Right after the beginning of year '398, when I was in Ajinblambia's chambers, seeing to her bath and helping her dress, I mentioned that I wanted Gvagma Village to make a real contribution to the festivities that would be held to mark the anniversary of the coronation of Queen Udi as Queen of Nyatic Ung. She agreed that this was fit and due, but noted that Gvagma Village had already been dedicated to Queen Udi. We would therefore approach the affair in a different light than if we had been dedicating it for the first time.
Ajinblambia suggested that we turn Gvagma Village into a mass of roses for the occasion. I found this idea beautiful, but I was reluctant to cut tons of roses and have them expire in a few days. It seemed such a waste. I preferred to display living roses that would be in bloom at that time. Our botanists have developed a new strain of long-blossoming roses that goes by the scientific name of Rosa numerosa. Bushes of this new species have massed flowers almost like living bouquets. We would plant these all around the grounds, in the earth itself, in planters, pots and urns, creating a red riot. Of course, we would cut some roses, to decorate the arch of white trelliswork we would erect for the nonce, and for wreaths, festoons and swags we would scatter about the village.
Whereas in '390, Queen Udi had ridden her white mare along the Avenue of Ung only as far as 2 Ramdonia Circle, the northern tower among the eight towers of that circle, in '398, she would ride through the passageway in 2 Ramdonia Circle and then onto the avenue connecting 2 Ramdonia Circle to 6 Ramdonia Circle till she reached the very center of the circle, then turn southeast along the avenue between 3 Ramdonia Circle and 7 Ramdonia Circle. She'd ride through the passageway in 7 Ramdonia Circle, emerging in front of Rosebush Stadium, which would have its front and back gates open. Passing through Rosebush Stadium, she'd ride under the rose-laden treslliswork arch at the front of Gvagma Village, and from there to a point near the fountain before Gvagma Tower, where she would dismount, and be hailed by the golden multitudes gathered there to the purpose.
Ten thousand lovely maidens in rose red gowns would procession behind the queen, ten abreast, extending almost the whole five miles between Eldor Palace and Ramdonia Circle. Many would bear the banners of the provinces, principalities, states, republics, cantons and enclaves whose composition was Ung.
By the 15th, the Vunu Vunu Singers would be back in Mecnita, and they'd sing a song in Nori composed especially for the anniversary of Udi's coronation. We had put up a temporary bandshell, since the lovely songstresses would be singing outdoors and we did not want to lose the acoustics that their recital hall ordinarily provided.
Vinja had offered to jet down to the island of Vingolilo, in Ungonesia, in the Southern Ocean, to invite the flying ladies who rule the island to come to Gvagma Village on the 15th. These eight ladies were petite, charming, lovely, little creatures who could actually fly. Only they, among the Vingoliloans, whether female or male, could fly, and because of this they governed the island. They had a temple, inaccessible to all but themselves, high on a precipice in the green mountains east of Molonolo, the capital. There they maintained a sempiternal flame and flew daily with the white doves they had bred for generations. They conducted various rites and observances on behalf of their people, of whom they were adored. Their names were Alalani, Tomopopo, Valahuhu, Fafotoni, I'ikiki, Kanalaki, Ukafani and Weahafi.
Of course, they could not fly all the way from Vingolilo to Mecnita, which is about 4000 miles, so they came with Vinja on a mini-jet belonging to Fulumoan Airlines. They brought their doves with them. It was arranged that somewhat before the arrival of Queen Udi, mounted on her white mare, the Gvagma Wheel would be closed to ordinary passengers. The eight flying ladies from Vingolilo would ride to the top of the ferris wheel, where it would be stopped until Udi was about halfway from the trelliswork arch to the fountain. Then the Vingoliloan ladies, with lustrous white wings and in flowing white skirts, their breasts bare, would fly down in formation, making graceful curves and figures in the air, their doves at their sides, landing just as Queen Udi arrived. They would all bow and hail the great world queen, who was mistress of Ungonesia as she was of Ebbic Ung.
