This is a ‘Novel of the Future’, set in the Mediterranean area in the latter part of the 21st Century.
Readers have to assume that a series of atomic wars have devastated a large part of the earth’s surface and the major part of civilization, as we know it today, has disappeared.
In its stead, a series of small states have arisen, each living separate existences, often unaware of each other. In the main, they are self-supporting communities, some far better organised and wealthier than others. In a way they are like the numerous small societies (or tribes) who grew up in the warm Mediterranean climes at the dawn of history. Except that now there are a number of modern overtones ... relics of our modern civilisation which has disappeared.
In one way these small states of the future are very like the earlier ones. This is in that the majority of them are ‘slave states’. As in early times, the strong conquer the weak and make them their slaves. As it has always been in human history, the weakest go to the wall - even though they may be far more worthy and virtuous.
It should be added that some of these states of the future are male-dominated, others female-dominated. BARBARIA is one of the latter. Its ruler is Princess Alexena and the most influential members of her Court are women ... although she does have a considerable number of male courtiers to aid her in running affairs.
These people are the aristocracy of BARBARIA. Beneath them come the military class ... army and navy officers and, of equal ranking, chief slave-overseers. These men are very powerful, though subordinate to the Court. Beneath them they have their soldiers, sailors and assistants - both male and female - who are all free men and women.
The third and largest class are the slave-men and slave-women who have been captured during the conquest of neighbouring states. In BARBARIA (one of the more powerful and harsher states in existence) these human beings become mere chattels ... either to be worked to death or be used for the pleasure and amusement of their owners.
It is servitude for life. Except in the unlikely eventuality of BARBARIA itself being conquered. And even this would not guarantee any slave being set free!
CORRIDORS OF POWER
Princess Alexena, all-powerful ruler of Barbaria, felt a sense of nervous impatience. That was not particularly unusual. It was in her nature to be impatient - certainly of any delay in having her orders carried out or any infraction of her will. This impatience, which was caused by the fact that her Captain of Ships, Varian, was now almost three weeks overdue from his latest expedition, showed in the flashing gleam in her large, dark almond-shaped eyes and the fast-striding gait of her long limbs as she strode down one of the Palace corridors. Another woman, almost as tall, and as blonde of hair as Alexena was black, hurried to keep up with her.
“Highness ...” she panted, “I ... I’m out of breath. What is the hurry? Has some news arrived?”
“That is the trouble, Judilla. It has not.” Princess Alexena’s voice, deep, vibrant and authoritative, matched her appearance which was superbly regal. Six feet tall, her height was enhanced by the footwear she wore. This was a pair of calf-length boots, with six-inch heels. They were of the lace-up variety, made of thin kid leather which was covered in a glistening coating of gold. Only Alexena was permitted to wear the golden boots; they were an outward symbol of her supreme authority - just as a crown might have been in former days. Women of lower rank at Court had to be content with boots of silver, white, red, black, or what other colour took their fancy. Above the boots stretched the long, creamy white thighs ... up and up, softly and smoothly shaped, to the short skirt of pleated white leather. A golden belt clinched in her waist. Again, she alone could wear one of gold. Above the belt was a simply-cut jacket blouse of thin white leather. Two large golden-bangle earrings, bedecked with small jewels, swung from her ear lobes, revealed when her long, silky-black hair swung from her shoulders.
The two women walked through to another corridor, one which led to the Royal Apartments themselves, their high heels click-clacking on the mosaic tiled surface. Immediately ahead of them was a male slave, kneeling, engaged on some minor repair to the intricate mosaic pattern. This slave, who was young, strong and muscular in appearance, was accoutred like all such male slaves in the Palace. That is to say he was nude but for a tight-fitting triangle of leather over his private parts ... this ‘support’ being attached to a leather belt above his waist. A thin thong of leather, running up between the cleft of his nates to the back of the belt held the ‘support’ in position. There were leathern bands about his wrists and ankles and a leather collar about his neck, to all of which were attached several small iron rings. These accoutrements were not only symbols of the man’s status, they were also there so that, easily and quickly, he could be secured, put under restraint or made ready for punishment.
Swinging from Princess Alexena’s wrist, from a white leathern loop attached to a decorated golden handle, was a switch of tightly-plaited white leather. The switch, which tapered finely to a small knot to which was attached a little tab of hard white ivory, had a slim core of very flexible whalebone. This instrument accompanied the Princess virtually everywhere, either dangling from her wrist or looped to her golden waist-belt. It was another and a most potent symbol of her authority. Every slave in the Palace was cognisant of its biting cut and, like the supreme mistress who wielded it so frequently, it was held in the very greatest respect.
