Authors: John Norman
Conspirators of Gor
2012 by John Norman
Publishe by E-Reads. All rights reserved.
I had not expected to be sold.
I suppose very few do.
And certainly not on another world.
The collar is not uncomfortable. Usually I am not aware it is on me. It is noticeable, of course, when I see my reflection, as, for example, when I wish to adjust it a bit, on my neck, that it may sit more attractively on me. He wishes the lock, for example, to be squarely at the back of my neck. He is clear on that point. It is perhaps the first thing one notes, when one looks upon me, or any girl, whether she is in a collar or not. I think he will keep me in a collar, as he likes me that way. I realize now that I belong in one. I did not always realize that, but I suspected it. Most girls are not collared, but some of us are, particularly those who have been brought here from other places. They expect that we will wear collars. Surely, whether or not a girl wears a collar is the most important thing about her. You see instantly what she is, and you understand how she is to be treated. Too, in the collar, you know what you are to do, and how you are to act. The collar makes things very simple.
The collar might be removed, but that would make little difference, as we are marked, tastefully but unmistakably, most commonly on the left thigh, high, just below the hip. That is done shortly after we are brought here.
By that sign, if by no other, we are identified as what we are.
Usually we are distinctively garbed.
We are not to be confused with free women.
The tunic conceals very little. Men will have it that way.
Here I am no longer ashamed of my body.
I do not feel self-conscious, as I am an animal.
Here I am a far less beautiful animal than many, but, I think, too, I am a not inferior animal, either, to many. I have seen the eyes of men upon me. It is an interesting feeling, knowing that one is an animal. If I had not been of interest to men I do not think I would have been brought here, an animal, for their markets.
It is an interesting feeling, knowing that one is an animal, and is desired as such.
Men decide how they will have us before them.
I do not mind.
Rather, it pleases me.
It pleases me to be so, before them, as they will have me be, unmistakably displayed as what I am, honestly, forthrightly, without subterfuge, or hypocrisy, so markedly and visibly different from themselves, an animal, which may be of interest to them.
I do not object.
Rather, I am pleased.
How the free women hate us for that!
Here I am well displayed or exhibited. Here I may not conceal my nature, and needs. The tunic, the collar, the mark, make that clear.
Here we are helpless. We are denied our finest weapons, pretense, prevarication, and deceit.
How free we are, then, animals, so different from their free women.
How the free women despise us, and how we fear them!
I have learned how to walk, and move, and turn, and hold my head, and speak, and many things.
We are expected to improve our value.
Men expect much from an animal of my sort.
We are trained, as other animals.
I think it pleases them to train us.
Too, they clearly enjoy owning us, as well as other sorts of animals.
At night we are usually chained, or kenneled.
I did not always wear a collar. I was not always subject to the chain, the kennel, the whip.
I come from far away.
It is a very different place from those with which you are likely to be familiar. It is called Earth.
On your world you take so much for granted.
I wonder sometimes if you see things as they are. You value your lives, surely, and your Home Stones, and your fellows, but I wonder if you value your world, truly, or, perhaps better, value it enough. Perhaps you will value it more if you could see it, if only for a moment, through the eyes of another, one astonished, one from a quite different world, a world which was much like a charnel house, or a smoke house, a world with little pride, but much vanity, a world of crowding, scrambling about, cruelty, hating, treachery, hypocrisy, pollution, noise, corruption, foulness, a world muchly lacking in pride, and honor, a world without Home Stones.
I suppose you find that strange, a world without Home Stones.
Indeed, I wonder if you believe me, that there could be such a world, one without Home Stones.
It does exist.
I am not permitted to lie.
I am collared.
Conceive then, if you can, a world such as that from which I was obtained, a world without Home Stones, a world so meaningless, so forlorn, so petty, so empty. What are we worthy of, we, we without Home Stones? To such as those with Home Stones, of what value could such as we be? I touch my collar, and suspect. Of what else could we be good for? I look in the mirror, and understand.
I hope to please my master.
I am well aware of the penalties for failing to do so.
The men here are virile, and powerful, and are not patient. We learn to obey instantly, and unquestioningly.
It is very different here, from the world from which I was brought.
I do not object.
