Inescapeable

They have not been gods for centuries.
If the triune god had not cleaved them
from their grace, surely this new cult of
Electronics would have done so.
Adrasteia remembers the Godfall as painful.

she lifts a blade, archaic though it is. "en guarde!"
"nemesis," lethe laughs, "always so serious. let go of it."

Wise are those who bow down before Adrasteia,
one of the old poets wrote. She doesn't remember who.
It is one of the only things she can't remember.
She remembers the Time Before fondly, but she also remembers
when she learned she could kill the deathless gods.

she strikes. lethe parries, falls. only she has kept her skill at the sword.
her smile is edged satisfaction. "why do you keep fighting, nemesis? they're all dead."

Adrasteia lost her lover in the Titan Wars.
She avenged him before he was reborn with a new name
but the same face; misery was watching him love another.
He died again during the Godfall, and they tell her she slew the Titans.
Another thing she can't remember. She suspects Lethe's interference.

she drops the rapier, memory more crippling than any attack. lethe knows,
and offers the cup. nemesis refuses, as always. "because it keeps me alive."

After the Godfall, Lethe gave the survivors a choice:
grieve a half-dead immortal half-life, or surrender forever.
Nemesis alone refused. The weight of centuries watched permanence fade,
and Nemesis became nemesis, began the slow transition to Adrasteia. Inescapable.
History lost track of her, and now her only companion is the god of the lost.
The irony does not escape Adrasteia.

nemesis puts the swords away and adrasteia breathes again. another victory.
lethe nods, accedes, and departs with the cup, another unconditional surrender.
she'll be back in a year, and the battle will continue, as it always has.

Adrasteia wakes and understands that this living is another kind of death.
Such is Lethe's truth, and knowing it frees her from regrets.
This is Adrasteia's truth: Lethe cannot remember, so she must not forget.

Heist