Bastet and the Child-killer

Warning: Bastet's view of Judeo-Christian theology may not agree with that of actual Judeo-Christians.

"My parents think you're a demon in league with Satan trying to corrupt my soul," said Kaiju.  "I tried to persuade them that you're the One True God's Angel of Cats.  Is that at all correct?"

"Not a word of it," said Bastet.  "I refuse to have anything to do with the Child-killer.  His ways are horrible, and I'm definitely not letting him near my kittens, or anyone else's."

"Is 'Child-Killer' an Egyptian name for Satan?"

"No, that's not Satan at all.  It's what the gods generally call Yaway these years."

"Why call him that?"

"Killing children seems to be his main stock in trade, mythologically at least, said Bastet.

"I was raised in that faith, and that's not what I would have said about God at all," said Kaiju.

"Do you know his core mythos?"

"What's a core mythos?" asked Kaiju.

"The stories which are the most essential, the most characteristic.  Mostly not literally true, but symbolically and personally potent.

"I know the basic scriptures," said Kaiju.

[[author's note: afaik nobody on earth believes the following, including the author. -bb]]

"So there's this central story where Yaway sacrifices his own son to himself so that he can stop himself from torturing humans.  And the story where Yaway gets his prophet to hold a mock execution for the prophet's son.  And the story where Yaway floods the whole planet out and kills basically everyone, which is pretty irresponsible since humans are sort of his children.  Oh, and the creation myth where he sets up this attractive nuisance tree for the people he created, as an excuse for why they're perpetually out of Yaway's favor and he gets to kill them and torture them a lot despite he says he made them."

"You sound rather upset with him, " said Kaiju.  "Also I don't think that's a completely fair summary of the monotheist theology.

"I am upset with him!  We overlap in one myth.  There's this story that Yaway's followers were in Egypt for some reason or other, and Yaway got into a pissing contest with the pharoah.  So Yaway decided to curse — not the responsible pharoah personally which could have made sense , but the whole of Egypt.  Killing, you guessed it, all the firstborn children in the country.  Because those babies were fanatic pharoah loyalists in their diapers I guess, and directly personally responsible.

"Anyhow, I'm involved with home protection.  In Egypt, child protection in particular, defending the innocent,that kind of thing.  So this story of Yaway's, set squarely in my physical and spiritual territory and domain, completely rubs my fur backwards.

"Did it really happen?"asked Kaiju.

"Mythic reality is pretty slippery.  Historically no, didn't happen a bit.  As a fundamental strand of Yaway's essence, it did happen as a far as Yaway is concerned.  So I'm left with a hodgepodge story where I'm failing to protect my people.  In human terms, it's about like a bad bruise," said Bastet.

"So, you're not one of God's angels, and ... actually his enemy?" said Kaiju.

"I am no servant or friend of the Child-killer.  I mostly ignore him.  If he got obnoxious enough to actually get me to pay attention to him, he still wouldn't get as far as 'enemy' in my view.  Just to bitey-toy.  Or 'hapless little rodent du jour'.  " "Mom isn't just a cute cuddly furball.  She also beats up Apep regularly.  I can't imagine that Yaway would give her any challenge," said Eirlys.

"Why, that's the nicest thing you've said about me in ages, Eirlys!"

"Oops, guess I slipped up!"

"Who or what is Apep?" asked Kaiju.

"The would-be destroyer of all things, or at least the would-be obnoxerizer of the universe, the persnakification of chaos," said Bastet.

"So, the Egyptian Satan?" asked Kaiju.

"I suppose so, except for having pretty much nothing in common with Satan.  Like, Apep isn't the least bit fussy about laws, or proper procedure, or about sensible ethical foundations of legal systems, for example," said Bastet.

"And Satan is?"

"Yes indeed.  Satan's title-or-name means 'the accuser', he was basically the Child-killer's prosecuting attorney, as well as his oldest son.  Until he made one little tiny mistake."

"Rebelling against God? "asked Kaiju.

"No, he tried to rationalize Yaweh's legal system — and, mistake of all mistakes, got Yaweh to agree to use the rationalized system.  Which lasted five minutes.  Satan then pointed out a thousand times Yaweh hadn't followed the rationalized system or even the early one, and Satan got all prosecuting-attorney on Yaweh.  Which was Satan's Yaway-assigned job.  Basically urging his father to atone and provide recompense for some wars and things Yaweh had inspired," said Bastet.

"ProTip: don't tell the touchy, self-centered psychopath to atone and provide recompense, especially if you're his child and he's *really* into killing children," said Eirlys.

Kaiju sighed.  "This does not match my Sunday school courses very well.  What happened to Satan?"

"First thing, when he realized how angry Yaway was at him, he begged Zeus for protection from Yaway, and stayed in Olympus for a time.  It turns out that the Olympians don't like being constantly accused of heinous deeds either, and they aren't into constructing massive intricate impossible-to-follow law codes, so Satan didn't have the best social life there — Could not get laid despite Olympus being a pretty sexy place, kind of thing, I heard.  So Yaway somehow lured Satan back, rewrote most of his mythos making Satan out to be the Apep-figure who causelessly, pointlessly tries to ruin everything And then got him tortured to death, surprising exactly one god (Epimetheus).  Long story short, Zeus severely tased Yaway to Tartarus with a lightning bolt and removed some large fraction of his more murdery powers and put him on long-term punishment.  Satan is in for a very long period of therapy for PTSD and so on.  Yaway's cults are rampaging around on Earth in dozens of forms, most of them troublesome since there's no sane deity involved and only the barest of contavt with any deity."

Anyhow, if my followers were a fraction as awful ... I'd stick with purely feline followers.  Nonsentient.  Cute.  Cuddly," said Bastet.  Not total assholes."

"Mom, why are you saying false things about cats?" asked Eirlys.

"OK, they'd be total assholes. But on a very small scale, and ameliorated by the purring," said Bastet.

"That's fair."


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