Now, as the two figures approached the kneeling slave, the switch swung up and then whiplashed down across the muscular male buttocks. Alexena swung with the same sort of casual indifference one might use in slashing off a nettle top or swatting a fly.
“Out of my way, oaf!” she rasped as the slave uttered a gasping grunt of pain and writhed side-ways, scattering the small pieces of mosaic he had been so meticulously piecing together. The high heels clicked on as he pressed his mouth to the tiled floor in obeisance.
“P-Pardon ... Mistress...” he half whispered to the indifferent figures that swept on down the corridor.
The pain of the freshly-raised weal, produced for no fault but simply on account of the Princess’s impatience, was thinly fiery. Used as he was to such pain, the slave could by no means disregard it. Pain, accustomed or not, was still pain. And he groaned inwardly as he hastily collected together again the scattered tiles. If he did not finish his task in the time that had been allotted by his overseer, he would experience considerably more than one such cut. The overseer in question was a woman recently appointed to the Palace staff whose youth and beauty were allied to a relentless cruelty. She was out to earn herself a reputation in her new appointment and the slave knew she would thrash him without mercy if her orders were not carried out to the letter. Her name was Valda and already it was a name burnt into his soul. For the thousandth time he cursed the Fates that had brought him captive to the Royal Palace of Nexos, chief city of Barbaria. He cursed, but hopelessly. It seemed there was but one escape from his servitude. That was death ... and for that he was not ready.
As Alexena and Judilla approached the massive double doors, ornately carved in white and gold, which admitted to the Royal Apartments, two guards raised glittering swords in salute. These men were garbed and helmeted in a very similar fashion to the Roman soldiers of an ancient era now lost in the past. It was a little strange that, in some fashions at least, history should be repeating itself. At the same time, two slave girls, who had been stationed in alcoves on opposite sides of the passage, ran forward and opened the doors wide. Then they fell to their knees, bowed low, and kissed the floor before the advancing women. Their grovelling obeisance was ignored with customary indifference ... and when the feet of the mighty had passed the two girls rose and closed the doors. They did so, it seemed, with a certain thankfulness. As a slave it was most often better to be ignored. To attract attention meant, as often as not, to attract the lash at the same time. Eyed with some avidity by the guards, who also took up a more relaxed pose, they retired to their alcoves.
The avidity of the guards was natural, for the two slave girls were in a state of greater nudity than the male slave in the corridor. Whilst similarly accoutred with leathern, iron-ringed bands around wrist and ankles, with a waist belt and collar, they possessed no leathern triangle. Moreover they had been deprived of all body hair. Attached to their nipples, by means of tiny rings and thin, little chains, were pendant jewels. From the centre of the belt, at the front, hung another jewel, falling almost the swelling hump of the sex, pointing heart-shaped as if to emphasise the revealing starkness of their nudity.
These accoutrements, this nudity, were standard for all slave girls in the Palace, though the bejewelled decorations might vary considerably. Nose rings were sometimes worn ... as well as other and more painfully humiliating devices.
However, though the guards might look with lustful longing, they knew it was death to have relations - of any kind - with any slave girl. Of course, there might be occasions when they were ordered to have such relations. But that was a different matter and usually done for someone else’s amusement as much as anything. Nevertheless, it should not be imagined they lived a celibate life. When they were off duty, there were special establishments set aside where an ample selection of slave girls were freely available to them. On duty and especially in the Palace, they had to watch themselves very carefully for, naturally, Princess Alexena had the pick of all slave girls ... and so, equally naturally, they were the most lovely and tempting of all.
Here is should perhaps be explained that, in Barbaria, there were three classes of person. First, the ruling class, mainly of women but including a smattering of men. Many of these men were effeminate but quite a number were true men who had retired honourably from military service. Secondly there was the military class. This class covered a wide range and the army and naval captains were very powerful men - even if subordinate to the Court. Beneath them were their men - soldiers and sailors. An auxiliary branch of this service of guards, slave overseers and the like. This second class were, one can see, all of varying rank and degree, whilst still remaining servants of the first and ruling class. The third and by far the largest class, were the male and female slaves.
All the ruling class had slaves. The military officers had them, too. Even some of the higher-ranking men under them. But a general guide to a man or woman’s rank in state or military could be gained by the number and quality of the slaves possessed. The lower orders of the military and auxiliary rarely possessed slaves but, on the other hand, it was possible for them quite frequently to make use of them. They could, as one example, be given a slave, or slaves, as a reward for good service. Naturally, overseers had slaves at their beck and call. That was simply part of their duties.
