A Thousand Lords And One

Chapter 1 - A Fever Dream

by alectashadow

Tags: #cw:incest #cw:noncon #cw:sexual_assault #dom:female #f/f #f/m #pov:bottom #sub:female #bondage #clothing #cw:fascism #D/s #dom:male #dystopia #foot_fetish #foot_kissing #foot_worship #humiliation #hypno #hypnosis #institutional_sadism #multiple_partners #oppression #pov:top #sadomasochism #scifi #slavery #sub:male #worlddomination

It could be dismissed as a fever dream.

I scrub the grime from the floor, the stone cold against my knees, the bristles of the brush rough against my hands. The clinking sounds of my chains and my heavy-set collar keep me company, as I take on a particularly stubborn stain.

I work mechanically, my mind wandering, as it often does. It is mind-numbing work, designed to break you down, disassemble you into tiny little pieces so you can be rebuilt anew... typically into a more compliant, docile form. More pleasing to your owners.

That sort of thing happens a lot, these days.

They say there are a thousand Lord Rulers, and one. I think I understand what that means: many minds, many desires, but one will. Unshakeable, absolute, triumphant.

The same will that’s allowed them to take the world by storm.

Nobody knows how many there are, and nobody dares ask, but I think we all guess there might be a few thousand Lord Rulers. I've never met one in person, at least I don't think. I've certainly never felt the mind yoke they use to steer us mere mortals to do their bidding.

From what I hear, that's not something you simply forget.

I may have never felt the yoke myself, but I’m more than familiar with power, submission... and slavery. Everyone is, in this world.

I was only a child before the Seizure Of Power, but I still remember how sudden it was. How the "mind control parties" started running in elections. I remember my mum laughing, thinking that was a particularly clever joke, an original idea for a satirical party.

Then, she voted for them.

She wasn’t alone in that: they all voted for them, and it was the last time anyone's ever voted on anything. Oh, people tried to resist, to stand up, of course. We all know how that went. On the Sunday of Leathered Splendour, protesters marched against the new regime.

It took three enforcers in leather coats and boots to disperse the crowd – no, to subdue the crowd. They descended from the sky, like leather-clad angels in long coats, steel-tipped boots, and faceless masks that only left uncovered their eyes.

The eyes of a Lord Ruler are not something of this world. They flicker with the very power of the stars.

Fire and ice. Powerful, and cold.

They were three, against ten thousand. And by the end, the three were standing, and the ten thousand were kneeling.

They took turn, licking their conquerors’ boots.

Like everyone else, I had to watch the video every year in school when I was growing up, on the anniversary of the event: a reminder that resistance is futile, as if a reminder was actually needed. All I need to do is look around, to see that the world has changed. Before, there were elections and unions, constitutions and rights, governments and laws, war and peace. Now, there are only a thousand lords.

And one.

I watched the world change before my eyes, back then. An absurd thought strikes my mind - that the world yielded to being reshaped, way easier than this stain on the floor does to my scrubbing. That's how powerful the Lord Rulers are.

To make it all even more absurd, I don’t even need to be cleaning this stain. Most physical labour is superfluous, in the world the Lord Rulers are building: a robot could do this job way better than I do, as with every other menial job in existence.

The only purpose this serves, is to humiliate me, to break me down, to remind me of my place.

It doesn’t matter what may be asked of me. One day, it could be this, and the next, I could be belly-dancing with an ornate candelabrum placed atop my head, or I could be skinny-dipping with a harem of slave girls.

Kiss and lick, suck and fuck, clean and dance, it makes no matter. I yield, much like the world yielded to the Lord Rulers.

I shiver at the thought that it’s only a matter of time until I get bred, so my owners can exowomb my baby, sell it to a corporate slave farm, and pocket the profits for themselves. And I’ll submit to that as well, without so much as a whimper of protest, because to the Lord Rulers, this is mercy.

I know the slogan by heart, by now. Ability is utility. Utility is value. Value is dignity. Dignity is freedom.

