Title: Mission: Impossible
Author: Jos Mous
RATING: PG-13, unless you have a mind in the gutter.
PAIRINGS: Lots. But mostly Sam/Brooke.
DISCLAIMER: I own none of these characters, I'm not making any profit out of this, blahblahblah.
NOTE: This is not meant to insult anyone. I am not making fun of any religion. Well, actually I am, just not any religion in particular. Actually that's not true either, but I won't mention it by its name. I promise.
Her enemy was strong. She was very much aware of that. She used every fighting skill in the book and every dirty trick on the street and she was still losing. She knew how to handle a sword and shield, in fact, she was one of the best. Her opponent only used what nature had bestowed on her, but she knew how to handle it. She was driven back further and further until she stumbled and fell.
Cassandra leaned over her and smiled. "I win yet again."
Prince Jessica smiled back. "It's not fair. Your dazzling beauty blinds me so completely I can't even fight properly."
Smiling went to kissing, then to touching, but before it could go even further someone spoke.
"Girls, could you please take it elsewhere?" Lady Brooke asked.
Prince Jessica and Cassandra quickly got up and left the throne room.
"I'm sorry for the interruption." Lord Sam said. "What was it you were saying again?"
"Ah, well, you see Your Highness..."
After that Lord Sam zoned out. She was pretty sure her wife wasn't paying attention either. To explain the current situation one would have to dig into the history of P'p'l'r a little. For you see, the P'p'l'rarians were never all that religious. Sure, some inhabitants had a religion and practised it faithfully, but most of them didn't. This state of affairs went on smoothly as long as no one was sacrificing babies or maidens on a bloody altar. To Lord Sam personally Gods were like foreigners. You knew they existed, they knew you existed, you could probably get along with them if you got to know them, but mostly you just kept out of their way and expected them to do the same. Unfortunately several major religions of the other lands and realms had gained knowledge of this state of affairs and had sent a great deal of priests and priestesses to start converting. And so it had come about that Lord Sam was now pretending to be listening to the priest number 253. He was a persistent fellow. Not to mention fond of eating. Lord Sam suspected that his persistence was somewhat fuelled by the fact that the cooks of the Palace were truly excellent.
"So, let me get this straight." Lord Sam said. "Your God has created the universe in twenty days?"
"Yes He has, Your Majesty." Priest number 253 said, happy that he was making some apparent progress.
"I see." Lord Sam said, then she pointed at a priestess somewhere in the throne room. "See that priestess over there? Her Goddess has created the universe in seven hours. So I fear your God was a bit slow."
"Well, you should pay no attention to that." Priest number 253 said. "As everyone knows my faith is the one true faith, for God Himself has revealed His wisdom to us and only us."
"Naturally." Lord Sam said. If there was one thing she hated it was religions who claimed to know it all. "I shall take your words into consideration and do a great deal of thinking about it tonight." That was a complete and blatant lie of course, but it helped to get rid of bothersome priests.
"Heretic!" Someone shouted at the back.
"Sinner!" Someone else shouted back.
Lord Sam quickly made her way through the crowd and found two monks. Not only were they calling each other names, they would also look impressive on any American wrestling program.
"OK, knock it off." Sam said, grabbing both monks. "What's the problem here?"
"That heathen opposes everything we believe in!" The monk in Sam's left hand shouted.
"That blasphemer has willingly and knowingly strayed from the path!" The monk on the right shouted.
Lord Sam dug through her memory in order to place these two monks. The one on the left belong to the First Church of Paringia. The monk on the left also belonged to the First Church of Paringia. This was because neither church was willing to admit they had come second.
"Could you please tell me why you were fighting?" Lord Sam asked, trying to gather enough patience to prevent throwing these characters out of her country.
"These foul heretics ignore the words of our Lord." Both monks said at the same time.
'Not another one.' Lord Sam thought to herself. She had discovered that monotheistic religions tended to be rather full of themselves.
"And what would that be?" Lord Sam tried to sound polite.
"They kneel on the left knee!"
"They kneel on the right knee!"
"That's it?" Lord Sam asked. "Thousands of years of hatred because you kneel differently?" She yanked the two monks by the collar and dragged them to the gates of the Palace.
"Out." She said coldly. "And don't come back until there is only one First Church of Paringia."
"But there _is_ only one First Church of Paringia. These heretics have not been acknowledged by us and do therefor not exist!"
Lord Sam glowered and started to draw her sword. She did it really slowly so that she was able to produce a really uncanny sound.
The two monks finally agreed on something. They both ran away.
"How's it going Lady Spam?" The dragon Julian asked mockingly from her place on the Palace roof.
"Shut up." Lord Sam growled.
Julian merely laughed, then turned around to pay a little attention to a certain shield-bearer. Lily had been ignored by her cuddly white dragon for a full ten seconds and Julian knew she had to smooth out a few wrinkles. And the dragon also knew she would have a great deal of fun smoothing out those wrinkles.
"OUT!" Lord Sam yelled as she re-entered the throne room. "EVERYBODY OUT!"
