A man is faced with the goddess of justice and she makes him an unusual offer.
This is the second of my Lost Gods stories, the first being Imprisoned. However, this is not a sequel and they are not directly connected so you do not have to have read Imprisoned first in order to read this one.
It was near the end of a very long day. It had been yet another day of hearing constant excuses and sob stories. Of being surrounded by criminals and liars, some of the worst of which were the lawyers. I had long since realized that the real bad guys weren't always the ones with the cuffs on, and it wasn't always easy to tell which was which at first glance. Or even second.
My name is Richard Bercrest, or just Rich to my friends. I'm a 29 year man, of average appearance and build. And for the last 5 years, I have been working in a fairly low level position at the court house.
Though my job was anything but glorious, or even high paying, I did get to see a lot of different trials. I got to see the justice system, up close and personal. And unfortunately, I got to realize just how flawed it was at times, though I also knew that it was probably the best that mankind really had to offer. That was both gratifying and depressing at the same time.
Just as I was making my way out of the building, glad to be on my way home, I saw her. A tall, attractive blonde in her early to mid-thirties. I shivered slightly at the sight, immediately recognizing Justine Themis, a lawyer who some of the guys secretly called the Ice Queen. She was one of the lawyers that you hear jokes about, the kind who NEVER loses a case, no matter how guilty you might know their clients to be.
About six months earlier, there had been a trial for a man named Gary Reece, who had been accused of the murder of two people...his wife and her lover. Everyone knew that he was guilty, and there had even been enough evidence to prove it. However, that didn't seem to stop Ms. Themis, who got managed to get him off anyway on some kind of a technicality.
Just the very thought of that killer being set loose was enough to send my stomach into knots. I don't know how many times I'd seen it, obviously guilty people getting set free while some innocents had been sent to prison. And just like there had been too many guilty people getting off, there had been far too many unjust punishments as well. Each and every one of them seemed to strike at my heart. I hated it. I hated seeing the lack justice with every fiber of my being.
"Damn," I muttered quietly, letting out a sigh of relief as Ms. Themis went on her way. I just didn't see how any person could live with themselves, knowing that they helped murders and rapists keep out of jail. Again, it was enough to make my blood boil, though I knew that there was absolutely nothing that could be done. Then with a shake of my head and a muttering of, "Heartless bitch," I continued on my own way home.
My apartment wasn't really all that far from the court house, so it had always seemed silly to drive to work. Especially considering how bad the parking tended to be, not to mention the traffic. Walking was sometimes quicker, but usually more convenient. Not to mention, cheaper. Of course, whenever it rained, I tended to curse at my lack of a car, which made it fortunate that at the moment the weather was only overcast.
"I wouldn't mind having one of those," I commented with a smile as I looked at a passing Porsche. However, they were just empty words as I wasn't really the type to spend that much money on a car and insurance, even if I could afford it. And I most definitely could not.
At the moment, I was some blocks from the courthouse, and more than halfway home. I glanced down at my watch as I continued walking, giving myself a silent reminder to stop at the store and pick up a few things. My cupboards were beginning to remind me of Old Mother Hubbard's.
Suddenly, I heard something off to the side, coming from a narrow alley. At first, I just listened in curiosity, then I heard it again, startled to realize that it sounded like a person. Like a person in trouble. Before I even had a chance to think about it, I was moving down the alley, towards the sound. It didn't dawn on me until after I was in motion that it might not be a good idea.
Then I saw it, a teenage girl being assaulted by two young men, one of which was armed with a knife and trying to keep her quiet, while the other was simultaneously trying to hold her still and undo her clothes. A single glance was enough to reveal the whole story, and to make me gasp in horror.
They were armed. They were dangerous. And I suddenly knew that the smartest thing that I could possibly do would be to run out of there and call the cops. However, that was immediately followed by the realization that by the time any help arrived, it would be far too late. That wasn't right...it wasn't fair. She hadn't done anything to deserve that. My fists clenched automatically as a cold, determined chill ran through me, and though I knew that it wasn't the smart thing to do, I had to stop them.
"Get away from her," I called out, distracting the punks for a moment.
"What the fuck?" the man with the knife exclaimed. The other man looked suddenly nervous, though his eyes darted towards my hands and his expression turned cocky again. "This is none of your business..."
