Hitchhikers of Gor

Hitchhikers of Gor

by Harold

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Foreword

    This story is a parody of John Norman's Gor novels.  If you've read them, no
more need be said.  If you haven't, the following should help to understand
what's going on.

    The planet Gor lies in the same orbit around the sun as Earth.  It is always
180 degrees behind and thus always directly behind the sun, rendering it
undetectable from Earth.  The planet Gor is watched over by the priest
kings--large, reclusive, insect-like beings which inhabit caverns beneath the
Sardar mountain range of Gor.

    The human population of Gor is aware of the priest kings, but has almost no
contact with them.  Gorean civilization is primitive. The priest kings enforce a
ban on modern weaponry.  Persons who violate this ban are prone to suffer the
mysterious 'flame death', a sort of spontaneous combustion.

    Ar (not a typo) is the largest city on Gor.  It bears a resemblance to
imperial Rome.  A large number of the citizens live in 'insulae' (the
multi-storied apartment blocks which proliferated in Rome). The use of the Roman
short sword, public games, and a Latinesque vocabulary also link it to Rome.

    Slavery is legal, common, and popular on Gor.  There are male slaves, but
they are relatively few.  The big attraction is female slavery.  Although the
majority of women on Gor are free women, they are considered by the Gorean men
as women who have yet to be enslaved (as a popular Gorean saying puts it: there
are only two kinds of women--slaves and slaves).  Gorean males are 'real men'
who feel that the proper place for a woman is on her knees.  They are not like
the wimps on Earth who don't have enough sense or manhood to beat their women
into submission and lock them in the chains they all secretly desire.  The
Gorean men who know of Earth men hold them in contempt because of this failure
to subjugate their women.

    The Kurii are a race of space traveling savage beasts.  They have come to
our solar system from parts unknown and live in their steel ships out beyond the
orbit of Jupiter.  They desire the planet Gor (and Earth as well) but are held
at bay by the superior technology of the priest kings.  Nonetheless, their ships
sneak in and land on Gor, plotting its conquest.  To raise funds (apparently
their own currency is not accepted on Gor), they abduct women from Earth to sell
in the slave markets of Gor.  They employ both Earth men and Gorean men to carry
out these forays and maintain a network of agents on both planets.  The priest
kings likewise maintain a network of agents to counter the efforts of the Kurii.

    Some Earth men know of Gor and some Goreans know of Earth, but both are a
minority.  The average female abductee is at first horrified to discover she has
been enslaved, but eventually warms to the idea and embraces her bondage in the
realization that it has always been her secret desire to be enslaved and forced
to serve men.  Few Earth men find their way to Gor.  Those that do are
invariably wimps who let women walk all over them.  They are simultaneously
appalled and turned on by the institution of female slavery but eventually
discover their manhood on this barbaric world and start treating women as they
deserve (and desire).

    I began wondering what would happen if a different sort of Earth man found
his way to Gor--a man whose wife or girlfriend sported the occasional black eye
or split lip--a man who was attracted to Gor by the institution of female
slavery but who hadn't quite thought the whole thing all the way through.

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    I had read all of the Gor books. More than once. Over time, and for a
variety of reasons (not the least of which was wishful thinking), I became
convinced that Gor actually existed. Having arrived at this conclusion, I
desperately wanted to go there. It was just the place for a guy like me.

    After considering a number of ideas, I conceived a plan that would
accomplish my goals. All good plans were simple, and by that standard, this was
a pretty good plan. I was going to stow away. All I had to do was find a girl
they were going to snatch and sneak aboard their ship while they were engaged in
her acquisition.

    There were several things I knew from reading the books. They often took
women from New York. These women were usually employed in menial positions,
unattached, extremely beautiful (but not without room for improvement through
proper diet and exercise), and always snotty. They loved snotty women. Gorean
men being what they were, there was probably a shortage of snotty women on Gor,
making it necessary to import them.

    Snotty women drove me nuts. That's why I wanted to go to Gor. An appropriate
reaction to some snotty bitch on earth could land you in jail.

    I started hanging out on the downtown streets during morning rush hour. I
was looking for beautiful women on their way to work. When I spotted one, I
would walk up beside her and make a casual comment. If her reply was
sufficiently nasty, I would follow her from a distance to see where she worked,
then add her to my list. I would make the rounds every day, checking up on the
girls on the list and adding new ones.

