Picture a green and pleasant planet in a distant corner of the galaxy. In the distant past, a fateful war had raged upon the surface of that world. The conflict was fierce but brief, and its weapons did not kill. Yet by the time it was over the planet’s ancient civilisation was no more. Its billions of victims, although physically unharmed, no longer had the means to continue.
Countless millennia passed, and a new race emerged to become the planet’s dominant species. They were a peaceful race of bipedal hunter-gatherers, who viewed the ruins of the ancients as no more than curious stone outcrops, and paid scant regard to the countless tree-like figures that dotted the landscape.
The camouflaged weapons of the ancient war appeared to be nothing but rocks or bushes. Over the millennia, almost all of them had fallen into disrepair... but not all.
I am Rilyu, a hunter of my tribe. When I was younger, I heard a strange story. A hunter from a distant tribe had been surprised to see a young chelgat [a game animal the size of a small goat - Ed.] standing still in a forest clearing. This was not normal behaviour. Chelgats were usually swift and hard to catch, as I learned for myself when I became a hunter. Yet the beast did not flee at his approach. In fact, it did not stir a muscle. Its tail did not twitch, nor did its ears quiver in the slightest. It looked him in the eye as he knelt before it, but made not the slightest sound or movement as he reached out to touch its face.
The hunter walked all around the beast, looking for some sign of what had caused its immobility. He had heard that some tribes hunted using poison darts, but he could find no trace of one. Besides, the poison should kill swiftly, and the chelgat was still alive. He could feel its heartbeat, the rise and fall of its chest. Nor was there any sign of another hunter in the vicinity.
The hunter ran back to his village to tell them what he had seen. The headman and several sceptical villagers accompanied him back to the clearing. He half-expected to find the animal gone, or eaten by a predator, but it remained where he had left it, motionless as a rock.
After the astonished villagers had spent several moments poking and prodding the beast and failing to get any kind of response, the Headman told them it was a sign from the gods, and that they should take the chelgat back to the village.
Two hunters carried the animal into the village square, where all of the tribefolk marvelled at its perfect stillness. The villagers set up a shrine to the chelgat, draped it with flowers, held feasts in its honour, sang songs, told stories and danced before it, kissed and stroked and petted it. It was even whispered that some of the villagers sneaked out of their huts by night to have sex with it. All the while, the chelgat remained perfectly still, only the slow rise and fall of its chest and occasional movements of its eyes giving any sign that it was alive.
The tribe saw the presence of the silent chelgat as a sign that their village had been blessed by the gods, and in tribute they ceased to hunt chelgats in their part of the forest (although that only meant there were more chelgats for other predators to eat).
The chelgat remained alive, despite never eating or drinking. Years passed, and the chelgat proved not only motionless but also ageless. By the time the hunter who found it was an old man, the chelgat still appeared as young as it had in the clearing that fateful day. When the hunter's spirit ascended, his body was laid before the chelgat in tribute for a day before burial.
And for all that I know, the chelgat still stands in that village, never moving, never ageing, never dying, and probably still enduring the villagers’ buggery. I have never seen it, though I wish I had. Not having seen, I had always doubted the story. Now, though, I can doubt it no longer.
It had been a perfectly normal hunt. The day was warm, and since the sound of cloth could startle prey I wore only my modesty - a single square of cloth depending from a waistcord.
My route took me past some of the strange-looking trees with those odd phallic projections that quivered in the breeze, occasionally dripping sap. They were not like other trees. Their bark was soft and leathery, as were the leaves that drooped from their raised branches. Touching the projections was said to bring good luck, though, so I reached up and stroked a few of them then watched as they swayed back and forth and became moist. I confess that touching the tree-phalluses caused my own “projection” to grow and quiver a little.
It seemed that the phallic trees really did bring me good luck. It was not long before I managed to bring down a small jegga. Slinging my catch over my shoulders, I made my way back toward the village with a spring in my step.
Soon I arrived at a low hill overlooking the village. Pausing to admire the view of the village with the forest and distant mountains behind, I stepped onto a broad, flat-topped boulder to take in the scene.
A gentle breeze caressed my skin and ruffled my modesty. I took a deep breath and smiled. It was good to be alive.
