A story written by Pete Brown (Part 23 of 30). (Here you can find all the parts of this story.)
The next morning I drove Jake to work instead of having to take dad to the train, and how much nicer it was, as instead of constantly urging me on as we might miss the train – we never had, but that didn’t stop dad – Jake and I chatted about all kinds of stuff. He was envious of me of course as I was going to spend all day with Reb rather than having to herd all the slaves around at S & D, but I said that after he’d met dad that night we’d be able to make plans for what we were going to do from then on.
After I’d dropped Jake I did a stupid thing – stupid on two counts. I went in to A & F and bought Jake one of the expensive silk and cashmere jackets I’d bought for the birthday dinner that didn’t happen, thinking that I’d wear mine too that evening so that when I introduced Jake to dad he’d see that we were alike, really, and that there was no reason to look down on Jake because of his job. I was still not thinking properly about Jake and me: firstly, Jake would be embarrassed and angry that I had spent so much money on a present for him when he had no hope of being able to buy something for me in return; and secondly I had no reason to be ashamed of Jake, and there was no reason for dad to think less of him because Jake was working.
Still, it was good to be in A & F again with their toned muscular slave shop assistants, and I actually had a bit of fun when deciding what size to get for Jake by asking one of the handsome bare-torso ones to model it for me and to let me then run my hands all over it, testing for ‘fit’. The problem came at the checkout – I was sitting there on one of the couches, enjoying a coffee, watching as the slave wrapped my purchase in layers of tissue, then a fancy box and a ribbon (I wondered if Jake would get the same excitement in tearing it all open as I always did), when another slave came up to me, coughed apologetically, and said “I’m sorry, Mr Masters, but your card has been refused in our machine.”
“Rubbish! I use it all the time. There’s no problem with it”
“..perhaps the credit limit, then, sir?”
“How dare you! I have unlimited credit. I have a good mind to summon the manager and have you flogged for gross disrespect to a valued client.”
“Sir, I’m very sorry, sir. These things do happen from time to time – a mistake at the card company, I’m sure, sir. So if you have the cash….?”
Look, no-one carries that amount of money around in cash, do they? In fact I rarely carry any cash at all, not even a few new bucks – I mean, why should I? The card is accepted absolutely everywhere. I explained that to the slave as if I was having to explain the obvious to a child, and old him that I would anyway take the jacket – I was after all a regular customer – and would call in the following day and pay. But he was reluctant to agree! So I told him to fetch the manager, and I sat there sipping my coffee, certain that this stupid error would soon be resolved.
The manager did appear eventually – accompanied by two cops! My temper started to flare, as the idiot had clearly mistaken me for some kind of card thief or fraudster. One of the cops snapped at me “Stand up, boy!”
I went to protest, but both of them had what looked like the police equivalent of slave prods, and they were fingering them excitedly. So, now fuming against the absolutely derogatory use of ‘boy’, as if I were a slave, I got to my feet. “Are you Steven P Masters”, the cop asked, adding my address.
“Shut the fuck up, boy!” Well, I wasn’t used to being spoken to like this. The other cop cleared his throat, took a small screen communicator off his belt and began to read “Steven Masters, I am arresting you for the crime of tax evasion and illegal currency dealing. You do not have to say…”
“That’s fucking ridiculous! All that happened was that my card got rejected – it’s probably some stupid fucking error at the card centre…”
“Shut the fuck up, boy!”, the cop snapped. “Now listen, and listen good! There may be another charge arising form the knowingly false use of a card, but this is serious – the charge was lodged by the IRS and relates to illegal transactions by a William F Masters, in which you are complicit. We’re taking you in, we’ve recorded this arrest so there’ll be no weaselling out on the basis that you haven’t been read your rights – you interrupted us. And I’d advise you, boy, to keep a civil tongue in your head! This is a serious crime, and I’d guess that by tonight you’ll have been enslaved, and no owner is going to let a boy shout and rant and interrupt like that.”
“That’s fucking rubbish! I’ve never….”
I didn’t finish the sentence. I no longer knew where I was or what I was saying or what I was doing. I heard someone screaming – and I realised it was me – and there was a body flailing around on the floor, alternatively flinging its arms and legs wide out and then drawing them in and clutching desperately at itself – and a dim realisation arose that this was me, too. Gradually I recovered, and saw the cops looking down at me as I lay there, totally exhausted.
