The Year is 2132 Ch. 07byRavenSSS©
Capitulus VII (Chapter 07)
Sylvi learns a painful lesson.
It has been a few weeks since the Exosphere disappeared and Steev has been having withdrawal symptoms. He will never be able to replicate anything anymore. The replicator has been a way of life since he and Cherl arrived on Romana, and he wonders how they will fare now that the replicator is gone.
Over the few weeks when he knew the replicator was about to vanish, Steev had used the wind turbine's power to make as many items that he thought Cherl and he would require to live in this primitive era. He and Cherl had made out long lists, but he knew that they couldn't think of everything and that the supplies that he did replicate wouldn't last the rest of their days on Romana. The tons of materiel, blueprints, plans, raw materials, etc. were now stored in Claude's warehouse where no one else would see them and wonder about their purpose.
The sixteen wind turbines that were built, sapping the Exosphere's energy, are situated west of the Guard encampment and just east of the area where the Exosphere was parked, "Park Place". They are still broadcasting power but there is nothing receiving it. Steev had made items that he thought could utilize that power, but he is reluctant to set them up. He is concerned that the Senate might take a dim view of his "wizardry."
He wants to keep a low profile; however, it may be too late. The arsenal and other items he 'conjured up' for the Guard to use to defend the estate are attracting attention already. He doesn't want to exacerbate the situation.
Unfortunately, something happens to draw even more attention to the estate. One of the recalcitrant foreign women has been caught, trying to escape, by a Roman military unit. The local Prefecture sends a delegation to the Guard encampment to determine if any more prisoners could escape and endanger the local citizens.
When they arrive, the first order of business is to punish the escapee. She is tied to a wooden framework in the shape of an X and a branding iron is heated. To show their willingness to cooperate and not cause additional trouble, the other foreign woman request that they be allowed to deal with the escapee. They take turns using the branding iron on the woman's body until she faints. They throw water on her and when she revives, they continue the harsh treatment. She is left hanging from the frame so that others can see what happens to the women if they attempt escape. Later, the Prefect's soldiers will take her to be dealt with in the Arena.
One of the prefecture soldiers decides to check on the slaves' markings and pulls open the upper tunic of one of the captive woman expecting to see a brand burned into her left breast. Not finding it, he orders the Roman equivalent of "bend over and assume the position". He checks between her buttock cheeks, and finding she is not branded there either, calls on Marcus for an explanation. When Marcus claims that these women are captives and not slaves yet, his arguments are overridden, and he is ordered to slay them or enslave them in which case, they must be branded for identification.
Cordele cannot stop this, and she and a number of the wives move to the farthest reaches of the Guard camp where the screams and cries of eighty-four women being branded can't assault their ears.
The twenty-one remaining women who rebelled in the beginning are branded on the inside of both buttock cheeks to give them an additional message not to attempt escape. The women are told that if they continue to rebel, they would be turned over to the Prefect to be sent to the Arena; that stops their protests, and each agrees to live with five soldiers. The camp is finally in order.
In the meantime, the prefecture soldiers had found the futuristic weapons, and Marcus held his breath; he was concerned that the arsenal might be confiscated. But the soldiers' curiosities were satisfied, and they left. A crisis had been averted; Marcus hadn't realized just how much trouble could have resulted.
Meanwhile, at the estate, Cherl has been admonishing two young women who have overstepped the boundaries of their place.
"Sylvi, Heather, I have been very lenient with you two, and this is how you repay me. Sylvi, you have spoken to me in a very impudent manner and have embarrassed me in front of Claude and Zhanet, who are the master and mistress of this household."
Cherl is still trying to stifle her amusement at the gall of the girls in trying to push her into having sex with them, and doing so in front of the entire household. Heather is contrite, but naïve Sylvi doesn't understand what she has done wrong other than stamp her foot.
"But Miss, we were just thinking of giving you pleasure. Weren't we, Heather? Well, we would have had pleasure, too, but, but..." She is continually finding herself in hot water and begins to cry; not an unusual occurrence for her.
