Wednesday, August 31, 2011

546 - That Lung-burning, Brain-rotting, Soul-Enslaving Stuff?

Jitzmitthra... is the strangest time of year in Arko,” I said.  “Of course I’d be born in the middle of it.  They’re arguing in Assembly whether I exist or not, having been born on a day that technically doesn’t exist.”

Sukala got this extremely quizzical look on her face, came over, poked me in the arm.  “Chalk.  You exist.  Case closed.”

I had to laugh. “That’s the argument my grandfather made... and many other sensible people.  It’s just those who didn’t like that their candidate lost the election.”

“You mean people could actually contend that you don’t exist... and be taken seriously?” she said, astonished.

“Not seriously.  But it’s taken up some Assembly time.”

“That’s seriously!”

“Arko,” said Reknarja, “is a very strange place.”  Klaimera turned her hand up in a graceful, priestessly chalk sign.

Kallijas shrugged.  “We’re still getting the hang of what to argue about.  It’s all new to us.  It needs work.”

“Some idiot Aitzas woke up one morning and thought ‘Hey I could argue this and they’d have to listen to me!’”  I shrugged as well.

“Well, I hope it gets laughed out of Assembly fast, as it should.  So you were saying, Kall, about the ritual?” Sukala prompted.  She’s unpurified… no, that’s my oldest training trying to rear its ugly head. I don’t want to even THINK about how to ask Ky if she’s been eased by a Haian, since everything I’d ever read about purification… illicit as it was… had just horrified me. Besides, all women in Arko are now unpurified, unless she wants it, under anaesthetic, at third threshold, since Chevenga reformed it.

“So, as I said, the Imperator and Imperatrix are expected to ah, perform, this way during Diem Carnal Licentiousness.”  Kall managed to say this only going a little red.  Is he thinking ‘thank the Ten, as Regent and a short Regency at that, I won’t be required to try and come – on Presentation Platform -- on the stroke of mid-day’?  “It’s considered most propitious if the Imperator and Imperatrix manage to – ah – ah –“  He choked up.

I managed to open my mouth, though I had to cough like Ailadas.  “Ahem.  Strike at the same time – so to speak.”

“No… um… pressure, truly.” Reknarja has one of the lap robes over his lap, red, short of breath, a light dew of sweat on his face, even though it wasn’t all that warm in here.

“My father didn’t have an Imperatrix… he used his favourite boy concubine,” I said.  Curiously, it just seemed to not make things any easier for the Crown Prince.

Klaimera had her eyes closed as we described, no doubt picturing it.  She was breathing quickly as well. Even Kall was… affected and I… well, Surya and Tanifas and my… my lovers… had helped me be easier about my reactions.  Now that I wasn’t jumping from fear to shame my own not-so-vile organs were… well, tight, for lack of better description and I couldn’t help but think of myself and Kyriala in that position.  Oh.  My.  Ten.  If I… when I asked her… she and I… WOULD be in that position.  I wasn’t sure if I should be lust filled or terrified or both.

“Could I... offer up my Arkanherb pipe?”  I needed to get my mind off that till later… till I was private.  My… imagination and my hands had some… some… ‘fixing’ to do.  I had my pipe and some herb in the pocket of my tunic, where I always carried it.  I pulled it out and checked to make sure it was clean.

“I decline, thank you, Minis,” Kallijas said, same as always.

“What, that lung-burning, brain-rotting, soul-enslaving stuff that I have heard so much about?” Reknarja sniffed.

“I always wanted to try it,” Klaimera said.  “Certainly, Minis.”

“I’ll try a bit,” Reknarja said, half-grudgingly.  I looked between Rek and Klaimera and hid a smile.

“This is not the street mold, I promise,” I said.  “I just brought the Imperial strain.”

“I will try anything,” said Sukala.  I found myself completely believing her.

I packed the pipe, put my thumb over the hole and lit it with a splinter, drawing the sweet, spicy smoke into my lungs.  “Virani-e and I have smoked some together,” I said.  “With my Dyer friends.  And my grandfather has smoked with Virani-e as well.”

I showed Sukala how to build up the smoke in the clear glass pipe and then release the hole to draw in the whole thing.  She coughed a lot at first, then caught the trick of it and let out a plume of smoke like an ancient old dragon in her cave and said, ‘Oh, that’s nice’.

Reknarja drew in a lung full, started coughing.  In a while, he started giggling, then flopped backwards onto the pillows behind him and kicked his legs in the air.  Everyone laughed hard enough that we ended up flopped on Sukala’s pillows, like a lot of weed-whacked Dyers, giggling.  Except for Sukala.  She joined in the laughter but didn’t fall over, sitting like a smiling, ancient angel, cross-legged and solid.

