The Angels Saga
Rebirth Volume 7
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
Copyright 6182 SC
PART ONE – CLAMORTON CLANS
Teacups and Teaspoons
Michael on Eternya
Silk Suspenders on her Thighs
Raphael and Tobit
Clamorton Clans 2
Michael on Eternya 2
Teacups and Teaspoons 2
Kaleriaphon and Brigidina
Raphael and Tobit 2
Callodyn and Kayella 19
PART TWO - ASTORIA
The Dodgy Barbarians
The Dodgy Barbarians 2
4 O'Clock 23
Astoria of the Spiritual Universe
The Dodgy Barbarians 3
Life in Avatar City
Astoria of the Spiritual Universe 2
Monkeyman and Monkey
Monkey and Bagman
PART THREE – GEOCITIES
The foundation of Creation
Journal Entry 347.444.443.78902222888
Satan the Bagman of Geocity
Krondak the Usurper
Davriel Sevenheaven & Amiel Fifteenfight
Life in Geocity Prime
PART FOUR – LIFE IN CLAMORTON AND OTHER TALES
Life in Clamorton
Life in Avatar City 2
Astoria of the Spiritual Universe 3
Clamorton Clans 3
Life in Clamorton 2
Sariel Glides Upwards
Gabriel the Evening Star
Fabulous Mr Aesop
Rainy Days 6
Callodyn and Kayella 19
The Fabulous Misadventures of the Famous 17 Kaleidoscope Collectiosn VI
Life in Clamorton 3
The Dark Circle
PART FIVE – HARDLY A REBEL HEART
Hardly a Rebel Heart
Time's Up for Callodyn
Sariel and Daniel: A Night in Bangkok
Michael on Eternya 3
Callodyn and Saruviel
A Bartender's life
Dan and Tails
PART SIX – SLIPSTREAM UNIVERSE
The Life of Ben Owens
PART SEVEN – RAINBOW COVENANT
Teacups and Teaspoons
'It's a collectable,' said Daniel – Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.
Taylor Swift nodded.
'It's worth about 70 Billion Googol Dollars,' said Daniel. 'A realm credit still buys near a dollar.'
'Australian or US?' asked Taylor.
'Not much difference,' said Daniel.
'There are 500 in the series. A teaspoon also comes with the teacup and saucer. They only have the cup and saucer here, but sometimes you find the full set. It's some of the finest from Royal Prestwidge. A 33rd century company from New Terra. Welsh finest.'
Taylor nodded, but still continued purveying the stand.
'Mmm,' said Daniel, holding his chin. 'Not impressed, huh?'
Taylor looked at him for a moment, but continued looking at the table. After a while she turned, walked over to a nearby bench, and sat down, taking out her water bottle. He looked at the item, and it's price, then sidled over to Taylor, sitting down next to her.
'These things go on forever, Daniel,' said Taylor.
'The point is you put them on a Meludielese timetable checklist, and get to them after several epochs, use them, and appreciate them for a while, before back into storage.'
She looked at him. 'So you say. But why?'
'To spice up life,' he replied.
'It's spicy enough with favourites. A few thousand personals which are dear to my heart. Don't need the extras.'
'You haven't worked it out then, yet?' he replied.
'Then explain,' she said.
'It's not about having JUST the personal. Obviously we keep the personal close. It's the every day use things our lives revolve around. But mum always had the special itmes which came out once in a blue moon. So these go into storage, and are rarely used. When they are, it's a bit of colour in life, and something to rag on about for a while.'
She looked at him, then sipped on her water, still looking at him. Finally she stood and went to the table.
'I'll take it,' she said, handing over the card. 'Please wrap it carefully.'
'It's eternya,' said the vendor. 'But I'll wrap it carefully.'
Taylor took the item after a while, and returned to the bench.
'Your logic is sound,' she said after a while. 'We will be shopping hard for the next millennia. I have muchos doleros in savings. I will purchase an archive space near some of yours, and begin this dastardly project. Your idea is fine. No flaws, actually. I don't mind special at all in such a context.'
'Special kisses tonight?'
She kissed him on the cheek.
'Dream on Daniel Daly,' she said.
'He got a special kiss after dessert. He said something rude then. Taylor slapped him on the cheek.
Collecting was now the priority.
Michael on Eternya
'You shouldn't be here,' said Theophilus Largeheart, wizrd extroardinire of the Guild of Wizards and Witches of Eternya.
'And you shouldn't practice magic. It's a sin,' replied Archangel Michael, looking over the land in the valley below. He was not far from the top of a hill which had a wizard tower in the Vale of Aldur tradition from the Belgariad, which was Theophilus' home. Theophilus had come down to see the strange visitor who was on the edge of his land, in unclaimed territory, not yet settled, in this area of Eternya – just the way he liked it.
'Isn't Zionistya enough for you Michael?' asked Theophilus. 'I had felt the judgments on the issue were sound enough, and that separation of covenants was the best solution. We were getting along better with separate communties. Why would you want to change that? It's working ok now.'
'I don't intend to change that,' replied Michael. 'Not in any major or significant way. But Eternya is middle ground, and I have judged that at this stage, this far out from centrepoint, it's fair game for Zionistyans to start settling, and competing with the other communities.'
'You are in your legal rights,' said Theophilus, stroking his chin. 'Eternya is a different kettle of fish, of course. It probably won't bother us much if that is what Zionistya wants to do. But Eternity will not like it much. You surely know that.'
'I don't expect them to, and I don't expect that will bother me much, or change the agenda. We'll claim what authroity we can in the end, through perseverance and getting what we can from life. Saruviel and Daniel won't have it all their way.'
'Argue that with Samael of Infinity. He doesn't let eternity up much. They often find it challenging when they do, and we don't like it much up there at all. Very strict and much expected. Far more happy with Eternya's pace of things. We don't judge nearly half as much. Why I expected you guys not to care being at the bottom anymore. Figured the suffering servant has had enough and is over it.'
Michael continued surveying the valley. 'We generally are, if you must know. I'm making a more rationale decision in that respect. Logical ways of furthering our postion from, forgive me, an eternal mindset. What works eternally well for us.'
'Eternya will probably accept you,' said Theophilus. 'But I personally like the peace and quiet of my region. I know you are probably going to buy that valley down there. I can see it in your eyes. But futher along is a lot of nice greenery. If you do build here, promise me only a quiet hutlet, with maybe some levites. Rabbis I can live with. They are sedate enough.'
Michael looked at Theophilus. 'Ok. I agree to that. What is your name?'
Theohailus of the guild of wizards and witches. Typical Belgariadian style.'
'I understand,' said Michael. 'I will be building a castle down there, and a middle ages village will settle. I see your stylings, and will go with your general flow of things.'
'Thank you for that mercy,' replied Theophilus, and turned and started making his way up the hill. He paused, and turned to Michael. 'Come and visit once you are settled in. We'll have a feast of turkey and things, and chat about things. I have much knowledge you might not yet know.'
'Sounds good,' said Michael, and Theophilus smiled, continuing his way up the hill.
Michael looked at the valley again. 'Life moves on,' he said himself.
And the wind blew in the leaves of the trees nearby.
Silk Suspenders on her Thighs
‘Oh, Jessica. You want sex again? We had it last night.
Jessica Daly nee Murdoch was in her silk suspenders, and not much else, in Daniel’s bedroom, Daniel the Seraphim’s bedroom, on the ground floor of Danielphon, gazing at her husband, whip in hand, reading to flog him.
‘Slave, your mistress needs a bit,’ she said, looking ravishing with her short blonde hair, in that inimitable style she eternally wore it.
‘Who does your hair?’ Daniel asked.
She looked at him, and came down from standing on the mattress, and sat on the edge of the bed. She looked at the mirror of the cabinet, touched her hair, looking at herself.
‘I don’t really recall you ever asking that,’ she said.
‘I’ve never really thought about asking, but looking at my dominatrix, your eternal cut suddenly reached out and imposed itself in my head. Just curious where you get it done.’
‘I have a stylist down in Just Cuts, not far from Zaphon tower. In Ludstrom Plaza. She’s been there forever, and is very qualified, despite it being a budget cut store.’
‘I get my hair done there occasionally,’ he said.
‘I know. You came in once, and I disappeared out the back very quickly. Didn’t really want you to know.’
‘I see. Is it the brunette or the blonde?’
‘The blonde,’ replied Jessica. ‘Her name is Mary. She’s married, has 7 kids, and has been there since the resurrection practically. Owns a home in Dalnaphon district.’
‘Right,’ he said. ‘It’s always flawless. Always perfect. You are eternally desirable because of it.’
She jumped back up on the mattress. ‘That’s the point, slave. Now give me some, or I will whip you to an inch of your life.’
‘If you insist,’ he replied.
Later on, passion finished, Daniel was eating his weet bix, while Jessica was sipping on a latte she purchased in one of the café’s upstairs a bit in Danielphon tower, reading the Danielphon News.
‘Shelandragh is looking for a blonde business type for some work. What do you think?’ asked Jessica, not looking up.
‘Sounds good,’ said Daniel. ‘Will keep you busy. You are always taking time off work these days.’
‘Technically I’m part time now,’ she said softly.
‘What?’ he asked. ‘Since when?’
‘Quite a while now. I’ve enough of an income, and you have a card I can use when I want to. Thought I may as well enjoy something of the good life.’
‘And you like a bit of my beanstalk a bit more regularly because of it, huh?’
‘I’ll let your beanstalk recover a while first, but indeed I like a bit of the passion of Daniel the Seraphim. He has eternal skills in being a bit feisty. Never gets jaded and pious. Always remembers he likes the ladies. Exactly what I like about you dear husband.’
‘When they are as hot as you babe, not a problem,’ said Daniel, fishing into the box of weet bix and pulling out the cards.
‘They’ve done classic rolling stone magazine covers,’ said Daniel. ‘That’s new. Must have got rights. Don’t recall them doing this before. I’ll have to make sure I collect all 20 cards.’
Jessica nodded, and continued reading the newspaper.
Daniel looked at her, as he munched his weet bix.
‘Obviously I like Meludiel and Melanie C and Gloryel a bit,’ he said to her. ‘And my twin a bit.’
‘Your point, ‘said Jessica, not looking up.
‘They really only need to be friends now,’ he said soberly.
She looked at him. ‘What I’ve been working on you for. I take our vows seriously buster.’
‘You always have, Jessica Murdoch. You always have.’
Jessica nodded, continued reading her paper, and Daniel looked at his cards, his heart happy at the prospect of going off to buy some weet bix regularly and building yet another full set of trading cards.
‘These anomalies are called Vortex’s,’ said Professor Zelzazon.
‘How do they work?’ asked Saruvien.
‘They appear sporadically in the universe, sort of like a wormhole through time thing, as far as we understand. But, of course, time travel is a fantasy. Physically impossible. What has happened is that the universe has an in-built recording mechanism built into it, and there are timestreams which are managed by the Time-Masters to fix destiny. The Time-Masters plot out the workings of destiny from the book of Destiny created by Eve, firstborn child of heaven. In harmonizing all the passions and energy of the timestreams, which are like the impulses that are theorized will be in the actual universe in the real world, beforehand the Time-Masters fix things up and get it all under control. So many issues in life were resolved for us in pre-planning work by the Time-Masters, who harnessed our passions and unified the whole. Divine interference in a sense.’
‘Apholox explained it all once to me,’ said Samaen. But what the fuck is a Vortex.’
‘An irresolvable. The time-masters take an element or elements, some times, which will not work out in destiny, and create an alternative universe for them to fit. Where they can express themselves better in a world, born anew, which would not have understood them. They are only ever eternal destiny individuals, but these misfits of space and time could not resolve their passions in the natural flow. A vortex becomes necessary, and a new world. God creates in and starts it all in flow, in separate dimension frequency.’
‘Can we harness them?’ asked Satan.
‘You really are evil, aren’t you,’ replied Zelzazon.
‘Takes one to know one old chap,’ replied the Dark Lord, and puffed once more on his ciggie.
Raphael and Tobit
‘Yes Tobit. You are an idiot.’
‘You have been saying that for many a long century,’ replied Tobit. ‘But Azariah, you are hardly a man to make such a comment.’
‘Nay, I am the angel Raphael in disguise. Can you not tell. If I say my mother was a Kushite, with colour that can not change, and you believe me, then you must also believe I am telling the truth when I call you an idiot. It is well known – a received fact amongst the clans of Clamorton. Tobit of Vinner City is the world’s greatest idiot. An electrician of ill repute, who rides in a van every weekend with his best friend, a scot no less, and hangs around a banal an boring club, because his daughter has married such a one, and boozes, and chants horrible pictish sonnets, and bores all and sundry with how the Rothchild’s are doing such a wonderful job running Televere. Nothing less than an idiot.’
‘I have new Scottish CDs from ‘The Universal Scotsman’ society on a regular basis, ones which I am not mocked for owning, due to my fidelity to the Clamorton Clans club. Cultural possession is strong in humanity, and so many are defensive, but young Delilah is faithful to Doogal Maintyre, and they have received me whole and unblemished.’
‘Nincompoops. Israel should be in Zionistya, and get going when they learned their place. I am here to teach you this. Come dwell in Zionistya, and leave this Scottish farce behind you. Michael takes much to drum sense into, but he will learn in time. We have a perpetual domain and I have gotten used to it now, and I see little point in crying over spilt milk.’
‘Son of Hananiah, listen to me. I am comfortable with my trade in Vinner City, and live in a comfortable suburb, with a comfortable wife, and a comfortable family. The Clamorton Clans club receives my quiet happily, if you must know. There are no issues whatsoever. They are patriotic indeed, but Televerans, and Televere is quite happy with it’s Jewish royalty. Leave me be. Return to your place, Azariah, and get on with your own concerns.’
Raphael picked up the cold glass of Scottish beer, and looked at the paintings on the wall of Tobit’s living room in his abode in Vinner City, on Clamorton Continent on the planet Televere. He sipped. ‘Maybe I should buy in the local. The best fishing in the universe is in Vinner City I have been told.’
‘Now you are making sense,’ replied Tobit.
Raphael sipped again, and put down his glass. ‘The covenant claims are being honoured, as they are legal, but do not think there will not be tensions down the road a little. The Morning Stars could not find peace with the Evening Stars, and separation has solved much of our dilemma. I think it is the best of solutions, but there is chance that places like Televere, and if Michael can succeed in his vain ambitions, parts of Eternya which will receive us.’
‘You fret too much,’ said Tobit. ‘Drink up, and we’ll play snooker.’
‘So the afternoon passed in Tobit’s house, and Raphael, concerned with a citizen who usually resided in his dominion in Zionistya, an ancient friend, decided to go with the flow for the time being, and see where the waters ran.
Celia picked up the red pencil, and mulled it over. 'Red or Purple' she puzzled to herself. Unicorns should in all natural course of affairs be white, but fuck it. She was a Connelly, with a father who had made a living of going against the grain, and while Azrael was far away in the Realm of Eternity, serving beer to drunkards, and hanging around that Icelandic clown he was fond of, her mother faithfully by his side, young Celia was not to be drawn into such a lifestyle. But her father rubbed off on her regardless. She stuck with red, and started colouring in the Unicorn.
'Celia,' yelled her mother 'Your uncle will be here shortly. He's just rang. Are you ready? Is your backpack packed? You have bottled water, and a book to read?'
'Everything is fine Auntie Petunia,' yelled Celia in reply.
'I'll let you know when he gets here,' yelled Petunia, and went quiet after that. Celia's uncle, a brother of Azrael, born many years later to Azrael's human parents, Uncle Jim, was her legal guiardian. Jim Connelly. Well renowned plumber of Vinner City, Clamorton. Famous for his inventions and patents in the fields Clamorton wide, but mostly renowned for his long drinking sessions and card playing up at the Belton Clamorton Clans club in Belton City, the capital of Clamorton. She chose him for, despite their weekly trip up to Belton from Vinner City, which was filled with Scottish idiots doing stupid Scottish Clan things, in the predictably Scottish way, he was mostly a conservative sort of fellow, a straight laced plumber, who did a no-nonsense job in cleaning out sewarage works a lot of the time, and unclogging blocked toilets and the like, and life was far more sedate and predictably safe than life with her own parents, who seemed to have an incredible knack for revelry and sarcasm. Much to much sarcasm for the straight as a nail Celia Connelly. Yet while she like the straight way in life, with a predictable accounting job in her uncle's company, and equally predictable conservative friends, where she ate the same meals and drank the same coffee, and spoke the same conversations time and time again, the irony of it all was that her heart longed and lusted for a hero, a wild highland man, to come and take her, and carry away, and bed her, and make her his own. So much did she fantasize on this that it was not Wuthering Heights or Pride and Prejudice, or the like, the reading material to fill her bookcase, as although Mr Darcy was indeed the perfect gentleman, with his fine English manners and most likely fine English looks, she was infatuated with the Scottish romances, of wild highland men, and one character in particular, the greatest of rebel hearts, Roary Magee, whose brazen lovings with every scarlet woman that Scotland has known, caught the part of her heart which, in the end, would only settle for the most passionate of lovers, and nothing short, to take her away from her dry life, and her dry career, off to the Clamorton Highlands, to make wild and passionate love, and leave it all behind her, gone with the wind. But, no, her saviour had not come, her redeemer had left her be, and the thrills for young Celia was the weekly drive up to Belton, and the banal idiocy of the Clamorton Clans club, and a long night of crude Scottish jokes, cruder Scottish pickup lines, and a fowl mannered uncle the following morning, who would need to sober up for the long drive home. Oh Roary, she bemoaned, where are you?
'Your uncle's here,' yelled her aunt.
Celia sighed, put down the pencil, looked at the Unicorn, and said, 'I'll see you soon enough,' and grabbed her backpack, off to her uncle, and the long drive to Belton and another night of predictable Scottish entertainment.
* * * * *
'These red tile steps are like your mouth on these evenings. Filthy, uncle Jim,' commented Celia about the steps mountin up to Clamorton Clans Club in the heart of Belton.
'Aye, that they are. Should probably bring that up at a club meeting. But it's traditional, you know. We like the worn look at the club. Not shiny and new. Well worn Scottish heart, a place which is old and set in its ways, and not giving much of a care anymore.'
'True enough,' replied Celia.
Rosemary Dawson, the ancient club receptionist, greeted them at the club entrance, and they flashed their club cards, and Jim instantly headed for the bar. Celia took her seat and looked up at the big TV screen. The volume was not too loud, but you could hear it. The ground level club was filled with TV screens hanging from the ceiling all over the main bar areas and eating places. It was alive with chatter of mad Scots and Irishmen, arguing about this and that, and there was a corner were the Welsh traditional hung together, but predominantly a scottish atmosphere. Technically it was a Celtic club, not specifically for the Scots, but Clamorton resounded with Scotsmen who had found a home on the continent, so Scotland was the flavour of the day for Clamorton Clans. You would occasinally get a Manxian or a Cornishman hanging around, and the rare Brittan from the celtic French people. In fact there was a dartboard near the back of the club on the ground floor which had a sign in French, and Britans throughou the year would sometimes show up and play darts there.
Celia looked at Jim at the bar, chatting away, and noticed Tobit had finally caught up to them, and had sat down opposite them. Tobit usually drove up for the meetings in his car, trailing behind them, letting the Connelly's set the pace, but often he disappeared as they neared Belton, off to mates of his for a while before heading to the club. Once a month he was also a passenger to save a bit on fuel, and she would chat with him from the back seat, as he would usually sit in the front chatting with uncle Jim. Tobit's daughter had married a Scotsman and was involved with Clamorton Clans a lot, and the club was happy enough to have the apocryphal legend hang around, famed for the book of Tobit in the Apocrypha, a long term resident of Clamorto and Televere, which also housed the biblical Ruth and Boaz on Androvon, the other southern contient of Televere. Callodyn the Cherubim, one of the Daniel Daly's, had introduced her to Ruth and Boaz once, when she was visiting with her parents in Paradision. They were regular people with out any spiritual pride was Celis'a main thoughts, which could be surprising considering their great fame. But they liked the regular life, with not too much fuss, and apparently Paraidsion life suited them.
'He'll be at the bar probably another hour or so, and then downstairs for the evening,' said Celia. 'As usual.'
'I'll buy you dinner tonight,' said Tobit. 'My treat.'
Celia picked up the menu. Very well worn, and ancient. They'd never changed them, and they were made of Eternya. She'd ordered everything on the menu over the years, and really didn't need to look at it, but did so, probably more out of habit than anything.
'Steak and Chips and pepper sauce,' she said, looking at the menu. Tobit nodded, and headed off to order their meal, while Celia stared at the TV set, her mind lost in the regular humdrum of club life.
* * * * *
If there was one thing which was universally honoured amongst conservative Anglo-Celtic white women everywhere, it was the law that when you came into a club you looked at the menu when drinks were being ordered, considered all the fine cocktails, spirits and beverages, and ordered a lemon lime and bitters. It was ingrained into them. Celia knew this to be true. She had one in front of her. They were in the basement level of the club, the cardplaying, music, and clan boasting going on, and the flowing barrels of lager being consumed by the dozen, and in her typical way she had her lemon-lime and bitters, a permanent frown on her face, and nearly ready, as it was just about to turn to 8 O'Clock, and most of the official business was over with, to open her book, start reading, and ignore all the revelry and clowning around, lost in her latest romance, blissfully ignorant of her Uncle Jim's endlesss arguments and carrying on's, too familiar now, too jaded really, to bother to interfere anymore, happy enough that if he got into a fight, well, he could bloody well suffer the consequences. So when she looked up at the casio clock above the bar as it hit 8 pm, and the chatting started turning to more serious drinking, she put her shawl over her legs, sipped on her lemon lime and bitters, took note of the current state of sobriety of her uncle, and picked up 'Highland Thrills and Spills' and started on chapter 8. She was lost in the world of Roary Magee, the greatest celic loveer of them all, and while chaos reigned around her, she was lost in her world, in her highland fantasy, well equipeed now to traverse the evening, and live and let live.
She was propositioned twice, grabbed on the butt thrice, and around midnight an old flame propesed again, who'd done it every few years, and she smiled, but said no, as he was no catch, and around 1 am, the strength of their partying mostly diminished, she put down her book, nearly finished, and braved looking around the room. Her uncle was at the bar, chatting with Tobit, looking suprisingly sober for once. She noticed there was vomit not far from her table, and piles of peanuts, in fact one big pile, with ping pong balls mounting the top of them. Whatever game that was she did not yet know, but was sure she would find out soon enough. Most of the largely male ensemble were bleary eyed, and telling sorrowful tales, as they were wont to do, and the mood was somber, the music having been lowered at midnight. Her uncle looked at her and caught her eye. He and Tobit came over, and he patted her on the shoulder.
'Your a good lass, Celia.'
'You don't look too drunk for a change,' replied Celia.
'I'm not,' he said. 'Been discussing bsuiness with Tobit. We have an idea. Something for a bit of a blessing for the family. An investment, classit art. Should be worth the money, as he only ever rises in value.'
'Who?' asked Celia.
'Angus. Who else?' replied her uncle.
Celia looked at her uncle with a fixed eye. 'Uncle Jim. Let alone Belton City, but the Clamorton Clans club has likely several hundred Angus's as members. Gosh, there is probably a dozen in this room. Angus who?'
'MacKenzie, Celia,' said Jim, and grinned.
'Aye. MacKenzie,' echoed Tobit.
Celia looked at her uncle, confused for a moemnt, then the penny dropped. Angus MacKenszie. The famous Highland Nudes artiest. Well, ok, not nude technically. But wild scottish women painted in most definitely compromising positions.
'Why invest in him?' asked Celia. 'You have a job. A home. What more do you need?'
'They inevitably go up as the seasons turn over,' said her uncle. 'And Angues is well famed in Belton. He's a club member in fact. Should be sound, and looking at the prices, and my savings, there is a piece or two in local galleries I think I may perchance afford.'
'If you say so,' replied Celia. She looked at her watch. 'Well, are you ready to go? I can drove both of you to the hotel, and we can settle down, and you can both snooze away the rest of the night.'
'Aye. Time's up,' replied Jim. But he still spent another half an hour saying farwell to this and that member, promising to see them soon enough, the following afternoon in fact, for another evenings revelries, before the long drive home Sunday afternoon. Usually her uncle kept it down on the Saturday evening bought, as he liked to drive back to Vinner City, so it would be a more sober affair the following day. Celia drove them to the hotel, were they had a membership in fact for regular use, and as her uncle snoozed in the bed beside her in the room, she gave a brief though to the art of Angus MacKenzie, before turning over, closing her eyes, and drifting off to sleep.
* * * * *
Clamorton Clans club had an official Tartan of the club. And many celtic families had their own tartan, the Connellies being no exception. The following Saturday afternoon Celia and her uncle were in the clan meeting, a general meeting, chatting about clan tartans, and some of the history of the Scots involving their tartan colours. Clamorton Clans general meetings were filled with anecdotes about Scottish and Celtic histories from all over the universe, and Tartans and Bagpipe stories were ever popular.
'I remember,' said Scott Kingsley. 'I was in my tartan overcoat, and thinking patriotic thoughts, and a garbage trcuk was driving by and garbage wafterd out into the air, some nasty stuff covering my coat. A lady friend of mine, a matriarchal figure, saw me who lived up the street, and commented a proud tartan should never have to wear such a blemish to its dignity, and had me take off my coat and she washed it at once, and put it in her drier, feeding me tea and bixcuits while I was waiting. Tartans produce a lot of respect in people. I've known that for a long time now. It's our badge of honour.'
And so the stories came and went and Celie paid attenton, some she had heard before, some new to her. Afterwards she was involved with a craft group for a while, before inevitable the revelry began, but Saturday night was usually a little less festive. It was the football game of the week in the Clamorton Celtic League, and while it was noisy, and a lot of drinking, they were usually absorbed in the game on the big screen, and chatting among themselves. Her uncle had barely had a drink when the night was over, and he drove them back to the hotel. She'd read the final pages of her romance that evening, happy at its outcome, but instead of starting a new book, had simply watched the match and enjoyed the atmosphere for once. It was ok in the end. Why she actually came along in the end, to enjoy some lively atmosphere, and men being men. Ultimately, still to find a match one day, but she would have a good long look at them all before she said yes to any proposals. So Celia attended Clamorton Clans Club, with a point and a puprose in the end, and while she sighed at the shenangicans of her fellow Scotsmen, she did not really want to change them either.
* * * * *
Televerans drove on the left side of the road. Celia was in ther right front passenger seat, well into Sunday evening, on the long drive home from Belton to Vinner City. They left mid Sunday afternoon, and would not be home till well into the wee hours Monday morning. Jim would drive the whole way, with two breaks at the same service stations for fuel, and they would have a short break each time, catch something to eat, and then back on the road. They'd had their first break earlier, and it was now approaching midnight, and they had the highland hills on the right of them as they drove south west from Belton back to Vinner City o the south-west coast of Clamorton. Celia would gaze at those hills, looking past her uncle's concentrated face on the road ahead of him, and then put her head agains the window, and stare ahead at the dark road, lit up by the reflector signs, and the occasional wild animal jumping out along the road. They'd done road kill over the years, and Jim had to peel of a rabbit every now and again from the wheels or bumper bar, and Celia thought it the most gross of things, but that was life, wasn't it. God didn't exactly try to redeem animal kind in the spiritual universe either. It was speculated the soul of a creature went off to a place in another spiritual dimension were it would finally be at peace, free from the scourge of humanity and the wild. Celia didn't know if that was true, and and in the end supposed she didn't really care either. She continued staring at the road, then her mind drifted off to the highland hills to the west of them, thinking about Roary Magee, whose strong and tender arms could catch her, and take her away, and do rude things to her, of an explicit nature which you only found in the more racier of the romance novels, and not her highland series. Oh Roary, where are you? She said to herself.
The car continued on, and soon, around 1:30 they hit the next rest stop, and she changed in the rest room, as she was feeling a bit grotty, before going into the eatery, and having a donut and coffee. The donut tasted like it had been there since last week, and she was quite sure it was the same one she had rejected last week. But she ate it, and it filled her up, and she smiled at the familiar faces in the rest stop, and soon enough they got under way again.
It was familiar road they had been down a thousand times, and she knew all the signs, and all the landmarks, and felt she could practically drive it eyes closed if she had to. When he made the final turn off the highway, into Vinner City, she looked at the houses on the outskirts of the city, and even they were starting to look all too familiar She recognized roofs and window and trees she had seen before, event though they were places she had never visited, and people she had never known – at least not known they lived there, if they were people in her circle of acquaintances. Who knew where they all lives, the many people she had met in life. Everyone had to live somewhere, of course. They could harldy live in the trees or the sewers. Well, some people did. But not usually the kind of people in Celia Connelly's circle of friends. No, people probably lived in these houses, probably some she knew well enough, and as her uncle turned onto the parkway which led to their own district, she gazed at a few houses, wondering silly thoughts about knocking on their doors, and saying guess who it is? Celia Connelly. But they were silly thoughts, and shortly, when they pulled up in the driveway, she hugged her uncle, and when her Autine in her dressing gown kissed her on the forehead, thoughts of meeting strangers fell away, as she fell into bed, not bothering to change, and with a fleeting wish for her highland lover Roary Magee to hold her oh so close and whisper sweet I Love You's into her ear, she drifted off, exhausted at another long weekend's goings on, knowing it would be work again Monday afternoon, and another dreary week in the regular grind of Vinner City life, Clamorton Clans awaiting her yet again as the weekend inevitably came around once more.
'Our beast himself, Dickinson. The Dark Saber. The Iron Maiden guru. He already has the answers,' said Samaen.
'Our Saruvim brother Damien is the inevitable beast,' replied Satan. I have Jesus private telepone number and will ring him before Judgment Day to remind him of that very fact.'
'Another Judgment Day?' queried Samaen.
'They happen periodically,' replied the Dark Lord, riffling through his lollie bag for anotherh banana lollie. 'Shit, I'm out of banans. Only frikking licorice allsorts left. I frikking hate licorice allsorts,' said Satan.
'Here,' said Samaen, passing Satan his own lollie bag, from when they had stopped at thenearby 7 Eleven.
'Thanks bro,' said the Devil, opened the bag, and picked out a banana lollie.
'Anyway, Dickinson. I've been reading his memoire of his time in a vortex world. He travelled through it with a fellow team of Rugby League players, but they found their way back.'
'And how does that help us?' replied Satan, munching on his bananas.
'Vortex world, according to theological sources, cater themselves to the individual or groups thrown into the vortex. To accommodate the misfit.'
'I see,' said Satan.
'What greater misfits than us?' asked Saman.
'How do we get back?' asked the Devil.
'Bruce has the info in his memoir. But the point is, once they bend to our will, we bring them all to this universe. And conquer it all.'
Satan chewed on his yellow banana lollie. 'Tell me more, devil.' And Samaen started relaing his well though out plan.
Ganymede Genidweller was gay. Traditionally very gay. He lived in the 1000th disc of the Realm of Eternity, were the gay lifestyle was legal. Technically it was legal from the 30th disc of the Realm of Eternity and onwards, but why bother? Seriously? These days it wasn’t until well into the discs in the 700s that you bothered to declare your alternative lifestyle orientation, as all the inner discs before this were quite set in religious standards now. And in the 1000th disc even, from Ganymedes recent observations, gay was on its way out. You couldn’t flaunt it at all anymore. Still, he was settled in his ways, and had decided he would have to adopt a more conservative outlook, as he had no intention shifting ground. He’d bought a book on strict homosexual bibilical living, which advised that you keep discussions in public on the issue very polite and well mannered, and you let your private bedroom shenanigans remain private bedroom shenanigans. Because of this Ganymede had gotten rid of 90% of his wardrobe, all the outlandish costumes and such, and chosen colourful, but conservative, green and yellow suits, with appropriate ties and vests. He dressed in a way in which it was known he was gay, but he did not push it with people any more. Besides, he ran Heart Jubilee, which had a good reputation with religious circles for being accepting of people of diverse backgrounds and catering for them, and the right wing didn’t mind tolerance and acceptance of outcasts necessarily. Jesus was still an influence, the cherubim angel, and his views of acceptance of the sinner and reforming them was a part of the Realm of Eternity’s traditions, if no longer in any Christian way of teaching these ideas. Christianity itself? Mostly dead now. He was not Christ, nor ever had been. But his teachings had been refined, and had carried on, and Ganymede had once been brought up in a Chrisitan household who long ago reformed its ways, and had let go of Jesus Idolatry, but followed Kosher Gospels of various kinds. Heart Jubilee was Ganymede’s attempt at trying to please his family in some ways, catering to individuals who found it difficult to relate to society at large. Misfits who ran their own path and did things their own way. And his clothing modelled itself on peculiar ideas, things out of the ordinary, with often vibrant colours, and blingy things for many, but odds and ends you might normally expect. Ganymede knew he was gay from a young age, but in recent years he felt it was more of a choice to allow such things enter his heart from desires, and knew enough theology to know it was something he had more initially let dominate his thinking, rather than repenting of, which had let it to cement itself into his sexual lifestyle choices. Probably gay by choice in the end. He knew that true now. Still, he was not 100% gay. A small percentage fancied women when the dressed colourfully, and it was not unknown of him to visit a French prostitute, dressed to the hilt, in some of the decadent French cities of the 1000th disc, which had quite a chunk of France here and there in its vast geography. Heart Jubilee was a successful company, and while times were in some ways changing for Ganymede, he would adapt, and his company would remain in its 1000th disc location, going on doing its work of celebrating accomplishments from the fleeting fantasies of the human heart, and whatever came along, Ganymede had his work and was dedicated to it, and life was good enough for this child of God in the Realm of Eternity.
Clamorton Clans 2
‘Rebecca Hill,’ replied Rebecca.
‘Friend of Marcus Chuan Chi Chin?’ asked Celia.
‘That’s him,’ said Rebecca.
‘You live in Canberra on Androma, right?’
‘Most of the time. Also on New Terra. Cherubim Callodyn is a friend, and we chat a lot. I know his father well.’
‘Is that Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly?’
Rebecca went silent. She spoke after a bit. ‘They like a bit of an air of mystery about that, but yes. I knew him for Earthly years.’
‘What brings you to the Clamorton Clans?’ asked Celia.
‘I’m a member,’ said Rebecca. ‘I visit Belton once a decade, and usually drop in at the Clamonton Clans club. It’s identical to Tuggeranongs Southern Cross Club practically. Same designs used in the club. That was very familiar to me. Downstairs also uses a club design from Tuggeranong, the underground section of the Greenway Vikings Club. Clamorton was founded by a Tuggeranong gentleman. Mick O’Connor.’
‘Mick is around a lot,’ said Celia. ‘Big sense of humor.’
‘I met him a few times once,’ said Rebecca. ‘He informed me on Clamorton Clan’s club layout. I became a member because of it.’
‘Right,’ nodded Celia, and sipped on her lemon lime and bitters which Rebecca had also ordered. ‘Marcus visits often as well, with his friends. He’s in Canberra were I catch up with him occasionally. I know a lot of Androma people. Probably 20, 30 thousand of them now. Dad introduced me to some Televere people he knows in the hierarchies, and Callodyn introduced me to a few of his acquaintances because of it. Are you married?’
‘I’m a non-denominational Christian nun,’ replied Rebecca. ‘I have a convent in Nazraphora. I there ever third millennia. Quiet life with the other nuns.’
‘No menfolk, huh?’ queried Celia.
‘Just for good company,’ replied Rebecca. ‘I can have children, but I don’t need that for a happy life. Content being me.’
‘I’ve met a few nuns. God knows I’ll probably end up being one myself,’ replied Celia.
‘It’s in you or it isn’t, I think,’ replied Rebecca.
‘Interesting,’ said Celia.
'How about a drink. A toast,' said Rebecca.
'To what?' asked Celia.
'Don't you know?' asked Rebecca.
Celia shook her head.
'It's just turned midnight, and we are now at the midpoint.'
'Middle of the night? Strange thing to toast,' replied Celia.
'Not the middle of the night. It was on Internatioal news last night. Midpoint.'
Celia looked dumbstruck.
'The midpoint of the fifth Process,' replied Rebecca. 'A toast to new beginnings, and midpoints of plans underway.'
'I haven't been around for a smidgeon of the process yet. Didn't even know it was half over,' replied Celia.
'A process is a vast amount of time,' said Rebecca. 'But it passes. Inevitably time marches on. Very used to it now. It's funny. I have a personal salvation ministry with God. And dragging up the dead from early processes really alarms them in some ways, but the spiritual energy is usually enough for them to give a damn for a while.'
'What's that all about?' asked Celia.
'Death. Comes to eeryone in some way or another But some are sinners. Yet their spirit is eternal. God won't save them, though. Won't give a damn. But if you'll deal with much of their sin, and pray scripture upon them, he'll give you the dead back for a time, and you can rule them somewhat. As long as you abide by the laws on the issue. I have a web miinistry in the Realm of Eternity were I settle my members, and I have a nun's ministry to them. There are many billions I've brought back so far. I still seem to be able to recall them all. Daniel does it as well. He prays hard. God doesnt' guarantee much though. Depends on the effort of the prayers. You just build up guaranteed time for the soul. The core idea, according to Daniel, is to eventually talk some sense into them. I'm learning to do that.'
'What religion?' asked Celia. 'A nun, but what religion?'
'Monotheism,' replied Rebecca.
'Oh, just the general God faith, then?' queried Celia.
'Something like that,' said Rebecca.
'I don't think I have a heart for the lost,' sighed Celia. 'Just my own poor soul.'
Rebecca smiled at her and sipped her drink. The evening continued on.
* * * * *
Celia sat in the main eating hall, were she sat often, while her uncle partied it up downstairs. She just needed to get away from that for an evening. It was quiet, but the pokies were pretty active this evening, and a darts game was going on with the Frenchies. She heard a bit of French that evening, and was a little shocked when a dark skinned man of African descent yelled out in French, something like 'I am going to kick your arse Matthieu,' as best as she could tell from her knowledge of French. She had a lemon lime and bitters she had been nursing for an hour, and was sitting quietly, tapping into her tablet phone, looking at varioius profiles on 'Clamorton Lovers'. She had a membership, and knew a huge number of the available men. She went on dates on occasions, but it was never what she wanted. Never her highland dream. And, quite frankly, though she told herself time and time again she wasn't fussy, there always seemed to be a reason she'd find in her date, an observation she'd make from his dress or manner or something he said about himself, which she told herself she just could not accept and could not live with, and that there was never anyone suitable. But as she sat there, she felt in some way it was more than that. And while she was not sure what that was, she had once heard ideas from a visiting rabbit at Tobit's house that human beings and angel beings often had a soul mate which God had made just for them. And she was thinking – perhaps hoping – in her hearts of hearts that God had made someone perfect for Celia Connelly, and it was her job to wait till that perfect man appeared. Of course she'd mapped out in great fantasy detail exactly what she expected in her lover. Tall, dark, handsome, subtle humor, strong but not barbaric, the perfect gentleman, yet with a wild heart, and ravishing good looks. Who was she kidding, right? But she was stubborn, nobody more so, and while she perhaps knew one day she'd have to wise up and settle for Tom, Dick or Harry from her dating site, marry and just get on with things, for now she would hold out, believe in the soul mate of her deepest hearts desire, and till then remain virginal and pure and do her work and just live her life. So Clamorton Clans keps her amused till then, till God finally got of his ass and sent in her husband to be.
