Redeeming the Alien Bounty Hunter: Chapter One


It was nearly midday before I remembered. I stopped in the middle of changing my so-called master’s sheets. Well, I called them sheets, but the thin, slick material the fabric was made of had never been seen on Earth. It was lightweight and yet held in temperature just as well as any Earth-like blanket.

Only the top-of-the-line products would do for my alien captor.

But the damn sheets didn’t matter at this moment. No, what truly mattered was the one thing I had control of in my life: a way to mark my days of imprisonment.

And I’d completely forgotten to do so before I started my day of cleaning and serving.

I cursed under my breath.

“Amy! Bring me food and drink!”

Estor’s voice made me jump. Changing out the bedding would have to wait. He called me into work.

What’s the magic word? A snide voice inside my head asked. It was the only form of rebellion left to me. As far as I knew, there weren’t any aliens who were telepaths. Therefore, they couldn’t tell how much I hated them or hear when I talked back to them in my thoughts.

Despite my inner rebellion, I hurried out of the small bedroom into the larger meeting hall.

Two alien males sat at a large conference table. My master, Estor, was Mtoain, a tall man with green, bark-like skin and eyes with flecks of gray throughout. Kind of an ugly combination. What little hair he had left on top of his head was shaped like leaves. Apparently, male pattern baldness was not only a human condition.

His guest for the afternoon was a Tomnol—a lizardish sort of alien, but with humanlike hands and no tail. I think he leered openly at me as I entered the room, but it was hard to tell because his stiff, reptile face showed almost no expression.

Tomnals were one of my least favorite aliens in the pleasure house — and that said something. The women who worked as pleasure slaves often had bite marks when their session with Tomnals were done.

I averted my gaze from the man and quickly stepped to the food preparation countertops. I’d already pre-prepared the meal several hours ago. All that was left to be done was to plate it all out and serve it up.

Estor could’ve done it himself, but then he wouldn’t have his pretty personal slave sashaying around. He wouldn’t be able to show off.

Sure enough…

“Do you like what you see, Izer Xelni?” Estor asked his guest in a low, oily voice.

“What is it?” Izer Xelni asked, eyeing me like I was his next dinner course. I did my very best to pretend like I didn’t notice.

“A fine specimen I picked up in one of the outer sectors. Very primitive people. They haven’t even gotten out of their solar system yet.”

“Perhaps if you give me the coordinates of that planet, I’d be willing to lower my price…” Izer Xelni said. “I’ve looked for a new pretty, exotic slave. My current one is nearly used up.”

I shivered, my gaze turned down to the plate as if I was unaware I was the subject of conversation. Gathering up the plates with all the experience I had gained being a waitress back on good old Earth, I walked over and started dishing them out. Then I took the cups and refilled them as well, being sure to lean all the way over between Estor and Izer Xelni.

Both men watched me with hungry eyes.

“Don’t forget to clean up the food serving area,” Estor told me.

I read between the lines — he’d done this song and dance many times before. He wanted me to stick around and provide a distraction for Izer Xelni.

Fine. Whatever. I sashayed back with all the grace of an angry rhinoceros — not that any of them could tell. As far as they probably knew, humans always stomped around like that. Then I set to cleaning, making sure to bend over as much as possible to show a slip of my behind under my ridiculously short uniform.

Thank all the gods, Estor never touched me. He just liked to look.

As I cleaned, the two men got back to business. Apparently, Estor was coming up in the world. As long as I’d known him, he was a simple — if powerful — slaver. But his conversation today with Izer Xelni included collecting weapons, supplies, and ships. Apparently, he and a bunch of other slavers planned to combine their efforts and raid a planetary system. Maybe even several.

I hoped that Earth wasn’t on the list. Izer Xelni asked about the coordinates of my old home planet a couple of times in a sly, underhanded way. But Estor brushed him off each time.

Human beings like me were still an exotic trade. He wasn’t being nice. He just wanted to keep people like me to himself. It drove the price up higher.

I felt bad for having those thoughts. If it wasn’t my world that was about to get raided, it’d be somebody else’s. The more innocent, naïve version of me who I’d been before I’d been kidnapped off of Earth would’ve been horrified.

Now, I knew better.

Finally, Izer Xelni and Estor’s grim business finished up. Credits were electronically exchanged, false smiles were made, and Izer Xelni made his way out.

I ignored most of it. My cleaning was done. Mostly, I stood around, being the pretty statue I was supposed to be, not a real person with thoughts and feelings.

My gaze moved to an antiquated map of an alien planet. It was of Mtoain. The home planet of Estor. The continents and landmasses were nothing like Earth. It seemed most of the planet was taken up by one large continent, with shallow seas carving boundaries.

According to the map, most of the landmasses were heavily forested. That made sense, considering the tree-like people who lived there.

I was unaware of Estor’s presence by my side until he spoke. “Looking at the cities of your betters?” he asked, snidely. “I don’t see why. Your people have no hope of conquering mine.”

“That wasn’t why I was — it looks like a pretty planet, that’s all,” I said softly, lowering my eyes in deference.

I felt the weight of Estor’s gaze on me for a few long moments and wondered if I was about to be slapped. It wouldn’t be the first time.

But it was true. All I’d seen of the greater galaxy after I’d been removed from Earth, was the inside of space ships and this space station. There were hundreds of planets out there. Some of them were nightmarish to human beings. Others sounded like utopias… If I took the gossip from the other slaves as fact.

Sometimes, when I tried to sleep at night, I imagined myself on one of those worlds. Free.

Estor must’ve decided I was more amusing than rebellious. He snorted. “Highly doubtful. Remember this, slave: If your species were smart enough to tangle with mine, they’d be a power in the galaxy instead of trapped on a backwater planet.”

I swallowed without saying anything, nodding once.

He was right, of course. The only other humans I’d ever see again would be slaves just like me. I’d accepted that fact a long time ago.

In the wider scope of the galaxy, humans were primitive and behind the curve technologically. That made us the perfect prey for people like Estor and Izer Xelni.

Estor, apparently growing bored of this conversation, turned and strode out the door. “Don’t forget to change out my bedding,” he called. “We have a new crop of pleasure slaves coming in, and I want to test out the inventory.”

I shuddered, nodding again.

My life was pretty miserable, but enough of a reminder that it could be worse. I was only Estor’s assistant, not his personal pleasure slave.

As soon as he left, I hurried to his adjoining bedroom to quickly finish my tasks. Once that was done, I made my way back to the cubicle serving as my own room.

It was about the size of a coffin, and just as warm and friendly. I had more room to myself when I’d lived in a van as a digital nomad back on Earth.

That seemed so long ago, back when my greatest ambition in life was to finally put a down payment on a tiny home.

If I could go back now… I’d live in a place without walls ever again.

The ceiling itself was low, and I had to crouch to get in. My bedding was on the hard floor, tucked away nicely. But my real pride and joy were the strings of small beads strung up across the “ceiling”.

Beads were easy to come by. They always fell off of exotic outfits from pleasure slaves. I found at least a dozen of them a day when I cleaned up the rooms after shifts.

Taking one of the tiny beads in the pile, I strung it on a wire over my bed, pausing. The wires looked pretty full. I had arranged them in Earth calendar months.

There were now twelve full strings of beads, each one having either thirty or thirty-one beads on it. And one month having twenty-eight.

Estor and his people used some other calendar, but I stuck to the good old Earth method.

Twelve months. I had been a slave for a full year.

Happy anniversary to me.

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