Chapter 82:     Cultural Event

Transcribed from dictation, ADAM speaking--

Dagrolyt returned to his bakhl the morning that would later become night 
of the Full Moon, which was well-timed since he was hosting the evening's 
Kha-rat.  He greeted Dambaraggan and thanked him for coming and was quite 
happy to hear that I had fully regained my Orator status.  

Then he had to get to work. We all helped, even the Great Orator 
Dambaraggan, who almost never lifted a finger in Aket.  You would think 
that a Sasquatch social function involved no special preparations or 
expenses, since they eat nettles and drink water.  "Dinner is served in 
the forest, so help yourself."  

But Misma and Myr°la had foraged all week for the special ingredients of 
Dagrolyt's own blend of kosh and now he had to mix up an extra large 
portion because there were so many guests coming.  No one had ever heard of
a Kha-rat as big as this one would be.

Dagrolyt had spread the word while out doing his rounds as Dwayarat and had 
told his students to spread the word even farther: 

"Special Kha-rat this Ma-ml°t-klys, perhaps the beginning of a Cultural 
Revolution! There is to be a concert of original Nokhon my°sik performed 
by Dadamet, the Nokhon raised by Nokhsos, who is perhaps destined to 
become The Negotiator Himself!  However!  It all depends upon the outcome 
of the inevitable ADVERSARY SHOWDOWN between Young Dadamet, a 
born Orator, and the formidable Alutna-Jii Himself, Sha-haka Daklakht, 
Super-Agent of the Ultimate Nine Elders at Shamballah!  Come one, come 
all, Sha-haka Dagrolyt invites you to his Bigger, Better, New, Improved 
KHA-RAT!"  

Sure, I'm paraphrasing, but not by much.  Dagrolyt HAD spent a good deal of 
time "studying" American Television at my folk's place.  He had definitely 
understood the concept of a commercial spot.  So we were expecting...well, 
actually we had no idea how many people would show up, this was kind of a 
First.  The usual locals, for sure, 20-25 squatches.  We were hoping for 
maybe twice that.

I was so happy to get my Orating abilities back that I completely forgot 
to worry about Daklakht, for a while at least.  We were also busy mixing 
kosh-paste and packing individual portions in leaves, laughing and talking 
a lot.  The girls had also washed off their shit-stink even though it 
was a little too early and reeked of nice erotic shy°ma instead, so there 
was a lot of flirting and bumping-into going on.  No sex allowed yet, but 
lots more laughing.  Then more females came, Dannat and his women, more 
and more shy°ma!

The weather threatened to rain for a while but the clouds blew away and we 
were looking forward to a chilly but clear Full Moon night.  Rain doesn't 
stop squatches, but it's always special to be able to see the Moon.  We 
therefore assumed that some extra guests would be coming from farther away.

By midday several groups of Nokhons had arrived early for the event, we 
began to understand that our guesstimate of 50 guests was way off by a 
large factor, a lot of non-locals were showing up.  Some I recognized from 
the happening in Eastern Washington.  Others from Aket, fellow students, 
also a few nodding acquaintances.  Introductions and embraces were 
happening at an accelerating pace.

My heart actually did twinge when Masnia arrived, along with Dabronat and 
Malaya, as well as all of her young friends from the lake.  She and I 
shared a private embrace in the middle of that crowd and I just had to 
bury my nose in her sweet shy°ma for a moment before clearing my head 
to become co-host and all business once again.  

"I hope you don't mind that I brought my band," she told me, indicating 
her young friends.  They each had some kind of object strapped to their 
backs, reminiscent of my own guitar bag.

"Masnia, you're kidding!  That's exactly what I've been working for all 
along!  Kha-ra, I now love you twice as much!"

"Good, that's just what I want!"

Big bulky Dambaraggan came through the crowd to us, asking, "Is this her, 
your Poetess?" I had recited some of her lyrics to him and he had been 
more than impressed by her use of the Nokhontli language.  I introduced 
them, then had to move on to other guests.  It was quickly becoming 
chaotic.

