Master Qualification

By unknown

Part 1

I wanted to qualify as a master, I kept telling myself as the car approached the base brig.  Their theory was that in order to give it you first had to take it.  They had made me request it in writing, and then had sat on it for a week so I could change my mind.  But, I had been thinking about it for eight years, ever since I entered the program.  I knew what was involved, but part of me wanted to be tested, even while another part of me was scared shitless.

After all, I wasn’t a kid any more.  Not that 30 was old, but they were going to put me through a lot of shit,  I knew that.  Now I was approaching the moment of truth and I wasn’t sure which part of me was in control.  It was a strange base to me, but my driver had been here before and pulled right up to the visitors parking.  “Time to get you ready” he said.  “Lean forward and put your hands behind your back.”  He snapped the handcuffs in place.  Now it was too late to back out.

I was wearing undress blues, but my crow had been rather obviously removed from my left arm.   My papers said that I had been convicted of assault on an officer at a General Court Martial, and given the mandatory sentence at the naval prison.  My escort knew that I was really being sent there for my qualification, but no one else could tell that. I was more used to putting handcuffs on people than wearing them, and the sensation of wearing them was already having a strange effect on me. Wonder if real prisoners feel this way.  From my papers, I was a repeat offender, but my nervousness was not unusual for a prisoner looking forward to Portsmouth, where the naval prison was located.  It was a name that struck fear into even the most hardened brig rat.

Master Qualification story Of course I knew the routine at the brig — I had done it enough times.  The clerk reviewed my paperwork, giving me a rather hard look when he finished.  I guess I had passed the first test — he really believed I was a dirtbag about to get what was coming to me.  He coldly took the contents of my pockets which I laid out on the counter.  They even took my ID tags, saying I wouldn’t need them until I got out.   He motioned to my escort and I was moved into the vestibule between the inner and outer barred doors.  “OK, uncuff him, we’ll take him from here” said the guard.  With a squeeze on my arm and a quiet “good luck” my escort removed my cuffs.  The brig guard immediately placed a plastic band around my left wrist and fastened it with a special tool.  It was red, the color reserved for Portsmouth.  “Take this off and you’re dead meat” said the guard.  “Don’t worry, I won’t,” I said.  I was supposed to call the guard “sir” but I figured on doing only what they told me.  Amazingly he let it go, probably figuring that he didn’t need to square me away, considering where I was going.   “He won’t need his bag, and if you wait a minute, we’ll give you back his uniform.”  I had forgotten.  Unlike a regular brig, the naval prison didn’t require even the health and comfort items I was carrying, and furnished their own uniforms.  This also improved my credibility — after all, I wasn’t supposed to know these things.  My escort nodded and left.  I was on my own now.

The guard moved me through the second barred door into the brig receiving area, where I knew I would undergo the standard strip search.  I had given this many times, but I had been the subject only twice, the last time 4 years ago.  It made me realize that to the staff I was just an object to be handled — all very clinical even down to the rectal probe with rubber gloves that I always felt squeamish about. I was given a brig uniform, dungaree trousers and a white tee shirt with a big BRIG stenciled on it.  I was put in a holding cell.  I knew I wouldn’t stay there long, since my arrival had been set for the day of the week when the draft of prisoners left for Portsmouth.

There was one other occupant in the cell, also wearing a red band.  He was younger than me, but he had the hard look I had often seen in the brig among the hard core delinquents.  We exchanged sentences — I was a bit shocked to find he had the same sentence for the same offense — of course it was mandatory for striking an officer.  He was also a repeater, so we both could expect identical treatment.   After an hour or so, two more prisoners were brought to our cell.  One looked like a teenager, and the other, a black, was older than me.  They had been in the regular brig for a few days and were also wearing red bands.  I gathered we four were the weekly intake for Portsmouth.  I knew that in a little while, we would begin the program that I had not experienced before.

Unlike regular brigs where the sending commands delivered the prisoners, the prison had its own transfer staff, who I knew also liked to do their own prisoner processing. The brig guard came into the cell.  “Strip down to your boondocks and socks and throw your clothes into the laundry basket” motioning to a canvas hamper he placed on the floor.  My heart was pounding a little.  I felt mildly uncomfortable being naked in front of these real prisoners, but I knew this was the least of my concerns.  We heard voices in the receiving area, and saw three new guards standing there.  All big enough to play football.  One by one we were were taken out of the cell.  I was the third, after the prisoner with the identical sentence. “Remove your shoes and socks, and bring them with you”.

The new guards supervised the process, the regular brig staff having retreated to the sidelines.  They examined my red wrist band and checked it against the paperwork one of them had.   “Stand on the line with your arms out and feet spread”.  Two rubber gloved guards looked me over very closely, feeling my hair, looking in my mouth, examining my groin hair.  “Lift your left foot” then “Lift you right foot”  Finally what I had been dreading, “bend over and spread your cheeks”  I braced for the finger, but instead felt a cold metal object.  “Stand still, it’s a rectal scope”  “You better get used to it” he added.  These guys were more like it. “Stand up, put your shoes and socks on.”  I was given a set of navy undress whites.  At least they had been white, now they were dingy gray and frayed from repeated washing.  The one thing new about them was the NAVY PRISON stenciled in big white letters on the front and back.  We were given no underwear.  I was moved to where the other prisoners in the draft were being assembled.   I was placed in the maximum security transit restraints:  leg irons, waist chain to which wrist shackles were attached, and a connecting chain between them.  They were heavy too, the heaviest I had ever seen.

One by one we were taken out through double doors into the brig yard, where the Portsmouth bus was waiting.  I had seen it before but never been in it.  Now I was going to have my chance.  A shotgun guard stood watching as we were moved through the yard. The bus had no regular windows, only heavily screened louvers near the roof.  Inside, I found that it also had no seats.  I was taken through the heavy grill that secured the driving end from the prisoners.  A long metal bench ran along both sides.  I was moved to a position about half way back on the right. “Sit” was all he said.  As I did so, he knelt and padlocked my connecting chain to a heavy ring bolt in the floor. My restraints were all left in place, so that I could not stand but could move about slightly.  The other prisoners were spaced far enough apart so we could not reach each other from our locked position.  All rather neat. When we were all in place, the shotgun took a position in a grilled enclosure at the rear of the bus.  The front grill was locked, and the bus moved out.  We were on our way.

