The third volume of my biographical trilogy of Ajinblambia appeared on day 100 of the year '400. Ajinblambia and I had been working on the 3000-page composition for about eight years. Throughout those years, with only few exceptions, I had reported to Ajinblambia in her suite each morning. She would relate recollections of her girlhood, her college days, her rise to power in Qazudistan and her ascension of the throne of Ung, as King Ajinblambia. I would record her words with a voice recorder or jot notes on paper sometimes.
A short while after we began this routine, she said that in order to save time, she would like for me, during our daily sessions, to help her bathe and dress, comb her hair, apply her makeup, serve her her breakfast and tidy up her bedchamber a little. As I tended to these matters, I could record and hear her words. I was pleased with the efficiency of this arrangement, and she gave me a warrant as Lady in Waiting to the King.
Ajinblambia was a brilliant, gorgeous goddess of a lady who had no equal anywhere. Not only did she have a dozen college degrees, including degrees in engineering, law, medicine, physics, chemistry and agriculture, but she had made herself the absolute monarch of Qazudistan, first, and Ung, now, without a supporting faction and without recourse to arms. She swam, rode, skied, climbed mountains, played volleyball and tennis, did gymnastics, wrestled and lifted weights. She could speak several languages. She played a variety of musical instruments, including harp, harpsichord, trumpet and bagpipes. She painted water colors, embroidered and made lace. She was an absolute marvel whom I loved like the Sun above.
Again and again I would ask her to repeat a particularly interesting tale or anecdote from her experience. For example, she liked to recall a certain tennis match that was important to her for sentimental reasons. I listened to it so many times I could actually have narrated it myself in detail. I could see her sleek, glossy legs as she leapt gracefully about the tennis court, her pleated mini-skirt flying up to reveal the irresistibly sculptured hips in their white panties. Or she would tell me about scaling
Her favorite sporting memory, though, was a volleyball match that she had won right in
In year '390, when Queen Udi had just assumed her Queenship of worldwide Nyatic Ung--as opposed to the much smaller Ung that had preexisted the annexation of Ub--she and I were still married, and I was functioning as the Prime Minister of Ung. Udi had invited Ajinblambia, who was my acquaintance originally, to be our guest in
For example, one evening when I was in Udi's library reading one of her books, as she played the harpsichord, Ajinblambia came into the room and said to Udi, "Tell your sissy to leave."
I rose from my chair and started towards the door, but I thought I should object to her bluff manner.
"Please, Ajinblambia..." I begged with a lisp.
"Be quiet when I am in the room," she replied.
So I shut up, and, as I continued towards the door, I heard Udi say to Ajinblambia, "You can certainly be peremptory and forceful, dear Ajinblambia. You could have said, 'Dear Udi, I'd like a word with you privately, so if you would be kind enough to ask Vocno to excuse us for a few minutes, I'd appreciate it.' But you said, 'Tell your sissy to leave.' That is what you would have meant in any case, so it was better that you spoke so directly and clearly." Udi was really impressed. With this encouragement, Ajinblambia became even bolder. She would come into Udi's library, look at me, stamp her foot, and say, "Sissy!" This meant I was to leave immediately with my mouth shut. It was only a few days later, though, that Udi also began to call me "Sissy".
During her visit, Barti, Dhabbi, Mlechi, Vinja and Usha appeared unexpectedly at
In the late '380's, Queen Udi had sent me to Ujjama, the capital of Gangawar, to conduct negotiations with Agbar, one of the leaders of the revolution then convulsing the dark continent. While in Ujjama, I just happened to see those five girls, whom I had known for a year or two, on the street. Meruert, the sixth girl, had missed the train from Kshaddi, and so the Geese would forfeit their upcoming game with the Ujjama Cranes, unless they could find someone to substitute for her. I agreed to substitute for Meruert, but the Cranes shut us out handily anyway, 25-0. This was probably because, not in spite, of me. A full page photograph of the game was published in the Ujjama Roznama, the local newspaper. I could be seen clearly in the picture with the 11 girls. I was wearing a Kshaddi Geese uniform, with red leotard and red mini-skirt with self panties. After all, that was the only kind of uniform the Geese had available then.
Somehow, a copy of the newspaper got back to Udi, and she was furious. "I sent you to Ujjama to conduct serious diplomatic negotiations with Agbar and his people, and here I see you in a mini-skirt playing volleyball with a bevy of teen-age girls. I surely hope you liked playing for the Kshaddi Geese, because that is what you will be doing from now on." She dismissed me from the prime ministry, banished me to Kshaddi and assigned me to play volleyball for the Kshaddi Geese in perpetuity. I thought I'd have to spend my life playing girls' volleyball in Gangawar. I did enjoy it, of course, and I felt I could eventually reconcile myself to this new career, but the loss of the prime ministry had been a blow to my ego.