The Gvagma Institute of Lacemaking and the Gvagma Institute of Haute Couture, twin buildings opposite each other on Institute Way, in the Art Colony of Gvagma Village, still were not 100% complete, but they were near enough completion that their gates could be flung wide. Queen Udi toured both institutes, followed by a suite of her citizens and admirers. In each of the buildings, a portrait of the queen had been mounted in the place of honor.
Robot volleyball was played in the robot theater, but it was an abbreviated game, as there was so much the queen had to attend to. In the last play of the game, the huge white volleyball, which was really a balloon of sorts, was sent sailing in Udi's direction. Before it reached her though, someone pricked it with a long barb, and it exploded, throwing rose petals all over the queen and the guests near her.
There was food and drink for all. In addition to free lunches at the Rose Verandahs, there were jute sacks of cashews, pecans, apples and dates. There was popcorn, gingerbread, ice cream. There were sausages, spiced meat balls, stuffed peppers, kebabs. There was punch. There was wine. There was cider.
Also, Jilmzbra Bakery, which is the largest bakery on the Nyatic planet, baking 600,000,000 loaves a day in its cyclopean facility in the Ulmla District, delivered hot bread to Gvagma Village in its oven trucks. The baking actually went on inside as they rolled from Ulmla to Ramdonia. The baking chambers in the trailers of the trucks were heated to a temperature of about 500 kelvins, perfect for our bread. This is the chewiest, most delicious bread you can imagine, with white, doughy flesh inside a slightly glazed twisted brown crust sprinkled with tasty sesame, poppy or caraway seeds. When well drenched with soft, warm, fresh, sweet butter, Jilmzbra bread has no rival in Ti, our galaxy, or in Zwafna, your galaxy, I trow.
Queen Udi walked the Orchid Walk, where she met Inokali, our orchid lady, and her assistants Loapuna and Mingotani. They presented her with red calypso orchids, agreeing with the red of the roses all around the village.
Then Udi strolled down to Bo House, looked it over approvingly, but did not enter. She toured Gvagma Tower, visited Cissi's in Ramdonia, where she was given several lovely gifts, and visited half a dozen of the galleries on Gallery Way. At the Nautilus Chamber, a seashell gallery in the Art Colony, she was given a beautiful collection of queen conchs, nautiluses and other shells.
Then she rode back to Eldor Palace, where, of course, Ajinblambia and the Geese, myself included, feted her in a banquet. This soiree lasted till midnight, at which time we all went to our respective dwelling places.
For several years I had had a warrant as Panty Maker to the Queen, and according to this, I was personally to make up to fifty pairs of panties for the queen each month. However, she had suspended the requirement several times when more important matters had come up. Although the beginning of year '398 was anything but a lull, Udi had me making one pair of panties a day for her. You have to understand that there were several sempstresses who could have made them just as well as I, but this was Queen Udi's idea of a humorous way of exercising her authority over me. She found this very pleasant and delightful.
I was not allowed to deliver the panties directly to Udi though. It would have been considered improper for her and me to have our hands on a single pair of panties at the same time, even if only for the split second when I was actually handing them to her. Therefore, Stlembi, a young palace maid in Queen Udi's service, would come to my office in Gvagma Tower, where I sewed the panties, and pick up a pair each afternoon, delivering them to Queen Udi in Eldor Palace later. Nor was Udi inclined to talk about the panties with me. She felt this somewhat indelicate. So all I did was hand them to Stlembi every day, with no further knowledge of their destiny.
At least this was the case until one day when I was in Ajinblambia's chamber applying her lipstick and her makeup. Interrupting me for a minute, she said that she just loved the panties I'd been making. She said that she became very excited and aroused whenever Udi put on a pair and would sometimes snatch Udi right up in her arms and take her to their canopy bed, where she would play with the panties for hours, making sweet love to Udi. She mentioned that a couple of times she had even taken the waistband in the back of the panties in her teeth, lifted Udi into mid-air and raced around the bed with Udi swinging at her bosom. Queen Udi responded to all this with passionate abandon, according to Ajinblambia, often clinging to Ajinblambia's neck and raining torrents of red kisses on her mouth. Oh, how I envied Ajinblambia her possession of Queen Udi!
