The CEO Club
I awoke to find my Joracian guide manning the controls of the mini-ship, his face tremulous with barely controlled excitement, a ferocious intensity in his eyes that gazed steadily ahead. The Universe looked like a fireworks display, with tiny red and green and blue explosions going off randomly, and colorful lines like trails of jubilant sparklers spiraling in every direction as we whirled through the space-time continuum. There was also in Àkbä’s visage something else, a quality I could not quite put my finger on—was it Courage? Independence? I regarded his face more closely; he seemed oblivious to my presence: Àkbä had a lean, gaunt face with high cheekbones, an expansive brow, a sharp aquiline nose like the beak of a falcon or an eagle, a mouth whose thin lips might have suggested cruelty were it not for the obvious goodness which radiated from his entire face (and which had been demonstrated to me so often that it was secure beyond all doubt of the character which lay behind this face). I realized that my friend perfectly embodied what I had always imagined Sherlock Holmes must look like. Last, I noted his eyes: hazel they were, at times appearing gray, at others blue, and gleaming with intelligence and integrity.
“Where’re we headed?” I asked after a while.
“To a very special place indeed,” he replied somewhat mysteriously. I said nothing further, waiting to see what might transpire.
All motion stopped and suddenly we were inside a gargantuan structure, on a circular ramp that winded dizzyingly up and upward, ever more steeply. I ventured a cautious glance over the edge of the ramp: an enormous canyon plummeted beneath my gaze, but I thought I caught a glimpse of a shimmering fountain or waterfall below, and the slow scuttling of ant-like figures which I took for humans. “This way!” Àkbä exclaimed as he whisked me down a narrow appending corridor where we stopped before a strange door or contraption. Àkbä drew back several sliding screens, from left to right, top to bottom, bottom to top, and right to left, revealing a large circular portal that vaguely resembled the shutter of a gigantic camera. My friend slid a blue card into a panel slot and the shutter opened! “After you,” my host invited graciously, an open palm. I crawled into the dark passage; he followed me in and the portal shut with a snap. The chamber seemed large though I could see nothing clearly. Before I could speak a word, this chamber began to revolve, faster and faster—it was like being inside a clothes drier, without the heat!—and we tumbled, head over heels, but before we could sustain any injury (the walls of the cylinder were padded with a soft substance like foam rubber), we began to float, as though weightless. I became dimly aware too of a linear motion, in addition to the revolutions (which grew less noticeable in our gravity-less state). We rocketed along at a tremendous velocity (or so I inferred); but whether we proceeded up, down or sideways, I could not determine with any accuracy.
Abruptly, all motion ceased, the shutter opened and Àkbä hopped out. I followed suit and, as I sprang out the aperture of the chamber, found us standing before a wide arched entrance, beyond which I could make out a murmur of many pleasant voices. This was where the Third Level Joracian Corps of Elite Officers met socially, Àkbä explained. I was about to participate in something he termed “The Rite of Vision.” Without more ado, I was ushered in through the golden archway to what my friend casually referred to as the CEO Club…
Inside the Club, a multitude of Joracian males and females of the highest distinction and rank were engaged in what looked like a New York cocktail party. Nearly everybody carried a clear, round flask, test tube or beaker, the upper end of which tapered off into an elbow straw. Each contained a smoky, gauzy, fog-like elixir, called a hyböl, each a different primary color, although some were white and milky looking. Out of each of the beakers or flasks protruded what I at first took for a tiny parasol; but on closer inspection, I saw that it was in fact something different.
I was at first struck by the singular physical beauty and vigor of this company; everyone seemed youthful, brimming with vitality and exuberance. The Joracian females wore gorgeous diaphanous gowns composed of the multicolored cellophane strips (with the little embedded icons I had mistaken for tab-tops) that stopped just above the knee. Beneath the gown, one caught just a hint of bikini bra and panties, or perhaps a bare breast, a brown nipple or a charcoal swatch of pubic hair below the tummy; but as the cellophane strips of each gown and the motion of its wearer visually mediated this, I could not be certain about any of it. Beautiful golden sandals, which rose and tied four or five inches above the ankle, adorned the feet of these female CEO’s, as well. Everyone was chattering and flirting and laughing. Àkbä handed me a large blue beaker and bade me sip through the straw end. “The Rite of Vision,” he said with a wink. I sipped: it tasted wonderful, cold and refreshing, something like champagne only more robust; but there was a slight aftertaste vaguely reminiscent of Windex. After the third or fourth sip, I no longer noticed the aftertaste.
