Chieftain of Tharks

Discussion in 'mature-NSFW' started by Dejah Thoris, 23 May 2018.

  1. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    John Carter now turned his attention to me, and assisting me to my feet, turned with me toward the exit, ignoring my hovering guardian harpies as well as the inquiring glances of the chieftains. Was John Carter not now a chieftain also! Well, then, he assumed the responsibilities of one. They did not molest us, and so John Carter, gentleman of Virginia, now Chieftain of Tharks, and I, Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, followed by the faithful Woola, passed through utter silence from the audience chamber of Lorquas Ptomel, Jed among the Tharks of Barsoom.
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  2. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    As we reached the open, the two female guards who had been detailed to watch over me hurried up and made as though to assume custody of me once more. Escaping their grasp, I ran to John Carter and shrank against him, folding my two hands tightly over his large arm. Waving the women away, John Carter informed them that Sola would attend me hereafter, and he further warned Sarkoja that any more of her cruel attentions bestowed upon me would result in Sarkoja's sudden and painful demise.
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  3. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    "Have they ever subjected you to cruelty and ignominy, Dejah Thoris?" John Carter asked me. I could see the hot blood of his fighting ancestors leap in his veins as he awaited my reply.

    "Only in little ways, John Carter," I answered. "Nothing that can harm me outside my pride. They know that I am the daughter of ten thousand jeddaks, that I trace my ancestry straight back without a break to the builder of the first great waterway, and they, who do not even know their own mothers, are jealous of me. At heart they hate their horrid fates, and so wreak their poor spite on me who stand for everything they have not, and for all they most crave and never can attain. Let us pity them, my chieftain, for even though we die at their hands we can afford them pity, since we are greater than they and they know it."

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  4. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    The chill of the Martian night was upon us. John Carter removed his silks and threw them across my shoulders. As his arm rested for an instant upon me, I felt a thrill pass through every fiber of my being such as contact with no other mortal had even produced; and it seemed to me that he had leaned slightly toward me, but of that I was not sure. I knew only that as his arm rested there across my shoulders longer than the act of adjusting the silks required I did not draw away, nor did I speak. And so, in silence, we walked the surface of a dying world, but in the breast of one of us at least had been born that which is ever oldest, yet ever new.
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  5. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    "Why are you so quiet, Dejah Thoris?" he asked. "Possibly you would rather return to Sola and your quarters."

    "No," I murmured, "I am happy here. I do not know why it is that I should always be happy and contented when you, John Carter, a stranger, are with me; yet at such times it seems that I am safe and that, with you, I shall soon return to my father's court and feel his strong arms about me and my mother's tears and kisses on my cheek."

    "Do people kiss, then, upon Barsoom?" he asked, when I had explained the word I used, in answer to his inquiry as to its meaning.

    "Parents, brothers, and sisters, yes; and," I added, "lovers."

    "And you, Dejah Thoris, have parents and brothers and sisters?"

    "Yes."

    "And a—lover?"

    I was silent, nor did he venture to repeat the question.

    "The man of Barsoom," I finally answered, "does not ask personal questions of women, except his mother, and the woman he has fought for and won."

    "But I have fought—" he started, and then he stopped, staring; for I turned even as he caught himself and ceased, and drawing his silks from my shoulder I held them out to him, and without a word, and with head held high, I moved away, carrying myself as daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium, I went toward the plaza and the doorway of my quarters.

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  6. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    So this was love! I had escaped it for all the years I had roamed Barsoom; in spite of impressive men and urging opportunity; in spite of a half-desire for love and a constant search for my ideal, it had remained for me to fall furiously and hopelessly in love with a creature from another world, of a species similar possibly, yet not identical with mine. A man who was not hatched from an egg, and whose span of life might cover a mere hundred Earth years, with many of them as a dodderer; whose people had strange customs and ideas; a man whose hopes, whose pleasures, whose standards of virtue and of right and wrong might vary as greatly from mine as did those of the Tharks.

    Yes, I was a fool, but I was in love, and though I was suffering the greatest misery I had ever known I would not have had it otherwise for all the riches of Barsoom. Such is love, and such are lovers wherever love is known.

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  7. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    These words are from my husband John Carter's journal (as he called it); I've been looking through his books, reminding myself of him. I did not know then that he saw me in this way as I stood before Tal Hajus; I scarcely recognize myself in his words but I clearly recognize and cherish the sentiments to which he testified; he has made me the gift of them many times since.

