Blaster fire crackled through dark space. The little corvette was out raced and out gunned, but was giving the Mount Olympus Imperial Cruiser hell yet.
Inside the corvette were Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena still locked in conflict over who should be awarded the Golden Apple but forced into an uneasy alliance as the rest of the Gods exiled them from the heavens.
“Cursed be ye three until you come to some peace!” Said Father God Zeus.
Now they fled across the galaxy as a ragtag rebellion with Imperial Gods in hot pursuit.

Athena clenched at the control panel as another blaster impact shook their embattled ship.
“We’ve got to jump ship! Its our only hope!” Said Hera.
Reluctantly, Athena agreed and turned on the autoturrets and set a course to crash into the Cruiser’s bridge.
“Open hailing frequencies to Hermes!” Said Hera to the ship’s computer.
A moment’s silence was followed by a voice mail prompt: “Sorry I can’t take your call right now–but leave your name, number, and a small devotional sacrifice of a goat and I’ll get right back to you in a flash.”
“Damn that Messenger God! Always busy biding someone else’s business!” yelled Aphrodite.
“Computer!” said Hera.
“Who are you calling now?” from Aphrodite–
“Hail Herpes.”
“Oh no. Not him.” said the Love Goddess shaking her head. 

With a cuncussive “Bamf!”  appeared Herpes, Brother to Hermes, and second fastest God in the Multiverse. A large sore glowed on his lip.
“Hey ladies. What’s shaking?”
“Get us out of here!” Athena directed at him.
“You’re yummy.” He leered. Before she could hit him, he scooped them up in his arms and “Bamf!” they were gone.
Moments later, on the bridge of the cruiser, a Lieutenant called out: “Sir, we’ve lost our bridge deflector shields!”
Showing his first glimmer of battlefield insecurity, the Commander feigned control as he directed: “Intensify the forward batteries, I don’t want anything to get through!”
It was too late already.
The flaming, now vacant corvette roared towards the bridge’s observation bay windows.
“Intensify forward fire power!”
His XO admitted it before he, “Too late!”

The Goddesses stood in an endless desert and looked up just in time to see the flash of explosion in the evening sky. 
Herpes smiled crookedly looking like a dog expecting a treat for fetching slippers.
Aphrodite kneed him in his syphilitic coin purse. Athena threw sand at his eyes but he was gone in a bamf. 
“Well, he saved us didn’t he?” Hera shrugged.
“Yeah, but I feel like I’ve got a yeast infection coming on.” said Aphrodite. The other two scratched in union.

Hera’s tricorder read that they were on the desert planet of Tatooine, one of King Priam’s territories along with Troy and Marvin Gardens. She figured that if they didn’t find shelter soon before the twin suns went down, they’d freeze to death in the night or get shot by the maurading Tusken Raiders. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” she said.

Paris skimmed along the red rock crest of Beggar’s Canyon in his T-16 with the first sunrise at the horizon and the second just below–giving him great position to surpise nesting Wamprats in rocky crags.
He loosed another blaster round and down went another, almost a meter wide wingspan twirling like a singed moth to rot on the canyon bottom. “I got one!” He howled.
“Don’t get cocky.” responded his onboard computer.
He arched up over the crest in a swirl of red dust, leaving four families of Wamprat to mourn their loved ones.
Tiny Tim, the littlest of Wamprats held his mother close to him until he could feel her breathing shake her and then cease. He didn’t cry. He knew she’d want him to be strong.

Paris saw a Sand Crawler inching along its treads towards the south and he barrelrolled into a low dive towards it.
He flashed a communication plink toward the mobile city and it plinked back: “Buy?”
and he answered: “Good prices?” and of course the mantra-like response from the Jawas: “Best Prices On Planet!”

He hopped out the cockpit as the Jawas lined up their wares. Paris had in mind to pick up a couple of sex-bots without his father King Priam finding out and the Jawas were the best synth-pimps on the sandy rock he called home.
“Hey. What’s you got in terms of some ‘entertainment’ bots?”
“Oontini!” screamed one to another with an excited arm waving motion.
Down came Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena from the ramp prodded along by a Jawa controlling their restraining rings.
“They sure look rough. That the best you got?”
The Jawas crowed back and forth chittering with anger.
“We usually look a bit better than this.” said Aphrodite.
“You see how you look after a night in the desert and being thrown in the cargo hold of a Sand Crawler.” said Hera.
“Sure. I bet you’re all real beautiful by Anchor Head or Mos Eisley standards. But, I’m sorry to tell y’all. I’m royalty okay? A prince.” said the Prince like a priss.
“Ooooh, big deal.” said Athena.
“Cool it, Thene…” warned Hera.
“No. I’m sick of jerkoff mortals thinking they’re God’s gift to womanhood. Screw you pal!” The War Goddess lifted her hands and with little effort snapped off her restraining belt and the necks of each Jawa assembled. She absorbed what little Mana their souls gave her and transformed–strengthened by bloodlust and the Spirit of Nike, Goddess of Victory.
With a flick of her finger she tossed the Sand Crawler and the Jawas’ bodies over a sand dune where they eaten by The Almighty Sarlacc, The Great Pit of Carkoon.
“And now, my ‘Prince’, you shall experience the true power of the dark side…” Athena’s raised hands began to glow blue with electricity but Hera pulled them to her side.
“Wait!”
“What is it? Let’s destroy him, plunder his kingdom, and then kill everyone on this planet. It smells like Dewbacks here.”
“Can’t you see any other way to solve a problem but through violence?” Hera pleaded.
“She is the Goddess of War afterall.” Aphrodite chimed.
Paris’ stomach clenched. Few mortals had tried to buy Goddesses as sex slaves and lived to tell about it.

