Monday, 7 November 2016

In The Name of Noxon (Part 8)

The dream arrived, right when Emily thought that she had finally figured out what to do with her life.

Granny A. could go on, extolling the incredible virtues of the Service of the God Noxon, but Emily knew better - law school, a degree with top marks, internship at "Gordanova&Daughters", then being a regular in the study for about ten years, till they made her a partner and she'll make a ton of money and have a trophy wife - maybe one of those Extra-gorgeous Daughters of Noxon -  with whom to have a bunch of trophy kids.

That night, the dream had started pleasantly enough... she was in a great villa, in some place in the planet narrow tropical band, a white-cream sand beach in sight.

The kind of place she wants to buy, whence she will become a successful politician, after the career in legals.

The girl came in, 18 years old, crispy as Protasian can be when they spend their days under the sun - too young to be a presentable trophy wife, but surely one to become a great womb-mother, in another couple of years.

The girl had a sweet expression, that Emily had trouble accepting - every woman so endowed by genetics had her way to exploit her beauty, and many a calculus behind their smile.

She knew it far too well, as she was one of them - grand daughter of two officiants and daughter of a black guard -  and SHE  was coldly counting in her good look,s as much as on her hard work, to prop her future career.

Yet she could not feel it in the young girl - she seems like she really did not care that she was stunning, which was even more stunning, but in another way.

Truly innocent beauties were the stuff of legend, of fairy tales or pub evenings. Nobody ever saw one in real life; this should have tipped Emily about the fact that she was in a dream.

The kid brought her on a great terrace with an enormous pool.

From there, Emily saw the sea, not distant and some twenty metres below her feet, she then turned to look at the house... it seemed an Alva Äalta design, executed far more flawlessly and with better material than most and replicated two or three times.

White birds, similar to big swallows, flew over the steep stairs that descended to the sea shore.

Evidently this was a hotel, as not even the most fabulously corrupt politician could get that rich without catching the eyes of law enforcement... so, this was a vacation? A pity.

If Emily was being too rational and analytical for a dream, she didn't care.

She just enjoyed the sun, the peace, the luxury of the place, savouring the moment when she would be able to afford it in real life. T

he girl - a waitress? maybe... usually, the ones in the youth hostels and cheap B&B that she had seen were not so impressively humble - came back, and announced

 - "The master will meet you shortly. He is eager to confer with you, on matters of the uttermost importance."

Emily cringed at the archaisms, and to the use of a male pronoun for someone who could speak with her.

It was not uncommon, for very obnoxious women ,to usurp the ancient word, even if they were not one of the couple of hundred humans that still had an y chromosome.

Of course, those unhappy soul never left their preserves in the planet's two man-serrails.

The only males on the planet were animals, like their house large k-cat - the only one able to beat Emily at chess.

Smarts as some of them were, they couldn't confer with her... maybe; she always wondered why nobody tried to teach to k-cat to use a keyboard.

The beauty pageant lowered her eyes - really? - as she started introducing their arriving host:

 - "His Grace, Lord of Nothing and Master of the Orbital Mechanics, Commander of The Officiants, Defender of the Biosphere, Designer of our Humanity and Culture, Original Colonizer of our World, Noxon the 'god' "

 - "Oh, crap, no!" - the words escaped Emily's mouth before she managed to get a grip on herself. T

he enormous, black... male? - man, masn was the word, smirked.

Emily wondered how many thousands women had that very same reaction, in five thousands years - more or less than a hundred?

 - "Is this, A Call?" - Emily's voice creaked.

If it was, her life projects were over - famously, one was not compelled by secular forces, to follow the path chosen by the 'god'.... it simply kept badgering her till it drove the poor woman, literally, crazy.

Once in the Service, her legal career would become impossible.

Powerful as they may be, ex`Twenty-Years Officiants tended to keep a behind-the-curtains profile, as having a suspected prophet as an attorney or - worse - a lawmaker seemed, to many and not just outside churches, an affront to the integrity of the churches-state separation, one of the tenets that kept the world from spiralling into never-ending, wasteful wars.

The huge black smiled - perfect teeth and sparkling eyes, for the first time in her life Emily wondered whether had it been a mistake, for her culture, to segregate away the males.

 - "Yes, it is."

Emily awoke screaming, ran out of her - and her twins - room, down the hall and up the causeway, to Granny A bungalow, whose door she banged with all her might, till Granny and Aunt Cezanne opened it.

Emily told them of her dream, hoping that the two ancient women would reassure her, telling her that it was just a simple dream brought on by self-suggestion.

At a point, Cezanne asked Emily to describe the birds that she saw, and the young girl did it, very vividly.

