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Mina Berkeley's Voyage

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Jon Smithie

Governor
Author's note--This story is inspired by King Diocletian's "Miss Berkeley's Voyage," which impressed me as being the best whipping story I'd ever read. For quite some time I've considered writing a companion piece to it, not because I think I can do it better, (I don't and I can't) but because my variations on the theme might be of interest to those who enjoyed "Miss Berkeley's Voyage." So, with King Diocletian's permission, let's go cruising with Laura Berkeley's younger sister.


MINA BERKELEY'S VOYAGE


Prologue

The loud rap at the cabin hatch startled Mina, who had become used to the tentative
tapping of the ship's mouse when he brought her food, or to empty her chamber pot. It was time for neither function, and she was only dressed in her shift. Holding her dress up to her neck to cover the cleave of her bosom, Mina opened the hatch a few inches.

A marine with a pock scarred face stood rigidly at the hatch. His eyes were hard and mocking, and glinted with lust as his gaze traveled over her bare arm.

“What is it . . . Corporal?” She asked. She took a haughty tone with him, for she did not care at all for his brazen look.

Men, she thought bitterly. Always driven by their arrogance or their lust.

“Compliments of the Commodore, Miss, and he requests the honor of your presence. I am to fetch you to his cabin. You are to come with me, Miss.”

So that's what all the bosun's whistles and shouts and activity on deck had been about the day before, Mina thought. The Commodore had boarded Defiance. Mina could only assume it was on her account. And of course the Commodore would have the story first from the captain and his officers. She felt a twist of nerves in her stomach.

But her voice was steady and forceful.

“My compliments to the Commodore,” She said. “I shall be very pleased to attend him. Allow me a moment, Corporal.”

Mina began to close the hatch, but the Corporal pushed back.

“Now, Miss,” the corporal said, “The Commodore's orders are to bring you directly.”

“Corporal,” Mina said. “I am not dressed! As certain as I am that you wish to follow the Commodore's orders to the letter, I am equally certain he would permit you some discretion in allowing a lady to dress herself decently!”

And with that Mina leaned against the hatch and forced it closed.

Of all the creatures that populated a ship, marines were of the lowest order, Mina thought. Arrogant, violent, altogether despicable! You must come now! The self important brute! Perhaps he thinks no more of me than of the poor convicts under his guard! Yes, I am sure he would drag me to the Commodore dressed only in my shift!

Her stomach flip flopped again as she tried to ease her fear and outrage and catch her breath. She resolved to not be afraid, but to tell the truth, come what may. She would ignore the ironic smirks and the mocking glances she anticipated from the ship's crew and the other passengers. She had no reason to believe that any of them felt a whit of sympathy for her humiliation and suffering at the hands of the odious Captain Writhby of the good ship--and well named too!--Defiance. Only the Reverend Mr. Hurst and Mrs. Hurst had comforted her at all, and even then, their comfort had consisted more of justifying the outrages that Captain Writhby had inflicted upon her—and not only upon her--than on supporting Mina in her travail.

It was three days since her chastisement, as the captain had mockingly characterized the atrocity that had been committed upon her person. The stripes had faded somewhat, but were still evident against the pale skin of her buttocks, and were still quite painful.

How she longed for this ordeal of a voyage to be over! How she longed for landfall in Australia! She closed her eyes and imagined herself standing Eve naked under a waterfall in a clear stream in some verdant, secluded patch of paradise in that land, letting the water sweep away her pain and humiliation, the memories of her closet sized cabin, this creaky, lurching ship, and all the cruel, heartless men who sailed in her!

Mina sighed, and then upbraided herself. After all, she could not help but remember, there were many on board this vessel who suffered far worse than she-- the convicts sentenced to transportation, who did not have the luxury of their own cabins, but were crowded below decks in a noisome, airless hold. Nor could those unfortunates look to the end of this nightmarish voyage for any relief of their sufferings, for Australia was naught but a prison to them, and a prison in which they would be put to hard labor. She spared a thought for the young woman who had suffered a chastisement far worse than hers, who indeed had suffered the cat, and who's wounds probably hadn't yet begun to fade. It was well, Mina reflected, that she herself had suffered a whipping, light as it was, for now she could testify personally to both the mental and physical anguish she had endured as a result of it.