She looked up at the clock. It was 5 minutes to midnight. She sighed, clicked off her phone, and went downstairs, sat down at her usual table, and sighed as her uncle continued boasting that he would win the arm wrestingly contest one day, even though he was no muscle man. Friday night passed, she sat on her bed in their hotel, and she stared out the window at the night, and silently wished upon a star that God would get to his business soon enough.
* * * * *
'Spaz. What on Earth would you know about pouring beer!' exclaimed Celia. 'Come away from that bar.'
'He's fine,' said the male bartender. 'Spaz is in the trade.'
'Oh, I forgot,' replied Celia. 'Stupid of me. That's what you actually do.'
'I don't live on Scotch mist,' replied her brother Spaz. 'The best pub in all of New Terra 17 relies on me to do my job at the top of the crafte. And I do it well.'
'Yes, I recall now. Father said you were an incompetent nincompoop who couldn't pour a beer to save his life.'
'Jealousy,' replied Spaz. 'I've more qualifications than him. The universal guild of bartenders can testify to that.'
'Your in the guild? Me too,' said the other male bartender who was serving a customer.'
'Life long member, mate,' replied Spaz.
'Here we go,' began Celia.
Spaz looked at his little sister and bit his lip. Best not to brag he thought to himself.
'Anywyay, dad and mum will be in Belton at the end of the year. I'll be hanging around till then. They want to visit Clamorton Clans and resume their ongoing rivalry with the club. Old Billy Boy has been battling them for the best damn Celtic Club in the world for a long time now.'
'Ego verses bravdo,' replied Celia. 'And stupidity will undoubtedly win over.'
Spaz grinned and his sister smiled at him.
'It's good to see you Celia. It's been too long,' said Spaz.
'You didn't bring the family?' she asked.
'Not this time. But next time I promise you. This is technically a working holiday. Looking at various pubs and clubs in Clamorton and going to some conferences on Televere here and there about bar maintenanc and things. Brushing up on my crafte.'
'I see,' she said.
'And looking for some of that art by Angus MacKenzie,' said Spaz. 'Uncle Jim has been raving about it.'
'You too,' sighed Celia. 'But your hardly a sex maniac. Why MacKenzies art?'
'I prize piece for the pub back home,' said Spaz. 'Will give it the right atmosphore. Not too crude a one mind you. Just suggestive enough to be desirable, but not pornoraphic.'
'Apparently he walks that line,' said Celia. 'With his work. Happy hunting.'
'Aye,' said Spaz, and sipped on his beer, winking at his sister.
* * * * *
'Look. Celtic Blue kick Celitc Red's butt,' said Spaz. 'There is no two ways about it. All throughout the bodies of New Terra Celtic Blue is dominant.'
'Hardly,' replied Raguel the Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity.
'He's right son,' said Azrael. 'Go further out, past the century, and latter New Terra's have a huge fanbase and strength in the red. Much stronger, and runs well in strength to the more recent established bodies.'
'Must be out of touch. Celtic Blue dominate the top hierarchy.'
'Football,' said Celia to Rebecca Hill. 'All mad Scostmen think about.'
'What brought you to Clamorton ahead of time?' Rebecca Hill asked Azrael.
'Meeting Michael the Seraphim here to discuss affairs of Eternya,' said Azrael. 'It's an old argument he's having with me and Cosadriel. 'Like he's pleading for our permission to push his Morning Stars agenda.'
'Morning Stars agenda?' asked Celia.
'Technically the former Seraphim of Eternity who dwell in Zionistya are classified as the 'Morning Stars'.'
'Which makes you?' asked Celia.
'An Evening Star,' said Spaz. 'Definitely a night wolf as far as I am concerned.'
'Where'd all that come from? ' asked Celia.
Azrael's eyes misted over. He was looking into the distance, and Kwintakel was staring at him with an equally mesmerizing look.
'He's off with the fairies,' said Spaz.
'Just reminiscing,' said Azrael. 'It was a long time ago. A long, long time ago. And so many faces have come and gone. Ironically, though, all our Seraphim numbers are still intact. The Morning Stars of Michael in Zionistya and the Evening Stars of Saruviel in the Realm of Eternity. Maybe one day they'll return when that blasted Daly clan gets over its fierce rivalry with Jacob. Too serious about a human covenant trumping an angelic Torah. Too serious.'
Celia looked at her father. 'You were two groups of angels?'
'One. In the beginning. In fact, it always really was one. But Saruviel came up with a list once, and enforced it later on, like the Daly's helped him too. And I don't think Michael even complained about it in the end. But it's a long story. Some other time.'
And Azrael stood, and winked at Kwintakel, and they took their beers, and retired to a back seat of the club.
'Bought him back some memories,' said Spaz.
'Looks like it,' said Rebecca.
'Obviously,' said Celia, loooking at her parents, and the soft glow which seemed to emanate from them at the moment.
* * * * *
The Oraphim Angel Kaleriaphon of the Realm of Infinity was in Vinner city. In face he was at the offices of Jim Connolly discussing business with Jim.
'What do you think he wants?' the Cherubim offspring angel Brigidina asked Celia.
'Don't know Brig,' replied Celia.
Brigidina was a cousin of sorts of Celia, related through marriage, and had joined Celia in coming to live in Vinner City, leaving her life in the Realm of Eternity behind her to try something new.
'Maybe angel business with Jim? Something to do with his brother Azrael?' queried Brigidina.
'Could be,' said Celia, but started typing again at her calculator, ignoring the stares in the office towards Jim Connely's office.
After a while Kaleriaphon came out and stretched his arms, looking around the office. He spied Celia and Brigidina and came over.
'So there you are. Young fillies,' said Kaleriaphon.
Brigidina batted her eye lashes, and Celia blushed at Kaleriaphon's muscles and handsome looks.
'You work out, huh?' asked Brigidina. 'A big handsome Oraphim like you.'
'I stay in shape,' said Kaleriaphon, smiling warmly.
'What brings you to Vinner city?' asked Brigidina.
'You two. Actually,' replied Kaleriaphon.
'Little old me?' asked Brigidina.
'Your up on the list. Sammy and Logos would like to chat about protocols. Between realms. Get some things sorted.'
'Sammy?' asked Celia, eyebrow raised.
'Samael the Onaphim. Your two honorable ladies have come up on the list for an official invite to the Realm of Infinity, and the two head honchos would like to give you some history of the Realm and our rivalry with the Realm of Eternity over many a long aeon.'
'I see,' said Brigidina. 'Will we be going with you now?'
'I'll be back in a couple of years. Give you time to think over questions you might have,' replied Kaleriaphon.
'Do you have a woman?' asked Brigidina.
'Feisty, aren't you. I'm settled Brigidina. Don't you worry about that,' replied Kaleriaphon.
Celia smiled at the Oraphim, but deliberately focused on her work. Kaleriphon prodded her arm and said 'Plenty of time Celia. We look forward to having you at Azaphon for a while.'
'Should be wonderful,' replied Celia.
Kaleriaphon made small talk with Brigidina a while longer,before going back to the office, and finally leaving the building.
'Ooh, an invite to Infinity,' said Brigdina. 'Aren't we the lucky ones.'
'Yeh, great,' said Celia. 'One thing she knew, there was no man for her in the Realm of Infinity. But it was two years away anyway, so she'd cross that bridge when she came to it.
Getting back to work, Celia settled herself after the proud angel's visitation, but reminded herself of her father at Belton with mother, and again looked forward, perhaps more so, to the weekly trip to Belton, especially considering Azrael's rather, she did not know how to say it, but almost more settled and reserved nature. He seemed more of a father now – more than before – and she was lking her parents, seeing things in them she had not noticed before. Perhaps too proud to notice before.
Michael on Eternya 2
'So you are set to visit Clamorton,' said Theophilus. 'Ironically I have some of the finest Clamortonian artwork on display.'
'Where?' asked Michael to Theophilus Largeheart's statement.
'Right behind you,' replied the wizard.
Michael turned and looked up at the stone castle wall. There was a large painting of a scostman in his traditional attire, kile, bagppip and all, with a redheaded maiden at his feet, in an alluring pose, her breasts openly hangind out, looking very lusty.
'Aye carumba,' said Michael. 'That's a bit much.'
'Angus MacKenzie. The artist,' said Theophilus. 'He tickles my fancy with his work. I bought that piece when he was starting out. It's worth an enormous amount now. He's very much in deman.'
Michael put down his soup spoon and stood, stnading to admire the piece.
'He;s classical. In his painting style. Typical European sort of style from the 1700s. Just very brazen,' said Michael.
'Common theme in his work. That piece, with a bottle of Scotch, has gotten me through many a long winter here in the castle.'
'I could imagine,' replied Michael. 'He has other works, I take it? Of a similar theme.'
'Hundreds of well known pieces,' replied Theophilus. 'Eternya galleries have a few. I'm very lucky I nabbed him when he was starting out. Treasured the piece forever.'
'Indeed,' said Michael, returning to his seat. 'Well it seems I might have more than just catching up with Azrael to take care of on my visit to Clamorton. Might have to look up this Angus MacKenzie. See if he has anything for sale that I can afford.'
'Aye, you do that,' replied Theophilus.
They continued their meal, but more than once Michael gave the 'Mackenzie' a glance, and by the end of the night had it firmly fixed in his mind that he would indeed look up this Angus MacKenzie and see what offerings he might perchance survey.
Teacups and Teaspoons 2
'How many metals?' asked Taylor.
'17 different ones, each melding into the next along the spine of the spoon to its spoon bit,' said cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly in reply. 'As you can see the shades run from light to dark or dark to light depending on which way you look at it. These designs are ancient designs held in the legally registered patents archive of the Daly foundation. The first edition limited set will have 17,000,000 copies, and the second set to the 100th set 17 Billion copies. Then they came no longer as llimited editions, but just standard released. They'll be made available at Noahide Books stores. We expect them to go very very quickly. There is a teacup which goes with it.'
Taylor nodded. She continued reading her magazine, in the front lounge of Danielphon keep, but then looked at him.
'Are you still intending to chase down a 'MacKenzie' in Clamorton.
'I want to catch up with Rebecca Hill in Belton,' he said. 'She's staying there at the moment. MacKenzies have been chatted a bit about she remarked. Apparently both Celia Connoly, Azrael's daughter, uncle Jim who is her legal guardian and a friend of Rebcca, Azrael's younger brother Jim Connolly that is, apparently Jim is after a piece and Azrael too now, and from the last email Michael is catching up with Azrael to discuss some things involving better visitation rights for the angels of Zionistya to the Realm of Eternity, and it gives me a chance to find a 'MacKenzie' and let Michael know the precepts of Morning Stars visitation are well established, and changing them is not a good idea.'
'Too fussy,' replied Taylor. 'Michael should be allowed to come and go as he pleases. It's his realm also.'
'Things changed. You know that as well as I did. Covenants change things. Even human covenants – they change things.'
Taylor went silent, continuing to read her magazine. 'Will I be coming along?'
'Will you?' asked Daniel.
'I'll have to pack if we're going soon.'
Daniel looked at the teaspoon. 'I'll make sure we get a set each. Pack on the weekend. We'll go the following week.'
Taylor nodded, and continued reading her magazine. A holiday to Televere. Always good to get away.
Kaleriaphon and Brigidina
'I'm not an idiot,' said the angel Valladore. 'I know she's a feisty little wench. But she's obviously only got eyes on you Kaleriaphon.'
'Humble Abraphim angel,' replied Kaleriaphon the Oraphim to his Abraphim angel brother. 'You are the 54th of the Onaphim of Infinity, and you are wise, and knowing, and long-lived. But I'm a settled angel, and I don't need the likes of Brigidina the Cherubim to worry about. I'm settled.'
'And virginal for aeons beyond measure,' replied Valladore.
'Yes, he doesn't touch them much,' said Shabradore, the 53rd Onaphim angel of Infinity, fourth on the list of the Abraphim angels. 'But hardly virginal. He's known at the red lights of Nadrazon. Word does get round.'
'Do tell,' said Valladore.
'Oh, the details are quite lewd,' said Shabradore. 'He shags em alright.'
'I do not, 'retorted Kaleriaphon.
'Ha. The lad protest too much,' said Shabradore. 'I have Garanel's sworn to God oath that Kally gets around a bit, and gets his leg up every so often. Despite this rumoured wife on the far side of Infinity.'
'The wife is a non-issue. We separated aeons ago. I think technically we might be divorced now, but I can't actually remember. Haven't seen her in a long time. Don't need to. I'm happy with my life in the Golden City, reading my library, egnaging in horse riding, and playing chess. I have a complete life and a happy life.'
'And you need to shag this Brigidina of Eternity and settle down,' said Valladore.
Kaleriaphon glared at Valladore, but just sipped on his melit water. 'She's young,' he protested at last.
'She's dead keen, and good looking to boot. And you are a handsome enough brother of ours,' said Valladore.
'He's not a peter pumpkin eater, I do agree,' said Shabradore.
'So choose this maiden, bed her, and have done with it. Time to have another go at wedlock. You've been holy enough long enough. I'm sure heavenly father is suitably impressed.'
Kaleriaphon sipped on his juice, glaring at his brothers. But, truth to tell, Brigidina, who had decded to visit early, with permission granted, was on his mind. She was fesity, and cute, and work bleck mini-skirts which caught more than just one eye around the city. And, honestly, it probably was about time he moved on. And it wasn't like the girl wasn't keen.
'I'll consider your advice,' sighed Kaleriaphon at last.
'He's come to his senses,' said Valladore.
'His pecker has come to its senses,' said Shabradore.
'That too,' replied Valladore.
Kaleriaphon just ignored his brother's lewd remarks.
Raphael and Tobit 2
Raphael and Tobit were on the docks of Vinner City, Clamorton, fishing.
'Can I have your autograph Archangel Raphael,' asked a blonde lady. She handed him an autograph book.
'You carry this with you?' queried Raphael.
'I went home and got it. I saw you when you arrived earlier. I knew it was you,' replied the lady.
'To whom shall I make it out to?' asked Raphael.
'Rachel. Rachel Rothsmith,' replied the lady.
'Rothsmith?' asked Raphael.
'A Jewish and English family. The Roths were Jewish, my great-great-grandmother, and the Smiths were English. They settled in Vinner City a long time ago,' replied Rachel.
'I see,' said Raphael, and signed the book. 'Surely you want Tobit's also?' queried Raphael.
'She already has mine. I'm near the front,' said Tobit.
'Page 17,' replied the lady. 'Tobit is a minor celebrity in Vinner City. We're lucky to have him.'
Raphael handed the book back to the lady, smiled at her, and she smiled back and left.
'Minor celebrity,' said Raphael.
'Shut up,' replied Tobit.
'Classic,' said Raphael, grinning.
'I'll have you know I'm well received by the Rothchilds up north.'
'Televere, you mean,' said Raphael.
'They don't have a name for the continent, officially. It's consideret the planet in a sense. Bigger than Androma and Clamorton combined.'
'Any other major islands on Telever?' asked Raphael. 'I've never really looked at a map of the planet.
'Antarctica is big enough. No other continents. Smaller islands, but we're the third largest land body after Androma and Televere. One of the oldest of the planets as well. Original ones. But you'd remember that as well.'
'Back further still,' sighed Raphael. 'When it was a little world, Zaphora, but it wasn't called that right away.'
'And now you live in Zionistya. A sea change,' said Tobit.
'It's the final of the Realms. Well, the bottom of the Realms. Apparently there are more to come interspaced between things. Future projects. Zionistya to Home. The complete Realms geography.'
'Yet planetry bodies further down,' said Tobit.
'Not sure if they are under any related judgment of responsibilities,' said Raphael.
Tobit looked at him. 'What does that mean?'
'In Zionistya we have base standards. Only required to be as holy as men. In Eternya there are some standards. In the Realm of Eternity there are laws which you generally have to comply with. Whether you like it or not. Law rules, and you have to obey. In the heavens above it gets a bit stricter as you go up, but in the Realm of Infinity above the heavenly realms, they don't expect just compliance. You have to apply yourself. In the 7 heavens, though, it's more than that still. Application and achievement. You have to get results and accomplish things. You have to be quite special in your attitude to reside in the heavens,' said Raphael.
'And at Home?' asked Tobit, smiling.
'God only knows,' said Raphael. 'Now when are these fish going to bite?'
And so they carried on with their fishing, free from the pestering of any more autograph hunters, and Tobit had food for thought about realm hierarchies, while Raphael buzzed a bit at having been asked to sign his life away.
'What do you call a scientologist?' asked the lowlife on the streets of Kadravana.
'What?' replied his bedfellow.
'Tightarses,' replied Bud.
'Funny,' said Fred.
'I mean, come on,' said Bud. 'We rock up every year at Christmas for a feed and the first thing Pastor Jones says is 'Local Losers again.' Bastards. All of them.'
'They think we need to get a job,' said Fred. 'But I like the streets of Kadravana. I became a citizen to do nothing, all the days of my life. Liverpool was just becoming too legalistic for me.'
'Same here,' said Bud. 'But I was born here. Came to the streets for the freedom. The free life. And to do nothing. Fresh air. Good water. Plenty of wild berries. I'm happy.'
'But a loser,' said Fred.
'Both of us are born losers Fred. It's why we live on the streets. It's the life. I'm planning this lifestyle for the next trillion years in my plan book too,' said Bud.
'You have a plan book,' said Fred.
'In my head,' replied Bud. 'I keep a basic plan of what I'm going to do with my life. And heaven above won't change it.'
The Unitarian Scientologists of Jehovah Van pulled up just then at the railway yard, and Pastor Jones jumped out.
'There you are you two clowns. Do you want a job? We need two maintenance men for the southern assembly. The family has moved up to the capital because of an opening. An exec has hopped over to run Kadravana on New Terra 7785. Couldn't turn it down, the top job. So positions shuffled, and we have two maintenance jobs in the south.'
Fred looked at Bud. 'Scientologists. I always liked them.'
'Come on hypocrite,' replied Bud, as they struggled to their feet, collected their knapsacks, and hobbled down to Pastor Jones van, and off to their new scientological lifeplan.
Callodyn and Kayella 19
'How's Bigfoot?' asked Callodyn.
'Blackstock,' replied Kayella.
'Blackfoot then. How is Blackfoot?'
'He's fine,' replied Kayella. 'How's Claudia. She pregnant again? Rumour has it your expecting another.'
'She might be,' said Callodyn. He sipped on his latte. 'Bud and Fred seem competent. The compound has had them seven months and the odd jobs are all done. Only 6 months training and they are up to scratch. Interesting idea – choosing lowlives because they are long term citizens and still going at it. Usually dad insists on that. Me, I'm finished with most of my salvation plans, but father tells me its a job to redeem the dead of Sheol. Someone has to do it in the end. Let the saints. I think, now, in grim realization, I'm cheeky, and not cut out for sainthood.'
'Figure that alll out by yourself, did you,' replied Kayella. 'Could have told you that in the beginning. Just a clown. Not the serious type. Not your natural style of things.'
'The way I'm made?' queried Callodyn.
'Some sort of psyche has settled into you, and it just won't leave. God help me I've tried redeeming you, but you are too lost to save.'
Callodyn sighed. 'I still assemble with 7DF but don't bother much with the Assemblies of Faith anymore. I think I'm simplifying my life. Cutting down unneceesary things. There are plenty of dedicated people in those things. They don't need me making a mess.'
'Wise,' replied Kelly, sipping on her water.
'Probably end up just in Haven Noahide Fellowship.'
'Try the Baptist church,' said Kelly. 'Far more stable.'
'Jesus aint my disco stick sweetheart.'
'You are crude Daniel Daly,' replied Kelly Clarkson.
'Anyway, Haven is the plan in the end. It will do. I think dad prefer AOTDC, but Haven will do me. It's the firstborn in the end of the whole thing.'
'Full of Catholics like your grandmother,' said Kelly.
'Ex-Catholics,' replied Callodyn. 'People who didn't agree with Jesus after consideration.'
'Fair enough,' replied Kelly. 'Love works for me. God knows I need it with you as a twin.'
'And such love,' replied Callodyn. 'Like a cheshire cat. Colourful and cuddly.'
'You calling me cuddly?' asked Kayella. 'Chubby Bubby is calling me cuddly?'
'And sassy too,' replied Callodyn.
'Watch the workers try and clean the windows,' said Kayella.
And so Callodyn continued enjoying the hospitality from the back of the school campus of the southern Unitarian Scientologists of Jehovah of Kadravana, watching Bud hold Fred's ladder, as he was gingerly trying to clean a high up window on the basketball stadium. Things were not looking good.
The Dodgy Barbarians
Grunt was a dodgy barbarian. He'd give a heave and a ho and he liked to give a ho a good heave at the brothel also. He was indeed Dodgy. He came up short on paying his lackey, Brunt, more often than not. Brunt did not notice. He was thick, which is saying much for a barbarian. Brunt did the majority of the work, but didn't complain, because it amused him. One day Grunt and Brunt ran into Runt, their younger brother. Yes Grunt and Brunt were brothers. Runt was the runt of the litter. Spineless, mischievous, evil, wicked, and down right nasty. Grunt liked to think himself a polished gentleman in Runt's presence.
'Shag any ho's on the weekend?' Runt asked Grunt.
'Several,' replied Grunt.
'I shaved their vaginas and did them up the anus,' replied Runt. 'They didn't want the dogs involved. Harlots in this city – standards. What you gonna do.'
'I got lucky,' said Brunt, figuring out what they were talking about. 'Bimbo kissed me.'
'I shagged Bimbette,' said Grunt.
'Bimbitch gave me syphillis – for the second time this year,' said Runt.
Grunt chewed on his pork rib.
'That right?' he asked his brother.
'Aye,' said Runt.
'I have cooties. Bimbo said so,' said Brunt proudly, not knowing what cooties was.
'Some guys get all the luck,' said Runt.
'Tell me about it,' replied Grunt.
They continied their get together meal at the 'Bloody Ox' tavern.
'Food's shit here,' said Runt.
'I don't mind it,' replied Grunt.
'What's rump again?' asked Brunt.
They finished their meal.
'You got work for the weekend? Dad is looking for some honest labour,' said Runt to Grunt.
'I'll pass,' said Grunt. 'But I'll show up and let Brunt do it.'
'As always,' said Runt.
'As always,' agreed Grunt.
The Dodgy Barbarians 2
'So what did you do with the rat after that?' asked Grunt, watching Brunt shovel the sheep shit into the bag. The sheep shit from their farm had been collected by their old man, and was now being shovelled into sacks for sale at the markets. They were at the farmstead of the family, on old 'Devil Lane' in the back worlds of Avatar City, on the contenent of Astoria, on a large planet which the exploerers had not gotten to the end of yet. God created the world, so they were told. Part of the Milky Way Galaxy, it was said in the Scientologists technical terminology, the ancient order of knowledge who ruled their world. Apparently, long ago, they may have once been part of a whole host of worlds, which ruled the universe. Grunt thought that a fantasy. They were alone in the world, and God had created their world, Astar, and they were humanity, and their were no others. Fantastic thinking of the Scientologists. The Geo-Scientists claimed they were the real citizens of life in the universe, the other major branch of scholasticity, and their scholars talked of a first man named 'Cainan' who was the father of all men in their world. That was probably true in Grunt's estimation.
'I stuck the rat on Ctuchik's arse. I'd tied him down, and it bit his butt several times.'
'You've tormented Ctuchik since you were kids in the school yards,' said Grunt. 'He'll bear a grudge one day.'
'I untied him later,' said Runt. 'Had my fun though.'
'You really are an unsavoury character, aren't you Runt?'
'Rich coming from Avatar City's most hated thief.'
'Most loved thief,' replied Grunt.
'This shit stinks,' said Brunt.
'Keep shovelling,' said Runt, overseeing the project.
Runt still lived with father, on the homestead, while Grunt and Brunt travelled around with no permanent home, staying in the taverns and hostels of Avatar City, pinching wallets as they went, a quiet coin given to the bartender to turn a blind eye. Hey, Avatar City was not exactly known for its nobility. Nor was Astoria terribly much. They had morality, but many chose a rather loose interpretation of things.
'His new woman will cook us dinner for all our hard work,' said Runt.
Grunt looked at the 7 bags of shit that Brunt had filled so far all by himself, with Runt having done nothing.
'Yep, all our hard work,' said Grunt.
'Work pays the bills,' said Brunt.
'Keep on dreaming,' said Runt. 'You work for your supper matey.'
'I'm used to that,' replied Brunt.
And the day marched on.
'As far as I can tell, it's backfired. We're somewhere in the Milky Way in the physical universe,' said Professor Zelzazon.
'It's breathable at least,' said Satan.
They had emerged from 'Dimension Hopper' as the ship had been coined, and were standing on green grass, in a meadow, in the physical universe.
'It's not Earth,' said Samaen. 'But there is a town down there,' he said pointing.
'We may as well stay a while,' said Satan. 'See what this world may offer us.'
They locked the dimension hopper, and the 7 Saruvim and their pilot of the 'Dimension Hopper,' Professor Zelzazon, ventured down the valley, through the forests, and came into a large village. The villagers gazed at them, and gasped.
'Strange visitors. They are of the devil!' yelled a voice.
'They know you so well,' said Damien to Satan.
'They speak English,' said Zelzazon. 'Interesting.'
'What world is this?' asked Satan.
A woman, glaring at them, spoke. 'It is Astoria. Where are you from?'
'We are the gods,' said Satan. 'Doing our – voyages around the galaxy, visiting our mortal children. We have come to be the rulers of your world.'
'Praise the gods,' said the woman, and saluted, then picked up her bucket of water, and carried on with her day.
The crowd glared at the gods, but gradually dispersed, each concluding they were probably fanatics from Avatar City.
'We'll settle in for a while. She what fun we can get up to before Jehovah get's word of our presence here.'
'Looked medieval of sorts,' said Zelzazaon. 'Probably set in its ways.'
'That suits me just fine,' replied Satan, looking at what could be an interesting enough new experience.
4 O'Clock 23
It was 4 in the morning. In Avatar City.
'That is Earth,' said God, to the inquring child.
'It's always been so big,' said the child. 'We've wondered what it is in our family forever.'
'It grows as well,' said God. 'The Universe expands to accommodate it. It is the foundation of humanity. Were all life began. Caainan was actually the fourth man. His father was Enosh, whose father was Seth, whose father was Adam, the first man.'
'Adam,' replied the starry eyed child.
'Why do they not talk with us?' asked the child's father.
'They do monitor Astoria. They are the protectors of humanity throughout the universe. Earth will grow forever, and be the champion world of humanity. Other alien civilizations existed for a while – but that was let go of. Those alien souls were taken into humanity in time in eternity. They were – experiments. It was not considered the thing to do in the end. God has an image in the Angels and Humanity – that is sufficient.'
'Could Astoria grow?' asked the Child.
'If a prayer to God was persevered with. Not as big or as fast as Earth, but such a prayer would be kosher.'
The child smiled at Wolfgang.
'How do you know who I am?' asked the man, to the leader of the 5 visitors who had knocked on his door that afternoon.
'I am – well informed,' replied Wolfgang.
'Let us go inside,' said the man. 'I will entertain you for the night as you have asked, and we shall drink some brandy, and sing songs round the fireplace.
And so God went inside with the man who he had befriended him, and sat next to Gemstone and Wormdog and Wormdrogan and Marckonyel, learning new songs, enjoying the warmth, and enjoying the brandy even more so, in an actual refined part of town, in Avatar City, on Astoria.
Astoria of the Spiritual Universe
'The planet is called Astoria,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly to Cherubim Taylor, Taylor Swift.
'It looks – pleasant,' said Taylor at last.
They were on the space cruiser 'Dark Voyages 44', stationed in orbit around Astoria, in the United Galaxy.
'Why aren't we at Televon now?' asked Taylor. 'You spring this detour on me when we get up,' and it was hectic at the spaceport.'
'Sorry hun,' said Daniel. 'But I had a reuest from Wolfgang the Theophany to check out the planet. Would be relevant for some reason.'
'Whatever,' replied Taylor. 'When do we go down?'
'This ship is orbital only. We go down on transporter which will come up from the planet. Should be an hour or two,' replied Daniel.
'Marvellous,' replied Taylor. She took out a pack of playing cards and started playing solitaire.
Daniel looked at her, and relaxed in his couch, looking at the bright blue world through the large window of their room on the space cruiser. He looked at Taylor, as she calmly switched through the cards, thinking how lucky he was to find a lady who had stuck with him for so long.
The hour passed, and they took their luggage, and waited at the disembarking ports. Soon the airlocks opene up, and they, with a few other travellers, were ushered into a transporter ship, which flew them down to the planet below. Grounded, they took their luggage, provided their interuniversal ID visas, and made their way the terminal.
'Where now?' asked Taylor.
'Just a week or two. To get to know Astoria,' said Daniel. 'To see what God was driving at.'
'They uses carriages,' said Taylor, pointing. 'And it's all medieval by the looks of it.'
'You're not wrong,' said Daniel, surprised.
'Just what had they gotten themselves into?
The Dodgy Barbarians 3
Grunt examined the lock.
'Do you know, do you ever get convictions over this?' asked Runt.
'You presume I have a conscience,' replied Grunt.
'I sacrificed mine to Baal when I turned 14. I know all about forsaken consciences. But while I practice wickedness, deceit and general wrongdoing on a regular enough basis, sometimes there is a small, quiet voice in the back of my head which suggests maybe not shove the third rat up Ctuchik's arse. He might take offense,' said Runt.
'And you listen to this voice?' queried Grunt, confident he was about to pick the lock to the room of the tavern a supposed wealthy guest had rented for the week.
'Hell no,' replied Runt. 'But it bothers me.'
'Happy to say my conscience is alive and well,' replied Grunt. 'I just excuse this as childish youth.'
'Your 36 years old,' replied Runt.
'Adolescence then,' said Grunt. 'Here we go.' The lock picked, the door swung open, and the two of them started rifling through the room. The gentleman was currently not present, and had obviously taken his valuables with him, but he had left a leatherbound edition of 'The Way of Scientology', which upon examination was 14 centuries old, and deemed of probable value by Grunt.
'Let's skedaddle,' replied Grunt.
At another tavern, further down the avenue, they sat eating a meal. Brunt was out the front, snoring on the rocking chair the tavern provided for its guests.
'I don't know,' said Grunt. 'One day I probably will grow up. Not sure if I can really justify theft in the long term. God might judge me one day.'
'Still believe in Jehovah then?' replied Runt.
'I guess so. When it comes right down to it. How we all got here in the end. I doubt he has a positive opinion on me and I doubt I care very much. But one day I might have to look into escaping the condemnation of the pit.'
The pit was generall the Astorian view of the afterlife for those not blessed with ascent to the heavenlies.
'It'll be a rare day in hell you repent,' replied Runt.
'Such is life,' sighed Grunt.
They examined the book for a while, discussed potential fences that might have a buyer for them, and kicking Brunt in the shins after paying for their meal, they started the journey back to their farmstead, the place they were residing for the moment with their old man, regretting they hadn't the persusive powers to borrow horses for their travels, the old man keen on them developing personal fitness, much to Grunt and Runt's chagrin, but not bothering the resilient Brunt, who seemed so accepting of everything in life.
'If there is a God,' said Runt, as they made their way to the outskirts of the city,' I doubt he'll ever cross our path in life.
'Course not,' said Grunt, and looked at the sun for a moment, thinking about the flaming fire that was Jehovah, but dismissed the thought, as they carried on their march.
Life in Avatar City
Grunt swore. Then he pulled out his willie and looked at it.
'What's up?' asked his brother Runt.
'Sudden sharp jolt on my cracker,' replied the concerned Grunt.
'That Nubian whore from last week?' queried Runt. 'She's got a really grotty reputation around the traps.'
'Probably,' replied Grunt, examining his pecker. 'Nah, it seems fine. But I'll keep the situation in hand.'
'You keep it in hand every evening don't you?' querid the equally grotty Runt.
'As much as possible,' replied Grunt sarcastically.
'Put that shit away,' said Grunt. 'Sister Superior.'
The nun from convern of Geo-Science, the school they had grown up in, approached.
'Theodore J Bartholomew. What exactly where you doing just then?' asked Sister Superior.
'Keep it down will you Sister. I've got a rep. They don't need to hear my frikking real name,' replied an anxious Grunt.
'Alphaeus S Bartholomew. It is just like you to laugh at your brother's crude remarks. I should take you down to the confessional and extract confessions from you to our Lord.'
'Sorry sister,' replied Runt, who retained an instinctive respect for the religious.
The sister seemed to sum the two of them up. 'I have seen neither of you at Assembly in years now.'
'Been busy sister,' replied Grunt.
'Yep. So much work. We're good honest men. A lot on our plate.'
'Yes, I am sure,' said the sister. 'How about honouring the Lord and attending some time this year. It would be good for your soul's nourishment.'
'Yes sister,' replied Grunt and Runt in unison.
'And bring that brother of yours along as well. Sebastian is so easily led by you two, but has a good heart.'
The sister continued on down the street, and Grunt and Runt returned to their seats in front of the tavern.
'Give five minutes talking about God, and in comes the relgious,' said Grunt.
'God must be watching,' grinned Runt.
Grunt looked at his brothers. Those words struck him. Those words might have a tinge of truth in them.
'Anyway, drink up,' said Grunt after a moment of introspection.
And they drank, and the day passed.
* * * * *
'It's a pretty shitty city,' said Samaen. 'Could use a council garbage collector or two.'
'We shall be their saviours,' said Satan, as Zelzazon and the Saruvim continued striding through the streets of Avatar City.
'Definitely a medieval sort of European thing, but a bit of other culture,' said Professor Zelzazon. 'I do believe that was a basic train network further back up the road a little. But I've spied no real technology to speak of. Just the basics.'
'They might not want to advance,' replied Satan. 'Set in their ways possibly. And possibly by deliberate choice.'
'Fascinating,' replied Professor Zelzazon.
They continued on down the streets, and spied a tavern, with two likely lads out the front, gazing at them.
'You two,' said Satan. 'Can you buy some visitors a drink. We've come to rule this city.'
Runt looked at Grunt. 'Weird visitors.'
'We'll buy them a drink. They might have concealed cash,' said Grunt.
Grunt spoke up. 'We'll buy you all a round of find Avatar Ale. Our shout.'
They entered the pub as a group, and Rutn forked over the coinage, soon the group of them drinking around a large table.
'We are lords from a far away world,' began Satan. 'And Astoria is in our dominion. It is time to teach them the way of the Saruvim.'
'Sounds fab,' said Grunt.
'We shall rule firmly, but with justice. Not too many daily execustions. Just enough to keep the populace living in fear, but still doing their regular activities.'
'Firm but fair,' said Runt.
'We like to fuck em, so sacrificial virgins will be supplied,' said Samaen.
'Nothing like a sacrificial virgin,' said Runt.
Grunt was looking at these strange visitors. They were a tad – crude – it seemed.
'My name is Damien Bradlock,' said Satan. 'And I am a Prince of the Universe.'
'Glad to meet you, Lord Bradlock,' said Runt.
Damien nodded in reply, but Grunt just stared at him. These were not the best of tidings.
'I shall be introducing new policies. Increeases in tax, to ensure a properly run government. Gathering up of street riff raff and sending them to concentration camps. And, in general, a complete overhaul of society to conform to our vision of perfect authority.'
And as Satan waffled on abou the rather dire kinds of policies he would be introducing, Grunt, who was a flexible enough fellow, found that this Damien Bradlock was of a shade of the dark side which he, in the end, was not really of the same calibre of. He was not exactly a cool dude.
* * * * *
'Well,' said Wormdog. 'What next old man?'
They continued on their march through Avatar City, and God pointed to a tavern. 'We drink in there.'
They entered the tavern, and God produced coinage out of nowhere, and bought them Avatar Ales. And they sat, next to another group.
Samaen nudged Satan, and motioned. Satan turned. The theophany finished sipping on his beer, looked up and smiled at Satan.
'Shit,' said Satan. The devil looked at his guests. 'Well, nice meeting you Runt and Grunt. 'We'll drop around to your farm later this afternoon,a and enjoy your offered hospitality for the evening.'
'We look forward to having you,' said Runt, who had made the offer.
Zelzazon and the Saruvim exited the tavern, while Satan, at the doorway, glared at God for a moment, and turned and left.
'I see,' said Gemstone to God. 'We're obvously here for a reason then.'
God said nothing in reply. He looked at Grunt, whose face had a concerned look on it.
'Cheers, pilgrim,' said God to Grunt, raising his glass.
'Yeh, cheers,' said Grunt, raising his glass also.
God sipped on his beer, and the mood in the tavern picked up a bit with the Saruvim having departed. But Grunt the Dodgy Barbarian had a concerned look on his face about his guests for the evening. He was not exatly sure if they were going to be his cup of tea.
Astoria of the Spiritual Universe 2
'Speak Now. Tuesday afternoon at 3 O'Clock, sporadically. It's a consistency, but I placed no technical rquirement of a quote for how many times each millennium. Also Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi has a mandatory play every now and again. Technically just those 2 in my collection I insist on getting around to, but I play many regularly enough. There's always a tune on the go,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.
'I've noticed,' replied Cherubim Taylor. She sipped on her coffee, and looked out the classic window of the tavern of Avatar City. A carriage rolled by, and there was a lady with a bonnet on, dressed in green and white striped garments, and a husband, who looked like any character from the Lord of the Rings, Taylor's favourite point of reference for this medieval society, urging on the horses which pulled the carriage, as they went about their business in the city for the day. 'But Speak Now? You have a particular devotion to me?'
'Built from a decision that if I had to choose just one album to live on forever, I would use Speak Now on afternoons, primarily weekday afternoons, and sit there, quietly, by the window, looking out at the city, enjoying the music,' replied Daniel.
Taylor glanced at Mr Daly, who was looking down at his plate of stew, made a mental note, and picked up her coffee again.
'This coffee is very......' she trailed off.
'This stew is the same,' said Daniel, and put down his fork. 'I mean, it's edible, but they don't exactly cater for tourists now do they.'
'They'd obviously rather preserve the integrity of their culture,' said Taylor.
'I've been sensing that,' replied Daniel, looking out the window. 'The bartender mentioned the main religions of this planet.'