Some months later, Udi relented, rescinded her decree of banishment, recalled me to Mecnita and reinstated me as Prime Minister of Ung. She said that she had been teaching me a lesson she hoped I would never forget. She also interviewed the girls shortly thereafter, she forgave them, and she and they became good friends. Now, here they were in Mecnita, for an impromptu visit. Udi was delighted. In her merry way, she suggested that, since we six Kshaddi Geese were now reunited, we ought to reorganize the team as the Eldor Geese, and play a few games at
However, Ajinblambia told Udi that she thought that
Udi found this idea absolutely felicitous, delightful and exhilarating. She was in ecstasies and agreed to it immediately, decreeing that it all be done forthwith just as had been proposed by Ajinblambia. Ajinblambia then offered to perform the duties I had been performing as Prime Minister of Ung, but Udi decided to name her King of Ung instead of Prime Minister. King Ajinblambia and Queen Udi were soon married. And that is how Ajinblambia made herself ruler of the
Anyway, the day that Udi organized the Eldor Geese, she could not find another volleyball team in the area that could be ready to play on short notice. She was disappointed and annoyed. Ajinblambia had then offered to play the six of us Geese all by herself. Udi was shocked, amazed and incredulous. I could hear them talking. Queen Udi told Ajinblambia she wouldn't have a chance against six of us, but Ajinblambia said that she was really a superb volleyball player and could conceivably win a match with the Geese. At any rate, the worst thing that could happen is that she'd lose. "So what?" she asked, "So I lose. Nothing to fret about."
Udi finally agreed to let Ajinblambia take us on, and came walking in our direction to instruct us to get ready to play Ajinblambia. I was very nervous, because I was afraid that Ajinblambia would beat us, and so I'd be utterly huniliated. I suppose I was trembling a little with anxiety, and perhaps a frightened tear or two ran down my cheeks.
"Vocno, what are you bawling about? And why are you shaking like a leaf?" asked Udi teasingly. Udi began to call me Sissy only after I'm been drafted into the Eldor Geese and made a mandatory member of ther Girls' Volleyball Association of Greater Mecnita, a few days later.
"I am not bawling and I am not shaking like a leaf."
"Yes, you are bawling and shaking. I think you're afraid to play Ajinblambia."
"I am not afraid to play Ajinblambia. It's just that it's unfair to have her play against the Geese, since there are only six of us." The word only had been a slip of the tongue.
"Only six! How many girls do you want on your team--ten, twenty, thirty?"
"That word only was just a slip of the tongue, Udi. What I meant is that it is unfair to Ajinblambia to have to play us, when she is only one, and we are six."
"Nonsense, Vocno, you're just scared."
"I am not scared."
"So why do you keep bawling and shaking?" Udi continued her taunts.
"I am not bawling and shaking, Udi."
"Well, whatever you say, Vocno. But let's see you get out there and play."
Finally, there was no graceful way out, but to play Ajinblambia. The game opened with me serving. When I served, it went Ajinblambia 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, in nothing flat. When she served, it went Ajinblambia 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, in nothing flat. Then it was Ajinblambia 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Then Ajinblambia 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. And finally Ajinblambia 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. We Geese couldn't do anything right. We fell all over each other trying to return Ajinblambia's volleys, which were like cannonades. If we returned a ball at all, it was usually barely in bounds. So she shut us out, 25-0. Moreover, several times during the match, she deliberately spiked the ball in my direction so hard that it knocked me on my tail. She thought this was hilarious.
After the game, Udi ran up to Ajinblambia and enthusiastically embraced her, planting a bouquet of red kisses on her mouth. Ajinblambia picked Udi up, tossed her into the air, spinning her in a half-pirouette, so that Udi landed sitting on Ajinblambia's shoulders. After that, Ajinblambia and Udi were the royal couple, and we, the Eldor Geese, became their retinue, so to speak. I even had to dye my hair black for a few months so I'd look more like the other Geese. Eventually, they let me go blonde again.
Ajinblambia said that this volleyball game was one of her proudest, most glorious moments. So I've decided to tell it in some detail.