Some of the less brave religious person present left quickly. Others were engaged in a lively discussion with each other and didn't pay a whole lot of attention, but seeing the others leave compelled them to start walking away as well even though they didn't know the exact reasons behind it.
Priest number 253 carefully walked over to Lord Sam, looking rather nervous.
"Yes?" Lord Sam asked. Well, hissed.
"Forgive me, Your Majesty, but, I was wondering, what time do we eat?"
Lord Sam merely glared. Priest 253 quickly and wisely scurried out the throne room.
"You should just convert." Lady Brooke said kindly as her wife sank back into her throne. "It will help get rid of all these people."
"I know." Lord Sam said sighing. "But none of these people can convince me. They wave these texts around saying that deity or deities has or have written them and that it is therefor the only Truth and the only right choice."
"Not all of them." Lady Brooke said.
"I know, I know." Lord Sam said. "I think I'll talk to Julian. Do you think the dragon gods will accept human worshippers?"
Lady Brooke laughed. A sound Lord Sam always liked to hear. "Maybe." She said. "But you won't know until you ask."
"Tomorrow." Lord Sam said. "We can talk further about this, tomorrow."
Night came and went very soon. It would have taken considerably longer if the narrator had the time, inspiration and skill to write a smut scene. But since he has none of these things and wants to keep the story enjoyable for all, night went by rather quickly. Lord Sam, however, was not pleased about this. A long smut scene would not only have given her a lot of fun, it would also delayed the inevitable return of all those saints-in-the-making. But, much to Lord Sam's surprise and delight, she found the throne room empty. She would have been much less delighted if she knew what was going on.
"Why are we here exactly?" Priestess number 56 asked. "This meeting is making me miss my morning ritual to Adura, and She gets so upset when I forget about Her. It would take quite some effort to get back into Her good graces again." Then priestess number 56 smiled. Her Goddess was very close to all Her followers and getting back into Her good graces would be... very pleasant... to say the least.
"You should forgive me." Priest number 2 said. He casually blocked out everything priestess number 56 said, since her Goddess naturally didn't exist. "But, it is time to face reality. We are not making any progress here."
"So, you do have brains." Priest number 78 said. "I would never believe that someone who worships a God who forbids Creative Thoughts to have ever come up with something like this."
"Quiet you!" Priest number 2 shouted. "Your entire pantheon -if they were real, which they aren't- are far from perfect, whereas my God is."
"Naturally." Priest number 78 said, smirking. Priest number 78 was a realist. He knew that he didn't have all the answers. Mainly because all his Gods and Goddesses (all seven hundred and eighty-one of them) were still infants.
"The point is," Priest number 2 said, stressing every word. "Since we are not making any progress with conventional matters, we have to take some other measures."
"By the Goddess, you mean to convert them with the axe!" Priest number 1082 said approvingly. He was dressed in chain mail, had a helmet on his head and overall looked like a barbarian rather than a religious figure.
"Don't you mean 'convert with the sword'?" Priest number 78 asked.
Priest number 1082 took his axe and slammed it onto the table. Dried blood stuck to it, probably from other people who had needed converting.
"Ah." Priest number 78 said simply.
"Actually, no." Priest number 2 said. "Killing everyone in this realm will provide us with very little people to convert. I was proposing a tournament. Everyone gathered here will participate and the victor will get to convert everyone. How does that sound?"
"Ha!" Priest number 1082 bellowed. "My Goddess stands at my side and She will ensure my victory!"
Priest number 78 smiled. "Somehow I have a feeling that everyone else here shares that exact same sentiment."
Lord Sam and Lady Brooke, due to the absence of any people who could bother them, were sharing one throne and doing things that would be called sinful in many close-minded religions when the doors to the throne room swung open and the entire tsunami of priests and priestesses flooded in. Lord Sam and Lady Brooke groaned simultaneously as they returned to their own thrones. The leader of the religious horde was priest number 2, since he came up with the idea after all. He briefly bowed in front of the throne.
"Lord Sam, it is my duty to inform you of our decision."
Somehow Lord Sam didn't think that decision would be that they were giving up, but she could hope. "And what, pray tell, might this decision be?"
"There will be a tournament." Priest number 2 said. "The one who is victorious will be the one who shall convert P'p'l'r."
"And what if I don't agree with that?" Lord Sam asked.
"Nonsense." Priest number 2 said. "The victor will be chosen by God, and can therefor be the only right choice."
Lord Sam decided not to answer to that. It wouldn't help.
So, several days later, the tournament began. Lord Sam, Lady Brooke, Prince Jessica, Cassandra, court mage Cherry and shield-bearer Lily were all sitting on a platform designed especially to witness everything without people getting in the way. Messenger Carmen and Misty were not present since they claimed to be ill and had to stay in bed at least until they were getting hungry. Julian was also present, but since she was way too big to fit on the podium she had sat down behind it. The festivities were proceeding smoothly. Some priests and priestesses used magic as part of their religion and others were permitted to use violence. These two groups fared rather well, especially against those whose only defence was praying. Their prayers were rarely answered and soon only magic-wielders and sword-users were standing.
Then yet another priestess entered the arena. She was wearing a white robe and her face stood a little too serene for someone who was about to enter battle. She turned towards the podium, faced Cassandra and bowed deeply.
