Chapter Two - The Guy with the Purple Eyes
Hollycelestamelindar had intended to leave the Seldati sector of the Andromedagalaxy and never return that way again. However, for whatever inexplicablereasons this was not to be the case. Her quick attempt escape lefther stranded one a tiny planet that was going to change her lives forever. Although, she had a standard Type 76 TARDIS that had been fully inspectedbefore leaving Gallifrey, it decided to malfunction and simply would notleave the place it had picked for its latest materialization. In desperation,she decided to go for a walk, although in retrospect, this was probably apoor choice on her part. The jungle in which her TARDIS had materialized(disguising itself as one of the numerous trees at that) was hardly a placeof comfort.
The sounds of the jungle were frightening. There was the hissing ofsnakes, the caw of birds, the roar of wild animals, and even the gulpingof plants. The plants in this jungle certainly seemed more active thanthe plants on most worlds. Twice, Holly had stopped for a bit, onlyto have a vine crawl up her leg. The vines had an almost snakelikequality to them, the way they slithered and hissed across the floor of thejungle and up the trees. They did hiss, didn't they? Or was thather imagination? She couldn't be quite sure. She had never feltsuch fear before; she wasn't used to the sound of her hearts beating so fast,nor was she used to fearing for her own life. Being only a little overtwo hundred years old and only on her first life, she had never really eventhought about death...until now. There were plenty of things in thisforest that could kill her; plenty of wild, untamed things that were completelyforeign and alien to her experience. And she didn't even know the nameof this planet or where it was. She had tried to look at the starsto gain some sort of geographical bearing, but the trees in the jungle wereso thick and high that she really couldn't see any stars. Panic setin. She could be absolutely anywhere. She knew she hadn't traveledin time, only in space and she gathered she might not have traveled all thatfar. She might even still be in the Seldati sector, which might notbe a good thing.
For a few moments though, Holly forgot her fear and dwelled upon the beautythat surrounded her. She came upon the largest and most beautiful flowerthat she had ever seen. It was bigger than a person and it was pink. It had large petals that were taller than she was. She stopped fora moment to admire it, which was probably the biggest mistake she had evermade. It promptly reached out and pulled her inside. It's giantpetals pushed her in as hard as they could. It was trying to suffocateher, she was sure. She had almost decided that the best thing to dowas to let it think that she had already died except that if it believedshe was dead, it would probably start to try to eat her rather than releaseher. She wasn't sure what to do exactly and she was in the midst ofpondering her options, when she heard a strange and beautiful music comingfrom a flute. At the sound of the music, the flower began to slowlyrelease her from its grip. As it let up, she pushed the petals backand stepped out onto the floor of the jungle.
"You have to know how to charm the plants in this jungle," a male voice said. "It's the only way to survive. But I take it you're not a native ofthis world, given that you're dressed so finely." She turned to seewho was speaking to her. He was tall, dark and strong. He hadlong, black hair that he wore back in a ponytail. He wore brown pantsand a brown, unbuttoned, sleeveless shirt that showed his chest. However,the most striking thing about him was that he had purple eyes. She'dnever seen anyone with purple eyes before and she'd almost begun to admirethem. "I'm Kai Dannon," he said, as he looked at the woman he'd justrescued.
"I'm Hollycelestamelindar," she replied. "But you may call me Holly."
"I would anyway," he replied. "Your parents ought to be shot for givingyou a name like that...it's awfully long and complicated. I'd never rememberit."
Holly decided right then and there that she hated his purple eyes as wellas everything else about him. "Well you don't seem all that smart,"she coldly retorted. "Or well educated."
"I'd watch my words, Seldati," he said to her in an angry tone. "Iwouldn't normally bother rescuing a Seldati at all, except that you're bothdevastatingly beautiful and helpless."
"Let's get one thing straight," Holly said to him. "I'm not Seldatiand neither am I helpless."
