tagSci-Fi & FantasyPriestess of the Heavens

Priestess of the Heavens

byShyChiWriter©

(Hey all, This is an official LOL moment. This story was written for the Earth Day contest. For some reason I had fixed 4/15 in my mind as the deadline date. So, things have been busy, on 4/14 I put aside time to proofread, etc - went to check out the guidelines and found out the deadline was on the thirteenth and the contest was closed. I'm still very proud of the story, one of the longest I've ever set down. It was a lot of fun to create. If you're curious about the deities invoked, just google Inanna and Dumuzi and a lot of stuff comes up. May the goddess bless you all!)

***

Kari laid back and moaned as Tricia's kisses trailed down from her breasts, across her belly, and then caused her to gasp as her lover's lips arrived so gently at her labia.

"Oh baby," she purred. "How I'm going to miss this."

"You might miss it," said Tricia, looking up with a gentle smile, "but I'm going to make damned sure you don't forget it."

Tricia returned her attention to her task at hand.

They had been together for three months; three wonderful, blissful months. Kari had been home on her quarter leave and they had met in a bar on her first night planetside. Beers had led to margaritas, margaritas had led to shots, and shots had led to Tricia's flat. Just like that, they had become a couple -- but always with the reality looming that Kari would be returning to space.

Tricia's tongue dug deep into Kari's pussy, spreading her velvet lips and stopping -- teasingly -- just below her clit. Again and again, Tricia kept nearing the magic spot. She knew what she was doing. Kari was soon begging for her to go further.

Finally, after what seemed hours of blissful torture, Tricia's tongue found the mark. With such heightened excitement, it was only a matter of seconds before she pushed Kari over the edge. Kari had always been multi-orgasmic, but she'd never experienced the sort of climaxes like the ones she had with Tricia. Tricia seemed to be psychically connected and knew how to push Kari just far enough to rock her body, but still remain one jot below the point where the orgasms would be too intense to allow her to peak any more. Kari's eyes were rolled into the back of her head for what must have been at least forty minutes until Tricia finally pulled the trigger and Kari's body shuddered with the equivalent of an epileptic seizure under her lover's tender but insistent ministrations.

"Well, I certainly won't be forgetting that," sighed Kari as Tricia moved up to take her in her arms. "Now it's your turn."

"No," said Tricia with a hint of sadness in her voice. "You took care of me this morning. I just want you tonight. Just you and me together; that's the memory I want."

Kari snuggled into her, one hand finding its way to Tricia's breast and resting there for the rest of the night.

***

Global warming had proven to be real, but that had merely been one of numerous problems plaguing the planet. The nuclear obliteration of South Korea, the subsequent retaliation against North Korea and the radiation clouds that war had spawned... it had all added up to one fucked up planet. The just-recovering oceans had suffered mighty setbacks, entire crops had disappeared. Between fighting the increasingly vicious climate and the subsequent loss of foodstuffs, mankind had lost over a billion souls from its peak of 21 billion.

The only salvation had been the perfection of the space elevators which allowed enough materials and water to be lifted out of orbit in order to create the wheels. The Agro Corps had created one hundred massive Agro-Stations - wheels - spread out in an orbit a half a million miles closer to the sun than the earth.

The wheels were marvels of engineering -- the pinnacle of human engineering. Imagine a huge donut-like cylinder with spokes. On the outside edge of the wheel was steel, the inner half was glass (actually transparent polyform with sophisticated radiation shielding built in). From there, the wheels were set to spinning at a rate so as to generate as close to 1 earth gravity as possible. Further, the wheels were started spinning on another axis perpendicular to the sun on a thirty-hour rotation, assuring that each segment had a facsimile of night and day.

The planting schemes were a mix of soil and hydroponic strategies with the hydroponic farms residing primarily in the spokes of each wheel where gravity was less due to the shorter axis and centripetal forces therein. The regular earth gravity on the main outside surface also allowed the Agro Corps personnel to serve multiple stints without suffering the bone loss inherent with extended weightlessness.

The wheels were largely automated, with drones and droids to provide the majority of the labor. Each wheel was staffed with two crew members who worked in three month shifts. The work was fairly easy physically, but the emotional stress was considerable. Hence, the crews were paid handsomely for the efforts, made even more rewarding by only having to work half of the calendar year.