The routine was arbitrary.  We were allowed to talk.  But when one of the prisoners asked to be allowed to take a piss.  “Go ahead and piss if you have to” was all the shotgun guard said.  So we were to piss in our pants, and after awhile, the bus took on the odor of a urinal.  We also got no food or water.  Even though we stopped several more times to pick up other prisoners, the guards paid no attention to us whatsoever.    I did get a few more words out of my brig companion.  He had not been at “the Port” either, but he had done plenty or ordinary brig time.  But under the two time looser rule he would be kicked out after this sentence.  “Getting their last pound of flesh” he said matter of factly.  I asked if he had had the felons.  “I got 6 with it, not much fun” was all he said.  I figured he was a tough dude.   Unlike him, the kid, who was seated on the other side of me talked incessantly.  To hear him tell it, he hadn’t taken shit off of anybody, including the brig.  He obviously had an attitude problem and they had decided to adjust it.  I wondered if he was really ready for Portsmouth.  But then I realized I was only posing as a repeater and it would be at least as tough on me–and he was younger and in better shape. Finally, after a trip of about six hours, we arrived.  Now the fun would begin in earnest.

 

Part 2

 

Just four of us remained after the other prisoners had been taken off.  We had not been removed in the order we were seated, and I knew we were in some special category. I began to wonder if I was getting ordinary prisoner treatment, but than I realized that we were grouped for another reason.  We were the ones to be flogged.   When it was my turn, the bus guard unlocked my chain and said “Stand up and remain silent”  “Say nothing unless you are asked a direct question.”  I was let out into the prison yard, surrounded not by wire but by a high concrete wall with concertina wire and guard towers.  My heart jumped as I saw this was just like the movies of the big house.  No need for a shotgun guard here, they were in the towers.

I was the third off the bus and saw the other two prisoners already naked, and standing facing the wall, a guard behind each one.  The guards were all big men, bigger than I was.  They wore the OD uniform and boots of the security forces, and they all carried 4 foot batons.  They left no doubt they meant business.  My irons were removed and I was told to remove my top.  Immediately, a new set of wrist shackles were put on, a kind I had never seen.  They were of heavy leather with built in locks, and the chain between them was about a foot long, so my hands had some play.   Then he moved me towards the wall and told me to strip, put my whites and sox in a discard bin, and to put my shoes in a section of open lockers.  I picked the first empty spot.  The locker had a metal tag attached to an ID chain, with the number ’61’.  “Wear that chain and remember that number — that is your number as long as you’re here.”   I was then taken at last to the toilets, which were completely out in the open, and the guard stood right there while I did my thing.  Next to the toilets were some outdoor showers, and he told me to “wash some of that shit off.”  I shivered under the cold water but of course said nothing.

Now he led me to a section of wall with painted handprints, about chest high. “Put your hands on the prints and step back.” I took what I thought was the standard search position, but I immediately felt his baton on my thigh.  “Step back” he said and forced me to move so my back was almost flat. “Spread em wide” he said as he tapped my calves, forcing my legs far apart. “Remember this position, you’ll execute it each time you re-enter the compound.”  It was really uncomfortable, much more so than the one we used in the brig.  They let me ‘hold up the wall’ for several minutes.  I knew he was going to hand search me, but I was not prepared for the slow, thorough inspection made by two rubber gloved guards.  Finally, “Stand and about face.”  The gloved guard pointed to a wooden sawhorse affair next to the handprints. “Assume the position.”  With his baton, he had me straddle the legs with my bare feet, and then bend over. There were handles on the opposite feet which I was told to grab.  It wasn’t until they rammed the probe into my upraised butt that I realized this was where they did the rectal search.  Now I knew what they meant by ‘get used to it’.

After several minutes in that degrading position, I was told to stand and led through a steel door into a receiving room and taken immediately into a shower room at one side.  Stools were in the center of the shower room, and in a few seconds I had been made a skinhead by trustee barbers wearing prison white pants and tee shirts — and my hair had been quite short to begin with. When the four of us were assembled, they left and water flowed from nozzles set high up controlled by the guards.  At least the water was warm.  Then the water was stopped and soap was thrown at us and we were instructed to soap down thoroughly, navy shower fashion.  The guards came right up and inspected us to see we had soaped down in all the right places.  Then the water was turned on again and we rinsed off.  We then passed by a device that blasted warm air which partially dried us off.  As we moved out of the showers we were given pants and socks by a trustee.  The white prison pants were ‘one size fits all’ and secured with drawstrings like pajamas.  Thus dressed we moved to the center of the room.  “Line up in sequence — prisoner 61 here.”  This time I had managed to lead the group.

There were spots painted on the floor and we were each led to one.  The kid wound up next to me with 62, then my cell mate and the 4th man.   “Stand at attention, no talking.”  The wrist chains were just long enough to put your arms at your sides. A trustee came up with a stencil and spray paint and proceeded to paint ’61’ on my bare chest.  He moved on and did the other three. “Now, you will be taken in turn for inprocessing.”  They escorted me through a door.   They had my records and checked my red ID bracelet.  I was fingerprinted and photographed from all sides —with my pants down.   Then I was led to a small medical room. “Punishment or hell week?” the corpsman asked the lead guard. “Its called initiation” the guard said testily. The corpsman smirked.  While they closely watched, I filled out a medical form, gave blood and urine samples, and had my blood pressure checked.  I was taken into an examining room and a man in a white coat asked me how I felt.  I said “fine sir,” although I was sure my pulse was above normal. He gave me a cursory check and then grunted to the guards and I was taken away.