Extraordinary people, with extraordinary skills and extraordinary wills, also deserve extraordinary freedom. And for us? The livestock, the chattel, the lesser forms of human life? The jobs we can perform are so basic, so simple, that we could be replaced by machines, if the Lord Rulers wished so.

Reducing us into slavery is a mercy. Kinder than the alternative. Which is why I do as I’m told, and say thank you.

I was only a child before the Seizure Of Power, and I found it so curious how everyone seemed to be wearing leather, boots and gloves – or more exotic garments, sometimes. Gauzy silks, translucent bedlahs, armlets of gold and opal and jade, gemstones and silks, trinkets and baubles.

I wondered why an increasing number of people had these weird, tight, heavy-set leather bands around their necks…

I was too young to understand the embrace of hedonism those trends signified. And it’s only recently that I’ve truly started to grasp how the Lord Rulers are reshaping their playground.

We mere servants, we are purely decorative. This is their world now, and we’re just furniture, to be prettied up and rearranged as they please.

It took me a while to understand how much the world has changed. Until my adulthood, really. When we lost the house and were sold into slavery, though, when I felt the band of smart-leather tighten itself snuggly around my neck... then, I really understood.

My fate is not especially terrible. At least my family and I have been sold together, and we get to live under the same roof. Truly, few things in this world are more common than slavery.

Silk, maybe. Sex, definitely.

But power... the world shaped by the Lord Rulers is one that fetishises power above everything else. And for those of us who have none, it means only one thing.

I sigh, flexing my fingers to work out the numbness in the muscles. Yes, nobody knows how many Lord Rulers there are. Yes, I've never met one in person, never felt the mind yoke. And even so, my life bears their footprint, irrevocably, irreversibly.

They've changed it without effort, without even knowing I existed, because we humans with a dull mind are chattel to them. And those of us who have fallen into slavery, even more so.

I shake my head, noticing I've been scrubbing the same spot over and over. I just can't help but marvel at how unreal all of this still feels. A blur of leather and smoke and fire and blood, collars tightened and cuffs fastened, the wet and worshipful sounds of submissive sex, the dizzying spiral of slavery. Truly, I could dismiss it as a fever dream.

If not for my collar.



My collar tightens around my neck, the nano-circuits bringing the voice of my owner to my direct attention, pulling me. “Bring us some Full Revives and two, you want anything? Three fresh lemonades.”

“I hear and obey, my owner.” I say.

“Attagirl. Remember, be quick or get whipp’d.” 

I enter the room with a tray of drinks, my back bowed and my eyes lowered. It is second nature to me, by now, and as I move effortlessly in my inconspicuous submission, the clinking sound of my collar and chains accompanying me.

But it’s not the only sound in the room. Oh no, not at all…

I try to block it out. I can feel my heart beating faster, a mix of nerves and anger, as the typical sound of service to the Bothnias welcome me into the room. The sounds of quiet chatter and conversation among my owners. Wet, sloppy sounds of service and debasement, below them.

I keep my focus on the tray, since my composure is slipping, and my hands are shaking. It takes all my concentration just to pour the drinks, but even so, I see them out of the corner of my eyes. My owners, the Bothnia siblings, Arthur and Audra.

Well… they’re not technically my owners, their parents are. The senior Bothnias are, in truth, not especially bad owners. Like any self-respecting middle class family, they need a certain amount of slaves in the household for reasons of status, if nothing else.

What they expect of us is frankly quite basic. Obedience of a physical, mental, and sexual nature, and no speaking unless spoken to. They’ve never sought or threatened to separate us, allowing us to all serve under one roof. It’s difficult to admit this, but when it comes to slaves, I’m one of the lucky ones.

Arthur and Audra, though…

They’re my age, which means that like me, they have spent most of their lives under the regime of the Lord Rulers. But where I had to toil and bow and scrape, they cruised through their comfortable middle class lives, slowly being imbued with all the values, all the ethos of the new masters of the world.