    It has been a long sixteen journeys of Barsoom around the Primary since I have last born witness to him with my own eyes, and I've not heretofore allowed myself the unwomanly luxury to dwell on him this way before now. However, I know him so well that I believe that he will approve of this Earthly indulgence in emotion. He wrote:


    "But the sight that froze me with apprehension was that of Dejah Thoris and Sola standing there before him, and the fiendish leer of him as he let his great protruding eyes gloat upon the lines of her beautiful figure. She was speaking, but I could not hear what she said, nor could I make out the low grumbling of his reply. She stood there erect before him, her head high held, and even at the distance I was from them I could read the scorn and disgust upon her face as she let her haughty glance rest without sign of fear upon him. She was indeed the proud daughter of a thousand jeddaks, every inch of her dear, precious little body; so small, so frail beside the towering warriors around her, but in her majesty dwarfing them into insignificance; she was the mightiest figure among them and I verily believe that they felt it."
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  8. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

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  9. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    Tal Hajus arose, and I, half fearing, half anticipating his intentions, steeled myself to his attack.

    At the edge of my vision, John Carter hurried to the winding runway which led to the floors below. No one was near to intercept him, and he reached the main floor of the chamber unobserved, taking his station in the shadow of the same column that Tars Tarkas had but just deserted. As John Carter reached the floor, Tal Hajus began speaking.

    "Princess of Helium, I might wring a mighty ransom from your people would I but return you to them unharmed, but a thousand times rather would I watch that beautiful face writhe in the agony of torture; it shall be long drawn out, that I promise you; ten days of pleasure were all too short to show the love I harbor for your race. The terrors of your death shall haunt the slumbers of the red men through all the ages to come; they will shudder in the shadows of the night as their fathers tell them of the awful vengeance of the green men; of the power and might and hate and cruelty of Tal Hajus. But before the torture you shall be mine for one short hour, and word of that too shall go forth to Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium, your grandfather, that he may grovel upon the ground in the agony of his sorrow. Tomorrow the torture will commence; tonight thou art Tal Hajus'; come!"

    He sprang down from the platform and grasped me roughly by the arm, but scarcely had he touched me than John Carter leaped between us. John Carter's short-sword, sharp and gleaming was in his right hand. If only he had plunged it into Tal Hajus' putrid heart before he realized that John Carter was upon him; but as John Carter raised his arm to strike, he hesitated. Then John Carter swung his right fist full upon the point of Tal Hajus' jaw. Without a sound, the Thark slipped to the floor as one dead.

    In the same deathly silence John Carter grasped me by the hand, and motioning Sola to follow we sped noiselessly from the chamber and to the floor above. Unseen we reached a rear window and with the straps and leather of John Carter's trappings he lowered, first Sola and then me to the ground below.

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  10. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    We finally arrived at a pair of thoats in the courtyard where John Carter had left them, and leading them by their reins, we hastened through the building to the avenue beyond. Mounting, Sola upon one beast, myself upon the other behind John Carter, we rode from the city of Thark through the hills to the south.

    Instead of circling back around the city to the northwest and toward the nearest waterway which lay so short a distance from us, we turned to the northeast and struck out upon the mossy waste across which, for two hundred dangerous and weary miles, lay another main artery leading to Helium.

    No word was spoken until we had left the city far behind, except for my quiet sighing as I clung to John Carter with my head resting against his shoulder.

    Finally, I spoke, "If we make it, my chieftain, the debt of Helium will be a mighty one; greater than she can ever pay you; and should we not make it, the debt is no less, though Helium will never know, for you have saved the last of our line from worse than death."

    He did not answer, but instead reached to his side and pressed my fingers where they clung to him for support, and then, in unbroken silence, we sped over the yellow, moonlit moss; each of us occupied with our thoughts. For my part I could not be other than joyful had I tried, with my arms around his warm body pressed close to mine, and with all our unpassed danger my heart was singing as gaily as though we were already entering the gates of Helium.

    Our earlier plans had been so sadly upset that we now found ourselves without food or drink, and John Carter alone was armed. We therefore urged our beasts to a speed that must tell on them sorely before we could hope to sight the ending of the first stage of our journey.

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  11. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    Springing to his feet John Carter urged the thoat to rise, and directed Sola to take me with her upon him and make a mighty effort to reach the hills before the green warriors were upon us. He hoped that in the ravines and gullies we might find a temporary hiding place, and even though we might die there of hunger and thirst it would be better so than that we fell into the hands of the Tharks. Forcing his two revolvers upon us as a slight means of protection, and, as a last resort, as an escape for ourselves from the horrid death which recapture would surely mean, he lifted me with his massive arms and placed me upon the thoat behind Sola, who had already mounted at his command.

    "Good-bye, my princess," he whispered, "we may meet in Helium yet. I have escaped from worse plights than this," He flashed a smile that I knew was a lie.

    "What," I cried, "are you not coming with us?"

    "How may I, Dejah Thoris? Someone must hold these fellows off for a while, and I can better escape them alone than could the three of us together."