"Technically that's two things," Kai replied. "To the first I say good,because I loathe the Seldati with a passion and to the second I say, fine. I'll leave you here alone. It won't be five minutes until you're eatenby something else. So far you've only seen the plants. But Iwarn you that once the suns go down the animals come out. I doubt youwant to meet the animals."
"How far to the nearest city?" Holly asked Kai.
"You think this world has cities?" he asked her. "My goodness, youare naïve."
"This world is only jungle?" Holly asked him.
"Not exactly," Kai said. "There are settlements and villages, but notcities."
"Well how do I get to the nearest settlement then?" Holly asked.
"Hang on," Kai said. "I'm going there myself. I'll take you there,but after that you're on your own."
"Of course," Holly answered. "So are you a native of this planet?"she asked him.
"Hardly," Kai replied. "I am a S'o'h Maiyooum."
"A what?" Holly asked.
"Then I know you tell the truth when you say you are not Seldati," he replied. "For the Seldati are our bitter enemies."
"Why did you rescue me?" Holly asked him. "If you thought I was Seldatiand you hate them so much?"
"It would have brought me great pleasure to ravage a young and beautifulSeldati noblewoman," he said. "Especially since I have vowed a thousandSeldati deaths to avenge the death of my clan."
"How did your clan die?" Holly asked him, as she followed him through thejungle, carefully tracing his steps. She hated to admit that she neededsuch a...such a...she could not even think of a proper word to describe her hatredof this man, well S'o'h Maiyooum.
"Battle," Kai answered. "The Battle of D'a'h Laiyuoom. The Seldatiare brutes. They believe that if they come across an uninhabited world,or even a world that is inhabited by less advanced denizens than they, thatit is their right to take it."
"D'a'h Laiyuoom is your world?" Holly asked him.
Kai laughed at her. "You are a strange one. D'a'h Laiyuoom isinhabited by no one. Well the Seldati have now commandeered it fortheir expansion purposes. The S'o'h Maiyuoom have no home world. We roam the galaxy in clans of ships. But just like Seldati and anyother race, we have need for food and supplies. D'a'h Laiyuoom hasmany different varieties of plants and animals suitable for eating, as wellas natural minerals necessary to build ships. And while we did notlive on it or build cities like the Seldati or claim property in the termsthey claim, we used it for generation after generation. It is our rightas much as theirs and we did not mind if they used D'a'h Laiyuoom. But they didn't want to use it. They wanted to own it. And oncethey put a mining settlement on it and we used materials from the mine, theyattacked us and accused us of stealing their minerals! Their minerals!"he fumed. "Minerals do not belong to one race or another. Theyare given by the gods to be used by those who need them. And so wewent to war with the Seldati and my clan perished in the battle. Iam the last of my clan to survive."
"And what is this world?" Holly asked.
"Mirfak 4," Kai replied. "It is a slave colony of the Seldati Empire."
"Slave colony?" she asked.
"Yes," Kai explained. "The Mirfaki are a primitive race of humanoids. They hadn't even developed space travel yet. When the Seldati discoveredthis world, the Mirfaki had no concept of alien beings. They believedthat the stars in the sky were tiny holes punched into the natural fabricof the night sky to allow them to continue to see the light of the suns whenthey slept. The Mirfaki believed they were the only people the godshad created until the Seldati showed up. Of course the Seldati smiledwhen they found a people that lacked the technological developments to fightback. So naturally, they occupied Mirfak 4 and enslaved the people. That's the Seldati for you."
"I've noticed they're not very nice," Holly replied.
"So you've had your run ins with the Seldati too?" Kai inquired.
"You could say that," the Time Lady replied, as she followed him throughthe thick jungle. Finally, he stopped in front of a large group oftrees.
"Ah," he exclaimed. "Here we are...the Settlement of Berakridal." He moved a thick bush out of the way, so that she could see what looked likea primitive market place. There were various fruits, vegetables, meats,clothing and other things for sale. Most of the buildings were makeshifttents for traders.
"That's it?" Holly asked him.
