Talla's Temple Ch. 02byxtorch©
"That was her?"
"Not much to look at."
"No woman ever is before her first upgrade. The gods see to that. It's how the first one takes that matters."
"So you say."
"You'll see. She'll be everything her breeding says she should be."
"You won't interfere?"
"She doesn't know who her mother was. Neither will anyone else."
"As long as there's no bias."
"There won't be."
Talla had managed to find the pool again. At least she was pretty sure that it was the same one. It was closer to the Virgin dormitory than she thought and it would be a simple matter to get back there without getting lost. She had stripped and slipped into the pool quickly and was now quietly treading water whilst she examined the other women with curiosity and discretion. Of those in the pool, it was easy to see those who had had a lot of upgrades and who had not. The obvious indicators were the thickness of the hair between their legs and the size of their breasts. Some of them had what appeared to Talla, to be ridiculously awkward breasts, but they managed to dive and swim gracefully regardless. From the women who were mingling around the pool, she tried to work out the varying levels of rank from the clothes that they wore. The colours went from white to yellow to orange and together with the physical differences, it was obvious that the women wearing orange were ahead of the ones wearing yellow. What other colours were there?
She hadn't been able to find Meena or Ada, but she had found two other white-clad girls in the pool. At first, she thought they were the same rank as Meena and Ada, but when they got dressed their clothing wasn't the same. Instead of a skimpy bikini top, each wore a pair of thick white sashes over her shoulders, which crossed in front to cover the girls' breasts.
They barely had time to introduce themselves and point out to Talla where she could get food before they were off to some duty or other. She sat down for dinner alone, the white marks on her chest only a little bit visible. Two yellow-clad women sat near her and struck up a conversation. They both wore bikini tops and grass skirts, just like Maksa had worn. In fact, as far as Talla could tell, all of the yellow-clad women wore either grass skirts or skirts made of strips of yellow fabric. Styles varied, but the basic character and length of the skirts did not.
Without giving their names, they started talking to her, asking her what it was like. It seemed to her that a lot of the women she ran in to looked at her somewhat nostalgically. She remembered the same look in Maksa's eyes.
"We have duties to attend to," one said, "but remember to enjoy this time. The Initiation is something you will always remember. The best thing to do is dive right in."
The other smiled and the two of them walked away in a flare of grass skirts.
Talla wandered around for a while after that. There was no one that she could really relate to, but there was a lot she could learn just by watching. The deference one woman showed another indicated which outranked the other, and could be correlated with the clothing each wore.
The yellow ones bow to the orange ones, she noted mentally, and the ones in bikini tops bow to the ones with heavier upper body clothing. All of the orange ones wear bikini bottoms rather than frail grass skirts. That must mean that it's a privilege of rank to cover your body more.
Which confused her because she was more covered than anyone. Clothing was complicated and important here and she didn't understand it.
Talla found the path back to the Virgin dormitory just as easily as she'd thought she would. After spending so long in the pool, it was dark by the time she got there. There was so little to do besides swimming and walking around. Friendships and conversations seem to take place between those of similar ranks, and she had found no one else of her rank by the time night had fallen.
She arrived to find the dormitory full of girls. Eight of them were sleeping, tucked under their bedsheets against the chilly night air. One of the sleeping girls was quite obviously cold -- Talla could see her nipples poking the sheets up.
"Oh, good," the lone non-sleeper said, "You must be Talla. I'm Sila."
"You're waiting for me?"
"Yeah. Maksa made us do this exercise earlier and told me to show it to you. Take off your clothes." As Talla undressed, Sila removed her own clothing and Talla noted that Sila was a bit taller than her and that she was a bit stringier and longer in the legs.
When they were both naked, Sila lowered herself onto Talla's bed, straddling it. Taking the cue, Talla sat facing her. "Okay," Sila said, "Lean back on your elbows and I'll show you what we did."
Talla obeyed as Sila leaned forward and lowered her head between Talla's thighs. "Okay," Sila said nervously, "I'm supposed to rub your clitoris until you get, um, at least a little wet."
"I have to be able to get my finger inside you - your vagina."
Ready? Ready? How could she be ready for that?
"Uh, sure, go ahead."