Up to this point the guards spoke only at me, not to me.  The process was impersonal, but not as hard as I had expected.  But when I was taken back to the receiving room, things changed completely. As we entered, I saw that the guards had rolled up the sleeves of their OD shirts.  From their collar insignia, I could tell that they were all CP men, mostly 2nd class and higher.  Usually, brigs had a mix of MAA and CPs.  There were also a number of trusty prisoners, standing against the wall at parade rest.  The guards had gotten rid of their batons and now carried lengths of hemp rope.  I recognized them from my training manuals as ‘starters’ a throwback to the old navy — I had never seen real ones.  I was placed at attention on my spot.  “Chest out, belly in, eyes front” my escort said harshly and stuck me lightly for emphasis.  “I don’t want to see you move a muscle.”   A rope was lowered from the ceiling and my wrist chain fastened to it.  Then the rope was raised until my arms were over my head.  The position grew quite uncomfortable as I waited for the other three to return from their processing.  Finally we were all lined up.  My heart was really pumping.  I knew Hell week was about to start.

The guard supervisor stood in front of us.  “You prisoners are now beginning what we call the initiation period.”  As he spoke, the overhead ropes were jerked tighter, forcing us up on our toes. I could feel that a guard stood right behind me, and my heart began to pound. The supervisor continued. “You are sentenced to be flogged, the most severe punishment the Navy can give.”  “Some of you may think that, ‘what the hell, if they’ve flogged me, what the more can they do to me’ and be tempted to fuck up.”  “What we will show you is that there is plenty more we can do, and that you want to put fucking up out of your minds.” “The basic rules here are simple.”  “You will remain silent unless a guard asks you a question.”  “The first and last words you speak will always be ‘Sir’.” “You will do exactly what you are told.” “Is that understood?” “Sir Yes Sir,” we shouted, rather raggedly I thought.  “That was unsatisfactory.”  A paddle smacked my ass, taking me completely by surprise.  “Do you understand the rules 61?”  “Sir yes Sir!”  Again the paddle.  “Louder 61!” “Sir YES SIR!” The paddle smacked again, harder this time.  Sweat poured from my arm pits.  “SIR YES SIR!”  “Better.” “62 do you understand the rules?” “Yes Sir,” said the kid.  Was he testing them or just dumb? He got several smacks before he yelled it to their satisfaction.

“When you screw up here you will be corrected without warning.”  “When you are corrected the response will be “Thank you, Sir.”  Smack.  The paddle struck me again.  I wasn’t expecting it, thinking they would work down the line.  “61 were you listening?”  “SIR YES SIR!” I stammered, not sure what they wanted.  The paddle smacked down the line and 63 came to my rescue. “Sir thank you Sir.”  The guard continued.  “When you require multiple correction, you will count each correction.”  “64 demonstrate.” The paddle smacked his butt.  “Sir one sir thank you Sir.”.  “Correct.”  Instantly the paddle smacked my butt again. “Sir one Sir thank you Sir.” “We’re getting there.”  “I think we need individual instruction.” As he spoke, my rope was slacked, and I brought my arms down.  A trustee raced up and unclipped my chain.  Another trustee raced to set up a horizontal bar directly in front of us.  “Move forward 61.” and a hand roughly shoved my back.  I stumbled towards the bar. “Drop you pants and step out of them.” My hands fumbled with the drawstring and my pants fell to my ankles and I awkwardly pulled them loose and stood naked in front of the guard.   “Assume the position 61”.  I stepped forward so that the bar rested against my belly.  As I started to bend over, the guard gave me a strong shove on the back and my arms reached the floor.  The trustee grabbed my wrist chain and secured it to a recessed bolt.  Meanwhile the guard kicked my legs apart so that only my toes touched the floor.  “61 are you ready for correction?”  “Sir 61 is ready for correction Sir.” Nothing happened so it must have been the right response.  CRACK.  The paddle really smacked me that time.  “Sir one Sir, thank you Sir!” “Louder 61!” CRACK “SIR TWO SIR THANK YOU SIR!”  “No 61, your first response was not up to standard!” CRACK  “SIR ONE SIR THANK YOU SIR!”  “Correct, continue.”  Ten, really 12, hard strokes later, they stopped.  I laid there, my bare ass facing the other prisoners, panting.  “Stand up and about face 61.”  As I stood there facing him, the guard touched my groin with his baton.  To my horror, I saw that I was semi-erect.  “Are you a masochist 61?”  “SIR NO SIR!” my face red with shame.  “If you are, you’ve come to the right place 61, get you pants on.”  I raced back to my spot my face still burning.  It was truly going to be hell.

 

Part 3

 

My suspicion that I had been singled out faded quickly as they called out ’62.’  They were doing it strictly by the numbers.  The kid had a really strapping body, I saw as he dropped his pants.  No fat on him and good definition all over.   He had to have been one of those high school athletes who got heavily into iron when he joined the navy.  I could tell he was still fighting the program, but as they laid the paddle on the edge left his voice.  He also had a hard on when they stood him up.  He lost his cool a little when they asked him whether he was a masochist.  “Sir I don’t know what a masochist is Sir,” he stammered.  “You’ll find out,” was all they told him.  As he returned to his spot next to me, I turned my head slightly to see the next man.  The paddle cracked my ass.  The guard was still there. “Sir thank you Sir!” I blurted.  It was already almost an automatic response.  The last two prisoners went through the drill giving their answers automatically. The psychologists had a word at the brig — passive agressives.  They manipulated us by outwardly being model prisoners.  Were they inside as scared as I was? One thing was sure — they got hardons like I did.  Maybe this was something we all wanted? When the fourth man was finished, they gave another tug on the ceiling ropes, pulling us up to our toes, and made us yell in unison at the top of our lungs “SIR THANK YOU SIR!” until it sounded like a chant.  They were getting us where they wanted us.

I awoke with a start to the sound of the guards police whistle.  I didn’t really think I had fallen asleep.  When they had finished with us, they had marched us to a dorm cell with six bunks.  Two were already occupied.  They made us lie down on our backs and raise our arms to the top of the bunk, then locked the wrist chain to the bunk rail.  And that was how we were to sleep.  “Get up, stand by your bunk!” yelled the guard as he reached over me to unlock my chain.  We had attempted to pump the two old hands about what lie in store for us, but they had not wanted to talk much.  We were able to find out that this was the discipline block of the prison, where fuck ups from the general population got sent.  All prisoners to be flogged got processed through here also. Apparently, our squad consisted of the flogees. I wondered if we would get rougher treatment. At least we had someone to follow — except that I was put at the head of the line because of my dammed shoe number!

