Book 3 in the series Trek Mi Q'an His glowing blue eyes summoned the primitive weapon from her grasp. Shuddering with fear, she realized she had just lost the only thing standing between her freedom and becoming... Enslaved. Book 3 of the Empress' New Clothes: ENSLAVED, tells us the story of King Kil Q'an Tal and the capture of his Sacred Mate.
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February 28, 2003
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Excerpt from Enslaved by Jaid Black
Having removed the poncho top she wore, twenty-one-year-old Martha "Marty" Mathews turned proudly on the erected stage to face the sea of paparazzi. She was clad only in jeans, a brassiere, a pair of Birkenstock sandals, a wreath of sunflowers about her head, and a lot of indignant attitude.
Her bravery faltered a bit when she noticed that the photographers gathered around the podium that stood near the gate leading to the White House were snapping pictures of her more quickly than she could blink. Could she really do this? she asked herself a bit warily. Could she really see this Independence Day protest through the way she and Jeannie had planned for it to go?
No justice! No peace!
No justice! No peace!
No justice! No peace!
Marty's nostrils flared in remembered anger as the fellow women's rights protestors began to chant. She mentally ticked off a list of the reasons that had brought her from Ohio to march on the Capitol to begin with.
Women in positions of power.
Freedom of expression.
The right to choose.
No more pantyhose at work--arrg!--the damn things always ran.
Growling low in her throat, Marty fervently told herself as her fingers lifted to unclasp the bra she wore that she would definitely see this protest through to its fruition. The sunflower Jeannie had painted onto her cheek twisted portently as she ripped off her bra and, with an ear-piercing roar that would put Tarzan to shame, tossed it onto the lit bonfire.
The thousands of women's rights supporters swarming below began to cheer, giving Marty the gumption to raise two angry fists before the reporters and scream like a banshee. A banshee with naked breasts. "No justice! No peace! No justice! No peace!"
The crowd began to cheer, the ruckus soon turning into a loud chant. Filled with triumph, Marty cocked her head to signal to Jeannie, letting her friend know that it was time to join her center stage and burn her bra for the assembled throng.
Jeannie's eyes widened nervously. She gulped as she glanced down into the sea of faces below. She made no move to join Marty out on the platform, opting instead to slink away unseen and scurry down the back of the podium steps.
Marty's nostrils flared as she watched her friend run from the demonstration as if the hounds of hell were nipping at her heels. This entire bra-burning scenario had been Jeannie's idea, she thought grimly. And yet when push came to shove, Jeannie had left her to do the deed alone.
Turning back to face the crowd, it dawned on Marty for the first time that she was the only person in the entire assembly who was both female and topless. Nobody else had said that they planned to burn their bras with them today. She had just assumed that by the time she and Jeannie had both burned theirs, the others would get worked up into a frenzy and do the same.
Marty's eyes narrowed as she scanned the crowd chanting below her. Plenty of them were worked up alright, but not even one of them had removed their shirts.
* * * * *
Marty cursed under her breath as she walked briskly through the camp that had been set up by the protestors as a communal housing facility during their stay in the nation's capitol. The commune lay just twenty minutes outside of Washington D.C. in a forested area of Virginia.
Determined to ferret Jeannie out and kill her, she was frustrated and more than a little disappointed when a male protestor who went by the nickname Peaceman informed her that Jeannie had already packed up and went back home.
"I don't believe it!" Marty snapped, her hands flying up to find purchase on her hips. "She went back to Toledo?"
"Jeannie's jig was up," Peaceman declared in low tones, his eyes flicking suspiciously back and forth to make certain no police were looming in the vicinity. "The fuzz must of threatened to take her in to get her to leave." His lips tightened. "I hate the damn cops!"
Marty sighed, realizing that Peaceman was as high as a kite. She doubted she'd get much useful information out of him. And she also doubted that Jeannie had fled Washington to elude the police. No, she thought with down-turned lips, she had probably fled to elude Marty's wrath. Jeannie, she conceded grimly, was smarter than she looked.
"You know, Marty," Peaceman slurred, his green eyes scanning over the poncho top and bellbottoms she wore, "that was one bitchin' show you put on today."
Marty nodded, warming to the topic. She had worked long and hard to make certain everything would go off today without a hitch. And for the most part it had. If she overlooked the fact that she'd been chanting on a podium bare-breasted and alone.