This, in brief then, was the structure of society in Barbaria. It will be seen more clearly and in more detail as our story unfolds ... and you, the reader, will come to know what it was like to rule and to command as well as to serve and be subjugated.
“Alexena ... please relax a little. Let me help you relax ...” It was Judilla who spoke and her tone and manner of address were more intimately personal now she and the Princess were within the private apartments. Alexena both permitted and welcomed such familiarity from certain high ladies of her Court when in such surroundings, though she insisted on more formality and being addressed as ‘Highness’ elsewhere. However, it was only certain selected women who were granted this privilege. No man, however high his rank or great his worth dare address her so and had always to treat her with the respect becoming to a Princess.
Alexena put an arm around the tall blonde and kissed her on the cheek. Her hard features softened a little. “I am sorry, Judilla,” she said. “But a lot is at stake. Varian had taken a major portion of our fleet on this expedition. It would be serious if anything had gone wrong.”
“What could go wrong?” asked Judilla. “We are mistresses of the world. No other puny fleet would dare attack ours.” She kissed Alexena in return and clasped the dark-haired woman to her.
“There are always the forces of Nature to contend with,” answered Alexena. She paused for a moment, looking into the blue eyes close to hers, then she smiled. “But, as you say, let us forget and relax a while. We have our own forces of Nature to contend with.” She kissed Judilla on the full pink ripeness of her soft lips and the girl responded passionately in return. They clasped each other, breasts to breasts, belly to belly, flanks to flanks, each feeling their mutual desire mount with a sudden fierceness. “Come,” Alexena whispered, as they separated.
Then the two women moved across the richly carpeted floor of the main salon towards a curtained archway which led into various inner sanctums of the royal apartments.
As the curtains parted an attendant slave-girl fell to her knees and kissed the ground before them ... and this was ignored. At each archway that led into a further inner sanctum, a similar obeisance was made by similar lovely naked young creatures, all accoutred and bejewelled in slave fashion.
The final sanctum was Alexena’s bedroom and, this time, the slave girl who prostrated herself before them was not ignored. Alexena’s white leathern switch swung up and whiplashed down across up-thrust buttocks.
“Nerine ...” said Alexena, “you will disrobe me.”
A second slave girl who had simultaneously prostrated herself on the opposite side of the entrance received a similar cut.
“And you, Selima,” said Alexena, “will attend upon the Lady Judilla.”
Uttering breathless gasps the two young naked creatures sprang quickly to their feet to do as they were bid.
Her supreme Highness ... their absolute Mistress, whose personal slaves they were ... had returned!
PERSONAL NARRATIVE OF NERINE
Body Slave to Princess Alexena
The familiar bite of my Mistress’s switch seared into my flesh, momentarily robbing me of breath, and I sprang quickly to my feet to attend upon her. Faint sounds from the outer chambers had indicated she was returning, though one could not be sure. It might have been one of the Palace overseers on a tour of inspection to see that we were not being dilatory in our duties or, taking advantage of our Mistress’s absence, were relaxing at some ease instead of in the position and posture demanded. In my case, as with those others most closely in attendance upon her Highness, such a dereliction of duty would not have been punished immediately on the spot by the overseer. However, the matter would certainly have been reported to her Highness who would have dealt with the matter herself or instructed the overseer as to punishment.
Let me say at the outset that it would be foolish to imagine that not to be at the immediate mercy of an overseer was something to be thankful for - though I am sure many of the other slaves in the Palace assumed otherwise. For my Mistress was not only far more powerful than any overseer, she could be far more merciless and cruel if the mood so took her. At least there were some limits imposed upon an overseer. Upon her there were none. And she was by nature cruel. Indeed, one could not but be aware that she delighted in cruelty for its own sake.
That, however, is the prerogative of a Princess. Perhaps, indeed, that is how they gain supreme power and the reason why they hold it.
I hurried after my Mistress who had moved to the side of the massive square bed, which had a golden canopy above it, and was piled high with golden cushions. At the head of the bed, one on each side, stood two other slave attendants. They were not personal slaves like myself but simply Palace slaves. Their sole function was to ensure a cool current of air flowing above the bed by the to-and-fro wafting of the long fans they carried. Each was as naked as myself but, in keeping with the decorative magnificence of that Royal chamber, each had her body completely coated with a glistening gold substance. Always, night and day, at the head of my Mistress’s bed, two such slave girls stood on duty.