We were marched out into the yard.  About two dozen other prisoners, all wearing white pants like we were, were already there.  “Shoes on” the guard said, pointing with his starter at the lockers.  I wondered if I could change my number when we came back, but then remembered the number stenciled on my chest. We were given time to use the toilets — the first since last night.  It was hard getting used to doing your thing in front of 3 dozen strangers.  But, of course I had no choice.  We were motioned to spots on the concrete apron and proceeded to be put through warm-up calisthentics following the motions of a husky trustee.  The exercises were designed with our chains in mind, but it still took getting used to.  The chants from the prisoners would have done a high school football team proud — wonderful what a little fear driven discipline will do to what must be a bunch of misfits.  Then we were broken into our squads and led in a cadence run around the yard that must have lasted 30 minutes.  As we went around, I noticed a fenced off area against one wall, with what looked like stocks inside.  A guard, who was easily keeping pace with us, saw me looking and yelled “that’s where we keep special discipline cases and shirkers during the day.”  I could see that it would get good and hot out there.  Finally, the run ended and we were brought up in ranks again.

The prisoners filed back into the block by the numbers — and our numbers, I saw, all began with ‘6.’  I could study the routine so when it was my turn, I moved smoothly through it.  Shoes off and into locker 61.  Drop trousers, put hands against the wall, step far back and spread as far as you could.  When they finished, they slapped you on the butt and you moved to the stand, bent over, and held on.  The rectal probe still got to me, but I had the sense to not jump this time.  “Stand up and move inside 61.”  I drew my pants as I ran — as the others had — for the door.  I almost ran into a guard before I saw the white line.  As in the brig, you were to request permission to cross.  I had missed it on the way out because we were under orders.  The guard struck me with his starter across my bare chest. “Sir permission to cross Sir!” I blurted.  He struck again, harder.  I noticed the prisoners in front of me had frozen in their tracks.  “You forgot something 61”.  “Sir thank you Sir.”  “Move,” he said, giving me permission to cross.  That was a close call —it could have been worse.

We stood at attention until all of our squad was inside, then marched to the dining area off the main hall.  We filed past a serving line and ate our breakfast of hot cereal and milk in silence.  I saw a few men in other squads sneak furtive conversations, but most looked a combination of sullen and scared, the way I felt.  This time the old timers helped.  We were to finish together — in 10 minutes — and then move to the hall, and stand at attention in our designated position.   As soon as we arrived, a whistle blew.  The senior guard called out a number ‘for shirking’ and a prisoner moved forward and stood facing the wall.  A second whistle blew and the prisoners began moving out towards the yard again.  When it was our turn, our guard, the one who had run with us, a wiry second class CP, pointed with his starter and I led off.

After we put our boondocks back on, we were led to the middle of the yard where a truck was parked.  We moved up a ramp to the truck interior, which was covered over with heavy wire mesh.  A metal bar ran the length of both sides.  The left side was already filled with other prisoners.  A guard in the truck motioned me to loop my chain over the bar on the right and walk to the front of the truck.  The other 6 followed, and the bar was locked shut, securing our chains.  Then the guard locked the rear mesh door and the truck pulled out of the yard.  The kid yelled to the other prisoners where were we going, and one of them said “to the rocks.”  “What’s that?”  “You work your ass off — you’ll see.”  “Keep quiet, we don’t want to be where you are,” he added.  Good advice, which I knew the kid would ignore.  I hope I didn’t have to stay near him, I just knew he would make trouble for me, or did I want trouble?

The truck stopped and the other prisoners filed out.  After a pause, our bar was unlocked.  We were in a large quarry, surrounded by two lines of high fence with towers at intervals.  Two guards stood watching us.  They had shed their OD shirts and wore only tee shirts, and work helmets, with their crows stenciled on them in case we missed the point.  They also carried coiled whips, and from their look I knew they were used to using them.  We were only supposed to use whips as punishment at the brigs.  This was to be forced hard labor for sure.  We were issued heavy work gloves by an equipment trustee who then pointed to a large wooden platform.  “Get around it and pick it up,” said one of our guards, pointing with his whip handle.  The platform had handles for 6 men, and we took them by the numbers, meaning I was at the left front and the kid on the right.  At least he was strong, I thought.  Then two guards led us to the bottom of the quarry and told us to set it down.  “65 explain the exercise,” the guard said to one of the old timers.  “Sir we fill the sled with rocks, carry it to the incline, hoist it to the top, and build the wall, Sir.” “OK, get started.” “You are to work until the whistle blows.”  It sounded simple.  Bend over and pick up rocks. It was simple, and hard. And it probably was only 0700!  We filled the cart in about 20 minutes.  Then I realized the hard part was ahead.  We had to carry it to the top!  “Take your positions,” said the guard.  “Squat.”  “Lift.”  We grunted as we struggled to our feet and moved in the direction the guard pointed.  About 30 yards away was an old steel inclined hoist.  We placed the cart on the hoist bed, and moved to the top of the quarry.  “Get on that rope.”  “Lay back on it.”  I realized I hadn’t heard that since I had been an 18-year-old deck ape — which was why I became a CP.  We finally got it to the top and carried it the remaining distance to the unfinished wall, where we unloaded it, stone by stone.  It was incredibly hard work, and my muscles were already aching.  But I had to admit it was clever — hard labor that also forced us to work together making shirking difficult.  Shirking was, of course, the biggest problem in a brig hard labor program — it was one thing to transport prisoners to a site where there was hard labor to be done.  But it was another to make them actually work hard.  This program solved that.

