Astarte Ch. 06Astarte Ch. 06



The goddess cringed when she heard the roar. “Yes, Sire, right away,” she replied as she caught and gently lowered the unconscious body of the woman to the rock shelf a few feet below the lip of the cliff. “Don’t move until I return,” she instructed the woman’s spirit, needlessly, since time would not begin again for Kate and her abductors until Astarte reappeared on the scene.

As soon as Kate was safely settled, Astarte appeared before Amun, the ruler of all gods and goddesses. “You’re late,” he thundered.

“Yes, milord. I had to see to the woman, to be sure she was safe from harm.”

“You little bitch!” screamed the other entity in the marble-walled cloud chamber. “Look what you did to me!” he shouted, waving his member at her.

With a small smile, Astarte replied, “You should be careful, Ra, where you put that thing; it might get hurt.”

“You little…!” the god shouted, charging across the chamber.

“RA!” boomed Amun. “Settle down. What in all we hold dear is going on? Astarte, did you bite Ra’s staff, and if so, why?”

“Where is that little snip? Amun, I want her banished. She tried to take my place with my husband!” The woman entering the chamber, screaming her demands may have been beautiful, but it was hidden by her anger and carpiness.

Amun looked at her, rolled his eyes and sighed. He looked at Astarte and smiled. She was indeed a delight to look at. “Madam, be quiet,” he replied forcefully to the newcomer. She looked at him, disbelief on her face.

“But, Amun…”

“Neffi, may I remind you, you are only a demi-goddess, here by virtue of your relationship with Ahknaten, who in the panoply of the gods is among the lowest. Even Ra, your chief advocate among us, is barely above the one you are berating, whose duty, by the way, is to teach men and gods how to best treat their women, in bed and elsewhere. If you do not settle down and let me get to the bottom of this, I will banish you from this realm.

“Now, Astarte, what is going on?”

Quickly, communicating as only gods and goddesses can, she apprised Amun of the nature of the struggle she was having with Ra and Nefertiti, and their actions toward the humans she was involved with. Upon hearing of what had happened to Kate, his countenance darkened. Ra and Nefertiti began to back out of the room.

“Is this a true account of what has passed among the three of you?” he snapped at the retreating pair. They stopped and looked at each other, realizing there was no evading the god king, now their inquisitor. They nodded.

In a strangely quiet and gentle voice, he mused, “You attempted to annihilate her by kicking her off a cliff? What? No pestilence; no plague of locusts? No flood; no famine? Ahhh, where are the weapons we called upon in our youth; where is the imagination, the ingenuity of the gods today?”

Suddenly Ra and Nefertiti felt the thunder bolt of his wrath pass through them. “How many times must I remind you, the humans are off limits. We may control everything else on this miserable little speck of dirt, but we may not interfere with their lives or their fates,” he thundered, his voice shaking the marble halls surrounding the quartet.

“But Astarte…”

“Did what your spell commanded her to do when you sealed her in that icon: reward whoever set her free. Do you deny it?” Ra ruefully shook his head no.

Amun turned to Astarte. “Is the woman safe?”

“Safe enough at the moment. Her attackers are leaving her for dead, but rescue will be easy. Their punishment is certain.”

“What of the lad, and their future?”

“Gideon, her son, is doing well, and I am about ready to alter our relationship so that, to him and the humans I have met through him, I am only a dim memory. I will follow his fate, and protect him when I must so that he achieves all his fate allows. As his personal goddess, this I must do, thank you, Ra,” she said, with a small bob and curtsy in his direction, smiling. “His mother, the woman, will need some help to heal; I will see to that.

“Otherwise, their futures look promising. It feels like Kathryn is descended from one of us. She is strong, bright, and determined. She is beautiful, sexual, and loving. She can also be hard and demanding. She is not a woman many would want to tangle with.

“You are lucky, Ra,” Astarte said, looking at the Sun god, “that it was I controlling her jaws when you were bitten. I saw in her mind the determination to remove the head of the staff responsible for her pain.” Ra shuddered, reliving the encounter, now knowing his attacker’s intent..

“Very well, Astarte. Return, and do what you must to finish with them as quickly as possible. You two!” Amun rumbled, looking at the ancient sun god and demi-goddess. “You are banished from the top of Olympus until I feel a need to see you again, nor may you go below the third tier of the mount. You will have nothing to do with the humans. If I hear of you interfering with their lives or fates again, I will banish you to the far Ankara escort side of the Styx, forever. Do I make myself clear?”

