Wednesday, 20 May 2015
(SATIRE) Love Slaves of Gamergate: An excerpt from an erotic novel by Madeleine Figbough, set in Edwardian Buckinghamshire
MODE 5 is of course aware of the persistent and ongoing speculation surrounding the true identity of the erotic authoress Madeleine Figbough. Many claim that she herself is nothing more than a work of fiction - a nom de plume of the alleged games journalist Ben Kuchera.
As an ethical news source we will give no further credence to this idle gossip beyond repeating the frequently-made observation that Figbough (or the “the right hand of Ben” as she has become known in literary circles) and Kuchera have never been sighted together in the same room, despite a rumoured sexual relationship.
We would like to warn our readers that the following excerpt from Ms Figbough's latest bodice-ripping masterpiece contains spoilers relating to its prequel Count Milo: The Brunch Satyr.
Mindful of the erotically-charged prose that lies ahead we insist that anyone planning to venture beyond this preface, first dons seepage-factor five waterproof undergarments and avoids making direct contact with expensive upholstery.
MODE 5 can accept no legal responsibility for any inconvenient erections.
Margaret Badgerstroke was 23 years of age. By the social conventions of Lower Gitford – the quaint rural parish where she had resided since birth - she was considered an old maid, marked for the barren life of a spinster. At social gatherings she was a timid almost transparent presence, inseparable from the wallpaper and furnishings of a room, ostracised from any surrounding gaiety or social intercourse with a callous yet formal politeness. In the garden party hierarchy of her insular community she had been browbeaten into the role of a delicate and downtrodden flower – one who has obligingly wilted beneath the glaring expectations of those women who regarded themselves as her superiors.
It was these contemptuous beauties, blessed with the good fortune to have married well, who now, in consideration of Margaret's advancing years, had silently dictated that she would spend the remainder of her cloistered existence primly embroidering bible verses onto cushion covers; or else, busying herself with church floral arrangements, while dusty beams of sunlight projected like toppled columns through the stained glass, casting into unforgiving relief the premature ruin of her womanhood.
Yet in spite of these dismal forecasts Margaret's heart once again trembled, like a butterfly that has roused itself from the dormancy of its chrysalis and is now poised to take flight. The long-denied girlish passions that she had thought locked away forever once more stirred within her bosom.
The source of her reawakening was the return of the Earl of Rochester to his family's country estate following an absence of well over a decade. Margaret's first sighting of this man of pleasing aspect and obvious means, occurred mere minutes after his arrival. From the gates of his property she watched coyly as he supervised the removal of a Japanese contraption known as the Sony Prefecture 4th Generation Palace of Entertainment from the roof of his carriage. In that moment, with a silent yet hardened determination that was often overlooked by her peers, she resolved to ensnare him as her husband.
Margaret had of course heard tales of Earl's rakish pursuits. Her niece, in whom she had confided her intentions, had earnestly counselled against the dalliance, insisting that no possible good come from courting a gentleman who had ardently dedicated himself to the completion of Paper Mario – a childish amusement contained within a device from the far east known as Shogun Nintendo's Curious Cabinet of 64 Wonders.
An oft-repeated tale concerning the Earl's predilection for juvenile amusements had it that, following a formal dinner at Grindrs Hall, he and the other gentlemen had retired to the drawing room, with the intent of engaging in a few vigorous hands of whist. Thereafter they reclined upon the strewn furnishings, each one surrendering himself to the coddling embrace of the opium pipe.
The Earl had steadfastly declined both the pleasures of gambling and narcotic torpor, electing to remain sober. He had been witnessed later that evening, naked from the waist down and in an obvious state of arousal, engaged in the solo campaign of Halo: Combat Evolved which he played on legendary difficulty setting, though the man who claimed to have laid eyes upon this spectacle was never able to state with certainty that what he had seen was not some long buried nightmare dredged from the recesses of his consciousness, brought to light by the spirited over-consumption of port and Stilton cheese.
Supplementary to his reputed skills on the imaginary battlefield, the Earl was no stranger to the art of real-life combat and frequently found himself a participant in duels. It was said that he had been spared mortal injury upon numerous occasions by virtue of the seven proxies that he wore beneath his waistcoat.
Another rumour claimed that he was the top musketeer in the all of the king's armed forces with 300 confirmed kills to his name.
The Earl's pet sea lion had been the subject of frequent gossip. He had procured the animal at great expense and dressed it the manner of a gentleman in a top hat and a ruffled shirt. Thereafter the creature had been trained to follow enemies of the Earl in close pursuit on both land and sea.
