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09 November 2011 @ 04:42 pm
Fic: Epistrophe sta asteria (7/14)  
Back to part 6 / Back to Masterpost

“You... You Called me from the stars?” Hellene stammered, unable to believe what her Mother was telling her. “I was one of them?”

Lady Aphrodite looked down on her, face as kind as it always had been. “I did and you were. You were on your way to becoming an officer in Starfleet when I Called.”

“But then... why?” Hellene asked, still lost. “Why did You Call me from that other life, if You were only going to return me to it now?”

“I Call to those who are lost,” her Mother replied. “You in particular were a strange case, my child. You had lost everything and were well on your way to rebuilding your life, yet still you remained lost and confused. And so I came to you and gave you this life, thinking it would be best for you. Now I see I was mistaken.”

“I still fail to understand,” Hellene said quietly.

“When you remember it will all become clear to you.”

“When I remember what?” Hellene demanded.

“The past you have forgotten,” Lady Aphrodite answered. “I am about go give you an order that sounds very strange. I want your word that you will go through with it.”

“Anything, Mother. Anything for You.” It was the only reply Hellene could give.

“That is the first thing,” She began. “What you are going to do is not for me. It will be for yourself.”

“I do not understand,” Hellene stammered. “For myself?”

“Yes, for yourself. I am going to return to you your original life among the stars. In order for that to happen, you need to refrain from drinking the holy water tonight.”

“But I could die!” Hellene protested. “Everyone knows that failing to drink the holy water is dangerous!”

Lady Aphrodite raised a single perfect eyebrow and she instantly fell silent, contrite. “Of course, Mother,” she managed, attempting to save herself from the horrible sin of doubting a deity. “You would know more about the water You have blessed than any of us mortals ever could discover.”

“Indeed I would,” her Mother replied, plainly amused. “Do not drink it. Find your man. Tell Dianthe I wish to speak with her here.”

“My man?” Hellene asked, confused once more. Was she talking about...?

“Your man from the stars. Even now he plots a way to bring you home. Go with him. He will take you back to where you belong.”

“But I belong here,” Hellene protested. “Here, with You. Worshipping You.”

“I love you dearly, my child, and your dedication has served you well,” Lady Aphrodite smiled. “However, now is the time for us to part. You must return to your home.”

Hellene sighed. She had believed herself stubborn, but she was no match against a determined goddess. “As you wish, Mother. Dianthe will join you here promptly.”

Feeling numb, Hellene climbed the stairs more slowly than a crawling babe. After all her season-cycles of service, this was the end. But at the same time, it was far from the end she had anticipated.

Aikaterine awaited her eagerly at the end of the hallway. “What did She say?” she asked.

“That She wishes to speak with Dianthe forthwith,” Hellene responded as Aikaterine’s face fell.

“You are...?”

“I am no longer one of you,” Hellene responded. “It was... very confusing. Evidently I come from as far a distance as our town’s current visitors.”

“You are from the stars?” came Aikaterine’s shocked question.

“So claims our Mother,” Hellene replied, “and She is always right.”

“I am not going to pretend to understand,” Aikaterine finally murmured. “However, you must do as our Mother has told you to. I guess you will be leaving us?”

“Soon.”

“You will be missed. Go with our love and that of our Mother,” came a new voice as Dianthe walked down the hall.

“She expects you in the hidden chamber,” Hellene informed her.

“Then I go to obey my Mother’s wishes,” Dianthe smiled, pulling her into an embrace before departing.

Farewells given, Hellene slipped out into the bright light of the outside world before starting to look for the one who would apparently take her home.

~*~

Jim looked up as he heard hesitant footfalls. He hadn’t expected anyone to approach him, least of all the brunette he saw. “Hellene?”

Shyly, she looked up at him. “Yes.”

“I thought I wasn’t supposed to see you again,” he exclaimed quietly, wincing internally when the words slipped out. He wondered if she’d been informed of that.

“It wasn’t my intention, either, at least not at first,” she responded. “But... the day has been very confusing and I do not understand it all. I just know that I am to go with you.”

Instantly Jim felt a confusing mix of hope and pain. “No,” he managed, the first word that came to and then past his lips.

“No? Why not?” she demanded.

“I don’t transport people just because they ‘are to go with me’,” he answered. “You have to want it. Is it what you want?”

“My Mother told me--”

“Forget for a moment what your Mother told you!” he snapped. “Forget that. I’m only going to consider this if you can tell me it’s what you want. You, not another priestess, not a goddess, you. Can you?”

She froze, and what little hope Jim had managed to muster plummeted instantly. She didn’t really want it. She was just following the orders of another, as she had seemingly done for quite a while. There was no way she could come back with him, not like this.

Finally, she looked up at him. “I can. I want to go with you. I want to remember what I’ve been told I have forgotten. I want to know why... why I wanted you from the first moment you entered the sanctuary,” she murmured, and her blush and the way she looked away from him let him know just how hard an admission that was for her to make.

Jim smiled. “Then it would be my pleasure to take you with me.”

Hellene gave him a returning smile. “I am glad.” Suddenly she frowned, clutching her head.

“What is it?”

Hellene looked up at him and murmured in Standard, “It hurts, Jim.” Then she collapsed.

~*~

Three Years Ago

Lena sighed as she flopped onto her bed. Another long day in the clinic, soon to be followed by another long sleepless night.

It hadn’t always been like this, before. While she had never slept for all that long most nights before, she’d always had the energy to go through with her days. Now she couldn’t find any rest, and it was starting to show.

It was disconcerting, realizing she was starting to routinely forget little details of her day. However, she couldn’t really bring herself to care enough to do anything about it. Not really.

Rolling over, she trained her gaze on the ceiling. Anything was better than being haunted by dreams.


On to part 8