You can tell by just looking at them.

Both Bothnia siblings lie entangled with their slaves in post-coital bliss. My mother Georgia, lies in a sweaty pile between Arthur’s legs, cleaning his cock. From the look of the way he’s using his hand to direct her head, he’s getting himself ready for another round.

My brother Utah iss genuflecting at Audra’s feet, kissing and licking her toes while his hands work on her soles.

Arthur and Audra greet my entrance with a look of quiet, mocking disdain. It says everything there is to say about them. Unlike their parents, they relish in the comfort and self-affirmation that comes with owning a slave.

It’s a good thing they’re not especially creative or impressive. They’re totally evil, just unable to manifest their sadism to the fullest. Our duties with them are completely mundane by the standards of the new order: we do their homeworks, serve them drinks, entertain their guests, and fulfill other… tasks…

Damn. Thinking that thought was a mistake. Now I can’t block out the wet, worshipful sounds again. My hand trembles, and the lemonade might well spill, as I listen to my mother, lying mere metres away from me, methodically and obediently sucking on Arthur’s cock.

Somehow, having to be here while she does it is even worse than servicing Arthur myself, which I do on a daily basis. It makes me cringe in embarrassment, disgust, and… a crushing feeling that we’re a family of losers.

Succumbing to the Lord Rulers themselves is one thing, they’re literally higher beings, but we’ve let an entirely unimpressive middle class family reduce us to livestock.

Audra is more modest. She emits purring and cooing sounds of satisfaction while Utah obediently worships her feet. I can tell from his grimace that his fingers hurt by now, and it’s not like he enjoys the taste of her toes, but Audra won’t care about that.

What’s the point of slaves, if you can’t bend them into discomfort for your benefits?

It’s only when I turn around that I take in the scene in all its decadent grandeur. Both my mother and my brother are dressed in dancers’ bedlahs, of course, while I’ve been relegated into the stuffy and confining corset, apron, and skirt that Arthur considers to be my maid uniform.

Arthur’s hand is lazily resting upon my mother’s head, not to guide her pace as she obediently slurps and tongues every inch of his hard-on, but in a casual gesture of utter superiority and possession.

Audra lets out a giggle as she playfully but forcefully pushes Utah in the head with her foot, before snapping her fingers. Utah knows what that means. Without a word, he grabs the drug-enhanced oil, straddles her at the hips, and starts to work on Audra’s shoulders.

Arthur and Audra don’t even dignify them with a single look. Why should they? We’re just things. The execution of our duty is as unremarkable as a toaster’s… no matter how elaborate our slave garbs might be.

Where my body is adorned with collar and chains, Utah and Georgia wear armlets of bronze, green soapstone, and gold. Far too opulent a display for the background of our owners, but that’s how good socialites impress their guests these days.

And speaking of guests, it’s only now I notice one, sitting in a dark corner of the room, her hands folded in her lap, watching the whole scene with a keen gaze. She’s an old acquaintance of mine, and my chest immediately tightens.


"About time you got here," Arthur drawls lazily. "I'm thirsty. Bring me a drink."

I grit my teeth, but say nothing as I make my way to the table with the drinks. I pick up one of the lemonade glasses and drop a tablet of Full Revive into the drink, while I try to ignore the way he stares at me the whole time, as if daring me to do something about it.

No, it’s actually more obscene than that.

He’s ogling me, while my own mother is busy choking on his cock.

He doesn’t even need to ogle. He can have any of us, any time. This is his version of a power move, a reminder that I count for nothing in his household, that to him I’m just a machine that receives cum and delivers homework.

And with poor mum sucking away between his legs, it’s hard to refute the notion that that is exactly what I am.

I hand him the glass and he takes it without a word, taking a long sip before turning his gaze back to me once more.

“Is my homework done?”

I nod, feebly. “Yes, Master,” I whisper, my voice barely audible over mum’s choking and sputtering sounds as her lips travel the length of Arthur’s cock over and over again.

