Forty naked women were being paraded through the streets of Donopolis, capital of Sythia. Once they had been the all-powerful, overseers aboard the Barbarian vessels. Now they were under the lash themselves, herded along by whip-wielding Sythian guards. In their ears rang the laughter, the jeers, the contumely of the citizens who had gathered to see their downfall and their shame.
Many of the women were weeping but some still kept their head high as they stumbled over the uneven cobblestones. Among the latter was Lady Livia ... even though her ample buttocks were striped with a dozen or more heavy weals. She was determined not to give this Sythian mob the satisfaction of seeing her break. Captive she might be ... humiliated... but she was not going to show it. She walked at the head of the naked herd, big breasts swinging, thick black hair falling to her shoulders. The dark V which surmounted her strong thighs was prominent. As a slave, she would soon be losing that.
They entered the main square where a worse ordeal awaited them. The square was filled with roaring, howling ex-slaves of Barbaria who, if they had not been held back by Sythian guards, would have leapt upon the women and torn them to pieces. Not surprisingly, in view of what they had suffered at their hands!
ﾓFlog them... flog them... flog them...ﾔ The chanting rose up. And then the garbage, the rotten fruit, the bad eggs began to be thrown. Soon the women were bespattered from head to foot in filth.
Lady Livia received an over-ripe melon full in her face. It dripped. down over her breasts as she tried to remove the sticky pulp. But she got another. And another. It was difficult to hold oneﾒs head high under such circumstances! To tell oneself one is still a Lady!
ﾓFlog them... flog them... flog them... ﾓ Twice round the square they went, their ears ringing with the derision and obscenities also hurled at them. Oh what those men would have done to them if they could have got their hands on them! It was, indeed, a terrifying experience.
Then they were led from the square and taken to the harbour. Here they were thrown into the dock, in order to cleanse off some of the filth they had accumulated. Finally they were taken out to one of the vessels and there chained to the oars. Two to an oar, ten oars each side.
In due time, Princess Venetia appeared, e****ted by some of her Ladies-in-Waiting... and accompanied by two huge, muscular guards, each armed with the kind of whip the women had been wont to use so frequently themselves. There were moans and whimpers; shudders of dread. This was the end of the line... and they all knew it. The descent into Hell was now beginning.
ﾓWell, ladies,ﾔ said Princess Venetia, smiling around as if she were at some social function, ﾓyou are now going to learn what being a slave - a galley-slave - is like!ﾔ
The two overseers moved on to the cat-walk and took up station, one at each end.
White backs and breasts awaited them; soft pampered flesh was ready for striping.
ﾓStroke rate to be 20!ﾔ came a bellowing voice. ﾓTake the strain!ﾔ
Forty backs moved forward, forty pairs of arms stretched out. Backs and arms unused to toil.
There was a kind of communal sobbing-groan as the first drum-beat came. Rather raggedly, the oars swept through the water and the vessel began to move.
Princess Venetia settled herself. This was a moment of triumph. The fall of Barbaria. At least, its beginning. In the front rank, on the first oar, Lady Helen and Lady Livia had been chained. Deliberately so, in view of their once exalted status. The Princess was looking forward to seeing their sweating, back-breaking ordeal at close quarters.
The torment and the degradation which she knew they had planned for her, would be theirs!
So was it not a fate both richly deserved?
It would not, I knew, be any use to plead with those two young Sythian s****rs after what I had done to them. Yet, such was the stark terror which filled me, I could not check my babbling words.
With cold contempt in their eyes, they stood before me. Now they were clothed and it was I who was naked. Mara had a whip in her hand - like the one I had used on them both - Deema had a dagger-like knife.
ﾓM-Mercy... mercy... I... w-was only o-obeying orders... a... a... soldier doing his d-duty...ﾔ
The contempt in their eyes increased. ﾓShall we gag him?ﾔ asked Mara, the elder s****r.
ﾓNo... I want to hear his screams...ﾔ
I began to panic, tugging at the chains holding me to the wall. A futile exercise. Oh in the name of the gods, what were they going to do with that knife? Mara enlightened me.
ﾓDo you know what we are going to do to you, Barbarian pig?ﾔ I shook my head, my terror increasing moment by moment. ﾓFirst we are going to whip you within an inch of your life. Then we are going to cut off that revolting cock and stuff it in your mouth!ﾔ
I heard myself screaming in horror, babbling out hysterically, struggling wildly. Oh they couldnﾒt do that! They couldnﾒt...
ﾓYour lips will be sewn up,ﾔ Deema was now saying, ﾓso that you can choke to death on your own filth. It is to be hoped that that will take quite some time...ﾔ
ﾓN-NOO... NO... OOOOOOO... NOT THAT... NO... OOOOOO!ﾔ I was beside myself with hideous terror. What man, however brave, would not have been at the imminent prospect of castration? At that moment the whipping did not concern me. It was the aftermath. A fate worse than the death itself which would follow!