Without further ado, Sila put her weight on her elbows and parted Talla's bald lips. Talla watched Sila's expression as she gently tickled Talla's clitoris with one finger and Talla could feel Sila's breath caressing her flesh.
"Maksa said that different women require different kinds of touching," Sila said, "So I'm supposed to try different things until you tell me which one works."
Sila then tried pushing on Talla's clitoris.
"Sorry," Sila said with a wince, "No one likes that, I guess."
She then switched to a rotating motion.
"That's it," Talla said as she closed her eyes.
"Oh!" Sila said, "You're getting wet already. I can see it."
In fact, Talla had started getting wet as soon as soon as Sila had described what she was going to do, but it was only just now becoming noticeable from the outside. Ever so gently, Sila slid her finger up inside Talla's vagina. Talla bit her lower lip. It was excruciatingly tight. Sila stopped and looked up at Talla's strained face.
"Keep pushing," Talla insisted. She had never tried pushing her finger inside herself when she masturbated. She'd always been happy just stroking her clitoris.
Sila kept pushing until her middle finger was completely buried inside Talla. "Wow," Sila said as she tried to wiggle her finger -- to no avail -- "none of the other girls were able to get a finger in this fast."
"It's always gotten wet quickly," Talla replied with surprise in her voice.
"Yeah, when I rub it myself. You don't?"
"Oh," Talla said, "Your turn now?"
Sila nodded and pulled her finger out of Talla's vagina -- a little too quickly. Talla gasped. A look of horror came over Sila's face,
"Sorry. I'm sorry -"
"It's okay," Talla said with a deep breath. "Ready?"
"Um, yeah," Sila said as she leaned back on her hands and closed her eyes. "Go ahead."
Talla leaned over as Sila had, resting on her elbows, and spread her newest friend's lips. Her clitoris looked a bit different from Talla's. It was smaller by a smidgen and tucked in further between her inner lips. Talla gently blew air over Sila's genitals before starting to stroke her clitoris. Sila was stiff with anxiety.
"Just try to relax," Talla whispered as she tried a circular motion. Sila was incredibly dry, with not even sweat to lubricate herself. Talla solved the problem by licking her finger before proceeding. Sila let out a gasp but remained tense. Talla tried squeezing Sila's clit between two fingers, tried pushing it inwards, tried pulling on it. None of this seemed to get a positive reaction.
After a lot of trying, she tried pushing the little nub of flesh towards her vagina and finally felt Sila's body move in response. Muscles loosened up and her legs spread a little further apart as a wave of relaxation washed over the other girl's body. Talla found her finger getting dry and licked it again. As she pushed down, Sila very gently thrust her hips upward.
Talla looked closely and she could see moisture just beginning to leak out.
"I think I can get my finger in now."
"Okay," Sila breathed.
Talla used her left thumb to continue to stroke Sila's clitoris as she slid her right hand underneath and extended her middle finger upward. She only made it a little way before Sila began rolling forward, forcing Talla's finger all the way in. Sila moaned.
"Leave it in for a while ..."
"Okay," Talla said. She sat up, but left her hand under Sila who wiggled contentedly.
"Sisters?" Sila offered.
"Definitely," Talla replied with a smile. They were both naked. It wouldn't be hard to complete the short ritual.
She leaned over, somewhat awkwardly, and kissed each of Sila's tiny nipples. They were cold and hard on her lips. "I think I have to take my finger out for you to -"
"No, please," Sila begged, "Just sit on my lap"
It was tricky, but by putting one of her legs up on Sila's legs, Talla managed to bring her breasts to Sila's face without withdrawing her finger from the others vagina. Sila reached under Talla's legs to pull her upward by her skinny butt. She carefully and gently kissed Talla's left nipple. As she twisted to reach the other nipple, her thumb came in to contact with a wet spot on the edge of Talla's lips. Just as her mouth met Talla's nipple, a shock went through both of them and
Talla was elsewhere. She felt her body, but it was different, longer ... and there was a finger inside her vagina. No, that was Sila's vagina. Sila was kissing her nipple and she could feel the texture of her own flesh through Sila's soft lips and
The two girls broke apart in shock, Talla's finger involuntarily being yanked out of Sila's vagina. Sila didn't even notice the pain. The girl sleeping in the next bed stirred restlessly as the two conscious girls stared at each other wide-eyed.
