“They're coming.” The cry created a stampede. Not of people anxious to buy things, but to sell them.
“Serafina, come here.” Her mother's voice was full of irritation.
“No. You're not selling me.” Serafina tried to get past her mother, but a thin hand caught her wrist in an iron grip.
“You're the last one holding your father and me back. You eat too much and you don't do your share of the work,” her mother said.
“I do more of the work than you do,” Serafina said, struggling. “I won't let you sell me. I'm not going to be a slave.”
“You're not a slave, Serafina. You're an indent. That means you can pay off your purchase price eventually.” Her mother held tight to her as they waited for the indent transports to pull up.
“No I won't. No one ever does.” Serafina stopped struggling, but her mother didn't let go.
“Who told you that?” her mother asked.
“Dad did. His parents sold his sister. She should have been freed already. She's still working at for them.” Serafina gathered her strength and waited.
The transports opened up and the indent accquisition teams spread out. They collected some adults who were guilty of not paying back their debts. Their cildren were taken along with them to minimize the strain on the already overworked child relocation services. It took some time, but they finally got to Serafina and her mother.
“Name of the child?” The man looked bored.
“Reason for the indenturement?”
“She's too expensive for us to keep.”
“Does she have any skills?”
“How should I know? She's on the Net most of the day. I don't know what she does on there. I do know she at least manages to help keep the apartment clean.”
The man tapped in the last details. “We'll pay fifteen hundred credits for her.”
“I'll take it.” Serafina's mother let go of her arm.
Before the man could grab her, Serafina was off at a dead run away from them. She was tall for her age, but was skinny and agile. She could hear her mother yell after her but quickly outpaced her voice.