I gulped, my nervousness increasing as the second man pulled out a knife as well, letting go of the girl at the same time. But as she started to try getting away, the first man pulled her close and put the knife to her throat again. The second one took a step towards me, trying to look as menacing as possible, and succeeding in scaring me even worse.
With a burning frustration, I took a nervous step back. I'd seen their kind before. The kind of scum who took delight in taking what they wanted and hurting others. They would keep at it, adding one victim after another until finally caught. And then, they would usually only get charged for a small portion of what they had actually done so that before long, they were out and doing it again. The whole thing just wasn't fair.
"Leave her alone," I stammered, my mind racing along with my heart. Then I blurted out, "I called the cops with my cell..."
One of the men snarled, "Fuck," while they both looked nervous. "He's lying," he added a moment later, but he didn't sound certain of that.
"Gut the ass hole and let's get outta here," the second man spat out, grabbing the girl even tighter. I could see a drop of blood beginning to dribble down her throat, showing that she had been cut, though it was just a nick...so far.
While I was distracted by the girl's blood, the punk closest to me charged, the knife outstretched. I dodged to the side, but not before I felt a sudden, burning pain in side. A scream burst from my lips, while I fell to my knees. My attacker looked both afraid and excited at the same time, taking the time to kick me in the face and knock me backwards.
"Oh shit," I gasped in pain, my guts hurting like hell.
And as I lay there bleeding, my attacker standing above me, ready for another attack, all I could feel was anger. Anger that these people would hurt me and this girl. That they would probably get away with it too, then to go on to hurt even more people. They would get away...while she would be raped....and I would probably die. It wasn't right. It wasn't fair.
Oddly enough, instead of being scared, with every instant, my anger at the unfairness grew stronger. I'd always hated unfairness and injustice. ALWAYS. And with that came a growing determination to try to right things, no matter how impossible that actually seemed at the moment. I grunted and forced myself back to my feet, glaring at my attacker as I did so, daring him to attack me again. Unfortunately, he took me up on that and stabbed me again.
"God...," I choked out as I hit the ground again, no longer having quite the strength to try getting back up. It hurt...it hurt a LOT. But the anger still burned. "Unfair," I gasped as I started to pass out, "Where's the justice..."
Suddenly, there was bright light and a woman's voice announcing, "I am here."
From my position, I couldn't see much except for the ground and the bright glow out of the corner of my eyes. However, I could hear screaming, this time in male voices. And the screams sounded very...strange. I grunted, filled with mixed emotions but dominated by confusion at this unexpected development as I changed position on the ground just enough to see a woman standing there. But there was no sign of the two punks, or the teenage girl.
The woman was absolutely stunning. She was tall and extremely well built, being more athletic than voluptuous, but still having all of the right curves. And she was extremely exotic looking, with long, silvery white hair that flowed down to nearly to her knees. Her clothes were a strange, flowing white thing that seemed wrapped about her but hanging loose at the same time, with the added decorations of silver metal wrist and arm bands. But then there were her eyes... The irises were silvery, almost like chrome as she stared at me.
"Oh," I gasped, wondering if she was an angel to take me to the other side. She sure looked it, and the way she looked at me was as if she was looking straight into my very soul. And as if she were judging me.
"I am no angel," she gently announced after a moment, startling me since she seemed to echo my thoughts. "No Richard," she continued, startling me even more as she knew my name, "I am a goddess."
I blinked at that, feeling too confused, not to mention in pain to disbelieve her. In fact, just by looking at her, what little doubts I might have had seemed to quickly fade away. "A goddess," I repeated in a whisper, knowing that such things were not supposed to exist, though at the moment that hardly seemed important.
The woman....goddess bent over me, then ran a finger over my cheek. It felt smooth and cold, yet exciting at the same time. A sudden surge of energy filled me and my injuries no longer seemed to hurt. I gasped again, this time at the suddenly way the pain had vanished.
"Specifically," she whispered as she held out a hand to help me to my feet, "the goddess of justice."
Once I was on my feet, I was barely able to tear my eyes off of her and look down at my side, seeing that my shirt was still soaked with blood. I quickly pulled it up and looked at where I'd been cut, startled to see perfectly smooth skin there instead. The sight was startling, but seemed more than proof that she was definitely more than human.
"Oh shit," was my intelligent response to the realization.
She just smiled indulgently, as if I was a child who had said something cute. And her eyes...those silvery eyes continued to look into me, making me slightly uncomfortable, as if everything I was...my very soul were an open book to her.