"Sylvi, it's bad enough that you try to have your own way but to try when we're not alone, when there are others around, is unpardonable. You realize, of course, that you must be punished? What do you think that punishment should be? Whipping? Hard labor? Restriction of sex? Confinement?"
"Oh Miss, please not any of those. Well, I would work very hard if you set a task for me. Remember how hard I worked in the Arena?"
"Sylvi, you have been admonished never to bring up that day in the Arena. It was your own disobedience that almost got your mother and you killed then. If Claude hadn't gone to great lengths to save you, you and your mother would be dead now. You disobey much too frequently. You don't seem to know your place. Very well, for the next two weeks, you are to take over the chores that the other girls do not like to do. In addition, no sex with me, Heather, or the other girls for two weeks."
"Oh no, no. Please don't take sex away. You are mean and hateful."
"For that, you are also confined for two weeks when you're not doing your chores."
Sylvi stamps her foot and mutters under her breath. Cherl is no longer amused, but her irritation causes her to say something she will regret later, "Sylvi, I have never punished you physically, but I'm adding two dozen strokes with a strap. You cannot do or say whatever pops into your mind. Must I remind you that you are a slave girl, and have no rights any more? You gave up those rights to save your mother, and then you sent her back into harm's way. You must learn your place."
Cherl glares at the girls as they leave the room looking appropriately apologetic. However, as soon as they leave the room, she sinks to the bed and hangs her head in shame. Zhanet has tutored Cherl in dealing with Sylvi and the other girls to ensure obedience and prevent misconduct. Otherwise, they would constantly test to see how much they could get away with. Cherl knows that she has made a mistake in the punishment, but to cancel it would undermine her authority.
Zhanet enters Cherl's room from the hallway where she overheard the entire exchange. While she understands that Cherl was caught up in the moment, she is concerned about the punishment Cherl has ordered.
"Cherl, some of the punishment you have set forth for Sylvi would have sufficed for her lack of manners, but the strapping is really not called for. Unfortunately, since Heather was present and heard your pronouncement, you cannot back down. Sylvi must be whipped." Zhanet is aghast at the severity of the punishment that Cherl has prescribed for Sylvi.
Cherl is devastated, since her first thought as the girls left was that Zhanet could annul Sylvi's thrashing.
When Cordele learns of Sylvi's proposed whipping, she tries to think of ways to mitigate it. She talks to the musicians, Heather, and Zhanet to learn exactly what Sylvi's misdeeds had been. It is unfortunate that Sylvi will be punished, but she agrees that the girl overstepped her place.
"Sylvi, I am horrified to hear how you have acted." Cordele admonishes her. "You have been treated like a daughter of this household even though you are Cherl's property. How could you ask Cherl for sex when other's were present? Then, to make matters worse, you sass Cherl when she tries to set you straight. Maybe I was wrong in trying to prevent your being branded; that may have taught you some manners. I am ashamed of how you've misbehaved. I am not going to stand in the way of your punishment."
"But Momma, I meant no disobedience. I just spoke without thinking. Please Momma, don't think ill of me."
"Sylvi, possibly a beating is what it will take to make you think first before you speak. You are my daughter, and I love you very much, but Sylvi, living here in such luxury has spoiled you. I forgive you, but you must be punished." Cordele holds Sylvi in her arms for a long time, but she doesn't want to be present and have to watch her beloved child be hurt. She returns to Marcus at the Guard encampment.
Cordele agonizes over Sylvi's impending beating and decides she will return the next morning and tend to Sylvi's wounded body, but she will not attend the punishment. She recalls the torn and mutilated flesh of the woman who was whipped directly above her and Sylvi in the Arena. She sobs, thinking of her daughter undergoing such treatment.
Sylvi has had a day to think about her impudence and what her mother has told her. She goes to Claude and makes an odd request. She asks that she be branded with Claude's signet. Claude tries to talk her out of it, but Sylvi is adamant. Claude discusses the branding with Paul, his majordomo, who will administer Sylvi's punishment. They come to an agreement and Paul leaves Claude's quarters with the branding iron.
Throughout the evening, Cherl, Zhanet, and Steev knock on Paul's chamber door in succession to speak to him for a few minutes and then leave. He begins to wonder who else will come knocking, and if he will get any sleep that night.