He’s used to the treatment by now, composed in spite of his occasional grunts of pleasure. He takes a final sip from the glass, before setting it back down on the coffee table next to him. Then, he looks at me, an eyebrow arched.

“Well? Tidy up.”

I clench my jaw tightly, feeling the anger bubbling inside of me. Bastard: that will force me to lean over my mother to retrieve the glass, but there is no room for defiance, not in the new order. So I bite my lower lip and reach out for the glass.

My elbow brushes briefly against my mother’s hair, and I shiver in disgust at my proximity to this act, like I’ve been tainted by it. That makes Audra laugh out loud, but Irmgard merely stares at us, like she’s a coroner dissecting a corpse on a table.

I hate them all, but I hate Irmgard the most. She's always been like this: cold, cruel, condescending, manipulative. I've known her for years, since before my family fell into slavery. Back then, I never would have imagined that she'd end up like this, a rich and powerful woman who lords her status over people like me.

But she did, and here she is.

Her own household stands far above the Bothnias in the social pecking order, and it isn’t just a matter of how many slaves they have, oh no. Irmgard and her entire bloodline have fully embraced the ethos of the new order.

To them, domestication is a cultured pursuit, training and breaking a slave is a science, and the fruits of slavery are merely the just dues that come with the hard work required to completely dehumanise someone.

I’ve heard stories. I don’t need anecdotes, though. All I need is to look into Irmgard’s eyes. I see no pity in there, no friendliness, not even the mirthful arrogance of the Bothnia siblings. She just doesn’t think I’m human. She sees nothing wrong in annihilating slaves for sport.

I know their family’s greatest disappointment is that they never managed to produce one Lord Ruler. Maybe that contributes to making them even meaner. What was that old world saying? Plus royaliste que le roi?

Mutely, I serve drinks to Audra and Irmgard, too. I try to keep my face impassive as Irmgard turns her gaze on me. I can feel her studying me, calculating, judging. She doesn't say anything at first, just sips her drink and looks at me like I'm a bug she's thinking of crushing under her boot.

Finally, she speaks. "It’s Carolina now, isn't it?”

The was she asks the question forces me to remember that terrible day. When the liquidators smashed though our doors and windows, dragged us out of our home on catchpoles like animals…

They forced me to stare into the photo-neuro-indoctrinator. I remember how it burned, as the machine scorched whole portions of my life from my memory, most important of all, my real name.

There is power in a name. Even more so, in taking it away. Something in Irmgard’s playful smile tells me that she remembers what my name used to be, even if I don’t, not anymore. She leaves that hanging, because that silence holds more cruelty and more power than a thousand insults ever could.

And then, at last, she speaks again.

“I almost didn’t recognise you,” she says.  

I give a trembling nod, hating every moment of this interaction, just willing it to end as soon as possible. Just standing my ground would be impossible in my current condition, but how can I handle Irmgard’s barbs to the background sounds of my mother literally sucking cock?

As a slave, I’m used to disappearing into the background, and of course that is humiliating and degrading, but… in a way, most slaves learn to appreciate it. And this is exactly why. In the background, no one notices you. You’re a rat in the walls, scurrying to your duties until your very personhood is crushed, but also able to carve out your own space away from the horror.

But when a superior’s eyes are fixed on you… scrutinising you, testing you, poking you…

That’s when you really are in danger.

Irmgard looks me up and down, before making a dismissive gesture with her free hand. “You're looking...well, as can be expected, I suppose."

I bite back a retort. I know better than to talk back to her. I just want this conversation to end, so I can fade into the background again. "Yes, ma'am," I say, my voice barely above a whisper.

It’s hard to accept that we were equals, once. But that old world is dead, and this new one has arisen from the charrel pits, a world that is at once softer – beautiful, sensual, hedonistic – and harder: authoritarian, uncompromising.


Irmgard smiles, but it's not a friendly smile. It's predatory, almost feral. "You know, Carolina, I've always found it interesting how people like you...adapt. How you can go from being a person to being a thing, a slave. I suppose it must be hard to give up your free will like that.”

