Barbaria Act 3 Chapter 3

Iron manacles were attached to the newly-named Xena’s wrists and ankles. Then, by means of pulleys and chains, she was hauled aloft towards the ceiling. There she hung, swaying to and fro, taking the strain of the weight on her arm and leg muscles. Her superb breasts hung pendulously, the dark bush of her mound could be seen, there was a look of maniacal fury, tinged with despair, on her aristocratic features. Princess Venetia did not even deign to look up at her victim. She rose from her throne and moved to the doors. Two of Xena’s former male slaves rushed to open them, bowing low. She swept through, heels clicking on the marble floor. Then, descending to the lower regions of the Palace, she entered the vast chamber where the exLadies of the Court had been assembled.
There was much clanking of chains and much weeping as Venetia strolled around, examining them. She had to admit Xena had chosen quite well. Virtually all of them would make good- looking slaves.
“M-Madam...” cried out one woman when she stood before her. She appeared to be in her mid-thirties, well-built but cruel-featured. “Madam... have m-mercy... I... I beseech you. M-My arms... a-are being pulled... from their s-sockets.” The woman was swinging in her chains about a foot off the ground. Venetia regarded her callously, wondering how many times she had chained up a slave similarly. She motioned to a nearby Overseer.
“Attach a twenty-pound weight to her ankles,” she instructed. “Then perhaps her arms WILL leave their sockets.” She leaned towards the woman.
“You do not call me ‘Madam’,” she rasped. “You address me as Highness.”
“H-Highness... ooohh... Highness... mercy... mercy...” Then the woman began to scream as the heavy weight was attached and she was pulled and stretched even more painfully.Venetia passed on. She spent quite a time examining some of the younger women. Some of these would be destined to become her personal slaves. Then Venetia stood in the centre of the chamber and addressed the woeful company.
“Tomorrow,” she said, “ you are all going to be f logged.” There cries and screams of despair. “You will like to know,” she went on, “that you will be flogged by those slaves who have hitherto been serving you. That will ensure, I have no doubt whatever, that they really make you feel it! They are, of course, now all free women.” And with that, Venetia swept from the chamber. The news she had just delivered was indeed being well mulled over by those who had received it!

Tavia was one of those assigned by Venetia to carry out the interrogation of the ex-slaves of the Palace. It so happened that one of those brought to her was twenty f ive-year-old Miralda who had been personal slave of sixteenyear-old Karena, daughter of Lady Helvetia. She had been treated abominably as had Leo, twenty six-year-old warrior from Cipri, her personal male slave. Karena had been advised and assisted by her friend, sixteen-year-old Zena. Karena and Zena now hung in the big chamber, awaiting their fate. The news that they were to be flogged by Miralda made them feel they might wet themselves with dread.
Miralda wore a simple white gown, full length. It was the first time she had not been totally naked for some six months when she had been assigned to Karena as a slave. Her face was pale but her features still had some look of pride on them. She explained she too, had come from Cipri where she had been a Lady of high rank.
“You poor thing,” said Tavia. “You must have had a terrible time. ”The tears were running silently down Miralda’s cheeks.
“Terrible indeed,” she said at last. “You cannot imagine the awful things they did to me. Made me do.”
“I think I can,” said Tavia. She had seen much cruelty in her short time.
“It does not bear thinking about. Where is Leo?”
“Yes, he was my fellow slave... a young man ...”
“Oh,” replied Tavia almost indifferently, “he will still be a slave. It is not Princess Venetia’s policy to release automatically any freed male slave. However, he may receive less arduous duties. He may even graduate to freedom.” “I see,” said Miralda dully. She did not really care about Leo. She knew just how much he had enjoyed degrading her... having her suck him, having him fuck her... even though he was acting under orders.
“You may like to know, Miralda,” said Tavia, “that the Princess would like you to flog both Karena and Zena tomorrow.” Miralda’s eyes brightened at once.
“Yes, really. She wants them well flogged.”
“Oh they will be,” said Miralda. For the first time, Tavia saw a trace of a smile on her lips.
“Also, if you like,” continued Tavia, “I am sure it could be arranged that you have them as your personal slaves.” There was only a moment’s pause.
“Yes... I would like that,” breathed Miralda. “And I would also like that Leo as my slave.”
“No problem about that, I’m sure,” smiled Tavia. She had taken quite a liking to this young woman. You could always tell a real Lady when you saw one. “Now you go and take a nice rest. The Princess is holding a reception this evening and you’ll want to be ready for that.”
“Yes,” nodded Miralda abstractedly. She was already thinking ahead to having Karena and Zena in her power.
“I’II assign you a temporary slave,” said Tavia. “Male or female?”
“One of each,” said Miralda, feeling a sudden surge of authority. “Fine... I’II fix it...” Smiling, Tavia rose and left.When she had gone, Miralda clasped her hands ecstatically to her breasts and let out a great whoop of joy.

