Madison's unchained and led upstairs by an armed escort, who make sure he's presentable. Gotta be all cleaned up before doing the nasty, no?
They thrust him into a washroom and made him strip and bathe. They inspected him. Intimately.
"He doesn't seem to have any lice or bacteria," said the original guard,
Whaaaa? Either Voltar has some huge-ass single-cell organisms, or - and this is almost unthinkable - Heller's super-duper vision isn't as special as we previously thought.
gazing critically at Madison, "but he's not well equipped. I don't see how he can give her a good time."
But she's barely into puberty, why would he need... so what's the average... are enhancements like Prahd's common... why do you even care if...
"Well, listen you," said the sergeant to Madison, suddenly flicking a knife out of the back of his silver coat, "if you don't act nice and give her a good (bleep), I'll personally use this to cut your (bleeps) off. Is that understood?"
Madison gulped, covered his (bleeps) protectively with his hand and backed up.
Have you not noticed she's underage? Or is this one of those "she's royalty, I don't even have to think" things? Or is Voltar just a place where bystanders are deeply concerned about the quality of strangers' sex lives?
With Madison bathed and thoroughly threatened with dire consequences for a poor sexual performance, it's time to present him to the "queen," which requires a certain amount of pomp and ceremony that the guards have remembered from their grandparents. Which confirms that yes, these people have literally been sitting around this house for the past two generations, waiting for a noble to serve. They're so utterly servile that they haven't thought to go out and make something of themselves. They sat around, reproduced, and taught their kids to do the same jobs.
Still, only two generations. Better than that Chinese family from Battlefield Earth that waited a thousand years for an emperor to grovel in front of.
Props are involved: a collar, a gold chain, and a control for the chain's electrified wiring to shock any unruly slave. I mean, paramour. This is obviously how you handle a liaison between lovers. You lead the slave in to the queen's chamber, announce "Your Majesty, here is one to do your bidding: pray thee, if he does not please thee, I shall be right outside the door with an electric whip." Oh, did I not mention the electrified whips? They give Madison a light zap just to make a point.
"Now, when you present him and go back to stand guard in the hallway, you keep your ear to the door and if you hear any protests or arguments or if you DON'T hear some moans and squeals of pleasure, you go right back in and sting the Hells out of him until he DOES do his job! Understand?"
This would make a hell of a lot more sense of Queen Hora's usual slaves were masochists with a femdom kink. As it is, I'm having trouble imagining how a reluctant slave would be better able to perform after being repeatedly tasered. Might get a guy out of the mood, y'know?
The guard nodded. "Sure is great to have things running normally again."
"Well, yes," said the sergeant. "And you just make sure that Her Majesty doesn't have to wear her thumb out pushing the button on that collar chain. The darling is entitled to all the fun this fellow can give her."
But remember: Earth is the perverted planet that hasn't heard of normal sex. Earth is the disgusting society that one of these aliens has to save from itself. See, none of these aliens electrocuting people for their sick pleasure are psychologists.
"What do I do when she's through with him?" said the guard.
"Oh, you'll probably have been relieved by that time and I'll be hanging around. But if it happens on your watch and she hasn't told you otherwise, listen to make sure it's all quiet and has been for some time. Then beckon up one of her maids--probably the one on watch at the foot of her bed--and tiptoe in. Now, this is the tricky part: use your ultraviolet lamp and eyeglass so you don't wake Her Majesty, and look very carefully at her face. If she's frowning or sleeping restlessly, take him to the execution hall. If she's sleeping with a slight smile, then get this fellow out very carefully without waking her and send him back to his regiment."
And if she's sleeping with kind of a neutral expression? Or drooling with her mouth slack? Or with a pillow on her head? What do your protocols say then? And what does the Army have to say about officers who disappear after visiting a certain palace in the capital? Do they have to put up with losing their best and brightest young soldiers because some noble slattern only rated them a 4 out of 10? The needs of this woman's nethers outweigh the needs of national security?
The talk of regiments raises a problem - Madison doesn't belong to one, which might imply that he's not a nobleman at all, and in fact a commoner that they'd have to kill for daring to touch royalty. Thinking fast, our h... the character the narration is following declares that he's a Knight of Columbus. The guards accept this in that they don't kill him, but they're still not happy with Madison.
The guard gave the chain a yank and Madison, not expecting it, flinched back.
The guard pressed the button in the handle.
It felt to Madison that his neck had been sawed through! It wasn't an electric shock, it was a tearing sensation. Awful!
Not all-caps, "I just saw THE COUNTESS KRAK through a window" awful, but still, ouch! Though not nearly as bad as all the electroshock "therapy" those accursed psychologists put him through, rewiring his brain through raw voltage, twisting his... oh, wait. No comparison to Madison's history with electricity. No moment of him being reminded of his past therapy, or scoffing at how weak this is compared to his treatments, or even getting all tingly with nostalgia. The author prefers to describe characters through huge infodumps that take up whole chapters, not subtle things like their reaction to electricity.
Chastisement completed, the guard lead Madison out of the washroom without even giving him slippers to walk on the cold floors.
Madison gripped his head so it wouldn't fall off.
Everything depended on the next few minutes. He would be a dead man or a hero!
His idea MUST work!
Option one is that this chapter is profoundly stupid, with guards giving their prisoner literal cold feet, a migraine from electric torture, and severe performance anxiety from constant death threats, while still expecting him to give their "queen" a good time. The other possibility is that this is meant to titillate. Badly-written drama or badly-written smut, take your pick.
Back to Part Seventy-Two, Chapter Eleven