The old Officiant smiled sadly - she remembered those same odd frigates from her own Call. If Emily was hoping that this was just a dream, she was probably wrong and, in a couple of days, a pair of Priestesses would arrive from Sassa, to bring little atheist Emily to her fate.

She and A exchanged meaningful glances, and Cezanne lied through her teeth to reassure the girl that they loved so much - Emily needed to sleep well that night, if she had to endure the kind of crash training that often followed these extempore Calls.

Granny A managed to escort the little one back to her bed, and kept her company for a while, till an exhausted Emily fell asleep.

On her way back, she was a bit surprised to see the light still on in their little house .- she expected Cezanne to go back to sleep.

It was not so unusual for their kids to dream the Black Bastard, when she started to re-tell her service tales.

Cezanne had always maintained that the best thing was sleeping over the fuss, and see things calmly in the morning ,after a good breakfast.To date, she had been right and none of the calls had been a real one; after all, she was herself a "Called", so she knew what she was talking about.

- "I didn't think that my tales were having this effect on this generation resident sceptic - dreaming to be called"

 - "It wasn't your tales, or a dream." - Cezanne said it plainly, as if it was an obvious fact.

Granny A felt her legs suddenly weak - she had never thought that Emily, of all "her" kids, would enter the Officiant Service - not unless Granny really moved wheels and got her drafted in the Five Years levy.

A Call... Noxon was one sarcastic bitch.

 - "Are you sure?"

- "I remember those birds, I have looked for them, as a clue to. where the 'god' has his Villa. They are from a small, uninhabited archipelago in the middle of the Medium Sea."

- "You know where Noxon lives?" - A. couldn't keep the surprise out of her voice.

- "No, only where he goes for holidays, and where the abducted Officiants reside. I do not think that it lives, really."

- "So, is it true? It didn't sound as any Call I heard of - no swooping three days orgy, no whips, rotating dildos, incredibly tasty food, no promise of Earthly and un-Earthly delights, nothing!"

Cezanne eyebrows furrowed, in that way that A, a century after meeting her, still felt endearing.

- "No, it was a Business Call"

A. found the concept preposterous - "Business? From the 'god of practical pranks'?" - she had heard of these, but they were nothing more than another of the legends in the service.

- "Yes. I do not think that it will be a couple of priestesses, to show up to bring her to the 'god', tomorrow."

They went to bed, but neither of them could sleep, and continued arguing about what to do till dawn.

The day after, the new arrived had the looks of an officiant from the Green Island - auburn hairs, tanned skin with dimples, green eyes, perfect white teeth with in a mouth with plumpy and pout lips - and the muscles of a black guard, but surely not the age of a priestess.

More troubling, as she was talking to them and explaining that she was there to take in charge Emily, her feet wandered off the ground.. and refused to go back and touch it, for at least five minutes.

In the Noxon's mythology, there was only one category of the 'god's servants who could fly - "The Messengers".

They were to be dreaded as much as they were, usually, beautiful.

Cezanne and Granny A. were the strongest humans in town, easily as strong as twenty normal women - a Messenger was, to them, what they were to the general population.

Her presence was terrible -the hyper-human could only be there because Noxon wanted Emily to become a Messenger herself, and Messengers... Messengers, the legend was, killed people, and a lot of.

Usually, in accidents - having 500 times the strength of a person, all but their most controlled exertions broke bones, ripped arms out of sockets, crashed windpipes, tore ligaments.

It was suspected that allowing the Messengers to have meaningful, yet safe, human interactions was the real reason why Noxon abducted - and enhanced  - some of the officiants, making them much stronger and incredibly more resilient than base humans.

Once she was one of them, Emily could never come back to the broader society.

The messenger took Emily's hand - with extreme care, like it was fas ragile as crystal, realized Cezanne - and, looking the young girl in her eyes, drove her into a small dance, inebriating and apparently careless.

She continued till she hold completely the attention of the short brunette, and then they were twenty metres up,  in the air.

- "We are flying!" _ The scream came, terrorized, then the Messenger started flying around, and the screams soon turned into laughs and giggles, and then, into THAT kind of giggles.

On the ground, Granny A. squeezed hard Cezanne's shoulder, in a fit of spite.

- "Emily is going to follow that bitch!"

- "At her age, had someone offered you to fly, would you have said no?"

The Messenger came back, and Emily was on the ground again, in a complete state of exuberant enthusiasm.

She could not stop herself from running around, then went to Granny A. and to her womb-mother, that had finally managed to get back from work.

- "Have you seen? Have you seen? She flies! She can fly, and she say"s I can, too!"

- "If so you chose." - The voice of the messenger came in, hovering in some creepy space between matter-of-fact briskness and velveted suavity.