ﾓH-HAVE PITY... I... OOOH... I DIDNﾒT REALLY M-MEAN... I HAD TO... THEY M-MADE ME DO S-SUCH TH-THINGS... ﾓ
What does manly pride matter in such moments? Not one iota. I knew I would have done anything... anything... if only I could escape that slicing knife. Oh, if only they would plunge it into my heart at that very moment!
ﾓShall I begin with the whip?ﾔ asked Mara.
ﾓIf you like,ﾔ replied Deema.
Self-pity overwhelmed me; I broke down into sobs.
ﾓWhat a man,ﾔ sneered Mara.
ﾓWell, he wonﾒt be one much longer,ﾔ giggled her younger s****r.
A sickness rose up within me; my whole body was wet with sweat. A sweat of dread.
Then, by using pulleys, they manoeuvred me so that I was hanging inverted from a beam above, my legs splayed. My utter, helpless vulnerability was a shrieking horror within me.
ﾓNow, you bastard... suffer!ﾔ
The whipping began. Stroke after stroke across my thighs, my buttocks, my back... agonising strokes that had me bellowing like a bull, swinging back and forth, upside down, as if I were a rag-doll.
At some point, Deema took over and the flogging continued. I fainted the first time when the girl laid the whip precisely into the V of my thighs. Across my manhood. The agony was brief, but indescribable. When I revived, the whipping was resumed, whether by Mara or Deema, I know not.
They were killing me!
I would die!
Yet I could not die...
Several more times yet, I fainted. Oh why could I not die? Oh what a merciful release that would have been! In the end, while I hung half senseless, the strokes fell more like blows from an iron bar than a leathern whip.
Then, at long last, it must have been over. But it was difficult to tell, such was the pounding - throbbing agony everywhere in my body. But then I knew it was over ... for I was aware of Deema picking up the knife. And, from my inverted position, I saw her approaching, her eyes shining with wicked glee.
My whole being was screeching out in ultimate terror.
I also was screeching - vomiting, too - as I awaited the slash of thin, cold steel...
Flavia was weeping.
Nothing unusual, it was a regular occurrence. The reason on this occasion was that her Mistress, Princess Alexena, had replaced the slim chains which ran from her nose-ring to her nipple rings, thus forcing Flavia to keep her head permanently bowed.
Simply that the ruler of Barbaria thought she had detected just the faintest lack of respect (not quite amounting to arrogance!) in a look which the girl had given her upon being ordered to thrust a dildo up herself.
However, that dildo was now well in place and Flavia was being used, yet again, as a footstool by her Mistress. Little wonder there were tears as, prostrate on the marble floor, Flavia had to listen to the idle chit-chat of Princess Alexenaﾒs ladies-in-waiting. A little soiree was being given. Doubtless those young Barbarian ladies found the spectacle of Flaviaﾒs degradation quite titillating.
ﾓWe should shortly have a considerable influx of slaves,ﾔ announced Princess Alexena. ﾓCaptain Varian will be returning soon from Sythia. Loaded to the gunwales with flesh, I trust!ﾔ
There was laughter and clapping from the young ladies grouped around. Perhaps her Highness might allocate them a male slave or two. ﾓHave you no news yet, Highness?ﾔ asked one.
Princess Alexena shook her head. ﾓNot yet,ﾔ she replied. ﾓIt is expected daily. Hourly, indeed. The voyage must have been longer than anticipated.ﾔ
ﾓYes... it would seem so. But there is no danger...ﾔ
ﾓThere is always danger,ﾔ said Princess Alexena. She thought, with sudden rage, of this distant, unknown woman who was causing her to expend so much nervous energy. Indeed, one might say, to worry. It was something which had never happened to the ruler of Barbaria before and she vowed, in that moment, she would make this woman suffer beyond all normal, human imagining.
She ground her teeth as she contemplated that.
Her eyes were fiery.
The ladies-in-waiting around sat silent; a little frightened at the look upon the face of their Princess.
Flavia had the sharp heel of a sandal driven agonisingly into one buttock cheek. She screamed hoarsely... and the heel was driven into the other cheek.
It was, after all, essential for Princess Alexena to have some means of relieving the tensions within herself.
Flavia tried to stifle her sobs. If she did not, she knew she could quite easily be whipped. It would pass as a little afternoon entertainment for these idle ladies-in-waiting,
Yet the pain of those heels!
And for what?
Wretchedly - as she often did - Flavia thought of her former life in her beloved, gentle homeland. Where people were kind and considerate. Even to slaves!
This Barbaria was a monstrosity. From which there was no escape.