"It came from my soul, Peaceman." Her eyes narrowed in speculative contemplation. "It was past time to show the pigs in government that the women of this country will be oppressed no more. We will subvert the dominant paradigm and reclaim our ancestral rights as foremothers to this nation and people."
Peaceman's hazy eyes clouded over impossibly more. His face scrunched up into a look that clearly said he had no idea what she was talking about. "All I meant was you've got a great set of tits." He scratched his head as he regarded her, the leather headband he wore with a peace sign carved into the middle of it crinkling along with his forehead. "But the rest of what you said sounds pretty groovy too."
Marty's lips pinched together in a frown. She harrumphed as she walked away, deciding that some comments didn't deserve a reply. Especially when the one doing the commenting had smoked so much marijuana she doubted he'd remember their conversation an hour from now.
Well, she thought with a sniff, at least something had come of this day. A man had told her she had a great set of tits.
--Arrg! What a damn day!
* * * * *
For the next forty-five minutes, Marty ambled about the forested commune grounds aimlessly, her only objective to take a brisk walk--alone. Campfires were lit up all over the place, the smell of burning incense and marijuana so overwhelming that her eyes began to water.
She could hear guitars being strummed around campfires in every direction, the other hippies who'd sojourned to the capitol mellowing out after today's Independence Day protest and in preparation for tomorrow's trek back to their various homes.
Marty nodded at a fellow protestor and exchanged the peace sign with her as she continued walking through the communal grounds without stopping to chat. She was, quite simply, in no mood to be around other people.
A few minutes later, her pace slowed as she found herself next to a narrow riverbed she hadn't noticed before. But then again, she'd never ventured this far toward the commune's periphery either.
The sound of something whizzing by and landing with a dull thud jarred the ground, shaking it for a solid mile in either direction. Marty gasped, coming to a dead halt at the edge of the river.
Her eyes narrowed in confusion. She waved her hands agitatedly about to clear the air of marijuana smoke, trying her best to get a good look at whatever it was that had just landed a foot away from her.
There it was.
"A meteorite," she murmured, kneeling down beside it at the river's edge, "groovy".
The misshapen chunk of charred mass looked scalding hot to the touch, so she didn't put her hand anywhere near it. A bizarre atmosphere seemed to surround the piece of rock, warping the air all around it.
Marty shook her head to clear it, deciding she'd inhaled too much second-hand marijuana smoke. The air surrounding the meteorite was filled with static and nonsense, much the way a television looked when no programs were airing on a particular channel.
"I'm losing it," she said dully, clamping a hand to her forehead, "this is too weird."
A whizzing sound pierced the air again, causing Marty to gasp and look up. Her clear gray eyes barely had time to register the fact that a second and much larger meteorite was catapulting down from the heavens before it fell, a broken off chunk of it striking just inches from her body.
Marty screamed as the larger chunk of solid mass struck the river with such force that she was lifted off of her feet and hurled into the water with a strength that should have broken every bone in her body but didn't.
She broke the surface of the cold river and plummeted under, the shock of the icy temperature a sharp contrast to the humid nighttime air above. She was moving fast, so incredibly fast that--
Her eyes jolted opened and widened.
Marty realized with an acute sense of panic that not only was she underneath the river's surface, but that she was also hurling at an astounding speed straight toward the chunk of rock whose landing had thrown her here to begin with. She mentally screamed, knowing she would die when she struck it.
But no, she didn't die. She--
Oh god, what was happening!
Marty saw a flash of light and then suddenly her entire world twisted and skewed. She kept moving and moving--so fast--faster than a bullet--faster than what was possible.
Her entire body catapulted through the fuzzy atmosphere surrounding the meteorite and then surpassed it. She kept going and going and going--faster and faster, further and further.
But to where? What was happening!
She shot out of the fuzzy air and everything around her seemed surreal, as if she was floating at a warped speed in some sort of purple void. She fought with herself to keep from screaming, to keep from sucking in lungfuls of frigid water that would drown her, her entire body in fight or flight mode.
She was going too fast--she could make sense of nothing.
Marty continued to hold her breath lest she drown. Her eyes darted to the left of her--and did a double take. What she saw damn near frightened her enough to cause her to release her breath and scream.
