THE ZLITA SAGA part 2


‘There all is order, luxury, serenity and voluptuousness.’

Now haven’t you ever dreamed of such a world? Well, it’s out there, all around us, already occupying a large part of our Galaxy. And of course it is far more formidable than you could have ever imagined in your wildest fantasies. More than a utopia, it’s a reality. And it’s a perfect world. THE perfect world. Bright, elegant, harmonious, luminous. As the poet used to say, there all is order, luxury, serenity and voluptuousness.

For women.

Of course for males, the picture is somewhat different. It’s not all that bright, luxurious and voluptuous. Quite the contrary in fact. Like in any perfect world it’s quite natural that some have to pay the price for all that perfection. And perfection is not cheap, as anyone knows. It’s always the same routine, the omelette, and the broken eggs. (Yes, broken eggs. No, of course not, the pun was not intended.)

‘Like in any perfect world it’s quite natural that some have to pay the price for all that perfection’

Anyway, so it’s the males who have to foot the bill, and isn’t that wonderful? So fitting actually. In a Female Supremacist world, what more appropriate role could be devolved to males than to be reduced to the most abject servitude? Males were born with that sole purpose, to be sacrificed, to be broken and conditioned into docile tools only destined to serve and toil for the benefit of their superiors, their feared and revered Mistresses. Actually they love it. They really do.

Any Amazon of Sleeek could easily demonstrate to a visitor how happy and grateful her slaves are to sacrifice each and every minute of their lowly existence to serve her, to provide her with all the wealth and power and comfort she is entitled to. And the reason why the males are so happy to do it, no matter how harsh and abject the conditions of their servitude, is because it is their true nature as males to serve. They relish in the hardship, the oppression, the degradation that is their lot. It is their happiness to be exploited mercilessly, knowing that their suffering contributes to the wealth and comfort of their adored mistresses. What could slaves do with the luxury and leisure anyway, or indeed the power that is the privilege of the women? Obviously they wouldn’t know what to do with it, they would be lost, and that would make them unhinged.

‘One only needs to look at our deplorable little planet. What went wrong is that somewhere along the line males got in charge’

One only needs to look at our deplorable little planet. What went wrong is that somewhere along the line males got in charge. Evolution was derailed, mixing technical progress with retarded superstitions and uncontrollable violence. In a frenzy of paranoia psychopaths obsessed with power but usually still putting their faith into some primitive, supposedly omnipotent and spitefully misogynistic bearded god have saturated the planet with nuclear weapons, waiting to see who would be the first one of them to initiate global destruction. Other megalomaniacs are playing a sick game called the markets to concentrate into their hands riches that they could never spend in their lifetime, in the process wrecking the economy, plunging the rest of humanity into poverty, when not complete misery, and worse of all, poisoning the planet and eradicating other animal species. That’s what happens when men are in charge. Not surprisingly, our planet has been evaluated as being out of control and spiralling into self destruction by the rest of the Galaxy and therefore quarantined indefinitely. Just as it had reached its industrial age and was on the brink of its space age.

‘Our planet has been evaluated as being out of control and spiralling into self destruction by the rest of the Galaxy and therefore quarantined indefinitely’

And planet Earth is not an isolated case. A large part of the Galaxy is still in the grip of similar patriarchal perversion. These primitive worlds are united under the banner of a federation named… The Federation. Yes, indeed, how original! It’s the males you know, what could you expect?

And it is that scourge that the Sleeekean empire has to combat. Of course it’s a fight of galactic proportions (well, it’s a galaxy, after all). And it’s a war that has been going on for such a long time, thousands and thousands of Earth years. The Amazons have to fight the Federation almost all over the Galaxy. Of course they are bound to prevail. They are the good girls. The males are the bad boys. Let there be no doubt about that. But still, it’s a difficult struggle, and a confrontation that might still endure for thousands more years probably.

But that’s only part of the Zlita saga. The main purpose of that story is to show the daily life in the Empire of Women. It’s difficult to imagine for Earthlings, even those who are sympathetic to the idea of Female Supremacy. What is the social structure of an Amazon world? What are the mundane aspects of life in a millenary matriarchal society? What can be the mindset of Amazons who have been ruling the most powerful empire of the Galaxy for so long? And of their slaves? It would certainly seem strange to many an Amazon of Sleeek, but in a pure spirit of scientific curiosity we have also decided to describe the Sleeekean Female Supremacist society not only from the viewpoint of the Mistresses -the only one of interest, really- but also from that of their slaves. We know that many readers feel some kind of weird interest if not even empathy for the lowly creatures.

