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Here is an overview of the 29 chapters in Mercenaries of Gor:
1. What Occurred Outside Samnium
2. There Are Hardships in these Times
4. Feiqa Serves in the Alar Camp
5. We Are on the Genesian Road
6. Hurtha's Feast
7. We Get a Late Start; Boabissia Is Encouraged to Silence
8. Evidence of a Disquieting Event Is Found
10. We Proceed to the Wagon Yards
11. We Decide Boabissia Will Help Out with our Finances
12. It Is a Standard, That of a Silver Tarn
13. We Proceed to the Semnium
14. The Semnium; The Outer Office
15. The Semnium; What Transpired in the Inner Offices
16. A Night in the Semnium
17. Slavery Agrees with Feiqa
18. The Treasure Road
19. The Checkpoint
20. We See the City of Ar
21. Within the Walls of Ar
22. The Insula of Achiates
23. The Day of Generosity and Petitions
24. The Origins of Boabissia
25. The Tunnels
26. I Take my Leave of the Tunnels
27. I Sell a Blonde
28. Tenalion Accords Me a Favor
The image below shows the most often used words and terms within Mercenaries of Gor. The larger the size, the more often the word or term occurs in the text.
What Occurred Outside Samnium;
I Set Out for Ar;
I Am Accompanied by a Woman, Who Is Now a Slave
"I do not know about other women," she said, "but I am one who wishes to belong to a man, wholly."
"Beware your words," I cautioned her.
"I am a free woman," she said. "I can speak as I please."
I could not gainsay her in this. She was free. She could, accordingly, say what she wished, and without requiring permission. She stood before me. She had dared to brush back her hood. She had unpinned her shimmering veils, permitting them to fall about her throat and shoulders. A soft movement of her hands and a shake of her head had thrown her long, dark hair behind her back. She had dark eyes. Her face was softly rounded. It was delicate and beautiful.
"You have unpinned your veil," I observed.
"Yes," she said.
"You are brazen," I said.
"Yes," she said, insolently.
I mused, considering this. It is not difficult, of course, to take insolence from a woman, considering what might later be done with them. Indeed, it can sometimes be amusing, considering what might later be done with them.
"Why have you unpinned your veil before me?" I asked.
"Perhaps you will like what you see," she said.
"Bold female," I observed.
She tossed her head, impatiently.
"Do you have the least inkling as to what it might be, to belong to a man, wholly?" I asked.
"Do you find me pleasing?" she asked.
"Answer my question," I said.
"Yes," she said.
I wondered if this were true. It might be. She was Gorean.
"Now," she said. "Answer mine!"
"Do not court an alteration in your condition, unless you are prepared to accept it, in its full consequences," I said.
She shuddered. She lowered her eyes. "It is said that there is in every woman that which I sense so fearfully, yet so longingly, in myself."
"I wonder if that is true," I said.
"I do not know," she said, "but I know that it is in me, passionately, strongly, irresistibly."
"You are bold," I said.
"A free woman may be bold," she said.
"True," I granted her.
"I need this for my fulfillment, to be one with myself," she said.
"Speak clearly," I said. She was free. I saw no point in making it easy for her.
"I want to be a total woman, in the order of nature," she said.
"My heart cries out," she wept, "with the need to be accepted, to be acquired, to be owned, to be mastered, to be forced to submit, to be forced to will-lessly and selflessly serve and love!"
I did not respond to her.
"I beg this of you, for you are a man," she said.
"Speak with greater precision," I said.
"What sort of man are you?" she wept.
"Speak with greater precision," I said.
She shook her head. "Please, no," she said.
"Mine is the slave sex!" she said, angrily, defiantly.
"The slave sex?" I asked.
"Yes!" she said.
"And you are a member of that sex?" I asked.
"Yes!" she said, angrily.
"I see," I said.
"I am tired of trying to be like a man!" she said. "It is a lie which robs me of myself!"
I said nothing.
"I want to be true to myself," she said. "I want to be fulfilled!"
"Such a thing is not reversible by your will," I said.
"I am well aware of that," she said.
"There are many sorts of masters," I said, "and you would be at the disposal of any of them, and totally."
"I know," she whispered.
I said nothing.