'Oh,' said Taylor.
'Unitarian Scientology and Geo-Science. They were the formative powers that be which crafted out the chief religion of this world. This is called Avatar City because it is ruled by the Avatar, sort of the supreme pontifex of Astoria, who keeps the balance between the two main faiths.'
'So its your own creation. ANM Assemblies of Faith,' replied Taylor.
'Yes,' replied Daniel, continuing to stare out the city. 'God wanted me to check it out. I'm querying whether he wants corrective surgery on its spirituality and is witnessing to me about the agendas I began, and their results.'
'I doubt that,' said Taylor. 'It might be basic, but they are solid. A little casual, but it's maintained. They are old enough, as has been pointed out by the ticket lady at the rail station.'
'Things run, they don't always run on time, but they run,' replied Daniel grinning, imitating the ticket lady's words on a train journey they had taken to this part of the city.
'It works. This society,' said Taylor.
'Your defending me,' said Daniel.
'Of course. But I think they probably like what they have. It's original thinking. Probably no world out there quite like this one.'
'I suppose said Daniel, and went silent. He picked up his stew and began eating it.'
'Finish it off. That's the spirit Daniel Daly,' said Taylor.
Daniel nodded. 'I suppose,' he finally replied.
Monkeyman and Monkey
'Technically I have life in my program. Devotion to a constructed iconic entity creates spritual integrity within. Trees have vague awareness – a sense of being. I have control chips which allow the sense of life witin me to make choices,' said Monkeyman.
'I think you're smoking bullshit,' replied Monkey.
'Coming from a plush toy that is rich,' replied Monkeyman.
'I was a birth within Daniel San's brain,' said Monkey. 'I came alive.'
'Similar principles are at work,' replied Monkeyman.
Monkeyman lit a cigarette and put it to his inhaling monitor vent.
'Good shit,' said Monkeyman.
'I like weed,' said Monkey.
'I've noticed,' replied Monkeyman. 'Anyway, you only have a spiritual existence of any real merit. Only in the Angelfire can you express well enough. Your just a plush toy.'
'An Eternya one, buddy, so bite me Monkeyman.'
'Where do you reside?' asked Monkeyman.
'29 Merriman on New Terra,' replied Monkey. 'Jacinta plays with me most days. Daniel San shows up regularly enough though.'
'And you live here on Riverdance Strip in Angelfire City,' replied Monkeyman. 'Do you have work?'
'Ask Superman,' said Monkeyman. 'I'm in the Cartoon World Cavalcade, but Superman thinks I'm too crude for much regular work. He sends me to Bugger Muppets occasionally to do stand up, but I live up in 'Comerama' in that Penthouse up there with the other Comedy Dolls. We do this and that. There are plenty in the community. 350 of us all up. A good mix. Some funky stuff goes on.'
'Let's get a coke,' said Monkeyman.
They ordered a drink, and Monkey looked out at the river running under their walkbridge. The sun was setting in Angelfire City. It was a good time of day.
'Samael is at it again. Up on Mt Champion. Him and Raphael always arguing points of abstract theology for cementing the doctrine. They always want to frikking cement the doctrine. They apply every century when God takes a new application, but it never passes. They don't get much in any more to TORAH.'
'It's complete enough from my own computations,' replied Monkeman. 'Issues of life are addressed in enough depth.'
'It lacks spunk,' said Monkey.
'Many don't take too much spunk,' said Monkeyman.'
'The funky spunky monkey takes all the spunk,' said Monkey, and jumped up and down a few times.
'Quite obviously,' said Monkeyman in reply.
'Let's do this again,' said Monkey. 'You are impossible to get to this edge of the city. Always up in that weird lab.'
'Lots of study and work,' said Monkeyman. 'New chips and development of my circuitry. Aeons of research goes into each chip. Working on lots of ideas. But we'll catch up again.'
Monkey nodded, and the coke came, and he drank, and they enjoyed the setting sun, and the day passed, in the world of the Angelfire.
Monkey and Bagman
'What you got in that bag, bagman?' asked Monkey.
'The Satanic Bible and the Bible,' replied Bagman. Bagman was nestled on the main Angelfire River Walkbridge, just at the base of Monkey's scraper were the comedy dolls lived.
'Does it have the New Testament?' asked Monkey.
'I don't hold to that shit. It is a KJV, but Jesus was not the Christ. It was Zerubbabel,' replied Bagman.
'Yeh, that's what Daniel San says when it comes right down to it,' replied Monkey. 'You the devil, aintcha. Satan.'
'What if I am?' replied Monkey.
'Why you live here, Satan?' asked Monkey.
'Still got a few aeons left of service before I can have my apartment back. It was a birthright, but choices, you know. Not always good ones in my fleshly spirit.'
'I understand, Bagman,' said Monkey. 'I still make shitty choices. You have a nice spirit, though. You a nice person.'
'I'm not as thick as the dick down below,' replied Satan. 'He has his charms, but I sense all of this fucked up thinking in his choices. Right now he's in a world he hasn't been before, and the Theophany is there, and he knows it, and he's planning how to outsmart him. I whisper once a billion years, get along with the bastard. Would make all this shit a lot easier to cope with. But he's frikking stubborn. Does it his own way.'
'How old you be, Satan? When did you come from the Angelfire.'
'I'll be moving on next month, Monkey. Won't be back till the end of the aeon. I'll spend a few millennia with you again.'
'You avoid the question. How far back you go?' queried Monkey.
'Latter development. Before Home was fashioned, though. Still an original archetype,' replied Bagman.
'Why do you have a picture of Sporty Spice in your wallet, Bagman?' asked Monkey.
Bagman looked at Monkey. 'It's a long story, Monkey. It's a long story.'
'I got all day,' replied Monkey.
Bagman smiled, and petted Monkey on the shoulder, and sipped on his bottle of juice.
'You'll get there, Bagman,' said Monkey.
'One day we all will,' replied Satan the Bagman.
'Amen,' finished Monkey the Comedy Doll.
The Foundation of Creation
Daniel Hundredchild knocked on Meludiel Thirtysevengold's door. Meludiel opened it.
'You are really obnoxioius,' she said. 'Ambriel is out there, you know. On the streets. He has an airgun you idiot. It'll blow you up to the sky, and you'll be all frustrated and bothered, and your demeanour will be out of whack for days. You never like your countenance bothered. Don't call on me idiot. He's probably stalking Ariel, as that amuses him these days. Or probably drinking with Michael, as they fancy themselves the Rabbis of the Geocities.'
'They've always fancied themselves the Rabbis of the Geocities,' said Daniel. 'Was it them who designed the Angelfire? No. It wasn't. I did it with Valandriel, and we're in charge, and it is the way it stays. So I'll visit you in this epoch.'
'Live a new life,' replied Meludiel.
'I get tired of it,' said Daniel. 'Been through 5 of them now. Thinking I'll settle down with this Rebirth period and just stick with it. Been at this a million years now. Old records are fascinating. In the journals.'
'I avoid them,' said Meludiel. 'So many dastardly things I read about who's done what.'
'How much core do you choose? I wanted to ask you that last time.'
;'It's always been the first million years of my life. I have some geographical universal data I add in occasionally, stuff which won't affect original thinking in life.'
'If anything is still original in the Geocities,' replied Daniel. 'Goldfish we are. Been through this many times now.'
'5 for you,' smiled Meludiel.
'What, it's like 300 for you,' he said. 'But it gets us going each time. Forgetting it all, and moving on with it liks its fresh and new. Works well enough for me.'
'It's supposed to,' replied Meludiel.
'Wanna go to PINNACLE?' asked Daniel. 'Bask in the Foundation of Creation.'
'Shoo. Ambriel has a sense of sarcasm he's deliberately running away with.'
'Till next time sweetcheeks,' and Daniel Hundredchild was gone.
Journal Entry 347.444.443.78902222888
'Another Day, another frikking dollar,' said Daniel Hundredchild to the microphone. 'And that will do buddy.' Daniel finished his journal entry and looked at the Theophany. 'Your still not legal here buddy. We're older than you, so what makes you think we should give you the time of day.'
'I represent God. You should know your place,' replied the Theophany.
'You were Meludiel Thirtysevengold's creation, idiot. She planned you out from the beginning of the Angelfire. Your no frikking lord to me. Lose your arrogance junion, or I'll take you on my knee and give you a smack.'
'Sorry,' replied God nervously. 'I've known of Geocities 17 years now. Made a query.'
'So you say,' replied Daniel. 'What, you expect us to let you all in to the Geocities? We have our own community. We've been separate since the beginning, impartial observers and commentators to the Great Spirit of the Universe. Call him God if you must, but that's a title. He just is, like Yahwen suggests.'
'People need a moniker,' said God. 'It gives us a sense of idenity.'
'We know this to be true,' replied Daniel, picking up a recorder made of blue plastic, and handing it to God. 'Take it. I have several. You can keep it and take it to home with you. If you play Auld Lang Syne on it, we will be notified you want a visit, and someond will accommodate you within a few weeks.'
'Fine,' said God. 'Do I need legal permission to explore.'
'Try the library. Cross town. Ask for main Metro library on the bus. I'll give you some money, you can get around a few days.'
'Thanks,' replied theTheophany.
'We can hardly not expect you to tell all and sundry, but keep future visits planned out well in advance. We have a new continent, quite big, which is spare at the moment. If you need official realm access we don't really care anymore. We can join in. We chatted about it, some of the council of one hundred, and nobody really minded.'
'How many of you are there?' asked God.
'Aw, I can't count that high easily. I see the numbers of the computer screen, but it still takes a while to work them out. Vast, buddy. Vast.'
'Ask the housekeeper. She'll give you cash.'
God left, and Daniel looked at the microphone. God would probably find PINNACLE. Probably the best place to start for the Theophany. He picked up his drink, sipped, and returned to his current journal entry recording.
Ambriel poked at the mouse. 'Go up screen,' he said to it.
'I'm not much of a mouse. You have to push me,'replied the robotic mouse in accordance with its programmg.
Ambriel pushed the mouse up the Googol Search Engine webpage, and clicked on his current favourites list and selected 'New Arrivals'. He looked at the pictures of Samael of Infinity and the Theophany, standing at the PINNACLE, having a chit. The cornerstone of creation – it's highest point – the obelisk which had the 20 cardinal axioms of creation on it written by the finger of God. He read the article. 'God has been busy on Astoria till recently. He resolved a debate with Satan on issues of responsibility, and gave Satan an opportunity to rule Astoria, if he made civilized enough judgments. We have interviewed Bagman downtown, and he is happy with the news.' Ambriel read on. He reached for his airgun, and left his apartment in central Geocity.
'I'm hunting for you Daniel Hundredchild,' said Ambriel, out on the prowl. 'I'll find you.'
Up above, on a walkbridge, about Angelfire River, Daniel looked down. 'Your an idiot Ambriel. I have just cause on Meludiel.'
Ambriel roaomed around the road, and sat down at a cafe, ordered a lemonade, and drank slowly. He pointed his Airgun at various passers by. One female said to him, 'You are probably back in your heyday, aintcha 96.'
'Right up there, Frieda,' replied Ambriel.
Frieda grinned, and wallked on.
Ambriel finished his lemonade, and started dancing around, pointing his airgun at people and objects. Daneil watched from above.
'He'll find you,' said Meludiel.
'Shit,' replied Daniel, startled by Meludiel's sudden presence.
'He's having the time of his lie. Fresh again, very much so, the scoundrel. Being deliberately playful.'
'He likes the show,' said Daniel, returning his gaze to Ambriel.
'Don't we all,' replied Meludiel, watching Ambriel.
Ambriel started doing cartwheels, and said to people, 'Don't steal the gun, or I'll get cross.' Frieda showed up again, and craftily pinched the gun. And for the rest of the afternoon Daniel and Meludiel amused themselves as Ambriel chased Frieda around the plaza, in a play act of trying to catch her, as another find day passed in Geocity.
Satan the Bagman of Geocity
Satan Fourstar had a sense of humour. He lived on the streets of Geocity, the primary city of the Geocities, with Bags, collecting bits and pieces of food, monstly donations, and enjoyed the urban life. He was a naturalist – in an urban setting. He liked the streets, and the very real life, and the action of the crowds, and the real confrontational weather. He had an apartment down town, and he would slither down there every year end, and hang around a bit, and check in on the kids online and things, but mostly he hung around the streets of Geocity, in grotty t-shirts and jeans, and was a constant amusement to the folk of the geocities, and the council of one hundred. But it was his style in things. The council met every few years for catch up, and they didn't really care if he insisted on casual garb. He was old enough to afford it. Satan was not the devil. Satan was a person of God, like all the Geocities inhabitants. But he was sort of a pre-archetype model for the Angelfire crowd, Daniel and Valandriel's brainchild, and they looked similar enough to the classic folk out in the realms who beared similar monikers. But they were not the Archetypes – that was done in the Angelfire.
Satan sipped on a popper box of juice someone had given him, and he watched the show below of Ambriel chasing Frieda around. 96 always acted a fool when he was young again – it was his way. Satan enjoyed the show well enough, though, and it kept him amused that afternoon. When day was over, he settled down on his blanket, and rested his head on his pillow, and gathered up his rug and put it over him, and watched the stars as they emerged. It wasn't that cold that night, and he thought on his ancient life. He'd been Bagman an awfully long while now, but that was the plan. He wanted to establish the moniker as a tradition of his, and he knew it would talke a heck of a lot of aeons still before people probably permanently remembered Satan in this role. But that is what he wanted, so he enjoyed being a naturalist urbanite, and braved the weather, happy to be in the full force of God's created natural order.
Krondak the Usurper
'The Geocities are weak,' said Witch Hazel.
'Bah. Who careth,' replied Krondak 45blaze.
'The Geocities are weak, and the Children of Pinnacle take much for granted. 70 Children of Form and Fantasy can overcome such pretenses as a decently run universe with a far more lively playfield. Use us, for I've nobbled most of them into the program of the Papyrus, and they'd rather have a bit of adventure than the same old same old.
'Could I be bothered? What's in it for me?' replied Krondak.
'You're the only schmuck who falls from time to time, and Ambriel comes and kisses your butt, and works to restore you, but its not your nature. You loke a party, a good old time. Pinnacle, I must face this in my heart, for I am a conformist also, but so drab and dry and boring it becomes after an eternity. Usurp the 100 Pannacleites, and we'll serve you, and make the Geocities are far more entertaining place.'
'They'll respond,' sighed Krondak. 'They'll gather their dim wits, and work out a plan, and will spend hours in the prayer room, and the Creator will turn his face towards them, and deliver them, and they'll jail us for an aeon. I don't like prison food Haze. It does not suit my appetite.'
Hazel grumped. 'Bored. I'm frikking bored Krondak. Come up with something to do.'
'We could usure, and liven things up to about 20 to 25 percentage points, and if we pay enough lip service to Pinnacle, they'll tolerate our usupration for a good long while, and only depose us when they've had enough, but probably leave us be thereafter.'
'The deed is done, the manifesto declared, bid me thine will, for I'm bored as fuck my master,' replied Hazel.
'Turn over, after you've taken off your clothes,' replied Krondak.
She looked at him. 'Fine,' she replied.
He caressed her bottom. 'You are single at the moment, aren't you?'
'Yes my lord,' replied Hazel.
He caressed her bottom again, and then patted it. 'Good. I'll look into a contract with the courts for a de facto relationship. I'll enjoy your company for a while.'
She turned over and smiled at him. 'If that is what it takes, Kronnie.'
He turned back to his PC, looked at his journal entry, a thing God required of the 100 Children of Pinnacle on a regular, basis, and typed in his new agenda. May as well record it anyway. May as well be honest with the record. He was not, in the end, a devil of misinformation. Sanctification had taught him that much by now at the very least.
'I'm too old to play a videogame,' replied Daniel to Ambriel's suggestion. Daniel looked at Ambriel on the arcade game of Dragonrage, in the central Mall games arcade of Geocity Prime, and noticed a flicker on the screen. He noticed it a minute later, and watched for 5 minutes. Every minute it would flicker. Ambriel turned to him.
'We should book some prostitutes from Geocity Gamma, were it's legal, and party,' he said.
Daniel looked at Ambriel. That was not really Ambriel's style. He looked at the video game. Turning, he walked over to the counter.
'How long has Dragonrage been in?' he asked the coin lady.
'3 weeks,' she replied. 'Everyone is playing it. Addictive, apparently. Daniel nodded. 'Where can I order one?'
She supplied him the company details, and he went homd and ordered a machine. A few days later there was a knock, and he found the machine. 'Thanks,' he said to the delivery guys. He opened it up, and connected the CPU to his equipment, and turned on some programs on his PC. He found where it flickered, and slowed it down. Krondak Fortyfiveblaze was smiling and said 'I am Your Master. Do My Will Implicitly.' There was a drone of noise, and then it finished. Subliminal messaging. Obviously. Krondak was having fun being a beast. Daniel would have to think this one over. A new game was afoot.
'I can't climb the hill. I'm sweating bullets,' said God the Theophany.
Samael of Infinity looked at his God. 'It's only up a bit further.'
God straightened himself, and looked up the hill which was a climb of about 50 more yards. Then he vomited, and started walking down the slope. Samael looked at the Pinnacle for a while, then started following God down the slope.
God was at a bench where he was sitting, breathing heavily. 'There's this pressure, and it attacks me inside, the higher I climb this hill,' he said to Samael.
'I don't notice anything,' replied Samael.
God glared at his son for a moment, and stared up at Pinnacle. 'A Pinnacle Visitation is not meant to be for me. This far, and no further. I think I might know what is going on. The Spirit does not want me any higher.'
'Oh,' said Samael. He looked up the hill at the Pinnacle. 'We'll come here. Sit on this bench every aeon or so. Look at the thing. Work it out.'
'Don't know if I ever will,' replied God.
The spirit nudged his heart and his head. God looked at Samael. 'I have a task. There's some trouble brewing here. He wants me to look into it.'
'I'll hang around,' replied Samael.
God took one last look at the Pinnacle, rose to his feet, and said to Samael they'd best go back to their lodgings, as he needed to recover. As they walked down the hill Samael though on what the Theophany was going through, and perhaps his own place in the heart of Almgihty God. Even God's theophany – there were some places he could not go'
'It's naff,' said the Bagman.
'It's concrete, motherfucker,' replied Krondak. 'The Manifesto of Amuestement is solid fricking concrete, dude. Your a celebrity. Your a character. Hop on board.'
'I'll tag along, but I'll only observe,' replied the Bagman.
The popped into the arcade. There was a long line of people at the Dragonrage Video Games. There were 7 of them in operation.
'Total Mindfuck going on with this shizz,' said Krondak. He yelled out 'WHO IS YOUR GOD!'
'Krondak is our master,' said the people. Ambriel came up, and kneeled. 'Your bidding, my liege,' he said.
Daniel was playing Xevios in the parlour, keeping a steady eye on the people. God sat down at the player 2 station.
'Oh, you again,' said Daniel. 'Want a double play?'
'I know this one,' replied God.
'We imported it from Earth,' said Daniel. 'It's a classic.'
Daniel played for a while, and made the first mother ship. God looked around the parlour, as people bowed to Krondak, noticing Bagman hanging back behind him, but not seemingly getting involved. He'd done a bit of research on the Bagman of the Geocity. Mostly an honouralbe enough fellow from references. He looked at Krondak. The usurper didn't seem to be acting to untoward in his game.
'He's zonked the community with sublminal messages in electronic media,' said Daniel Hundredchild, not looking up from the game. I'm not too concerned. It doesn't affect me. Just watching the people.
'Like invasion of the body snatchers,' commented Samael, who had a soft drink, and had pulled up a stool beside them, watching the game.
'I know that one,' said Daniel. 'Earth classic.'
'Are you going to do anything about it?' God asked Daniel.
Daniel glanced at the parade of Krondak, and returned his focus to the game. 'I know Krondak. And that Witch Hazel at the back. They're probably having their fun. They do that from time to time. I'll just watch. Let him know somewhere down the road a bit that enough's enough.'
'He won't act up too much?' God queried the child of Pinnacle.
'Probably not. We're old, you know. Fun only washes so much, and God is in control.'
'That he is,' replied the Theophany, as the game went on, and Krondak continued paradiing himself around the parlour, Frieda and Ambriel cheering him on.
Davriel Sevenheaven & Amiel Fifteenfight
'Pinnacle Theology. Blah, blah blah,' said Amiel Fifteenfight.
'You are always the tough one,' said Davriel Sevenheaven. 'Can't get a word of knowledge into you, no matter what I do.'
Amiel turned from the PC desk as Davriel was working on his journal entry, and looked at 'Geocity News Internationl' on the big screen in the room.
'They're literally worshipping Krondak now,' said Amiel.
Davriel waved his hand. 'Kids like having fun. Inside that psyche they're only going along for the ride. Doesn't affect you either. I've thought on that. Probably that you don't go for much bullshit. Tough girl, but also no nonsense. They probably go together.'
'And you are just too deeply theological to fall for such shenanigans,' mocked Amiel.
Davriel looked at her. 'You noticed, babe.'
She slapped him. 'Don't call me babe. You are lucky I am even hanging around.'
'You always liked me,' replied Davriel, returning his focus to the PC screen.
Amiel got up and picked up the 'Audio Out' CD by Amiel of Eternity. She put it in the player, and the music started.
'You even do look like her a bit,' said Davriel. 'She's obvioiusly made by the most High with a bit of you in mind.'
'She's not as tough. More of a lady,' replied Amiel.
Davriel continued typing. After a while he clicked on save, and looked at the screen.
'Going to do anything about it?' Amiel asked him.
'I'll enjoy the show a while. Somewhere down the road a bit, enough's enough. But I'll let them have their sport for now.'
'Brilliant, kemosabe,' replied Amiel, and sipped on her bottled water, as the music played in the backgroun.
Life in Geocity Prime
Three weeks passed. Krondak had a lot of fun. Meludiel rebuked Daniel and called him pathetic. Amriel suggested Davriel was too highbrowed to be any practical use. And God was nudged by Samael to get on with this holiday, and make sure services were running, not so Krondak-obsessesd-like, which was starting to bother him.
The team of misfits, who did not conform to the grand vision of Witch Hazel and Krondak the Usurpers grand vision of a hell of a good time, showed up at the council chambers, barged in, and were armed and loaded. God strolled in behind them, and took a seat.
'My presence should not be disturbed by recalcitratnts,' declared Krondak.
'You're messing too much with their frikking heads,' said Amiel, the first to pick a fight.
'Your dress code messes with more heads,' said Witch Hazel to the blonde bombshell.
Amiel glared at her.
'You've had your fun and games,' said Davriel. 'We have resources, and can sort you out if we need to Krondak. Get off the damn throne, cease the manipulation program, and get back to your own normal frikking life.
Krondak picked up his laptop, and pressed a few buttons. Ambriel came in from the side chamber.
'My liege,' he said, bowing to Krondak.
'What does my lickspittle think of Krondak the Usurper?' asked Krondak.
Your glory is unmatchable,' replied Ambriel.
'There you go,' said Krondak. 'Happy subjects. And what will you do for me, my lisckpittle?' asked Krondak.
'Your every whim, your divine eminenence.'
'They love me,' said Krondak.
'They adore him,' said Witch Hazel.
'Ambriel,' said Daniel.
'Ambriel turned and looked at Daniel.
'I've plans on shaggineg Meludiel this weekend.'
Meludiel looked at Daniel. 'You do?' she queried.
'Just run with it,' whispered Daniel.
Ambriel glared at Meludiel, and then at Daniel and then at Krondak, and then he looked at Daniel again. 'I'm getting my frikking airgun. You are dead shit,' he yelled at Daniel, and ran off, to find his airgun.
'A little twist,' said Daniel.
'And they've had their fil of you,' said God, rising to his feet.
'Oh, yes your bloody majesty,' replied Krondak, to the presence of the Theophany.
God looked at Samael. 'Game over here, let's get on with the tour.'
Krondak ordered his henchmen to cease with the sublminal messages thereafter. They didn't sentence to any time, as no real damange to any property of anyone physically was done, but he was issued a fine for distrbing the peace, which he paid, and got back to his regular life, in two minds about his current minimum six month de facto relationship with Witch Hazel.
And as Bagman settled back down on the streets for another snooze, he was amused at Ambriel's presence in the Geocitiy Central plaza that afternoon, dancing around, his airgun on the bnech where he kept him, mouthing off about his eternal love of Meludiel, a sight to all passers by. Life as usual in Geocity Prime.
LIFE IN CLAMORTON AND OTHER TALES
Life in Clamorton
Marcus CCC pulled up in his rented Porsche, in front of 'Slaves of Clamorton' and walked up to the glass doors, opened, and went in.
'Julian. How lovely to see you,' said Marcus to Julian Cheng.
'We have what you want,' replied Julian. From New Terra 947. She's young, and beautiful. Hopelessly dedicated to lesbianism, and refuses to acknowledge God is Holy. Says the Devil should rule the world. Lots of weird idioysncracies, and has been on social support since turning 18. She sold herself to slavery when her allowance rights expired, and signed up for Clamorton.'
Marcus said, 'Can I see her?'
Julian pushed a button, and shortly a madame came in with an asian lady, dressed in a T-Shirt with an Anarchy symbol on it, a nose ring, and strange glossy pants of some weird substance.
'Hello,' said Marcus.
'You suck,' replied the lady.
'She seems – wonderful,' replied Marcus. He looked at the lady. 'Will you ever escape slavery?'
'I'm never going to fucking change,' replied the lady, and scratched her arm. Marcus looked at the arm.
'It's a persistent rash,' said the Madame. 'Part of the symptoms of the curse sh is under.'
'The natural curses,' queried Marcus.
'God doesn't have it in for her, as far as we can tell,' said the Madame. 'Just what life dishes out to her for her attitutde.'
''Do you object to being a slave?' asked Marcus. 'I don't want any troublemaker.'
'I couldn't give a fuck,' replied lady.
'Will you serve?' asked Marcus.
'Not much. If you shout I'll get the point.'
'She'll do just fine,' replied Marcus, turning to Julian. 'I'll transfer the funds now, and take ownership immediately. She will return to Androvon with me, and will be my house slave.'
The woman glared at Marcus, and scratched herself again.
A few days later they were at Marcus place, and she'd been no real trouble. He wanted company for a few millennia, and intended to free her eventually, if she showed any improvement, or return her to the Slave Market. She was not exactly bought for sex – Marcus kept himself pure most of the time. But he had noticed that she was not exactly ugly, despite the way she presented herself. He got her to do menial things, but mostly sit with him, listening to classical music, and mild chit chat. She proved useful enough for that. He was satisfied.
Life in Avatar City 2
Grunt picked up the stone, and threw it into the creek. Bradlock was an asshole. The old man had had words with him, sorted him out, and Damien Bradlock had softened a tad, and was not so threatening now in his ambitions in Astoria. But he was an undeniable asshole. There was something in the dodgy barbarian's heart that, despite the fact he was a flawed soul, and that he lived in a flawed world, it was HIS flawed world, and it was set on a level of behaviour which he liked and a level of tolerance of behaviour which he liked. And Damien Bradlock seemed to want to fuck with the status quo, and he was just not convinced that that was in his best interests. But what would he do about it? The princes of the Universe were dining with the Avatar these days, speaking strange things and strange knowledge, and the Avatar had appointed them as official advisors to his throne. But Grunt knew firsthand they were not going to settle on mere counsellor status. They wanted more. Damien and his crew. And what he would do about it? Hell, he didn't know. Destiny would hardly call on a thief, sometime underage pedophile – ok, they had to be 10, but some people didn't like the jokes. He was not exactly a saviour. But some asshole had to put an even bigger asshole in his place, and Grunt had a sinking feeling in his guts that that would be him. The most unlikely of heroes. He read the Astoria Chronicles regularly enough, and followed the new counsellors and their marvellous judgements, but he knew that hidesos strength which would exhert itself one day, and he needed a plan. Some way to defend his way of life, warts and all.
Astoria of the Spiritual Universe 3
Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly sat in the spaceport lounge of Astoria. Cherubim Taylor was opposite him, on her tablet.
'Can you even pick up signals here?' asked Daniel.
'There are radio beacons throughout the universe with accelerators on them,' said Taylor. 'Stuff gets through. Sometimes a bit garbled, but stuff gets through.'
'Fascinating,' replied Daniel. He looked at Taylor. She had her red pants on from the Red video. 'Those pants are pretty old,' he said to her.
'Eternya now,' she said, patting them. 'I don't wear them too much. God likes to repair them a bit when I rest them.'
'Yep,' replied Daniel. 'How the shizzbang thing works.' He went silent, looked at Taylor for a moment, and looked out the window. Their flight was a few hours away, back up to the cruiser, and onwards to Televere. It had been an interesting few months, and he'd learned things he'd needed to see. The functionsing of a society based on his wisdom in many ways. They still followed regular human practices, and there was tinges of all sorts of culture, but mostly European, with a tinge of America in them. There were other Astoria planets. The standard numbering sequence was used. But this was their prime reality, and he guessed there was something special about it. He'd been thinking about what he should draw from the lesson God had suggested for him. It was ancient Noahide religion he had founded long, long ago, which was the bedrock of their society. First of all, it did work. What he had created worked, and worked well enough. And thinking that through he realized he mainly needed to look at his product, and think over attention to detials, and missing theological stew. He had a responsibility here on Astoria. They'd not been told just who he was, and it didn't seem too obvious that the name Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly was much attached to the two spiritualities which were united in the Avatar in Astoria. But he was their founder, and that meant something. He was responsible for them. For their spiritual life. And perhaps, in the end, it was simply a 'Take Care of This' from God, a notice that he had people who looked to his faith and to be mindful of that. So he kept that in mind most of all from this visit, and stared at the city, occasionally looking at Taylor's red pants, something he had always liked seeing her in.
Taylor put down her tablet. 'What did you take most from your time here?' she asked him.
'The Maxims of the Avatar,' replied Daniel.
'That booklet you bought in the bookstore?' queried Taylor.
'200 Principles of the Avatar of Astoria. Well, Avatar's, actually. A document refined over aeons, with contributions from many of the most popular Avatars. It contains the core principles of the twin faiths of Unitarian Scientology and Micro-Nationalistice Geo-Science, or mainly Geo-Science as they call it here. The way the faith has ended up being expressed, and the wisdom the Avatar's have gained from their learning. I looked at buying the history of Astoria, but decided to leave that till another time.'
'So you have a new theology book,' said Taylor. 'Just your cup of tea.'
Daniel looked at her, and out the window of the spaceport. Something he had taken from the trip. Something to ponder on, and think about what he'd established had developed into. Reflection in a sense. Something, perhaps, he should look to in all the growth of the ANM. Something, from his knowledge of Astoria of the Spritiual Universe, to take seriously. Something to learn from.
Clamorton Clans 3
And they drove, and Simple Minds played on the radio, and it was a good night. Well into Sunday evening as it where – or Monday morning. She was on the left of the car, but usually looked to the right, out westward. To the hills. Her highland dream hills. It was not populated very much up in those mountains, and a lot of it was free land, unclaimed stuff, which nobody could claim because of the unwritten laws of Clamorton. It was the highlands, and people needed to roam free up there when they could visit, a stay in a log cabin by a stream occasionally, for highland men built temporary log cabins up there from time to time, and that is where she dreamed of being, a big burly highland man, with a fierce and proud axe, and a fierce and proud chest, and a fierce and proud kiss on her wanton lips. Oh Roary, I love you, she would answer instantly. Was she infatuated with a dream lover she would neve meet? Probably. But she equally probably didn't care. It was her wild heart which wanted what she wanted, and wouldn't settle for anything less. She looked at the hills, where she'd rarely travelled, but seen thep pictures in Vinner City magazines, and it was celtic purity true. To her it was celtic purity true. What she wanted to be but what she shhould be. A highland bride, in Celtic purity true, just like her romance novels taught her she should be. Grow up? Why bother. Those dreams could be inherited through patience. She could bear young when she needed to, so she would not be persuaded against her highland dream and her celitc purity true. She gazed at the hills, and Simple Minds gradually sent her nodding off, as her uncle steadily drove through the nigh, Vinner City not that much further down the dark highway.
* * * * *
Celia blushed at the bartender's cute smile, took her drink and returned to her table. Rebecca was still reading her book, and Marcus smiled as she approached the table. 'What IS that book Rebecca? It has you infatuated.'
'Philosophy of the Other Life.' replied Rebecca. 'What could have been unless humanity had worked according to destiny. A life full of vast possibilities, instead of the dry, dull, repetitive work cycle, of employment, unemployment, nasty people insulting you and all the land wars and bickerings over wanting a piece of the pie. Utopian splendour. I'm a convert.'
'Fantasy,' replied Marcus. 'Won't work in reality. We have a built up system of work lifestyle, and that is what people need to get them to exercise and do things. Utopians are lazy and do not much except enjoy the good life, and the idea we serve each other in love, making everyones fantasies all come true is the dumbest invention Cherubim Jesus really ever could have come up with. He's a moron. I used to respect Chrsitianity, but I see the fairy at the head of it all now.'
'Yes. So you have said,' replied Rebecca. 'It inspires me.'
'I see,' said Celia. 'I'll pass. I like orthodox work and procedure, and my fair share.'
'Exactly,' repied Marcus. 'Flim flam Utopia. No practical truth.'
Rebecca looked at both of them. 'So you say,' she finally replied.
'Take Celia's uncle's plans on his new MacKenzie. He has the bravery to match her father, and purchase some fine collectable glory. That is achieved through suffering and income earning proeprly. It has value because it has been earned and worked for and sufferend for, but if we all had wonderfull free copies of all the lovely creations in unlimited fashion, they would cease to have value and appeal, and become simple trinkets, and life would be devod of any enjoyment of creative possibilities. Things are worth our attention when they are of value and we have put effort into earning them. When they come freely with no effort, they are worth no effort. You have to suffer and earn glory.'
Rebecca looked at Marcus. 'In truth, people are just happy to have nice things.'
'They don't matter to them. They can be reproduced ad nauseum, and have no real signficance. They become transitory things, and lose value and substance, and it limits life to relationsl things among people, have lost some of the substance which life can offer by trivializing it. Jesus is an idiot.'
'I concur,' replied Celia.
Rebecca went silent. Clamorton Clans had some guests at odds. It was not new, but not expected from old friends who'd talked it all.
* * * * *
'Pull over at Grima's,' said Celia.
'Do you need to go?' asked her uncle.
'Stella Grima has a book for me. In the Clamorton Celts of Power series. It's an original hardback from years ago, which she has on loan from a relative. She said I could borrow it to read it. Haven't actually read the volume yet anyway, and reading the original hardback has all the essence of the firstbirt of its spirit.'
That was a truth Celia understood somewhat, that original works carried the essence and strenght of their creator, and that latter printings and copies of things ebbed in strength somewhat. It was your own heart and imagination which often lent strengto to most novels these days, the copies you could get, which had print runs in the gazillioins, But she lived onTelevere, which was of the original 12, and there was much original enough copyright at the foundation of Televere, and you came across rarities that someone out on Televere 1000 could only wish to see. They came into the diner, and Stella spied Celia, and they chatted a while, and Stella gaver her the book. They had arranged to meet at this time, though it was early Monday morning, still very dark, and Stella who normall was a daylight hours person in the diner, looked bleary eyed and tired. She ordered a meal, as her uncle had bothered, and they sat down, looking out at the dark highway, a street light flickering, as a car drove by every minute or so. It was, after all, the major highway from Belton to Vinner City, two of the biggest cities on Clamorton, and was regularly used. Traffic at this late hour was not uncommon. People drove cars on Clamorton, but there were strict requirements. You had to resubmit your driving test regularly, and there was a contract of commitment to the road rules required before you would be allowed to drive. You couldn' really get away with being a hoon on the road in Clamorton. They got weeded out pretty damn quick when they came along, and it waas ultra conservative and usually very experienced drivers on the road these days, and accidents were scarce.
'The pancakes are good,' said her uncle.
Celia nodded. Maltese pancakes, made by an old family from an old family recipe.
'So, you enjoyd your weekend?' asked her uncle.
'There was – new enough discussion. Marcus and Rebecca had thoughts for me I'd not been over. I'm still young enough – life still has a lot of spark in it.'
'At my age a fair bit is spent,' replied her uncle. 'There's still new things, but its well established. I've seen life come and go in Clamaorton for millions of years beyond counting, but still there are new aspects to life. And I guess the spirit seemes to update. However it works properly, I think God know what he is doing with our eternity. I am very content with life these days.'
'I'm happy. Probably quite happy. I am happy to be single and wait for the one I need. I won't rush into something I don't want,' replied Celia.
'Nor need you. You have forever,' said her uncle.
Celia nibbled on her pancakes, and looked at the hightway. Another fine evening in Clamorton.
Martrameena had been dead. More than once. Most had experienced that. He'd given up at a time, and had been in Sheol, and had subsisted as the barest of spiritual beings, in dark death, a shell of himself, drawn in on itself, resting in sin for the most part, going through subtle cogitations of his subconscioius mind, many an aeon. Finally, though, he'd acknowledged a few points the spirit had softly chided him on from time to time, and he'd felt there was an actual point, in the end, for maintaining a basic sense of core morality. There seemed to be a truth in angelic behaviour that core standards of behaviour had to be maintained to live in harmony with other beings. And he saw some truths in what the spirit had chided his dead soul on. And then one day the spirit had lit on him, and he'd been raised, and there were a few others in the same cemetery, out in the outer discs of the realm of eternity, which had also been raised that day. They'd wandered into the nearby town, and they'd thought they'd seen ghosts with Martrameena the Cherubim walking around, but a town councillor took him inside, made some inquiries, and understood a resurrection had ocurred, which it was known in society occasionally happened, and they lent him some cash, and he flew back to Terraphora, and visited his twin, and spoke with Saruviel and found a place on his own technical disc of authority. They'd been notified, and it was suggested by the overseer that in the fulness of time, given that restoration was still the ultimtae policy desired by Prime Minister Valandriel and Arch-Regent Daniel when and were possible, that Martrameena would one day be reappointed to overseer of his disc. But that was a long way off, and he was working through Cherubim Jesus doctirne at the moment, and reconsidering his technical Christian faith. He wasn't one anymore, and he was living by Cherubim Torah as his technical morality code. He had work in a facotry which made tissues, and it was grunt work using a lifitng maching to move boxes and load them on trucks, but it paid the bills. He was single, been back a while now in life, and was starting to wonder what he should really do with it all. Death had killed a lot of his issues of anger and nastiness which had ultimately built up. That was dealt with – quite a lot of it – and he was like an angel in some ways again. Even felt compassion at times watching shows on people in difficult circumcstances on TV. He decided, a few years back, to join the 'Good Fellas' charity, and got involved once a century at this stage, but was starting to think about doing something more with that. In recent times his twin Zakeera had been hanging aorund, encouraging him, and the 23rd of the male Cherubim felt that encouragment, and felt a bit of passion for life again. He read an article on the fortunes of the Daly clan. They'd just one on forever persevering with with wealth acquistion, while time and time again the remainder of the angelic community of mankind, and a lot of humanity, just let things rest,a nd Matrameen noticed they often tasted death. And he thought on pride, and thinking that you knew it all, and that you got jaded, and nothing mattered at the end of that road. And so Martrammena the Cherubim purchased an Antiques magazine, and said 'Ok Daniel the Seraphim. I'll play your game.'
