tagSci-Fi & FantasyPriestesses of the Goddess Pt. 06

Priestesses of the Goddess Pt. 06


Rata paced her balcony once more. The second of Tavia's suns, the smaller yellow star, was setting, dipping beneath her waters, turning them the deepest shade of purple, almost black as the first rays of Tavia's moons danced across the choppy surface. "I am sorry that I have failed you too, Mij," she whispered to the old friend, who had joined her as she sought...

She was uncertain what she sought now. She was well past the point of believing that there was some way to avoid this tragedy. Despite Aved's brave stance against the treaty, or perhaps because of it, she felt the undercurrents of fate pulling them all down, drowning in what was to come. And there was no way out.

"Failed me?" the man asked. Rata turned and looked at the Councilor, the man who had been her charge for many cycles. His smile was weak, as if he too realized the gravity of their situation, but it was genuine. "How have you failed me, dear friend?" he walked across the balcony to stand in front of her.

His arms wrapped about her. But it was comfort and not the passion of their goddess that she felt. That she had always felt with this man. No, passion was something that never seemed to stir her deep waters.

"If I had been a better priestess, a wiser counselor perhaps. If we had sought the communion of the goddess as we ought, then perhaps," she shook her head as she sought words, sought some final wisdom in these final moments of life as they knew it. "If I were not so cold," she whispered.

Mij chuckled, "Cold? You cold, Rata? Your sweet waters were never, never anything other than welcoming warmth, embracing and soothing to the soul."

She shook her head in confusion, "I do not understand. Then why have you not sought my counsel? Come to me for communion in so many cycles? If I am not the problem, what is, Mij?"

The man released, moved to stand at the edge of the balcony, staring into the depths of the waters that broke loudly against the rock cliff. Silence whispered upon Mya's strong breezes that blew so turbulently this evening. Rata went to him, stood next to him, sought the answers in the depths of her waters as he did.

"It is not you, sweet priestess. It has never been you. It is me. I am not like others. I know it is unheard of, but," he was silent once more, silence that stretched out for several moments as the waves and winds pounded the rock beneath them, rocks that had stood strong for millennia shook and quivered this night and all felt it.

"I am sorry, Rata, if you ever thought you failed me in any way. You have not."

"Then why did you not come to me, dear friend? Not seek the communion you need? That we all need?" she sought understanding, an answer that might bring some small measure of peace in the havoc that was to come.

"Because I no longer need it, High Priestess," he sighed as if searching for words to better explain the unexplainable. "Not from you. Not the way that our traditions dictates."

He turned to face her, brushed the hair back from her face, tugged it behind her ear. "When I joined with Cytil, when we became one." He paused again, shook his dark head. "I am not doing this right, saying things as I should. I do not understand it fully myself, dear friend."

"Do not get me wrong. I always found communion with you unlike any other. Your times together were amazing. I grew as a man and a Councilor. You served me and our goddess well. But when Cytil and I joined together, it was unlike anything I ever knew, ever imagined. It was like finding the other half of my soul."

"I know it is not our way. Primaries, secondaries, communing freely with the goddess. But, Rata, when I found Cytil, I had need of none of that. She was, she is, all that I need. All I will ever need. And that is not reflection upon you, dearest friend. It is our weakness, if you will. But I could simply never betray my wife, not like that. Not even with you, not even for my office. If anyone let anyone down, it is I...for not being here for you," he said as he raised her hand pressed kisses to her knuckles. "I am sorry, High Priestess."

Rata struggled to breath. His words bounced about her head like ripples when a stone was thrown into her pools, gentle circles radiating outwards until they reached the shore then returning back again to the source, a cycle that lasted for long moments until balance was restored again to her waters. What he said made no sense, was against all they believed. Yet in some strange way it resonated inside her heart, sang the sweetest song through her spirit.

She sighed and squeezed his hand, "Then what are you doing here, old friend? Go to your wife. Do what you can to protect her, protect both of you, protect this special gift you share."

