Safety, Online or Real-Time ...

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Safety, Online or Real-Time ...

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:30 am

Safety, Online or Real-Time ...


There are volumes that can and have been written on safety when dealing with online relationships.   The vary nature of a Master/slave relationship founded in Gorean fantasy role-play encourages unsafe acts.  "A slave should not question, a slave should obey and trust her Master."  Two very commonly exploited comments.  First off, online and offline are two different things altogether.  Secondly, Trust is earned, not handed out with a title.  Remember those two statements and know that its not responsible for a Master to expect trust without demonstrating he deserves it to YOUR expectation, not his.  Its not responsible for a Master to rush you into anything you're not ready for or absolutely certain is right for you.  Online or Offline.   In the end, use good judgment, if he is not acting responsibly, or exercising patience, should you really trust him mind, body and soul?  Should you give him everything of yourself without question?  Will he use what he is given responsibly and keep your best interest in mind?  Only you really know the answers to those question, but be honest with yourself when asking and answering them.  Don't let the rose colored goggles, the fantasy or the desire to live it cloud your judgment.  With that said, enjoy these articles.


Protecting Yourself


Protecting Yourself When Meeting Offline

Over the years the Gorean phenomenon has grown from being a small, unheard of way of living, to a worldwide experience that thousands from all over the world have delved into and explored both online and offline. With the popularity of the internet, a similar popularity in Gorean activity online has taken place.

Gor brings together many values that individuals recognize as natural aspects of themselves, and apply these principles to their lives. The concepts of honesty, integrity, truth, and love are powerful words that Gor encompasses within the novels written by John Norman. The element of men being men and women being women, a cultural observation that has been well documented within the novels, has been utilized as a basis for away of living.

During the explosion of Gorean popularity, there has also been evidence of problems associated with this kind of interaction. Some individuals use Gor as an escape from reality, and the internet, being a public domain, allows scope for dangerous people to use the concepts of Gor to their own advantage and to take advantage of others. This website has been designed to highlight the potential dangers that are inherent within the online environment, and to provide people guidance in terms of warning signs to watch out for. Members of the Gorean environment have taken the opportunity to provide information to others, in particular newcomers to Gor to explore this environment safely.

Considering we are all a part of this environment in some way shape or form, it is not only the individual who should be looking out to keep themselves safe, but also our responsibility to provide the necessary information. This is not to say we are responsible for every individual’s actions, however we are responsible for providing affirmative information to those who will read and listen, so that the individual can take it upon themselves to take the right steps when interacting in a Gorean sense both online and offline.

Common sense can be so easily discarded when trusting another person, however, if trustworthy the other person will not mind taking precautionary steps whilst interacting and planning on potentially meeting offline. A man who follows Gorean principles will understand the female’s needs when taking precautionary steps prior to meeting, he should be aware of the dangers online. He will do whatever it takes to provide an environment that enhances the safety precautions, such as taking into account physical, emotional and mental well being of the female. The man may also choose to take precautionary steps himself, not all danger comes from the male. There have been documented examples of men being taken advantage of financially and emotionally by female predators. In this sense, concepts of safety can be a two way street.

It is the wish of those involved in Gor for these guidelines to be read, followed, and taken seriously, because “it could happen to you”. Having said that, Gor can be a fulfilling experience when shared with those who are real and honest; enjoy and be safe.

An excerpt from Gorean Safety, by James


Expectations


previously published in the Lifestyle Column of the Gorean Voice

This month's column is about meetings, about masters and slaves new to ownership and slavery, or at least new to each other. Not a caution about the very real dangers of being alone for the first time with someone who might turn out dangerously, criminally different from one's hopes and beliefs; that is told elsewhere (but if you have not read the stories at A Tale ,please do!) Nor yet is this a column on commonsense precautions about survival and escape if things do turn terribly wrong, for that too has been written about and covered well. No, this is about what to do and expect, if that stranger turns out to be indeed the person you had hoped and expected to meet... what then?

