Gor Meets Amazonia

Part 9

by Xaltatun of Acheron

- do not use without the author's permission.
- provided for use on SirJeff's Ponygirls by the author.

This work is copyright 2000-2004 by Xaltatun of Acheron (A Pseudonym). It may be posted on the Internet to any free forum, provided it is not modified in any way, and provided that this notice is included in its entirety. It may not be sold, or included in any compilation that is sold, or posted on any forum that requires a fee for access, without my written permission. My permission will require payment, terms to be negotiated. For purposes of this notice, sites guarded by Adult Check or similar packages are considered pay sites. Posting on any site must include this copyright notice.

Adult Content Warning - this story contains adult themes, including non-consensual bondage/slavery and forced sexual acts. If you are under the lawful age for such materials (18 in most jurisdictions) or if you would find such material offensive, please go elsewhere.

Safety Warning. This story may contain descriptions of practices that are decidedly unsafe, either in general, or if performed by someone without adequate training. There are a number of good books available on safety in the BDSM scene. Most large cities, and some not so large ones, have organized BDSM groups that will usually welcome a newcomer. I'm not going to point out which practices are safe, and which aren't. Any practice is unsafe if performed by someone with inadequate training and experience, or if performed when not paying attention. Please think before you act. Don't make yourself a candidate for a Darwin award.



Story codes: (MF, FF, pony, SF, little sex)


There are currently eight stories in the Freehold series:


1. A Slave Girl of Freehold

2. A Ponygirl of Freehold

3. The Field Ecologist's Ponygirl (sequel to A Ponygirl of Freehold)

4. Delivery Ponyboy

5. Carriage Team of Freehold

6. Escaped Ponygirl

7. Pyramid Scheme

8. Gor meets Amazonia


Stories 2 and 3: Ponygirl and Field Ecologist form one story and should be read in that order. Story one leads into story 4, although there isn't any real continuity of plot.


Carriage Team of Freehold, Escaped Ponygirl, Pyramid Scheme and Gor Meets Amazonia form a sequence, to some extent based on events at the end of Delivery Ponyboy. You do not need to read them in sequence, but it may help fill in gaps.


Some additional background on Freehold, in particular, how it happened, is in the story "The Curtain Falls, The Curtain Rises," the end of the Ponygirl Transformation series.


The name Freehold has no relationship to any other use of the term by any other author. No connection should be assumed, either derivative or as a base for parody.




OK - now on to the story -------



Table of Contents



Chapter 1. It happened this way: Twenty Years previously.

Chapter 2. The Princess Arrives.

Chapter 3. The Race.

Chapter 4. After the Race.

Chapter 5. Shopping Expedition.

Chapter 6. Plans

Chapter 7. Enclave Control Committee Meeting Number 497.

Chapter 8. Prep Time

Chapter 9. Unexpected efficiency causes a slight problem

Chapter 10. Temple Island

Chapter 11. The Stables

Chapter 12. Bureaucratic Flashback.

Chapter 13. Back at the stables.

Chapter 14. Diplomatic Dinner

Chapter 15. Sasha

Chapter 16. Enclave Control Committee Meeting Number 499.

Chapter 17. Payback Time.

Chapter 18. I Meet the Dodecahedron. We both survive.

Chapter 19. I buy Sleen.

Chapter 20. Customs Duty.

Chapter 21. Terri is a What???

Chapter 22. Introduction to the Dodecahedron.

Chapter 23. Interview with a ponyboy.

Chapter 24. Sojourn in Fantasyland.

Chapter 25. Conversation with the God’s Own Winemaker

Chapter 26. Master Skodarian.

Chapter 27. Taking Care of Terri.

Chapter 28. Council Business.

Chapter 29. Human Rights Conference.

Chapter 30. More Meetings.

Chapter 31. Bonnie out-clevers herself.

Chapter 32. Back at Master Skodarian’s.

Chapter 33. Another Mob Scene.

Chapter 34. Executive Reorganization.



What has gone before


In the first episode of Gor Meets Amazonia, we did a bit of a flashback about how Princess (then Duchess) Annabelle introduced herself to the Gorean Enclave with a show of swordsmanship that would baffle anyone who knows swordsmanship. All will eventually be revealed. Various other things moved along; Sherry has decided to immigrate to Freehold, and has discovered a few problems in her way, like she’s illiterate. Annabelle wants to turn me into the living representative of the gods, as the gods own ponygirl. I must say I was intrigued by the idea, especially the notion that I would have apparently miraculous powers at my beck and call.


In the second episode we had the obligatory ponygirl race. I won the first two heats, and one of the twins won the third. Princess Annabelle decided we needed more staff, so she wanted a small shopping expedition.


In the third episode, we went shopping for more staff, and bought a courtesan for the Prince and Princess, a farm supervisor to take care of the place, and another groom to help Frank out. The Prince arrived, and I discovered that I was now expected to attend Enclave Control Committee meetings. They’re a trip and a half, let me tell you. In this one, we decided to install part of Freehold’s population control system in the Enclave. In any case, plans are what doesn’t happen, and all the nice ideas about how to inject me into the Enclave with maximum effect were doomed to be unraveled, as you’re about to see.