"Two more rotations," said Kari reassuringly to Tricia. "I'll be home in a quarter, and once more after that. How many other jobs let you retire at twenty-eight, babe?"

"You're right," said Tricia, wiping away tears. Just don't go falling in love with your crewmate before you come back."

"Not likely," said Kari. "I drew the short straw and got a boy who just graduated from the academy. I'll try to keep my hands off him, okay?"

That news actually seemed to cheer Tricia up a bit, and Kari's spirits were lifted by the fact that the last view of Tricia's lovely face was one of a cheerful smile.

As Kari prepared for her ascent, she looked out the window -- down from Pike's Peak and clear to Kansas. She gazed out on the once-bounteous plains, now dotted with only the occasional patch of green among grid after grid of endless city.

Lowering her eyes, she intoned the prayer she had created many years ago.

"Mother Gaia, may you bless our ailing planet; torn by wars, overfilled with life and undernourished. I go now to the stars to grow food for your billions of children. Bless me in my travels and look kindly on my efforts. I am the child of your womb and stay grateful for the life you've breathed into my body. Until I pass again into the air, the river, and the soil -- may I be your faithful servant."

When she arrived at her transport, she had the first chance to survey her partner for the first time in person. Pax Trentor, twenty-two years old and a recent graduate of the Agro Corps Academy. Unlike Kari, who came from fairly homogenous North American Anglo stock, Pax Trentor was one of the beautiful products of the international melting pot that had grown in strength in the twenty-second and twenty-third centuries. His facial features were lovely mix of many Asian nations and his skin was a brownish bronze reflecting the same. His body certainly denoted an upbringing which had included good nutrition and physical activity, standing at over two meters in height and superb muscles evident, even below his uniform.

His smile of greeting was transparent -- and humorous in a way. The sexual unions of the Agro Corps were legendary. Little Edens, they were called, the great floating wheels in space. The wheels were not cool in the temperature department -- generally hovering around 38 degrees C. Many crew members opted to go clothing free... and often indulged in the fantasies that one might imagine could happen on a desert island in space with only one other person. In truth, the human Corps members were only there for emergencies and checking on routine maintenance. While crises did happen, the 3-month shifts could quite often be romps in every sense of the word.

Kari's second mission had in fact been a bona fide romp. Her partner, Graciela, had been one of the most sexual beings she had ever encountered and they had quite nearly lost the station to a meteor due to their mutual distraction.

Since that voyage, Kari had been more cautious. She had not gone out of her way to request female/female wired co-pilots. She had also learned how to deal with the randy young males she was often paired with. It was immediately apparent that Pax would need 'the talk'.

"Kari Jacobson, reporting for duty," she said, all-business.

"Welcome aboard, Corpswoman Jacobson, said the young man. "Pax Trentor at your service. It will be a pleasure to have such an experienced and beautiful crewmember with whom to share duties."

"Yes, " said Kari, calmly. "Pax, let's get unloaded and then we'll take a tour of the Wheel ."

There wasn't much physical work to perform, the droids and bots took care of that. However, it was always important to double-check the manifest by hand.

"Oh my," said Kari midway through.

A droid was pulling a pearlescent container behind it.

"Service Droid 12, please see to other duties, we'll take care of this one."

"Yes, Corporal Kari Peterson," said the droid in a friendly voice.

"What's that?" asked Pax curiously.

"That is the ultimate backup plan," said Kari, rubbing the glistening surface of the container. "The best of the best genetic material humankind has to offer. In this cryo-crate are eggs and sperm. If, gods forbid, something happened down below -- this is message in a bottle the earth has sent that they would want us to open."

"Wow," said Pax. "I always thought the crew would... you know."

"Yeah," she said with an indulgent grin. "It's funny how the boys tend to let their studies slip a bit in that obscure area of the Agro Corps. You won't catch any women forgetting it. To quote: 'Section 9, Paragraph D, reproduction. If a global catastrophe should strike the earth and the Agro Corps should be the sole viable population, the members shall have no more than two children from their own genetic material and the remainder shall be fertilized and implanted from the earth's genetic stock which represent a random sampling of all nations as well as genetically engineered stock representing a hybrid of many nations."