However, when I thought it over, I speculated that perhaps Ajinblambia had been exaggerating a little. Had she really used her teeth to pick Udi up by the waistand of her panties? It was possible I suppose, but it seemed wild and crazy. And I wasn't even allowed to hand the panties to Udi or discuss them with her! This would have been immodest and indecorous!
One day, Stlembi came to my office in Gvagma Tower, with the pair of panties I had made the day before. She said they were defective, and she showed me that the seam that connected the body of the panties to the waistband was discontinuous, with a gap of about one inch in length, so that you could pull the body and the waistband apart sideways and see a small slit.
Stlembi said to me, "Queen Udi was very annoyed with this defect, instructing me to give you a good, sound spanking." I couldn't believe my ears. Udi had instructed Stlembi to give me a good sound spanking? She would have slender little Stlembi spank me for a tiny fault in the panties I had made?
"Oh, no, you're not going to spank me!"
"Oh, yes, I am!"
I put up my hands with my palms towards Stlembi and my fingers spread wide apart. She put her palms against mine, lacing her fingers between mine, flexing them at the knuckles and then squeezing so hard that I could not free my hands, which she bent backwards, forcing me onto my sofa. She was so agile that, in less than a minute, she was sitting on my sofa and had laid me face-down on her thighs, with my legs on her right side, so that I was practically kneeling on the floor. She was holding my wrists behind my back with her amazingly strong left hand. She raised my skirt and petticoat, throwing them over my hands and my upper back, and exposing my panty-clad derriere. She then proceeded to spank me. This was no game, no play spanking, no charade. It was a good, sound spanking that lasted about ten minutes. Then she let me rise. I was terribly embarrassed and frightened.
After that, whenever Stlembi came to my office, I blushed scarlet and cringed in fear, trembling like a leaf. I complained to Ajinblambia. She said that this was Udi's affair, but that I should not take it up with Udi directly. That would be unchaste. My course of appeal was through Stlembi herself. I should seek to persuade Stlembi to ask Udi to let her discontinue the practice. Unfortunately, Stlembi enjoyed spanking me and thought that it was salutary. So my appeal got nowhere. I just had to resign myself to an occasional spanking.
Stlembi boasted to the other palace maids that Queen Udi had authorized her to spank me. Soon the tale was all over the palace. There was even a humorous little note in Obscont.
But the only palace maid who felt aggrieved was Pixidixia. Stlembi and Pixidixia were Queen Udi's most important personal maids, and they were coequal in rank. Pixidixia complained to Udi that Udi had neglected her in granting the right of spanking me only to Stlembi. Of course, Stlembi had said nothing to Queen Udi about how I had appealed to her to ask Udi to allow her to cease and desist from the spankings. So Udi was more interested in appeasing Pixidixia than in rescuing me, and agreed to let Pixidixia spank me the next time I made a mistake. It just so happened that a week or so later, I made another blunder. I had forgotten to knot and trim some loose threads, one of which was beginning to come undone. It took only a couple of minutes to correct the error, but Pixidixia came to my office the next day to spank me. It was the same kind of scene all over again.
Anyway, shortly after the anniversary of Queen Udi's coronation, classes at the Gvagma Institute of Lacemaking began. The classes were conducted on different levels. Some of the entrants would pursue a complete curriculum in lacemaking, embroidery and allied arts. This was a four-year program that led to a bachelor of fine arts degree. There were also some classes for amateurs and hobbyists. Then there was an introductory program, where one could find out what was involved and then decide whether and where to seek placement.
When I saw some of the lace pillows with dozens of round-headed pins inserted and dozens of spangled bobbins hanging in neat rows, I was utterly fascinated. This was exactly the sort of thing that appealed to me. It reminded me of some elegant sort of backgammon or jackstraws, or perhaps a super-abacus. With my inclination for mathematics and geometry, of course I would love making bobbin lace. Encahia, who was grateful to me for my assistance in the establishment of the institute, offered to tutor me personally, alone, in a sort of high-speed training course. I gained skill very rapidly, and it was not long before I was adding touches of handmade lace to Udi's panties. You can be sure that Ajinblambia loved that. I also started making the waistbands easy for Ajinblambia to bite and strong enough to hold Queen Udi aloft. I was dying of envy!
