On the day when Metacom was to meet his long long sister, the Martian metropoli burned.
And Metacom felt fine.
The touch of neo-cola classicism betrayed Metacom's earthly origins. Human in appearance, any probes of genetic makeup would confirm that Metacom belonged to the race of man. But enough of probes. That was one reason why Metacom had chosen to lay waste to the dwelling places of the Matriarchate. Too much time spent on a medi-con gurney. Too many painful intrusions of flesh, probing, probing, probing...
Burn, witches, burn!
With a view to a kill -- what was with this bout of neo-cola classicism? -- Metacom glided over the smooth floor of the observation deck. Trace winds slid off the ancient slopes of Olympus Mons, blowing Metacom's long white hair into his face. She. These premature grayed locks were enough to remind of Metacom of the current inferno on Mars. Raison d'etat?
Indeed, a symmetry existed in his vengeance. Each fire was nearly aligned to the spider-web of global canals, and Metacom imagined the reflection of fire in their channels. Did the destruction suit the experiments those witches had inflicted on Metacom's skin? Revenge said, yes.
Metacom swept the hair out of the sight of oblivion. The near-vacuum air crystallized Metacom's thoughts. They came clearer to him. To her. Memories of an medi-con table. The needles in his skin. Pain. His sister. Her sister.
Where is that witch?
A long second passed. A horizon on fire. The cities of the Matriarchate. Those womyn from Wicked Old Earth had escaped one cataclysm of fire, only to face the same fate. Here.
Metacom debated that small point. Preordination did not explain the Matriachate's current destruction. But through their arrogance, their crimes, and the civilization they had engineered out of the Martian wilderness, they had inadvertently chosen the punishment meted out by Metacom, the First Primate, and soon to be called, the Apostate.
I will drink from her skull.
Fires of ruined cities made darkened stripes against the faded day. All that remained of the grand dames floated high in the twilight sky. Metacom closed both eyes. She.
Expected footsteps arrived, their sounds in the thin air a mere pitter-pat. Metacom turned wanting to hear more. The sister. That he wanted to see. She.
The light footsteps of the Quorum moved through the carbon dioxide fines that dusted the slopes of Olympus Mons. Eleven in number to join Metacom's twelve. He and she turned around to see the white robes of Gnosticdom, each member of the engineered tribes held their faces upright in the twilight airs of this red world, their eyes yellowed and slanted with meaning on each face, and in their hands a skull.
A human skull.
Whitened, bleached, by whatever sorcery each Gnostic had chosen to strip the meat from the bones. The rest of the Quorum gathered around Metacom, each with a skull of their twin. The First Natural Sisters of the Matriarchate were no more.
Except for one. Metacom's sister. With spindly fingers outstretched, Metacom could only grasp for ghosts. Had he expected his fellows would bring her to him? She to she?
Disappointment was too much to bear. Each Gnostic possessed the skull of their twin, won by the terrible efforts of the hour, the culmination of long planning to bring ruin to the Matriarchate. To be lords of Mars. But for Metacom, there was only a mountaintop to look out at the inferno of a world. He, she, looked away from the trophies of fellow Gnostics.
Metacom only felt fine.