    One morning I visited the cosmetics counter of a large department store.
There was a new girl there.

    "Where's the regular girl?"

    "I don't know. She didn't show up this morning and she doesn't answer her
phone. It's not like her."

    "Was she here yesterday?"

    "Yesterday was her day off."

    "Thanks."

    Maybe her employer didn't know where she was, but I did. This was another
thing that fit their pattern. They always took a girl on her day off so that it
would be a day longer before she was missed. I knew they'd take more than one
woman.  I only hoped this one was among the first and that they were still in
town. I rushed off to check the others on my list.

    She was walking by as I stepped out the door. Tall, blond, gorgeous, she
radiated hauteur. She wore a long dress which tended to conceal the lineaments
of her figure, but I'd seen all I'd needed to. I caught up with her at the
corner.

    "Pardon me, miss."

    She turned her gaze icily toward me, but did not deign to speak.

    "Tickle your ass with a feather?" I inquired.

    "What??"

    "Particularly nasty weather," I clarified.

    "Get lost, creep."

    The Gorean slavers were still in New York. There was no way they would leave
this bitch wandering around loose. I followed her.

    She was carrying a small bag of groceries. It occurred to me that she was
out shopping on a weekday morning.  Either she didn't work, or this was her day
off.

    I followed her onto the subway. When she got off, she walked about a block
and went into an apartment building. I noticed a moving van parked out front. I
hung around outside, keeping an eye on the van.

    While I waited, I checked the contents of my backpack. It contained items I
thought would be necessary and useful should an opportunity for departure
present itself. I rummaged through it hoping I hadn't forgotten anything.

    After about 45 minutes, two men came out carrying a box about 3 feet on a
side. They opened the back of the truck, put the box in and prepared to leave.
There was already an identical box in the truck, which was otherwise empty.

    As the van pulled away, I dashed up behind it and clung to the rear. The
truck headed out of town. We were going north. About noon, the truck stopped at
a small roadside caf¨¦. I waited until the two men were inside, then followed
them.

    The men were seated at the counter. They didn't look up when I came in. I
sat at a booth where I could watch them, but there wasn't much to see, just the
backs of two guys in moving company uniforms. One was rather burly, the other
slight. I could hear them as they ordered. They spoke English without
discernible accent.

    I ordered the largest meal they had, since I didn't know when I'd get a
chance to eat again. I ate hurriedly and when the waitress brought pie to the
guys at the counter, I got a doggie bag, paid, and went outside. I climbed up on
top of the van. This was not only more comfortable than clinging to the rear,
but left me less visible to other motorists.

    The van continued north for another hour, then turned off on a side road. We
started driving around a maze of back roads in the woods until we came to a
clearing. The truck stopped at the edge of the clearing. I remained on top of
the truck.

    About dusk, a large black disk descended silently from the sky. A small
section of the outer rim slid open and a man stepped out. He was wearing
coveralls and boots. He looked to be more an earth man than a Gorean, but he
spoke to the men in the truck with a rather odd accent. As they conversed, I
slipped down on the far side of the van and stole quietly through the woods
until I reached a point of concealment nearest the disk. When the three men
opened the rear of the truck and climbed inside, I crept into the saucer.

    The interior wall of the ship was lined with large transparent cylinders.
All but two were occupied by naked slumbering girls. It looked as though I had
made it just in time. The boxes in the truck contained the last two women. There
was a gap in the bank of tubes opposite the entrance. What appeared to be a
control console sat in the gap. I squeezed into a spot between the end of the
console and the adjacent cylinder, which contained a short dark haired girl.

    It was amazing that my simple minded plan had actually worked, but here I
was. I was here mostly by sheer luck, but I felt I deserved some credit for
recognizing the opportunity for what it was when it presented itself.

    The three men entered the ship carrying an unconscious naked girl and
installed her in one of the remaining cylinders. It was the girl from the
cosmetics counter. The men left and returned moments later with the blond bitch,
placing her in the final cylinder. The moving men turned to go.

    "I wish you well, Octavius," said the larger mover.

    "I wish you well, Robert."