‘there are those unruly pirate slave-huntresses marauding around’

Maybe some male readers are contemplating the possibility of ending up under the yoke of these wonderful women? Not an altogether impossible prospect really, as Planet Earth has been a reservoir of raw male material for the Amazons of Sleeek for ages. Of course this predation has somewhat slackened since the planet is quarantined, but still, there are those unruly pirate slave-huntresses marauding around, you know. So, better show some caution if you are wandering in some remote part of our planet and you see a strange vessel obviously coming from outer-space. Or, if that’s what you dream of, jump on the occasion, but be careful what you wish for.

There, the stage is set. Come visit the Empire of Sleeek.
In the Zlita folder in:
http://nanshakh.com/fsp6.htm

THE ZLITA SAGA

The Adventures Of Zlita Slave Huntress From Outer Space is an interplanetary saga raging from one end of the Galaxy to the other, on the trail of a charming young slave huntress, a dashing officer freshly out of the Imperial Space Academy of planet Sleeek, the planet at the heart of the Amazon Empire, siege of the Empress. When she is not hunting or trying to secure ever larger supplies of males (the slave trade is permanently booming in the Empire), Zlita is pursuing her arch-enemy Vulka, the ruthless pirate girl.

Both young women were together at the Space Academy, both are consumed with ambition and both have chosen the slave trade as an easy and exciting way to satisfy their greed and their thirst for power. Also, both have known each other from early childhood, being the heiresses of two of the noblest and oldest dynasties of Sleeek, with their family estates contiguous to each other. As if that was not enough, both their mothers have been very old and good friends. It seems everything destined these two aristocratic girls to be the best of friends, almost sisters, when in fact it all concurred to separate and oppose them. One is an angelical looking buxom blonde, the pride of her mother, of the Imperial Space Academy and of the Imperial court of Sleeek. The other is a brunette.

As if that didn’t say enough, the latter, Vulka, has been the bad girl from an early age, showing dispositions to antagonise any form of authority and a notable talent to scandalise all the Sleeekean good society. A rebel.

To be perfectly honest Zlita’s adventures are not that breathless. One of the reasons undoubtedly being the excruciating slowness of the author. That said, one has to bear in mind that adventures in outer-space tend to happen at a rather slow pace.

‘that Galaxy, or ‘the Milky’ as people familiarly refer to it in Outer Space, is criss-crossed from one end to the other by spaceships with utterly bored crews and passengers’

If only because even at the amazing speeds reached by the most advanced spaceships, and we are talking here about thousands of times the speed of light, yet interstellar travels are so long, but so so very long. Really it’s exasperating. To put it simply, that Galaxy, or ‘the Milky’ as people familiarly refer to it in Outer Space, is criss-crossed from one end to the other by spaceships with utterly bored crews and passengers. So much for hair raising pursuits in space. A high speed chase between spaceships through the Galaxy would be significantly less breathless and scary than a pursuit with gondolas through the canals of Venice four centuries ago.

Arrogant women, born to rule, spoiled from the cradle, raised in the most superfluous luxury, surrounded by myriads of slaves whose lives are worth less than that of insects

No, the real interest of the Zlita space opera, it’s the Women. Oh right! and the Outer Space stuff too, of course. You know, ‘all’ the rest of the Galaxy, ‘all’ those millions of worlds that we Earthlings could not possibly imagine. Plenty of exoticism there, sure. But what really matters, it’s the Amazons. Imagine that, a huge, hundreds of thousands years old empire of dominant women. Arrogant women, born to rule, spoiled from the cradle, raised in the most superfluous luxury, surrounded by myriads of slaves whose lives are worth less than that of insects. Educated by their mothers to be naturally imbued with their power, their absolute superiority and their mission to expand their Female Supremacist empire to the entire Galaxy.

The young Amazons of Sleeek are trained to conquer, vanquish, and enslave. Males, enslave males, of course. They have no grudge against any other living creature of the universe. It’s just the males. They do not really hate males either, it’s just that males were born to serve, and the thought of any male not being enslaved to them is quite upsetting. Male slave labour is the vital fluid of their Empire. A formidable empire controlling a large part of the Galaxy.

