The Tocs and the Ogs bad hired a hall.
Over two-thirds of the big dance floor of the American Legionpost had beenmarked off in squares. The remaining third was given over to thehundred or so surviving members of both groups. And to Childe, the Captain, theGrail and its pedestal. And to Forry Ackerman, who sat on one side to observe. Hewould participate in the ceremony but only as one caught in the sidewash ofradiation. When the time came for the voyaging, he would move into the directinfluence of the power and, if all went well, travel with the others to the stars.
Childe sat in a chair before the Grail. Beyond him the Tocs andOgs stood inranks of twelve abreast. They were naked. Everybody in the hall wasnaked.
They were here because Childe had ordered it. He had told themthat if both groups did not declare, and keep, a truce, he would destroy the Grailand would refuse to act as their Captain. If they agreed to keep the peace andto participate together, he would transport both groups to their homeplanets.
They did not take long in reaching an agreement.
Childe was still dubious about his ability to move them acrossintergalacticspaces and pinpoint the exact world for each. But he hoped that itwould work. It meant ridding the Earth of a number of monsters and potentialmonsters. He wished that he could also do this with others than the Tocs and the Ogs.
Hindarf and Pao had died under some heavy timbers and severaltons of mud. Tish had been elected master of ceremonies. It was he who had arranged that theauthorities did not investigate the ruins. With the spending of much money, hehad kept the police and others out of the area, and the Tocs and theOgs whosurvived had secretly buried the dead.
Now Tish called up the couples, one by one, to begin theceremony. Thesewere male and female with each couple composed of a Toc and an Og. There were about four females left over, and these were also to couple in thebeginning.
Male and female, they approached Childe and knelt before him. They touchedhis genitals and kissed his penis and then rose. He stared at theGrail while his cock became bigger with each kiss until it had reached its utmostrigidity. The Grail began to glow and to pulse. Its glow waxed and waned as thethrobbingsof his dong built up.
One by one they knelt and kissed or sucked his cock. Then theyreturned to their stations to wait, hand in band, or hand on cock or cunt, forthe last couple to return.
The light from the Grail grew brighter and brighter until itcould not be looked at directly by anybody but Childe. The light filled his eyesand his skull, but he could still see the Grail and the people beyond.
Finally. Tish approached Childe and knelt and stroked his ballsand cock and then kissed the glistening glands. Childe's body from behind hisnaval to his knees had turned to ice, and the peter was giving little jerks whilethe fluid moved more swiftly towards its exit. He beckoned to an exquisite Thaiwoman, aToc, and she ran to him and bent over to take his cock into hermouth. Immediately, the man who had been her partner came up behind her, gotdown between her legs, and buried his face in her cunt. Another woman gotdown on all fours and began sucking his dong; a man went down on her; a womancrawled between his legs and sucked on his peter; a man thrust his tongue upher slit; awoman got under him and started to work on the head of his penis withher mouth; and so forth. The result was a daisy chain with the woman on the endlying onher back blowing a man and nobody on her cunt.
Tish walked down the line of the grunting, moaning, smacking, writhing menand women. He straddled the last woman and let himself down, not tooeasily, into her slit.
But even while he was pumping away, Tish called out in a strangelanguage. He chanted, and Childe understood the words, though he was not ablelater to translate them.
Childe sat still and let the woman mouth his glands and run hertongue over his prick while the ecstasy mounted and mounted and mounted. Suddenly, he gave a little scream and spurted. The Grail seemed to burn; it shot out a pulsing light that drove away every shadow in the hall. Tish continued to chant. Apparently, he had not come yet. And then, as Childe's peter gave its final jerk and spurt, Tish cried out.
The air over the squares darkened. Little clouds formed. The airbecame verycold, chilling the hot and sweating bodies. There was a wind, as ifthe air was moving towards the clots of duskiness over each square. At first, theair moved gently, but within a minute it was whistling from every corner of thehall and rattling the windows. Dust from the floor rose up and whirled insmall cyclones.
The Grail continued to pulse dazzlingly, though Childe had ceasedto ejaculate. It did not obliterate the shadows above the squares; itseemed to make them darker.
The first one that Childe recognized was Igescu, the Toc whom hehad killed in his oak-log coffin by thrusting a sword through his heart. Afterwards, thebody had been burned to ashes in the fire of the great house.
Childe had never expected to see that long lean face with thehigh forehead, thick eyebrows, high cheekbones, and large eyes, nor the very longand skinnydick.
And there was Magda Holyani, the beautiful blonde weresnake. And there was Hindarf and beside him was Pao. They were all naked and all in their human form. And where was Dolores del Osorojo, the beautiful California-
Spanish "ghost" who had literally fucked herself back into a materialization of flesh and blood and bone, only to be killed and skinned by the Ogs?