    One thing about many Gorean males was that they exhibited a level of
pomposity in their everyday speech that was both humorous and annoying. They
sounded like they were in an old swashbuckler movie, or worse, the Renaissance
Festival. ("Well struck! He will not soon forget the might of that blow, I'll
wager." Stuff like that.) This was casual banter, you understand. God help you
if one of them should get on his high horse and really get pompous. I've chosen
to mark such utterances in italics, not so much to highlight them for the reader
(it's painfully obvious as it is), but because it amuses me to do so.

    The movers tromped out and the hatch closed behind them.

    "You can come out now," announced Octavius. "They're gone."

    I stepped out from behind the console, my .45 leveled.

    "Do you know what this is?"

    "It's a larger bore than a 9mm. I'd say it's a .45."

    "Quite right," I said. "So we aren't going to try any funny business, are
we."

    "I fly space ships. I'm not a moron."

    "Fair enough," I said. "How did you know I was here?"

    "Ever hear of a motion detector? Did you really think you could walk around
in this ship without my being aware of it?"

    "I didn't hear any alarms or anything."

    "As I said, I'm not an idiot. Did you think I'd let you know I knew you were
here until I was ready? You're not the first guy to come up with this idea. Most
trips I have a stowaway or two. When two show up, it's often quite amusing when
they first encounter each other."

    This was an unexpected turn of events. I just stood there with my mouth
hanging open.

    "Would you mind putting the safety on that cannon? You're not paying
sufficient attention to it."

    I put the gun back in my pack. This guy was way ahead of me. I would need my
wits more than the gun. It would also be counter productive if I absentmindedly
shot him.

    "I hope you're not planning on toting that thing around on Gor."

    "Hold on," I said. "You're going to land a spaceship on Gor and you're
worried about my .45?"

    "I'm not going to be there very long. You are."

    "I was hoping not to have to use it. I just thought it might help keep me
alive while I learned the ropes."

    "That's a fairly sensible idea. Gor is always dangerous, and it can be
deadly if you're not acclimated. How many rounds in your pack?"

    "200."

    "That's conservative compared to most. I've had guys come aboard with a
thousand and more. There was so much lead in their sack they could hardly walk.
I'll let you keep 50. If you have to use even half of that, you'll never make it
there."

    "Let's back up a minute. I'm not sure I understand all this. You're actually
offering me transport to Gor?"

    "Yes, I do it all the time. It's a six week trip and I enjoy the company."

    "Six weeks? I thought you flew at the speed of light or something."

    "Gor is about 17 light minutes away. We go way slower than that, and not in
a straight line. We just barely graze the orbit of Venus."

    "But six weeks? How much food have you got?"

    "I've got more than enough for both of us."

    "But you've got all these women. Why would you need my company."

    "We can decant a couple of women when we get horny, but you'll want to keep
them gagged. They tend to spend all their time weeping and wailing. They're not
very good company."

    "You do this all the time? I still don't get it. Why?"

    "Like I said, I enjoy the company."

    "So why don't you bring a helper. You'd have company coming and going."

    "Well, there is one other reason. The introduction of strangers to Gor helps
promote a certain amount of instability. The priest kings will eventually note
your presence and have to expend effort and resource monitoring your activities.
You won't want to use that .45 after they become aware of you."

    "So I'm to become an agent of the Kurii?", I asked.

    "Not an agent, a decoy. They'll watch you to see what you're up to. You
won't be up to anything. Therefore, they won't be able to figure out how your
random activities fit into the grand scheme of things. You'll help to disguise
and confuse their perceptions of the activities of our real agents. That's also
why you get to keep the gun. It exaggerates their idea of your importance."

    "So why are you telling me all this? What if I tell them."

    "I'm telling you because it doesn't make any difference if you know. They'll
watch you, but they won't make contact. If you try to contact them, they'll
withdraw. Would they believe you when you claimed not to be an enemy agent?"

    "So now what?"

    "So now we get to work. You've got 6 weeks to learn Gorean. You're going to
need to know it."

    The six weeks passed very quickly. Octavius worked with me every day until
finally I could speak passable Gorean. The last week we spoke only Gorean. I
still had an outrageous accent, but I could at least communicate.

    Every few days during the voyage, we would uncork a couple of women. They
would all need to be revived, fed, exercised, etc. to keep them healthy during
the long trip. I didn't gag the first one I brought out. Octavius didn't say
anything; he knew I would have to find out for myself. Fifteen minutes later,
she was gagged. After that, all the women were kept gagged the entire time they
were conscious except when they were being fed. We kept them bound during use. I
particularly enjoyed the blond bitch.