Then I suddenly remembered the others and gulped, "The girl..." Of course I also remembered the punks who'd attacked us, but I could care less about them. I looked at the goddess nervously, not sure of what was going on.
"The girl is safe," she told me gently, "She is home, with no memory of this encounter." And just as I was about to ask about the punks, she continued, her eyes and expression suddenly turning much colder, "They have been...dealt with." Her smile was a cold one, which sent shivers down my spine.
"Did you...?" I started, then paused, not sure if it was a good idea to ask if she'd killed them.
"No," she responded firmly, "They yet live." There was something about the way she'd said that though, about the look on her gorgeous face. I wasn't sure that I wanted to know what had happened to them. "Death would not bring justice," she continued, "Their fates are appropriate to their crimes."
I nodded weakly at that, looking around the alley nervously, then back at her. I took a deep breath, then told her, "Thank you." However, I wasn't completely sure whether I was thanking her for saving my life, for saving the girl...or for answering my prayers for justice. Perhaps it was a bit of all three.
But the whole situation still confused me. I'd never heard of this goddess showing up and playing super hero like that. It was unheard of, not to mention more than a little...unreal. And though I was extremely grateful for what she'd done, there were a lot of questions that I had. Such as, why had she saved me? Saves us? Finally, I hesitantly asked her.
"I wish that I was able to provide justice to all who require it," she told me sadly, not answering my question. "But though I am a goddess, I can not be everywhere at once."
All I could say to that was, "Oh." I was just thankful that she was able to be there this one time.
The goddess gave me a smile, her expression softening some. "I have been watching you for some time," she admitted, surprising me yet again. There seemed to be neither guilt nor embarrassment in her voice at that admission either. "You are a rare individual."
"Oh," I repeated, feeling even more confused about what was going on than before I'd asked.
"You possess a keen sense of justice," the goddess stated, giving me an intense look. "A burning desire to see fairness in all things. And...," she paused for a moment, as if searching for the right word. "An intense hunger for justice in the world, which only seems to grow stronger."
I just stood there, feeling somewhat self-conscious. What she'd said was sort of true, though I'd never thought of it in that way before. That was one of the reasons that I'd gone to work at the court house in the first place, so that I could see justice at work. And for some reason, her words seemed to remind me of all of the times I'd feel angry at seeing injustice, and frustrated at my inability to do anything about it. I had lost track of how many times I'd cursed at the lack of justice in the world, while at the same time remaining hopeful at its existence.
"I have a proposition for you," she gave me a smile, the intense look never leaving her eyes. Then she looked around with a frown. "But I think that this would be better discussed somewhere more private."
Before I could say anything to that, she started to glow with a silvery light. That only lasted a second though before everything around me started to fade out, while new things started to take their place. It all happened so quickly that before I could make sense of what was going on, it was over.
Gasping out loud, I looked around a large living room, filled with expensive looking furniture and decorations. We were no longer in the alley, though that didn't tell me anything about where we were at. She had taken us somewhere else, stunning me completely since it was the first time that I had seen her using her powers in such an obvious way.
"Where...?" I started to ask, then suddenly wondered if I was being way too friendly with her. What if she got offended that I wasn't giving her enough respect?
However, she didn't seem to be offended in the least and even answered my half asked question, "My home." At my blank look, she gave a light laugh, "Well, I do have to live somewhere." It just wasn't anything that I would have expected for the home of a goddess. Hell, it looked more like some expensive yuppy apartment or something.
I was so curious that I started doing a slow look around the room with no thought to the fact that I was being rude. Nor did the goddess seem insulted that I was paying more attention to her surroundings than I was to her. Then I saw a picture on the wall, right next to several framed diplomas. But what shocked me most was that I recognized both the name and face.
"Justine Themis," I gasped, suddenly snapping around to look at the goddess.
"Yes," she stated calmly, her whole body beginning to shimmer and change. "The Ice Queen is one of my identities." She finished it, while looking exactly as she had when I'd seen her...when I'd seen the Ice Queen a short while earlier.
My heart jumped at the sight and I took an instinctive step backwards, suddenly thinking that this whole thing was a VERY bad idea. I wanted nothing to do with her...with the woman who would get a bastard like Gary Reece off. She sure as hell wasn't the goddess of justice that she had claimed.