Most troubling of all were whispers that the Earl had, through his libertine actions, damned his soul: That his return to Buckinghamshire had been not been entirely of his choosing but had been impelled by his family after he and his sister were caught playing a vintage Double Dragon arcade machine in two-player co-opt mode – a scandal that had shaken polite London society to its foundations with many calling for his arrest and trial.
Further to his chequered past, the Earl exhibited numerous eccentricities which some had taken as indicators of a mind that has fallen prey to the early stages of syphilis. He sometimes found himself unable to field small walls that would have been easily climbable had he chosen to make an attempt, instead of choosing to jump repeatedly at them only to be deflected.
He had claimed publicly that he was unable to enter the county of Sussex. The reason given was that he had “not yet unlocked” this region of England. He stated that on previous attempts to make use of bridges and roads that allowed others access to county he had found these thoroughfares blocked by landslides or other obstacles. He remained insistent that were he to gain access to Sussex by some clandestine method he would be vigorously hunted by armed men in carriages.
A long gallery in his home was dedicated to the display of trophies celebrating his many achievements. Some of these were fantastical - the slaughter of 500 pigeons on the grounds of his estate during a single day. Others (a shield commemorating a visit to the pantry at a neighbour's property) were so absurd as to be scarcely be worthy of mention.
Margaret was tantalized by the reports of the Earl's colourful life and the many idiosyncrasies that set him apart from his peers. Yet she remained at heart a callow womyn and could not bring herself to imagine that anything so salacious could actually occur behind the sedate ivy-clad façade of Teagbaggers Hall - the country estate where the Earl had made his home.
And so it was that one evening with great trepidation, Margaret, having sent her maid servant to bed, stole from her parents' home and made her way across the knotted silhouette of the night-blackened heath in the direction of Teabaggers Hall, her progress over the scrubby common lit by the ubiquitous lens flare of the full moon.
Upon arrival she knocked demurely on the back door. Her timid entreaty was answered a few moments later by the sickening sound of splintering timbers. The door, now somewhat the worse for wear, fell open on its hinges revealing the unmistakable figure of the Earl's manservant 'Freeman' framed beneath the lintel, a crowbar in one hand and a lantern dangling down at head height in the other.
“Miss Badgerstroke: The Earl has been expecting you since Tuesday. If you would be so kind as to follow me to the gaming cellar.”
Obediently Margaret followed Freeman through the rambling corridors of the mansion, pausing only when the lantern's battery was depleted and they were forced to wait patiently in the darkness until it had recharged.
Finally they reached a small wooden door that had been embedded into an irregular triangular-shaped alcove under a back staircase. A small varnished sign above the portal had been branded with the words: “Rape Cave”.
“Please disregard the crude attempt at humour,” counseled Freeman. “It is an ironic reference to the manner in which this room has been characterised by the Earl's many enemies. I assure you now that while your experiences within the gaming cellar may transport you beyond what were once narrow, yet comfortable horizons, the activities in which you partake will be entirely consensual and you will be free to leave whenever you choose.”
Margaret stepped back a few paces back while the manservant repeatedly lashed at the door with his crowbar. When the last scraps of smashed timber finally fell the floor she could discern in the gloom beyond the portal the beginnings of a flight of stairs. Freeman stepped formally to one side allowing her to pass. He remained stationed in the doorway, holding his lantern aloft, lighting the way ahead and casting lurching shadows onto the wall as she descended into the semi darkness alone.
The Earl was sprawled next to a washer/drier, with his back to the staircase, his recumbent form absorbed into the folds of a beanbag chair. Initially he seemed oblivious to Margaret's delicate approach. When she reached the foot of the steps he appeared to detect movement in the corner of his eye. Removing a pair of headphones he rose to meet her.
He had evidently dressed in expectation of polite company. His doughy torso was tightly enveloped in a slept-in Spiderman T-shirt, the iron-on transfer showing extreme wear, the armpits gaping holes trailing loose strands of cotton. The ensemble was completed by a pair of grubby sweat-stained tracksuit bottoms. He procured from the floor a small, shiny red bag containing thin triangular edibles and offered it to her.
“A delicacy from the new world. The call it 'nacho cheese flavour.'”
Margaret tentatively removed one of the golden triangles from the packet and gingerly tasted a small corner. Immediately an explosion of flavour gamboled across her tongue. It seemed that her mouth had become the impromptu venue for a ball where the guests had thrown off the hindrance of convention and the regimented formality of the waltz and the minuet, electing instead to cavort according to their personal whims in a thoroughly debauched and abandoned manner.
