Tel was in a shuttle with fellow Sarkan Wub Vevris and other travelers. Both Sarkans believed that non-Sarkans where stinking barbarians, and disliked the company of others. The shuttle was captured by slavers, probably under the orders of slaver ringleader Phylus Mon. Both Tel and Vevris were captured, while the other travelers were apparently left unharmed.
The Sarkans, resentful of the situation, were sent to Phylus Mon's slave zoo onboard the Animiasma. They were eager to trade gems for their freedom – none of them believed in the Galactic Credit Standard. Nevertheless, they tried to retain their composure while doing so, "like any self-respecting being should do."
Phylus Mon surgically inserted an explosive near the heart of each of his slaves. The explosive would be activated in the case of Phylus Mon's death, but it could also be deactivated with the impact of an ion weapon. All the slaves in Phylus Mon's zoo were also regularly battered.