    At last, we landed on Gor. Octavius gave me final instructions.

    "Once you disembark, you'll be on your own. We're about 15 miles from Ar.
You should be able to walk there by sundown. This is a one way trip. You will
not be able to return to earth, nor will you ever see me again. Open this parcel
after my departure. It contains Gorean clothing, a small sum of gold to sustain
you until you can make a livelihood, and a few other oddments you might find
useful."

    "One final bit of advice," he continued, "don't let anyone know you are from
earth. Those Goreans who know of Earth have little respect for its inhabitants.
They have a name for earthmen: phallus minimus. A loose translation might be
'earth weenie'. Ar is to the west. Keep the morning sun to your back. By the
time it's overhead, it will be obvious where Ar is."

    "Thank you, Octavius. You've been most kind. Farewell."

    "Live long and prosper," he replied.

    I gave him a quizzical stare.

    "Now that you know that Gor exists," he called, "I leave it to you whether
or not Vulcan does."

    The ship departed. I opened the parcel Octavius had left and donned the
Gorean clothing I found therein. I didn't put on the sandals. If I was going to
hike for fifteen miles, I'd rather do it in the hiking boots I had on, which
were already well broken in. I'd change to the Gorean footwear just before
entering the city.

    I began my trek. The terrain was rolling grasslands. I saw neither
cultivated fields, nor roads, nor any other works of man. I trudged along. It
was early morning, so I had no problem heading west. I simply kept my shadow
directly in front of me.

    After a couple of hours, I saw a grove of trees off to my right. It sat on
the grassland like a large oasis. I altered course slightly so I could walk
through the trees and be in the shade. They appeared to be conifers and there
was little undergrowth. Birds twittered among the branches. I was actually
making better time among the trees than I had been in the tall grass. I passed
what appeared to be the remains of a campfire, the first sign of human activity
I had encountered.

    As I kicked among the ashes, I noticed a large animal about 100 yards ahead.
It seemed to be somewhere between the size of a leopard and a lion, although
longer and skinnier than either. It had more than four legs, black fur, a long
tail, and a long narrow head. It stood motionless, regarding me as I watched it.
I eased the .45 from my pouch. My movement seemed to trigger it.

    The beast emitted a shrieking hiss like a rabid tea kettle and charged. It
was fast! It was only about 30 feet away by the time I got a bead on it. The
slug hit the animal in the forehead so that the front end of it stopped. The
rear end kept coming until it was scrunched up like an accordion and then the
thing flopped over on its side, dead. That was one of the reasons I'd brought a
large caliber weapon. They do have stopping power.

    The gun had made a hell of a noise, so I hid among the trees for a while to
see if anyone came to investigate. Once I decided all was clear, I went over to
the creature. I decided it must be a sleen, although I had thought they were
nocturnal. (I later learned that this had probably been an immature sleen. Adult
sleen were both larger and wilier.) It was a good thing I had a firearm. I would
not have wanted to tackle this thing with a bow or spear.

    I thought it would be better if I removed the bullet from the sleen. I
didn't want anyone to come along later and find a lead slug in it. I got out my
knife. (I had brought my hunting knife with me. It was a good quality blade and
I was fond of it. I had read of the wine tempered blades of Gor, but the carbon
content of my steel was more important to me than its alcohol level. It was
shaped as a tool, not a weapon, nor was it balanced for throwing. I didn't know
how to fight with a knife, anyway.) A few miles beyond the woods, I cast the
slug off into the grass.

    I continued my journey. It was now about noon and my shadow was a puddle at
my feet. Fortunately, Octavius' prediction had been correct. It was obvious
which way led to Ar. Unfortunately, the reason I knew in which direction Ar lay
was because I could smell it. It was said of Paris in the 17th century that it
could be smelt 20 miles downwind. Ar was obviously victim to a similar
flatulence. As I trudged along, the stench grew in strength, waxing and waning
with the breeze. So much for the clean pure air of Gor. This would take some
getting used to. I briefly considered altering my destination but after the
incident with the sleen, I decided that spending a night in the open was not a
good idea.

