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“It was a long time ago, long before the rise of The Complex.  It was the time of the revelation of Protagoras, when the Master Race first began to realize its rightful place in the world.  It was a time of great beauty and triumph as well as chaos from the competing philosophies which divided the world.  It was a time of conflict and achievement on a scale unprecedented in history. 

            As we arose from the Dark Ages, these were uncertain times in the world and the balance of heart and mind could often shift overnight.  The Master Race spurred forth innovations in every field, but they advanced forward with no ultimate goal in mind.  Blindly they charged into the future without hesitancy or fear, only to come crashing back as the realization of consequences rolled over them. 

            In this time the coven was formed.  It was a secret order charged with the task of maintaining the balance between heart and mind and calling upon the Great Goddess Minerva to restore the equilibrium of soul and spirit.  We are the Goddess cult, feared by the established orders of their time.  We worked in secret, with initiated groups to establish ourselves into positions within the world’s power structure to be able to manipulate the course of history and bring about the necessary changes to return the world to its natural life sustaining state. 

            We could undermine regimes and topple governments in moments; we studied the Books of Ideaty and could weave the madness of the dreaded Book of Lies. Our power was the ability to coerce and manipulate understated influence on the popular opinions of the world through deliberate misstatement and the blight of unrelated accusation.  With these tools, we could defame and overcome any disorder to the natural cycles of life.

            It was simply a matter of appealing to the deficiency within the world.  If the technology progressed too quickly, then a campaign was launched appealing to the nostalgia of the past, and if the world began regressing into the primitive, then a show of hope was engineered in the promise of tomorrow’s technological achievement.  

            In this fashion the world was kept in balance for hundreds of years.  From the birth of the  Renaissance forward the coven rose to the challenge, the order of Minerva maintained the social and environmental equilibrium of the planet until the rise of the industrial age.”

Xenophon sat bound to the chair surrounded by the robed figures on all sides.  The story they spoke seemed to emanate from a different speaker randomly, but there was no fluctuation in tone or voice.  It was as if one mind and voice spoke through them all.  Blue hoods shrouded the faces of the figures so she could not tell if any of the people she knew were among the group.  Over the last year she had spent her time studying the Books of Ideaty and had been introduced to several of the members of the order.  But in this underground room, it was too dark and closed in to make any definite identification of those surrounding her.

This was the initiation she had been warned about as she progressed in her studies.  Marpessa had been her advisor and guide through the study of the order and was the one who sired her for a place in the order.  She looked around frantically trying to determine if she was among those gathered.

“Then the time of the machines came into the world.  As the pace of progress increased unchecked, no more were the mechanizations of power reliant on the manipulation of manpower, but rather on the new slavery of technology, despite our efforts to contain the digital precision of unbridled advancement, the world sped into a spindrift which destroyed any semblance of equilibrium. 

            Our mortal powers were not enough to challenge the unblinking eyes and sleepless minds of the engines of technology.  Once many of the consequences are set in motion, they cannot be quelled even by the best of intensions.  Our order failed in its mission and even the blessing of Minerva herself couldn’t contain the devastation that followed. 

            You have studied well the history of the madness of the Master Race.  You know well the fate of the world driven to madness by its own success.  The world outside is testament to the will of man over the will of the Gods.  Are you prepared to become one of the Psyche?  Are you prepared to live in perfect love and perfect trust?  Are you ready to receive the blessing of Minerva?”

Xenophon saw the blade extend from the sleeve of the hooded figure next to her.  On the other side she saw another blade extend towards her.  She struggled with the bonds around her arm with held her to the chair.  Panic was beginning to show and terror found a home within her heart.

The two robed figures closed in on either side of her and the blades slid up the sleeves of her white tunic slitting it as they raised the blades closer to her neck.  The garment fell off of her as she now sat topless before the procession.  The two robed figures traced their blades along her chest each bringing the tip of the blade to align with her nipples.

Xenophon stifled a whimper of protest as one of the hooded figures in front of her stepped forward carrying a large skin filled with liquid.  He figure tipped the skin over her and water began to pour over her body.  A quiet chant had begun to fill her head resonating from all around her.

Pain began shooting through her as she screamed out, breaking the quiet cadence of the chant.  The two blades positioned at her chest plunged into her as the stream of water continued to pour over her.  The knives were withdrawn and the water washed away the blood as quickly as it flowed out of her.  Her screams were silent now, but no less intense, it was merely a lack of strength that caused her voice to fail her.

Her head fell forward as the life drained out of her.  The blade on her right had pierced her heart.  Xenophon could feel the tingling sensation as the feeling of life left her body limb by limb and was replaced by the cold numbness of death beginning to wash over her.

In the final moment before the light of consciousness was completely extinguished, Xenophon felt the muscle on her leg spasm and the flow of blood from her chest began to pulse outward again.  She threw her head back in a silent scream as the last of the water washed over her.  The wounds on her chest closed and a new sensation of power began to pulse through her.  There was resurgence of strength that she had only felt before on her best days in life.  In her mind she began to hear the chant once again, only now it was coming from inside her brain.  The pulse of power gave a rhythm to the chant that was absent before; this was the music of the spheres that she had read about before.  It was the lyrical music that is the voice of Minerva herself.

Xenophon bowed her head forward and allowed the music to completely possess her mind.  It settled down to a distant whisper that hung in the back of her mind like a quiet ringing in her ears.  It now had possession of her completely.  She felt the bonds around her arms loosen and then fall away.  She rose from the chair and the tunic fell off completely, leaving her completely naked before the hooded figures.

She opened her eyes and saw the figure before her raise a silken blue robe out before her.  Xenophon turned and allowed it to be slipped on over her.  She bowed her head as the hood was raised up and over her.  She now looked out at the world through the vial of Minerva.  By shutting out her senses from the world the music began to grow in intensity within her.  Her concentration was now focused solely on the communion with the Goddess.  The other hooded figures formed a circle around her and raised their hands.

            “Minerva has chosen thee and called thee to her.  You are now the Psyche and you will now know of perfect love and perfect trust.  Our order is to restore the balance and bring once more the light of love and reason to the world.  We are as one, we act as one and we love one another as one.  Our bond is the blessing of the waters of Minerva and only by death can we be reborn.  You are the Psyche of the order of Minerva, Xenophon is no more.”

Her hands rose with the others and a blue light radiated from the circle around them.  All things became clear in her mind now.  She was now Psyche, one and yet many, she was an agent of the balance, the chosen one.

In a flash the blue light was gone and each of the figures awoke from the trance.  Xenophon found herself standing among the hooded figures that now began unveiling themselves.  They were all the teachers who had stood by her and guided her through her studies.  All seven of them smiled at one another and welcomed her into the coven.

 

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