It is important to recognize that the psychological, emotional condition of enslavement is one which, at least usually, takes a great deal of time and close contact to inspire... the process of bringing a belly truly to burn with more than just infatuation and excitement can be likened far more closely to lighting a fire by rubbing sticks together, than to one of gasoline and matches. This process of enslavement requires a great deal of confidence and trust, both of the slave for the master, that he truly can and wishes to own her, that he can and will keep her safe and fulfilled if she gives over control of her life to him, and of the master for the slave, that she truly can be and in fact is owned, that the power he holds over her is real and stable, not a moment's pastime.

This sort of trust, confidence in each other's commitment and honesty, in the reality of the slave bond, does not happen overnight. No matter how close two people become online, when they first meet there must always be a time of testing, of questioning, of reasonable doubt until doubts are dispelled. And until that time is over, it is not fair to either to expect things to be as if that bond were already confirmed and stable, or to pretend that they already are so. Yes, expect that a woman who is a natural slave and who is there to explore the potential of enslavement with you will strive earnestly to be pleasing, to make the best effort to do exactly that exploring that she came for... but do not take it for granted; always be aware that the beginning is a time of "what if", not "what IS." Expect that a man whom you see a potential owner will be demanding and strict with you, if such is the nature of his mastery, but recognize also that his first control of you, being new, and being thoughtfully measured with questioning and care, instead of the confidence of long familiarity with both control itself and the one being controlled, will not and can not be the same during that first time as it might be if there is a later.

What does this mean in practical terms? Well, for one thing, it means not to simply assume that any real slavery will develop between you at all. Certainly, hope for that, and work towards it, but do not act as if it were a foregone conclusion. The way a man treats a slave he owns is not, and should not be, the way he would treat one on a week's trial period from a slaver's shop on Gor. There are liberties one does not take with property which is not yet truly one's own: I would no more have a woman who was not yet truly enslaved to me branded or otherwise permanently marked, than I replace the stereo in a car I was test-driving. No more would I expect such a potential slave to give over control of her children or her finances to me; such matters are the province of confirmed ownership, not exploration.

Another thing it means is that setting aside some time for discussion of the nature of what is happening between the two of you is absolutely necessary. The time of exploring is one for experiencing, but it must also be one of analysis. Sit back and talk, honestly and openly, about how what each of you is doing makes the other feel and respond, what is working, what isn't, what might be changed and what should not be. In the heat of the moment, of passion of whatever sort, it can be easy to misconstrue the others words and actions, to read things as one's pre-expectations would indicate and not see truly what the other's intent was. Calm words after the fact, describing and confirming perceptions, or perhaps correcting misperceptions, go a long way towards building a confidence of understanding much more solid than just blind trust. The more intense a relationship is, the more complete and accurate the communication must be; some marriages might last decades rife with misperceptions, but a master and slave cannot afford any such.

And the fact of testing, and awareness of the possibility of either success or failure, most certainly means that you do not take any foolish, irresponsible risks with your own health or that of the other, or of the others who may one day own or be owned by that other if you do not. This is not Gor; the Green Caste here has many more unsolved diseases than Dar-Kosis. Amazingly enough, even after all the news reports of the last decades, some people take more caution against computer viruses than against the biological kind. A hard drive can be replaced; a life cannot. You owe it, if not to yourself, then at least to your potential slave or owner, and to any others who may one day come in contact with either of you, to be absolutely as certain as possible that the act of love is not in fact a sentence to slow death, or decades of illness. Goreans celebrate life; they do not throw it away foolishly.

Be safe. Be careful. Be thoughtful. If you are all of those things, you will find something real, and wonderful... and more importantly, you will be able to keep it.
I wish you well.
- Gabriel


Safety Precautions


his article is written by a Gorean slave, perhaps just like you, but with some experience in the matters of safety.  I don't know her personally, but found her comments insightful and hopefully helpful for others who may be in such situations. ~Enjoy!

She has been thinking a lot of the issue of safety. In her mind, the most important feature is to keep yourself in check. It's easy to let emotions overwhelm us. The girls that come here are in a vulnerable position. They are taught to obey, obey or fail. Yet, in between those lines, this one still hears the words of caution that are echoed by all. Be careful, use your head, know them before you meet, check them out, talk to others they have met.