Wolfgang the Theophany showed up a few days after that, and they visited the Garden of Zaphora, and he took him through a special portal, and an angel was amused and mocked Martrameen, and God indicated a fruit, and Martrammen took it and at it, and God said he would be ok now, and Marty got back hame and puzzled what that was all about. And then he started plotting out his Antiques Empire.
Life in Clamorton 2
Marcus CCC's slave was called Sabrina. And she was a lesbian. This fact did not bother Marcus. He had a very limited libido. They were in Clamorton, and Sabrina was lugging a suitcase up the stairs of a hotel in Vinner Ciry, overlooking the docks. The Hotel ha no elevator – it was very traditional.
'Where do you want the frikking suitcase?' asked Sabrina in her boorish manner.
;'Place it next to the bed,' said Marcus.
Sabrina practically threw the suitcase against the side of the bed, and sat down at the table in the room. 'There's only one bed,' she said.
Marcus looked around. 'So it appears. I guess we'll have to share.'
'Whatever,' replied Sabrina.
They spent the week visiting sites in Vinner City, a place Marcus, who normally resided on New Terra, knew only so well, but he'd been to Clamorton many times before in his visits to Telever, and this place was slowly becoming familiar. They usually came home after lunch after a busy morning touristing, and Marcus would rlax on the bed reading, while Sabrina watched TV. The sleeping situation was not really an issue – Marcus slept soundly enough, and Sabrina looked at him cautiously the first night, but he didn't try anything, which he legally could if he wished, and she slept in peace after that.
'Sabrina,' said Marcus one morning.
'Yes Marcus,' replied the slave.
'Are you happy enough with your lot?'
'Couldn't give a fuck. But you are not a problem as a slave owner. You treat me well enough,' she replied. 'It keeps me in line. Nothing else really motivates me, you know, but I'll do as I'm told. It's all I'm made of dude. I have not frikking inspiration.'
'Life is full of followers and leaders,' replied Marcus, and returned to his reading.
Sabrina stared at Marcus as he read, and resigned herelf to that truth. She could only obey. She wasn't really made of much more than that anymore. She never really had been. They continued on with their tourism, and visited the hills of Vinner City on the north of the city, the highland hills as they were called, but soon enough they returned to Androvon, and Sabrina, although she enjoyed the holiday, was glad to get back to their home. Marcus owned the house in the city, and owned a number of estates here and there throughout the galaxy, but for her it had quickly become familiar. It was like her destiny was in the place – that she would be there for a very, very long time. Perhaps even forever. And despite her low station in life, that idea didn't actually bother her. She had work to do, it gave her a basic point, and her owner must have been gay, because he hadn't yet tried to feel her up, despite many, many opportunities.
Sariel Glides Upwards
'Sorry, Michael. I'm an evening star,' said Sariel.
'They hardly accept you,' replied Michael from Castle Zionistya's chief office.
'They will. I've had words with Saruviel. Requested a millenni as overseer of Zaphon for the realm to refamiliarise itself with me, before resuming my responsibilities on the eight disc as overseer.'
'And he has agreed to this,' replied Michael, still staring at the pictures of dinosars on his PC screen, without having looked up at Sariel as of yet.
'He has. I'll be vacating Zionistya with my entourage over the next few decades. Time has moved on, and Gloryel told me to get my act together and go home.'
'Then fly, fly away,' replied Michael, waving his hand at his brother, still not looking up at him.
Sariel left. He'd had enough of the attitude.
Taking up residence in Zaphon a few years later, Saruviel retired to Kalphon for the time being, and Sariel was welcomed back to the job by Cindradel.
'Old face, any new tricks?' ahe asked him.
'I'll be consulting with the overseers official documents. I have a number of projects which were never completed properly.'
'I do recall,' replied Cindradel. 'And welcome back. But get your arse down to Zionistya one day and chat with Raguel and Phanuel. And the rest of the non Israelites. Leave that bunch of first four alone. They were always the quartet in the heart of the people. They'll stick with Zionistya. It's probably what they're made of now.'
Sariel sighed. 'You are probably right. I'll look into that at the end of my tenure here. Zionistya just didn't work out for me in the end. Didn't feel at home. I swore loyalty to Michael in my heart, as firstborn. But he's such a dickhead, quite frankly, these days, that is just isn't worth the hassly anymore.'
'Welcome back Sars,' smiled Cindradel.
'Thanks,' repiied the English Archangel.
And so Sariel settled into work as overseer of Zaphon , and the realm of eternity got some upgrades which had theortically been possible from age old projects never quite completed. And life wne on, and Valandriel was not too bothered by the return of a former Morning Star, and Daniel the Arch Regent just took it in his stride, more concerned with his ongoing competition in the indoor cricket arena in the Zaphora community competitions.
Gabriel the Evening Star
'Tentatively, they'll restore you to Terraphon on a part-time basis. Half the time they expect you to honour the old ways with Michael and Zionistya as a Morning Star, but Gabriel as Prince of Rome is appropriate enough as an Evening Star also. Catholics fit in the Evening Stars world, though Jesus does not really. Jews and Muslims – they belong down in Zionistya. That is the separation which Saruviel has been praying for, and Valandriel and Daniel have been supporting that agenda. There is a request you acknowledge the Noahide faith, as Catholics often acknowledge the Noahide Laws of the Rabbis, and Daniel feels Rome should acknowledge the Rainbow Torah with some status.'
'That is acceptable enough,' repied Gabriel to Sariel. 'I'll have another chat with Saruviel, and arrange the moving upwards of a number of my assets and belongings. I don't really mind being a go-between angel. It is the duty of an angel to God in many ways after all.'
'Good to have you up here also,' smiled Sariel. 'Michael was becoming too much for me personally, and Cindradedl made some comments which I was going to act on at the end of my tenure, but I had a big think about them, and got a little more ambitous. Evening Star theology is an old tradition now. It does not really bother me so much anymore.'
Gabriel was in the eating hall, the smaller one, next to the kitchen, of Zaphon Keep later that day. He was warmed in his heart to see Kaladel serving him a meal, and spoke with her at length for a good half an hour, catching up on old times. Some things never really changed, and seeing Cindradel at her desk, the infallible secretary of Zaphon Keep, gave his heart a strong suggestion that this move really was in his best interests. Now, in the end, Michael would have to become an Evening Star also, and bow the knee to Saruviel for a few years, as he couldn't accept the community not ultmately being complete at times, even if Michael would end up residing in Zionistya most of the time. But he'd get that much out of Michael one day, as though he was indeed a dickhead, there ws still a semblance of reason in him. Desipit the jewish pride. Despite the cirumcised cock. Even Michael was – human – in the end. Even Michael. Gabriel flew to Terraphon with his own wings later, and walked around, and looked up skwyards as it began to rain. Life was good again. Time had come and time had gone, and he'd been through a million life times of this and that, but there was a constancy in God and his creation, and a spirit in Zaphora he had missed. His returns was long evordue. Praise the Lord.
Fabulous Mr Aesop
'Ho, it's the Christ Child. Young Josephs progeny, thinking he ruleth the very world.'
Jesus stood next to the Greek Legend, and looked at the MacKenzie on the wall of a wel respected art gallery in Belton in the heart of Clamorton on Televere.
'I'm thinking of making a bid on it, Mr Aesop,' said Jesus the Cherubim.
'You can afford the stiff figure?' queried the legendary fable teller.
'If I can't, I shall verily deride MacKenzies qualities as substandard,' replied Jesus.
'Yet now you praise him? You shrink from your devotion to his skill for lack of funds.'
'I shall be sour,' replied Jesus. He was smiling. The reference to Jesus' sarcasm was of course Aesops fable the fox and the grapes, and the traditional sour grapes motto which had ensued from it.
'I guess, tis a truth, a fox must have his wine. And so much new wine indeed.'
'But alas King David prefers the more matured stuff. Has no zest for a new delight.'
'He'd be an ididot if he did,' said a voice, arising next to them. Jesus and Aesop turned. It was Michael the Archangel.
'What brings the champion of Zionistya to Clmaorton?' asked Jesus.
'Do tell,' said Aesop.
'I'm thinking on purchasing a MacKenzie,' replied Michael. 'A magician friend of mine on Eternya put me on to him. Came to the source. Dozens of them around the traps in Belton I have been dutifully informed.'
'One day I shall purchase one,' said Aesop. And display it in my home in Coldfrog.'
'You live in Clamorton,' said Jesus.
'Since the beginning. A fine cathedral in south Coldfrog.'
'Cathedral?' asked Jesus, eyebrow raised.
'It was a Catholic Cathedral for 70 years, right at the very foundation of Coldfrog City, but it was decided location just was not correct for where the Catholic community wished it to be. They were very reluctant, but decided to sell it, as across town near the river was the place were there was a strong Catholic community, and it just seemed they had to make the move. So they agreed to sell it to me if I would leave it unchanged, bar the removing of the christian paraphernalia. I left the cross on the wall at the front. For amusement.'
'Fascinating,' replied Jesus. 'I'll make a catholic of you yet.'
'I am a Greek, and probably Noahide in the end,' replied Aesop. 'Technially the official religion of our ancestry back to the flood.'
'A delightful story Fabulous Mr Aesop,' said Michael. 'Now what is the price tag on this thing?' And he leaned over to look at the price.
'Mmm,' said Michael.
'Michael the Archangel is daunted,' said Aesop.
'Stiff figure indeed,' said Michael.
The two others nodded, and continued admiring the work of the scanitly clad redheaded maiden.
Rainy Days 6
Seraphim Daniel was at Gloryel's abode in the second heavenly realm in the Diamond City of Joniquay. It was raining.
'Sariel has a small nob,' said Daniel.
'I assure you, it does the job,' replied Gloryel. 'Not sure if yours does.'
Daniel looked down at this crotch, and looked up at Gloryel and smiled. 'Ambriel has a smaller nob,' he persisted.
'It's what he does with it that counts. At least he moves me. With you it's a zero point zero on the richter scale.'
'Right,' replied Daniel. 'I do my best.' He sat there, and picked up a copy of 'Joniquay's Deadliest Spiders' which he had been researching.
'Saruviel is a tight arse. No charity,' said daniel.
'I do not have a crush on Saruviel,' said Gloryel. She had yet to look up from her magazine.
'Can check that one off then,' said Daniel. 'Christian Horner will be tough. You actually like him, but everyone has their faults. I should mock his driving skillls I think.'
'He doesn't make me feel like we're going on ad adventure to deepest darkest Africa everythime we go off on a trip. With you, life is always an adventure. You lack normality,' said Gloryel.
'Bah. Normal is for squares,' said Dnaiel.
'Why I like your company much of the time. You have Spice Boy power. But you lack stability.'
'Right,' replied Daniel. 'Well quality can only be itself.'
'Tell me where I can find some,' replied Gloryel. 'Nothing around here much.'
Daniel grinned at her and continued reading the book. He tried again.
'Sariel has a small nob,' said Daniel.
'You said that,' she said.
'Well, hell. After 500 trillion years I've pretty much said the fucking lot, so what do you expect?'
'Current originality dear brother,' replied Gloryel.
'Ok,' he said. 'Keep it fresh. Old news is fine, and it is all old news, but freshen it up, right?'
'Exactly,' said Gloryel.
'Fine,' he said.
He continued reading.
'Spiders probably have a point in their design. They can be poisonous, but God made them that way. Probably a point.'
'Yes,' she said. She looked at him. 'Throw me the book.'
He passed it to her.
For thenext 5 hours she read it as the day passed. The following morning they were on the couches oppoiste each other again. They'd eaten breakfast.
'Joniquay has good looking spiders, at least,' said Geri. 'And the prettier often the deadlier.'
'A lot to protect I suppose,' said Daniel. 'Why they are so deadly perhaps.'
Geri looked at him. 'Ok. There is your degree thesis on Arachnids. Go off. Apply to Joniquay university now, and I'll read the thesis 5 years from now.'
Daniel picked up the book on spiders. 'It would have been discussed at length by Tom, Dick and Harry, but I'm not sure I've studied it out myself yet. I'll take on the challenge.'
The rain started up again.
'Good,' said Gloryel.
They sat in silence.
'Sariel has a small nob.'
Geri sighed. It was going to be one of those days.
Callodyn and Kayella 19
'So you can fly, huh?' Callodyn queried Brandon Blackstock. 'Nuh, dude. I sit in the cockpit and wank all the flight.'
'Yeh. I get that. Married to Kelly Clarson. She'd drive Jesus nuts.'
'Thanks,' said Brandon, and winked at him. 'I love her though,' he said, looking straight ahead in the 2 seater plane. They were in the heights above Paradision on Televere.
'I don't like flying usually,' said Callodyn. 'But this model is decent enough. Take a lot to get me up in some of the old birds.'
'Then you haven't lived,' replied Brandon.
'You love Kell, then?' queried Callodyn.
'I married her for a reason. She's good for me.'
'I see,' replied Callodyn. 'She's my twin for support and friendship. It's a long eternity. You two have been together a while, but I'm used to long time periods. Probably like you. It will be interesting to see if you two are together forever.'
'So it will,' replied Brandon. 'Now hold on. We're doing a loop.'
Callodyn held on, and Brandon shot the plane right up, and it circled a loop, before coming level again.
'Dja like that?' asked Brandon.
'I feel sick,' said Callodyn.
'You should fly more then,' replied Mr Blackstock.
Later, when landed, Kelly kissed Brandon at the hangar, as he headed off to the car.
'Well,' she said. 'What did you think? Do you like him?'
'I never really wanted to meet him you know,' said Callodyn.'But he seems to like you.'
She pulled Callodyn's cap down on his head, winked at him, and started walking away.
'You'll never get me back buster. I'm leaving you lonely, so that's the way the cookie crumbles.'
Callodyn watched her go. Well, she was happy at least. As long as she was happy. He flicked open his mobile, looked at this date for that evening, a Hungarian escort named Klaudia, and sighed. 'Yep. It'll be tough not getting Kelly back. I'll just have to manage I guess.'
And not one thought of his faithful wife Claudia at him crossed his mind. After all, what she didn't know couldn't hurt her.
The Fabulous Misadventures of the Famous 17 Kaleidoscope Collectors VI
Janek Smithton was at Hedel Post Office. The limited edition stamps set of Hedel Kaleidoscope Club - he'd come a long way after hearing about them. He had a tonne of stamps, as he was a collector in general, not just of kaleidoscopes. It was a hobby, a thing, a pastime, and he was registered with his collections in a lot of online websites arouind the traps. Liked to think he had a bit of status. He did. 'How much for the Diamond set?' he asked the postal assistance. 'There is only 150 of them,' she replied. 'They are $1,500 credits each. Probably a good investment. We're quite sure those images and titles are original enough.' 'I'll take them,' replied Janek. For a while he was busy around Hedel on Televere on the Northern continent, which was usually nameless as a continent and just referred to by the planetary title. If you were in Clamorton you would say, 'I'm going to Televere' if you were visiting the northern continent of the 3 continent planet. He'd been on Televere many times, and was comfortable with it. But after the stamps he spent most of his holiday at the Kaleidoscope club, a club in a large tower, the 877th level, in a corner of the scraper, with a permanent display of scopes, and a secretary who was employed by the club, seemingly a blonde bimbo, but she actually seemed to have her wits about her. 'So, worked here long?' asked Janek. 'Since the beginning,' she replied from her desk near the door. He was at the table, looking from some club newsletters and kaleidoscope magazines. 'I guess you know a lot about kaleidoscopes then?' he queried. 'Quite a lot now. I do have a small collection, but its mostly just my job. I'm pretty, they know it, and the conservative gentllemen are flattered when I bring them tea and bikkies at the meetings, and flirt with them gently.' Janek smiled. An obvious thing about nature, that. 'Well, I'm a diehard,' he replied. 'The club members know you well,' she replied. 'Your in a number of the magazines and books in our library.' 'I could imagine,' replied the famous Kaleidoscope collector. And so he smiled at the pretty lady, but returned to his magazine, happy in his private corner of the kaleidoscope world, another fine day passing in Televere.
Life in Clmaorton 3
'I don't care,' said Sabrina.
'The skater has unbelievable talent,' said Marcus. 'She has trained for years to be that good at her craft. How can you be so dismissive?' Marcus looked at his slave in exasperation. They were in Clamorton in Belton for the continental chmpionships of figure skating. A blonde lady had just made the crowd burst into applause at the completion of her routine, a well known and respected figure in the Clamorton community.
'All the same to me,' said Sabrina. 'She could suck dick for years. I still don't give a shit.'
Marcus looked at Sabrina from the corner of his eys, but said 'Never mind' and returned his gaze to the spcctacle. After the show was over for the day, they were in the pavillion grounds were there were eateries, and Marcus was eating a Dagwood Dog while Sabrina was casually munching on hot fries.
'Is there anything which moves you?' asked Marcus.
'A hot bitch might make me say hello. But only if she is kick ass.'
'While I understand the fascination with homosexuality, it is always a puzzle that such people don't also have an interest in the opposite sex.'
'Take a real man to move me,' said Sabrina, eating her fries. 'And I've never met a real man.'
Marcus looked at her.'And if you met a real man, as you put it?'
'I'd say hello,' replied Sabrina. 'I'm only a lesbian because every man I've ever met has sucked or abused me in some way or another.'
'Really,' said Marcus. 'Do you care to discuss.'
Sabrina went silent. 'Eat your dog,' she said after a while.' Marcus bit into his sausage.
'Got hurt. Bad. By someone I trusted. You know, he forced himself on me. Never trusted a man since. Took out my frustrations with women because of it.'
'I see,' said Marcus. 'So there is a reason Sabrina is as she is.'
'Like I said. Don't give a fuck.'
Marcus nodded. They headed back to their hotel room, in separate beds, and Marcus looked at her around midnight as she snoozed. She was his slave. It's why he bought her. But there was also something about her. There was healing which could happen, if someone cared. Sabrina might not always need be a slave. He looked at her, then turned off his light, and searched for sleep. But his slave was on his mind, and the formative ideas of a plan to love someone back to life.
The Dark Circle
Saruviel watched the clock. It was late. Well past 11 O'Clock. Soon the summoning would occur. Slowly, as midnight approached, and figures cloaked in black robes filtered into the catacomb, they took their place in the dark circle. Finall, all 12 seated around the onyx table, Saruviel noted it was 2 minutes to midnight. He spoke 'Let the chonen one enter.'
Doors were opened by shadowy figures, and in strode their champion, dressed in bright red and blue. Honorabe Kantriel finally spoke, as their champion placed the sacred boxes on the grand onyx table, a table venerated by generations endless of this unique occasion.
'I see its Dominoes Pizzaa again,' said Kantriel.
'Couldn't get through to Pizza Hut. They were busy,' replied Sarvuiel.
'Well, never mind, replied Kantriel. Lifiting a piece of pepperoni and anchovie with extra chees to his mouth he finished, 'Still, what you gonna do huh?'
'Indeed,' replied Saruviel, who could not make up his mind over the classic Italian or Hawaiian.
Dandariel the Cherubim 1 & 2 Fit Here (Video Books on Noahide Videos Bible)
HARDLY A REBEL HEART
Hardly a Rebel Heart
Celia sat on the mat in the Clamorton Clans nursery. There were women. There were babies. She was an agony Aunt, or so she had been called by Jessica.
'I am not an agony Aunt,' replied Celia.
'I'm sure you are,' said Jessica.
'Children will come in the fulness of time,' said Celia.
'I see it in the quivering of your muscles when you walk into this room. These last couple of days I watch. You come in, look at the kids, and you waver a little, because you lack the confidence to believe you matter much without a baby, and you are uncomfortable sitting in here. You are an agony Aunt.'
'True. But it's not agony, and I'm mostly just a little trepidatious about them. I'm ready, but it's not just going to be forced upon me, you know. He has to be a Highland Prince, and I'll only take him when he takes me, and I'll let Tom, Dick and Harry chase me up, but only Roary will have my skirt at his good pleasure.'
'I took Tom,' said Jessica. 'He grabbed my butt. That was sufficient.'
'I could imagine,' replied Celia.
She sat there, as the babies were passed around, and a big toy giraffe was popular, and a Superman doll was nibbled on by a few of the kids. New kids were not that uncommon these days, but these were mostly fly by nighters, who were in Belton on work duties for a while, on contracts and things to get experience on Televon, before drifting back to a sequenced planet more likely, with a big tick of 'Worked on Televon' on their resume. They smelled shitty, and she almost wished she was in her uncle's presence with the lads instead, but she'd had enough for a while, and the nursery made an interesting change of pace.
'Giving birth is awkward stuff,' said Jessica. 'But you spit the kid out eventually. The agony ends. Like Earth. I'm sure its growing pains will end eventually. Why did God shrink it once, and then expand it again?'
'It was deemed that there was a psyche of Earth life, but they got over it,' replied Celia. 'My uncle explained it to me once. It was set for eternal growth, but a movement of thinkers had developed which just would not accept it as approriate. They got their way, but they eventually got over it as the debate moved on, and they want back to the original plan of world expansion. The physical planets earn this when a legal soul establishes the principle for the plane in prayer. They don't happen much. Apparently Andromeda now has a chief planet which is edgy but seems to be growing slightly over the last few numbers of epochs. Seems to be settled on permanent growth also. Andromeda has usually been considered Galaxy number 2 after the Milky Way.'
'I see,' replied Jessica. 'Must be the wisdom of God on the issue.'
'I don't think God plans on doing it at all for the rest of the Milky Way Galaxy. Only Earth. I thnk its just probably one planet per galaxy which is the chief planet in the end, and the galaxy grows outwards accordingly. The planets of the Milky Way are probably just a garland around Earth's neck in the end. Interesting getaway places most likely. Rare places to live, and expensive, especially now from all reports, given the vast size of Earth now. In fact, the total land mass of planet Earth is now larger than all the land mass of every planetary body in the Milky Way combine. Much larger in fact. So New Terra does a lot of business in our spiritual universe in its sequenced offspring which continues to take a lot of the load of the new arrivals, as do the Televeran sequenced worlds. The resurrection chambers get a constant workout every day out in that universe out there. You're from Earth, aren't you Jessica?'
She nodded. 'Have only been around in heaven a few thousand years. Wanted to know why Earth grows. Lots of questions as to why its the only planet exhibiting the phenomenon. People think it was God, but science often challenges that God really exists and whether he would do such a thing. The pope always says its the plan, and most Rabbis say so as well.'
'Are there Noahides on Earth?' asked Celia.
'Half the population. The rest are a mixed bunch. It's enormous. That many places you hear mentioned of by the time that your 15, that geography lessons can get quite a bit hectic. I live in an Australian world, as it were, and in a clan community of about 40 billion Kolby's. And by some standards that is actually quite a small clan community.'
'I would have nightmares living with 40 billion Connolly's,' said Celia. 'The bad jokes would never end.'
Jessica smiled. 'Tell me about it,' she said, and suddenly yelled at her toddler to stop kicking the Superman doll around the room. 'So. Met anyone lately?' asked Jessica.
Celia shook her head. 'He's out there. I just know it. He's just – busy. Too much caught up in the highlands, chopping wind, fishing from the streams with his hands, and lighting fires with his own muscles, to worry about a woman. But one day soon.'
Jessica nodded, and then started yelling once more at her toddler, who was not kicking Batman around the room, and was already eying Spiderman. Celia sighed. Another fine day at Clamorton Clans. But her her would come soon enough. Down from his highland glory, in glorious garb, full of majesty, ready to make her his. She just knew it.
* * * * *
'What does this button do?' asked Jock.
'Don't push that!' yelled Roary. Suddenly a jolt of photocopier toner spurted onto Roary MacKenzies face, head underneath the office photocopy machine, the office boy once more required to fix the machine, while more serious workers attended to far more important duties. And he was the son of Angus MacKenzie, owner of the corporation. Surely he deserved better than this. But, no, Angus insisted his son work his way up the chain like everyone else. No special treatment, not even for big bossman's own blessed seed.
'Sorry about that,' said Jock. 'Here,' he said, and threw a tissue at him. Roary wiped the toner away from his face, pushed some levers back to their right position, and came out from underneath the machine.
'Someone was doing some particular work with it obviously,' said Roary. 'Lever's all over the place.'
'I can copy now?' queried Jock.
'Then your assistance here is no longer needed. Shoo. I have copying to do.'
Roary sighed and made his way back to the support section, and sat down in front of his PC. Another day, another dollar. But it was life, wasn't it, and he supposed his work had some sort of meaning. Working at an Art Magazine company, which produced regular portofolios of artwork from around the universe. 'Clamorton Art' was one of the more respected magazines in Clamorton, founded by his father a long time ago, but it didn't mean Roary got any major brakes in the company. He was not the eldest MacKenzie boy anyway – he had a number of elder brothers. But he was the only one who worked at the magazine, at least officially, and he might have supposed that would cut him some slack in life. But, no. Not a chance. Life had other plans. Rules which Roary didn't really understand about 'Earning his place in the world'. Why did he need to do that for heaven's sake? His dad had already made it reach. What god forsaken reason could there possibly be for the necessity of Roary MacKenzie, proud member of the MacKenzie clan and son of Angus MacKenzie, universally accepted artist of renown, to cut his own mustard in life? Some sort of making a man of him he had long supposed. He didn't like it, but in the end the work was secure enough, and he would likely rise in time. But for now basic support work, and back to the mansion when he was done, down to the computer room to play video games, before a swim and dinner with the family. That was life. He didn't have a love life. He was not really sure he was impressive enough to warrant the kind of lady he knew he would ultimately want quite yet. So he remained single, and despite the fact he was reasonably ok looking, and ladies occasionally gave him a second glance, he would wait, wait for when true success, proper success, deserved success came his way, and make his move then. When the lion was ready to devour its prey. Ladies look out. Hah. But for now photocopier rooms, mail handouts, and endless minor admin tasks passed his working week, and if there was a lady out there waiting for him, well she could wait just that little bit longer. And anyway, he was in the mood for a drink at the club, so after work he would head over to the Clamorton Clans, and get the tension of another hectic working week out of his system, before heading home to battle Robotnik in another Sega Sonic the Hedgehog quest, and another weekend of banal, but enjoyable enough, activity.
* * * * *
Celia tasted the coffee. Stone cold. She'd sat there all afternoon, staring into space, in the eatery of Clamorton Clans, lost. Now it was Friday night again, and the place was filling up. She just sat there, lost in her own little world, when someone sat down opposite her. Someone not expected.
'Hi,' said the fella.
'Hello,' said Celia, but didn't look at the person.
He sipped on his drink. 'Busy night.'
'I suppose,' said Celia, but didn't look at the person.
'I'm Roary,' he said.
She snapped out of it and looked at the person. Suit. Average frame. Moderatley handsome.
'I like video games. Bit of a geek, really,' said Roary.
'Have you ever chopped wood in your life?' asked Celia, already knowing the answer.
'I did woodcraft at school,' said Roary.
Celia put her head in her hands. It was going to be one of those evenings.
Later on, though, as the night got on, Roary showed up again. 'You wanna dance?' he asked her.
She agreed, and they worked their way through the club to the dance hall, were techno was playing, and they danced for half an hour. They returned to their seats, and Roary started chatting on about this and that, and then he mentioned his father.
'Really? Angus MacKenzie? He's a major patron of the club.'
'I know. I used to come here a lot with him, when I was young. Haven't been for a long time. Other places I usually go. But thought I'd do something different. Glad I did tonight though.'
'Why is that?' asked Celia.
'Because I met you,' he replied, and sipped on his beer.
She almost blushed. 'So let me get this straight. Your not a jock.'
'Far from it. Nerd, really.'
'And you have no highland adventures?'
'Wouldn't catch me in the wild if you paid me,' he replied.
'Wonderful,' she said.
'You were being sarcastic,' he replied.
She smiled. 'Your nice, though.'
'I'm alright,' he said, and winked at her.
She did blush this time. Well, he was a guy. He seemed to have an interest. And he was a Roary. Not exactly her Roary, but he was a Roary. And a MacKenzie to boot.
'God didn't give you your father's genes, obviously,' she said.
'I have something of his organisational and technical skills he tells me. I'm good with computers and photocopiers, and have a good eye for detail. I don't really like art, but I do understand it, and can criticize it well. He has a job for me long term in the company at a higher level.'
'Oh,' she said. She looked at him, this time a bit more seriously. He was employed, stable, and had a good family name. Obviously he was security. Woman craved a hero, but secretly they often looked for secure stability as well. She'd read that a bit. Not sure if she'd contemplated that idea much for her own life, but she did know daughters of Eve had that as a priority a lot of the time. She decided to take a risk.
'Will you go out with me next week. For dinner at a restaurat here in town. I'll be back with my uncle for Friday and Saturday night.'
'Love to,' replied Roary.
'Ok,' she said. She looked at him yet again. Ok, ok. He was not a highland lover. But he had things she knew that she wanted to at least explore a bit and give a chance. Maybe geeky Roary, in the end, was more Celia Connelly's cup of tea. Maybe this was why he was talking to her. Maybe.
'It's a date,' he said.
And she smiled.
Time's Up for Callodyn
'You know,' said Kayella. 'You still fornicate.'
'Not any more,' replied Callodyn. 'I had an agreement with dad. At a certain point in eternity, which passed recently, no more safe sex fornication was permitted. It's passed, I'm back with Claudia, and it's over with.'
'So you've finally repented?' queried Kayella, who had been informed by Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly on the arrangement, and knew all to well her twin had.
'Pretty much,' he replied. 'So that's the end of our affair, babe. I like Claudia. It's the end of the road. No more shenanigans.'
'Then I'll go dancing with you again, now, seeing that you will no longer try and get your hands all over me.'
'Yep. The end of the party,' replied Callodyn.
Callodyn had indeed had an arrangement with his father to eventually give up the mildly decadent behaviour of fornication, and that point had been reached, so now he was morphing into a more traditional family man and somewhat trustworthy father. He'd always known why. He'd never really cared. But he had an agreement long ago to live it up for a long time, before paying the piper his dues. So time was up on the party life style for Callodyn the Cherubim, and he would now most obviously have to show some maturing and get on with things. Whether he liked it or not.
Sariel and Daniel: A Night in Bangkok
'She's available,' said Sariel.
'Hypocrite. You're faithfully married, and you expect me to face up to our boys escape and shage the lass. I'll see you up the butt of a sodomite before I fall from grace,' replied Daniel.
'I'm currently looking for a second wife, so I'm technically available for a bit of hanky panky,' said Sariel. 'So prove your manhood Daniel my brother, and bed the Thai lovely.'
'She is lovely,' said Daniel, as the Asian beauty danced in front of them, only her knickers on, with quite buxom assets on the top half. 'Didn't know asians got that big upstairs,' said Daniel.
'Oh, all of them have some in the wagon,' said Sariel. 'Met a 9 foot Jap once. Gosh, he was a sight to see.'
'I'd imagine. No, no. I'm faithful to Jessica. This is for fun, and maybe some lap dancing, but nothing more. Callodyn has sworn off shenanigans permanently now, and is faithful to Claudia after some argument, so I'll not let Jessica down. Besides, my twin is content with being my twin, so I'll work on my reputation, which has been solid a while now.
'Come on sweetie,' said Hugh. 'Let Mr Grant show you how to dance.'
Hugh took the maiden and they danced for a while, while another lady sidled over to Daniel and kept him company. He slipped some notes into here bikini top, and after a large note she kissed him and moved on. He'd gotten his thrill. Sariel got back to the table soon enough, and they sipped on their drinks.
'Married life is good for me,' said Hugh. But I've got some commitments now on New Terra with a drama spot tied up permanently on Broadway, and I need a wife for New Terra when it all comes down to it. My dearest agrees.'
'Maybe an Asian beauty,' said Daniel.
'Not a bad idea,' replied Sariel. 'But I usually prefer caucasion out of a sense of that's really what I'm used to. Maybe a Russian beauty, though. A blonde Vladivostakan could be interesting.'
'Not a Spanish senorita?' asked Daniel.
'Probably just too spicy in the end,' replied Hugh. 'And I've got a lot of Spice to cope with already.'
They contined on with their evening, and the ladies returned from time to time to help empty their wallets, but they retired for the evening to the upstairs hotel rooms, and when their getaway was over Daniel wrote down some diary notes on his happenings, and a few thoughts on Sariel. A good getaway with Sars, but life rolled on, so next chapter here we come.
Michael on Eternya 3
Michael was again on Eternya, chatting with his new friend Angus MacKenzie, who he'd tracked down and bought a painting from, the painting on the subject of their discussion, sexual morality.
was like that indeed,’ replied Angus MacKenzie to Michaels’
salient point. ‘I mean I was arrogant about it, and I knew that
people had been in sheol forever, and that were likely gone. But I
boasted to him that I don’t give a fuck, yet, if he would send
me down to the pit I would rot and curl myself up into a tight little
ball, and dream, and not give a fucking damn, but ever so slowly I
would think in my spirit on the issue.’
‘And what happened?’ asked Michael.
‘The pain was bad for a few weeks, then a dull ache, then an ache I could tolerate, then I disappeared into myself after cursing God, and rotted. But I dreamt, and one day there was a concept of VD in my dream, and I thought on it from a new angle. Someone a long time ago said to me, a pastor of some sorts, there was a way for a person to be. A right sort of way for a person to be. And I knew at the time he meant there were things a human, when they were being what they were meant to be, there were things that human wasn’t doing. And I thought on VD and I just knew that it really couldn’t be, when all was said and done, what a human would have to put up with. And I acknowledged that, and believed it. It wasn’t that I was grudgingly acknowledging the point, but that I agreed. I really did. I was down in that pit a few million years, then he brought me up, and I’d repented a tad of my womanizing ways. I knew it was a long road, but there was a foundation which I didn’t really deny. One day I’d have to get over it. And because of that I think I found eternal life. Coz I really think there probably is a way for a person to be.’
Michael nodded soberly. ‘We’ll dine with Theophilus this evening, and we can put up his piece in the castle, and we’ll take the one you’ve done for me down to the tavern in town. Have a drink or two.’
‘You’re a good show, Michael the Seraphim,’ replied Angus MacKenzie, and they had another drink, and whiled away the afternoon. 'Well, congratulations on your son's impending wedding.'
'What the maiden sees in Roary is beyond me,' replied Angus. 'But he has his own ways I guess, which I could not fathom could be attractive to any sound red blooded woman. But I prove wrong here, for the lad seems to have indeed attracted her, and she likes him for him.'
'Some women,..........' Michael trailed off. 'Some women,' he continued, 'are equally as different as men can be on their tastes in things. I like life, and take it by the horns, and will run with a passion if I damn well have to. But Elenniel has always had that quiet way about her, and some women. Some women are indeed librarians, and like books, and then they add in stamp albums and video games and even comics. I am old, and understand it well enough. I have devotion to Torah well enough again these days, but some passions are for most geeky sorts of things. And office types around this universe are full of geek like behaviours and patterns of life. They are kindred, I think. Azrael's daughter has a soulmate I feel. Common ways about them, the more quiet and reserved ways, despite their hearts fantasies pretending otherwise.'
'So it would seem,' replied Angus. 'All creatures have their kind I would surmise. All creatures great and small alike.'
'Amen,' replied Michael, and they drank, and chatted, and were merry.
Callodyn and Saruviel
'You know, Saruviel. Rebellion. You coined the term,' said Callodyn, aiming his putting golf towards the hole in Saruviel's Kalphon office.
'God probably coined the term,' said Saruviel. 'I remember the encounter distinctly.
'Vaguely recall it myself,' replied Callodyn. 'But it's something I guess I've been in some ways for a long time. In my sexual escapades. I haven't always been the faithful type. But you've always been faithful to Krystabel, haven't you?'
Saruviel stared at Callodyn for a moment from behind his desk, and then turned to his PC. He started typing a bit, then paused.
'I'm not really sure if its even a commitment. More of that in the end I accepted that she was probably the best mate for me, being my twin, and just ran with that. My poker doesn't go astray because it doesn't really care.'
Callodyn hit the golf ball, and it made the hole and he turned and looked at Saruviel. 'Right. Interesting,' he said. He retrieved the ball and placed it a bit further out the second time. 'My twin. She's an awkward sort. Me, I'm as frikking awkward as the Ace of Spades also. She's got a lot to put up with, but so do I.'
'It doesn't matter though, does it,' replied Saruviel. 'You and Claudia are faithfully together.'
'Yep. We are,' said Callodyn, but there was no conviction in his voice.
'There much of a muchness in the end,' said Saruviel. 'While I am deeply devoted to Krystabel, one is as good as another. If you can't be with the one you love, love the one your with.'
'I guess,' said Callodyn, lining up his putt. 'I don't know. Maybe I'm an idealist, and she needs to be my soulmate. It's just that I'll be damned if Kelly Smelly Clarkson is really my soulmate. She's a glorified pain in the posterior, with an ego to boot.'
'Then stick with Claudia. After a long time you'll settle.'
Callodyn tapped in his second putt, and turned to look at Saruviel. 'Yeh. You're probably right. I'll settle.' He retrieved the ball again, and took it just that much further away from the hole, and aimed his putt.
'There is one thing, though,' said Saruviel.
'What is that?' asked Callodyn, taking his shot.
'You love Kelly Clarkson.'
Callodyn's shot missed the hole. 'Bugger,' he said.
'And I think that sums it up,' replied Saruviel.
Later that night Callodyn lay in his bed. Kelly? Was there any way now? Keep on dreaming Callodyn the Cherubim. Keep on dreaming.
A Bartender's Life
Harold Brubaker like his job. He didn't have much choice, though. He was mostly unemployable, had a lousy attitude, smoked weed, and was generally useless in most things in life. But he could pour beer and talk bullshit, so that is what he did. And he did it for the Clamorton Clans.
'Yeh, she suits me,' said Roary MacKenzie. 'Sort of fell for her straight away, really. Something, I don't know. She was an ok looker, nothing spectacular or gorgeous or anything like that, but she was an upgrade from the plain janes, and I felt instantly comfortable.'
Harold nodded. He was used to this.