At least, from which, to Flavia, there seemed no escape.
Little did that enchanting young woman know that, at that very moment, the Barbarian fleet - now under Sythian commanders - was setting out from Donopolis. Heading towards Barbaria. Intent on the elimination of this State which had arrogantly assumed it was all-powerful in the known world.
Shortly, there was to be a reckoning.
But, as yet, feeling the sole of Princess Alexenaﾒs sandal grinding into her neck, young Flavia was not aware of it.
Every night, as I lay exhausted on my plank-bed after more training in the galleys, I was in mortal dread that the door wouldﾷbe opened and I would be dragged off for the amusement of the vile Princess Alexena. As yet, it had not happened. Perhaps others were suffering as I had done.
For I could not rid my mind of that terrible night when poor Lady Flavia had been literally harnessed to that inhuman womanﾒs body... and f***ed to service her with her tongue without cessation.
Whilst slaves were whipped to death.
Whilst I was birched mercilessly. Till I thought I must go out of my mind. Birched senseless. Then revived. Again and again. All purely for that womanﾒs amusement.
Princess Alexena, I was aware, was a monstrously perverted creature. She should not be permitted to exist. Yet she did, And, it seemed, she would continue to do so. Certainly, there was nothing I could do about it! How could the gods permit such a horror to continue in existence? It made one lose faith in them.
The day had been a fairly easy one. Or, perhaps, it was that, I was become more acclimatised to the hideous, grinding toil of the galleys. Pulling and pulling on the oars. Feeling oneﾒs sinews and muscles at full stretch. Gasping with effort. Wet with swear. Yet going on and on. In terror of the lashing rod the overseer wielded.
In even greater terror of being hauled out, put over the block, and savagely thrashed before all. As I had once been. I think, despite all else that had happened to me, I shall remember that until my dying day!
Rumour had it that soon we would be fit to serve in the Royal Barge. To sweat and strain for the Princess herself. Oh what an honour! And I trembled deep inside in the knowledge that, in the Royal Barge, the overseer did not use a rod but a rawhide whip. My flesh crawled. I felt sick with hopeless dread.
Oh how could I endure such a terrible existence?
Then the bolt in my cell door was drawn back. The key in the lock turned. Terror flooded me. The hairs on the nape of my neck rose.
Not, oh surely not, to be used as a toy for the amusement of the Princess again!
To my shocked surprise, I saw my galley overseer leering down at me. Behind him the cell door closed and was locked again. If I had felt sick before, I felt even sicker now!
ﾓHallo, pretty one... having a rest,ﾔ he slurred. Quite obviously he was d***k. ﾓReckon you deserve it...ﾔ
I cringed back against the wall. Yet I knew I was helpless. If I resisted, I would simply be flogged. And actually give him greater pleasure as well. There was no escape. I must submit to his b********y. As I had done often enough with others before.
His brief loin-cloth fell away.
ﾓThere...ﾔ he said almost proudly. The organ was flaccid, rather shrivelled. It revolted me. ﾓWhat dﾒye think of that?ﾔ
I made no answer... and he lurched forward and slapped my face viciously.
ﾓAnswer, slave!ﾔ he bellowed, burping at the same time.
ﾓM-Master... I beg you...ﾔ
My hair was being seized. He was sinking down on me. The smell of him added to my nausea.
ﾓR-Reckon... a little... sucking... wonﾒt do him... no harm... ﾓ he slobbered, hands mauling me brutally. ﾓGet to work, slave...ﾔ
I had to do it... however I felt.
Even if I vomited whilst I did it, I still had to do it.
My head went down... and I prayed that some thunderbolt would strike me into oblivion. But it did not.
The overseerﾒs obscene piece of male flesh remained to be dealt with ﾅ
Princess Alexena was pensive.
Very pensive. And irritable.
The delay was too long. Her imagination had begun to work overtime on what various disasters could have overtaken Captain Varian. Perhaps the man is too old for his job, she thought. Perhaps I should appoint a younger man, even if he were less experienced.
That handsome Lieutenant Skiro looked a man who was ripe for promotion . She would have to come to a decision soon. Meanwhile, there was all this nerve-racking delay.
Soon she would have to calm her nerves again.
To whip some more slaves.
Always very calming that. Whether they be male or female. Soon this tension would be over.
Soon she would be able to truly relax again.
Meanwhile, Princess Alexena could only wait.
And wait... And wait...
If she had only known it, she would have preferred to have waited for ever. Waited for ever for the return of the Barbarian fleet... now under the control of the Sythians.
But Princess Alexena knew nothing of that.
But, very soon, she would.
Meanwhile, several hundred miles away, the bows of the fleet creamed the cerulean sea as they headed west. Headed back to Barbaria .
And the ultimate conquest.
End of Act 2.