The online venue makes it overly easy for people to be more than they truly are. It makes it possible for them to be grand and large, with few human frailties. Yet, in some ways, with some people, it makes it easy to know the real person. After all, most people that you first meet in face to face situations, you reveal very little of your inner soul. Here, it's not uncommon for people to express themselves. For them to reveal that secret self that takes so long to know from other types of first meetings. Here, where the written word is our medium, people tend to either express the deeper recesses of themselves or to build themselves into something that they may wish or aspire to be but have not what it takes to actually reach for and obtain. In fact, some have no intention of ever reaching for something they are not, to this type, the net is merely a way to lure their unsuspecting victims.

Bearing all of this in mind, she would advice you to take your time. To reach into yourself and "know thyself" as the saying goes. Why does this person attract you? Is it because they truly represent your ideal of being Gorean? Is it because you lack something inside yourself and you are so desperate to be accepted, to be loved, that you would grasp any hand that reaches out to you, seeing it as a life line? Is it because you feel whole and this person somehow completes you? Is this person real? Ask yourself that, not once but several times. Can you call them at home, at work? Can you call them at odd hours and reach them? Will they give you their drivers license number so you can check it out? That may sound extreme, but, when you are meeting someone that nobody else knows, believe me, it's not. Check and double check. If others have actually met them, spent time with them offline, then talk to them. Ask questions, lots of questions. If this person is from a community that you know nothing about and you know none of the people there, personally. Then take your time and do your homework. Life is far to short by itself to have it end needlessly.

Another point that she feels is important is for each of us to examine ourselves. There are times when crisis hits, when our lives are not going perfectly. It's often in these times that we throw caution to the wind and we take giant leaps without forethought. When you are the most vulnerable, when you thoughts are muddy and your not sure where to place your next step, we often do things rashly, things we would have never done in our moments of clarity. When you find yourselves in this position, use caution. There are men that would take advantage of that perceived vulnerability. Some that are not what they seem. Use caution, let your eyes open fully and truly examine those tiny nagging danger signs. More often then not they will be there, but we tend to overlook them, especially when we are not at our highest points. Pay them heed. Examine the situation from all angles and strive to not let your need cloud your mind.
tena


Safety Offline


This is a good article on safety.  The best rule I can think of is common sense.  Look at things objectively, if it seems too good to be true it probably is.  If its everything you've been looking for, but things just aren't quite right, then something is wrong!  There is nothing wrong with running your thoughts past someone who can understand your situation or has been there before either.  And most importantly, the truth will always shine through.  If the person you are talking to can't understand that you need assurances or are being cautious. if they demand blind faith when you've never laid eyes on them before or not conducted a face to face relationship up to this point. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG!   With that said, enjoy the article below and again, use good judgment when taking in the words of others.

Slaves are to be pleasing, they are to obey with out question, they are not to judge, they are to show respect all the time, and they must trust. Slaves here on Earth often face a quandary, seeing the requirements of a slave as above and dealing with the mixed emotions of remaining safe in a unsafe world. I will try to offer some suggestions, blow away some myths and basically bring some reality back to what can be the most marvelous role any woman can be in, slavery. If we all lived in the pages of a book, the above requirements for slaves could be applied unfailingly. We don't live there, and most likely never will. So how much of the aforementioned rules apply to us? Any reasoning person can tell that if you apply the rules unquestioningly you might as well put a target on your forehead and plan your will.

Everything we do in life requires balance. Tipping the scales one way or the other, leads to an imbalance of thinking. Are we failures if we don't choose a extreme? We come online, admittedly a place of anonymity for everyone, we meet a man, and burn to be with him. Surprise, surprise, we fall in love, our trust is built through this limited medium. We believe what we see, but we have to remember what exactly we are believing. Far to many to many hoaxes have emerged from the shattered shell of on line trust. Some very skilled men and women have duped the online gorean community. Some are currently doing so. With this in mind, caution is the better part of any valor. What follows is the product of hard won experience from various members of the online community, myself included.