He saw her in a square in the middle of the crowd. She wassmiling at him, and her hips were rotating as if she were relishing the memory oftheir times together.
The air warmed up, and the wind ceased.
The hall was filled with many voices. The living and the recentlydead were chattering, yelling, laughing.
Tish waited for five minutes and then shouted for silence.
It came slowly and reluctantly, because the Tocs and the Ogs werehuman in that they had to express their emotions.
"Now for the voyaging!" Tish shouted.
They all faced him expectantly. Childe noted, out of the cornerof his eye, Forry sitting on his chair. His eyes were bulging out, and he wascovered with sweat. Childe did not know whether this reaction was caused by theceremony hehad just seen or the thought of the trip.
It was up to him whether or not he went along. If he decided to go, he justhad to move from the side of the hall to the middle of the floor, andhe would be taken along automatically.
Tish had not liked the idea that Forry was not participating inthe ceremony, but he admitted that his noninvolvement would reduce theeffect of the Grail by only a negligible amount.
Tish indicated that a woman should bring up a bowl with a darkliquid in it. She took a position by Childe after kissing his penis and the secondceremonybegan immediately. She sprinkled his genitals with a few drops of thedark liquid before each person kissed his peter. Tish stood on the otherside and every third person dipped his finger into the bowl and passed it overChilde's lips. The stuff tasted like honey with a trace of rancid cottagecheese. When the bowl was empty, Tish signaled for it to be refilled, and theceremony wenton.
The Grail kept on pulsing brightly. Its white light was beginningto affect Childe. He did not become blind or any less able to see what wasgoing on aroundhim. But he was receiving flashes of strange scenes. Usually thesewere seen as if he was standing on the surface of a planet, but several times hewhizzed by astar burning redly, greenly, or amberly. He seemed to be no more thana hundred thousand miles from the great luminaries. Despite the brightness andnearness, he felt no heat, only a bone-crystallizing cold.
Tish began to chant in the foreign language. Childe beckoned toDolores, whoran gladly towards him, her big shapely breasts bouncing with theimpact of herfeet. She got down on her knees and buried her face in his crotch andwept. Thenshe took the end of his half-limp organ and began to suck on it. Itrose as if she were blowing air into it, became hard and throbbing, and gave himthat first warming under his belly button.
The Grail pulsed faster, and the flickers of alien topographiesand brilliantly colored stars increased in number and variety.
Dolores sucked harder and moved her head back and forth. Igescucame upbehind her then and lifted her up so that she was standing up butwith her knees bent. He rammed his dick into her asshole and began pumping. Pluggergot down onhis knees behind Igescu's lean buttocks, spread them, and thrust histongue upIgescu's asshole. His body rocked back and forth as he rode thevampire's asswith his face.
Even through the woman and the man, Childe could feel the shockof Plugger's tongue. He hoped that the others would form the daisy chain quickly, because if they didn't they were going to get caught short. He was going to comesoon. This would require starting the voyage ceremony over again, because thechain had to be complete, or nearly complete, when he came.
The room started to rotate. The naked bodies of the men and women seemed to be skating on the edge of a spinning disc. They slid here and there, catchingeach other, going down, tonguing cocks and cunts, ramming cunts, mouths, andassholes.
And there was Vivienne. And there was a tall man with a black beard and burning eyes. His face had much more distinct features, of course, but the resemblance was close enough for Childe to identify him as Gilles deRais. He had materialized in his original body, and he was sticking his donginto the spread buttocks of a slim blond man who was sucking off Vivienne.
Then Vivienne and de Rais and everybody receded on the edge ofthe whirlingplate that had been the big ballroom. Lightning was flashing from theGrail, white strokes, scarlet flashes, emerald zigzags, yellow streaks, purple swordswith jagged edges. The flashes spurted upwards from the Grail, bounced off the ceiling, spiraled down, caromed off the naked writhing bodies of themen and women, fell to the floor like colored and shattered stalactites.
Childe felt the gray fluid in him thrusting upward. But when helooked down, he saw only the red lips of Dolores, like an unattached cunt, squeezing aroundhis cock. He could see into his own body, and the gray fluid was redas mercuryin a thermometer and rising as if the thermometer had been thrustinto a furnace. The red thread sped upward and then leaped out between thedisconnected red lips and spurted like scarlet gunpowder exploding.
The Grail blew up soundlessly with a crimson-and-yellow cloudexpandingoutwards and pieces of whitely glowing metal flying through thecloud.