"Reece was innocent of the crimes he was charged with," she told me calmly, seeming to read my mind yet again, her form changing back to that of the goddess. Her silver eyes were locked on me as she continued, "But he was not a nice person. He had committed other crimes that were not known or easily proven, such as spreading false rumors to destroy the lives and reputations of others. I gave him the fate he earned." She paused for a moment before finishing, "I left him free...but stained with the stigma of a crime he did not commit. Such is justice."
For a moment, I stared at her, not sure whether to believe her or not. It seemed so unbelievable, yet... Something about her seemed to tell me that she was indeed being honest. "But what about...?"
"The true murderer?" she asked. At my nod, she announced, "Do not worry. He has already met his justice. My justice." Somehow, I fought back the urge to ask just what that had been.
I glanced nervously at the diplomas on the wall, then back at her, realizing that I didn't know anything about this goddess. Not even her name.
"I have many identities," the goddess stated, turning away from me and staring out the window, "and many names throughout the ages." She shrugged, "In one place, I act as a defense attorney, at another, a prosecutor." She turned back towards me and continued, "I often hide my influences within your human laws as mortals are ill prepared to accept my existence." There was a long pause before she quietly added, "Or should once again become dependent upon it."
"You...you said something before bringing me here," I reminded her, really beginning to wonder why she had shown me all of this.
The goddess nodded faintly, a sad look appearing on her face. "The rest of my kind have long since departed this world," she told me quietly, "I am the last to wander this world. I alone chose to remain behind, to continue providing justice where there is none." At this point, she sat down on the couch, looking...tired. Looking as though the weight of the world rested on her shoulders. "I have done this for countless centuries and I am...weary. So very weary."
We both remained where we were in silence for several minutes, then I finally told her, "I'm sorry." I thought about what she'd just said, realizing how lonely she had to be.
She looked back up at me before slowly standing. "This is why I have brought you here," she told me in a firm voice. "My time is ending. I no longer possess the energy...or the will to do that which I must. That is why...," she gave me an intense look that pierced my very soul, "I have chosen you to replace me."
For a moment, all I could do was stare at her with my mouth open, too stunned by her statement to even think. And what I little I could think about it was that she was obviously playing some sort of prank on me. None of it made any sense.
"But I am serious," she stated firmly, continuing to give me a steady look with her silver eyes. For a moment, I was sure that I could see something in them, that I could see a loneliness greater than anything I could imagine. It was quickly covered up though and she told me, "Providing justice is my very reason for being, though I can bear to do so no longer." Once again, the expression of unbelievable weariness showed through, "But I will not...can not abandon that which has driven me. Justice must be served. So I have long searched for one who can take my place. For one who can continue my work." Once again, she gave me a steady look.
"Why me?" I asked nervously, not sure what else to say. Largely, the question was a stall as I attempted to grasp what was going on.
The goddess paused for a moment, looking thoughtful. "Because I can sense the qualities that are needed within you. I can see it within your soul. Within the very depths of your being. You have a strong desire to see justice done. An inborn sense of fairness and balance. And above all, a hidden drive to serve true justice."
All that I could think to say to that was, "Oh." It certainly seemed an understatement, but what wouldn't be considering the circumstances? I just stared at her in silence for nearly a minute before I finally asked, "Wh...what would I have to do?"
"You would take my place," the goddess said slowly, looking me straight in the eyes. "You would become me. YOU would become the goddess of justice, abandoning all that you now are to serve this purpose. Then you would have both the power...and duty to provide the justice that you so deeply long for to the world."
"I would become you?" I repeated, feeling even more unsettled by this than I already was.
With a nod, she responded, "You would have to take my body, yes."
Every time I thought that things had gotten beyond belief and as strange as they could possibly become, I was proven wrong as they went one step further. Somehow, I didn't think that I really wanted to know just how odd they would ultimately become. I didn't think that I could probably even believe it.
"But I warn you now," the goddess announced, her eyes almost glowing with power and determination, "If you accept...it would not be an easy task. It is not a job that I offer you...but a life. An existence of service to the world, of dedication, and of purpose."
"Oh God," I muttered as I dropped back onto the couch, only absently wondering if I should have said 'goddess' instead. "Oh God," I repeated, "I need a drink."
