlit to the beach.  He resented it deeply that Mawlop had made him do such a menial, degrading task.  He resolved to find a more important patron, and do all he could to bring down Mawlop.

Vartro had put sandals and one of the shapeless gray dresses on Erig, and even though she was unconscious he had tied her hands behind her back with thin cord.  He asked, "What now, Mawlop?  Do you want me to put the zlit on a crew?"

"No, she's going to be a test subject for the queen's potion.  Put her into a harness and bring her to the solo shed."

Vartro nodded and slung Erig's body over his shoulder.  He carried her toward the hut where he kept his supplies.

Mawlop ordered, "Evol, go find Alek and tell him to come to the solo shed.  And put your robe on!"  He pretended not to notice Evol's pout.

When Vartro got to his hut he carried Erig inside and put her on the dirt floor.  He rummaged through the shelves until he found a thick and wide leather strap.  He freed Erig's hands, then fitted the strap around her right wrist and marked the length.  He cut it off, then punched four holes, two near each end.  Once the strap was complete he slipped it through an iron D-ring and fitted it around Erig's wrist.  He locked it in place with an iron staple, which he hammered flat.  He fitted another band with a D-ring around her upper arm, just above her elbow, and locked it in place with a staple.  Then he repeated the process with her left arm.  Finally he fitted a leather collar around Erig's neck.  She didn't stir during any of this activity, lying limp and motionless as Vartro worked.

He found a wide belt and buckled it around the top of Erig's hips.  He didn't bother to fasten the crotch strap, deciding to leave that unpleasant task for someone else.  Then he slung Erig over his shoulder and carried her to the solo shed.

Mawlop, Evol, and Alek were waiting when Vartro arrived at the shed.  This was a small stone building, partly sunk into the ground and buried under a mound of earth.  Alek walked down four steps, unbolted the thick wooden door, and swung it open so Vartro could carry Erig inside and put her down on a pile of dirty straw to the right of the door.  A short iron chain was bolted to the stone floor and an iron collar was welded to the end of the chain.  Alek closed it around Erig's neck and locked it with a large padlock.

There were five other chains and collars attached to the floor of the shed, but only one of these was occupied.  The woman it confined blinked in the sudden light from the open door, then cowered back as she saw the priests.  She also wore a leather collar and had leather bands fastened around her arms.

Mawlop recoiled when he entered the shed.  The stench was intense, a mixture of urine and unwashed human bodies.  He pointed to Erig.  "This zlit is a test subject for the queen's potion.  I want to see the effect of hard labor, and how the potion works as a goad.  I also want to learn just how much autonomy she has; that is, can you just tell her to 'walk' or do you need to tell her to move one foot at a time.  From what I've seen of the other subjects she should be able to perform complex tasks without needing detailed commands.  Alek, you will be the driver.  That other zlit will be the comparison.  Use your whip freely on her, but don't hit this one.  She is to receive only verbal encouragement.  I am certain she will work as hard as the one under the lash."

Alek nodded. "When do you want me to start?"

"Tomorrow morning.  She will be completely under the control of the potion by then."  Mawlop turned to Evol.  "You will be responsible for administering the doses.  She is to get a small flask one hour before dawn and another flask two hours after sunset, every day.  See to it without fail."

Evol sputtered, "What?  You want me to get up before dawn to tend to this zlit?"

"Yes, Evol.  It's time you were useful as well as decorative."  Alek and Vartro could barely contain their amusement when they heard this interchange; Evol was not a popular person.

The priests left the hut and Alek bolted the door.  Inside it was dark except for the faint sliver of light that filtered through the barred peephole in the door.  Kayla, who had been in the hut since yesterday, huddled on the straw and tried to fight back her terror.  She had heard Mawlop's instructions to Alek.

Erig woke up several hours later.  It was dark, and she was still exhausted, so she fell asleep again without stirring.  Two hours after sunset Evol arrived with a flask of the potion.  He shook her awake and commanded, "Drink this!"