By early evening Mastinta and her girls arrived, even more eager to get 
their horny hands on me when the free-for-all was announced.  It occurred 
to me that I might actually be in some physical danger if so many women 
simply HAD to y°ramma the only singer/musician simultaneously.  

Also those who had previously taken offense to my skesk-my°sik were 
arriving; fussy old Atli-fanatic Dafnat, Damekh and Mabna, for example.  
But they too seemed to have been caught up in the atmosphere of this very 
special Kha-rat, "a Cultural Change" was the small-talk on many lips.  
I guess they were going with the flow.

I was surprised to see Daklesk, the guy who'd been exiled from Kha-rats for 
awhile.  I hadn't seen him since we had shared a chunk of forbidden 
deer meat beside his outlaw campfire.  He looked much better, clean, less 
shaggy, had a woman on his arm.  We ended up smiling at each other across 
the crowd.

And then, at sundown, arrived the Guest Most Awaited: Daklakht, the 
Alutna-Jii Himself.  Behind him, one female and six Alutna agents.


He made an spectacular entrance, posing on a hilltop with the sunset painting him in a dramatic red light. Maybe he'd been watching American Television too, studied camera angles. Even at that distance everyone knew exactly who he was: that big powerful Incredible Hulk body, the flashy Wolverine hairstyle. The woman on his arm was also spectacular, her dramatically female shape a sunset silhouette to be admired. I recognized that shape and knew exactly who she was. Once again my heart twinged, either from dread of him or yearning for her, probably both. It should not have surprised me that Magga was with Daklakht, they had been y°ramma-ing together last time I had seen her. Then she had gone to Aket at his request--or his command, how would I know? He was supposedly training her to become Alutna, or maybe just keeping her as his personal sex-assistant, as Ma-ralla-hata did with her young slaves. Suddenly, among all those words I had forgotten and now remembered, I recalled some words I had spoken to Magga: she was one of the very few I had ever told about my terrible promise to the father of the golden- haired Nokhso girl I loved. I couldn't help but wonder, had Magga told Daklakht? They came down the hill to the rest of us, every eye upon them. Many of the guests had come just to see the famous Alutna-Jii, for them he was the celebrity, not me. I saw how every squatch bobbed his or her head in respect as Daklakht moved past them into the crowd, some of them practically genuflecting. They were parading just like Hollywood stars, with the crowd parting like Cecil B. DeMille's Red Sea before them, six Alutna backing them up, coming directly to where Dagrolyt and I stood. Daklakht stepped up close, almost nose to nose with me and offered the most arrogant, most smarmy smirk that his face could bear. Okay, the moment had come, what was my plan, you ask? No plan, just winging it. Good thing I was an Orator again. "Kha, Young Dadamet, I'm very glad to see you here. I hear that you are planning to violate Atli tonight and I want to be here for it." I ignored him and looked at Magga instead. She looked beautiful but sad, which was just the way I wanted her to look since I couldn't decide how I felt about her just then. Neither of us spoke, she tried to hold my gaze but quickly dropped her eyes. Shame? Embarrassment? I hadn't a clue. "I am speaking to you, sky°ma!" Daklakht barked, impatient and angry about being ignored. "Oh yes, I heard you, asshole," I said turning to him at last. Of course, I didn't actually say "asshole, "P°'tahh" is literally "shit-face". Pick your own best translation for any insult that one simply SHOULD NOT SAY to the Chief of Chiefs of Police. Daklakht almost rubbed his hands together with delight, saying, "You have just affronted the Alutna-Jii in public! The penalty for that is.." "..is Nothing," I announced for all to hear, my magical Orator's voice back in business, thrilling even me. "You have appointed yourself My Adversary, so that is your current legal relationship to me. According to Atli your authority as Alutna is thus invalid between us, because I am also Your Appointed Adversary and may therefore be ADVERSE to you. Legally, we're just two guys having it out." Daklakht knew all that, he'd only been bluffing. He shrugged and smiled, enjoying any contest of authority. "Very well, fine by me: just two guys having it out. I shall enjoy that. However, let me warn you that if you do attempt to play your hideous Nokhso skesk-my°sik tonight in this public forum, that will