Unreal histories. For example a huge list of so called experience, that when questioned about has holes the size of the earth in it. If it doesn't feel right, more than likely it's not. Sudden life threatening illness and/or and asking for monetary assistance, ect. More often then not these types of illnesses are bogus. The very fact that someone, with whom your only contact is cyber, is asking for money should send up red flags. Use your own judgment on this. If you have it to spare and honestly feel inclined to send it, it is your choice. Never put yourself at risk and feel compelled because you are a slave to do it. They have friends, family and social systems to help.

Loss of control in men. This is a very touchy subject but it can be deadly, if you are planning an off line relationship. Watch them in channel. How do they deal with situations? Do they blow up for no reason? Do they seem edgy, and do you feel like your walking on egg shells with them all the time? Does their online punishment seem blown out of proportion? Are they always on the virge of or in a bad mood? Do they blame others consistently for their moods? Is he a Jeckle and Hyde type person? All these things are signs of a mentally unstable personality. These can indicate they have the potential to be physically abusive in real life. Beware

Mental abuse. This is often over looked in the online circle, but it does exist. The signs of this are consistent efforts in putting you down, making you feel stupid, inferior, less then human, and other wise wrong. This is not to be confused with normal training of a slave, or the concept slaves are animals. How do I mean? It is very simple, if your down more then your up, you have a problem with the man. If your best efforts are always less than pleasing you have a problem. If your ill and he blames you for it, you have a problem. If he never offers encouragement by any means, you have a problem. If he consistently treats you like animal by denying your human mental attributes and seeking to crush your inherent personality, you have a problem. Being a slave is supposed to feel good, yes there will be times when you will feel bad, but the good should out weigh the bad.

The non listening ear. Being a slave does not mean your life ceases to be important to you. You will have problems to deal with, you will be under stress, you will have pain and you will at times need support. The concept that a man does not offer support to a slave is wrong. The reality is as a slave you will look to him for guidance. The guidance is not the common "just be pleasing girl" and problems will go away. If he shows no concern what so ever for what happens in your life, you have a problem. If he never wants to discuss things that concern you, you have a big problem. Even if you happen to live with this man, you will have to face things, you will need a measure of support and a listening ear. A man too self centered is not worth the air he breathes. Just like anything in this world, if you offer no maintenance, support, or care, it will become unusable in the end. For a relationship that expects a woman to surrender the whole of herself to her man, it is required then that the man care for the whole of the woman. Should he be unwilling to do that, then he should not own a woman to begin with.

This is by no means a complete list, but it covers many more areas than one at first may think of. If you are considering taking this on line relationship off line, it would be prudent to look very closely at the relationship on line. Never fall for the you have to obey line. Your obedience must be tempered with reality. You have your own set of priorities, demands, and responsibilities. Remember that. More so those of you with children to take care of. You are not a failure if you readily see something is wrong and leave. Your failure comes when you obey with a blind eye, risking yourself needlessly.
Some thoughts on meeting off line:

After considering the online person, and you feel the need and desire to really meet this person, care should be taken. Many times it is only off line that the truth comes out.

Get to know this man well on line, get a feeling of trust before you attempt off line. Listen and watch, and then go back and listen and watch some more. Ask questions that are important, don't ask it once, ask it many times in a different way and listen for consistent answers. A answer is not, CINBIAK (curiosity is not becoming in a kajira). Not when you are talking about, what is your real name, your phone number, are you married or otherwise involved, if so, does this person know, where are we going to meet, what are we going to do, what are your plans ect... If you don't get answers, don't think of meeting, he is not being truthful. He should have nothing to hide.

"Plan, plan, plan," then when you thought you have it all planed, start over again. Things you should have set up. - His full name, address and phone number. - The phone number and address of where you will be staying. - Several people, one at the very minimum that you will contact during the visit during the visit. These people should be trusted by you. It does not matter if they will not be in the same state or country as where you will be going. They should have all of the above information, also including how long you will be gone, hopefully the telephone number of the local police department should things go wrong, and any other information that will help them find you, like your travel arrangements, lodgings, ect. Should anything go wrong they can be your only life line.

Make arrangements that are cut in stone with your trusted friends above. Have a set time to call, every day if possible. Twice, three times what ever it takes. If they do not get a call from you at this set time, it is a marker for them to start worrying, and to do something at their best judgment, according to the arrangements you have made before hand. In addition, there maybe times that situations go bad, and your are too afraid to say anything. So before you go, have a code phrase set up with your friend, make it simple and very common. If this code phrase is said, it means, call the police I am in trouble. If your plans change, contact your friend as soon as possible, making them aware of the situation.

