A tired girl of about fifteen strode wearily into her house. After a long and trying day at school it was good to finally stop and rela—


Crap. It was her evil adoptive mother. She had only adopted her for the publicity of "saving an orphaned girl in her time of need". Now they were "a perfect family".

"Perfect family" my foot! They were a group of people who lived in the same house. First there was the adult male; he was gone most of the time but when he was home he was usually drunk. The adult female; she was the slave driver of the whole thing. Spoiled twins; don't ask. Then there was Tirsna; the one who got good grades, smiled a lot in public, and did a lot of cleaning.

She got used to the lifestyle after a while. As long as you know how to properly stay out of the way, you'll usually be fine. Or, "play with fire, be burned".

Now the evil adoptive mother was seeking her out. What new evil plan did she have this time?

"Yes, Mother Dearest?" Tirsna answered, pausing halfway up the stairs.

"Come. Let us go for a ride." Her tone was icy, as usual.

"Yes, Mother Dearest," she finished in a lazy drawl.

What was up? "Mother Dearest" just didn't do stuff like this. What does she have up her sleeve?

They went out to the car where Tirsna sat in the back. "Mother Dearest" carefully backed out of the weed free driveway and began quite a long ride.

Though Tirsna kept up the appearance of disinterest, her mind was racing a mile an minute. This had never happened before. This did not fit in with her current life.

As she stared absently out the window, she noticed that she had never been here before, not that she got out very much. The car was traveling amongst shiny, newfangled buildings completely devoid of any sign of grass or tree.

Eventually they arrived at a gate. "Mother Dearest" rolled down the window and pressed the little button. A staticy voice asked, "Do you have an appointment?"

"Yes. Mrs. Cummings with a three thirty appointment?"

After a brief pause the voice returned.

"Good afternoon, Mrs. Cummings. You may proceed to the main entrance."

The gate opened and she drove on to a very expensive looking building. She parked in front of it and motioned Tirsna to get out as she did so herself.

Inside they were met by a man with neatly combed hair and a tux that looked very much like a butler. He led them to an office where a handsome man in expensive finery waited.

"Ah, Mrs. Cummings! How good of you to come," he kissed each cheek, "Who is this you have with you?"

"This is the girl I was telling you about."

The grin on the man's face grew slightly. "Well then, straight on to business. She is a fine specimen. What do you want for her?"

"Twenty thousand."

"Twenty thousand? Surely you think that's a bit much for a raw handmaiden, Mrs. Cummings, I—"

"Tirsna, sing."

Tirsna, who had been watching the entire exchange curiously, was startled to suddenly be in the middle.

"Wh-wha? Sing? Sing what?"

Mrs. Cummings rolled her eyes exasperatedly. "Sing that song from that television show."

"Dot-Hack? O-okay."

Tirsna took a deep breath. Then she opened her mouth, and a song poured out.

"Come with me in the twilight on a summer's night for a while

Tell me of a story never ever told in the past

Take me back to the land where my yearnings were born,

The key to open the door is in your hand

Now take me there."

Tirsna paused nervously. "Did you want me to do the second verse?"

The man appeared to be considering, "Okay Mrs. C, you've got yourself a deal."

Mrs. Cummings smiled like a Cheshire cat. "I'll be leaving as soon as you've written the check then. But I must warn you, she is quite strong willed."

The man grinned that greasy smile of his, "I assure you it won't be any problem. Now, if you'd just fill out this form, we can get this transaction over with."

He handed her a clipboard and pen and she sat down on the flower-patterned couch to begin scribbling at it.

While she was doing that the man motioned Tirsna to come over to him, then he motioned for a man that had been eavesdropping on the other side of the door to come in. It was a rather handsome teenager. He walked coolly into the room dressed in jeans and a black and red T-shirt.

"Take her and assign her to a trainer."

The new comer scanned Tirsna up and down. "Is there any trainer you had in mind?"

The other man seemed to be considering very hard. After a few seconds he spoke, "A good one. A very good one, perhaps even you."

The jean-wearing man smirked at Tirsna, "Very good, I believe I will take her on."

The man grabbed Tirsna's arm and began to lead her out of the room.

Tirsna, who had been in a sort of daze during the entirety of what had previously happened, was shocked out of her daze. Her eyes widened and she dug her heels into the floor in attempt to stop the man from leading her away. "Wait, what? What's going on?"