She leans back, relaxed, one foot bobbing up and down, almost hypnotically. “Of course, that is where true mastery shines. We don’t make you give up free will, no. We strip it away ourselves, layer by layer. Painful, but necessary.”

My eyes keep darting between her dangling foot, and her own fearsome gaze. It’s fixed on me, as is her blood-curdling smile. She’s so impressive at making evil sound civilised. “We flail you… crack open and tear apart the thin crust of your civilised exterior. Until the beast of burden underneath is ready to come to light, at last."

I feel a surge of horror, resentment, humiliation, my head spinning, my limbs trembling… but I keep my expression blank. "I do what I have to do," I say evenly.

Irmgard nods at that, in what looks like approval. “Oh, indeed! The strong do what they can,” she says, holding out her hand, “and the weak suffer what they must. Another drink.”

I pour Irmgard another glass, trying to keep my hands from shaking. As she takes it from me, she smiles, but it's not a friendly smile. It's more like a predator sizing up its prey.

I’m just about to step away when Irmgard speaks, her voice quieter than a whisper.


I hesitate for a moment, but I’m just a slave, and Irmgard has risen as far as a regular human realistically can, in this new world the Lord Rulers have crafted. Especially for a woman, since our relative status has deteriorated compared to men’s, in this new order.

I almost feel myself gravitating closer to her, pulled forward by an invisible magnetism.

She looks up at me, and her smile widens. “Artie, Audra darling, don’t you think that Carolina here is in the wrong outfit? Unless you plan to send her back to doing scullery work…”

Arthur sits up, which forces my mother to crawl to keep her lips in contact with his pubes. The boy who makes me call him master gives me an idiotic grin.

“You are right as always Irmgard, Slave!” Arthur barks in the extra harsh tone he reserves for when he wants to show off in front of friends and guests “In the change booth, now.”

Forlorn, I shuffle towards the transparent tube in the corner. It slides shut behind me. I feel the familiar sensation of robotic hands, prods and sensors gripping onto my limbs, unlocking and unlacing the outfit which had I had been bound into when Mrs. Bothnia put me on maid duty.

Air suddenly fills my lungs as the binding corset is lifted away. I stand there naked, with my arms raised above my head. I can see them all watching me. Irmgard with her predatory gaze, Audra with her gleeful smile, Arthur with his meatheaded malice, but the worst are my family.

Arthur pulls my mother by her collar and turns her to see me stripped and on display, while Utah’s eyes lie level with my tits. I see in both of them expressions of sympathy, but I can also see the shame and humiliation which we all share.

I am only naked for a few seconds. The machine works quickly to put me in an outfit and makeup to match the rest of my family. A clamp locks around my head, holding me still so my wincing in pain from the sharp tips of the makeup and nano-ink pens doesn’t mess up the chosen designs.

Bangles, anklets, and an armlet are welded onto my arms and legs. A gauzy, translucent bra and matching skirt - little more than two pieces of silk attached by a chain, in truth - are 3D-printed around my hips and chest.

My leather collar is swapped out for a golden robotic snake, programmed slither around my neck occasionally. My nails and toes are painted with inhuman precision at the same time the gold leaf designs are airbrushed onto my skin. Finally, a gold chain diadem draping a chain veil over my face descends on my head, before my wrists and ankles are released and the door slides open.

I step out of the booth, trembling, as Irmgard calls attention to me with a discreet motion of her index finger.

"Kneel," she says, pointing to her dangling foot.

I don't want to. I want to refuse, to fight back. But I know I can't. I can feel the weight of Arthur and Audra's gaze on me, and I know they'd enjoy nothing more than to see me defy Irmgard and suffer the consequences.

I think in a way, even they realise Irmgard is nothing like them. She plays in a different league. She doesn’t just sit back and enjoy the perks of owning slaves, no.

She’s in her element.