Such reflections strengthened her resolve to remain unbowed in the face of a system that seemed designed to sacrifice all finer feeling, all the virtues of civilization. A system that was nothing more than a grinding mill to crush any and all Defiance! Well! God was testing her resolve, she decided. Would she simply wither away at the first tribulation? She vowed to herself that, with God's help, she would weather the storm with all sails set!

When she had thoroughly braced herself up, as they said aboard ship, she stepped into and pulled her corset up to her bust, and laced it, albeit loosely. She held the hem of her dress over her head and tunneled into it, wincing slightly as the fabric slid over her hind parts. I could use a wash, Mina thought, catching a whiff of her own rankness.

And more than a wash, Mina corrected herself as she checked her reflection in the dim light of the cabin.
She pinched her cheeks to bring some color to her face.

Back home it was generally agreed that Mina and Laura Berkeley were the two handsomest women in all the country, but if only one prize could be given to the most beautiful in the land, Laura, Mina's elder sister, was the one who would win it. Mina was quite content to bow to that judgement. But she also knew, with a touch of both amusement and shameful pride, that at least one admirer of hers had come to blows over the issue.

There would be no contest now, Mina thought ruefully.

In any case, their father, and the governess who had primarily been responsible for their upbringing, (their mother having died bringing Mina into the world,) had always discouraged such shallow vanity in the two young women, and neither had set much store by her physical attractiveness. They had both been well educated and had followed in their father's footsteps in involving themselves in social issues, with the goal of improving the living conditions of the lower classes.

Father had campaigned specifically against the cruel and corrupt practices that were routine aboard Royal Navy vessels: Captains who lined their pockets by accepting bribes from suppliers who provided rotten meat, stale flour, and rank water; Pursers who cheated and embezzled the pitiful wages of the sailors; but most of all, the government officials, officers, and men who enforced the culture of brutal discipline. Keelhauling. The cat o' nine tails. He frequently quoted the saying that a flogging “Made a good man bad and a bad man worse.” He had served as a naval officer himself, before becoming a respected colonial administrator. Recently deceased, due to an illness contracted at his post in Australia, he would be missed by many who relied on his integrity and his sense of justice.

Mina sorely missed him, even though he was away for long periods during her childhood and adolescence. She remembered him fondly as a caring and attentive father when he had been home.

She had been traveling with family friends in the north of England when she received Laura's missive informing her of their father's demise, and of Laura's intention to secure a passage on a ship bound for Australia to set in order his affairs and to visit his grave.

Mina's sorrow at her father's passing turned quickly to determination to accompany Laura on the voyage.

But Laura's letter had taken nearly two weeks to find Mina, and despite Mina's best efforts to notify Laura of her desire to sail with her, the message arrived too late. By the time Mina arrived at the port Laura had specified in her letter, Laura had been a week into her voyage. It was nearly another month before Mina was able to take passage on a ship bound for that far off land.

Mina, now adequately, if not satisfactorily dressed, paused to send a wish out across the waves.

“Godspeed, dear Sister,” Mina whispered. “I hope your voyage has been happier than mine!”

Mina took a deep breath, and resolved to make her father proud. She felt an iron determination to acquit herself well in what would most likely be an unpleasant confrontation with the Commodore. But she had righteousness on her side! She remembered a line from the Psalms:

“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”

She opened the cabin hatch, and stepped out. She looked past the marine waiting impatiently at the hatch, and saw sunlight streaming through an open coaming, shining on the ladderwell leading to the main deck. She caught a whiff of sea breeze.

“Lead on, Corporal,” she said, feeling like David taking the field against Goliath.
 
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MaryGeorge39

Condemned
As a fellow fan of King Diocletian, I am delighted you're writing a sequel. And you have a real gift for description and setting the tone and the mood. We should already be worried for Mina, I think! Can't wait to see where your imagination leads us all. Well done! Carry on!