End of part 1 – to be continued…

The Zlita Saga can be found in the Zlita folder:
http://nanshakh.com/fsp6.htm

Zenobia of Palmyra, Queen.

A review of a barely disguised praise of a shrewd dominant woman in popular swords & sandals cinema of the 60s.

Nel segno di Roma

Other titles:
Sotto il segno di Roma
Sous le signe de Rome
La Regina del deserto
Sign of Rome
Sign of the Gladiator (1959) (USA)
Sheba and the Gladiator (1959) (USA)

In the opening scene of Nel Segno Di Roma, Queen Zenobia of Palmyra (Anita Ekberg) is sitting on her throne while the commander of the Roman armies is brought to her limping pathetically.
 The Roman army is defeated and he has just been captured.
A guard: ‘Here is Markus Valerius, commander of the Roman army, alive and at your feet, as you requested, Oh Queen’.

She smiles. Not exactly friendly and welcoming. ‘Kneel down’.

The Queen is anything but compassionate. She smiles. Not exactly friendly and welcoming. ‘Kneel down’.
 What better way to meet a woman? This is the ideal encounter so many have dreamed of, only you’d need to have the Roman legions, Assyria in 4th century AD, Palmyra with all its riches, AND to wage war against its glamorous Queen and be defeated by her, and so on…

But wait, it even gets better: he wouldn’t kneel! Two guards force him down. The Queen sneers: ‘I suppose a Roman can’t kneel?’
‘Not in front of a treacherous Queen, no’ answers the Roman quite futilely now that he is on his knees, nevertheless.
The Queen waves the guards away, comes down and stands proudly in front of him, sneering (again).

‘No, that would be too much of an honour, slavery is what you deserve! It is said Romans pride themselves on being strong, slavery will develop your muscles’

Queen Zenobia: ‘Are those who would not kneel in front of Rome traitors?’
Valerius: ‘And the one who wouldn’t kneel in front of Queen Zenobia, is he a traitor?’
Queen Zenobia: ‘No, an enemy’
Valerius: ‘To a defeated enemy you give death, kill me, then’. (He obviously feels he has to act macho, but doesn’t seem that much convinced himself anyway).
Queen Zenobia, with loads of sneering: ‘No, that would be too much of an honour, slavery is what you deserve!’ (and the way she says it…) ‘It is said Romans pride themselves on being strong, slavery will develop your muscles’. Yes, kind of vexatious for a Roman too.

Now, this is talking like a Queen! and you will appreciate the feminine touch, ridiculing him because of his physical condition, pretty unfair considering he’s just had a full day – what with fighting a battle, losing it, being made prisoner and forced to walk in the desert attached and dragged behind a horse to end up being paraded all through town under the jeers of the crowd. Crowds are like that with defeated enemies. Mean!

Have you noticed the number of mills in those days? Whenever a guy is enslaved, and if he doesn’t happen to be in Egypt and there is no Pyramid to build, he almost certainly ends up chained to a mill

Next scene: close up on chained ankles and naked feet in the dust. As the camera angle widens, you see the ex-Roman consul, now a slave, chained to a big mill with a pack of slaves, struggling to make it turn under the ferocious lashes of the ferocious guards. Now this is puzzling, have you noticed the number of mills in those days? Whenever a guy is enslaved, and if he doesn’t happen to be in Egypt and there is no Pyramid to build, he almost certainly ends up chained to a mill. When it’s not to the oars of a galley. But that kind of covers it, as if there were no other mundane tasks for slaves in antiquity. What about the laundry, mopping the floor, shining the silver, opening oysters, washing the dishes or feeding the cat?

As usual, an exhausted slave passing by trips over something and falls under the huge wheel of the mill (standard stuff, 3.5 tons stone slab): one arm crushed. A guard prepares to dispose of him because you know: “cripple slave = useless slave”, but the Roman jumps at the guard’s throat and so on, ensues the usual heroic struggle… (Incidentally it shows that in these cruel ages ex-Roman consuls were genuinely concerned with the wellbeing of slaves. At least when said ex-Roman consuls happened to have been recently enslaved themselves).