Later Ajinblambia apologized for having spoken to me so boldly on those occasions I have mentioned, but said that she had done so as a means of accustoming me to the idea of her majesty rather than to offend me wantonly. With her enthronement, of course, I pledged allegiance and obedience to her. Eventually I grew to worship her. I considered her divine.
When her biography had been published by Rupsnoir Press in Mecnita, our schedule changed a little. One day, when I had finished helping her bathe and dress, we found that we still had more than an hour with little to do. She could merely have dismissed me early, I suppose. But she said, "Sissy, why don't you come over and sit on my lap for a while?" She seated me backwards on her upper legs, my own legs in a kneel on either side of her thighs. She put her arms around my waist and pulled me towards her. I was scared. "What is she doing?" I asked myself. Then she kissed me. I simply could not believe this was happening. I could feel my hormones gushing within me. I became a torrent of estrogen. She kissed me again and again. I swooned. I fainted. I fell unconscious in her arms. This was paradise. This was nirvana. This was seventh heaven.
Of course, Ajinblambia was married to Udi, and I was married to Zevanardia, but in Ung, which is a society of beautiful lesbians, extramarital affection was allowable. We were fortunate in not being prey to the jealousies that plague other worlds. In fact, Ajinblambia had a large harem, and now it looked as if I was about to be enrolled.
A few days later, Ajinblambia adopted me formally into her harem as an odalisque. I would still be married to Zevanardia and live in Bo House, but I would be on call, and would have to report to Ajinblambia's harem whenever she wanted me there. Now, so everyone would know that I had been accorded the honor of being one of Ajinblambia's harem girls, I would have to wear a veil of white silk organza. We call this fabric brhosizhi, which is just a literal translation. Brho, with rh representing a voiceless r, as in Welsh, and o being in the level tone, i.e., Chinese's first tone, means organza. Si, with Italian-style i, but in the falling-rising tone, i.e., Chinese's third tone, means silk. And zhi, with zh like French j, and Italian-style i, but nasalized in this case, and in the falling-rising tone, without tone sandhi in the successive falling-rising tones, means white, and is based on our equivalent of the RGB colors, with zh standing for FFFFFF. Ajinblambia had a harem of 20,000 odalisques.
Incidentally. let me recall that when I first began to bathe Ajinblambia, she would sit on an elegantly carved stone seat in her huge bath. I would walk around in the knee-deep warm water, which was perfumed and rich with oil and liquid soap. Holding a natural sponge in my hand, I would gently wash her face, her body and her limbs, massaging them a little too. She suggested one day that I attach a mouthpiece to the sponge, something like a baby's pacifier, but longer and harder. Then I could hold the sponge in my mouth and have both hands free to raise and fondle her legs and arms, rubbing her with oil, as I brought my mouth close to her skin to lave it. Eventually, I told her that I wouldn't mind just filling my mouth with fragrance, soap. creme and oil, applying it with my lips and tongue instead of the impersonal sponge.
She really liked this new method of being bathed, but she asked me, "Doesn't the flavor of oil mixed with soap and perfume make you feel slightly sick?"
"It might ordinarily make me feel somewhat queasy," I admitted, "but kissing your skin seems to heal me, giving me health and happiness."
After her bath, I would pat her dry with a fresh towel, and lapping up a few tablespoonfuls of aromatic lotion, I would apply it with my lips and tongue to her bosom and hips. Then I would have her extend her legs before her so I could slip her panties over her feet. When she had risen, I would draw the panties into place. She liked white silk or synthetic panties with the waistband at the waist. Next I would help her into her brassiere, which matched her panties. I would attach her stockings to a light panty-girdle or bustier in which I had dressed her, and I would drop a slip, or a camisole and half-slip in place. Finally I'd put her dress on her. She allowed me to choose her dress for the day. Lately I'd been trying to accustom her to wearing peignoirs and chemises suitable for outdoors, but if not that, I'd dress her in a shirtdress of purple silk crepe or maybe a sheath dress of bright red linen. Her glossy black pumps would go onto her feet with a kiss or two, and--voila!--she'd be ready to run the world.