Meet the first time in public, and stay in public until you feel comfortable. Go out to dinner, for walks in the park, what ever, just stay public. You can judge a lot in this first few hours, if you listen and watch carefully. No doubt he is doing the same. If your not comfortable, do not go into a private situation until you are, don't be afraid to get back into your transportation and leave if you must.

Get some sort of medical history from him and give yours to him. STD's are rampant out there, so be wary. Use protection, ie condoms all the time, every time. Don't let him talk his way out of it. It's your life, and his at risk. I have heard some request a Doctor's letter of health and proof of recent STD tests with results. Not a bad option if you ask me. But not a replacement for using a condom. Have a back up supply of ready cash, you might need it.

Tell him of these plans, don't go into detail about the friend code phrase, just in case. If he has objections to any of this, or does not insist that you use these precautions, run, don't walk from him. He has something to hide. It is not worth the risk. With out a doubt he should have similar arrangements made, if he is visiting you.

If he is coming to you, take similar precautions, don't take him back to your home, until you feel ready too. It might take hours or days. But well worth the wait.

Trust is earned, it is not freely given. Trust takes a lot of time to build up. What you trust online, will be added to off line. Let it grow, don't worry about it. He should understand this. Never allow him to take complete control until you have that time and trust. That would mean handing over all your possessions, your money, your ID, your credit cards, what ever. Check him out as he should you. Online you are able to check a name and address out by phone number, if you get a different result then what he gave, question it or better yet, run!

As a last bit of wisdom. Slaves, you don't have to send pics, give addresses or phone number, or full names and locations, to people you don't want to. A lot of information about you can be gleaned from this kind of information. If you decide to phone, please use ident block on your phone. In Canada, where most have caller ID, you will give out more than you might want to.

In Canada to turn off caller ID use *70 then the number. The other person will only see, private name and number, no other information. In the U.S. you can block caller ID and privatize your call by pressing *67 before dialing the number. For other countries, look in the front of your phone book for information.

Slaves, you are no less a slave for trying to protect yourself, you only a wise woman. God gave you a brain, use it to the best of your ability, let it be the bridle with which you steer your heart.

Thankfully there are more good stories around of people who have met and are happy then the bad ones, but we can never let our guard down. All of the above information applies to men as well as women. Care and caution should always be your focus when dealing with people you really don't know.

Hope this advice is of some use to you all.

Wishing you all good luck and happiness,
jahna


Internet Safety


This article address phone and confidential information safety.  Not everyone out there is a predator looking to hurt you, but there are a great number of them out there.  Take the following advice as that, advice.  It portrays the worst case scenarios and is quite real, but again a worst case scenario.   Use your best judgment in following this advice or simply taking it under consideration.

We come together in common forums, anonymous people with online personas uniting to share an enjoyment of a different culture. There are Masters and Mistresses, Panthers and Posers, and all the little kajirae. Through a mutual respect for some commonly accepted guidelines, we exist as a community, preferring the company of Free Goreans and slaves, and we are safe. Our world, not real, but a fantastic extension of our wickedest desires, a communal retreat from a society that does not condone such barbaric behavior, is well protected by the anonymity provided by the internet. And then someone wants to make it real.

It starts as something simple, like a phone call. It is all too easy for us to lose focus on the need to differentiate our online personas from our real, true selves. It is so common to be caught up in the passion of a moment, to want to take the intensity to the next level, to simply want more from the experience. A harmless phone call won't really mean anything, right? We're all real people with real needs, hungers, and desires. We, the sharers of this unique culture, are different from others, and we can trust each other. So what's the harm in a simple phone call? It will only make it more real, more powerful, more intense. And this is where it begins….