"You have still not answered my question," she said. "Do you find me pleasing?"
"It is difficult to say," I said, "bundled and covered as you are."
She looked at me, frightened.
"Strip," I said. She would be assessed.
She reached to the veils about her throat and shoulders and, taking them, dropped them softly to the grass. She stood not more than a hundred yards from the gate of Tesius, in the city of Samnium, some two hundred pasangs east and a bit south of Brundisium, both cities continental allies of the island ubarate of Cos. She slipped softly from her slippers. She must then have felt the touch of the grass blades on her ankles. She looked at me. Her hands went to the stiff, high brocaded collar of her robes, the robes of concealment, to the numerous eyes and hooks there, holding it tightly, protectively, about her throat, up high under her chin.
"Do not dally," I told her.
In a few moments she had parted her robes, and slipped them, first the street robe, that stiff, ornate fabric, and then the house robe, scarcely less inflexible and forbidding, from her small, soft shoulders. Clad now only in a silken sliplike undergarment, she then looked at me.
"Completely," I said, "absolutely."
She then stood before me, even more naked than many a girl up for vending, waiting to be thrust to the surface of the block, for she wore no collar, no chains, no brand. A merchant on his way to the gate of Tesius paused, to gaze upon her. So, too, did two soldiers, guardsmen of Samnium. She stood very straight, inspected. None of these wrinkled their noses nor spat upon the ground.
"What is your name?" I asked.
"Charlotte, Lady of Samnium," she said.
"Turn slowly before me, Lady Charlotte," I said. "Now, place your hands, clasped, behind the back of your head, and arch your back. Good. You may now kneel. Do you know the position of the pleasure slave? Good."
"How does it feel to be kneeling before a man?" I asked.
"I have never been like this before a man," she said.
"How does it feel?" I asked.
"I do not know," she said. "I am so confused. It is so overwhelming. I am uncertain. I do not know what I feel like. I am almost giddy."
"Lift your chin," I said.
She complied immediately, unhesitantly.
"Spread your knees more widely," I said. Again, unhesitantly, immediately, she complied.
I regarded Lady Charlotte. I saw that she might be suitable. She was beautiful, and extremely feminine. I saw one of the soldiers licking his lips.
"These are difficult and dark times," I told her. "I tell you nothing you do not know when I tell you that. Too, I now inform you that where I go, it will be dangerous."
She looked up at me.
"Remain in the city," I said. "There you will be safe, there you will be secure."
"No," she said.
"No?" I asked.
"No," she said, firmly. "I am not yours. I do not need to obey you."
"Assume a position on your hands and knees," I told her. "Yes," I said. I removed a slave whip from my pack.
"I am free!" she said.
"I think it will do you good to feel this," I said, shaking out the five, soft, broad blades. I then went behind her.
"Ai!" she cried, struck. "It hurts, so!" she wept, now, a moment later, beginning to feel the pain in its fullness, now on her stomach, disbelief in her eyes. "I did not know it was like that."
"I struck you but once, and not hard," I told her.
"That was not hard?" she gasped, striped, stung, sobbing, terrified.
"No," I told her. "Go back now to the city, and be safe."
"No," she sobbed. "No!"
I crouched near her, looking at her, closely.
"No," she said. "No, no!"
I regarded her.
"Please," she said.
"Very well," I said.
She looked at me, wildly, elated. I thrust her face down to the grass. She sobbed with relief, with pleasure. I drew forth a slave collar from my pack. Roughly, unceremoniously, I placed it on her neck, snapping it shut, locking it.
"Good," said the merchant, turning away. "Good," said the two soldiers, too, turning away.
I regarded her.
She was now collared. She was now a slave. She was now mine.
She looked up at me, frightened. "I am yours," she whispered.
"Yes," I said.
"Please strike me once more," she said, "that I may this time feel the blow as a slave."
I said nothing.
"I want to feel your whip, as your slave," she said.
"Very well," I said. I then, by the hair and an arm, drew her again to her hands and knees. I again then stood behind her but this time I did not strike her immediately, but let her wait, as a slave, that she might anticipate the blow, and grow apprehensive of it, and not know precisely when it would fall. Then the blades hissed suddenly down upon her and again she cried out, sobbing, flung to the grass, which she clutched with her fingers.