 

Part 4

 

The guards dogged us every step. Whenever someone paused, they were on him.  Sometimes they just shouted and sometimes they used the whip without warning.  If you didn’t respond properly, you invariably got a second hit.  It was more of a sting than a heavy blow, but it was irritating, and you didn’t want another.  “Sir thank you Sir!”  We quickened our pace, as if we could somehow get away from this.  Finally the whistle.  We had moved three loads already.   “10 minute break,” said the guard and shouted for the water boy.  Just like the old chain gang movies.  A trustee appeared on the run and passed a plastic jug around.  The guards got a separate one, which I noticed they shared too. Even then, we wern’t allowed to sit, and when the whistle sounded, they were on us even harder than before. The lash fell more often. I got my share, but it was clear that they were working over the kid.  From his responses, he was still fighting the program.  I guess he had to learn the hard way, but since I was forced to work next to him, I hoped it wouldn’t rub off.  I was wrong.

The whistle sounded, and the guards escorted us to the top of the quarry. “Lunch break, 30 minutes.” The sandwiches were stale, but we were at last allowed to sit, and we dropped on the ground and tried to rest our sore bodies.  The whistle blasted again — had it been a half hour? “61 and 62 on your feet.”  “You’ve been dogging it all morning, lets see if a horseride will improve your attitude.”  Two trustees had dragged a heavy wooden platform to where the squad was sitting.  On it was mounted two sheets of plywood that were joined at the top to form a triangle.  The edge had been smoothed and varnished, and the sides had wooden ‘stirrups’ fastened into them.  “Drop your pants and step out of them.”  Naked, I was led up on the platform and told to straddle the triangle with my feet resting on the ‘stirrups’ on either side.  Now the kid was made to do the same from the opposite side, facing me.  “Now lean towards each other.” We hesitated, and the lash bit my back.  As our chests touched, guard now placed a belt around our necks binding us together. Then without warning, the stirrups were loosened, and we  were sitting directly on the edge of the triangle, pressing hard against our asses and balls.  “Lets whip up that horse,” said the guard, and the lash fell.  Our struggling only worsened the pressure on our bottoms.  I could feel my cock swelling under the pressure, and wondered if the kids was also. “You like it now, but we’ll see how you like it later,” said the guard as he stepped off the platform.  “Keep watching them,” he addressed the rest of the squad.  “If you goof off, you’ll be up there next.”  I didn’t know what was worse, the pain, the humiliation, or the surge I felt over the sheer sexuality of it.  I decided the sheer pain was worse.  Would I be castrated?

Finally the whistle sounded, and they took us off the horse.  My balls were numb, but I popped a real boner as they lifted me off.  And, I saw that the kid was harder than I was, and beet red too.  I thought he might be a faggot but his reaction seemed otherwise.  We had to parade in front of the squad to put our pants back on, and I’m sure nobody missed our condition.  But we were soon back at work, and the pain in my groin was replaced by the sheer fatigue of the work.  The guard really kept after me and I took a good many stings from the lash.  I was dragging when the final whistle sounded.  Not sure I could have hauled another load.  Dammed if the kid wasn’t still going strong, and 63 seemed in good shape also.  I thought the two old timers were dragging more than I was.  Back in the truck, I could feel the sunburn, but that was the least of my worries.  Back in the yard, we were processed through the searches, and I hardly flinched at the probe this time.  We got to take showers, which pretty much restored me.  Dinner was lukewarm beans and rice, but it’s amazing how much hard work and deprivation improves the appetite.

We were formed for assembly again in the main hall.  The whistle blew and the head guard called out three prisoners for demerits.  I figured I had earned some, but we were not called.  The unlucky ones had to drop their pants in front of everyone and took one dozen licks of the paddle, which I decided was a length of old firehose — very effective.  One of them got his thank you’s confused and had two strokes repeated — a lesson to us all.  Then the two old timers from our squad were called out — they were told they were to be flogged tomorrow morning, and were placed against the wall. After that we were marched to our dorm and locked into our beds.  Sleep came instantly in spite of my chains.  Even the kid was quiet.

The whistle blasted and we moved through the now familiar routine out into the yard for exercises.  During assembly we saw that the two old timers were back against the wall, only this time their arms were triced up behind them.  It looked very painful.  Wonder if they had done something?  No mention was made of them, and we were marched out to our daily hard labor.  I was not looking forward to another day at the rocks, but when we got out of the truck we were in a different place.  We were at the boathouse.  I did recognize the guards, though.  And their whips.  We were marched directly onto a rowing barge, another throwback to the old movies of galley slaves.  The barge had a wide aisle dividing two banks of huge oars on either side.  The other squad in our truck already manned the port side, and we were assigned in pairs to two oars on the starboard.  The kid and I were told to sit side by side at the forward oar, and a trusty locked our chains to a padeye on the oar.   At least we were sitting on a flat board.  We were given instruction in technique and then the barge got underway.  The pace at first was slow, but it was steady.  Yet another set of muscles I didn’t know I had began to feel the strain.  The pace was set by the boatswain who had one of the prisoners sing out the cadence.  He rotated this honor in sequence.  As he picked up the pace, we began to lag and the lash began to sing as our guards forced us to keep up.  What seemed like an easier deal after the rocks began to seem even harder, since we were literally locked into the rythm and could not escape each pull.  We got rest breaks every hour, and after the second break, someone from the other side was singled out for shirking.  He was taken up to the front of the barge, bent over a capstan and his chain locked.  Thereafter, when we resumed the stroke, the boatswain counted cadence by striking him with his starter, and the unfortunate miscreant had to yell out the stroke.  After a half hour his butt must have been really sore, and we were highly motivated to pull.  They kept us on the benches during the lunch break, and we were not allowed to stand.  Thus the kid was tempted to lift his sore butt off the wood for a few seconds, and got caught.  I thought he would be the next duty whipping boy, but we — they punished us both — were merely given a few lashes and told to watch our steps.  I said my thank you’s correctly, and I thought that even the kid was beginning to sound contrite. The program was making me tough, I thought.

Next morning, though, it got tougher.  At assembly, the kid and I were called out as shirkers. I was trembling as I walked to the front.  We were put against the wall and held at attention until the other prisoners had left. Then we were about faced.  The trusty had set up the whipping rig and we were both told to drop our pants and assume the position.  I stepped into the footrests and bent over.  My cuffs were locked and I waited. “What are you 61?” “Sir 61 is ready Sir.” I guessed.  “One dozen,” said the head guard and I got 12 of the hardest strokes I had ever had.  “What are you 61?”  “Sir the prisoner does not know the proper response Sir.” “Correct.” “61 you are a shirker and need correction don’t you?”  “Sir yes Sir.” The paddle smacked my ass.  “Say it 61.”  “Sir the prisoner is a shirker and needs correction SIR!”  “One dozen.” Another 12 hard strokes.  I was released and ordered to attention.  The kid got by with only 12, damm him, since he had my example to follow.  I thought we would now go back to the rock pile, but this was only the beginning.