Suddenly, something strange happened. For a moment it seemed that a cloud of midges flew up to surround my body. A moment later they settled upon it, making my skin tingle all over. Then, before I could brush them off, they seemed to vanish, but my skin was still tingling. It was a strange sensation, though not really unpleasant.
<Target body infiltrated. Analysis commencing.>
No... not unpleasant at all. The tingling was becoming a warm glow. My good mood returned, and I resumed my journey. As I made my way downhill toward the village, its familiar sights, sounds and odours seemed clearer than I had ever perceived them.
<Sensory responses enhanced.>
Then, when I was only a few hundred paces from home, another strange thing happened.
<Commencing lifespan extension protocols. Opening intravenous nutrient and waste portals.>
Between one footstep and the next, I simply stopped. My body became perfectly still.
<Locomotor functions terminated. Target neutralised.>
For a moment I could not understand what was happening. Had something startled me and made me stop? But I could see and hear nothing unusual that might have surprised me. I tried to walk on, but my body remained still. I could not stir a muscle, nor quiver in the slightest...
I remembered the chelgat from the story. Oh, merciful gods. I had become just as the beast had become, perfectly still...
I tried to cry for help, but I already knew it was futile. Like the chelgat, I had also become perfectly silent. I think I should have been afraid, but at that moment my emotions seemed to have become as subdued as my muscles.
I watched helplessly as the villagers went about their business in the distance. It could not be long before one of them saw me, and found out what had happened to me. If I truly was like the chelgat now, there was nothing they could to for me. There were, though, a great many things they might do to me. I might have shivered at the thought, but even that small motion was now denied me.
Since there was nothing else I could do, I waited, my hair and modesty gently ruffled by the breeze, until at last somebody in the village happened to turn and glance in my direction.
My eyesight was now so clear that even from this distance I could recognise his face clearly. It was a fellow hunter of about my own age named Terrin. “Rilyu?” he called. “Are you all right? Why are you just standing there? Looks like you’ve caught something. Come on, bring it in.”
I of course made no gesture or reply. Terrin said, “Come on, Rilyu, this isn’t funny. Have I said something to offend you? Speak to me.”
Worried by my continued silence, he approached me. Terrin was dressed in a short-sleeved, open-fronted vest, knee-length leggings and soft shoes, while I was naked except for my modesty garment. Normally that would not have bothered me, but now being helpless and almost naked in front of my clothed friend was making me feel curiously embarrassed.
Terrin looked me up and down. “Rilyu, what’s wrong? Come on, Rilyu, you’re scaring me. Please say something.”
I could do nothing but stare back at him. He placed a hand on my shoulder. I felt curiously aroused by his touch. My penis began to stir. I was not without experience of men, but I had always thought of Terrin as a friend, nothing more. Now, though, I was struck by the thought that if he chose to take advantage of me, there was nothing I could do about it... any more than the chelgat could...
My arousal grew, lifting my modesty with it. Fortunately, Terrin did not seem to notice. He shook me by the shoulders and continued to plead with me to say something, while I remained silent and immobile.
Finally he stopped shaking me and stepped back with a mixture of fear and wonder on his face. Then he ran back to the village, calling for the headman and priest.
After he left my arousal subsided. I was relieved at that, though I suspected my relief would only be temporary.
Soon Terrin returned with the headman and priest, followed by most of the other adult villagers. The priest motioned the others to stay back, and peered at me intently. Gently prising open my hands, he lifted the jegga carcass from my shoulders and placed it on the ground nearby. Then he placed his hands upon my face, briefly parting my lips with his fingers, then feeling my forehead, neck, jaw and ears. There was something erotic about his touch - perhaps intentionally. The priest was by no means old, and far from ugly. In spite of myself, I was starting to become aroused again, and it was not long before his hands began exploring the rest of my body.
As the priest ran his hands over my arms, back, chest and stomach, my penis became fully erect, lifting the brief flap of my modesty garment so that its purpose became irrelevant. When his hands reached my legs and buttocks my erection thickened and quivered insistently. Finally his examination reached my genitals themselves, gently stroking the underside of my scrotum and rigid shaft.
I couldn’t move. I couldn’t resist his touch. Helplessness was only making my arousal stronger. Oh, gods, I was going to come, and I was sure the priest knew it. I was going to ejaculate in front of the entire tribe, and there was nothing I could do about it.