It goes without saying that by giving someone your phone number, you have given them your real name, your address, and access not only to you, but to your entire family, your circle of real life friends and co-workers. You could very easily be inviting a rapist, thief, or killer into your life. They may tell you to call them collect, which seems safe enough, yet while you have no charges or records of this call on your bill, they do, often with the number the call was placed from displayed in black and white on their phone bill. I know that it seems sad that such people exist, but, unfortunately, they do. And, what's worse, is that all too often, they seem like the least likely people. They often relate themselves as well educated, well-adjusted, temperamental people leading ordinary, sane lives.

My goal with this essay is not to try to teach ordinary people to be amateur criminal psychologists, but simply to enlighten readers as to some simple precautions that can be taken to protect you and yours. Hopefully, if one life can be spared the torment, disruption, or victimization by any of these predators, then it's writing has been well-spent time.

First thing, NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER, WORK TELEPHONE NUMBER, OR THE ADDRESS OF EITHER. This is perhaps the most obvious no-no, yet it is the most commonly broken one. Placing faith or trust in typed words on a computer monitor is a foolish quest at best. You have no proof whatsoever that what is being told to you is in any way the truth.

Second, if someone suggests making a collect call, keep the aforementioned information in mind. How do you beat it? Simple. Don't call from home, and don't assume that a cellular phone is untraceable. Caller I.D. blockers are ineffective against a well-equipped predator, so don't go thinking they provide a reasonably safe amount of anonymity. Call from a pay phone, a respectable distance from your home or any other place you frequently visit. Use calling cards with toll-free dial-up access numbers.

Agreeing to meet someone from your internet chat community is about as safe as taking a pogo-stick ride in rush-hour freeway traffic. However, millions are compelled to do this every year, and it is the most common first step en route to having your body described as 'Jane Doe #-next'. If the police even find the body, that is. So, if you insist on meeting Master Right, here's some safety tips:

1) Make sure someone unrelated to the relationship has all of the information you have on the person you're going to meet, including when and where you plan to meet, where you intend to go, and when you should be expected to return. Leave no details out, as they may be needed to trace the path of a crime.

2) Don't meet the person alone, or in a private place. Keep it public, and in the company of trusted friends. This simply cannot be stressed enough.

3) I would not suggest carrying any weapon stronger than pepper spray/MACE. Anything else could cause irreversible damage if mistakenly used, or may be taken from you and used against you. Bringing a gun to the first meeting could certainly put a damper on the night if an accidental discharge maims one of you during a goodnight hug.

4) Don't invite them back to your place unless your willing to sacrifice your freedom, health, or life. Anyone can be thoroughly charming if it means that they can get you vulnerable. And that's exactly what they want.

In closing, think carefully about everything you do when you are playing out your fantasies. Adult chat forums are quickly becoming the hunting grounds for would-be criminals. The more extreme the nature of the chat forum, the greater the danger. Be well and be safe.

I wish you well
Jaegar RedBlade


A Cautionary Tale


This story like others here were written by individuals like yourself on one chat site or another, but tell of real life dangers that really do happen all the time.  Read and make your own judgments, but use the wisdom each of us has when falling into similar situations.

"You must tell this," said her Protector. "You must tell people about this person," said the girl's friends. "People must know and be warned," said those who a girl respects. And so, the girl found herself kneeling quietly by the center fire of Tahari-Oasis, the Masters and Mistresses of that camp gathered round her in support and her sisters near, her Protector watching her, giving her the strength to tell of the one who called himself Drago-Nem. The girl draws a deep breath, raises her eyes to her Protector and begins so softly that even those near her can barely hear.....

"There was a time when kate came to Austnet and was new to this place. She stumbled into a camp and was made welcome by the Masters and slaves there. One Master collared her, and the owner of the place cried, "Deceit!" Thus was a girl given to the camp and, knowing that the owner would take her for his own, thus did she beg for his collar. A girl became kate^DN^, owned by Drago-Nem. From the beginning, Drago-Nem talked of a real life relationship. He told kate^DN^ of his life and asked about hers. Drago-Nem said that he was in his last year of a surgical residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in downtown Miami. He said he had graduated from the University of Miami School of Medicine after completing his undergraduate studies at New York University. He said he was divorced and had two children, a son, 3, and a daughter, 11. kate^DN^ shared her life with him and they grew close....or so she thought and he claimed.