Something in the back of Erig's mind realized this was not a good idea, but her body obediently raised up on its elbows (the chain on her neck was too short to allow her to sit up) and drank the potion from the flask held by Evol.  Then she slept.

Erig woke before dawn when she heard Evol unbolting the door.  She tried to get ready to kill him, but her body didn't respond.  Evol squatted down with the flask and commanded, "Drink this!"

Erig's mind said, 'Don't do it!', then recoiled in horror as her body swallowed the potion.  No matter how she tried, she could not make her muscles obey her will.  Her mind was just a spectator in her skull.

At dawn Alek and another priest entered the shed.  Alek unlocked the padlock that held the iron collar on Erig's neck.  He ordered, "Stand up!" and Erig rose to her feet.  Alek took a braided cord, doubled it, and looped it around the D-ring braceleted to her right wrist.  He turned her around and ran the ends of the cord through the ring around the band above her left elbow and pulled until the rings touched.  Then he tied the  ends of the cord to the ring on her leather collar.  He repeated this process with her left hand and right elbow, and Erig's arms were immovably locked behind her back.  Alek buckled the belt around her hips, pulled up her dress, and buckled the crotch strap in front.  He pulled it tight.  Erig's mind noted the pain as the strap cut into her labia, but her body didn't flinch.

After Alek harnessed Erig he turned to Kayla and repeated the process.  At the same time the other priest had been harnessing two other women who had been chained in the back of the shed.  Erig was surprised to see them, until she realized she had been asleep most of the previous day.

When Kayla was harnessed Alek ordered, "Outside", and Erig walked out the door and climbed the steps.  Kayla hesitated, and Alek gave her a shove.  She stumbled outside and up the steps.  Alek had a short, thick wooden bar, and he clipped the ends to the rings riveted to the back of the belts worn by the women.  He put Kayla on the left.  He was right-handed, and with her on this side it would be easier to hit her with the whip.

Alek ordered, "To the reservoir."  Kayla started forward, but Erig didn't move.  She didn't know where the reservoir was.  Alek pointed.  "That way."  Erig walked forward.

Erig's mind was just along for the ride.  She had no control over any of her body's muscles.  She could see everything her eyes focused on, but she couldn't direct her vision at all.  Fortunately, her body still seemed to be curious, because it constantly sought the most interesting scenes.  Erig found that she could detect pain responses, and all of her body's other senses, including touch and taste.  She also found that she could screen out pain if she wanted to.  She had a feeling that this skill was going to be very useful in the hours to come.

When they reached the reservoir Alek hitched the women to a four-wheeled cart.  The cart had a single shaft, which he fastened to the center of the bar connecting the women's belts.  The next command was, "To the pump."

The pump was a large wheel that rotated around a horizontal axle set at ground level, with half of the wheel in a pit.  The wheel had radial treads, each tread wide enough to allow both women to stand on it at the same time.  There was a waist-high rail parallel to these wheel treads, and Alek fastened the front of the women's belts to this rail.  As they stepped on the tread it sank down under their weight.  They were forced to step up to the next tread, and this caused the wheel to rotate.  The rotating wheel was connected by a long leather belt to an endless loop of scoops, which descended below the surface of the water.  When a scoop reached the top of the loop it dumped its water into a hopper which was drained by a leather hose.  Alek used the hose to fill the barrel on the cart.  For the women, the effort was much the same as climbing stairs, and they were breathing hard by the time the barrel was filled.

Alek unhitched his team from the pump rail and ordered, "Forward!"  They heaved against the dead weight of the cart, trying to get it rolling.  "Push!"  Erig felt her body respond, and heard the crack of Alek's whip as he lashed Kayla's thigh.  She screamed and pushed harder, and the cart started to roll.

Alek guided the cart to a herb plot, where the water was drained onto the plants.  This took only a few minutes, and then he drove them back to the reservoir for more water.  Kayla came to welcome her time on the pump, because, hard as it was, it was easier than hauling the loaded cart.  Erig's body felt the same strain and pain, but it had no mental affect on her.  Her mind continued to be a spectator.