The men, I now observed, all wore ornate party-hats, the intricate designs of which, from a distance, resembled the fliers, brochures and “hook” letters of direct mail marketing. Drawing closer, however, I could see that I was in error about this: what I mistook for letters were in reality only meaningless glyphs and ciphers. There were splashes of color and intriguing designs that, while superficially resembling images, were nonobjective; although they caught and held one’s eye impressively at first, they went nowhere and were meaningless. At least, they held no particular meaning for me. Perhaps, though, it was otherwise for the Joracians.
The females seemed to sport Hawaiian lais about their necks and breasts. This too I knew surely could not be the case; and, as I drew close to one or two of them, I saw plainly that what I had mistaken for lais was in fact an ornamental collar, sewn into the cellophane itself, and denoting the rank of the female CEO.
Àkbä introduced me to a select clique of male and female CEO’s.
“So,” one of the females said, “you’re the Geospo—I mean, the Earthling—we’ve heard so much about.”
“Sam is an Earth-Poet,” Àkbä informed the company. Once more: the breathless silence and wide-staring eyes. I had not yet gotten used to this, the typical response of Joracians.
When I questioned the company about their particular contributions to Joracian society and culture, the conversation got a little strange. The CEO’s were engaged in communications in some way or other; though precisely what any of them actually did seemed to evade specific description. They all seemed to work grueling hours, laboring in teams, manipulating mountains of data, consuming massive quantities of food and drink in the process; for what purpose or end result, though, I could not clearly determine from their oral accounts.
One of the female Joracians, a comely sprite named Daredroola, worked on a team that had designed the attractive hats worn by the men today. Yørg, a male, had a sudden inspiration; for he exclaimed: “Who has put a pubic hair on my hyböl?” The CEO’s in our group all broke into mad, gut-wrenching laughter at this, the women as well as the men. Only one of the females, a sultry-eyed brunette named Sulkie, hung back a little, a smidgen aloof. She now watched me with great curiosity.
“Sam will be preparing the Earth-evacuees for IRP,” Àkbä disclosed to the group. If I had thought them awestruck and wide-eyed before, I soon had a new measure, as the Joracian men were simply stricken with sick envying looks, the females closing around me, their hands reaching out to caress my raiment, breasts heaving against my sides, chest and shoulder-blades (I even felt a hard nipple here and there!). As the men dropped away, I saw my mentor grin and wink at me as he receded from view.
The female CEO’s bombarded me with a million questions I could not comprehend, but which seemed unswervingly to suggest that the project on which I had embarked lay beyond the ken of any Joracian.
“Did you find it…well, hard, Sam?” Daredroola asked in a long, luxurious whisper. “You know,” she said, licking her lips slowly, her eyes starting to cross as her face bobbed closer to mine. “You know.”
I wasn’t sure I knew at all…. But I had no time to reflect, as the throng of females pressed closer. The questions flew at me faster and faster.
“What about support? You can’t do this all alone,” a seductive voice crooned, as someone’s hand—so thick the crush of sweet, warm flesh on mine, I had no way to tell whose hand it was—reached through my robe and found my dong! Cool fingers began gently stroking and massaging me with all the familiar intimacy of an old flame.
“Yes, Sam, why, you’ll need oodles and gobs of help with all the Networking,” another said.
“Oodles and Gobs, Oodles and Gobs,” several began chanting like zombies.
I felt my feet leave the ground as the party of female Joracians lifted and carried me away, along a curving corridor, continuing to question me even as they bore me aloft.
“Have you feasted on the Ortho-Aesthetic Body?”
“How many combines do you personally own?”
“Whaddya wanna be when you grow up, Sam?”
