Let's end Episode 7 back in the Cave, with all three of the Fates :) ...


Scene 13: Trust

2020 B.C.

"I wanted to say..."

"If you mean to apologize, for that thing you said about love, sex, and... all of that, then please don't mention it," Atropos cut in as her youngest sister came up to her station by the Loom. "I'm not even a little bit offended. And if you're here to ask another favor, for our mother's sake, then yes, I'll do it."

Clotho blinked, taken aback by the series of blatant statements. That had been... brusque and candid, even by Atropos's standards. "Well, I am sorry. Really. And I do hope the words didn't hurt you; they were unkind, and I'm sure they're untrue..."

"Don't be so sure," the shearer muttered. "Anyway - the favor?"

"Before asking anything," her sister prefaced, "I wanted to say sorry again for my earlier imposition, too. And to thank you. The boy lived, and because he did, the villagers placed faith in me, and they've been heeding my advice ever since. Attempting to change for the better."

"Then you're helping to save Mother. Which is what matters."

Clotho nodded. "I hope so. From now on, though, I've come up with a way to carry out a similar plan, without imposing on your task."

"I told you I would do it; I don't mind the imposition if it's worth it."

"I know. And for that I am grateful, but I would much rather not ask such things of you, if it can be avoided. So the next time I land on earth, instead of offering to perform a miracle, I plan to offer to predict the future," Clotho stated.

Her sister listened patiently as she elaborated.

"All I would need is for you to show me a few threads that you intend to cut, during this visit to the Cave, as those souls will thus be set to perish on the morrow. Perhaps three threads or so, all situated in the same vicinity on earth. I can then arrive in that vicinity tomorrow and foretell those deaths - and when the people of that place see my predictions come to pass, then hopefully they will take that as proof that I am in some way connected to the gods. That my word is worth believing," Clotho asserted. "I could thereby achieve the same purpose as in my earlier situation, without altering your intentions or decisions. Does that make sense?"

Atropos processed the proposal for a moment. It made perfect sense. Clotho had always been unassailably sensible, so her eldest sister had honestly expected nothing less. As soon as Clotho had some time to consider the options at hand - rather than being forced to cope with a sudden emergency, as in her previous circumstance - then of course she would contrive some clever, self-sufficient plan.

"I realize that this strategy still isn't entirely self-sufficient," Clotho broke through her sister's thoughts, as if reading them, "since it does require that I ask about your intentions. I wish I could rely instead on my own powers, by predicting birth rather than death; but the threads that I spin do not result in observable outcomes on earth until... a few moons after this act of conception. So-"

"I know, I know. Because it takes some moons for pregnancy to show," Atropos interposed. "Have I ranted to you yet about the freakishness of the whole system of human reproduction, by the way?"

Clotho smiled, amused and willing to indulge her sister in the tangent for a moment. "Not yet, no."

"Well, I'll spare you the rant, but in short, the concept of getting fat for nine moons just from one night of sex is crazy, and the way the female body is designed to pop out babies is complete shit. Such a damn blessed relief that in our mortal forms, we don't have to worry about it."

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