In the fourth episode, a UN official, Ser Johansen, shows up to deal with some fisheries problems, and I get injected into the Enclave early. When the dust settles, I’m ensconced in my permanent position in Animal House, which is what the apartments occupied by the followers of Dionysus is called, and have acquired titular authority over the Temple Island pony stables. I’ve gotten a semi-permanent ponygirl named Donny Brooke, and I’m the owner of a slave girl named Sasha, who is somewhat of a problem.


In the fifth episode, I settle Sasha, and then we have another Enclave Control Committee meeting, where things finally get moving. The Committee decides to expand the system to include international law enforcement, and yours truly is appointed the enforcer, with the grudging acquiesce of the Dodecahedron, which has a number of concerns with my using my “god given powers” in that endeavor. I also started picking up a number of anthropologists that had gotten stuck in one way or another and adding them to my staff.


In the sixth episode, I do some more law enforcement, pick up another anthropologist named Terrence Waters who turns out to have been turned into a very tasty she-male named Terri, get introduced to the Dodecahedron and finally recruit the last of the missing anthros, a man named Roger Thornton who’s been turned into a ponyboy and is now residing in my stables. Is this getting complicated, or what?


In the seventh episode, I started dealing with the human rights people who’d gotten themselves in a snit about the human livestock program in the Enclave. As it turned out, Ser Johansen had gotten to them, and I had to get them calmed down. Then the Dionysus cult’s senior winemaker put me on to Master Skodarian, who was the one that had transformed Terri. That led to a number of rather interesting back and forths, but at least Terri started getting her head straightened out from the conditioning Skodarian had implanted.


In the eighth episode, I attended the Human Right’s conference with Terri, we had another Enclave Control Committee meeting where we decided to trade minutes with the Temple Island conclave, and Bonnie went out of control and attempted to kill Princess Annabelle. So I got the chance to see how they turned her into a ponygirl before I went shopping for another maid for the Princess.


Chapter 32. Back at Master Skodarian’s.


Master Skodarian’s she-male slave training establishment still loomed at the end of the side road, the solid rock walls reinforcing the idea that there was no escaping this place without its master’s permission. Whoever built it seemed to have gotten his ideas of a medieval castle from a 3V set designer. That was probably not the worst idea, now that I thought about it. A large part of what Skodarian did was based on the impression of overwhelming power that would sweep resistance out of its path without noticing its existence.

The gates swung open in front of me, and my ‘girl brought us into the courtyard without breaking step. I thought that was a clever touch on his part. This time I looked for the muscle and found it. One burly slave on each side, imprisoned in a chamber built into the wall of the fortress and chained to the levers that opened and closed the gate. The rooms had a concealed viewport so they could see visitors coming down the road, and another viewport so they could see each other and coordinate their side of the door.

That had to be a terminally boring job, although maybe not. Skodarian had probably conditioned them so they were perfectly matched to their labors. I frowned a bit. Did I see Bess’ hand in this? Maybe, maybe not. Training them to not think would certainly be one way of keeping them from going crazy with boredom. Anyway, that wasn’t my concern today.

“What brings you back so soon?” he asked as he hurried out of the door while I was still getting out of the chariot.

“Shopping,” I told him with a straight face.

“Shopping?” I enjoyed the puzzled look on his face. It looked like it was surprised to find itself there, and eager to get away. “You were certainly polite last time you were here, and you were quite helpful, but I wouldn’t have thought you would be interested in my product for yourself.”

“It’s not for myself. Her Holiness Annabelle needs a new maid, and she sent me to see if you had any suitable candidates.”

“Annabelle?” he asked, surprised again. “To be frank about it, I thought she wanted me out of business.”

“You’re right about that, but she needs a maid and you’re the only vendor that deals in feminized males.”

“I know she found Sherry suitable, but I never thought it was because of that.” He asked a question with an arched eyebrow.

“She’s the head of the Hercules cult. She’s not going to choose a maid that won’t pass their rather peculiar requirements.”

“There is that,” he agreed. “Her Holiness does seem to have made a point of not taking advantage of her position.” His mildly puzzled look showed that he seemed to find that incomprehensible.

I shrugged minutely. “We’ve got one rather unusual requirement,” I told him. “She spends a significant amount of time in the Ancient Egypt enclave, and at some point she wants to return to Freehold where she’s from originally. So I’m looking for a maid that won’t be overwhelmed with having to deal with Ancient Egypt, and who will be able to deal with Freehold when Annabelle returns there with her, but who won’t be tempted to immigrate to Freehold before then.”

“I’d say that’s almost impossible, except that I think I may have just the slave girl you’re looking for. In fact, I’ve been wondering what to do with her. She’s shaping up very well in most ways, but there are a few quirks that I’ve been unable to train out. They may be advantages for you, though.”

He looked around and waved at one of his staff. “Jeremy, have Tansy prepared for display.”

He turned back. “Tansy is the girl I mentioned. Her accent suggests she may be an outsider.”

“You don’t know?”

“I don’t encourage them to think about their past.”

“That makes sense,” I said. “It’s easy enough for me to find out.”

“It’ll be a few minutes before they’ve got her ready,” he said. “Meanwhile, is there anything I could show you while you’re waiting?”

