I woke up not knowing what time it was. My dome was still closed and dim white light came from somewhere. I reached out to touch the walls and before I could, a small crack of light opened along two hemispheres. It opened wider to reveal the dormitory. The view out the wide window was more stars and lights. I watched, entranced for a while before my stomach grumbled. I looked around to find a breakfast of fruit had been delivered. I padded over to the tray and took a peach, thinking about peaches and cream. There were ten small bowls and a jug of something I gathered was juice. A small knife accompanied the fruit, so I used it to cut up my peach and put it in a bowl. I kept choosing fruit and soon had a nice little fruit salad put together. No forks were provided so I ate with my fingers, wiping the sticky juice off my fingers with the handkerchief I still had. I had clenched it in my fist all night, taking some comfort in the soft fabric.
Once everyone else was awake, Makal came back, along with another Alien of his same species, this one, though, had silver skin and was dressed in a black robe with a red sash. I didn’t yet know the significance of each uniform.
“This is Orpehlius.” Makal said. “He will be training you all in the duties you will be expected to perform once we arrive on Alenai, my home world.” With those words, and a carefulling
Orpehlius, like Makal, spoke perfect English, just slightly accented, but part of the schedule he outlined was devoted to learning the language of the aliens we were going to live with probably for the rest of our lives.
The rest of the schedule was used for learning the proper manners we were to use. How to greet people according to their status compared to ours. How to walk quietly, without a sound or moving ones upper body much at all, so to carry trays and other objects without even jostling the contents. Over the next three weeks or so, as our hair grew longer, Orpehlius taught us how to braid it and wrap it around our heads or put in in buns, depending on length, so to keep it out of the way, since where we were going, there were no barbers, because they didn’t need professional haircutters for a world where the people did not have hair. Even the females did not have hair, but instead wore elaborate headdresses complete with veils that covered the back and face. We were taught how to prepare these headdresses, and how to wear them, though the ones we wore were not so elaborate.
At the first stop we made, we were all lead out in a line to a shop that looked like a blacksmith’s. I’d been looking all around at the strange surroundings, and all the differently shaped creatures that walked along the road. They didn’t seem to think that a string of white-clad girls was at all odd, so I guessed we weren’t a novelty.
In the shop, we were fitted with metal cuffs in a sort of dark gold color. They fit close to the skin like the cuffs I had seen in Disney’s Aladdin, on Genie. They were thick bands of metal, and each was engraved with a circle. Orpehlius explained that it was where our owners’ symbols were going to go, but it was left blank for now. All the girls frowned at remembering that we had been sold as slaves to an alien race, but there was nothing we could do about it now.
With that dismal thought the metal clasped firmly over my wrists and the smith welded them shut, oddly, I didn’t feel the heat from his torch.