Still, the task of making one pair of panties a day for Queen Udi was just a little burdensome, what with my hectic schedule at Gvagma Village, at Cissi's and in the Royal Council, not to mention the actual volleyball games in which I played, howbeit ineffectually. I did not want to neglect my romance with Zevanardia either. She was such a deserving friend and spouse.
I mentioned to Ajinblambia one morning that the panty-making chore was working a small hardship on me, and I wondered if she might not persuade Udi to release me from the obligation altogether, or at least reduce the number of pairs I was required to make.
The next morning, Ajinblambia told me that Udi wanted me to hold a Panty Fair in Gvagma Village in the near future. I blushed at what at first seemed such a scandalous proposal, but upon thinking it over and in consideration of the fact that Mecnita is 99% female, I concluded that it might be fun after all. Queen Udi wanted me to display 1000 pairs of panties at Cissi's in Ramdonia in a whole range of styles and designs, each pair unique, as it were.
"I can have the panties ready in four or five weeks if I put 15 or 20 sempstresses to work on them," I replied to Ajimblambia.
"But Udi wants you personally to make them all."
"She wants me personally to make 1000 pairs of panties? Oh, impossible, impossible!"
"Why?" asked Ajinblambia, "How long does it take to make a pair?"
"It takes almost three-quarters of an Ungi hour," I answered. Three-quarters of an Ungi hour is about an hour and 52 minutes on an earthly clock.
"So you could make 10 pairs in 7.5 Ungi hours. That would leave you 2.5 hours each day to sleep, bathe, dress and eat. That should be adequate." 2.5 Ungi hours is equal to about 6 hours and 15 minutes in earth time.
"What about my multifarious administrative and athletic duties?"
"We could have Zevanardia take over your administrative work. And undoubtedly we could find some prepubescent girl to substitute for you in volleyball," she added with a big smile. This obviously was an allusion to my having played for the Eldor Goslings, a team of volleyball girls 8 to 12 years old.
"Oh, this is some kind of slavery!"
"It would be only for 100 days, till you have made the 1000 pairs."
"Oh, blazes!" I thought to myself, but it did no good. Every day, from Day 30 to Day 129 I was actually locked in my sewing room alone with my chair and sewing machine until I had produced 10 pairs of panties. Then they were inspected. A good number of times I was spanked by Stlembi or Pixidixia, who seemed to revel in their paddlings. If I was ever to learn docility, one of the virtues that I was supposed to cultivate, this was the time.
It was so embarrassing at the Panty Fair when it came out that Queen Udi had had me make all the panties myself. This was her idea of teasing me. The ladies were all amazed at my prolific hands and fingers.
After the Panty Fair, I returned to my regular schedule, resuming my administrative and athletic duties as before. Queen Udi had Ajinblambia inform me that she wanted me to make the full quota of 50 pairs of panties each month, instead of the 30 pairs that she had been letting me get away with. I now understood that balking at this order could be dangerous, so I accepted it debonairly amd merrily. So I would have to make 5 pairs every 3 days, instead of one pair every day.
I wondered if there would be a Panty Fair every year, but I didn't dare ask, for fear lest, if it hadn't already been decided that there would be, my query would plant the seed and I'd have only myself to blame if I should be chained to my sewing machine 100 days a year.
We contemplated bringing horses and ponies, or elephants, large turtles or other animals to Gvagma Village, but finally decided that we simply lacked the space. At any rate, the habits of most animals were not in keeping with the immaculacy of Gvagma Village that we were trying to maintain. There were plenty of bridle paths around the city of Mecnita. Let those ladies who like to ride use them. Surely you recall Shnuvi Woods Bridle Path, where I had my encounter with Lady Impacta. There was an excellent bridle path from Fcilla, through Trentshna, to Bfugny, three districts 40 miles north of Eldor. There was a fine one in Gydno and Galfst, districts to the southeast. And there were literally dozens of others. Swans and geese could be seen in Piljandar, dolphins in Anjmanj. We had pigeons at the fountain in Gvagma Village; that would have to be enough. And eventually I would reverse myself on having swans.
