The dream was long and tumultous, almost a nightmare. The Inquisitor Carmilla, clad only in gosamer silks tossed and turned on the large bed. Images flooded her mind, a giant figure standing above her on a wind swept plain, his robes untouched by the wind, one hand wielding a fiery sword in a defensive position, the other reaching out, grasping, beckoning. Although she looked up, his face was hidden, and she cast her eyes down, fearing the worst, for it does not do to look up on the true face of god. Many times she had read of the old days when those who were not loyal or faithful enough were smitted by the Lord. But was it piety, desperation or zealotry that caused her to once more turn her head and look upwards. Her arms spread she called out his name and honoured him with prayers shouted into the fury of the winds. Words filled her mind, like the slamming of leaden doors, each word nearly a physical blow. As he spoke images appeared in the air around them. Standing her ground she listened and watched, recognising the alien races, those long since believed by the Brotherhood to be lesser, godless heathens. Her eyes opened in horror as she heard his words and stepped back, flinching.
"No" she screamed. The understanding of his
words and gestures, what he wanted her to do. It was unthinkable, it was
dangerous.... it was a test of her belief.
"No," she screamed again. And a third time, "No!"
words formed in her head and a hand reached down and pinned her bodily,
all breath leaving her and the interstellar cold invading her limbs.
"YOU.... WILL..... OBEY....."
a flourish the fiery sword swept down and slammed into the ground
inches from her face, the fire along it's blade searing her flesh on her
face and side.
She awoke screaming, her
back arched, muscles taut, her hands reaching out and grasping, gripping
and digging in. From one side of her a whimper of a man in pain, from
the other hushed whispers of shocked concern, and prayer. Slowly
soothing hands massaged her limbs, oils and salves were brought and the
lights slowly raised. As she calmed down and started to breath she
released her hands and slumped back onto the bed, heat and pain
raidiated from her, every time she reached up to touch her face, a hand
pulled it back with gentle insistance. Hands pulled her into a sitting
position, a warm cloth mopped her brow while another tried to clean her
hand, others cleaned away the charred robes. With a gesture she pushed
back the bodies around her and shook her head.
"My Lady, are you okay? You... cried out. Should we summon your hand maidens? Or your physician?"
"No... summon my entourage. I need counsel."
looked around and seemed to realise where she was for the first time.
Four men were with her, though one was being bandaged on his arm. Each
one was beautiful for a man, and as naked as the day was long. All were
looking at her, but careful not to stare.
"What happened to your arm?"
"My Lady, you grabbed me in your nightmare. It will heal."
With a grunt she laid back then gestured to them.
"Leave me. I dont need you at the moment."
knew better than to argue. As the men departed one of her hand maidens
slipped in and climbed onto the bed, bowing towards her, a look of shock
on her face and reached out with a hand and then pulled it back.
"My Lady, your entourage has been summoned from their sleep....."
"Good. Get me some tea and something to eat. And what are you staring at?"
burning sensation on her face and her arm increased and she looked
down. A livid burn ran the length of her arm and she reached up to touch
her face, her hand maiden was quicker.
"My Lady," the concern on her face overwhelming,"Please dont. I will call for your physician."
Carmilla batted her hand and reached for a mirror and looked into the reflection. And screamed.
the time her entourage had been summoned and turned up she had dressed
and was sitting at a computer terminal. Turning to them she pulled the
cowl of her robes to cover her face.
"I had a dream. About the True One. I need counsel on what it means. Not just for me, but for our sect."
"Carm, what happened? Why are you hiding your face?"
"I was chastised. Let us leave it at that. I had a dream that the True One wanted me to go out among the aliens."
"Aaaah, a raid on the aliens? Slaves is it? Or just sport, burning and hunting?"
I have been given a decree by the True One. One that I intend to fulfil
to the best of my ability. I have already seen the price of my failure
to obey without question. I will not let that happen again. We will see
what Gods the Aliens have, and we will bring them the word of God, the
glory of the True One."
"You jest.... bring our God to the alien? They are heathens, savages!"
"They are potential converts.... if they understand the glory of our God then we are enriched, even if they are...."
I will not permit this! I will bring this herasy to the Lord
Inquisitor! We do not besmirch our faith with the alien scum who
threaten our Church with their...."
Carmilla slowly pulled back her cowl. A livid burn scar ran the length of her face and dissapeared under her robes.
"You will Obey... just as I Obey. We are the chosen of the True One, let us not forget that."