Giving me a gentle smile, the goddess held her hand out, and to my surprise, a glass filled with something appeared in it. Without a word, she handed it to me. I could only stare at it for a moment before taking a hesitant sip. It tasted like Jim Beam and Coke. Then I took deep sip of it, deciding that it would be useless to ask how she got it. After all, she was a goddess.
After I'd finished half the drink, I put it down, saying, "I guess I probably shouldn't get drunk right now." With things as weird as they were, I'd probably need a clear head.
"You won't get drunk with that," she laughed lightly, gesturing to the glass. "Conjuration's have no true substance. As real as they seem...they are little more than solid illusions."
"I can't get drunk?" I asked, looking at the glass again, suddenly wondering what it would be like to drink a whole bottle and not feel drunk.
"A mortal can eat a feast of conjured food," she told me, "yet starve to death at the same time. It pleasures the palate and even comforts the stomach, yet provides no true sustenance."
Once again I shook my head at the weirdness of the situation. Of the fact that I actually had a goddess serving me drinks. And more importantly, of the offer she had made me. That had been an unbelievably stunning development. But what surprised me even more than the offer, was the fact that I was actually considering it.
I took a deep breath, my mind and emotions both reeling. What would it be like to have that kind of power? And from what I gathered...to become immortal? Both of those factors were extremely thrilling, as well as scary. The power and immortality were a little tempting, but I didn't think that I really wanted that kind of thing. I'd never been one to want wealth or power. And of course, there would also be a heavy price to pay. A VERY heavy price. She had said that I would have to give up my life. My friends. My family. If I accepted, I would have to become a girl. A woman. There were so many factors to this that I couldn't even think of them all. It was overwhelming.
However, as I sat there, with the goddess just watching in silence, I realized something. I realized that this was my chance. This was my chance to stop complaining about the lack of justice in the world, and actually do something about it. For the first time in my life, I was faced with the opportunity to make a difference in the world. To have a purpose. This was both unbelievably thrilling and utterly terrifying.
After what seemed a very long time, I finally whispered, "I'll do it." My heart raced at the words and I could scarcely believe that I had actually uttered them. But at the same time, something buried deep inside of me gave me no other choice.
The goddess just nodded and gave me a smile, looking rather pleased, though saddened at the same time. Then she held out her hand and helped me off of the couch, though I didn't need any help. She ran a finger over my cheek before slowly stepping away from me.
"It is a difficult path that you will walk," she said quietly, sounding as though she was giving me a chance to change my mind. "And lonely," she added in a near whisper, before finishing in a louder tone, "Yet there is great fulfillment."
"Are you trying to talk me into it or chase me away?" I muttered to myself, feeling nervous enough as it was.
She turned and gave me a steady gaze, making me take an instinctive step back. However, I still managed to meet her eyes without looking away, which seemed to please her some.
"There is something you must always remember," the goddess told me. "I often use the law to serve justice, yet the two should never be confused." She gave me a steady look, as if to see that I understood, then continued, "The law...is merely man's attempt to create order. Law is blind. It can only deal with that which it can feel and touch. Vengeance on the other hand has but a single eye. It can see, yet only focuses on one thing...lacking all depth or perspective."
There was something in the tone of her voice, in her very presence. It was something that kept me almost mesmerized, hanging on her every word. Perhaps it was merely because I could sense how important she thought this was.
"But justice," she stated firmly, her eyes burning into me with a passion that I hadn't seen in her until then, "Justice is all seeing. It must see the truth...all factors...all perspectives. And then...," She paused, stepping closer to me, her eyes never leaving mine, as if she was trying to burn her words into my very soul, "It must act in accordance to the entire situation. Justice not only punishes....it rewards. It gives that which has been earned, for good or ill. Justice is karma. It is...balance."
For a very long moment, she remained standing beside me, then bent forward and started to whisper in my ear. Her words nearly brought tears to my eyes...made my heart race with their power. They went straight to me in a way that no words I had ever heard before had done. Yet at the same time, I did not know what she was saying. I could not make out a single word...or even a single syllable. It was as though she was speaking to my soul rather than to my conscious mind.
When the goddess was finished, she pulled away from me slightly, leaving me feeling shaken to my core. And at the same time, I felt all warm inside...filled with love...and something else. A burning purpose.
"Come," she whispered to me, pulling me in and pressing her lips into mine.