We did not want anything carnivalesque or circuslike. We wanted no gambling casinos, no taverns or bars, no burlesque shows, no freak shows, no chambers of horrors, no houses of crazy mirrors, no ghosts, monsters, witches, werewolves or vampires, no shooting ranges, no fortune-tellers, no dream-interpreters, no palm-readers, no phrenologists, no seances, no contortionists, no flame-swallowers, no players of card tricks, no stage magicians, no comedians, no quiz shows, no religious sermons, no obscenity or profanity. Everything was to be legitimate, lovely and ladylike, reassuring and elegant, without trickery, illusions, deceit or gimmicks.
One morning right after the Panty Fair, when I was in Ajinblambia's chambers, helping her into her bra and her panties, she said, "Sissy, please report to the Department of Neurosciences of the University of Mecnita tomorrow at 2.5 Ungi. I'm having them perform some minor neurosurgery on you."
"Neurosurgery?" I asked with audible alarm.
"Don't worry. Everything is just fine. This is just a routine little operation I want them to perform. Ask for Synaptica." Our citizens often assume names that suggest their professions.
"Very well," I answered, as if I had a choice. I was surprised though, that the operation was to be performed so early. The University of Mecnita, with a student body of 250,000 on its main campus, in the Plembrust District, northwest of Eldor, is the largest and most prestigious university on the planet. I was there at 2.5 Ungi the next morning. The Department of Neurosciences was in an onyx-black and bottle-green high-rise building on the campus.
Synaptica led me to an elevator and we whizzed up to a theater of surgery on the 85th floor. "Just lie on the operating table there and relax." Within minutes, she was putting me under anesthesia, so that I lost consciouness altogether. With no sense of the intervening time, I was shocked when I came to, to find that it was 9 Ungi (9:36 PM). I had been unconscious for over 15 earth-hours. What could they have done that took so long, I wondered.
"What kind of operation did you perform, Synaptica?" I asked timidly.
"See this?" She held in her fingers a tiny metallic device about the size of a grain of rice or a BB. The evidence of sophisticated workmanship and engineering was present in the shape and the barely visible markings on the piece. "This is a neurosensor. It receives impulses from a remote-control device."
"You planted one of these sensors in my body somewhere?" I asked.
"One?" she said with a laugh. "We planted hundreds, throughout your body."
"Hundreds? But I see no incisions or sutures."
"With our latest technology, we can slip them in without a visible trace of invasion."
"What are they supposed to do?"
Synaptica produced a small black vinyl oval about the size of a large coin or a small cookie. At one end of the oval there was a larger looped elasticized cord, much like a cord a girl would use to bind her ponytail. At the other end, there were two similar, but smaller, looped cords. Synaptica stuck her right hand through the larger loop until it was around her wrist. She stuck her index finger through one of the smaller loops, and her little finger through the other. The oval then lay flat in the palm of her hand, held securely so that she could not drop it accidentally.
"Here let me show you," she said, pressing her middle finger against the vinyl oval, apparently in a particular place. I felt my right arm rise involuntarily until it was straight up. Synaptica then pressed the oval in another place, and my left arm rose. So I looked as if I had been surrendering to somebody with a weapon, my hands above my head. I tried to lower my arms, but they were inert. Finally, Synaptica said, "Here let me let them down." They dropped involuntarily back into place as she pressed the oval again.
Then she said, "Try this one." She pressed the oval in another place and my right leg rose into a high kick, in ballerina fashion. Synaptica was holding me so that I would not lose my balance. Then she let down my right leg, and raised my left, again holding me.
She said, "I can combine those last two steps into a program, repeating them as many times as I like. I give it about six repetitions, and then, I save, and the program is in memory. I've called the program Kicks, but it can be deleted later."
She said she would now play "Kicks" back, and, involuntarily, I kicked my right leg and my left leg alternately, each six times, like a chorus girl. Then my legs dropped into place and I couldn't move.
"Well, let me shut off the remote-control device for now," said Synaptica with finality, and all returned to normal.
"So do you want me to take the remote-control device to Ajinblambia?"
"Oh, heavens, no! There's no telling what you'd do with it. We will deliver them to Ajinblambia ourselves."
