Tuesday, 1 November 2016

In The Name of Noxon (part 7)


Once upon a time, when pirates still littered the seas, after the officiants' ship used to come a fifth ship, but this tradition was lost in recent eras.

Ours was the last ship in the convoy,  the one most attention was directed to - when I saw a flash, from one of the city's windows, I felt the gaze of the woman behind those lenses, as I knew those were glares from telescopes and cameras.

The officiant veil had always been conceived more to show and highlight its wearer shapes, than to hide anything.

While I was there, on the open deck, the light fabric waving under the slow breeze, I felt more naked than I ever was, or would I ever feel again.

I didn't feel so exposed when I was in the middle of our town square, or while waiting in line, completely naked in SassaFrakka's medical complex, when we were thoroughly examined at the beginning of our preliminary training.

I won't feel so exposed ever again, not even at the beginning of my first rites, when I was finally stripped naked, at the top of the pyramid.

Was not for the ropes binding me, for the leash from Cezanne to me and the one that I had to keep in my hands, did not I know that my collapse would have ruined the experience for everybody, I would have run to hide in the lower deck.

But life, in the Service of Noxon, runs on camaraderie more than on anything else.

Noxon is too much of a reasonable entity, to really excite mystical deliriums, so expecting things like auto-flagellation - that the Xhristians  are so fond of - from its followers is asking a bit much.

Yet Officiants do what they have to do, every day of their life, and have to find their strength somewhere - outside mysticism.
The service runs on everybody doing her parts, because the alternative is one of her friends having to take her place, in a moment in which this friend may not be in a good enough shape to withstand the rites - it is then that, often, deaths occur.

The service run on on that, and on the fact that - more or less deeply inside us - we Officiants like it.

Even those for whom the ritualized pain didn't translate into pleasure, and there are some, love being able to do what we do.

It sets us apart from the mass of women that only have a 9 to 5 work, and maybe a couple of daughters, to justify their existences.

Because that is the real horror - not climbing the one thousand steps of a ziggurat, to then be stripped naked on its top and be tortured under the eyes of a whole city.

Not spending an afternoon in the most terrible pain known to woman, once every three months, to keep the world turning at the speed needed to support life.

Nor is it to be asked to breed the most beautiful women in the world, maybe with some of  the strongest ones, five or six times.

It is to be a push-paper, in some bureaucratic middle kingdom, scraping by to pay the rent, with a likewise second-rate wifesband that has to do the same, with lukewarm safe-sex and a mortgage to pay the para-sperm factory, when one wants to reproduce.

Day after day spent aimlessly, with the nagging sensation that one's life is useless, knowing all too well that their daughters' lives will be the same, and their daughters' daughters, and so on, till Noxon will really get bored with us,  stop correcting our planet's orbit to go back to the stars from where we came, and everything in our will finally burn a mere two thousand years after.

The young girls gasped - absolute nihilism, the greatest sin in Noxon's theology.

They did not expect Granny A., the famous Officiant, to entertain such thoughts, and shuddered, thinking about the length of the meditations that would require purging her mind from it.

Of course, Noxon does not promise any after-life, nor does it really cares about any sin one may commit in this life, apart cautioning that that's a nice way to live long and unhappy.

Whatever one does, Noxon says, just fucks up her own life - so, there is no need for any warden deity, paradises or hells.

Bad karma - the manifestation of entropy in social life - is enough  of a punishment, for the Church of Noxon.


But, when you are atop the pyramid and a city is watching you, it is a powerful feeling

And You are - I was - what stands between the world and oblivion, for that day.

Yes, if the Officiants stopped their service, the world would still go on well for a thousand years, maybe.

During the 30 years of the Agnostics rule, about two thousand years ago, the duration of days went up to 24 hours ten minutes, it was enough that the climate started to change.

For those ten minutes more, deserts swollen and then 150 years were needed to get things back in order, 150 years of double rites.

Maybe life is really meaningless but, if it is not, if in some hidden corner of the world, in some mysterious shard of the great torture machine that we call society there is something that justifies its enormous pain in the ass, then - when you climb the steps - you are not meaningless either.

You are the one that keeps the world turning that day.

And there is not much more a person can ask.

The girls relaxed - this was the Granny that they loved: more than a bit fanatical about her job, whichever may it be, was it being a not-too-much glorified sexual doll of an alien 'god', a behind-the-curtains political chess-master, or the pillar of their extended family.


Of course, when you are virtually naked, in an organza dress in the middle of a morning breeze, on a wooden of a ship that is going to a place almost as old as the history of humanity on our world, this kind of thoughts are the very last thing in your mind.

In reality, I didn't see things this way till I turned 40, and my twenty years were nearing their end.