    After a while, I spotted what appeared to be a road off to the north. As I
got closer, I could see that it was indeed a road. It was cobbled and ran
generally east and west. If Octavius had dropped me a little farther north, I
could have walked to town on the road, instead of tramping through the
wilderness, although I suppose an isolated area was a more appropriate place to
land a spaceship.

    As I stepped onto the road, a man was passing in a two wheeled cart, pulled
by a beast I could not identify, but assumed to be some sort of tharlarion.

    "Tal," I greeted him.

    "Tal," he replied. "Anatawa phallus minimus desu."

    "How could you tell?"

    "The boots, dummy. Lose the boots."

    "Oh, yeah. Thanks. Hey, does Ar smell like that all the time?"

    "Smell like what?"

    "Never mind." I had my answer.

    I sat down on the edge of the road and changed shoes. The cart rumbled away
over the cobbles. As I ambled along watching the cart disappear into the
distance ahead of me, I wished I still had my hiking boots on. The Gorean
sandals were not only uncomfortable, but too thin for walking on cobbles.

    I could see Ar! It gleamed white in the distance. I'd been looking forward
to my first sight of glorious Ar, but it wasn't much at this distance. As I got
closer, it got worse. The place was a bit of a dump. I suppose at least some of
it was a result of the depredations of the Cosians (walls half torn down,
laundry hung on the high bridges and walkways, etc.), but whatever the reason, I
was unimpressed.

    I entered Ar through what I assumed was the main gate. People and beast
drawn wagons came and went. There were a couple of armed guards at the gate, but
they ignored everyone, including me.

    I had decided to call myself Vitalis of Urp. My real name, Alf Cramden,
would have raised eyebrows on Gor, so a pseudonym was in order. Vitalis was, of
course, a typical Gorean name. Urp was a fictitious village which I had invented
to spare myself the embarrassment of meeting any actual inhabitants of the place
I claimed to be from. It's location varied, tending to be as far as possible
from wherever I was at the time.

    The next couple of days were spent in exploration. I wandered the city,
spending the night at various inns, spending the days at paga taverns and public
games. There were a number of parallels between Ar and imperial Rome. The Roman
mob seemed to be one of them. Many of the men I saw at the games seemed to have
little else to do. I reflected that Cos had best keep the grain ships coming.

    I rented a room on the upper level of a somewhat rundown insula after a few
days. I needed a place to stay, and I needed to find some sort of a job. There
was enough gold in my pouch to last a while yet, but I didn't know how long it
would take me to figure how to make a living here. But before I got serious
about job hunting, I needed to go shopping. I wanted a slave girl. After all,
this was the main reason I'd come to Gor.

    There were a number of slave markets scattered around. After checking them
all out and watching some auctions to see how they worked, I returned to the one
that had seemed to be least expensive the next morning. One of the things I'd
learned about auctions on earth that seemed to be the same here was that the
first few lots went cheap because it took a while for the crowd to get warmed up
and start bidding. I saw a couple of guys there that I had pegged as dealers the
night before because they bid on every lot but always dropped out early. They
had their price in mind and wouldn't go over it. Even so, they bought a fair
number of lots. If I got a girl for one bid over what these guys were willing to
pay, I could be sure I was getting her pretty close to her wholesale value.

    On the third lot, I won the bid. She was a small agile girl with long dark
hair, dark eyes, and creamy skin. She was young, about 19 or 20, and had been
sold into slavery to pay family debts. I was her first master. I paid the
auction house, signed the papers, tied her hands behind her, and led her home on
a leash.

    "This is your new home, Alice." (I had named her Alice after an old girl
friend.)

    Alice looked around, wrinkled her nose, and said, "Yes, master." She was
unimpressed with her new home.

    It didn't matter how Alice felt about her new surroundings. She was a slave.
Nonetheless, it was embarrassing to have your slave look with disdain upon your
home. I decided the way to begin this relationship was with a good beating. That
would set a proper tone and let Alice know who was boss.

    I had beaten up my share of women on Earth, but I'd never actually tied one
down and whipped her. However, I undertook the task with enthusiasm. Alice
screamed and cried and begged to be allowed to be pleasing, so I assumed I'd
made my point.