"Arrangements were made for a real life meeting The two met and all was wonderfully well. Ralph....a name which will do as well as any other for the purposes of this tale....brought his books to study for his licensing boards. He asked kate^DN^ to marry him and move with her child to Miami. Much to kate^DN^'s surprise, her answer was yes.....and she was so happy. Real life friends told her she had the glow of a woman in love."

Tears well up in the girl's eyes. She pauses, staring into the fire for a moment and then continues...her voice louder now. "On the last day of his visit, Drago-Nem told kate^DN^ that he had a tumor in his brain, but that all would be well. There was every chance of recovery. As time went on, he continued to talk of a life together, to talk of when they would be married and spending their honeymoon in Naples where he claimed to have family, to talk of whether a girl should change her name, to tell a girl of the job offer with the big practice and the signing bonus he would receive, which was a good thing because he was having financial trouble." The girl sighs softly and shakes her head. It sounds so obvious now.

"Financial trouble.........a young doctor just starting out with all the bills of medical school and two children to support and a brain tumor. Finally Drago-Nem told the girl that the tumor was malignant; occipital melangioma, he called it. He also told her that it was inoperable and that he was undergoing chemotherapy; but the chemo wasn't working. And he began to talk of being too sick from the chemotherapy to work and of missing work and missing money from his weekend job paychecks and his inability to pay the large phone bill the two had amassed and how his phone was to be cut off and finally kate^DN^ offered to help. It was cleverly done and a girl was sucked in. She was so naive. Drago-Nem demurred at first. 'Oh no!' said he, 'I could not accept money from you. BUT, I will pay it back.' So kate^DN^, wanting only to help the one she loved, 'talked him into it.' Then his story began to change. He grew sicker and sicker. And money was needed for experimental drugs and other bills...and the money was sent." The girl hangs her head.

"Then came the time when Drago-Nem said that he was too sick to continue on irc, but that he wanted to go out, having had vengeance upon all those who had wronged him during his time here. He told his slave that his friend 'Tony' was going to help him. Twice he declared he was leaving irc and twice he returned immediately. The second time he came back, he took his collar from kate^DN^ and forbade her the use of the nick kate. He told the girl that he and 'Tony' and the slave he collared within a day of taking kate's collar were going to lure all his enemies into the camp and 'nuke' their computers." The girl's voice drops low with shame that she did not say anything to anyone. "That was how he kept the girl away. And then Drago-Nem claimed that he had left irc. He told kate^ that there was little or no hope for his survival and that he had turned the camp over to 'Tony' who was using the nick, Drago-Nem. He told her that there were two drugs that could possibly help him and gladly she sent the money for them.

The girl assumed a new nick, grace, and came back to irc because this was the place where she had spent most of her time with him. Each day, grace would talk to 'Tony' who would tell her about her Ralph and how badly he was failing. At the same time, she would talk to Ralph who would urge her to help 'Tony' become Drago-Nem and to tell no one that he was ill. The girl was confused and hurt, but stubbornly loyal.

"grace continued to come to irc and finally wandered into Tahari-Oasis. Here she was greeted by those who had made her feel welcome once before." The girl smiles softly at Master Pantheus and Mistress Opal. "Despite Drago-Nem's admonitions, grace shared her troubled heart with those she trusted. Soon she began to hear that Drago-Nem was the same man he had always been, but she would not believe it. He would not deceive her so or cause her such anguish. grace defended him boldly, but she was wrong." The girl's voice catches in her throat and her eyes search frantically until they light upon the one who soothes her soul. She calms and goes on in a low steady voice. "grace was blessed by a gift from the Priest-Kings in the form of the favor of an honourable Master who took her under his care and protection. He sheltered her from much of the rumour and innuendo and gathered information. Ralph continued to call and document his deterioration. All question of marriage was long since dropped as Ralph had decreed that he would not leave the girl a widow.

