The Great Trial: A "Fall Of Women" Story

Chapter 4: Belly Of The Beast

by alectashadow

Tags: #cw:noncon #cw:sexual_assault #D/s #dom:male #f/m #humiliation #pov:bottom #sub:female #awful_politics #clothing #cw:misogyny #fall_of_women #feminism #misogyny #patriarchy #political_changes #politics #scifi #sub:feminism

Some women look at the undeniable reality of male power, and draw a conclusion. They reason that if the payload really does make men the masters of our fate, then we must do all we can to appease them.

Damage limitation. Trying to carve out a niche for us, under their care. To save what can be saved. They reason that amidst the ruins of the broken axis of the world, a woman’s only succour is supplication.

But we draw the opposite conclusion: that a woman’s only succour is revolution.


The payload gives us women a purpose.

I think that’s part of why it’s so powerful. It points us in a direction. Sure, it’s not a purpose we’d ever want, or choose for ourselves, but it’s a purpose all the same. It gives us a goal—perfect, feminine, abject submission.

It gives us rewards, to incentivise the pursuit of this purpose. It gives us punishments, to disincentivise resistance.

Human minds, as it turns out, are very responsive to incentives. The end of this dark road—the scene that visits us in our dreams every night, our pledge, our subjugation—follows organically from the premise.

A purpose is a powerful thing. It’s an organising principle, something for the mind to anchor itself to. Determining your own purpose is difficult under the best of circumstances, even for driven people like me, people who’ve risen from nothing to win elections and lead countries.

It’s that much harder, when an alien purpose is being forcibly imposed on your frail feminine brain…

Clarity is the key. I always maintained that it was essential in politics, but it’s no less true here. To get to a purpose, you need clarity. That’s why the payload is so finely designed to strip us of clarity at every turn.

Deprived of sleep and agency, we dumbly and meekly let it lead us down the path to our own destruction.

If clarity is how you get to a purpose… how do you get clarity?

I think I know how.

Clarity often begins in asking the right questions. When you filter away all the ambient noise, all the drama and chaos of life, when you strip things down to their basic components, the simplicity of it all can be literally disarming.

So, here is a question. Across the world, women have been trying all sorts of strategies to wiggle out of the grip tightening around them. Individual strategies, collective strategies at every level of human aggregation you can think of.

So… are they working?

I look around, taking in the cold, gray winter morning, in all its misplaced normality. It’s easy to filter bustling streets out of your conscious experience, but it’s worth paying attention, sometimes.

It can lead you to the truth; to your answer. No: no strategy is working.

In the early weeks after the payload hit, women started moving in convoys in public. To go to work, to run errands, to ride public transport. In one of my regular televised addresses to the nation, I explicitly endorsed the idea, and recommended it.

It was an effective system at finding safety in numbers, for a while, but now… now, you don’t see that anymore. There is no need to spell out the reason why.

I lengthen my stride, trying to walk faster, hoping that the cold and the physical exertion will keep me grounded in the here and now. Keep the dread at bay. The dread… and the seductive whisper at the back of my head, suggesting that all those women that used to feel safe in each other’s presence, were just flocking together, like dumb farm animals.

Like sheep to the slaughter.

They’re probably still together, the voice helpfully supplies. In pens. A lesser species. Corraled like cattle.

Maybe some of them even betrayed their fellow travellers. Saw how sad her companions looked like, without a yoke to ground her, and a leash to guide her, and a man to master her. Subverted the convoy from the inside. Made sure they’d all be together for the rest of their days… with Master…

I bang my fist against the wall to my right. It hurts like a bitch, a burn that radiates up my wrist, and the skin might be broken in places… but better my skin than my mind.

All around me, women are losing their jobs. Entering a spiral of financial dependence that neatly dovetails with the payload’s corrosion of their free will. Country after country is normalising this new reality through labour and family laws.

This one time, the poisonous words of the payload are actually right: we’re being hemmed in, like cows.

It’s proof.