    Over the next few days, Alice fell into the routine of being a slave. She
was a good hearted girl and tried her best, but she was a bit of a klutz. I had
to beat her nearly every day. Alice brought me breakfast in bed each morning
once I made her understand what was expected of her.

    On this particular morning, Alice woke me with a special treat. She had
squeezed some larma fruit and brought me a small cup of juice. It was very
tasty.

    "You juice well, slave." (Oh, god, and already I was starting to talk like
them.)

    The next morning, she brought me coffee.

    "Black wine, master", she announced.

    "It's coffee, Alice. Call it coffee."

    "Kaw-phee", she said.

    "No, Alice. It's coffee, with an 'f', not a 'ph'.

    "Kaw-fee."

    "Better. Now change the 'k' to a 'c' and you've got it."

    "Caw-fee."

    "Close enough, Alice."

    Unfortunately, as Alice set the tray down, she tilted it, spilling hot
coffee all over me.

    "Aiiee!" I leapt to my feet, shaking my fist in her face.

    "To the moon, Alice. To the moon," I roared.

    "Which one?" she quavered.

    Actually, that was a pretty good question. I had wondered about this myself
with regard to the red savages who used a lunar calendar. How does a lunar
calendar work when there are three moons? For instance, a certain time might be
called Fubarpegiwi, the moon during which the urts eat their young. Which moon?
One had to keep careful track to know which moon was up at any given time. On a
night when there was only one moon, it was not clear to a casual observer which
moon it was. The red savages did not seem to be particularly avid astronomers.
Perhaps the pte had not been early. Perhaps someone had been watching the wrong
moon.

    Needless to say, this incident precipitated a particularly severe beating
for poor Alice, after which I untied her from the slave ring and slung her over
my shoulder. I sold her to a sleen keeper who lived nearby as sleen feed.

    It was instructive that I had sold Alice for nearly as much as I'd paid for
her. Her death had lowered her value very little. I resolved that my next slave
would be one whose value was more significantly influenced by whether or not she
was alive. What I really wanted was the blond bitch from New York. I had asked
Octavius about her. He told me to forget it, I couldn't afford her.

    "Forget it, you can't afford her," he had said. "A girl with her attitude
will sell for more gold than you've got."

    I wandered the streets trying to decide what to do with myself. I had been a
bus driver on Earth and didn't have any marketable skills on Gor. Even though I
had been a Teamster, I couldn't handle a team. I would have to get some kind of
income before I could buy another slave.

    Actually, I could afford to buy one, I just couldn't afford to keep her.
Alice had been quite a drain on my finances. Besides having to feed her, there
was all this stuff she needed. Collar, chains, whip, lingerie, cosmetics, it all
added up. It is pleasant to own women, as the Goreans say, but it isn't cheap.

    My musings were interrupted by the sight of a man coming the other way. He
looked ordinary enough except for the suspicious bulge in his tunic under the
left armpit. After he passed me, I reversed direction and followed him. A couple
of streets later, he stopped to urinate and I caught up with him.

    "Do the priest kings know about that shootin' iron?" I inquired in English.

    "You're new here, aren't you," he replied, also in English.

    "Yeah, I've been here about 2 weeks. How long have you been here?"

    "About a year and a half. My name is Ed Horton, but around here I'm known as
Lysol."

    "I'm Alf Cramden, known locally as Vitalis of Urp. This is so amazing."

    "What's so amazing," he asked.

    "Meeting another Earth man on Gor. The coincidence is incredible."

    "Not really. There's a bunch of us here. We usually don't have any trouble
spotting each other. I picked you out right away. I didn't know you, so I
figured you were a newbie. I was curious to see if you'd spot me."

    "You mean you all know each other?"

    "Yes. We've formed a support group."

    I began laughing uncontrollably. I laughed so hard I nearly fell into the
puddle Lysol was making.

    "That was exactly my reaction when I first heard about the support group,"
Lysol said. "A month later I joined. I live over by the Viminal Gate. Drop by
sometime."

    "Viminal?"

    "Yeah, you know. Poor Queen Victoria Eats Crow At Christmas. I somehow
suspect it's more than coincidence."

    "Amazing."

    We parted company. Two weeks later, I still hadn't found a job and was
almost out of money. I went searching for Lysol.

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    This story is continued in the sequel, Support Groups of Gor.

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Copyright 1999

Harold@blitz-it.net