“Won’t you share one of your lovely poems with us?” I was dimly aware of sniggering and derisive laughter; but I soon found myself in a dark room, floating and bobbing as if suspended mid-air in a sea of writhing, tangled, female bodies. The only light visible was that of a blue geometric plane a few inches thick on which our bodies were suspended; this plane moved and curved with our corporal motions; but what the source of that light might have been, I had no idea.
“Uh-mm, a-aa-ahh, which–I mean, what poem—” The cool fingers were joined by a thumb, and began caressing my handle with exquisite judgment, now pulling and tugging with brief frenzied vigor, now slowing, settling into a firm, throbbing tug…
“—should ah-ah–I recite for you?” I doubted that I could even remember a poem. A blue breast and darkened nipple waved mysteriously near my lips; I reached out and lay my hands along each side of its great bulbous contour, flicking the nipple with my tongue. As I did so, I heard someone emit a great long sigh like a hiss of steam.
I decided on “Masters & Johnson”; it was short, after all. I summoned all my strength and my very best voice and recited the following:
AFTER PERUSING MASTERS AND JOHNSON UNTIL LATE AT NIGHT
Here’s a psychic insight
Guaranteed to make flesh creep:
Too tired to make love and yet
Too wired to go to sleep.
The nipple was now elongated, blue and stiff; my tongue flicked and darted feverishly at it, inspiring audible moans like bruised little thunderclouds about my ears. The cool tentacles pulling and manipulating my penis were replaced by another, different set of sensations, a wet and vaguely suffocating pressure. I sucked a hard blue nipple into my mouth, pinning it flat with my tongue. When the breast circled away on a new orbit, Daredroola (the breast and nipple I had licked belonged to her!) pulled my face close to hers, pressing her hot full lips hard against mine, touching my tongue with hers as we kissed.
Every way I turned, on each side, there were new combinations of hands and feet and bottoms, lips and legs and masses of tousled hair to contend with, all writhing with excitement and pleasure. I had only to reach out for my hands to be filled with heaving breasts, to lick my lips for my tongue to meet the dewy circle of another’s mouth. The female CEO’s were insatiable and wonderfully devoted to pleasing; no sooner had I shaken off one worshipping caress or devoted mouth than another clambered instantly on, seizing hard the opportunity like some wild sea-beast feasting on succulent mollusk-morsels. If I merely stroked a buttock floating by, it pressed itself like a pillow to my face; if I touched or stroked a pudendum, the legs spread wide apart like mandibles of an arachtoid-Schwarzenegger, or muscle-bound pincers of some colossal scorpion Steve Reeves; glistening vulvae blossoming and unfolding like the petals of a rose; ripe meat of exotic alien fruit, drawing ever closer to my lips and tongue; the clitoral worm already squirming and writhing and throbbing in anticipation of shared ecstasy. Pairs of eyes of every shape and color swarmed about me like scavenger fish, darting this way and that, long lashes and short, their eyelids drooping and blinking like fireflies on a hot July night. Eyes of Joracian maidens shaped like almonds, like jewels, like orbs spun around me in the mystical blue plane of pleasure.
Then things got weird, as a bizarre geometry of the erotic invested these events. Joracian females, insatiable lusty CEO’s every one, lined up inverted along a line, stretching out to form a single complex “V”; I saw them as one who sees a solitary image reflected in an infinite array of mirrors, joined at the unitary point of their communal desire: vaginas extended along a single trajectory now mutated into a single, multi-faceted muscle, so that as I penetrated the nearest one at the angular origin of this Great V, I could feel the crux of my desire throbbing and pushing deeper and more deeply into all of them, simultaneously. It was extraordinary, like nothing I had ever felt or experienced before. Each way I turned, it was a different partner whose lips and breasts and thighs I saw writhing before my repeated vigorous thrusts, a different voice and smell of hair, different hands and heft of breast and buttock and touch of our mutual, multiple love-making… I wondered if the hyböl contained some drug that might have had anything to do with this magnificent hallucination.