The next morning, Zhanet escorts Sylvi to the patio where her sentence is to be carried out. The household servants and slaves are all present as witnesses, but Zhanet has given permission for the younger girls to be absent.
Sylvi is taken to a pole where her wrists are to be tied to a ring in front of her, and a female servant unclips the ornament on the shoulder of Sylvi's chiton. Sylvi shakes it off and the servant picks it up and folds it. Sylvi's wrists are then bound to the ring.
The other servants are awed by the beauty of Sylvi's body and express sorrow that the lovely flesh will soon be mutilated. They have come to love this beautiful young girl with her sweet, open, childlike manner, and they hate that she must be punished.
Sylvi bends and moves her legs apart, exposing her vagina, and braces herself against the expected pain. Paul moves closer to her and instead of the rough, heavy leather strap he has shown Sylvi, he removes the soft leather belt he is wearing and prepares to use it on the girl's rear. It won't serve as a warning to them and negates the reason for them witnessing Sylvi's ordeal, but the servants smile and nod their approval at this change.
As Paul lashes her buttocks two dozen times with the belt, Sylvi, who has never experienced harsh treatment before, cries and whimpers, but she manages to stifle any screams. When the beating is over, she is untied and bent over a table. Servants hold her wrists and ankles, and the female servant pulls her butt cheeks apart, so that Paul can administer the branding iron.
Sylvi grits her teeth as the heat nears her bottom, but when the iron touches her skin, she faints.
After the ordeal, Sylvi is laid in her mother's former room, where she will be confined for the two weeks of her remaining punishment. Cordele goes to her there and carefully pulls the sheet from Sylvi's back.
Her child's back is unmarked and Cordele pulls the sheet down further. Sylvi's bottom has a dozen minor welts and a dozen more reddened stripes but the flesh is not broken. Cordele had probably administered similar treatment to that beautiful backside when Sylvi was a willful, little child. She pulls the sheet down farther and sees that Sylvi's upper thighs, like her back, are unmarked.
Cordele has ministered to the deep branding imposed on the slave women at the Guard camp and expects her daughter's flesh to be seared and deeply marked. When she pulls Sylvi's butt cheeks apart to apply salve to the brand, she finds the mark is so light as to be almost unnoticeable. The iron must have been only slightly warm, not red hot. She applies ointment, unnecessarily, to the sweet, delicate skin and breathes a sigh of relief.
"Momma, my bottom hurts. Is my skin broken badly? Is the brand deep? Am I disfigured?" Sylvi asks plaintively.
Cordele doesn't want Sylvi to know how light her punishment has been and says, "Lamb, your body will heal in a few days, and you'll be fine. Go back to sleep. You need to rest."
Cordele will thank this household, especially Paul, in her prayers to Jupiter. She cries softly in her happiness. These people have taken her out of misery and given her a new life. She is very grateful to them.
A few days later, Sylvi is back to her duties. Although she is a few months younger than they, she has won the esteem and respect of her peers for unresistingly undergoing "heavy" punishment for her misdeeds, but there is also a marked change in her demeanor. She doesn't skip around the room like a child; she strides purposefully with her head high and her shoulders back. She has emerged from the cocoon of childhood to an adult, a mature woman. Observing her, Cherl contemplates a new relationship with Sylvi. Instead of a child, she will be taking a woman to bed with her from now on. Although she regrets her rash imposition of the beating, Cherl believes that it has turned out for the best. However, she will miss the naïve child.
Marcus approaches Steev with a new problem, "Sire, the men are restless again. They have everything they need, including women, but they are bored again. May I have your permission to have them set up a farm for crops and cattle? They need work to keep them busy. On the streets of Rome, they had fallen into depression and felt life was hopeless. Now, they are full of zest and want to work hard. We train every day, but that doesn't tire them out enough. Furthermore, more veterans and homeless continue arriving. We need more land and facilities to house them."
"Marcus, I'll speak to Claude about additional land for farming and housing. Have you had any luck with that volcanic ash concrete for building purposes?"
"Yes Sire, I have a contingent of men constructing permanent barracks and housing, but a lot of men aren't good at construction. That's why we need the farms to occupy their time."
