By Moe Lane


So much fuss over such a simple biological function that barely qualifies as a tertiary manipulation technique for the average Hetaera. Admittedly, said function is considered to have a somewhat greater significance on the corporeal plane, but that is no excuse for imprecise judgement.

After all, the primary purpose of a Hetaera is not the imparting and demonstration of advanced sexual techniques, feverish Lust-propaganda to the contrary. The primary purpose is to provide a properly nurturing environment for a selected human subject during critical periods in his or her development. How this is accomplished will vary from subject to s u b ject, obviously: human beings are endlessly variegated in their drives, interests and personal tastes. A Hetaera must adjust his or her methodology to match in order to work at full efficiency.

Possibly the confusion arises from the standard appearance of a Hetaera. There are reasons, however, why these particular Servitors of Lightning (plus similar groups from Judgement, Stone, Divine Fire and of course the Sword) usually choose vessels that conform to their current target area's standards of beauty. To begin with, it has been found that it can be difficult to get a particular human's undivided attention: appearing in a form that appeals to basic evolutionary drives is an obvious strategy. Also, of course, once this attention is gotten it needs to be kept for as long as might be necessary: physical appearance can be useful here, as well. Concupiscence really does not enter into the situation at all.

Yes, it is true that some sort of pseudo-reproductive activity is often part of the job description, but this is primarily therapeutic, not to mention a safety measure. Human beings (most notably, the types that would require a Hetaera's attention) tend to define altogether too much of their sense of self-worth from that particular corporeal activity, especially at the age that most Hetaeras are called in. Assuaging the symptoms (while working on the root problem) both keeps the subject centered and neatly derails a favorite tactic of the Enemy. It is inefficient to fail to use a useful tool for one's tasks (provided of course that the tool is essentially ethical), simply because the Enemy uses a superficially similar technique themselves.

Still, the particular tool that most focus on is really the least important one in a Hetaera's toolbox - and usually used less and less as the intervention continues. What Hetaeras do is to provide balance: their subjects are usually individuals with a particular talent or genius who have not yet been fully integrated into their local societal matrix. The Hetaera, through example and instruction, provides a conducive atmosphere for socialization in same, all the while striving to neutralize the more negative societal influences before they can inflict permanent harm their subject's psyche. No less important to the Hetaera is the necessity of making sure that the s u b ject is, at the end, ready to face the pressures of human society unaided. Heaven is not in the habit of emotionally crippling humanity, after all. They leave that abomination to their enemies.

It is not easy to be a Hetaera, of course. Each Archangel that sponsors the group insists on strict standards. To even be considered, a candidate must be able to demonstrate extensive knowledge and expertise in corporeal customs and history, psychology, philosophy, literature, music, at least two sciences, general athletic prowess and at least three languages. Furthermore, prospective Hetaera must also be able to demonstrate that they are capable of providing the moral lessons most favored by their respective Archangels.

For example, Jean's Hetaeras usually deal with those who must be guided away from the false idol of knowledge at any cost, no matter how destructive that cost might be. Hetaeras of Judgement routinely handle those that will need a firm grounding on the responsible use of power. David requires his Hetaeras to concentrate on rescuing those who have been ostracized from their particular societal subgroup. Those of Divine Fire provide support for artists and victims of cruelty: the first are taught to not be unconsciously Cruel, and the second are given their self-respect back. And, of course, Hetaeras of the Sword have the trickiest job of all: they must go out and pull out of the fire those who are at the brink of falling into sin and error. It is fortunate that all Hetaeras are able to call upon the resources of Destiny: Yves has no formal servants of this type - or, in a sense, all of his servants can be considered to be Hetaeras - but he has instructed his Servitors to provide them with assistance whenever possible.

It is not an easy task to be a Hetaera, by any means, but the rewards are no less satisfying for being intangible. The protection (or salvage) of a human soul as it picks its way through the metaphorical minefield that is modern society is a task that any true angel would willingly undergo. There is also a certain satisfaction in demonstrating to the Enemy that there is nothing that Hell can do that Heaven cannot do better - including the act of tempting. Thus, there is never any shortage of potential applicants for the position.

Still, there continues to be the occasional coarse joke or comment, even among the Host. Really, such behavior is quite inappropriate...


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