Irkutsk Ch. 22

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Again, I apologise for the time between installments. I don’t want to discuss my private issues, but rest assured I am not losing interest in our friends, with their joys and their troubles. Thank you yet again for your continued support and feedback.

I can tell you that when the idea came to me for this story I had no idea where it would take me and my protagonists. And I had no idea it would stretch to over 20 chapters. I can’t really take the credit (or the blame) for this story: Michael, Chris, Yulia and others visit me in the night (no, not like that!) wheneverthey feel like it. When they visit they tell me what has been happening in their lives. I am just a passenger in the process – all I do is recount, in my own words, the latest chapter to my readers just as they tell it to me.

I understand some of you have had difficulties with my writing style. I said at the start that I would not be writing in US English, and perhaps my own “English” English (if that is the proper term) is not entirely familiar to some readers. If (and that’s a big “if”) I write any other stories, I may write them in US English in honour of my readers in that great land.

And finally, not so much physical loving in this chapter. Even in our dreams, our life doesn’t always go the way of our choosing. In any respect, sex isn’t all there is to life. (Did I really say that?)


We all walked up the stairs to the bridge. I watched Anna squeeze in and complete the crowded assembly. The Captain and three senior crew members looked resplendent in their uniforms. The Captain spoke: “This is an Australian-registered ship, and so you are now in a little piece of Australia. You have visited our country before, and you impressed us then with your sporting performances. We welcome you back to our country, and look forward to you becoming permanent Australians. In particular I welcome you aboard my ship. You will certainly create a sensation on board with your looks, except of course the ugly wastrel (said with a broad smile to me). I have warned all of my crew to behave as gentlemen, but perhaps you will give them a fashion show, or a sporting demonstration, or perhaps a dance. Just something for them to remember and to tell their grandchildren about the time they brought a team of Olympians to become Australians.”

As the Ladies returned to their cabins, I thanked the Captain for his welcome, telling him that it had been a timely demonstration of Australian friendship for a group who had suffered much in recent years. It was with a light heart that I returned to our deck. I knew through our new link that my happiness meant we were all happy.

I spoke to him about the wedding, and he agreed he would perform the ceremony any time we wanted once we were out of Russian waters. I promised that we would be model passengers.

We sat down for our evening meal, feeling as if the world had finally turned in our favour. I could feel the euphoria, and just settled down to enjoy the trip.

When I awoke the next morning I was alone in my bed, and I could feel the ship moving on the open sea. We were on our way home!

I got up and dressed, feeling more optimistic than I could ever remember – and that included my life before Russia. I went out to see groups of ladies making plans for an athletic exhibition. They were overwhelmed to have the prospect of a supportive audience and keen to provide a worthwhile performance. I could do nothing to help, so I spoke briefly with Chris to check her thoughts on our wedding and went off to discuss the plans with the Captain.

Our meeting was very simple. He had performed plenty of weddings at sea before, and he wanted a formal, public ceremony that all could enjoy. This seemed to me to be what my ladies would want, and I asked him to make plans along those lines.

For his part, the Captain was willing to accept that the Brigade knew its own business of presenting an athletic display, and merely suggested a date, a few days hence, and a venue, a huge open area midships. We went to look at it and it seemed ideal. I would check with Chris and confirm later.

The Captain also wanted to warn me of the crossing-the-line ceremony that would occur just over halfway through the voyage. I had experienced this once before many years ago, and felt the ladies would enjoy it.

Despite the plans being made, the next two days were generally restful. We were all to have a sexual break until the wedding, and we all enjoyed the restful environment and the slowly warming climate. We wandered around the ship in small groups, talking about our lives, telling jokes and meeting the other passengers. There was much curiosity about our group, but it was all friendly and low-key. It was perhaps an opportunity for the ladies to make a gentle start towards integration into general society, something they had missed for a decade.

Chris agreed to let the Captain handle all the arrangements for the wedding, even going as far as accepting bayan escort his offer to provide a wedding dress – apparently a ship like this was prepared for any eventuality!