Ajinblambia's intimates were all provided by Cissi's of course, but I did not necessarily personally make them. That was Queen Udi's little prerogative, though Heaven knows that if Ajinblambia had wanted me to make her bras and panties too, most assuredly I'd be making them. One doesn't say, "No," to the great lady King of the
Let me pause for a minute to remark that anyone who reads a realistic chronicle or history should not expect plots or morals. There is no one in the ether arranging the events of a day, an era or a lifetime into a neat sequence that has a begining, a middle and an end constituting, as it were, a logical whole, as in a mystery novel, with crime, investigation and arrest. Life is not like that. It is random and unpremeditated. Nor should one expect to hear in the happenings of our quotidian existence the voice of a heavenly preceptor, showing us, as if by rebus, what is right and what is wrong. Fortunate and unfortunate occurrences don't amount to a visual catechism from which we learn the will of Heaven. So we may not say, as if looking at the last page of a book, "This will all be balanced and explained on page 450." It won't be, if the book is an honest record of life. If you detect the presence of a plot in a piece of historical writing or an implication that the concatenation of random events is tinctured with morality, it is the invention of the author.
Around day 150, I was informed by Ajinblambia that the
Apparently, the neurologists at the university had localized the early-speech region in the Pi'ian brain, and Nunu seemed to be developing activity in the same region, mimetically. We didn't want her to learn Bhassa Pi'i before she learned Ungi, however, wondering if we could transpose her budding ability to a new linguistic environment, without causing it to abate or recede. Ecoflasc and Oaslamd, two male doctors in the Neurosciences Department of the university, were sitting in Ajinblambia's office one afternnon just after Nunu's play session with the Pi'ian children had ended and she was being returned to me. Ajinblambia said they'd like to talk to me about my daughter. By the way, the medical profession is one of the last strongholds of the vanishing male sex in Ung, for some unknown reason.
Anyway, the neurologists had detected the presence of a thitherto unknown neurotransmitter, like a modified serotonin, in the central nervous systems of the Pi'ian children. The production of glycoserotonin, as the new neurotransmitter had been dubbed, seemed to be the agency that facilitated development of the early-apeech region. It was believed that very soon, the department would be able, by means of radioactive intervention, to promote early speech in non-Pi'ians. The question was, "Would you, O Dammina Sissy, consent to having Nunu undergo a series of procedures designed to test our hypotheses with respect to glycoserotonin? If our opinions are well-founded, she should be on her way to record-setting speech development on the continent of Eb. There is a small risk that something will go amiss, but we feel 98% confident that no harm will come of it all."
Ajinblambia intimated that she thought the doctors were very conservative, if anything, and that the risk was virtually nil. She counseled me to agree to their offer, and I did so. Ecoflasc and Oaslamd, taking their leave, said they would keep us apprised of all new developments.
Ajinblambia and I were excited at the prospect.
By this time of the year, I was going forward leaps and bounds in The Siege of Candle Tower, the ballet in which I danced the part of Ajinblambia. Honor of honors! Often, though, when I saw Ajinblambia in her office, she had tips and pointers on my performance. Concentrating on her remarks, I came closer and closer to perfection. Casmerodia was dancing fabulously well also, and the ballet was always sold out, thanks to the raves that Obscont kept publishing.
Ajinblambia had conceived what she considered a great new idea. I wasn't so sure. As I mentioned, Stlembi and Pixidixia, Queen Udi's two maids-in-waiitng who were versed in using the remote-control devices by which I could be manipulated when the neurosensors implanted within my body were active, had given me the title of High Maid of Gvagma. I had objected to being called Commissioner of Gvagma, because this title was not pretty enough to suit my tastes. In the capacity of high maid, I had for some time been subject to the robotic control of the two beautiful, merry girls, but now the neurosensors had been rendered inactive for the time being. What Ajinblambia had in mind was to activate the neurosensors again for so many hours per day or per day-decade, and turn me over to Stlembi and Pixidixia so that they could work out a new ballet, called The High Maid of Gvagma, in which I would not dance but be danced instead. The girls would choreograph me and put me through my steps willy-nilly. Then they would perform me in Rosebush Stadium, being danced through a ballet about my own ascent of the throne of girls' volleyball in Mecnita. Ajinblambia was very enthusiatic about this, while Stlembi and Pixidixia were overjoyed. So I would be their puppet, their doll, their robot! Despite my original reservations, the mirth of Ajinblambia and the girls was contagious, and I began to bubble over exuberantly too. How many light-years had I come since the days of my prime ministry?
Have I mentioned Dorgdid, Ung's second city, 1750 miles west-northwest of Mecnita. Dorgdid has a population of 67,000,000. Greater Dorgdid has 100,000,000. Dorgdid is the location of Mezquinc Aerospace Facility, where Barti now was overlady. At one time, Ajinblambia had superintended the facility herself, which she had built, but with her enthronement, she had deputed Barti to take over for her. Vranquelli, the mayoress of Dorgdid, was in Ajinblambia's office one afternoon when I had come from Bo House to fetch Nunu.