“Several things came up while I was helping Sherry prepare for Freehold immigration, and there are a few questions you could answer that might be helpful with Terri as well.”

“Then we should go to somewhere comfortable,” he said, turning and leading the way into the building. We eventually arrived in the same office and showroom where I’d seen him before, and settled into his surprisingly comfortable chairs. The tray of cinnamon tarts was just as delicious as I remembered from before.

“I had a small problem with Sherry when I went to prepare her for Freehold. She had some trouble learning to read. Nothing you did to her,” I added as he frowned at that. “The problem existed before; I found that she’d attempted to become a scribe and couldn’t make it.

“However, I had to ask the Sorcerer’s physicians for assistance. They found the problem and resolved it, but they also suggested some additional procedures to complete the sex change.”

He frowned in interest. “Oh? My girls do tend to have problems ten to twenty years after they leave here, but I’ve never found out what causes it.” He sounded vaguely affronted at the lack of perfection in his product.

“I can’t tell you the details; I’m an assassin and actress by training, not a physician. In any case, I suspect that the way the Sorcerers see medicine may not be all that compatible with your practice.”

“You’re probably right. I looked into the ponymaking process when I was younger, and will admit to being completely mystified. Something like that would certainly simplify my process substantially.” He paused and frowned again. “However, I probably wouldn’t find it anywhere as interesting.”

“You might. I’ve got you officially on the books as a gender reassignment clinic. I don’t know whether they’d build it for you, but anything’s possible if you approach it right.”

“It’s something to think about. What about Terri?” He frowned again.

“Frankly, she’s the best sex toy I own,” I grinned. “However, what I want out of her has more to do with what she’d learned to do before she came to the enclave, and for that I need to undo a lot of the conditioning you installed. The Sorcerers have got some interesting techniques, and we’ve made quite a bit of progress, but they think it would help if we knew what you did, specifically.”

“In what sense?”

“The panic reaction she’s got to having her collar removed, for example. We tripped over that one quite by accident.”

“I see,” he actually smiled like he’d done something clever. “There are several of those, and they may prove to be impossible to remove.”


“I’ve anchored them to some kind of rather peculiar structure that I’ve never figured out. If it wasn’t impossible, I’d say it was past life death trauma.”

My eyebrows went up at that, not that I was going to enlighten him about exactly how real past life traumas could look – regardless of whether there was any such thing as a past life. I’d had to resolve a couple myself before I got to what had compelled me to become an assassin, and finding them had shaken my rather nebulous lack of religious conviction. The experience had convinced me that an offhand rejection of such things might not be the best policy.

“That possibility had never occurred to me,” I said truthfully. “I’ll tell the therapist and see what develops.”

“As far as she goes,” he mused, “you may have another difficulty. I never quite figured out if she was a transsexual or not. In some ways she fought the process like any normal male, and in other ways it seemed to be easier than it should. But then, every one of them is unique. That’s part of what makes my product so good; I have to shape each one individually.”

“The two I’ve seen so far have certainly been works of art,” I said, and I meant the complement.

“Tansy may not seem quite as finished,” he said with a frown. “She seems to come along quite well, and then I get the impression she’s laughing at me. I’ve never been able to implant the terror of not having an owner so it will stick, although she’s never given me the least bit of trouble with obedience.”

I shrugged. “We’ll see. I take it you’re going to have her dance for me first?” I asked, gesturing to the musicians that had walked into the little area by the side of the stage and started to organize themselves.

“Yes, that’s her,” he responded as a red haired, green eyed lass walked onto the stage, her posture showing a self-confident placidity with just a touch of fire. I could very easily see her as the perfect servant; invisible unless needed.

She rather obviously wasn’t from around here; I could practically smell an Ireland that no longer existed. I started both a Justice and a medical scan, and sat back to watch the show.

The drum and flute started, and she shifted smoothly into a sinuously erotic dance. That shift startled me enough that I almost dropped my wine glass. It wasn’t that it was so smooth; it was that her entire posture and face shifted, almost as if she was another person. The sultry seductress who was somehow one with the music simply wasn’t the same simple serving lass that had stood there a moment before.

As a seduction dance, it was good. It was better than good; I could feel myself getting aroused as I hadn’t the last time I’d seen one of these things. I’d thought Terri was good, she was as much better than Terri as Terri was better than the average tavern wench trying to fire up the crowd for the rest of the ‘girls.

The medical monitor came through just then with a diagnosis: Multiple Personality Syndrome. Justice came through a moment later with an identification: she had escaped from a locked ward in an asylum in Dublin. The dossier agreed with medical’s diagnosis.

“I see you like her,” Skodarian said from my side.

“I certainly do,” I said enthusiastically. “If I wasn’t overstaffed with three girls, I’d consider buying her for myself!”

“Would you like to try her out?”

“Ummm.” I flicked my tongue over my upper lip. “As a matter of fact, yes.”


I stretched languidly, Tansy curled up and breathing softly by my side. She wasn’t asleep, but she was so limp she might as well be.

“Time to wake up, sleepyhead.” She uncurled and stretched, the back bend bringing her breasts fully to the front where they stuck out invitingly. I let my tail come up and gently tickle her cock and balls; she suddenly bent over, laughing.