The couple nodded, fearfully, knowing Amun was not finished with them. “Further, I am limiting your abilities to self protection, and obtaining food, water, and shelter, the way the humans must. You must grow your food, dig for water, build your shelters, and you may protect yourself and each other from harm. Now, go!”

“Sire,” uttered Ra, in a plaintive voice, holding up his disfigured staff.

With a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes, Amun softly replied, “You wanted to experience what your human felt. Then experience it. As your human heals, so shall you. Whatever sensation his member experiences, so shall you. All the joy, and all the pain. Live with it, brother.”

Dick and Harry hurried to the edge of the cliff. Peering over it they saw Kate, lying face down on an outcropping rock ledge about six feet long and not much wider than her hips. Shrubs growing out of the cliff wall impeded their view, as they seemed to impede any attempt to climb the wall.

“Serves the cunt right,” growled Harry. “Let’s get the fuck out of here.”

“Harry, are you crazy? We can’t just leave her there. That’s murder!”

“Listen, Wuss, and listen good. Tonight, we, note that, ‘we’ kidnapped a woman, using bodily force, and raped her. Whether or not your prick came within ten feet of her, you can be charged with rape because you, what’s the term, yeah, aided and abetted in the kidnapping. In the commission of a felony, all participants are equally guilty of all parts of that felony. I learned that when I was on the Grand Jury last year.

“So, if you want to go to prison for life for kidnap and rape, you go down and save her. Personally, I’m gonna leave her there until she rots.”

“Shit, I don’t know. Maybe you’re right. Nobody saw us with her. We can dump her stuff on the ledge with her. You get her purse and clothes out of the car; I’ll turn it around.” He glanced down at Harry’s crotch. “How you going to explain your dick?”

“I’ll confess to my wife I had too much to drink tonight because I was dicked off at little Katie there and picked up a pro who got angry when I got rough thinking about the good doctor Davies.” Harry pulled the rear door open and gathered the remnants of her clothing, and her purse. He paused a moment before sweeping her cell phone into the bag. “What the hell,” he thought. “Nobody gets any reception up here,” and carried the purse to the edge of the cliff and dropped it, watching it land half on her shoulder, half on the rock. He laughed, “Good luck, bitch.”

Dick had turned the T-Bird around and was waiting by the road. Harry jerked the front passenger door open, and Kate’s trolley, with her papers and computer fell out into the ditch. He shrugged and stepped over it into the car. Dick stepped on the gas and sped down the hill to the city.

As soon as Astarte saw the car pull out onto the road, she appeared beside Kate, gently waking her, helping her turn to sit on the ledge. She handed Kate her bag, asking, “Can you use your communication device here? We need help to get you back to the city.”

“I don’t know,” Kate slurred, her face swollen from the blow she had received from Harry when she bit him. “It looks like there isn’t any reception up here.”

“What do you need? Don’t try to explain it to me; just think about what it is.”

Kate thought about how cell phones work. Astarte looked at the images Kate had generated and made certain connections. She offered up a silent prayer. “Mother Isis, I need a favor…” A moment later, she said to Kate, “Try your device now.”

Kate dialed 911 and was instantly connected to the operator. “Hello, my name is Kathryn Davies. I am a consultant for Smythe Electronics on North River Road, in Altamont. I was kidnapped and raped this evening, then pushed over a cliff someplace the men called Marina Park. I need help getting back up to the top and to a hospital.”

“Okay kids, get off the line. Everyone knows cell phones don’t work on the bluffs,” replied the bored 911 operator.

“Young woman, I don’t know who you are, but do I sound like a teenager pulling a practical joke. I’ve been beaten, raped and deserted in this god forsaken place. Get me help! Call Gary Daniels, VP of human relations at Smythe. He can verify my car, a silver 2011 Toyota Avalon, is still in the parking lot.”

“Very well, Ma’m. I’ll be back to you in just a moment.” Still doubtful, the operator turned to her radio, connecting her to all emergency vehicles in the county. “All vehicles. All vehicles. Is there anyone in vicinity of the bluffs, near the area called Marina Park? We have a report that a woman may be isolated on a shelf below the edge of the cliff. Any vehicle, respond.”

“Emergency, this is Greenbrier Ambulance No. 5. We just dropped a passenger at the top of the bluffs and should be at Marina Park in ten minutes or so. Do you want us to stop and look? Out.”