“I warned you, boy. You’re lucky our stunner is at half power. Now, are you going to get up and come quietly, or are we going to give you another little taster?” He turned to his companion and muttered “These free kids don’t understand, do they? It’s probably a kindness we’re doing them giving them a taste of a real slave punishment – none of that play acting with belts and paddles and stuff, but a touch of the electricity to the nerve endings? It will make him more careful when we get him to the court – the guards there are a lot tougher and don’t brook any trouble at all.” He looked down at me and went on “Be careful, boy! Down at the court they don’t like any complaints, any arguing – only answer the questions the judge asks you and say nothing else, or the court ushers are likely to make what you’ve just experienced feel like fly swat!”
“But how can I defend myself if….”
“Shut the fuck up! You deserve another touch of the stunner for that, and you’d get it at the court, too! You don’t need to defend yourself – all the evidence is there, and the judge will make a judgement: you don’t think the courts have got all day for a lot of arguing and nonsense, do you? Now, get up! On your feet.” He turned and looked at the store manager. “I’m sorry about that, sir. We went to the house to arrest him this morning but he wasn’t there. But as soon as he attempted to use his card, which had been blocked when the father was arrested, the system alerted us and we came straight over. Now you’ve got all the inconvenience of clearing up the mess…”
The manager looked horrified, and ordered one of the slaves to fetch a bucket and mop immediately to clean the floor. I realised why I was feeling somehow awkward and reached down – the crotch and one of the legs of my jeans were soaking wet, as I’d pissed myself. I stood there, flushing with shame. The cop laughed “Now, boy, hands behind your back.”
“But….” I gestured helplessly at my jeans.
“Hands behind your back! Or do you want to strip those jeans off first and we’ll take you naked?”
I put my hands behind me, and the cop snapped cuffs on. Quite a crowd had gathered by now – some other customers inside the store, but a lot other people on the sidewalk who had seen the cop car with its flashing lights and had stopped to await developments. I was scarlet with embarrassment at the thought of having to walk past them with my jeans soaked in piss, but I knew that was better than having myself exposed.
When they’d guided me out to their car, I went to sit in the back. “Hey, boy, none of that! We don’t want your piss all over the place, stinking the car out for the rest of the shift. Kneel on the floor.”
“You’d better get used to it”, the other cop added. “If your owner has a car, that’s the way most slaves travel – no-one wants a slave dirtying the upholstery.”
“This is a mistake – I’m not going to be enslaved….”
Both cops laughed. “Boy, you don’t know anything, do you? When the IRS comes after you they have everything – documents, electronic transactions, recordings of phone calls, DNA evidence from the paperwork, even. There’s no way you’re not guilty. And for tax evasion and stuff like that, it’s a simple sentence: slavery. Now, shut the fuck up! We’ve heard enough from you.”
When we got to the court I was ‘unloaded’ in through a rear entrance. I had to stand in front of a desk sergeant – my jeans were at least drying a bit now, although I felt sure I could smell piss, but perhaps I was being oversensitive, as there was that terrible dank smell of unwashed bodies and stuff pervading the place. The cops said who I was, the sergeant typed some stuff into his screen and said “Oh yes, this is the kid whose father used him as a mule – stupid fucker! Now the father’s been found out, and the kid is going to get it, too.”
As he said this a small printer whirred, a label spat out, he got something out and attached the label to it, then reached up and fastened a collar – a heavy linked chain with a small plate on it to take the label – around my neck. “There, boy. You’re all ready for court. That has the details of you and your case on it, and as soon as you’re found guilty you’ll be all ready for the first part of slave processing.”
The thing felt heavy around my neck. I began to understand why slave collars are usually large and thick – with that weight around my neck there was no way I could avoid thinking about it, reminding me constantly that I was a slave. “That’s prejudicial! Making me wear this! It makes me look guilty…”
The sergeant leaned forward and said quietly “Look, boy, let me give you some advice. You are guilty, or else you wouldn‘t be here. The IRS doesn’t bother to bring cases where there’s no clear and irrefutable evidence of guilt. So you’ll go before the judge, they’ll read out the evidence, you’ll be found guilty, sentenced to enslavement, stripped, and then this collar will take you through the initial stages of processing. All nice and neat, all nice and simple, all nice and quick! And I‘d advise you not to argue, not to try to buck the system – there’s a lot of people here at the court who like nothing more than punishing an unruly slave.”