There were two other slaves in attendance in that most personal of her Highness’s inner sanctums. They stood, one on each side of the room, back to the wall, arms folded and staring fixedly ahead. They were male slaves. As always, when our periods of duty coincided, I was supremely conscious that one of these was Myron ... a handsome, well-built young man to whom I had been betrothed when we had once both been free citizens of the small island kingdom of Cipri. Until that terrible day when we had been overwhelmed and enslaved by Barbaria.
Quite unexpectedly, for we had not known of their existence, their ships had arrived over the sea and the resistance of our small forces had been fierce but futile. My uncle had been King of Cipri, so one might say that it was I who had been a Princess, though I was not given that title. All the same I had been given every honour and respect, having many servants of my own. Yes - servants. For they were not treated as slaves and were punished only for serious offences. I personally hardly ever chastised my own servants and then only with a few mild slaps. Thus you will see that our small community was far, far more humane than that of the more powerful one of Barbaria which had thousands of slaves, where punishment was swift and merciless, and cruelty often employed for its own sake.
Myron had been of similarly high rank to myself and that, apart from his good looks and physique, was the reason for his being reduced to that status of a personal body slave to Princess Alexena. For it was her policy to select for such positions, only those who had once held high rank in their own city states. It much pleased her to have at her beck and call those who had once held power themselves. All the same, from among those of former rank, she only chose those of the greatest beauty of face and figure or, in the case of males, those who were strong and handsome.
It will, no doubt, be understood what an additional torment it was for Myron and myself to be in the situation we were. With frequent regularity he had to gaze upon my nakedness - and know it was beyond his possession. He could not even touch me, unless he received a direct order, without risking the most terrible kind of punishment. To express his desire for me as he would have wished, and as a man should, would have certainly meant castration and, most probably, death from the other hideous cruelties which would follow.
Equally I had to gaze constantly upon his proud, young manhood and feel my own frustrations. Worse, I had to submit to punishment by my Mistress or one of her overseers in his presence; and, equally, from time to time I had to watch his similar humiliation and suffering. Worst of all (for Myron as well as myself, I am sure) there were occasions when, at her whim, or for the amusement of herself and her guests, I had to submit to the sexual attentions of another man or men. Often too, women used my body for their pleasure.
Such practices were commonplace in Princess Alexena’s Palace. I mention it only because it should be understood why, although all slaves suffered, Myron and I suffered to a greater degree on account of our previous closely intimate association. Despite everything, I still loved him. And he me, I’m sure. Sometimes it was like a knife in my heart to see in his eyes the frustration, the rage and the hate and the anguish.
The weal across my nates burnt fiercely as I began to disrobe my Mistress as she had ordered. Pain is always more unpleasant when it is undeserved. Certainly I had done nothing to warrant the cut from her switch. As always, I strove hard to forget the matter. I had learnt it was best that way. This female tyrant could do exactly as she wished - and I was her utter slave. One had to accept the fact or suffer worse. that was something very difficult in the early stages of enslavement but which one learnt by slow and painful degrees.
Unbuttoned, the white jacket-blouse she was wearing slipped away to expose a magnificent pair of full, high breasts ... breasts held and made all the more proud by the golden-net brassiere support. The constant motif of my Mistress was gold; in many of her garments, her accoutrements, her jewellery, the decor both inanimate and human which surrounded her. Even the handles of the switches and whips she employed were of gold, or decorated with it. She was the only woman permitted to employ gold in this fashion. It symbolised her supreme position.
With the familiar and natural, nervousness I felt whenever in her presence - particularly when serving her intimately - I unfastened the brassiere. The milk-white orbs seemed even fuller when released from their flimsy covering but they scarcely lost anything of their high thrust.
I myself am similarly endowed and, although not so tall nor as powerfully built as the Princess, I know I am equally well and firmly proportioned. Once I had been most happy on that account but, in view of my Fate, it would have been better otherwise.
As I unfasten the golden cinch-belt at her waist my Mistress ran her hands up over her breasts and sighed softly. The strong, pink-brown nipples were already firm. No doubt she was already thinking of the pleasures to come with the Lady Judilla. In that moment I was no more concern to her than some inanimate article like the pleated white skirt I was removing from her Junoesque body. She was nude but for her high-heeled golden boots and tiny gold-net briefs that clung to her curves. These too I removed whilst she stood gazing abstractedly into the distance, sighing contentedly again.
I knelt, about to unlace the boots, when I received a sharp stabbing kick from one of them in my flank.