“That’d Ankara escort bayan be helpful, No.5. Give a looksee and let me know. Out.” The operator turned back to her phone with Kate on the line. “Ma’am, there is an ambulance in the area of the bluffs. They will be at Marina Park in a few minutes to assess the situation and provide whatever help they can.”

Kate acknowledged the operator and thanked her for her help. “Astarte,” she said aloud. “I’m going to need Deon’s help. Can you get him here tomorrow?”

“I’ll see what I can do, Kathryn. It may be later in the day…” Kate nodded. “Mother Isis…” she began, and felt a surge of warmth as the Queen of the gods responded. “He’ll be here in the morning, Kathryn. I don’t know how, but it’s being arranged.”

“Thank you, and thank whomever is doing it for me. “

“Emergency, Ambulance No. 5. We are approaching the area. It looks like there’s one of those baggage trolleys in the ditch. Holy crap! There’s a woman struggling to climb up over the cliff. Give her a hand, Frank. Christ, Emergency, it looks like this was no joke. I can see her face. She has a bruise from her jawbone to her eyebrow, and her clothes are torn, like somebody tried to jerk them off. We’ll examine and advise, but I’d suggest an officer get here pretty damn quick.”

Once Kate heard help was on the way, she insisted on attempting the precarious, if short, ascent to the top of the cliff. Astarte had braced her, supporting her when Kate needed to lean on her broken arm. Kate had been able to use the shrubbery like a ladder, supporting her weight on the base of the bushes until she was far enough up the cliff face to crawl over the edge to safety. It had taken her nearly fifteen minutes to climb the six feet to safety.

County Sheriff Tommy Doolittle was already on his way. He had seen the old T-Bird flying down the road, just under the legal limit, but really too fast for the road. He wondered what it was hurrying from. He figured if anything was found, it wouldn’t be hard to trace the car. How many T-Birds were there in the county.

He had started up the road at a leisurely pace, looking over both sides of the road for anything out of place. He was about half way to the Marina Park when the call for all vehicles came in. The ambulance crew had beaten him to volunteering, and they just barely beat him to the site. He checked in with his dispatcher and got out of his car.

The ambulance crew was busy treating and examining the blood-covered woman. He walked over to the edge of the cliff and looked down. There were her shoes, and blood spatters on the ground where she had lain. There was no question she had been there.

He drove his car to the edge of the cliff and set the brake and put the car in park. With the help of the ambulance crew, and some rope, he climbed down to the ledge and took several blood samples and retrieved her shoes. He also found an earring for a pierced ear, without the stem guard.

Tommy followed the ambulance to the hospital where he got Kate’s story and, at her request, observed while the doctors photographed and measured her bruises. Kate fished her camera out of her bag and handed it to Tommy, requesting that he also photograph the bruises on her breasts, abdomen and vulva. She also suggested he obtain a search warrant for the 1970 T-Bird owned by Richard Hardin, to look for her panties, the earring guard, and her wallet.

Kate, Officer Doolittle, and a detective from the County CID were sitting in the parking lot when Dick and Harry drove in the next morning. Kate pointed out the car as it parked. When the T-Bird’s occupants were safely inside the building, Tommy and the detective carried out the search.

Kate’s panties were recovered from underneath the driver’s seat. She identified them by the monogram on the left hip. The wallet and earring guard were recovered from under the passenger seat. The earring guard was identical to the one Kate had been wearing when she reached the top of the cliff.

A few minutes after ten o’clock, Dick and Harry walked into the conference room, just as if the previous afternoon hadn’t happened. The other trainees were already in their ususal seats. The time was approaching 10:15 when Cliff Smythe, the CEO, and Gary Daniels, the head of HR came through the conference room door, followed by a uniformed police officer, a stranger in plain clothes, and a woman so badly bruised it was hard to recognize her.

The CEO spoke first. “With the exception of Dick Hardin and Harry Bonesteel, you are all dismissed. This in-service training is indefinitely suspended. If, when it is rescheduled, you will be notified.” He waited until the five trainees had exited the room.

“Gentlemen, this lady has made some pretty serious accusations against the two of you. She says you, forced her into Hardin’s car, drove her up to one of the parks on the bluff and raped her, then pushed her over a cliff and drove off, leaving her there. What do you have to say?”