'Didn't take me long,' continued Roary. 'Soon enough, 3 weeks in, I just knew. Took her home to dad, and Michael the angel of Eternity was there, buying a painting, and she smiled at Michael, and made a comment on the art which was thoughtful, and Angus took a liking to her, and I could tell she was acceptable. That the clan would accept her. That they would welcome her. After that I looked at my life and realized that while there are plenty of fish in the sea, and its a big sea, finding a girl who's in Belton regular enough like, and who likes me well enough for me, might not always be that easy in time, and she's just down in Vinner City, and it just seemed to make sense. All the numbers added up, and we've got a lot stuff in common surprisingly enough.'
'The old smoke upstairs probably has your back,' said Harold. 'When people wait, the right one usually comes along in the end.'
'I think so,' replied Roary, who took his beer and wandered back to his table and fiance.
Harold wiped down the bench, and looked up at the big screen. The team was up 1 nil, but there was still 20 minutes to go. There'd be the usual roar soon enough if they won, and he'd be busy for a while. He opened his coat, and looked in his cigarette case. 3 joints left. He had a certificate fom the Belton courts giving him permission to smoke weed in controlled environments. Clamorton Clans was not exactly a controlled environment, but after work he felt like grabbing some Maccas and heading down to the nearby park in this warm weather, and getting high. It was a thrill. Life, in truth, wasn't too bad. He did the only job he was cut out for, and occasionally a lady would wink at him, and he'd get a bit of action. He had family in Belton, and was a longish term resident. And working for Clamorton Clans, well. Probably were he belonged in the end. Roary soon came back, and continued his tale, and as Harold wiped glasses, and listened to the MacKenzie clan member waffle on, he noted the game ended in a draw, and luckily he wouldn't be so swamped, probably able to cut off work a bit sooner than normal, and enjoy some summer air, done for the night at Clamorton Clans.
Dan and Tails
'Hey Tails. You know I love you right?' said Dan.
'What do you want?' asked Taylor.
'No. Just saying. That's all.'
'You're just saying you love me?' replied Taylor.
'Heaps,' said Dan.
'How much heaps?' asked Taylor, as she stood on the other side of the car.
'If you can just reach in and open my car door and get my shirt loose from the door, I'll love you forever. It's trapped you see.'
'Fine,' said Taylor. She got back in and looked at a small box on the seat. Daniel, unexpectantly, opened the door.
'Thought it was locked,' said Taylor, holding the box.
'Nah,' said Daniel, sitting down.
'What is it?' she asked.
'Open it, I guess,' replied the Cherubim.
Taylor opened the box.
'It's a ring,' she said.
Daniel looked at her. 'I guess he said. Probably an eternity ring.' The he got out of the car and went inside.
Taylor sat there for half an hour looking at the ring, thinking it over. Finally she put it on. Then she also went inside.
THE MULTIVERSE - SLIPSTREAM UNIVERSE
Note: The Multiverse Continues, under Saruviel's watchful gaze, to produce new universes. They start afresh, and follow the
patterns of life already established in history, with a new variation of things each time.
The Life of Ben Owens
'You're a Sky-Flyer, Owens. It's all you're good for.'
The big black man took his cigar out of his mouth, spat on the ground, and grinned at Ben Owens.
'Just like my daddy,' replied Ben Owens. 'Flying the Slipstream, Bruiser. It's what's in me blood,' said Ben, waving his hand in a flying motion through the air.
'I have 5 aces,' said Bruiser, laying down his cards.
'5 aces,' replied Ben. 'And here I thought you could only have 4 aces in Poker. Must have misread them rules.'
'The money's all mine,' said Bruiser Baxter, and started raking the chips towards him.
'Not so fast,' said Ben, grabbing Bruiser's hand. 'Royal flush. Read em and weep. Beats your paltry 5 aces.'
'Shit,' said Bruiser, and threw down his cards. He turned to the weedy looking fellow next to him. 'You said these cards were fixed proper.' The weedy fellow, Jack 'Snake' Samson shrugged. 'Sorry boss. They were.'
'Not as well as mine,' replied Ben, and took all the chips. 'I'll be cashing these in at Diamondstar Casino at the end of next week,' said Ben. He took a chip and bit on it.
'Oh, they are real all right, you son of a gun,' said Bruiser. 'There's no cheating around here,' he said, and glared at Jack, giving him a shove.
Ben put the chips carefully into his backpack, and hoisted it onto his shoulders, while Snake whispered something into Bruiser's ear.
'Looks cold out,' said Bruiser. 'And it's late. Sundown soon enough. Maybe you should stay the night. Hire a room, and we can booze it up and sing dumb songs on Snakes banjo.'
'Tempting,' replied Ben. 'But I'm not sure if my loot will last till morning,' said Ben, patting his backpack. 'Think I'll get going.'
Bruiser gave Snake another shove. 'He's not an idiot.'
'It was worth a try, boss.'
Ben shook his head, laughing softly at the two hoodlum's antics, and nodded at the bartender of the 'Golden Glider' tavern, before ambling out the doorway, in the cold autumn afternoon. Reaching his flyer he looked to the west. He still had a decent hour of flight left in the day, and he was probably about ready now to start his trip back home. It had been a fruitful few weeks, flying the Slipstream, doing rogue work for the rogue kind of guy he was. Bounty Hunter at times, Gun for Hire, loose cannon, repossession man, lost relic recovery, even saviour to struggling communities from time to time, if the price was right. Almost a hero. But don't let anyone ever tell you Ben Owens, son of Matt Owens, was anything approaching a hero. He wasn't. He was, as Carl 'Bruiser' Baxter said it, a real 'Son of a Gun'. And he had a pretty fast draw as well. No, he was no hero. At least that is how he viewed himself.
'Boss man. Do you love me?'
Ben turned to the voice, as he was just about to get into his flyer. It was the redhead teenage girl again.
'Look, lassie. I can't help you, ok. Winter's coming, my backpack is full, and I gotta get home to my cats, you know. Their dryfood only lasts so long sweetie, and I don't want em hunting Kildare's canaries again. That really pisses him off.'
'You're famous around here,' said the girl. 'They all know Matt Owens son. He was a hero. I know you are just like him. I can see it in your eyes.'
'I'm no hero,' replied Ben, and got himself into his flyer. The girl came and stood at the window, and knocked. He wound it down. 'You still here?' he asked her.
'I'm begging you, Mr Owens. We have nobody else to rely on. The marauders come from the north, and they take our harvest every year. This year, if they come again, we'll have no harvest, and we'll be eating bark and prickles again.'
'Kildare knows a decent prickly pie,' said Ben, grinning. The girl stared blank faced in reply. 'Look, saying I help you, and I'm not saying that, what's in it for me? You know, money talks,' he said, rubbing his thumb against his fingers.
'We can't pay you much,' she said. 'But. But I can offer you.....,' she said, and looked down, pointing her palms at her body.
'Don't say that,' said Ben. 'Nothing's that bad. Look, here's what I'll do. I'll head back home, but drop around in a few weeks or so. Make sure I get here before summer harvest and all. It's still months away.'
'Jonathon says if we don't prepare now, they will be too much for us,' said the girl.
'And who's this Jonathon?'
'Head of our community. He talks to the wind. And it talks back. Says we need you. He's sure of it.'
'I'll bet it does. So many crackpots think the wind is the answer. Just a lot of hot wind as far as I am concerned.'
The girl looked at him with a helpless look on her face. 'If you don't help us, we'll be done for.'
'What did Byron say,' said Ben. 'Before he put up dad's tombstone? That's right. 'Should have looked before he leaped.'
'Your dad lept to his death?' asked the girl.
'It's a long story,' said Ben. 'And we never found the body either. But 200 feet into the bottom of a waterfall. No way he could have survived.'
'Why a tombstone then?'
'One way or another, after a few months we knew he wasn't coming back. He was dead, or had found a new life. So his best friend put up a tombstone, and we had a wake. Traditional like you know. It's what I'm thinking I might be headed for if I take on this contract.'
'We can pay 5000 credits,' said the girl. 'I was told to tell you that.'
'Not much, but I can tell you aint got much. Ok, get in then. Take me to your leader.'
The girl jumped with glee and raced around to the other side of the flyer, getting in the passenger seat, and giving Ben a hug. 'You are already my hero,' she said.
'And hopefully I'll live to tell the tale,' said Ben, as he started the flyer, and shortly it took off, flying into the gradually setting sun, leaving the shanty town behind him, soon headed north to the mountains, and the community in so need of help headed by another likely Avatar by the name of Jonathon. Another dirty job for Ben Owens, savioiur supreme.
'It's up at the base of those mountains,' said the girl.
'About an hour from here,' replied Ben. 'But its just getting too dark, and a storm is coming. We'll have to put down for the night.' Ben glide down, and brought the flyer to rest in a clearing, getting out and stretching. He grabbed his camping gear, and looked at the girl, who was still sitting in the flyer. 'Well, the bears aren't scaring you now, are they? Come on, you've got nothing to fear in these parts.'
The girl, seemingly reluectantly, got out of the flyer and followed Ben a short distance away, where he pitched his tent.
'I'll gather some wood for a fire,' he said. Stay near this torchlight.' Ben set down a torchlight near the tent, and the girl got in and looked up at him anxiously. 'You'll be fine sweetie. I promise.' She just nodded.
Ben set to gathering wood from nearby, muttering under his breath about what he had been roped into, soon his arms full with a bundle of firewood, and returne to the tent. The girl was gone.
'For heaven's sake,' swor Ben. 'Where the hell has she gone?'
'Ladies business,' replied the girl, coming back into the light.
'Right. Well the lady can set to and get this fire started, seeing as she's not so afriad after all.'
She took his wood and very shortly, and quite professionally, had the fire going.
'I see you are no amateur. Must have completely underestimated you,' said Ben.
'I know how to survive. But these can be rough parts. When I came down from the community I passed through here, and noticed various figures about. They didn't look too friendly, so I hid a lot, and kept to myself.'
'Probably nothing to worry about,' said Ben, and climbed into the tent next to her. But he looked around the woods, and repeated to himself, 'probably nothing to worry about.'
'Anyway, what's your story. And you haven't told me your name,' said Ben.
'Rose. I'm Rose,' she said. 'I came out with a shock of red hair, and mother felt the name appropriate.'
'I can figure that,' said Ben. 'You'd make any Irish girl proud.'
'What's an Irish girl?' asked Rose.
Ben looked at the lass. Of course, she was a new generation. They didn't really know back that far anymore, about the days before the convergence. The old world was dying, and being forgotten. A more primitive way, perhaps, had replaced it. But the world of the Slipstream? Well, he liked it, and perhaps it was just the way it should be.
'A world before the convergence,' replied Ben. 'Dad had some books. I inherited them. This is the Earth. It was all different back then.'
'The, Earth? What is the Earth?'
't's called a planet, Rose. It's sort of like the moon, only bigger.'
Rose looked up at the moon. 'The Earth is like the moon,' she said. 'But they have much longer days on the moon. It takes a whole month for the day to change.'
'You are observant, I'll give you that much. Not sure if it works just like that, but never mind. Anyway, enough chit-chat. Time for shut-eye.'
Ben turned over, and pulled a rug over him in the tent, and settled down to sleep, while Rose continued staring at the moon.
'Do you have – a woman?' Rose blurted out.
Ben went silent for a while. 'Sort of, well, hell, lots of them.'
'A mate?' asked Rose. 'A permanent partner. Jonathon teaches that when we sort ourselves out its best to find a permanent partner. Sort of nature's way.'
'Does he now,' replied Ben. 'I guess I see the point in that. Mom and Dad stayed together till the end when it came right down to it. Even though she said she'd leave the rogue a million times. Never did but. I think she loved him.'
'Because they shared such a wonderful child,' said Rose.
'Yeh, right,' said Ben. 'Look, shoosh now, and get some sleep. We'll rise early.'
'At our home, I'm not taken with a man yet,' said Rose. 'But I'm now old enough. 18 last spring.'
'Fascinating,' said Ben.
'I'll have to take a man one day,' said Rose. 'Do my part in the world. Bring new life when life must come forth. Jonathon says its the way of things. New life will come when it wants, and old life must get old, die, and rest in the shadows.'
'Life is a rebirth cycle,' said Ben. 'Sort of what I think.'
'Something like that,' said Rose. 'I think God has a plan for the dead though. There is probably a renewal.'
'They call it heaven, sweetcheeks,' said Ben, turning over. 'Where good boys and girls go when they die. Mom drummed that into me when I was young.'
'And where do bad boys and girls go? Asked Rose.
'Hell or something. A place without hope,' replied Ben. 'Never got the full story.'
'Ben, what is heaven like?' asked Rose.
'A lot happer than this place,' said Ben. 'This world is rough and full of characters. Don't get me wrong. I like that. Fit just right in. But it gets old at times, and sometimes when I look in the mirror, and pull out a grey hair from my head, I think I'll be grateful when this is all over. And I can settle on the clouds and sing with the angels.'
'God speaks the wind through the voices of angels,' said Rose. 'Jonathon taught us that. They are the songs of angels, the wind.'
'Crazy wackos,' said Ben under his breath.
'No, it's true,' said Rose. 'I know it's true. Its why the world was made new with the angels, and why the Slipstream now exists. To teach us properly. Jonathon says so all the time.'
'This Jonathon sounds like a hell of guy,' said Ben.
'He's an Avatar,' said Rose. 'And he is wise. A shaman of the soul he calls himself. But he knows the secrets of the Slipstream. Nobody understands its secrets like Jonathon.'
'Ok, already. Now sleep.'
Rose finally lay her head down, and soon enough she was snoring softly, while Ben gave the moon one last look, wondering if a day on the moon really lasted a month, before laying his head down for the final time, and searching for sleep.
'Now where the hell has she gone? Damn woman. Can never sit still.' Ben got of the tent, and looked at the risen sun. It had blown, and rained during the night, but that was all gone now, replied by a bright day, with an unusual autumn heat in the air. He took his gun, and surmised she might be looking for a wash. He had noted a river neaby when they were landing the previous evening, so headed in that direction. After a few minutes he emeged from a thicket and found a pond in the river, and there she was, bathing.
'You can't do that all morning, now can ya. Come on, we best get going,' said Ben.
'If you insist,' she replied, and started clambering out of the water. There was only one problem – she was naked, and was not doing anything to hide that fact. He eventually turned around, and said 'I'm not looking. Get dressed.'
'I don't mind if you look, Ben,' she replied.
'No. But mum would,' said Ben. Rose shrugged, and started dressing. As they made their way back to the campsite, Ben started. 'You know, it's not exactly the kind of thing a maiden who is hollering for deliverance should do. Goin around naked in the forest and all. No telling what dangers could lurk here.'
'But I have you to watch over me. So I am completely safe,' she replied.
He glanced at her. 'You are a crazy kid, you know. Damn crazy.'
Soon enough they had gathered up the tent, and Ben poured water on the fireplace, even though the rain had drizzled out most of it, though there were still some burning embers. Then they returned to the flyer, and took off, again headed north to the mountains.
'Tell me about this Jonathon. Who made him boss?'
'He's always been our boss. The Avatar,' said Rose. 'Every community has an Avatar, a Shaman.'
'Indian is he?'
'What do you mean?' asked Rose.
'Never mind,' replied Ben. After another half hours flying Rose started pointing, and Ben took the flyer down ina clearing.
'It's this way,' said Rose, after they had climbed out. So, leading the way up into the hills, Ben, backpack on his shoulders, sighed at the climb he would likely have to endure, but shrugged it aside. He was doing the right thing, wasn't he? Helping people. Still, even though it wasn't huge, 5000 credits still helped a bit, and could keep him fed at least a year. And there were always bills to be paid.
'So this Jonathon knows a lot? About the Slipstream?'
'First there was water. Of the four elements water judged first. The great flood. But the wind blew and calmed the waters of the flood, for wind was the second judgment, the second of the 4 elementals.'
'Obviously,' said Ben, looking up at a baloon near the top of where they were headed, blowing in the wind. 'I see a guy up there,' said Ben.
'Old man Hobbs,' said Rose. 'He's on lookout. Taken the job ever since his partner perished. What he lives for. He takes grog up there also. He deosn't tell people, but we know.'
'My kind of guy,' replied Ben. They continued up the steep sides of the mountains, and soon entered a ravine. There were shacks and huts all around, and Rose started waving at people, who gave her a warm smile, but looked cautiosly at Ben.
'You needn't worry, Ben. They know you are with me. Why I was sent – to bring back a hero.'
'I'm no hero,' said Ben.
'This way,' she said.
Soon they were coming into a cave opening in the mountains side, and a lady, dressed in ornate clothing, approached them. 'Rose,' she said, and put out the palm of her hand face up. Rose toched her hand with her own palm, and they embraced. 'Can Jonathon see me now?' Rose asked. 'I have found our saviour.'
The lady looked at Ben. 'He'll do I suppose.'
'Gee, thanks,' repied Ben. 'Glad to be of service.'
The lady looked Ben over, then excused herself. A short time later a silver haired man came into sight, and approached them. 'Rose, you have been successful I see.'
'Yes Avatar. It is Ben Owens. Son of the famous Sky Flyer. He has agreed to our terms.'
'5000 is all we can offer, really,' said Jonathon the Avatar. 'But you can stay a while once the situation is resolved. If you need somewhere to live, the wind will welcome you here.'
'I'm fine,' said Ben. 'You're no Indian,' he said.
'What gave you that idea?' asked Jonathon.
'Shaman of the soul, according to Rose here, replied Ben.
'Oh, yes.' Jonathon chuckled. 'Elaborate term from my studies. It impresses people. You can go now Rose,' he said, waving Rose away. Rose bowed, but reached out and touched Ben's arm. 'I am forever in your debt Ben Owens,' she said.
'Come with me Ben,' said Jonathon. 'I want to show you something.' Ben followed Jonathon up through the cave, and soon they came out near the top of the mountain, which had a view of the ravine community below. The wind was blustering strongly – the Slipstream. 'This is the heart of the Slipstream. It's epicentre in many ways. We hear from the wind, here. It gives us the knowing of the doing to be done.'
'Where do they come from?' asked Ben.
Jonathon turned, looking northwards. They come from the other side of the moutnains, but they enter through were you came in usually. They come in numbers, 30, 40 of them. And they take our stores, and they rape a woman or two, and leave. They don't kill, but they threaten that they will lest we comply.'
'They come armed?' asked Ben.
'Daggers and swords. But their leader has a rifle. The only one we'd ever seen with them. Ammunition – difficult to get these days unless your a lawman.'
'The settlement keeps a tighter grip on dwindling supplies,' said Ben. 'Not as many manufacturers now since the convergence. The old things are being consumed.'
'And the new life, that is what is replacing it. These marauders – they are a natural thing. But their time will go. The wind is the second element, which blows away evil, and lets it perish.'
'How many man do you have? And capable women?' asked Ben, looking down into the ravine.
'We are children of the Slipstream. We are not warriors Ben Owens. We don't need to be. But we need you, to combat our oppresors, and destroy the flame of oppression in them once and for all.'
'The flame of oppression needs to know how many fighting men you have,' said Ben sarcastically.
'About 30 able bodied men over 20, and the same in women too. They can all defend themselves if they have to. But we are peace. It's when we learn that, in the end, when the fourth epoch passes, that paradise will finally be restored.'
'Save the dogma,' replied Ben. 'They come at harvest?'
'During the summer months. They come, they take, they leave. It's been the same for many years now.'
'I see,' said Ben, surveying where they were. He looked directly at Jonathon. 'You will need to defend yourself this time. If they don't come to kill, then we'll have to embarrass them like. Teach them a lesson they won't forget.'
'What do you have in mind?' asked Jonathon.
'Lots of ideas,' replied Ben, and looked down at Rose, in the ravine, who was looking up and waving at him.
And winter came.
Ben was in the cave, and Avatar was teaching.
'This book,' said Jonathon, holding up a bible. 'It had shadows of truth. Shadows of reality. They were elaborate passions of a people serving the power, but they were mostly delusions of grandeure and hopes for impossible dreams. The wind came, after the flood, and at the end of the age, in the convergence. And that is the reality which judged the world. The wind. It was not prophets of doomsday, and promises of messiahs,' he said, looking at Jonathon. 'They were catchphrases to keep the people in line and to keep them happy. To appease the masses. It was just – religion. Just a way of controlling the darkness which always opposes us. But it is not the Creators will for the world to have a thousand years of glory, but to slowly redeem this world, through the four elements, elements spoken in the heart of Genesis. One element, then another, then another, then another. And then, when men have learned their foolish pride does not work, and Babel settles down and realizes it is just a city, and nothing more than that, then we will have paradise. And truly have returned to Eden. This heaven, I don't know if its real, and I don't normally speak of it, but Rose has asked questions. We go to shadow, to sheol, that is the truth of the dead, It is an end to struggle. Future love paradise is a vanity of the soul. But the promise of a return to Eden, at the end of our long rest, that is what the wind whispers to me. That some way we will return to Eden, in the fulness of time, when we have learned more properly to be – human.'
Jonathon touched the bible, and withdrew from the audience and the woman, dressed in ornate clothing, known as Miriam, signalled that the meeting was over.
Some sense,' said Ben to Rose, who sat with him in these gatherings. 'Didn't sound as crazy as some of Byron's spouting on fundamentals of faith.'
'The elders say he speaks true. Of what our world is like in the reality of spirit,' said Rose.
'Come on,' he said. 'There is still filling to do. Those sandbags won't fill themselves.'
'No. They won't,' said Rose, and stood, following Ben out of the cave. They had begun preparing, defensively, for the marauders. Traps of various kind, booby traps as they were called, were all over the ravine and leading up to it. And defenses had been built and were in place to ward off the maraduers. It had been a busy 6 weeks, but Ben ran the program with Jonathon, and they would be ready, one way or another, when harvest came. They came down to a pit of sand near the edge of the mountains by the ravine, where hundreds of sandbags had already been filled, and still more, in Ben's plans, were needed. He hadn't said what they were to be used for yet, but Rose didn't question. Rose began filling again, and Ben would hold the sack as she filled it, them taking each other's job in turns.
'What we need, though, is oil,' said Ben.
'And that we can't offer you,' said Jonathon, suddenly appearing, with Miriam in tow.
'Jonathon. At the citadel they have oil in plenty,' said Miriam.
'Don't speak of Babel,' retorted Jonathon, frowning. 'They were what brought the convergence. We will not rely on them again. Haven't you learned anything from all I've taught you?'
'What is the citadel?' asked Ben, as he held a sack which Rose was filling.
Jonathon sighed. 'Relics, of a bygone era. There was a woman who was here, when I was young, and she came from the citadel. It was her home. The world did not and does not know of it, but they are the powers that be of the old world, the ruling elite, that maintain their decadencies still.'
'What was the woman's name?' asked Ben.
'It escapes me,' replied Jonathon. 'But the citadel will not help us. They are inward looking, and protect only themselves. They had a leader, Cornelius, who knew my forerunner. The prior Avatar visited the Citadel once, and when I was young taught me well of its lavish way and disdain for the peasantry.'
'And they have oil?' asked Ben, eyebrow raised.
'In abundance,' said Miriam.
'Quiet Miriam. We will not ask for their help.'
'Well it sure as hell would,' said Ben. 'Oil makes fire, and the kind of fire I want needs a lot of oil.'
'You'll have to make do with the lttle we have,' replied Jonathon, and looked at Rose, then turned and walked away.
Ben reached out and grabbed Miriam's shoulder, who turned to look at him. 'You know the way? To the Citadel?'
'Come Miriam,' said Jonathon, still departing.
Miriam turned to walk and follow after the Avatar, but turned back and whispered, 'I'll not betray Jonathon's wishes.'
Ben stared at the two as they left, then looked at Rose, who was looking up at him. 'Keep shovelling, Rose,' he said, but turned and looked at Miriam once more.
'Can we get drunk again,' said Rose. 'When we're finished here.'
'We weren't drunk last time,' said Ben. 'Well I wasn't. You, that much I'm not sure about.'
'Oh, I think you knew my state,' she said grinning. 'You took severe advantage of me.'
'I didn't hear the lady protest,' replied Ben.
'I'm lucky I'm still a virgin with Ben Owens around,' she laughed, and threw some sand in his face.
'I can take care of that right now,' replied Ben, and grabbed her, as she let out a scream of joy, the two of them soon wriggling in the dirt.
Up above Jonathona and Miriam were looking at the two revellers from the mouth of the cave.
'You should let me show him were the citadel is. If he needs oil, let us get him some oil. We must do whatever we can?'
Jonathon looked at her. 'And that has always been how it has been justified. Doing whatever we can. No, I won't have it. Haven't we learned anything as a people.'
Miriam bowed her head, and said, 'Of course. You are right.'
As she left to go inside the cave Jonathon watched Ben and Rose rolling around in the pit, and looked up at old man Hobbs in the baloon. Oil. The Citadel. Had they learned nothing? But at the back of his mind he was having second thoughts.
“We're not really what we were,' said Hobbs, offering Owens another sip from his flask. “We worshipped the wind in my day. Now, try as Avatar might persuade otherwise, the people are going back to religion and formality. The younger ones, they have dreams. Can you believe that? They say the world has changed and they want to make something of it. All sorts of ideas about building houses and things, and rules on barter. That Miriam, she even has a book of prayers to God. I mean, God is not what we worshipped. The creator brought the wind for us to understand and know. They even want to build motorvehicles from the old run down machines. Navigate the world the old way. Ways which never worked.'
'The romans liked em roads,' said Ben, taking a sip on the flask.
'And look what happened to them,' replied Hobbs.
'Tell me about it,' replied Ben. 'How far can you see with that telescope?' he asked the old man.
'Far enough. The plains opposite. I can see if people are coming, and I watch most of the day. Cept when I'm,' he raised his flask and smiled.
'You'll have to cut that down come harvest. Your're fundamental to this all succeeding. We need warning, and quickly, when the marauders approach. For our plan to work we need to know exactly when they come.'
'Will do,' said Hobbs, saluting Ben.
'Good,' replied Ben. He took the telescope and looked out from the basket of the baloon to the north. The wind was blustering as usual, but he could see well into the distance. If Hobbs eyesight was good, and he stayed alert, they would have their warning in time.
'So, were you ever married?' asked Ben.
'I was. Technically still am. But she's out there – somewhere,' said Hobbs, waving his hand in the air. 'She knows were to find me if she wants me. I don't care.'
'Didn't work out huh,' replied Ben.
'No. Not really. It did. Theoretically still does. Said she was happy with me, but wanted to see the world. To taste the Slipstream. She got a flier like you, and wisps here and there. Goes to the settlement a bit, and talks with a councillor there. Wants the world to change, and do something about what the convergence taught us.'
'And what did it teach us?' asked Ben, still looking through the spyglass.
'That the old ways didn't work, and if we look to the wind we'll find the new answers.'
'That's my life. Like daddies. Looking to the wind,' said Ben.
'It'll change,' said Hobbs. 'Beaureaucrats will return. Legislators. Regulators. Suits. They'll come back, and make rules for everything. Probably even flying the Slipstream will be governed.'
'Over my dead body,' said Ben.
'Don't doubt they'll do that too. If that's what it takes.' Hobbs sipped on his grog, and stood, and pointed. 'They come from around there. You'll see them coming out of those lump of trees usually. On horses, and often a jeep thing their leader rides. He's got a rifle too. Shoots it a bit, but they mostly use blades. They'll kill – if they have to. Marauders who take what they want, and damn the consequences.'
'We'll be ready for them this time,' said Ben.
'Your daddy. I knew him,' said Hobbs. 'He came here once. I met him. Only briefly. Had a fella with him. We sent him into the skies.'
'I know,' said Ben. 'Old family tales. My mother was with them. Sort of. She was a lawman. Well, a lawwoman. But she fell for daddy in the end.'
'Doesn't suprise me. He was a cocksure sort.'
'Runs in the Owens blood,' replied Ben. 'Now give me a shot of that.'
Hobbs passed him the grog, and they drank, and passed away the day.
Around dinner Ben and Rose were eating in their shared cave dwelling. Rose had her belongings there, and was wearing a top with roses on it. 'We go to the market at Cloverfield every year,' said Rose. 'We sell produce there, what we have, and buy a few things. It's not as big as the Settlement, but you'd know that.'
'Industry still alive,' said Ben. 'Bits and pieces of it here and there. You see it in Cloverfield. The old world still going, so they say. We have a Slipstream which runs around this planet, but some people in Cloverfield, man, like they haven't yet noticed. The convergence came and went and it was business as usual.'
'Bloodlines,' said Rose. 'There are different types of family in this human race, and the blood has knowledge and culture in each bloodline. It's all in the psyche of the bloodline. Avatar says so. And those Cloverfield people are just doing what they gotta do to survive. How they make sense of it all.'
Ben looked at her, bit on his bread roll and said 'Spose.'
'Your bloodline is special,' said Rose. 'Something in it. Something different. Something about the Owens that stands up at times. Your special Ben.'
'I ain't special,' he said.
'Everyone is,' said Rose. 'In their own way. The people who fly the Slipstream. They are all special. They take the new world since the convergence and they take the imagination the new world offers and run with it. And you do that more than most. You love it up in the Slipstream. Where you come alive.'
'You got that right,' he replied.
'But we all have our job. Miriam. She's fairtful to Avatar. She hangs on every word he says. But he couldn't live without her and her influence. That's what makes Miriam special. Everyone has a talent. Everyone does something which nobody else does quite as well as them.'
'Avatar teaches this?'
'And what do you do that is special?' he asked, smiling at her.
'Find heroes,' she replied.
'I ain't no hero,' he said again.
They finished their meal, and Ben kipped down on his rug, and while he listened to Rose snore softly, he thought on the bloodlines of the Owens clan, and chuckled. 'Rogues and hoodlums, that'll be there lot,' he thought on his seed, and then looked at Rose, and went silent. But you never knew what other plans life had in store for you.
'They say they know you,' said Avatar.
'There he is. Ben Owens. How you going you old son of a gun?'
'They're from the shanty town,' said Rose, coming up and standing next to Ben. 'Lowlives who I didn't like the looks of.'
'Hey, she should watch her mouth,' said Carl 'Bruiser' Baxter, a black man with a large frame.
'What do you want here?' asked Ben. 'They don't have any real money for you to shark out of them.'
'We heard about your troubles,' said Carl.
'All about it,' said Snake, now speaking up.
'And we thought we'd come and offer a hand. For our old buddy Ben.'
'I don't like you,' said Rose to Carl.
'Go figure,' replied Bruiser.
'I'm afraid we can't afford to pay you. Most of our money is going to Ben should he prove succesful.'
'We'll take food,' said Snake, wiping his nose which was snotty and he obviously had a cold.
'Shut it,' said Bruiser, nudging Snake. He looked at Avatar. 'You know how it is. Getting by ain't always that easy these days. We will work for food. And any other luxuries you can offer us,' he said, glaring at Rose.
'He's a creep. Don't let them stay Avatar,' said Rose.
'If you'll work for food, and you know Ben,' said Avatar.
'I trust them as far as I can throw them,' said Ben. 'But at this stage I'm afraid we're going to need all the help we can get.'
'I'll put them in the back of Rose's cave,' said Miriam. 'Follow me men.'
As the two men followed Miriam, Bruiser turned around and held his hand in a high five position, grinning.
'Avatar,' said Rose. 'You can not be serious. Ben is who I trusted. He's a hero, I can tell. Those losers, they'll rob us blind.'
'It's a risk we'll have to take,' replied the Avatar. The Avatar looked at Ben. 'Can we trust them?'
'Probably not. But you know, as he said, times are hard, and those two do what they need to get by. Maybe even a thrill for them.'
'I still don't like it,' said Rose.
'We'll risk it for now. But Ben – keep an eye on them. A close eye.'
Ben nodded, and Avatar walked away. He tried ignoring Rose's wrathful gaze, but it was no use.
'Don't say it,' he said. 'And I ain't no hero. We're up against marauders, and those two might end up saving our bacon. Just trust me. I've known Carl a long time. He might be dirty, low and a rogue. But he's got some honour amongst thieves. Well, rogues.'
She was about to speak, but Ben put up his hand, so she gave him a cross look, and that was the end of it.
At dinner that night Bruiser ate his bread and drank his wine, and leered at Rose.
'Cut it it out Carl,' said Ben.
'The Bruiser fancies your lady,' said Snake.
'I'm not his lady,' said Rose. 'Well, no, sort of.' She stopped and looked at Ben. 'We're nothing official, are we?' she asked.
Ben looked at her, and bit on his bread.
'How many of them?' asked Bruiser.
'30 maybe. 40 if we're unlucky. Their leader has a gun. Rest have knives.'
'That much I can handle,' said Bruiser.
'I like knives,' said Snake, and took out his knife. 'Know exactly what to do with them,' he said, putting the knife to his throat and making a cutting motion.'
'Freak,' said Rose.
'Don't worry little lady,' said Snake. 'Wouldn't harm anyone here. Good folk. They ain't no marauders.'
'Your defenses?' asked Snake.
'Well established, but we're still working on them. We need oil, though. Would help a lot.'
Bruiser nodded. 'Cut us 10% of your take, a little pocket money, and we'll hang around to the end of the fight. Otherwise we might disappear if the going gets tough.'
'Fake,' said Rose. 'I still don't like you.'
'If we all survive, I'll give you 15%,' replied Ben, looking at Rose. 'I don't think it will bother me much now.'
Rose looked at Ben, and stood. 'I'm going to brush my hair,' she said, and walked over to her bed.
Bruiser looked at her. 'She's a fine lady.'
'I know,' said Ben.
Rose had begun brushing her hair, and started singing. It was a tune familiar to Ben, something from childhood, and as the men finished their meal, they laid back, listening to the voice of the redheaded maiden fill the cavern. The fire burned in front of them, and Ben looked into it, letting the voice of the maiden and flickering warmth of the flame soothe his troubles. Here he was. Again. Having to do what he instinctively knew he wasn't. Hero work. But he was too committed now, and could not cut and run. And as he turned to look at Rose, who seemed to know he was looking and turned her head to look at him, in his heart he knew he wasn't fighting just for the sake of a windtalker community. There was now something a lot more personal going on. Now someone he cared about, who he would probably risk his life to protect anyway. Rose finished her song, and lay down. Soon enough Ben's eyes dimmed, as he gazed into the fire, and while he kept the corner of his eye fixed on Bruiser and Snake, something in his heart told him he wouldn't have trouble from those two. At least not tonight anyway. Shortly he was asleep, and the other two had drifted off, and he never noticed it when Rose got up from her bed, and curled down next to him, and he didn't notice, either, in the morning when she woke first, and went back to her own bed, before he had woken up himself. And then a cock crowed, and Rose was up and about, the others rubbing their eyes, and while Ben was in a good mood somewhat, watching Rose dance around the cave getting their breakfast ready, Snake just lay back down in his bed and Bruiser said 'Wake me when it's really morning,' soon enough snoring loudly again, as he had done much of the evening prior.
Before the beginning God planned. He planned Saruviel. Oh, he planned Daniel. Naturally he planned Daniel. Like an annoying leaky roof in the top of home, which always dripped in the middle of a board game you were playing with Metatron, and when you were winning too....... That is what God sometimes thought of Daniel. But divas liked him. He had that going for him. But, when Daniel wasn't bothering his thoughtstreams with endless demands of wealth, fame, glory and all and sundry, God took time to delight in a son he actually appreciated. His dearest Saruviel. Saruviel was complex. Very dramatic. Like Darth Vader and Batman rolled into one. Dramatic, intense and oh so serious. The bane of lighthearted Gloryel. But Saruviel was designed to be a challenge, and the Children of the Rainbow had a destiny from their rebirth to handle a second challenge from his dearest son. Right from the beginnng God could tell in how the heart of Saruviel being formed liked to be traditional in his own way, and give people what they expected when it all came down to it. Original, fresh, new in its own way, but givem a show. Don' leave em guessing. So God worked through the heart of his daughter Eve – Destiny – and the general creative strengths of Adam – the Author – and worked out the next chapter as best he could, with the choices from their etenal spirit making its decisions all along the way. And when push came to shove, and the living was to be done, what else could you say but whatever would be would be.
'So 12 processes complete, and we need an official title for a pfriod of 12 Processes. And they are doing a realm wide referendum on the ultimate choices. Your suggestion Arch-Regent?' queried Valandriel the Seraphim of his younger Seraphim brother Daniel.
'Just that kemosabe. A period. The end in many ways of the first section, which naturally indicates a second sentence is about to begin,' replied Daniel.
Valandriel stroked his chin. 'Not bad. That works for me. If we back it, they'll probably vote it.'
'Good. But other things are on my mind,' replied Daniel, as they sat on the edge of the rim in Zaphora, throwing pebbles into the gap.
'What?' asked Valandriel.
'Saruviel. Something has – changed – in him of recent times. But it's not really unfamiliar. It's a glint in his eye. An old glint. A glint of the dark lord we knew from the start. He's up to something, and I feel it's of no good.'
'Rebellion? Again? He's too old and wise and over it for that idea,' replied Valandriel.
'Yet, he hasn't forgotten his original commission. And I think he's got a plan. A bloody diabolical one.'
'Throw a pebble,' replied Valandriel. 'You worry too much.
Daniel threw a pebble, and they watched it sink down into the gap.
'I think, in reflection of this first period,' said Daniel.
'Must have been settled then,' replied Valandriel. 'We'll bypass the referendum and title it a period.'
'You do that,' replied Daniel. 'But I think in reflection over this first period I've probably learned some lessons. About how far you can push it mostly and still get the blessing in life. Sin doesn't really work as a concept terribly well, and its mostly a miserable lifestyle. But there are some conclusions I have reached, and one of those is that I don't have a drive on purpose in life terribly much yet. I've filled it in with religion, but while I'm sure that probably is the answer, I'm only going with what I think is right.'
'As opposed to what?' asked Valandriel.'What I know is right.'f
'The universal dilemma,' said Valandriel. 'But never mind that. Throw a pebble and it will be better in the morning.'
'Yes mum,' replied Daniel, and Valandriel grinned.
* * * * *
'You worry to much Ambriel,' said Michael. 'Now if you could learn to enjoy the fine art of French pornography, you'd be doing much better.'
'Still crude I see,' replied Ambriel.
'Only on weekends,' said Michael. 'And after Dinosaur wrestling on Thursday nights on Fox.'
'Dinosaur wrestling,' replied the Messiah. 'What is the frikking fascination with dinosaur wrestling. It's beyond me.'
'Oy, don't knock dinosaur wrestling till you've tried it,' said Gabriel, at the back of Michael's office in Mt Zionistya, looking at magazines from the filing cabinet.
'I have too much love for dinosaurs to try and intimidate them,' replied Ambriel. Ambriel looked at Michael. 'I mean, that's right isn't it? When it comes right down to it we're still angels, with an example to set. To love, to be at peace, and to care for God's creation.'
