The Divine Astarte is one of the last of her race. Her people sailed to the stars long ago, and seeded many worlds with life. She rules a vast empire of the stars. She calles the Warrior to fight at her side.
Astarte is served by a legion of shield maidens, cruel warriors feared by all. They view men as weak, and commit many atrocities. Captives are impaled, or reduced to eunuchs. The lucky become camp followers.
Myth of the Lady of the Myst, II, vii.
The mirage appeared very close. I could see the white towers of the city, as they shimmered on the horizon. I wiped the sweat from my brow with my sleeve, and took a sip of water from my canteen.
I looked over my shoulder. I could no longer see the enemy chase cars. They had been in pursuit since last night, when my plane went down. I had parachuted from my wounded craft, and landed in the desert. After I landed, I fled into the empty waste, hoping that my beacon would be heard by our rescue.
I resumed walking. Perhaps I had come all this way only to die of thirst in this wasteland. I checked my canteen. Almost empty.
I tried my radio once more. Nothing – not even static.
I continued walking in the light breeze. I soon came to a boulder field. I walked among the rocks for a few minutes, until I came to the edge of a ravine. I glanced over the edge, and saw a fast moving stream below.
I climbed down the steep slope to the floor of the ravine. I filled my canteen, and pulled off my flight suit. I plunged into the water, and rinsed off the dust.
I sat upon a rock near the edge of the stream, to rest for a time. I soon pulled on my flightsuit, and began to follow the stream. As I walked, a strange blue mist began to form, near the ground. The mist persisted, even tho a breeze began to stir the air.
I came to a large bolder jutting out into the stream. I walked around it, and saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned, and saw a woman of middle years stepping out of the stream.
“Hello,” she said with a smile. She spoke with a heavy accent.
“Hello,” I replied, and smiled. She had black hair, and dark, olive skin. She did not seem to mind that she had nothing on, in the strong breeze. This was all passing strange.
“I am the Lady of the Myst. Are you lost, Warrior?”
“Well, yes. I am heading west,” I managed to collect myself and say.
She pointed down the ravine. “Follow the stream. It leads to the plain. If you see anyone else, they may help you.”
“I must leave you now. But you will see me soon, when you are ready.” She came up to me, and wrapped her arms around me. She kissed, and gently bit my neck. I felt a little dizzy, and also felt a strong attraction to her.
“Am I Enthralled by the Lady, the beautiful Lady Without Mercy?” I asked myself.