Chapter 13. Whips and Whispers

Well, I guess that I’m a bit scared. Maybe more than just a bit. Those guys from the club of Marquis de Sade have an inclination towards physical harm. Nothing like the Arctic spiders sent to crawl my spine by the gentle cute Beatrice. These feel more like reins, giving me moderate pain. Once I behave, the spider has already vanished. Not sure if I can even remember the discomfort.

“You’re going to remember the strings of my whip for your entire life, Astarte.”

Oh my God, when was the last time I’ve been feeling pain? So deeply to remember? Let me see… Ah, yes, that cretin stinker. Don Dawn, the paragalactic pimp. He said HALT to me, while I was speeding up, charging against his pyramid. What a fool!

“You or him?”

Beg a pardon?

“Who was the fool: Don or you?”

Uhm, good question. Think we both were. He was shitting his pants (“what pants?”) and, lacking ideas, he screamed at me to stop. I was feeling too good in my old, reactivated, skin and flesh; my desire to show myself gave me the urge to charge that pyramid. Didn’t know at the time that NOK had had me put asleep inside a similar one.

“And how about the pain that Don had inflicted on you with his four letter word: HALT?”

It aches as I recollect the memories of it. Bone and tissue halting before the last nanosecond of the severe “T” had expired. Yet the fluids in me, most prominently my blood, were subject to inertia. They boiled! My heart could not break because of Don’s HALT command. The pressure of my boiling blood grew higher and higher. As my organs, my bones and flesh, were turning to stone, my nerves continued to send signals into my brain. There is no word in French or Aramaic to describe this kind of torture. I’ll never forget that moment, when my sprint abruptly came to a standstill.

“You were running at what speed exactly?”

Can’t tell you… exactly. That Albert guy from America had his good points too. But with approximation, I was pushing for nine thousand kilometers per second.

“Wow! This makes some thirty-two million kilometers per hour. You should go to the Olympics…”

Forget about Zeus and all those games that he invented for pets and slaves. The Age of Saturn will bring the human race closer to freedom and fulfillment.

“…or even to Formula 1. Why did you interrupt my phrase with your rage against Zeus?”

You don’t wish to know. Zeus is the worst of all daemons.

“I thought that was Lucifer.”

Lucifer is no more. But Zeus still is… You were talking about some whip or?

“Told Guy to make one suitable for your buttocks. You’ll get spanked, Astarte.”

Oh, Why? You little kitten, why spank me when you can muster all the scorpions from the dark ends of your mind? Why not command me to run and then HALT me at your leisure? Do you think that spanking will feel like torture to me?

“In our culture, they still think that only virgins can be innocent. I’ve tried to challenge this belief, telling them that whores, and even politicians, have had their moments, short or long, of virtue. But looking at you, listening to you, reading your mind, I have the ultimate proof: Astarte!, you are the most genuine harlot to date!”

Is this a compliment?

“There you go. Never mind. Back to spanking now. Look at me!”

Oh dear, I’m looking at you all the time. Don’t wish to step on you. Don’t wish to stumble at this appalling speed. Don’t wa…

“Good! Now shut up!”

I do as she says, continuing to ‘wait’ in her steps. Half an hour later, she shows me a crack in the wall, telling me to fit in.

Really?

“Yes. Do it!”

I obey, what else…

“Stay in there. Face to the rock. Don’t you move!”

As if I could…

Another half an hour turns me impatient. Nice spanking. Feels like nothing. Think I out loud… Yvonne answers not. Instead of her voice, from afar, I can hear the pulsating sound of a helicopter. Ah! Guy! My little puppy. Guy is coming! Tickling myself already…

“Two of the blades of his helicopter have deployed carbon fiber strings that are about to act as whips on your bottom. I’m going to spank you with Guy’s helicopter. It’s a first for me, must admit.”

You’re quite an inventive race, must admit.

“Who ordered you to speak?”

I didn’t speak. Was just thinking.

“Who ordered you to think?”

Well, that should be a tough one. Not having Beatrice in range to call her spiders. How can I stop thinking?

“Try harder!”

Easy to say, har…

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Guy, mon amour. Vous êtes magnifique! I have to stop thinking, so I start speaking French.

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Don’t know how he does this, but it’s an undiscovered pleasure for me to be spanked.

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I am dreaming. A warm dream. My butts are one with my mind. My mind is one with the universe.

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I am no more. You are no more. They are no more.

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We are no more.

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Look!