At precisely the moment when I began to suspect that my passion might last forever, I lost all hope of control; the mirrors began to melt in a blue thunderclap. I struggled to hold on tightly to all the images, grasping blue love handles of hips, breasts, and arms. One by one, they evaporated in a downpour of shimmering, iridescent rain beyond which I could discern, for the moment, nothing…
I found myself lying in a blue mist, my sole partner the beautiful brunette, Sulkie, collapsed atop me. Her bedroom eyes were almost closed, though I could see her watching me. Sulkie batted her long lashes twice and her almond eyes opened wide. “Pretty good, Earth-man,” she said, licking her lips; then, laying her cheek next to mine, whispered sultrily: “So whaddya do fer an encore?” We laughed, but I could feel my cock begin to swell and throb once again; so I stuck it in quickly and Sulkie squealed as she threw herself with wild abandon into the rollicking, rock-n-roll rapture of our mutual dissipation. Tiny beads of sweat like magnified worlds embellished her forehead, her eyes strangely focusing and unfocusing as though entranced. Suddenly she stiffened, her back arched, breasts quivering, her eyes rolled back and her mouth opened as she emitted a long, shrieking sob of release. “Aieeyaiyaih!” she exclaimed through swollen lips, collapsing in a wet heap of bobbling breasts and tangled hair on my chest.
In a twinkling, we were arrayed as before, as though nothing had ever happened. “Come with me, Sam,” Sulkie said, “we need to talk. Please.” She led me to an empty rooftop garden, enclosed in a round Plexiglas dome. We sat down in comfortable chairs. Far above our heads, stars twinkled.
“Where are we?”
“The Starlight Roof.” Sulkie had assumed a serious look. I could see she was preoccupied.
“Sam,” she began, pausing as though selecting her words with great care. “You’re a wonderful lover. But I’m worried about you.”
“You are? Why?”
“Because. I care about you.” She sighed, her jaded expression reminding me of Shirley MacLaine in Irma La Douce. “I know it goes against everything I’ve been taught, but…you seem not to have been touched in some essential way by all of the…um, splendor of Joracian Culture.”
“What do you mean?”
“How long have you known the Joracian who introduced us?”
“Àkbä? Well, gee, I’ve known him—it seems like—forever?”
Sulkie raised one eyebrow, giving me a sharp disdainful look.
“Ever since I was evacuated…”
“Sam, haven’t you noticed that—well, you’ve been getting laid a lot lately? Ever since Àkbä took you under his wing?”
Had I? I supposed so. But what did that have to do with—
Sulkie straightened up suddenly.
“We’re being watched,” she said in a barely audible whisper. “Listen to me, Sam: Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac to these creatures. All the sexual frolic and erotic horseplay at these functions is mere window-dressing. Sex is just currency to Joracians. It means nothing to them. To us.” Sulkie crumpled shortly under the weight of her words. This was her own culture and people she was talking about. I could see it was hard for her to talk this way. I put my hand over hers, to offer some comfort.
“I don’t have much time,” she continued. “The others will be looking for us. If anyone asks, just say you wanted to go someplace quiet where the two of us could talk after the Rite of Vision. Okay?”
“Don’t get me wrong. Joracian Culture has accomplished great things. It has made possible the very way of life, the great goods and privileges that you and I have shared today. I owe every benefit to Joracian Culture…” Her words recalled to me the work of Resettlement that Joracian Culture was making possible. I felt a momentary thrill. But her voice trailed away and her head sagged on her hands. Hopelessness or dread flashed painfully across Sulkie’s face. “Don’t let them use you, Sam.” Just as I noticed with surprise that she was weeping, a voice startled me.
Another presence had joined us. It was Àkbä. “Your Sisters are looking for you.” Nothing but the greatest compassion was discernible in his tone of voice.
“I’ll be along in a jiffy,” Sulkie said defiantly. The figure withdrew. When he was out of earshot, she resumed. “We’re all whores, Sam.” Sulkie rose and kissed me on the lips, hugging my body tightly to her breast. “Some of us just have a higher—or different— price, that’s all.” Under the starlight, her lips trembled, her face ashen. “Beware the Ortho-Aesthetic Body!” Then she vanished. Had that been fear in Sulkie’s voice? She certainly seemed afraid. It had all happened so quickly, I couldn’t be sure. I felt exhausted, among other things; I wasn’t at my observational best, and mistrusted my instincts, even my very senses. And what in the world was the “Ortho-Aesthetic Body”? I made a mental note to ask Àkbä about it as soon as I got the chance.