A Goddess and Her Consort

by aerotica [Reviews - 16]

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  • All Ages
  • None
  • Drama, General

A Goddess And Her Consort


Jack strolled into the console room and watched the Doctor set the coordinates to take them away from the stink of Raxacoricofallipatorius. “Hey Doc?”

“Doctor.”

Jack accepted the curt correction with an easy grin. “Yes sir. Something I wanted to ask you before Rose comes back.”

“She'll be in the bath for an hour at least.” A slight frown darkened the Doctor's face momentarily, proving he too had noticed Rose's defeated mood. Then he turned a cynical smirk Jack's way. “No, I don't blame you for the rift opening. Yes, you do come in handy in a crisis. No, you may not jump Rose's bones tonight.”

Jack laughed heartily, clearly pleased by the first two statements and not at all offended by the last. “Good, now that you've got that off your chest, can I ask my question?”

“I'm not having you, either.”

“Is that all you ever think about? Sex? Of course, I can understand why if you insist on living like a monk when there is a hot girl running around in heels and a mini skirt . . .” He saw the glare forming and changed course immediately. “No, listen, I really don't think you want Rose to hear this so let me just ask. She mentioned Justicia earlier, when Mickey first showed up. When were you two there? The planet's timeline, I mean, not yours.”

The Doctor thought about it for a minute. “The second wave of deportees had just begun to establish themselves, so must have been about 3750.”

“Uh-huh. What happened while you were there? More importantly, what did Rose do?”

“The TARDIS picked up an emergency beacon and took us there. Some virus, indigenous to the planet, was cutting down the population. Turned out to be a variation of influenza. They were a rough lot, left to sink or swim with very little - only a couple of medical personnel in a colony of thousands - and people were dying by the hundreds. We stayed a week or so, helped them set up a medical center, shared my ship's medical supplies. I identified a local plant that cured the symptoms, and helped formulate a vaccine. Rose got the women organized for nursing, comforted the children, made tea for the sick. They were in a much better state when we left.”

Jack thought about that for a few minutes. “You know that penal colonies generally get the dregs of the lowest social orders. Uneducated, superstitious types. Left on their own with limited technology and science, they often revert to primitive religions.”

“And?”

“You've heard of Florence Nightingale?”

The Doctor grinned, easily distracted. “Met her. Lovely woman, brilliant and feisty with it. Did amazing things within the limitations of her time.”

“Then you also know that the soldiers she nursed worshiped her.”

Jack sat back and watched the wheels spin in the Doctor's head. He was continually awed by the speed with which this alien processed data and reached conclusions. When the Doctor's eyes widened, Jack smirked in acknowledgment. “Got it in one.”

“What are you trying to say?”

“My first assignment at the Agency was to investigate the rise in theological cults. I did some field research on Justicia in the forty-third century. It was one of the few remaining truly matriarchal societies, had an extreme form of goddess-worship, and yet they were a peaceful planet with a thriving interplanetary trade in holistic healing. Their science and technology had evolved over the centuries, of course, but without the associated social dysfunctions. In fact, they were about the humblest, most compassionate people I've ever come across.

“But I was sent there to study the oddity of a single religion embraced by an entire population. They were only too happy to share the mythology of the goddess who took human form in a time of catastrophe. She comforted the sick and dying with miraculous cures and tender care. Women were a second-class minority at the time, but she empowered them with gifts of common sense and compassion. When the crisis was over she accepted their thanks humbly, told them to take care of each other, and disappeared into the heavens with her consort. It's their belief that as long as they follow her teachings, their planet will be prosperous.”

“Consort?”

Jack smiled to himself at the Doctor's outrage. “He's become a minor god in his own right, always subservient to the Supreme Goddess. He's generally pictured as dark and brooding, but his followers are considered the great thinkers and logicians and usually make up the council that negotiates with other planets. He embodies the mundane, while she embodies the Light. In paintings she is smiling and radiant, in sculpture she is golden. And get this - her priestesses are always young and blonde, and they are the only women allowed to line their eyes with kohl. Sound familiar?”

“Library.”

Jack followed the Doctor through the labyrinth of corridors to a room straight out of a Stately Home of England. The paneled walls were lined with shelves overflowing with scrolls, folios and bound books. A massive desk sat opposite a stone fireplace flanked by large leather chairs. As Jack flopped down in one of the chairs, the logs in the fireplace burst into a cheerful blaze. He shot a grin and a wink at the ceiling and leaned back to watch the Doctor.

For the next twenty minutes the Doctor paced the room, pulling out books, flipping the pages, putting them back. Occasionally he tossed a book in Jack's direction, snapping out the page number. Each reference corroborated some part of Jack's tale, and the rare illustration invariably bore some resemblance to Rose or the Doctor. Finally the Doctor seemed to be convinced, and collapsed in the other chair. After brooding at the fire for a few minutes, he turned to Jack with a wry smile.

“Nine hundred years of phone box travel, and there are still surprises. Of course, I've been cast as a god a couple of times, although I rather prefer the role of mysterious legend. But a companion who becomes a goddess? That's a new one.”

“So . . . you gonna tell her?”

“No, and neither will you, Captain. She already gets her way too often around here.” The Doctor's chilly glance reminded Jack that he was an example of Rose getting her way, but it quickly gave way to an affectionate twinkle. “Need to put a warning on those coordinates, too. Wouldn't do for their goddess to reappear some morning before she's had her coffee. Could destroy an entire culture.”

Jack grinned his agreement. They sat in easy silence for a while, each pondering a different list of assets that qualified Rose for goddess-hood. Finally the Doctor went to a sideboard and poured two brandies. Handing Jack a glass, he held his own up in a toast.

“To Rose.”

“The Healing Light of Justicia.” Jack clinked his glass and they drank together.