Her lips were delicious, tasting of something that I could not quite name, and her kiss was exquisite. There had been a faint spark the moment our lips had touched, and it seemed to grow even stronger as we kissed. A strange chill shot through my entire being, followed with a wave of complete disorientation.
As she finally pulled away from me, I was still dazed and confused. I was even more startled to realize that I was facing...myself. It was just like staring into a mirror, except that this other me had a silvery glow. It was only then that I noticed just how strange I felt and realized what had happened.
"Oh my," I gasped in a woman's voice.
For a moment, I just continued to stare at what was obviously the goddess in my own body, while simultaneously feeling a thousand strange sensations coming from my own. I didn't even need to look in order to know that I was now in her body. However, I slowly tore my eyes from her and did just that.
A single glance was all that I needed to verify that I was indeed inside of the goddess' body. Her breasts pushed out proudly from her...now my chest. My body was a stunning example of womanhood, draped in the exact same silvery white clothing that she had been wearing. I had no doubt whatsoever that I also possessed her gorgeous face. As she had said...I had actually become her.
"It is done," she announced with a deep sigh, bringing my attention back to her.
The goddess just stood there in my body, still glowing a faint silver. I was startled to realize that the injuries that I'd gotten earlier seemed to have suddenly reappeared. However, she didn't look like she felt in pain. Even as her...my old body seemed to grow weaker and fade, there was no sign of discomfort on her…my old face. Instead, there seemed to be a look of...peace.
"You're...," I started to say.
However, she held up a hand, "Yes," she whispered, "this is what I chose... "
My old body seemed to wither away in front of me, until it disintegrated into silver light. All that was left where my real body had been, was a silvery glow. It was a ghostly image of the goddess in the body I was now wearing, but transparent and barely there. I could feel her presence beginning to fade, yet there was smile on her face.
"I have done this for countless ages, and in my own way" she told me in a gentle voice, "Yet you will find your own path. I have given you all that you shall need. I have chosen well and know that you will continue my work."
All I could do was stare at her as her presence faded even more. I could sense a strong feeling of relief from her, as though the burdens of the world had just been taken off of her shoulders. Then I realized that they had been...and put squarely on mine.
"Fare thee well former mortal," the goddess announced with more than a trace of pride in her fading voice, "Fare thee well...young goddess of justice." And then as she faded away completely, I thought that I heard the final traces of her voice whisper, "At last I may rest..."
For a long moment, I just stared at where she had been. I could no longer sense any trace of her presence. But whether she had truly died or just moved on to some other place...some other plane of existence, I had no idea. However, I knew that she had finally found the peace she had desired.
"Good-bye my goddess," I whispered with tears in my eyes, "good-bye..."
Then I turned and moved to the couch, the full nature of my situation beginning to sink in on me. Not only that, but a strange new awareness of my body...and everything else. It all came rushing in, causing me to gasp in confusion as a thousand things seemed to assault my mind and senses, all at once. I nearly let out a scream before collapsing backwards, overwhelmed by alien perceptions.
I had no idea how long I remained there as time seemed to have no meaning. Oddly enough, the sensations from my strange new womanly body were buried beneath a million other things. I could feel things that I had never before imagined, sense them in ways that I hadn't even considered possible. And all of it was hitting me at one time.
There was a woman nearby who was battered and beaten, a man who had lost his job due to false rumors and lies. A child was crying at a harsh punishment for something he did not do. A viscous woman was planning to destroy another she was jealous of, while a drug dealer sold his product to a pregnant woman. There were so many injustices nearby, and I could not help but feel them all.
"NO!" I screamed out, clenching my fists tightly as I struggled to regain control.
Somehow, I was able to get a grasp on all of the sensations pouring into me. I was able to block them out, or at least ignore them instead of being overwhelmed. They were still there, but just out of direct reach. As if they were whispers at the edge of my consciousness rather than the heavy screams that they had been such a short time before.
"Oh my," I whispered as I sat back up, still feeling dazed but no more than I could handle.
I looked down at myself, ran a hand over my breasts. They felt so warm and fleshy, and rather pleasant as well. My hands quickly pulled away my clothes, revealing the rest of my body beneath. Then I silently examined myself, feeling an almost detached calm. I supposed that it was a coping mechanism.
After I had finished giving myself the once over, I slowly stood up, knowing that there would be more time for that later. I felt oddly sexy as I walked through the large apartment, knowing that my body swayed slightly with every step. It seemed to be automatic, so I didn't give it much more consideration.
