I recalled hearing now, in the house, of "capture rights," respected in law. I had originally thought these rights referred to the acquisition of free women but I had later realized they must pertain, more generally, to the acquisition of properties in general, including slaves. I had not thought much about such things, in a real, or practical, sense, until now, now that I was outside of the house. I tried to recall my lessons. Theft, or capture, if you prefer, conferred rights over me. I would belong to, and must fully serve, anyone into whose effective possession I came, even if it had been by theft. The original master, of course, has the right to try to recover his property, which remains technically his for a period of one week. If I were to flee the thief, however, after he has consolidated his hold on me, for example, kept me for even a night, I could, actually in Gorean law, be counted as a runaway slave, from him, even though he did not technically own me yet, and punished accordingly. Analogies are that it is not permitted to animals to challenge the tethers on their necks, or flee the posts within which they find themselves penned, that money must retain its value, and buying power, regardless of who has it in hand, and so on. Strictures of this sort, of course, do not apply to free persons, such as free women. A free woman is entitled to try to escape a captor as best she can, and without penalty, even after her first night in his bonds, if she still chooses to do so. If she is enslaved, of course, then she is subject to, and covered by, the same customs, practices and laws as any other slave. The point of these statutes, it seems, is to keep the slave in perfect custody, at all times, and to encourage boldness on the part of males. After the slave has been in the possession of the thief, or captor, for one week she counts as being legally his. To be sure, the original master may attempt to steal her back.
-Dancer of Gor