So I kneel. It’s a routine gesture for me by now, but for some reason at this very moment, I feel like I used to at the very beginning of my slavery. I feel my heart beat faster, my cheeks redden, my pupils dilate. I am humiliated, and angry, and powerless.

As I fold myself in this slavish position before her, Irmgard's smile becomes positively wicked. "That's right," she says. "See how natural it comes to you. Surely you see that you were born for this."

I can feel the bile rising in my throat, but I keep my face down, trying not to show any emotion. This is not the first time I've been humiliated like this, and it won't be the last. I know she’s only speaking lies: familiarity and repetition do not imply I was always meant to be a slave.

In the measure that I’ve been domesticated at all, it’s because of the metaphorical foot constantly pressing upon my neck.

But something about Irmgard's cold, calculating manner, the way she seems to relish this exercise of power, makes me feel more vulnerable than ever before.

Irmgard's presence is like a noxious fog, I can feel my hatred for her growing stronger by the minute, because to her, this really is a sport, and she’s definitely not here to socialise with anyone.

No, she has different objectives in mind: flaunting her slave-owning skills, and suggesting ways in which they could be even more effective.

She's here to network, to assert her superiority, and to make sure everyone knows that she's a force to be reckoned with.

Irmgard raises her right foot. It is the slightest of movements, but to a well-trained slave in this world, it is enough. I briefly note the pearly anklet adorning her, the way her sole curves upward, the smoothness of the skin, as I cradle her foot in my hands to begin my massage.

“Goooood pet,” Irmgard says, leaning back, sighing in relaxation. "You know, Carolina, I've always thought you had potential. With a little bit of training…”

Irmgard suddenly leans forward, her eyes bright with amusement. "Nothing my two friends here could do, I’m afraid,” she says, nodding towards Audra and Arthur. Audra gives a scoff, but I can sense the insecurity in her reaction.

Arthur, by now, seems to be losing his composure altogether, huffing and puffing at my mum’s oral ministrations. The Full Revive having taken its effect, he pushes my mom face first into the performance bed’s silk sheets. “Time for round two, Bitch,” he grunts.

“You see,” Irmgard continues with a quick glance at Arthur, before her merciless focus lasers back to me, “it takes a certain… mastery of the art to bring out the true self of a slave. I could show you facets of your own identity you don’t even know exist. Maybe I’ll ask Arthur if I can borrow you for a bit…"

I stare at her, eyes suddenly wide with genuine fear. I know she wants to flail my identity away. I know she wants to end me. And most importantly, I know she can, she is that good at dominating.

I shouldn’t say anything, really, there is nothing I can say to improve my situation anyway, but I can't help myself. "A b-bit, m-ma’am? What do you mean?"

Irmgard just smiles, a smile that makes my skin crawl. It is only the surface version of a smile, there is no human warmth in them. Only sociopathic amusement. "Oh, nothing. Just an idea I had. A fantasy, really. But it's interesting, isn't it? The idea that you could be something more than what you are. Or less than what you think you are. Slaves are just the raw material, Carolina. But to sculpt them into a work of art… you need an artist. Don’t stop rubbing!"

I realise I had stopped, in my stupor, and I immediately resume diligently rubbing her foot. This display of obedience makes Irmgard smile, but I’m still processing her words, trying to chase the worst case scenarios away from my mind.

I’m lucky precisely because the Bothnias have kept us all together, have never demanded too much of us. If I were left in Irmgard’s care, even for a brief period… what would she do to me?

Suddenly, her hands are cradling my face, palms against my cheeks, fingers in my hair. She turns my face upwards. Her foot is still royally placed in my hands, but now I find myself looking into her eyes. Amused and cold and cruel and intelligent and dead.

“Listen to that sound,” Irmgard says, her voice sultry, and as if by magic, the sound of my mother’s moaning as the clapping sound of our owner taking her from behind overwhelms me. It can’t be blocked out now, not anymore. It engulfs my entire perception. That’s not just the sound of a middle-aged woman being fucked by her master. It’s the sound of my family, all of us, being stripped of our humanity.