Proof that you can’t take precautions against an enemy that lives in your mind. You can’t come up with your own plan, when there are no rules to live by. And maybe most importantly… you can’t negotiate your rights with your own oppressors.

My mysterious contacts said as much, the first time we spoke, and I’m kicking myself for taking so long to realise that they were right. The very government that replaced mine—no, that usurped mine because someone put a virus in my brain—is busily codifying female domesticity.

The very government that ostensibly sought my consultancy, is the same government whose secretary of labour has turned Anna into his personal whore. Thinking about it makes me swoon, makes my knees buckle… the ultimate conquest, the ultimate humiliation, she dared too much and flew too high, and now she’s been cast down…

But it also makes my blood boil with rage. The women who contacted me are right, have been right all along: all that’s left is for us to fight. But how? Do they know?

Questions, again.

I have plenty, and I want answers, but my contacts insist that it’s too dangerous for us to talk directly. That I could betray them or expose them to the payload. So, last time I was in Carnazial, I didn’t just type my daily report on the phone. I appended a list of questions for them, with the understanding that they would only be answered once I proved that they could trust me.

It’s only fair: even assuming that these women are well-intentioned, they’re not beholden to indulge my curiosity. They don’t owe me answers. I’ve decided to take a leap of faith, because I see no other way forward. Now, I need to show them that they can do the same.

I long for the answers, I crave them, think about them all the time. I obsess over them, in the most unhealthy way that I can, because it’s something for me to think about that is not the payload, and for that reason alone, it’s worth it. It gives me purpose.

Curiosity is a powerful motivator, one that the payload creators would surely hate. One that the payload itself seems to hate. It’s just division of labour, right? Men take care of discovery, curiosity is for them. We just tend to what they’ve already conquered.

They expand the boundaries. We make sure to stay inside them, mindful of our place, useful and devoted…

That’s not what I’m doing. I’m chasing answers, into the dark. I’m pushing boundaries, even when the parasite in my brain insists that this is treason against male rule. This thing I’m about to do, it’s crazy dangerous, but I’ll get something at the end. Something from the people I’m doing this for.

I’ll get answers. I need to get them. The payload’s put all women on a timer… even me. What a stupid plan that was, trying to stay relevant, trying to talk reason into these conservative men. The jaws of the payload will snap shut around me, eventually.

Which is why I must act before they do. And hope that it helps further the cause of our liberation.

I’ve almost reached my destination. The government quarter, a lovely attraction for tourists, picturesque by day and melancholy by night, looms before me. The gray of winter has washed it of all colour.

It’s only fitting.

Once, not long ago, and yet a thousand years ago, I thought of this place as my true home. I meant to take up residence, in more than just a literal sense. I meant to send a message to all the doubters that I was here to stay.

But ever since the world went mad, I’ve made it a rule to stay physically as far away as possible from this place. From the new government. From Rafael, my courteous and yet so fundamentally patriarchal arch-rival, my usurper…

Your conqueror, my mind whispers, as my body trembles like a leaf in the wind. Your lord…

And this is exactly why. Whether it was honest consulting over the future of women, or spying for a shadowy organisation, I could do it better without being in his presence. Without his aura, bombarding my senses.

Now, I’m breaking that rule. With bated breath, I step over the threshold, repeating in my head that I can do this, that I have nothing to fear, that I’ve already achieved so much in life, and this is just another test.

I’m doing it to get proof. Proof that I can be trusted, and that I deserve answers, and that payload or not, I’m still a part of this fight after all.

Women’s fight.

* * *

“Why the change of heart?”

This is the degree to which the payload is slowly, methodically chipping away at our identities. The surgical precision of it, peeling layer after layer of confidence and self-worth, laying bare the scared, feminine core underneath you didn’t even know you have.

All it takes is five simple words from a man I once defeated in a national election. Five words to nearly collapse my entire resolve, and send me tumbling down on all fours like a dog.

Well, those five words… and his eyes. Precise, discerning, judgemental.