"Wow," said Pax. "I never... why wouldn't we do tubes?"

"Logistics," explained Kari. "If we get down to a few hundred parents, how exactly would you propose we supervise raising thirty or forty newborns apiece? I'm guessing you studied the Yukon experiment. Two-thousand madmen raised by droids. Nope, if we had to start reproducing, it would be a maximum of two kids per womb at a time, no more than one pregnancy ever thirty months per woman. We'd want to replenish, but with carefully nurtured kids."

"I see," said Pax. "Well, let's hope we never get there."

"Indeed."

They had been towing the cart and had reached the inner locker where the crate was to be stored. Kari held up a hand to pause and then knelt beside the crate to whisper.

"I bless thee, oh children unborn. Dream for now of celestial joy among fields of stars. Should you find your way to us, know that we will care for you with love and kindness down your path through corporeal awareness."

Pax wore a bemused expression, but said nothing as they stored the crate safely away.

The unpacking finished within the hour and Kari suggested they take their tour.

They passed through each section and arrived at section three where Pax let out a gasp of breath at the sight before him.

"And here you see the Amazon," said Kari. "Our true chaos system... sans the fauna, of course."

The other sections had been orderly. No one section was like the other, due to the crops grown and techniques used -- but each had a distinct pattern to it. This one was beyond random. There were hills and valleys, two streams, and myriad species of plants. Things flitted about from here to there that might have been birds, but when one zoomed by them Pax could see it was a dragonfly bot.

"I'd read about it, of course," said Pax, "but I don't think anything could have prepared me for this."

Another tiny flyer came zooming up to them. It was more bee-like in shape and zoomed in front of them, examining them closely.

"Sorry little guy," said Kari with a giggle. "No flowers to pollinate here."

"We've got one wheel with real insects and birds," she said, "but that one is there for the animals themselves so we can see if anything new develops. The Amazon section on all of the other wheels is there for the plants. The bots serve to pollinate and engage, emulating birds and bees, but it's really to see what new medicines and foodstuffs evolve with free reign. So far, we've cured almost a hundred diseases and found drugs to increase the average life-span by thirty years. Damned shame longer life isn't what the twenty billion people down there need."

Pax nodded in agreement. It was one of the great conundrums of their times, they had devised better agriculture and aquaculture, they had gotten medicine right, but the wars, suffering, and malnutrition continued in so many places.

"Now for the best part," said Kari.

She led him down a path which opened onto a perfect waterfall. It was beyond perfect, really, for countless crews had tweaked it over the decades until every feature was pleasing to the eye. The whole thing terminated in a cascade of water into a deep pool.

Pax was enthralled and could only stand there gaping for several minutes.

"We don't show pictures of the falls to the folks down on earth,'" said Kari, breaking the silence.

"Why not?" asked Pax.

"First, they wouldn't get the water part. With water management at such a premium planetside, fountains are only for holidays. What people wouldn't understand is there's no water loss up here. It evaporates and goes right back into the atmosphere. The only water we have to replenish is what goes into plantstuffs. Other than that, we don't lose a thing. Look over there, see that marsh?"

"Yeah."

"That's actually the primary water filtration system aboard. Between papyrus, cattails, and a steady supply of poplar saplings at the edges, we end up with the cleanest water you can imagine -- and not a drop of chemicals is needed to get it. Want to know a secret?"

"What?" asked Pax.

"We've got fish in there, too. Edible fish."

Pax's eyes widened in appreciation. His attention soon turned back to the waterfall.

"I bet a lot of crews have had their share of fun in there," he said a bit suggestively.

"Yes, Pax. About fun."

She sat him down and started talking. By the end of their chat -- Pax had seen his hopes dashed, but his respect grow for his co-pilot on their garden in space.

"So, Pax," said Kari. "I'm sorry to break the news that my 'gate only swings toward the secret garden' as my grandpa used to say. With that said, we should set some ground rules. You respect me, I'll respect you. Simple as that. In terms of clothing, I tend to lean toward the skimpy side. We're shielded plenty well in here, but this section is a great example of how steamy it can get. I usually opt for shorts with a tool belt and maybe top to keep the girls in check -- but not much else. I do understand though, that it might be distracting to you to be in a candy shop and not allowed a taste -- so I'll put on more modest attire if you want me to."