not be between you and me--it will be in violation of Atli and my Alutna agents will shut you down and drag you away." The six officers behind Daklakht appeared quite ready to do their duties. I recognized Dalangath and Darassath looking slightly sheepish about it and sent them a smile. They pretended not to notice, boss being right there and all. "No they won't," I insisted, "not unless they wish to violate Atli themselves." Daklakht pondered that for a second, uncertain of what I was referring to. We were drawing a good crowd by then, so he didn't want to look stupid. "According to Atli?" he challenged me. "Rules for Creativity: Verse 5,974,354, if you know your Atli." Daklakht looked uncertain; it was obvious he did not know that verse. But fussy old Dafnat, who was usually an insufferable Atli pedant, did and confirmed it as valid: the use of a "hand-crafted magical talisman" was indeed allowed under certain conditions. "But that must be from the Secret Verses," Daklakht commented, "you have never earned permission to hear those. Who violated Atli by telling them to you? Dagrolyt? Dambaraggan?" He seemed ready to make trouble for anyone backing me up. "I received them in My Vision, asshole." Squatches respect visions, any information attained that way was considered holy, a gift from the gods, and not to be ignored. Daklakht could do nothing about that. There was some laughter, the crowd was enjoying our showdown--discretely-- folk were still reluctant to be disrespectful of the Alutna-Jii. Daklakht was keeping his cool, even grinning about the how the game was progressing, but stepped forward to let me know in what direction it was headed: a physical battle. He seemed neither distressed nor agitated, mostly ready to have some fun. And so was the crowd, he knew that. An Orator might be able to take him on verbally but no one could beat the Alutna-Jii in a fist-fight. This was so exciting! But just as he began to make a move, he stopped short. The dangerous expression on his face mellowed into the crinkly-eyed loving smile of a Nice Guy. I wondered what devious tactic this was until I heard one of my favorite voices just behind me say, "Kha, Da-dakh-ee." Masnia saying, Hi, Daddy. "Beloved Ma-snii-a! How nice to see you..." then his face became all business again, "...but you'd best not get between this boy and me, we have something to settle." "I know, Dad, just don't hurt Dadamet. I've chosen him." Both Daklakht and Magga scowled at me in shocked surprise. I enjoyed that. "You're FAR too young for that!" her father insisted, naturally. "Actually..." I started to say, then let it drop, having said enough to earn more scowling. Instead I observed Masnia and Magga exchanging glances, measuring each other. Could that be a tiny spark of jealousy passing between them? Squatch chicks don't feel that, do they? Exactly then the Sun went down, the Full Moon came up and the traditional chant of "Ma ket" went up with it. The crowd turned away from our tiny personal drama of the moment to embrace the much more cosmic drama of Ma-ml°t-klys. Our host Dagrolyt announced that the Kha-rat had begun. Packets of kosh were already being unwrapped and eaten, all those males and females who had been rubbing and grinding themselves to sexual frenzy were just about ready to go ahead and y°ramma at last. The collective shy°ma was boiling now, brains being short-circuited, erections engorged, juices everywhere. Yep, yet another orgy coming up. Daklakht and I looked at each other, our big important showdown now forgotten by that fickle audience. He laughed and turned away from me, for the moment at least, he had more important business. So did I, looking at Magga staring back at me with those sad eyes through a haze of shy°ma. Sad horny eyes. "Dadamet, I..." was all she said, we moved toward each other. But that important business Daklakht had turned to was Magga. He snatched her away and tipped her over, gently but firmly and had her right there in front of me. Again. I froze, my Nokhso moralities confusing me about what to do. This wasn't necessarily an affront to me, this was a Kha-rat, besides maybe she was his anyway... I was saved by Masnia, who turned and threw her arms around my neck before any other girl could get her hands on me. In a heartbeat I forgot about my own broken heart and dedicated myself to warming hers as best I could. There were so many others after that I couldn't keep track of who they were, although I did recognized Magga as one of them in passing. We never did get around to talking though. After the first wave of desperate sex had