Steve-2021-214 took deep breaths and fidgeted nervously as he waited to be summoned to the rostrum.
He knew his pre-sale conditioning had completely transformed his body. He was barely recognisable now as Eddie Wickes, the scrawny, 21 year old, who the Parole Panel had sentenced to enslavement for joy riding and writing off the Sheriff's brand new patrol car.
If his parents were out there, waiting to buy him back, as they had promised, they might not even recognise him any more, not with his new Slave Name and muscular body. It was perfectly legal for them to buy him back, he would still have to live as a slave, probably hired out to a local farmer and kept in chains all the time, but at least he would be able to go home to sleep in the woodshed at the bottom of his parent's garden. His Mum might even be able to sneak him some of her apple pie from time to time as a treat to enliven the standard programme of nutritional blocks mandated by the State.
It was an idle dream, he suspected. His parents probably wouldn't be able to afford him any more. When the overseers at the Slave Induction Agency had seen how well he responded to physical training, they had done everything they could to develop his physique with weights and clever nutrition. He was proud of the amazing new body they had given him, but it had elevated his sale category from 'Standard' to 'Superior'. That meant the price he would command at auction had probably increased into the tens of thousands, way beyond his parent's means. He would now be in the sights of the ultra rich and if two of them took a fancy to him, the sky was the limit.
It was flattering to be sought after, something he wasn't accustomed to. But the elevated price tag would make him far too valuable for ordinary labour. Whoever bought him would want to view him all the time and show him off to envious friends, to put his strength to the test and probably, he shuddered, use him for other private pleasures. If he failed to live up to their expectations....well, the punishments meted out to all slaves were common knowledge. He had been spared the worst of the whip during his preparation by the overseers so that his new body would not be sullied by scars. Once he was sold, it would up to his new owner to make his own policy on that score. He could do whatever he liked.
A shout broke into his thoughts. "Hey! 214! Wake up!" The Guard was beckoning to him, urgently. "You're up next" he said, then as Eddie shuffled past he added in a softer voice "Good luck, pal".
Eddie climbed up the steps of the rostrum, trembling with fear, but glad that the light chains they had given him for his Sale Day allowed him to go to his fate with dignity. He emerged into the bright lights of the Sale Room, hardly noticing the murmur of excitement that greeted his arrival. He stood erect before them just as he had been trained to, facing forward with feet slightly apart and hands lightly clenched in front of his groin, modestly obscuring the contents of his sale outfit, a dazzling lime green thong. The attendants came and released his hands, re-shackling them to the post behind his back. He knew he looked great in these briefs, but part of him wished he didn't. They would probably be pulled down to his ankles if the bidding flagged and when that happened he was supposed to remain head up and proud as though nothing had happened.
After a pause to let the audience drink in the quality of the item on offer, the Auctioneer wearily began his introduction. "Ladies and Gentlemen, lot 127 is Steve-2021-214, a Superior male of 21 years and I can tell you that an export licence will be available from the State Directorate of Slaves for this lot if the final realised price cannot be matched by a US buyer".
The audience buzzed with renewed excitement, but Eddie's stomach lurched, knowing he might end up anywhere in the world, cut off from his family for ever, probably in a place where the US Convention on the Treatment of Slaves was not recognised, where notions of civilisation were quite different.........
He searched the audience hoping to see his father's face amongst the dozens of men seated in front of him, but the spotlights positioned to optimise his display were blinding. Even that faint hope of 'rescue' was dashed as the Auctioneer went on, "I have to tell you that I have a number of commissions for this lot and the bidding therefore will have to commence at ......er.......one hundred and twenty thousand. Who'll give me a hundred and thirty?"
Hands holding accredited bidder cards shot up all over the room.
"Please let it be a kind man" Eddie prayed, eyes glistening as he held back his tears.
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