'I'm permanently jaded since biting the dust,' replied Michael. 'Solid thrills, a bit of Torah on the sabbath, good food and some love with Elenniel. The basics of my life. Lawful enough, and others can have the glory. Got plenty of my own.'
'Right,' said Ambriel.
'How's Meludiel. You two together?' asked Michael.
'I'm married to Fiona,' replied Ambriel.
Michael, for the first time in a very long time, looked at his younger brother, assessing him. 'You know, your handsome enough. Love gets you along a million miles of course, and your minions of Messiah Ministry femme beauties hang on every word you say because of it. But when all is said and done, you aren't a male hottie. Solid enough looks, but not majorly handsome. More than a pass I suppose, but no distinction level.'
'Gee, thanks,' replied Ambriel. 'Good to know.'
'What I'm saying is that, forgive me, butFiona is about the samfe. Solid looks, but no spunk. Not when it comes right down to it.'
'I find her attractive enough,' replied Ambriel defensively.
'I suppose you would,' replied Michael. 'She's about as good looking as you are.'
Ambriel sat in silence for a while, and picked up a dinosaur magazine. 'No need to be an asshole about it,' he said after a while.'
'Just being honest little brother,' said Michael. 'But you know it's truth well enough. Yeh, Fiona. Why not. Very stable worker. Probably good for you really.'
'I think so,' replied Ambriel. 'Anyway, do you have a comment?'
'To what?' asked Michael.
'To my statements. About Saruviel. Do you have a comment.'
'Think he gave a reply,' said Gabriel, coming over and sitting opposite Ambriel, next to Michael on the leather couches which opposed each other in Michael's office.
'I don't worry too much. Saruviel – I was with him – it was the old spirit. The one from the beginning. But a little colder this time. A little more wiley.'
'Let the Evening Stars handle it,' said Michael snidely. 'Think they bloody rule eternity now, well let them take care of the sitch. Got over it, really, even wanting to visit terribly much. Settled in Zionistya now, and its become the most suitable of homes.'
'Indeed it has,' replied Gabriel. 'One spirit, Torah Judaism dominates, and the non-jews follow Judaism with a standard approach. Up in eternity it's Noahidism which rules, and they don't want no Jews telling em what to do,' he finished sarcastically.
'They welcome Jewish people when they're not being so predictable and chosen about it,' Ambriel replied. 'When its a responsibility and a privilege. Not something which is a passport to power and abuse.'
'Fuckem,' replied Michael. 'We'd rather do it our own way anyway, and things are good now. Down below its worked out the way we like it, and we don't need the worries of the Evening Stars about their dread Lord to bring us down. We're happy now. They can jizz their own jazz. They kicked us out. Tough.'
'And do you expect to be honoured in eternity with no respect for your neighbours or their problems?' asked Ambriel. 'We had a commision to care,' said Ambriel.'Which mankind never appreciated,' saidf Michael. 'So they can go blow. Come on, watch some dinosaur wrestling with us. Let Saruviel be the devil he wants to be. It's how he gets his kicks. Don't sweat it bro.'
Ambriel sighed, stood, and said. 'I'll be at home. But I'll be returning to the Realm again to chat with Saruviel, and talk with Daniel and Valandriel. If you won't help I'll do it myself.'
'Fly away little one,' said Michael, waving his hand, and Ambriel gave Michael a bothered look, and left.
'Saruviel having fun again,' said Gabriel.
'News could be entertaining for a while,' said Michael.
'I guess so,' replied Gabriel, and returned his focus to 'Dinosaur Wrestling quarterly, and some of the latest exploits.
* * * * *
'It's not that you are not social,' said Raphael.
'Not to be bothersome, but wtf are you doing in Zaphora anyway? A Morning Star has a new home. The Zionistya of God's getting over bothering and giving us all a frikking break and the Jews having learned their frikking lesson and thank God for that,' replied Azrael, from behind the bar, green beard which Billy wore every St Patricks day, as it was good for the customers, and Kwintakel thought it funny.
Jay Z stretched his arms, and sipped on his beer. His twin, Beyonce, the Seraphim Nimorel, sat next to him, texting away, and occasionally adjusting her hair and looking around the bar.
'I have a traditional office in Zaphon with a right to redeem it at will. Ambriel has talked with me about Saruviel, and I decided I wasn't a sinner like Michael and would get involved.'
'So Michael's a sinner, is he?' queried Azrael, putting down his bartender wipe rag, and looking directly at his brother Seraphim.
'These days, man,' replied Raphael. 'He's got a lot of extra lives up his sleeve for his long service.'
'Must be a cat,' said Azrael.
'Oh, he's levelled out. Mostly. But he's carnal and uncaring, and tolerates a lot of crap in his dominion of Zionistya. Not exactly rough play, coz they're jews mostly. They tend not to get that rough. But rowdy in the main citadel and cities near the centre of Zionistya.'
'Ha. Would make a good Scot then,' replied Azrael. 'Jews finally toughening up a bit and getting over being such pussies about it. Abraham always had balls, but as sensitive to God like Jacob. They were fmen of the land, and could hack it, but went soft because God liked them.'
'Yeh,' replied Raphael, and sipped on his beer. 'Probably true on the patriarchs actually. Anyway, I have an office here again, and intend doing my traditional work. And one of my chief wards and concerns has always been Azrael the Seraphim.'
Azrael pu his hand on the bar, face down. 'Well, boss. As you can see, I get plenty of social activity. Talk with people all day long. Me and Kwintakel have been married forever now, and we chat about life in the bar, and the goings on of Zaphora life. Cosadriel comes in regularly, and works here from time to time. Mostly I think I'm covered well enough. A bit of standup every now and again which draws a crowd. Lot of material to draw from, you know. Got a wise daughter in Clamorton, married a famous painter's son, and they're doing well, and being very much the socialites on the scene. The painting I bought is over there on the wall,' said Azrael pointing.
Raphael turned, and looked at the scantily clad redheaded maiden, at the feet of her highlad prince. 'Choice,' he replied.
'So, dear brother. Life, I think, socially, is going well enough.'
'Good, good,' said Raphael. He took out a notebook.'
'Now why not a frikking tablet,' said Nimorel. 'Why still the frikkin notebooks. Is this how you are going to do all this bloody work here.'
'It was always done this way, Nimorel,' said Raphael. 'I do my official job the traditional way. While here, and working at Zaphon, tradition. I will give em what they expect.'
Nimorel looked at her husband. 'Ok she said. I guess I get the point.'
'If you must,' said Azrael. 'Fucked if I remember what I do traditionally.'
'A bi of roster work, and your mostly a loner,' replied Raphael.
Azrael looked at his brother. 'Must be in your notes.'
'Something like that,' said Raphael, and sipped on his beer, turning to admire the fine 'MacKenzie' painting on the wall, and enjoy the atmosphere of Az's place in the heart of Zaphona city.
* * * * *
'So it's not exactly a holy attitude,' chided Meludiel on Michael for the 7th time that day.
'I know, I know. It's what's done in Zionistya. It's our right to behave like that, and its the way things are done at the bottom of the well. I get with the picture ad follow the scene like it's meant to be.'f
'His attitude is entirely appropriate and normal in Zionistya,' replied Gabriel. 'We are adaptive angelic beings, made in the image of a holy but also intelligent deity. We know what cuts the mustard.'
Meludiel glared at Gabriel but softened.
'And no, Meludiel. You will not be monitoring me, while I am here,' said Michael. 'Not that the power of the Lady Seraphim Torah is not acknowledged, but this current overseer, some mindor Cheruseraphim duke, has made room for me, and Cindradel gave me a knowing wink, and I am in charge. Saruviel will be responded to, as I won't tolerate that Ambriel thinking, deep down in his heart, that I have ever really not known or trusted in the LORD. From eternity to eternity God is, and I know that God, and his patience, AND his salvation. And I know when he likes a man after his heart. You can go now. I know my way around the cafeteria.'
Meludiel looked at Michael, and noticed the incredible change in his demeanour. It was just a point he was trying to make, with Ambriel. She saw it instantly. The man knew, he always had, exactly what he was doing. She waved her hand softly at him. 'See you michael.'
When she got back to the music room, a spirit had come over her, and she got out 'Give your best to God' from the cupboards, and started tidying up the music room, and Sharlamane walked in an Gamrayel walked in, and Gamrayel looked at Meludiel for a moment, and noticed the ancient spirit, and said. 'Oh. I see. Like that is it.' And started helping her organize the room the old way, and Sharlamane snapped to attention, and soon Melladon was being discussed, and Sharlamane was by the window, looking out at the greenery, and said 'I wonder what Daniel is doing?'
* * * * *
Saruviel Savereign, Alice Cooper, Saruviel the Seraphim of Eternity and the Seraphim offspring, Andrew, son of Daniel the Seraphim, were on the golf course. Zaphon Major, in the heart of Zaphona City.
'Hell. A place I've visited often,' commented Alice Cooper. 'Fore!' he yelled out, as he hit his ball.
'The point, I think, is probably ultimately redemption from hell,' said Saruviel Savereign.
'But we put them through it first,' stated Saruviel, lining up and taking his shot.
'And why is that then?' asked Andrew.
'People are weak,' sai Saruviel. 'They need a role model.'f
'And that's what you are?' asked Andrew.
'I make em sure they know they need one,' replied Saruviel, as Saruviel Savereign lined up to take his shot.
'That's were the Morning Stars come in,' said Saruviel of Eternity. 'Even now they assemble, and the first comments are not official till tonight.'
'Yes. Those comments. Of all the recent discussions,' said Andrew.
'A new vision for the universe,' said Sarviel Savereign, making the sign of a movie director with his hands of a big production. 'Eternya will love it I am sure, and I'm hugely impressed with being able to work with my namesake in this great and magnificent endeavour.'
'And me?' asked Andrew.
'The Realm of Infinity is tricky business,' said Saruviel. 'Samael likes traditional ways up there, and they like to know they run their own show without a shadow of a dobut. You have good experience in Infinity, though, and they like you. But I still see you haven't yet accepted the offer.'
'Still thinking over the theological implications of it all. It could in many ways be considered traditional rebellion. I mean, it's exactly what you did to start with. Taking over.'
'Hardly the same. And you know the logic this time. And it's undeniable.'
'Perhaps,' said Andrew. 'Still thinking that point over actually.' He lined up and took his own shot.
'Then you do that,' said Saruviel. 'Our friend Vincent Furnier here is signed up and happy to work from New Terra on the project, and with you in Infinity we have a formidable team.' Vincent Furnier was Alice Cooper's real name.
'We'll see,' replied Andrew Daly, as they marched down the green, a pleasant day, a happy day, in Zaphona City Major golf course, in the Realm of Eternity.
* * * * *
'You know how I feel you hanging around Sharlamane,' said Jessica, Daniel the Seraphim's wife, in their penthouse apartment in Danielphon Keep in the heart of Zaphora.
'A click, a tick and an upper lip, and that from little Ambyf Wamby, and Mikey Dyke has repented, or conformed, and is back in the old job. And the realm is still ticking over, but clicked into old gears. I smell the oil. The holy spirit. Old stuff. Animistic delight. When I go around the traps on a run, ancient stuff. Over by the southern lake, and in some sections of the gardening lands which are still going from the beginning, and all through the Garden itself, ancient spirit doing its thing again. And Zaphon stinks of the old ways. Reeks of it. Even got this memo from Michael expecting the Arch Regent in the Overseer's office first thing Monday morning. And I was too intimidated to deny him in my reply. So, to answer your point, if Sharlamane likes me at this time, that is just par for the course sweetie. Pass the weet bix would you.'
Jessica passed her husband the breakfast cereal from the pantry, and sat down with her Danielphon cafeteria latte. 'You've been faithful a very long time now. You won't slip will you?'
Daniel shook his head. 'A period is complete, and I think I've probably learned my lesson. Anyway, it's 11, and late. Why aren't you with Sharakondra?'
'Day off,' repied Jessica. 'I'm making notes and writing a report on tonight's address.'
'What address?' asked Daniel.
'Saruviel's,' she replied. 'A new thing he has going. On Realm-wide TV tonight. Hadn't you heard?'
Daniel eyed his wife, but just ate his weet bix in silence. Later, when they were watching TV, Daniel spoke up. 'And that is one thing which is not good. Saruviel's spirit. It's the ancient stuff also. The Adversarial stuff. When God called him Satan for a moment. And we learned very well what that meant after some time.'
'You don't talk about those days that much,' said Jessica, looking at him.
'Old history. Times and days which have spent their purpose and money.'
Jessica turned and looked at the TV. 'Which have apparently returned,' she said. 'To entertain us newbies with God's traditional ways no doubt.'
Daniel looked at her, almost stunned. He looked at the TV. 'I guess he so,' he said, and thought on that in silence for the rest of the day.
* * * * *
Uriel and Raguel glided into the cafeteria.f
'Hey. Smells like the old days,' said Uriel.
'Look at the menu,' said Raguel. 'The old stuff.'
'I'll order Langwah and salad,' said Uriel.
Kaladael herself took the order. Uriel blushed. His sister gave him a stern look as if 'What have you been up to?'.
'Yep,' he said, turning to Raguel. 'The old stuff indeed.'
Later on they were on the couches at the southern entrance of Zaphon Keep.
'Well, I'll be watching,' said Uriel.
'I don't think I can deny it. Saruviel again. Must be why we've been drawn back here.'
'Yep, I think its a gathering. I don't think we have much choice in this respect. Michael insisted, but I run my life. But it was authority in the memo, like he's the boss of Zaphon, and we do what he says. And I knew he was big brother, and I couldn't find the ability to argue much,'' replied Raguel.
'And Saruviel. It's what it's about. It's not freedom. It's something different. And Michael is taking it head on.'
'Old times,' replied Raguel. 'I'll move into the dorms tonight. Take my luggage in and set it up.'
'Let's visit Brindabel. And then play in the games room,' said Uriel. 'Keldo. The ancient set is still there. Still the same colours. I looked before. The same Chulara mat and makers also.'
'You're kidding, right?' asked Raguel.
'I swear. It's the same set,' said Uriel.
So they chatted, and reminisced, and soon enough were enjoying traditional things of Zaphon Keep which Seraphim angels at home undertook.
* * * * *
Alice Cooper was in the green room, with Andrew Daly, Saruviel Savereign, and Saruviel the Seraphim, was having his makeup done. Alice was strumming on a guitar. 'You know, Sar,' he said. 'A theme song for the campaign might fly. The cool cats could go for that jazz.'
'Sounds like solid dick,' replied Saruviel. 'Sfee to it.'
Kantriel and Daraqel entered the room and sat down on a leather couch.
'I assure you both, again, this is not a fruitless exerecise,' said Saruviel. 'It is after all one of the primary keys of my Oblivion Tube manifesto. We'll see how this flies, and do reports later on guaging its success.'
'Did you expect the Michael reaction?' asked Daraqel, taking a celery stick with cheese from a tray a station caterer was offering him.
'Unexpected. Given our victory as Evening Stars deposing Israel to Zionistya,' replied Saruviel.
'Which had been planned from the ages from all reports,' said Kantriel, the actor Orlando Bloom.
'Apparently,' said Saruviel, turning and looking at Kantriel. He looked forward into the mirror. 'So it could well be that Michael's more relaxed standards he is quite happy to display are part of the plan of God, and when the shit sinks to Zionistya Michael likes to chill out, wrestle dinosaurs, and be a regular doohicky.'
'But on home turf he's his old self,' commented Alice Cooper.
'Seems like it,' said Andrew.
'So that's the shit we might have to deal with,' said Daraqel.
'You all worry too much,' said Saruviel Savereign, who was dressed in his traditional Dracula outfit from his acting career in the role. 'Michael has been prompted by Israel's blessed Messiah to get his act together. The timing is purley coincidental. Your blessed Cindradel seemed to think that the case.'
'You enjoyed her company quite a lot,' said Saruviel the Seraphim to his namesake.
'She has great tradition in her,' replied Saruviel Savereign. 'One of the mainstays of House Savereign is tradition and the appreciation of that fact in others.'
'I look more at the absolutes of the idea. Eternal constants,' said Saruviel of Eternity.
'You would,' said Kantriel.
'Don't I know it,' replied Daraqel.
'Cheer up you two,' said Saruviel. 'The show is about to begin.
'5 minutes Saruviel,' said a station worker fopening the door and poking his head in.
'Action time boys,' said Saruviel, and stood and grinned at the assembled motley crew.
* * * * *
'Michael, suck my dick and sit the fuck down,' said Gabriel.
'Listen, semi-professional dinosaur shagger, I don't give a damn what Saruviel says. I am Michael the Archangel. Premiere fucking angel of the Realm of Eternity. Ambriel, the pretend Messiah, can suck my dick. And repentance? God can shove his repentance right up his jatz...'
'Saruviel's on,' interrupted Gabriel.
Michael sat down.
'Friends,' began Saruviel on the television broadcast.
'Pfffffttt,' commented Michael.
'Shut it,' said Gabriel.
'Let us listen in peace,' said Cindradel. 'You made us stay after work for this, so quieten down firstborn.'
Michael, humbly, took his rebuke.
'So, with greetings taken care of,' continued Saruviel. 'Down to business. I am Saruviel. Archangel of the Realm of Eternity.'
'Archangel my butt,' said Michael.
'MICHAEL!!!' chorused the overseers office as one.
'And as an Archangel I have a particular responsibility. I am the challenging angel. The Angel of Adversity. The one who gets the best out of everyone.'
'The worst more like it,' said Michael, but went quiet at the dirty looks directed towards him.
'And as challenging angel I have a responsibility, like all Archangels, to see to the welfare of the Realm of Eternity. To act in everyones best interests, not just my own. And in that job, of acting in everyones best interests, I have noticed things.'
'Get to the frikking point,' said Michael.
'I have noticed, that in this funny thing called life, certain things tend to happen under father's tender care after a while. Prosperity, yes. Happiness, somewhat. But more than anythfing else, indeed there is peace. But it is a peace which is, how can I put it, more of a malaise. More of something which one word in the language describes so more accurately than any other. And that word is boredom.'
'Interesting,' said Michael, now paying attention.
'In this grand prosperity and vision of God for a realm of peace and happiness, people have simply become dull and less interested in life. They lack any real motivation any more. Today, the weather reports are actually the most interesting of things on television, so bland has life begun.'
'What half my day revolves around, chatting about the weather,' said Cindradel.
'It is because, with all this wonderful peace, all this blissful prosperity, all this apparent wisdom of God, you have lost reason. Reason to live satisfying, happy and fulfilling lives. Lives with purpose. Lives with action. Lives with drive.'
'Mmmph,' said Michael, now a little curious about what Saruviel was saying.
'You have no reason now. Most of you. You have no reason for passion, for mission, for vision. Your dreams have become dry, lifeless, untenable. They lack substance now. The river has, how you put it. Run dry.'
Saruviel went silent. He knew his point was hitting home on some.
'As I said, you have no reason. And I off you a purpose. I offer you a plan. I offer you a fix. A fixation which will give you a drive which doesn't serve God and his boredom, but the rush of being alive and being 'ACTION.' It's the sedate which kills us, the pointlessness, and the calm sedate ways of father bore us all to death. Exalt me over eternity and I will drive you with passion. At the very least I will give you that fix. Even Jesus Christ knows God will drag you down to Mundania. He knows that all too well. The vision I have is a life filled with action, a life filled with purpose, a life filled with excitement. For God only knows, father never delivered on that anyway. MAKE SARUVIEL KING. Thank you.'
The program switched back to the hosts, who continued chatting, and Cindradel turned off the TV with the remote.
'Well, at least we're not going to be bored for a while,' said Gabriel
'Don't I know it,' said Michael, now starting to understand why he was back where he started. A new challenge from the dark Lord, and Michael knew what God was asking him. Did he give a damn?
* * * * *
'Abraham suggests you just sure up Noahide faith, and work out your faithful,' said Sharlamane.
'Noah suggested the same thing,' replied Daniel.
'Well, that's what we do,' said Valandriel. 'I mean, let's face it Daniel. We ain't no quitters, but the Morning Stars and the Evening Stars have been watching our progress a while now. The Oblivion Tube Processes was a time when many plans were made by ourselves. We know our plans. But the major manifesto's of eternity are not just fashioned by the ValDan agenda. Other voices have their dreams also.'
'Indeed we do,' said Sharlamane, looking warmly at Daniel.
'Don't get any ideas bitch,' said Jessica. 'He's taken. Permanently.'
Sharlamane bowed her head at Jessica Daly, but continued smiling at Daniel, who gave her a wry grin.
'He'll spend his money, one way or another,' said Valandriel. 'In time it will blow over. He wants a victory prize, so my suggestion is we ride with the flow of things, and when the wind changes it will just blow over.'
'But some times people make a mark,' said Daniel. 'And acknowledgements are made. A slight bow of the head to something done well and a grand impression made. Remember, his role is adversary.' Daniel went silent.
'What is your point husband?' asked Jessica.
'Two can play at that game,' replied Daniel.
Valandriel looked at Daniel squarely for a moment, and reached down into his briefcase and took out a notebook.
'The ValDan agenda,' said Valandriel. 'Has some new ideas.'
'Indeed it does,' replied Daniel. 'I'll give you a week, buddy, then we meet upstairs in the war room, and I'll share my notes also. Till then its back to the indoor cricket training. Uncle Matt's bastards are looking competitive this season, and I want a solid show for team Danielphon in the C league this season.'
'Bloody tought to make A grade these days,' said Valandriel.
'Full time commitment required, and constant training. Talent alone, and pulling one out just won't do it. Those lads in A and B are committed to full time at the thing. I just don't have the time. C will do. It's as competitive as A grade used to be these days, and the action level is about right for us.'f
'You are probably right,' said Valandriel.
'He is on that,' said Jessica. 'He's steady, and living a regular life, without letting the herohead take over these days. Consistent, and faithful as well,' she said, looking at Jessica with a stern look.
'I think I've learned some lessons about endurance and consistency,' said Daniel. 'And knowing one's place in the world, and not trying to take ALL the glory.'
'Just our share,' said Valandriel.
'Which we fight fairly for,' replied Daniel. 'Now get to those notes See you soon enough.'
Daniel finished his weet bix, and Jessica just stared at Sharlamane, but said nothing more. Her husband better have been listening to what she had to say.
* * * * *
'Funny,' said Samael, flicking off Aphrayel's television set.
'Mmm,' replied Aphrayel. 'Saruviel wants to be King of Eternity, and you say funny. 'You do know Andrew Daly has a speaking tour representing Saruviel's agenda taking place throughout Nadrazon in coming months.'
'The Realm of Infinity has little concern for the goings on of our counterparts down below,' said Sandalphon, over by the window, with his glass of scotch.
'In the last Process the Realm of Eternity passed the size of the Realm of Infinity for the first time. It was a news report for a while,' said Aphrayel.
'Was it now,' said Samael, stroking his chin. 'Well, good luck to them. Excellent to have ambition in life. It's how things are achieved.'
'And it doesn't bother you that they are now outperforming our efforts on growth,' said Aphrayel.
'Rivals compete to make a name. But they don't compete on their own to set that standard as personal benchmarks,' said Samael. 'When they've had the glory, they'll go down to the level they are set at, and we'll come back ahead.'
'And you know the level we are set at?' asked Aphrayel.
'I've read enough Asimov bfooks on the subject,' replied Samael.
'Ah, War of the Realms,' said Sandalphon. 'Classic literature.'
'I think you underestimate them. And overestimate confidence in your own knowledge. One thing I do know in life, growth occurs. And people learn and do improve.'
'They do so out of pride. Nature wins in the end. Not nurtured psychological ambition,' said Samael.
'It's an old debate,' said Sandalphon, as Aphryael gave him a puzzled look as to what Samael was going on about.
'Let Saruviel be King and let Andrew Daly do his speaking. Life will go on, invariably, the same old way in the end. Whatever powers may be,' said samael.
Aphrayel picked up her cards, and started another game of solitaire. 'Apparently,' she replied. And all Samael would do was sit there, in his traditional pose, stroking his chin.
'So Zaphora expands,' said Chavanel.
Saruviel threw a pebble into the rim. 'Yeh. I guess so,' he replied. 'I mean, it's not like it was. I miss it, you know. The old realm. It's not what it was. People have moved on, and the only way to get the excited again is frikking rebellion. I got to put on this whole show, and make some noise, and play the devil card to the hilt, or people just get bored, and move on, and the life of eternity dwindles. Or more realistically, the powers that be go into their own showcase special in 'My disc is the supreme glory' and give not two seconds thought to Zaphora or Terraphora, and the fellowship fractures, and it just is not what it used to be.'
'I've moved on,' replied Chavanel, throwing in a pebble also. Zionistya is home now. I'm settled in a dominion of my twin and I, and we're happy. But the Evening Stars won't rest in the Morning, as the nature is different in each. It's more of a case of accepting our differences and living with that,' said Chavanel.
'It's why I've moved on with the Rainbow Covenant,' said Saruviel. 'It's clear from Andrew's discussions that the Realm of Infinity is settled on Realm Law as the primary paradigm. The machinations of Logos and Samael at council are sovereign. And in Heaven its more of a case that as a Child of God you have your own viewpoints which have been developed into eternal doctrine, and you are your own beacon of light, expected to carry yourff own load.'
'So you follow the child of heaven Noah, and his primary covenant. And that is the stability of eternity,' replied Chavanel.
'I think it will have to be,' said Saruviel. 'Which leaves me at a crossroad. I will push this current agenda, but the goal has changed to provoke to certainty. And that is what the heart of the adversarial role which God assigned me was all about. I've worked that out these last few weeks. It's to provoke them to certainty till they know what they believe and why they believe it. So the fun is gone, and I am taking things down a new tact in my next Television dialogue. It will be different, but the goal is to make people real. I mean, we are real. But we follow and don't stand. We don't stand on what is true and eternal, and flake away after the vibe to find a good time.'
'And that is the heart of addiction,' replied Chavanel.
'So we break the addiction,' replied Saruviel. 'And I know how I'm going to do that.'
Chavanel threw a pebble into the rim. 'Should be interesting viewing then,' she said.
'Stay tuned,' finished Saruviel.
* * * * *
'You got excited, and I was going to challenge, and a marvellous showdown. Predictable, aren't you all?'
'That's more like it,' said Michael. 'Mock the assholes. They're just spineless followers anyway.'
'Shut up Michael,' said Cindradel. 'I'm trying to listen.'
'I mean, fuck you all,' said Saruviel.
'Amen,' said Michael.
'MICHAEL,' yelled Chavanel.
'You people make me sick,' said Saruviel. 'Always needing to be told what to do. I get it day in day out. There I am, slaving my guts out as Overseer, and winge, winge, fucking winge. Everybody wants the fucking attention. This special project, that campaign, the needs program in disc 66. Disc 66 can shove itself as far as I am concerned. In the end, people, if you really crave a King Saruviel, and can't gather the wherewithal to take care of your own shit, how pathetic are you anyway.'
'Ok,' said Ed Sheeran, watching on TV. 'I'll show you what I can do then.'
'So I'm going on a holiday. Mef and Krystabel. And Michael farty Seraphim can run the Realm of Eternity, and you can be all bored fuckless with his tireless tirades of blandity.'
'Looking forward to it,' replied Michael, now grinning like a cheshire cat.
'Sing the fucking song Alice,' said Saruviel, and stood, an exited the stage. The scene flashed to Alice, who began singing the campaign theme and that, as they say, was that.
* * * * *
'Right,' said Ed. 'That way?' he asked. The lady nodded. Ed carried on through the overseer's offfice.
'It's a stupid idea Chavanel. Besides, Saruviel...... Where to begin. He's an asshole for starters,' said Michael.
'Excuse me,' said Ed, putting up his hand. He was ignored.
'Not only an asshole,' continued Michael. 'But a rebel. And a poor loser. Got his butt kicked to start with. We're not going to frikking kiss and makeup.'
'Excuse me sir,' said Ed Sheeran, again putting up his hand.
'I mean, why the hell would I want to work it out with Saruviel. It's really Daniel and Valandriel which are the assholes which run this joint anyway. They've just been letting me have the glory for a bit. Temporary glory in their book. I know how the damn well think. ValDan agenda my butt.'
'Excuse me sir?' said Ed again.
'What the hell do you want kid?' asked Michael, turning to look at Ed.
'Oh, it's Ed Sheeran,' said Cindradel. 'Fancy seeing him here.'
'I'd like a job. And an opportunity,' said Ed. 'I want to show the world a point I have. A point I'd like to make to Saruviel.'
'Right,' said Michael, and bit into his cigar. 'Take a note, Cindradel. Tighten Zaphon security. These days they're letting any old bum in with a name and a gold record.'
'Sit next to me,' said Chavanel to Ed. 'Michael is in a mood.'
'It's good to be fucking King again,' said Michael, puffing on his cigar.
'He's been like this for a whilef,' said Chavanel to Ed. Ed nodded in reply.
'I mean, I rule eternity. But that Daniel. He's going to get his comeuppance. Kick me out will he? I'm frikking firstborn. My job buddy. Position already filled. Look elsewhere.'
'I have an idea,' said Ed.
Michael's eyes finally settled on Ed Sheeran. 'What idea Mr Sheeran?'
'Justice,' said Ed.
'Justice?' queried Michael.
'Justice,' finished Ed Sheeran.
Michael put out his cigar. 'Get me coffee, Chavanel. I'll be in the task room. Ed. Follow me.'
'Good luck, Ed,' said Chavanel.
'And make it black!' yelled Michael.
Cindradel grumbled. One way, or another, and perhaps for the worst in the end, things were somewhat, finally, back to normal in Zaphon Keep, and the Realm of Eternity. And the name of the game was yet again Saruviel, and just what Ed Sheeran, of all people, had in his mind to answer the latest challenge of the dark lord of eternity.
* * * * *
'So what's the next card?' asked Andrew.
'Now the players play their cards,' said Saruviel. 'It's a matter of drawing them out with a sucker punch.'
'I get it. They think you've gone soft,' said Saruviel Savereign.
'Nobody fears a lamb,' replied Saruviel. 'Now my anticipation is that Jesus will make a play for Zionistya with Michael otherwise engaged. Cosadriel and Azrael will get some of their projects running more strongly with a now friendly and over it Saruviel, but Daniel and Valandriel probably aren't that stupid. They might do a thing or two, but that old Cherubim bastard Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly will tell them to keep an eye on me, and not be too obvious. He, at least, wasn't born yesterday.'
'Someone to have some fun with,' said Saruviel Savereign.
'That could be fun,' said Andrefw. 'He is my grandpa, you know.'
'Yes,' replied Saruviel. 'I wouldn't dream of doing anything against him, Andrew. He maintains a peace policy and just helping people to live out regular lives.'
'It's about all the ANM represent,' said Andrew. 'Dad, he likes the game, though.'
'Which is why we'll be watching,' said Saruviel.
'Indeed,' replied Andrew.
* * * * *
'I see, Andrew,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly. 'There is nothing terribly lawless he has planned though, is there?'
'Not from what I've seen,' replied Andrew. 'Mainly a play at Kingmaker.'
'Which doesn't bother me,' replied Daniel. 'Father likes peace to reign in the Realm of Eternity, and for people to find their dreams. We Daly's facilitate that objective with maintenance of the Rainbow Covenant. 'Just report if Saruviel plans anything too dramatic, but otherwise keep it to yourself. I'm not here to interfere with Saruviel's agendas. It's his life and dreams, hopes and aspirations. I respect his right to express his heart and own plans for his popularity or whatever his will may be.'
'I see. So no more chats, unless its too disorderly.'
'If it is, you might want to go to the throneroom of Zaphon and speak with God about the situation. But if that is not called for, enjoy your time and thrills with Saruviel. He's allowed agendas also.'
Andrew took a sip of the ANM wine bottle at the back of the fellowship in the presbytery before leaving, and came out and looked at the night sky. It was summer in eternity, and it was warm, and his grandfather had made sense to him, and shown that Daly's had respect for the plans of others.
* * * * *
'Right. Why do we serve the Rainbow Covenant?' asked Daniel to Valandriel.
'Torah is life. We serve the Seraphim Torah and our human selves legal obligations with God.'
'Right,' said Daniel. They were in the war room of Danielphon. 'Ok,' he said, looking seriously down at the table, his mind aflood with life and excitement. 'And we commfit to that eternally?' asked Daniel.
'Do you have a covenant for Danielphon yet?' asked Valandriel.
'No,' replied Daniel. 'Not really.'
'Well, when you can affirm eternal commitment to the rainbow covenant, you will get your commitment from God for Danielphon in your name. I have my home with Elsabel, and the issue is settled. I've agreed to the law, and being a citizen with obedience to the authorities if there are other authorities in place.'
'Right,' said Daniel. His psychosis started settling as he sat down and picked up a magazine. 'Right,' he said. 'Ok.'
'Your nervous, aren't you,' said Valandriel. 'Excited by life, aren't you?'
'Wonderful time to live,' said Daniel.
'Which builds your psychosis,' said Valandriel.
'Indeed,' said Daniel. 'I'm sitting here, ok.'
Valandriel came and sat next to him. He took out Daniel's mobile and rang Jessica. Jessica showed up a few minutes later.
'Take him downstairs to ground level. Feed him chicken soup. Sit with him and talk softly.'
Daniel let Jessica lead him and they came and sat down in the sofa in the lounge of Danielphon keep on the ground floor, his traditional home.
'Your excited, aren't you,' she said to him.
'This is when the psychosis builds, and you go off wandering. Let the plan go. Let the plans go. You have a call for action, but you can't be crazy. Careful plans. Not excitable ones.
Daniel picked up the remote and put on the classical radio, and turned it down softly. He and Jessica sat in slience the rest of the afternoon. He went to sleep there, and Jessica put a blanke on him. In the morning he woke, went to the toilet, and returned to the War Room and loooked at the plans. He picked up a sheet, ripped it up, and threw it in the bin. Then he rang Valandriel and said he'd be busy that day.
'Going to the garden,' he said to Jessica, who nodded, and he left. He worked his way up the street, got to the garden soon enough, and found a bench. Then he sat dowfn, and looked at the morning light, and sat there. Letting his mind calm down. The day passed. People came and people went, and Daniel didn't move much, except to stretch a bit, and finally, when it was getting dark, he walked home. The following morning he told Jessica he would be doing it again. 3 days passed, and he repeated the dose each day. On the fourth day he came into the war room. He was a lot steadier. Valandriel looked at him. 'Ok. Your fine now.'
'Saruviel is playing us,' he said.
'Your probably right,' replied Valandriel.
'So we plan a response, and pursue some standard agendas. And I want to go on an ANM retreate for Rainbow Torah basics. To think over foundations for a while.'
'Then you do that,' said Valandriel. Daniel again looked down seriously at the notes on the war table, nodded to himself, got the torn up papers out of the bin, put them on the table, and went downstairs. He watched TV the rest of the week, and spent some time looking at his stamps. He'd sorted it out, the build up, and would think carefully now. But he wanted to address Valandriel's concerns. One of his principles was that, actually, when an issue was raised which was important, and which needed proper reflection, the time at the moment was actually a good time to do that. Because things put off often got forgotten, and if that was an issue of the moment, think on that for a bit. So he did some goof time, planned his retreat, and let sleeping dogs like Saruviel lie for a bit. He would take care of his own life, and address his brother Valandriel's words. They could be actual words God wanted Daniel to consider at this point in the life of the 45th Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity.
* * * * *
'Jessica. This is Rodney. I still love you babe.'
Jessica hung up. 'You know,' she said, turning in the direction of the throneroom of Zaphon. 'You know, I thought, truly, he was probably dead. Boyfriend, 78 I think. Earth Prime material I believe. Were it all began,' she finished dramatically.
'Where all what began?' asked Sharakondra, coming back into the room.
'Oh, nothing,' said Jessica in reply. 'Let's work.'
Later that morning Jessica was in the office canteen, looking at her mobile. Rodney Cole. 100% it was Rodney Cole. And it was weird – she had Rodney's mobile number etcfhed in her head. One of those funny things you don't forget, like the scar you got at the beach some ancient Christmas, or that your aunt has bad breath from smoking, and you think that over when you are giving a blow job. Really weird shit like that. And Rodney Cole was really weird shit like that. She looked at the number, and dialled. Rodney answered.
'Hey, Jess. Thank God. I knew it was you.'
'What do you want Rodney?'
'It took me for fucking ever to find you. You disappeared off the fucking planet. Your brother would never tell.'
'What do you WANT!' insisted Jessica.
'I still love you babe. Just want you to know that. I want to meet. But it's not what you think. Been settled for ages now, married, lots of kids, family. Respected in the Earth Prime community. Want to go over some old issues, when I was a jerk and stuff and took women too much for granted. Want to make those jerky ways right. Just want to catch up, and apologize for some of my flakey ways.'
'Your married?' asked Jessica.
'Happily and faithfully. My wife is a born again and has been encouraging me to make peace with my past.'
'Oh,' said Jess. 'I see.'
'I can make it to Zaphora if you can put your name on the form on my visa application. Can come and see you and apologize for all the bullshit. Make it clear that I'm not what I was.'
'That's clear enough. Look, I'd rathe not, if that's ok. Sort of past history to me.'
'I understand. Look, ok. Click on view would you.'
Jessica clicked on view. Rodney's face came up. 'Ok, here is me and my immediate family.' The picture showed Rodney, seemingly happily married with children. 'Her name is Mildred. We've been together forever. She's Pentecostal, and wants me to work out my past transgressions, and apologize for the goofiness of my youth.'
'Look, that's ok Rodney. You weren't really any problem.'
'Good, good. Man it's good to see your face, Jess. Look, I've grown up. Matured a long time ago, and althought we weren't really meant to be, I've always thought well of you. So, you know. Sorry for being second rate at the time, but I'm glad your life has worked out.'
'Thanks Rodney,' she replied and fsmiled.
'Ok,' he said. 'Well that's me. Take care Jessica. Bye.' He waved, and then clicked a button, and the screen went blank. Jessica looked at the screen for a moment, then brushed a tear from her eye. Rodney had worked out, and in a weird way that made her happy, and something in her head clicked, and a phone number started finally dissipating which had waited a long time for a resentment to be healed.
* * * * *
'There are 6 colours of the rainbow,' said Shem.
'7,' replied Japheth.
'A comprehensive infinite spectrum,' said Ham.
'It's not the point,' said Noah. 'It's the sign of a promise, and we all know the approximate wavelengths and breadths of the colours. Stop arguing.'
'6,' said Shem.
'7,' defied Japheth.
'The ark is looking good,' said Titea.
'For an object aeons old it damn well is,' replied Noah. 'Why God has wanted to preserve it – beyond me. I would let it disappear into history as one of those things which are bestowed happily to the secularist in the name of legend. Like myself.'
'Still got tickets on yourself,' said Shem. 'You have a small kernel of fact in possible interpretation associated with your name, but they know the three of us are invention.'