 

Part 5

 

We were moved out to the yard, and marched to the fenced enclosure. My heart began to pound again.  “Drop your pants 61.” I was moved, naked to one of the stocks.  My wrist chains were unlocked and instantly I was thrust forward and the stocks came down securing my head and arms.  My legs were kicked far apart and a rigid ankle restraint locked in place.  I could hear 62 get the same treatment.  “What are you 61?”  “Sir the prisoner is a shirker Sir.”  The paddle smacked my ass.  “Louder 61, say it so the whole yard can hear.” “SIR THE PRISONER IS A SHIRKER SIR!” “One dozen.” The paddle smacked HARD, so that my pinioned feet jerked involuntarily.  “Sir one Sir thank you Sir!” The paddle fell again. “Say it LOUD 61!” “SIR ONE SIR THANK YOU SIR!” I screamed. I got another dozen and was panting when they were over.  Then 62 got his.  He was definitely sounding contrite.  Then silence.  Had they left?  Time passed, 30 minutes? They returned and repeated the process.  Meanwhile the sun rose, and added to the misery of our incredibly uncomfortable posture.  Another 30 minutes, another dozen.  This time they doused us with a bucket of cold water afterwards.  It felt good.  After the fourth cycle, they added a new line.  “Are you ready to work hard 61?”  “SIR THE PRISONER IS READY TO WORK HARD SIR!” I got another dozen for “attitude adjustment.”  After the sixth cycle, they stopped.  I braced for my strokes, but instead got a bucket of water.  Then they released the stocks.  I staggered as I straightened up.  “If you don’t work, you’ll be back 61.”  “SIR THE PRISONER WILL NOT BE BACK!”  The kid was really contrite, and tears ran down his cheeks as he spoke. They put back our wrist shackles, and after we put on our pants, leg irons.  We were marched to a jeep, and stood in the back, our wrist chains locked to the roll bar.  The jeep roared back to the rock pile, where we were greeted by our familiar guards with shit eating smiles.  “You two better not fuck up our detail any more.” SIR NO SIR!”

I managed to get through the rest of the day without further incident, thanks mainly to the kid’s now improved attitude. I had to hand it to this program.  Theory X works.  There were no reaction from the others in our squad — they had their own problems.  The fourth day was routine, in that we worked our asses off on the rowing barge.  I had to admit that after four days of this hell I was probably in the best shape I had ever been.  They had given me their worst, I thought, and I had survived.  Now I knew I could take it. That night, they changed my mind.  All four of us were called forward at assembly.

We were put at attention against the wall with a guard to watch us as the head guard matter of factly announced that we were to be flogged the following morning, and would be placed in special disciplinary status.  My adrenaline started to pump again.  After the other prisoners were dismissed, we were about faced and marched out into the yard.  We were led to the fenced area and taken inside.  “Drop your pants and step out.”  As usual I was point man.  I was pushed to a spot and told to get face down and spread eagle on the ground.  As soon as I did so, my ankles were grabbed and leather bindings wrapped around them.  My wrist chains were unlocked and my arms jerked out to my sides and bound.  I was drawn so tightly that I couldn’t move.  I could hear the other three getting the same treatment.  Than a lash smacked my butt.  It was the whip, not the paddle.  “61 what is your sentence?”  “Sir 12 strokes Sir.” The lash hit again, hard this time.  “61 what is your full sentence?”  “Sir the prisoner’s sentence is 12 strokes of the felon’s cat of nine tails Sir.” Again a lash stroke.  “Louder 61, so that the whole prison can hear!” “SIR THE PRISONER’S SENTENCE IS 12 STROKES OF THE FELON’S CAT O NINE TAILS SIR!”  “Give him 12 for discipline.” I braced and got 12 hard strokes of the whip.  Then they moved on and gave the other three the same treatment.  The kid was to get 12 of the standard cat since this was his first whipping. 63 the same as me.  I was surprised to hear that 64, who was about my age and seemed quiet, was getting 18 of the felons.  You can never tell.  “You will not eat or drink until after your punishment.”  At that they doused us with cold water, and left us.

I had dozed off when cold water sluiced over me.  Then the whip, really hard.  “61 what is your sentence?” I went through the routine again, and got two dozen this time.  They went through the group.  Their intent was to terrorize us into complete submission, and they were succeeding.  When they left, the kid was sobbing.  He would be a different person after this.  Maybe I would too.  My cock was rock hard under me.  I finally dozed off again.

Two buckets of cold water woke me and I tensed.   I could see the faint glow of morning.  Today was the day.  But first we had to get there.  Again the lash on my butt.  This time different.  “61 are you ready to be flogged?”  “SIR THE PRISONER IS READY TO BE FLOGGED SIR!”  “61 what is your sentence?”   ‘SIR THE PRISONER’S SENTENCE IS 12 STROKES OF THE FELONS CAT O NINE TAILS SIR!’ Again. “Give him two dozen for discipline.” And I got 24 HARD strokes with 24 ‘THANK YOU SIRS.’  My ass was burning up.  After they made the rounds, we were released from our bonds, locked in wrist chains again and told to stand.  They made us do exercises for 10 minutes and that restored the circulation.  The whippings had had the desired effect of making us EXTREMELY contrite.  We were moved to the rectal stands and assumed the position.  This time, a hose nozzle was shoved up my now tender ass and I got a power enema.  “Get over to the toilet and flush it out 61.” Then he made me do it again.  I was both enervated and charged up by the degredation.  They made us stand under the cold showers, and that helped my ass some more.  Then they told us to put on pants and our shoes and we were moved into the main hall.  The other prisoners were not yet even up.