passed over us all, Dagrolyt came to me and clapped a hand on my shoulder, interrupting Masnia and me (again) to say, "C'mon guy, it's time to make your my°sik." I was all, "Huh, what?" but Masnia snapped out of her rapture instantly, ready to rock, said, "Let's go, I'm singing with you." I was too frazzled to argue. Dagrolyt was about to hand me the guitar when two Alutna emerged from the crowd and grabbed him from behind. The guitar was snatched from his hand. Daklakht right behind them and moving in fast. I tried to jump up and get my guitar back before Daklakht got his hands on it, but two more Alutna were already holding me down. Daklakht stepped up and was handed the guitar. It was obvious that none of the Alutna had eaten any khos, they were not looking dreamy-eyed whatsoever. Nor had I eaten any, wanting to play music with a clear head, but that gave me no advantage against so many of them. I noticed that the two local Alutna I was on friendly terms with were not involved in this action, only the elite soldiers from Aket, therefore accustomed to denying themselves the pleasures of shy°ma, all alert and fit for duty. And so was Daklakht, standing tall, taking charge. His apparent surrender to the pangs of lust may have been a strategy to put me off guard--and he certainly knew that jumping Magga would upset me to some degree. Although I may have won a few revenge points when he looked down to see that his daughter was having her way with me. He'd scowled, anyway. My Adversary held my guitar up by the neck, lifting it to study the shape and structure of the instrument in detail. "Ah, such a very pretty piece of EVIL, glossy wood formed like a woman. I can see that this is truly a tempting possession to covet..." "That is a magic talisman," I insisted, "and the only one like it. So be careful with it!" "Oh, ra, I shall carefully destroy it. Obliterate every spell of wicked Nokhso sorcery within it!" "No, Daddy! Don't wreck the hollow log" Masnia pleaded, "We need it for the my°sik!" "Silence Daughter!" he shouted, now One Angry Father, "You SHALL not obstruct my work! It is bad enough that you have allied yourself with this...this Nokhso-boy, do not also become seduced by his skesk-junk as well! This diabolical contraption must be eradicated!" "No!" Masnia frantically continued to obstruct, "it's not evil! Listen to it first, before you..." "ENOUGH!" Daklakht shouted, shifting his grip on the neck to jab the guitar high above his head and swing, aiming to smash it onto the earth with all his squatch strength. A lot happened in that same moment: (1.) I shouted "Skog!" and pushed the two Alutna away with all my strength, trying to get free in time to save my instrument. (2.) Masnia threw herself towards the guitar, to put herself between it and the ground. (3.) Daklakht saw her in the final instant and tried to deflect the guitar from crashing down on her head. (4.) Masnia flipped over and caught the guitar in her arms--but it slammed into her with a loud SMACK of wood and hair and a bell-like SPWAAANG of 12-string dismay. (5.) Everyone froze, entire crowd. Then the crowd surged. "WE TOO SAY ENOUGH!" was the rally, led by the big fat Orator. A ring of indignant Nokhons formed around us, Alutna were nudged aside gently but firmly by many hands. Dagrolyt and Dabronat arrived as a team, both looking pretty pissed off. But Daklakht was suddenly more concerned with his daughter's condition than maintaining of any semblance of authority, he kneeled to see how she was, looking worried and sorry. I rolled free of the Alutna, directly over to Masnia on the other side of her from Daklakht. She wasn't moving, eyes closed, the guitar still clamped in her embrace. I tried to move the guitar away so we could see how badly she was hurt, but her grip was solid. She was therefore clearly alive and finally said, "Owww, that sti-i-ings!" Daklakht and I looked at each other and our worried expressions relaxed, both of us on finally agreeing on something. Masnia opened her eyes and gave me a strained little smile, then aimed a rather stern scowl at her father and said: "Da-dakh-ee, you are being HIM again. You know I won't have it!" Daklakht scowled back at her, suddenly unpleasant again. "That is not for you to determine, silly child, HE is my Master and I am obliged to serve him!" It did not sound much like an apology. "Not to the degree of BECOMING him!" she countered, "I insist that you be yourself when with me!" "Listen brat," he spoke with even sterner arrogance, "Not even YOU may make demands of the Alutna-Jii..." Masnia cut him off with a voice that