Fast Forward 1 Week on Kiyr
For a race of extremely intelligent, good-lookin’ humans, these Others sure as hell had a backward looking palace. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful. Yellow sand coloured limestones, huge windows, small pretty balconies off every room, a large spacious courtyard with fountains and greenery. The whole palace was surrounded by a dense, close forest.
The whole palace was left to all us girls and a couple of lower ranked Others who taught us how to be... well, slaves. Everyone got similar duties, most assigned to cleaning, others to cooking, some to more specific roles like gardening. The highly ranked Others were no-where to be found for the whole week – Ladonna, the only female Other from the spaceship, told us that the males were informing Kiyr of the failure that we girls had turned out to be. We weren’t who they wanted, let alone needed. Yep, those were her exact words by the way. She didn’t speak very highly of us.
Celeste and I hated her with a passion because even though we tried to stay quiet in the background and we did everything she said – she would still find ways to pick on us the most. It’s like she had some sort of uncontained fury towards us. Or a grudge of some kind.
Which meant Celeste and I were assigned the hardest jobs. Ladonna had our daily chores planned to perfectly exhaust us at the end of every day. First we had to water the garden in the courtyard, probably the easiest thing to do. However then we had to clear every plate away after breakfast while the other girls started to clean every inch of the palace floors and walls. After all, spotless floors is the least the highly ranked Others deserved to set their feet on every morning. Then the day would progress to Celeste and I being separated as we were made to clean every room in the most elaborate hallway of the whole palace. The five bedrooms either side of the hall, occupied whoever was deemed to be King Shit as far as I was concerned. They were so elaborate, huge and so difficult to clean – by the time we were done Celeste and I were exhausted and starving. Even then, we weren’t allowed to eat until we then proceeded to clean the huge indoor pool area that was completely carved from limestone. The only thing afforded to us was drinks by other girls who would drop by to offer us a glass here or there. Dinner would then ensue, we would retire to our little slave house adjacent to the palace, find our tiny beds and fall fast asleep.
Celeste and I did this routine for seven long days. How did the bedrooms get messed up every day when no one was using them, you may wonder? Every night, after cleaning, Ladonna would go to each room and strip the blankets from each massive bed and throw clothes everywhere onto the floor, sometimes over the balcony. It was to teach us obedience, apparently. We already obeyed every damn word that spilled forth from her hag mouth. That is why we were so utterly grateful when the eighth day arrived.
Ladonna was finally leaving.
The superior Others that resided in the palace were returning and her job was now done. A week in the palace had taught everyone their place, their assigned jobs and roles. Ladonna had dealt with any forms of rebellion with harsh restrictions on food which brought everyone quickly back into line. Now, we were ready to serve our new masters.
Oh, how excited we all were.
Note the sarcasm.
I was the least excited because I knew I had a rough time ahead of me. This is where I would regret killing that soldier for the rest of my life. I had been the only girl to cause a casualty in an act of rebellion. Even though in my head it was an act of self-defence. Ladonna had therefore assigned me intense counselling sessions, at the end of every day, before dinner, so that I could be thoroughly and fully brainwashed into feeling enormous remorse, guilt and regret. The counselling sessions had not started yet, however.
She told me only a superior Other could deal with the repercussions of a murderer.
Now it was finally the eighth day.
Ladonna wouldn’t be here, but all the Others would be. Traegr, Hraken... Sabir...
I fill up the bucket I’m holding from a fountain with an endless supply of underground water. I was watering the garden in the courtyard with Celeste in the warm perfect air, while the other forty-eight girls were inside preparing breakfast.
“Do you hear that?” Celeste asks, her silver eyes are shining with anxiety as the mechanical humming noise gets louder in the air around us. We both look up as we see a blue spaceship fly directly overhead, slowing down on approach as it circles around to the other side of the palace, out of sight. I slowly put down my bucket onto the edge of the fountain, eyes on Celeste. The bucket is on an angle however and falls towards me, emptying a couple of litres of water all over my new outfit. It was a combination of plain short shorts and a shortened midriff top due to the hot, humid weather of this part of the world.
“Damn it,” I kick the bucket away from me, stepping back to look at my drenched clothes. I look up to see Celeste trying not to giggle, with a hand over her mouth.
“Careful,” she whispers, “We have to work in these outfits all day, they won’t give you a second one.”
“I don’t want to bring attention to myself,” I growl, walking over to the bucket that I’ve kicked away from me, picking it up, “They’re back.”
“We’ll have to go over there to greet them,” Celeste tries to look confident as she says this, but her eyes were a dead give-away to how she truly felt. They showed emotion so easily. She was terrified of meeting Traegr again.
“I’m not going over there to greet anyone in this state, I’ll just hide in a bush or something until the meet and greet is over,” I respond, coming over to stand with Celeste again next to the fountain, where she has taken a seat on the outer brim.
“Ladonna told us to rush to the entrance if we saw them coming in to land, everyone has to be there to greet them,” she reminds me, “We have to go. They’ll notice if we don’t appear.”
“Maybe Ladonna will forget about us in the garden while she orders the other girls to go to the front of the palace,” I suggest, “Maybe we can both get out of greeting those arrogant bastards.”
Celeste and I both cringe as we hear the door to the kitchens, slam open. We knew exactly who that would be.
We both stand and go quiet as Ladonna rushes over to us, her face flushed.
“Girls, what are you doing – oh my!” she spots my drenched outfit and her hand goes to her mouth, “I spend a week training you two to be good slaves and you’re already going to embarrass me in front of your masters.”
“Well I don’t have another outfit and Celeste didn’t do anything, she’s fine,” I explain slowly, shrugging, but Ladonna is having none of it.
“Come with me, right now, I’ll get you a different change of clothes,” she grabs my elbow and directs Celeste to the front of the palace while she drags me inside.
Ladonna rushes me with incredible strength in her grip, up the stairs to the third level where the rooms are that Celeste and I clean every day.
“Where are we going?” I ask, confused. However she just shushes me harshly and drags me into my favourite bedroom. The one I thought was most lavish and beautiful. It’s red theme had a harshness to it but it was still my favourite room. Not to mention there were gold curtains, huge dark wood draws for clothes, red and gold extravagant carpet, a huge dresser that looked like it was for a female and –
That’s exactly where Ladonna goes, reaching down into one draw of the dresser, she picks out the first thing she sees. A brown leather, gold embroidered, revealing skirt and... bra?
“I’m not wearing that –” I beg with my wide eyes, despite its beauty... it was so much more attention grabbing than my wet slave clothes.
“I don’t care what you have to say, these are your old clothes – well,” she pauses, correcting herself, “These are the clothes of a princess so you better wear them like one, understand?”
There goes that old princess myth again. If only I really was a princess... then I wouldn’t have to do so many boring chores all day.
“This was my room...?” I ask in awe as she literally starts helping me undress and dress again.
This was princess Sapphire’s old room.
Or... was it?
I didn’t know, I wouldn’t be able to think about it much longer. After dressing me as quickly as possible, Ladonna is already ushering me down the stairs, towards the entrance.
It was time to greet the Others.