Mary, Emily's womb-mother, started crying, because she knew that Emily would  soon go with the beautiful - monstrous - stranger, and be gone for decades.

The young girl hugged her mother but then, when the Messenger called - "I have to go. Do you want to come with me?", she kissed her, Granny A and Cezanne, said goodbye to her twin, and then ran into the beautiful flyer's arms.

And, finally, she was gone.


Emily stood in the middle of what used to be the house's back garden.

Fifteen year before, when she was a head shorter, she had left this place in the arms of a beautiful woman, that would soon become her companion.

The house was still standing then, and her mother and grand-mothers were crying her departure.

She was crying too, today... the One True God militant soldiers from the generational ship "Great Revenge" had stormed the place, used their  electro-mag rifles to kill her grannies,  and then raped her sisters, mothers and nieces - like only men can do.

It was all her fault, because she was the one that had suggested Noxon to let the new colonizers reach the planet - there was space enough for another half million of persons.

She had not understood how would their patriarchy react to the fate of men on the planet, or that they would refute so adamantly to adopt the techniques of reproduction engineering that could have allowed to painlessly reduce their numbers to an acceptable level in a couple of generations.

Nor had she realized that they would  attack the fully pacifist planet, with a military might that had been designed to subdue war-crazy tribes and an almost psychotic hate.

Finally, she never thought that they would exterminate, in the most atrocious possible ways - after all, those women loved pain, no? - as many Officiants as they could lay their hands on.

The death toll on the planet surface had surpassed the million, when Emily - and the other messengers - convinced Noxon to take a more active role. The entity had never interfered in the civil wars and political upheavals on the planet, not once, in all its millenary history. Church is church and state is state.

For a second, in the night's sky, a bright star showed were the Generational Ship was orbiting.

A pellet of fifty kilograms of anti-uranium, a sphere of some 17 cm of diameter with absolutely no active energy sources and as cold as the outer space, impacted on the Generational ship anti-meteorite shield, fragmented and continued its travel... as an anti-matter plasma jet

It annihilated its way inside the two billion tonnes spaceship external anti-radiation shield, converting other fifty kilograms of normal matter into about 9 exajoules of energy - 2,15 Gigatons of TNT.

It wasn't enough to destroy the massive ship, but it damaged its aft defences, so that the successive, one tonne brick of anti-matter passed undetected  by the now non-operational "big asteroids" active defence system.

Ten minutes after, a new star appeared - far more brilliant - and, this time, the 43 Gigatons explosion managed to completely rupture the hull.

It also converted enough, of the ship mass, into hot gasses that it changed its orbital dynamics.

Emily knew that many of her space-worthy  brethren were up there, saving women and child girls from the wrecked ships internal shelters, while enormous thrusters would come in, from beyond the ship  original defensive perimeter, to tow the wreck out of the planetary orbit and into the sun.

As for the men and boys of the ship... she looked around her, at the ruins of what used to be her home, and thought about what hey had done on the planet in the last six weeks.

She couldn't care less about them.

It was all her fault - she thought, for a second.

- "Don't be stupid. I should have just ignored your recommendation, woman. It's my fault."

The voice sounded inside her head - for five thousand years, Noxon had never used the full extent of its communication capabilities, with the women under his command.

Now, all of the Messengers, the surviving Enhanced Officiants and many, many volunteers were all connected inside a mind network, with the shifting conscience of the alien 'god' at the centre.

This was giving the resistance army the same kind of tactical advantages that the invaders had, at the beginning, with their body armour gears and fully integrated headsets.

The same microscopic robots that were responsible of restructuring  a small portion of their brains to allow them access to the common mind-space, and to handle the kind of dual-tasking that it required,  were also "enhancing" the bodies of most volunteers.

Some of them already approached the strength levels of the "abducted", and were a match for a male in powered armour, in strength, but much faster.

Tactically, the invasion force was hopeless, now that the ship was destroyed. 

- "Sung-Tzu: if you want an enemy to surrender, you must give him an alternative to fighting to death."

- "Who cares?" - The answer resonated from inside a hundred thousand female skulls.

Emily took out of the pockets of her "tactical suit" the ceramic knife that she had come to love, and went down the hill, where the rest of her platoon was rounding what was left of the company that had invaded her home-town.

The surviving inhabitants of the city had gathered , and started carrying away the bodies of the citizen that the soldiers had violated and killed.

She looked at the defiant men - soon, they could not call themselves "man" any more.

She reached the first, grabbed his manhood inside the trousers and cut it away, the subtly powered knife requiring only a fraction of her inhuman strength to go through the fabric and the human tissues.

By the end of the month, of the fifty thousand soldiers that had descended on the planet, no man survived.

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