"Don't worry, it'll all be okay. Come on." He tightened his grip on her arm and forcefully dragged her out of the room.

He closed the door behind him and Tirsna totally freaked out.

"What?! You can't do—"

The man put a hand over her mouth in calm annoyance, "Yes, I can. It's obvious that you have no idea what's going on, so I'll make it simple for you." He swung her around to be in front of him.

"Hi, my name's Ikeda and I'll be your trainer this year. I'll teach you how to be a good handmaiden for the highest bidder. You will call me 'master'. If you do something wrong, I will correct it. If you try to run away, you will be in big trouble."

At this, Tirsna snapped completely out of her funk, "Are you saying that I'm some sort of slave?"

Ikeda looked at her with a smirk, "Yes, in a manner of speaking."

Tirsna gave him a heated glare, "I will not be some sort of puppy to do my master's bidding!"

Ikeda sighed, "Yes, you will. Come on."

He dragged Tirsna to a room, her rebelling against every step.

Eventually they reached a small room. Ikeda pushed Tirsna into the room, closed the door, and said, "You stay here and be quiet. I'll be back before too long."

He proceeded to walk away, leaving Tirsna alone in that room.

She looked around and began to yell, "I'll be quiet if I jolly well please! You can't tell me what to do and expect me to actually do it! I'm going to get out of here and away from you!"

She continued to yell until Ikeda came back. When he got back he opened the door and told Tirsna to get out.

"I will not come out if it means being around you!" She stomped her foot.

"I said get out. Now."


Ikeda sighed, grabbed Tirsna and dragged her out. He took a stick that was leaning against the wall and smacked her bottom with it. She didn't make a sound, but she did jump and wince at the unexpected pain.

"That was for not coming out when I told you to and this," he smacked her again, "is for yelling when I told you to be quiet. Come on."

He began to walk without looking to see whether or not she was following. After a few steps he turned back.

"I said come on." He hit the stick against his palm meaningfully.

Tirsna began to follow and Ikeda continued to lead. He took her to a different building and down a long hall. Each of the doors in the hall had names on them, Jessica, Renai, Kyra, Christie, and others.

He stopped at a door that bore no name and opened it. Inside was a mattress on the floor with blankets on it and a door that lead to a small bathroom. He shoved her inside.

"You will be staying here. I am going to leave you here for about an hour. You are going to be quiet. I am still going to have my stick with me when I get back."

He left the room, closing the door behind him. He left the hall where the girls were kept and went to the large room where the other trainers were when they weren't training. There was a man that sat at a desk at the front of the room, the trainers reported to him about the progress made with their charges. He also carried information on each of the handmaidens and manservants that were currently at the facility. Ikeda walked up to the desk, he had become good friends with the man that always sat there.

"Hey, Will, do you have the file on our newest handmaiden? She's my charge and I haven't seen it yet."

Will grabbed the described file and handed it to him. "You got a new one, eh? She must be pretty special if you chose her."

"She's certainly different," Ikeda answered, excepting the papers, "Either she'll be one of the best or she'll hardly be tamed. She's quite the wild one. She had no clue what was happening to her at all."

Will frowned, "Take it easy on her, 'kay? She probably doesn't even know that this enterprise exists."

Ikeda nodded and walked over to lean against the wall as he read Tirsna's file.

Name: Tirsna Liance

Age: 15

Trainer: Ikeda Kawazachi

Birthday: September 16th

Temperament: High

Mentionable Talent(s): Singing and Origami

Hair: Black, medium long.

Eyes: Bright green

Skin: Pale

Height: 5' 8"

Weight: 148 pounds

Skills: (uncompleted)

The rest of the file would be completed during the training.

' Hmm, she's only two years younger than me,' thought Ikeda. 'Man, she weighs more than she looks! I guess she has a lot of muscle on her, I should work on that.'

Working on that could come later, right now he had to eat and then bring dinner to Tirsna.

He went out of the trainer's room and down a short hall to the kitchen. There he served himself a plate of the day's dinner; teriyaki flank steak with wild rice and carrot sticks.

He took his plate back to the trainer's room and sat in one of the couches. He enjoyed steak very much, so he slowed down to enjoy his supper. Afterwards he went back to the kitchen to get a similar plate for his charge.