    I sprang quickly from the thoat and, throwing my arms about his dear neck, turned to Sola, commanding her: "Fly, Sola! Dejah Thoris remains to die with the man she loves."

    Those words are engraved upon my heart. Ah, gladly would I give up my life a thousand times could I only say them to him once again; but I could not then give even a second to the rapture of his touch -- O sweet embrace -- and pressing my lips to his for the first time, he suddenly picked me up bodily and tossed me to a seat behind Sola again, commanding the latter in peremptory tones to hold me there by force, and then, slapping the thoat upon the flank, the beast bore us away; I all the while struggling to free myself from Sola's grasp.

    Looking over my shoulder, I beheld the green warriors mounting the ridge and looking for their chieftain. In a moment they saw him, and then John Carter; but scarcely had they discovered him than he commenced firing, lying flat upon his belly in the moss. He kept up a continuous stream of fire until I saw all of the warriors who had been first to return from behind the ridge either dead or scurrying to cover.

    The respite was short-lived however, for soon the entire party, numbering some thousand men, came charging into view, racing madly toward my John Carter. I could hear him firing rapidly until his rifle stopped, empty, and they were almost upon him. Meanwhile, Sola and I had disappeared among the hills. I slipped from Sola's grasp and off the thoat. Taking a hiding place from which to look, this is what I saw:

    If ever Tharks had an exhibition of jumping, it was granted those astonished warriors on that day long years ago, but while it led them away from Sola and me, it did not distract their attention from endeavoring to capture John Carter.

    They raced wildly after him, until, finally, he appeared to stumble, and down he went sprawling upon the moss. As I looked, they were upon him, and although he drew his long-sword in an attempt to sell his life as dearly as possible, it was soon over. I saw him reel beneath their blows which fell upon him in perfect torrents; and he went down beneath them, my dear John Carter, so soon in my arms and no sooner than that, gone.

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  12. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    From my dear John Carter's journal:

    Finally a lucky cut brought down a second guardsman and then, with only two opposing me, I changed my tactics and rushed them down after the fashion of my fighting that had won me many a victory. The third fell within ten seconds after the second, and the last lay dead upon the bloody floor a few moments later. They were brave men and noble fighters, and it grieved me that I had been forced to kill them, but I would have willingly depopulated all Barsoom could I have reached the side of my Dejah Thoris in no other way.

    Sheathing my bloody blade I advanced toward my Martian Princess, who still stood mutely gazing at me without sign of recognition.

    "Who are you, Zodangan?" she whispered. "Another enemy to harass me in my misery?"

    "I am a friend," I answered, "a once cherished friend."

    "No friend of Helium's princess wears that metal," she replied, "and yet the voice! I have heard it before; it is not—it cannot be—no, for he is dead."

    "It is, though, my Princess, none other than John Carter," I said. "Do you not recognize, even through paint and strange metal, the heart of your chieftain?"

    As I came close to her she swayed toward me with outstretched hands, but as I reached to take her in my arms she drew back with a shudder and a little moan of misery.

    "Too late, too late," she grieved. "O my chieftain that was, and whom I thought dead, had you but returned one little hour before—but now it is too late, too late."

    "What do you mean, Dejah Thoris?" I cried. "That you would not have promised yourself to the Zodangan prince had you known that I lived?"

    "Think you, John Carter, that I would give my heart to you yesterday and today to another? I thought that it lay buried with your ashes in the pits of Warhoon, and so today I have promised my body to another to save my people from the curse of a victorious Zodangan army."

    "But I am not dead, my princess. I have come to claim you, and all Zodanga cannot prevent it."

    "It is too late, John Carter, my promise is given, and on Barsoom that is final. The ceremonies which follow later are but meaningless formalities. They make the fact of marriage no more certain than does the funeral cortege of a jeddak again place the seal of death upon him. I am as good as married, John Carter. No longer may you call me your princess. No longer are you my chieftain."

    "I know but little of your customs here upon Barsoom, Dejah Thoris, but I do know that I love you, and if you meant the last words you spoke to me that day as the hordes of Warhoon were charging down upon us, no other man shall ever claim you as his bride. You meant them then, my princess, and you mean them still! Say that it is true."

    "I meant them, John Carter," she whispered. "I cannot repeat them now for I have given myself to another. Ah, if you had only known our ways, my friend," she continued, half to herself, "the promise would have been yours long months ago, and you could have claimed me before all others. It might have meant the fall of Helium, but I would have given my empire for my Tharkian chief."