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Don’t look…

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Anymore…

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Take me!

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Now!

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What is now?

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Where is now?

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Who is now?

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***

“Guy, dégage un peu. Laisse-la respirer.”

The cracks swish away, my mind detaches from the universe, my booty burns. I am Astarte and I love to be spanked.

“Anything coherent?”

Like what? I turn around to cushion my blazing bum against the fence of granite.

“Like what you’ve seen, what you’ve heard, where have you been?”

Can’t tell. Oh wait. Let me check the cache.

“Save it first to this area of your brain. And keep it encrypted, please.”

As I’d have a choice about that. Done!

“Great. Now read your cache. Er, better put it on screen, will you?”

Astarte, 2021, August 22nd, 22:59 Zulu Time.

The volume feed begins in black, because I’ve kept my eyes closed. The pulsating sounds interfere because Guy’s helicopter is still in hearing range. Taking notice, Yvonne asks him to fly away. Which he does, removing the big whipping insect from the landscape. Yes, I said that it’s big because it is indeed larger and sturdier than the first helicopter – that he used while escorting us between the platforms.

My black screen-captures from the cache are over. Nothing but the swishing whip cracks. Hum…

“Is that all?”

Yes, Yvonne, all my cache. Black, void, empty… Sorry.

“Don’t be sorry. Filter out the helicopter sounds and your groans, everything from the cave, then run the feed again please.”

I do as instructed. Still nothing…

“Slow the feed at one frame per second and rerun please.”

Bit surprised, never thought about that, I follow her indications.

The image remains a consistent black. I warn Yvonne that the length of the feed is now of 2,321 hours. This is what one frame per second did to my eight seconds cache retrieval.

“I see, Astarte. It would be impractical to stare at a black screen for more than three months. What shall we do?”

Call Beatrice. She’s the encryption gal. No?

“She is. Calling her… Ah? Oui!… Vraiment?!… Bon. Bisous. Bisous.”

??…

“She just informed me that she’s got your cache, live, and is currently processing the voices in it.”

Voices? Did I hear voices?

“The cache will tell, dear. The cache will tell.”

Oh my. This is creepy. Hearing voices scares me.

“Any memories?”

Very bad ones…

“Cheer up, monster woman!”

Beatrice pops up in front of my nose. Have to squint my eyes when focusing on her. Well, darling, you kind of scared me…

“You’ve been already frightened, a second away from panic. I’m here to comfort you. As always. Would you be so kind and listen to these soundtracks?”

I nod. She lands on the square block to join Yvonne. As her finger points to me, the air becomes denser and denser. Abrupt murmurs arrive and depart from the heavy silence surrounding us.

“Someone has whispered something to you, Astarte. Am I guessing right?”

Dunno, Beatrice. No idea… Can’t remember… Pause this! Her finger clicks the air and the soundtrack stops. But silence never departs her dark shadow from us. I feel strange. Not at lost, just intrigued. Go on. Let it play. She clicks again to unmute the stillness in mumbles that I bet I’ve heard before. Damn… Oh no! This seems to sound like Hades, a prominent deserter from the Venusian Insurrection.

“You don’t seem too surprised, Astarte.”

Discovering the voice of Hades in black whispers out of nothingness is to be expected. He is an inert daemon. Let me check something with… Yes! Kronos confirms that there is no information of Hades in any black hole. The problem is not this one but his brothers Poseidon and Zeus – the Haters of the Truth!

“Listen carefully to the stream, please.”

I do this. Focusing all of my attention on the enigmatic undertones. Too much of Hades! Could you filter it out and let us jump to the next pattern? Without responding verbally, Beatrice satisfies my wish. Minutes later, I inform my little sisters about three more distinct voice patterns in the feed. Not sure what to do with them. Put them in separate segments please. I want to hear one at a time. She performs the segmentation.

Yes! This is the voice of Zeus and this the voice of Poseidon. As about the third one, it is… it… is… a female voice… On my God! It is mine.

“You were there, under the whip, makes sense, no?”

No, Yvonne, it makes no sense because we’ve filtered out my moans along with the pulses and whipcracks of the helicopter. Every sound from this cave had been cleared. Besides, we’re now digging through processed streams originating from a nanosecond feed. All that we hear comes from a different world.

Silence returns to govern over us. I let myself back into the wall. Touching it, my lower butts warm up to the recent stinging memories. As my body finds comfort, my mind signals an urgent need for confidence. Which Beatrice hurries to provide. Love my angel…