Author's note--This story is inspired by King Diocletian's "Miss Berkeley's Voyage," which impressed me as being the best whipping story I'd ever read. For quite some time I've considered writing a companion piece to it, not because I think I can do it better, (I don't and I can't) but because my variations on the theme might be of interest to those who enjoyed "Miss Berkeley's Voyage." So, with King Diocletian's permission, let's go cruising with Laura Berkeley's younger sister.


MINA BERKELEY'S VOYAGE


Prologue

The loud rap at the cabin hatch startled Mina, who had become used to the tentative
tapping of the ship's mouse when he brought her food, or to empty her chamber pot. It was time for neither function, and she was only dressed in her shift. Holding her dress up to her neck to cover the cleave of her bosom, Mina opened the hatch a few inches.

A marine with a pock scarred face stood rigidly at the hatch. His eyes were hard and mocking, and glinted with lust as his gaze traveled over her bare arm.

“What is it . . . Corporal?” She asked. She took a haughty tone with him, for she did not care at all for his brazen look.

Men, she thought bitterly. Always driven by their arrogance or their lust.

“Compliments of the Commodore, Miss, and he requests the honor of your presence. I am to fetch you to his cabin. You are to come with me, Miss.”

So that's what all the bosun's whistles and shouts and activity on deck had been about the day before, Mina thought. The Commodore had boarded Defiance. Mina could only assume it was on her account. And of course the Commodore would have the story first from the captain and his officers. She felt a twist of nerves in her stomach.

But her voice was steady and forceful.

“My compliments to the Commodore,” She said. “I shall be very pleased to attend him. Allow me a moment, Corporal.”

Mina began to close the hatch, but the Corporal pushed back.

“Now, Miss,” the corporal said, “The Commodore's orders are to bring you directly.”

“Corporal,” Mina said. “I am not dressed! As certain as I am that you wish to follow the Commodore's orders to the letter, I am equally certain he would permit you some discretion in allowing a lady to dress herself decently!”

And with that Mina leaned against the hatch and forced it closed.

Of all the creatures that populated a ship, marines were of the lowest order, Mina thought. Arrogant, violent, altogether despicable! You must come now! The self important brute! Perhaps he thinks no more of me than of the poor convicts under his guard! Yes, I am sure he would drag me to the Commodore dressed only in my shift!

Her stomach flip flopped again as she tried to ease her fear and outrage and catch her breath. She resolved to not be afraid, but to tell the truth, come what may. She would ignore the ironic smirks and the mocking glances she anticipated from the ship's crew and the other passengers. She had no reason to believe that any of them felt a whit of sympathy for her humiliation and suffering at the hands of the odious Captain Writhby of the good ship--and well named too!--Defiance. Only the Reverend Mr. Hurst and Mrs. Hurst had comforted her at all, and even then, their comfort had consisted more of justifying the outrages that Captain Writhby had inflicted upon her—and not only upon her--than on supporting Mina in her travail.

It was three days since her chastisement, as the captain had mockingly characterized the atrocity that had been committed upon her person. The stripes had faded somewhat, but were still evident against the pale skin of her buttocks, and were still quite painful.

How she longed for this ordeal of a voyage to be over! How she longed for landfall in Australia! She closed her eyes and imagined herself standing Eve naked under a waterfall in a clear stream in some verdant, secluded patch of paradise in that land, letting the water sweep away her pain and humiliation, the memories of her closet sized cabin, this creaky, lurching ship, and all the cruel, heartless men who sailed in her!

Mina sighed, and then upbraided herself. After all, she could not help but remember, there were many on board this vessel who suffered far worse than she-- the convicts sentenced to transportation, who did not have the luxury of their own cabins, but were crowded below decks in a noisome, airless hold. Nor could those unfortunates look to the end of this nightmarish voyage for any relief of their sufferings, for Australia was naught but a prison to them, and a prison in which they would be put to hard labor. She spared a thought for the young woman who had suffered a chastisement far worse than hers, who indeed had suffered the cat, and who's wounds probably hadn't yet begun to fade. It was well, Mina reflected, that she herself had suffered a whipping, light as it was, for now she could testify personally to both the mental and physical anguish she had endured as a result of it.