Women are voluble, unreliable, I want to answer. We change our minds easily. You change it for us. We’re always confused. That’s why we need guidance… a strong, firm hand at the back of our heads, pulling us towards our inevitable purpose…

I take a step back, reeling under the wave of payload-induced arousal washing over me. Rafael makes me feel like there is more to male gaze than just sexual impulse. No, this is something else. Evaluation of character. Overseeing.

Passing judgement.


This just drives home—as if I didn’t know it already—that the stakes are real. That I’m being asked to do something dangerous, something that risks my freedom, that could shatter my personhood itself.

This is only the first step, and already I want nothing more than to reverently press my lips against his hand, let it roam freely where it will, give him full access to the body I’ve so selfishly denied him all these years of political rivalry. The body that, by all rights, should be his…

I close my hands into fists, squeezing tight. Pain grounds me. Yes, this is dangerous, and yes, it’s worth trying. In order for my real mission to get underway, I need to pass this test.

His test.

I clear my throat, trying to summon words that will not betray my insincerity. I need to sound trustworthy, but not deferential, subservient, slavish… slutty, in need of cock more than I need oxygen…

I just need to sound natural. But the nature I’m reaching for, might no longer be there.

“I’m afraid…” I begin, hesitantly, “that my ability to commit my thoughts to lengthy written documents has been affected.”

“That much is plain to see,” Rafael responds, and he says it with such casual dismissal that I’m instantly afire with the lancing heat of degrading sexual arousal. “I just fail to see how your proposed alternative is going to help. Care to explain?”

God, those eyes, discerning and sharp. Green and gold. Hours of speeches about ending systemic gendered discrimination seem to melt away like snow, under the searing heat of his gaze. Like he’s shining a light on the truth, on how weak and broken I am, on how easily tamed our entire gender is.

He sounds so calm, collected, in control. Care to explain, he asks, though there is an unmistakable order behind the politeness.

I wish I wouldn’t have to.

Wiretapping a government office, let alone the prime minister’s office, is next to impossible. I should know. Not long ago, I was sitting in that chair.

Everyone who comes and goes is screened for personal belongings. Even if you did manage to sneak something through, and plant it, the cleaning staff are extremely thorough, and is professionally trained to look for anything that might seem out of place. Rapid removal is almost guaranteed.

It’s still theoretically possible to plant a bug in an electronic device of some kind, so that it looks inconspicuous and much harder to detect. But even then, it would be extremely difficult for it to transmit. Most frequencies in the building are blocked, and those that are not, are constantly monitored. Electromagnetic shielding is also in place.

All of this is true, and more.

But I do have my personal smartphone with me.

To be sure, no regular malware could bypass the normal rules of government infosec, and the only reason I can have my phone with me at all times, in here, is that it’s been screened, too.

Here’s the thing, though. We no longer live in an era of reasonable malware.

The payload proved that beyond doubt. It disseminated itself to every device it could feasibly reach, breaching every layer of security, until it hit our brains, and started burrowing its way into our minds.

The people who asked me to do this… they might not have a payload of their own, but they do have an equivalent dissemination ability. I know first-hand. They regularly push their way into my smartphone, just to send me recordings with their instructions.

That’s one-way communication only, for now… but I always took it for granted that they could listen, too. How could they not? If they can access my phone at will, surely that includes its camera and microphone. Any time, they can just drop in, and listen.

Even when I’m in here.

And in turn, if I were to spend a lot of time here… at considerable personal risk that my defences will fail me, of course. Throwing caution and precaution to the wind, orbiting Rafael, dutifully shadowing him, with my phone always here, in my purse…

It’s crazy. It’s dangerous. It could unravel my mind.

But it’s the proof they want, and my way to the answers I need.

“M-m-my hope is that I will be better capable of providing… verbal feedback,” I say, my voice faltering, praying that he doesn’t notice how I’m trembling. Or that he puts it down to the payload, and not my terror.

“Verbal feedback?” He asks, arching an eyebrow.

“Yes,” I say, my cheeks blushing with the admission of my failure. I can’t even write a bloody document without my brain leaking out of my cunt. “Starting and finishing an entire report is just too much, I get, huh, distracted, I…”

Start masturbating. Thinking of you. My lord.