He gestured at the cops, and still handcuffed, I was led out and along a set of hallways and down stairs until I was pushed into a cell – definitely a cell: a small pad of foam on the floor and nothing else. A thick solid door with only a small pane of one-way glass set high up in it. No windows, only a solitary light in the centre of the ceiling, and the hiss of air from a
small grille high up out of reach. They slammed the door and I heard it lock, and all I could do was get down and lie on the foam pad – moving from side to side from time to time to give my restrained arms some relief.
I’ve no idea how long I was there – I couldn’t see my watch, and the unchanging light gave no clue. But eventually there was clinking a the door, it opened, two guards came in, and I was ordered to my feet. Then off down a whole lot more corridors, and up a flight of stairs, and I was in a dock, in court – and there was dad!
“Shut the fuck up, boy! Prisoners are not allowed to communicate with each other.”
“I’m not a prisoner! I’m a defendant, an innocent defendant, a….” I stopped in mid sentence as I saw a smile on the guard’s face as he got his stunner out.
I don’t know how many of you have ever attended a trial, but it’s all over pretty quick! Just as they waste no time in getting you to court, so they waste no time when you are there. Dad and I stood there and the prosecutor read out to the judge a summary of dad’s crime: he’d been illegally sending money abroad; and of mine: aiding and abetting the said illegal activity. Then we all watched as on the big screen in the court as a series of time and date-stamped images was shown, of dad taking cash from the bank, putting it into envelopes, and posting them. The ones relating to me followed then: taking a package to the post office, getting a receipt. Finally there was ‘corroboration’ – further images of bank statements from a foreign bank taken out of the mail and copied, and of the post office receipts and so on, and a DNA analysis to show that without any reasonable doubt I had certainly handled the receipt.
Finally, the judge said “William P Masters: do you have anything to say before sentencing?”
“Yes, your honour! This is a travesty! I’m a member of the New York bar and I have not yet been allowed to defend myself, I…”
“Which of the pieces of evidence do you dispute?”
Dad stood there, and shook his head, looking astonished. “The bank statements. That’s tampering with the mail, and illegal. And the evidence is therefore tainted, it cannot be used…”
“They show you have a deposit at an overseas bank, which is illegal. The evidence is there ,however it was obtained. Let the record show that the prisoner was given the right to refute the evidence of his crime, and failed to do so. I therefore pronounce him guilty, and his co-defendant and accomplice Steven P Masters guilty.” He was about to say something else when the court clerk interrupted him and he went on “The building security system has a fault. This court is therefore adjourned until 09:00 tomorrow, when the prisoners will be sentenced.”
They didn’t let me speak to dad. I was taken back down in to one of the bleak cells – possibly the same one, possibly a different one, who could tell. They did at least un-cuff me, and after a few minutes the door opened again and a guard came in with a bucket, a plastic tray, and a litre bottle of water. The bucket was apparently for me to piss in, the water to drink, and on the plastic tray were scattered some of the slave chow I’d fed Reb on his first day. I sat there almost in tears as I wondered why they were treating me so badly – but deep down, I knew: I was already a slave in effect, it only required the judge to say it. So they were treating me like one already: had Reb felt the same despair as I was now feeling, I wondered, when he had been enslaved and then locked in the cell at S & D? Is that what drove him to shout and scream and protest? I wondered if I should do the same as it all seemed so fucking unfair, but equally I knew it hadn’t really done Reb and good, so I just sat there, my head down and my arms wrapped around my body in total despair.
I must have slept. I certainly drank the water. I nibbled a couple of pieces of slave chow. And I pissed into the bucket – despairing at the yellow stains on my otherwise snowy-white briefs from yesterday’s accident. I thought about taking them off and going commando – but I thought my jeans smelled a bit of piss, too, so there didn’t seem to be any point.
