What kind of world is this, that a man who does not own himself can control a barge meant to kill and destroy? Be called captain? Command other men who do not own themselves?
The masters are smart in that they do not dangle the promise of freedom from bondage, but the promise of freedom from pain.
Death is the only liberator.
The blessed sun slinks behind the horizon pulling with it the old day and pushing the moon up to fill the night sky.
On this night it will be work and toil when the hour is right.
A night of robbery, mayhem, slaughter and death.
Many who smiled and enjoyed life on the day that passed will not know tomorrow. Will never taste freedom again. Will only be able to remember a life when they were whole and full of promise.
The captain stands at the wheel watching his men work.
He is an old man.
His life a curse that seemingly will never end. His body hurts. His left hand is gone replaced by a vicious useless hook. His right leg from the middle of his thigh down is a straight metal pole with no give, rusted from his sweat and bent from years of the weight of his rigid skeletal body. His face is a mess of scars and wisps of hair surrounding two eyes that glow a pale angry blue. The nasty orbs sit above a black hole where his nose should be. His mouth is a twisted grimace of anger and pain depressed over rotting gums long void of teeth.
He watches the new man, a boy actually, smooth and soft, unblemished by life. He struggles with the rigging on the secondary sail, “Saikin do?” he screams in a voice from the netherworld. Loud rasping and filled with potential violence
The crew stops and looks. It is known when the captain speaks all stop and listen.
“Aneka wa!” he points with his hook at the boy and all the other slaves busy themselves again, happy not to be the monster’s target.
The captain crooks the index finger on his hand.
The boy looks near tears. He is not a new captive, he has been a slave most of his life, but now trained he has been assigned to this skiff as a dune pirate. He bows his head and begins to climb over the decking towards his commander.
The captain remembers his youth, so long ago it could be a dream. He remembers being summoned. He remembers the fear and the uncertainty. He loves seeing it on the youth’s face. “Hai, kanaji, he whispers as if to himself, come be punished.
Continued with part 2
and Part 3