"Them? How many are there?"
"There are several."
The following morning, I was again in Ajinblambia's chamber. I could see she had one of the remote-control devices in her right hand, with the cords in place around her wrist and her fingers." I am going to record one of your regular duties. I want you to enter again, get out my panties, my bra and my slip, and lay them in place. Then draw the water for my bath, adding oils and perfume, as you always do. Then sit down in the boudoir chair."
I did exactly as Ajinblambia had instructed. She recorded it all and created a program called Bath, which she saved and locked inside the oval.
"Now go outside and open the door again, as if you were just coming in for the first time."
I went out and came back in. As I came in, Ajinblambia pressed the oval with her ring finger. At once, I was gripped by some kind of inexplicable force, and laid out Ajinblambia's clothes and drew her bath all automatically, all willy-nilly, all fatalistically, all choicelessly. I was frightened and shocked, but Ajinblambia just laughed and said, "Oh, this is so much fun!"
Later that morning, when we had completed our three-hour session, with Ajinblambia recording and creating several programs, she said to me, "Go see Queen Udi in her office. She wants a word with you."
I went to Queen Udi's office, expecting her to have a remote-control device in her hand, but she did not. "Sissy," she began, "I've been so busy that I haven't had the time to supervise you as closely as I should, and the situation will become even more difficult in the future. Therefore, I'm delegating this to Stlembi and Pixidixia, my two maids. If they tell you to do something, it will be just as if I were telling you. Do you understand?"
I couldn't believe my ears. Stlembi and Pixidixia were going to enjoy absolute authority over me! This was absurd! This was preposterous! I was to be the obedient servant of two fifteen-year-old girls.
Then Udi called out to the next room, "Stlembi! Pixidixia! Come now! It's time to take charge of Sissy."
When the girls came, I saw that each had a remote-control device in her hand. Queen Udi told Stlembi to go with me to my office in Gvagma Tower and introduce me to curtsification. This was a new word in the dictionary of Nuu, our language. If I curtsied voluntarily, they would say that I curtsied. If I were made to curtsy by Stlembi or Pixidixia with a remote-control device, they would say that I was curtsified or, simply, I curtsified. For example, they might say, "Sissy curtsifies so beautifully when I press the oval." We called this the passive absolute of the verb curtsify, or the causative passive absolute of the verb curtsy. Such subtle distinctions and abstruse derivations are beyond expression in ordinary English, and must be translated by makeshifts.
Stlembi would program her remote-control device to curtsify me right in my office in Gvagma Tower. We went down from Eldor to Ramdonia by metro. Stlembi had already been apprised that if I tried to seize the device, attack her or run off, all she needed to do was squeeze the device and I'd freeze where I was. She knew this and I knew it too, so she was able to control me very handily.
Once in my office in Gvagma Tower, Stlembi had me go to my sewing machine, fetch Udi's panties and stuff them in the bib of the pinafore apron I would have to wear from then on. She then told me to stand in a particular place in my office, while she went back out. When she knocked, I was to walk to the door, open it, letting her in, and then close it, returning to where I had been standing. Stlembi would come and stand before me, facing me, whereupon I would have to go into a deep curtsy. I would have to stand on the balls of my feet and curtsy till my buttocks were on my heels. Then taking the panties from my bib, I would have to place them in my hands, cupped upwards, as if I had been making an offering to a goddess, leaning forward and bowing ceremoniously. Then I was to sit on my heels again until Stlembi left the room. As soon as she had closed the door, I would be released from remote control, but I would not be able to open the door for 10 minutes, so that when I looked out, Stlembi would be gone.
We went through the whole procedure very carefully. Stelembi recorded it all and created a program called Curtsification. But she changed some of the features by editing the program. I would have to sit on my heels, not for just a few seconds, as I had done while we were creating the program, but for fully two minutes, as a token of humility and docility, and I would have to bow not once, but three times.
Once the program was created and edited in the way I have mentioned, it was a fait accompli. When Stlembi came to my door and pressed the remote-control device in the correct way, the whole procedure took place as if a piece of sophisticated machinery had been running. I couldn't deviate one millimeter from my specified path.
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