“That was extra good,” I told her. “A little more practice, and you might be better than Terri.”

“Is mistress going to buy me?” she asked softly.

“Maybe,” I said, suddenly serious. “I want to talk to your central personality.”

Two fleeting expressions chased themselves across her face before the slave maid showed up displaying blank incomprehension.

“Don’t give me that, Danny O’Devlin,” I said. That shook the blank look off of her face, to be replaced by yet another personality. This one seemed like it couldn’t make up its mind if it was scared or simply cautious.

“You’re not in any trouble – yet,” I said. “We can forget what happened in Ireland.” I waved my hand dismissively.

“We can?” he asked. This voice was definitely male.

“Unless you really want to,” I said. “You’re in the Gorean Enclave, and it’s part of Freehold. There are no extradition treaties. What we need to consider is where you go from here.”


“Because of how you escaped from that asylum. They claim there were no security breaches, but you simply walked out. How? Did you teleport, did you mess up the system, or do something else?”

“Teleport?” he asked, blankly. “I used the Sight to find a hole, and walked through it. I killed the tracker they stuck on me first, though. That’s what’s probably got them puzzled.” That impudent grin was a lot better.

“It would,” I agreed. “Fortunately, they’re still chasing their tails trying to discover who could have smuggled you out. It’s affecting the staff’s morale significantly.”

“Couldn’t happen to nicer people.”

I shrugged. “That’s all water over the dam. The issue is that you’ve got clairvoyance and telekinesis.” I saw his blank look. “That’s the proper terms for the Sight and what you used to kill the tracker circuitry.”


“That means you’re either going to be very unhappy trying to live without letting your neighbors know you have them, or you’re going to use them and have to stay on the run as people discover you. Or you find somewhere you can use them openly and make a place for yourself.”

He frowned disgustedly. “Doesn’t look good, does it? You’ve got some ideas?”

“Let’s look at it a bit more. There are basically four places you could go. You could stay here in the Gorean Enclave, you could go to Freehold proper, you could return to somewhere else in the world, or you could go to the Dodecahedron. Here in the Enclave, you’re a she-male slave girl; which is a rather valuable specialty product for the few that like such things. If that’s a role you’d find acceptable for the next few years, I could buy you while we consider where you would go next and prepare you for it. Of course, you’d need to make it worth my while to expend the effort, but that shouldn’t be all that hard.”

“Hmmm.” He definitely looked intrigued. “So I’d be your maid?”

“My maid and sex toy. Also anything else you’re fitted for; I never was one for slotting people in roles and leaving them there to rot.” I shrugged. “There’s another intriguing possibility for staying here: there’s a major founding character with a complete story cycle that had telekinesis, clairvoyance and teleportation, and wasn’t at all shy about using them in public. In fact, I’m riding somewhat on her reputation.”

“Bess?” he asked. “I’ve been learning the Bess stories so I can tell them. Did she really have a tail and hooves too?”

“A tail, yes. Hooves, no. She was a real person.”

He thought a moment. “Freehold?”

“Freehold would let you define your own role, within one very major restriction. It’s based on responsibility, and you’ve got to prove how responsible you are first; they’re very cautious about letting people go off on their own before they’ve shown that they’re not likely to cause huge problems by messing up. You’ll probably have to deal with the Justice department because of your past record.”

“Uh, maybe.” He didn’t sound all that enthusiastic. “What’s the Dodecahedron like?”

“Well, if you’re tired of being you, it might be exactly what you want. The difficulty is that by the time you get far enough in to count, you’re not really human any more in several very significant ways.”

“That’s what I’ve heard.” She shifted back to the slave maid personality. “If you want a maid, I believe I’m for sale.” She smiled impudently at me and then started to pick up the room.

“Then you can give me a piece of advise,” I said as she tidied things up and handed me my clothes. “I’m supposed to be looking for a maid for the High Priestess of the Hercules cult, Annabelle.” Tansy looked blank at the name. “She’s also a Freehold Princess.”

“Ohh. A Royal.” Tansy looked impressed at that. “I’ll bet she wants someone good with a shut mouth.”

“Basically,” I felt like sighing; Tansy was going to need a lot of educating. “Which of the ‘girls that’s about ready for sale would be appropriate?”

“Good, how?”

Good question! “She wants to be able to take her to the Ancient Egypt enclave and later to Freehold. It would be nice if she could grow into doing more than simple maid and sex work, too. Annabelle will always have staff, so there’s no particular reason she needs to be real good at cooking.”

She frowned prettily as she considered. “Most are no better than will fill a tunic adequately. Rudea, maybe. She’s pretty quick on what Master wants. Bunny might do; she’s always trying to do more and get on Master’s good side.” She chuckled grimly. “She hasn’t figured out ‘e doesn’t have one.

“Donatea, maybe.” Tansy tilted her head slightly, considering. “She’s got an independent streak that gets her in trouble a bit, though. I’d look at her first; she seems to figure things out faster than the rest.”

I made to leave the chamber when a message arrived from Annabelle. “Donatea sounds interesting. Someone intelligent will be a refreshing change. Take Tansy for yourself; we don’t want her wandering around loose.” I sent back a quick acknowledgement.

