A/N: Not much to say other than to keep in mind the time period and the fact that people didn't live long during that time.

1595 BC, 500 miles north of Babylon

Ropes bit into my bound wrists as the oxcart lurched into motion, pulling me to walk behind it with some twenty other people of my city, Babylon. The eastern horizon glowed pink with the rising sun, signaling yet another day of walking towards an unknown future, death for most, definite slavery for those who would survive this impossible trek. Mounted soldiers galloped here and there, shouting orders, occasionally cutting a prisoner free only to end their life with a flash of steel, there was no pity for the weak. Just yesterday, a girl walking beside me of no more than twelve springs had been one such victim. Early pregnancy sickness had weakened her, I had no such worries of a similar instance, even at fifteen springs, I had refused to bed my husband, whose blood still stained my long white tunic, belted at the waist.

Looking around me, I noticed how fewer oxcarts had prisoners tied to them; so many had already died in the two weeks of travel we'd already undergone. The Hittites had raided Babylon in the late hours of the night, stealing, laying torch to the city and taking prisoner any able bodied person, I among them. Unlike so many other of my people, I knew what awaited us in two weeks, I understood the tongue of the invading soldiers from growing up on a small border town, not far from where we were now. No one on either side knew that I was bilingual, and I didn't plan on making that fact known. Faking ignorance was better than inviting the blade of an interrogator.

That was how I spent the days of my four-week trek to the Hittite Kingdom, watching the number of prisoners dwindle from uncountable to sixty- three and wondering exactly what lay ahead of me. My arrival in the large city of Katna was an event that I'll never forget. The city itself was far less populous than Babylon, but much more condensed and obviously more advanced. Residents, young and old alike, crowded from the square stone buildings to stare at the arriving prisoners stumbling on the paved streets, still surrounded by soldiers. I remember looking into their greedy faces as they talked excitedly over which of us would make the best laborers and servants. They would never know what it was like, treated as a trophy. The only consolation? Three years of forced labor and I'd be free.

After we were all cleaned, given proper food, and reasonably clothed, we waited our turns to be sold as slaves. The auctioneering was taking place on an empty ox cart where one frightened prisoner after another was led up and bid upon. Before I knew it, it was my turn. Stepping up onto the wagon, I kept a straight face, even though I was terrified of what the gods were about to decide. Most of all, excitement ran through me; who would buy me? Would they be kind or cruel? A farmer or an artisan? Would they own other slaves? Because of my fretting, I would never know what my price was as an older man sliced the rope bonds on my wrists, the action that claimed me as his property.

As I was led away, I knew that a new phase of my life was beginning; I would never be able to go back to all that I once knew.
Historical Note: Yes, I'm guilty, I altered history for my own convenience, Katna is (was) a real city and I kept it in its original geographic location. But I did alter the southeastern boundary of the Hittite Empire by about 2000 miles. So except for that, everything is historically accurate to the best of my knowledge.

A/N: Thanks much for taking the time to read! I really do want to know what readers honestly think, flame me if you must. Just be warned that I have no mercy for flamers. Give me any two reviews/comments and I'll give you a second chapter.