When the cell door did eventually open they came in and cuffed me again. And no, I was not going to be allowed to shower or shave – I was a slave, or would be in a few minutes, they said, and there’d be time enough for showering when I was cleaned up ready for display. I could hardly believe it. It was as if I was living in some crazy alternate universe. This couldn’t be happening to me, Steve. I was a free man. But then reality set in – it was happening to me. I was going to be a slave. I would have to endure all the things that Reb had. I almost began to panic at the thought of the pain of a brand. And I could feel my dick shrivelling as it was almost as if I could feel the circumciser’s knife.
I was led up the stairs in to the dock again, and there was dad – I went to speak to him and got slapped across the face by the guard for daring to. I stood there with my ear ringing, in disbelief until I realised that the guy was already considering me to be a slave. The next moment there was a shuffling on the stairs again, and Reb came up to join us – like dad and me he had one of the heavy collars on, but he was entirely naked. An appreciative round of applause went around the court room, and I then noticed that all the public gallery was crammed with people.
We stood there, then the judge came in. The clerk read out “Sentencing hearing for William F Masters and Steven P Masters, your honour.”
“Why are there three slaves in the dock?” His very words told me of his prejudice – I wasn’t a slave yet!
“The old one is William F Masters, the young one Steven P Masters, and the naked one is the slave known as Reb, formerly the property of Steven P masters and here awaiting confiscation following the enslavement of Steven P Masters.”
“It’s ridiculous having one of the slaves naked and the other two clothed. You may as well get the others naked, whilst I refresh my memory of the case.”
A cheer went around the court as he said this, and I realised that a lot of the spectators were probably there to see free men like dad and me humiliated – I mean they could see naked slaves almost any time (outside the central district, that is), but to see free men being forced to strip and appear in the nude in public for the first time must be something special.
“You heard his honour”, one of the guard said to dad and me. “Get naked!”
Those words struck terror in to me. I mean it’s not as if I’ve got anything to be ashamed of in terms of my body or dick – and neither has dad – and I’m even used to undressing in front of other guys in the locker room, and now I was used to being naked in front of other guys in other circumstances, too: Jake, Reb, Stu, Ray… But here? In front of all these strangers?
The guard saw my hesitation – and dad’s, and I had a twinge of concern for dad as he hadn’t even had the recent experiences I had – and waved his stunner at us. As slowly as we could, dad and I began to undress. It was particularly awful when I slipped out of my jeans as the front rows could certainly see the large, yellow piss stains on my briefs. If it had been possible to go an even deeper red with my shame, I would have.
It was truly awful – as each item of clothing was removed the crown cheered and applauded, and once we were totally naked the guard made us turn around, slowly, several times so that all of them could get a good view of us. I know they say that a slave wearing a collar isn’t naked at all really as he’s wearing the costume his owner has selected, but believe you me, it feels like it! We were lined up then and as I stood in-between dad and Reb I knew a little of how Greg must have felt when I first had him stand there next to Reb. And in spite of everything I couldn’t help comparing Reb and dad – they were not all that dissimilar: sure dad was a bit older and had less defined muscle, but he kept himself in pretty good shape. They both shared the same generally thick body, both had a good thatch of hair – dad more so as of course his pubes were not clipped or anything – and both had long dicks, as did I (except that Reb was of course circumcised and dad and me were not – or not yet, my brain added!).
“William F Masters”, the judge started. “You have been found guilty of tax avoidance, and performing illegal currency transactions. I hereby order you to be taken to a recognised place of preparation authorised by the State Of New York where you will be prepared for slavery, and from thence to a recognised and authorised slave dealer to be sold, the proceeds of the sale to be remitted to the Internal Revenue Service as partial recompense for the losses incurred by your heinous actions.” He pressed something on the screen, banged his gavel, and added “I have signed the enslavement order, and William F Masters is now a slave.”
He cleared is throat, and said to the clerk “Shall I deal with the disposition of the slave Reb now?”
“No, your honour. He is still – currently – the property of Steven P Masters, and so your honour will need to pronounce the enslavement first, and can then proceed to the disposition of the slave’s property. ”
I listened in disbelief at this concern over process and procedure, when the day before I had not even been allowed to say anything in my defence, except to agree to the evidence.
“Steven P Masters”, the judge began.