I think that I, even on my old world, longed for something like this, a world in which nature was recognized, and respected.
I wonder if that is hard to understand.
I do not think so.
Here is a world on which men take us, as it pleases them, and master us.
I do not object.
This is a world on which I kneel, and, head down, humbly lick and kiss the feet of my master.
He permits this.
I am grateful.
Do not despise me.
I am a female.
This is very different from being a male.
How long I longed to be taken and owned! How long I longed for a collar, and a master!
Now I am as I should be.
I am collared, and mastered.
Many of you, as I understand it, disbelieve in the existence of Earth, or, if you give some credit to the stories, you speculate that it lies to the east, beyond the Voltai, or far to the south, perhaps far beyond Bazi and Schendi, or west, like the Farther Islands. If you have attained, on the other hand, to the Second Knowledge, you understand it is alleged to be a different world, one of several orbiting Tor-tu-Gor, Light-upon-the-Home-Stone, but, even so, many of you, even with the Second Knowledge, remain skeptical, regarding it as no more than a myth or fable, and then, again, better credit the suppositions of the First Knowledge that it, if it exists, is here, on your world, but in a remote area, far from civilization.
But here I am to speak little of my old world.
In this narrative I am to deal, at least largely, with certain dark matters, political and military, matters which few here suspect, matters certainly unbeknownst to the vast majority of you, you who, in your scattered communities, in your villages, your towns, and walled cities, inhabit this fresh, wild, unspoiled, scarcely populated, beautiful place. You do not realize the danger which threatens you, what lurks in the brush, in the shadows, so to speak, so close, even at your elbow, and, too, far off, yet close enough, what crouches, watching, in the sky.
Know, good Masters and Mistresses, that others know of your world, sparkling in the darkness of the night, your morning world, so fresh, green, and sunlit, others who inhabit metal globes, who once owned such a world themselves, so beautiful, but destroyed it, and who now long for another.
I am to speak.
Many will disbelieve what I say.
And what could most do, even if they credited this narrative?
But I am to speak, nonetheless.
When in the presence of free persons, we commonly kneel. When we speak, when we are permitted to do so, we commonly speak softly, and with our heads lowered. But this is known to you. It is appropriate. We are collared.
So please forgive me for addressing you, for speaking first.
Do not think me bold.
I assure you I have learned my place.
My master has taught it to me well.
Many women on my old world do not know their place. At one time I did not know it, but I know it now.
My master has taught it to me well.
I am content in my place, for it is where I belong.
I have been commanded to speak.
I must obey.
I have no choice, I am collared.
But, too, I wish to speak.
Suppose then, if you wish, if it is easier for you, that I have been admitted to your presence, unworthy though I am, and am kneeling before you, head down, naked if you wish, a meaningless, purchasable barbarian who, with your permission, begins to speak.
She will speak of cities, and secret places, of a metal box, a Metal Worker, of beasts, large, hirsute, and dangerous, of an underground workshop, of pride, ambition, and devotion, of warriors and slaves, of gold and steel, of cords, and silk, of ships and worlds.
And so she begins.
On my former world, Gorean, the Language, is spoken rarely, and then only secretly. That is another thing you may find difficult to understand. But even on your world there are places where Gorean is not spoken. Surely you know that. Too, on my former world we do not have the serums you take so much for granted, assuring youth and strength, youth and beauty, serums so readily available, so inexpensive and abundant, that you administer them thoughtlessly and routinely, even to such as I. On my old world, such things would buy cities and ransom Ubars. On the other hand, I have here seen disputes resolved with blades, fleet tabuk felled with arrows, men confronting larls with no more than spears. Time kept with sand and water. Your swiftest ships knifing the water, propelled by no more than wind and oars. How primitive this seems to me, this country of paradoxes, of marvels and anomalies. I have gathered that much of this has to do with the rulings of your gods, called Priest-Kings, reigning from the dark, palisaded Sardar. But we are told little of these things. They are not for such as we. Matters of such moment are not discussed with us, no more than with sleen or kaiila. We rage with curiosity, and learn that curiosity is not becoming to such as we. But perhaps, finally, you know as little of your gods, your sovereigns, or Priest-Kings, as we. But we do know they exist. I have seen melted stones, where their ships have landed.