“S,Sir...” she stammered breathlessly. Her head was a muddle of conflicting emotions. She recoiled disgusted yet strangely fascinated by her sudden and unexpected arousal.
“Madam, if I may...”
The Earl took hold of her pale wrist. Raising her hand to his mouth his skilful tongue darted across her fingertips deftly removing the orange seasoning from where it had stained her milk-white skin.
Having removed the last of the tangy crumbs he withdrew to a nearby coffee table where he poured her a glass of cloudy water from an open bottle.
“Please drink this salty fluid. It will restore your body's electrolytes and prepare you for the experiences that lies ahead.”
While Margaret took delicate sips from the beaker the Earl busied himself with a device in the corner of the room.
“Even a sheltered girl such as yourself must surely be aware of Dr Gate's Patented Box of Mystery. To fully engage with the many wonders that reside within, one must first agree to enter into an ongoing written correspondence with Dr Gates on a subject matter of his choosing. Should a deadline for a letter be allowed to pass with no communication having been received, the good doctor will dispatch footmen to your residence who will lock the box barring any further use, except perhaps as a small table.
Margaret stared ashen faced at the device. Within her social circle Dr Gate's contraption was regarded with disdain; its usage looked-upon as a coarse mannish pursuit of interest only to those of low breeding.”
“Sir, I do not think it befitting of a Lady to...”
“Then do think!...” snarled the duke the passion rising in his voice.
“...But know my lady that the restorative powers of Dr Gate's miracle device have been proven effective in the treatment of gout. Perchance exposure to its contents could address the ill humours that have waxed your complexion.”
“Then sir I am ashamed, for in spite of my advanced years, I am a n00b.”
The Earl hauled a game pad from the ground by its cable. Margaret noted a tone of irritation visible in the character of his actions. The controller bore, she thought, a passing similarity to crossed spokes that a puppeteer might use to guide the movements of a marionette, however any resemblance ended there - the casing was black and engorged, studded with buttons and small levers. It trembled in her hands as she took hold of it.
“Be reassured my lady that under my skilled tuition you shall become L33t and all will fear your prowess,” said the Earl.
“We shall begin immediately with your first lesson: See how that by pressing the green letter A we can compel the Master Chief to jump upon the spot. Regrettably he suffers from a similar affliction to myself and cannot clear high walls but must instead find a way around.”
Margaret depressed the letter A several times as she had been instructed. On a screen in front of her a knight clad in green armour repeatedly leapt a short distance into the air, each jump a flawless copy of the one which had proceeded it.
The Earl had taken up position behind her. She was aware of his body heat permeating through her thin garments, mingling with her own. His hot breath caressed the delicate flesh of her bare neck. A pre-coital flush, that she would forever associate with the Cairo Station chapter of Halo 2, blossomed across her chest. Her perfume began to peel away from her skin in layers rising from her body on an up-swell of perspiration.
The Earl's knotted hands covered her own , his authoritative fingers guiding hers as together they maneuvered the Master Chief along corridors and up and down staircases.
In the distance some figure hostile figures had emerged from behind a barricade.
“He's over here,” cried one of assailants.
“Good sir, they are doxxing me!” cried Margaret.
“And we shall make them rue their discourteous actions.”
She felt the Earl guiding her and surrendered her movements to his will. The controller shuddered, the tremors reverberating through their entwined bodies as together they depressed a trigger unleashing an ejaculation of hot plasma across the screen, causing the Master Chief's enemies to flee in panic.
From the top of the basement staircase there came the sound of men's voices. Two male figures descended into the room.
The Earl relinquished his gentle embrace.
“Mikey! Jon!” he bellowed.
“Wan-kah!” shouted one of the men.
The Earl turned to face Margaret.
“And now I fear that we must curtail the lesson. The time has arrived to partake in multi-player.”
Margaret felt the warm flush that had cocooned her body evaporate in an instant.
“Mutli-player! but Sir, such a thing has been forbidden by the bishop McIntosh hymself.”
“Fie on McIntosh and all the puritanical tenets of the bastard church,” bellowed one of the men as he applied talcum powder to his palms. “The hour of 7pm was the previously agreed upon time for multi-player. That hour has duly arrived and all joystick ports must be filled. This night I shall soundly beat off all comers on the Rainbow Road.”
Margaret felt her her head began to swim. She swooned backwards not, as she had dearly hoped, into the reassuring embrace of the Earl, but rather into the folded arms of a life-size cardboard standee of Batman.