"Yes, yes!" she sobbed. "Thank you, thank you, Master!"
In a slave there is doubtless an immediate, abstract, intellectual understanding of her condition, say, that of her legal status, that she is property, and beast, particularly if she is a Gorean girl, and is culturally familiar with the institution, but this intellectual understanding is soon superseded by an understanding which is far deeper, an understanding profoundly holistic, one that is not only intellectual, but psychological, and emotional, as well. And the lash frequently expedites this understanding. She must see the man as her master not in the simple sense that he stands in some legal relationship to her, which she might recognize and acknowledge, but rather as, say, an animal might see a man as its master, provided the animal also had the high intelligence of a woman, and also had a clear concept of the institutional and cultural legalities and proprieties involved. A woman sees a man who is her master quite differently than she sees a man who is not her master, even if she is a slave. To be sure, all free men are, in a sense, to her as master.
The slave had asked to feel the whip.
The slave's attitude toward the whip is to some extent ambivalent. It is, of course, a symbol of the mastery to which she is subject. That is doubtless why it is not unoften the case that she must kneel, usually naked, and kiss the whip. This is a simple ceremony in which she expresses her submission, acknowledges her servitude, and, in effect, thanks the master for deigning to dominate and possess her. To be sure, with a new slave, this ceremony is sometimes enforced upon her, as it helps her to attain a clearer understanding of what she now is, and the nature of her new reality. Usually, of course, the whip is regarded with trepidation, and alarm. As usually used, it punishes, and hurts. Accordingly, a slave will commonly go to great lengths to avoid its kiss. It is not pleasant to be tied and lashed. In my personal experience I have never known a slave who habitually sought the lash. Goreans would find that incomprehensible. Also, of what value would the lash be as a corrective device if it was somehow savored? It would fail as an instrument of discipline. The normal woman, and I have never known a slave, whether Gorean or of recent Earth origin, who was not normal in this sense, fears the lash, and hopes that she will be so pleasing that the master will see no reason to use it upon her. That it may be used upon her, of course, is something she understands very well. She is, after all, a slave. It might be mentioned, in passing, as there may be misunderstandings involved in these matters, that the Gorean master seldom, if ever, hurts a slave gratuitously. That would be pointless. But let us return to the ambivalences involved. Women are not interested in weak men. They desire, rather, to be taken in hand by strong men, and overwhelmed. This is abundantly clear in their dreams and fantasies. They respond to masculine domination. In their hearts they wish to meet a man who will handle them with authority, and see to it that he gets everything he wants from them. In their hearts they wish to be subdued and enslaved, owned and mastered, that they may love and serve, choicelessly, fulfillingly. Women long for the collar, and without it will be forever incomplete. Now, I trust that the ambivalence of the slave toward the whip is somewhat more clear. It is, in its way, a symbol of what they want most, their ownership and domination. There are many points which might be made here, but I will limit myself to three, which may be succinctly recounted: First, exemplified by what had just occurred, a woman may wish to feel its stroke in order that the reality of her longed-for bondage be impressed upon her; one does not, of course, whip a free woman. When the slave feels the whip, she realizes that her dream, even with its attendant perils, has now come true. Second, when a woman loves a man, she may desire to feel his whip. She understands, beneath the lash, that he is claiming her, and marking her his, as she wants to be. In this she finds reassurance. Slave girls have many ways, among themselves, of inquiring as to one another's masters. One way of asking this question is, "Who whips you?" Thirdly, a slave may occasionally be whipped simply to remind her that she is a slave. There is no point in letting a girl forget that.
"I have felt the whip of my master," she said, wonderingly. "I am subject to the whip. I am fit for the whip, and it is his whip to which I am subject. I have felt the whip of my master."
"I trust you will do your best to prove yourself worthy of a slave collar," I said.
"Yes, Master," she whispered.
The collar, in its way, of course, is a badge of female excellence. Not every woman, of course, is good enough to collar. Not every woman is of that much interest to men. Not every woman is exciting enough, desirable enough, beautiful enough, to collar. And women know this. Even free women tend to ponder this question to their pillow, whether or not they might be good enough to collar. This may account, to some degree, for the great hatred felt by free women toward slaves, women who have proved beautiful enough to mark and collar, women who might then be thought superior in their sex to themselves. The slave girl is a prize, and treasure. Men will pay gold for her; men will fight for her; men will even kill for her.