outranked his, two notches up the scale of sternness: "It is neither the office of Alutna-Jii nor the wicked Elder Da-starda-hat whom I address, but my very own DA-DAKH-EE..." Her voice had suddenly taken on an authority I had never heard before--from anyone anywhere-- "...and he shall RESPOND accordingly!" Daklakht rocked backwards, as if he'd been shoved by someone a lot stronger than himself. And yet it was only cute little Masnia who had raised her voice to him, as petulant teenage daughters sometimes do. However, that voice sounded nothing like some spoiled brat's, hysterical and shrill, but rather calm and controlled as a QUEEN issuing doctrine to be obeyed. Still, her father was officially the boss here: I half expected him to slap her for insubordinately challenging him. But he did not; in fact, he seemed to become someone else. I mean, literally; his eyes changed, his face became contrite, his angry and arrogant posture collapsed into being gentle and open. And then he said: "All right, Ma-snii-a, I'll be myself." I was surprised, so were many others. This was almost public humiliation of a very arrogant man, but which he seemed willing to accept without rancor. Masnia lifted the guitar for him to see, now speaking normally, sweetly. "You have to LISTEN to this, Da-dakh-ee!" But then she zapped him with her eyes, "And I MEAN it!" "But it is still a violation of Atli and therefore forbidden..." he sounded apologetic, unconvincing. As if now unsure of himself. Old Dannat interjected, although politely. "The question of violation is yet to be determined, Daklakht old friend. So perhaps we could allow it." "No, I must..." Dagrolyt was much less polite: "Back off, Daklakht, and WE mean it too!" "But I have orders from Shamballah..." Dagrolyt cut him off again, "We all know what Da-starda-hat's faction wishes, but they do not yet have the majority at Shamballah. Besides, you are actually here as Young Dadamet's appointed Adversary, rather than as any agent of Shamballah. Therefore, if YOU may be assisted by your allies," indicating the six Alutna, "then so may Dadamet be assisted by HIS!" Dagrolyt then turned to the crowd and called: "Those who would be Dadamet's Allies, speak up!" That crowd of two hundred assented with a roar. The six Alutna may have cringed slightly. "Ra, we came to hear Young Dadamet's infamous my°sik," some voice in the crowd called, "then we can decide if it should be forbidden or not." Many others called out, "Kha-ra!" in agreement. So Daklakht accepted the situation and stepped back--almost graciously-- told the Alutna to stand down. He was more concerned about Masnia at the moment anyway. But she was fine and why not? I call her "little", but Masnia is actually well over 6 feet tall, 250 pounds of sexy but solid squatch chick--a guitar could be smashed into wood chips without making a dent on her. We weren't sure it hadn't been. Masnia handed me the guitar, saying, "I hope it's not broken." I said the same thing about her, but she gave me the "Only When I Laugh" routine and got to her feet, staggering just a little. She allowed her father to steady her: nice touch, Ma-snii-a baby. I strummed the guitar, it sounded horrible, far out of tune. A quick close inspection revealed that the front was cracked, but it was only cosmetic, the instrument seemed otherwise still intact. I tuned the 12 strings, to the amazement of that crowd of virgin ears and when I finally strummed out a beautiful clear chord the entire crowd cheered. As far as they knew that could have been the concert: one nice sound. But then we showed 200 stoned and horny squatches what a concert was. In a way, it was a mess: I had been planning my Most Polished Performance Ever, instead I was distracted by shy°ma, constantly being interrupted by orgiastic women in the audience who just HAD to y°ramma with me between songs, which sometimes fell apart because Masnia's amateur band was trying to play along and they weren't in any better shape than I was. Had to be the most unprofessional concert of my career. And the Best. According to audience reaction, anyway. The Concert in Seattle had been so good because we had gotten our haka flowing, the audience had been aroused, but can you imagine what a shy°ma-powered concert was like? Talk about audience participation! Sure, we screwed up some songs, but then we'd restart and do them right, there was no demand for perfection. And when the songs worked: my forbidden skesk-guitar made everybody y°ramma to the beat, Masnia's lyrics made everybody open their minds and her background vocals made ME high. She even ad-libbed her own ribald lyrics to "I Like To Run", which everybody sang along to: Ha mm-kro y°ramma. I mean, "I Like to Fuck" set to a good strong beat in the middle of a shy°ma-orgy under the Full Moon just HAD to go down well. It was all One Big Orgasm.