Harry Bonesteel Escort Ankara straightened up in his chair. Damn if any one was going to put him down without a fight. “Mr Smythe, that is all just a pure bucket of crap. Dick and I left here together right after work. We stopped and had a couple of drinks and then went on home. I never saw Dr. Davies yesterday.”

“So, you’re saying she was never in Hardin’s car with you, yesterday. Is that right?”

“That’s right, sir.”

The detective broke in. “Then, Mr. Bonesteel, how do you explain that we found these items in Mr. Hardin’s T-Bird: panties Dr. Davies identifies as hers from the monogram, which matches similar garments she has in her possession; an earring guard identical to the one she was wearing when she reached the top of the cliff when she was rescued; and a receipt from the plant cafeteria, dated and timestamped yesterday at 12:15 PM?”

Dick’s face lost all its color. Harry felt like vomiting. “I…I..I’m sorry, Kate,” he blustered. “I…I was trying to protect your reputation. She asked for it, gentlemen. She was talking to Dick when I came out to go home. When I got to the car, she said she was interested in having a good time and asked if I wanted to help her.”

“And the black eye and broken arm?” asked Officer Doolittle.

Harry laughed. “Well, I guess we got a little rough. Toward the end, she and I got into a little tussle. She was staggering around and was too close to the edge when she stumbled and fell. She must have got hurt when she landed. Dick and I knew our cell phones were no good up there, so we hurried down to get help. By the time we got back there, she was gone. I’m glad you’re okay, Katie.” He smiled, sure of himself.

Kate just smiled at him. She got up and limped around the table to sit down next to Dick. “I’m not going to lie to you, Dick. Other than showing a jury photographs of my bruises and the tearing in my vagina the rape caused, there is no way I can counter Harry’s story,” she said, pausing, “unless you testify against him.

“If you do, I can see that all the charges, except for the aiding and abetting in the kidnap, are dropped. If you choose not to testify, then you will share his punishment.”

“What punishment? Keep your mouth shut, Dick! They got nothing, or these coppers would already have us in the back seat of their patrol car.”

“What do you say, Dick?” asked Kate, ignoring Harry. “Five years probation, or twenty years no one wants you to live through? It’s your choice. I know what you did, how you tried to stop Harry, tried to get him to help you rescue me. I know how you expressed concern for me when you thought I was unconscious. If you decide not to testify, all of that means nothing.”

Dick looked up at her, his face full of anguish. “I’m sorry, Kate. If I testify against Harry, I’ll be confessing to a crime I really had no part in. I can’t.”

“I understand that, Dick; that’s why I’ll see no other charges are made against you. You could have not driven away yesterday. You could have refused to help him. But you did try to stop him; didn’t participate in the assault. I can forgive your failure, not your compliance.”

“I’m sorry…”

“Is that your final decision, Dick. Be sure; this is the last time I ask.” He nodded, his head down, looking at the floor. “I’m sorry, too, Dick. Based on what I had seen the last two days, you were the leading contender for my recommendation for the VP slot opening up next year.” She turned to look at Harry. “Astarte,” she thought, “is there a way I can make him tell the truth, like Deon can?”

“Deon will be here in a moment or two.. A small private jet needed to make an emergency landing in San ‘Angelo. When the pilot heard Deon’s story, they agreed to fly him here overnight.” Astarte had barely finished speaking when there was a knock at the door. A secretary stuck her head in the door.

“Dr. Davies, there is a young man out here who says he’s your son.”

“Yes, that would be Gideon. Send him in.” Gideon entered seconds later, and was visibly shocked by the appearance of his mother, even though he had been warned by Astarte. Kate quickly introduced the others in the room.

She looked at the police officers. “Gentlemen, thank you for your assistance today, but, frankly, your continued presence will make prosecuting these two impossible. We are going to be discussing their professional futures, requiring them to openly discuss the events of last evening, without a lawyer present, and without the threat of self-incrimination.” The officers looked at each other, nodded and got up and left.

When they had gone, Kate returned to her seat at the head table. Gideon took one of the officers’ seats, near the end of the table. Kate turned to Dick and Harry. “I’m sure you two, if you considered the outcome of your escapade last night at all, were counting on beating a jury trial with the ‘our word versus hers’ defense. And as I pointed out, unless one of you testifies against the other, you would probably get away with it.

“But there won’t be a juried trial, at least in the traditional sense. In this case, I am the victim, the judge, and the jury. I know what was done to me, and by whom. It will be a form of vigilante justice.”

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