"You are now under discipline," I told her.
"Yes, Master," she said.
I would now expect perfect obedience from her. She would know that. She was of Gor.
This is a lesson, incidentally, which is quickly taught to Earth-girl slaves brought to Gor.
This is quite a change in their lives. Few on their native world would have ever been perfectly obedient to men. But then they were not on Gor, or in Gorean collars. But now they are.
The woman now understood she was under discipline.
It is important that slaves understand that, categorically and immediately.
Discipline must be consistent and firm.
Women respond to strength in a man.
A slave, as any domestic animal, must know what she can do and what she cannot do. The native Gorean girl, become slave, expects to be kept in perfect line, and that it will been seen to that her service is perfect. This is what she wants. No girl, become slave, wants a weak master. She wants a master who will treat her, and handle her, as the slave she is. It is to such a master that she cannot help but be sexually responsive, as she wishes to be, as she dreams of being, conquered, owned, vulnerable, helpless, choicelessly yielding, with all the summoned, unmitigated passion of what she then is, a dominated, ravished possession.
And it says much for the intelligence of Earth girls brought to Gor as collar-cattle, so to speak, that they become quickly apprised of the alacrity and perfection now required of them. It would doubtless be amusing could some of their former male acquaintances, or friends, perhaps even dates, see their former friends or acquaintances revealingly slave-clad on Gor, marked, collared, more shapely now as a result of diet and exercise, kneeling in certain fashions, carrying their bodies with lovely grace, hurrying, running and fetching, pouring, serving, deferentially attentive, silent unless permitted to speak, and so on. Would they, I wonder, lament the fate of their former friends or acquaintances or would they, rather, I suspect, perhaps in idle moments, bitterly envy the good fortune of those imperious brutes who so casually, nonchalantly, and without a second thought, have precisely what they want of such women.
"You may do with me as you please," she said. "I am your slave! I am yours!"
I looked down upon her. She was not unattractive. I had not planned to take a slave with me from Samnium, but I did not truly object to doing so. She could cook for me, and serve me, and keep me warm in the furs. It was late in Se'Kara. I would find her a useful convenience, a lovely one. Every man needs such a convenience. Then, when I wished, I could give her away, or dispose of her in some market.
"Do you think you were struck hard?" I asked.
"I do not know, Master," she said.
"You were not," I informed her.
"Yes, Master," she whispered, frightened, sensing what might have been done to her but had not been. To be sure, I had struck her harder than the first time, for she was now a slave, and slaves, of course, are whipped differently from free women, but I had not, truly, struck her with great force.
"Can men strike harder than that?" she asked.
"Do not be absurd," I said. "I struck you with only a tiny fraction of the force that an average fellow, if he wished, might bring to such a task. Too, I struck you only once, and in only one area, one less sensitive to pain than many others."
"I see, Master," she said, shuddering. She had then sensed what it might be to be a whipped slave girl. And whipping, of course, is only one of the punishments to which such a girl might be subjected. "I will try to be a good slave, Master," she whispered, frightened, understanding now perhaps somewhat better than before something of the categorical and absolute nature of her new condition.
"Who were you?" I asked.
"Lady Charlotte, of Samnium," she said.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"A slave, only a slave, yours," she said.
"What is your name?" I asked.
"I have no name," she said. "I have not yet been given one. My master has not yet given me a name."
"Your responses are correct," I said.
She sobbed with relief.
"Do you wish a name?" I asked.
"It is all within the will of Master," she said. "I want only what Master wants. I desire only to please."
"It will be a convenience for me to have a name for you," I said.
"Yes, Master," she said.
"You are 'Feiqa,'" I said, naming her.