Somewhere in the early dawn I began to realize how much noise we were making --squatches generally don't, you know, but we had been singing and shouting all night long. The kind of noisy party that wakes the neighbors. Make a big enough noise and your neighbor can be the American News Media, so I stopped playing and tried to shush the party down a tad. Actually, everybody was burning themselves out on shy°ma by then and it became quiet except for soft moans and groans and squirtings. I found myself wandering the scene looking for someone among all the squirming bodies. Magga, of course. I was hoping I wouldn't find her copulating with Daklakht again, but knew she'd be with someone so it didn't really matter who. I just wanted to ask her if she had told Daklakht about my Melly promise. I wasn't angry with her yet, but it was a future possibility. But she was nowhere to be found. Neither was Daklakht. I began to feel like a voyeur, going around and snooping in the dark, checking out who was with whom. Most of those people I didn't know, but there were also those I did. I noted that Daklakht's Alutna agents had finally gone off duty and surrendered to the effects of shy°ma, dallying here and there in the crowd. I was amused to find my fat old teacher Dambaraggan flat out on his back with a smallish young girl spread-eagled on his big belly, both asleep. It looked so innocent, except that they had fallen asleep while still plugged in together. I was almost scandalized to discover that the girl was Masnia, but not really surprised: they had enjoyed an exciting discussion about language earlier in the day; this was a continuation of that intimacy. The American half of my brain was programmed to shout, "Oh no, that dirty old squatch," but the Nokhon side didn't even blink. Besides, I knew how sexually aggressive innocent little Masnia could get if she admired a man's talent, as if she wanted some of it to rub off onto--or into--her. After that I shouldered my guitar-in-bag and wandered away from the crowd, I too would like being nowhere to be found for a while. I certainly didn't want any more women, they had been merciless and in a crowd that size there must have been about a hundred of them after me. Welcome to the life of a squatch rock idol. But I knew that Masnia had had it even worse than me. She normally tried to avoid Kha-rat sex with strangers and here were a hundred shy°ma-crazed males uncontrollably enamored with that sexy little singer on stage, each obsessed with having a piece of her. Preferably repeatedly. She was absolutely every guy's favorite girl at the Kha-rat. Sure, mine too. It may be impolite to say "No" at a Kha-rat, but it would have killed her to be polite. I'd had to apologize to some women myself, there were just too many of them. I went to a small lake I knew nearby, put my guitar bag down and took a bath, washing away all the dried juices of the night. Then got some sleep.
There always comes a Day After, but this party was still going on well after dawn. Most of the 200 guests were on their feet again when I came back to the crowd. The usual men's wrestling matches were already going on; I was pulled into some of them. I even won a few, probably because I was fresher than most of the other guys, having had some sleep instead of continuing to grind all night. Deeper into the crowd, I could hear the Great Dambaraggan reciting Atli in his most pompous Orator's voice, the old guy sounded quite chipper and I knew why. I went over to see how he was doing. Masnia was there, hanging onto his every mellifluous word; his Number One Fan. She waved to me enthusiastically and had me hold her while she admired the famous Orator's glorious phrases, just so happy to be sandwiched between us. Dambaraggan was just as happy to see me: he cut his recital of Atli short to insult me and in no time I was up there with him doing our old "Arrogant- Teacher/Wiseass-Student" routine from Aket, two Orators slashing one another with clever words. I was a little out of practice and so was he, but we got the rhythm back between us and had the audience laughing and reacting and finally cheering our repartee. At the end we bowed, a Nokhso theater tradition I had once suggested to him, then Masnia jumped us both, hugging and kissing. The crowd almost did the same.

Chapter 83

Adam out of Eden