Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Welcome to Kastor

In her personal chapel at the highest point of Yank Humanitarian Mission Inquisitor D'morenta looked out over the bustling vastness. The ships taking off and landing, the local population going about their day, the occasional tolling of the church bells. Divesting herself of her garb and habit she slipped into a casual dress and sat cross legged just watching. Clutched in her hand the official orders from the Lord Inquisitor as to her next post.

The sun was just dipping below the horizon when she heard the door behind her open. She didn't move, just kept watching her starbase.
"I'm not interested in eating now. Bring it back in a few hours."
Footfalls and the sound of a walking stick brought her head up and around, her eyes glancing to her pistol, just out of reach.
"I thought I taught you better than that, daughter. Leaving yourself vulnerable, even here in your sanctum is just bad form."
She rolled towards the weapon, hand reaching out grabbing the pistol and she came up pointing at the voice. There was nothing there, only the darkness of the room.
Slowly the lights raised and she him in the corner of the room, in her favorite chair, a similar, but larger pistol pointed at her. She stood and lowered her weapon, a smile coming to her face.
He smiled, and shot her.

As he walked over to the body on the floor the door behind him burst open, three armed nuns came in. Two pointing their weapons at the man and the third going over to Carmilla. She checked her pulse and let out a loud sigh, thumping the but of her pistol onto her chest. The sound of the form fitting body armour clinked below it.
"You are a royal pain in the ass Carm."
Carmilla breathed in deeply and sat up, her pistol still in her hand.
"Body armour. One of these days Carm you'll come to some harm. And you.... why did you shoot her?"
"Because where my daughter is going next will need more than just her pretty face and her faith. Faith only stops so much, but won't stop a bullet."
"Actually...." She pulled herself to her feet, "I find faith can move mountains. But I accept the point, thank you Father."
He got to his feet and the two faced each other than fell into a loving hug.
"It's been too long."
"And you have come far in such a short time. But now, you are going to be facing a challenge that will make even you seem insignificant."
"I can handle where I am going, but I feel that you are after more than just a hug and stand at the pier and wave me off."
He pulled a crystal from his pocket and handed it to her.
"I'm here for prophecy."

From a bag slung around his shoulders he pulled out an old book wrapped in a heavy plastic protection. Carefully he selected a page and started to read.
" ...And thus the emissary walked forth and to them said, ‘This is what the True One, our Lord says: I will take the Kastorians out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the plains of Sargo. There will be one ruler over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms...."
Carefully closing the book he rewrapped it and left it on the table.
"There are more passages there, all written a long time ago."
"So what? It could have been planted by missionaries. Where did you find it?"
"I found it in a submerged city off the plains of Sargo."
"Never heard of Sargo."
"Of course not, it was a ruin long before the ice caps melted and submerged the city. Sargo is now a stretch of fields surrounded by the ruins of three merged cities. As I said, it was written a long time ago."
"And this has what to do with me?"
"You are being sent to Kastor. You are the reincarnation of the emissary. At least, that is how I have told it to the locals I have been with."
She knew better than to laugh.
"How could you, it was under Detinus control until recently."
"That's why I have not been in touch until recently. But it gave me time to talk and lay some groundwork."
"Well the Caliphate is there now."
"And the Brotherhood."
"It's still a bloody warzone!"
"And when did that ever stop you? Or I? Or those of faith? This is one you cannot hand over to a subordinate. You need to go there yourself."
"And bring the Kastorians together? Look, I believe in prophecy more than most, but I can't believe that I will be the one to do this!"
She paused....
"Can I?"

The fast freighter Rising Sun landed in the ruins of the old starport, it's thrusters forming a cloud of dust and debris. Once it had died down the ramps lowered and the troops and monks started unloading and forming a perimeter around the ship. Carmilla, clad in her full robes and habit walked down, her closest nuns behind her. She reached down and took a handful of the dirt and rubbed it in her hands, coarse and hot.
"So, this is Kastor."
"Sister, we're showing a high background radiation and pollution. And there is a group of life forms watching us, that way." The little nun lowered her instruments and pointed. Carmilla started walking towards where she pointed, a collection of mostly intact ruins.
"Get everything set up. Regardless of what happens we are here now."

From the second floor of the ruins the Kastorian scout altered the magnification on his rifle. He cursed under his breath and pulled the ragged mask from around his mouth so he could breath in the acrid air. Once again the off worlders were coming to pillage and steal the wealth of the Kastorians. It must not be allowed, he mused as he centered on the woman in the lead. He breathed out and pulled the trigger.

The impact knocked Carmilla off her feet and her nuns leapt forward, one of them holding up a pistol.
"Find the shooter, take him alive!"
One of them pulled Carmilla to her feet. Groggily she fingered the hole in her habits and cursed.
"This was a new robe. I don't think they have any idea how much these things cost to get fitted properly."
"At least the body armour works."
And still she checked the Inquisitors body with experienced fingers, finding no wounds she dusted her off as best she could. A few moments later there was a few shots and a cry from the ruins.

The Kastorian scout was thrown to the floor before Inquisitor D'Morenta. Defiantly he stood up and looked at her.
"I must say that was a good shot," she held up her symbol of the True One, "And if it wasn't for my faith in the True One it might have killed me."
"Then give me a gun and I'll shoot from here and I will kill you! You come to pillage and loot and rape our people.."
"Actually we are here to learn and help your people."
He laughed and spat.
"Foreigners, you are all the same."
She held out her hand and a pistol was placed in it and she handed it to him.
"I am here on behalf of the True One, it is his will that I am here. It even may be prophecy that I am here. Regardless, my faith says I will either stand here or I will be buried here."
Placing a kiss on her symbol of the True One she looked at the short man before her, could feel the anger radiating off of him.
"Do as you will, my son. I will forgive you, no matter your choice."
She closed her eyes and started to pray.

The Kastorian hefted the pistol and checked it, then pointed it, at her head. He knew that from this point on he would be remembered. Behind him in the ruins others were watching, would make sure his sacrifice was not in vain. How dare they come here and do this. Was it not said by his grandfather that legions of off worlders fought and died not far from here, at Sargo? What better place for them to die than.... his finger relaxed on the trigger. She looked up at him, her eyes looking into his.... no, not into, beyond. The look of tranquility on her face, there was no fear, no anger. To look on her executioner with such a look.... it spoke of the old days, when the monks came from beyond and....

"Tell me..... why are you here? You women?"
"I told you, my son. We are here to make your planet whole. We are here to bring peace and prosperity to you and your people. We are here to make the Kastorians one people, one race, to stand against those who would bring you down."
She offered her hand.
"Will you join me? Will you be the first to welcome me?"

From both sides people watched, the Kastorians in their ruins, and the faithful of the Brotherhood stood behind their Sect Leader. What would transpire here today would echo down the ages.

"What is your name?"
"I am Carmilla of the Blessed Order of the Little Sisters of Charity, Inquisitor of the Brotherhood."
"Then I welcome you Carmilla of the Brotherhood. Welcome to Kastor."

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