"Thank you, Master," she breathed, elated. 'Feiqa' is a lovely name. It is not unknown among dancers in the Tahari. Other such names are 'Aytul', 'Benek', 'Emine', 'Faize', 'Mine', 'Yasemine' and 'Yasine'. The 'qa' in the name 'Feiqa', incidentally, is pronounced rather like 'kah' in English. I have not spelled it 'Feikah' in English because the letter in question, in the Gorean spelling, is a 'kwah' and not a 'kef'. The 'kwah' in Gorean, which I think is possibly related, directly or indirectly, to the English 'q', does not always have a 'kwah' sound. Sometimes it does; sometimes it does not; in the name 'Feiqa' it does not. Although this may seem strange to native English speakers, it is certainly not linguistically unprecedented. For example, in Spanish, certainly one of the major languages spoken on Earth, the letter 'q' seldom, if ever, has the 'kwah' sound. Even in English, of course, the letter 'q' itself is not pronounced with a 'kwah' sound, but rather with a 'k' or 'c' sound, as in 'kue' or 'cue'.
I gathered my shield and weapons from the grass near us, where they lay with my pack. I slung my helmet over my left shoulder. I set my eyes to the southeast, away from the high gray walls of Samnium.
"Fetch my pack, Feiqa," I said.
"Yes, Master," she said. She would serve as my beast of burden.
I watched her as she, unaided, struggled with the pack. Then she had it on her back. Her back was bent. "It is heavy, Master," she said. I did not respond to her. She lowered her head, bearing the pack. The wind moved through the trampled grass. She shivered. It was now late in Se'Kara. Already on Thassa the winds would be chill and the cold waves would be dashing and plunging to the bulwarks and washing the decks with their cold floods. I regarded the girl. In warmer seasons, or warmer areas, one may take one's time in making the decision as to whether or not a female is to be permitted clothing. Some masters keep their slaves naked for a year or more. The girl is then grateful when, and if, she is permitted clothing, be it only a bit of cloth or some rag or other. In this latitude, however, and in this season, I would have to see to the slave's garmenture. I looked back at the discarded clothing on the grass. She could take none of that, of course. It was no longer proper for her. It was the clothing of a free woman. That sort of thing was now behind her. I could have her fashion something from a rough blanket perhaps, and find her something to wrap her feet in. Too, I might be able to find her something which might function as a cloak. That she could clutch about her head and shoulders.
"Do you know how to heel, Feiqa?" I asked.
"Yes, Master," she said. She was a Gorean woman, familiar at least superficially with the duties and obligations of slaves. To be sure, as a recently free woman, she might perhaps find herself astounded and horrified at some of the things that would now, even routinely, be required of her. I did not know. Certain things which are not only common knowledge to slaves but even a normal, familiar part of their lives seem to be scarcely suspected by free women. These are the sorts of things about which free women, horrified and scandalized, scarcely believing them, sometimes whisper, fearfully, delightedly, among themselves. Some Earth-girl slaves, brought to Gor, incidentally, do not even know how to heel. Incredibly, they must be taught. They learn quickly, of course, in the collar, and subject to the whip.
I gazed upon Feiqa, who lowered her head.
This was not inappropriate.
"You may look at me," I said.
She raised her head, and smiled. "Thank you, Master," she said.
Even though Feiqa was Gorean, she would have much to learn about being a slave. It is very different from being a free woman.
Slave training is offered in the houses of many slavers, and, of course, they often train their own girls to one extent or another before putting them up for sale. Needless to say, training tends to improve a girl's price, and an extensively trained pleasure slave is likely to go for more than a less extensively trained pleasure slave, and so on. Many masters, of course, like to buy an inexpensive girl and train her to their own tastes and interests. I rather like that. It is pleasant, as you might suppose, to train a woman.
Feiqa doubtless had much to learn, but I thought her highly intelligent, and expected her to learn quickly.
In time I thought that she would make an excellent slave, for me, or for anyone else, for anyone, to whomsoever I might give or sell her.
She was an excellent addition to the slave population of Gor.
So, too, prove to be many Earth girls.
I looked back, again, to the walls of Samnium. It had been spared the savageries of the war, doubtless because of its relationship with Cos. I then set out, to the southeast. I did not look back. I was followed by Feiqa.
Here is a cover gallery showing all the editions and printings of Mercenaries of Gor, sorted by year of publication. Click on any cover to see the book.
Here is a cover gallery showing all the editions and printings of Mercenaries of Gor, sorted by edition. Click on any cover to see the book.