Such reflections strengthened her resolve to remain unbowed in the face of a system that seemed designed to sacrifice all finer feeling, all the virtues of civilization. A system that was nothing more than a grinding mill to crush any and all Defiance! Well! God was testing her resolve, she decided. Would she simply wither away at the first tribulation? She vowed to herself that, with God's help, she would weather the storm with all sails set!

When she had thoroughly braced herself up, as they said aboard ship, she stepped into and pulled her corset up to her bust, and laced it, albeit loosely. She held the hem of her dress over her head and tunneled into it, wincing slightly as the fabric slid over her hind parts. I could use a wash, Mina thought, catching a whiff of her own rankness.

And more than a wash, Mina corrected herself as she checked her reflection in the dim light of the cabin.
She pinched her cheeks to bring some color to her face.

Back home it was generally agreed that Mina and Laura Berkeley were the two handsomest women in all the country, but if only one prize could be given to the most beautiful in the land, Laura, Mina's elder sister, was the one who would win it. Mina was quite content to bow to that judgement. But she also knew, with a touch of both amusement and shameful pride, that at least one admirer of hers had come to blows over the issue.

There would be no contest now, Mina thought ruefully.

In any case, their father, and the governess who had primarily been responsible for their upbringing, (their mother having died bringing Mina into the world,) had always discouraged such shallow vanity in the two young women, and neither had set much store by her physical attractiveness. They had both been well educated and had followed in their father's footsteps in involving themselves in social issues, with the goal of improving the living conditions of the lower classes.

Father had campaigned specifically against the cruel and corrupt practices that were routine aboard Royal Navy vessels: Captains who lined their pockets by accepting bribes from suppliers who provided rotten meat, stale flour, and rank water; Pursers who cheated and embezzled the pitiful wages of the sailors; but most of all, the government officials, officers, and men who enforced the culture of brutal discipline. Keelhauling. The cat o' nine tails. He frequently quoted the saying that a flogging “Made a good man bad and a bad man worse.” He had served as a naval officer himself, before becoming a respected colonial administrator. Recently deceased, due to an illness contracted at his post in Australia, he would be missed by many who relied on his integrity and his sense of justice.

Mina sorely missed him, even though he was away for long periods during her childhood and adolescence. She remembered him fondly as a caring and attentive father when he had been home.

She had been traveling with family friends in the north of England when she received Laura's missive informing her of their father's demise, and of Laura's intention to secure a passage on a ship bound for Australia to set in order his affairs and to visit his grave.

Mina's sorrow at her father's passing turned quickly to determination to accompany Laura on the voyage.

But Laura's letter had taken nearly two weeks to find Mina, and despite Mina's best efforts to notify Laura of her desire to sail with her, the message arrived too late. By the time Mina arrived at the port Laura had specified in her letter, Laura had been a week into her voyage. It was nearly another month before Mina was able to take passage on a ship bound for that far off land.

Mina, now adequately, if not satisfactorily dressed, paused to send a wish out across the waves.

“Godspeed, dear Sister,” Mina whispered. “I hope your voyage has been happier than mine!”

Mina took a deep breath, and resolved to make her father proud. She felt an iron determination to acquit herself well in what would most likely be an unpleasant confrontation with the Commodore. But she had righteousness on her side! She remembered a line from the Psalms:

“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”

She opened the cabin hatch, and stepped out. She looked past the marine waiting impatiently at the hatch, and saw sunlight streaming through an open coaming, shining on the ladderwell leading to the main deck. She caught a whiff of sea breeze.

“Lead on, Corporal,” she said, feeling like David taking the field against Goliath.
 

Jollyrei

Angelus Mortis
Staff member
This is splendid, Jon! I'm sorry to get to it so late (I was, myself on a voyage when you started), but I'm certainly looking forward to the next chapter, whenever you get to it. By all means, keep going. Your Mina is a well portrayed character, and her situation is interesting. Your writing is excellent.:beer:
 

Jon Smithie

Governor
Thanks all for the comments and encouragement! I regret I am such an idiot when it comes to computers. I just want the damn things to work. Like magic. Anyhoo my LibreOffice won't cut and paste, but it will convert the whole Mina Berkeley file (prologue and first chapter) to PDF. So now to figure out how to upload a PDF file here. . .
 