Some time later, Venetia returned to the Throne Room, e****ted by four female Overseers. She took her seat on the throne, not even bothering to glance aloft. She was however, gratified to hear what seemed to be tiny whimpering moans.
“Lower her,” she ordered. The pulleys clanked and Xena was brought down to the floor. There she lay, groaning softly, the muscles of her thighs, calves and arms quivering with fatigue.
“I want her on her feet,” said Venetia. Instantly, Xena was pulled up. She stood on rubbery limbs, looking somewhat dazed. Even so, despite her suffering, there was an outline of defiance on her features. I am still a Princess, she told herself resolutely. She looked with hate and insensate rage at the cool, blonde figure seated on the throne. This woman had suspended her in torment for four or five hours. Maybe more.
“Kneel,” commanded Venetia, almost casually. Supported by the Overseers, Xena remained erect, her jaw clenching, her eyes blazing. I will die first, she told herself.
“Very well, said Venetia, “suspend her again.”
“A-AH... no... ooo...” It was an involuntary gasp from Xena. However, Venetia’s order was executed immediately. The pulleys clanked and, now gasping and crying out, Xena was suspended once more. The agonising strain on her muscles was renewed. She began to sob softly as she watched the purple-clad figure rise from the throne and leave the chamber once more. No one could have been more aware than Xena that it was this Princess Venetia who would decree how long she would remain hanging in her chains. Bitter despair filled Xena. Was she going to be made to submit?

Miralda, along with dozens of released slave-girls... including Flavia, Cera, Nerine, Mena, Nyrene and Sindi... attended Princess Venetia’s reception that evening. All were attractively gowned and it was noticeable that most preferred a full-length style. Obviously a reaction to their previous perpetual nudity. As they entered, each approached the throne and curtsied to Princess Venetia.
“You are not only free, you are all welcome,” said Venetia to each of them. “A new life awaits you.”
Each and every ex-slave expressed her fulsome gratitude for her delivery. Above them, barely noticed, swung Xena in suspension. Only later, when they withdrew from the throne, were the ex- slaves able to gaze upon her with uninhibited gloating glee. This was the woman who had brought them untold misery; now it was her turn to suffer to the full. Xena was moaning constantly, her body beaded with sweat. She was rapidly reaching the end of her tether. But for the shortest of breaks, she had been in suspension for something like ten hours. Yet there was no sign that she was going to be released. Xena was aware of the buzz of humanity beneath her but could not understand what was taking place or who was present. Gowned f igures... women... that was all she knew. The pain in her muscles grew until it was like fiery knives being thrust into her. She could endure no more. Yet she had to go on enduring it. Ultimately, during the middle of the evening reception, she fainted clean away.
“Lower her,” ordered Princess Venetia again. The happy ex-slaves, many now flowing with wine, gathered round to watch the naked body of the woman they hated so much, descend to the floor. It slumped there, twitching and quivering. “Water,” said Princess Venetia. At once, Overseers brought pails of water. It was unceremoniously thrown over Xena’s recumbent form on the marble floor. Slosh! Slosh! Slosh! Slosh!Xena stirred into life again. It can be imagined how delighted the ex-slaves were to see this ex-tyrant in such a demeaning fashion.
“Get her on her feet.” ordered Venetia. Xena was pulled up and, despite support stood swaying Her eyes were glazing, she was trembling with semi-exhaustion. The blonde features of Venetia swam before her tear-filled eyes. She strove to summon her strength and resolve. But all reserves seemed to have gone.
“Kneel...” ordered Venetia. Xena’s mouth twisted; a convulsion ran over her features. Utter desperation... utter despair. “N-No don’t make me ...”she said in a sobbing voice. She had become aware that the luxuriously gowned women around her were ex-slaves and that she was being made an exhibition of.
“Very well,” said Venetia resignedly. “Put her in suspension again.”
“NOOO... OOOOOO!” It was a shriek of despairing dread. She could not stand any more of that agonising strain. Anything was better. ANYTHING! Yes... even... SUBMISSION. Sobbing uncontrollably, Xena went to her knees, her head bowing in fatigue rather than homage to her conqueror. Venetia sipped from the golden goblet she held.
“You will be well aware, SLAVE,” she said (it was the first time she had used the term directly to Xena) ‘“that there are penalties for disobedience in a slave. You have been defying me for over ten hours. Tomorrow you will pay for that.”
There was a little ripple of applause from those who watched. Oh how low were the mighty fallen! Venetia smiled at her audience indulgently. Well, the little darlings were entitled to some revenge, weren’t they? Provided they showed her proper respect as their new Princess and Ruler.
“Take her away,” ordered Venetia. And Xena, dripping wet, was dragged from the chamber, slithering over the marble floor.
“You are all now members of my Court,” said Princess Venetia, smiling round indulgently. “I may summon you for company or amusement but, apart from that, you have the freedom of the Palace. Quarters will be assigned to you and each of you is permitted up to three slaves, male or female, or a mixture. The male slaves will be Sythian or Barbarian, the female slaves will be Sythian. However, if you wish, you may make slaves of those you once had to serve.”
There was aloud murmur of approval at this announcement. Princess Venetia rose and led the way into the Banqueting Hall. It contained a vast, long table surrounded by ornate chairs. Scores of naked slave-girls were waiting to attend them as well as male slaves wearing only leather genital restrainers. For all these young women, who had just been released from hideous servitude, it was all like a dream. Some thought it must be a dream and were of waking up from it! Others, however, quickly reverted to their old ways when they had been ladies in their own right... and were soon snapping out peremptory orders and slapping or pinching the bottom of any slave whom they considered had not served them sufficiently quickly. Each and every one of them now worshipped Princess Venetia and would be eternally grateful to her for her deliverance of them from a life of horror and torment.
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