“If it please the court, your honour, I am Raymond H Johnson III, attorney at law and a member of the bar of the State Of New York and practising member of the attorneys Schuster, Wayne, Wilkins and Moore, of New York City….” A murmur of excited astonishment ran around the public galleries.
“Mr Johnson, please do not interrupt! I do no care for you fancy city lawyers at the best of times. And it is anyway too late, as your clients have all ready been found guilty, and there is no plea of mitigation that can be entered as the automatic sentence is enslavement.”
“I beg the court’s pardon, your honour. But I am not acting for the defendants. I was passing the court yesterday and listened to the proceedings and am here this morning as an ‘amicus curiae’, your honour, as I suspect that there may be an injustice about to be committed.”
“Are you accusing this court of a failure of process, Mr Johnson?”
Ray half laughed. “Of course not, your honour. I am impressed wit the way your honour disposes of the case so efficiently. It’s just that I believe that the IRS yesterday may have misled your honour relating to Steven P Masters… Your honour will know that many lawyers like us, your honour, believe it is wrong for administrators like the IRS to appear in court without proper legal representation, and this is just such a case where I believe your honour may have been misled.”
There was an excited murmuring in the court now, and the judge banged his gavel to silence it. “There is indeed that possibility, Mr Johnson. Continue. But be warned – if this is some city ‘stunt’, some trick, the court will look most severely on you….”
“Your honour, Steven P Masters did not know that he was committing an illegal act when he took the package to the post office…”
“Even in the city, Mr Johnson, I assume that lawyers remember the old adage ‘ignorance of the law is no defence’?”
“Of course, your honour. But those of us like you and I, your honour, also know of the importance of the doctrine of ‘mens rea’.”
I could see Ray was outrageously flattering the judge, and now he’d used another Latin term I could see the public gallery looking all confused. Many of them had their communicators out, presumably accessing the ‘net to see what he was going on about.
“So you are saying that the defendant had no intention of committing a crime? He was not knowingly engaged in a conspiracy with William F Masters?”
“The IRS adduced no evidence to support such a contention, your honour.”
The IRS guy got to his feet. “We didn’t think we needed to in view of the overwhelming weight of evidence! It’s obvious! The father and son, in it together…”
“ Silence! One more outburst like that and I will hold you in contempt. And I agree with Mr Johnson that it is a pity that proper lawyers do not appear here for the IRS – they would know that evidence should support every fact on which you rely.” I’d begun to wonder what Ray was doing, but he winked at me slyly out of the judge’s sight, and I began to feel a little better. “However”, the judge continued, “I will need more that this to squash the conviction of Steven Masters – I take it you do agree that William Masters is the prime driver of this heinous crime, and that there is no further argument to be had as I have pronounced his enslavement?”
“Quite so, your honour. It would be quite contrary to the public good if there was any possibility of a slave being able to escape enslavement in any way – an enslavement order is, as we know, not open to challenge up to and including the Supreme Court. However in the case of Steven Masters and his father, there is one further piece of evidence of which the court was kept in ignorance by the IRS, and I feel certain that if the court had heard of it,
and with its respect for mens rea, Steven Masters would not have been found guilty. And, your honour, we know that in IRS vs James, Harper, Roe and others – I have the citation if your honour is unfamiliar with the details – the court ruled that it was admissible to re-examine the verdict provided that the enslavement order had not been issued…. As it has not in this case, your honour.
“Quite so, Mr Robertson. Pray continue.”
Ray pointed his communicator at the projector which had yesterday been used to show all the IRS’s evidence, and on to the screen flashed my birth certificate and citizen’s identity card. “Observe, your honour, the date of birth of Steven Masters. At the time of his alleged ‘crime’ Steve was under eighteen. And thus under the direction and control of William Masters, his father. He was unaware of the crime he was committing, and certainly had no intention to commit a crime, and was merely, as a dutiful son, obeying his father. I am sure that the court does not wish to send a message to the citizens of this state that sons do not have a duty to help and assist their fathers in simple matters like taking a letter to the post office.” Ray paused, and added “And perhaps your honour also wishes to send a message to the IRS about the risks of doing incomplete research, and in keeping the court in ignorance of this vital fact? The court could, after all, have erroneously and disastrously committed this fine young man we see before us – see rather too much of, for a free man, our honour? – to a lifetime of slavery!”
