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Old June 21st, 2019, 07:41 PM
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VII. Regina (Spinward Marches 1910) A788899-C, Jumpspace of Zhevra’s testimony
The advocate and the Psion did not return the next day. In her cell, Zhevra was forced though to endure another one of her nightmares, brought on by her diagnosed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. She shook under the covers of her bunk almost like convulsions, alone and without Gev. She cried to herself as the shakes came on and balled herself in a fetal position. They were followed by shivers as he remembered how cold she was when she had awoken in the hospital. But Zhevra decided to tell that chapter to the advocate and the Psion later. Right now, she would keep her PTSD from the Human and conceal her tremors as best possible from the telepathic Psion.
When the shaking subsided, Zhevra decided to stretch and exercise again in the cell. If she was too dangerous to allow on the yard, in the triple sunlight of Regina, then Gev would be proud that she kept muscle tone by performing as many exercises possible here in the cell. Doing so, she recalled the nightmare from the night.

Gev was fur-only, his augments and beveled collar; the EMP shielding quality of the device protecting his delicate, internal circuitry. He beckoned to her with his index claw. Hung on the index digit was her lavender, leather collar with a gold heart pendant and round silver studs. It had a buckle closure and he held it out before him to her. With a heart of desire, she was nodding to him. Then a flash of blue washed over the jumpspace quicksilver background of the dream. Gev’s expression changed. The collar on his digit was no longer her gifted lavender. Instead, it was another slaver capture collar, the kind with painful barbs on the inside of the ring. The nightmare ended when Zhevra’s shaking startled her awake. She had begun the day crying.

Now at the end of her exercises, delivered meals, Zhevra was feeling somewhat better, the dream fading. Gev was alive somewhere, somehow. The day wore on as the Suedzuk marched in place or tried yoga or straightened her cell.

The following morning, Zhevra hid her appreciation for the return of Advocate Templeton and Psion Khzaeng. They brought her another slab of meat and vitamin supplements with her water. Together they took breakfast and Allain explained their absence the day before.

“It was the weekend day and we weren’t allowed to see you,” said Allain to Zhevra. Khzaeng just stood in his usual corner, content to have eaten.

When the recording device’s blue LED was lit, Zhevra sat back to continue her story. Allain had the folder of hardcopy open again and his pen at the ready.

* * *

After the concubines split to go study, prepare a meal in the galley or go to bed, Zhevra was spotted by Gevaudan. She was considering what skill to study, if any at all, when she scratched at a spot under her capture collar. When her claw digits came away bloody, she stood there surprised as the white Vargr came up to her. He had been watching her from afar.

“Zhevra,” he sighed at the sight. “You worked too hard on the jumpdrive field emitters. How much torque were you employing on the mounts?”

The Suedzuk looked from her hand to her current owner and answered, “It doesn’t hurt. It’s just raw. I think I scratched myself too hard, is all.”

“Uh-huh,” said the Gvegh disbelieving. “Let me have a look. I should have checked you earlier. Yep. You’ve rubbed your entire neck raw and bloody. Come with me in to the pantry. My medical supplies for the ship are in there. He then ushered Zhevra forward to the starboard side pantry next to the main airlock. In addition to the stacked laundry washer and dryer, were cabinets. Unlocking one cabinet marked with a red rod and serpent symbol the male opened it to take out sprays and bandages.

“You could just take this off and let me air. I’ll be fine.”

“Like hell in this ship’s cramped quarters,” answered Gevaudan. “I won’t remove the collar until you are sold, but I have better than cabin air, girl.” Zhevra smiled inwardly at the use of the human word, ‘girl’ as if she were some adolescent female of the species. It was an endearment and she marked it inside herself.

Using painkiller sprays, antiseptic gels and gauze bandages, the white male tended the raw ring the collar had worn and then admonished her with, “These collars are meant to keep the stock in them from fighting, athletics and other strenuous activity. Your hours-long recalibration of the emitters rubbed the barbs past your neck ruff to the skin. See?” His touch was administrative of the stinging treatment, trained to a rating in Medical. Yet, his extremities were gentle even with his black, male’s, unmanicured claws. Gentlemanly. A flush of alien desire blushed in her solar plexus but subsided.

“I guess I did not register them until the itching started,” Zhevra offered.

“This is why I wanted the ladies to learn peaceful skills from the terminals,” explained the slaver. “Nothing overly active, you see now. If you are truly rated in Starship Engineering, be a good servant and tell me about the heavy-duty tasks instead. I too am rated in all my drives. Understand? You’re precious and that neck need not be ruined.”

“Yes, sir,” agreed Zhevra meekly. He was cute in that moment. Sincere, like her sire had been in her youth. She smiled and let Gevaudan wrap her neck under the collar. She at first thought his ‘precious’ meant monetary value in his slaves, but after his speech about not needing profits from the sale of them to the Society of Equals, the notion was discarded for the nicer definition. And there was that tingle of desire again.

“That ‘sir’ crap is not going to get you ice cream or some other dessert,” Gevaudan continued sternly. “Stay away from hard work. You might not be a concubine, but for me, act like one. I can keep my paws off a concubine in my stateroom.”

She snickered as he smiled, his ocean blue eyes flashing under the pantry lights. It was his eyes that did it. A random curiosity caused her to ask Gevaudan a question about him. “Are you an albino, Gevaudan?” she asked. “I’ve never encountered a pure white Vargr in my travels from the Enclaves before.”

The Courier tilted his head humorously and smiled. In answer, he explained, “It’s hypomelanosis and no, I’m not an albino, else my eyes would lack their blue. You never took classes in Medical, did you?”

Zhevra shook her head no. Now she was embarrassed to have asked.

Gevaudan nodded and added, “My sister, the white female in the picture above my stateroom terminal, is just as white. We came from the same litter.” He pointed to his nose, indicated his hands and said, “Blue eyes, black nose, pink skin with black extremity pads. It is however a recessive gene in my family tree coming from my dam. The rest of Pack Cannagrrh comes in a variety of light grays and mottled dark gray.” He then shrugged off the question, having answered it. “And you? Are all Suedzuk this deep red-brown?”
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Last edited by The Pakkrat; July 14th, 2019 at 10:11 AM..
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