“Any possibility that Donatea knows how to read and write?”

“She does for a fact,” Tansy answered as she finished putting the room in order. “Most of the other girls don’t.”


Chapter 33. Another Mob Scene.


I stepped back and surveyed my handiwork as Daisy Do, my current ponygirl, stamped a hoof in the traces, anxious to be away from here. The problem was packing my purchases in the chariot. I hadn’t anticipated buying two slave girls when I ordered it; in fact, I hadn’t anticipated even buying one, but the usual chariot had rather cramped space for a folded up slave girl in the front. It wasn’t a bad design if you wanted to drive your pony while your slave licked and sucked, but that tended to make driving a bit erratic.

What I’d finally done was have the two girls sit facing each other, legs extended past the other’s hips. Then I tied their leashes together so that they wouldn’t fall out. That gave me just enough space to get into the seat, my legs under the taut leather stretching between the two collars. While I hadn’t intended it that way, it did give me the opportunity to instruct them on their new status in life from on high. Heh!

I waved back at Master Skodarian as the Gates of Doom opened before me. I thought I saw the faint ghost of a smile as he watched me leave; possibly contemplating the gold pieces I had given him for two slave girls that he thought might not be salable at premium prices.

Daisy turned down the road, laboring in the traces under the unfamiliar load, when Donatea cleared her throat.

“Um?” I turned and asked.

“If mistress pleases,” she said. I crooked an eyebrow.

“Are you Bess?”

“No. Why?”

“Well, there seem to be new versions of the Bess stories. The ones I grew up with said she had a tail, but they didn’t mention anything about hooves and pony ears. Now she’s suddenly got them.”

I frowned. “Bess didn’t have either. She’s still around although she hasn’t been back to the enclave in several decades. I don’t mind taking advantage of the Bess stories, but having them change for me is a bit much. I thank you for mentioning it, though, I need to make sure those changes stop.

“What’s going to happen next,” I told my two tethered beauties, “is that we’re going to turn off and stop, and then I’m going to teleport us directly to Temple Island. When I do, Donatea, you shouldn’t notice anything except the scenery change. Tansy, you’ll probably notice quite a bit happening; try to remember it and tell me later.”

Donatea cleared her throat again.

“As long as we’re alone, just ask.”

“Why the difference?”

“As far as I know, you’re pretty normal. Tansy, on the other hand, is one of Bess’s Children.”

That got a grunt of startlement from both of them!

“Well, I just made up the name, but what it means is that Tansy can do a lot of what Bess could do in terms of making things move and seeing things at a distance. She might grow into being able to pull things out of the air and teleport herself. That’s not something someone gave her; it’s part of her natural abilities. In fact, it was part of Bess’ natural abilities too. Mine aren’t natural; the Sorcerers of Freehold gave them to me. I need to get people to quit thinking that I’m Bess, and naming people that can do these things Bess’s Children might do it.”

Just about then I spotted a secluded grove that would do. I pulled Daisy into the grove and stopped her. She just stood there, panting.

“All right, kids. The next step is the big one.” The scenery changed around us, and we were in the grove I used on Temple Island. Then I frowned. Daisy was really just about on her last legs. “Another jump coming up,” I said, and teleported us into an empty space beside the main administration building.

“All out,” I announced as I reached down and untied their leashes. They managed to struggle out of the carriage and stretch as much as their bound hands allowed.

“Oh, there you are,” a neatly attired slave girl said to me, stopping as she almost hurried past. “His Holiness Tarl would like to see you immediately in the meeting room.”

“Any idea about what?” I asked.

“Something to do with a number of scrolls that your staff distributed today,” she said. “All the Holiness’s haven’t gotten there yet, so there’s still a little time.”

“If you haven’t got anyone else on your list,” I told her, “it would help if you could see to Daisy. She’s on her last legs, and needs to be sent back to the stables for the rest of the day.”

“I’ve got Her Holiness Annabelle,” she said.

“I’ll tell her. Give me a moment.” I sent a quick message to her with a priority flag. She came back promptly saying she’d be there.

“She says she’ll be there within fifteen minutes or so,” I said.

“If you tell Tarl,” she said, a bit torn between doing what she was told and serving her master.

“I’ll tell him. Then when you’re done with that, tell the scribes I’ve got two new entrants to be registered. Donatea is for Her Holiness Annabelle, and Tansy is for me.” I indicated which was which. “I’m going to need a senior scribe for Tansy, nothing special to register Donatea.”

“Donatea for Her Holiness Annabelle, Tansy for Running Flame.” She checked them both so she could remember and then took the two scrolls I had gotten from Skodarian and tucked them under her arm as she took Daisy Do’s reins and looked about.

“Turn around,” I told them, and then removed their cuffs and unhitched the leashes, tossing them into the air and making them reappear in the equipment pile in our apartment. Donatea’s eyes widened in amazement, and Tansy’s narrowed as she attempted to make sense of what had happened.