“Athena, I think Hera has an idea.” said Aphrodite lovingly. “And I know what it is.”
“Well please indulge me.”
“We’ve been trying to settle who is the most beautiful right? Well here is a simple Prince to help decide!”
Hera nodded “That’s right. Who better than this naive little pissant, uncorrupted by norms and expectations of civilized culture?”
“Look, Tatooine may be remote,” Paris said “If there is a bright spot in the galaxy, this is the farthest from it, but I’m no dummy.”
“Perfect,” said Athena. “A dummy who is confident in himself.”
Paris puffed out his chest confidently.

Thus sang the Goddesses Three, in lilting voice and graceful of spirit:
Thou pure spark of life
from great silence deep
you childe of stillness and time–
Thou art the heart of earthen vessels
mere mortals true but of hearts like seeds
to which the cosmos calls like deep unto deep.
Though craggy and cracked, each pot
has greater origin and destiny than
any might imagine.
To thee of wasted powers we plead:
who is the fairest of them all?

A sad race these mortals be,
what strangeness abounds in humanity!
But their greatness lies like secrets in their
shared myths, songs, their fireside stories.

They write of gods and mortals
and presume to know of each:
their difference and their likeness
and that the twain shall not meet.
They sing of lovely young maidens
and continue to mistreat those they ‘love’
strange hearts of hypocrisy and low souls
though their minds wish to soar above.
What pipes and timbrels!
What songs they sing
such gaity and madness a simple rhythm bring.

Yes, their words seek greatness
and poems and songs are uttered
but silence is prefered between lovers
and words their affairs only clutter.

Stranger in a strange land,
O wandering race–
of all you wrongly think you know
please tell us from your razor’s edge:
Who is the fairest of them all?

O animal of contradictions
of lies and self deceit
who has come to see even
simplicity in living as some monastic feat
who pines for one to kiss
but finds in loneliness a bliss
who kick against the goads
yet seek solace in travelled roads–
O double minded tell us if you can:
Who is the fairest of them all?

You who look to yonder wood
with hopes that if you harbor good
that you will bloom again after dying–

In hopes that like the evergreen
that life could not truly be as mean
to exempt you from heaven despite your trying

What if you were to be lost like tinder
and burned like boughs?
You’d no longer worry for where
a loved one’s soul goes-

But hubris ties you to dream of worlds to come.
And this remains your cross to bear.
O unhappy boughs
bid the spring adieu
and rejoice in each morn’
its own world anew!

O sad race,
We gods would wish you more happy love
more happy, happy love!
Yet you pant by streams of water.
You beg for more at a feasting table.

All breathing human passion
is a blistered tongue pleading drink
from a finger dipped in water
when thou rest in pools of coolness
at the bosom of all Creation.
Tell us lover of illusion:
Who is the fairest of them all?

Put aside thy gory gifts
thy rank auguries and tithes
stand up from thy altars
put down the sacrifice knives.
Look onto thy neighbor
and heed first their cries.
You trouble your hearts with infinity
and try to read the skies-
for shame you who would be goddesses
content in devoted sheep guise.
O prince among Kings of Unclaimed Crowns:
who is the fairest of them all? 

Mortal, when mountains are laid to waste
and thrown into the sea
one truth will outlast you, your citadels,
and onto eternity.
When your gods are seen for idols
and even your very self as idol also
there stands one truth 
extinction will forego–
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Now tell us Passing Shadow, O Vaporous Air:
Of us Three Goddesses, who mark you most fair?

Paris was a bit shook up to say the least. He had really been looking forward to spending his morning buying a sex-bot and taking it out to his friend Wedge’s abandoned adobe hut behind the Pod Racing arena, and now he was being confronted with existential dread.
He asked to be excused for a moment and he walked into the desert.
There he fasted for 40 days and took enough peyote that the ‘angels’ attended to him. 
Then, in his weakest moment, Athena, Aphrodite, and Athena came to tempt him. 

Said Hera:
“Vote for me and I will give you all the herds of cattle in the world. You can then have meatloaf every day.”
She showed him grazing cows that were just aching to be ground up into chuck.
Said Paris:
“A person doesn’t live by meatloaf alone, but also by a lot of ketchup.”

Said Athena:
“Vote for me and I’ll make you the chief leader of all galaxies’ armies. You will be the most mighty and feared General since Grievous!”
She took him in a vision to look upon ranks of Post Order 66 Clones that would be at his command.
Said Paris:
“Away from me woman! For it is written: There is only One Admiral Akbar and He alone shall you serve.”

Said Aphrodite:
“Vote for me and I’ll hook you up with anyone you want to get freaky with.”
Said Paris:
“Like hot chicks to have sex with?”
Said Aphrodite:
“Yes, and–”
Said Paris:
“You! I vote for you! The one who’ll get me sweet sweet lovin’! Yeeeehaw!”

Paris shot his blaster into the air as Hera and Athena shook their heads in disgust.
“I shoulda guessed.” Said Hera.
“Yeah. We shoulda asked that guy on Dagobah.”

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