We were made to face the wall.  Our wrist chains were relocked behind our backs.  “On your knees.”  A hand reached around my neck and a heavy leather collar was pulled in place and buckled tightly. It reached from my collar bone to my chin and forced my head up high.  I could feel a tug on my wrist chain, and without warning, my arms were jerked up sharply towards the ceiling.  My whole body was forced to bend forward. I could feel something laid on my back.  The sound of a spray can.  A number being painted?  Then we were left alone. This was the position I had seen the two prisoners in the second day.  We were in a special disciplinary restraint.

I wished for my arms to go numb.  After what seemed like hours, the other prisoners assembled.  Several were called out for various infractions.  We were ignored.  Then they filed out, and there was silence again.  Now it would be our turn.  “Get them to their feet.” I thought my arms would be wrenched from my shoulders as the ceiling rope jerked them even higher.  I almost screamed as I struggled to rise.  “Good morning Sir.” “These are the 4 prisoners to be flogged this morning.”  “Are they ready?”  “Yes Sir.”  “Very well, ask the first one.”  The ceiling rope jerked my arms higher so that I gasped from pain.  A starter touched my butt.  “61 are you ready to be flogged?” I spoke my well rehearsed lines.  “61 what is you sentence?” I had been well trained and performed as expected.  They went down the line.  Then, “Carry on.”  “I’ll see them out there.”  We faced the wall throughout.  They never looked at our faces.  Tears ran down my face.  I shook from fear. My cock had become hard again.

The ceiling ropes slacked.  It felt incredibly good.  The rope was unclipped and our wrist chains unlocked and move so that our arms were in front.  “About face.”  Four guards faced us, clad in tee shirts, starters in hand. A trusty, one of the exercise leaders, stepped over and clipped something to my collar.  His face showed no emotion.  It was a long rope.  He stepped away from me.  “Turn them over to the disciplinarians.” the head guard said.  A familiar guard came up. “Move forward 61, on the double.” “Follow the trusty.”  He started towards the yard door at a trot.  The slack came out of the line.  I was on a leash!  I stumbled and followed.  The guard brought his starter down as I passed him.  “Faster 61 — move it.”  The trusty picked up the pace.  I ran after him through the door without pausing.  The yard was lined with guards.  They all had their starters and I realized I was to run a kind of gaunlet.  As I passed they brought their starters down hard.  “MOVE IT 61!”  The blows struck everywhere, urging me even faster.  The trusty was out ahead, moving at a good pace.  I was now running flat out.  Still the blows.  “KEEP MOVING 61!”  Things seemed in a whirr.  Then I was there.  I stopped abrubtly,  breathing hard.  “Stand at attention 61.”

I was standing behind a jeep just inside the outer gate.  We would apparently be taken outside the yard for our punishment — my mind hesitated at the word.  The pacer trusty was in front of me, breathing hard too, I noticed.  He clipped my leash to a ring attached to a line he led from an eyebolt on the back of the jeep.  The line made me lean forward slightly.   Then he came back with another piece of line and attached one end up to my wrist chain, and the other to the ring, pulling my arms a little out in front of me.   He reached around my arms and undid my pants and pulled them down. He knelt down and helped me step out.  I was naked and secured to the jeep.  The trusty stepped behind me with something in his hand.  He reached around and squeezed my mouth with one hand.  “Open wide.” He jammed a rubber mouthpiece in and then pulled on leather straps that came around the back of my head.  I could feel him buckling it tight.  I was gagged, a new and frightening experience.  A big guard, with big muscles, came up and touched me with his starter. “Eyes front, don’t make a move unless I tell you.”  I was in the custody of the disciplinarians.  But I was trained now.  I knew what to do.  I heard a second prisoner being brought up next to me.  I knew it was the kid.  He was panting, they had run him hard.  He was secured to another line from the jeep and stripped.  It began to dawn on me what happened next.  Then the jeep started to move and the lines tensioned, bringing my arms up parallel to the ground and pulling my neck erect.  “Start them out.”  My cock jumped.

 

Part 6

 

The gate opened and the line to the jeep slowly tensioned.  I had started forward after it before I felt the lash.  It was a heavy whip, not the light ones I had felt before.  Two guards and two trustys were keeping pace besides us, while a third guard faced us from the back of the jeep, shotgun in hand.  We were outside the wall.   At first we walked, but soon we were trotting rather fast.   I knew that if we fell we would be dragged.  The jeep approached the outer wall of the main prison then slowed as we passed through the outer gate.  It stopped and waited for the inner gate to open. The shotgun guard stayed behind.  As the jeep started up again the whip fell harshly.  The yard was full of prisoners in ranks lined up for their morning assembly.  The jeep sped up and we were trotting again.  The whip fell regularly.  We were whipped around the yard.  It was degrading and exciting at the same time.  I knew my body was tanned and healthy looking from the hard labor.  I had been trained to take this.  Yet I still felt shame.  I also felt hard.  Was it obvious?  A particularly hard blow from the whip returned my head to the scene. In the center of the yard stood a raised platform, containing the flogging triangle.  It was my place of work.  I knew it well.  The jeep continued and made a second circuit around the inner perimeter of the prisoners.  The whip fell brutally and regularly now.  We were a show, a reminder of what might happen.  Then we stopped.  We had arrived.  My flogging would seem like and anticlimax now, or would it?