“Plans are what didn’t happen,” I joked. “We’re going upstairs to the Temple Island Council meeting room; it also doubles as a lounge for the Holiness’s that are high enough on the totem pole to rate. This may be your only chance to see it. Your job is going to be serving me and Annabelle when she arrives; if they’re short of staff, you’ll do general serving. What goes on in there is confidential, you don’t talk about it.”

We headed up to the lounge. As I expected, about half of the Holiness’s were there, along with two Guild Masters that happened to be on the Island at the moment and two of the three delegates from the Ubars and the Queen. Several of them had scrolls they were consulting, and a few of them seemed to have brought staff and scribes. I sighed and triggered the concealed air conditioning.

“Ah, there you are,” His Holiness Tarl, High Priest of Zeus and head of the Council by virtue of his position, boomed from the other side of the room.

“Your girl caught me just outside,” I said. “Annabelle will be here within fifteen minutes or so, and I took the liberty of having your girl do a couple of short errands for me. She should be back shortly.”

“So what is this about? You know I don’t like to be caught blindsided.”

“I have to apologize for that; I’m afraid I’m getting some bad habits. I’d planned on distributing the top dozen or so personally, but something else came up and one of my people finished the copying work and sent them out.”

“Understandable,” he waved it off. “It’s always hard telling staff when they should use their discretion and when they’re not to move without permission. So, what is this about?”

“I suppose,” I started slowly, “it’s not a secret to most people in this room that I represent Freehold; my position in the Dionysus cult is mostly courtesy. It may be somewhat less obvious that Her Holiness Annabelle also represents Freehold; she’s the Princess Annabelle on the attendee list. Her position in the Hercules cult is due to some of her natural endowments, however, and I’m not going to say anything more about that.”

“Quite proper,” he replied. “Why now of all times, though?”

“Freehold would like nothing better than to have some form of unified council in this Enclave. Part of the reason things have gone along the way they have is that there is no single body to talk to, so Freehold has been letting things take their natural course except when they had to do something, and then they’ve been pretty much acting unilaterally. With, of course Her Holiness’s advice and experience to guide them.”

“Why not appoint a ruler?” he asked, mildly astonished that it hadn’t occurred to us.

“For the simple reason that it wouldn’t work, and that’s on more levels than just the pragmatic. The rest of the world would not accept it either. They wouldn’t disallow it, but they wouldn’t accept decisions of a sole ruler, let along a sole ruler appointed by an outside authority, as being legitimate.

“Freehold makes decisions in two stages. The first is to explore what is acceptable and what is not to the various parties, and the second is then to explore possibilities within those boundaries. It takes a significant amount of time to reach a decision that way, but the decisions tend both to work and to be acceptable to everyone.

“Decisions reached by that same process will be acceptable to everyone else in the world that matters.

“The reason for right now is that it looks like the Enclave is within reaching distance of establishing a council. As you will see at the end of the minutes of the last meeting, we will be making our own minutes of those meetings, and the Enclave Control Committee decided that it was correct to reciprocate by giving you access to the part of their minutes that affect this Enclave.”

“I think I see,” Tarl said. “What you seem to be saying is that we had the illusion of being the masters of our own destiny, while all the time we were protected and kept from any real control. This gives us more actual control, while stripping away the illusions.”

“I think that’s a good way of putting it,” Princess Annabelle said from the side. I’d noticed her come in, but she’d effectively told me to go ahead, so I had. “There is no place in this world where you can really make decisions that are independent of what other people want. You can decide what the Temple of Zeus will do, and no one will dispute you. However, you cannot do that for the entirety of Temple Island, or we would have no need of this meeting hall.”

“I can’t always manage that within my own Temple,” he laughed.

“Exactly. It’s going to take years before we all understand how it works, and we’ll never be at a point where we can sit back and say: ‘We’re done’. I know that most of my fellows on the Enclave Control Committee don’t understand the Enclave to the depth they really need to, and the comprehension gap on this side is much greater.”

“So,” Tarl said. “From here, I think that I want one of you to introduce us to the players, and then I want to go through these minutes point by point so that we all understand the issues involved. I don’t want to discuss anything substantive about the issues, though.

“Then I want to discuss how our meeting minutes are going to go back to, what did you call it, the Enclave Control Committee.”

Annabelle waved at me. “You do the show, I’ll comment.”

Ulp. Well, Freehold is about handing you rope and then seeing if you make a bridge, or hang yourself with it. So I looked around and picked spots on three of the four walls, and blessed the fact that we’d been practicing presentations. Or at least, Terri and Faith had been practicing making them for me, and we’d been using the walls to avoid having to either use the full VR system or shut Sasha out of the proceedings.

So I started out: “Here’s a portrait of Prince Gregory,” and projected it into the three spots I’d picked. The meeting went on from there. I had to send Tansy in to help the cooks; she was just as good a cook as she was in bed.


Chapter 34. Executive Reorganization.


The meeting eventually wound down, and half of the attendees left. The other half decided to stay around and talk, which kept the kitchens stressed. Annabelle decided that we would never get dinner if we stayed, and that in any case she wanted to see what they came up with by themselves. After checking around, we decided on eating at Animal House. I did my voice out of thin air thing with the chef and steward, and got a private room for the seven of us.