windar

Teller of Tales
Thanks all for the comments and encouragement! I regret I am such an idiot when it comes to computers. I just want the damn things to work. Like magic. Anyhoo my LibreOffice won't cut and paste, but it will convert the whole Mina Berkeley file (prologue and first chapter) to PDF. So now to figure out how to upload a PDF file here. . .
1. Click on "Upload a File"
2. Select the pdf
3. Click "Open"
4. Click "Post Reply"

Done:)
 

Jon Smithie

Governor
Yea! Hot Damn! It worked! I even figured out how to select only the pages I wanted to include. (There's a pop up in the pdf conversion menu that says, basically, how many pages do you want to include.) Me so smart!

A couple of points that have occurred to me since I've started this epic. Historical verisimilitude is important to me, but honestly I've relied more on my enthusiasm for Age of Sail naval fiction than actual research. I think during the era of the early British transportations to Australia that land was referred to as New South Wales, which is how King Diocletian had it, and how I should have referred to it too. I confess I did not do my due diligence and reread "Miss Berkeley's Voyage" before embarking Mina on her voyage. Now I'm afraid to go back and discover some glaring oversight concerning Berkeley family relationships. You are welcome to point them out to me if you discover any. Also I may have referred to the ship Mina is on as "Discipline," which is what I called it at first, but that seemed like such an unlikely name for a ship that I changed it to "Defiance." So if I've referred to Discipline anywhere as the name of the ship it's an oversight. Hope that won't take you out of the world I've tried to create here.

Responses are hoped for and welcome. Including constructive criticism and even suggestions on (historically accurate) punishments, and the direction you'd like this to go.

Thanks for reading.
 

windar

Teller of Tales
Well, I liked that very much. As for direction, I suppose Mina will be flogged and I look forward to reading about that. I would hope it is a reasonable, realistic and judicious punishment. Nothing over the top or I lose interest.

But I have to take issue with one line in your story: "He was elderly, Mina thought, well into his forties, certainly." FORTIES, ELDERLY? If I were he, I would have YOU flogged for that...
 

Jollyrei

Angelus Mortis
Staff member
But I have to take issue with one line in your story: "He was elderly, Mina thought, well into his forties, certainly." FORTIES, ELDERLY? If I were he, I would have YOU flogged for that...
No, that's Mina thinking that. Have her flogged again, and then demonstrate how not elderly you are, I suggest. :devil:
 

Jon Smithie

Governor
Windar said

But I have to take issue with one line in your story: "He was elderly, Mina thought, well into his forties, certainly." FORTIES, ELDERLY? If I were he, I would have YOU flogged for that...


LOL. Mina would consider me a doddering relic.

I suppose Mina will be flogged and I look forward to reading about that. I would hope it is a reasonable, realistic and judicious punishment. Nothing over the top or I lose interest.

Well, we know that Mina has been caned, and she will describe that in the next chapter (which will be titled, "Kissing The Gunner's Daughter," if that gives you a clue.) I do hope to maintain a level of plausibility throughout the story. IMHO most writers in this vein take things way too far, way too fast, and leave plausible characters and believable action in the dust. I think the quality of writing on this website is exceptional--lotta good stories here. BTW, I think I've already mentioned this, but I really, really liked the first chapter of your "Trabbian Justice." On the other hand, I do want to push the envelope. My envelope, that is. I personally don't find gore, maiming, and death erotic, so I'll never go there. (LOL, at least usually I don't. Jedakk's Serpent's Eye has all of that and I thought it very erotic. And a few other stories too, now that I think about it.) Oh well, WTF.

Things shouldn't get too crazy for Mina, after all, Smythie seems like a reasonable, caring kind of guy.
 

windar

Teller of Tales
BTW, I think I've already mentioned this, but I really, really liked the first chapter of your "Trabbian Justice."

Only the first chapter????:mad:
Things shouldn't get too crazy for Mina, after all, Smythie seems like a reasonable, caring kind of guy.

That "y" in place of "i" makes all the difference:p But to be honest I did find "Miss Berkeley's Voyage" became repetitive and hard for me to read in its entirety. It's one thing to award 144 lashes and another to describe each one in a paragraph or two. But that's a matter of personal taste.
 