“… I think I’d have an easier time just conversationally giving you the jist of my ideas, sir.”

Sir. I’ve called him sir. My heart is hammering against my chest, and each breath I take seems short and shallow. In my mind, that sir is not capitalised. He’s the prime minister, how else would I address him? He’s called me ma’am plenty of times, in the past.

But that was before.

In my mind, that Sir should definitely be capitalised.

“That could work,” he says, with a pensive look. “If the task of writing a report is currently beyond you…”

For a moment, vertigo threatens to overtake me.

Beyond me, of course it’s beyond me, so beyond me that I don’t really listen when he adds that it’s not my fault, because that’s female truth and purpose—writing is beyond us. Feedback is beyond us. Opinions are beyond us… we need men to fill our empty, pretty little heads with all the correct ideas, just like we need them to fill our pliant bodies with cum…

“I still don’t get why that means you should be by my side,” he says, snapping me back to reality. “Are these scheduled talks not to your liking? How would closer proximity benefit your consultancy work in any way?”

Oh, closer proximity would benefit something, alright…

“I just thought,” I say, sounding uncertain, tentative, like a mousy schoolgirl, “that if I were to attend your meetings… just as an observer of course, listening and taking it all in, shadowing you through the day and jotting down quick notes…”

“But why?” He asks, with more intensity. “Are the reports my staff provides insufficiently informative? I get that you’re having trouble writing, but that doesn’t extend to reading too, does it?”

Oh, God. The mere suggestion that I’ve become incapable of reading makes my eyes flutter. Yes, yesss, it’s a waste of time to educate us, the only training that will stick is how to take cock in the most aesthetically man-pleasing way we can…

“N-no sir,” I say. “But I would listen, and be able to field questions on the spot… if you value my input, if it can be of serv—”

I bite my lower lip. I take a deep breath, steadying myself. “Verbal feedback is a poor substitute for written recommendations, sir. The least I can do is be available and openly share my thoughts on gender p-policies with all involved… I just want to do this right.”

I think that’s the clincher. It has to be. I hope that flicker in his eyes is what I’ve been fishing for. Commitment to duty, overcoming personal obstacles to do honest work, it’s a story tailor-built for him to empathise with it.

Rafael leans back in the chair. It’s an extremely deliberate and theatrical move. I feel like the room itself is holding its breath.

He mulls for a second, as if undecided about how to word his response. “You do realise how that would look like to outsiders, surely,” he says, politely. Like a chess master player, gallantly pointing out to his rival that they’re about to make a silly mistake. “The sort of message it would send.”

Oh, I know. I know it in my bones, I know it in my cunt, I know it in my brain.

I would look like his administrative assistant. No, his secretary. No, his coffee girl. No, his… his…

“My political career is over,” I say, softly, trying to stay in command of my own mind. “No reason to worry about the… optics of this. All I want to do is help women.”

It’s the first, completely sincere thing I’ve said since I’ve entered his office today. Though not in the way that he thinks.

He considers my proposal for seconds that seem to stretch on forever. I wish he didn’t have such an impressive poker face. I used to have one too, before the payload loosened my facial muscles, made sure my features would slacken, ready to form expressions of brain-blasting pleasure while being mastered and penetrated, ready to welcome a throbbing cock between my pillowy lips…

“It is done, Helenia,” he says, startling me. “Come sit there, and take out your notepad.”

The words are spoken with such an air of finality. He’s… issuing an order. Pointing to an armchair in the corner of the office. The corner behind his desk.

Women are naturally predisposed to obey. Our weakness is our fundamental willingness to be governed.

“I, I, I was just…” the words won’t come. My tongue feels heavy, so heavy. If it was servicing, it would be deft, almost preternaturally so. It would know just how to entice, and every subtle flick would be finely calculated for my conqueror’s pleasure. But speech?

That’s guy stuff…

“Right now?” I ask, in a soft, girlish squeal.