Now it was the day for the athletic display, and I was ready for a surprise. I had been kept out of the loop, and simply looked forward to seeing my ladies do something at which they were world experts…that is, something else at which they were world experts!

I was to sit with the Captain and just relax and enjoy.

We watched Chris first. She had uneven bars set up and gave a brief demonstration on them. It was simply unimaginable that she was over fifty, having given up top-level competition herself over thirty-five years ago. I told the Captain she was my Goddess and he agreed, although clearly he didn’t understand the full significance of the word. Chris came to us when she had finished, curtsying with a broad smile in response to our applause, and then sat with us to give us a commentary on the passing parade of her ladies.

Every one of the Brigade, except of course me, gave a brief demonstration. Some demonstrated in teams and some individually, and we moved from one spot to another to suit each lady’s sport. Ekaterina ran all round the rail in what seemed no time without even breaking into a sweat, and at one point the Captain gave orders to slow the ship just a little so the twins could be lowered to the waterline and swim alongside, pacing us for a few minutes.

One of the girls then gave a demonstration of martial arts. As she stepped forward wearing a gi I recognised the very petite young lady who had been one of my very first “appointments”. I remembered her wanting to be used mercilessly. I remembered bullying her, in a clumsy attempt to play my role as a demanding partner. And I remembered the confusion I had felt when she had started calling “code red” over and over again, and then when several ladies had rushed in and pulled me off her. She was less than five feet tall, and very slim in proportion to her height. She must have weighed about eighty pounds. Was this the martial arts expert?

It seemed so. Chris told me that the captain had been asked to have his five toughest crew members attack her any way they wanted, with any weapons they wished except firearms. And there they were, the smallest being about six five, and perhaps two hundred pounds. He had found a belaying pin – I hadn’t expected to see one of these in a modern ship! Other weapons included a machete, knuckledusters and a baseball bat.

The petite lady was introduced as Astra. She pointed to the man with the baseball bat and asked him to attack her. I could feel sympathy for the poor man, first for his concern about whether to attack her, and second for what I suspected he may be about to learn about her ability. I had been in both places before.

The man stepped forwards, uncertainly, holding the baseball bat up. Astra held her hands up and walked forward to speak to him. I didn’t hear what she said, but a few seconds after she had stepped back he rushed forwards swinging the bat in a way that convinced me that I was now one wife short. However, Astra seemed to pivot around in a flash and somehow the man tripped over and the bat flew out of the battle arena and towards me. Chris calmly reached out in front of me and plucked it out of the air. She stepped forwards and helped the man up, returning the bat to him.

This man was tricky, swinging the bat backwards and upwards as he stood up, clearly aiming to catch Astra across the knees. Astra seemed hardly to move, but just lifted a bare foot which miraculously blocked the swing. However, it was not just a block: the bat snapped in half around her foot, with the head of the bat curling back on itself and towards his groin. Astra was up to the task however, and her hand magically appeared in the trajectory of the top of the bat, catching it and holding it up. She had protected both herself and him!

I was reminded of that time so long ago (three weeks maybe) where I had been “bullying” her. Even though I had been acting on her instructions I would have played my cards very differently had I known just how easily she could do serious damage to me. I leaned towards Chris and told her this, and she replied that Astra had been very happy indeed with our interaction on that day.

Astra threw the two halves of the bat onto the deck in front of us, then leaned forwards and spoke again to the man, who walked back and spoke to his four friends. Then all five spread out in a circle around her, and waited for a moment. Astra nodded and all five rushed her all at once.

I’d like to tell you what happened, but not only did it happen quicker than I could describe, it happened quicker than I could see. This was not like a film script where the baddies take it in turns to attack; they all struck her at once. Or to be more correct, they all tried at once. Four weapons and the bare hands of the original attacker whose bat was now in two pieces. And somehow no part of Astra was ever in the line of fire of any of the weapons. She ducked and twisted, jumped and occasionally pushed at a weapon or the man wielding it.