"What of you? I cannot leave you here alone, unprotected. Things are not as simple as Aved wishes. The Morians will not take well to the news that the treaty they have sought for so long is not to be. Versil was unwise to make such promises, promises he knew he could not deliver." The man looked around her chambers as if seeking something, "Where is Tsu? Where is your primary?"

Rata was not certain herself, but she could guess. But in these final moments, her value as a High Priestess seemed to pale, especially in light of her beloved friend's words. She would not have another duty bound to her, when something far higher called to him.

"I have sent him upon a small errand. He will be only another moment. Do not worry, old friend. Go to Cytil now. Give her my love, tell her to guard well the gift that the two of you share for she is the most blessed of women," she plastered a smile upon her face, the one that she always used to greet supplicants as a young priestess, it was as big a lie as the words she spoke. She hoped only that it worked this final time.

Mij frowned but nodded reluctantly, almost as if he saw through her lie but accepted it as the free will offering of the goddess, which Rata intended it to be. He pressed a soft kiss to her cheek, "Be well, my beloved friend and counselor. You have always been and always shall be very dear to me. And to our goddess."

Rata saw tears in the man's eye as he drew back, "As my dearest friend, I wish with all my heart that one day you too will feel this, know this kind of love. Be as complete as I am with Cytil. You deserve that and so much more for all that you have done for us, sacrificed for the goddess."

Rata allowed the bitter sweet tears of healing and peace to flow unchecked then. Though they may no longer be lovers, seek the goddess's blessing of communion as they once had, she loved this man deeply, just as she loved her sisters. But it was not the kind of love that he spoke about, the kind of love that was forever out of her reach, forbidden to her kind, those marked from birth as servants of the goddess, human vessels of her love that never knew its own power.

She pushed the man away, "Go. Now. Go in her peace and may she keep you both safe within her loving embrace through whatever is to come, now and forever more." Rata felt the power surge through her at the formal words, knew that once more they were not her words but her goddess's. And it was enough. It would have to be. For despite his wishes, there would never be anything more for her.


Versil paced Soji's chambers like a caged animal. She watched the man that had been her lover for so long. Wondered how she had failed to see it before now. Rata had known, had seen the dangers this man represented, tried to warn her. But she was too caught up in her own dreams, her hopes, wanting to have even a small taste of that which was forbidden one such as her. High Priestess and whore.

"He will not get away with it. Who does the old man think he is? Just because he is senior Councilor does not mean he is unassailable. I know things. Things that if others knew, well, he will not have his seat upon the Council for much longer. He has grown weak, feeble. Yes, I will have him replaced, Mij too if I must, both of them are not worthy of their offices, breaking our traditions, failing our people," he ranted as his skin darkened to a violent red like storm clouds before unleashing their fury.

But what bothered Soji most was not his physical appearance, though that was a frightening revelation in itself. In all their times together, this was a side of Versil that she had never seen. But even this maniac was not as worrisome as the dark cloud about him, some evil spirit, an aura that she had never seen before. Or perhaps she just never wanted to.

"You should listen to Aved, Versil. He has served Tavia well for over two hundred cycles. He knows much of this place, its people," she tried to counsel wisely. Perhaps a bit too late, she thought.

Her lover turned on her, his eyes shown almost green in the pale candle light of her chambers. "What do you know, whore?"

Soji stumbled backwards at his words. Those words that she loathed for so long were more powerful than a physical blow. She clutched her chest against the stabbing pain that pierced her heart.

Whore. He too thought her a whore. A worthless whore to be used and discarded when he was finished. And she saw it in his eyes then. He was finished with her. He had what he wanted and he was done with her, just as they all did.

She should be used to it by now, but the truth was that she never would be. That little girl stolen from her family. Mocked by the friends with whom she had played all her life. That little girl was who she was at her core. Not the great and mighty High Priestess of the rock. Just a pitiful little girl looking for love, real love.

But even as she thought it, she felt a power unlike any she had ever known surge up like molten lava erupting with its full force and destructive power from her tallest mountains.