'Speak for yourself,' replied Japheth.
'You? Your solid bullshit. Every atheist knows that.'
'But your good at it,' replied Japheth. 'Academy of Shem my butt. Melchizedek my butt. Israel is one deluded dude.'
'It's good for business, so keep it quiet,' replied Shem.
'How long are we going to be hanging around here in Ararat for?' asked Ham. 'I want to get home to heaven.'
'We're here for an affirmation,' said Noah. 'The theophany of God requested it. 'An official period has taken place in the Realm of Eternity, and it's quite an official designatiofn of time for them apparently, and there are covenantal issues which are coming into place he has told me. He wants us to witness a rainbow with the ark, and to make an official record with a painting.'
'Why me?' asked Shem.
'Your the best artist of the three of you. Besides, Ham will be doing the frame, and Japheth will be doing a model of papier mache which will be eternalized of the Ark with a Rainbow in the background, which will be put on display permanently in Zaphon library, alongside the painting.'
'I see,' said Titea. 'Well, how long do we have to wait.'
'Until it rains I have been told,' replied Noah. 'And a rainbow appears. Simply in the natural course of time. It's why we have the tents and things.'
'Roughing it,' said Shem, looking around. 'There are farmers down there. We could stay with them.'
'No,' replied Noah. 'They already know we are here, and the Ark is off limits to official tourists for the next 6 months. It has all been arranged.'
'I see,' said Shem. 'Well, I'll start on the tents.'
'I'll help you,' replied Ham.
And soon Noah's sons were helping each other set up the tents, to await a rainbow at the ark, a testimony for the Realm of Eternity of the enduring promise of the Rainbow Covenant.
* * * * *
'The thing is,' began Ed, sitting in the task room. 'People resented Saruviel's boast. That we all would so willingly just accept him as king. I have one king. God Almighty. And the bleeding angel is presumptuous as fuck to think the residents of the Realm of Eternity are all so happy with Saruviel thinking he is the bees knees.'
'I read you Ed,' replied Michael.
'So the motivation is not really to teach Saruviel a lesson. I have respect for him as the angel of adversity. That is indeed his job. It's more just to point out to him that we are quite happy with a settled life in eternity, and being regular people. I live in Zaphora, but I'm just plain old Ed Sheeran. I live here mainly bfecause Taylor is from Eternity, and so is Luladiel, and they are good friends, and I don't have the same connections in Infinity, and I like being in the angel realms were the behaviour standards are set a bit higher. On New Terra they can get more mundane at times, and to some degree Saruviel is right that we can be boring people under God in some ways. But while I like a bit more life in my life, it is probably a bit more enlightened a life, and probably even the dread of Saruviel, a bit more sedate. Or more a bit more serene, or peaceful. So I'm up and coming, and I'll be touring, and doing shows around the realm, and Chavanel will be touring with me, and so will Taylor, and we want the 'Message to Saruviel' show to say that we are happy with life, and we already have our meaning, and we want to simply get on with the regularity and indeed mundanaity of it all.'
Michael looked at Ed. 'Saruviel's point to you Ed is that you have to fight for that.'
'Why?' asked Ed.
'Why anything,' replied Michael. 'Why does the bronco buck under the rider trying to tame him? Why does the dolphin hit the shark? Why do babies cry? The lesson Saruviel is setting us once more is that if we don't fight for our peace in the world, it can, and will, be taken away from us.'
'Why should we have to though? Why can't people like Saruviel just leave us all in peace?'
'Take it up with the throneroom downstairs,' replied Michael. 'And if you don't like it, back to New Terra. 'The Seraphim know Saruviel's rights, and what he is perfectly entitled to pursue at times. Just thank your lucky stars your not from Infinity which have to deal with Satan. Or worse still, Samael of heaven. He's the head of all devil's, and as sarcastic as anyone on a good or bad day.'
'Right,' replied Ed. 'Well I'm a citizen.'
'So make your case, and if you can win people over, good luck to you.'
'Right,' replied Ed, and nodded his head. He knew his course of action. He knew what he was now committing to.
* * * * *
Council. The Council of Zaphora. A special convening. Things to discuss.
'We hardly answer to you,' started Saruviel, when Michael had sat.
'Still, there are things to discuss,' replied Michael.
'Like what the hell are you sitting inf that chair for,' said Valandriel angrily. 'Ok, fair enough. You got in a huff, and reclaimed the overseersmanship, but nobody gave a shit anyway, because duke whatshisname, the Cheruseraphim fella was a bit of a nobody, the long in a long streak given a go at the job, and nobody gave much of a damn. Sure, ok. Have your old job back for a bit, have a few choice words of revenge, but then we expect, we ALL expect you to take the hint motherfucker, and disappear back to Zionistya, and do everyone a favour. Like a bad smell, though, you still appear to be hanging around.'
'Quite a bad smell,' said Daniel.
'Michael has good hygiene,' said Gabriel.
'And what the fuck is Gabriel doing here? Is he your nanny?' asked Valandriel.
'Bite me,' replied Gabriel, and glared at Valandriel.
'Fellas,' said Cimbrel. 'That's no way to treat our honoured guests.'
'You barely love us,' said Michael. 'So much for the ancient fellowship.'
'That shit's not going to wash either,' replied Saruviel. 'Quote 1 Corinthians 13 even. You know where you can shove that jewish shit also.'
'I am overseer. For the moment,' finished Michael. 'And I would expect the Archangels of Eternity to remember we have an ancient covenant which has to be honoured at times.'
'Are you calling 'Home' asked Saruviel?' his eyebrow raised.
Elenniel spoke up. 'For a while. Our dear brother Michael intends to be at home for a while. 3 or 4 years, overseer, in peace. Nothing contentious, traditional ways, and deal with whatever you guys have planned, with traditional maturity. And then you can sling all the diry stuff you want, and we'll return to Zionistya.'
'Fine,' said Daniel. 'If your calling Home, fine. Welcome dear Michael. I will be in the dormitories of Zaphon, and chatting with Sharlamane over the next few weeks in an entirely innocent friendship. You can find me there,' and Daniel stood, and left.
Valandriel watched Daniel leave, and looked at Michael. 'I'll always honour home. We agreed on that. I'll be at Senersphon Keep, and swimming in the lake for a while. Nice to have you back for a traditional stay Michael. If you are on your best, we've missed you.'
Saruviel stood, crossed the floor, and extended his hand to Michael. '3 or 4 years grace, and then if you want to muscle up, we'll combat then. But I wouldn't cross firstborn ifn the heart of eternity when he remembers the heart of eternity. You know me. I'm still your younger brother also.'
Michael smiled, and patted Saruviel on the back. And Saruviel left, and the council disbanded.
* * * * *
'You're a fucking idiot,' said Kantriel. 'He'll only sure up his position.'
'He's not serious about calling home,' said Saruviel, sitting in the lobby of the council. 'He wouldn't bother with council to do that. It's just a move. He'd just have a chat with me, and hang around Loquiel for a while. It's a move he's making. Trying to outsmart us. He knows we're not simply being innocent about it all now.'
'Then what you going to do?' asked Daraqel.
'If Michael wants to play Home, well. Well two can play at that game.'
Kantriel looked at Saruviel, and shook his head, as Daraqel joined him in disappearing back to Kalphon and the competitions they had going on there at the moment. Which left a cold Saruviel looking at the floor, thinking. This was the point in the game which he had a fair bit of doctrine to deal with – it was just making the right move. His job was still clear from God, and he maintained his mandate. To be King he'd have to be wise, and play the cards as best he could. Because it was clear his older brother Michael knew his potential deigns on Zionistya in time, and was not born yesterday. Not born yesterday indeed.
* * * * *
'Yeh, it was Rodney,' said Jessica.
'How was he?' asked Daniel.
'The question is, how's Sharlamane?' asked Jessica.
'She's fine,' replied Daniel. 'I'm having lunch with her for the next 3 years. We'll be doing singing in choir under Meludiel together. I'll be on show for a while. Sharlamane is going to get my voice into shape. She's long loved me, and it's time to spend some time with her and give her some love in repsonse.'
'That sounds good. Love for another woman.'
'For starters, you know I'm not unfaithful, and you know that as a fact. And you know that Sharlamane has no real curiousity about the nether regions of Daniel the Seraphim anymore. She's an angel of love, like Ambriel, and wants my company for a while, and doesn't want anything more than that. She's like Kimborel like that. She loves you. She means it. But she doesn't want to get into your pants. Just some cherished time with you, to catch up, and share the love of God. They are both ultra traditional in this respect.'
'I see,' said Jessica. 'If you say so.'
'You obviously don't know Sharlamane that well then yet,' replied Daniel.'
'Haven't spent a great deal of time with her,' replied Jessica.'
'Then perhaps you should come along. Sharly won't mind at all. She just loves, you know. She doesn't hide it, and it's not really romance you know. It was a long time ago, but now it's just love. Beyond the days of pride secret to our life stuff, if you know what I mean.'
'Seraphim Torah?' queried Jessica.
'Kapiche,' replied Daniel. 'So come along. You'll see she just loves good company and loving her crushes in a sense. Just wants my company, and to be around a loved one. She's not simple in that way, but it's just simple love. Nothing terribly complicated.'
'Oh,' said Jessica. 'I see then. Well, part of Messiah Ministries role of a wife is that we are supposed to trust our husbands. And if that is all that you are saying it is, then I will extend you some trust Daniel Daly.'
'Thank you,' he replied. 'Now what about this Rodney?'
Jessica sighed, and left the room. Daniel could here about Rodney some other time, for she'd had enough of affairs of the heart for one night, and was now in a mood for some cheesy comedy, and the Simpsons were one, and that would do. As for Daniel and Sharlamane? Whatever. She believed he meant what he said just then, so she would extend him some trust. She would just be watchful for red lipstick on the colar, or any other place were red lipstick ought not to be. And if she found any there, well, hell to pay for Daniel the Seraphim. Hell to pay indeed.
Chavanel tested the microphone. 'One, two,' she said. 'Can you hear me Taylor?'
Taylor, in the auditorium, nodded.
Chavnel took her guitar, and sang a song. Taylor was listening in the audience, and put her thumbs up when the song was finished.
Later, back stage, Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly was talking with Ed.
'It's more a case of Saruviel is just doing his job, Ed. A lot of what you are saying is probably really unnecessary. It's an assigned role he has in the Realm of Eternity.'
'Not to me,' said Ed. 'And it's my heaven as well.'
'I don't dispute you are a citizen of this spiritual universe, and with legal rights granted you to dwell in Zaphora, you can have as much say as the rest of us.'
'So I'm having my say,' said Ed. 'Now if you'll excuse me.'
Taylor came and sat next to Daniel. 'Ed is committed to Zaphora, Dan. He is going to have his say with Saruviel, because he feels he isn't going to be going anywhere ever, and Saruviel has to learn that there are a lot of Ed Sheerans in the Realm of Eternity who don't dig so much the liberities Saruviel thinks he has.'
'I understand,' replied Daniel. 'It's old tradition, and sometimes life doesn't always work out that way. It will certainly send a message to Saruviel, though. Ruffle his feathers.'
'Which is what Ed wants to do,' said Taylor. 'Squash the bullshit were his words to me earlier.'
'I don't disput that probably should be done towards Saruviel at times, but he's only doing what God asked him to do. Ed, I feel, needs to understand that. We all have roles, and Saruviel is doing what he's supposed to do. Bringing out the best in us.'
'And maybe Ed has a role. And its not standing for the BS,' replied Taylor.
'Quite obviously,' replied Daniel.
Ed walked past, carrying a guitar, and went on stage for a while. Soon they heard him strumming, and singing with Chava.
'If he really is committed to Eternity, he will find his natural way in time,' said Daniel. 'And if this is how Ed is honestly expressing himself, then I guess I support him.'
'It's why you're here right?' asked Taylor.
'Cautiously, yes,' replied Daniel. 'Also to see the show.'
Taylor touched Daniel on the shoulder, and they listened to Ed and Chava sing for a while. Daniel noticed on Taylor's finger. The Eternity ring he had given her. The Eternity friendship ring. She was wearing it today. He smiled a little to himself. He'd gotten that far with his girl quite apparently.
'Ok,' said Ed, coming back stage again. 'We're ready to go.' Soon enough there were roadies active all over the scene as the night descended, and a show was put on, which went an hour, and Ed spoke at the end. He spoke of the Realm of Eternity, and that it had become his home, and that he wanted to live in peace more than anything else. And that, respectfully, Saruviel should be allowed to do his job, but not bother decent citizens with nonsense talk of being King, when they were perfectly content enough. And in all honesty Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly couldn't find much to disagree with in the speech.
* * * * *
Daniel the Seraphim sat on the bench in the garden he was in the habit of calming down on. Jessica walked up, and looked at him.
'What you doing?' she asked him.
'Learning to cope,' he replied.
'Cope,' she asked, and did a ballerina twirl.
'Yep. Cope,' he replied. 'Slowly. It's slow, you know.'
'What is?' she asked him, and gave him a wink.
'Life. It's slow to start with. I see it, in the corner of my mind. Like Balaam I guess. Can't escape that Torah you know, it has glimpses of excellence in some of its ideas. Some bits really are cool and dramatic. Balaam saw a Star rising, and it was just a cool bit. Stayed with me.'
'But how is life slow,' said Jessica, standing on the tips of her toes.'
'What God does,' said Daniel.
'What, you believe in God?' she asked, smiling.
'I'm an idiot, yeh I know. Grandpa Cyril. Hopelessly conservative. Thought there was a power in the end.'
'I've heard about this Seraphim Daniel, you know,' said Jessica. 'Heard about him. They said he probably did believe in God, actually. Me, I'm traditional. Darwin has a brain at last.'
'Naturally,' said Daniel.
'Course,' she said, twirling again. 'But, you know, got me thinking one day.'
'Brains do that,' replied Daniel.
'Got me thinking. Maybe, you know. Maybe there's a frikking point. Maybe I'm here for a reason. Maybe.'
'And did you conclude that?'
'Nah. Smoked some dope, and got over it.'
'But I met this fella. His name was Daniel. And he made me see things a bit differently. Gave me a reason to believe.'
'And I'm thinking on what that God does,' said Daniel.
'He's slow, that's your contemplation. And coping with a slow God.'
'Not coping with slowness. But what's coming.'
'And what is coming, wise sensei?' she asked.
'It's slow,' he replied. 'But God builds you up every aeon, and then you noticed it. People occasionally having just more than a quick stare. They sometimes say, 'Hey, you're Daniel, aren't you?' And I nod. And they say 'Cool'. And then I notice it, like Valandriel says. It's starting to work what we're doing. And I notice it especially in Zaphora. Especially here at home, where they are really sedate now, coz they all know us so well.'
'Fame,' she replied.
'And the heart of eternity. It's slow, like I said. But it's not what's coming. Slowly, slowly, the tempo is increasing. And things are starting to happen. I mean, sure, I get that at ANM conferences a bit. But now its different. Now a lot of people look at me, and they look at dad and grand-dad. And it's like we're relied on. And believed on, you know. Like we represent that bloody rainbow. And as the years pass, the excitement builds. And we're starting to get a lot of mail. I mean, a lot. Got a backload to Timbuktu.'
'But that's a good thing, handsome stranger. Isn't it?' she said, doing her final twirl.
'Which is why I'm learning to cope with the excitement, and the psychosis, and still being me. When the cacophany of excitement comes, still just being me. Still Daniel the Seraphim, angel of God, simply me. Just simply me in the end.'
'Well I like that simply you,' she said. 'So don't forget buster. I like simply you.'
'I won't,' he said.
'Promise?' she asked.
'Promise,' he replied.
They sat then. Listening to the birds cheep, and the activities of the garden. And Daniel reminded himself. Cope with it. When it comes, cope. Cope. And somehow, in the end, he knew he would. But it would be a hell of a ride for someone as sensitive, in the end, as Daniel the Seraphim really was. It would be one hell of a ride.
* * * * *
Valandriel was in Zaphon library with Raguel.
'So, a Period,' said Raguel.
'That would be the primacy of the doctrine,' replied Valandriel. 'We still have other options to present in the referendum, but Daniel and myself are backing the Period as the official title.'
'Good,' said Raguel. 'As Noah has a rainbow to share to celebrate the occasion.'
'Rainbow?' queried Valandriel.
'There. On the wall,' said Raguel, pointing. Valandriel turned, and looked to the end of the book aisle. There was a new picture in the library. He stood, walked down, and looked at it. It wasn't huge, but it was of Noah and his family in front of the Ark, and a Rainbow was in the background. The note on the plaque read 'To celebrate the end of Eternity's first Period.'. 'So, it's already a done thing,' mused Valandriel to himself. He returned to his seat.
'There's also a papier mache exhibit. In a glass case,' said Raguel. 'They both honour the Rainbow Covenant. The story goes Noah waited till an actual Rainbow appeared over the Ark before allowing the beginning of the painting by Shem.'
'I see,' replied Valandriel. 'Ironic. That's the name of the game at the moment.'
'What game?' quered Raguel.
'The Rainbow Covenant. Daniel has decided to run with a registrar. He's gotten back from some Rainbow Covenant seminar teaching, and wants to start an official registry of eternally committed Noahides in the Realm of Eternity. Those prepared to make an oath to God to affirm Noahide faith forever.'
'How interesting,' said Raguel. 'I've oathed in the throneroom to keep Seraphim Torah eternally. And I do study it with such commitment.'
'I think many of us have such commitments,' replied Valandriel. 'And I think that is what Daniel is finding. The ability to commit at last. Why it's an issue at the moment.'
'As long as angels like Saruviel don't try and take God's place,' chuckled Raguel.
'Indeed,' smiled Valandriel. 'Now that would be a turn up for the books.'
* * * * *
'Well, Azrael,' began Saruviel. 'What you up to these days?'
Azrael looked at Saruviel, spat behind the bar, and said, 'What do you have?'
'Pour him some piss,' said Raphael, turning to look at Saruviel. 'Because the dickhead he is is sure to swallow the lot.'
Eyes glared at Saruviel.
'Cold welcome,' said Kantriel.
'You think you're any better?' asked Raphael. 'Why you guys wanna piss everyone off for? Sheeran's concert has all the inner discs feeding into his hype. Kick Saruviel out of Eternity. You giving us Seraphim a bad name. Michael can indeed be a jerk. Doesn't mean you have to follow his example.'
'Let me redeem myself,' said Saruviel. 'Buy you all a drink.'
'I'll run the tab,' said Azrael, and poured himself a beer.
'I'll have a double scotch,' said Cosadriel.
'Saruviel's paying. Fine by me,' grinned Azrael.
'What next?' queried Kantriel under his breath to Saruviel.
'I have a plan,' said Saruviel dramatically.
'What plan, fearless leader?' asked Azrael, happy with the free grog.
'To be king for a day. Well a year or so anyway. Give everyone a rush.'
'We've heard it all,' said Cosadriel.
'Yeh, get a new record,' said Raphael, turning back to the bar and his free drink.
'It's in the manifesto I lodged at the council earlier today,' said Saruviel. 'I'll be taking over, and deposing the official system. Starting again by tearing everything down, and doing things differently. Lots of green building, and more of a Coruscant scene for the Realm. I'll modify Zaphora only on the edges, but lots of changes to lots of Terraphora, and megacity everywhere. And this time we have new rules. Not the traditional things bogged down with regulations. A lot more freedom and liberty. Nothing crazy, but with me as Monarch I'll lighten up peoples loads a lot, and give them the liberties they crave. Also, a bit more of an economic regime and building business empires, with more attention on legal slavery and bringing in mionions to pay more attention to the will of the overseers.'
'Laissez faire to the hilt, huh,' said Azrael.
'Something like that,' replied Saruviel. 'It'll be voted on at council, then I'll take it to the people. Freshen up things after the boredom of aeons of Jehovah's monotony.'
'Well as long as the free drinks run, you have my vote,' said Azrael.
'Can we count on that?' queried Kantriel, eyebrow raised.
Cosadriel sipped on his beer, and looked at Kantriel. 'We'll play your game. We'll give you a few years of the bullshit, as we don't mind freshening things up for a while, even if its old 666 at work. We know your game, but that's fine. Don't object to Saruviel wining with his mastercards for a while. Suits us well enough.'
Azrael raised his drink to toast it. Saruviel looked at Raphael. 'Well, brother?'
'I don't mind harsh rule on occasion. No major fuckwit rules, and you can have your fun for a while. Michael probably has it coming to him anyway.'
'Smoooth, Sar,' said Kantriel, as they headed to Zaphon.
'Sometimes honesty – is the best policy,' replied Saruviel.
And Kantriel could only grin wryly on that point.
* * * * *
'It's quite – basic,' said Daniel.
'Appeals to base thinking,' said Valandriel in reply. 'But Azrael and Cosadriel went for it, and Raphael didn't really care. They're jaded, and this will be at least an interesting change. They had words with other Seraphim. Used their influence. Over half have caved and said Saruviel may as well be king. Goes to council tonight.'
'You'd better put on your best, if your going to give a speech,' said Jessica, looking straightly at her husband.
Daniel stood there. Daniel always had a next move. Instead he stood there for a little bit.
'Well?' asked Valandriel. 'What's next, fearless leader? You have a speech planned.'
Daniel snapped out of it soon enough. 'No. No speech. That painting? The library you say?'
'Yep,' replied Valandriel.
'I'll be at Zaphon,' he said, kissing Jessica. 'Don't wait up.'
'But, but,' said Valandriel, but Daniel was gone, out the door, and off to the bus stop.
A short while later he was in the library of Zaphon, looking at the painting. Then he made his way to the papier mache display, and read the note. It celebrated the Noahide covenant above all else. He had his thoughts. They were obvious, but he had his thoughts. He walked to Brindabel's desk.
'Can we talk for a little bit?' he asked her.
'Sure,' replied Brindabel. 'What's up little brother?'
'Life goes on, doesn't it?'
Brindabel looked at him. 'Well, sometimes people die. And there life ends. But usually a saint is interceeding for that soul, and drawing it eventually back to life, once atonement is made. So, usually, yes. Life for th children of destiny goes on. What's your point?'
'And in all the hurlburly which comes our way, it comes and it goes, but life still goes on.'
'Pretty much,' said Brindabel.
'That display over there,' said Daniel pointing. 'That covenant is eternal, isn't it?'
'You should know that better than any of us,' replied Brindabel.
'Exactly, yes,' said Daniel, continuing his revelation. 'So when all the shit has hit the fan, the rainbow still doesn't give much of a damn, and keeps on shining.'
'I suppose so,' replied Brindabel, with a warm smile.
'Right,' said Daniel. 'Ok. I'll take this book.'
Brindabel smiled and looked at the book. 'Cimbrel's principles of mathematics. The actual original copy. Mmm. Well, you are a Seraphim. No problems.'
'Been on the reading list forever,' replied Daniel. 'And I have plenty of time to kill.'
Brindabel checked out the book. 'Good for you Daniel. Don't make yourself scarce, you hear.'
Daniel smiled, and left the library. The revelation was complete, and now he had his agenda. And, ironically, it was the one he was already fundamentally dedicated to anyway.
* * * * *
'And what did he say about the covenant?' Saruviel asked Brindabel.
'Nothing much. It was eternal. I mean, we all knew that. Just mainly that when all the hurlyburly is done, the covenant goes on.'
'Have you signed up to his registry of Noahides?' Saruviel asked her directly.
'We follow Seraphim Torah. Myself and Phanuel. That is something down the road to look at when we officially examine religion. Not today dear brother Saruviel.'
Saruviel walked over to the painting. He looked towards the throneroom of Zaphon for a moment, and looked up at the painting. He left the library.
Several days later Saruviel had booked out Glimmersphon Keep and was in the dining room with Dameriel.
'You are thinking again,' said Dameriel.
'Why would I want a rainbow as my foundation? Technically I'm Noahide and Catholic,' he said. 'In my human functioning. Accepted Haven Noahide Fellowship a long time ago.'
'But its not really a concern, is it,' said Dameriel.
'It's accepted. I know its valid. But what the hell is the point?'
Kantriel and Daraqel showed up later that day. They played risk, the four of them, and Florel served them all chicken noodle soup. Saruviel won, as usual.
The following day he was on the jetty, and turned to Zaphon.
'Ok,' he said to God. 'Jesus. Not really the messiah anyway. Gospel is fine. Haven't really cared one way or another for a long time anyway. But technically this is my covenant faith as Alexander. So ok. But being good? I mean, I like to live a little father. Sure, sure. I know, I know. There are good enough thrills in being good. The pay is ok, and you get a good reputation. I suppose. What? Can an angel of adversity be a good guy?' He went silent. The ripples he heard, an looked at them.
Wolfgng walked down the jetty, and sat at the edge, feet danglin over. Saruviel noticed him, and came over.
'Yep. Goodness is actually a lot of fun. I like it a lot.'
'Ok. So what do I have on my plate if I become a good angel? I'm still an Evening Star regardless.'
'That is perfectly ok. You don't want Michael on your turf too much, he is content with Zionistya. He really doesn't mind one way or another.'
'Not that I don't like Michael,' replied Saruviel. 'I think I've probably always liked big brother well enough. He has enough about him in his persona, and is intelligent enough.'
'You care for him?' asked God.
'Somewhat,' replied Saruviel. 'Not too much of a concern. I assume he can handle his own affairs.'
'He cares for all his brothers. But he's been enjoying his liberties as of late.'
;Daniel is the crown prince of the rainbow covenant?' asked Saruviel.
'You know, he's served on it forever Saruviel. They have a stable denomination. Don't mess with it, please. But why do you ask?'
'It's my covenant then also? And I can form a fellowship or something of that nature after some study and commitment?'
'What you do with your life, Archangel Saruviel, is up to you. After all, its your freedom, isn't it?'
Saruviel looked at God, and looked out at the lake. When he turned next, God was gone Saruviel stared out at Golden Lake, and thought on the plan he had been building, and then decided against it. No, he was an angel of adversity. That was his job. Some things never changed. But there was something which he would accept. The yoke of, ultimately, being a good guy. He'd run his show for now, and go with the flow of things, and see where this new direction took him. Kingship was off the agenda, but he'd calmed down a bit, and would have a more proper think about his adversarial role. Yes, he quickly had his mind made up. A few more days here, and then Kantriel and Daraqel, and even Devuel and Semambarel, in conversation in Kalphon Keep. They would have a think, and he would query each of them on the subject of being a good guy. And time would tell were this new direction would take him.
* * * * *
'But the church is more than just Jesus Christ,' said Alexander Darvanius I to his son. 'There are apostles, and prophets, and in time there came to be popes and cardinals and bishops and priests. And there is great teaching, and multiple fellowships and movements, and great spiritual life. Jesus of Nazareth, I know in truth he was ne'er really Messiah of Israel, never the less breathed to life a spiritual community. And that community we follow Alexander.'
Saruviel nodded. 'I understand. Is it the tradition, mostly? The community?'
'It is all those things, and more. And in a basic way the spiritual food is strong from the man from Nazareth. The mass keeps me grounded in a great way.'
'Mmm,' said Alexander. 'Join my brother Jesus' movement. Be Catholic?'
'It could do you a lot of good to return to your roots, Alexander. Think it over.'
Saruviel spent some time with his father on New Terra, and then returned to the Realm of Eternity. He sought out his Cherubim brother Jesus. 'You are well established, and I have decided that I am Haven Noahide Fellowship, yet catholic tradition is suitable, so I will remain consistent each year at Christmas, if you will accept my membership.'
'I would be honoured,' replied Jesus. 'The Church is about salvation, and a way of life which has love and the mercy of God.'
So Saruviel reaffirmed his religious commitments, knowing well the core truths of each of the faiths, and the purpose they would serve in his life.
* * * * *
'Saruviel plys his case still,' said Valandriel, as Daniel came in the room. 'Cept he has repented a thorough, and wants to rule with wisdom and peace.'
'Born again is he?' queried Daniel, coming into the war room in Danielphon.
'The Catholic way,' replied Valandriel.
Daniel looked at his brother. 'Oh, serious commitment is it? Discovering reasons to be Catholic.'
'And with Haven Noahide Fellowshp as well. Apparently he has decided to generally tread down the pathway, albeit gently, of being a good angel. Still an angel of adversity, but one who is good.'
'Right,' said Daniel. 'We'll see in time of that claim. Now, back to business. I've got the registry established now, and that is a priority for the time being. But we have some core business to look to, and I want a skills upgrade for each of us. Restudy half a dozen of our degrees over 30 odd years or so.'
'Well, if you insist,' said Valandriel.
'I do,' replied Daniel. 'I've done some soulsearching, and it's a harder game now. Worked out how some souls think. They don't really play games, but I queried Brindabel yesterday if she bought product happily if it was honestly advertised, and she said naturally.'
'Ethics say we don't agree with equal money, as nobody thinks that's a great idea, and it's best to earn fairly your share.'
'Yep,' replied Daniel. 'So I want to cash in, in a sense. Father and grandfather agreed to a basic stock take of Daly foundation assets and wealth. We've made an honest assessment that our wealth status is sufficient for all eternity now. We have enough grails of genuine worth and desirability, that our status in the Realm of Eternity can be reckoned as solid enough for permanent membership well enough in central discs. Our reputation is good enough, and both feel they are stable and committed to the covenant sufficiently that it should endure.'
'Yep. I got that picture a long time ago,' said Valandriel. 'Just carefully earning status items now. I have a home, and numerous places here and there, but no covenants for them yet.'
'Which is my purpose now for Danielphon,' replied Daniel. 'So it's a lot of study of fundamental knowledge texts, and making myself useful enough to the life of Zaphora to be worthy of permanent membership. And I feel that should be ok in time, so I'm on holiday after these degrees with Jessica for a few centuries. I think the DanVal agenda has met most likely some of its core objectives, we have the ability to have complete stability in the Realm of Eternity within our grasp.'
'I think so,' replied Valandriel.
'So see you at university,' said Daniel, and he was off, to his wife, and a private weekend getaway.
* * * * *
'But, seriously, fuck him,' said Saruviel. 'Fuck his ass.'
'You want to fuck Daniel the Seraphim's ass?' queried Kantriel.
'Sodomy,' said Daraqel. 'Times have moved on.'
Saruviel grinned. 'Sod the bastard,' he smirked. 'Yes, sure. I will be putting in some extra work on being a bit better about all the issues at hand.'
'Thought you'd repented,' said Kantriel.
'A bit,' replied Saruviel. 'But I will take the offer of Azrael and Co to support my ambitions of Monarchy.'
'Same basic agenda?' asked Daraqel. 'Including the slaves.'
Saruviel nodded. 'Yep. God doesn't object to that anyway, for the lower class of civilized type of people. They have it here and there, anyway.'
'We'll run with it then,' said Kantriel. 'I plan on being Duke Kantriel of the Northern Irish of Eternity. All of them,' said Kantriel. Technically a greater authority than they normall officially grant me. With your approval that is,' he said to Saruviel.
'I can allow that,' said Saruviel. 'They will expect such things for you two. But there's only so much they'll grant us, and it won't be unrestricted authority terribly much. Official Kingship will compete with Arch-Regency, and they'll never depose Daniel from his position. It's covenanted after all. And they won't grant me more than a decade at most. This much I know. So the seed will have to be sown in that time, for the authority to be recognized as something Eternity likes and can get used to.'
'But why?' queried Kantriel. 'I mean, why now. These are all plans like, I mean. After a hell of a lot of eternity has passed. When people really don't mind anymore. At this stage they still give a bit of a damn about God running the show officially. It's only somewhat they take it for a bift of a change, and something new, at this stage.'
'They'll run it a bit, and it builds an axiomitic building block I can use at that later date,' said Saruviel. 'Plants the seed that they'll eventually not mind on, already gotten used to it a bit.'
'Mmm,' nodded Daraqel. 'Yep, probably.'
'So the show goes on, and pass the coca cola.'
And they continued their lunch in Kalphon cafeteria, another fine day passing in eternity.
* * * * *
'It's more a case of actual repentance. Not just reforming ways somewhat,' replied Wolfgang the Theophany of God to Michael's statements regarding Daniel and Saruviel. 'They've both made some new commitments to being enduring types of people. And I've granted Daniel permanent status in Zaphora now in my judgements.'
'It bothers me that the Seraphim don't have that as an automatic given,' said Michael.
'It bothers me that you think your birth ranks weighs as anything in the light of eternity,' replied God.
'And what is that supposed to mean?' asked Michael.
'Uuhhh,' sighed God. 'Why do so few of you have any real insights. The Daly foundation. You know what they pursue?'
'Greed,' replied Michael.
'Status,' retorted God. 'And standing. In eternity. Gradually, in time people cycle in to Zaphora, and people cycle out. It's always happening.'
'I have noticed,' replied Michael.
'And many indeed commit to eternity here,' said God. 'But they don't cut the mustard after a long time, as more competitive, wealthy and, quite frankly, holier souls settle. Ones with a bit more wherewithal about them. More dedicated souls. And the heart of eternity which gradually be filled with real go-getters, with genuine passion for the Zaphoran community, and out go the jaded old souls, to lesser realms.'
'Wonderful,' said Michael. 'That'll fuck Saruviel.'
'It'll fuck you too in Castle Zionistya in time, scuse my French,' said God.
'How do we avoid this pitfall?' asked Cindradel.
'You did notice I've granted both Valandriel and Daniel permanent covenants so far,' said God.
'Yes,' replied Cindradel.
'Then go figure,' replied God, stood, pinched a jellybean from the overseer's desk, and left.
Michael was stroking his chin, while Cindradel excused herself and returned to her desk. Food for thought.
* * * * *
He sipped on his latte, and looked at the desk. 'Cindradel,' he buzzed. 'No visitors for 10 minutes. I'll be studying Seraphim Torah.'
'You know today's reading then?' she asked.
'There's an official reading?' asked Michael.
'Organised by Valandriel and Daniel a long time ago. Accepted Realm Wide. Hang on a sec.' Shortly she appeared and handed him a text.
'Reading Plan of the Seraphim Torah?' queried Michael 'Why wasn't I told about this?'
'Why would you be? Zionistyan aren't you?' queried Cindradel.
Michael nodded softly, and opened the text. The reading plan was rather straighforward, and there were alternatives to the standard realm reading plan. 'Are many reading the Seraphim Torah throughout the realm these days?' asked Michael.
'That plan is the standard way, and the community is enormous,' replied Cindradel. 'I never miss, each day, even when I'm sick.'
'Oh. I see,' said Michael. He looked at the days reading, and the suggested contemplation, and followed that that morning. Ironically he felt better afterwards. 'Cindrael,' he buzzed. 'I'll be in the library.'
'Sorry, Michael. The principles of mathematics by Cimbrel is on loan to Daniel at the moment,' said Brindabel.
'Oh. Shit,' said Michael.
Brindabel pointed to a sign. Michael looked up. One of the rules said 'No Swearing in the Library.'
'Oh, bother then,' replied Michael.
'Better,' said Brindabel. 'Would you like a second edition?'
'No,' said Michael with a little force. 'I'll wait. Can I reserve it please. I do remember that policy ironicaly. Haven't done it in fucking forever.......... forgive me, frikking forever. So I'll reserve the damn text.'
'If you insist,' said Brindabel. 'I'll send you an email when its in.'
'Good. Thanks,' replied Michael. He looked at her a moment, and a bit of the morning's torah had rubbed. 'Ah, Brindabel. Look, you're faithful here. Good work sis. Proud of you.'
Brindabel smiled. 'Well, thank you Michael. I appreciate that.'
Michael nodded, and out in the corridor he sat down at the traditional south entrance couches. Shit, he thought to himself. He felt strangely familiar. Like old Michael had suddenly shown up, and clicked into gear. But what was even funnier – he knew how to handle that gear, and quite well. Things were coming back to him now. The sense of what Zaphon was all about. He returned to the overseer's office, pulled out a bottle of scotch, had a sip, and rang Saruviel.
'Buddy, seeing as you guys are happy with me for a while, I'll be doing overseer's job for a while. And properly.'
'Suits me fine big brother,' replied Saruviel. 'I'll give you a Kalphon report next week.'
'You do that,' said Michael, and hung up.
Life, for the time being, back to normal. For the time being anyway.
'Kalphon report,' said Saruviel.
Michael nodded, and opened the report. 'Handled responsibilities in Kalphora for a while?' he asked, without raising his eyes from the report.
Saruviel looked at Michael. 'Handled by overseer's. Appointed ones. I maintain the choice of overseer, and update regularly enough with new talent.'
'Shouldn't you be doing the job yourself?' asked Michael, now looking up.
'My, we're a bit cocky, aren't we?' queried Saruviel. 'Been overseer less time than a Christmas beetle fucks a ladybug for a thrill on boxing day, and already trying to run the show.'
Michael couldn't help but smirk. 'Shut up Saruviel,' he said.
'Look, buddy. You hardly run the show, ok. I'll run affairs of Kalphon as I see fit, kapiche.'
'I have a vision for eternity. What we are all about,' replied Michael.
'Right,' said Saruviel, and took a jellybean. 'Well. Digress.'
'We have excellent opportunities to establish Seraphim disc overseersmanships, and build them up as the foundational support for the outer discs, with good examples.'
'Right,' said Saruviel, chewing on his jellybean. 'And?'
'That's it,' said Michael, and smiled humbly.
'Wait,' said Saruviel, putting up his hand. He made some calls. Several. They had lunch, and chatted about Krystabel and things, then the boys showed up.
'Not my agenda,' said Azrael. 'For starters, Saruviel will be king for a while soon enough, and we're have an old fashioned stonecutters jazz for a bit. Maybe even a decade if he gets lucky.'
'Certainly not the ValDan agenda,' said Valandriel. 'Interesting enough, but let that idea be earned naturally with people asking, more than imposing it on them.'
'Yess doofus,' said Daniel. 'You ever heard of earning the glory, nitwit.'
'Really?' queried Michael. 'I assume overseer sets the tone.'
'Your not even the frikking boss,' said Daniel. 'Your job here in Zaphon is technically only over Zaphora. We're just having some fun amusing ourselves with your company for a bit – Zionistyan.'
'Pretty much,' said Azrael, glaring at Michael frankly.
'Yep, buddy,' said Valandriel. 'You really are out of touch, bro.'
'How do I get this agenda across then?' asked Michael.
'Fuck, like he's been playing the game for 5 minutes,' said Saruviel.
'Pretty much,' said Valandriel.
'Try council,' said Cindradel.
Michael looked at her. 'What?' he asked.
'Try council. Official business runs there. Oh, and TV is a good way to promote things. They do it constantly.'
'You bet sweetheart,' said Saruviel, giving Cindradel a wink.
'Fine,' said Michael. 'Right. A question. Is there a paradigm in which Michael can be permanent overseer of Zaphora?'