The five pressed their attack, and it was soon obvious that Astra was being very careful not to let any of them hurt themselves or each other. She was noticeably careful to ensure that each of the others was away from the arc of each weapon, and occasionally she would push one of the weapons slightly to ensure the safety of an attacker.

I wondered what would happen if she intended to hurt them, but after a minute or so they clearly understood that she was using only a fraction of her powers to protect herself – the bulk of her effort was directed to ensuring they themselves were safe. At this point they all stepped back, dropped their weapons and applauded her. We all joined in enthusiastically.

Astra then came over to us and spoke to the Captain. She was cool and calm – not even breathing hard. She wanted him to choose one of the men to wrestle with her. The Captain hesitated, and Chris leaned over and told him to choose the best wrestler. The Captain then beckoned to the man with the belaying pin, who approached. The Captain then introduced him to us as Blue, no doubt in honour of his red hair. I had to explain Australian humour and contradictory nicknaming protocols to my ladies – tall men called Shorty, thin men named Fatso and of course redheads known as Blue.

Astra told Blue that he was to choose a hold to put on her. Astra would willingly allow him to put her into the hold position, and then when he was ready she would release herself.

Again I felt sorry for him as she willingly lay down and put her arm up behind her back, and Blue carefully placed his legs across her and took her arm, pulling it back to what seemed am impossible position. Not only impossible to escape from, but also impossible even to assume such a position.

I could see Blue’s reluctance as he tried to achieve this position without giving offence. He was only just learning that there was nothing that could be done to these ladies that they did not agree to.

As they finally reached the position Blue had in mind, Astra asked if Blue was ready. Blue seemed uncertain, but nodded, clearly bracing himself. Unfortunately Astra could not see the nod, and asked again. This time Blue spoke the word “yeah” as he braced himself.

Again I couldn’t describe what happened. Astra seemed to turn to rubber as she simply rolled out from under Blue. I think she must have purposely dislocated her shoulder – I knew I would have been crippled for life if I had taken the position she was in during her escape, but she flitted around and kissed Blue on the cheek as she moved away to stand beside him.

Blue merely fell over as he leaned onto where he expected her to be, only to find she wasn’t there. He stood up and stepped towards Astra, holding out his hand. Astra took the hand and shook it. I wasn’t quite sure at first whether this was a trick of Blue’s to catch her unawares, but he just spoke admiringly to her and she smiled at him. I wondered if Astra had been ready for a trick, or whether she had trusted him. I didn’t have to wonder however, because I had already known, that I would have to make sure I had the permission of any of these ladies before I did anything to them.

Blue escorted Astra back to The Captain, Chris and me, and asked if there was any chance Astra could teach him and his friends something about unarmed combat during the rest of the trip. Some arrangement was made, and I knew Astra was safe with them. Both because they seemed genuinely interested, and because she could protect herself.

Although both the Captain and I had known these were former Olympic athletes, by the end of the display we were stunned at the talent, the power of these ladies. It was intimidating for me to think I was one with these – Goddesses – all of them. And then they all returned to me, keen for my approbation. And they received that in spades. I would have praised them whatever they had done, but I was lost for words. I felt inadequate, lost for words, simply shaking my head and saying over and over again: “marvelous”. I think the message got across – I hope so.

The Captain put on a special function that evening, thanking each of my ladies one by one for their kindness and giving each an individually-prepared certificate acknowledging their contribution to the entertainment provided to the passengers and crew. I noted that he had included my name on each one – perhaps he knew more about our relationship than he was letting on!

That evening the ladies were hyperactive, and I couldn’t be sure whether this was because they had had a chance to do what they were good at, or the acknowledgement by outsiders in contrast to their reception from Russia, the sexual holiday or the approaching nuptials. Most likely it was all of them. The tension – sexual tension – was obvious in everyone. Even Yulia snapped at me at one point.

Whatever the reason, it was a late night, and Chris stayed away from me all night. This was probably a good idea as I’m not sure she would have been safe with me. Or perhaps it would be more correct to say I’m not sure I would have been safe with her.