Of course, girls' volleyball was the main sporting event in Dorgdid, as in Mecnita, but the several hundred teams were wildcats, so to speak, each arranging its own games and playing according to its own lights.
Vranquelli and the other important ladies in the municipal government had been following the career of Gvagma,
Appointing Zevanardia Acting High Maid of Gvagma, I took a short leave of absence and flew Air Dorgdid to
"You've done a marvelous job of expanding and consolidating Gvagma, and your creation of Gvagma Village along with the wedding of Gvagma and Cissi's has been a joy to behold," Vranquelli effused, "I wonder if you can help us here in Dorgdid getting some of these wildcat volleyball players into lace panties, so to speak."
"I think I can," I said with more modesty than I felt.
"We were thinking of creating a league called Gvagdo, the Girls' Volleyball Association of Greater Dorgdid."
"Perfect! People will understand immediately that this is another Gvagma in the making. Shall we start by redistricting the city in a more orderly way?"
"Yes, let's," she agreed, "but you must be all in after your flight. I have reserved a suite for you at Hotel Pendagart. I'll have Gligzmact drive you right over. We can meet here tomorrow at 4 (9:36 AM). I'll send Gligzmact at 3:58 or so (8:59 AM)."
"This will be a challenge and an opportunity for us both," I assured Vranquelli as I walked out with Gligzmact to the cobalt blue sports car in which he drove me to the Pendagart. Like doctors, most chauffeurs in Ung are male, for obvious reasons in this case.
Mecnita is almost a perfect checkerboard of square districts, 400 in number, each 5 miles square, accounting for Mecnita's 10,000 square miles. Dorgdid was a square 80 miles on an edge, with 256 5-mile districts. The mile streets of Dorgdid were octagons, the 40th octagon being called Ronusgaling Octagon. The inter-octagonal areas were filled with a gridwork of local streets. I figured we could begin with 500 teams, including 244 from the suburbs, selecting the ones from among the wildcats who were willing to settle for a new canon. Vranquelli and I did map out a plat of the city that seemed workable, and I promised to see about locations for Cissi's outlets. Vranquelli said that they could make available to me at fashionable Daccarolling Mall in suburban Daccarolling a very commodious, elegant store at a nominal rental, as an incentive for drawing the well-known intmate-apparel chain to Dorgdid. I was elated by this handsome offer.
The next day, Vranquelli and I began to interview captainesses of some of the independent teams now functioning in the city, collecting resumes and names of references. I wondered how we should go about choosing a single girl to be High Maid of Gvagdo there was such a throng of beautiful, capable young ladies. Vranquelli settled the matter, saying that she could personally vouch for one Innavella, whom she had known since Innavella's childhood. She was a good athlete, but, more importantly, a promising leader, with administrative ability and analytical intelligence. She was the captainess of the Erizgengmo Hoopoes, one of Dorgdid's most successful volleyball teams. The Nyatic hoopoe is not exactly the same as the tellurian hoopoe, but the word hoopoe makes a convenient translation of our word qkhu, where q is a voiced uvular nasal, kh is a voiceless velar fricative and u is as in English full, fixed in the level tone. Many of our teams are named after birds and other wee beasties. That afternoon, Innavella herself reported to Vranquelli's office. She was very well-built, shapely and symmetrical. She stood a head taller than myself, not counting my horns. My self-consciousness about my height, diminutive by Ungi standards, and my horns gave me cause to act with visible embarrassment before this young goddess. I wondered that she was not visibly amazed to see the real person behind the legend surrounding me.
But she was all charm and politesse, genteel and friendly, and seemed to be glad to make my acquaintance. She was flattered that Vranquelli and I had decided to name her High Maid of Gvagdo. She would join Vranquelli, some other ladies and myself in the labors of setting up the league. We'd start the next day.
That night, as I was lying all alone in my canopy bed longing for the arms of Zevanardia or Ajinblambia, I had an odd dream. I saw myself as a gorgeous white octopus with volleyballs on the ends of my tentacles, which were extended over all the great cities of Eb. I would overspread a continent, bringing girls' volleyball to all its far-flung outposts. Then I woke up and realized I had my arms and legs spread as wide as possible on the eiderdown comforter atop my bed, like a four-tentacled mini-octopus, and I chuckled as I rose to get a cold drink of pineapple juice from the refrigerator in my suite. Then I went back to sleep and saw myself as an octopus again, but this time, instead of volleyballs, I had bras and panties. This dream was prophetic, I said to myself.