Jon Smithie

Governor
Only the first chapter????:mad:

The first chapter pushed my personal hot buttons in a way the second chapter didn't. I'm a little hesitant about offering criticism because I have to ask myself if I think my ideas would make the story stronger or improve the writing, or am I just expressing my personal preferences? I'll give you some examples from your story. I'm really turned on by stories involving judicial punishments. Especially when the setting is plausible and the characters are believable. From my perspective, you accomplished that very well in the first chapter. Even so, there were some aspects I didn't care for. Priya yearns to be caned. She is sexually excited by the idea. Fair enough. The vast majority of these types of stories involve characters who sexually desire their abuse, either before, during or after the fact (or all three.) And I thought Priya was a well developed, believable character. But I did not believe that she would become sexually excited when sentenced to a severe, punitive caning. Having witnessed two such canings, I think she would have been terrified. I did not believe for an instant that she would become sexually aroused. Is that a more accurate assessment of human behavior or just a personal preference on what I desire a character to feel? There were a few other things too. For instance I didn't believe that in a highly moralistic society like Trabbia, officials would be encouraged to sexually shame and harass offenders, as they do in the story. I wish they would have acted more . . . official. To me, that's scarier (and more arousing.) But maybe sexual humiliation is a hot button for you, and hey, you know Trabbian society better than I do. One other thing, a pet peeve of mine: Why are punishments almost invariably negotiated down? Maybe not invariably, but it does seem to happen in most judicial punishment stories that I've read. In another of my favorite stories "Island Justice" by Rollin Hand, the main character proudly negotiates the punishment of his niece downward. To me, that is so frustrating. Are there any readers who are pulling for the characters to get off lightly? You had already shown us brilliantly what eight strokes of the cane were like with the two Trabbian students. Absolutely a wonderfully written and arousing passage, so when it came to the Americans, you could not improve the description, so I think you had to increase the number. It was time to up the ante. You spent some time describing the students' rude behavior to their attorney, and I was really hoping that she would be so offended by them that she would not work too hard to negotiate a lesser number of strokes. Or maybe the Trabbian justice system is cooperative rather than adversarial, and the defense, prosecution, and judge decide among them what an appropriate punishment is. So the defense lawyer, in her ire, could argue for, oh, maybe sixteen strokes for the students, and twenty for the professor, and a year at hard labor for all, but the prosecution and the judge negotiate it down to twelve and sixteen, or whatever. That would have added an interesting twist, IMHO.

Okay, I'm getting carried away. It's a measure of how much I enjoyed the first chapter. The second, not so much. I felt like you jumped the shark. The punishments just didn't seem plausible to me, or appropriately judicial. I just didn't feel any of that apprehension and anticipation I did when the students were arrested and facing the judicial system as in the first chapter.

I reread the third chapter recently, and thought it was almost as good as the first. Except for the first offender. Visualizing her skanky, bony ass getting pounded was a little off putting, frankly, but you more than made up for it with the beautiful innocent who gets the treatment immediately after.

Legitimate criticism or personal preference? You be the judge.



That "y" in place of "i" makes all the difference:p But to be honest I did find "Miss Berkeley's Voyage" became repetitive and hard for me to read in its entirety. It's one thing to award 144 lashes and another to describe each one in a paragraph or two. But that's a matter of personal taste.


I thought King Diocletian maintained the erotic tension of the whipping throughout. Yeah, it was a little repetitive, but all in all it worked for me. What really got me though was the trial: Laura Berkeley's realization that she was to be whipped, and then later, at sentencing, not just whipped, but whipped round the fleet. That gets me every time. Personal Preference.

Commodore Sir Rupert St. John Smythie (later Admiral) is actually an ancestor of mine. In fact, my given name is a contraction of "St. John." When you're part of a storied lineage as I am, you feel honor bound to tell those stories as truthfully as possible.
 
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Jon Smithie

Governor
Windar, looks like I've made a complete formatting hash of my reply to your comments. The main part of my reply looks like it's part of your quote. Don't know what I did wrong. WTF. I'll get it sorted eventually.
 
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