Gods Of Juluka Chapter 8: The Mwari Cult
Thick dust clouds rose to cover her helmet and wings as Nongqawuse’s Zigpowered Hoverbird sped across the hot, flat desert plains on the Outer badlands beyond the Kingu Citadel towards the Zig Ore Mines which were located on the far reaches of the Citadel, at the end of which lay the main Spaceport used to transport the mined Zig Ore.
It was to this desolate wasteland that the Mwari Cult, the Religious Order that had controlled the appointment of Akan Kings before the Juluka conquest had retreated since the Juluka Conquest of Kingu.
In the meantime, the Mwari Cult had found ways to keep some of the Ancient Akan Beliefs and Rituals alive by passing on the Ancient Akan Wisdom to selected elders within resistance cells spread across the various Juluka Colonies that were now part of the Kingu Federation.
With the Juluka conquest, the Mwari Cult Order had fundamentally lost Spiritual power and control of the Federation Planets.
The loss to the Juluka at the battle of Maji Maji Station during the Juluka Conquest Wars, had humiliated the Mwari Cult after it had failed to deliver the Juluka Invaders into the hands of the indigenous peoples of the Kingu Federation as promised by an Ancient Akan Prophecy.
After the defeat, the Mwari Cult had been forced to submit, and it had collaborated with the Juluka by carrying out the annual Ceremonial blessing of the Akan Mambo appointed to represent the Akan in the Juluka Federation Council at the Citadel.
They were also responsible for administering the Oath to, and swearing in each new Juluka Lord appointed to administer the Kingu Federation territory.
Now under the leadership of Menelik, the Mwari Order had thrived as a vassal of the Juluka but memories of its past glory days as Spiritual Master of Kingu always lingered.
“Be carefuuuul!!” Menelik screamed at Nongqawuse as she brought the Hoverbird to an abrupt but smooth stop in the docking bay.
“We’re running out of time!!”, Nongqawuse shouted as she jumped out of the cockpit.
“So you think we’re not aware of that?”.
Menelik responded somewhat cynically.
“I just hope you completed your mission as instructed”, he continued.
Nongqawuse responded with a mixed look of disdain and indignation.
“Your confidence in me is inspiring as always!”
“Look…I’m sorry if I came across as ungrateful.”, Menelik responded slightly embarassed.
“It’s just that we’ve come such a long way, and this is our first chance to rid ourselves of the Juluka in 100, 000 Mbire Moon Cycles.
Our Star Mapping Computations have revealed to us the current Planetary alignments that are the most propitious for our intended course of action according to the Ancient inscriptions.”, he continued.
“I understand how important this is.
I dont need any convincing.”, Nongqawuse retorted.
“However, I am concerned about whether the Messiah Program is the best way to achieve this”, she continued with a look that betrayed a need for Menelik’s reassurance.
“It wasn’t my individual decision.
That’s what the joint Cult Dare Council decided, and we are all bound by the decisions of the Dare Council.
That has always been our way.
Besides, as far as I am aware, it was a purely technical decision”, Menelik replied confidently in a dismissive tone.
He had to be frank this time he thought.
Difficult days lays ahead, and the sooner Nongqawuse got used to this kind of frank talk the better it would be for everyone he concluded.
‘Besides, we’ve learnt a lot from the Juluka in this time of our humiliation.
The technology we have stolen from them over the years has enabled us to develop our own Synthetic Army in secret, and we are ready to expel them from this Constellation and restore the Olden ways.
However, we need a Messianic Consciousness to operate the Synthetics and lead them to victory.
This is where your little assignment comes in.
The Synthetics control interface works best with a Messianic Consciousness jacked in.
Probably because its the most likely capable of completing the programmed mission objective of commanding the Synthetics to victory.
Without such a Consciousness, the Synthetics will not activate, and we wont have an army”, Menelik continued emphasising what was at stake.
“I can confirm that I made contact.
I’m sure we’ll be hearing from the ‘chosen one’ pretty soon, but I really hope you know what you’re doing”.
Nongqawuse added in an effort not only to confirm the execution of the task assigned to her, but also to reveal her unease at the extreme Mind-Programming measures that were now being adopted by the Mwari Cult to secure the support of the Akan people in the coming confrontation with the Juluka.
“Trust me, we know what we’re doing.
We’ve had a long time to prepare for this, and we certainly cant afford to let the moment pass.
It’s ordained in the Stars.
Let’s go, they’re already waiting for us inside the conference Chamber.
I wonder why they don’t just use a Teleportation Capsule.
Getting up there is always a mission”.
Menelik concluded abruptly ending the conversation as they began the treacherous climb up the long, winding and narrow path to the Council Conference Chamber where the full Mwari Cult Dare Council was impatiently waiting.
Previous Chapter 7: The Prophetess
Artwork Credit: Nubiamancy