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Back to part 5 / Back to Masterpost

Hellene slipped past the priestesses heading toward the sanctuary for worship until she met Dianthe. Smiling, she touched the older priestess’ shoulder. “Dianthe, I would speak with you,” she said quietly.

“What of, Hellene?”

“I need you to watch over tonight’s worship in my place,” Hellene began.

“You are abandoning your duties yet again?”

“For a good cause,” Hellene defended. “I am going into deep prayer and as such will be unable to lead worship tonight.”

Dianthe smiled. “You are finding your way again?”

“Yes,” Hellene responded. “It is my belief that when I gave myself to our Mother I held a small part of myself back. It is my intent to give myself again, and give all of myself this time.”

“Then I will gladly watch over the worship,” Dianthe smiled. “It is good to see you finding your way again.”

Hellene smiled a farewell and continued to walk down the hallway until she reached a bookcase. There she looked around, making sure none had followed her. Counting three bricks to the left and two bricks down from the top of the bookcase, she gently pressed on the wall and smiled when a door opened behind her.

Carefully and quietly, Hellene slipped through the door and closed it behind her, walking slowly down the set of stairs that would take her to her Mother, if the gods willed.

Finally she reached a pool of water. Kneeling, she lit a candle and set it on a shell before gently floating it in the water. “Mother, Lady Aphrodite,” she began. “I who am lost would speak with you to find my way again.”

She smiled when a gentle wind blew out her candle. Her Mother had heard and was approaching.

Sure enough, within moments a glowing form appeared in the water. As it neared the shore it also neared the surface, finally breaking the surface and revealing itself to be the form of a lovely woman with long golden hair. “My child, you called to me?” She asked, voice gently chiming like bells in the echoing cavern.

“Indeed, Mother,” Hellene responded, remaining on her knees. “I have been lost, and I wish to find my way again.”

Lady Aphrodite smiled. “And what causes you to believe you have lost your way?”

“I ignored my duties for the majority of the day to remain with a worshipper and to leave the temple when he called,” Hellene replied, head bowed.

“Hellene,” She said softly. “You still remember nothing of the seasons before you were with us?”

“Not a thing,” Hellene responded. “I imagine I was like many of the others, girls from the outskirts of town who felt the need to come here and dedicate themselves to You.”

“You came to me from a far greater distance than the outskirts of town,” Lady Aphrodite revealed.

“I did?” Hellene was shocked. How had she felt a strong enough Call that she had traveled that far?

“Indeed, you were not from this planet. I Called you from the stars. I believe it is time you returned to them.”

~*~

Jim sighed, sitting on a bench and staring at a tree. He should’ve known this would get complicated. Things always did.

It had been complicated when he was a child, though he didn’t really find himself dwelling on that like he’d used to. He’d finally moved past all of that.

It had continued to be complicated when he’d first joined Starfleet, still a kid for all he’d liked to think he was grown up. He’d spent years running away from it, trying to distance himself from the shadow of a hero father he’d never known. Deliberately entering it and daring others to point it out hadn’t exactly been in his life plan. But that was just one more thing he’d finally moved past. When he’d been given the captaincy of the Enterprise straight out of the Academy he’d known that in the eyes of those above him he’d shown in his own right, not just borrowed the light of someone who’d come before.

Even more complicated had been falling in love. He’d never expected it, never planned it, and even if he had he was pretty sure he wouldn’t have planned to fall for a doctor who’d always seemed a little too fond of her hyposprays where he was concerned. He could think of a million reasons why he probably shouldn’t have. But he had, and that was that, even after her disappearance.

Jim had noticed in the course of his time on the Enterprise that what started out as a simple mission had an alarming tendency to get out of hand quickly. Now, this mission was no exception, because if everything went right it wouldn’t just be Ambassador Andros that was coming back to Earth with him.

Hellene would have to agree to go with him, of course, and that was the trickiest part. If she continued in her inability to remember who she really was then there was very little hope of being able to do it. However, there was no obvious way to make her remember, and so he would have to wait and see what happened.

He hated waiting.

~*~

Three Years Ago

Numb, Jim returned to his own room. Lifting a hand to say hello to a roommate who was no longer living, he caught himself and returned it to his side before sitting on the edge of his bed.

Staring at the blank wall across from him, he tried to puzzle out what exactly had gone wrong.

Sleep aids, stolen from the clinic, found in Bones’ room.

Bones, missing with no explanation.

Himself, at a loss to explain the situation.

Jim sighed. It was all so unlike her, he was tempted to write this off as some sort of dream. But already this had gone on for several days, melding seamlessly into the nightmare that was the Academy campus recovering from the loss of most of its graduating class.

This was real.


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