Ikeda walked away, leaving Tirsna alone... again. She thought about yelling, but that wouldn't help things. What was going on? Life had been normal until just a few hours ago, now she was in some weird place expected to become some sort of slave. Wasn't slavery illegal? Who was this guy Ikeda? He said he was to be her trainer, does that mean that he was supposed to teach her to be obedient like a slave to its master? No way in hell was she ever going to be like that. Never ever.

She had to get out. Tirsna got up and tried opening the door, it was latched shut. Next she looked around for a window, none. Then she looked in the bathroom in case there was any way to escape from there, absolutely nothing.

Tirsna sighed and settled herself on the 'bed'. She would have to play along with the whole thing until she found a way to escape. Well, she would play along but not until she got some answers. What was going on?

About half an hour later Tirsna was bored. Very bored. She decided to sing until Ikeda got back.

"Here us now, here us stand

With one voice, hand in hand,

We will never back down,

We will never give in,

Here us now"

She sang it a couple more times, it seemed so right in this circumstance. She didn't know where she'd heard it, but she'd loved it ever since, and right now it spoke to her.

Her life was coming to pieces and she didn't know what was going to happen. But she wasn't going to give up. She would never give in.

She didn't realize that she was crying until a tear trekked down her cheek. She angrily brushed it away. This was no time to cry. She had to be strong.

But everything was so hopeless!

A sob escaped her throat.

Then a whimper.

She threw herself on the pillow and cried hard. She would feel better after her tears had run dry. But she wasn't going to give up. She would never give in.

She sang the song again and then threw herself down in a new bout of tears.


Ikeda walked to his charge's room bearing a plate that carried her dinner.

When he was almost there he heard the sound of someone singing. The voice was sweet and he followed it to Tirsna's room. He stayed outside the door to listen.

"Here us now, here us stand

With one voice, hand in hand

We will never back down,

We will never give in,

Here us now."

The singing stopped and was replaced by the sound of heart-wrenching sobs.

She was crying.

He hated to hear a girl cry, but Tirsna needed her dinner. He bravely opened the door.

Tirsna instantly stopped crying and wiped off her tears before bringing her head up to face him.

She was still red and tearstains still marred her otherwise creamy skin.

"I brought you dinner," said Ikeda, lifting the plate.

"I'm not hungry," she lied.

"Well you ought to be hungry and I'm your trainer and I'm telling you to eat. I'm not going to leave until you do."

The food smelled wonderful. Tirsna decided that it would be better to just eat. She took the plate from his hands along with he cutlery and cup of water and sat on her bed to eat.

"While you eat, I'm going to explain what's going on." Ikeda settled down in a corner.

"This is a company that sells modern slaves. They don't toil in fields or anything of that sort, but they keep house, cook, and stuff like that. Sometimes these slaves are used in competition, things like races, sports, or even talent contests. You are special because of your voice; it is good enough to win most singing competitions.

"All slaves are expected to be completely obedient, which is one of the reasons I'm here. It's my job to make you obedient to any and every order.

"I don't know where you came from or who you used to be, but now you are the property of this company and you will remain so until you are sold.

"It is in your best interest to be good during your stay here. I will punish disobedience and I will reward good behavior. If you try to run away, I will find you and you will be punished.

"Right now I will give you permission to speak freely, a privilege you won't normally have. Any questions?"

Tirsna swallowed the bite of steak in her mouth and said, "Yeah, when will I get out of here?"

"You don't just 'get out of here'. The only time you'll ever get out of here will be when you're sold."

"Sold? You mean some random person will buy me and then I'll belong to them?!"

"Yes, but it'll be a long time before then. Your have a really bad temperament at the moment and you won't be sold until that's corrected. I will also be teaching you things like cooking and cleaning that will make you a very valuable handmaiden."

They sat in silence for a few minutes until Tirsna finished eating.

"Should I give the plate to you?" Tirsna asked.

"This time yes, but after this you'll be washing it. You should get some sleep, tomorrow is your first day of many days of training." Ikeda smiled, "Sweet dreams."


End of first chapter.

Constructive criticism is begged for, even flames are welcome (but they will be mocked and murdalized with a spork). Please tell me anything you can to make my story better. Anything at all.