It’s the sound of the defeat of most of us to a new, better kind. The end of the old world and its freedoms. The birth of the future, which sounds exactly like this: sexual and pleasurable, but also authoritarian and obedient.

“That’s it,” Irmgard says, reading my expression. “Take it aaaall in. The way each single slurp, gagging noise, sucking sound, slapping clap, slutty moan is individual and different. This is what the new world is all about. Appreciation of the finer things of life… and none finer than this one. None finer than power.”

I stare at her, stunned and intimidated, my hands rubbing as if on autopilot, comforting her foot even as she lays out such cruelty for me.

“I intend to find out how well you suck cock, Carolina,” she says. “How diligently you worship feet. How long you can be tied and suspended before uttering a single murmur of discomfort. How far your training can go. How dejected you would feel if I were to split you from Utah and that cockholster you call a mother.”

I shiver in her hands, like a squirming, helpless prey in the grip of a much stronger predator. I can tell that she enjoys that.

“I want to discover how much your old intelligence can be broken down,” she continues, sultrily, almost sweetly. “God knows you don’t need that anymore, its only use is to be chopped up and served to people like me as a ritual offering, broken into oh so many tiny little pieces. I want to see if I can make you feel closer to an animal than to a person, because that is the final truth about you and your kind.”

At that, I can feel my lips trembling, and my eyes welling with tears, in spite of myself. Somehow… that is the worst humiliation of all.

“If I ever get my hands on you, you’ll experience all of this, and more,” Irmgard says, our faces now inches apart, our lips almost touching, and her statement doesn’t sound like a mere hypothetical. She means it as a promise.

“Don’t you forget it.”


Somewhere Near The Pleasure Gardens

It could be dismissed as a fever dream.

Many things about my life are exceedingly weird. I am a girl with no name, for instance: I am merely slave. Most people endure the New Order, and our Lord Rulers revel in it, but few get to experience what I experience.

Few get to be owned by a Lord Ruler in the flesh.

It’s an experience for which there are no words. Dominance is a mere concept, to most people, but I have seen it, felt it, been reshaped by it. By Him. The Lord Rulers are everything they claim to be, and more, and we humans are everything they say we are, and less.

We are slaves. They are Masters.

In times past, in distant cultures, some slaves could think of themselves as privileged, depending on whom they served. But none of them were as privileged as me. Only the best, those capable of personifying service itself, are ever worthy of bearing a Lord Ruler’s collar, the way I do around my dainty neck.

My body is His to use, explore, bend over and play with, torture and play like a fiddle, like I’m a musical instrument in His hands. My will is a small, flickering candle, being snuffed out in His hand. My mind is a leaf lost in the wind of His breath.

When psychic power can seep into every nook and cranny of your being, that’s when you have felt what it truly means to be dominated. To be owned.

But for all the bizarre elements that make up my life, none is as weird as this.

I kneel before my Master as He reaches out with His powers into the astral plane, into that liminal dimension that exists between our world and theirs, that place where their power resides. A place we livestock can merely sense in our dreams, or in the presence of our Lords… but that they can see, and feel, and touch, as if it were here. As if it were real.

As my Master’s mind reaches out into the starry night, His power washes over me in waves, and it’s not a singular thing, an isolated astronomical object, like a star, or a black hole: it’s an interconnectedness that takes my breath away.

Even I, slave, from this lowly vantage, can sense the link that unites all our Masters. The unity of purpose, unity of will, the way each thought stretches far beyond what a mere slave mind could ever hope to comprehend.

Impossibly huge. Incredibly knowledgeable. Even their thoughts – no, especially their thoughts – have power. Their thinking is immense, and ours can only disappear in their inescapable gravity well.

They all share this link. This connection. This power.

A thousand; and one.

“Three have newly awakened,” Master says, as he retreats into the world, and the starry night disappears from my humble perception. I’m back in the physical world, on my knees before Him, on the lush carpet at the entrance of His pleasure gardens.

