Thursday, 3 February 2011


This is one of the pieces I wrote on the Sectors of the Demi-Monde. The Quartier Chaud will be the setting for 'The Demi-Monde: Spring', the second of the four books of the DM series (and the one I'm just about to start editing!)

US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC)

Fort Jackson, neoFight Briefing Area, 8th June, 2018

Captain Simmons smiled, ‘Okay, Platoon Bravo, you’ve drawn this week’s star prize, an all-expenses paid tour of the Quartier Chaud. Why’s it a prize? Because the Quartier Chaudians – most of whom are of Mediterranean stock - follow a religion known as ImPuritanism which is a staunchly hedonistic.’

Silence. ‘For the lame-brains in the audience hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure.’
There were cheers and whistles around the room. ‘Okay. Settle down but, yeah, you heard me right: the pursuit of pleasure. But these sex crazy Quartier Chaudians have gone further than this; they believe that communion with their god can only be achieved during the ultimate orgasm they call JuiceSense. So you better believe that they take their bump and grind action mighty seriously in the QC, they even have a scale to measure their sexual appetites and ability. The ratings are...’ A list appeared on the Flexi-Plexi.

• Pianissimo: very soft

• Piano: soft

• Mezzo-piano: moderately soft

• Mezzo-forte: moderately hard

• Forte: hard

• Fortissimo: very hard

Badowski couldn’t resist. He stuck up his hand. ‘Hey, Captain, how come you’re sending those dickless pianissimos from Platoon Bravo into the Quartier Chaud? Sounds like a waste of beaucoup de good poontang to me. Gonna be a mess of disappointed chicks of the hedonistic persuasion after those guys have failed to lock and unload.’ It took the Captain a full minute to quiet his audience after Badowski’s interjection.

‘No more observations from you, Badowski, otherwise you’ll be cleaning the heads with your tongue.’ The Captain took a deep breath to settle his temper. ‘Okay...where was I? Oh, yes, how they dress in the QC reflects the passion they have for all things erotic, so, ladies, if you aren’t of a mind to show some serious flesh then now is the time to think about buying yourself out of the Corps.’ An image of Quartier Chaudian fashions appeared on the Flexi-Plexi, to whoops and hollers from the audience. ‘And as for you, Badowski, I’ve already put in an order for “Cod Piece, extra small”.’
The Captain tapped at the screen with a pointer. ‘As you can see these Quartier Chaudians also have the custom of wearing masks and veils. When the Quartier Chaud first adopted ImPuritanism as its religion many of the Sector’s Citizens were uncomfortable and embarrassed by the sexual obligations placed on them and hence took to wearing masks in order to be better able to assume a new and more sexually enfranchised personality. Over time it has become de rigueur for all Citizens, when in public, to wear a mask or a veil as this allows them to project any personality they chose to the outside world, even personalities diametrically opposite to their normal, public ones. Hence the famous QC saying: “Masks are dangerous things as behind a mask I am anonymous and there is nothing more dangerous than anonymity”.
Badowski leant across to Sergeant Bowman, the guy in charge of Platoon Bravo. ‘Hey, Sergeant Bowman, it’s your lucky day. You get to go to the Quartier Chaud where no one’s gonna know how pig ugly you are.’
He was rewarded with the finger.

Oblivious, the Captain continued. ‘Okay, I can see from the expressions on your faces that the dime has dropped. But don’t get carried away, you ain’t been sent to the QC for a few weeks f****** and frolicking. No sirree. Your mission is to make sure that the badnik Dupe trying to take control of the Quartier Chaud, a real slime ball called Maximilien Robespierre – who, when he was living in the Real World was the Singularity who organised the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution – doesn’t succeed in gaining control of Paris and closing the portal we’ve got there.’
The Flexi-Plexi mutated again to show a beautiful, bemasked woman. ‘But the one thing all you cats and kittens in Platoon Bravo had better be careful of when you’re in the Quartier Chaud are the dames known as Visual Virgins. These girls are Auralists; they can read auras, the invisible penumbra of colours which surround our bodies. Intelligence tells us that they can spot a Real Worlder like us easy as blinking and as the Demi-Mondians ain’t over impressed with Daemons – yeah, that’s what they call us – coming to their world to mix and mingle if you don’t wanna have a close encounter of the turd kind keep outta the way of Visual Virgins. They’re easy to spot: they wear red robes and are kinda nice on the eye.’
Captain Simmons pressed the remote. ‘Okay, Platoon Charlie, you’ve drawn the Coven...’

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All images © Rod Rees/Nigel Robinson

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