Erish finds a benefactor at 12th Century Paris
She helplessly watched as the Potacas attacked. Arching, fiery whips of electrified, solar plasma lashed her vessel.
“Shields at five percent,” yelled X45, one of only two crew members left.
Awaking panicked, she knew had been dreaming. She was where she had been for the last hour, seated in a plush chair in front of the fire. Sighing, relieved, she looked into the fire, watching as flames consumed small branches. A lattice of burning twigs collapsed, sending hot cinders to the stone hearth. Like Potacas DNA consumes humanity, she thought to herself.
She had awoken from a recurring dream. Her guilt grew worse each time she saw evidence of Potacas DNA. Earlier that morning, looking out a window, she saw a wealthy hybrid, prosperous, an expensive ring on his right hand, dressed in black, like the specter of death himself, steal bread from a poor street vendor.
“Should have detonated anti-matter,” she whispered. She knew it would have destroyed the Temporal-Portal, killing allies as well as attackers, but it would have saved humanity from this.
In some dreams, she fought back. In others, she and her crew were on the brink of victory. But, in most, she awoke as her crew were slaughtered in front of her. In some dreams, she fought the Potacas with medieval swords.
She needed a laboratory with advanced technology. After living here for 80 years, she knew there were no Tayamni at 12th century Paris.
She looked around at the room, stone walls, iron fittings, bowls of dried pine and petals intended to ward away the stench of filth and rotting garbage outside. Her small convent sat on a rise of land on the Left Bank, just a few meters from the lapping waters of the flooded river.
She wondered if he would come today. The river was fast, the bridges washed out. He may not take the risk. She would invite him to stay, until the waters subsided.
She heard a faint knock at the door behind her. But, she didn’t stir. A loud pop sounded in the fireplace, sending burning cinders onto the stone floor. But, Erish didn’t move.
“Abbesse?” a woman’s voice asked.
She sat, motionless.
“Are you sleeping, Abbesse?”
Erish moved her right hand, so the young nun could see she was awake.
“Shall I bring drink?”
“Yes,” Erish whispered.
“Beer, wine? Monsieur Pérotin left jugs of wine in the kitchens.”
Erish was depressed. Never having stayed for so long in one place, her life had been a series of battles in different parts of the world, always paired with another Tayamni warrior. She had a companion, someone like herself, to complain of human savagery, to point out the primitive conditions they found themselves in. Not this time. She was alone. For 300 years, she lived in human misery and filth, unable to tell anyone who she was.
Hearing his name brought a smile to her lips.
“Wine,” she responded, standing and turning towards the young woman. “Thank you, Aubine,”
She followed the initiate to the door, looking down the hallway. A cold breeze blew from drafty windows. Ice would form on flooded streets by morning. Closing the door, she walked quickly back to the fire. She wondered how many Parisians, made homeless by the flood, would freeze to death this night. Glancing towards the window, she saw snow had begun to fall. Certainly, he would not come.
Her only weapon against the hybrids was to teach the Principals of Ma’at, to incorporate, as much as possible, the Moral Code within the prevalent religion. Perhaps it would be possible to manipulate the hybrids, who so dominate this new religion, to teach the principals themselves.
Beginning by instructing young women in the streets, her passion and knowledge was recognized by a powerful man. Many spoke of Sedile, the woman from the North, who taught girls to read, to protect themselves, to write music. He was a man respected throughout the city, the one who Amun would search out upon arrival.
A composer himself, Pérotin sought her out. He gave her a building on the Left Bank, near the Hill of Sainte Genevieve. Her small school quickly became a lay convent, and now, with her benefactor’s help, an established order, Les Soeurs de Sainte Hypatie, the Sisters of Sainte Hypatia.
She walked to the window and pulled a shutter open, just a mall opening as if to search for him. Snow settled on the roof across the way. Puddles below turned to ice. She sighed, whispering, “He will not come.”
She heard footsteps behind her. Believing Aubine entered with wine, she turned. Instead of the young initiate, she saw a man standing beside the fire warming himself. Of medium height, he was middle aged with long graying hair. Dark skin around his eyes betrayed poor health. He slept little and drank too much.
She smiled and ran to him, throwing her arms around his thin frame.
Chuckling, he ran calloused fingers through soft hair, kissing the crown of her head.
“My precious Sedile,” he whispered. “I have missed you.”