"What was that?" Talla whispered.
"I don't know."
There were no words to describe what had happened. They stared at each other. Nothing like that had ever happened to Talla and, from the expression on her face, nothing like that had ever happened to Sila either.
"Wanna try again?" Talla asked.
"Are we allowed?"
"They would have told us, don't you think?"
"Maybe, but Maksa was watching the others when they did it."
Talla looked around nervously. Where was Maksa anyway?
Sila said, "Maybe we should just go to sleep."
"Yeah," Talla agreed.
Neither slept that well.
"The two of them meshed?"
"Maksa claims to have felt it and reported it directly to me. She had left the room for a moment and decided to watch them discreetly -"
"No one else knows?"
"She thinks that one of the other Virgins reacted, and they're barely attuned at all. Other than that, no, no one else knows."
"Make sure Maksa doesn't speak of it."
"Do you think me a fool? I've already ordered her silence."
"What have we done?"
"I don't know."
Talla woke up to find herself naked under her sheets. Her clothes were at the edge of the bed where she'd left them. The other girls were waking up. Curiously, all of the them were dressed. Only Talla was naked. Consequently, only her dress was unwrinkled.
"Alright, girls," Maksa said, "Follow me to the baths."
Most of them were giggling as they went. All except Talla and Sila. Their eyes met briefly and both jerked away.
The baths were in a different building, close to the pool. Just like in the pool, the pull of a lever was all that was needed to cause water to spray down. Maksa showered with them, then had them wash one another's backs before getting dressed and going for breakfast.
"Your first class is today," Maksa said. "Your teacher will teach you all of the basic etiquette you'll need to get along in the Temple. You'll know what's what and, best of all, you won't have to put those chalk marks on your tits and asses when you go swimming."
The ten of them had followed her from breakfast to the classroom. There was a blackboard at the front of the room along with two extra chairs, presumably for teachers. The seats for the girls were arranged in two columns of five, facing the blackboard.
Talla tried to catch Sila's eye as the girls chatted nervously to one another, but Sila was at the front of the left column and was conspicuously avoiding her gaze from the back of the right column. Finally, a woman entered the room. She wore orange clothing in the form of strong bikini top and a tiny pair of underwear. Her breasts were -- there was no question -- huge. They lay heavily against the fabric of her bikini top. Talla thought that, just possibly, she might be able to hold one of those breasts if she used both of her hands. Other than that, the most remarkable thing about the woman was the aura of fear she exuded. Having her hair severely pulled back in a dark ponytail only exaggerated the effect.
"Good morning, girls," she said sharply. "My name is Shanata. It is my duty to speak to you of Temple etiquette so you may become good citizens. If you have any questions during class, ask them immediately."
Talla thought that Shanata was a little too brusque to really expect anyone to ask a question.
"The most important thing here is to know the rank of those whom you approach. So I will teach you all of the ranks. You can identify a woman's rank by the clothing which she wears. You are not responsible for knowing the rank of a woman if she is nude. If, however, she outranks you and you work with her, you will be expected to remember her."
The girls were nodding, wide-eyed.
Shanata struck a pose at the front of the class: arms folded and feet spread shoulder width.
"Each of you is wearing an ankle length skirt and a bikini top," she said, "This is the clothing of an un-upgraded Virgin. It means that you have not chosen a Discipline or Division yet and, most of all, that you've never had sex. Once you've had your first upgrade and have sex, you'll get a shorter skirt that stops at your knees. While your rank will still be 'Virgin', the shorter skirt indicates that you are not truly a virgin in the common sense of the word."
Her speaking rhythm quickened.
"The next rank is called Initiate. Your skirt becomes slightly shorter, stopping just below your crotch. The next rank is Neophyte, where you get rid of the bikini top and get a pair of sashes, one over each breast. As well, your skirt will be knee length again. At the fourth upgrade, your clothing becomes yellow and the first yellow rank is Keeper ..."
Shanata went on and the girls tried to absorb the information, or at least avoid drowning in it. Shanata was speaking far too quickly for most of them. Her dry tone and monotonous cadence really didn't seem to help them absorb what they had to learn.
