Sylia: The Fear of Freedom


#1

The violet tinted twi’lek sat huddled in the corner of the freighter’s cargo hold. Back behind a maze of stacked crates and cargo containers, she’d hid for the length of the voyage. She didn’t know how many days it had been, but it seemed like the ship would be in hyperspace forever. She didn’t even know where it was going. She only knew that it was going away.

That, and she was afraid.

So very afraid.

She had no idea what else awaited her outside the hutt territories, but it had to be better than the place she’d just fled. Better than the only place she ever knew as her home. But it did not feel like home any longer. When she was younger, maybe. When she was still a girl, master had been nice to her. Always treated her with a kind smile, and often gave her candy. But as she got older, it seemed like he changed more and more. It became a rare thing to get a single nice word from him.

The other slaves had tried to warn her but she didn’t want to believe it. He had been the same to them all, they said, and that once she got to be a certain age, all he’d want was her body. And all she could ever do was obey. She’d seen what happened to the other girls when they didn’t. But she could not obey anymore…not after that last time…not after what he wanted to make her do…How could he…?

Still…what if she was wrong…what if what master kept saying was right…maybe he was protecting her from even worse things in the galaxy. It didn’t feel much like protection, but she couldn’t help but fear she’d made a horrible horrible mistake by running away.

She had no idea why she ran to this ship. No idea why she didn’t just stay and put up with master’s perversions. Why did she listen to such a fleeting feeling, no matter how right it felt at the time. What if she was only making things worse? What if the crew found her? What if they made her do even worse things than master had?

Sylia hugged her knees to her chest tightly, and began sobbing quietly, as she had done so many times already on this trip.

She was so very afraid…


“Hey you! What the hell’re you doin here!”

Sylia jerked awake with a startle. She must have fallen asleep and been found by one of the crew!

Her eyes darted around and loadlifters were busy hauling cargo out of the bay. She looked up to the angry voice, only to spot the devilish visage of a male devaronian. Eyes wide, she recoiled in panic and scrambled away from him, stumbling clumsily over some crates. She ran right past one of the load lifters being operated by an iridonian, and dashed down the loading ramp.

She paused just long enough at the bottom to look around and get her bearings. She heard those men on the ship shouting after, she had to get away! She found an exit and darted off again, immediately rounding the corner once she was through and barreled her thin frame down the hallway, dashed around another corner and hunkered down. Her chest heaved as she breathed heavily. She was already out of breath. She’d never had to run so much in her life, and the fear sent a fresh stream of tears down her cheeks before she clenched her eyes shut, and and hugged at her knees again.

She stayed there, in the CZ-220 corridor, too afraid to move, too afraid to stop crying, too afraid to open her eyes, even after some time when she could swear she could feel eyes upon her…

“Hey…” a female voice said, “are you okay…?”


#3

Berath sat down in the center-most of a collection of chairs set up in the ballroom, accompanied on either side by a pair of aids. He glanced around impatiently before looking to one of his companions.

“Which one is this?”

“Uh…Sylia, sir.”

Berath just returned a blank look to the aid.

“The…uh…purple one.”

"Oh, right, how long have I had her now? Three years?

“Four, sir”

“Four? Well, its about time she started earning her way. How old?”

“Twelve, sir”

“Ugh…well, as long as she can dance, should be fine. Never heard of a bad twi’lek dancer.” Berath smirked. “Alright, bring her in.”

The aid motioned to one of the guards who promptly drew open a curtain. A trio of his older slaves filed in nervously, followed by a young pinkish-purple skinned twi’lek who flashed a bright grin when she spotted her master.

The older of the preceeding three approached gave another nervous look to the youth before approaching the men. “May I present for the master’s pleasure, Sylia.”

Berath waved off the old slave. “Yes, yes, I know the thing’s name, get on with it, I have a lot to do today.”

The older woman bowed quickly and backed away, rejoining the other two and snapping something to them. They each brought up an instrument and begin playing a lazy melody with a slow rhythm. She then beckoned for the young twi’lek to begin…


Sylia stood shyly before Berath. The other three women lined up on either side of her as their master paced in front of them, then stopped to scrutinize the girl.

His gaze then turned to the oldest. “What the hell did I just watch.”

The slave averted her eyes. “Please forgive her, master, she is still young…”

“Why are you telling me what to do?”

“Master, I did not mean…”

“What in your long years of service to me makes you think that is a good idea? Maybe I need to retrain you, hm?”

The old slave grows quiet as he cuts her off, lowing her head submissively.

“That’s better…Now tell me, who was responsible for training this one.”

“Mia instructed her in dancing. She said she was having trouble with it”

“You are rather dense today. Did I ask who her teacher was? Or did I ask who was responsible for seeing she was taught?”

“M-me, master…”

“That’s right. And would you call what just transpired here dancing?”

Sylia’s head hung low as Berath berated the older woman. The slave spared the girl a regretful look, then lowered her own gaze as well. “No master.”

“That’s right. That was the absolute worst dancing I have ever seen. What am I supposed to do with a twelve year old twi’lek who can’t dance? What am I supposed to do with a slave who doesn’t do what I need them to?” He asked pointedly.

The old slave just stayed quiet.

Berath turned to his other aid, who had been quiet the entire time. “Take her. Twenty lashes, and make sure she doesn’t scar, or its your head.”

“No! Nana!” Sylia cried out as they dragged away the older slave. Berath went over to the child and knelt down in front of her, taking her by the shoulders and turning her to look at him.

“Look at me, Sylia.”

The girl turned to him, tears staining her cheeks.

“You understand, this is how the galaxy works. If you do not do your job right, there have to be consequences.”

Sylia gives a small nod, sniffling.

“She has to earn her value, just like everyone else. Just like you do, understand?”

She nodded again.

“You get that this is happening to her because you didn’t try hard enough, right? You need to try harder. You don’t want her to be hurt again, do you?”

She shakes her head, sniffling again.

“Good. I’m sure she will be glad to know that. Do you think you can practice and get better for her?”

She seemed hesitant.

“Sylia?”

“I…I dunno master…I tried really hard, but I can’t move like Mia does…Please don’t hurt Nana cause of me…she tried really hard too, and Mia…”

Berath let go of her and stood up, towering over the young twi’lek.

“I don’t want to punish them again, Sylia, but the protection I give you and them doesn’t come for free. If you don’t all earn your value, then I won’t be able to protect you from the things the whole galaxy wants to do to you. I know you think its bad what I did to ‘Nana,’ but there is far worse out there, and it gobbles up cute things like you for breakfast. Is that something you want to happen?”

“No!”

“Do you want to make me happy?”

The girl nodded frantically.

“Then you need to prove your value another way…and since you can’t dance, you don’t have many options. You’re going to need to work hard, even harder than before to make sure you don’t mess up and get anybody else hurt, understand?”

“Yes master!”

“Good.” Berath looked to the other two women who had been silent the entire time.

“You know what to do. Make sure she knows how to entertain.” He glances back to his first aid. "And make sure nobody touches her until I say.

He started to leave, but paused, looking back to the two older slaves. “Oh…and cut her rations in half. She’s too fat.” Berath continued out of the room with his aid following behind as the women turn to the young girl and quickly usher her out.


#4

Great so far, approved for EXP bonus. Contact a DM IG for it!