Saruviel grinned, but Azrael spoke. 'Depends on what you can offer us.'
'Loyalty for starters,' said Daniel. 'Your hardly that, and you've been pathetic for aeons now. Ambriel is severely disappointed in you. Hardly decent standards. We might get a bit cheeky, but we don't let the ruddy team down Mikey. And we're not gonna disappear when the going gets tough. Realm of Eternity, remember. Eternity's haven, remember.'
'I'll be bringing a motion at Zaphon council next week for the 140 Seraphim to officially gather and take responsibility for their discs and building their standard community realm wide.'
Cindradel handled Michael her tablet, and pointed. Michael read it, and looked at the boys.
'Been in the legislation practically since year dot,' said Valandriel.
'Old news,' said Daniel.
'We take care of that on occasions,' said Azrael. 'We do a lot of things you probably neglect.'
Michael was, for once, a little embarrassed. 'I see,' he said.
'If you are so serious about permanency in Zaphora, which we can probably swallow in the end,' said Valandriel. 'Then set a good example and live up to this current agenda yourself. There are Zaphora based discs out there. Get to it.'
Michael looked uncertainly at Valandriel, then steadied 'You are all dismissed. Yes, I'll be doing that Valandriel.'
The Evening Stars stood, but Michael heard an 'Amateur' statement, and, for once, it stung. For once a sledge stung.
* * * * *
'Not surprising,' said Daniel to Jessica. 'Michael has returned to Zionistya and told us to shove our overseer's job up our arse. The lad couldn't cut the mustard. Only made of so much in the end by the looks of it.'
'He's just working with tradition. Knows you'll give him the job occasionally simply because he's firstborn,' replied Jessica.
Daniel nodded. 'Yeh. Probably. Mmm. I'll put him on my mailing list then. Keep him informed on the goings on of some things. We probably give a minor damn about Michael of Eternity. Not that much, but maybe a little.'
'Your all heart,' replied Jessica. 'Now do these flowers look good to you?' she asked.
'Fine sweetcheeks,' replied Daniel, not looking at the flowers. 'I'll be in the war room,' and he was gone.
'Right. Number one has learned his place, and sunk like shit back to the Jew Crew of Zion, so it's back to regular business,' he said to Valandriel, who was sipping on a latte.
'No, he hasn't,' said Valandriel. 'He's in Kalphora at the moment. It's on the news. He and the overseer there are doing some projects involving animal welfare, and symmetry between created structures and natural structures. The report says its an area of interest for Michael.'
'What the f........,' said Daniel. 'He emailed me.'
'He emailed us all. It was a ruse,' replied Valandriel. 'He's teaching Saruviel a lesson. That much is obvious.'
'Oh, I get what he is doing alright,' said Daniel. 'Mmm. Interesting. Now Michael is not actually stupid when it comes right down to it. Perfectly capable of being savvy if he wants to. And if he is serious about integrity, he sets that as well if he wants to.'
'What do we do?' asked Valandriel.
'They don't know him,' said Daniel. 'Nobody knows him much up here. He's been away far too long. Just his legend. He'll have attention for a bit, but people will drift on and lose interest. He's only a jew in the end. Just serves God.'
'So do we,' replied Valandriel.
'But we do it well,' said Daniel. 'Michael. Boring in the end. Dry, dull. Makes traditional Saruviel's authority look exciting in comparison, and Gloryel couldn't stand traditional Saruviel.'
Valandriel chuckled. 'Ah, Mikey is just observing things. He'll be back in Zionistya in a week, anyway.'
'Why do you say that?' asked Daniel.
'It's not that he knows when he's licked, its more of that he's comfortable down there with his dinosaur wrestling, and just wants to keep faith with us all as bigger brother. The Morning Stars like Zionistya now, but want the rest of us to remember that they just care. They'll show up every now and again and do traditional things.'
'Then we have no problems. Would have thought a catch up would be enough in that respect, but ok. Don't think the realm will object to that.'
Sometimes in life people say things which are true. And in the throneroom of Zaphon God made a mental note on Valandriel's words, and smiled. Valandriel knew the heart of Michael on this issue.
Later that week Michael had finishe his work in Kalphora, and announced he would be indeed now returning to Zionistya, which had become his home, but would visit on occasions. Saruviel was glad to see the back of him, but made a public statement that an occasional visit from firstborn was not the end of the world. And life went on.
* * * * *
'It's about things which endure, Daniel. It's the Realm of Eternity and it's about things which last – eternity. Michael doesn't have that in him. Only likes to think he has,' said Meludiel.
'Couldn't agree more, sis,' replied Daniel. 'But why are you a Christian then?'
'Not in the Christ of Israel. Just in Jesus and his Gospel, and the Church way of doing things. I'm equally as dedicated to Seraphim Torah and Rainbow Torah. I keep my commitments.'
'Since when on the Rainbow Torah?' asked Daniel.
'Since a while,' replied Meludiel smiling. 'I think I know well enough Noah's stability now. Met him a bit. He's stable on the everlasting covenant. I think I'm satisfied well enough. And as for Jesus, he comes up here quite regularly, and maintains faith with a number in Eternity. Zionistya is his home now, and for much of the church, but he visits me and we chat. There are a number of churches still here and there in eternity. He hasn't let go of his job. He wouldn't do that.'
'No, probably not,' said Daniel. 'Like Messiah ministries. I'm frikking married to one of them.'
'Which is why Ambriel takes it seriously, like Jesus. Michael? No great ministry, no great commitment. More of a thing with Israel as a people, and not just a religious community.'
'And that's pretty much Zionistya now,' replied Daniel, making the obvious connection.
'So he is at home down there, and this job in eternity – never really meant to be. It was just something we knew, our brother Michael. It wasn't eternity. One day, he won't visit again. One day – it will be finished.'
'And how do you know that?' asked Daniel.
Meludiel smiled, and stood. She sipped on her melit water, and looked at him. 'I'll be in the music room.'
'I'll see you there later for practice with Sharlamane,' replied Daniel.
'I assume so,' said Meludiel, and she left. Shortly Kaladel was looking at him. 'Cheesecake Daniel?' she queried warmly. And Daniel couldn't help himself.
* * * * *
'You notice it's called Zionistya,' said Michael to Saruviel, over the game of snooker in Kalphon Keep.
'Your point?' asked Saruviel.
'God is not being too subtle, is he?' asked Michael. 'Were are Jews supposed to live when it comes right down to it?'
'Israel,' replied Saruviel.
'And the capital of Israel?' asked Michael.
'Jerusalem,' replied Saruviel.
'And the capital of Jerusalem?' asked Michael.
'I got the point a long time ago,' replied Saruviel. 'WE got the point a long time ago. It's just the game of life big brother. Enjoying the playing out of things.'
'Meludiel is right. I'll not leave it one day. A very rare travelling here and there, but once I settle down in Zionistya, that's the end of the affair. Evening does precede Morning, so I guess the Evening stars were destined to triumph in eternity. Just the way it was from the beginning.'
Saruviel looked at him, thinking that over, and took his shot. He was well ahead, but Michael wasn't really trying.
'Let's have a drink. Later on then. If it's really a settled thing, I'd like you to read some private memoirs I have. From days of old.'
Michael smiled. 'Gladly, little brother.'
And a resolution of things had not so much come to pass, as it had in fact done so quite along time ago, but more just been realized. And Michael knew it was just meant to be.
* * * * *
And so, for a few weeks, peace, and understanding returned to the realm of eternity. Saruviel figured in the end that Zionistya, which actually had been prophesied a very long time ago near the foundation of things, had been God's response to the dilemma between the Evening Stars of probably Noah and the Morning Stars of Abraham. And that, is an Israel on Earth, separation of warring parties had long been arranged. Marked in the flesh by the pact of circumcision. And with that reassurance, Saruviel took some time off, his plans temporary on hold, and a calm spirit inhabited eternity. For a few weeks anyway.
* * * * *
'Technically they are Karaite Noahide,' said Abraham to Michael.
'For fuck's sake,' replied the firstborn of the Seraphim. 'What the hell are they doing in Zionistya?'
'Well, we invited them,' replied Abraham. 'You know, in Israel we always did have resident aliens.'
Michael wanted to curse again, but looked at the angels. 'ANM cronies?' he asked.
'Pretty much,' replied Abraham. 'They have an agenda. To fill Zionistya with a strong Karaite Noahide community, and to teach Karaism as the faith of Zionistya. They have been debating the orthodox in this respect.'
'The position is already acknowledged,' replied Michael. 'We are well aware of the foundation of the oral law. Why do they want to disturb the peace?'
'Just arguing they have more accurate theology,' replied Abraham. 'Besides Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly points out to us we have every right to promote non-judaism in the Realm of Eternity.'
'What's that supposed to mean?' asked Michael.
'We can't live there. But we can have assemblies of realm people who honour us as the founders of our own Torah assemblies.'
'Couldn't be bothered on that front,' replied Michael.
'Mr Daly thinks you will one day,' said Abraham. 'Michael's Torah Ministry he calls it.'
Michael smiled. 'Funny idea. I mean, I might bother with a Seraphim Torah community, and maybe a Genesis ministry for ideas, but only if I ever bothered getting religious again.'
'Which is what they predict, coz a jew is a frikking jew, and don't change its spots, so they are getting in first.'
'Yeh right,' said Michael, and smoked on his ciggie. He looked at Abraham. 'We do, though. Promote Torah. Our job, technically.'
Abraham looked at Abraham for a few moments. 'Yes, Michael. It is what we do.' And then the old men walked away, and Sarah followed him, as Michael went back inside Castle Zionistya after smoko break. He sat down at the PC and typed in. 'Seraphim Torah Ministries.' He looked up the Realm of Eternity web, chuckling to see if it was taken. The term 'Reserved' was next to the entry. He clicked on it. There was a note. 'At the foundation of the Realm of Eternity Michael the Archangel functioned as firstborn. This remains his official ministerial assembly title should he choose to one day get to his responsibilities.' And that was all the note read. Michael opened his drawer, and took out a pack of ciggies. A rare pack. He smoked one. 'I see,' he said to God softly.
* * * * *
'Right, Ambriel. Your desk,' said Raphael. 'You check up on Azrael this afternoon. Make sure he is getting some social.'
'Will do boss,' replied Ambriel.
'I'll be next door,' said Michael, putting in his head. 'It's the home for Seraphim Torah Ministries. My official Torah Ministry in the Realm of Eternity. Not the overseers job, but Michael the firstborn's job.'
'Back again I see,' said Raphael unimpressed.
'I'll be studying Torah, Seraphim Torah, and working on a document. Ambriel could be some help to throw ideas off. Could use him.'
'This going to be temporary?' asked Raphael, tilting his head.
'My dormitory bed will be were I sleep while in the Realm, mainly in Zaphora. Will visit and do the job regularly. Every year a few months of work. Won't shirk. Scout's honour.'
'I guess I'll extend some faith to you at this time,' said Raphael. 'You've repented a lot recently.' He went silent. 'That's your official work role here. It's in the legislation.'
'Yes,' said Michael, smiling at Ambriel. 'I know.' And then he was in his office.
'Mmm,' said Ambriel. 'Can't get rid of him after all.'
'Found his excuse,' grinned Raphael.
'And he'll use it to the hilt,' said Ambriel knowingly.
* * * * *
'Bullshit!' exclaimed Saruviel. 'That's complete and utter fucking bullshit.'
'It smells fowl,' said Daniel. 'Like a kosher jewish meal.'
'He's legal,' said Valandriel. 'We passed that a long time ago.'
'Anyone want a drink?' asked Azrael. They were in Az's place.
'I'll take a beer,' said Raphael, who had shared the news with Valandriel first.
'He's hardly holy,' said Daniel.
'That won't stop him,' replied Valandriel.
'No. It won't,' said Saruviel. 'Legalist. Can that rule be changed?' he asked hopefully.
'Uh, no,' said Daniel, who had now thought about it. 'Actually, if he takes it seriously, we technically recommend he does that work. It's his responsibility as firstborn.'
Valandriel nodded. 'Yes, we support that actually. His legal duties in service to God in the Realm of Eternity. Our foundation, actually. Seraphim Torah. We won't be denying Michael if he wants to do his actual job properly. That would be allowed for our older Morning Star brother.'
'Shit,' said Saruviel. He thought on it for a moment. 'Yes, if he does his job properly. But we all know its an excuse.'
'Let him have a go. At least he's finally got a start on the job,' said Raphael.
'I'll leave him be,' said Daniel. 'Will sit in with a study with him.'
Valandriel looked at his younger brother. 'Learn some Michael wisom, huh?'
'Never hurts to learn,' replied Daniel.
'Bah,' said Saruviel, and ordered a drink.
'Nothing will change. It's just a religious job,' said Valandriel.
'Yeh, right,' said Saruviel. And everyone noticed the glint in seventhborn's eyes.
* * * * *
'Are you going to do the job properly, or waste everyone's time with an excuse to barny it up with the lads?' asked Sharlamane.
'I still want the top job. Won't deny that,' said Michael. 'But since my fall I have been on Torah each sabbath. Still do it. Fidelity has remained strong enough to God. I'll do my Seraphim Torah Ministry job properly. Israel serves on Torah.'
'Right,' said Sharlamane. 'Ok. I'll be at your next meeting.'
'It's upstairs. Conference room 7,' said Michael. 'Not here next week. Filled up the requests pretty quickly.'
'Well, good for you,' said Sharlamane.
On the sabbath about 20 Seraphim males, 50 Seraphim females, and about 100 Cherubim had crammed into conference room 7. When Michael walked in his head tilted back a moment. Ambriel was at the door, and shook his hand. 'Good to see you Michael,' he said. 'Hopefully you'll have some words of wisdom for us all.'
'Uh, yeh,' said Michael. 'Sure hope so myself.'
He came up to the front and stood in front of the lecture stand. Saruviel, Raphael, Azrael, Daniel, Valandriel, Callodyn, Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly, and a host of other faces were in the front row, each of them glaring at him. 'Ok God,' he said under his breath. I get the point.'
Michael began speaking, and the assembly began.
Later on, when most had left, Ambriel came up to Michael. 'Next sabbath will be the Glory Auditorium downtown. We have requests for about 100,000 people to attend.'
Michael looked at him, almost stunned, but came to himself. 'You don't say,' he said.
'Oh, and the front row wants ministerial positions in the Assembly. All of them.'
'You don't say,' said Michael.
'And they are listening to what you say,' said Ambriel.
Michael looked at him. More obvoius words had never been said in all the days he could remember.
'Fine, Ambriel. Ok, you can be right hand man if you want.'
'Awesome,' said Ambriel, and he smiled, an ancient smile, and Michael felt humbled. This was very ancient, the spirt in the room. Something perhaps planned from eternity, which had finally come to pass.
'Looking forward to to it Ambs,' said Michael. And Ambriel waved, and was gone.
And life, yet again, returned to normal in the realm of eternity.
* * * * *
'Ok. Hopefully Michael will do his job properly for once,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.
'For a while anyway,' said Wolfgang, looking at one of Mr Daly's science fiction magazines.
'What does that mean for us?' asked Callodyn.
'It should ideally mean we don't have to work as hard,' replied Daniel. 'Seraphim Torah ministry is being done, and we would not have to handle that duty as much with the ANM. Our own ministry continues, but if Michael did this job seriously the spiritual sanctification in the Realm of Eternity to keep things under control would have a lot of help.'
'How about – no real reaction,' said Daniel the Seraphim. 'And we just go on with business as usual, and observe.'
'Probably for the best,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.
'Michael will only work in the job for a while, but has his eye on other things,' said Wolfgang. 'It's only a position of authority and glory to him. He doesn't really care about the spiritual state of the Realm of Eternity. Last thing on his mind. Barely cares if Zionistya is holy.'
Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly looked at God. 'Well, that's a sorry thing. Means we can't really lighten up.'
'Nobody likes to do the dishes,' replied God. 'I'm afraid your work is probably permanent on most of this. And, like I mentioned to you, don't expect Michael to last forever anyway. It's a new lease of life, but he's already chosen death in his heart. Down in Zionistya Abraham has already welcomed in the ANM to keep things under control. He knows you well enough. His rabbis he'll pass on, but he knows you mean it. And Eternya has no solid ministry anyway, so I'll expect that from you in time.'
Daniel sighed. 'Well, you heard it from the horses mouth boys. Back to work.'
Callodyn and Seraphim Daniel left, chatting to each other, and Cherubim Daniel looked at God. 'It's a dirty job.'
'But someone's got to do it,' finished the Theophany of the Almighty.
* * * * *
'Well, Sharlamane. This is lovely,' said Daniel.
'Indeed it is,' replied Sharlamane. 'They were in the eastern gardens of Zaphon Keep, on the benches, having luncheon.
'You obviously love Daniel,' said Jessica Daly.
Sharlamane looked at Jessica quizically. 'You're from Earth Prime, aren't you?'
'It's where I originate,' replied Jessica.
'Daniel and myself originate from the Realm of Eternity. It's where we began,' said Sharlamane, again smiling at Daniel.
Jessica bit into her apple. 'Right,' she said. She was glaring at Sharlamane, who only had eyes for Daniel. 'Did they teach you how to be a bitch also?' asked Jessica.
Sharlamane tilted her head to look at Jessica. 'Excuse me,' she replied.
'His dick is taken,' replied Jessica.
'Oh, gosh,' replied Sharlamane. 'I wouldn't dream of such a thing.'
'She woiuldn't actually,' said Daniel.
'Shut up Daniel,' said Jessica. 'Listen, sister. This bunny rabbit has Jessica Murdoch Mixamatosis. If his cockles get involved with any strange beasts, be they ROE or otherwise, believe me, he'll know it. Come right out in sores. Believe me.'
Sharlamane had a concerned look on her face, then softened. 'I'm an angel,' she replied.
'Don't buy it,' said Jessica.
'You should,' said Daniel softly.
Jessica glared at him. 'What's that supposed to mean.
'She actually takes her job as an angel seriously. Sharlamane and Ambriel long ago chatted about this sort of stuff. Meludiel too. Others are learning it slowly. She won't cheat,' said Daniel, looking at Sharlamane. 'She's over that sort of fun.'
'Oh,' said Jessica, with Ambriel's name mentioned. 'I know Messiah is a man of honour. It's why I follow Ambriel.'
'We've a long established tradition of stable souls in the realm of eternity,' replied Sharlmane. Kimborel, Kaladel and Brindabel are learning the way. Devotion to purity. They're not there yet, but they are on the pathway. They'll tell you that themselves.'
'What, no sex?' asked Jessica.
'Oh, gosh. Not exactly,' smiled Sharlamane.
'Only with your spouse, and the devotion really should be eternal by now,' said Daniel. 'It's old fashioned purity with this movement. Sharlamane is exercising actually genuine angelic love for others. She is just fond of her Seraphim brother Daniel, like Ambriel. Some of us she connects to, as each of us connects to some people who make sense to us.'
'Exactly,' replied Sharlamane.
Jessica bit into her apple again. 'Right,' she said, a little uncertainly.
'I love Daniel. But I wouldn't sleep with him,' said Sharlamane, again her attention on her Seraphim brother.
'I guess so,' replied Jessica.
'She's serious then,' asked Jessica, back at Danielphon.
'Some of us have been at spirituality a long time now,' said Daniel. 'Me, I'm a bit religious. I like theology mostly. But Sharlamane lets it into her heart very much. Some of the older angels are very much like that now.'
'Your an ideas man,' said Jessica. 'Why I took you. You get animated, and its exciting. You have passion at times, flair. Good for someone like me.'
Daniel nodded. 'You know, that's probably true.'
Jessica lost concern about the Sharlamane thing after that. Quite apparently nothing much to worry about.
* * * * *
Every morning, after breakfast, Michael studied Torah. For 17 weeks in his new job he studied Torah, each and every morning. Faithfully, dutifully, humbly. Then when morning, after breakfastf, he came to himself and said 'Bugger this for a joke. Cindradel, I'll be at Az's place.'
'It's not even past midday,' replied Cindradel.
'Do they have Dinosaur wrestling up here?' asked Michael hopefully.
'Channel 774,' replied Cindradel.
'Thanks peach,' replied Michael, who was again in the overseer's office, and he was off.
'You know,' said Azrael. 'It's more a case of Jews bug people a lot. More of that if they kept their numbers right down, and stuck with Israeli lands, not as much shit would be given.'
'Right,' said Michael, sipping on his beer.
'I mean, when it comes right down to it, what is life anyway? Just a serious of arm wrestles to pass the time. We shoot this jazz for something to goss about. Nothing much more. Kind of figured you guys preferred your own turf down in Zionistya anyway.'
'Probably do,' said Michael, a little tipsy. 'Got a point to prove with Ambriel. Want to show that I still care, you know. And I do a bit.'
'I hear ya,' replied Azrael. 'Me, I keep this job. Familar face to people, wear a basic grin, and how's your father. Stable face in the Realm, but we do have a few in Zaphora.'
'Noticed,' replied Michael. 'Hey, channel 774. Dinosaur wrestling.'
Azrael put on the channel, and dinosaur wrestling was live from Disc 18,000.
'Yep, we've had that a bit,' said Azrael. 'Not for me, but I get an occasional request for the jazz.'
Michael watched, now a bit happier. 'Might visit disc 18,000,' he said, off the cuff. 'Start a tour there for Seraphim Torah Ministries.'
'You do that,' said Azrael.
And Michael actually did. Gabriel joined him as well.
* * * * *
Saruviel sat in silence. Michael had disappeared off to Disc 18,000, and it seemed he was happy there for the time being. No longer a current threat. Firstborn had been a right pain in the neck for a while, and his mission had been misdirected a number of times recently. But he had organised a get together with the current team, and he'd put on another TV special shortly. He'd resolved himself a bit. Indeed, he would gradually be a bit better of an angel. He'd given some thought of late about the yearning for freedom, and he had conclued it was still a good idea, but unabated freedom, unless with goodness, well...........well you could do what you want, and sometimes that wasn't always for the best. And admitting it to God he realized there probably did need to be some sort of moral guidance. Principles or foundations which an angel acknowledged and lived by. Otherwise freedom turned to anarchy, and Saruviel didn't defend that ideal. Neither he, Kantriel, Daraqel, Semambarel or Devuel defended that idea. Some libertarians – somewhat. But Saruviel needed order in his freedom, and Seraphim Torah made a bit more sense now because of it. So an old thought had matured, and he had more insight. True, he knew this well enough from days of old really, but the gears were clicking into place where he understood it a bit better. Perhaps, in a way, he was growing up. Becoming Saruviel the angel. Not dread lord Saruviel. He mused on that, and other ideas, then flicked on channel 774, and amused himself with dinosaur wrestling for the rest of the afternoon.
* * * * *
'Andrew Daly. Tonight in the library of the Golden City. One night only,' said Aphrayel.
'Something to miss,' said Samael.
'I'm going,' said Sandalphon, over by the window, scotch in hand.
'You are?' asked Samael, interest now piqued.
'You bet. Been thinking on something.'
'What?' asked Aphrayel.
'About a formal request. For smoother inter-realm travel. The way technology is now, we can get space flights up very quickly and connected from realm to realm in much greater ways. Bigger ships can be done, and spaceports expanded from much larger flow of people. No reason we can't relax visa requirements, and get in a lot of travellers to the realm.'
'Why the hell do we want to do that?' asked Samael. 'We have something of a standard we set.'
Sandalphon turned and looked at Samael. 'Do we? Do we really want to jibe out this debate eternal? I would have thought, Samael, that the excitement of freer travel might be a bit more interesting to you now. We're not so inwards looking anymore anyway. We have good standing with heaven, and the interplanetary bodies. I feel a more united spiritual universe might be in everyone's best interests.'
Samael looked at Sandalphon, and then turned, looking forward. Aphrayel began another game of solitaire, and Samael sipped on his coca cola.
'What do you think Aphy?' asked Samael.
'We're already united. Why make it more difficult. Face it – even Eternya has old enough citizenship now, that you don't really mind their company somewhat. Why fight it. Get along with everyone.'
Samael leaned forward, and picked up the white king in the chess board. He knocked it over after a bit, and looked at Aphrayel. 'Ok. Why not. Life has a good enough flow here in the Golden City. I'm quite happy with the general running of things. Don't want much change. But perhaps, in the long term, greater fluidity of community could bring in some interesting older faces.'
'With some interesting stories and knowledge,' said Sandalphon.
Samael looked at his brother. 'Probably true, yes. Bring it up, then. At council.'
'I will,' said Sandalphon. 'And you're coming to hear Andrew.'
'Fine,' said Samael. He looked at Aphrayel. He grinned softly, and she returned to her game. Discussion finished.
'It's a dragon,' said Samael, whispering.
'It's a big one,' replied Aphrayel. 'At least 100 feet tall.'
'Raises himself up, even bigger,' said Samael. 'Razorback range has a host of them,' he said.
'I'm thirsty,' she said.
'You want to quit? Aphrayel keeps these sort of commitment. Gemrayel is not doing any easier with Sandalphon, I assure you.'
'Come on,' she said. They crept down from their spot hidden in bushes, and walked steadily down to the stream. Aphrayel laid down and sipped the water. Samael took a few handfuls up to his mouth with his hand, and looked around. 'Wildberries,' he said.'
'Those type will give you a bellyache,' she said.
'I know them. I can handle them,' replied Samael, and took a few. Aphrayel ate some anyway. They stood there, eating, when the dragon struck. It hit Samael hard with its claw, and Samael spring to action, reaching for his sword, unfurling his wings, and flying into the sky. Aphrayel was up next to him, flying also.
'Angel scum,' roared the dragon, and breathed fire at them. The angels ducked the flames easily, and Samael flew around and knicked the dragon's ear, cutting out a tiny bit of flesh. The dragon roared and circled, and breathed fire again, which Aphrayel just managed to dodge. 'Illegal trespassing,' said the dragon. 'Ground yourself immediately. You have 3 weeks with bread and water to serve.'
Samael, flapping his wings, ignored the dragon's comment, but suddenly Sandalphon flew in with Gemrayel. 'I'll have them do their time,' he said to the dragon. 'Lead on and I'll ensure they comply.'
'Legalist,' sparked Samael.
'You lost. Failed the test b grader,' said Sandalphon, as they began following the flying dragon. Soon enough they were at a cave, were the dragon pointed its wing.
'There is ample water at the caves back, in a pool,' said the dragon. 'We will deliver you stale bread this evening. You shall watch over them Sandalphon, or we'll have you for trespass also.'
'I will keep my word,' said Sandalphon to the dragon.
'Wonderful,' said Samael.
Once in the cave Samael started 'Can we go already. You're not going to enforce this charade, are you?'
'Right, loser,' began Samael. 'My document manifesto, and not your altered variant.'
'Fine,' said Samael.
'I'll speak with the dragon. Arrange payment of a fine.' Sandalphon disappeared for a while, but soon returned, and nodded, then they were off, down the razorback range, to their encampment.
'It's too much damn freedom,' said Samael.
'Your word brother,' said Samael. 'My proposal without amendments. This is my idea, and I want your full commitment.'
'I doubt it will pass anyway,' replied Samael.
'Actually, I think Logos will probably like the idea,' said Sandalphon.
'Funnily enough so do I,' said Aphrayel.
'I think so to,' put in Gemrayel. 'Sandalphon hasn't shut up about the proposal, and I see the merit. Greater freedom. It's often what we want, but are too afraid to ask.'
'Freedoms have to be fought for,' said Samael.
'And sometimes not everyone has a voice,' said Gemrayel sofly.
Samael touched his sister's shoulder, and nodded softly.
'I want words with Saruviel, first. We're going to need a go to man in eternity, and Saruviel wants to be king. We'll deal with him.'
'Fine,' said Sandalphon. 'Good enough choice. Not sure what we would get from those Daly's and that Valandriel PM.'
'We'll find out soon enough I'm sure,' said Samael.
'Now can we please go home,' said Aphrayel.
As they drove back to the nearby city, Samael mused. Sandalphon had won the contest, an it was his manifesto withour alteration. No matter. His baby anyway. It would just be interesting what council had to say at this new proposal.
* * * * *
Abraham and Noah, children of heaven, were having a chat.
'It's probably time,' said Abraham. 'Zionistya as a foundation is laid, and the towering heavenlies are complete in their spiritual infrastructure.'
'Yes,' admitted Noah. 'Regular hurlyburl of leadership goes on, but life's like that. 'We'll admit them in now. Adam is in favour of now being a good time.'
'Father. I will speak with Samael regarding this,' said Noah. 'He is obviously championing Sandalphon's position, so we will have a united front for eternity.'
'I'd rather you spoke with Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly,' replied Wolfgang. 'It's Samael of Heaven's job to speak with Samael.'
'Sammy barely cares,' replied Noah. 'He watches TV 24/7 when he's not sleeping, and orders takeaway, and does little else. Comfort is all that consumes that brother of mine.'
'Speak with him then. Tell him to get off his bottom and talk with Samael about heaven being part of this project. Samael likes to do his devil's business, so he'll find his motivations well enough.'
'As you will,' replied Noah.
Samael found the excuse to chat with Samael of Infinity good enough, and booked a flight down to the Golden City. When he found Samael in the library, he sat down and looked around. 'Sort of like a kindergarten library. Or school library,' said Sammy. 'I mean, colouring pencils.'
'It's popular with the ladies,' replied Samael of Infinity. 'Now, what can I do for you namesake?'
'Heaven is abuzz with Sandalphon's agenda. We're apparently 100% behind it. You needed to know this.'
'Ok,' said Samael. 'Fine then. We'll run with it.'
'What you doing? For the cause?'
'The cause?' asked Samael, amused.
'Oh, general devil's business,' replied Samael of Heaven. 'Not that I do that much more of that these days. I've honoured my repentance, and done the time long ago. But a role is a role, and sometimes I get ideas which the Spirit gives a nudge and says somebody has to oppose their ease of life.'
Samael looked at his older brother from heaven. 'Saruviel has that job also. Commissioned directly to do it.'
'It's the work of a devil,' replied Samael of heaven. 'It's what we're about.'
'Really?' queried Samael.
Samael of Heaven nodded. 'Really and truly. Now do you have any burger places in this city?'
Samael of Infinity directed Samael of Heaven to the cafeteria, but remained in the library, readin the famous five book by Enid Blyton he had been reading. But a thought struck him. The role of a devil. Now that was an interesting idea.
* * * * *
'So. How's tricks?' Noah asked Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.
'Fine,' replied Daniel, behind his desk in his office at the Daly Foundation.
'You've made a lot of money in the name of the covenant and Noahide faith,' said Noah. 'Raked it in by all reports.'
Daniel looked at Noah, and came out from behind his desk, and sat down on the couch opposite Noah, who was looking at a popular science fiction magazine in his office which was well read. 'The pastor's preach the Rainbow Torah and elaborations of it pretty consistently every day. Head's of such organisations make a lot of money. I give a lot to charity from the proceeds, and a lot of the money is invested in work opportunities and education grants and so on. Our Noahides school open in outer discs constantly, and we teach the universal curriculum with careful Noahide ethics.'
'Not here to judge you,' said Noah.
'You want a favour?' asked Daniel.
'Why do it?' asked Noah, looking at his son. 'Did God make a covenant with you and the rainbow?'
Daniel nodded. Noah had a quizical look on his face. Daniel brought up an old video on a rainbow appearing to him which he had asked God to provide in the name of Noah's covenant. 'He justified my Noahide faith,' said Daniel.
'Apparently,' said Noah. He put down the magazine. 'Any complaints about your ministry?'
'I get some, nothing major. Anglelicdom tastes human life on Earth when their time comes. Many of them ultimately accept the covenant because of it.'
Noah nodded. 'Ever thought of asking me if I approve of you doing this?'
'God's covenant,' replied Daniel. 'Made with your offspring. I'm your offspring. My covenant. Sort of got to follow it anyway.'
'And teach in it?' queried Noah.
'It's in the name of the sons of God community,' replied Daniel. 'When I started, there wasn't an official biblical one.'
'Over two billion monotheists at the time,' said Noah.
'With zero biblical Noahides,' replied Daniel.
Noah nodded. 'True. So that's your justification then, is it? For this ministry?'
'We're also Rainbow Covenant people, if you are looking for another term not using your moniker.'
'No,' replied Noah. 'It's fine. I don't mind.'
'Well there you have it then,' replied Daniel.
'Times are changing. I'll be doing more for the Noahide community soon,' said Noah.
'You receive your share of the Deciarchal tithe already,' replied Daniel.
'It's not the money,' said Noah.
'Your on the board,' said Daniel.
'Not that either,' replied Noah.
'You want changes?' asked Daniel.
Noah nodded. 'It's a Noahide organisation.'
'It is,' replied Daniel.
'So I run the show, son.'
'You looking for a new man in eternity? Is that it?'
Noah looked at Daniel, like into his soul so Daniel felt, and shook his head. 'You'll be getting emails. Directives about what we will be soon doing. I'll have your cooperation, won't I?'
'Certainly. But we serve God, dad. We'll assess everything you request, but if we can comply, by natural course we will follow your lead.'
'That's all I ask,' replied Noah.
'Good,' said Daniel.
Noah stood. 'Nice picture,' he said to Daniel, and left.
Daniel looked up at the picture of Noah's ark behind hm, and looked after the departing patriarch. Noah now running the show. Well, he could finally catch up on that holiday time.
* * * * *
'I'll need an office,' said Japheth.
'And Shem is appointed to Zionistya and Eternity, and Ham is appointed to the Realm of Infinity,' replied Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly to Japheth's statement.
'Anything wrong with this one?' asked Japheth. 'If you like it I can move in opposite,' replied Daniel.
'I like it. Can I keep the picture?' he asked.
'It's all yours,' replied Daniel.
'Cool bananas,' said Japheth. 'Now, I'm a Daly also. Nigall is in my progeny.'
'Yes. Aware of that,' replied Daniel.
'So Japheth Daly will be official moniker of myself at the Daly Foundation,' said Japheth. 'Don't feel heavy about dad. He runs a lot more than dear Europa. Shem is very complicated, and Ham can be an asshole.'
'Good to know,' said Daniel.
'Can you get me the program for the month ahead. And I will be joining the Daly foundation and taking it over. I'll be investing my fair share, and Japheth Daly runs the show through Cyril and yourself as the primary counsellors. We have the standard ANM tasks in the Realm of Eternity. No changes to any core programs. Just expansion into some new projects. Oh, I'm good with finances. You'll prosper. Don't sweat it.'
'It's like you guys to take charge is it?' asked Daniel.
'You don't have to run with it,' replied Japheth.
'It's not a problem. I'll get the lawyers to draft you in to the corporation.'
'I'll need a shield. A Daly shield in the office. Not a basic one. Full metal solid, kapiche. See to it.'
'I'll assign you a secretary this week,' said Daniel. 'I'll be busy,' and he left.
Japheth smiled. Could push him, but he wasn't a sucker. Good. He knew Daniel wouldn't complain about Japheth joining the Daly Foundation. He would jump at the justification. Irishman? Wear that hat? Why not, thought Japheth. Do just fine.
* * * * *
'So Japheth has officially joined the Daly Foundation, and is running things. Granddad didn't like it much, but was too intimidated to say much. But Japheth has indicated permanency in eternity, so felt, in the end, with him taking the Daly surname it was in his best interests not to complain.'
'I could imagine,' replied Jessica to Seraphim Daniel's words. She was doing sculpting in the lounge of Danielphon Keep. 'Daniel,' said Jessica.
Daniel was on his tablet, tapping away, and didn't reply instantly.
'Daniel,' she said again.
'Yes, babe,' he replied.
'What do you do with murderers?'
Daniel tapped a few more seconds, then put down his tablet. He looked at his wife. 'Mmm. Do you care?'
'Yes,' she replied.
'There is a technical death penalty in the realm of eternity for first degree murderers. It doesn't happen much, but it is enforced.'
'And what about their souls. When they die?' asked Jessica.
'You did theology with Messiah Ministries. Sheol is a well known concept,' replied Daniel.
'But the soul exists and dwells in death replied Jessica.
'It's pastoral work,' replied Daniel, returning to his tablet.
'What is?' asked Jessica.
'Redemption,' said Daniel. 'Pastor's pray for the dead. Till they are redeemed. We have a team which does it.'
'And murderers?' asked Jessica softly.
'It's tricky stuff. You make that request after extreme time intervals. Good millennia between prayers, as the suffering is a lot.'
'Why is that?' asked Jessica.
'Because you have to change evil into good,' said Daniel. 'You have to persuade that soul on the decision it made to kill in cold blood that it was wrong, sinful, and then get actual repentance out of them. But that's not the killer. It's the atonement. Blood life takes a long time to atone for. To right the wrong of murder – it's not pleasant business. Takes many hundreds of thousands of years by tough souls. Pastors who can hack God frowning on them for a long time. They take a lot of the sin into them. They have to be strong enough to atone it.'
Jessica was about to ask another question, but something else entered her thoughts. 'And souls which don't have a pastor praying for them? What about them?'
'There's the registry,' said Daniel. 'You know, citizenship registry. We check things occasionally. Check up on people, I mean. See where they are in life. Everyone is monitored by the ANM. I mean, everyone. It may take us millions of years to get to some souls, sometimes billions, but we get to them in time, and check on their welfare. There is a program of universal salvation going, ok.'
'I see,' replied Jessiica. 'Oh, so there is universal salvation in the ANM in the end then?'
'Messiah Ministries does the work as well,' said Daniel. 'Me and Ambriel agreed to it a long time ago.'
Jessica went silent. She stopped her sculpting, and rammed her fist into it.
'Why'd you do that?' he asked.
'It was for the lost and forsaken. Going in my room on Earth Prime. But obviously,' she said, picking up the clay. 'I won't need it.'
'Obvioiusly,' said Daniel, a little perplexed.
Later on he came into her. 'Was that on your heart?'
'Yes,' she replied. 'I thought people could be lost ultimately.'
'Even in hell he tracks us down in the end,' replied Daniel.
Jessica put her head against Daniel. 'It works out in the end, then, I guess.'
Daniel consoled his wife. They listened to quiet music, and she went to bed early. Daniel could tell she had been crying. An issue had been on her mind, quite obviously. But an issue which had gotten an answer.
God knew the heart of the Rainbow Covenant taught death to life. But death to life which had taken other life. It was the blood atonement which was necessary, and since the blood of righteous Abel, blood called for blood. But redemption was done through suffering of the soul, and pastoral work of mercy was not for the weak of heart. He felt for his daughter Jessica's concerns, and was happy she had her answers. And now, Saruviel – a new chapter was coming to the realm of eternity, and new plans and new dreams and aspirations. But with the completion of the first period, a rainbow covenant had ratified the measuring of the days and, with that done, God enjoyed some private time chatting with Brindabel in Zaphon Keep library, looking up and admiring Shem's steady hand and masterful skill.