Chapter VI: Betrayal of the lamb
Andie Lamb was born Assumpta II, the scion of a prominent exo-colony dynasty. Her grandmother, Assumpta I, had successfully negotiated the purchase of the Moon’s entire supply of platinum, which Andie’s mother, Assumpta II, expanded to also include manganese. Andie was raised on Earth, though she was expected, on a yearly basis, to make a pilgrimage to her grandmother’s gravesite, in the Sea of Serenity. She would have been familiar, therefore, with all the pleasures and terrors of space travel and habituation; she and Olympias had this, and other experiences, including the guardianship of troubled mothers, in common. In contrast to Olympias, however, Andie grew up with the expectations of a child of destiny. As the heir to the Lamb fortune, that she was predestined to one day govern the better half of the Moon’s resources and supervise their extraction, a fate for which Andie was prepared with the unfailing exactitude and fanatical diligence of a pious prince. But destiny had other goals in mind by 2251, when a once-formidable dynasty crumbled into the sea and its last daughter found herself buried in the darkness of civilization’s near-total collapse.
Olympias and Andie Lamb met at an indeterminate point halfway through the Black Decade, in what may be the most famous chance encounter in history. Andie and a man—his name has been lost to history, or perhaps purposefully obscured—had been sheltering in an abandoned meat-packing factory following the collapse of their bunker. After an acrimonious dispute, the man locked Assumpta III in a meat locker, presumably with the goal of suffocating her. Olympias had been on a foraging expedition at the time—one of her first aboveground—when, as if by divine intervention, she came across him in flagrante, in the very act of shoving the metal door to the locker closed, its rubber seal squelching, abruptly silencing Andie’s panicked screams. Olympias, ever quick to act and acutely sensitive to such injustice, wasted no time in gutting him with her quantum knife. Given the bloody circumstances of this meeting and the depth of their subsequent relationship, the relationship between Olympias and Andie has been variously described as “pure loyalty of a knight to a monarch,” “religious devotion akin to priest and follower,” and, by Baby Blood, the most reliable chronicler of the time, as “as ironclad as the bond between master and dog”. He might have chosen a different comparison had he been aware of what was to come.
(Caption below accompanying photograph of Brave Olympias Rescues, circa 2500). The same unknown painter who captured Olympias’s mental anguish in Brave Olympias Resists resurrected her once more in Brave Olympias Rescues: rendered again in vibrant oils, Olympias is at the height of heroism here, clothed in a black neoprene bodysuit, holding a taciturn man at knifepoint while Andie, wailing and maiden-like in a shredded white dress, clings to her leg. Though the painter doubtlessly added extra detail for dramatic effect, the gist is largely faithfully preserved.