Sure enough, at that moment I felt the sudden rush that meant orgasm was inevitable. Pleasure began to build, slowly at first and then faster and faster until I reached a peak of ecstasy that I had never achieved before, either with my hands or with any man or woman. The pleasure was astonishing. I could barely think, or remember who or where I was.
For long moments the world seemed to stand still as I climaxed and climaxed and climaxed, until finally the climax broke into a long series of eruptions. Anticipating this, the priest had wrapped the flap of my modesty garment around the tip of my penis to catch my semen. He was not completely successful. My ejaculation went on for longer than normal, and the small cloth flap could not contain all of it. Finally, though, to my relief, my orgasm finished and my dripping penis slowly softened.
The priest shook some of my semen from his hands and turned to face the chief and the assembled villagers.
“What has happened to Rilyu?” asked the headman. “Will he be all right?”
The priest turned to look at me and then returned his attention to the headman.
“Rilyu has been touched by the gods,” he announced, causing the crowd to gasp in astonishment. “His body is changed. He is now immortal, perfect and incorruptible. His potency will bring fertility to the tribe, and he will never again move or speak.”
“Never move?” whispered the headman. “He will stand still forever? Oh, Rilyu.”
He took my face in his hands and kissed me. I was instantly aroused again, despite having only just orgasmed. Whether or not it really would give the tribe fertility, my potency had certainly increased. Though if I had truly been touched by the gods, then why had they chosen me, and why had they not spoken to me?
The headman knelt before me reverently, lowering his head, and then reached up to untie the cord of my now-useless modesty garment and sling it aside. Then, with the whole tribe watching, he moved forward and took my moist erection into his mouth, propping himself on one hand as he loosened his leggings and took hold of his own erection with the other.
Once again, my helplessness only increased my arousal. My penis became hot and rigid as the headman rocked back and forth, manipulating it with his mouth and tongue. The priest helped him by standing at my back and caressing my face and torso, his hands still sticky with my semen.
The tribe watched their sexual worship in awed silence. Many discarded their clothes and masturbated or made love in pairs or threesomes. The sight only made me hornier. I was able to move my eyes, though I could not close them, but however I tried to tear my gaze away, it kept returning to the lovers.
This time I did not come straight away. The headman’s movements were slow and rhythmic, and they were causing my sensations to build and build, slowly but surely. The sun grew lower in the sky while I endured their attentions...
Yet if I am to be honest with myself, I was not merely enduring the sensation. I found myself actually beginning to enjoy it. What choice did I have? I had become the tribe’s silent chelgat, nothing more or less than an idol to be worshipped, strewn with flowers and used for sex. If I spent all my time railing against my condition I would quickly go mad, screaming silently inside my motionless shell. Surely that was not what the gods had intended when they changed me. Better to accept it as best I could, and to welcome their attentions as loving worship.
And so as the long afternoon wore on I gave myself up to the overwhelming pleasure, coming hard into the headman’s mouth and later the priest’s with fantastically intense orgasms.
The sun was low in the sky by the time the orgy came to an end. The priest and headman carried me into the village and stood me in the centre of the courtyard. The jegga that I had caught was added to a great feast in my honour and wood was piled high in the nearby firepit.
The tribe sat around the fire, eating, drinking, singing songs and telling stories as the moons sailed across the sky, and the men and women of the village took turns to worship me with their bodies, sometimes one at a time, sometimes many. Though I could not move my own limbs, they could place them into any pose they desired. I learned many things about sex that night, experiencing at least ten more amazing orgasms in the process.
Finally they were finished with me. The headman and the priest set me upon my feet and placed my arms at my sides. The headman’s wife washed the semen and sweat from my body, then placed a garland of aromatic flowers about my shoulders. One by one the villagers filed past, bowing and kissing my forehead. Then they all retired to their huts, leaving me to stand naked beneath the stars. A god has no need of a modesty garment.
The breeze was cool and pleasant upon my bare skin, wafting the scent from my garland to my nostrils and ruffling my hair. The stars appeared brighter and clearer to me than ever before.
I found myself imagining that the stars were other worlds, and wondering what kind of men and women might live in them. Did they live and love as we did? Were some of them also touched by the gods, as it seemed that I had been?