The slave is saved, but the Roman consul is left in the care of the guard he assaulted. He ends up attached to a cross, baking in the sun. When he has withered considerably after a whole day of baking, guess who comes visiting, impromptu? Yes, Queen Zenobia herself. The statuesque blonde, cool, collected, absolutely charming with a gold tiara and earrings in a black minidress embroidered with gold, is riding in the middle of the slave camp obviously enjoying her daily inspection of the thousands of miserable slaves. The guards savagely whip the cringing slaves to make way for the Queen. Invigorating sight for a young modern Queen. (I know this is taking place in the 4th century A.D. but she was a modern Queen then).

Of course she immediately spots the dehydrated Roman on his crossbeams. She has him unfastened from the cross and brought to her. Notice that it would only take her seconds to make the twenty paces separating her from him on her horse but no, instead she orders imperiously: ‘Bring him over’. Queens are like that. Sitting majestically on her mount, she obviously enjoys the sight of the dejected slave being brought to her by the guards.

They have a little chat but the miserable wretch is being insolent again.
‘Put him back on the cross’ orders the Queen. Understand now why she had him brought to her? If she had gone to speak to him on the cross instead, all she might have said to show her displeasure at his insolence would have been a “leave him on the cross”, not quite so impressive really. While instead now she could meanly order her guards to attach him back to the cross again. Ha!

Nay! Roman senate votes credits, huge task force of aircraft carriers sails for the Middle East to crush Assyria and make a grab at the oil fields… No, wait, I’ve got it all mixed up

Didn’t I tell you she was a real nice Queen? She had it. She had styles.
Now, what a promising start you might say. Both for the movie and for the reign of this charming young monarch.

Nay! Roman senate votes credits, huge task force of aircraft carriers sails for the Middle East to crush Assyria and make a grab at the oil fields… No, wait, I’ve got it all mixed up.

But first let’s give it all some context. Queen Zenobia is not the usual young Queen from antiquity with all the bling bling and the heavy make up trying to seduce the most powerful Roman of the moment to save her country, she’s not some common Cleopatra. At a young age she decided to size power, and beat the crap out of Romans to carve out a nice little empire for herself, from Anatolia to Egypt. Romans usually didn’t like that kind of effrontery.

So, Roman senate votes credits, huge task force of galleys sails to Assyria, legions crush Palmyrene army and make a grab at whatever there is to grab… (in fact no oil fields to grab, no gold or copper mines either, but warehouses engorged with valuable goods and control of commercial routes from the East with chronic traffic jams of caravans loaded with riches from India and China. See, no possible confusion with contemporary events. It’s not as if today there was some huge militaristic empire waging war all over the world to grab the resources of defenseless countries, right?)

Queen is made prisoner. (Yet the impetuous young lady manages to throw a spear right in the chest of the Roman ex-consul ex-slave. (And he had it coming. Their relations had got much cosier. She had elevated him from the rank of slave to that of personal favourite, military adviser and even commander of her personal guard. And all the while the devious weasel had been double-crossing her. You know, politicians… no morality, no gratitude).

The spear doesn’t kill him, But he remains in intensive care for quite a while and miraculously recovers.

Now, this is interesting: you would expect to find sweet Zenobia chained, humiliated, rotting in some dark dungeon at the very least. But no, instead she is only under house arrest in her palace, raving mad with resentment and breaking precious vases one after the other – because this is usually what spoilt queens tended to do in those days whenever they were upset. Meanwhile the two Romans, (the ex-consul ex-slave ex-adviser ex-favourite, and the commander of the task force just arrived from Rome) are at a loss to console her. This is true gallantry: when the Roman guy loses: enslaved, chained to the mill, tortured. But when she loses, she gets irritated and plants a spear in his chest and he is apologetic, not knowing what to do to make her forgive him.

Well eventually she has to go to Rome for a hearing at the senate, but it all goes well because they all plead for her and swear under oath that she is really a good girl at heart, and yes she might have waged war against Rome for years and conquered all the Eastern part of the Empire but one shouldn’t see any malice in it, it’s just the impetuosity of youth… So she is cleared of all charges. Only the Romans choose another queen to succeed her, a nice modest young girl, ex-vestal of Palmyra but secretly a christian. Yeah right, politics. Some people would stop at nothing to get to the top. And that girl she used to be acting so modest and humble all through the movie!

And what happens to Zenobia? Last time we see her she is in the gardens of her Roman villa, smiling sweetly at her husband who’s stepping down from his sport chariot, just back from work. Guess who?

Ok, conventional and disappointing ending. But maybe not so much. There are remarkable points in that swords & sandals movie (which I warmly recommend).
End of part 1