Copyright© 2018 by Kraken
... Great billowy clouds of smoke at once drifted skyward. Into this cloud, Creator disappeared. The other gods followed him in other clouds of smoke ... Girl-Without-Parents departed westward to live on the far horizon.
~ Excerpt from Apache Creation Story ~
As was her custom, the slim dark-haired beauty sat on a small stool at a beautiful hand carved vanity, brushing her long luxurious hair. She’d long ago forgotten where the vanity came from, or even why she brushed her hair. It was simply something she did before bed, or whenever she had to think deeply about a situation or problem.
Being one of a handful to whom great responsibility and power had been given, she liked to think that during her many years on the job she’d proven over and over again that neither had been misplaced.
At the moment, it was both a situation and a problem that had her sitting here using the brush, while deep in thought. So deep in thought, she was oblivious to the number of strokes she had already completed. Staring blankly into the mirror, periodically switching the brush strokes from one side of her head to the other almost automatically, she struggled with the decision she knew she had to make.
Living at the edge of civilization, she was very far from others. Her job, while exciting at times, could generally be described as monotonous and boring: monitoring the world situation; and when called for, using the power she’d been given to manage any man-made crisis, before it became a catastrophic event. Rarely did she initiate direct action to eliminate a crisis. She was mostly forbidden from that course of action, anyway. No, her tools were indirect action, misdirection, and influence.
Worldwide crisis management was not only a full-time job, but a lonely job as well. She missed the hustle and bustle of civilization, the daily contact with others, and the insights that often resulted from that contact.
So periodically, when things looked to be especially calm for a while, she left her monitoring station to rub elbows with those she protected and defended so rigorously. Her last trip had been during such a time. She’d enjoyed her sojourn so much, that she’d extended it more than once, just for the sheer enjoyment she was having.
Yet she remained conscious of her job, even though away from her station. She clearly saw the inflection point of crisis fast approaching. The signs were all there. A crackpot dictator in the orient. Large groups of radicalized believers of all faiths terrorizing the world, seemingly at will. The rising tide of nationalism. Overreaction of governments, strong and weak alike, to both the crackpot and the terrorists.
True, some of what she saw took care of itself. Crackpot dictators came and went with some regularity, and most were of no real concern to the world. Most religion-based terror groups burned themselves out sooner rather than later. The ability of governments to overreact ebbed and flowed depending on the mood of the nations themselves.
She’d almost waited too long to return. With herculean effort, she once again averted a major man-made catastrophe at the last minute, and had everything back on track. She hadn’t completely resolved every part of the potential crisis; but then again, that wasn’t her job. Her job was to balance the forces, and stabilize the world situation.