I could not decide whether that touch was a blessing or a curse. In one afternoon and evening I had experienced more and better sex than I previously had in an entire moon, and that was only the beginning. But to live forever without the ability to move or speak, to watch my friends grow old and die while I remained the same... would all the orgasms help me to endure this fate without becoming insane? I could only pray that it would.
Shortly before sunrise Terrin came to me, his nakedness outlined against the faint pre-dawn light. My penis hardened insistently as he kissed me on the lips. Then he slipped his arms around me, pressing his erection against mine, and caressed my back and buttocks softly.
“If only you could tell me what it’s like,” he said quietly. “It must be wonderful. If only I could have been touched by the gods as well.” As he spoke he stroked the tips of my ears, making my penis quiver in response
I could not make a sound, or even blink in reply. If I could, I might have told him to pray that the gods did not touch him. But his touch upon my body was wonderful, and as the light stole over the village he brought us both gradually toward a slow, sensuous, and extremely prolonged orgasm, and then another, and then one more.
“I love you, Rilyu,” he told me when he was finally spent. “For as long as I live I will love you.”
I know, Terrin, I thought, watching him walk back to his hut past grinning villagers. I will always love you too.
The sight of his naked back had given me another erection. Moments later, Shula, the young wife of another hunter, came to me and took that erection into herself, after sitting me down and straddling me.
I could do nothing to help her, but she didn’t seem to mind doing all the work, if the expression on her face was anything to judge by. The sight of her pleasure was increasing my own, bringing me to a rapid and powerful climax. She did not withdraw, but continued to ride my moist phallus, which had not softened in the slightest, until at last she reached her own orgasm, gasping and moaning low in her throat.
She did not stop even then, though her movements became slower. The sun was nearly halfway up the sky by the time she finally brought me to a lingering climax, less intense than before but more sensual. A moment later her face contorted and she sighed quietly as she too came again.
Afterward she simply sat quietly for a time, breathing slowly, still astride me, almost as motionless as I was. My penis even now refused to soften and throbbed expectantly inside her, but at length she withdrew herself, knelt to kiss my forehead, and made her own departure.
For the rest of the morning I received no more sexual worship, for which a part of me was grateful. The womenfolk bathed me again. This caused my penis to harden once more, though all they did for the moment was wash it. Standing me upright, they replaced my garland with another, woven from different scented flowers. They braided my hair and adorned the braids with feathers and coloured beads. Then one by one they sang songs, told stories and exchanged gossip about the goings-on of the village and its neighbours.
In the afternoon two more of the womenfolk - both of them married - took it in turns to have sex with me. By the time they were done, each of them had brought me to three orgasms.
In the early evening several hunters returned with their catches, and there was another feast. Because I could no longer eat, the villagers came to me and wafted the scent of their meals to my nostrils. I was more grateful for that than they could have known. I found myself able to conjure the taste and texture of the foodstuffs just from their scent, and to imagine how it would feel to savour them upon my tongue. It was almost as if I really was eating them.
After the meal the hunters came to me, and for the rest of the night I was their conquest. Some of them mounted me and rode me hard, bringing me to almost painfully intense orgasms that would have made me scream if only I were able.
And in the dawn Terrin came and made love to me once more. I loved all of my people, but I knew that of all of them, he was the one I loved most. The others might love me as one touched by the gods, but Terrin always loved me as his friend Rilyu. If I could, I would have thrown my arms around him and crushed him to my bosom, but since I could not, he threw his arms around me and I was content.
That day passed much as the one before, and then another, and the days became moons, and the moons became years. Men and women came to me, caressing and worshipping me, sometimes in ways that I had never dreamed of before. They danced and sang to me and told me stories, sometimes at the same time as they were having sex with me. Men and women would dance before me, and men and men, and women and women, and their dances would become lovemaking. Just watching would often bring my body to orgasm just by itself.
They loved me. I was their god of fertility, and it seemed that my elevation to godhood had indeed blessed the village. Game was abundant, fruits and vegetables were plentiful, and many of the womenfolk had been blessed with child. Undoubtedly some of the children were mine, since every woman of childbearing age had repeatedly worshipped me with her body, but I loved them all equally.
