Arlen hadn’t so much run as he’d walked. His owner had died with no children and no nieces, and it had taken over a month for the Crown to find an appropriate heir.
Arlen had been fond of the old bitch, but one of the lovely things about her was that she was old. He had no interest in dealing with a new mistress, bitch or no, particularly not someone young. So he found the key to his collar in a box of the her Ladyship’s jewelry, guessed the password — he had served her since infancy; there was very little he didn’t know about her — and walked.
He brought with him Anje, the cook’s daughter, who was pregnant and did not want her baby to be born a slave. They took the oldest, most broken-down of the old lady’s cars, the sort of thing she might have passed down to a slave on freeing them, had she lived.
The slave revolt found them. They were both lifetime slaves, and did not know how to look free, even if they were now, technically, free. The authorities would have found them if the revolt did not; all things considered, Arlen decided they had done all right being found as they had.
Anje found a place for herself right away. Everyone needs cooks, and she had learned at her mother’s feet. Arlen… Arlen was having more trouble. He was trained in personal service. Sometimes, they had “spa days” for visiting nosy government officials, and Arlen had moments where he could shine. But that had all of the disadvantages of personal service and none of the advantages.
There came a slave, terrified and angry and entirely unsuited, and a master who would not let go, would not give up. The dogs were coming and the psychics, the hunters with their tranq guns and their whips.
Sometimes, they had to give the former owners something. Someone. Sometimes sacrifices had to be made.
Arlen looked at the runaway, at Anje and her little girl. He looked, lastly, at himself in the mirror.
And then he walked away from the revolt and back into slavery.
So, cluudle has been writing some stories today in an AU based off of Tir na Cali.
And in return, I wrote a piece based off of her AU. 🙂
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