She saw herself.
And then she was in front of herself, traveling at such intense speed she had left herself behind.
Left herself behind?
If Marty had known the first thing about traveling faster than the speed of light, she would have known why she'd seen and then surpassed herself. She would have known that she was hurling through the dimensions of time and space faster than the eye's retina could catch and hold onto an image.
Oh god! her mind screamed out in agony, what is happening!
Her face began to turn as purple as the void she traveled in when the need for air grew paramount. She was going to die, she thought hysterically. She was going to--
Her body catapulted through a fuzzy atmosphere, leaving the purple behind. She glanced upward as the static began to clear and realized she was about to break through a surface of water. She willed herself to make it, to hold her breath for just a few seconds more...
She came up gasping for air, sucking it in by the lungful. She closed her eyes briefly while she continued to tug in the air, drinking in the nourishment of oxygen as her cells stabilized and calmed. She remained that way until her lungs quit burning and she was able to breathe semi-normally.
Marty opened her eyes slowly--and whimpered.
"Where in the hell am I?" she murmured.
Her eyes wide with disbelief, Marty swam slowly towards shore, noting simultaneously that the water she was submerged in was as silver and gleaming as a mirror. When she reached the bank of the shore, she slowly climbed out and stood there as if paralyzed. Nothing was as it should be.
Four full moons hung down from the black sky, each of them a dull blue. For as far as the eye could see in what was presumably nighttime wherever it was she had been catapulted to, the majority of the ground was made of a glistening, rock-hard gemstone of some sort. The gemstone was a pearly bluish color, seemingly translucent yet opaque at the same time.
The pearly blue ground was broken up by occasional patches of florescent shrubbery, neon-like plant life which came in about three or four different hues of blue. Marty bent down to run a hand over it, snatching it back with a yelp when it bit her.
Swallowing roughly, she stood up and got as far away from the carnivorous shrubbery as was possible. She glanced down at her hand, ascertaining at once that the bite was deep and she needed help.
"Oh god," she breathed out, "where am I?"
Marty stepped onto the next thatch of pearly gemstone ground, careful to hop over the blue shrubbery positioned in between gemstone patches. A sickening wave of nausea and dizziness overwhelmed her, inducing her to clutch her heart and gasp for breaths of air.
"H-Help m-me," she panted out, stumbling aimlessly backwards. Unthinkingly she stepped into a patch of shrubbery, garnering herself a few sharp nicks on the ankle.
"Oh no. Oh g-god no."
Marty's eyes widened in horror when she realized that the plants were killing her. They had bit her and pumped poison into her--now they merely waited for her to collapse of heart failure so that when her body fell limp, they could dine on her at their leisure.
Sucking in huge gasps of air, she stumbled back towards the bank of mirror-silver water, as far away from the plants as was possible. Her lungs burning, she came down onto her hands and knees before the water and absently glanced into it.
"Oh Jesus," she whispered.
Marty's heart rate soared and her clear gray eyes widened into the shape of silver pools when she caught sight of her own reflection. She did a double take. The reflection was mirror-clear--and horrifically confusing.
Her blonde hair, once short, had grown out as if it hadn't been cut in over a decade. Her face, once chubby and rounded like that of most girls in their early twenties was now contoured and matured with sleek lines and sculpturing.
"What is happening!" she cried out, her confusion and fright multiplying in leaps and bounds.
Another wave of dizziness and nausea assailed her, causing Marty to clutch her heart and gasp. So many questions reeled through her mind as she collapsed onto her side and panted for air.
Where was she? What was happening to her? Why did she look as though she'd aged ten years? Why did she feel as though she'd aged ten years?
"I w-want to go h-home."
There was no home to go to, only Marty didn't yet realize that. As she fell limp onto the water bank from the poison that the plants had injected into her, she had no way of knowing that home as she knew it was no more.
In what had amounted to a mere minute of high-speed travel to Marty, ten Yessat years had passed by. Back on earth, her friends had married, bore children, their children had bore children, and then they had died.
Jeannie's body, a body that had belonged to a woman who had been a great-grandmother to a brood of seventeen, lie six feet below the surface of the earth in a steel coffin, the headmarker protruding from the soil above it proclaiming her to have died thirty years past...