“The tradition is that the pipe is passed to the left,” I said, so it went around a few more times before I tapped it out on the hearth.  It was nice to contribute to the general feeling of togetherness, a bit like all us Dyers together.

“It was I who taught him that,” Klaimera said, her eyes full of a very pleasurable memory.

“Taught who which?” said Reknarja, then suddenly found the words extremely funny and exploded into giggles.

“J’vengka.  That he liked to be... secured.  We were speaking... oh, that was a while ago, wasn’t it?”

“It can be now again,” Sukala said eagerly.  “Secured, hmm?”

“To the bed,” the Lakan princess said breathily.  “With silken cords.  No one had ever done that to him before... either because Yeolis don’t--”

“Oh yes they do,” Reknarja breathed.  I threw a sideways peek at him and tried to keep from giggling.  He certainly had some interesting memories and not just of Chevenga, I could tell.

“Or maybe no one dared, then, because of who he was.  Or he was so young.  He was only seventeen.”

“Ahh, sweet youth,” the ancient woman sighed.

“You had nerve, to use silken cords,” Reknarja said.  “I just pinned him with my hands.”

“How do you restrain him, Kalicha?” Sukala said smiling.  I think she said it just to make him blush.  It worked spectacularly.

“I’m very pleased to have indulged in none of that plant-smoke,” Kall said, down his nose, “and so not lost the restraint... I mean, the discretion, to say that how I restrain She-- Firani-e is none of your business.”

“Meaning you do do it,” Sukala said with a wolfish grin.  “Heh... what a thing to imagine.”  She stared off into space for a bit, her grin staying wolfish, until Kall threw a pillow at her.  She deftly caught it and tucked it under herself, in one smooth move--who’d have thought such an old woman could move like that?--and said, “Thank you, my lad, for thinking of my poor brittle old bones.” Kallijas snorted.

It was so odd, thinking of her as a warrior once, as an asa kraiya... until she did something like that, with that unearthly smoothness.  Shouldn’t she at least be stiff, at her age?  And... well, she certainly wasn’t decorous.  My mother... oh my, why did I have the urge to introduce them?  That could be... odd. It must be the Arkanherb doing my thinking for me.

“Sukala, would you ever consider flying over to Arko to visit us?”  It’s the herb.  It must be.

“Well!” she said.  “I’ve been waiting for an invitation to the Marble Palace by wing...  I think Chevenga thought I belonged here, for some reason.  And everyone else thinks I’m too old to fly...  I’d have to get someone to watch the animals, but I’m sure someone would.”

“There are a lot of people I’d like you to meet and things I’d love to show you.”  She’d probably love the Dyer bunch.  She looked like one.

“Well, all right then!  It shall be my pleasure.  I’ve never been to any part of the Empire of Arko at all.”


  1. Whole damn thing = GLEE!!!!

    Maybe its the Arkenherb, but I could SEE her catch that pillow!

    Loved Street Mold vs Imperial Strain. (I hear that stuff's the BOMB!)

    Why do I think Sukala is going to terrify the shit out of whoever is flying her? And why do I keep seeing her in a Yoda costume? (Chalk! Exist you do! Closed, case must be! Yeeass!)

    ...Okay, that's definitely the Arkenherb.

    I like when Minis realizes that someday, he and Ky will be out there, in Presentation Square. Both. Definitely both. I assume Ky must realize it too, or is she to sheltered? Also, I love Minis's squeemishness over how to ask Ky if she's been "eased". Is HE in for a happy surprise!

    Whistful speculation: I think Kall is more the "overcome him physically and pin him down" type. He'd consider use of restraints an unfair advantage.

    Niku, on the other hand... I'm sure she can think of all SORTS of things to do with a flying rig that have NOTHING to do with air time! Or very little...


  2. @Dave:

    "Chalk! Exist you do! Closed, case must be! Yeeass!" - RTOFLMAO!

    Like a terrorist organization with integrity, I'll claim responsibility: Shirley and I RP'd this whole scene, with her playing Minis, me playing Sukala, and the two of us more or less splitting the other characters. It was side-splitting fun.

    The aNiah refer to their version of joining the Mile-High Club as afolkarig, which means literally "clouds and rain." And of course you can be creative with the harness...

    Kall is one of the few people actually capable of pinning Chevenga down without Chevenga somehow letting them win, so your point is well-taken. It's actually not his kink--he doesn't have kinks, he's Kallijas--but he'll go out of his way to please one he loves.

    (Hands up everyone who had no idea the Mile-High Club had a website.)