“Quite so, Mr Johnson. Thank you for bringing these maters to the court’s attention!” He peered at me and added “Steven P Masters, the court apologises to you for the inconvenience you have been caused. You are free to leave the court.”
There was uproar from the gallery! The judge had to bang his gavel several times to restore quiet. “Guards- give Mr Masters his clothes back!”
He looked at me added “Your property is not at risk, Mr Masters. Your father’s property is of course totally forfeit to the State now he is a slave, but your own personal property remains yours – I have reviewed the data submitted on my screen, and note that the slave Reb is your personal property, and you are therefore free to remove him from the court, too.”
I was hopping around trying to get my clothes on, now trying to shield my dick from the eyes of the gallery and only succeeding in slowing things down. I scuffed my underwear out of sight on the floor and pulled on my jeans ‘commando’, so at least I was spared the embarrassment of showing the world my piss stain again!
Outside the court I hugged Ray, and then Jake came running up and I hugged him, too – a lot harder. “How…?” I began.
Ray spoke. “Stu and I had a really pissed-off Jake at our place last night, accusing you of running out on him. He couldn’t work – spilled Stu’s sherry all over him! Then when we heard his phone going off where he’d stripped off: as you know, there’s no place for him to keep a phone when he’s working for us! He saw the call was from your home and didn’t want to take the call. But it went on and on, one call after another, and in the end we insisted he speak to you and told you to stop interfering with his work…. But it was Reb, trying to contact you, and thinking you were with Jake…. He was worried that you hadn’t gone home. And then of course Jake was worried…. And the rest is history. He asked around his police buddies…. He tried to tell Reb but they’d repossessed him by then.”
“So what can we do about my dad, Ray? That was pretty smart of you for me in there….”
“Well I am known as a good litigator, in spite of what your father might have told you about my abilities as a corporate lawyer…. But as regards your father, Steve: nothing. He’s a slave, and once you’re sentenced to slavery, that’s that. There have been cases right up to the Supreme Court, cases with the most clear-cut instances of a miscarriage of justice, but the law is clear – once a slave, even if only for a few seconds, always a slave. So irrespective of whether your father was guilty or not – and the evidence seemed compelling to me that he is – he’s now a slave, and always will be. You’re lucky you’re just past your birthday, or as the minor son of a slave, you too would be one.”
“But what can we do? I guess I can get money out of the bank, buy him….”
“I’m afraid you can’t do that, Steve. It’s illegal for close family members to buy such a slave: it’s meant to be a punishment, and it wouldn’t be much of one if fathers could buy their enslaved sons, or the reverse, would it?” He paused for a moment and went on “I assume you do have money of your own?”
“No… Dad always gives it to me…”
“Then I don’t think you’d be able to buy any slave anyway – all a slave’s assets are forfeit to the State on enslavement. That’s why Reb was here, to be reassigned as it was believed he was your property.”
“All dad’s assets? The bank deposits, stocks, the house, car….?”
I stood there in blank bewilderment. “But I’ve got no cash – my card stopped working…”
“…as it would have as soon as your father was arrested on a potentially enslaveable offence: the card company would know he was likely to be penniless.”
“But what shall I live on? I guess I can sleep at the house tonight, then I’ll have to look….”
“Steve, everything’s gone. Get used to it. The bailiffs will have a watchman at the house now, and you might be able to make an appointment to collect any things that were exclusively yours, that is to say things you bought with your own funds, not things bought for you by your father.”
I stood there in stunned silence. “No dad, no money, no home, no clothes, even….”
Ray shrugged. “At least you’re still free. And in any case you do have an asset – you’ve got that slave, Reb. Sell him – he looks worth quite a lot.”
Jake put his arm around me. “Hey, Steve – stop looking so worried! There’s no need to make a snap decision to sell poor old Reb! You can stay at my place – it’s cramped, as we know, but at least it’s mine, not given to me by my dad!”
From somewhere that great last-century tune from Alan Price came into mind….
Everyone is going through changes
No one knows what’s going on.
And everybody changes places
But the world still carries on.
Love must always change to sorrow
And everyone must play the game,
Here today and gone tomorrow
But the world goes on the same.