Lord Sam quickly searched her memory who this priestess belonged to. When she found the answer her eyes went wide. She was the High Priestess of the Immortal Cassandra. Something clicked. Rather loudly. Lord Sam walked over to her daughter's girlfriend and sat down next to her.
"Cassandra, you don't happen to be a Goddess, do you?" Lord Sam asked, feeling very stupid.
"I don't think so." Cassandra said. "But, I do have people worshipping me."
"How come?" Lord Sam asked.
"Have you taken a good look at me lately?" Cassandra asked amused. "I'm a human/dragon hybrid. That's really very rare. At first people were afraid of my unusual appearance and tried to kill me. When they found out that was rather difficult they started worshipping me."
"So that makes you the central figure in your religion, right?"
"Right." Cassandra nodded.
"And you don't mind that your High Priestess is about to fight? Possibly to the death?"
"Of course not. Since I am her Goddess it is practically expected from me to intervene. And I'm very good at intervening."
"I see." Lord Sam said. "But, what I wanted to ask you, since you are a Goddess -more or less-, what does that make me?"
Cassandra had to think about that one. "I'm not sure. My mother is the Universe and mom is the Earth. Jessica is my girlfriend, so she's probably a Goddess too. So I guess that makes you and Lady Brooke the Sun and the Moon."
Lord Sam looked doubtful. "I don't know. Isn't there a logical flaw in that reasoning?"
"I'm a divine being." Cassandra said grinning. "I don't have to be logical. If I say something is so, then all my followers will accept it. Unless I tell them one plus one equals three, but that's besides the point and you should forget I just said that."
Lord Sam considered this, then she decided she could live with it. "That was all I needed to know." She then turned her attention to the gathered crowd. "Everyone!" She shouted at the top of her lungs. "Before the next battle will commence there is something you should need to know!" The crowd listened to her with great care. All the priests and priestesses hoped that she had made a decision. All the spectators hoped it was going to be spectacular. "It has come to my attention that I cannot be converted to any religion, since I am already part of a religion!" Lord Sam announced with a certain smugness.
Then Lord Sam disappeared from the stage without a trace. Well, in the minds of several of those religious guys who did not accept other religions and whose figures could therefor not exist. So, to them Lord Sam did not exist and they quickly left.
"You can't be a religious figure!" One of the more persistent ones shouted. "You were just a mere mortal only yesterday!"
"Do you dare defy me!?" Lord Sam shouted enraged, and having a lot of fun shouting it.
"Err..." The religious figure seemed rather taken aback by this. "That depends. How powerful are you again?"
Lord Sam thought about that one. "Well, since I'm the living embodiment of the Sun, I'd say I'm pretty damn powerful. I could burn you from the face of the earth. Or give you a really nasty sunburn. I haven't decided yet. Would you care to wait a while, whilst I make up my mind?"
The priest decided not to wait. Many others also decided not to wait. In fact, all of them decided not to wait, except for one or two who had never met the living embodiment of the Sun and were quite interested.
"Uhm..." Someone in the crowd of spectators carefully stuck up his hand. "Does this mean we all have to worship you?"
"Of course not." Lord Sam said. "I'd be more than happy to just have you as my loyal subjects."
"Thank you, my Lord." The spectator said.
Then another hand was being held up.
"Yes?" The living embodiment of the Sun asked.
"Iím not a P'p'l'rarian." The man to whom the hand belonged to said. "But, I was kinda wondering... could I worship you?"
Now that was a question Lord Sam was not prepared for. After all, it doesn't happen every day when people ask you if they may bow before your feet and heap piles and piles of praise onto you.
"I guess." Lord Sam said. "But you will have to go over the technicalities with my High Priestess over there." She said, vaguely indicating the High Priestess.
"I am sorry, oh Radiant One." The High Priestess said. "But I am the High Priestess of Cassandra. You should choose someone else."
"Damn." Lord Sam muttered. "OK, how about you over there?" She asked.
"Me?" A woman somewhere in the audience squeaked.
"Yes, you. What's your name?"
"A-Angelina." The woman answered.
"Angelina, would you like to be my High Priestess?"
"I guess." The woman said.
"Great." Lord Sam said. "Report to the Palace tomorrow and we'll go over the details, OK?"
Lord Sam nodded, pleased with herself and returned to her throne.
"That went smoothly." Lord Sam said.
"True." Lady Brooke said. "But now people will start calling you something like 'Oh Great Radiant One'."
"I can live with that." Lord Sam said. "I have experience in being called strange names." Then the living embodiment of the Sun proceeded to look over the tournament field and found it pretty empty. "Seems there won't be anything happening here." She said. "How about we call it a day?"
"Good idea." Lady Brooke said. "After all, we should take plenty of time to get to know each other."
Lord Sam looked at her confused. Lady Brooke laughed.
"Well, I think I should get to know the living embodiment of the Sun a bit better before I step into the same bed with her, don't you agree?"
Lord Sam grinned. Needless to say, she agreed. And there would be a lot of time spent to get to know each other. Every single detail of each other, to be precise.
All in all, today had been a very good day.
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