"Oh," stammered Pax. "Whatever you feel comfortable with, and I'll do the same."

"Fair enough. Now, do you drink?"

"Drink?" said Pax, surprised. "Sure, but how did you get any aboard."

"Worst kept secret in the corps, Pax -- follow me."

She took him around the side of the water fall mound and pushed through some overgrowth to a small grotto-like opening. On the back wall was an archaic looking bust of a nude goddess.

"Oh Ninkasi," intoned Kari. "Goddess of pleasure and alcohol, reveal to us thy secrets."

She reached up and pushed her hands against the statue's breasts, at which point a secret door swung open to reveal a small but sophisticated distillery hidden behind.

"Wow," said Pax in amazement.

"Every wheel's got one. Pick your poison."

"Umm, how about just a beer?" said Pax.

"Beer it is," said Kari. "Barley isn't a usual crop, but we always have plenty of rice, and the recipe for rice beer is pretty decent."

They were soon kicking back with their feet in the pool at the base of the waterfall, night was coming on, so they could look up at the stunning star field afforded by no lights from endless cities and they got to talking.

"What's your background? Your interest, Pax?" asked Kari once the alcohol had loosened their tongues a bit.

"Engineering," he explained. "I did some work on ceramics in my teens, but structures in space are where I'm headed. I got recruited by the corps when I was eighteen because I won a contest for improved wheel design. Lately I've been tinkering with better transports. They're working on three of my designs in the shop right now."

Such accomplishments weren't unusual for Agro Corps members. They were truly the best of the best. Though they often didn't do a lot of real work on the wheels, the Corps had found it critical long ago to have their elite spend a lot of time on the floating gardens. That was the only way they could truly grasp the way the system worked. Nearly every improvement and innovation in the system had come from people who had done time on the wheels.

"How about you?" asked Pax. "What's your passion?"

"Oh me, I'm an odd one," Kari mused after taking a sip of beer. "I've got doctorates in socio-psychology and theology. Humanity is my interest. What makes 'em tick? What makes 'em fight? "

"That's gotta be tough," said Pax.

"Why tough?" she asked.

"Wel, you're trying to figure out how to fix things, right? So, here you are serving a mission in a way, helping out humanity -- but you are also looking down at our planet and seeing our lovely human race continue to mess things up."

Kari was surprised. Pax had zoomed right in on her lifelong conundrum in the space of a few hours. She had written him off as something of an intelligent pretty boy. It was another reminder not to pre-judge anyone, ever.

"So, Ms. Kari, how would you fix things for our billions?"

"That's complicated," said Kari. "Ask me how I would set up a new society so it could thrive in a peaceful manner -- I think I could do very well. However, ask me how to fix a machine that's been in motion for more than ten thousand years, with billions of moving parts, and I think I'm about as clueless as you."

"Oh, I can be pretty clueless," laughed Pax. "But theology, why that?"

"it's all tied together," said Kari. "What people believe; how they worship; what they don't believe, what they used to believe -- all of that factors into how a society operates."

"And you?" asked Pax. "What do you believe?"

"Me? I'm about as polytheistic as you could get. You don't study the world religions with an open mind and not gain an appreciation of all the different deities. However, if you made me choose, I'd lean toward the ancient faiths from Sumeria, pre-Christian or Muslim, pre-pretty-much-anything. But let's not get into that tonight. Let's keep it light."

***

Kari soon learned that Pax was a joy. He was funny, and intelligent, and incredibly responsible.

He jumped at Kari's suggestion that they do some work themselves. While two people couldn't make a dent in the over hundreds of hectares of hydro-racks and soil in each wheel, many corps members found that doing even a little farming themselves helped to pass the time.

With such work, clothing was indeed -- optional. About a week into their time they were doing a particularly heavy job in a hot section. Kari couldn't help but shed her top and her trousers, working in boots and shorts only. Soon enough, she caught Pax admiring the sweat rolling down her ample and round breasts. She gave him a quizzical look and he simply grinned with chagrin.

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