"Whore? You dare call my High Priestess a whore, you vile son of a rat. You believe yourself so wise, so powerful. Hear me now; your plans will be your destruction, your downfall. Not mine. For you are but a vessel, a broken and unworthy one, but my vessel nonetheless. Mine to use as I will. To bring about a new age. An age which you will never see. A sweeter communion for my people, one of which you are unfit to taste. You have sealed your fate, signed your own death warrant that shall be executed before the next rising. Go into the bits of darkness, nothingness. You will be forgotten, erased from all minds and hearts by the power of my love."

Soji stood trembling as the final words echoed off her stone walls. She was alive unlike anything she had ever felt. Yet completely drained, weak and confused by what had happened. She did not even see it coming. It was not until she felt the force of the physical blow. It sent her reeling across the room. She landed in a pile of bone and flesh at the foot of her bed.

Then he drug her by the hair, pulled her onto the bed that they had shared so many times. A bed that had she thought knew only love and communion. But now she saw it all for what it was as he ripped her holy robes from her body. Versil had always been a rough lover. She had once enjoyed it, thought that it was another sign of his deeper passions for her. But that too had been a lie, one that she wanted to believe.

His hands squeezed her breasts, hard; she knew that they would bear his marks on the next rising. She could not believe that once she craved his marks, wanted any small sign of his mastery, his ownership. His teeth followed suit, sinking deep into the pointy nipple. So deep that she could feel them breaking the skin, knew he tasted the deep blue richness of her blood, her life force itself. She feared he would even tear the tender flesh from her body.

Instead he released it, stared down at it as the blood seeped down the side of her breast, watched it flow in triumph. "See, you really are nothing more than a worthless whore. You enjoyed even that. I shall look forward to what is to come this rising. The Morians have technology unlike any other. A collar that binds their women to them, makes them helpless, nothing more than mindless pieces of flesh to be used and abused as they wish. It is what all women deserve. And I shall take great pleasure watching you dance for them."

His eyes glinted with anger and lust. It was not a combination that Soji was accustomed to, "Seeing them torture you with pain and pleasure. You see your precious communion with the goddess; they have found a way to master that as well. Use it for their pleasure. Extract each moment of your pleasure for their gain. And they do not stop. Not until you are the mindless, worthless piece of frig meat that you truly are."

His finger pinched her bleeding flesh, fresh pain shot through her body as much at the cruelty of his words as the physical sensation. "Oh yes, I shall enjoy seeing them tame you. But not first. No, that uppity worthless cunny sister of yours shall be first. She thought to foil my plans, but she has merely moved them forward. The Morians should be arriving any moment. I shall meet them at the altar. Bring her to them as the first of the mighty priestesses to be used and striped of her powers for their pleasure."

He laughed at her, "Perhaps I shall ever let you watch. See what is to come, what is your fate, the destiny of all whores. Then I shall have then string up that sweet little sister of yours. But not until I have indoctrinated her, taken her sweet fountain with my mighty sword, used her as she was meant to be used, a worthless whore cunny like the rest of you."

Soji choked at the revelations of his cruel words. She had not thought that any others knew her little sister's secret. She herself did not actually know for certain, but had long suspected that Aved had failed to indoctrinate Mya properly. The man simply loved her little sister too much to cause her pain, any pain. But now that love too would come at a high price, it seemed.

"Then it shall be your turn, my sweet priestess. Oh yes, forcing you to watch what your beloved sisters endure, knowing that your turn is to come, that will be sweet. Almost as sweet as it would have been to share them with you in a tribunal like we planned. The three of you looked so delectable this rising. If I had not had such pressing business, I would have enjoyed crawling into bed with all of you. Communing as you call. But it is nothing more than friggin' and all of you nothing more than expensive whores," he reached then for pieces of her robe that he had torn from her. Ripped the holy garment into strips, bound them about her hands and feet, leaving her helpless in her bed.

"I shall send someone for you, when the show starts. But right now, you only get in my way. No right now, I have unfinished business with your sister. Wonder if her waters taste as sweet as your fountain, Soji. I asked her Primary, but he said that her waters are as cold as ice. Then again perhaps Tsu is just not man enough for her."

