Chapter Five: The Zabrak Slave

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Fives hated having to be helped walk to the bathroom. It reeked of weakness and and cowardice.  Having his hair washed felt really good. He just wasn't sure if he liked the rest of it, though. Fives wasn't even sure if he liked being touched when it came to it. Yes, Melia wasn't going to hit him, but he'd been beaten by enough trainers in his life. The trainers had beaten him when he was a cadet. All of the trainers did. How did he get it out of his head that Melia wasn't going to hit him just because she could?

They said they struck him to make him a better soldier. And, when Fives was a good soldier, they threw him away because he wasn't good enough. They left him to die in a pool of his own blood.

The food had gone from tasteless mush to actual food. It was mostly soups and stuff that you could pop into the micro-cooker, but he'd had a roast pork loin a few times. Fives was in heaven. All the new food he could try...and the things he could eat if he so was amazing. Pancakes were good, too. Pancakes with golden berry syrup were amazing. The first time, Fives had even licked the plate off. Melia  had done nothing beyond wash him off and send him to get a clothe. It was a good life, he thought.

Melia said they had stopped on Eridau for supplies. Mostly food and getting Fives clothes. Eridua was owned by the Empire, but almost no one controlled the port proper. As Fives saw it, this was a lawless place filled with rogues and chaos. And the slave trade. It was right out in the open, bright markets filled with slaves. Some were Twi'lek pleasure slaves and others were wounded clones. This was what happened to the brothers that the Jedi didn't want anymore. The entire market reeked of pain and misery.

Fives followed close as they walked. Twin stars pounded down from the sky, bathing the entire area in a hot yellow light. It was hot and he was sweating under the bright light. He needed to strip off his clothes and take a cold shower. A long, ice cold shower that soothed the burning inside. Fives didn't like extreme temperatures. Extreme hot and cold were hell. Fives liked to be warm. That was so much better if you asked him.

Fives tried to ignore all of the slaves on the docks around them. The flesh trade was alive and well around Imperial worlds. Fives shook and tried to ignore them. He was a clone. And some saw clones as their free slaves. Labor by day and pleasure by night. That, or they were taken to Dathomir and used by the witches.

Either one was a fate worse than death.

Melia had her weapons in the open. Fives took a calming breath. Most of these slaves were Zabraks or Twi'leks. Some of the Nightbrothers had blood trickling between their legs. They looked broken and defeated. Several swayed on their feet. Fives locked eyes with one that had honey gold skin and short, spiky horns. Amber eyes, like molten red gold, locked with his.

The Zabrak looked down at the wooden dock. Fives shuddered when he saw that the poor man was naked. His black tattoos were a pleasing contrast against the warm, honey gold hue of his skin. The Zabrak raised his head again. He looked hopeless and Fives saw him clasp him hands around his belly. There were claw marks on his flanks and side. Fives bit his bottom lip. He looked...pitiful.

"Likes what you see?" Melia dryly asked. She glanced back at him, grinning. "Zabraks are extremely pretty."

"He's ashamed." Fives swallowed and hoped she didn't ask how he knew this. "He doesn't want to be treated like this. He thinks that death would be preferable." Sometimes, Fives just knew things. It had never been something that he advertised. To do such a thing was to invite death. The Kaminoans never liked the idea that the clones might have a few ideas of their very own. Or might actually have special abilities.

You learned how to keep talents like that on the lowdown.

"I know." Melia swore under her breath. She looked back at the Zabrak. Fives said nothing. He was still nervous. What if Melia discovered his talents? What if she decided that he wasn't worth it and dumped him back on Kamino?

But this slave needed his help.

Fives cursed his stupid senses. Why did he have to be cursed with them?! They had caught him in unawares. This Zabrak was screaming without words. He needed the help. Maybe Melia would be a good person. Fives had only met a few of them and most of them weren't Jedi.

"I don't want to be a slave holder, though," Melia stiffly said. "No one deserves that. Least of that an abused Zabrak."

Fives gambled. "With looks like that, he'll go to the brothel. And that...that will kill him."

"Now that you put it that way," Melia muttered.

The clone trooper took her money and handed it to the dealer. He had no idea why he was doing this...and based on feelings no less. Hadn't his trainers always said that feelings got you killed? That little voice whispered in his ear again, telling him that his trainers had lied before. Still, he lead the slave done, the chain cold in his hands.

Grateful amber eyes met his. "Thank you, Master." The slave licked his lips and Fives saw that they were cracked and bloody. He winced.

"Do you have a name?" Fives offered the slave a little water. He drank it quickly, the relief showing in his face. The Zabrak looked at him with saddened golden eyes. Fives wished he had something to give the slave to cover his middle. The Zabrak had to be humiliated. He'd been all done up and he even had a bar through one nipple. Fives cursed under his breath.

"My name is Drake, Master," the slave softly said. "If...if that pleases you, Master."

Fives swallowed. Melia had walked away, leaving him with the slave. "Um..."

"I could pleasure you later, Master." Practiced bedroom eyes met his. Fives made a quick choice.

"No," he heard himself say. "Not tonight. I'm going to help you, Drake. Not hurt you even more." Drake grabbed Fives in a hug and didn't let go for several minutes. felt good?

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