    Then aloud she said: "Do you remember the night when you offended me? You called me your princess without having asked my hand of me, and then you boasted that you had fought for me. You did not know, and I should not have been offended; I see that now. But there was no one to tell you what I could not, that upon Barsoom there are two kinds of women in the cities of the red men. The one they fight for that they may ask them in marriage; the other kind they fight for also, but never ask their hands. When a man has won a woman he may address her as his princess, or in any of the several terms which signify possession. You had fought for me, but had never asked me in marriage, and so when you called me your princess, you see," she faltered, "I was hurt, but even then, John Carter, I did not repulse you, as I should have done, until you made it doubly worse by taunting me with having won me through combat."

    "I do not need ask your forgiveness now, Dejah Thoris," I cried. "You must know that my fault was of ignorance of your Barsoomian customs. What I failed to do, through implicit belief that my petition would be presumptuous and unwelcome, I do now, Dejah Thoris; I ask you to be my wife, and by all the Virginian fighting blood that flows in my veins you shall be."

    "No, John Carter, it is useless," she cried, hopelessly, "I may never be yours while Sab Than lives."

    "You have sealed his death warrant, my princess—Sab Than dies."

    "Nor that either," she hastened to explain. "I may not wed the man who slays my husband, even in self-defense. It is custom. We are ruled by custom upon Barsoom. It is useless, my friend. You must bear the sorrow with me. That at least we may share in common. That, and the memory of the brief days among the Tharks. You must go now, nor ever see me again. Good-bye, my chieftain that was."
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  13. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    After Tars Tarkas had slain Sab Than.

    The sounds of heavy firing, mingled with shouts and cries, came to us from the city's streets, and Tars Tarkas hastened away to direct the fighting without. Kantos Kan accompanied him to act as guide, the green warriors commencing a thorough search of the palace for other Zodangans and for loot, and John Carter and I were left alone.

    Exhausted, I sank into and then off of one of the golden thrones, and as he turned to me, I greeted him with a tired but inviting smile.

    "Was there ever such a man!" I exclaimed. "I know that Barsoom has never before seen your like. Can it be that all Earth men are as you? Alone, a stranger, hunted, threatened, persecuted, you have done in a few short months what in all the past ages of Barsoom no man has ever done: joined together the wild hordes of the sea bottoms and brought them to fight as allies of a red Martian people."

    "The answer is easy, Dejah Thoris," he replied smiling. "It was not I who did it, it was love, love for Dejah Thoris, a power that would work greater miracles than this you have seen."

    I felt a flush overspread my face and answered,

    "You may say that now, John Carter, and I may listen, for I am free."

    "And more still I have to say, ere it is again too late," he returned. "I have done many strange things in my life, many things that wiser men would not have dared, but never in my wildest fancies have I dreamed of winning a Dejah Thoris for myself—for never had I dreamed that in all the universe dwelt such a woman as the Princess of Helium. That you are a princess does not abash me, but that you are you is enough to make me doubt my sanity as I ask you, my princess, to be mine."

    "He does not need to be abashed who so well knew the answer to his plea before the plea were made," I replied, rising and placing my hands upon his dear shoulders, and so he took me in his arms and kissed me.

    And thus in the midst of a city in wild conflict, filled with the alarms of war; with death and destruction reaping their terrible harvest around us, did I, Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, true daughter of Mars, the God of War, promise myself in marriage to John Carter, Gentleman of Virginia.


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  14. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    Three weeks later, Mors Kajak and his officers, accompanied by Tars Tarkas and Sola, returned upon a battleship that had been dispatched to Thark to fetch them in time for the ceremony which made John Carter and Dejah Thoris one.

    For nine years, John Carter served in the councils and fought in the armies of Helium as a prince of the house of Tardos Mors. The people seemed never to tire of heaping honors upon him, and no day passed that did not bring some new proof of their love for me, Dejah Thoris.

    In a golden incubator upon the roof of our palace lay a snow-white egg. For nearly five years, ten soldiers of the jeddak's Guard had constantly stood over it, and not a day passed when he was in the city that John Carter and I did not stand hand in hand before our little shrine planning for the future, when the delicate shell should break.


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  15. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    My lord! It shall not be that you shall go hence without Dejah Thoris at your side. I forbid it. I will go with you.

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  16. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    Think you, John Carter; we have been made as one. Do you then conceive that we should be parted at the dying of Barsoom? We will go to the atmosphere machine together and do together whatever can be done to save all our lives.
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  17. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    We're going now. John?
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  18. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    Clearly, John Carter, you have made a choice; an unfortunate choice. But whatever you may wish, John Carter, we are going together.

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  19. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

    You don't know how to get into the atmosphere machine? What were you planning to do when we arrived here? You were planning on helping with its repair, were you not? John Carter, a mighty warrior with sword and firearm you are, thain of Helium, but at wielding spanner or slipstick, you are as a child. Now that we are here, it is my lead, my guidance, which you must accept or we are all doomed.

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  20. Dejah Thoris

    Dejah Thoris Daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium
    Zorro

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