When I found a mirror hanging on the wall, I stopped and looked at the reflection. I nearly gasped at the sight, even though it was exactly what I had expected. But still, it was a shocking sight to see a goddess reflected back from the mirror. I had the same gorgeous face, the same silvery white hair...and the same silver eyes. Even the same faint silvery glow. However, the aura of ancient wisdom was noticeably lacking.
"Maybe one day," I whispered to myself, remembering the supposed immortality that came with that face. I wasn't sure that I quite believed that bit just yet, even though it was no less likely than anything else.
I stared at myself for just several seconds more before giving my reflection a smile and turning away. As much as I would have loved to continue getting used to my new self, I remembered that I had a job to do. A surge of determination swelled up at that and I knew that I had better get started.
"Let's see...," I mused, suddenly uncertain as I wondered what I needed to do. There were a million questions that she had left unanswered and I felt so unprepared.
Then it dawned on me. I hesitantly lowered my defenses, enough so that I could sense things near-bye again. I had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed, though it was far easier this time. A moment later, I suddenly knew.
A horrible injustice had just been committed nearby, though I couldn't make out any of the details. All that I knew was that I could feel it, almost like a pain in the back of my mind. And the victim...the victim was crying out for justice. I could feel it as though there was a faint tugging. However, I didn't quite know where it was at...nor how to get there.
Then the answer abruptly came to me, though I had no idea where from. And before I could even think about it, I found myself reacting, almost out of some sort of new instinct. The whole room vanished from around me, just as the alley had such a short...and long time ago. This time though, I was the one doing it.
As the whole world and a new destination phased in around me, I had to hold back the urge to gasp out in surprise. With a single glance, I took in the whole room...and the situation. I was in someone's bedroom, and there was a woman spread across the bed. However, her clothes were mostly torn off and she was sobbing hysterically. And just a foot away stood a man, pulling his pants back up. It was eerie how much this scene reminded me of the one in the alley that had begun this.
Without warning, I was suddenly watching another scene on top of the one I currently saw, seeing two things simultaneously. It was what had happened in there just a short time earlier, with the man throwing the woman onto the bed and raping her at gunpoint. It was horrible to watch, filling me with a burning anger.
"Please...," the woman cried out in pain.
I could feel it coming off of her...the pain, the suffering, the humiliation. And then on top of that, I gasped in shock as I was suddenly watching the scene again. This time from another perspective. This time from HERS. From her eyes. Everything she experience...everything she thought...everything she felt. ALL of it was revealed to me.
And though this was extremely disturbing, I pulled it back and looked at HIM. I stared at him...and then right into him. It was as if I could see his very soul. Not only what he had just done...but everything else. All the positives and negatives of his life, all at once.
"What the fuck?" the rapist screamed out as he saw me there, distracting me from what I had been seeing. His gun was suddenly pointed at me and he snarled, "So you want me too..." There was lust in his eyes, as well as fear. It was obvious that he wondered where I had suddenly come from. "That's OK, I'll fuck you too..."
"I don't think so," I responded nervously, though trying not to show it. I was terrified at the sight of the gun pointed at me, not having realized until that moment just how dangerous this job could be. However, I was still more pissed off than I was scared...and it showed.
"Weird freaky bitch," he muttered to himself as he stared at me, looking more and more jumpy.
Just then, there was the sound of a police siren nearby. I was sure that it had nothing to do with this, though the rapist didn't seem to think so. He panicked and suddenly pulled the trigger.
The bullet went right through me, but to my complete surprise, the pain I had braced myself for was missing. The bullet hole was...uncomfortable, but not painful. Then I slowly looked down at my injury, startled yet again to see that there was indeed a hole...but no sign of any blood. But even the hole didn't remain long as it sealed up again right before my eyes, looking as though it had never existed.
I could only stare at it for a moment as a cold realization dawned on me. I had just face death...and it had walked away from me. So that was what it meant to be immortal. To be a goddess. However, as staggering as that was to my existence, I couldn't deal with it right then.
"That wasn't very nice," I announced coldly, glaring at the man who had just shot me.
He stared at me in shock and horror, then looked at the gun in his hand nervously. The woman on the bed was half aware of what was going on, being too much in shock to think very clearly. But both of them were waiting. Waiting on me.