The next day was almost a non-event for us. The wedding plans seemed complete, and we all had nothing to do. I lay on my – Chris’s and my – bed reading for much of the day. I just wanted it to be tomorrow. I saw almost nothing of anyone else. And to cap off this nothing day I had an early night. But I didn’t sleep very well, thinking of becoming a husband to forty-four wonderful wives.

I was awoken by Hana, bringing food and coffee and news that preparations were running smoothly. She sat on the side of the bed, looking shyly at me. She seemed to want to speak, but was inhibited by – something.

I thanked her and asked her what was wrong.

“Nothing is wrong. I was thinking of that bus trip where – you know.”

I did know, and I felt the same. Were we both to be eternally grateful to each other?

“I can’t tell you how that day changed my …” It was both of us, echoing simultaneously our own thoughts and each other’s. Then we both laughed together and the awkwardness was gone. I reached out my hand to hold hers, and invited her to stay and share my breakfast. She was wearing a loose track suit and I was safe under the bedclothes. Safe provided I resisted the temptation… But desirable as Hana was, this was my – our – wedding day. We had no trouble maintaining a platonic demeanour, on the surface at least.

When we had eaten I asked her to leave while I dressed, and I was just tying my shoelaces when she returned.

Had she guessed accurately how long I would have taken to dress? Had she hoped to catch me not yet fully dressed? Or was her link into my head now giving her even such trivial information? Somehow I thought the last explanation might be the closest.

In any case she grabbed my hand and led me away. She almost dragged me to an enormous suite where most of the ladies were standing, clearly awaiting us. I was immediately undressed – so much for my delicacy with Hana just a moment ago! – and thrust into an enormous spa.

I was the only one in the spa, but hands reached in all around to wash me all over. I wasn’t allowed to do anything, although the hands between my legs were very careful. I wasn’t quite sure whether this was because of my burn, which was healing much quicker than I could have expected, or whether it was in honour of the sexual holiday.

I was then lifted out bodily and gently dried, shaved, powdered and anointed with various emollients. Yulia checked and re-dressed my brand and then I was laid face down on a bed and an infinite number of hands stroked, rubbed, massaged, poked and pinched me. Then I was turned over and the process repeated, omitting only the one area. I felt like a pancake ready for the plate, but again I was turned over and massaged a little more vigorously.

Then I was stood up and dressed in loose shorts, a T-shirt and runners. It seemed I was not to be allowed to do anything for myself or anyone else today. Then it was time for a brisk walk around the ship. Up the stairs to the bridge, a quick wave to the helmsman and downstairs to the engine room. I briefly noticed Tina looking over the huge engines with a professional eye. And then it was a quiet evening watching some old movie and then an early night.

The day arrived and I left myself in Yulia’s care entirely. Before I knew it I was standing right up at the bows next to Yulia, facing the Captain and in front of what seemed like almost the entire ship’s company and all the passengers. The Captain had slowed the ship almost to a halt and so there was no breeze. Bagpipes were playing the familiar melody up on the bridge wing. I turned back and saw my Goddess and Dominika approaching. I had seen Chris naked, wearing work clothes and casual wear, but never before dressed up like this. She was breathtaking, even surrounded by Dominika and the other younger ladies all wearing their best. I really was the luckiest man in the world.

The ceremony seemed a blur, and suddenly I was kissing my love amidst a crowd of ladies. There were tears aplenty, including from me, and eventually we all repaired to the main dining room where we enjoyed a wonderful meal surrounded by friendship. My ladies were learning to relax amongst outside company.

I remember dancing in the ballroom with Chris, Yulia, Dominika, Lucy and eventually every member of the Brigade and a few other ladies. The crew behaved very well indeed, and before I knew it Yulia was guiding Chris and me to a huge suite. The Brigade followed. By now I was entirely relaxed about having the ladies take complete charge.

Yulia guided me to one side into a side room, and carefully and platonically undressed me. She opened the door and followed me back into the main suite. I was greeted with the loveliest sight possible.

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