"Good. I have another task for some of the men, Marcus. I'd like them to take down some of the windmills and erect them closer to Claude's estate. I'll let you know where as soon as I figure out where they should be placed."
"Very well, Sire. I'll put the best men on that task when you're ready. Another thing, Sire, my wife Cordele would like a word with Missie, uh, Cherl. Please ask her when it would be convenient to do so," Marcus requested.
"Marcus, Cordele doesn't need an appointment to see Cherl. Just bring her to the estate when she wants to speak to Cherl," Steev laughed.
"Heather, tonight I'd like you to share my bed. Are you comfortable with that?" Cherl asks.
"Oh Miss, I am looking forward to being with you. When can I come to you?" She claps her hands and smiles broadly.
Sylvi smiles, too. A few days before, she would have felt a twinge of jealousy, but she has indeed matured and is happy for Heather. She is still on sexual restriction but is handling it well.
"Miss, may I be here and watch Heather make love to you?" Sylvi begs. "I won't fuss about not being able to join in."
Cherl laughs, "Sylvi, you never stop trying, do you? Yes, you may watch us." Heather beams. She has always been observed while having sex at the academy and finds it spicy. She begins planning how she can best please Cherl.
"Heather, although Sylvi watched the girls during Pleasure Time, she very conveniently neglected to do so when they pleased each other. Please tell us the routine you observed from the first time you started Pleasure Time. I am very curious."
"Miss, we had heard many stories before we graduated into Pleasure Time and were very anxious to begin sex training. I was excited, but a little scared when I first moved into my new quarters with the girls my age and met the older girls. For the first few weeks, we attended classes on anatomy and sexual practices. It was very thrilling to know we would be having pleasure very soon. We were taught how to masturbate for the best sensations and how to lick other girls to bring them to orgasm. Then, we were allowed to experiment among ourselves, and I was very nervous. Excited, but nervous. It was all so new, but exhilarating.
"When we were sent out to the auditorium, there were a lot of people: older girls, teachers, and citizens, seated all around us. We were told to disrobe, and that we wouldn't be permitted to wear clothing during the year we were in Pleasure Time. It was embarrassing and uncomfortable to be watched by all those people as we took our clothes off in front of them - - that first time - - but day by day, it became easier until I felt proud of my nude body and wanted people to see it. For a few days, all we did was kiss and fondle one another, but we didn't actually have sex. I learned how wonderful another girl's body could be. I learned how marvelous breasts and bottoms are and how delicious it was to kiss and feel them.
"By the time we were allowed to actually have sex with each other, I was so anxious that I masturbated quite frequently before going to sleep each night. I remember the first time we had sex in the auditorium; I didn't even think of all those people watching us. I wanted so badly to lick another girl's vagina and have her lick mine.
"We were divided into two groups: we bound our hair up with ribbons, the reds and the blues. A new girl was seated on a chair with stirrup arms and an older girl knelt before her, and spreading the girl's legs into the stirrups, licked her pubes. Then, she showed us her long tongue before putting it up inside the younger girl's vagina. We couldn't see what she was doing with her tongue, but the young girl began to squirm and shiver; her eyes closed and her mouth was open; she breathed harder and harder until she gasped out a shriek. She had orgasmed."
"The rest of us were so anxious to try it that we were close to orgasm ourselves. After the demonstration, each of us had the opportunity to lick and be licked. There were not many orgasms at that time, but we learned. We practiced on each other all day, every day, from then on. We became better and better at inducing orgasms, and we were very proud of our ability.
"Every day, every girl had the opportunity to have orgasms from every other girl and to give an orgasm to every girl in the other group. Each week we mixed the groups and had the opportunity to have sex with the other girls who may have been in our own group the week before. We couldn't wait in the morning for the sun to reach a certain point on the horizon -- eight o'clock -- so we could practice in the auditorium. It really was the Pleasure Time. Sex gave us such intense pleasure. Sylvi, I feel so sorry that you couldn't have had that year of sheer pleasure." Sylvi smiled and nodded. It did sound wonderful, but she had wanted to be married and have a family like her mother had.