The jeep stopped.  We stood motionless awaiting orders. The guard tugged me forward to get slack, then released the jeep line.  He led me by the ropes attached to my collar and wrist chain to a nearby post, backed me up against it, wrapped the line around me and locked it to the post. “Chest out, belly in 61.”  “Remember, you’re on display,”  he said with a slightly mocking tone.  Of course my condition was obvious.  The kid was now released and brought to attention directly in front of me, flanked by two guards.  I could see he was hard too, his cock jutting up.  He was beet red with shame.  The other jeep pulled up now and the two remaining prisoners were moved to posts next to mine.  Now the prison OOD came up, stood to one side, and said “Carry on.”  The two big trustys sprang to action and pulled the kid up the steps of the platform.  I could see his back now.  They had stenciled the number 12 — his sentence.  He was positioned in front of the triangle and strapped in place.  I was familiar with this routine, I had done it many times.  One of the big muscle guards now displayed the cat for inspection by the OOD.  It was supposed to be the standard one, 9 three foot tails of whipcord.  But these tails were of braided leather. They had their own ‘standard’ cat.  I shuddered at what the felons cat looked like.  The guard who was to be the whipper ascended the platform and showed the cat to the kid.  He was strapped down too tightly to show a reaction, and he was facing away from me.  The senior guard stood on the platform, stood in front of the kid and read the sentence, then stood to one side.  “Ready, stroke,” he said.  The guard had stepped well back and took two steps forward and swung with full force.  He held nothing back. This was a much more vigorous stroke than I had been taught before. The kid shook with the force of the blow.  I could tell he was shocked at the strength of it.  Eleven to go.  I almost wanted to avert my eyes, but I was also fascinated and he after all he had asked for it, but then so had I!

The kid’s sentence was completed. They released him and led him down the stairs.  He had obviously been sobbing.  His cock was straight up in the air.  A trusty took his lead and started trotting down the yard, pulling the kid after him.   The look on his face told me he had learned a real lesson.  He was growing up, the hard way.  They would make him display himself again, as a deterrent to the others of course.  Then it was my turn.

My rope was unlocked and I was jerked by a trusty away from the post.  A guard gave me a healthy smack on the butt with his starter and I moved towards the platform.  “Move it 61,” and he smacked me again, hard.  I had to run to keep from being dragged.  I moved rapidly towards the triangle, and as I got close, the guard shoved me hard on the shoulders slamming me up against it and pinning me there.   My wrist chain line was attached to a pulley at the top of the triangle, while simultaneously my ankles were jerked outward by trustees and strapped to the outside of the triangle legs.  A heavy trustee now took hold of the pully rope and pulled my arms up high, causing me to rise on my toes.  He held me there as a heavy leather belt was drawn over my lower back, holding me tightly against the cross piece.  Additional straps were put around my lower arms and thighs, pinning me tightly to the triangle.  The guards and trustees stepped back except for the one pulling my arms.  I stared straight ahead into his unsmiling eyes until he stepped aside for the senior guard.  Even though I knew it I still shuddered when he read it. “12 strokes of the felons cat o nine tails well laid on the bare back.”  “This will be a disciplinary flogging,” he added.  I thought I knew the procedure but that was a new one.

He stepped aside and two guards stood before me displaying their felons cats.  It was a really heavy instrument, four foot tails of braided leather, each tail knotted every 2 inches.  Each tail was as heavy as the whips used at the rocks. I knew that the knots would leave deep bruises, while the heavy braided leather welted the skin and could draw blood. I had no doubt they would draw some of mine.  The two guards stepped behind me, out of sight. I figured they would alternate. I wanted to see their positions but my collar kept my head high and looking straight ahead. I could imagine them stepping way back for a running start.  Then the senior guard called, “Both whippers ready!”  He said whippers plural.  What was going on?  “This is a disciplinary flogging, at the command ‘stroke,’ lay on both instruments simultaneously.” This was no ordinary flogging.  I was sure I was getting special treatment.  As if to remind me I couldn’t do anything about it, the trusty tugged my wrists even tighter. This was going to be incredibly hard.  I waited, sweat already pouring off me. “First stroke, ready STROKE.” and I heard the whistling sounds.  It sounded different when you were on the receiving end.  Really frightening.  Then the cat tails CRACKED across my back.  White lightening streaked across my back and I screamed into my gag. STOP!  I CAN’T TAKE THIS!  But I had to.

They counted 20 seconds between strokes.  The theory was to let the pain build up.  The theory was RIGHT.  After the fire died down a much deeper pain racked my upper body.  I screamed again into the gag.  Eleven more to go.  I had to get control of myself.  I counted out 15 seconds and took a deep breath to expand my chest. “Second stroke, ready STROKE.”  The blow drove the air out of me.  The white lightening was there again, but the after shock seemed a little less.  I was going to get through this.  There was a double length pause after the 6th stroke, and my wrists were slacked slightly.  They used the time to put on two fresh whippers.  I couldn’t see them, but I knew they were clones of the first.  A fresh hand with a fresh cat I had read somewhere.  Still it was a break.  But when I was pulled up again, it actually cramped my muscles even more.   And the new whippers seemed harder than the first pair.  I was sobbing now, just hanging on until the end. Finally it was over.  Or so I thought.

My arms were slacked and the extra straps removed.  A gloved hand touched my back and then wiped a cool solution across my cuts.  After a few seconds the cool turned into a terriffic burning sensation, but I knew that was the price of healing.   I sagged on the triangle as the belt came off.  Hands pulled my hips back and I felt a chain going around my waist.  Even after this they were going to put me in a maximum security harness!  “Step back 61 and stop your whimpering.”  My wrist chain was released from the overhead rope and locked to the waist chain.  Hands grabbed my shoulders and roughly twisted me around.  The trusty took control of my leash line and started down.  I didn’t need a starter now.  The flogging had completely subdued me.  I was ready to do anything they told me.  I followed the trusty, my legs wobbly at first on the stairs.  Once on the pavement, he moved to the right and picked up the pace.  I was going to be run around the yard, showing off my stripes to the regular prisoners.  Some looked wide-eyed and scared.  Others made lewd gestures. I realized I was also showing off a raging hard-on. It seemed to come down as we ran.  A normal reaction?

The run around the yard was completed and I was back at the post at the foot of the platform. They were going to make me watch the other two get theirs. I saw 63 up on the platform being strapped down.  When the head guard called his a disciplinary flogging I decided I had not been singled out.  Watching the two guards run and swing was incredible.  The lash marks trickled blood after every stroke, although not the raw meat stuff of the movies.  It was a really hard and brutal punishment he was taking, but he deserved it and he knew it.  Without this discipline, the bums would get a free ride and the kids would never grow up. I had earned my qualification.

Now I had to decide whether I wanted to give as well as take.

 

THE END

 

NOTE: This story was posted on a chat board many years back, but I was not able to locate the author. If you are the author, or if you know the author, please contact me.

—Metal

 

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