"But that does not matter, his help was easy enough to buy, a few coins were his price, enough to take him and that other whore far from this place. The stupid man thinks that any of you are worthy of love, he will learn. Larca is as fickle as the rest of you. Her eye already strays for the young acolyte you had assigned as her primary. I doubt very much that she will choose to follow Tsu into the simple life he extolls. Not when she can stay here, have all the Morian lovers she wants and indoctrinate the young boy too," he pinched her nipple cruelly once more as he rose up.

"Do not go anywhere, High Priestess," he laughed as he left helpless and alone. Just as she always had been since that morning when the soldier took her from her village. This time she would not have even her sister to comfort her. She turned her head and cried into the bed.


Mya cried softly as she sat upon the pillow near the fire. Her chambers glowed with the soft light from its embers. She could hear her winds howling outside, watched the flames dance as gusts shot down the chimney. Their gales were as unsettled this evening as her spirit. She tore her face from the fire, turned and watched him pace.

He had not said a word since they reached the relative safety of her chambers. He had simply instructed her primary and acolyte to guard the door. That no one, not even the High Priestesses of rock and water was to disturb them. Once inside the room, rather than opening his arms and drawing her into the safety of his embrace as he usually did, scooping her up and carrying her to the great chair that sat in front of the fire, holding and soothing her as only he could, no, this evening, he had merely grunted, waved his arms towards the cushion that rested in front of the chair. The cushion upon which she sometimes sat, resting her head upon his knees as he brushed her hair softly with his fingers.

This evening, when she needed it most, there was no comfort, no solace to be found. His pacing mirrored the unrest in her soul. The uncertainty of her winds that assailed the temple, even as Rata's waves pounded the seemingly solid rock upon which it stood for thousands of cycles. And it was all crumbling about them. She felt that, knew it in her heart.

And she was as powerless to stop it as she was to save her father that morning when they came for her. Like that time, this was her fault too. If she had been the High Priestess that she should have been, fulfilled her duties as she ought, then perhaps they would have known, had some warning as Rata had. Perhaps they could have found some way. But it was too late and they all knew it.

"I am sorry," she whispered.

Aved stopped a few feet from her, "Sorry? Sorry for what, sweet priestess?"

"If I had been a real priestess," she stammered nervously. "If I had done my duties, if we had..." she could not even force the words out as she blushed a deep pink of her clouds on sunny day.

He frowned and came to kneel in front of her. He gathered her tiny hands in his much larger ones, drew them to his lips and kissed them softly as he often did when parting in the rising, after an evening of holding and comforting her.

"Mya, none of this is your fault. You have always been my greatest comfort. Lano's greatest hope, she was so proud of you. Of the woman you had become. The priestess. She always knew you were special, just as I have, as your sisters do. Do you think it some mistake that the goddess named you to replace Lano?"

Her air froze in her throat at his words. How had he known? That was exactly what she thought, what she had always felt. It was a mistake. She was a mistake. A lie, an abomination to their goddess.

He shook his head, "It is no mistake, Mya. You are no mistake. You are special. You hold the key. Somehow you hold the key to all of this. It is why she chose you. Why she chose a novice, something that she never had before."

He rose again, began pacing once more, but this time slower, more purposefully. "No, Mya, if anyone had failed it is me. It is your sisters. We knew, we all knew, just as she did, that you are special. But we have not respected that, your gifts. We have not shown you how to use them properly. And now I fear it is too late."

He stopped and squared his shoulders, "No, it is not too late. I will not let it be. I will find a way. Some way to protect you."

Mya shivered as those familiar words blew through the mind, stirring up memories that she did not want to face. She shook her head, "No," she screamed. "No, I will not lose you too," she ran to him, just as she had run to her father that morning. Flung herself into his arms. Wrapped herself about him, just as she had the other man.

Then just as it had that rising so very long ago, the doors to her chamber flew open. A large dark figured filled the door way. She saw the bodies of her primary and acolyte slumped in the hall. She placed herself between him and this unknown invader. "Not again," she whispered as the man barged in.

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