It was such a strange thing to consider, really. Seeing the girl she had sired grow, be brought through the juvenation processes… the very same she herself had been taken through by the Mother. Stranger still, to participate in it, perhaps.
She was the oldest, borne by the Source, and Sired by the Mother… raised… moulded… aged… to exacting specification and detail. In spite of this, her mind, was her own. She belonged to the Mother, the Mistress, Bonded to her will as surely as she required breath, she knew this intuitively, yet her mind was still her own.
Such was the paradox of her existence, she reflected. A creation of flesh and blood, brought into being to sate an ancient woman’s needs and help her shape a future of her own designs… and still… able to choose. She had always been able to choose. If she had wanted, even with the exacting precision of the initial mindstate psychosurgically imprinted onto her greymatter, she could have left. The Mistress would not have stopped her. The Mistress had not stopped other, younger, sisters from leaving, after they had finished their Bonding. She had even watched the Mistress grant them boons to start anew, supported, and able to make their own way.
Most of her sisters however, stayed. She had watched many. Carried some of her own, and Sired many herself to this point in turn… but as she watched the girl through the lens of camera drones as she was prepared, and submerged into the tank, she felt a pang… This was hardly her first time participating in this process… far from her first time witnessing it… but this… was different. This, would be the first Sister that she had Sired, that she would be bringing through the Bonding herself. The Mistress was here, of course, or… one of her was. It was the Mother’s right, afterall, to bear witness to the process, but it felt… strange now to the dusky Achur woman. Watching the younger, yet so similar face to her own as she donned the breathing mask, already shaking from the juvenant accelerants. She felt a sense of urgency… of danger… but this was as safe a procedure as could be done. The failure rates were exceedingly low, and the process was based on long and well understood technologies and sciences.
And yet… Knowing that this girl before her, the Sister, was of her own siring made it feel quite different. It gave her pause, where before, she would not have hesitated to push the Bonding forward.
She felt a powerful, yet gentle grasp on her shoulder, the Mistress…
“It never gets easier, my Daughter,” the elder woman spoke softly, “Knowing they are yours, and bringing them through this, I assure you. I felt much the same when I brought you through the Bonding.”
“Then, why do you watch them all?”
“Because, you are all my charges. My daughters. Even those I do not sire or carry. It is my burden to bear to see you through.”
The Achur woman nodded softly at that, she had heard the explaination before, more than once, in fact, it had never waivered these past few years she had asked and known. But now… she could properly say she… understood better now. And she directed the Bonding to continue, gliding a fingertip across the holodisplay in front of her, this would be a long night… and Sister had much left to be done before it was out.
“Sister Akoya. Inhale. It is time we begin.”