I could feel the tribe’s love, and I loved them in return, with an almost unbearable intensity. I wanted to tell them of my love, to dance with them and return their passionate embraces, but never would my limbs respond to my commands in the slightest.
Only my eyes could move. They gazed lovingly into the eyes of worshippers, contemplated clouds and stars and trees, looked with joy upon births, weddings and comings of age, and stared, sorrowful yet unable to weep, at the passing of wounded hunters - a thankfully rare event.
The children grew, and the adults grew older. The old headman stepped down and was replaced by another. When he in his turn retired, it was Terrin who became his successor. I was overjoyed that my old friend had achieved such success, and that night he made love to me as never before.
The children born after I was first worhsipped grew to adulthood and began worshipping me in turn. I was troubled by the thought that some of the young adults were my own daughters, and there was nothing I could do to prevent myself from impregnating them. To my great relief, all of my young female worshippers were, in time, delivered of healthy, perfectly formed children.
In time Terrin stepped down as headman. There was now grey in his hair, and I was saddened by the thought that someday he would die while I was forced to live on. For the moment, though, he proved himself just as vital as ever by continuing to couple with me enthusiastically several times every night.
In time Terrin did pass beyond, and the tribe celebrated his life with feasting and dancing. Needless to say, the villagers did their very best to “comfort” me that night, and my sadness was tempered by the knowledge that they loved and respected him as much as I had.
Many years have passed since then. I have seen generations of my tribe come and go. Hundreds of men and women have worshipped my body in every conceivable manner. Every single orgasm strengthens my love for them as individuals and as a tribe. The physical pleasure is overpowering, but it pales by comparison to the emotional pleasure, and I know they feel it just as strongly as I do.
My people are strong. They are brave. They are beautiful. They are lithe and graceful. They are clever with their hands. They are cunning and they are wise and they are kind and they are generous. I am proud to have been a man of this tribe, and I am even more proud to be its god.
I stand in the village courtyard, naked and erect, watching the life of the village go on before me. I cannot move. I cannot speak. I cannot tell my people how much I adore them, yet they know without needing to be told.
I am happy.
Yesterday I heard a strange story. A hunter from a distant tribe had been surprised to find a strange woman standing still near the entrance to the village. She did not turn toward him as he called her, nor reply to his anxious questions.
The woman never moved or spoke again. The priest claimed she had been touched by the gods as a blessing to their village, and soon she found herself the object of their worship.
So, I told myself (for who else could I tell, save the gods?), I am not the only one. And who knows how many others the gods may have touched in this way?
I pray that all of them, whether man, woman, or even chelgat, may be as content with their lot as I have become.
All over the planet, the ancient paralysis mines lay in ambush. Once triggered, by footfall or proximity, a mine would release a cloud of nanomachines that would infiltrate the body of the being that had triggered it. The nanomachines would then thoroughly analyse their victim and begin to make alterations. These included sensory enhancement, intelligence enhancement, sexual enhancement, elimination of disease and ageing... and complete paralysis of all voluntary locomotor functions.
In order to eliminate waste and supply the victim with nutrients, the nanomachines opened space-time portals to and from the victim’s bloodstream. The nutrients were synthesized from atoms and molecules found in the environment, as were replacement materials for the nanomachines’ maintenance.
The nanomachines were highly efficient. No victim had yet died, save for a few unfortunates killed by natural disasters, and none had ever moved. They were as close to immortal as could be achieved.
The original victims, rendered helpless by their own “failsafe” weapons, stood in their millions across every continent on the planet. Their cities and machinery had long since fallen into ruin, leaving them to stand like strange trees with their genitalia waving quietly in the breeze. After a million years of paralysis they could scarcely think any more, but when the breeze brought them to orgasm they were content.
Since that time the peaceful bipeds had come to dominate the planet, but the paralysis mines did not discriminate between species. Over the aeons most of the mines had ceased to function, but there were still enough to ensure that tens of victims were caught each year worldwide. All told, countless animals and tribefolk had been “touched by the gods” with the gift of immobility. All became the object of tribal love and worship; perhaps sexual in the case of the animals, certainly so in the case of the tribefolk.
It might be another fifty thousand years before the last paralysis mine fails. Until that time, nothing can prevent thousands more from discovering the joys of being touched by the gods.