It is the human nature, to really comprehend what one has only when she is forced to let it go.

But, if any of you try to enter the service, if she manages to get up there, she will be one who keeps the world turning, that day.

One day, our species may find a way to compensate the huge tidal effects of a planet so deep inside its tiny star's gravity well like ours, all by itself.

Caving in to Noxon's moronic whims won't be necessary, and the Officiants' long service will may finally end.

But, until that day, when one climbs those stupidly tall, steep steps, she is doing it to  keep the world turning.

- "Granny, please, skip this sentimental junk. You were reaching the great Ziggurat of Fraglbar, over a ceremonial boat, Remember?"-- Emily interrupted, as blunt as ever.

Granny A. slid over the implicit accusation of senility - though it was far from a novelty, she still darted a cold stare at her great-great-granddaughter - before going back to the tale.

However, if Emily continued like this, Granny A. would really pull some strings to get her into the Officiants and then up to Snowhole, the northernmost Ziggurat, the last created, the only one that has no great city nearby... a place not so affectionately known as "Boredom Hell". 


Yes - in those days, diesel engines had already replaced rowers as the ships' means of locomotion - cheaper to maintain, and quieter, though still noisier than the electric motors that replaced them about ten years ago.

The engines purred just above their idle speed,  fairly over-sized if compared with the ship effective needs. .

It is strange, the rhythm of the waves, the gentle hum of the engines, the little words exchanged on the deck, at a given point I stopped caring for the peeping inhabitants of the towers.

 I slid inside a place in my mind, that I did not know was there, where all the small and great nuisances that I was withstanding disappeared, fading in the background.

 I focused only on the leash from Cezanne's hands to me, on following her, through the disembarkation procedures. Then we reached the base of the pyramid, and I dared not looking up.

I  Knew that, if I saw it and its 160 meters tall bulk, I could hardly start the climb.

I just followed Cezanne - or, rather, her slightly swinging ass - up the stairs. .

Fraglbar's path is not 1000 steps - the collapse of the shoreline it was built upon took away about 18 meters of the original base, or about one hundred steps., leaving, in all, 888 steps to climb (I think that the architects of the post-Earthquake restoration fiddled with the height of the Ritual Pier and with some of the steps, to get it to another, though not round, significant number).

It is odd, how much harder it becomes to climb a staircase when your hands are tied behind your back, which I thought was the reason why we climbed slower than I would have liked - in reality, the walk speed is drilled in each Officiant, like a musician learning to keep her tempo, and for very similar reasons.

The rites are a spectacle, after all, done for a God that do actually review it, every now and then!

The girls in the great hall gasped, and Emily took it as an invitation to make one of her impertinent questions - spoken with an irreverent tone, too:

- "Review?"

Granny A darted the little punk, while the vision of a Ziggurat in the middle of Antarctica's Greater Plain pleasantly replaced that of the tyke's smirk - "Of course... they draw the dices, afterward, and the Rites session get a punctuation, 2 to 12  - or, to get rid of that offset, 0 - 10" - Granny made a Pause, thinking whether adding yet another Service "secret" - "Every three years, we are re-presented to the God, and dices are then drawn, to see what it thinks of each of us, whether on our body, our commitment to the rites, our sex-appeal... a whole set of categories. Very rarely, after these evaluations come in, an Officiant is forced to leave the service prematurely."

- "It seems to me that Xhristian's master, that never make his will known, is a far better deity than Noxon" - Emily, smirking again... Boredom Hell will be her destiny

- "Maybe. The few times I saw it happens, it was for women  who had developed resistance to the Black Oleum, so that they could not climb The Walk without accumulating definitive damages any more, and yet refused to leave the service. The 'god' asked that they were relieved and dismissed from the service, with full honors. The Xhristian's God never stopped any of them from killing herself in one of their publicity stunts, did it?"

- "No, but..."

Granny A lose her patience, and waved the young girl to silence, getting back to her tale


We started climbing the pyramid - the first time, it is the hardest, mostly because you do not expect it and, also, because the training is never really enough, if you do not spend time actually climbing and downing THOSE stairs. Also, the rhythm of The Walk is thought more as a way to induce the Officiant into an altered state of mind, together with the drum beats from the colleagues on the side of the pathway, than as an efficient rhythm to climb a very long staircase

When we finally reached the square right below the top one, my legs were full of lactic acid, and cramps were imminent - and I was not the only one.

Each of us novices was in that condition, apart the little Black Guard who, probably, could have gone down running, and come back a couple of times - I kind of hated her, seeing how relaxed she was. 