A flicker of annoyance passes across his face. “Yes, right now. Unless you had other things you wanted to discuss?”

I shake my head no, not trusting myself to speak. My lips are trembling. I want him to slam my face on the desk. I should never have dared run for office against a man. I want him to make me scream my plea for his forgiveness as he fucks me into submission…

“Very well,” he says. “My agenda is full, and there’s no reason to waste good time. I’ll move on to my next meeting. I understand you want to be there for it, isn’t that what you’ve just asked me?”


The mission. The answers. Hope. The shadow war against the payload. I have a part to play, passive, but important. All I need to do is sit next to him, and maintain my sanity.

Easy, right?

It’s all I can do not to shake with fear, as I tiptoe my way to the armchair, and primly sit down, uncomfortably aware of the sheer maleness of his presence. It’s like I can smell it in the air, and it’s inebriating. Diagnostic of my true role, of my proper place…

I barely have time to take out my notepad, trying to steady my hands so that I’ll be able to actually write, that a polite knock on the door heralds the arrival of Rafael’s next guest.

Ruiz enters the office, his pudgy rotundness and narrow, rodent-like eyes a poor show of masculinity, next to Rafael’s lean and regal splendour… but masculinity all the same. I hate the impulse to slightly bow my head in recognition.

I hate the tingle between my legs. I hate the whisper, there, always there…

Before the door closes shut behind him, I catch a glimpse of Anna, staring longingly at him from the hallway outside, her eyes vacant, mouth half-open, inviting, available. She has that look on her face, the look of a freshly-fucked, cum-drunk woman whose higher mental faculties have long been disassembled by the might of the payload.

It lasts only an instant, but I see her so clearly that the image is etched into my brain, making me all the more acutely aware of Rafael’s sheer physical proximity to me. Of the fact that Ruiz is sitting down with a freshly-sucked cock. Of the fact that I’m apparently licking my lips…

He throws a puzzled glance in my direction, but Rafael waves it away. “She’s here to observe. I’ll explain later.”

Cognitive simplification, I think to myself as I mindlessly begin to scribble. She’s been man-fucked into the ground. All that pleasure has fried her frail little nervous system...

I jot down quick, half-incoherent notes, as Rafael and Ruiz debate how to provide “professionally unsuited” and “cognitively simplified” working women with a glide path towards secretarial duties, or domesticity for the more “severe” cases.

I feel so decorative, an accessory, a piece of furniture, while these two powerful men in their business suits casually debate the destiny of millions of women. I feel so seen, and so unheard. I’m aware Ruiz keeps stealing glances in my direction. I’m aware I instinctually reposition to give him a better view of my crossed legs…

Anna is a vision of the future, my mind whispers.

I scribble faster. There’s mention of a state fund to help those lacking the protection of “a husband or other male authority figure.”

I have a feeling that there aren’t going to be a lot of those.

I should join her.

I prick the skin of my hand with the pen, wincing, and the reverie recedes… for a time.

I’ve passed the first test. I think of my phone, in my purse, and I wonder if someone really is listening, on the other side. They better be. I’d have some serious egg on my face if I was going through this crazy risk for nothing, huh?

I’d have something on my face, alright…

For a moment, I almost feel the impulse to cry. Mere minutes into this, and I already feel like I’m teetering on the brink of madness. How am I supposed to do this long-term? Accompany Rafael everywhere, trying not to fray, to fall apart at the seams.

So they can listen.

… Is what’s being discussed in this office really so important that they need to hear it straight from the source? What are they fishing for? Questions… maddening, but good. Questions are good. The payload hates curiosity, obviously it does, it has to.

I’m delivering them the proof they want. I’ll be getting the answers I need. Answers… information. Clarity. That’s the beacon that can pierce the darkness, the light that I must follow.

I don’t know if it’s a true beacon, leading me towards freedom, or an ignis fatuus, but at this point, I don’t care. There are a thousand ways for a woman in this world to become undone… and only one for her to forge ahead.

And that’s to cling to hope. The very last of it.

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