That may seem surprising, but in the last few months, with my imposition of sobriety by fiat, Animal House had not only turned into a pleasant place to live, but also into a dinner meeting establishment. I suppose it had something to do with having the best wine.

I suspect the dinner meeting would have infuriated most of the enclave’s inhabitants, but I’d never cared about the social divide between my slave girls and myself. Sasha was a servant, the other two were professionals and I treated them that way, at least when I wasn’t amusing myself by making sure they knew what the striped tunics and bronze collars meant. In other words, Sasha served, and the other six of us lounged around. Faith and Terri were quite used to it; Donatea and Tansy were a bit on edge.

Once things got settled, Annabelle started in. “Now that we’ve admitted to the upper crust that the Flame and I are Freeholders that are here in an official capacity, it’s time to reorganize. I’m officially retiring as head of the Hercules cult; my second is more than capable of taking over that responsibility. I’ll maintain an apartment there for when I visit, but I’m going to be spending most of my time in the Ancient Egypt enclave. I’m taking Faith and Donatea with me. Faith, of course, will not be coming as a slave girl, she’s professional staff.” I can’t say that Faith was all that downcast about the change in her fortunes. Just wait until she found out about the sexual arrangements!

“Faith is going to take over the deputy supervisor responsibilities in the Ancient Egypt enclave. That’s a lot of course work, and Running Flame will help her get through it. The first part, of course, will be getting Donatea onto the Freehold system and started on her courses.

“Running Flame will be, for the most part, operating semi-independently here in the Gorean Enclave. Terri, Sasha and Tansy report to her. Sasha has decided not to apply for Freehold immigration, and whether Tansy decides to do so is up to her. Terri, of course, still has a good deal of work to remove the conditioning Master Skodarian imposed on her. Formally, she’ll remain a slave girl until she does. After that, her status will depend on the new advancement system.”

“Uh?” I said. “New advancement system?” I wasn’t aware there was an old one.

“Yes,” she grinned briefly. “One of the things we’re going to have to do is create an upward mobility system for the Enclave. If they want to keep it as a dominance hierarchy, fine, but it’s going to have to be fluid, and there are going to have to be guards against highly dominant fools. That latter doesn’t have to be anything as formal as Freehold’s system, though.”

I nodded. Well, it made sense, and it went along with a few things I’d been thinking of. “More work,” I mock sighed. “I see where it fits into the policy. Getting it onto the agenda might be rough.”

“Not as rough as you think,” she said. “With the new setup, Freehold gets to set constraints, and that’s simply one of them. We draw the line, they figure out how they want it to work best for them. Of course, if they ask, we can make suggestions, but they’re the ones that will have to live with it.”

“OK. Sasha, I think, has found her level.”

“I think so, but she might surprise you. She probably won’t, though. Tansy, on the other hand, is going to be an interesting puzzle. What is this Children of Bess thing you pulled out of thin air?”

“If it makes you happier, it kind of surprised me too about ten hours ago. I think it solves two problems, neither of which, admittedly, is anywhere on top of the priority list. One is that I can use it to put a clear wedge between myself and the historical Bess.”

Annabelle nodded, as did both Faith and Terri. “Good idea. I know it’s been both a help and a hindrance. I hate having to mess with a culture’s basic myths. Better to grow them.”

“The other part is that I want to make an official place for people like Tansy, and Bess too for that matter, who have these abilities. I have no idea how it will go, though.”

“That is an intriguing thought. I think it’s important enough to bring up to the full Freehold council. We’ll keep it off the Enclave Control Committee agenda for right now, unless the Enclave Council puts it there.”

“Either that or suppress the minutes.”

“I’d rather not,” Annabelle said. “Trust is too important to mess with.” I nodded.

“Which brings us to Tansy. What do you want out of it?” Annabelle asked.

“I don’t rightly know, ma’am,” she answered. “This morning I was trying to keep Master from messing up my mind more than he had, and now I’m in a completely different situation. I’m just skating with it until I can figure it out.”

“Good enough. Part of Running Flame’s job will be to help you get yourself organized; I think you’ll find that our psychological procedures are much better than the ones you’re used to.” She paused for effect. “The one thing we don’t want you to do is run off with your rather interesting abilities without checking first as to what’s permissible and what isn’t.”




That, I think, ends this story. There’s a lot more I could talk about, but it’s either minutia or another whole story in itself. Like Roger bailing out after we turned him back into a more or less normal human, and then writing a book called “Three Years as a Horse.” Mercifully, its sales started toward the bottom and then plummeted.


Bonnie turned out to be as intractable as a pony as she was as a human, so they simply turned off her intelligence and intensively trained her. I quit keeping track of her after that; the Freehold Justice system has a special program for tracking recidivists; that’s more than adequate for my needs.


Terri still hasn’t quite finished up removing all of Master Skodarian’s conditioning. She has gotten far enough to determine that she doesn’t care that she’d never have considered becoming what she is now; she’s having too much fun with it to want to go back. One real difference, though, is that she’s quit being quite the perfectly feminine slave girl: her personality has shifted to being a real tomboy. That’s got its good and bad points. On the good side, she’s quite a bit more adventurous, as if she wasn’t already, and I can trust her to bull through on things she wouldn’t have touched before. On the bad side, she challenges me a lot on things that simply don’t matter. It’s simply dominance, and what’s bad about it is that she looses.