"And the final rank is Goddess, of which there is only one in any Temple, as I'm sure you know. She always wears black."
Shanata paused for a moment and looked down at them over her nose. She had not moved from her position at the front of the class.
"Stand up, please," Shanata commanded and they obeyed. "Now I want you all to face outwards from each other and to bend over your chairs."
With nervous looks and giggles, the girls bent over their chairs, using their hands to support themselves on the backs of their chairs.
"Now lift up your skirts."
It was early in the morning and quite surreal. The girls looked around at each other, now quite unsure of what was going on.
"Now! All the way up!"
Frightened, they obeyed. There was no giggling. Just the ten of them, barely days in to adulthood, baring themselves to their strident teacher.
Shanata held a thin pointer stick in her hand, produced from where they knew not. There was enough room in the aisle, even with ten girls standing in it bent over, that Shanata could walk between them. She stood behind Sila at the front of the left row and touched the pointer to Sila's shoulder.
"What colour does an Acolyte wear?"
"Wrong," Shanata declared darkly. Her single word was followed by a short whistle and a sudden snap. All of the girls turned to look as Sila yelped. What they saw was Shanata walking to the next girl in Sila's row -- and a red line across Sila's bony cheeks. Now the girls were wide-eyed with terror.
"What rank wears blue?" Shanata asked the next girl.
"I ... uh ... I think -"
The pointer cracked against a second pair of pale cheeks.
"Too long," Shanata said, "you must know these things without thinking."
She went along the first row and not a single girl answered a question correctly. The pointer left three more red marks on three more asses. The girls were nervous and shaking now as Shanata casually strolled back to the front of the room and started with the second column.
"What colour does a Sorceress wear?"
That one's easy, Talla thought.
"Red," the girl at the front answered.
Next girl. "What colour does a Queen wear?"
"Red," that girl answered.
"Correct," Shanata said. She remained by the same girl and asked, "What does an Acolyte II wear on her upper body?"
"A shirt?" came the hopeful reply.
Another crack and a yelp. It didn't seem fair to Talla. Shanata's goal seemed to be to punish everyone. That didn't seem like a good teaching technique ...
The next two girls, nervous with the knowledge that the stick was coming regardless of their answers, were unable to answer quickly enough and got whipped. Talla took a deep breath as the stick touched her shoulder. She breathed deeply and cleared her mind of fear as best she could.
"What colour does an Adept wear?"
"Yellow," she replied, a deadpan expression on her face.
"Correct. What does a Sorceress wear on her upper body?"
"A bikini and a single sash."
"Correct. Who wears blue?"
"Three correct answers," Shanata said. "Only one of you is capable of remembering what I have taught."
Talla relaxed as Shanata spoke. She shouldn't have. The pointer came cracking down on her ass, harder and louder than on anyone else's. She yelped involuntarily, surprised. Good gods, that hurt ...
"Can't have you feeling left out, now, can we?" Shanata asked as she turned to the front of the classroom.
"You may all sit down now, if you can."
The girls sat gingerly. Truth be told, Talla thought, it didn't actually hurt for very long. It just stung. But it stung a lot.
"Let's go over this again," Shanata said, "We don't go on to etiquette until I can go through the entire class with no mistakes."
It had taken two repeats of the lesson before they got it right. And Shanata distributed her punishment to everyone -- even the ones who got three questions right. It made them a team. When they finally made it through all of the girls without any mistakes, they got to put their dresses back in place and sit their twice-whipped asses on their chairs.
Shanata then went in to etiquette and it became apparent why knowing rank was important. And not just rank, but rank relative to other women. And on top of that, there were specific ways to act in the presence of a Sorceress, a Queen or the Goddess. Then there were the special occasions, in which clothing changed according to a sliding nudity spectrum. The more nude the highest ranking guest, the more nude those below her had to be.
Talla soaked it all in as fast as she could. There was no more whipping. The point of the exercise had been made. Shanata had them learning as fast as they could learn. More punishment would only have demoralised them.
"You are no longer excused from etiquette," Shanata informed them, as the lesson came to an end. "No more chalk on your breasts and behinds. You will comport yourself properly or you will be punished."