"Then came another crisis; Ralph's disability claim had not yet been processed, he was unable to work and he had no money for his insurance premium. The girl learned of this through 'Tony' who was still playing Drago-Nem. 'Tony' claimed that he could raise part of the money, and when the girl offered the rest, 'Tony' assured her that he would pay her back for his dear friend, his brother. Ralph's phone calls grew less coherent and he bemoaned his increasing forgetfulness....a minor symptom of the onslaught of his cancer. Ralph had described for the girl in gruesome detail the increasing incapacitation he would suffer....the cancer would eat away at his brain. There would be paralysis, loss of the senses, brain damage, horrific pain, coma, death. He claimed to be on an intermittent morphine drip. Finally at the same time the insurance crisis arose, Ralph asked grace to marry him so that they would be joined as husband and wife when he died." The girl shakes her head ruefully. "The morning that Ralph called to make sure the money for his 'insurance premium' would reach him by a certain time, he called grace "Wife" over and over and over. The girl wondered why he had changed his mind and spoke to many about it The consensus was that she should not consider it. She even spoke to 'Tony' who very earnestly told her that Ralph was so badly off that he would probably forget he had asked. Lo and behold, Ralph did indeed forget. All this time, the girl's friends and her Protector tried to make her see what was obvious to most others, but she would not believe that anyone would hurt another so. "

"Not long ago grace ran into the Mistress who had been Drago-Nem's friend, and being encouraged by her Protector, she approached the woman and they talked and the house of cards that was Drago-Nem fell. The Drago-Nem on-line was indeed Ralph. There was no 'Tony". Ralph had represented to the Mistress that he was going to marry her and had gone so far as to ask another Master here to stand with him at the wedding He had told the Mistress that he had accepted the big practice's offer and had admitting privileges at several Miami area hospitals." Anger creeps into the girl's tone and her eyes harden. "The girl began an investigation of her own and learned that Ralph does not have admitting privileges at any of the hospitals he had named nor is he licensed to practice medicine in the State of Florida. She learned that he did not attend The University of Miami's School of Medicine or New York University. If you ask her, grace will provide the telephone numbers to verify this information. Thus slave and the Mistress confronted Drago-Nem last week. When faced with the facts, he admitted that he had lied, but claimed to love the two. When alone with the slave, he claimed that he didn't really love the Mistress and that it was the slave with whom he had shared the truth of his illness. He begged her to stay with him as he did not want to die alone. With the support of her Protector and her friends, grace steeled her heart and did not listen to his words of woe. Drago-Nem promised to repay the girl by today. He has not. grace does not expect to be repaid. Her eyes are now open. And that is the tale of Drago-Nem."

The girl starts to rise, then settles back on her heels once more. "A moment further of your time, Masters, Mistresses, sisters...." She smiles softly, looking at each person gathered round her. "grace is blessed and she would share her gratitude with each of you who have so patiently seen her through this troubled time. She lost a good deal of money, and for a time, her heart. But in the end, the girl is much the richer for the truth and the real love and companionship she has found here. And to Drago-Nem, who called out, "Deceit!" when kate was collared by another, she offers only pity for he will never know love or honour and his cry of "Deceit!" shall follow him always.

"Be well and joyous. This girl is grace, protected by her beloved Master Asallai."

Some months later......

Once again the girl finds herself by the fires of Tahari-Oasis. Time has passed since the initial telling of her tale. There is a collar about her neck marking her as the property of Master Loch`lin to whom she is completely devoted. The slave draws a deep breath and begins:

"There are those who believe that the telling of this tale is wrong.....some because Drago-Nem has denied the truth of it, others because because it speaks ill of a Master. To those who believe the tale false, there is little a girl can say. Documents exist proving the transfer of monies. Those who knew Drago-Nem in that time knew he claimed to be a doctor in the Miami area. All one needs to do is ask about him." The girl looks down, closing her eyes for a moment. Her hand caresses the steel collar about her neck as if gathering will from it.

The slave seeks the right words. "Honor and dishonor are found in a man's actions. This girl tells of one man's deeds. They speak for themselves." The girl looks up at the many slaves who hear this tale, her eyes sparkling, "Sisters, be cautioned, not just by the actions of the man, but especially by your sister's naivete and willingness to believe only what she wished to believe. A girl prays you take her lesson to heart and grow from it as she has.

"This girl is grace{Loch}, now owned by Master Loch`lin." The girl glows with the inner peace of one who has found her place in these worlds. "Be well and joyous."
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