Cezanne left the leash in the hands of one of the priestesses, and went over, climbing the last set of steps, going up to the smaller terrace where the proper rites are conducted.

The priestess took us in hand, and driven us so that we were aligned in front of the smaller terrace wall, and thee other priestesses joined her, to free us of our bindings.

We turned facing toward the Equator, where them 'god' is said to be, and undressed ourselves, looking to the gulf and the great ocean beyond it.

I suppose that, behind our back, the flashes were more than ever, but I could not see them, and I didn't really care.

The top of the Fraglbar pyramid has one of the most beautiful sights in the world, with the gulf a small inner sea and yet, at the horizon, the mountain of the Corinthian Ism break the continuity of the skyline, and the Kirimanjo's glacier is a white spot in the middle of brown, green and blue.

I think that the same sensation of peace came over all of  us, as we recited the Pledge Of Service,

Then the two younger priestesses started applying the piercing clamps - one to each nipple, and one t the clitoris' hood.

They hurt but, soon, the clamped parts went numb.

We  heard some whirring rumors, behind us, as electric winches raised four stones from the floor, to become the beds on which we would be consecrated.

The priestesses accompanied us, as we walked backward - without turning our faces away from the 'god' - till the stone slabs.

These were raised only about a foot and a half, so  that we could lower ourselves on them and sit on their edges, with the minimum of movements.

Then, the winches came back to life again, and raised the stones up, leaving our feet dangling in the void.
At the first stop, the senior priestesses arrived with the piercing needles, and proceeded to apply the Symbols of the Officiant, three solid gold rings.

Nothing in my life prepared me for the sensation of the gauge 10 needle that went through my nipples,  thought the clamps had really numbed the area. It wasn't the as much the pain, which was really quite moderate, it was the sensation of the sound that it made, sliding inside my skin and through my flesh.   

I I hadn't already been sitting on the stone, my legs would likely have ceded at that.

A few moments later, when the old woman - a lot younger than me now, of course - used a gauge 8, horizontally under my clitorides, it was worse but not unexpected any more.

These were not the "real" rings - those would arrive only after the wounds would have cicatrized properly.

These rings didn't have, for example, the engraving "Noxon owns me" on their side, and they had a simple friction hold, so that they could be opened regularly, to clean them and take care of the healing process.

The gold was only a thick plating over a lighter, brass metal.
The real ones would be heavier, real gold, and have a one-time-only internal spring lock - once in place. the only ways to take them out would be using a saw, or a scalpel on the flesh.

Or, just, yanking them out with brute force.

A frisson of horror ran across Granny A's public, at the thought of such a barbaric act - Granny A, that had been a recipient of this four times, knew better: in its grandguignolesque way, it was fun.


The temporary ring in place, the priestesses make us distend , and raise our feet on the stones , leaving our intimate parts well exposed, near the edge.

An assistant made a round, passing a tube of lubricant to each of them, who used it profusely on the glove of her non-dominant hand.

They started fingering us, one finger, two fingers at a time - slowly, calmly, while they used their other hand to caress and relax us.

I came, then the priestess that was serving me stuck a third finger inside, and continued to manipulate my body till I came again, and again, and then she added the little finger, and continued.

Once every few minutes, she used the dominant hand to reach the lubricant can, and renew its layer on the hand that was violating me.

They continued it for one hour, then four other priestesses took their place.
After another hour, the new priestess could slid her hand palm inside me, to the point that she could use the middle of her thumb to rub on my clitoris, when she was well in.

Then, the fist priestesses re-took place, and continued for some minutes, till they decided to add the thumb inside our cunts... and I passed out, which meant the end of my first consecration.

I was not the first, to fall unconscious, nor the last - the little black guard continued to hold her ground, to the point where the full hand of her priestess could easily slid in and was replaced by a first ritual dildo and then by a second, bigger one - at which point she was allowed to rest, the second dildo firmly assured to her hips by a strap-in harness, for the rest of the day, 

When we were finally awoke, after sundown, the priestesses helped us to the elevators inside the pyramid.

None of us was really able to walk on her own - the black guard, also because the priestesses had left  her in the strap-in, with the second, enormous dildo well stuck in its rightful place... maybe to drive home the point that it doesn't matter which are the limits of an Officiant, only that she is willing and eager to reach them for the sake of Noxon's pleasure. 

From that point on, we truly became Officiants and, as such, our training would go beyond sheer physical conditioning like running and yoga, to include pre-torture specific exercises.

In some moments, I would feel that I was going to die but, in reality, it was the best period of my life. 

- "Being tortured daily? Really, Granny? The best period of your life?" - Sarah, Emily's sister, was skeptical.

- "I was a masochist, dear - that's what made me thrive... and so will you."

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