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Brothers in Servitude Edit

While the Sun Priest could see him Purple made himself look as if he was contented with his lot and the Priest congratulated himself that he had corrected a difficult situation. Once the Priest was too far away to see him Purple drooped his head and tentacles showing how deeply unhappy he was. Sad Tentacles a fellow engineer noticed Purple and came up to him.
“I’ve been checking on our mistress as you asked me to, is there anything else I need to know?”
“How is my mistress, brother?”
“She’s no better than we can expect, the master is as hard on her as he is on us servants.”
Sad Tentacles had never got over it after he was sold away from his friends and family at Lady Violet’s establishment and had to live at this new establishment among strangers. A few slaves had been bought and sold between those two establishments in the time of Lady Violet's cruel husband.
“The servants at Lady Violet’s communication room have told me how much you taught my cousin, thank you brother! How is my cousin, brother?”
“Your cousin is alright and is learning well.” Purple knew the apprentice must have learnt a great deal or the servants wouldn’t have risked trouble by discussing their affairs between the communication rooms of the two establishments.
Then the other slave noticed how upset Purple was and wrapped a few tentacles comfortingly round Purple. “Life’s treating you badly, brother.” Wet, slippery tentacles ran over Purple helping him to relax. Then Purple forced himself to check any sexual arousal though brother was just a term slaves used with their fellows who shared their misfortune. The other slave wasn’t his blood brother or his blood relation, indeed slaves in uncaring households were lucky to have any relations at all round them. Far too often families were broken up while slaves were bought and sold like so much livestock, that was partly why Purple was so determined he wouldn’t bring any slave children into the world.
"I need to talk to you, brother, where are they preparing the New Bridal chamber?” Purple asked, “The overseer wants me to work on the machinery there.”
“Where have you been? We’ve been working on that for hours.”
“I was with my mistress in case she needed me. Has the boy agreed to the marriage then?”
“No he hasn’t agreed yet. Still how else can this end?”
The two slaves went together as the other one showed Purple the way, Sad Tentacles carried on speaking.
“You know that poor boy is as much a slave as we are.” Sad drooped his tentacles as he remembered how he felt when he was sold to this establishment where he knew hardly any Centaurians and Sad Tentacles feared the boy would feel the same at the establishment of Slithery Tentacles.
“Blue Tentacles is a Patrician and the master’s son. How can he be our brother slave?” Purple asked.
“On Earth they know When marriage is slavery.”
Purple listened, he hadn’t thought of things that way before, the other continued explaining about forced marriage and different types of slavery.
Purple didn’t show his feelings even to a brother slave but resolution was forming, Purple started thinking to himself,
“The boy should not enter that Bridal Chamber. Can I prevent it? I’m only a slave.”
Other slaves were working quietly in to the Bridal Chamber, careful not to show any feelings but Purple was shocked when he saw it for the first time. Purple knew Blue Tentacles was sensitive about Terrans, insisting on images from Earth all over the walls was just plain tactless. Clearly the villain Leering Eye Spots or Slithery Tentacles wanted to enjoy the start of the marriage but didn’t want his partner to enjoy it.

Purple tried to concentrate on the machinery but his alien heart was racing and whatever aliens have in place of Adrenalin was flooding his system as Purple worked out what he knew would be the most important action he did in his whole life. Purple checked and rechecked the machinery, he knew it was vital no alien found out he was missing for as long as possible and there should be no reason to call him back. “Can you help me check this, Sad?” Purple asked the slave who had shown him the way. Sad Tentacles was surprised that Purple was so keen to get those machines running well but obeyed a superior engineer without question. When Purple was sure the machinery would cause no problems he went to the boathouse and carefully prepared one of the fastest Submarines or Submersibles. When Purple had finished the engine was running really well, responded perfectly to his touch and nothing was left to chance. [1]

Later Purple went again through the service ducts to the room where Blue Tentacles was imprisoned. Blue Tentacles clung to his friend.
“Come little Brother” Purple said more decisively than he had ever spoken in his life, “we’ll escape to freedom together.”

Footnotes

  1. I imagine those aliens would be more comfortable and safer in boats or submersibles than humans as they could swim to safety in accidents where humans would drown. Boats of all kinds might be cheaper to build as safety standards would be less exacting and a rich alien household could easily have a fleet of small boats including at least one submersible. According to the scientists who wrote Aurelia Storms and even hurricanes would be frequent in a Red Dwarf star system so boats would have to be built to withstand storms but submersibles may escape storms by diving.

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