This man definitely deserved to face justice, and face it he would. He had been harsh to women before, though this was his first act of rape. But I also knew that if things continued as they were, it would hardly be the last.
As I glared at the man, I KNEW what the punishment I would give him would be. I knew exactly what would be the appropriate justice. However, I didn't know how to do it...or for that matter, if I even could.
A mere moment later, it dawned on me that I did know. It was as though there were an instruction book on my new goddess powers inside my mind. And all it took was the need for my abilities, and I knew how to use them. Obviously a parting gift from the goddess.
"It is time to face justice," I told the rapist, the contempt oozing from my voice. This was what I had been chosen to do.
The confused man shot at me again, though this time I found it much easier to actually ignore it. Instead, I focused my attention on stretching out my will...my power, following the instincts that guided me in their use. It was an experience unlike anything I could explain or previously imagine, yet not too difficult either.
Then the room was awash in a silver glow, a glow the came from me. It spread around at my command, filling both the girl and the rapist. It infused them, as did my power. I felt a strange calmness as I gave out the justice I had chosen, feeling in the core of my being that it was right and proper.
Suddenly, the rapist screamed and collapsed to his knees, his very body starting to flow and change. It was by my will that he grew smaller and weaker, that his hair grew longer and his chest pressed out. It was by the goddess' power...now my power, that his manhood pulled in, becoming a form very similar to womanhood he had so recently violated. Gone was the man, replaced by the image of a young woman.
"AAAGH!" the new woman screamed in horror, absently reminding me that I should have quieted her first. However, it wasn't too late to rectify that and finish the rest of my work.
With that, I gestured with my hand and she went quiet, now unable to reveal to anyone who she had been or what had happened, though she would certainly remember it. And not only that. I removed the memory of the incident from the woman, then gave it to the rapist. She would remember the rape...all of the memories, humiliations and pain, as though SHE had been the victim, yet knowing that she had also committed the crime. For the rest of her life, she would now remember her crime and know that this was her punishment.
"One more thing," I whispered, taking one more thing from the now sleeping woman. I removed the child that had just been conceived, placing it inside the womb of the new woman. "You reap what you have sown," I said quietly, "both the bad and the good."
After a moment of just staring at the scared young woman, of looking into her soul, I knew that this experience would change her. She now knew what it was to be the victim, had the memories of it branding into her very mind. Now she would be much less likely to harm others, especially knowing that a force of justice existed...and might return.
Shaking my head slightly, I said, "GO," using my powers to send her to the sidewalk nearby. She had faced justice for her actions, and was now free to get on with her life. Just as long as she kept out of trouble, I added grimly, still feeling furious over what he had done. However, to do much more would have been vengeance...not justice.
Finally, I turned to the woman on the bed, needing only a slight extension of my power to finish setting things right with her. I had already removed almost all memories of the incident. Only a hint would remain, little more than a bad dream that was easily dismissed. She would be able to continue her life, unscarred by this horrible event.
And as I left the woman and the apartment, my work having been finished, I couldn't resist smiling faintly to myself. I had changed things. I had provided justice where there was none. My heart was filled with a warm satisfaction, making me feel more...whole, than I had ever before been in my life. For the first time ever, I actually felt complete...and that I had a purpose. There was no longer any doubt in my mind that this was a job that I could happily do for a thousand years...as I just might.
Of course, I realized that there were going to be some problems facing me, such as my identity. I certainly couldn't be myself anymore, but nor could I be Justine Themis. I wasn't a lawyer and couldn't keep it up. I would have to create a new identity for myself, a new name.
Then I thought about Justine, about the goddess and how she had said she often used the law to serve her purposes. Perhaps, I thought to myself, I should go to law school myself. That I should follow her example. However, that had been her way, and she had clearly said that I would find my own path.
I looked down at myself, at my womanly body. Of course I didn't yet know what path I would take, or how I would serve justice. Only that I would. There was so much to get used to, so much to absorb. There were so many things about myself that I didn't know...about my new powers and role. However, I reminded myself, I had plenty of time to learn. All the time in the world.
With that, I transported myself to a nearby rooftop and stared over the edge. I listened to the cries and pulls for justice, knowing that it was needed. That I was needed. That was my purpose, my reason for still existing. I was now a goddess, as hard as it seemed to believe, but more importantly, I was the face of justice. And there were people I needed to see...
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