This was the pattern for the morning.  The cart made many trips, hauling water to the herb plots.  By noon Kayla's legs were covered with swollen red welts.  Both she and Erig had been worked to exhaustion.  Alek knew this, but he continued to drive the women.  Finally Kayla's muscles would no longer respond and she collapsed face down on the ground, pulling Erig to her knees.  When the whip produced only a few moans Alek finally realized Kayla had reached her limit.  He removed the wooden bar that connected Erig and Kayla and connected the cart shaft to the ring on Erig's belt.  He took some cord from his pouch and tied Kayla's ankles.

"Back to the pump!"  Erig immediately headed to the reservoir.  Her route was slightly different this time, and on the way she passed a crew hauling a dung sledge.  Her eyes only looked at the crew for a short time, but it was long enough.  Erig's mind recognized Carin and Jani.

This was the last thing Erig saw for a while, because her body finally had had enough and she passed out.  Alek panicked.  He knew Mawlop would be very angry if he killed the test subject on the first day.  He quickly unhitched Erig from the cart and stretched her out on her back in its shade.  Ever cautious, he tied her ankles together before he left her to find Vartro and report.

Erig's eyes opened and looked at the sky.  Since her body had no orders it remained still, much to her mind's disgust.  Erig thought, 'Well, I was right.  Carin and Jani are on the island.  Now what can I do about it?' She again tried to regain control of her muscles, with absolutely no result.  'I wonder what Reg is planning?  Will he try to climb the cliff?  And what will he think if he sees me like this?'  Then she had some terrible thoughts.  'What if the boat sank?'  She remembered the way the water had poured in when she opened the hatch.  Without the hatch cover the interior of the boat was open to the sea.  She realized now she should never have opened it.  'Did I kill Reg and Rajek?'  Her body was at rest, but her mind squirmed in torment.

Alek was very relieved when he and Vartro returned to Erig and he saw her eyes were open.  "Look! She's all right!"

Vartro was also relieved, but he didn't indicate this. "No thanks to you.  You have to recognize when a zlit is at her limit.  A dead slave doesn't produce any work."

"But I couldn't tell!  She did everything I commanded her to, until she just fell down."

"That will please Mawlop, anyway.  He was right about the effects of the potion."

"What should I do now?"

"Let's get the zlits back to the shed.  They can rest for the rest of the day.  Give them plenty of water and be sure they eat a good meal tonight.  They missed the mid-day meal, didn't they?"

A crew hauling an empty dung barrel passed by. Vartro commanded, "Halt!", and they stopped immediately.  He took the barrel off the sledge and lifted Erig onto it.  "To the solo shed."  The crew obediently changed direction.

Erig and Kayla spent the afternoon chained to the floor.  Vartro had untied their arms and removed  the harness belt.  Without instructions, Erig's body remained still.  Kayla was more restless, as she tried to avoid aggravating the welts that covered her legs.  She tried to talk to Erig, but discovered that Erig would not respond to a woman's voice.  This was also a revelation to Erig's mind, and she wondered if the priests had planned this or if it was just an accident.  Either way, her respect for the skills of the Sigur herbalists increased.

At sundown another two solos were returned to the shed, untied and unharnessed, and chained to the floor.  Shortly afterward another guard priest arrived, supervising a crew delivering food.  Alek was with him, and he made sure Erig and Kayla ate large meals.  Then the door was locked, and the inside of the shed was dark and quiet, except for Kayla's occasional moans.

Two hours after sunset Evol unbolted the shed door.  He was angry.  Alek had repeated Mawlop's comment, and Evol had been an object of ridicule for most of the day.  He squatted next to Erig.  "Here, you stupid zlit.  Drink this."  Erig's mind was screaming, 'No! No!', but when Evol held the flask to her lips she obediently drank the potion.

End of Chapter 10

Copyright © 2004 by Zack. All rights reserved.
I welcome your comments. E-mail me at [email protected] or [email protected]

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