The distress signal arrived just as I was returning home from a long day of trailing a suspected smuggler. The story was going to be spectacular if I could break it, but would require at least another day of following the fence before he would make contact with the buyer. However, the story would have to wait.
Kathy had set out in the Steamray some days before. I reminded her to have the engines checked, as the last time out one or both had overheated. In the history of mankind, has an older sister ever listened to the sage advice of a younger sibling?
The coordinates that I received were from the edge of a Gorean city. This was bad news, though for whom I was less certain. To be on the safe side, I loaded the rescue airship with as many heavy weapons, with as much ammunition, as the ship could carry.
When I landed on the outskirts of the city, all was eerily quiet. Kathy walked to the ship, smiling. “Okay, sister, what happened? Why the distress call?” I asked.
“Ah, well, I thought I might be in a scrap of trouble. And, indeed, I need a ride back to Caledon. Therein lies a tale…
The Steamray Flies Over the Gorean Town
“My engines overheated and failed just as I came into sight of land. Having espied the schooner moored on the quay, and the primitive castle to the north, I thought I could land and remain here safely until your arrival, as the area looks quite medieval. Unfortunately, I failed to realize in time that this was a Gorean city. I have a pair of sidearms, of course, as well as enough high explosive to convert their entire city into a crater, but all of that was in the cargo hold, doing me no good whatsoever. No sooner had I left the Steamray when I was surrounded by men in leather garments. They were physically fit, and some were handsome enough, I suppose, but all carried themselves as though they were God’s gift to women. I made the mistake of laughing at them.
The Airship is Captured
The Airship is Captured
“They frog-marched me into their town square, stripped me down to my undershirt, and manacled me while they fetched their Big Chief. I got the usual lecture: men are made to dominate women, women are made to please men, somehow that means I get to wear some rags that show off my bosom and rear end while waiting to be auctioned off like a prize cow, and live the rest of my short life either doing all the heavy lifting around this place or satisfying the carnal desires of a man who can’t be bothered to bathe. Big Chief ordered me placed into a cage for his amusement. I consider myself a fairly optimistic gal, but even I was starting to worry a bit.”
Kathy is Taken Hostage
The Big Chief has a New Pet
At that point, two men arrived bearing plates of food and pitchers of what smelled like beer. Both were a little over six feet tall with muscles rippling across well-toned bodies. The one on the left was heavily tattooed. They looked none too happy about their task. Kathy bade them set the food and drink on the ground and leave. “Our refreshments are here. Still, I would be careful about consuming any of it, if I were you. I wouldn’t put it past them to try to poison us.”
“They didn’t seem to like us very much.”
“Don’t take it personally. It’s me they really despise. As I was saying, just when things looked black, I saw the men drag the Steamray into the town square so Big Chief could see it for himself. Two men tried to open the cockpit canopy, which, of course, locked after I exited the craft. They went at it with a variety of tools for a good twenty minutes. I considered warning them, but, really, what incentive did I have? They finally started to pry open the canopy, which set off the explosive charge to deter intruders. Both men were killed, though I’m afraid one lingered for a bit, screaming all the while, and the Steamray initiated the distress signal with my location.
“In all the confusion, I took the opportunity to yell at the women – both the slaves and the so-called ‘free’ women, who seemed to be only marginally better off than their scantily-clad sisters – that they didn’t have to take this any more, that I had the means for them to control the men, and so on. The usual spiel – I think I took a good chunk of it from a voting rights activist I once heard in Caledon. It turns out that they weren’t all that committed to the idea of the superiority of men. They outnumber the men by a ratio of perhaps five to one, in large part because the men insist on killing off one another. This meant that a mob of angry women freed me from the cage and kept the men, including Big Chief over there –” She gestured at the tattooed servant whose retreating back was heading into the town square. “– away from me while I made my way to the weapons cache in the ship. I had to put him in chains for a bit, but he came around to my way of thinking. We’ve been holding the men at bay ever since, and even trained a few of them, as you can see.”
The Women Revolt
Throw Off Your Veils!
The Big Chief is Held Captive
I nodded. “I didn’t know what I might be encountering, so my ship is filled with weapons, including dozens of rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.”
Kathy clapped her hands together in delight. “Perfect! Let me pass out these, give the ladies some basic instruction, and we can be on our way.”