Lemma the Librarian: Op-arrrr-ant Conditioning, Part 8

Long before Iola and Iason woke up,
Milos returned. As soon as he saw Iola and Iason, he told me to make sure they
stayed asleep while he was gone, and left again.

I sat in bliss, trying and failing
to feel guilty. It’s hard when there’s that much pleasure running through you!
Long before I needed to recast anything, Milos returned with two more silver
circlets, and fitted both siblings with them.

“Arr, male slaves be worth a
lot less,” he said, “but he be large and strong. They’ll fetch a
decent price th’ both o’ them, and all thanks to ye, slut. Ye’ll be a slave wi’
or wi’out th’ circlet soon enough.”

He was right, I knew. There was no
hope, no way out. I was caught, and I couldn’t fight it. It was getting hard to
want to fight it–I was going to enjoy being a sex slave, I wasn’t going
to have a choice about that.

He ordered me to sit quietly and
watch him start Iola and Iason’s training, so I couldn’t even feel bad about
that. I just sat there while he made them unable to leave, think about escaping
or hurting him, taking the circlet off, all the things he’d told me.

“Arr, ye’ll be joining her as
fine slaves,” he told them. “Men be fetchin’ less than women in the
slave marrrrr-kets, but ye be big and strong, the gladiator pits be wantin’ men
like ye. And as fer ye,” he ran his eyes over Iola, “I be havin’ half
a mind to be keepin’ ye fer meself.”


“Arr, ye be much more to me
likin’ than this scrawny thing, though Lemurians be good fer sellin’.” He
turned to me. “Ask me why, slut.”

“Why?” I asked, shaking
with a mixture of pleasure and rage.

“Scarrrrrrrr-city value!”
he cried, and laughed.

Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you.

As for this one,” he said, turning back to Iola,
“she be my favorite kind o’ woman. Know why, slut?”

Hatehatehatehatehate. “Because she’s muscular?”

“No! Because she’s

Kill! Pain exploded through my head and I groaned, clutching at
my temples. “Insult me,” I spat, visions of Milos’ fiery demise
dancing in my brain even as red agony exploded through my skull. “Enslave
me. Capture my friends. Fine! But no more–”

Milos wagged his finger at me, his
smile smug and broad. “Now slave, ye know better than to be

“NO!” I screamed, my brain
on fire while I gathered energy. “MORE!” I howled in agony as I
shaped it. “PUUUUUUUUUUNS!” I roared, my vision going a red-tinged
black as I struck him with a fireball. The pain was impossible, unbearable,
hideous–but it was still better than one more goddamn terrible pun.

There was a wooshing noise and a
wave of heat. Milos screamed, briefly, and cut off. There was a triple twang,
and I felt the circlet on my head snap and fall to the ground.

Slowly, shakily, I rose to my feet,
blinking to clear the spots from my vision. I didn’t hurt! Iason and Iola
staggered to their feet as well.

“You’re welcome, by the
way,” I said, a little weakly.

“For which part, getting us
captured or killing the captain while we’re at sea?” Iola asked, arching
an eyebrow.

“Uh, guys?” said Iason.
“We have a new problem.”

He pointed at the door, on the far
side of the greasy stain where Milos had been. Or, rather, at the smoldering
doorframe. The actual door was in pieces, smashed against another door
on the opposite side of the stairs leading up to the deck. Those pieces were on
fire. So were the stairs. And the other door.

“Fuck,” I said.

“I did warn you,” Iola replied.
“I don’t suppose you have a spell for putting fires out?”

“Well, there was a spell
like that in one of my textbooks at school.”

“Oh, thank the gods,” said

“Yeah… I never actually read
it. In fact… it’s possible I might have laughed at the idea of ever
wanting to put out a fire, torn the page out, and burned it.”

Iason and Iola stared at me.
“You have issues,” Iola finally said. “You know that,

And that’s when the ship started to

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