Now, that might seem to be a bit contradictory: what’s bad (at least from my point of view) about her losing dominance challenges?

Well, it has to do with the “advancement system” we eventually set up. If a slave manages to face down her owner, she gets to go free. If she doesn’t, her owner usually imposes a penalty that’s much less drastic than being converted into a pony. Of course, they’re still working out the boundaries.

If she’d win one of these things cleanly, she’d get to remove that silly collar (she’s gotten that compulsion removed, finally). As it is, I have to come up with a disincentive to continue mounting futile challenges. She hasn’t worn her striped tunic in months even though she complains that the feed sacks I’m dressing her in itch, and they do get in the way of her credibility.

That does, however, have its bright side. She does interesting things to a feed sack, although that’s not the most important side effect. As public as we are, “Terri’s feed sack” is beginning to enter the language as a symbol of what happens to a slave that mounts a futile challenge.


As far as Freehold goes, I’ve advanced to Professional, which still isn’t on the policy level but it’s one step under getting a title. That shouldn’t matter to me, but for some silly reason, it does. According to the Freehold organization chart, the situation actually calls for someone one or two steps above that in the political career ladder; it has to do with representing different groups to each other in a way that does justice to both. Well, that does describe part of my job, after all.

The Enclave Council is actually functioning, much to everyone’s amazement, even if it sometimes seems to be only by fits and starts, and with what looks like a huge amount of friction. Well, learning new ways of doing things takes time, and highly dominant people frequently have a hard time staying away from a good, old-fashioned stare-down.


My own attitude toward the Enclave has changed substantially. I’m probably going to make it my permanent home, with the blessing of the Enclave Control Committee, I might add. I’ve acquired an estate on the Amazon side of the river. It’s a bit bigger than the estate we use in the Ancient Egypt enclave, so it takes a bit more staff. I find I like having slaves at my beck and call (grin!).

I’ve also picked up a few of the attitudes from my Amazon neighbors, especially as regards children. If Terri would simply regroup and then mount a successful challenge, I’d consider her as my official consort. Of course, that would shake things up more than a bit, but what the heck. Shake them up is my entire job description.


Tansy is coming along well. As I expected, she came from a relatively backward area of Ireland, and she had a lot of catching up to do. She’s learned how to use her talents responsibly, and she’s making remarkable headway in getting her multiple personalities organized. Alice is helping with that: she’s the original authority on multiple personalities and psi talents, and the Dodecahedron has made that situation one of those official projects that is on no public project list. At least, the Children of Bess label is sticking, and the way Tansy and I handle it is making an impression.


The pony situation has definitely improved. They’re now teaching the ponies how to slide in and out of human consciousness mode during training. The distribution of which ones use it, and what they use it for is fascinating. When to move up is still very unclear, and I suppose it will always remain that way. Donny Brooke finally got her confidence back, and managed to get herself promoted to groom, with the attendant shape change, of course. She did figure out that digging herself out of the hole will take time, and it didn’t hurt that the Temple Island stables are one of the larger pony stables. At least, they’ve got a staff that can figure out a consistent policy and administer it. What we’re going to do about all the little stables with one and two ponies is an interesting question.


Finally, so far I haven’t had to assassinate anyone. Absolutely amazing. Although, I must say, that the incident where I brought in a mixed team of Gorean and Amazon mercenaries to break up the drug cartel in the Ancient Egypt Enclave came remarkably close. On the other hand, I’m not sure that killing someone during a firefight comes under the heading of assassination.


Let’s see. Who’s left? The twins got back to Freehold City and spent some time on taxi, but decided that keeping track of the city map was too much work, so they messaged me and asked if I had any openings for ponygirls; it seemed they had liked the way Frank and I had handled them. I explained the facts of life as a Gorean ponygirl and they didn’t seem at all put out: they thought the hooves and ears were cute, and they asked for, and got to keep, the long tails. They’re out in my stables now; now that they’ve settled in, they’re actually the best ‘girls for general runabouts. The typical Gorean pony needs a tighter hand on the reins than those two.


Fast Fox spent some time on package delivery. The last I heard, he was apprenticing with someone in Justice. Frank is finishing up his time on package delivery; he’s not sure what he wants to do when he grows up, but he’s leaning toward the pony training career ladder.


We dug out Bonnie’s father’s notes, and Faith is finishing putting the anthropological survey of the Ancient Egypt enclave together. She’s gotten back in touch with her university, and she’ll be going back to defend her Ph.D. thesis shortly. Whether she stays or comes back is an open question though, she simply doesn’t like to leave commitments like that unfinished, and the Justice system is willing to let her immigrate without having to go through corrections first.


Sherry is having a horrible time of it; the compulsions that Master Skodarian implanted are interfering, and she simply isn’t capable of dealing with them, even with assistance. Freehold’s therapists could probably handle it, but they aren’t set up to deal with ponygirls, which is where she started out. I’m expecting her to yell for help in bailing out sometime, but I can’t do more than dangle the occasional hints in front of her. Freehold is adamant that it has to be her decision.


Well, that’s it.



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