"I told you there aren't cities on Mirfak 4," Kai answered. "It's avery primitive world." Kai looked at the woman he had rescued withboth amusement and curiosity as she walked through the market and lookedaround with fascination. It was apparent that she was shocked by boththe primitiveness of this planet as well as the cruel existence of its inhabitants. He started to leave her to fend for herself in the settlement, but somethingmade him feel sorry for her, so he proceeded to follow her for a bit. He had lied when he said that he was going to Berakridal; he wanted nothingto do with Seldati settlements at all. He only went because he feltsorry for the woman with the strange, long name. He figured she wouldbe better off in a settlement than she would in the jungle, where she wasobviously ill prepared to survive. However, he wondered if she wouldbe any better off in the settlement, when he saw her stand before a slaveauction tent.
"I told you Seldati are cruel," he said, as he pulled her arm. "Comeon, you don't want to see this."
"Yes I do," Holly replied in a shocked tone. Never before had she seensuch cruelty. The auctioneers (all Seldati) brought the slaves outin chains and others (mostly other Seldati, though there were some otherspecies) bid on them. Most of the slaves were young men and women intheir late teens and early twenties, who would be suited for harder labor. They went on average for about a thousand yoms. However, a child wentfor much less than a thousand yoms. And after the auctioneers had finishedwith the able-bodied adults, they started with the children. The firstchild was a young girl with blue eyes and mouse-colored brown hair. Kai guessed that she was probably about eight or nine. She just stoodthere quietly while the auctioneers started the bidding at two hundred yoms.
"Well ladies," the auctioneer began, "I have here a Mirfaki slave girl. I am told she is quite good with the dishes and the laundry. She wouldbe an excellent household servant. I start the building at two hundredyoms." There was silence. "No one for two hundred yoms. Then perhaps she will go for one-hundred and seventy-five yoms," he continued.
"She's so tiny," Holly whispered to Kai. He noticed that the Time Ladywas strangely fascinated by the young Mirfaki child. Perhaps she wasshocked and horrified that the Seldati would sell someone so young into slavery. But he almost had the feeling that she had never seen someone so small withher own eyes.
"Yes, she's young," Kai answered. "She's only another example of what'swrong with the Seldati Empire. I loathe the idea that they would takea little girl away from her parents and sell her as someone's slave. It's detestable. One can only imagine what's going to happen to herwhen she grows older and more beautiful."
"Is there no one to take this child at one hundred and seventy-five yoms?"the auctioneer asked. Kai watched in horror as his new friend openedher pocketbook and began to search through it. She took out one hundredand fifty-six yoms, which would have fed and lodged her comfortably for twomonths or maybe even been enough for a ticket off of this world to someplacesafer.
"One-hundred and fifty-six yoms," Holly yelled. "It's my bid."
"Very well," the auctioneer said. "We have a bid for one-hundred andfifty-six yoms. Does anyone wish to bid higher?" There was silence. "Going once, going twice, going three times for one-hundred and fifty-sixyoms. Sold to the lady in the back for one-hundred and fifty-six yoms. Oh well, she's only a child. Now my next slave is very strong and Ithink he's worth fifteen hundred yoms."
"Was that all your money?" Kai demanded. "You don't spend all of yourmoney on another mouth to feed. What are you going to do now? I brought you here because it was the safest place for you to be. Ifigured you could buy food and supplies and you spent all of your money onanother mouth to feed." He watched in horror as his "friend" well okay,love-hate relationship made it to the front to pick up her purchase. He had the feeling that he wasn't going to walk away and let them starvelike he should. He didn't know why, but he cared what happened to thiswoman and even to the little girl she had purchased. He knew she didn'tpurchase her as a slave but he wasn't so sure she purchased the child asa daughter either. He had this horrible feeling that she might haveseen the girl as another cute pet and while the thought sickened him, hesupposed it was better for the child than whatever fate she would have sufferedunder the Seldati. Either way, he couldn't just leave them, so he waitedfor Holly to return with the child and he began to contemplate ways thatthe three of them might survive.
Chapter Three - Mizradal