His declaration humbles me. But it also fills me with pride.

Few slaves have what it takes, to personally serve a Lord Ruler. Even fewer have what it takes, to be involved in the induction of new members into their hallowed ranks.

Each time a mere mortal is touched by immanence, each time a mind awakens, the Lord Rulers sense it right away. It’s like witnessing the birth of a young star.

Of one young star, to be precise.

Ability is utility. Utility is value. Value is dignity. Dignity is freedom. And the most extraordinary freedoms are reserved for only the most extraordinary individuals.

“Who are the newly awakened, Master?” I ask, in my perfect slave pitch, that the Lord Rulers have drilled into my vocal cords with incredible precision. A musical tone that colours my speech with the notes of utter, unconditional submission.

I know I will have to oversee their fight, the one that will settle which of them will be welcomed into the ranks of the lords of the Earth.

I await their names, knowing that I will grieve for two of them, and the old world their defeat will represent… and bow before the exhalted third, in awe of the birth of a new star in the night sky.

“One is Ragnar Kai,” my Master says, and even though the name means nothing to me, I still shiver in anticipation, my body trembling under the sheer power of His words. “A young bookish man of middling extraction and uncommon education.”

As my Master speaks, Ragnar’s unique imprint – his psionic fingerprint, in a way – is seared into my mind, like it’s being forcibly shoved in by my Master’s own fingers. It’s an act of overpowering intimacy that makes me gasp, and long desperately for my Master’s touch, but I know better than to move a muscle.

I am perfect in my submission. I am slave.

“The second is Irmgard Gast,” Master says, “a young female scion from a proud and noble family.”

By the standards of us chattel, at least, I think to myself, as I shudder while her psionic imprint is etched into my mind. After entering the service of the gods, it’s impossible for me to be impressed by the petty achievements of humans anymore.

The imprint will allow me to contact, and sense, the three newly awakened psionically… and to referee their upcoming struggle for the right to ascend to divine status.

Or fall to the lowest depths of slavery…

“The third is Carolina Lusnik,” Master finishes, and this time, the pleasurable searing and the allure of my weakness, are accompanied by mild curiosity. It’s rare for women to awaken, much more so than men, one of the many reasons why our gender has progressively been driven back to a place more befitting of our weakness…

And this crop of newly-awakened has not one, but two girls.

“A slave in the Bothnia household,” Master finishes, as the last of her imprint is etched into my eager brain.

A slave, huh? I try and imagine what it would be like for her, to become a Lord Ruler. To go from the lowest possible rung, to this. To utter transcendence. It would almost be too good to be true, for her…

But of course, she’ll have to snuff out the will, and the psychic abilities, of Ragnar and Irmgard, first.

“It is sad that there can be only one,” I say, mournfully, without ever daring to look up from Master’s boots. I know better than to disrespect Him so. “All three feel luminous with potential to slave’s simple, limited mind, Master,” I say, and it is no mere platitude. It’s true.

For different reasons, all three could potentially mature into Lord Rulers…

“I know, sweetling. Your mind may be limited, but in this, you are correct,” Master says, his fingers running through my hair. The electricity generated by my touch is enough to push me to the brink of orgasm, as my breathing grows shallow, my pupils dilate, and my muscles tremble.

Such is the power held by the touch of a god…

“But that is the way of the cosmos,” Master says. His index finger pushes past the soft barrier of my eager, pillowy lips. I moan around it, marvelling at the taste of His skin, the way it obliterates any coherence in my perception, in my ability to process sensory inputs.

“Life is struggle. Life feeds on life,” he says, but I’m only half-listening, because I know he’s going to fuck me soon… no, he’s already fucking me, in ways that my slave mind can barely hope to comprehend. “That is the way it’s meant to be: for there to be a thousand Lords…”

My eyes roll back into my skull, as his mind encompasses mine, enveloping it, crushing it, owning it, owning me – and with me, the world entire.

“… and one.”

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